The Big Idea
When you receive an inquiry via email (for example, "Hi, I'm looking to get more information about wedding photography for my wedding on ... "), you can forward it and automatically have Sprout Studio add that inquiry as a new lead in Sprout Studio. This helps you keep everything organized in one place (in Sprout Studio) and take advantage of Sprout Studio's powerful workflows to automate the customer experience.
How To Do It
Zapier has a powerful "Email Parser" built-in app that lets you:
Create a custom email that you can forward emails to.
Create custom "rules" to parse your emails and extrapolate data.
You can send that extrapolated data to Sprout Studio to create a new lead with the appropriate information. To create your free Zapier Email Parser account, visit here.
Getting it Done in Sprout Studio
First, you'll need to create a custom email in the Zapier Email Parser that you can forward emails to. This will look like some string of text, followed by @robot.zapier.com. For example, the email may be:
For simplicity (and ease of use in the future), add that email address as a new contact on your computer. Name the contact something like "Sprout Bot" so you can easily get access to it in the future (you'll see why in a moment).
Second, forward a sample email to that email address. This can be any email you currently have sitting in your inbox. When you click the "forward" button in your email program, type "Sprout Bot" in the "to" address. See - that's why saving the email to a contact is a good idea - it makes this step easier now, and in the future!
Third, you'll have to set up a template in the Zapier Email Parser. A template tells the email parser how to break apart any emails you send it and what to look for. Here's how you define a template:
Log into to your Zapier email parser account.
Click on "Mailboxes" at the top-right of the page.
Click the last email sent (the one you just forwarded) for your mailbox.
You'll now see the contents of that email. Click the "Template" button below the email.
Now, you have to "define" the placeholders in your email. Simply highlight the text you want to "define" as various placeholders (i.e. email address, first name and last name).
For example, your email program will probably forward the email and it'll look something similar to this:
> Begin forwarded message: > > From: John Doe <email@example.com> > Subject: Wedding photography > Date: June 1, 2018 at 7:00:00 PM EDT > To: Bryan Caporicci <firstname.lastname@example.org> > > Hi Bryan > > I'd like to get in touch about wedding photography. What is your availability like for next August 20th, 2019? > > Looking forward to hearing back! > > Joe
Highlight "John" (just after the "From:" text) and define it as "First Name" and then do the same for the last name and the email address.
From now on, any email you forward to that email address, the email parser will look for the pattern you just defined, and extrapolate those variables/contents.
So next time, if the email says:
> Begin forwarded message: > > From: Mary Joe <email@example.com> > Subject: Wedding photography . . . (etc)
The "first name" will be set as "Mary" and the last name will be defined as "Joe" and so on.
Finally, In Zapier, use the Email Parser's "New Message Received" trigger and Sprout Studio's "Create a Lead" action together to automatically have that lead added to Sprout Studio. This is where you can pass in your variables from the email parser (first name, last name and email) to Sprout Studio so your lead is created appropriately.
Bonus: You can take this a step further by editing the subject line when you initially forward the email to the email parser to contain more information. For example, you could change the subject line to:
Wedding on August 20th, 2021
When you're making your template in the email parser, highlight the first word of the subject line and define it as "Shoot Type." Then highlight the date (everything after the word "on") and define it as "Shoot Date." Now, you can pass that data on to Sprout Studio for the shoot type and shoot date!