TrackVia is pleased to announce that we will soon support Zapier for integration with other applications. Zapier is a 3rd party service that connects hundreds of applications to each other using a very simple, “when this is happens, do this” structure. Simple as this may be, it creates some powerful synergies. Zapier calls their connections between two applications “Zaps.” Lets walk through how to use TrackVia and Zapier to create an integration that our users often ask for.
Email integration with TrackVia using Zapier
Many customers ask about sending email into TrackVia. Zapier offers many integration points for this, you can use Gmail, Exchange, IMAP, and even a Zapier email service. For this example we will use Gmail integration.
To start, I’ll create a simple table for tracking contacts. My goal is to create a list of every person that has ever emailed me. This could be a handy Zap to have if you’re in marketing, sales, or any outward facing role at your company. My table has a fields for my contact’s name, email address, the subject of our first email, the date of our first email, and some notes. The table looks like this:
Make a Zap
Now that I have my table I’ll create a Zap. I’ll assume you have already created a Zapier account. From the Zapier dashboard click the “Make a New Zap” button.
At this point I’ll chose Gmail to be my trigger app, that is the the application that triggers the execution of my Zap. For the trigger I’ll chose, “New Unique Sender.” I chose this trigger because I don’t want to create a new contact each time someone emails me, only when someone new emails me.
This trigger isn’t immediately apparent, you have to click the “Show all triggers” link at the bottom of the triggers list. Zapier will only show the most common triggers, so if what you want is not immediately available, look for the show all triggers link, as shown below in the bottom left corner.
Next I’ll pick TrackVia as my action application, that is the applications that performs an action when my Zap is executed. Currently TrackVia has only the Add Record to View action. At this point my Zap looks like this:
Now we need to link a gmail account and a TrackVia account. First I’ll be asked to link a Gmail account.
I’ll be asked to name my account so I can refer to it later. Zapier will let you link multiple accounts for the same app, so use a name that will help you tell them apart.
Next Google will ask you to verify that you want Zapier to have access to your email data. Click “Allow access.” If you’re not already logged into gmail, Google will ask you to log in first.
Zapier will run some tests to make sure your account was successfully connected. If the connection is correct, you should see “Account is working.”
Now I’ll connect my TrackVia account to Zapier. This will be very similar to Gmail’s flow. First I’ll name the account, then authorize Zapier to have access to my TrackVia account.
Next, name the TrackVia account. Next I am prompted to log in to TrackVia and verify that I want Zapier to have access to my account. Once I see the green check mark, I am connected to both Gmail and TrackVia through Zapier.
At this point things start to get exciting. I’ll start assigning what data from Gmail goes to which fields in TrackVia. First, I’ll pick which emails I want to grab contact details from in Gmail. For this example, I’ll choose the ones that come into my “INBOX.”
Because TrackVia’s data is dynamic and customized by the user, I first have to choose which view I want my data to go into before I can assign the specific fields. For this example I’ll use the “Default Contacts View.” Once I’ve selected that view, Zapier will query TrackVia to get a list of all the fields for this view that I have write permissions on. At this point things look like this:
By clicking on the “Insert fields” button I’ll see a list of Gmail fields that I can insert into a TrackVia field. I’m going to use “From Name” in the TrackVia “Name” field.
For the rest of the fields I’ll assign “From Address” to “Email Address”, “Date” to “Date of first contact”, “Subject” to “First Subject”.
Test Your Zap
Now that the data has been mapped, I can test out the Zap using emails I’ve already received by clicking on the “Test Gmail trigger” button. A list of samples will appear and to see the data that Gmail is going to send, click on “See trigger sample.”
The “See action sample” link will show only the data that is going to be sent to TrackVia shown below.
Finally, click “Test Zap with this sample” to send that data to TrackVia. Once the “Send!” button says “Success!” I can go to my TrackVia view and see the new data. I went ahead and added a note so I could better describe this contact.
Now that I’ve verified my Zap is working, all that’s left to do is name it and turn it on.
That’s it! I now have a Zap that will use TrackVia to save all my contacts.
Things to Consider:
While we did our best to make the Zapier integration as easy to use as possible, computers are still computers and need their human counterparts to be as precise as possible when talking to them. This means formatting things in a precise, unambiguous way. The biggies here are dates, dropdowns, and checkboxes. We’ve added parsers for many common date formats. For date formats, we handle things like mm/dd/yyyy hh:mm and dd-mm-yyyy HH:mm. If at all possible we prefer to have dates formatted in accordance with ISO 8601 with time zone offsets. We really like yyyy-MM-dd’T’hh:mm:ssZ. This allows us to precisely record when something happened and take into account your timezone and the timezone of the place where the event happened. This is especially important in calendar Zaps. If we don’t support a date time format that you need please contact support and we’ll do our best to accommodate you.
Checkboxes and drop down menus need to precisely match the values you have set in TrackVia. Checkboxes need to have the values separated by a comma. So, if you’re checkbox values were, “SUV, Coupe, Sedan, Convertible” and you wanted to denote something as both a coupe and a convertible you’d use, “Coupe, Convertible” in your Zap.
Zapier does not have a concept of a unique field, so you’ll have to make sure that the data you map to a unique TrackVia field is always going to be unique. If it’s not, TrackVia will error out.
Zapier does have the idea of a required field and will tell you when a field is required, however, this doesn’t mean that the app you’re connecting TrackVia to will know this. For example, in our email contact Zap, if we set the field “First Subject” as required and our sender left the subject of his or her email blank, that Zap would fail because TrackVia expects a non-empty value for “First Subject”.
If for any reason your Zap fails, you can find a log of what happened in your Task History, under your Zapier dashboard. Errors caused by invalid data will show up as grey circles. You can click on the task that failed and then click on the show details link to see what happened.
Keep in mind that Zapier will disable Zaps that error out too often, so if you see your Zaps failing, rectify them in a timely manner to avoid missing data. If you see a red circle next to your Zap indicating an error occurred with TrackVia itself, notify support and we’ll fix it.
Right now we don’t support linking to parent tables and TrackVia Users, but these features will be available in the 2nd week of August, so get excited. After that we’ll work on support for creating records with files and images and a few other things.
We hope Zapier integration adds a lot of value to your TrackVia applications and we look forward to your feedback.