A teaser sample of IFTTT available channels
IFTTT, which means “If This Then That,” is an online service that connects several internet tools through preprogrammed trigger and action settings, called “recipes.” Imagine if you received an email from that very important client and then you received a notification phone call. Or, wouldn’t it be great if someone made a purchase from your website and then you received an email, a text message, a phone call, the lights turned off and the blender turned on… Ok that might extreme but you could do it, if you wanted to, by using “IFTTT.”
What is IFTTT?
IFTTT is an easy to use application that allows businesses to have an online personal assist that does administrative tasks and never needs a lunch break. Right now the service offers connections to 59 different online tools and apps, which IFTTT calls “channels.” Channels are a plethora of online networks, gadgets and services like Craigslist, Twitter and YouTube. Here’s a complete list of IFTTT’s current channels. Connecting channels together to perform specific tasks is what IFTTT calls “recipes.” There are several different ways to combine channels into recipes and the options keep on growing. If you haven’t taken time to see what the tool can offer then visit IFTTT.com now. If you’re already familiar with the service then make sure you check out my favorite IFTTT business recipes.
To create a recipe:
Login to IFTTT, then click the “Create” button at the top of the screen. You’ll see the “ifthisthenthat” text/link appear; click the blue “this” link.
Step 1: Next, start a “Trigger” by selecting one of the listed channels, which offers a service that you are either currently using or now wish to begin using. For our example we’re going to choose the Weather app.
Step 2: Next, chose one of the listed actions to start the “Trigger” process for the recipe. We’ll choose “Tomorrow’s weather report” a trigger that retrieves tomorrow’s weather report at a time that you specify.
Step 3: The third step gives you additional options with your chose trigger. For instance, the Weather app, allows us to chose the specific time of day that we want this trigger to activate. In our example we’re going to select 8pm and then click the blue “Create Trigger” button.
Half the work is done, which means that you’re now thinking “it can’t be this easy,” but it really is this easy. Let’s click on the blue “that” link and put our tool to work.
Step 4: Next we need to setup an action by choosing another channel. We’re going to use “SMS” (text messaging). Just as before we are taken to a list of action(s) within the chosen channel.
Step 5: There’s only one option for the SMS channel, “Send me a SMS,” which is an action that will send an SMS (text message) to your mobile phone.
Step 6: Next, lets setup the details of the SMS. We want to know “TomorrowsCondition” which will tell us if it’s going to be Snowing, Raining, Hailing or Scorching tomorrow. We also want to know tomorrow’s High and Low temperature. Now, we can click the “Create Action” button. Note: Clicking the blue plus sign will give you more options that you can add to the action.
Step 7: The final step, gives a preview of the recipe before you finalize it. IFTTT also adds a trigger summarizing the recipe. You can add or change the description so that it’s specific to your needs and so that it differs from the desription of similiar recipes. Once you’ve approved it and are ready to more forward just click “Create Recipe” button.
That’s it, we’re done. And it was easy. As you can see (above) in the final product of our example, we’ve created a recipe that sends a text message every night at 8pm to inform us about tomorrow’s weather. Why this is important? Because, I’m a man who loves his long beautiful hair and I need to ensure that it looks great when I meet with my new client tomorrow… That’s why.
Overall, IFTTT is a great online assistant that allows you to do several online daily tasks. There are several ways to create a recipe and one of the great things about the tool is that users share useful recipes with one another, make sure you take some time to determine which recipes will solve a need for your business. Next, here’s a list of my favorite business IFTTT recipes.
Photos courtesy of IFTTT.