SEMA News—July 2022

INTERNET

With No-Coding-Needed Tools, It’s a Snap

By Joe Dysart

Internet

Software users have a raft of tools they can use to automate everyday tasks—no coding required.

Software users have a growing raft of tools they can use to automate the everyday tasks they perform and free up more time to be more creative and innovative on the job. All of these automation tools work on an easy trigger-then-action format, which enable users with no coding skills to get the programs they use to work together more efficiently, often in five minutes or less.

Automating the Software You Use

For example, industry pioneer Zapier is already automating thousands of interactions between software packages, as are its many competitors. With Zapier, you can set up an automation in about five minutes that auto-posts the titles of the RSS feeds from your favorite news sources right to your company’s Wordpress blog. Or you can use Zapier to automatically send your company newsletter distributed by Mailchimp (or other popular newsletter services) every time someone signs up for a Zoom meeting your company is hosting.

Now that’s efficient.

Looking to automatically track videos of special interest to you that pop up on YouTube? No problem. Not only will Zapier do that for you, but it will also automatically create a post about that new video on your company blog, if you’d prefer.

Or perhaps you’re interested in following Tweets posted by your favorite authors on Twitter or keeping a close watch on all the Tweets published by your numerous competitors. Again, that’s no problem for Zapier and its many competitors. Simply set up automatic monitoring on Twitter once, and you’ll receive notifications of all the Tweets you’re looking to track forevermore.

Still other automations you can program with no coding experience include:

  • Auto-save all email attachments you receive to your Google Drive, Dropbox or other cloud storage account.
  • Auto-post any video your company puts up on YouTube to your company’s Facebook account as well.
  • Auto-download all the responses you receive to a SurveyMonkey survey your company is hosting to an Excel spreadsheet for easy study.
  • Auto-add Zoom meetings you’ll be hosting or attending to your Google Calendar.
  • Automatically email followers of your company’s blog every time you add a new post to that blog.

Essentially, virtually any automation you can imagine that can fit into a trigger-then-action format can be created with these tools. And once you’re comfortable with the concept, you’ll probably find yourself creating long strings of trigger-then-action processes, which can cause one action to trigger another action in one piece of software, then another, then another and so on.

You’ll also appreciate the fact that many commonly used automations have already been designed with Zapier or one of its many competitors, making the use of these tools even simpler.

For example, stop by Zapier’s collection (https://zapier.com/roles) of prefabricated automations based on the role you play in your company and you’ll find hundreds of already designed automations you can simply copy for your own use.

Many competitors in the no-code automation genre (including Zapier, Automate.io, Integromat, Actiondesk and ZigiOps) are Swiss Army Knives, designed to handle virtually any automation you can imagine—but others specialize.

LeadsBridge, for example, is no-code automation software specifically designed to create helpful automations between ad platforms and sales funnels. Microsoft Power Automate is great for users looking to automate interactions between commonly used Microsoft packages, and IFTTT is a free-to-use automation software for developers and individuals who are looking to experiment with the concept of trigger-then-action automations without having to worry about a free trial expiring and monthly billing kicking in.

At the bottom line, these automation solutions are definitely worth checking out for anyone looking to spend less time repeating the same task and more time on less rote work.

There is a caveat, however: Despite the ad blurbs you’ll come across in this space, there is often a bit of a learning curve with these solutions. Some simple automations that you might think would work instantly, for example, may require some massaging before they’re off and running. But it’s worth the effort.

The following is a representative sampling of what you’ll find in this software space:

Zapier (https://zapier.com; $0–$250/month): Zapier is a pioneer and industry standard in this space, and it has thousands of prefabricated automations already available for your use. The solution offers a dashboard where you create and store your automations (or Zaps, as they’re called), many of which ideally can be set up with a few clicks.

Leads-Bridge (https://leadsbridge.com; $31/month and up): Leads-Bridge is built for marketing and sales people looking to automate interactions between their advertising and the sales funnels they create to shepherd sales. The solution offers more than 370 preconfigured automations for marketing and sales as well as the ability to author your own. Anyone working with Facebook Lead Ads, Google Lead Form Ads, LinkedIn Lead Gen forms or newsletter email marketing will want to take a closer look at this solution.

Microsoft Power Automate
(https://powerautomate.microsoft.com/en-us; starts at $15/month): If you’re looking to create automations between various Microsoft apps, it only makes sense to at least try automation software designed by the same company. With Power Automate, you’ll be able to get Outlook, Share Point, OneDrive, Word, Excel and the like working more efficiently together. Plus, Power Automate will also create automations with thousands of third-party apps, including Instagram, Facebook, numerous Android solutions and numerous IOS solutions.

IFTTT (https://ifttt.com; free for developers and individuals, call for pricing on enterprise use): An abbreviation for IF This Then That, IFTTT is great for people looking to freely experiment with software automation as long as they’d like. Commonly used IFTTT applications include automations with social media apps and alert services.

Meanwhile, other Swiss Army Knife solutions that share a quest to offer universal automation among all software packages include:

Automate.io (https://automate.io; starts at $9.99/month): Like many competitors, Automate.io promises to help you create trigger-then-action automations in just a few minutes. You can also string together a number of automations for more sophisticated integrations, and you’ll find that the software has been pretested with numerous commonly used software packages.

Integromat (www.integromat.com; starts at $9/month): Integromat also strives for universal automation and offers a number of built-in routers, error handlers, aggregators, iterators, live execution apps, scheduling apps and templates to get the job done.

Actiondesk (www.actiondesk.io; call for pricing): Actiondesk is designed to help automate virtually any Software as a Service (SaaS) application, excluding enterprise SaaS. Many users turn to Actiondesk to import data, transform or manipulate that data in some way, and then export the results.

ZigiOps (https://zigiwave.com/zigiops; call for pricing): This is another “automation-in-minutes” no-code solution that offers a template library of a number of preconfigured automations. It’s designed to handle untold numbers of queries per day and can work as either a cloud installation or an installation on-site.

Joe Dysart is an internet speaker and business consultant based in Manhattan. 631-438-1142

joe@joedysart.com

www.joedysart.com

 

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