Today I’m going to talk automation, but not quite in the way that you might think (for that you should check out these great posts). Instead let’s talk about

If you’ve never heard of it before (where have you been?), it’s a simple tool for automating your life online using the simple recipe “if X happens, do Y.”

use ifttt

There’s a whole bunch of weird and wonderful ways you can use the service: Use Liam Neeson’s badass quote from “Taken” to scare someone into returning your phone. Or why not make your lights flash when your team scores?

But there are some really practical ways that you can use the service to make you even better at your job.

1. Logging the Weather Forecast

I’m not just reinforcing the stereotype that Brits are obsessed with the weather; several of my clients seem to find their sales are affected by blue skies (or the lack thereof). And it’s been difficult to prove to what extent that’s true – correlation doesn’t equal causation, after all.

So now IFTTT automatically tracks the daily weather forecast for me. At the moment, I’m just accruing the data to discover whether the weather is really affecting sales, but if there is genuine causation this may affect my future PPC plans.

2. Reminder to Take Part in #PPCchat*

#PPCchat is a fantastic resource, but we’re busy people, and it’s easy to forget that it’s that time again. Use this handy reminder so that you can take part every week without fail.

If you’d prefer to be sent a text message reminder, simply activate the SMS channel and edit the recipe. Unfortunately the SMS service currently isn’t available for my network.

*US users, don’t forget to update the time based on your location!

3. Send the #PPCchat streamcap to Pocket

No time to take part in #PPCchat or simply must have a record to read through later? Get the streamcap sent to Pocket so you can read it at your convenience.

Note: While personally I love Pocket for storing posts for later, you could also set up this recipe to send the streamcap to Evernote, Google Drive… almost any service that you’d prefer to use.

My next suggestions don’t include recipes: you’ll need to create your own to suit your needs. Don’t worry, I’ll show you how!

4. Save tweets to read later

Is there someone specific you know that always tweets useful links that help you develop? Use IFTTT to send their tweets to Pocket (or Evernote, etc). It’s more challenging to use Twitter as a trigger now than it used to be: first you need to create the perfect Twitter search to capture the right tweets.

For example, Melissa Mackey usually shares interesting content, so I decide I want to save her tweets on #ppc, but I’m only interested in tweets that include links. This gives me the twitter search: @mel66 #ppc filter:links

However, as a lot of other people think her tweets are great she gets a lot of RTs. She also tends to tweet out her posts twice a day using the words “from earlier” to indicate that she’s posted before. I know I need to exclude these terms to avoid duplication giving me the search: @mel66 #ppc filter:links -RT -“from earlier”

When you’re happy with your search, grab the URL and replace the opening with

In our example, this search:


Then use the new feed item trigger – simply paste the search URL as the feed URL. My Melissa Mackey example looks like this.

5. Send #PPC tweets

While I wouldn’t suggest that you completely automate tweeting, you can use IFTTT to automatically tweet when you post new items to your blog.

While you can choose all posts, if your blog covers multiple topics, it can help to narrow it down by category or tag. For example all posts in the PPC category would be tweeted with the #ppc hashtag.

6. Reminder to Contact Clients

Communication is vital for every business relationship and you shouldn’t forget to keep in touch with clients regularly if you want to keep them happy. So why not set up a reminder to contact your clients? Use the Date & Time trigger to email or text you when it’s time for a client update.

There are potentially hundreds of other ways that IFTTT could help you: track changes in stock prices, monitor mentions of your brand, get text reminders of client meetings. Are you using IFTTT? Share your best recipes with us!

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Katie Walton is Head of PPC at Boom Online Marketing. She works with all major PPC platforms, loves Excel and never met a cake she didn’t like. When she’s not at work you’ll find her walking her miniature schnauzer.