How to create a Zap

By Melanie Pinola

You are reading: Chapter 2 of 12

Key points

  • Templates are like blueprints for popular Zaps. They help you get set up fast, and you can tweak them later.
  • You can find new templates and get recommendations on our Explore page.
  • Use the Zap editor to build completely custom workflows.
  • Edit and manage Zaps later by locating them on your Dashboard.
  • Collaborate on and share Zaps with a Team account.

In the next chapter, we'll cover how to build workflows with three or more steps.


In this guide, we'll walk you through creating your first Zap—an automation between web apps—to do repetitive tasks for you.

There are two ways you can create a Zap: You can use Zap templates—pre-built workflows—or create your own Zap from scratch if you need more customization.

Add Zap templates to your account

We've built thousands of Zap templates that you can quickly use with your own account and adapt to your own needs. Here's how to add one:

Step 1: Go to your Dashboard, then type in the name of the app you want to create a Zap for in the Connect this app… field.

Create a Zap template

Step 2: Then type in the name of the app you want to connect to your first app in the with this one! field and click Make a Zap!

Step 3: Next, select a trigger for your Zap. The trigger is what you want to kick off your Zap. For example, you could choose New Opportunity in Salesforce as a trigger.

Add a trigger step

Step 4: Choose the action that you want to happen whenever the trigger occurs. For example, you might want to send a Slack message to a channel every time there's a new opportunity in Salesforce.

Add an action step

Step 5: Scroll down to see popular Zaps involving those triggers and actions.

Examples of popular Zaps

Step 6: Click Use Zap to start editing the template in the Zap editor.

Step 7: Click the Sign in button to link your account in the app to Zapier for the first time. If you've previously connected the app to Zapier, select it from the dropdown menu of apps.

Connect Salesforce

Step 8: In the following steps, when prompted, select the optional or required fields for each app in your Zap. This helps you customize the Zap template and tells it the exact data you'd like to use. For example, with Slack, you'll need to select the specific channel you want the Zap to send messages to. You can also customize optional fields, such as the name and profile image displayed along with these messages.

Customize optional fields in your Zap

Step 9: Click Finished Editing! to add the Zap to your account and turn it on. You'll also have the option to test the new Zap to see how it works.

You'll find your newly created Zap on the My Zaps tab if you want to make any changes later.

Create Zaps from scratch

For the most customization, you can create a Zap from scratch. To get started, click Make a Zap!, which is in the top right corner of the page once you log into Zapier.

Make a Zap

Now you'll be in the Zap editor, where you can set up the trigger and action of your Zap.

Setting up the trigger

Step 1: First you'll pick the trigger app, which is the app that you want to start the Zap. Enter the app's name in the search box or, if you've already connected apps to Zapier, click on the app icon shown here. In this example, we'll use Twitter as our trigger app.

Setting up a trigger

Step 2: Pick the specific trigger for the app from the list of options. Trigger examples can include events like New Email Received, Document Updated, or Changed Spreadsheet Row. For our example, let's select Search Mention to find any new mentions for a specific search term. Then click Continue.

Select trigger from dropdown

Step 3: Now you need to connect or select your account. Choose an account that is already connected to Zapier or click the Sign in to button to add a new account. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to authorize Zapier to connect to the app. Click Continue.

Connect Twitter with Zapier

Step 4: If there are fields or other app options that you can or must include in the Zap, you'll set those up in this step. For example, you might specify the label for Gmail, the spreadsheet, or the folder in Dropbox needed for the Zap to work the way you want. In this example, we'll enter the Twitter search term we want to monitor. Then click Continue.

Adding Twitter search term

Step 5: Next you'll need to test your step to make sure it works correctly. In the step, you'll see which information from the app will be used for the trigger. Click Test & Continue to make sure the trigger works. Wait for the success message before proceeding to the next step.

Testing Zap step

Setting up the action

Now it's time to tell the Zap exactly what you want it to do.

Step 1: First you need to choose the action app. Type in the name of the app you want the action to be applied to. It can be the same app as your trigger app or a different one. In this example, we'll use Google Sheets.

Choose action app

Step 2: Next you need to choose how you want the app to behave in response to the trigger. Action examples include Update a Calendar Event or Send an Email. In this example, we'll choose Create a Spreadsheet Row. Then click Continue.

Choose type of action

Step 3: Now you need to connect or select your account. Choose an account that is already connected to Zapier or click the Sign in to button to add a new account. A pop-up will appear, prompting you to authorize Zapier to connect to the app. Then click Continue.

Connect Google Sheets to Zapier

Step 4: Now is the spot where you can customize your Zap. In this step, you can tell the Zap exactly what you want it to do with the data from the trigger app by filling in the blank fields here. Use the dropdown menu on every field to tell the Zap to pull in data from the trigger step.

Once you click on the dropdown menu, a list of data from your trigger app will appear. You'll likely want to choose the data points from your trigger app that most closely match the field in your action app.

Some fields are required. For example, if your action is to update Google Sheets, you'll need to select which spreadsheet and which worksheet you want to update.

Fill in required fields in your Zap

Other fields are optional but often still important to fill out. In this example, in the Handle field in Google Sheets, we'll choose the Username field from Twitter. That way, the Zap will put the correct Twitter username into the Handle column in the spreadsheet. Similarly, we'll match the Tweet Text column in Google Sheets with the Text field from Twitter.

Fill in optional fields in your Zap

For some fields, you can also enter the information directly rather than selecting it from a dropdown box or by clicking the plus sign (+). For example, in an email field, type in an email address. Or in a description field, type in any text.

Once you've made your choices, click Continue.

Step 5: Now we'll test the action. You'll see which information from the trigger app will be sent to the action app. Click the Create & Continue button to make sure this step works as intended.

Step 6: Finally, click the Done Editing button. Be sure to give your Zap a name by clicking the pencil in the top left corner of the editor. Then toggle the On/Off button at the bottom of the page to On. Your Zap will run automatically from now on until you turn it off.

Label and turn on your Zap

Come back to your Zap at any time to edit the steps or change specific details. You'll find all of your Zaps on your My Zaps tab.

Share Zaps with your team

Now that you have a Zap up and running, it’s time to spread the automation power to the rest of the office by setting up a Team account.

Team accounts come with shared folders that let the whole team view, update, or copy Zaps. Collaborate to make workflows more efficient or tweak Zaps to fit each teammate’s workflow. Here are a few ways we’ve seen teams use Zapier to free up time:

Team accounts have more time-saving features such as sharing apps connected to Zapier, an unlimited number of Zaps, premium features for every member, enterprise security, and much more. Learn more and create a Team account here.

Workflow

Take the Work out of Workflow

Zapier is the easiest way to automate powerful workflows with more than 1,500 apps.