Set up your Zap trigger

A trigger is an event that starts a Zap. Once you turn on a Zap, Zapier will monitor for that trigger event.

actionEdit icon Example

You can set up a Zap to send a direct message in Slack to yourself every time you receive a new email in Gmail. In this Zap, the trigger is the new email in Gmail.


Trigger types

There are two types of triggers:

  • Polling trigger: the majority of triggers are polling triggers. With a polling trigger, Zapier will request data from your trigger every 1 to 15 minutes in order to start your Zap, depending on your pricing plan.
  • Instant trigger: with an instant trigger, your trigger app will send Zapier an instant notification whenever there's new data. Zaps with instant triggers are labeled Instant on your dashboard and in the Zap editor.

Zapier relies on a few methods to make sure that your Zap does not trigger multiple times for a single "new" item. Learn more about how triggers are deduplicated in Zaps.

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  • A trigger's type cannot be changed. Triggers are built to be either polling or instant, depending on the app and the type of data.
  • Users on Professional and Enterprise plans can change how often their polling triggers run.


1. Select your app and event

The Zap will trigger whenever the event occurs in the selected app (a web service like Gmail or Slack).

  • In the Zap editor, click to open the Trigger step.
  • In the Choose app & event section, search for and select the app that will trigger the Zap.
  • The right sidebar will open.
  • In the App & event section, click the Event dropdown menu and select the event that will trigger the Zap. 

You can choose to trigger the Zap every time you receive a new email in Gmail.


2. Connect your app account

When you connect your account, Zapier will use that specific account to monitor for trigger events. If your organization has multiple accounts for the same app, this ensures that only data from that specific account triggers the Zap.

  • In the Account section, click Choose.
  • If you already have an account connected to Zapier for the trigger app, select the account from the dropdown menu.
  • If not, click Connect a new account and follow the instructions to connect your app to Zapier.
  • Once a connection is selected, click Continue.


3. Customize your options

Some apps allow you to further customize your trigger event.

  • Next, set up your trigger options if available. 
    • You must select or fill in any required fields, if present.
  • Click Continue.

You can choose to trigger the Zap only when a new email in Gmail belongs to a certain category. 

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Not all apps offer specific trigger options. If your trigger does not have specific trigger options, continue to the next step.


4. Test your trigger

Testing your trigger allows you to see if your Zap is triggering from the right data.

  • Click Test trigger.
  • Zapier will attempt to find a recent item from your trigger app that you can use as a test record in your Zap.

Learn more about how to test your trigger step and how Zapier finds test records

If you want to use a different item, you can change the test data in your Zap trigger. Or, if Zapier is having trouble finding test data from your trigger app, try adding new data for the event in your trigger app.

actionEdit icon Example

If your trigger is a new email in Gmail, Zapier will pull in a recent email you've received. The information in this email can then be used as test data in an action step later in the Zap. If you don’t have a recent email, you can send yourself one, then load it as a new test record.

Once you’ve set up your trigger, you can set up the rest of your Zap such by adding an action or a search step.



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