Integration Platforms, Zapier

3 Must-Have Automations in Free Zapier Plan – Step by Step

Zapier is one of those marketing automation tools which helps with my daily work and saves a lot of time. I like it because it is simple, intuitive and include almost every app connection I need, and my other needs are covered with Webhooks and Code by Zapier).

Zapier’s Free Plan includes 5 Zaps and 15 minute update time. Considering this automation tools’ possibilities it is definitely not showing its potential but will help with creating the first simple automation.

If you will like using Zapier or are already using a free plan, as a user of the Professional Plan, I can recommend this version because of Multi-step Zaps, Filters and unlimited Premium Apps features. The Starter plan includes all the above but it is limited by using 3 Premium Apps so you should check which plan will be most suitable for you. To get full comparison check Plans & Pricing.

If you decide to use Free Plan, this is the list of the most valuable Zapier automations:

1. Send thank you email on form submission

Google Forms editor’s options are quite limited and the person who has responded to your form will only get information that the response has been recorded. In some cases, you may want to confirm receiving a response and thank someone for taking his time or inform about the next steps.

This simple Zapier automation will send personalized emails to the Google Form respondents.

Step 1. Create a form in Google Forms including the responders’ data you will use in the email.

Step 2. Create a Google Spreadsheet for answers.

Step 3. Create a Zapier Automation with a trigger on New Response in the Spreadsheet in Google Forms. Connect with Gmail and choose a Send Email event.

Step 4. Personalize Email. Insert email address and other data from the filled form.


Hint: Use Body Type HTML to create a more visually friendly email.

2. Create ready to send file with Google Spreadsheet data

This one will be perfect for everyone who needs to personalize documents e.g. invoices. Now, there is no need to copy and paste, because all the data will be automatically filled in. Phenomenal!

The basic version of Zapier allows one action per Zap, but if you upgraded your Zap this one is asking itself to add PDF conversion Zap and create an email draft, which is ready to send to the client.

This Zapier automation will complete the Google Docs document automatically.

Step 1. Create Spreadsheet with the data that will be needed in your document. Choose and highlight one column for a Zap trigger (or create an extra column, which will work as a trigger). When a field in that column is completed, the automation starts.

Step 2. Create a Docs template for the document. Insert the Spreadsheet’s column name with double curly brackets in the document in a designated place. For example: Client name: {{name}}
Where {{name}} is a value from the corresponding cell in the Spreadsheet.

Step 3. Create Zapier Automation with the trigger on a New or Updated Spreadsheet Row in Google Sheets. Set trigger column as a column from step one.

Step 4. Add action Create Document from Template in Google Docs. Set up action and connect fields from steps one and two.

Hint: Headers above represents values in brackets from step two. Values with the Spreadsheet icon are column names. Match all the values.

3. Send Slack notification about new file on Google Drive

This Zap may be a continuation of the second Zap from this list. After automatically creating a draft on Google Drive it may be useful to get a notification when the file is ready to send. If the whole process is properly automated, you will be notified only to check if the data is correct.

Overall, this automation will work with the other G-Suite tools used in marketing, so Google Docs trigger, New Document in Folder, might be replaced with other tools triggers: Google Spreadsheets, Google Forms, Google Drive, Google Calendar etc.

The following Zapier automation sends a notification when a new Google Docs file is created.

Step 1. Choose the trigger event on New File created. The file might be a New Document, New Spreadsheet Row, New Form Submission – whatever suits your needs, the procedure is the same.

Step 2. Set up additional settings. For example, for Google Docs trigger, New Document in Folder, specify the folder, where we want to track new documents.

Step 3. Add Slack event to notify about a new document. Send a message to one of the Slack channels or directly to the specified people (including you).

Step 4. Set up an action. Choose the user or channel to send a message and write the text to send. In this example, I’ve used a particular formating for links. Finally, in a Slack message, I get a link to the new document with the field’s name.