Make vs Zapier 2024: What's the Difference and Which One is Best for You

Make vs Zapier 2024: What's the Difference and Which One is Best for You
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The business process automation market is projected to reach $19.6 billion by 2026, up from $8 billion in 2020. This growth is accompanied by an acceleration in process automation, with about 80% of businesses increasing their focus in this area. Moreover, a substantial portion of businesses, 50%, are planning to automate all repetitive tasks going forward.

In the quest to find the best automation tool to help streamline your business processes, you've probably come across two big names: Make and Zapier. Both tools promise to simplify your life by automating routine tasks, but picking the right one for your business isn't as straightforward as it seems. That's why we're taking a closer look at what Make and Zapier bring to the table. 

We'll break down the differences, weigh the pros against the cons, and help you figure out which tool aligns best with your business goals. Whether you're managing a startup, freelancing, or steering a larger enterprise, understanding these tools can really revolutionize your workflow.


Overview of Make and Zapier

Make, formerly known as Integromat, and Zapier are two leading automation platforms that empower users to optimize workflows by connecting various apps and services. 

Both tools serve the primary function of automating tasks across different online applications without the need for extensive programming knowledge, catering to a broad audience ranging from individual users to large enterprises.

Make offers a visually intuitive platform that allows users to create automation "operations" through a drag-and-drop interface. It stands out for its depth of customization and the ability to handle complex workflows, appealing particularly to users who need detailed control over their automation processes. Its rebranding from Integromat to Make symbolized a step towards broader capabilities and a more expansive vision in the automation market.

Zapier, on the other hand, is renowned for its vast library of app integrations and ease of use, making it a go-to solution for individuals and businesses looking to automate routine tasks efficiently. With a straightforward approach to creating Zaps, or automated workflows, Zapier emphasizes speed and user-friendliness, allowing even non-technical users to set up and deploy automations quickly.

Key features: Make vs Zapier

When comparing the key features of Make and Zapier, it's clear that both platforms offer robust cloud-based automation capabilities, yet they each have distinct strengths that set them apart.

Make distinguishes itself with its visual scenario builder, which offers a comprehensive and detailed view of automation workflows. 

Users can design complex automation sequences using a series of modules connected on a virtual canvas, providing a high degree of granularity and control over each step of the process. This allows for intricate workflows that can handle conditional logic, multiple operations, and data transformations within a single scenario. Make's HTTP/SOAP and JSON modules further enable advanced users to perform custom operations that go beyond standard integrations.

Zapier, in contrast, excels in user-friendliness and accessibility. While it may not offer the same level of depth in customization as Make, Zapier provides a vast array of pre-built app integrations, facilitating quick and straightforward automation setups. 

Zapier's user interface is intuitive, making it easy for users of all technical backgrounds to create and manage automations. Its built-in apps, like Formatter by Zapier and Webhooks by Zapier, add versatile functionality to workflows without complicating the user experience.

While Make offers more robust options for users who need complex, detailed automation workflows, Zapier caters to a broader audience by prioritizing ease of use and rapid deployment of automations.

User interface and experience

The user interface and overall experience of Make and Zapier significantly influence how users interact with these platforms, impacting their overall satisfaction and productivity.

Make offers a visually engaging and detailed interface where users can design and visualize their automation workflows as scenarios. The platform's approach to automation, with a focus on a graphical representation of workflows, allows users to see the entire process at a glance, from triggers to actions. 

While this detailed visualization is a boon for crafting complex automations, it may present a steeper learning curve for new users who are not accustomed to such a granular level of control and visualization.

On the other hand, Zapier's interface is renowned for its simplicity and clarity, making it incredibly approachable for users of all skill levels. The clean, straightforward design actively guides users through the process of creating Zaps with minimal complexity, thereby emphasizing a more linear and less cluttered workflow.

Integration capabilities

The integration capabilities of Make and Zapier are pivotal features that define their effectiveness and appeal. Both platforms support a vast range of applications, including learning management platforms like Teachable, but they approach integrations with different philosophies and strengths.

Make offers a unique integration environment that is highly customizable and versatile. It provides users with the ability to connect a wide array of apps, not only through pre-built integrations but by allowing for custom, in-depth connections as well. 

This process enables the creation of more tailored and nuanced automations that can cater to specific needs, which is especially beneficial for users who require advanced integration functionality beyond standard offerings. 

Make's focus is on the depth of integration platforms, offering detailed control over the data you exchange between apps and the ability to handle complex data transformations and logic within its scenarios. 

Zapier, in contrast, emphasizes the breadth of its integration capabilities. With thousands of apps in its library, Zapier boasts one of the most extensive collections of pre-built integration templates available, making it exceptionally easy for users to find and connect the apps they use. 

In addition, Zapier shines with analytics-based integrations, as marketing teams can, for instance, automate notifications when someone uses a QR registration feature in their app and then further store the data in a Google Sheet/ClickUp list. 

So while Zapier's integrations may not offer the same level of depth and customization as Make's, they are designed to be incredibly user-friendly, allowing users to set up automations quickly without needing technical expertise. Zapier's strength lies in its ability to provide a vast array of simple, effective, and easy-to-implement integrations, making task automation accessible to a broader audience.

Make pricing vs Zapier pricing

The pricing models of Make and Zapier are essential factors for users to consider when deciding between the two platforms. 

Both offer tiered pricing structures designed to accommodate a range of users, from individuals and small businesses to large enterprises, but they differ in specifics and value propositions. As far as which is cheaper? Well, it really all depends on your specific situations and needs.

Make provides a free tier, which is particularly generous in terms of the number of operations and data transfer it offers, albeit with some limitations on the complexity of the workflows and the frequency of operations. 

The paid plans increase in cost based on the number of operations, execution speed, and access to premium features like advanced error handling and logs. The higher-tier plans cater to businesses with extensive automation needs, offering more operations, faster execution times, and priority support.

Zapier's pricing model also starts with a free plan, which allows users to create a limited number of simple Zaps with a restricted number of steps. 

As for their paid subscriptions, they scale up from the basic tier, adding more Zaps, steps per Zap, and faster update times, as well as additional features like conditional logic and support. Higher tiers are aimed at teams and companies, offering collaboration tools and higher limits to accommodate their greater needs.

Pros and cons of Make

Pros of Make

  • Comprehensive Customization: Make excels in offering deep customization options, enabling users to tailor their automation workflows extensively and handle complex logic and data processing.
  • Powerful Visual Programming: The platform's visual approach to creating workflows allows users to design and tweak their automations with a high degree of precision, making it easier to map out and understand intricate processes.
  • Extensive Integration Capabilities: Make supports a wide array of integrations, including the ability to create custom connections. This allows for a broad range of applications and services to be automated.
  • Strong Community and Support: Make has cultivated a strong community and offers substantial support resources. Users benefit from a wealth of shared knowledge, templates, and a responsive support team.

Cons of Make

  • Learning Curve: The platform's advanced capabilities come with a learning curve. New users or those with limited technical experience may find it challenging to fully leverage Make's potential initially.
  • Pricing Structure: While Make provides a robust free tier, its more advanced features, and higher usage limits are gated behind premium plans, which can be expensive for power users or businesses with extensive needs.
  • Resource Intensity: Complex scenarios in Make can be resource-intensive, potentially leading to slower execution times compared to simpler, more streamlined automation tools.

Pros and cons of Zapier

Pros of Zapier

  • Ease of Use: Zapier is highly intuitive, making it easy for users of all technical backgrounds to create and manage automations. Its simple, clear interface reduces the learning curve significantly.
  • Extensive Integration Library: With thousands of apps in its integration library, Zapier offers unparalleled breadth, enabling users to automate tasks across a vast array of services and platforms.
  • Quick Automation Setup: Users can quickly set up automations without delving into complex programming, thanks to Zapier's straightforward 'Zap' creation process.
  • Reliability: Zapier is known for its consistent performance and reliability, ensuring that automations run smoothly with minimal downtime or errors.

Cons of Zapier

  • Limited Customization: Compared to platforms like Make, Zapier offers less depth in customization, which might not suffice for users with highly specific or more complex automation needs.
  • Pricing: While Zapier provides a free tier, its more advanced features and higher task limits require premium plans, which can get expensive for heavy users or larger businesses.
  • Complexity with Advanced Features: While basic usage is straightforward, leveraging Zapier's more advanced features and creating multi-step zaps can introduce complexity, and the same goes for slightly more complex tasks, such as merging PDF files or even altering the code of a particular app. 

Real-world use cases and success stories

Taking a closer look at some real-world use cases and success stories of automation tools like Zapier and Makehelps highlights their practical value in all kinds of different business scenarios. 

For instance, a company can use Zapier to automatically sync sales data from a CRM platform to a database, which is then analyzed using business analytics tools to generate insights on sales trends, customer behavior, and product performance. 

Similarly, Make can orchestrate a workflow optimization where it pulls data from social media interactions, email marketing platforms, and online sales, compiling it into a comprehensive dashboard that reflects real-time marketing campaign performance and ROI.

There are also some more direct examples that help directly highlight how these automation tools are actively helping businesses streamline their operations today.

One compelling example involves Volcanica Coffee, which utilized AdRoll and Zapier to boost its digital marketing efforts, demonstrating a significant impact on growth and operational efficiency. 

In another example, a knowledge repository was created using Airtable, Zapier, and Slack to aggregate and organize shared links and information, improving accessibility and knowledge sharing within a team.

There aren’t many specific case studies or success stories about Make, but the platform is well-known for its robust capabilities in automating a wide array of tasks, being used by the likes of Meta, Spotify, and Personio. Plus, it’s always getting a steady amount of praise on forums like Reddit and StackOverflow. 

Similar to the examples for Zapier, Make enables businesses to streamline their operations by connecting various applications and automating workflows. From marketing to project management and customer service, Make offers a plethora of automation opportunities that enhance efficiency, reduce manual effort, and optimize business processes. 

How to choose the right tool for your needs

Selecting the right automation tool between Make and Zapier should be a decision informed by a thorough understanding of your specific requirements and how each platform's strengths and limitations align with those needs.

Nature and complexity of automations

If your automation needs are complex, involving detailed workflows with conditional logic, multi-step integrations and processes, and data transformation, Make's granular control and customization capabilities might be more beneficial. Its ability to create intricate and highly tailored automation can be vital for users with specific and more advanced requirements.

Conversely, if your automation requirements are more straightforward or if you prefer a quick and easy setup for connecting various apps and services, Zapier's user-friendly design and extensive library of pre-built 'Zaps' would likely be more suitable. Its straightforward approach helps users automate tasks with minimal setup time and less need for technical depth.

It’s still unclear how Zapier would perform during multi-chain integrations that are all but a must during complex instances of Workday staff augmentation, updating internal databases, or dumping old code. 

However, considering Zapier's ongoing efforts to enhance its integration capabilities and introduce more advanced automation features, it's plausible to expect developments in this area as part of its commitment to meet the evolving needs of its user base.

Integration ecosystem

Make sure to take the time to carefully evaluate the range and type of apps you need to integrate. 

Zapier boasts a vast integration library, making it likely that the apps you use are already part of its ecosystem to facilitate quick and easy automation setups. This extensive range can be particularly valuable if you rely on less common or niche apps. However, we also should note that Zapier typically works best with something like a simple WordPress platform, as its code integration and more advanced features can be hit or miss most of the time. 

Make, while offering a robust set of integrations, shines in its ability to provide deeper and more customizable integration options. If your conditional logic workflows require interacting with APIs or API connectivity, performing complex data parsing, or integrating with custom or in-house applications, Make's advanced capabilities might be more appropriate.

Pricing and value for money

Consider your budget and how each platform's pricing structure aligns with your usage intensity and desired features. Zapier's pricing plans are straightforward and scale with the number of tasks and complexity of the Zaps but may become costly for high-volume users or those needing advanced features.

Make's pricing also scales with usage but provides a different value proposition, especially if you need advanced features that are only available in its higher-tier plans. Ensure that the cost aligns with the depth of functionality you require.

Support and Community

Access to support and a user community can be invaluable, especially when dealing with more complex automations. 

With this in mind, make sure to carefully consider the level of support offered by each platform and the vibrancy of its user community, which can provide insights, templates, and troubleshooting assistance.

The future of automation tools

As we look ahead, the trajectory and future of automation tools like Make and Zapier are pretty exciting. 

Make is set to further innovate with more complex automations, potentially incorporating cutting-edge AI to give users even more control and customization options. It's all about empowering users to craft even more nuanced and intelligent workflows.

Zapier, known for its user-friendliness and expansive app connections, isn't likely to rest on its laurels either. We can anticipate it broadening its integration spectrum and possibly weaving in AI elements to make automation creation not just easier, but almost instinctive. Try to think of Zapier becoming even more of a mind reader—predicting just what you need to be automated next.

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Nahla Davies

Nahla Davies, Nahla Davies is a software developer and tech writer. Before devoting her work full time to technical writing, she managed—among other intriguing things—to serve as a lead programmer at an Inc. 5,000 experiential branding organization whose clients include Samsung, Time Warner, Netflix, and Sony.

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