When Not To Use Zapier

June 23, 2023

I cheated on my Zapier.

I used something else to automate.

How could he? This is so not like Bryce.I know.

I’m writing this newsletter to you wearing an old Zapier t-shirt, but I plan to take it off and burn it in a ceremony of fire to symbolize the passing of the old and the arrival of the new.

But not that fast. Let me tell you when it’s actually best to abandon Zapier and automate in another tool like Airtable (and one reason why Zapier might win your digital heart in the end).

Away we go.

Reasons to Automate Outside of Zapier

I’ve been hanging out in Airtable a lot. We got comfortable and I started
using its automations. I needed 500 records to update at once. With Zapier,
that would’ve been expensive. But in Airtable, my plan comes with 50,000
automations for $next-to-nothing a month.  
With that, here are two reasons why you’d want to jump out of Zapier for
#1 Native Automations Get the Job Done
The guys in orange can’t beat automations that are built right into another
tool. If you’re in Airtable and you need to automate something in Airtable,
then try to use Airtable Automations. The same goes for any other tool out

Why move into Zapier when you can get the job done right out of the box?  

The same goes for Native Integrations. Airtable can automate sending a Slack
message when a record is updated. No need to use Zapier.  
#2 You’re Technical and Need an Inexpensive Option 
I’ve not thoroughly used Make (formerly Integromat). But I’ve dabbled. Maybe
it’s because I’m so used to Zapier, but Make seems more complicated.  

Either way, both tools have a learning curve. But I know Make is more

Reasons to Keep Automations in Zapier

Zapier does have a way about it that draws my eyes in its direction. My first
love. Here are three reasons to stick with Zapier.  
#1 Zapier is the Only Way
If native automations or integrations simply don’t have the trigger or action
you need but Zapier does, well, Zapier is the answer.  
#2 You Want to See All Your Automations in One Place  
Even if a native integration can do the trick, it can be helpful to bring all
automations into Zapier so that you can organize and track them.  
This may be the more expensive option, but it can pay off when you have a lot
of moving pieces.  
#3 You Have Complicated Automations
Zapier’s own apps like Formatter, Filter, Paths, etc. allow for extremely
complicated Zaps. And sometimes, that’s exactly what you need.  
You can weigh your options. But there’s one more thing to consider.  

Zapier’s Big Bet (and advantage)

In an ideal world, I’d like to simplify things. How about you?  
With the new Interfaces and Tables, Zapier has drawn a line in the code and
decided to stand on the side of simplifying things for you.  
Most products build the core product and then build integrations. Take
Monday.com, HubSpot, Airtable, [insert any tool here]. They started with the
core functionality and then they built ways to connect to other tools.  
→Build first. Then connect to others.  
They can’t build that many integrations, though, because it takes so much
time, effort, and money to build and maintain. They’re way behind.  
Zapier did the opposite.
→Connect to others. Then build.  
No one did this like Zapier did.  
Interfaces and Tables are Zapier’s big bet, and if they get it right there
will be more in-house Zapier products that start taking over your tech
When Zapier’s own products can’t get it done, you’ll use one of its built-in
automations to connect with 5,000+ other apps to extend Zapier’s
The bottom line is this: while you may use automation in other tools outside
of Zapier, someday soon you won’t be using those other tools at all.  
Jump on the Zapier train now and let’s ride it together.  
To recap:

  • Effective Native Automations/Integrations are great reasons not to use Zapier
  • Use Zapier to handle complex automations
  • Someday soon Zapier will replace many tools you use.  

That's it for this week!  
Happy Building,  

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