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How to automate multiple emails that include a Zoom link + automate Google Calendar invites that include a Zoom link

I'm helping a small team that has successfully pivoted from in-person to Zoom programs. Now, they want to get more efficient!

They host 100+ programs on Zoom each month. Here's their current process: 
1. Manually enter program info into a row in a Google Sheet
2. Export program info from Google Sheet into a ticket in HubSpot 
3. Create Zoom link inside of Zoom
4. Create a Google Calendar event with a hidden guest list, paste Zoom link, and invite client and teacher
5. Paste Zoom link in HubSpot ticket
6. Schedule a series of 4 emails in HubSpot with Zoom link and program info to be sent to the client and teacher

Problems: 
- If an edit needs to be made to the program, all of the scheduled emails must be deleted and created again because HubSpot doesn't have a feature to edit afterward. (unless $30k a year is spent for Marketing Hub)
- It is time-consuming to manually do the steps in the process for 100+ programs each month. 

I'm considering: 
- Coda 
- Zapier
- OnZoom (I can't find much info on this)

Any tips are appreciated!

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maguay's avatar
9 months ago

I think you could pull this off with Zapier, it’d just take several Zaps to get everything running.

Say you stuck with the Google Sheet as the primary way to manage the details. Then, you’d likely want to switch how you’re sending the emails. You could send them via Gmail in Zapier, though you’d have to add each new subscriber and that defeats the automation. Better would likely be to add the contacts to an email mailing list app (Mailchimp and Customer.io are two I’ve used a lot, others can work well here too), and then use the Zap to create + trigger sending emails to the whole list.

Then the setup would end up looking like:

  • Add details about the event to Google Sheets
  • That triggers Zapier to create a Zoom event, then to create a Google Calendar event that includes the Zoom link
  • Then it (possibly after a delay) triggers your email list app to send email(s) to your followers about the event (that may take a tad more setup—if using Customer.io, say, you’d trigger an event that then you’d have a separate automation in Customer.io watching for that would send out the emails + calendar invites).
  • Finally, you could have a second Zap watching for updates to Google Sheets that then would update the Google Calendar event (though there’s no default way to update the Zoom event) and send a followup email.

That’d get around HubSpot’s limitations, at any rate.

Looks like OnZoom would only work if you wanted to host paid calls, sell tickets, and run them through Zoom’s platform. If the team already has a way to sell tickets (or if you’re running free events), that likely wouldn’t be needed.

Coda could be used to make something that feels more like a unique app specifically for this team’s scheduling needs. What that’d likely look like is:

  • You’d connect Zoom, Google Calendar, and Gmail to Coda.
  • You’d have a table with “tasks” or “events”, and list the details. Then you’d have a button to create a Google Calendar and Zoom call, and link the task to each of those, with an automation to update the details if the initial task table is updated.
  • Then you’d add an automation to send emails via Gmail … perhaps only when one specific column in the tasks table is updated, so you have a bit of a buffer to wait and make sure everything’s perfect before sending the updates.

It’d be a bit similar to the Zap workflow, but a bit more visual, with the benefit of having everything in one dashboard.

4 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @maguay )
9 months ago

Ohhhh or another idea: Airtable. You can generate an iCal feed from Airtable and subscribe to that in Google Calendar or any other calendar app. Then, when an Airtable row is updated, everyone who's subscribed to that calendar will see the updated event—and they'll also get new events in their calendar automatically.

You could then add an automation to email people about events from Airtable, or use a similar Zap as before to handle the email side.

That might be the most direct way to easily update events, change them for everyone, and have a dashboard of sorts with all the event data together in one place.

2 points
bonwalton's avatar
@bonwalton (replying to @maguay )
9 months ago

Airtable is a fantastic idea! I'll play around with that too. Thank you!

1 point
Bratchenko's avatar
@Bratchenko (replying to @bonwalton )
9 months ago

Instead of creating a sequence of emails ahead of time, you could create Zaps that run on timer and check "Is it time to send an email?" and if so - send it. This way you don't need to worry about changes in dates.

2 points
bonwalton's avatar
@bonwalton (replying to @maguay )
9 months ago

Thank you, @maguay! I appreciate your super thoughtful reply and tips! Yes, I think the more visual look of Coda would be helpful for this team.

2 points
Bratchenko's avatar
@Bratchenko (replying to @bonwalton )
9 months ago

You can also use https://www.outreach.io for email sequences. You can edit them at any time, and it will be definitely cheaper than $30k/year (but not free).

2 points
navpar's avatar
7 months ago

I did something like this for a business I ran. Parts of this process described below might help.

I used WooCommerce to sell access to psychologist-led interventions delivered on Zoom. Each course had multiple start dates.

The first zap ran on course creation and created a Zoom meeting, brought the meeting ID back and stored it in a Google Sheet. This info was also sent to the person running the course/programme.

When someone registered for the course, the zap found the corresponding zoom details and emailed them to the customer. I even connected it to Twilio to send an SMS with the details.

For some courses, we send another email requesting more info. For this, we had to do some "calculating" to do. We did this using a custom written 'Code by Zapier' zap.

The user info was also stored on HubspotCRM since we asked for different pieces of information during the programme. Having the data on Hubspot meant we could have everything for that customer in one place.

3 points
bigal123's avatar
9 months ago

Coda employee here: This template within the Coda+Zoom template gets you to the stage of automatically creating Zoom links. Adding in the Calendar invite and 4 emails would just be additional buttons in each row (or automations) depending on when you want to create the invites/send the emails.

2 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @bigal123 )
9 months ago

Ohhh that's perfect, thanks for sharing @bigal123!

1 point
bonwalton's avatar
@bonwalton (replying to @bigal123 )
9 months ago

Thank you, @bigal123! Yes, that template looks perfect! I'm looking forward to trying it out.

also, it's cool to get a reply from Coda employee :)

1 point
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