Learn key concepts in Zapier

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Zapier is an online automation tool that connects your apps and services. You can connect two or more apps to automate repetitive tasks without coding or relying on developers to build the integration. This guide walks you through key concepts to help you get started with Zapier.


A Zap is an automated workflow that connects your apps and services together. Each Zap consists of a trigger and one or more actions. When you turn your Zap on, it will run the action steps every time the trigger event occurs.

Learn more about creating a Zap and managing your Zaps.

Zap Editor

The Zap Editor allows you to create a Zap from scratch. In the Zap editor, you can select the trigger app, trigger, action app(s), action(s) and apply any optional filters.


An app is a web service or application, such as Google Docs, Slack, or Salesforce. Zapier offers integrations for over 2,000 apps, letting you move data between them or automate repetitive tasks. Explore the apps you can connect to Zapier.


A trigger is an event that starts a Zap. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, the trigger is ‘new email in inbox’. Learn more about using triggers in Zaps.

Sample data

When you first set up your Zap trigger, Zapier will attempt to find some sample data from your trigger app to use in the Zap. For example, if your trigger brings in data from a new Google Sheets spreadsheet row, Zapier will pull in a sample row. The sample row can then be used as test data in an action step later in the Zap.

Syncing interval

A Zap’s syncing interval is the frequency that your Zaps will check the triggering app for new data. When you upgrade to a Professional plan or higher, your Zaps will check for new data and run every 5 minutes instead of every 15 minutes as on the Free and Starter plan. For example, if you use Zapier to trigger emails to customers, the emails will be sent within 5 minutes instead of 15 minutes. Learn more about Zapier's pricing plans.


Zaps with a trigger labeled as “instant” will always be immediate (regardless of pricing plan) as the triggering app pushes the data to Zapier immediately and Zapier isn't required to check for changes.


An action is an event a Zap performs after it is triggered. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, the action is ‘send a text message’. Learn more about using actions in Zaps.


A task is an action your Zap successfully completes. For example, if your Zap has an action to create new Google Contacts, each contact that is created will use one task. Learn more about tasks in Zapier.

Task History

Your Task History displays a log of all your Zap activity, including all the data that goes in and out of each of your Zap steps. Learn more about Task History.


Premium app

Premium apps are exclusively available to users on a paid plan (Starter plan or higher). Premium apps are available for use in Zaps during your free 14-day trial, but will require a paid plan in order to continue using them after your trial expires.


Filters can be added to any Zap to restrict it to run only when certain conditions are met. For example, if you want to send a text message each time you receive an email, you can add a filter so the Zap only runs when emails are received from a specific email address. Learn more about using filters in Zaps.


Paths let you build advanced workflows to perform different actions based on different conditions. Paths use conditional, if/then logic: if A happens in your trigger app, then perform this action, if B happens, then perform this other action, and so on. Learn more about using paths in Zaps.

Multi-step Zap

A single-step Zap has one trigger and one action. If the Zap has more than one action, or includes filters or searches, it is considered a multi-step Zap. Multi-step Zaps are not available on a free Zapier plan.

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