In today’s fast-paced business environment, every minute counts. Companies that want to stay competitive need to maximize productivity and efficiency. This is where automation comes in. According to Zapier’s 2021 State of Business Automation report, the majority of knowledge workers say automation makes them more productive and happier at work. But simply using basic automation tools like Zapier isn’t enough – you need to master advanced features to truly transform your workflows.

This guide will provide actionable tips to help you get the most out of Zapier and become an automation wizard. By learning how to create multi-step Zaps, manipulate data with the Formatter, integrate APIs with Custom Request, and more, you’ll be able to build sophisticated workflows that save time and eliminate tedious tasks. Read on to unlock the secrets of Zapier mastery and start working smarter.

Multi-Step Zaps

One of the most powerful advanced functions in Zapier is the ability to create multi-step Zaps. With multi-step Zaps, you can go beyond basic one-trigger, one-action workflows and automate entire processes from start to finish.

To create a multi-step Zap, simply add additional steps after your initial trigger. You can insert actions from any of Zapier’s integrated apps, apply filters, add delays, branch into multiple paths, and much more. Chaining together these steps allows you to model complex real-world workflows and translate them into automated processes.

For example, you could create a multi-step Zap that polls your helpdesk for new tickets, reaches out to the customer via email, creates a task in your project management tool, and then schedules a calendar event for follow-up. This eliminates the need to manually execute each step every time a new ticket comes in.

The key benefit of multi-step Zaps is that you can ensure all required actions happen in the right sequence. This saves you time, reduces human error from manual work, and improves consistency across your workflows. As per this Zapier article, multi-step Zaps give you more control and closely match how your team gets work done.


The Formatter function lets you manipulate data between steps in your Zap. You can modify text, numbers, dates, and more to get your data in the exact format you need. This is particularly useful when you’re dealing with different apps that require specific data formats, ensuring seamless integration.

For example, you may want to extract just the first name from a full name field before sending it to another app. Or add 7 days to a date to schedule a follow-up one week later. Formatter has over 40 text, math, date/time, and advanced utilities to transform your data on the fly.

Some key capabilities include:

  • Extracting parts of text like names, phone numbers, URLs
  • Changing date/time formats
  • Performing math operations
  • Generating unique IDs
  • Adding or subtracting time
  • Merging multiple text fields
  • Converting cases, encoding, and more

By adding Formatter between steps where data formats need to be changed, you can seamlessly connect apps without hard coding or manual interventions. Automate data transformation with just a few clicks. As Zapier explains in their Formatter guide, it’s an easy way to “automatically format text the way you want.”

Code Steps

One of the most powerful advanced features in Zapier is the ability to add custom code directly into your Zaps using Code Steps. This opens up endless possibilities by allowing you to write snippets of JavaScript or Python to extend Zapier’s capabilities beyond what’s available in the standard actions.

To add a Code Step, click the “+” button in your Zap editor and select “Code by Zapier” from the actions list. You can choose either JavaScript or Python. The code will have access to the input data from previous steps, and its output can be used in subsequent steps.

Some examples of what you can do with Code Steps:

  • Transform or validate data using logic that’s not built into normal actions
  • Make API calls to external services and work with the response
  • Generate dynamic content like unique IDs or timestamps
  • Run advanced calculations or statistical operations

Code Steps open up nearly endless possibilities, making Zapier infinitely flexible. Refer to Zapier’s JavaScript and Python code examples for ideas on how to integrate custom code into your Zaps.

Custom Request

Connect to any web API with Zapier’s Custom Request action. Pass data to and from any service with an API, even if Zapier doesn’t have a built-in integration. This feature is incredibly powerful for integrating with niche or proprietary systems, making it a versatile tool in your automation arsenal.

According to Zapier’s documentation, the Custom Request action allows you to send webhooks with GET, POST, PUT methods and even parse the response data automatically. This provides flexibility to connect Zapier workflows to virtually any API endpoint.

With Custom Request, you can integrate Zapier with APIs that don’t have pre-built integrations. This opens up many possibilities for automation by bridging Zapier to niche systems and proprietary APIs. The ability to both send requests and parse responses also facilitates two-way communication and data exchange.

Overall, the Custom Request function is an essential tool for Zapier power users. It enables integration with any web API to expand the possibilities for workflow automation beyond Zapier’s default application integrations.


One powerful advanced function in Zapier is Paths. Paths allow you to create conditional logic in your Zaps. You can define custom if/then rules that route your data down different sequences of actions.

For example, you could set up a Zap with two paths: one path for new customers and one path for existing customers. The path logic would check if the customer is new or existing, and send the data down the corresponding path to trigger appropriate actions.

Here’s how Paths work:

  • You define if/then criteria to create separate paths in your Zap.
  • Incoming data is evaluated against your path rules to determine which path it should go down.
  • The data triggers the actions only for the matching path.

With Paths, you can build sophisticated workflows that adapt based on the data. This enables advanced conditional logic without complex coding.

Paths are ideal for scenarios like:

  • Sending new user welcome emails vs. promotions to existing users.
  • Routing support tickets based on priority level.
  • Performing different actions for paid vs. trial customers.

The key is Paths allow you to handle complex logic and scenarios easily, ensuring your Zaps run properly every time.

Lookup Tables

Lookup Tables allow you to cross-reference and enrich data in your Zaps by pulling in related information from a spreadsheet. This is an invaluable function for scenarios where you need to match or merge data from different sources to enhance the quality and usefulness of your information flow.

For example, you could create a Lookup Table connecting customer names to their unique customer ID numbers. Then in your Zap, when a new customer name comes in, you can lookup their ID and append it automatically before sending the data to your CRM. This saves you from having to manually match IDs every time.

Lookup Tables are easy to set up as a step in any Zap. Simply choose your desired spreadsheet, select the lookup key column and return column, and Zapier will handle the cross-referencing behind the scenes. You can return a single value or even multiple columns of related data.

According to Zapier’s documentation, Lookup Tables are ideal for:

  • Appending additional data to your workflows
  • Standardizing messy data by referencing a canonical lookup list
  • Performing data validation against a list of options

With the flexibility to reference Google Sheets, Airtable, Excel, or CSV files, Lookup Tables make cross-referencing a breeze. Take advantage of this powerful feature to simplify data wrangling and get even more value from your workflows. As Zapier advises, “Don’t be afraid of the lookup table!”

Learn more in Zapier’s Lookup Table documentation.


Persist data between Zap runs using Zapier’s Storage function. Easily stash information like IDs, timestamps, or user-inputted values for use in future Zap runs. This feature is essential for workflows that require data persistence, such as tracking the status of a multi-step process over time.

According to Zapier’s help documentation, “Storage is a tool that allows you to create a data store to save and retrieve data from different Zap runs or Zaps.”

For example, you could use Storage to increment a counter each time a Zap runs, keeping track of how many times it has executed. Or you could store user input from a form to reference later in your workflow. The possibilities are endless!

Storage allows you to persist data independently of the apps in your Zaps, enabling sophisticated workflows not possible otherwise. With Storage, you unlock the full potential of Zapier automation.


Trigger Zaps in real-time using Webhooks. Pipe in data instantly from any application that supports outgoing webhooks for the fastest automations. This is ideal for time-sensitive tasks that require immediate action, ensuring that your workflows are as efficient as possible.

Webhooks allow you to instantly trigger actions in Zapier whenever something happens in an external app or service. As soon as the source app sends a webhook payload to the Zapier webhook URL, it will activate the Zap without delay. This is perfect for automating tasks that need to happen right away when certain events occur.

For example, you could set up a webhook so that whenever someone submits a form on your website, it immediately triggers a Zap to add that data to your CRM. Or you could receive a Slack notification anytime someone registers on your site by having the registration webhook activate a Slack post Zap.

The key benefit of webhooks is removing lag time between an event happening and your Zap reacting to it. This allows you to automate time-critical workflows with precision and speed. According to Zapier, webhooks are “automated messages sent from apps when something happens”. Leverage them to create real-time Zap triggers.


Consolidate data from multiple Zap runs into a single daily, weekly, or monthly batch with the Digest function. Ideal for periodic reporting and notifications, this function allows you to summarize and organize your data for better insights and decision-making.

Digest lets you compile information from multiple triggers of a Zap into a single email or document. For example, you can have a Zap that logs new sales in a spreadsheet whenever a form is submitted, triggering the Zap. With Digest, instead of getting multiple emails whenever the Zap is triggered, you can have all the sales data compiled into a single daily or weekly email digest.

This is perfect for summarizing and batching information on a schedule, rather than getting bombarded with real-time notifications. Digest lets you control the frequency and destination of your compiled data. You can send digests daily, weekly, monthly or on any custom schedule. The digest can be emailed, stored in a notes app, added to a spreadsheet, or sent anywhere a Zap can connect.

Digest is great for periodic reporting and notifications, ensuring you get a consolidated view of your data versus many piecemeal updates. This transforms scattered information into an organized, batched summary for more effective insights and decision making.


Filters allow you to refine the data that passes through your Zaps by setting up conditional logic. With Filters, you can specify criteria that the data must meet in order for the Zap to continue executing. This ensures that only relevant information triggers your workflows, maintaining their integrity and usefulness.

For example, you may set up a Filter in your Zap that checks if a date field is within the past week. If the date meets that condition, the Zap continues and performs the desired actions using that data. But if the date is older than a week, the Zap stops right there. Filters give you precise control over the inputs to your Zaps.

Some ways you can use Filters include:

  • Checking if a numeric field falls within a certain range
  • Matching text fields against a predefined list of keywords
  • Evaluating date fields to see if they meet temporal criteria
  • Assessing boolean values like checkboxes
  • Comparing fields to see if they have specific relationships

With robust conditional logic, Filters enable you to create focused Zaps that only operate on relevant data that meets your customized criteria. This results in more efficient and effective workflows. According to Zapier’s help documentation, “Filters allow Zaps to only perform actions on the items you want.” (1)


In summary, mastering Zapier’s advanced functions allows you to take your workflows to the next level. By utilizing powerful automation tools like multi-step Zaps, Code Steps, Webhooks, and Paths, you can create sophisticated workflows tailored to your unique needs.

Chaining multiple steps together in a logical sequence saves you time by removing manual work. Custom code snippets and API integrations provide unlimited flexibility to connect niche apps and transform data on the fly. Real-time triggers ensure instant response times for time-sensitive tasks.

Most importantly, mastering these advanced capabilities boosts your productivity and effectiveness. Automating complex processes from end-to-end improves efficiency and frees up your time for higher-value work. The ability to handle diverse scenarios and data sources improves the relevance and utility of your workflows.

Investing the effort into Zapier mastery pays dividends in time savings and business results. If you’re looking to take your productivity to the next level, start learning these advanced functions today. You’ll unlock new possibilities and streamline workflows, empowering you to get more done.

Frequently Asked Questions About Advanced Zapier Functions

Here are some common questions about using advanced features in Zapier to supercharge your workflows:

What are the main benefits of using multi-step Zaps?

Multi-step Zaps allow you to automate entire processes by chaining together sequences of actions, filters, and delays. This eliminates the need for manual intervention at each step, improving efficiency and accuracy. Learn more about multi-step Zaps.

When should I use code steps in my Zapier workflow?

Code steps enable you to add custom JavaScript or Python directly into a Zap when you need additional flexibility or capabilities not available in the standard actions. Use code for data transformations, connecting to APIs, complex conditional logic, and more. See examples of code steps in Zapier.

How can I use Paths to handle different scenarios in a workflow?

Paths allow you to define if/then logic and routing rules to send data down different sequences based on custom criteria. This is perfect for handling different use cases or scenarios within an automated workflow. Learn how to build conditional logic with Paths.

What types of data can I store with Zapier’s Storage function?

The Storage function lets you persist any data between Zap runs, like IDs, timestamps, user inputs, or calculation results. This is useful when you need to track status across multiple runs of a Zap. See examples of using Storage in a Zap.

Contact Me for Zapier Integration Services

As you read this article, I hope you gained valuable insights into mastering advanced Zapier functions to optimize your workflows. If you’re looking to take the next step and implement these techniques, I’m available to help!

With over 5 years of experience as a Zapier integration expert, I can work directly with you to build and deploy custom automations using these advanced functions. My services include:

  • Multi-step Zap configuration
  • API and webhook integration
  • Custom formatting and data manipulation
  • Conditional logic with filters and paths
  • Data persistence with storage
  • Digest and reporting workflows

I tailor solutions to your specific needs, ensuring you get the most out of Zapier. To discuss your project and automation goals, please visit my Upwork profile here:

With the right Zapier expert on your team, you can build workflows that supercharge your productivity beyond what you imagined possible. Let’s connect and automate your business to new heights!

About the Author

Justin Adamski is an automation and integration expert with over 10 years of experience helping businesses improve efficiency through smart workflows. He is passionate about leveraging tools like Zapier to unlock productivity and streamline operations. Justin offers freelance Zapier implementation and training services to help companies get the most out of this powerful automation platform.

When he’s not building Zaps, you can find Justin outdoors enjoying nature and spending time with his family. He also enjoys tinkering with new automation tools and reading about the latest trends in business process improvement. Justin is available for hire on Upwork to help with your automation projects.

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