Trigger to update all records in a table

Topic Labels: Automations Integrations
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5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I want to be able to send SMS and emails to a group of attendees of a workshop in bulk via Zapier. It seems that the best way to do it would be to use the "when a record in Airtable is updated" action but I don't want to have to update each record individually to trigger it. I'd like to somehow trigger it from a master record of workshops. 


Table A - all workshops

Table B - Attendees of each individual workshop

On Table A I would select something from a single drop down like "ready to send info"  and then that would update a field in EACH individual record thus trigger Zapier. I haven't been able to figure this out using the built in Airtable automations, or linking tables together.

Does anyone have a better idea of how to execute this? Worst case scenario I could copy and paste that 'trigger word' into the individual records so that it initiate the Zap but again, trying to do this one single action. 

Any help would be great, thanks! 

6 Replies 6

Hmm, the records in Table A and B are all linked together right?  Could you create a lookup field in Table B to display the value of that dropdown? 

The workflow would thus be:
1. In Table A, set the dropdown value to "Ready to send info" for a specific record
2. In Table B, all the records that are linked to that specific record will now display "Ready to send info" in the lookup field
3. A Zap triggers when a record in Table B has its value become "Ready to send info" to send the SMSes

This gets slightly trickier if you need to send SMSes to the same group of people multiple times though, and you'd need to create another Zap or something for it I think

18 - Pluto
18 - Pluto


Do not use Zapier for this. Use Make, which is significantly cheaper yet infinitely more powerful than Zapier.

You can search for any of your desired Airtable records in Make, and after you perform any search in Make, it will automatically loop through all of your found records & send an SMS to each of those records.

There can be a bit of a learning curve with Make, which is why I created this basic navigation video for Make, along with providing the link to Make’s free training courses. There are also many Make experts hanging out there who can answer other Make questions.

Alternatively, if you use the Twilio Send SMS extension in Airtable, you can keep all of this in Airtable… but extensions can’t be automated.

I also show off some Airtable SMS tricks in this episode of the BuiltOnAir Airtable podcast.

p.s. If you have a budget for your project and you’d like to hire an expert Airtable consultant to help you with any of this, please feel free to contact me through my website: Airtable consulting — ScottWorld

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

We won't be using Make since we already have Zapier, but appreciate the sales pitch. 😉

Thanks for the reply. I didn't think of it doing it that way. I was doing it the opposite where I put the lookup in Table A and then trying to do an automation based on the ID's. Going to give this a try the way you suggested, thanks. 

So this *kind* of works. I can trigger an automation in Airtable doing it this way, but unfortunately with Zapier if you use the "new or updated record" trigger it asks for a "last modified" field, which when I add to table B  doesn't actually update when the lookup fields get updated. I thought I could add a last modified field as a lookup from table A but Zapier can't find it then. ;\

5 - Automation Enthusiast
5 - Automation Enthusiast

I found a bit of a workaround solution, but not sure if it's a bit too convoluted (or scalable). Basically I created an automation that looks for an update to a field in table B that is triggered from table A linked record. I'm able to take action based on the lookup in table B, and then I update another field in table b with gibberish at this point (e.g. "updated"). This changes the modified time field for that record. It seems like doing it this way is the only way that record actually gets a 'modified' update. At least from there now Zapier works since the table actually updates, but still concerned about how scalable this will be.