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How to use the Zapier Paths Tool Correctly

I love Zapier, even though I pronounced it wrong for years (hint: it rhymes with 'happier'). It allows you to do all those little things that you need done without having to hire a programmer to take care of it. And it has modules for just about anything. One of the useful parts of Zapier automations is the ability to branch an automation based on conditions. They call this branching logic tool "paths".


Now if you're a marketing automation user, you're probably used to certain conventions from your tools, one of which is that if you have a logical path, a branch means Yes or No. Go left or go right. If it meets this condition go this way, if not, go the other way.


However, if you apply this convention to Zapier Paths, you will not get the behavior you expect. Because paths is not an "Or" junction. It's an "And/Or" junction.


This is the key tip from waaay down on the help page on this feature.

So, if it meets the conditions for both paths you will end up sending your automation down both paths.


What this means is if you want to make this an '"or" junction like we're used to, it requires very careful consideration of the rules for each path-- they must be mutually exclusive conditions. It's also possible that you could end up with an automation stopping here because it meets neither condition.


None of this is right or wrong, of course, it's just different. And now you know.

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*As of April 2022, Pardot has been renamed Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, as part of Salesforce's effort to organize all the marketing products under the same platform umbrella. "MCAE" is simply the same Pardot we know and love under a new name. The product is temporarily being referred to as "Marketing Cloud Account Engagement powered by Pardot."   

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