Now that you've created an account on Zapier, it's time to experiment with creating a zap! Below, we'll walk you through how to choose a trigger, an action, and create a zap.
First, make sure you are on your Dashboard -> Zaps page. You can always come back to this page by clicking the Zaps menu option on the left-hand side --- look for the lightening bolt icon.
Step One: Name your zap and select your apps
Click on the [Make a Zap] button to start building!
Name your zap
Notice that the title of your zap is displayed in the top-left corner. At first, it will just say 'Name your zap'. Click on this title and start typing to rename it. You can do this at anytime.
Select Participate as your first app
In the main box that appears on the screen, you'll see a selection of possible apps to choose from. For your first zap, try typing in "Participate" in the gray search box, to locate our app. Click on the 'Participate' app that appears.
Choose an event trigger
Once you've selected an app, you'll see a list of triggers made available for that app. For our Participate app, you'll see the following triggers (or 'Events') available.
Connect your Participate account
You will be asked to sign into Participate.com to authenticate and connect your Participate.com account to your new Zapier.com account. You'll also be asked for an API key. Explore more on how to access your unique API key.
2: Choose a trigger
Select your community
From the dropdown, select which community you'd like to create a zap for.
Test it out
Now that you have your trigger setup, let's test it out! Click on the [Test Trigger] button to pull in some sample data.
If everything is setup properly, you will see an example of data that you have access to as a community admin in your selected community. It may look a little confusing at first, but don't worry! We'll show you how you can pull out just the information that you need most!
3: Choose an action
Select an app
Just like you chose an app to trigger your workflow, now it's time to select an app to receive your data! You can explore thousands of applications in the Zapier.com library, but for now, let's look at a few common apps that are easy to setup.
If you have a Google account, then this is the fastest way to organize and view your data output. If you do not have a Google account, it is free and easy to setup! Google Sheets is commonly used to store, sort and analyze data records as rows in a spreadsheet. You can also create beautiful charts and graphs, or even trigger future zaps from the data you collect in a Google Sheet.
If your organization users Slack for direct messaging, then this is a fun way to show off what you can do to your colleagues! You can also set up a free Slack account, if you'd just like to try it out. Once you have signed up for a Slack account, then viewing your new community member info is as easy as setting up a Slack Channel.
Email by Zapier
Finally, if you don't have access to Google or Slack and just want a quick way to view your incoming data, then Zapier is nice enough to provide a free email helper app to get you started. No account setup is required! Zapier will simply email you the result of your workflow!
To choose an action for your zap, just start typing the name of any app in the library and click on the app icon to add it to your workflow.
Configure your action
Here, you'll choose what you want to happen with your community data.
* * As an example for this article, we will use the Email by Zapier action. Once we've selected this app from the library, we will see that Zapier defaults to 'Send Outbound Email'. There are many other options you might select instead, but this is a good one to test out as you're getting started. * *
Inside of your new Action, click the [Continue] button to proceed --- let's customize some data!
Customize your data
This is where the magic happens! You'll see a list of fields that your Action can handle --- some will be marked as 'required' because, well, they're required! Other fields are optional and will give you more choices on how to format or tailor your data output. For now, we'll focus on the required fields.
PLEASE NOTE: You are now creating real actions that can trigger real world communications to real people! We highly recommend that you only use your email address for sending messages. You'll likely want to test your workflow several times, and you don't want to spam your community members!
For the required fields shown above, please type the following:
- To: your personal email address (DO NOT select a community member's email address!)
- Subject: you can type anything here! For fun try typing something like:
Click on the ''Community Name" option in the list that appears. This will automatically pull the name of the community into the Subject line of your email!
- Body (HTML or plain): This is where you can output all of your data points, so that you can see the information that you can pass between systems.
First, type in a brief message in the Body field to let your recipient know something about this message --- we recommend a title like "A new member has joined your community!". Click <Return> or <Enter> on your keyboard to drop down a line or two for readability.
Next, click on the Body field name again and this time, click on the blue "Show All Options" link at the bottom of the list. Now you can see all available data points.
Take a moment to click on each data point ---- after each point, click <Return> or <Enter> on your keyboard to drop down to the next line (trust us, you'll thank us later!).
At the start of each new line, you can hand-type the name of the data point you're about to select. This will make your data easy to read when you receive the email notification.
You should end up with the Body field looking something like this:
You can choose your data points in any order and you can name them anything that works for you! For bonus points, if you know any HTML, you can really jazz up the look and feel of the email message. Go ahead and get creative! Click [Continue] when you're feeling good about this step!
Test your workflow
This is it! The big reveal!! You are ready to test your workflow! If you followed the steps above to send an email notification, then this test will send an actual email. Please make sure your own email address is listed in the To: field in Step 3 above. If you choose Google Sheets or Slack, then this test will create a row or post a message.
You will see an example of the type of email, record of message that will be transmitted by Zapier.
Below that, you'll see options to [Test & Review] or [Test & Continue]. Click [Test & Review] the first time you test to view the results of your test. Click [Test & Continue] once you are comfortable.
That's it! Now, check your email inbox, Google Sheet or Slack Channel to see your data output! If everything looks good, then you can turn on your Zap!
Your zap will run 24 hours, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, and it will send real information to real people, based on how you have configured it! If you're not sure whether you want your zap to run, you can always turn it off and back on at any time!
Here are additional Participate Support Center Articles related to Zapier integrations:
- Getting started with Zapier
- How to locate your API Key in your Participate.com Profile
- Using Zapier templates
Zapier provides a series of guides to help you get started. Below are some links to tutorials available on the Zapier.com website:
- Getting Started Guide
- Explore Zapier's library of apps
- More about triggers and actions
- Zapier's Task Limits and Pricing Plans
If you have questions about setting up an integration for your community via Zapier, contact our Participate Support Team by clicking on the blue chat icon in the bottom-right corner of any page on the site.