Webhooks as building blocks of Marketing Automation

Webhooks as building blocks of Marketing Automation

There’s a huge number of platforms and APIs out there to help a mobile marketer build great experiences for their users. At Swrve, for example, we provide a great solution for communicating directly with your users while in the app, or to re-engage them with targeted and timely push notifications.  

But sometimes you’ll want to reach them over different channels (e.g. email) or connect their experience in your app to other experiences or systems delivered by other platforms. That’s certainly what consumers expect - a joined up experience.

By way of example, here are some of the types of connections you might want to make:

  • Deliver an email confirmation when a user completes a specific action in the app.
  • Add a reminder to a ‘TODO’ list based on activity in the app.
  • Log an entry in their calendar to remind them of an event they’ve booked in the app
  • Post a comment directly to a Slack channel based on some activity in the app

The great news is that many of the other platforms you’ll want to connect with have APIs setup for just this purpose. These APIs open up an infinity of possibilities in connecting the user experience across multiple channels and delivering real value to your users through the tools they use on a daily basis.  

To enable this level of connectivity, Swrve supports a number of partners directly with our Open Platform enterprise connectors, allowing you to sync your Swrve users, and their properties, with users on other platforms, and employ that partner’s tools to email, SMS or otherwise interact with your users. But for those marketers that want more fine grain control over the interactions with 3rd party systems, Swrve will soon introduce our webhooks, which provide an awesome real-time way to drive actions in other systems directly from user activity in the app.

A great way to illustrate this is to use one of the popular web automation platforms like IFTTT or Zapier. These tools allow you to create simple or complex connections between different web app APIs, acting as a routing layer. They provide connectors to popular web apps, removing much of the pain of deep diving into API documentation. Zapier in particular allows you to trigger actions from arbitrary incoming webhooks, and this is something you can tap into immediately with Swrve.

As an example, we’re going to run briefly through using an in-app event, tracked by Swrve, to generate a webhook with embedded user properties, that will in turn be directed to Zapier and on to a community manager’s Trello board.

To begin, we’re going to raise an event when a user of a personal fitness app logs a new personal best time. This will generate a webhook to Zapier, which will then generate a Trello TODO with details of the user and their time.  

In this case, the Trello is owned by a community manager for the app and they’ll use this TODO list to remind them to reach out to the user. In reality, at volume, you’d connect automatically to an email system, but there’ll be occasions when sometimes a personal touch to a user will be hugely valuable, and this illustrates one way to do this!

In Zapier, you’ll set up a Hook which connects an incoming webhook (generated by Swrve) and use this to trigger a Trello card creation (as shown below).

When creating the card in Trello, you can populate it with the personalized user information that Swrve forwards via the webhook, giving you all the information you need to have a direct interaction with the user of the app (Swrve user fields are shown here highlighted in the embedded Trello card template):

In Swrve, you’ll configure a webhook, using the Zapier API as an endpoint and define which of the user’s properties you’d like sent to the destination:

And now we just need to define when this webhook will be triggered in the app.  For this example, we’re firing the webhook when the user logs a new personal best, but only for English speaking users who are very active in the app (i.e. our most committed users) and who have tagged themselves as “runners”. Swrve’s target audience tool and event triggering system makes this simple:

Once saved, this campaign is now ready to fire, and with each new personal best logged in the app, we’re going to get a reminder in Trello:

Opening up the card we can see all the embedded information needed to reach out directly to that user of the app:

Everything happens in real-time, using Swrve’s real-time event processing system, allowing you to build many different types of immediate responses to user activity with the app.

That’s omni-channel marketing!