In this guide we will walk through how to use Lob’s Zapier integration to automatically send postcards whenever new users are added to your mailing list. Zapier is a tool that allows you to connect the apps you use to automate the tasks you perform by letting you trigger an activity in one app based off of an action in another app.
Before we begin, please be sure that you have already opened accounts with Lob + Google + Zapier as you are going to need them to create this automation. Here we will be using a Google Sheets file as our existing mailing list. This kind of setup will significantly reduce the amount of manual work needed to send out mail and can be generalized for a number of different situations.
Phase 1: Setting up Google Sheets as your Trigger event in Zapier.
1. Create an account by going to the Zapier website.
2. From the home screen click on one of the “Make a Zap!” buttons to get started:
3. Select Google Sheets from the drop down list of available Trigger Apps.
4. Our triggering event will be “New Spreadsheet Row”; so whenever a new row is created on our Google Sheet, Zapier will have the go-ahead to take an action on your behalf:
5. Connect your Google account to Zapier and give Zapier access to the account.
6. Once your account is connected, test out the connection using the “Test” option. If the connection works you will see the grey “Test” box turn into a green “Success!” box.
7. Pick a spreadsheet + worksheet to pull information from. This will serve as the starting point for your automation so please make certain that the correct information is being pulled.
8. Once a spreadsheet and a worksheet have been selected, Zapier will pick a sample row. If the information accurately reflects what is found on the sheet, select the “Continue” option.
9. Congratulations! You are halfway to automating your workflow. The only step left is to configure the action you want Zapier to take after your trigger is initiated.
Phase 2: Setting up your Action
1. From the screen you left off on in Phase 1, continue to build your Zap by clicking on the blue “Your Zap currently lacks an Actin step. Add one now!” text. Alternatively you can also click on the “+ Add a Step” button on the left side of your screen.
2. Select Lob to be your Action App.
3. Select “Send Postcard” as the action Lob will take after the Zap is initiated by the Trigger.
4. Connect your Lob account to Zapier and give Zapier access to the account so it can take action on your behalf.
5. Once you connect your Lob account, you will receive a pop-up screen instructing you to verify this request by entering your API key.For the purpose of illustrating this workflow, copy and paste in your Test API Key from your Lob Dashboard. Please note that requests sent with your Test API key will not cause mail to be sent or charged; rather it will simply show if your integration is flowing through correctly. Once you’ve confirmed that the integration is working as you expect, you can return to this step and swap in your Live API Key.
6. Once the API key is passed then you will have the option to test the connection. If you click the “Test” button on the right and everything is valid then you will see a green “Success!” button.
7. Fill in the appropriate information needed to complete your mail. Note that some fields are optional and others are required.
A) The green “Setup Preview” icon allows you to see an example of what your named variable would look like in your Zap. If you do not enable it you will not see an example.
B) Be sure that you are preparing your content correctly. For more information on how to properly set your content for Zapier/Lob go here. Please note that in our example here, we are inserting HTML directly into Zapier (HTML templates can be found here). Alternatively, you can also provide a link to a PDF, PNG, or JPG file.
C) Repeat the step above to add content to the back of your postcard. We will again be inserting HTML directly into Zapier.
D) Add the address that will be receiving the postcard.
d1) We’re going to use Zapier’s named variables function here; this time on the Address.
d2) By using the named variable function Zapier will pull the corresponding information for me every time a new entry is added to the Google Sheet.
E) Lob defaults to USPS First Class Mail (a faster option), but standard mail is also an option.
Phase 3: Test to Confirm
1. The second to last step is to test the entire Zap (From Trigger to Action).
2. Zapier will run a test, and once it runs through successfully you will be notified at the top of the page. An additional alert will tell you how long it’s been since the test was successful.
3. The final step is to formally name your Zap and turn it on.If the Zap is not on, then Zapier will not execute against the workflow you set up in Phases 1 + 2).