+44 203 287 0899 info@solvaa.co.uk
A man typing on the laptop with floating email icons
We love sharing customer automation success stories with you because it shows how other businesses are using Zapier, and how a sprinkle of Kelly’s wisdom can be a total game-changer.

Summerley Recruitment is a busy recruitment agency which spends the winter months signing up students to work at major events and festivals throughout the summer season. They get leads from university job fairs and digital marketing and then nurture candidates through the onboarding process, which includes getting two references.

Sam Hickman standing against a brick wall wearing a Summerley Recruitment jacket
As you can imagine, chasing referees can be extremely time consuming so MD Sam Hickman asked his team to see if they could think of a way of automating it. Sam already uses Zapier in the business with some simple automations, for example sending him an SMS when a candidate fills in a Cognito Forms input form. He does this at university job fairs to confirm that the student’s data has been successfully received so that they can move to the next stage of the recruitment process.

 

Requirements for a series of email chases

Each candidate is required to provide two referees, giving the Summerley team their name and email address so that the administrators can request the information needed.

Sam’s requirements were to send referees a chaser every five days to follow up with them and stop chasing when the information was received. There would be three chasers in total, after which the administrator needed to follow up with a phone call to try and get the reference.

 

Automating email chasers isn’t as easy as you’d think!

Although sending emails is a relatively simple automation requirement, sending them over a prescribed time period and stopping when certain criteria are met doesn’t seem to be as simple as you’d think.

The Summerley team used Google at first, to try and find examples of automations to do email chasing, and as they use Microsoft Office they initially tried MS Power Automate. They found some sample code on a website which seemed to do the trick but when the first chaser triggered it sent multiple emails to each recipient, some receiving more than ten asking for the same information! There was obviously a bug in the logic they’d configured but it wasn’t easy to track down. The problem with Power Automate is that it’s more suited to people with a technical background – it’s not a no-code solution and is in fact more like a ‘low-code’ platform. This is fine for developers to use, but Sam didn’t have the budget to hire one. He wanted ideally to devise a solution which his team could easily maintain.

Sam then got in touch with Solvaa to see if they could help out. Kelly was delighted to lend a hand so suggested a few ways they could satisfy their requirements using Zapier.

 

How to automate email chasers using Zapier

Kelly recommended using a combination of Google Sheets and Google Calendar to trigger the emails. Sam had found that using MS Excel to trigger them was a bit hit and miss but had used Google Sheets previously – and successfully – in other Zaps so was happy to use it again for this use case.

Email chasing : trigger step

The trigger for the chasing cycle was adding a new row to a Google Sheet. The data required was simple – just a unique ID for each row (assigned manually), the candidate’s name and the referee’s email address.

The process would be that the administrator would add a row to the spreadsheet for each reference required, then when it was received back, they would delete the row.

Screen print of a Zap showing the steps to trigger automatic email chasers for candidate references
The Zap is triggered when a new row was added and it created a Google Calendar event in 5 days’ time, when the first chaser needed to be sent. The event includes the ID from the row in the spreadsheet, so that the right row can be identified in future steps, for sending for each chaser.

Email chasing : action steps

A series of Zaps were configured for the action steps, one for each chase. The triggers for each one are the start of the Google Calendar event.

For Chaser 1, when the Google event starts, it first checks that the row still exists in the spreadsheet. If it doesn’t then no chase is required so the Zap can finish. If the row does exist then an email is sent via MS Outlook and the next Google Calendar event is scheduled, in 5 days’ time.

Screen print of a Zap showing the steps to send emails automatically to ask for reference information
Chasers 2 and 3 follow the same logic and are configured as separate Zaps, one per chaser.

A final Zap is configured to send the administrator an email after a final 5-day period, prompting them to call the referee and ask for the reference by phone.

 

Testing the Zap to create email chasers

Unlike the MS Power Automate automation, configuring the process in separate Zaps made it much easier to test each chaser in isolation. The team could adjust the 5 days between chasers to just a few minutes, to check that the logic was correct. Once they were happy they could set it to the proper time period. This reduced the risk of issues arising in a long and complex workflow which can be difficult to debug.

 

Using Delay After Queue to prevent bottlenecks

Kelly advised Sam’s team that if they added a lot of rows to the Google Sheet at once it might cause a bottleneck, and Zapier might stop processing them. To avoid this happening Kelly suggested using a Delay After Queue step, to create an enforced gap between each one. As it turned out, Sam’s admin team wouldn’t be adding dozens of rows at a time so the delay step wasn’t necessary, but this was good to have up their sleeve if numbers increase in the future.

 

A successful partnership

Sam was delighted with the outcome and really appreciated Solvaa’s help with automating email chasers. He said “Working with Kelly gave us the confidence we needed to automate our process using Zapier. It was so helpful having her to guide us, and our admin team are delighted that they don’t have to send these emails manually! We can’t wait to automate more of our processes using Zapier, to save even more time in our day.”

Reduce your overwhelm with our automation training programme

And finally, if you’re really keen to reduce your overwhelmand  transform your business using automation, then visit the Solvaa Automation Academy. Our signature training programme, ‘Simple Automation Blueprint: Zero to Hero’ is aimed at anyone who wants to learn the fundamentals of business process automation from the experts – a sure-fire way to recession-proof your business.

It’s an 8-week blended learning course with on-demand videos, templates, resources and weekly group coaching sessions. And it’s more than just a Zapier course (although we do show you how to use Zapier like a pro) as you’ll learn about Process Mapping, Business Process Improvement and Business Process Management too – principles that can be applied to other areas of business too!

Whether you are a complete novice or have been using Zapier for a while, our programme is for you. It’s perfect for individuals and teams in micro, small and medium-sized businesses, including solopreneurs, consultants and freelancers. You’ll have access to our experts and can participate in live calls where you can ask all your burning questions, as well as hands-on workshops to keep you on track with implementing your new skills. We run regular cohorts so there will be an opportunity for everyone to participate.

Our head trainer, Kelly Goss, is a specialist in business systems, process improvement and automation, and one of less than 100 Zapier Certified Experts in the world. Kelly has many years’ experience in optimising systems and processes, and implementing automations for clients and is now passing on her knowledge to students through our trademarked ‘4-Step Solvaa Automation Methodology®‘. 

Find out more via our dedicated Solvaa Automation Academy website.

Read more about how our certified experts use Zapier workflow automations to simplify processes and increase efficiency.

Solvaa is a process and automation consultancy specialising in improving sales, operations and financial administration workflows. We help you to simplify and streamline existing processes, integrate your business tools to make data transfer more efficient and automate manual tasks to increase productivity. We are Zapier Certified Experts, Pipedrive Certified Experts and Xero Certified Advisors. 

Contact us today to discuss how Solvaa can help you simplify, improve and automate all aspects of your business with Zapier to save you time, reduce costs and keep you agile as you grow.

Related Posts

Decorative image - The featured image for the Solvaa blog post "AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy Part 5 - Wrapping up and looking forward"

AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy – Wrapping up and looking forward

In this series about AI automation, we've been exploring how Zapier is weaving AI throughout it's product to enhance user experience and power up automation.   If you missed our previous posts, you can find them here:  Part 1: An overview of AI in Zapier Part 2:...
Image of the Pipedrive mobile app for Solvaa blog post "Optimise Your Sales Journey On-the-Go with Pipedrive’s CRM Mobile App"

Optimise Your Sales Journey On-the-Go with Pipedrive’s CRM Mobile App

In the dynamic world of sales, maintaining connectivity and organisation is paramount for success. Pipedrive's CRM mobile app presents a comprehensive solution, acting as a versatile sales pipeline and lead tracker that empowers businesses of all sizes to effortlessly...
Decorative image - a header for the Solvaa blog post "Mastering Meeting Efficiency: How Automation Can Make Meetings Better"

Mastering Meeting Efficiency: How Automation Can Make Meetings Better

Meetings. A vital yet often frustrating feature in the landscape of business. Not many people look forward to meetings (there's a reason that "This could have been an email" is now a phrase so viral you can find it on mugs, t-shirts and more), and even fewer enjoy...
Featured image for blog post: AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy. Part 4: No code? No problem. Build an AI chatbot using Zapier.

AI-tomation Part 4: No code? No problem. Build an AI chatbot using Zapier.

Zapier's chatbots feature has graduated from its first version into beta, so if you've been thinking about creating your own AI chatbot, now's a great time to take the plunge! In this article, we'll cover how to create your chatbot and everything else that you need to...
Blog featured image for Solvaa blog post Using business automation software and excited to automate something new? Do these things first!

Using business automation software and excited to automate something new? Do these things first!

In the ever-evolving landscape of business processes, automation has become the cornerstone of efficiency and productivity. In this post, we'll delve into the art of enhancing your existing automation infrastructure by seamlessly integrating new automations into the...
Blog featured image: How to seamlessly weave automations into your process mapping

How to seamlessly weave automations into your process mapping

A process map is a visual representation of a workflow; they're useful for helping you identify issues and areas of improvement in your procedures. Process mapping also allows you to share and teach procedures across an organisation. Our previous post goes into more...
Solvaa blog post title image for post "New low-code features from Zapier bring automaton power to the people."

New low-code features from Zapier bring automation power to the people

Have you ever been frustrated when a Zapier app integration doesn't have the action you need? Or perhaps you have Zaps filled with webhook steps, and only the most technical people in your team know how to update or edit them? Zapier has built low-code features App...
Solvaa blog header image: Automate sales and marketing to make your holidays more jolly

Marketing and Sales Automations to Make Your Holidays More Jolly

Between Black Friday, Thanksgiving, and the holidays, November and December are busy times for businesses. Your busiest days may be yet to come, but if you want to get ahead, you need to start preparing as soon as possible. This post offers tips for automating and...
Header image for the Solvaa blog post AI-tomation: how Zapier is AI to make automation easy. Part 3 - AI apps to turbocharge your Zaps

AI-tomation: how Zapier is using AI to make automation easy

Welcome to the third instalment of our series on leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) with Zapier. In this edition, we explore different ways Zapier supports AI, like OpenAI and ChatGPT. This blog post shows how 'generative AI' and automation can increase...
Blog title image "There's an app for that, but do you need it?"

There’s an app for that, but do you need it?

From lead management to turning on the office coffee machine, there's an app for everything these days. When a task or process is time-consuming or difficult, it can be easy to jump straight to looking for something to do it for you. It's worth taking time to pause...
Solvaa blog header image: AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easy. Part 2 - Using AI to create Zaps and Zap actions

AI-tomation: how Zapier is using AI to make automation easy

Part 2 of our series of blogs on using AI in Zapier will delve into using AI to create Zaps and Zap actions. If you missed Part 1, which gives an overview of all the places that you can find AI in Zapier, check it out here: Part 1 - An overview of AI in Zapier In this...
Solvaa blog image header AI-tomation: How Zapier is using AI to make automation easier. Part 1 - An overview of AI in Zapier.

AI-tomation: how Zapier is using AI to make automation easy

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has revolutionised the way we do business. With so much potential, apps are increasingly building AI into their product. Zapier, the popular automation app, is no exception. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will explore the...
The head image for the blog post showing a photo of a calendar on a yellow background. Next to the calendar is the Solvaa Automation academy & consultancy logo. Under that are the logos for the Calendly and Zapier apps.

Create a Zap for rescheduled Calendly events by adding one simple step

When you're using Zapier, it can be frustrating if the trigger or action you need doesn't exist. If you're technically minded, you may be able to build your own, but sometimes there's a simpler solution. If you're using Calendly with Zapier, you'll know that there...
Diary open on a page with hourly sections and a pen poised over the 9am slot.

Why planning your day in advance will help you be more productive

If your to-do list is overflowing and work seems chaotic, then it might be time to take a more organised approach. We strongly believe that planning your day (and week!) in advance will help you be more productive. You'll get more done, with fewer interruptions, if...
Close-up of a woman using a portable credit card reader, holding a receipt which is being printed.

How to automate your sales funnel and win more business

Your sales cycle is one of the most important functions in your business so it's vital that it is efficient so that you can convert more sales and win more business. We have already covered how to automate your marketing tasks so this article concentrates on pushing...
Confused businessman standing at a crossroads with options to go left for Robotic Process Automation or right for Business Process Automation.

Which type of automation tools suit a small to medium sized business?

Automation is nothing new, with the first robot invented over 100 years ago (credited to Leonardo Torres y Quevedo for inventing a machine for playing chess if you're interested!), and manufacturing businesses first adopting the use of robots in their physical...
A group of young business people raising their hands in a business meeting.

Who would benefit from the Solvaa Automation Academy training programmes?

If you'd love to jump on the automation bandwagon but struggle to navigate the myriad of information you find online, then we can help. Even if you have dabbled with Zapier you might be worried that you're doing it wrong or are not 100% sure that you're using the...
A man's hand hovering over a laptop keyboard with the screen showing available appointment slots for a meeting.

How calendar apps can help you be more productive when booking meetings

 One of the biggest time sucks in business can be all the to-ing and fro-ing that you get when you're trying to organise a meeting with someone. You start by saying you're available on Mondays and Tuesdays, they then suggest a Tuesday, but you have a dentist...
Jigsaw pieces which have text for the benefits of automation and a separate piece which says Automation Blueprint, as a concept of the blueprint being the missing piece of the jigsaw.

Our automation blueprint : the perfect way to learn how to use Zapier

  We often talk about the benefits of business process automation but do you find the idea of automation a bit daunting? You may be keen to improve business performance, reduce human error and get rid of all the boring mundane tasks but wonder where on earth to...
Closeup of a man's hand over a laptop keyboard with a blank blue screen and folder and document icons floating over the screen.

How to boost productivity using Zapier to automate Google Docs

Creating documents is something that most businesses do every day, and it can be a time-consuming, manual task which is prone to error when the text or data is input incorrectly. Copying data from one app to another is so inefficient and the time wasted could be...
Automate ebook

Get our free ebook

Learn about how business process automation with Zapier can help you to run your business on autopilot. The ebook is packed with real-life examples, use cases, and success stories. Whatever kind of business you have, you can use automation to help you work smarter, not harder.

Thanks! Your ebook is on the way.

Pin It on Pinterest

Shares