How to Use Zapier

Learn how to use Zapier’s automation and integration tool to improve your BuildFire app.

Tim Tietz avatar
Written by Tim Tietz
Updated over a week ago

What is Zapier?

Zapier is an automation tool that connects with BuildFire and other third-party platforms. The service integrates with popular business solutions like Slack, Google Sheets, Trello, Twitter, Gmail, ActiveCampaign, and thousands more.

Think of Zapier as a middleman of the Internet. You can use it to automate workflows between different platforms for repetitive tasks.

Here at BuildFire, we can create an integration or connection with Zapier, then Zapier connects us with other tools, like some of the examples listed above. We can push information from our system at BuildFire into those third-party systems to automate certain tasks. Zapier also works in the reverse order—so we can take information from third-party tools and pull it into our system to trigger actions inside the BuildFire platform.

Zapier Features and Definitions Explained

To fully understand Zapier and how it works, you need to get familiar with some common terminology that the service uses. Here are the basics:

  • Triggers — How you start an automated workflow whenever something happens in BuildFire or another system.

  • Actions — What occurs after a trigger gets fired.

  • Zap — The full automated workflow that’s been created with Zapier.

  • Task — The number of times that the automated workflow (Zap) has been run.

We’ll take this one step further to explain these definitions with an example. Let’s say you have a Google Sheet with user information. Every time there’s a new entry on that sheet, you want to register a new user inside of your BuildFire app. The trigger would be a new entry, and the action is registering a new user.

Continuing with this same example, the entire process of adding a new entry to the sheet and registering a new user is considered a “Zap.” A task would be how many times that particular Zap gets run (e.g., 50 new entries today = 50 tasks).

Common Use Cases For Zapier

Zapier is extremely versatile. There are plenty of simple automations and use cases that anyone can do, as well as some advanced use cases that require some development skills.

For the purposes of this tutorial, we’ll stick to the basics. You can always consult with your developer or reach out to our team here at BuildFire if you have questions about an advanced Zapier automation that you can’t figure out on your own.

Here are some examples of how we’ve used Zapier ourselves here at BuildFire and how our clients have used it as well:

  • Registering app users

  • Tagging and untagging app users

  • Sending push notifications

  • Ban or block users from your app

  • Send an automated welcome email to all newly registered users

  • Register a new user in your app when they sign up on your website or get added to your CRM platform

  • Tag a user based on a specific entry from a TypeForm response

  • Tag or untag a user to unlock content when they purchase a membership through Memberstack or a product from Shopify

  • Create an onboarding journey for app users

  • Send a push notification with an order cart summary when someone makes an ecommerce purchase from your app or online store

We’ve seen Zapier used for doctor’s offices, yoga studios, service-based apps, product-based apps, and pretty much everything in-between.

It’s worth noting that some of these use cases must follow specific rules within the Apple App Store and Google Play Store, specifically for memberships, subscriptions, and purchases. So keep that in mind as you’re building workflows with Zapier.

How to Use Zapier With Your BuildFire App

Before you can start creating Zaps, there are two things you need to get started:

  1. An invitation from BuildFire

  2. Your API key

To get the invitation and request your Zapier API Key (also known as your BuildFire Gateway Key), reach out

Here are some Zapier tutorials for you to follow that will walk you through the step-by-step process for common use cases:

Again, you still need to get invited by BuildFire and have your API key. These tutorials assume that those steps have already been completed.

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