Reclaim your focus time: Automating with Qwilr and Zapier
This post comes from our recent live class “Automating with Qwilr + Zapier.” You can watch the video from this session here. We offer new classes each month on a variety of topics — sign up to join us!
Increasingly, doing business involves using lots of different software applications. Maybe you’re using Qwilr to generate sales proposals and a CRM tool to track your customer interactions. You’ve got a calendar app to manage your meeting scheduling, an app for communication with your team – plus an accounting tool, a mailing list app, and so on.
The options are amazing. Using a stack of specialized apps means always having the best tool for the job. What’s not so amazing, though, is how much time it can take to keep everything updated and in sync. Before you know it, half your day is gone, you’re stuck in multitasking mode, and you’ve hardly got any time left for the most important parts of your job.
Get your focus back
Enter Qwilr + Zapier. When you use these two together, you can build automated workflows that connect all your apps. This lets them pass information back and forth completely on their own — saving you from time-intensive manual updates and freeing you to focus on more meaningful work.
Zapier works with over 2,000 applications, so the possibilities for workflows are almost endless. Using Qwilr and Zapier together, here are just a few automations you can create:
- Create a new lead record in HubSpot, Salesforce, or another CRM tool whenever someone views your Qwilr Page for the first time.
- Add a new customer record to Trello, Asana, or another project management app whenever someone accepts your Qwilr Page.
- Generate a new Qwilr Page personalized with prospect details when they fill out a form from your website.
No programming skills? No problem.
You don’t need any special skills to set up a workflow in Zapier. Zaps, as their workflows are known, rely on a trigger and an action. The trigger is what begins the workflow. The action is what happens as a result of the trigger.
The trigger happens in one app, and the action happens in another. And every app can operate as either a trigger or an action. So, taking our examples above:
- Trigger: Someone views your Qwilr Page for the first time.
- Action: Your CRM tool creates a new lead record for them.
- Trigger: Someone accepts your Qwilr Page.
- Action: A new customer record appears in your project management app.
- Trigger: A prospect fills out a form on your website.
- Action: Qwilr automatically creates a personalized proposal.
Every app Zapier connects with has its own set of triggers and actions. Zapier’s Apps page has a comprehensive list of all the options.
Data fields and variables: little information-movers
Another pair of key ideas in Zap-building are the “data field” and the “variable.” A data field is a particular piece of information that comes from your trigger app. A variable is a signal to Zapier to “put that information right here in the action, app, buddy.”
You likely look at data fields all the time. Whether it be the contact information in your CRM, or the customer details on your Qwilr Page, most places you enter information in an app is a data field.
As you build your Zap in Zapier, you can choose the data fields you want to send from your trigger app to your action app. Data fields will show up in lists wherever you see the words “Insert Data.” Here’s what one of those lists looks like:
You use variables for your action app. For example, if the action step of your Zap is to build a Qwilr Page, you’d use variables to specify where you want the data to be placed.
Here’s a sample header from a Qwilr template page that shows a few variables:
Zapier recognizes a variable when it sees two sets of curly braces, so that’s how you type them into your template.
Armed with those four basic ideas, you’re ready to start building automations. Our class video shows how to build several useful Zaps, if you want to see data fields and variables in action.
Delays and Filters: making Zaps even smarter
If you want to get fancier, you can add some extra layers to a Zap. That’s a larger topic, but we recommend two add-ons in particular: the delay and the filter.
In a standard Zap, the trigger happens, and the action happens immediately after. But sometimes you might want a little space between those events. When your client first views your Qwilr Page, for example, maybe you want to wait 24 hours before following up.
Instead of trying to remember to do that, you can build a Zap that reminds you automatically. Your client’s page view is the trigger, then there’s a 24-hour delay, and then you get an automated notice in your email, Slack, or text messages. Now you’re effortlessly on top of those follow-ups.
Filters work in a similar way, but instead of inserting time between the trigger and action, they insert a condition. Let’s say that you have a Zap that triggers when your client accepts your Qwilr Page. It sends everyone on your sales team an email notice of the sale. That’s great, but what if you only want your team to hear about larger sales, say those over $5,000.
That’s where a filter comes in handy — it’s a little gateway that lets the action step proceed only when its conditions are met. You can add a filter that checks to see whether the quote total of an accepted page is over $5,000. If it is, then those notification emails get sent. If not, no emails go out.
Once you’ve created your first automation and freed up some brain-space, you’ll be hooked. Zapier has a great 101 video on its basics, and if you’re building a workflow that includes Qwilr, our Support team is always happy to help!
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