If you want to update a different record in an app every time your Zap runs, you'll need to use a search step to find that record first. Search steps are a way to find existing data in your apps that later actions in your Zap can reference and use.
For example, you might want to set up a Zap so that every time you receive a new Google Forms submission, it adds a comment to a different Trello card depending on how the form was filled out. In order to update an existing Trello card, a search step must be used to first find that card.
1. Add a search action
- In the Zap editor, click the Action step, or click the plus + icon to add a step to your Zap.
- Search for or select the app you want to search for data in.
- Click the Event dropdown menu and scroll down to the Search section. Select the search action that you want your Zap to perform.
- Click Continue.
Some action fields allow you to add a search step relevant to that field. Click Or add search step next to a field to automatically create a new search step.
2. Choose your app account
- If you already have an account connected to Zapier for the action app, select it from the account menu.
- If not, click Connect a new account and follow the instructions to connect your app to Zapier.
- If the connection is working, click Continue.
3. Add your search criteria
Add your search criteria. Apps may have different options available on this screen.
To search based on a value from an earlier step (e.g., your trigger), click the dropdown menu and select the value.
You can also enter a search string into the field.
Optional: Create a new record if the search doesn’t find anything
Some search actions let you create a new record if the search doesn’t find anything.
- Select the Create [item] if it doesn't exist yet? checkbox.
- Fill in the fields with the values you want to use for the new record.
Optional: Let the Zap continue even if nothing is found
The field Should This Step Be Considered A “success” When Nothing Is Found? allows you to choose how the Zap should proceed if no record was found.
- If you select True, the search will always be a success even if nothing is found.
- If you select False, this step will halt when no record is found. If a later step uses data from the search step, the later step won’t run.
The step results will include a field _zap_search_was_found_status that you can use in later steps of the Zap.
4. Test your search step
- Click Test & Continue.
- If a matching record is found, you’ll be able to view the data for that record.
- If there wasn't a record that matched your search criteria and you didn’t select the checkbox to create a new record, you can choose to either skip the test or create a record that will match the search term and test the search step again.
After setting up your search step, you can use the data in a later action step, or set up an action step to update the data found by using custom values.