TAM 076: Automating With Zapier – Mike Knoop - The Active Marketer

TAM 076: Automating With Zapier – Mike Knoop

Barry Moore - ActiveCampaign

With the number of nifty SaaS apps used in your business growing by the day, it becomes vitally important to be able to get those apps to hand off data and work together. Using tools like Zapier you can build marketing automation workflows from simple to as complex as you need.

In this episode I chat with Zapier co-founder Mike Knoop about the integration with ActiveCampaign and all the groovy things you can do to automate your marketing, your workflow and your information gathering.

We Chat About:

  • The history of Zapier
  • Marketing automation using Zapier
  • Multi-step zaps
  • The new Digest feature
  • The future of Zapier


If you want to give ActiveCampaign a try, you can set up a free trial account here.

If you want to take your sales funnel and marketing automation skills to the next level, join us at The Active Marketer Academy my private mastermind and coaching community where we share all the good stuff!

Inside you will find, courses, live training calls, quick wins, shared automations, discounts and special offers and a helpful community of smart business owners and service providers just like you. Check it out here.

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Barry: All right, I'd like to welcome to the show Mike, co-founder and chief product officer at Zapier. Mike, welcome.

Mike: Yeah. Thanks, Barry. Thanks for having me.

Barry: Man, I'm excited to have you on because Zapier is kind of like the glue that holds the whole internet together, it seems like, these days. I think a lot of people really under-utilize the tool as well. There's lots of really cool stuff that you can at Zapier. I'd love to get you on. I want to talk a little about Zapier and some of the more advanced features. I'm dying to know how you, as a co-founder, are using it yourself, and a little bit of a roadmap for where you're heading in the future. Does that sound cool?

Mike: Absolutely. Happy to dive in.

Barry: All right, Mike. For those people who maybe aren't familiar with the Zapier story, which is pretty interesting in and of itself, how did you guys come to found Zapier?

Mike: Yeah, so Zapier, there's three co-founders: myself, Brian and Wade. We started way back in 2011, so we've been around for a little over five years now. Kind of the genesis of Zapier was actually Brian and Wade were working at- and actually I was, too, part-time- working at this mortgage company in Missouri. Brian and Wade were both on the marketing side, so they were doing a lot of marketing automation, working with a lot of APIs. I was working with a lot of APIs in the job I was doing too, dealing with Facebook.

I think they had a conversation that went something like, "Wouldn't it be cool if there was a way that I could just automate, and have a UI to do a lot of parts of my job, I mean to write code to do it." They kind of tossed it back it forth. I'd been getting beers with Brian for a couple months at this point, and there was a startup weekend. It was the very first startup weekend that was going to be hosted in Columbia, Missouri. I messaged Brian and said, "Hey, you showing up to this thing?" He said, "Yeah," and decided to show up, too.

The three of us kind of got together, and Brian pitched it. It was like, "Oh man, this is like I would use that, too!" Met up that weekend, worked on it, hacked on it all weekend, and ended up ... Weighing that weekend, it kind of gave us the momentum to keep working on it for nights and weekends over the next maybe eight months or so. It was basically kind of a nights and weekends kind of thing. We'd wrap up our full-time jobs, I was still a student at the time. I'd get done with class at like 5:00, and we'd go find some office space somewhere and hack on Zapier for another six or seven or eight hours, until midnight, 1, 2 am. Then wake up and do it again the next day.

We did that for, like I said, several months until we got accepted into Y Combinator. That was in summer of 2012. That moved us from Missouri out to California, and right at the beginning of that summer is also when we launched Zapier publicly in summer 2012. We've just been kind of growing ever since. It kind of pushed us full-time.

Barry: How many staff do you have now?

Mike: We're up to 70 teammates today, so 3 to 70 in those years. One unique thing, too, is Zapier is a 100% remote company. There's no headquarters, basically. The 3 founders are in the Bay area, but the other 65, 70 people are all over the world, 10 or 15 outsides the U.S. and the rest in Canada and the U.S.

Barry: Clearly, that was a deliberate decision. What are the big challenges of that, what are the big benefits, and what are the big payoffs for being completely remote?

Mike: Number one payoff is that you get to hire the best people, anywhere they are. You don't have to convince them to move somewhere. You don't have to get someone to then end of your hiring final and say, "Okay, well, we can hire this person only if we can convince them to move to some city, the Bay area, or something like that." We can basically look at all the people who apply, pick the very best person, and make a good, compelling offer for them to join the company. Oftentimes, the answer is yes. That's really the big, huge benefit of remote work, is that.

There's quite a few downsides, too. You have to be transparent here. Communication is always a tough thing. You have to be really explicit with your communication processes, how you write stuff down, how you document stuff, how teams collaborate and communicate.

I think the big takeaway is there's a couple different types of communication that you fall back to, just in any job. You've got really low-bandwidth communication, doing text only, moving up in communication to audio and video, and then the highest bandwidth communication is in person. Of course, as you move up in bandwidth, it always moves up in interruption and distraction. Somebody walks over to you in a co-located company and taps you on the shoulder. Yeah, you can have a great conversation and learn what you need to know, but you've also just been interrupted in real time. In-person companies default to the highest mode of bandwidth, in-person communication, but they also have the highest distraction.

Remote's the opposite, right? Remote defaults to actually nobody talks to each other at all. If you don't have a reason to share information, they're tendency is not to share something. That's the biggest thing in remote, is you just have to be really explicit about knowing and working with people and when they need to move up the communication bandwidth chain. When is it appropriate to get on an audio or a video call, from just our side conversations? When is it even maybe appropriate to schedule an in-person meeting somewhere? We do two company team retreats a year for culture and team building. That's one of those explicit things that we say, even though we're remote, it's still worth it to get in person every now and then.

Barry: Very cool. For sure. Have there been many employees who just kind of couldn't fit into that model of completely remote, that just didn't work out?

Mike: We're pretty up-front about what it's like to work for a remote company. It's actually one of the things we screen for when we're hiring. One of the pieces of advice I always give to teammates when they're possible going to join Zapier is I tell them, hey, I know in a lot of co-located jobs, there's a strong tendency for that company to kind of replace friends and your family relationships. You build your really tight relationships with your coworkers. That's harder to do in a remote company. You kind of have to augment your work at Zapier with relationships outside the company, whether that's friends, family, coworkers, a support group, sports, activities, whatever it needs to be. You've got to have something outside of work, just because a fully remote team doesn't often satisfy that same need that you might get in a in-person company.

Barry: Just because I love talking about tools, what kind of tools are you using to manage all those remote workers? What's kind of the stack that keeps Zapier going day-to-day, other than Zapier, of course?

Mike: There's three big things we use. We use Slack, of course. This is basically our office, essentially, [inaudible 00:06:58] conversation. We also use a tool called Quip, which kind of hosts our green field, evergreen documentation, documents like processes in the company, documents like how we work. This is great for new teammates, right, because its content is always there and available to them.

Barry: Sorry. What was that called?

Mike: Quip. Q-U-I-P.com. Then, the third tool is actually a tool that we built ourself. It's a tool we call Async. Originally the inspiration for this is after I talked to the folks over at WordPress at Automattic. They used a tool internally, because WordPress is also a fully remote team. I was curious how they did their communication structure. They had this tool that they'd built on top of WordPress called P2, which is almost like an internal Twitter feed for the entire company. It was like a layer essentially on top of live chat. It was a way for people to have a little bit more in-depth conversations that wasn't so fast-paced and chat-based.

This has been one of the most effective tools we've built. We put a lot of emphasis on this internally, this tool Async, where it's kind of like the slow-thinking version of Slack. Our social expectation is you don't need to keep up with everything in Slack, bar none. There's just too much noise. There's too many conversations going. No expectation to keep up with anything other than maybe like direct messages, whereas Async is the flip side. Async is more of where curated work gets published. This is the stuff you actually do want to spend time getting through and getting context on the topics that matter for your job.

Danny, one of my teammates, he has a great way of laying out these tools, where he says, "Slack is for talking about your work, and Async is for showing your work. Quip is for documenting it at the end of the day," which I think really helped. It gives you a lot of direction, like which tool you should use for what kind of communication you want to have.

Barry: Yeah, just super interested in how you keep remote teams going, all on the same page, and all in the same direction. I imagine that's a lot harder than you might think.

Mike: Write a lot down. That's probably the number one tip there, documentation and communication being explicit.

Barry: Going back to Zapier for a little bit, like I said, I think most of the listeners are probably familiar with kind of the A to B type of Zaps, you know, stripe purchase equals putting someone into ActiveCampaign or something [00:09:27]. I'd like to drill down because there's a whole lot more cool stuff you can do with Zapier. Recently, one of the newer features is Digest. You want to talk a little bit about what Digest is and how that works?

Mike: Happy to. I guess I kind of like the meta- thing here too. This is a trend that we've been kind of working on. We've been adding a lot more built-in features and apps to Zapier. This has all been enabled by the multi-step Zaps that we launched at the beginning of last year.

Barry: Okay, well actually, let's do that. Let's circle back around to the multi-step ones, first. Then, we'll come back to the other step. There's another good point in there I want to loop back to at some point is that most people think Zapier is just the glue of this app to that app, but there's actually a lot of native, built-in stuff that Zapier does itself.

Mike: Like Digest is a great example.

Barry: Yeah. Very cool. Let's go back. Let's wind the clock back a little bit to the multi-step Zaps. You want to talk a little bit about that?

Mike: Multi-step Zaps were a really big initiative for the company. When we launched that at the beginning of last year, that was probably the biggest change to Zapier's product in the history of Zapier. Our usage and types of personas of what people use Zapier for pretty dramatically changed. As you pointed out, that one-to-one connexion, one trigger, one action, was kind of our go-to model for several years. It allowed us to grow the company up to a certain point, but the types of usage we started to hear requests for over the years was, "I want to do more with my Zaps." You've got all these apps on Zapier. That's great. You've got 700 of them now. I want to do more with it. I want to be able to actually build entire workflows in Zapier. I want to set up workflow automation software. That was the impetus for building multi-step Zaps and giving people the power to connect not just one action to a trigger but to do multiple actions. Once you start having the ability to do multiple actions, it opens up the door for different types of actions than what was possible before.

In the past, when we had one-to-one, it was always trigger off of the new item and create a new item. Take a new form entry and create a new contact in ActiveCampaign. These days, we can do a lot more cool stuff. We've got transforms. We've got searches, where you can look up data. A really cool example would be take a form entry from Unbounce or something, and then take the email address from that and run it through Clearbit's API. Look at their first name and last name, and maybe take their first name and last name and look them up inside your ActiveCampaign tool, see if they exist, and get a meta property back from that. Maybe it's like are they paying you or not. Then run that through the Zap and say, "Well, if they're paying me, then I want to notify the sales team to do something special in this case."

That whole process can be encapsulated in a single Zap, whereas in the past, honestly, you couldn't do it. If you did, and you really were hacking around with it, you'd have to have several Zaps with duct tape connecting them all.

Barry: Very cool. For those people who aren't familiar with it, you can automate just so much of your workflow. Say a new stripe purchase comes in, for example, then you want to put that person into ActiveCampaign, which it typically would kind of end there in the past before the multi-step ones. Now you might want to, as you said, as the second step or third step in that Zap, push that person into zero into your accounting system, create an invoice in the accounting system, then philtre it if they're a VIP . If they've got a tag inside ActiveCampaign that says "status VIP," then you might want to send an SMS to your salespeople to follow up with a call, and then take that information and put it into a spreadsheet that you're going to use for reporting afterwards. That can all be in one Zap, now, which is pretty epic. Pretty cool.

Mike: Yeah, exactly right. I was surprised, actually, when we launched multi-step Zaps. I was kind of trying to take my own internal guess of what's the average number of steps going to be? How many steps are people going to do? What's the maximum number we're going to see on a Zap? I think I had, at the time last year, pegged it like, a really heavy user of workflows is going to maybe use 10 steps on their Zap. I've been running the numbers over the last year just looking at the really high end of our usage. Right now, the longest Zap by number of steps has 90 steps on it.

Barry: Holy cow.

Mike: This is a humongous task job that Zapier is doing. I think, in that case, that Zapier is actually running a part of their company. It's no longer just simple personal workflow automation. I think that's actually powering something critical for the business at that point.

Barry: It's probably some coder that got hired into a company, and he's just built a Zap to replace himself. He's sitting out by the pool reading a book or something. Zapier is just doing his job.

Mike: Man, I hope so.

Barry: Zapier is doing his job for him.

Mike: That's story I've heard a lot, where users who might not know how to code- I think this is a great case for marketing automation. Marketing automation could be written as code, right? You could get an engineer to do it, but Zapier lets you build this automation without having to know how to code. Once you see the end result of the automation, maybe you want to customise it a little bit. Maybe you want to host it somewhere else. Maybe you want to have that be a little bit more powerful. Zapier can be like a gateway to learning how to code or learning to do that more powerful stuff.

Barry: Not just for business processes, either, but for all the little tedious tasks you have to do every day that surround your business processes.

Mike: Yeah. I've got great examples there.

Barry: Well, I was just going to say, let's share some examples of some of the cool things you've seen users build. I'd be super interested in you as a co-founder, and obviously, you're embedded in Zapier every day. What are you using Zapier for?

Mike: It's a great question. I've found my Zapier usage, especially over the last year, has changed pretty dramatically after we launched multi-step Zaps. One of my ones that I rely on the most- My role in Zapier is I'm the Chief Product Officer. I help all of our Product Managers set their roadmaps, figure out what to work on next, and then execution, helping them actually execute on their roadmaps once they've got it. One of the most important things I do is help communicate the progress of the projects back to the rest of the company on goals, roadmaps, status projects.

I was really, really annoying. Every Monday, I had a process set up where I tried to go through every project that was in process and get a single update, a one-line update from each person, each team and surface that back up to the company. Before I implemented the Zap, I was spending almost my entire day on Monday just doing grunt work to chase down updates and format them into a push to share with the team. I got a lot of feedback from the company that this was like a really, really valuable thing because they said, "I would have no idea what Zapier was working on or have input into if I didn't read these updates." I knew the value of it. It was just a tonne of tedious work for me.

I set up a couple Zaps that help me out here. I've got a schedule Zap. We're talking about in-house Zaps. One of our in-house Zaps is a schedule step. It's a trigger, where you can say, "Run this Zap every week, every day, every month, whenever you want." I've got it set to run every Monday, where it triggers and it looks at our Trello roadmap. It looks at a certain list, a column on our roadmap that's the in-progress. It loops over every card on Trello in the in-progress column, and it pulls of the members of the card.

Trello's got this really cool feature now. It's a power-up they added where you can do custom fields on a card. We started tagging certain cards with whoever's the lead on a project, basically, whoever's the point person. It pulls off all the point people. It gets all their Slack handles. Then, as another step, it takes that Slack handle and looks them up in our Slack organisation to get their email address. Then, it loops over every single person, emails them. Actually, I think what I had it doing is a Slack reminder. It sends a Slack reminder to each person, and for 5 minutes from now, make sure they add an update to their linked Trello card that they just pulled from.

The cool think about Slack reminders, other than just notifications, is Slack reminders will remind you in 10 or 15 minutes if you haven't done it yet. I got to automate my nagging, almost. I don't mean to make that sound super negative. Basically, it took a lot of work off my plate, just collecting and getting updates on every project, where now, on Mondays, I can go in at a certain time of the day. I know all the updates are going to be there. I just can run a second Zap where it grabs all the updates and formats it into a post for our internal blog. What was an all-day task I've cut down into something that takes about 10 to 15 minutes.

Barry: Very cool. What are some of the other cool ones you've seen some users put into play in their business?

Mike: I think one of the most interesting ones, if you're looking for really fun, clever examples- Have you ever heard of Kanye Text or Seinfeld Text before?

Barry: No.

Mike: Dot com? It was on Product Hunt a while ago, last year. This is a website where you can go and put in a phone number. There's a stripe form on it. You pay $5 or something. The idea is it randomly generates Seinfeld quotes or Kanye quotes. It drips them to your phone number over a 24-hour period or something like this. Just kind of a fun service for yourself or a prank. There's a lot of fun, clever uses for it. This site is 100% powered by a Zap. This is probably one of those 90 step Zaps where the trigger is a stripe payment, and then there's a whole bunch of steps where it looks up the quotes in the spreadsheet. It randomises which one it grabs. It schedules a delay step so that it'll run 5 minutes in the future, then an hour in the future, and then four hours in the future. Then, on each of those ends, it also sends a text message then using Twilio to the phone number that you'd picked.

This is literally a small, microbusiness that the entire thing is running on the single Zap. That was a pretty awesome example when I ran across that.

Barry: That's very cool. I like it. I like it a lot.

Mike: If you get a little bit more tactical, too, there's a lot of marketing automation cases. I know that's probably a little bit more interesting, possibly, for the people who are listening.

Barry: Well, Seinfeld's always good.

Mike: Oh, yeah.

Barry: Let's loop back to the Digest thing, right? We started talking about the Digest, which is relatively new, what, a couple months old now or something? Walk us through how that works and what you can do with that.

Mike: The Digest is a built-in app that we've built. We have maybe 20 or 25 built-in apps now, and Digest is just one of many. What Digest allows you to do is every time a Digest step runs, it inserts some content into a Digest. When you set the Digest up the first time, you tell it how long or how many items do you want to wait for it to collect before it will release all of the steps of the Zap to the final step.

A great example of this would be, and I actually use this, if you wanted to get an email in your inbox every night of all of the mentions of your brand on Twitter, for example. You could set up a Twitter trigger that watches for mentions of your brand. You run it through a middle step, which is Digest, and say, "Okay. I want this to release every night at midnight, 1 am, or whatever time you want." Then, the final step is email, where you just email the contents of the output of the Digest step to yourself. Then, every morning, when you wake up, you've got basically an email that's got all the content that it collects all of the mentions. Every time that Zap triggers, it just sends you one output, which is pretty new for Zapier. In every other case, when Zapier runs, you get like one action per time it runs. Digest is the way that you can collect a lot of inputs and just get a single output, which is pretty useful in a lot of cases.

Barry: You can say, "Go grab these 20 things. When you have 20, let me know, and send them to me."

Mike: Yeah. Like I said, you can do time-based or number of records-based depending on what your use case is.

Barry: Let's talk about some use cases. Obviously, gathering [RSS 00:22:08] type content. Normally, if in the morning, if you're going and reading 10 different blogs to find out what's happening in certain markets, you can just get Zapier to go do that for you and then kind of send you a Digest email once a morning or whatever. What other kind of inputs could there be into the Digest? Could it be anything?

Mike: It can be literally any trigger on Zapier. Twitter is a pretty popular one for us. Internally, I was talking about Async earlier. We actually have an internal API that connects to Zapier so that we can consume our own content. A lot of what our teammates do is they'll feed new posts that happen on our internal blog, that tool called Async, into a Digest so that they can just get a summary feed of everything that happened over the course of one day in Zapier.

A lot of these use cases, the reason they're great is it allows you to not have to get so distracted in the middle of the day. Everyone has this notification overload. Slack is especially prone to this, where if you don't manage your notifications very well, every time you get pinged every 2 minutes or something happened, you just want to switch gears and go check it out. Tools like Digest allow you to slow down just a little bit. I've even seen some of our teammates hook up Digest through Slack itself. You can hook up mentions into Slack in case you wanted to actually have some time off during the day. "Okay, I need to close Slack for half of my day and actually do my work," but still want to get a Digest of places that you were tagged on. If your organisation is really large, maybe even set up searches for keywords that you care about, projects that are interesting, with links back to it so you can jump out from the email and pick up the context after you've got it.

Barry: I didn't even think of that. Not only are you saving the time in actually, like you said, going and finding all that information yourself, which might take you half a day or whatever, but compartmentalising everything, that mental switching cost, if you go through that 40 times a day. Ping! Oh, I've got to go look at this. Ping! I got to go look at that. That mental switching cost is killer. It can just destroy your productivity for a whole day down the drain if you're constantly mentally switching between getting some work done and responding to notifications. The fact that you're queuing those all up and having them all come in at one time, as opposed to ad hoc, different times throughout the day, that'd be killer for your productivity. Man, it would just go way up.

Mike: Digest is really often paired, too, with a lot of our other internal apps. Take form software, for example. Typeform, Google Sheets, or SurveyMonkey, all of those tools actually have usually some Digest functionality in it already, where you can get a notification of all the form entries you got that day. A lot of times, those aren't customizable. You can actually use Zapier to go a little bit deeper, if that's not meeting your needs in some way. Say, for example, you only care about answers 1 and 8 off the form, and you don't care about every single form entry. You could set up a Zap where it's like- Trigger off Typeform. Run that through a formatter step, and strip out the information I don't need. Put in just answers 1 and 8 into a Digest step and have that collect all day long and then release to you once a day. You can do a lot of powerful stuff like that.

Barry: It would be nice for sales, too. We could have just a Digest of all the sales for the day. Ping! Or in the morning-

Mike: Closed deals on sales force. Yeah.

Barry: Very cool. We'll close out talking a little bit about kind of what the future roadmap is. What's your vision for Zapier? Where do you want to take it? What's coming down the pipe as for as Zapier's concerned?Mike: One really interesting trend that we started to see last year after we released multi-step Zaps is I guess Zapier has always traditionally been a tool for individual power users, or at least a tool for individuals, I would say. You have a use case yourself. Barry, you really want to connect these 2 tools together. You search it out online. You find Zapier. You set up a Zap, turn it on, and it's doing its job for you just all day long. After we released multi-step Zaps, the type of usage we noticed started to change. A lot of times what people were setting up was workflow automation that's not just involving them. Usually workflows involve multiple teammates, right? What we started to see was a lot of users were actually using our accounts to aggregate usage across several people. It wasn't just for them. They were pulling in teammates. They were pulling in other close organisational teammates so that they could be a part of the process.

Today, Zapier doesn't do a great job of supporting that use case. You basically have to have a shared login. We don't have any sense of team accounts. One of the really big initiatives we're working on this year is getting team accounts out the door so that you can actually share Zaps with your coworkers and actually have them help build Zaps. There's shared billing across the board for everyone, just to get some of those collaboration features that people are trying to use with multi-step Zaps and workflow automation. Make the product a little bit easier for actually doing that kind of stuff.

Barry: That's very cool. Where do you see the competition for you guys coming in, as far as in that kind of API automation space?

Mike: Good question. One of the hardest things about us, about getting people to use Zapier and continuing doingZapier is the competition is really apathy. It's people who are doing their job. Their job is like, okay, my job is to sit here in front of this software all day and copy and paste this data from one tool to another. They don't know that there is something out there that can actually automate that for them so that they don't have to do it. That's on the low end, right? It's just getting users exposed to the concept that automation exists. That's still a fairly new concept to a lot of people. It's one of the reasons I think we've been more successful in the business space is I think a lot of business professionals think about automation a little bit. It's a very strong business topic.

Still, it's not universal. There's a lot of small SMBs out there that have never heard of this stuff. Getting in front of them and teaching them that this is possible is a difficult thing, a challenge for us.

Then, on the very high end of the usage, too, if you are a really strong power user of Zapier, there is somewhat today a natural cap on your usage, just by nature of if you set up a really complex, multi-step Zap that's like 90 steps long, maybe there is a point at which it makes more sense to write that in code and move that use case off Zapier.

Looking at kind of those 2 areas. How can we get Zapier in front of more users, just so that they know that automation exists? We've found that once we tell them it exists, they're usually very happy to sign up and try it. Then, looking at ways that keep users in the funnel for longer so that people don't feel like they have to go outside Zapier to take the next step.

Barry: That makes sense, for sure. All right, Mike. We might wrap it up there. Any closing thoughts on Zapier, on the marketing automation marketplace in general, kind of where you see the whole thing going? I know you guys kind of see the usage of all the tools in the back by how many people kind of are setting up Zaps. Can you guys kind of see trends as to these apps are becoming more and more and more popular and kind of where the money is going?

Mike: One of the most interesting trends, and I think really this is why Zapier has grown so much over the last 5 years and how we lucked into getting the timing right, is SaaS software is not [inaudible 00:30:03], basically. You think about suites of SaaS software, the G suite, the Microsoft suite, or Zoho, and while there are those hubs of software out there, SaaS software is exploding. The barrier to entry for someone to create a piece of software that someone else can pay for and use on the internet has decreased so much over the last 5 years. That's going to continue. That's where a tool like Zapier basically just has to exist. Those tools exist for a reason. They're usually super narrow. They're very specific to their niche, and they just knock that use case out of the park. It's way better to use one of those pieces of narrow software that just knows their use case so well, as opposed to one of the suites of Zoho, for example, where it does everything to everyone, but it doesn't do anything super great. You might be somewhat happy with it.

We just see the software world just continuing. That trend doesn't seem to be reversing. That's the wave Zapier's riding because as long as that continues to be true, you're going to need ways to manage that kind of stuff just to help you do your job.

Barry: 100%. That's the big horse race at the moment, is the all-in-one tool versus the, "We're just going to be really good at this one thing, but we're going to make it super easy to integrate." I think that's where ActiveCampaign is kind of in that second camp. They're like, "Right. We're good at these dozen things, but we're not going to try to be all things to all people. We're not going to have a landing page builder, and we're not going to have shopping cart. We're not going to have all this other stuff, but we're going to make it super easy to integrate by having a robust open API that anyone can hook into." It's going to be interesting to see how that plays out between the kind of we're an all-in-one tool versus the open API architecture of everything else.

Mike: I think when you look at the usage on Zapier, ActiveCampaign is one of our top 20, 25 apps on the entire products out of all 800. I think that's because they take the exact right attitude, which is like, "We're going to nail the thing we do the best and not worry about everything else. There's other better pieces of software out there that can handle all these other pieces, these features and niches." I think that's why they've been successful, honestly.

Barry: For sure. All right, Mike. Thank you so much. Obviously if people want find out more about Zapier, they can head over to you at Zapier.com. If they want to maybe reach out to you, where's the best place to do that?

Mike: Probably on Twitter, which is Twitter.com/MikeKnoop. I also have a personal website where I write about operating Zapier, growing the company, scaling challenged, and things like that, which is MikeKnoop.com.

Barry: Awesome. Mike, thanks so much for sharing your time with us. I really appreciate it and look forward to seeing you online.

Mike: Yeah. Thank you, Barry.

Barry Moore

Entrepreneur, aviator and former eCommerce and technology executive, Barry Moore is the founder of TheActiveMarketer.com. When he isn't geeking out about how sales and marketing automation can help your business, you can find him in the surf or in an airplane.

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