Instant gratification powered by webhooks

March 31, 2017 by Experian Marketing Services

How do you quickly notify your customers and communicate with other platforms whenever an important event occurs? In an increasingly connected, always on world, there is a growing need to continuously share events and data between multiple systems. Time sensitive information like order status updates, user activity and loyalty point balances need to be synchronized across backend databases, point of sale systems and marketing platforms. Most often in real-time.

An elegant and well-established solution is webhooks, which provide a way to simplify the transfer of event-based data. Usually triggered by an event, webhooks are designed to communicate data between disparate systems in real time.  Similar to submitting a web form using a browser, webhooks are made up of four elements:

  1. An endpoint – the destination system’s url
  2. Headers – define the type of content being shared and optionally, authorization credentials
  3. Method type – used to define the type of operation: sending, retrieving or updating data
  4. Data – the data or message being sent to another system

The combination of these four components offers a flexible way to transfer data or send messages to any external databases and applications that communicate via APIs. Webhooks can integrate with a growing number of online applications from chatbots to mobile wallet to instant messaging and much more.

The Marketing Suite has implemented a rather unique version of webhooks in which all of the normal campaign management features can be used to keep customers engaged with timely and relevant messages.  For example:

  • Just like email, SMS, or Push Notification campaigns, webhooks use audience segmentation and employ business rules based on the status of other campaigns
  • Webhooks can be setup to run on-demand, triggered by events, and at specified time intervals
  • Webhooks allow marketers to keep up with rapidly evolving channels such as mobile wallet card updates, instant messaging apps and chatbots, without requiring code development

Here are some examples of Marketing Suite webhooks in action:

  • A customer interacts with a brand’s Facebook page via a Facebook Messenger chatbot. Based on the information provided to the chatbot, Marketing Suite webhooks are triggered to send a follow-up email directly to the customer featuring personalized product recommendations and offers.
  • An urgent message needs to be sent to a customer and multiple channels such as email, SMS and call center have to be used in conjunction to ensure delivery. In this case, webhooks are used to communicate the latest delivery status of the message to each of the systems. For example, if the link in an email is not clicked within a certain amount of time, an SMS or push notification can be sent.  If that message is not actioned by the user, then webhooks notify a voice or call center system to contact the customer.

Webhooks are powerful connection tools that transfer data and transaction information between diverse databases and business applications.  These easy-to-implement communication mechanisms are flexible enough to meet a wide variety of use cases and business needs, ensuring you have the information necessary to communicate to customers in a timely, effective and personalized manner. For more information on webhooks or any capabilities within the Marketing Suite, please contact us.