2020 Digital Marketing Toolkit: Webhooks

Easier Workflows = Webhooks

Webhooks are the way apps can automatically send messages or information to other apps. They are small snippets of code that are linked to web applications, that are triggered by specific events. Webhooks allow for real-time notifications and data synchronization.

How does a webhook work?

An event occurs on the trigger application. The data from that event is then retrieved and serialized. The data is then sent to a webhook URL from the action application. Once that occurs, the action application lets you know if it has been successful or not. 

For example, it’s how Paypal communicates to your banking app when a friend or client pays you money. Once the money is transferred, your account will let you know if the transfer was a success or not. 

There are 3 simple steps to the process of how a webhook works. Utilizing the above example let’s look at what that looks like in real-time: 

  1. Webhook recognizes the event.
  2. Data is retrieved from the event. 
  3. Data is sent to a URL specified by you (HTTP Request). 

Let’s look at these steps more in-depth.

1. Webhook recognizes an event.

In this example, the webhook recognizes the event as money needing to be automatically deposited in your bank account. The webhook utilizes the information that you input into the app. 

For example, when you set up a Paypal account it requires your banking account information (account number and routing number) and card information. Essentially, this creates a unique URL (that PayPal recognizes) that is specified to you and your banking app.

2. Data is retrieved from the event.

Continuing with the same example, the data that is retrieved from the Paypal app would be the amount of money and who it is from. Paypal then recognizes your unique URL and then triggers the (webhook) URL and automatically makes an HTTP(Post) Request.

3. Data is specified.

Once the request has been made a third party software interprets that data for it to be transmitted to the webhook endpoint. In this case, that endpoint would be your bank account. This request would send your bank a “notification,” that Paypal is trying to transfer money to your account. You would then see the deposit in your account, or depending on the bank, you would see a pending deposit in your account. This would let you know that the transfer was a success.

That is the simple version of how a webhook works.

Technical Definition of Webhooks

Webhooks are a method of developing or altering the behavior of a web application with custom callbacks. These callbacks are user-defined. Callbacks may be altered, supported, and controlled by 3rd party users and developers (i.e. Zapier). 

A webhook is an HTTP facility for processing event notifications. Notifications generally include details and data associated with the event. Instead of JSON, XML, or other coding languages, it is done by data execution from one app to another by HTTP. 

Once an event has occurred over HTTP, you will receive a status code. This status code helps you determine if the webhook callback was a success. 

Overall, webhooks are more efficient ways to automate workflows between apps.

Webhooks & Workflows with CRM Software: HubSpot

HubSpot is a free software that allows you to automate your workflows and organize your content marketing strategies. HubSpot also offer HubSpot Academy, a learning platform that allows you complete courses and exams for certifications.

At HubSpot, you can integrate your HubSpot with Zapier. This is a great software tool to use to automate workflows. Zapier is an app that helps you with automatically transmitting data from one app to another. Using Hubspot as an example, below in the image are some of the workflows that you can execute. 

This app is a great way to help manage your contacts and forms within HubSpot. It helps with creating triggers that automatically, move contacts and information out of HubSpot to help trigger tasks, like sending emails, keeping your contacts up-to-date or creating spreadsheets of data. 

Below are some of the triggers that Zapier supports with HubSpot. To view more benefits of integrating Zapier with your HubSpot account click here. 

Zapier also has a vast list of actions that are possible when integrated with your HubSpot account. 

To get started with integrating Zapier with your HubSpot account simply follow the steps from Zapier’s HubSpot Integration page. You can also view our “Tech Profile: Zapier” and “Connect Your Entire Marketing Toolset with HubSpot and Zapier,” articles regarding more of the benefits of integrating Zapier in your marketing strategy.

Setup Webhooks in HubSpot

Workflows are essential to your HubSpot account. 

To view how to set up a webhook with your Hubspot account view their latest post “Use Webhooks with HubSpot Workflows.”   This step-by-step guide walks you through the process of creating a webhook within your HubSpot account. This guide will help you start passing information from HubSpot to other web applications. 


In addition to creating a webhook, the guides provide you with information on how to test your webhook utilizing the https://webhook.site

Essentially…

Webhooks are a great way to automate your website actions and workflows.

Consider incorporating Webhooks within your site to places where you have been handling processes manually, such as emails or new subscriber welcome messages. you can easily set-up a webhook to handle that for you.

This allows you to spend more time on more advanced and important actions like SEO and a fresh content.

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