How Clay Works

1️⃣ How Clay Works

If you've already taken a peek at Clay, you've likely picked up on the fact that there is a lot of potential power. Below we explain how Clay works at its core. If you fully understand the concepts in this doc, you can build almost anything.

At its core, Clay boils down to three main areas:

  1. Inputs

    • This is data you bring in or find with Clay as your starting point.

  2. Actions

    • These are actions you can run from the 50+ data providers we offer. These actions allow you to either:

      • Transform the input you gave.

      • Find new data based on the input you gave.

  3. Outputs

    • These are the beautiful results of actions.

When you put this together, you can quickly turn a single input into a massive data set. See an example illustration below:

Now let's dive deeper into each of these 3 categories:

2️⃣ Inputs

Every action in Clay requires a certain input(s). For some enrichments, you may need just a company name, for others it may be a full name + domain. To see what inputs are required, just select the input you'd like to use. Check out some examples below!

If you don't have any data to get started with -> Click "New Table" to see all of the options we provide to help:

  • Import data you already have from a CSV

  • Import data directly from your CRM

  • Find data from LinkedIn in Clay

  • Find data from Store Leads

  • The list goes on...:)

Once you have your initial table, you can use any of the columns you have as inputs!

3️⃣ Actions

Actions are how we either transform data or find new data.

To get started with Actions, we always recommend clicking "Enrich Data" in any table and browsing all of the possibilities. There are quite a few to choose from.

We have a few different ways you can use actions.

  1. Single Provider Actions

    • Use one provider to perform an action and get a desired output.

    • For example, you may have a person's name and company domain in your table. You can then select the Find Work Email action from just one provider like Findymail.

  1. Waterfall Actions (Multi-provider Actions)

    • Use multiple providers to perform an action and get a desired output.

    • Instead of relying on one provider to find your desired output. You can use multiple providers at one time. If you have a person's name and company domain, you can use the "Work Email Waterfall" which uses up to 5 different providers to find a valid email.

  1. Recipes

    • Use pre-built chains of actions to get your desired output that require more than one step.

    • Let's say all you have is a company name. Your goal is to get their Linkedin Profile, Linkedin Description, and company size.

      1. The recipe will first run the "Domain Waterfall" to find the domain. Then it will automatically take the output of that waterfall, and use it as an input to find associated LinkedIn information.

4️⃣ Outputs

Outputs are the results of the actions in Clay - they're the real end goal.

Once you've found the outputs you want, you can export your data in 2 main ways:

  1. Download the table as a CSV

  1. Automatically export the data to your CRM/Email Sequencer/Database

    1. Click "Enrich Data"

    2. Then scroll down to our export options

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