Zapier allows you to connect over 2000 different apps and services together.
This means there are millions of potential combinations, ready to automate repetitive tasks in your business or personal life.
Best of all, you can access this powerful tool without writing any code — making it much easier to get started.
But this limitless potential can seem a little...daunting to a newcomer, so we've put together this ultimate guide to help you get started with Zapier.
In this guide, we'll walk you through learning Zapier step-by-step, covering:
If you do have questions while reviewing this guide, we'd love to help. We're Zapier Certified Experts, which means we know our stuff! You can email us here or tweet me (@AndrewJDavison).
Right, let’s get started.
Before you jump into Zapier, you need to know a few key terms and concepts:
For simple workflows connecting 2 apps, that’s all you need to know to get started — honest!
When you’re ready to get more advanced, you'll need to understand the terms below.
To use these features, you'll also need to upgrade to a paid plan (starting at $19.99 per month for 750 tasks):
Now that you know all the key terms, your next step will be learning how to build Zaps. Zapier has an amazing online community — one that’s created a wide range of tutorials, covering everything you need to know.
Learn the fundamentals of Zapier
Do you like to learn by watching and then doing? Us too. We've collected our favourite Zapier tutorial videos below, and ranked them by experience level.
Basic: How to build your first Zap
This entry-level video from Buildapreneur will teach you how to build a Zap that sends an email to everyone listed in a Google Sheet. It shows each step on building the Zap clearly and is a great general introduction to Zapier.
In this video, Paul Minors explains the "trigger-action" system in a jargon-free way. Once you understand this system, you'll be able to create Zaps that connect 2 apps easily.
Basic: How to automate tasks
In this 13 minute video from Hey Jessica, you'll learn how to use Zapier to make yourself more productive. We love this tutorial, as it teaches you how to find tasks that can be automated. Jessica shares how she uses over 20 automations to run her business.
Intermediate: How to using Multi-Step Zaps
Now you understand the basics of Zapier, you can move to the next level and start making Zaps with multiple steps.
The main difference between multi-step and single-step Zaps are that you can include filters (which allow you to run actions based on conditions), searches (which let you get data from somewhere) and formatters (which let you transform data into another format).
In the video above, Blake Bailey explains Multi-Step Zaps using simple language and shows an example of a real multi-step Zap for doing personality assignments.
Zapier has thousands of apps, but occasionally your app won't be supported. This video from Zapier shares a few workarounds, including using RSS, scanning incoming email from the app, sending email to an app, using 3rd party apps or even building you own Zapier app:
Even advanced fundamentals are the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Zapier’s powers. If you really want to get value from the platform, you need to start automating workflows in the apps you use every day.
Below, you'll find a list of tutorials on how to build Zaps for the most common apps, along with step-by-step examples.
According to the WordCamp site, there are over 75 million sites using WordPress. No wonder this is one of the most popular Zapier integrations!
In this tutorial from Elegant Themes, you'll learn how to automate 10 WordPress tasks with Zapier, including:
Airtable is an incredible productivity tool, combining the flexibility of a spreadsheet with the power of a database.
If you need to organise data in your business, Airtable is a great choice. We've seen it used for CRM systems, tracking projects, event planning and even inventory management. At Luhhu, we use it as the central database that powers many of our Zapier automation projects.
In this video from Gareth Pronovost, you'll learn how to use Airtable and how it can serve as the central hub for your business.
Trello is a collaboration tool that tracks projects via cards on a board, in a Kanban-style. This helps keep projects organised and on-track.
In this video from Zack Weiss, you'll learn how he uses Trello to run his digital marketing business, then connects it to Slack with Zapier to automatically keep his clients informed.
If you are selling online with Shopify, WooCommerce or Webflow, you know how much tedious admin work is required to keep things running smoothly.
This video from Catching Clouds Academy shares some useful automation workflows for eCommerce sellers — no matter what platform you are using. As Patti is a CPA, they have a unique perspective on automation that focuses on accountancy.
When you’re juggling multiple tasks, and spending working days jumping from one call or project to the next, it can be hard to step back and recognise issues in your workflow.
But, chances are, there are plenty of opportunities to smooth out your process — every day.
When we meet a new client at Luhhu, we start with a discovery call. In this call, we map their existing processes and identify opportunities for automation by following a step-by-step process:
Start by keeping a record of what you do over several weeks and how long it takes for you to do it.
To do so, you'll need a time tracking tool — one that works well for you and doesn’t slow you down! Try a few options until you find one that fits, but if you’re looking for a free option to track your hours, try Toggl. For tracking a whole team, we'd recommend Harvest.
Once you've collected a few weeks tracking data, it’s time to assess your findings. Look for tasks which fit into one of the categories below:
All these types of tasks are ideal opportunities for automation. Perhaps they can’t be automated entirely, but any reduction in time spent will help send your productivity through the roof.
Take the tasks from the previous step and break them down into simple blocks that someone new to your business could do.
Once you've removed the most obvious automation issues, your next step is to jump into Zapier and try to build a Zap. Most workflows are possible with a bit of creative thinking!
Let’s see a few in action…
Each time Squiggle Consult received a lead, hours of repetitive administrative work was required to onboard the new client. We worked with them to automate this process, saving the team 35 hours per week.
Order fulfilment is the most critical part of any eCommerce business. Unless you can get the right product to the right customer at the right time, you'll disappoint your buyer and make sustainable growth impossible.
TinySuperheroes provides capes to kids dealing with sickness and disabilities. Making sure the capes arrive fast is a top priority for them.
Learn how they use Zapier to automate key parts of this process to save hours and scale up their efforts:
Dom Marrone built two apps using Zapier, Drip and Jest. They work like YouTube but are specialised for athletes and comedians respectively. This case study shows that you don't need to know how to code to build a technology business in 2020:
We hope this ultimate guide has inspired you to explore all that Zapier has to offer. But Zapier is a complicated tool, and at some point you’re bound to get stuck.
Thankfully, avid Zapier users have built fantastic like minded communities — here’s where you should go for help: