Zapier - Integration Platform

Overview

Zapier helps automate business processes by wrapping a user-friendly interface around code to interact with the APIs of the most popular internet tools and services. It's a fantastic tool for automating simple things such as alerting your team on Slack whenever a new record is created in Airtable.

Table of Contents:

  1. Pricing
  2. User-Friendliness
  3. Scalability
  4. Integrations
  5. Final Thought

Each automation in the platform is referred to as a Zap, and each Zap consists of Tasks. You can think of Tasks as a single piece of automation (e.g., convert a date formatting from 01-31-2020 to 31-01-2020). Another essential term to understand is Trigger, which is an event that causes automation to run. (e.g., new email in Gmail, a new record in a google sheet). It's impressive what this amazing system can do out of the box, but unfortunately, it's not without limitations.

Pricing

Zapier's pricing structure is entirely based on the number of Tasks used each month. Remember that Tasks are just a single component in more extensive automation. You'll find that for a small number of straightforward tasks, Zapier's fees are palatable, but it becomes expensive quickly at scale.

The following prices and plan features were last updated on April 10th, 2021.

Free Plan

Limited to 5 Zaps and a single Zap can only use a single Task. The limit means one trigger event and a single output event. So, if you want to manipulate the data at all, there's no room for it in this plan. You'll also find that many actions (called premium apps) are only available on paid plans, and others only on the higher tier paid plans. You should also expect to wait up to 15 minutes for your Zaps to run on this plan.

Starter

There are two tiers in the starter plan with all the same features, the only difference being the number of tasks you're allowed to use. You'll receive room for 20 Zaps (up from 5) access to multi-task Zaps, allowing intermediary steps between the trigger and output. You also receive access to a humble three premium apps. Unfortunately, despite paying, you're still limited to 15-minute delays in execution.

750 Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $29.99 Billed Annually: $19.99

1500 Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $58.50 Billed Annually: $39.00

Professional

The professional plan has many tiers, incrementing quickly in the number of tasks available and the price. One common point of frustration is that you may only need 2100 tasks, forcing you to upgrade to tier 2 (5k tasks a month). Those 100 additional tasks will set you back an extra $480 when billed annually or $720 a year when paying monthly.

Some significant improvements in this plan include reducing the delay until execution time from 15 minutes down to 2 minutes. This single feature is a game-changer. You also have access to unlimited premium apps and a feature called "Auto Replay" that will automatically try to replay your automation again and again if it happens to fail the first time.

2k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $73.50 Billed Annually: $49.99

5k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $133.50 Billed Annually: $89.00

10k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $193.50 Billed Annually: $129.00

20k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $283.50 Billed Annually: $189.00

50k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $433.50 Billed Annually: $289.00

100k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $733.50 Billed Annually: $489.00

200k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $1,155.00 Billed Annually: $769.00

500k Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $2,175.00 Billed Annually: $1,449.00

1m Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $3,300.00 Billed Annually: $2,199.00

2m Tasks/mo

Billed Monthly: $5,985.00 Billed Annually: $3,389.00

Team

Starting at $448.50 when billed monthly or $299.00 annually for 50k tasks, you can invite your team to join your Zapier account. This tier also offers 1-minute automation trigger times, improving on 2 minutes at the professional level. Like the professional plan, the Team plan ranges in the number of Tasks per month up to 2 million tasks for $5,250.00 a month or $3,499.00 a month when billed annually.

Company

Finally, the last option begins at 100 thousand Tasks per month at the cost of $898.50 per month or $599.00 per month when billed annually. The team plan also features 1-minute automation trigger times and introduces advanced admin permissions and live training with the customer success team.

Things to Keep in Mind:

  • When deciding to pay annually, make sure you use it for the entire year. In our experience, the company will not issue a refund; however, they will credit it to your account to use in the future.
  • If you hit your maximum Task allowance before the month ends, everything will stop running until you upgrade your plan, or you wait until the end of the month for your budget to reset.
  • If you only need 2,100 Tasks a month, you'll be forced to upgrade from the 2k Task/mo plan to the 5k Task/mo plan, almost doubling your total bill for those extra 100 tasks.

User-Friendliness

Zapier does a fantastic job of making complicated API calls easy even without any programming or web development knowledge. Overall, their system is very user-friendly, and it's easy to learn the basics to start automating.

With this said, to take complete advantage of all of its features, there is a very high knowledge ceiling. It can take a while to learn all of the tools. Many of them, such as the webhook step, will not make sense without some technical understanding of the web and APIs. In addition, the more complicated your automation requirements, the harder to achieve it.

Scalability

In our experience working with companies running over 40,000 Tasks/mo, Zapier generally performs well; however, it can be tricky to debug your Zaps when they break. It isn't always apparent what caused automation to fail, and if you don't know the cause of a problem, you'll find yourself wasting a lot of time and energy shooting in the dark trying to fix it.

With the scalability of cloud computing, we would like to see the company adopt more flexible payment options. Major cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform only charge users for the resources they use. Gone are the days of paying a flat monthly server fee. So why doesn't the company share this price model with its users? Jumping from 50k tasks a month to 100k is a tremendous difference in computational resources and price ($300 more a month). Usually, business automation is a gradual process, and at this scale, you wouldn't just double your output from month to month.

Zapier also has limitations on the number of computational resources you can use in each Task and will timeout and stop running if a task takes too long. Processing substantial amounts of data takes time, and to achieve it, you would need some custom code distributed across multiple Zaps or Tasks to accomplish your automation goal.

Integration

Since the entire platform is dedicated to integrating systems, it's no surprise that they are probably the most-integrated platform on the market. You can find integrations for most services and tools with a public API. The platform is top-notch in terms of integration ability.

Final Thoughts

Zapier is fantastic for simple automation at a small scale. It comes with hundreds of unique off-the-shelf features that require no coding knowledge. It's a great introduction to the automation game; however, we can do much better for complicated automation at scale. Contact us at DataCose, today!

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