January 8, 2013

Zapier – Automated Data Syncing for Businesses


Manually syncing online data between multiple applications can be a drain on time, energy, and financial resources, especially for small business owners. Zapier is a tool that businesses can use to transfer information from popular web-based applications like Asana, Basecamp, Dropbox, and Evernote, to name just a few.

Create your first “zap” – the term Zapier uses to describe the process of pushing data from one application into another – by visiting the Zapier website and dragging icons for the two applications you’re interested in working with into place. Choose a trigger for the first application you select (for example: each time a new file is uploaded to Dropbox) and an action for the second application you select (for example: create a new stream post on Facebook). In addition to pulling data from one application into another, you can also set up Zapier to automatically send you notifications via email or text message each time certain triggers are pulled. Advanced users can rely on webhooks to create their own triggers and actions from scratch, as well.

Users with free plans can set up to five “zaps” and get up to 100 “tasks” – the term Zapier uses to describe pushing data from one application to another – per month. Users with upgraded plans, however, get more zaps, more tasks, and decrease the time between syncings. Users with Business and Business Plus plans also get priority consideration when recommending which supported applications Zapier should add to its service.

Practical Uses:

  • Add any sales that come through PayPal to your account
  • View your company’s Shopify sales on your Google Calendar
  • Receive an email each time a new file gets added to your company’s Dropbox account
  • Get a text message anytime a client signs up for your newsletter via AWeber
  • Create an Asana task whenever a new file is added to a specific Dropbox folder

Insider Tips:

  • Zapier currently supports more than 150 cloud-based services and is growing daily
  • Browse through supported services by keyword or category
  • Feel free to play around with any number of zaps – even on the free plan. Unfinished or paused zaps don’t count toward your plan limits.
  • Users with upgraded plans get priority zaps (less wait time for your automations)

What we liked:

  • Businesses can combine the services they already use for better implementation
  • People don’t have to set up their own APIs to automatically push data from one platform to another
  • Zapier supports a number of business apps that aren’t supported by competitors
  • Developers can add their services or APIs to Zapier so the number of connected apps has the likelihood to grow even more

What we didn’t like:

  • Mostly everything. The ability to bridge the gap between hundreds of web applications is pretty nifty in our book. Our only quibble is with the limitations of the free plan.


Company Info:

  • Launched: June 2012
  • Privately Held
  • Headquarters: San Francisco, California
  • Founded by: Bryan Helmig, Wade Foster, and Mike Knoop
  • Web site:


  • Free plan
  • Basic plan is $15/month
  • Business plan is $49/month
  • Business Plus plan is $99/month

Submit a Comment