You have probably heard about webhooks before, but maybe thought they were too complicated for your business. 💼
The thing is, webhooks can help you automate your marketing tasks by connecting different apps together. This will give you an advantage over your competitors and allow you to spend more time optimizing your strategy rather than transferring data from one app to the other.
Do you wish to save time?
Of course you do.
Read on and you’ll find that webhooks are not as difficult to set up as you’d expect. However, let’s start from the beginning in this webhook tutorial.
What Are Webhooks?
Technically, webhooks are user-defined HTTP callbacks. However, that might not mean anything to you, so let us explain it in a less technical way!
Webhooks are a way of transferring data from one app to another app. Currently, Platformly only accepts inbound webhooks, which means that you can use webhooks to transfer data to Platformly, but not the other way around.
This works via a “webhook URL”, which is kind of a phone number that one app rings to send data to the other one. However, a webhook is much more elaborate than a phone number. Data about the event is sent to the webhook URL using a JSON or XML format. This is an example of how a webhook can translate into code:
This method of connecting apps is usually more effective than using APIs, for the reasons that we’ll explain in the next section of this webhook tutorial.
What is The Difference Between APIs & Webhooks?
The answer is simple: an API requires you to check whether there is new data or not, whereas a webhook is constantly updating your data without you having to request it. 🪝
Further down this webhook tutorial, we’ll explain how to connect Platformly and other apps using an incoming webhook.
What Are Some Examples of Webhooks?
In this section, we’ll show you a few examples of how webhooks have permeated the digital world. You’ll find that you’ve been using webhooks for a while and you didn’t even notice!
Your banking app uses webhooks to let you know when funds are low, when your credit card bills are due, and many more notifications. You don’t have to ping your bank app to get these details. You can even get a warning message when your account might be affected by fraud. 🏦
Webhooks allow you to publish the same post on different social media. If you use Instagram, you probably noticed that when you publish, you have the toggle options for Twitter and Facebook.
Once you connect these accounts, you can publish on either, or both at the same time. This is one of the ways to use webhooks that you probably weren’t aware of!
When you’re waiting for a parcel, you’re informed of the status of your order via webhooks. These notifications are not requested; they are automatically sent as the transportation company moves your products along.
If you’re a stock investor, your finance app can send you news about stock price changes, reports, or quarterly ROI for the companies you’re interested in. All this information is sent using push notifications, which are based on webhooks.
Okay, so that’s interesting to know. However, I bet you’re asking: “what does that have to do with me, a digital marketer/business owner/marketing team manager?” Well, it has all to do with you. 🔗
How Can I Use Webhooks in Digital Marketing?
There are many ways webhooks can be used for digital marketing. You can use them to connect apps, send push notifications for your customers on mobile, and much more.
If you have a mobile app, you can set up mobile push notifications for your users and make sure they always know about useful updates and account changes.
Geo-fencing is also quite common: instead of using segments and tags, you can set up geographic areas in which you’ll send specific promos or new offers. Most users nowadays use mobile phones, so it’s easy to locate your users to make sure you’re targeting the right place. 🗺️
When you have time-sensitive notifications to send, you can use webhooks to send text messages directly to your users, rather than waiting for users to log in to your app. This is especially needed when you have a quick promo. You want your users to find out about your promo as soon as possible, not after they’ve logged in – your users are not going to go looking for a promo if they don’t know it’s there.
Why Should I Use Webhooks?
Let’s say you have a website that offers tips for the Fantasy Premier League. To get these tips, users need to become members.
Now, imagine that every time a user buys a membership from your website, you have to collect their data and copy it into your CRM to switch on the subscription. What a pain! Well, webhooks can make this easier.
In this case, let’s say you receive payments through Stripe and Platformly is your CRM. You’ll be able to set up a webhook from Stripe that allows Platformly to create new customer profiles in its CRM. As we mentioned before, Platformly only allows for inbound webhooks – which is precisely what you would need to make this work. 👨💻
When a webhook collects data from one app to the other, you don’t need to import data manually. You just keep the connection up to transfer data automatically between apps. This makes it a lot easier: if you had to transfer this data manually, it would become too time-consuming at some point. As your business grows, you’re not going to be able to register hundreds of members a day.
That’s another reason why webhooks are useful: they save you time by transferring your data automatically without the need for a request.
How to Use Webhooks in Platformly
If you want to use webhooks with Platformly, you’ll see it’s easy. In this webhook tutorial, we’ll show you how to set up a webhook quickly. In this case, we used Elementor, but there are many apps you can use with webhooks on Platformly.
To find the Webhook settings, click on the Automation tab at the top and select Webhooks from the menu.
This will open the Webhooks area. If you have a webhook set up already, you’ll find it listed here. If it’s the first one you create, of course, the area will be empty.
Click on the blue “+” button to create a new webhook. This will give you two options: incoming webhook or outgoing webhook. As we mentioned, Platformly only allows for incoming webhooks at the time of writing, so we’re going to ignore the Outgoing Webhook option and click on the Incoming Webhook button.
Now, let’s fill in the form on the new screen. The webhook name can be anything you want, as long as it will be easy for all users in your team to understand. In this case, we named the webhook “Test 1”.
Then, select the API key that you have previously created in the API Docs & Keys section, in this case, for Elementor. If you didn’t create the API key yet, we’ll show you how.
To create an API key, click on the profile menu at the top right. You’ll see an option called API Docs & Keys. 🔑
Click on it and you’ll see the following window:
To create a new API key, click the blue “+” button. Note that for each app you connect to Platformly, you need to create an API key. It might seem confusing that you need an API key to connect a webhook, but API keys are meant to let the other app know that you have authorized the connection with Platformly. They are not exclusive to API connections and are needed for webhooks too.
Fill in the name of the API key (in this case, “Test 3”). The API key will generate automatically and all you need to do is click Submit. This API key should then be copied and pasted on Elementor.
Copy the webhook URL that will show on this screen into the adequate Elementor field.
Now, once you have added the Webhook URL on Elementor, simply click on Start Listening.
Once you click Start Listening, you need to go to Elementor and send a webhook test request (the button will say Call Webhook). If it works, all you need to do now is to click Save Webhook.
Now, once the call is received on Platformly, simply choose an option for the action to be performed on Platformly. Select each field that will be transferred from Elementor, and that’s it.
You set up your connection between Elementor and Platformly using a webhook.
Webhooks are a highly effective way to connect other apps to Platformly. In this article, we explained to you why you should use webhooks and how you can make them work for you.
At the time of writing, Platformly allows for incoming webhooks, and outgoing webhooks will be supported soon as well.
Still not sure how to use webhooks in Platformly? Here is a video tutorial:
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