How is hotglue different from Zapier? Can you use hotglue and Zapier together? Why should you use hotglue and Zapier together?
These are questions our team gets asked quite often, either from engineers already working with hotglue or potential teams that are looking to add integrations to their product. The short answer is yes, you can use hotglue and Zapier together, but whether or not you should depends on what you are trying to achieve for your end users.
Zapier is a tool that helps you automate workflows by connecting the SaaS products you use everyday.
For example, it can help you automate tasks like sending an email to a new customer that has signed up for your product.
In Zapier, you could achieve this by connecting your billing system (think Stripe) and your email marketing software (think Mailchimp). Then, every time you get a sign up, Zapier will receive a trigger from Stripe, and add the email to a Mailchimp campaign.
What should I use Zapier for?
As said before, Zapier helps you automate tasks for thousands different apps. We even use Zapier to automate some things at hotglue!
The best way to think about Zapier is like a “when this occurs, trigger this” logic machine that connects all of your SaaS apps.
Individual Use Case
Let’s start with a Zapier use case from an end user’s prospective. Imagine you had your own online shop where you sold the coolest t-shirts ever. You are having so much success that you are getting hundreds of orders for your shirts. But there are so many orders, you can’t keep up with all the t-shirts you need to pack! You realize you need a better system.
Here comes Zapier, the perfect system to automate a workflow to help you process more orders. To solve this issue, you want your online shop (let’s say you run it on Shopify) to send you an email with the order details every time a new order comes in.
In this situation, you would set up a Zap (what Zapier calls a pairing of integrations) that would send you an email every time a new order is created in Shopify. Now, instead of needing to track orders in Shopify, you can just use your email to see if you’ve packed the order for that t-shirt.
Product Use Case
Let’s now look at it from the perspective of a team building a product. Do you want your product to have a Zapier app? This would allow customers to bring in or pull out data to and from thousands of other business apps using no-code triggers.
Let’s imagine that you were building an email newsletter product called MailMonkey, and you wanted your users to get a notification every time a new contact signs up for one of the newsletters.
On the product team’s side, you would need to build a Zapier app for your users. They have a bunch of documentation on this, but the TL;DR is that you can use their no-code app builder or their CLI to build this Zapier app.
One you have the Zapier app built, your users can create a Zapier account, and build the Zaps to leverage it. Note that this requires some setup on their side, but you can also offer template Zaps to make things easier.
hotglue is a tool that helps software products offer their users native integrations with the other business tools they use (such as Salesforce, HubSpot, Quickbooks, etc.).
For example, if you were building a product that needed to bring in data from your customer’s CRMs (like Salesforce and HubSpot), you would use hotglue to power that integration. This would allow your app to read (and write) data to and from Salesforce for your users!
What should I use hotglue for?
hotglue is built for engineering teams that want to offer native integrations in their product.
hotglue is designed to give engineers the same flexibility as they would have when building integrations in-house, but without dealing with API edge cases, maintenance, and orchestration when syncing data to and from other systems.
Product Use Case
Let’s walk through an example of where someone uses hotglue.
One of our awesome early customers, Mailmodo, offers an email outreach tool for sending interactive forms and collecting responses.
If you have ever dealt with email marketing before, you know that personalization of an email (with fields like first name, company name, etc.) are key to success. Often times, these fields are already available in some system, such as a CRM like Salesforce and HubSpot or a product analytics system like Mixpanel.
Without a native integration, Mailmodo’s users would be forced to manually copy and paste these fields from their CRM into Mailmodo, or have to create messy spreadsheet exports. Obviously, that wouldn’t be a good user experience.
This is why native integrations are so essential! With a native integration, Mailmodo users can just link their business apps to Mailmodo – from there, hotglue handles syncing all the relevant data under the hood. No spreadsheets, no copy and paste. It just works 🪄
When you are building a product for businesses, and need to send data or receive data to users business apps, hotglue fits perfectly and helps facilitate the whole experience.
Should I offer a Zapier app and use hotglue (offer native integrations)?
The answer, of course, depends on your situation.
So when should you use hotglue and Zapier together?
There are certainly situations where you should use hotglue and Zapier together. As the examples above illustrate, Zapier is the perfect system for trigger-based integrations that aren’t moving lots of data.
hotglue is fantastic for deeper integrations that you want to sit natively inside of your product. Often these integrations may require some transformations and handle large amounts of historical data.
We believe that the best solution is a hybrid model. This combination of the two tools would have hotglue handle the deeper integrations your users care most about. This would allow for the hotglue-powered integrations to act as if you had built them natively, allowing for complex processes and transformations with tons of data.
Additionally, your product can offer a Zapier app to enable users to access the long tail of integrations that only some small subset of your users would want.
By using both hotglue and Zapier, your product will be able to integrate with the vast majority of business workflows. Further, by ensuring the most important integrations work natively, the experience for end-users will be seamless.
Your users matter
It also depends on your users! With Zapier, your users are required to pay for another tool, and need to do custom work to set up the Zap. Additionally, if an issue occurs with their Zap, you are removed from the actual data transfer, so you’d have to rely on users to debug what happened. Usually this results in a significant drop-off of users as the barrier to using your product becomes quite high.
With hotglue, the integration is embedded natively inside of your product, so all your users need to do is authenticate with the third-party system (for example, login to their Salesforce account). Additionally, when things go wrong, you have complete access and control over the integration so you can see debug what happens without requiring the user to take action on their side.
Wrapping it up
In conclusion, combining the advantages of tools like hotglue and Zapier together enables your product to offer users options that will help your product grow in the fastest way possible.
Whether a user wants to directly hook their other SaaS tools into yours via the hotglue native integrations, or wants to use Zapier to wire multiple applications together, your product will be able to handle it.
If you have any questions on how to get started building native integrations, or how to offer integrations, feel free to reach out to us at email@example.com or find a time to chat with us here!