Zapier integrations have become a go-to solution for businesses who need to streamline their workflows and integrate their online tools.
If you’re like most businesses today, you need your online tools to talk to each other, and your LMS is no exception. We rely on Zapier integrations to help our clients integrate their Learning Management Systems with their other online tools.
What is Zapier
Zapier is a service that allows non-technical users to configure sophisticated integrations between the apps they use, and to automate everyday workflows. And by “apps” we mean any online tool you may use in your business – tools like Google Suite, Salesforce, Slack, Facebook, Office 365, Asana, etc..
Zapier has a large library of available apps (over 5,000 as of this writing). At this point in time, you’ll be hard pressed to find an app that isn’t in their library. You can search their app library right on their site – even if you don’t have an account.
What is a Zapier Integration
In Zapier, an integration is called a “Zap.” At its simplest, a Zap consists of a trigger and an action. For example, a sale from your website could be a “trigger” to complete an “action” that adds the purchaser to your LMS and enrolls them in a specific course.
A more complex Zap might continue our example above by:
- searching for the purchaser in your CRM,
- adding them to your CRM if they don’t exist,
- sending them a welcome email directly from your Gmail account,
- adding them to a Google Sheet in your Google Workspace,
- and so forth.
Zaps can include any number of steps and incorporate any number of apps, including Zapier custom apps for more advanced functions like branching logic or filtering.
Zapier Integrations and Your LMS
One of the criteria we use to judge whether an LMS makes our preferred list, is how well the LMS integrates with other online tools and apps. You may want to add this criteria yourself if you are still in the process of choosing your LMS. But be careful!
Each app on Zapier has its own collection of triggers and actions. This means that, even if the app is available for use on Zapier, it may not provide the exact triggers or actions you need for your integrations. Therefore, it is important to do your research.
Zapier’s app exploration tool can help you research the triggers and actions for a specific app.
This research step can also assist in choosing other tools that will eventually need to integrate with your LMS.
Typical LMS Zapier Integrations
Our team is regularly tasked with finding workarounds for our client’s Learning Management Systems. Even the most robust LMS can’t accommodate every single use case, and Zapier can often provide the best workaround.
Here are some common use cases for which Zapier Is often the best solution. (Stay tuned for future posts where we delve into some of these use cases in more detail.)
Zapier integrations are an effective way to automate enrollment into courses on your LMS based on sales from a website or ecommerce platform.
Using new sales as your trigger, you can add new users, enroll users into courses, or perform any number of other actions on your LMS.
If you train sales associates or customers, then integrating your CRM with your LMS is crucial. Zapier integrations can help your partners and customers get the training they need on demand.
Zaps can help you assign the right training from triggered criteria in your CRM, or even send training information back to your CRM from your LMS so you can track progress from one dashboard.
Single Source of Truth (SSoT)
Maintaining a Single Source of Truth (a single location for all your data) for employee or customer data can be a challenge for any business.
Zapier can help maintain the integrity of your SSoT by integrating your training data with your HRIS or whatever tool serves as your SSoT.
Zapier integrations can help you streamline your communications with learners. Zaps can be used to trigger custom email messages sent from your own email client (Gmail, Outlook, etc.).
Zaps can also help you build a mailing list from your learners by sending contact from your LMS to MailChimp or other email marketing apps.
Emails can even be forwarded to Zapier from other apps and parsed of information to be used as triggers or in actions.
Sometimes an LMS just can’t generate the exact reports you need. A Zap can help by pushing training data to Google Sheets or any number of other spreadsheet applications. Data can be formatted prior to sending along as well.
Zapier can also integrate your LMS with a Learning Record Store in case you want to run analytics on xAPI results.
Using Zapier for Training Workflows
Each training program is a bit different, and your LMS may not accommodate everything you had envisioned in your initial plan.
Here are some examples of training workflows Zapier could help facilitate:
- Triggering that a learner be added to a Slack channel upon completion of specific training
- Issuing a digital certificate from Credly upon completion of a learning path
- Adding a learner to a discussion on Discord to complete an assignment
- Scheduling an live Zoom evaluation upon a failing grade
Having Zapier in your corner means you can start thinking about incorporating workflows you thought you’d have to put off based on the limitations of your LMS.
How Elearning Delta Can Help
The Elearning Delta team can plan, set up, test, and even manage Zaps that integrate your online tools and workflows with your LMS.