Running a business has many moving parts. The more you can automate, the more it frees you up to address high level strategic challenges of your business. This is a newsletter about automating aspects of your business.
Story and Problem
At 17:06, Packy of Not Boring mentions he is using Growsurf to manage his referral codes and a Webflow page for users to enter their referral codes. When Ivan asks, how is the API connection set up and what do they give you? Packy answers:
So there will be (a link), share.notboring.emails/[the referral code] whenever someone then signs up through the Webflow having come from that link right into Growsurf, it counts for whoever the referrer was.
From there though, both on land-in, and on Growsurf/Webflow, it's a process of downloading the list at the end of each day, dumping that into a Google Sheet, and then taking the emails from that Google Sheet and putting them back into Substack.
From there, simultaneously, people are also subscribing to substack directly, so we'll download those and put those into Growsurf, so everyone has their referral codes by the time I send out an email.
In a nutshell, by using Growsurf to manage referrals, there's now two places for readers to sign up: 1/ through his Substack newsletter and 2/ through the Webflow referral page that passes referrals to Growsurf. Hence, his email list is now in two places. Substack needs the list to send email to readers, and Growsurf needs the list to generate referral codes for readers.
Currently, he's manually syncing these two email lists every time he needs to send out an email to his subscribers. This is a business process with potential for automation.
As an aside, the whole Youtube episode is worth a watch. Ivan's been at growth teams at Facebook, Dropbox, and Lyft. So it's worth noting the places in the newsletter reader's experience that Ivan pays attention to as inflection points. The lessons you learn here will be transferable to your own referral program for your newsletter.
Should you automate this process? It can depend on a myriad of other factors. But if it takes a non-trivial amount of time, is repetitive, and something you do daily, it's probably worth it.
This automation is a little tricky because, Substack doesn't have an API and Growsurf doesn't have actions on their Zapier integration. But we have ways around that.
There are two flows–from GrowSurf to Substack, and from Substack to Growsurf
From GrowSurf to Substack, we connect the following in Zapier:
- GrowSurf - When there's a new participant
- EasyCSV - Create CSV File
- Dropbox - Create or Append to Text File
Unfortunately, Substack doesn't provide an API, but they do have an import and export email lists. That way, any time we get a new referral, the entire email list is created and synced to our laptop. And right before we publish a post, we can just take that file on our laptop and upload it to Substack.
From Substack to GrowSurf, there's unfortunately no actions to import email addresses in GrowSurf Zapier Integration, so in this other direction, you have to export the email list from Substack and import it into GrowSurf.
At the end of both workflows, we still have to do manual work! Well, if you're on a Mac, there's a program called Automator. If you're on Windows, there's Autohotkey. You can use either to automate uploading the CSV file to Substack. You simply record yourself opening a folder and uploading it onto Substack, and it'll play it back.
That way, it takes the tedium out of syncing the email lists between two services every time you have to make a post. This should give you ideas of how and what to automate in your own newsletter flow. Happy Automating!
- Alternatives to Growsurf
- Alternatives to Webflow
- Alternatives to Substack
- Alternatives to Google Sheets
- Alternatives to Dropbox
- Alternatives to Mailchimp
- Alternatives to Automator
Enjoying these posts? Subscribe for moreSubscribe now
Already have an account? Sign in