So you're wondering whether or not Zapier’s email parser stacks up to a tool that is dedicated to email parsing. After all, the fact that you have to create a separate “Email Parser by Zapier” account and then link it to your Zapier account makes it feel like Zapier doesn’t actually manage this tool but instead it’s built and managed by a third party.
This article is going to compare Zapier’s tool with Parsey, one of the top-rated email parsers on the market. We’ll also discuss why many businesses use Parsey instead of Zapier for their integration needs and why some businesses use them both together.
Before we get into a comparison, let’s make sure we all understand what an email parsing tool does.
What is an email parser?
An email parser is a tool that will pull out specific data (and only that specific data) out of an email.
If you you happen to be a real estate professional and receive an email from Zillow.com each time you receive a new lead, an email parser can pull out the name, email, and phone number of that lead.
If you happen to own an E-commerce store or sell digital products online and you receive an email with order details, an email parser can pull out the product name, order quantity, customer name, and shipping address.
The best part is all this happens automatically. Instead of manually entering email data into a Google Sheet or your CRM (along with all those typos - and whenever you get around to it), an app can do this for you in near-real-time and save you tens of hours each week and month.
Which brings us to the whole point of this article, should you use Zapier’s email parser or an app designed to be the best dang email parser in the world, like Parsey?
Zapier vs Parsey
In this comparison, we’ll discuss the following key elements:
- Creating an Email Parser
- Parsing Plain Text & HTML
- Post-Parse Automation
Create an Email Parser Inbox
The parser inbox is the core of any email parsing tool. This is where you will send your transactional emails.
Creating an inbox in Parsey is very simple and can be done by clicking Create Inbox. This inbox will give you a unique email address that can be used for all your transactional emails.
What if you want to also have a copy of your transactional email inside of your regular inbox? Simply select the option to forward all your emails to your regular inbox.
To create a mailbox in Zapier, you need to go to parser.zapier.com first and connect Parser by Zapier to your Zapier account.
Once you create your mailbox and send a test email, you can head back over to Zapier.com and finish your workflow.
Parsing Plain Text or HTML
Receiving an HTML or a plain text email can make a huge difference on the tool you use. Not all email parsing tools can handle HTML emails very well.
Once you create a mailbox and send it a test email, you can tell Parsey which fields you want parsed.
Simply highlight the beginning and ending of each field to select the data you want extracted out of your email.
This process can be followed using a plain text or HTML email to make sure you are getting your data out of ANY transactional email.
Zapier has a similar process as Parsey. Once you create a mailbox and send it a test email, you can then tell the tool which data you want extracted from the email.
HTML email is where Parsey really shines. While Zapier does offer an HTML email parser, it doesn’t always perform well when the email text changes. For that reason, even Zapier recommends using other email parsing tools (thanks, Zapier!).
What about Subject Lines?
This is another area where Parsey can help. What if the order ID, product name, or lead name is only located within the subject line of the email? Zapier doesn’t currently offer the ability to pull data out of subject lines. Luckily for you, Parsey can easily pull data out of the subject line.
What about data inside of an attachment?
What if you are sent a daily email with an attachment of new orders, leads, customers, etc. that you need processed by your fulfillment team or sent to your sales team? Zapier doesn’t currently have a way to pull the data out of that spreadsheet.
You guessed it, Parsey can do it with it’s powerful Attachment Parser. Within Parsey, create an Attachment Flow and follow the steps to appropriately map the columns of the .csv file to the fields you create inside of Parsey.
Whether you have a simple or complex email that needs to be parsed, Parsey is going to be the most reliable email parser. In addition, you can easily parse subject lines and attached .csv files, plus send that information in an outbound webhook.
Imagine getting a new lead from ClickFunnels and you need to send it to Keap. Unfortunately, ClickFunnels sends it over as Full Name, but Keap needs it as First Name and Last Name. This is an example of why you might need data formatting.
Parsey can help you format text, numbers and data from one format into various other formats. It can help you turn ALL CAPS into Title Case or split Full Name into First and Last Name. It can also help turn a decimal into a whole number by rounding up or rounding down. It can also convert date fields from Date and Time to just Date or from day/month/year to month/day/year.
Formatter by Zapier is a tool built into Zapier to help format text, numbers, and other field types. Similar to Parsey, Formatter can help change the case of text, split text into separate fields, format numbers, and convert date fields from one format to another.
Send an outbound webhook
What if you need to send the data you parsed out to another platform that doesn’t have an integration but can receive a webhook? Both Parsey and Zapier have a simple way to send data to a 3rd-party platform using an outbound webhook or HTTP Post.
Send Data to Other Platforms
Once you have your data parsed and formatted, it needs to go somewhere, right? Parsey and Zapier have two different strategies on software integrations: their unique approaches can be summed up by the comparison “depth vs width”.
Parsey was built to have deep integrations with platforms, allowing you to do everything you want to do with the data you receive. For example, here are some of the actions you can do when you send your parsed email data to Infusionsoft:
- Add an email attachment to a contact’s file box
- Add a tag
- Remove a Tag
- Attach an email to a contact record
- Complete a campaign goal
- Create an appointment
- Create or update a contact record
- Create a company
- Create a note
- Create an opportunity
- Create an order
- Create a tag
- Create or update a credit card
- Empty a contact field
- Run a legacy action set
- Set a referral partner
- Split test a tag
- Update an opportunity record
- Update an order
That is 19 different actions that you can run inside of Keap/Infusionsoft when you parse an email. Zapier can only trigger 8 different actions within Keap/Infusionsoft.
Another example of deep integration is with Parsey’s ability to fully automate DocuSign. Using a combination of Parsey and Infusionsoft, you can automate the full process of sending and receiving a DocuSign contract or agreement. Parsey can send standard or custom Keap/Infusionsoft fields to your DocuSign agreement and then send your contact the agreement that needs to be signed. Parsey will then push the agreement into Infusionsoft once the agreement has been signed, allowing you to trigger further automation. Zapier does not have the ability to customize agreements or automate follow up.
If you need deep integrations with a few platforms, Parsey is going to work better for you. Keep in mind that many people use Parsey in conjunction with Zapier.
Rather than having a few deep integrations, Zapier has built a very wide range of surface level integrations. As of publishing this article, Zapier boasts over 2,000 integrations, most of which are surface level, meaning they aren’t taking advantage of the full capability of the platform’s API.
For example, let’s say you want to send parsed email data to your Infusionsoft account. Zapier’s integration only allows you to do 6 actions. If you want to also update an existing opportunity record, run a legacy action set, or update an existing order, you’ll need to use Parsey.
The benefit of using Zapier is that you can integrate thousands of apps. The downside is that most of the integrations are surface level and don’t utilize the full API. To do that, consider using Parsey instead of (or in addition to) Zapier.
What else can Parsey do?
While Parsey isn’t considered to be a full integration tool, it can do quite a bit. Here are some of the features our 5,000+ customers love.
Fully Automate eSignatures
If you are in an industry that frequently uses contracts or agreements, you understand the frustration of creating and sending them one-by-one. Parsey can help fully automate this process by prepopulating contract fields with CRM data, sending the document, and automating additional marketing or fulfillment activities once a contract is signed or rejected. Zapier can’t fully automate the esignature process with DocuSign.
Sometimes you don’t want to send all the data to your CRM, autoresponder, or shipping software, especially if your system limits how many contacts you can have. Parsey allows you to add multiple layers of filters to make sure you are only automating your marketing, sales, and operational activities to the right prospects, leads, and customers.
Powerful Webhook Parser
Some systems send a webhook but very few actually receive one unless you do some crafty API coding. Parsey can receive the webhook sent to your shopping cart or CRM and send that data to the other platform you want integrated. Receiving webhooks has never been so simple!
Send an SMS
Speed-to-lead is important, but you don’t always have the time to pick up the phone right away. Or what if you want to send a simple SMS introduction before you call your lead? Parsey can pull your lead or customer out of your transactional email and send them a quick text message prior to adding them to your CRM or other sales and marketing tool. This one-way SMS tool is a powerful way to enhance the effectiveness of your marketing and sales efforts.
Start for Free
Now that you understand how powerful Parsey can be, head over to our home page and create a free Parsey account. Whether you are new to automation or you're a marketing maven, Parsey can help you. If you are a power-user of Zapier, that’s okay. We understand that Zapier is a powerful tool, but we also know that it can’t do everything. For those use-cases, Parsey is the perfect tool to make sure you're getting all the data to your preferred platform.