“How to partner with me” is a new series where we explore the inner workings of partner programs to help you better understand how to partner with them. Want to be featured? Leave a comment on this LinkedIn post.
Tech integrations are like cooking dinner: it’s always easier if someone else does it.
Well, Zapier wants to be your new chef. Founded in 2011, the fully-remote company connects apps and workflows to enable simple integrations (which Zapier calls “zaps”). This can be as basic as: “When I get a new email, send my phone a text.” And as complex as “When I add a new contact to Salesforce, create a new card in Trello, assign it to Mary, and then notify the #sales channel in Slack.”
Some sample "Zaps" with WordPress, Twitter, MailChimp, and EventBrite
As a result, Zapier has a thriving partner ecosystem of more than 1,500 apps and SaaS products — which pretty much includes every SaaS product you’ve ever heard of.
Emily Breuninger is a partner manager at Zapier where she launches and supports new integrations. We asked her how you can join the Zapier ecosystem:
This discussion was edited for length and clarity.
We’re looking for… technology partnerships. The conversation here is easy: Do you have a software program that can connect to other software programs? Do you have a public API that works with our software? Then you can partner with us. We can work with SOAP and XML, but prefer JSON.
The benefit to our partners is.... they don’t have to maintain hundreds of integrations themselves. They can cover any big or long-tail use case for their users without putting in the dev time to build and maintain.
We also market integrations to our 4.5 million users. We have large email lists, a large blog readership, and our app directory. Small companies and startups especially benefit from our network effect and the audience we can drive to their software.
One type of partner we’re looking for is … anything involving managing leads. That’s usually project management tools and CRMs. Historically we see a lot of use cases there and could always use more of. Also: real estate apps! It’s so fragmented. But a big one is travel. That includes property management, booking travel, hospitality.
A successful partner for Zapier is … one that listens to the community to add new features.
On Zapier, you can start very lightweight and we recommend that. We connect triggers (a start event) and actions (a write event). You can start with just one trigger event. Once you launch that we collect user feedback for requests for new triggers and a good partner is responsive to that.
Successful partners also get the word out. Zapier is on the back-end and is a third party. The end-user doesn’t always know they can use us to solve integration requests. So our best partners are excited by the integration and empower their sales and marketing teams to spread the word and tell the story to their users.
We work with partners to at least make sure they have a help doc on their site. But we also have tools to give our partners contextual use cases. We’ve done training, we have one sheet-ers, and we have an entire YouTube university.
One thing that we do that is unique is … we genuinely care! It sounds touchy-feely, but so be it. There’s a sincere network effect on both sides. Even though we're an automation company, we put a lot of effort into these partnerships. We have a team of nine people dedicated to this.
In the next year, our partner program will … really nail the developer experience. We’ll also start marketing more and I’ll be attending more conferences. So say hello!
You can partner with Zapier by visiting its partner program portal.