Automation is one of the best ways to create and maintain consistency in your marketing efforts. It ensures that you’re providing leads with the right information at the right time to help pull them further into the funnel and keep them from slipping through the cracks. Webhooks are one of the most effective ways to automate your lead generation and marketing activities.

What are webhooks?

A webhook is a way for one application to send data to the URL of another application based on a predetermined trigger behavior.

Examples of trigger behaviors:

  • filling out an opt-in form
  •  clicking on a link
  • responding to an email
  • booking a demo
  • requesting a call
  • visiting a landing page
  • clicking on a call-to-action
  • filling out a contact form

When the trigger occurs, the webhook:

  1. Sees the event
  2. Collects the specified data
  3. Sends the data to the URL specified

Why use webhooks?

The benefit of webhooks and other automation tools is that they are triggered automatically, sending information immediately when a triggering activity happens. That means that prospects automatically receive a response, or information gets passed to your CRM, or your lead lists are automatically updated. There is no worry about having versions of documents or manually updating databases. Using webhooks means there is no need to inform people on your sales or marketing teams. All the information updates continuously in real-time.

Automation is key

Automation also means that things happen automatically and seamlessly for a lead after they perform the trigger activity. For example, a lead fills out the opt-in form on your website. This triggers a webhook transfer to your email marketing system, triggering the first email in your nurturing drip campaign to send to their inbox. You’re seamlessly maintaining communication and consistent engagement without having to rely on a person to push a button or send an email. It ensures that leads don’t slip through the cracks.

From there, the lead clicks on a link in the email they receive and fills out a contact form. That triggers another automatic transfer of information to your CRM. At that point, your sales team can step in and qualify them for future communication or nurturing activities. Automating these activities means they are trackable and that you have up-to-date data to analyze.

How to set up webhooks

Setting up your webhook is as easy as determining what information you want to capture and where you want to send it.

  • Create a URL on your server that accepts and processes POST requests. This URL is the endpoint where the information you are capturing will be sent.
  • Provide that URL to your webhook provider (the app or service that will be sending the POST request with the information you want to capture).
  • Create a response body that details the triggering activity and what information will be sent to the URL when that trigger occurs.
  • When the trigger activity happens, the webhook automatically pulls the specified information and pushes it out to the URL.

It sounds complicated, but even without a lot of technical know-how, webhooks are easy to set up using free or inexpensive tools. These tools walk you through the process of creating webhooks and automations. Here are a few great webhook tools:

  • Zapier
  • GitHub

Combining the power of webhook tools with a person who can code opens the door even further to creating webhooks that do very complicated and granular tasks. This allows you to automate minute tasks in your workflows and really drill down on data.

Context is key

As a lead moves along the funnel and webhooks send information to a new application, context is vital. Suppose the person using the application doesn’t know the context of where a lead came from or what behavior triggered the transfer of information to the new application. In that case, they won’t know how to communicate with that lead going forward. Ensuring your team understands what webhooks are being used and what behaviors trigger them makes webhooks more effective as leads are handed off from one system to the next. It helps your team determine what the next step or subsequent communication should be and how best to nurture that lead at every stage.

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