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Entries Tagged “Tips and Tricks”

Let's paint a picture: you'd like to offer up some sort of file for sale. It could be anything, say... an album of self-produced MP3s, a collection of quilting patterns, a video pack of kids tunes, an ebook on self-spiritual healing or even an Excel spreadsheet of horse racing odds! It doesn't matter, as long as it is a digital file.

The idea is simple: when I receive a payment, send the user an email with a link to the file. Zapier can help you do that! Plus, we let you can use any payment provider, file host or email provider you want!


You'll need three tools at your disposal:

A payment provider (so you get paid).

We recommend either PayPal, Stripe, Dwolla, or Paymill. Alternatively, you could trigger off sales in Magento, Shopify or BigCommerce (or entries in your CRM, lead database, webform, etc...).

https://zapier.cachefly.net/storage/photos/a80f665554a900e4336a85b20e86bda8.png

A host provider (somewhere to put your file).

We recommend either Dropbox, Box.com, Google Drive or Skydrive if you want to do direct link, but you could upload it to your blog or personal host if you have one. We'll talk about Amazon's S3 later, which is a powerful way to give expiring URLs. You could also send as an email attachment!

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An email provider (to send the email).

We recommend either Mandrill, Sendgrid, Mailgun, or Alpha Mail, but you could use a service like Gmail as well (or use your own via STMP).

https://zapier.cachefly.net/storage/photos/c2c74b576e4d56ae66211e1187f8782f.png

The beauty of Zapier is you can mix-and-match your favorite providers and customize anything and everything about the email you send. Want to trigger off of PayPal sales and send an email with the file as an attchment via Gmail? Sure!

Maybe you'd prefer to trigger off of Stripe sales and send an email with a link to a Dropbox file via your own Exchange server's SMTP. Zapier can do that.

Or, maybe you'd like to get really fancy and trigger off of particular sale that goes through your ecommerce platform. You could use our custom S3 URL Signing app (more below) to provide expiring download URLs and send those URLs to the customer via Mailgun. We, as usual, can do that too.

By now you get the idea: just can pick and chose from any of these neat little features and build an awesome experience for your customers.


Putting The Plan In Motion

Now, you have a few options! We'll list each option in order of "simplest" to "most powerful", so you can choose which is best for you.

Direct Link Method

This is the easiest method by far: you just send an email with the same static link to every customer after they make a payment.

  1. Upload a file to your Hosting Provider. Copy the public link (you might need to "share" it first).
  2. Set up a single Zap from Payment Provider to your Email Provider. Place the link in the "body" field of the email.
  3. Enable the Zap!

But you could tweak this one a little bit and attach the file to the email instead, but you'll still need a host like Amazon's S3 or even your own personal host or blog.

Below are a few example Zaps, but don't forget, you can swap out any payment or email provider you like!

Attachment Method

This method is very similar to the direct link method above, but it uses Zapier's handy ability to download files and attach them as attachments in Gmail!

  1. Upload a file to your Hosting Provider like your blog hosting or Amazon S3. Copy a direct public link, it can't be a download page!
  2. Set up a single Zap from Payment Provider to your Email Provider. Place the link in the "attachment" field of the email (Zapier will automatically download it and attach it!).
  3. Enable the Zap!

At the time of writing Zapier only supports attachments on Gmail or SMTP, but you can use any other payment provider. Below is a PayPal/Gmail example:

Expiring Link Method

This method is much more powerful but only works with a single hosting provider: Amazon S3 (it does work with any payment/email provider though). Similar to the first two examples, you just include the specially generated expiring links in "body" field of the email!

It uses a custom, invite only application that will act as a "middle stage" which can generate unique links that expire after a specified amount of time. Before you start, click here to add the S3 URL Signer application to your account (be sure to be logged in before clicking).

Here are the full directions, jump to the bottom for the one of the two Zaps:

  1. Upload your file to your Amazon S3 bucket. Make it is not "public", just remove any "Everyone" permissions. Copy the link.
  2. Set up the first Zap from Payment Provider to the invite only S3 URL Signer. Fill in the fields, but leave Next Webhook URL blank, we'll come back to that in a moment!
  3. Set up a second Zap from Web Hook and the Catch Hook trigger to your preferred Email Provider. Copy the Webhook URL from step two.
  4. Go back to your first Zap and place the Next Webhook URL. Maybe send a sample or two in step 6.
  5. Finally, go to the second Zap and finish designing your email. Enable both of them.

Since the first Zap involves the custom, invite-only S3 app click here to add it to your account, only the second of the two pair Zap is available from a template, but here are two screenshots that should demonstrate the setup you want:

https://zapier.cachefly.net/storage/photos/22736e8dd0226eb684c37f466b862736.png

https://zapier.cachefly.net/storage/photos/1cf42c5cec83cd4b385cee69099033e5.png

That's Not All!

While just a few Zaps can automate your digital download delivery process, you can use even more Zaps to put your customers in your Mailchimp, Constant Contact or AWeber mailing list, send sale notifications via SMS or into your Campfire or Hipchat chat room, or even just omit the download link and thank your customers via email! Zapier can help you do all of that and more.

If you need help setting any of these up, or need some suggestions or recommendations, just contact us and we'd be happy to help!


Do you have any tips or tricks on how you use Zapier? Let us know in the comments!

About the Author

Bryan Helmig is a co-founder and developer at Zapier, self-taught hacker, jazz/blues musician and fine beer and whiskey lover.

Repeatable Enterprise Sales Process

The key to any successful, sales-driven company is building a repeatable sales process that can acquire customers at a cost less than their lifetime value.

But for a lot of us enterprise sales looks like some magic, voodoo art mixed with the proverbial round of golf followed by steak and scotch. Building a repeatable sales process is a far off pipe dream.

But if you are good at sales (and I mean actually good) it turns out that sales isn't so much of a black art. Last week I chatted with William Lowe, head of business development and marketing at Gluu.org, and asked him exactly how they turn 34% of their LinkedIn contacts into product demos. The result of those demos? Almost all the revenue that funds the 13 person team.

The Challenge of Enterprise Sales

Straight from the Gluu website, "Gluu helps large organizations design, build, and operate the OX open source authentication and authorization (“AA”) platform for organizational single sign-on (SSO) and web access management (WAM)."

Most of their clients are large organizations which require a dedicated sales process. Companies usually aren't finding gluu.org and signing up to a plan without ever talking to anyone.

This leads to a couple of problems:

  1. Where do leads come from?
  2. Who are the right decision makers to target?
  3. How do we get them to listen to us?
  4. Can we convert them into customers?
  5. How can we do this continually to drive revenue?

That's a lot of big questions for a startup to answer.

Discovering a Repeatable Process

The first bit to tackle is figuring out who are targeting. For Will and his team this is CTOs, CIOs, Software Architects and other high level decision makers in large enterprises with multi-millions in revenue each year.

Knowing that there is a limited amount of people in the world that match this description Will intuited that many of them can be reached out to directly using LinkedIn.

LinkedIn Outreach - Attempt One

With a premium LinkedIn account you can send InMail which is essentially an easy way to cold message particular contacts. This model had some but limited success.

People do respond to InMail, but 1) it feels more “sales-y” and 2) if you don’t get the 100% perfect answer you’re looking for, at the end of the day, this person is still not connected to you. This means he/she will not see your posts, will not show up to your network (and his) as a new connection, AND you have to continue reaching out through InMail if you want to further the discussion with said individual.

Another way to connect with potential customers is clearly preferred.

LinkedIn Outreach - Attempt Two

The next option Will turned to is to simply try and connect via LinkedIn with potential decision makers with a custom message.

The key here is to customize the connection message with something relevant to your prospects.

The default message looks something like this:

Default LinkedIn connection message

It's bland, generic and shows as little effort as possible for connecting with someone, especially if that person doesn't know you in real life.

A much better message would be something like:

Hi FIRST_NAME,

I noticed your IAM post on the XYZ blog. I'd be interested in your feedback on my co's open source IAM platform. We have a very comprehensive implementation of OpenID Connect & "Enterprise UMA" for API access management. Perhaps a gotomeeting next week?

Thanks, Will!

This message does a few things right:

  1. Shows interest in them and what they are working on
  2. Introduces yourself as someone working in a similar space
  3. Makes an easy ask (a few minute call)
  4. Lets the recipient say "yes" or "no" and doesn't require any other action on their part.
  5. Introduces a free resource (open-source software) vs. going for the hard sale on their paid products right away.

An additional change Will made was to utilize the Gluu CEO's LinkedIn profile. This maximizes leverage and reach since many people feel a lot more special when a CEO reaches out.

Turns out a connection request with a well-crafted custom message works much better than InMail too. Will managed to convert 34% of his potential leads from cold customers to demos. Which was much better than the single digit percentage points from InMail.

Converting the Sale

Once the LinkedIn connection is made the sale still needs to be closed.

Will quickly takes the new contacts information out of LinkedIn and dumps it into his CRM (SugarCRM in his case).

This lets him manage the rest of the sales process including a demo and the final contract straight from his CRM.

Clearly Will has identified a repeatable sales process. Unfortunately the entire process consumed upwards of 20 hours a week for Will just finding and reaching out to potential customers.

That's a lot of time doing lead generation that's not spent closing deals.

Now it’s time to automate and systematize as much of this process as possible.

Optimizing a Repeatable Sales Process

The most important part of optimizing any process is to break it down into steps. Will found X steps involved:

  1. Finding good leads in LinkedIn
  2. Sending custom connect requests in LinkedIn
  3. Saving converted connection requests to his CRM
  4. Scheduling a follow up demo
  5. Closing the deal

Each of those steps can be automated in some form or fashion.

For steps 1 and 2, Will hired a LinkedIn expert on ODesk that was good at searching LinkedIn for a certain type of leads.

He then armed his ODesk assistant with a sampling of custom connect messages that could be used depending on the type of person.

The ODesk assistant is then able to fulfill steps one and two.

On step 3 Will uses this LinkedIn to SugarCRM Zap to save new LinkedIn connections to SugarCRM.

Step 4 is also easy to automate with an ODesk assistant and YouCanBook.Me. Just list out a variety of times you can meet for the person and let them choose which one.

With steps 1-4 systematized and automated away that leaves Will to focus on the hardest and most personal piece of the sales process which is closing the deal.

After all this is said and done, Will went from 20 hours a week on steps 1-4 down to 5 hours of overseeing which saved 60 hours every month and freed up his time to close more deals.

A Final Note

This may not work exactly for you, but it should be easy to take the applicable bits. And remember to experiment as much as you can. The biggest gains are found when trying something new.

About the Author

Wade Foster is a Co-founder and CEO at Zapier. He likes to write about process, productivity, startups and how to do awesome work.

Zapier SSL Certificate

SSL certificates are a very important part of the internet. These certificates allow encrypted communication between your browser and https://zapier.com. They also allow your browser to guarantee you're actually looking at the webpage we intended. Both of these details disable would-be attackers from snooping on your private browsing or business data.

SSL certificates are also widely used when dealing with APIs. The same technology that lets your computer's browser talk securely to https://zapier.com also allows Zapier to talk securely to other web services (like Gmail, Salesforce, or Zendesk) in order to access your data on your behalf.

In order for SSL certificates to work, both parties (ie. your browser and https://zapier.com) must "trust" an independent third-party, known as a Certificate Authority (CA), who signs every SSL certificate they issue.

There are hundreds of CAs on the internet. In fact, for SSL to work properly, this list of CAs both parties "trust" must be continually updated -- an onerous detail.

So how does this all apply to Zapier?

Sometimes, services on Zapier allow you to specify your own domain (like Desk, JIRA, SugarCRM, Magento). In most cases, it's required that your domain have it's own SSL certificate for API communication to take place. More importantly, Zapier has to trust the CA that signed your SSL cerificate!

And here lies the crux of the problem. Sometimes, you'll purchase an SSL certificate that is issued by a CA that Zapier doesn't trust. Not because anything is wrong, but because we simply don't have the CA that signed your certificate listed.

You might see this type of error when adding a new account to Zapier:

SSL Error on Zapier

We've introduced a new option to your user profile settings, that allows you to disable SSL cerificate security checks. Essentially, this means both parties (your server and Zapier) don't have to trust the CA in order for communication to take place. You'll still need a signed SSL certificate, but we won't enforce that it is valid.

Disable SSL Certificate Checks on Zapier

WARNING: You should only do this as a last resort. Disabling these checks may enable an attacker to manipulate the data sent to Zapier or eavesdrop on data sent out of Zapier to websites with said SSL certificates. If you disable checks and adding an account still yields an SSL error, we highly recommend you revert the option back to enabled then contact support and we can debug further.

NOTE: We are respecting this "disable" option on a case by case basis for services. If you come across a service where you're still hitting SSL errors even after disabling the check, let us know.

NOTE: An "SSL" error doesn't necessarily imply a certificate problem. For example: "SSLERROR: The read operation timed out" is actually not a certificate problem. This error simply indicates the remote server didn't respond to our requests in a timely manner.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions regarding this topic.

About the Author

Mike Knoop is a Co-founder at Zapier. He helps run product and love the color orange.

Magento is a bundle of e-commerce awesome, especially when paired with over 180 Zapier services. However, getting Magento to talk to Zapier services fluently can be tricky – at first.

In this post we’ll talk about how to authenticate with Magento.

Getting Started

Before creating a zap using Magento, log on to your Magento Admin site (i.e., www.magentosite.com/admin) and create a new SOAP/ XML-RPC role and user (see screen shot below).

Magento Admin

References:

Learn how to create a role here.

Learn how to create a user here.

Setting up your zap

When complete, you’ll need three things to successfully authenticate with Magento from Zapier: a user name, API key, and (most important) the correct URL to your Magento web site.

Make sure to use the username and API Key created in the Magento's admin console on the SOAP/XML-RPC user page. As far as URL, typically you'd use, for example, one of the following options:

  1. http://magentosite.com
  2. https://magnetosite.com
  3. http://magentosite.com/index.php
  4. https://magnetosite.com/index.php

If you learn that using option 3 or 4 works and is required to authenticate with Magento, this is because of Magento htaccess configuration settings. To get rid of the "index.php" as part of your URL, you can get insight here. Otherwise, it's safe to keep it as-is.

Although brief, you now have ammunition to resolve most issues when authenticating Magento with Zapier. If you still have problems, let us know at contact@zapier.com and will also make sure to update this post.

Note: We test zaps using Magento Community Edition version 1.7.02. If you have an older version of Magento, we advise upgrading to 1.7.0.2 or newer.

About the Author

Royce Haynes is a web engineer originally from Kansas City.

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