Building a Sport Club Registration system with #nocode - Part 3

Many sports clubs run on paper and lots of it.

Hopefully, we now have an electronic system set up to handle our members and sign ups.

The third and final part of our Registration system will be to add a couple of extra steps to our sign up process, to check the email and phone numbers are valid.

It will also make our club look very modern.

So, from our previous work, we have set up Zapier to trigger when the Google Form is submitted, and a Contact gets created in Insightly, our membership system.

What we are going to do is notify our members when they are set up on the system, via email and SMS. Aren't we fancy?

Multi-Step "Zaps" are only available with a paid Zapier plan; the free plan only allows us to have a trigger > action.

However because we have just added a new contact to Insightly, we can then trigger new Zaps with different actions.

So we will create a new Zap in Zapier, and select Insightly as the trigger.

The steps are the same as in Part 2.

To enable us to send an email to the person that registered, we are going to use Gmail. So we search for Gmail in our ZapierAction.

Connect your Gmail account, and test it.

And now are going to create the email from the data in the new Insightly contact.

First, we tell Gmail what email to use, so we do a search and pick the email field we sent our form data to, in this case, it is "Email Work". Zapier shows you the test data in the fields, so it should be pretty obvious.

We can also use their first name in the body of the email, by clicking the + icon over on the right and selecting our First Name field.

This way we can say "Hi there Bob" in our first email, nice.

So test it out and set your Zap live. Fill in the Google Form, and watch it all happen. Bear in mind Zapier (at least on the free plan) can take up to 15 minutes to pick up triggers.

Now onto the Text Message. Sending an SMS to your new contact is a smart way to test if the number is working!

For this, we are going to need a paid Zapier account, as we need to do some number formatting. An alternative is to input the number in the correct format in the Google Form. Twilio wants to see 07973 123456 formatted as 44797312356 for it to work. (note this is a UK country code, so will be different if you are elsewhere, but the idea is the same, put your country code first, remove the zeros).

For the SMS sending, we are going to use a service called Twilio.

https://www.twilio.com/

Twilio is a paid service, but it is relatively cheap. It will cost around 3p to send a text. And a £ or so to buy a number.

Setting up Twilio is a wider subject that this blog post, but it is fairly self-explanatory and their support is good. You need to purchase a new number for SMS from Twilio.

We will modify our Google Forms Zap to have a couple of new steps.

Firstly, we will use the built-in "Formatter" action.

So search for this, and select "Numbers".

Then set it up to "Format Phone Number", and as input, you want to type 44 and then use the + icon to select the Google Form phone number input.

As "To Format" select the (E164) formatted phone, this is the one that Twilio wants. So what we are telling the Formatter to do is take the phone number in the form, add 44 on the front and make it into a "standard" phone number format. Magic.

In the next step, we will search for Twilio and select "Send SMS".

In "From Number" we will enter the phone number that Twilio had given us when we registered and asked for a number. Remember it will want the country code in front.

In "To Number" we select the output of the Formatted step (Step 2 in this case).

We can then format a message using fields from the Google form to personalise it. Here I have used their first name again.

Test it all, and make your Zap live. And you are good to go.

Enter a few details into a tablet or phone when you want to register someone. They will shortly get an email and text (tell them if they don't get them to let you know). And their details will be put into your membership database.

That saves you a lot of time, both at registration and managing your contacts.

If you don't want to use Insightly, you can pick any of the great Contact management systems, or CRM systems, or even use Google Contacts (which is part of Gmail). Just make sure that whatever you choose, they support Zapier. And if they don't, ask them why not.

Hope this has been a useful set of guides, and that you can see how you can build quite a powerfully connected system without needing to write code. Pretty cheaply too.

Next week we will look at a different build, this time for people who want to start to build a business offering online consultations via video.

Nigel Godfrey

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Brockham, UK
@NigelGodfrey