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4 min read

2020 in review: Customers who inspired us, plus top stories

By Janine Anderson · December 21, 2020
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We've reached the end of 2020 (almost).

The entire Zapier blog team thanks you for reading, and for our email subscribers, we thank you for welcoming us (and especially Deb at Zapier) into your inboxes.

While there's a lot we'll be happy to leave behind us, there's one thing we're particularly proud of here at Zapier: our customers. We got to spend the year watching small businesses do amazing things, and we're thrilled Zapier was able to be a part of their journey.

Automation helped businesses pivot

Zapier customers looking for new ways to connect with their own customers and manage work in a socially distanced way turned to automation. Museum Hack shifted from leading in-person events to hosting virtual team-building activities, and they used Zapier to identify leads and turn them into customers. CraftJam moved all of their in-person classes online, using Zapier to automate their webinar marketing and registration.

Businesses that relied on in-person foot traffic for sales found that automation helped them serve loyal and new customers with pickup or delivery orders.

Automation helped people give back

People rallied to help their communities, and as they organized massive volunteer and support efforts, automation helped them make the most of limited resources.

We helped people adjust to remote work

The Zapier team has learned a thing or two about remote work over the years, and we worked hard to share our best practices with everyone hungry for information on how to adjust to being part of a remote team.

Our guide to remote work collected resources on everything from teamwork to tools to management to automation, so anyone looking for how to best make the shift could find what they needed.

The blog in review

For our loyal blog subscribers, we wanted to highlight some of the stories that really resonated with our readers this year. We chose one top-performing piece from each of our main categories, so we hope you'll find something valuable to read—or re-read, as the case may be.

The 10 best URL shorteners of 2020

URL shorteners are an important part of many people's tech stacks, helping create nicer links for sharing web addresses with customers, clients, followers, and more. If you're in the market for this kind of tool, you'll find reviews on 10 of our favorites, plus some ideas on how you can automate them with Zapier.

10 tips and tricks for Zoom

As everyone shifted to remote work in early 2020, video conferencing saw a huge spike in use, and in people looking how to best use these kinds of apps. Zoom was one of the major players in this space, and this article about ways to get the most out of it was incredibly popular in the spring.

The 7 biggest remote work challenges (and how to overcome them)

Along with video calls, everyone was also working from home. Zapier's got a lot of experience with that (our company's 300+ employees work remotely, and always have), and we shared what we've learned. From working too much to prioritization and overcoming loneliness, this article shares some tips and techniques we've collected.

What are webhooks?

Becoming more familiar with webhooks is one of the ways to really leverage automation, and automation with Zapier, to connect just about any app. This article gives basic info on what webhooks are and how you can use them to get apps to communicate, sending information back and forth.

Password manager showdown: LastPass vs. 1Password

Managing your passwords is a chore, and we highly recommend using a password manager to make it easier. These apps store your passwords securely, help you maintain unique logins for all your services, and if you run a business, can organize your entire team's information in one place.

5 things you should automate today

If you've ever wondered where to start with automation, this is the article for you. From sending automatic messages to your team about new leads or customers you get through Facebook Lead Ads or automatically responding to people who contact you to consolidating tasks in a to-do list and streamlining social media, there are plenty of tasks you could offload to automation, freeing up your time for more valuable work.

Email etiquette: How to ask people for things and actually get a response

In a year when most of us lost the ability to walk up to someone and ask for something, email became particularly important. This book excerpt provides nine actionable tips that you can put into place to help you get responses to your requests.

Just email the person back. It's really not that hard.

On the flip side, if you're the one being emailed—especially if you've got a tendency to let things pile up in your inbox—this article might have the inspiration you need to clear out your inbox and get responses back to people waiting on you.

Small videos, big results: How to create YouTube content for your small business

YouTube content can be big business, even for smaller organizations. If you're looking for ways to get into video, and to be effective with the content you publish on YouTube, check out these tips, and learn how to start strong and grow your presence.

How tinkering with Neopets and Zapier led to a career in tech

We love a good origin story, and this one from Mary Albright is one of our favorites. While her Neopets addiction got her banned from Chicago libraries, it was also the starting point for her career in tech.

See you in 2021!

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Janine Anderson picture

Janine Anderson

Janine Anderson is the managing editor of the app directory, and works from Racine, Wis. You can often find her reading, writing or knitting, and is happiest when she is at the Lake Michigan shoreline.

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