Find Data in Your Apps with Search Actions

By Carlin Sack

You are reading: Chapter 4 of 12

Key Points

  • Search Actions let you find info in one app, and use it later in the same workflow.
  • Searches are Tailored to The App. You can track down things like names, email addresses, lists, events, and tasks, depending on the tool.
  • Some Search Actions Include Create Options, which let you create a new entry if a search comes up empty.
  • Update Info On The Fly by uncovering items with Search Actions.

In the next chapter, we'll cover how to use Filters to choose if and when your Zaps run.


Your Zaps should be customized to work best for you. That means you might want to set up a Zap that doesn't just use look for data as it comes into an app, but also uses previous data.

That's where Search Actions come in. Search Actions look up data in an app, so you can use it later in the same Zap. You tell the Zap what data to look for, and the Zap finds it and puts it to use.

For example, your contacts might fill out an online form whenever they change their email addresses. You can set up a Zap that searches for an existing contact in your customer relationship management (CRM) tool whenever someone fills out your online form. Then, in the next steps, the Zap will update that existing contact record with the new email address.

Search Actions in Action: Find a Pipedrive contact, then send their info to Slack.

Here's how to add a Search Action to your Zap.

Step 1: Click the g sign in the left panel of the Zap Editor.

Step 2: Type in the name of the app you want Zapier to find data in, keeping in mind that only some Zapier apps work with Search Actions.

Step 3: Then select one of the options under the "Search" header.

Search Action options

Step 4: Next, tell the Zap exactly what data you're looking for by filling in the fields. The cool part is, you can use data from a previous step in order to tell the Zap what to search for in this step.

Search Action fields

In addition to looking up existing data, some Search Actions also have the ability to create the data (if it doesn't already exist). You can tell if an app has this ability by looking for the "or create" checkbox while setting up the Search Action step.

Search Action create data

Once you check that checkbox, you're telling the Zap to find the data or, if it doesn't find the data, create it instead. In this example, if someone fills out your contact form but isn't yet in your CRM, the Zap will create the contact for you.

Step 5: After you've filled in the fields, click the test button to make sure the step works and see what data it just found or created. If the Zap doesn't find the data you're looking for and you didn't check the checkbox telling the Zap to create the data instead, then the Zap will not proceed to the next step. If the data you're looking for is found (or created), the Zap will move onto the next step of your Zap.

Search Actions allow you to tap into the powerful data that already exists in your apps without spending time manually looking for the data yourself.

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