Google Tag Manager Server-Side Tagging as an alternative to Zapier

Jun 10, 2024
Oct 25, 2020

Zapier is the most popular software that helps connect your apps and automate workflow. It became the number one tool in this niche, but using Zapier may be too expensive for some businesses since it limits the number of tasks and events you can send in each plan.

This article will explain how you can use Google Tag Manager Server-Side container to replace one of the most popular Zapier features – automatic Slack notifications.

What is Google Tag Manager Server-Side Tagging?

Server-Side Container is a new feature from Google Tag Manager that moves 3rd party pixel execution into the cloud server. You can read more about GTM server tagging and its benefits in this article. We also have a quick tutorial on setting up a GTM server container and how to run Google Analytics inside the server container. If you want to prevent data loss inside Google Analytics that may happen because of Ad Blocker and ITPs, you may be interested in this article; it describes how to send collect requests to Google Analytics from your subdomain and see complete data inside GA. 

Google Tag Manager Server-Side is an entirely new way of arranging tags on your website. It has brought a lot of power to the users. Since the tool is unique, not everyone understands how it can be used by their company specifically.

There are also many hidden features inside the GTM server container that are yet to be discovered and described.

How You Can Use GTM Server-Side Tagging to Replace Zapier

One of the advantages of using GTM Server-Side is that you can use non-public keys and passwords for your services in tag configuration. It is possible because tags are not processed inside the browser; nobody can see them except you.

This feature allows companies to stop paying Zapier and use only Google Tag Manager Server-Side containers. GTM server is not a free tool, though. If you use native GTM server integration, you’ll pay a minimum of $120/month for Google Cloud Servers. Still, it will include many new possibilities for your website. The most important are complete data inside Google Analytics, higher site page speed, secure data. You can set up a GTM server container for free using our service. With paid plans, you’ll have additional benefits. You can find more information on prices and features here.

Slack has become a central communication platform for many online businesses. There are specific actions on your website that require your team to react immediately. It can be a new order, new user registration, helpdesk ticket, etc. Slack notifications about these activities may streamline your business process, document all events in one place, and make your team members react quickly.

How to Send a Slack Notification When a New User is Registered

Below I will describe an example of how to send notifications to Slack about new user registration. Based on that tutorial, you can make other integrations. For instance, our clients frequently use it for sending letters when filling out the feedback form or sending SMS with the order details.

1. First, generate a Webhook URL in Slack. A tutorial on how to do that is available here.

2. Create a Trigger for an event you want to be notified about in Slack.  

Trigger for an event

3. Create an HTTP Request Tag for Slack Notification and use the Webhook URL from the first step as the Destination URL. Then, select the Trigger (the one that was created in the previous step).

HTTP Request Tag for Slack Notification

4. Check if the message was sent to Slack. Turn on the preview in GTM and perform actions on the site to fulfill the trigger conditions.

preview in GTM

5. If you do everything right, you will receive a message in Slack.

gtm server new user registered

This tool is not free since you’ll use Google Cloud Servers to send events. But using the GTM server will help you cut down on the cost of other services. Ultimately, the cost savings are greater than the cost of Google Cloud, which makes it particularly appealing to the companies. And the fact that it offers first-party cookies is the icing on the cake.

I think that over time we will see many creative solutions implemented through this technology. 

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