When you work online, owning software is just a way of life.
At last count, I have subscriptions to exactly 13 pieces of software. Anything from Canva (for digital graphics work) to SERanking (for search engine data) to Vellum (book formatting software). All of them, I would argue, are completely necessary to effectively manage different aspects of online work.
Except one: Zapier.
I’ve waited literal years to remove that thorn out of my side, and it feels oh so good.
What is Zapier?
Zapier is a software company that provides integrations between two different pieces of software. If you have one SaaS (Software as a Service) application that pulls blogs automatically from a website and another that posts those to social media, you’ll need software like Zapier to connect them.
Zapier is part of a bigger form of programming called “If This, Then That,” or IFTT, for short. It’s a form of a cause and effect — when one thing happens over here, it causes something else to happen over there.
It’s an unfortunate reality of the fast paced world we live in. When news breaks or someone signs up for something, you may have minutes or even seconds to make sure the next actions moves forward. If not, you’re in a distant second place.
So, Why am I Ditching Zapier?
For the last seven years, I have had an ongoing Zapier subscription for the sole purpose of connecting Facebook lead generation ads to my various email services (Constant Contact, Mailerlite, ActiveCampaign, et. al.).
It’s not cheap. Even on the base plan that I have, I’ve shelled out $20 a month for this one simple automation. It was necessary though; if I wanted those emails to go out on autopilot, Zapier was the only (reasonable) game in town. Other automation softwares were exponentially more expensive or difficult to learn.
Allow me to clarify this one point though: Zapier is really, really good at what it does, it was just way more firepower than I needed.
For that same base plan, I could’ve conducted thousands of complex operations instantaneously. I just didn’t need to. For people that do, Zapier is a very popular choice (and understandably so).
The only reason I’ve had to pay that $20 a month is because there weren’t any other suitable options on the market. I’ve tried them all:
- Zoho: Too expensive.
- Automate.io: Too confusing.
- Pabbly: Too…weird.
There has never been an easy-to-use alternative that provided the simple automation of connecting Facebook leads to a mail service. Even if it were half as expensive, I would’ve switched in a heartbeat.
Fortunately, I found one last week that could do it for free.
I first encountered make.com a few years ago when I was looking for a Zapier alternative. At that point, it was called Integromat, and I was either too dense or too poor to really dive into it.
Browsing a Reddit forum last week though, I saw several people recommending Make.com, specifically as an alternative to Zapier. I didn’t know about Integromat rebranding as Make (and not sure I would’ve cared), so I checked it out.
The first thing I noticed was that they offered a free plan. So far so good.
Next, I noticed that they offered an integration between Facebook lead ads and Sendfox. Another win, especially considering that Zapier considers Facebook Lead Gen ads as a “premium” connection, so it’s not available unless you’re on a paid plan.
Finally, I saw they offered 1,000 “operations,” which is their term for tasks. That’s 250 more than the 750 I was getting from Zapier’s base plan. When I need to upgrade, their Core plan offers 10,000 operations for only $9 per month.
Note: At the time of this writing, I’m not exactly sure what constitutes an “operation.” A task in Zapier used to be a full connection between lead ads and email service, so 750 tasks constituted 750 leads. With Make.com, I’m already at 350 “operations” in less than a week. Either my ads are scaling fast or an operation refers to something more nuanced. I’ll update once I find out.
Those three components together — free plan, higher task limit, and the integrations I needed — were enough to convince me to make the switch. I started by creating the connections I used on Zapier, then switched the Zapier tasks off to check the connection, and waited.
After a week, I haven’t noticed a single hiccup. I’m sold.
See Ya, Zapier!
I’m so happy to be done with Zapier. I’ve likened our relationship over the last several years to that of a high schooler with a driver’s license and a brand new Maserati. It’ll certainly do the job, but waaaay too much horsepower. I’m perfectly happy on Make’s free plan for now.
Unfortunately, Zapier also has a no refund policy once you use tasks on their plan, so I can’t even cancel and get my. money back. I dropped $239.88 a few months ago for an entire year of Zapier. Wish I had found Make.com before then.
For those that have tried Make, what are your thoughts? Drop me a line and let me know!