Repetitive tasks can make your work slow and exhausting. Connecting different workflows without helpful software can take up most of your workday. Automation tools make it possible for you to automate repetitive tasks and connect different workflows so you can accomplish more. If you’re looking for an automation tool, a quick Google search will bring you to Make (formerly Integromat) and Zapier.
Make and Zapier are the most popular and powerful automation tools on the market right now. They both help you outsource repetitive tasks and seamlessly connect workflows in a single step. But which one should you choose? Let’s compare and contrast the two to help you pick the right automation tool for your needs.
What Is Zapier?
Zapier is one of the most popular workflow automation tools worldwide because it allows for connecting two or more applications like Gmail and Hubspot, or Gravity Forms with Google Sheets, and thousands more apps like these. You do not need to hire a web or app developer when using Zapier. It has a clean, simple, and easy-to-understand no-code interface that makes task building fast and easy.
How Does Zapier Work?
Zapier uses the concept of Zaps, which automate processes in an instant. Zaps work in two parts:
- Trigger: A user identifies the event a Zap should watch for, like a customer filling out a review form on your app.
- Action: A user defines what follow-up action should take place, like sending an automatic email reply thanking them for the feedback and promising to address their points further within 48 hours.
On Zapier, numerous pre-set templates (zaps) allow businesses to create custom tasks between applications. Creating an account on Zapier is free, and you can immediately start saving and creating Zaps.
What Is Make?
Make.com, formerly known as Integromat, is another popular and loved automation platform. It allows users to build and automate workflows using a beautiful visual interface. You can connect multiple applications on Make, and it is easy once you get the hang of it. It offers slightly more advanced features than Zapier, which some businesses need.
How Does Make Work?
Make uses scenarios that are similar to Zapier’s Zaps. The scenario editor, or builder, creates and automates workflows with graphical bubbles. Bubbles contain:
- Modules: apps or steps of your automation within a scenario, so, a functionality that sends and receives data.
- Functions: these are found within the modules and are binary values like text, dates, or numbers.
- Tools: additional functionality to help transform and filter data. You can also perform any other advanced logic.
Make vs. Zapier
Now that we understand the basics of both Make and Zapier, we can explore their strengths and weaknesses in more detail. These automation tools are excellent and offer a slightly different approach to automation and connecting apps. However, comparing and contrasting Make and Zapier will allow you to decide what works best for your business.
When it comes to the interface, both tools use the if-this-then-that logic. For both Make and Zapier, each workflow starts with a trigger action, such as receiving an email in your inbox or an order being placed on your eCommerce store. You can set up any number of actions to follow the trigger action.
Where the tools start to differ interface-wise is the complexity. Zapier has a straightforward user interface with clicks and dropdowns that are pretty easy to follow. As a beginner to workflow automation tools, Zapier is not intimidating, and it is easy to get the hang of it.
Make’s user interface uses a different visual layout, so if you come from zapier, it might be a bit confusing. However, it uses a more visual interface, allowing you to place modules anywhere on the screen and connect them with a drag and drop interface. It has bubble graphics for each module, which becomes a more extensive visual interface as you add tasks. It is an excellent interface for visual learners and has tons of animation. However, if you get easily overwhelmed, the visual interface can be challenging to navigate.
These two platforms provide integrations with thousands of applications. Currently, Zapier has a larger number of app integrations available, but they are both adding more options constantly. However, Make includes all the major, most popular apps.
Additionally, Make and Zapier both allow you to search for apps or browse by category.
When it comes to features, Make and Zapier have many similar features. They also have several different ones, but the most significant are how they deal with historical data and how they handle a pause in the workflow.
On Make, you can set up a scenario to process existing data from a specific historical date, which is impossible on Zapier. You can only work with data from the date that you set a Zap.
If you are looking for a flexible sequence in your automated workflow, Zapier makes this possible with the Delay function. You can delay for a specific amount of time, delay until a set time, or delay until a particular action has been completed in the queue. The Zapier Delay feature is simple to use and much needed.
On Make, if you are looking to delay a task, there is a Sleep feature. This module allows you to postpone a task for up to five minutes without coding. If you want to delay it for longer, you must learn how to do it yourself, but it’s not complicated.
Zapier is a true no-code automation tool. You can create great, seamless workflows with zero coding involved. This makes it very user-friendly and great for beginners.
The template Zaps are quick, easy to configure, and efficient and can handle most data transfer tasks. As you get more familiar with the platform, you can start creating your Zaps, but the pre-made ones work well for beginners.
Nonetheless, Zapier is lacking when it comes to developing complex integrations. Zapier allows you to create up to five paths only. You can only set up these paths after adding a trigger, and they must come at the end of your Zap. To workaround these restrictions, you will need some intermediate to expert web development knowledge.
Make is a no-code/low-code automation tool. This means you can use Make without any coding, but to get the most out of it, you will need to code. The drag-and-drop user interface is also more complex than that of Zapier’s and takes longer to learn. The integrations on Make are not straightforward like on Zapier and require a few more steps in between.
However, Make allows you to create an endless number of paths. They have a Router tool that allows you to define different conditions for every path, and you can do this endlessly. This is why Make is perfect for complex automations.
The key parts of creating seamless workflows are automation and error handling. With Zapier, if you want more automation paths, you have to set up paths that split each Zap into multiple workflows. Zapier allows for three paths and three nested paths.
When using Zapier, you test each step of your workflow before you set your Zap to run live. If you notice an error, you must manually search your Zap history, analyze where the problem is and debug it. This can get bothersome when you have complex, multi-step Zaps.
Make allows for multiple automation paths with the powerful tool. Because Make is a visual automation tool, you can watch each scenario run in real-time to watch for errors. If you notice an error, you will be able to pinpoint where it is coming from and handle it. The flagging option on Make makes it the better option for error handling.
Both Zapier and Make have free limited versions you can use. Zapier allows for five free Zaps a month or 100 tasks. Make gives you 1,000 operations per month with unlimited filters, which are two scenarios.
Zapier’s pricing plans are significantly more expensive than Make’s. The pricing on Zapier is based on tasks. This means that every time an action is successfully performed or runs a filter, you use up a task credit.
In contrast, Make is more affordable and pricing is calculated based on operations. This means that every time a trigger is fired or a scenario runs, you’ll use up an operation allowance. You can do more with Make’s pricing than with Zapier’s but it depends on what your priorities are.
Additionally, Make allows you to add team members for free, a feature Zapier doesn’t include.
Final Word: Make vs. Zapier
So which automation tool is right for you?
Zapier is the perfect automation tool for beginners and those who have no coding experience or web development team. It has a simple user interface, is intuitive, and comes with thousands of app integrations. If you only need five automations and work with lesser-known apps, the free version of Zapier will meet your needs.
For those looking for a budget-friendly automation tool that can handle complex automations, Make is the ideal tool. It is a visual interface that allows for complex integrations and endless paths. If you already have a basic understanding of workflow automation tools and can code or have a web dev team, Make will serve you brilliantly.