Left Hook Builds
Zapier Public Apps
Or keep reading to learn more about Zapier & Left Hook:
Trusted App Developer
Ready for Zapier? Some FAQs:
Sorry for any confusion. Let's break this down.
Left Hook's customers are software companies, which we shorten to SaaS or SaaS Leaders.
If you're a software USER (i.e. a customer of our customer) and need help with integrations, please visit our sister website Integration Helpers.
Not sure where your integration challenge fits in? Feel free to chat with us.
Zapier's Developer Platform is a highly flexible, multi-level toolset for automation and integration.
While there are an untold number of different apps built on the Zapier Developer Platform, not all are publicly available in the Zapier Directory.
Over 2,000 different software applications are available as official "Public Apps." When an app is "Public," any user can find the app's logo in the walk-up, self-serve directory on Zapier.com.
Each Zapier Public App consists of a set of Triggers, Searches, and Actions (TSAs) for a specific software product (i.e. Dropbox, or Google Sheets.)
Some Public Apps have dozens of TSAs, while others have only one or two.
Any permitted user can easily authenticate to give Zapier permission to interact with their user account(s). Once authenticated, users can connect two or more TSAs into a logical workflow, i.e. "Add new email attachments in Gmail to Dropbox."
Public Apps are available to 3+ million Zapier users. Because Zapier promises to support all public TSAs, Zapier puts every app requesting Public status through rigorous user testing and technical review.
Many SaaS companies do build their Zapier app in-house. It's certainly possible.
But after speaking with hundreds of product managers and executives over the years, we've heard some common themes for why they outsource Zapier development to Left Hook. Here's what we've heard:
Developers are expensive. Your in-house dev team has precious few cycles to develop new features and maintain your core code.
Zapier is a painful one-time skill to learn. Even a seasoned Node.js developer will struggle to understand the Zapier Developer Platform and its many quirks quickly. Because our team is deeply expert in the Zapier platform, we can build 10x faster.
Integrations are supposed to be externalizable. When you planned your API, didn't you envision third-party developers leveraging it to add value to your ecosystem, without mucking around in your stack?
Focus, focus, focus. It's so easy to get distracted. That little "Zapier thing" can easily turn into a five hour a week project for months. Keep your team focused on features, and Left Hook will keep our eyes on your integrations- on Zapier and everywhere else.
Our devs are falling months behind. And product managers understand why- keeping up with requests is hard and variable. Zapier app development is imminently outsourceable and can be parallel processed.
Left Hook is "on it." Managing integrations is what we do all day long, and we're obsessive about responding to client needs.
There are dozens of Integration Opportunities to consider. We'd love to help you sort out your integration strategy!
The integration-sphere is growing exponentially, and we're constantly learning/testing/reviewing new integration and automation platforms.
See the many different Integration Opportunities we manage for our SaaS clients!
Zapier commands a uniquely powerful position in the ecosystem. While there are competing platforms to consider, its sheer diversity of apps (2,000 and counting!) and it's delightfully usable interface make Zapier a top integration choice for most SaaS companies.
This is always the first question we attempt to answer when performing our Ready Report for a new customer.
WARNING: you may need to connect us with your development team to truly answer this question, or to understand the tech-speak below!
A RESTFul API with standard CRUD operations typically works on Zapier. Older SOAP APIs can also work, but often require additional development effort.
How your API authenticates users is also important. Zapier's Developer Platform can handle many auth methods, but we've learned the hard way that every API has its quirks.
After 60+ of Zapier app builds (Public and Private), our team has seen it all- and made most APIs work on Zapier.
All work performed by Zapier breaks down into defined Triggers, Searches, and Actions. (We call them "TSAs".)
A Public App must enable very clearly defined Use Cases that match Zapier's modular TSA approach.
Here's how Zapier describes each:
Trigger: What events can my users listen for with Zapier? You can think of a Trigger as a GET or read. It involves Zapier receiving data from your app.
Action: What should my users be able to create or do via Zapier? You can think of Actions as POSTs, writes, or the creation of a resource. It involves Zapier sending data to your app.
Search: What records can I lookup by a particular query? Searches can be useful on their own, or they can be combined with Actions to perform "Get or Create" style logic.
Here are a couple very obvious examples from Zapier's explanation:
- Add all new Mailchimp Subscribers to Salesforce Contacts
- Add all new form entries in Typeform to a Google Sheet
- Add any attachment to an email in Gmail to a Dropbox folder
Want to explore potential use cases and map them against your existing API endpoints?
For just $495, let Left Hook tell you what's possible. Buy our Ready Stage today.
Zapier sets a high bar for an app to "go Public," and they do not allow the process to be rushed. With nearly three million users and 1,500 Public Apps, they are very focused on quality apps that are relatively low effort to support.
However, we tell all prospective clients that the full Public process will take between eight and sixteen weeks, and will depend on how quickly you can participate in Zapier co-marketing.
As of January 2020, over 2,000 companies have completed Zapier's "Going Public" requirements.
While not required, the full "Going Public" process adds tremendous value for your users and your bottom line, such as:
- Discoverability: finding and using your Zapier app is much easier once it is Public
- Support: Zapier's excellent support team will help your users, taking some of the burden off your team
- Co-Marketing: Zapier markets all new Public Apps to its nearly three million users via email and social media
- SEO and Directory Search: Zapier's Zapbook is categorized and highly optimized for SEO. Many Zapier users refer to their Zapbook as a compendium and comparison tool for SaaS tools. Zapier also autogenerates many different landing pages keyword optimized for people searching for your app with other apps as well (i.e. "Gmail" and "Trello")
- Integrations are Sticky: If your software product has subscribers or renewable licenses, integration can be a key tool to retain them or drive upselling. So says Typeform and many other Partners.
- Zap Templates are Da Bomb: Zap templates are ready-made, easy integrations that expertly guide your users to complete the integration process. Zapier's template user interface is expertly optimized to make the setup process easy, fast, and fun. And Zap Templates are only available to Public Apps!
- Zapier is Delightful to Use: Your users are going to love Zapier, and you'll benefit from their feeling of accomplishment and efficiency. Zapier likes to say that they give their users internet superpowers, and we agree!
Learn more about how Left Hook can help your SaaS "Go Public."
Great question. Here are perspectives we often hear:
Zapier: "Less is more, and quality over quantity. Keep it simple for your users. Abide by the 80/20 rule."
Your Users: "I want them all. Well, all that's useful, but not so many that I get confused."
Your Team: "Let's just get this whole Zapier thing done and out the door while we're focused on it."
After hearing from all these constituencies, here's what Left Hook suggests:
Start small and improve your app over time.
Be responsive to your users. Listen carefully for use cases that make sense, and then built TSAs to match.
Ease your users into Zapier, but be ready to enable power users who are likely your best customers.
We've helped over 60 different SaaS companies build, manage, and support their Zapier presence.
Zapier named us their first-ever Trusted App Developer in 2016, years before any other company.
We have a team of full-time developers based in New Hampshire and expert in Node.JS, RESTful APIs, and the Zapier Developer Platform.
We're way more than Zapier developers. Our team is building connectors and apps on many platforms. Once we know your API through a Zapier build, we'll help you move on to the next great integration opportunity or API-centric partnership.
So yeah, we're qualified. But feel free to kick our tires anytime.
The cost will scale with the size and complexity of your TSAs, and how quickly you want to improve your app.
Left Hook's approach is to build small, quick, lower-cost to start, and incrementally improve your app over a year's time.
That's why we've adopted a three stage process, with subscriptions and services that serve your needs no matter where you are in the process.
To give you an "all-in" sense of cost for a relatively small Zapier Public App, see our Process & Plans.
Contact us to plan your app and receive a refined price quote.