How, exactly, does Zapier work?

Shaun Hughston
3 min readApr 2, 2020

Last week we announced the Zapier Fundamentals Course, designed to take you from never having touched a Zap in your life through to a fluid, stress-free Zapier user, embracing its ability to streamline and automate just about every function of your routine business activities.

Today, we’re stepping it back a notch, taking a look at the core components that come together for each piece of Zapier magic.

Triggers: how they’re customised to make sense for your workflow

Zaps are built from the ground up based on Triggers, which is any event that starts a Zap. Triggers might include receiving an email, getting a Facebook message, updating a client record in Airtable, sending a Slack message or receiving an incoming webform enquiry — the list is just about endless. Triggers kick off each Zap, and can be customised across every point of your workflow to intercept incoming information and take the next step necessary in that Zap for an automated outcome.

Actions: Automate the completion of routine tasks

Zapier’s Actions are the steps that come after the Trigger. Once new or updated information creates that Trigger, the Zapier ball begins rolling. The things that happen next? Actions.

Actions serve to push data into the apps of your choice in a fully customised way via API integrations. If it’s sounding complicated, it’s not — check out the video below for an easy example of an Action in process.

Let’s say you create a Zap to create a new client record in your CRM upon receiving an email enquiry — the email enquiry acts as the Trigger, and the direction to create that record, and the resulting record, is the Action.

Fill-in-the-blank setup — run ideas very quickly into automations

You don’t need to understand a lick of code in order to be able to build highly customised Zaps that are shaped for your specific purposes. With an intuitive fill-in-the-blank workflow, Zapier leads you step by step through its Zap building process, taking you from lightbulb moment through to a completed Zap in a few minutes (or less, once you’ve become an old hand).

By working with a system that lets you move quickly and responsively, you can continue to adapt workflows based on real-world data and results, continuing to refine your business processes as you grow.

2000 apps connected with more coming every week

With Zapier’s enormous 2000-app integration library, it’s more than likely you’ll find your existing business tools are already set up for quick and easy Zap creation. Zapier adds to its API integrations every week, continuing to bring more functionality and flexibility to you, and catering to workflows all over the spectrum.

The fundamentals course is built on over 60 minutes of video content that’s yours for life. Pause, rewatch, fast forward — this is everything you need to hit the ground running, save time, money, and build business momentum through the power of a well-timed Zap.

See you in the course!

PS — Whenever you’re ready, there are some extra steps you can take to make your business an automated powerhouse:

1. Join the Automation Hackers community

It’s our Facebook community for business owners who want to automate — Click Here.

2. Get your free Automation Checkup

In a free call, I can show you what you can [and should] be automating in your business — Book Here.

3. Work with me and my team privately

Using my Automation Deep Dive method, we’ll create an Automation Blueprint unique to your company. Just send me a message with the words ‘Deep Dive’ and some details about your business, with what you’d like to focus on, and we can take it from there!