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3 min read

The art of getting stuff done: How Asana powers its Ambassador program with Zapier

By Hannah Herman · April 18, 2022
The Asana team working in their office.

No one knows more about what it takes to get stuff done than Asana, a popular work management platform. But the app doesn't just help others work smarter; Asana practices what it preaches internally. As a fast-growing company, they value being agile and not getting bogged down with manual work. 

"We're always looking for ways to work efficiently but also scalably," says Tim Tieu, a Global Community Marketing Manager at the company. 

With a thriving community of adoring users worldwide, productivity inspiration is always close at hand—so it made total sense when the Asana team tried an automation platform recommended by its users. 

"Zapier was actually recommended by a lot of our users and community members," he recalls. "So when I joined as a community marketing manager and saw how customers used Asana and Zapier together, it made me curious about whether we could use it internally as well."

Tim was especially excited to see how Zapier could extend the functionality of Asana Rules, which lets you automate and customize processes and workflows within Asana and across essential work tools.

"Zapier complements Asana Rules by letting us automate tasks outside of just Asana, so we can save even more time," Tim explains. The way the two tools work together made Zapier a natural fit.

Connecting with a customer community

Automation has definitely let us scale, and it'll help us continue to scale in the future.

Tim Tieu, Global Customer Marketing Manager at Asana

One of Asana's most powerful customer outreach programs—and biggest uses for Zapier—is its Ambassador program. "The program is designed for anyone who would like to connect with us and other community members about how they're using Asana," Tim explains. 

As part of the program, users share productivity tips and time management techniques. But they also learn how to teach their colleagues to use Asana. 

"Ambassadors are people who love using Asana, but they don't necessarily know how to teach their team how to use Asana, or maybe they need some resources to explain to their teammates or their organization what Asana even is," he says. "Through the Ambassador program, we support them with extra resources."

These resources include courses and certifications where users can earn badges to signify their proficiency with the project management tool.

"It really takes them from just knowing the basics to being part of this community and being more than an average Asana user," Tim says. 

But managing an ambassador program at scale can require a lot of manual work. You have to onboard new members, encourage existing members to keep participating, and recognize members when they hit program milestones.

That's where Zapier comes in. 

Now, when a member joins the program, Zapier sends them an email through Gmail outlining their membership benefits. And when a member completes a certification or hits a milestone, Zapier sends an email congratulating them. 

"The alternative is that I'd have to email every single person about their benefits and status. Instead, we have a Zap that sends those emails for us," Tim explains. "Without Zapier, this operational work would amount to one or two extra workloads every week."

Steamline any process with automation
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Automation hasn't just eased the team's workload, though; it's also made the Ambassador program more successful. 

"Automation has definitely let us scale, and it'll help us continue to scale in the future as interest in the Ambassador program grows," he says. "With Zapier doing the less creative work for us, we can actually focus on adding value through customer care rather than managing day-to-day operations."

Moving away from the manual mindset

Zapier made me realize that ... there are ways to work more efficiently, and busywork isn't a necessary evil—it's something you can automate, so you can focus on what you're good at and what you enjoy.

Tim Tieu, Global Customer Marketing Manager at Asana

Automation has also brought a mindset shift to Tim and his team. 

"Before I used Zapier, I thought, 'Oh, you know, this manual work is just something you have to get through,'" he recalls. "Zapier made me realize that no, actually, there are ways to work more efficiently, and busywork isn't a necessary evil—it's something you can automate, so you can focus on what you're good at and what you enjoy."

Now when he or his colleagues encounter repetitive, manual work, he says, automation almost always comes up as a possible solution: 

"We brainstorm together and ask, 'how do we make this process better?'"

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'