Marketers have a ton of digital tools at their disposal. But when those tools don’t automatically work with each other, it can feel like you are taking steps sideways for every step forward.
“From our own proprietary CRM, to our B2C email database to our B2B marketing automation platform, to event marketing software, our tech stack is fairly fragmented,” explains one TrustRadius user, a Director of Marketing. This fragmentation can create large gaps in customer information and communication when left unaddressed.
That’s where iPaaS software comes in. iPaaS solutions enable marketers to get all their separate tools — no matter the environment — to work together seamlessly.
“Zapier is a great product if you have a fragmented tech stack like ours. Most marketing teams have multiple software tools that get customer information. Zapier is a great tool for connecting those without using developer resources,” further explains the same user.
Along with Zapier, many TrustRadius users explore how IFTTT can reduce divisions in their stack. These two products support marketers to automate their workflows, streamline their data, and receive important notifications across different applications.
Here we break down what IFTTT and Zapier can offer marketers — plus a specific list of 15 practical “recipes” and “zaps” you can use to get your most important applications working together.
What can iPaaS products do for marketers?
iPaaS products unlock a number of possibilities for marketers.
For the tools in your martech stack that don’t have native APIs, iPaaS software lets you connect almost any of your applications without the support of a developer.
You can automate basic social media workflows, link data from landing pages to your CRM, connect sales and marketing workflows and receive notifications in your preferred channel.
You get to set the triggers that make your processes quicker. And it can be as simple as hitting a single button.
If This, Then That: Meet IFTTT
IFTTT stands for If This, Then That. The name speaks for itself.
If one action happens in one application, it sets off an event in another system.
IFTTT relies on a multitude of user-created applets, or “recipes”. These applets connect two or more applications together in ways that they couldn’t do on their own.
Originally, IFTTT recipes had one trigger and one resulting action. Now, you can set multiple actions to respond to a trigger (“If this, then that, and that”). Additionally, you can add conditional filters (“If this, and that, then that”).
“IFFT is being used as part of our automation back end. We are currently using it as a bridge between multiple services such as Google and different sensors that do not normally talk to each other. We are using IFFT to publish data to Google Docs and read in data from other services.”Kyle Kochtan | Technical Lead
You can turn these applets on within the IFTTT platform with a hit of a single button.
There are countless pre-built applets that can serve marketers. Or, if you don’t see what you are looking for exactly, you can build your own.
Getting to Know Zapier
Zapier, too, offers marketers plenty of opportunities to connect different applications that don’t have pre-built integrations.
Zapier can connect two or more applications that revolve around social media, content curation, email, lead and customer nurturing and sales.
“We use Zapier to integrate sales and marketing tools and create workflows. For example, if somebody signs up for a trial, we use a Zap to combine information from our CMS, CRM, licensing software and email service provider to send through their trial key.”Verified User | Marketing Professional
Within the Zapier platform, users use “zaps” to direct certain triggers and their resulting actions. When a specified trigger occurs in one application, certain actions happen in another application.
Different filters can be applied to create conditional trigger and action situations. More advanced paths can be created to produce workflows based on conditional situations.
Automate routine processes with iPaaS products
Though workflows and notifications can be customized, it is easier to imagine how an iPaaS product can serve you with some examples of how other marketers automate routing processes.
Examples of automated processes include:
- Share Instagram photos as native Twitter posts
- Share Tweets to Facebook with a simple hashtag (avoid oversharing with linking every tweet automatically)
- Connect To-do lists, Trello cards, and more with Google Calendar
- Backup survey responses in one app to another, i.e. Google Drive
- Get alerts if your company or name is mentioned in the New York Times, Reddit, etc.
- Sync contacts between applications
- Receive notifications when a new subscriber is added to your MailChimp list
- Track competitors website changes and campaigns
The list goes on and on. If you don’t find what you are looking for within the iPaaS system, you can create your own.
Benefits of Using an iPaaS Solution
The benefits of using an iPaaS solution can be broken down into two main points:
#1: The work itself is automated, which reduces direct labor and time requirements.
#2: You have more ability to “set and forget.” You don’t need to use mental bandwidth to track routine workflows and can zero in on work that requires human thinking.
You don’t need any developer skills to make sure your tools are working together. Automation creates more time to be productive in more engaging marketing projects.
What tools can marketers integrate?
Tools from different environments — Cloud, SaaS, on-premise systems — can be linked together to make your data, content and productivity flow.
- Social media accounts
- Email accounts
- Survey tools
- Calendar and productivity tools
- Project management tools
- Google Drive and Cloud storage tools
There are thousands of different ways to connect the tools you use every day.
15 recipes to get cooking (+ Zap Alternatives)
Here are some IFTTT recipes and Zapier zaps to get you started.
1. Tweet your Instagram photos as native photos on Twitter. You no longer have to manually tweet the same images you already shared in order to avoid sharing a link.
2. Archive each of your tweets to a Google Spreadsheet. Having all of your content in one list will make it easier to look back at what you have already shared, when and create an engaging plan for future tweets.
3. Post your Instagrams to a Facebook Page with a #hashtag. Though there is a way to link all your Instagram and Facebook posts, you don’t want to overshare. You can easily select which posts you want to publish to both with a simple hashtag.
4. Sync your new iOS contacts with Airtable. This will enable you to organize and filter information you have on your contacts.
5. Log surveys created with SurveyMonkey in Google Sheets. Keep track of all your surveys (and links to survey information) in one place.
6. Integrate your Buffer schedule with Google Calendar. You will be able to see scheduled posts as events on your Google Calendar.
7. Integrate MailChimp and Google Spreadsheets. New subscribers and all their information will automatically be added to a Google Spreadsheet.
8. Add new subscribers to Google Contacts. Similar to the above, new subscribers in MailChimp can be added to Google Contacts.
9. Backup JotForm surveys to Google Drive. If Google Drive is a major part of your workflow, this may make accessing form responses much easier.
10. Get notified when your name is mentioned in the New York Times. You don’t need to constantly scan this major publication to keep tabs on your reputation.
11. Sync new files added to DropBox with Google Drive. You can have a copy of your files no matter which tool you are accessing.
12. Sync your Twitter and Facebook profile pictures. This might seem like a simple task to do manually, but why spend extra minutes of your day managing a simple profile picture with IFTTT can do it for you.
13. Get an email when your company is mentioned on Reddit. Hear what people are saying about you with very little effort.
14. Link your Trello cards with Google Calendar. Keep all your tasks and due dates in one place.
15. Get a daily email of trending GIFs that are trending on Giphy. Stay up to speed with the newest GIFs.
Some Zap examples
Note: Zaps differ from recipes. Instead of hitting a single button, you select the action app, choose from triggers that are available in that app, and possible actions available in another app.
1. Add new tweets to Google Sheets. Store all your tweets in one place to keep track of the content you have shared.
2. Save documents you receive in Gmail to Dropbox and receive an alert in Slack. All documents will be stored automatically without you needing to even think about it.
3. Sync Wufoo appointment request forms with Google Calendar and Slack notifications. Your appointments will automatically appear in your calendar and you will be notified where you are most likely to see it.
4. Send new Gravity Forms submissions as SMS messages via Twilio. Get updated immediately when you have new leads.