Introduction

Have you tried integrating GetResponse and Zapier, only to find out that GetResponse is a Zapier premium app? Zapier is a natural choice whenever you need to link together two web services that don’t have a direct integration. Zenler recommends Zapier for a number of autoresponders. However, what if you want to connect to a service that isn’t supported by Zapier (or requires a premium app)? Fear not! There’s one wildcard “integration” that solves (almost) everything – and it’s completely free. In this article, we’re going to link Zenler to GetResponse using Zapier. The method outlined should work with any autoresponder that doesn’t have an app on Zapier.

Shortcut to downloading the complete tutorial as PDF? Click here!

You also can hire me for a done-for-you autoresponder integration!

When Web Services Don’t Know Each Other

Zenler ist a great online course hosting platform, with a clear pricing scheme, no hidden fees, a nice support team and features that other platforms have neglected so far (such as EU VAT handling). However, sometimes it seems to skimp on integrations. Some course platforms directly integrate with many other services, but Zenler limits itself to a chosen few.

If you handle your email subscribers with Mailchimp, you’ll be fine. Input your API key and List ID in Zenler, and Zenler will automatically send subscribers to your list in Mailchimp. But what can you do if you use an autoresponder that Zenler doesn’t know about? (such as GetResponse, ActiveCampaign or ConvertKit)

Zenler supports “webhooks”, a simple mechanism that can be used to connect services that don’t know each other. This is how it works:

  • When a webhook is fired, Zenler simply connects to a URL and sends data to that URL.
  • If the URL you’re connecting to understands the data it receives, it will process it.

In most cases, the receiving end will expect data in some specific format. If you’re not able to configure the format in which data is sent, you need to use a 3rd party translation service between the two services you’re connecting.

Since we can’t configure our sending format in Zenler so that GetResponse will be happy with it, we’ll

  1. send subscriber data from Zenler to Zapier,
  2. convert input data received from Zenler to output data as expected by GetResponse
  3. Send the newly formatted data to GetResponse.

Zapier has many integrations with other services so that you can easily send data to those services. These “Zapier apps” are pre-configured and know which data format is expected by the receiving end. Here’s the problem with GetResponse.

The Getresponse and Zapier for Free Challenge

Here’s what a fellow online instructor wrote: “Has anyone linked Zenler to Getresponse without using the $20-month Zapier intermediate they recommend?

GetResponse is a premium Zapier app, which you can only get access to if you have a paid Zapier plan at $20/month. If all you want to do is link Zenler and send contacts to GetResponse, that’s a bit of a steep price to pay. However, if you’re already paying for Zapier (because you need some of the other features or more than the 5 free Zaps), you should choose the premium app. It’s the easiest way to set this integration up. You can follow the instructions in Zenler’s AWeber article. If you want a free solution, read on!

Webhooks

Zenler and Zapier both support Webhooks. Getting data from Zenler to Zapier is thus quite easy.

Webhooks, simply put, are URLs where a server is listening for input. Other webapps can send input to such a webhook. If input is received, an action is carried out. We can use this mechanism to link services together. If you follow the Zenler-AWeber integration guide, here’s what will happen:

  • You set up a webhook in Zapier. Now Zapier is listening for input on a URL.
  • You will tell Zenler to call that URL whenever a new user registers.
  • Whenever Zapier receives input, it will then use the AWeber* app as an action to subscribe users to your list, sending data to AWeber in a format AWeber expects.

*you may replace AWeber with ActiveCampaign or any other autoresponder app.

Now our problem is that we don’t have a GetResponse app to use as an action (at least if we don’t want to pay for it). We need to find another way of forwarding our data received from Zenler by Zapier to GetResponse. Well, let’s just use webhooks again!

Subscribing Users to GetResponse Using Webhook Actions

Zapier doesn’t only provide listening webhooks, it can also send data to webhooks. We can thus take the data it receives and send it elsewhere. But where? GetResponse doesn’t have a documented webhook API. Or does it?

Normally, when you set up a subscription form to capture email addresses, you generate form code in your autoresponder application. You may also use a WordPress plugin to do the same. This will generate html to show a form when your website is rendered in a web browser. When a user subscribes to your list using that form, the browser will actually take all the input in the form, bundle it together and send that data to the autoresponder service by calling a URL – which is, essentially, a webhook.

Our strategy is thus to make Zapier imitate the behavior of an html form. If you look at the html code of a subscription form, this form will tell you everything you need to know to set up a webhook action in Zapier.

Linking GetResponse and Zenler Using Zapier

Here’s a walkthrough to send subscribers from Zenler to Zapier, and then onwards to GetResponse using webhooks. This should work for any other autoresponder service, you’ll simply need to replace form data with the correct values. This is the compact version – for a complete tutorial with all the steps and screenshots, there’s a free PDF download available. Click here!.

Creating our Listening Hook in Zapier

  • First, create a new Zap in Zapier.
  • Choose “Webhooks” as your trigger app and “catch hook”.

../../../../../Screenshots/Screenshot%202016-11-18%2020.07.00.png

  • You can skip the next screen (“Pick off a child key”). Copy the generated hook URL from the next screen.
  • Before we move on to setting up our Zapier action, let’s first connect Zenler to the webhook we’ve just created!

Connecting Zenler to Zapier

Setting up webhooks in Zenler is easy, and it’s explained in all the Zenler tutorials concerning Zapier.

  • Insert your webhook URL you copied from Zapier on the integrations tab in Zenler,
  • connect it to the “school signup” event
  • and click “add”. The Zenler side of things is now taken care of.

../../../../../Screenshots/Screenshot%202016-11-18%2020.13.36.png

  • You can now go back to Zapier, and select “Ok, I did this” in the testing step. Zapier will now listen for a test.
  • Go back to Zenler, and click “Test”
  • This is what you should see in Zapier before moving on:

../../../../../Screenshots/Screenshot%202016-11-18%2020.40.40.png

Getting Form Information from GetResponse

Before we set up our target action, we need to collect the necessary data. Basically, we need an html subscriber form from your autoresponder, and read all the relevant data from that form. Here’s how to do this with GetResponse:

  • Create a new HTML form

Then, take note of

  • The form action URL. This is your webhook URL
  • The names of all your input fields (if you add fields, otherwise it’s only “email”)
  • The value of your “campaign_token”

 

02campaigntoken

Sending Subscriber Data from Zapier to GetResponse

Now we’re ready to connect Zapier to GetReponse.

  • Go back to your Zap setup in Zapier. We left it after we’d set up and tested the Trigger.
  • Move on to define an Action, and
  • choose the “Webhooks” app!
  • Now, select the “POST” type.

An HTTP POST is basically what happens when a form is sent by a web browser. We’re thus mimicking browser behavior.

../../../../../Screenshots/Screenshot%202016-11-18%2020.23.36.png

Now it’s time to use the data we’ve collected.

  • Insert your form action URL in “URL”.
  • In “Data”, you need to insert key-value pairs for all your input fields of your subscription form.
  • Start by inserting “campaign_token” and set the value to whatever your value was in your form.
  • Add “submit” in a new line, and set the value to “Subscribe”

 

03data

For all dynamic input fields (such as email address, first name, last name, etc.), you need to

  • insert the name in the left hand side column.
  • On the right hand side, click the little plus icon, and Zapier will suggest values it received from Zenler during testing. Connect at least email to email.

For the remaining values, choose

  • Payload type: Form
  • Wrap request in array: No
  • Unflatten: No

Then

  • Continue,
  • name your Zap and
  • finish setup.

Now you’re done setting up your webhook. If you require double opt-in, it doesn’t make much sense to use the testing data sent by Zenler, as the fake email address won’t be able to opt in. You’ll need to sign up as a new user in Zenler and see what happens.

Too complicated? Hire me for a done-for-you autoresponder integration!

 

Or learn how to use Zapier by yourself with this FREE course!