What are webhooks?
Webhooks are a way for you to tell a web app to send information automatically to another application when certain events occur in said web app. It’s how PayPal tells your Accounting app when your clients pay you, it’s how Twilio routes phone calls to your cell phone, and how WooCommerce can notify you about new online orders in your Slack account.
They’re a simple way your online accounts can “speak” to each other and get notified automatically when something new happens in one of your applications. Webhooks have been around for quite a few years now and many businesses are using them to automate workflow between the different web applications they use today and their GoldMine CRM.
Webhooks are a lightweight method of integrating applications together. If an application does not have the ability to send data to a webhook, then programmers typically have to utilize an API to develop middleware applications or complex user interfaces to allow the user to poll an application for new data. This is time consuming and costly. With webhooks you configure one application to send data to a URL endpoint when an event occurs in that application. The URL endpoint is a web script that is programmed to receive the data and process the data as needed. This allows data to be processed instantaneously and automatically.
How does it work?
First Direct Corp. has been helping our customers to automate workflow and data entry from their online applications and into GoldMine for a number of years now. The process involves setting up a web server (IIS) on a server/computer in your office where GoldMine is hosted. Once the web server is setup, a subdomain name is registered ie subdomain.yourdomain.com and an SSL Certificate is configured to encrypt the data sent between your applications and GoldMine. We then open up some ports on your router and firewall to allow the website to be accessed from outside your network so your web applications can “talk” to your GoldMine. For those customers using our GoldMine Cloud offering your cloud hosted server is already configured with a web server and subdomain /domain name and SSL Certificate.
We then install and configure a RESTful API that was developed for GoldMine by First Direct Corp., this allows custom applications to be developed for integrating other applications with GoldMine or webhooks to be developed for simple web automation.
Examples of webhooks that we’ve setup
If you’re still reading, then hopefully by now you understand that there is a way to have your web applications communicate/talk to your GoldMine CRM to automate workflow and data entry. Here are some examples of the things we have helped our customers with:
- Web Form Integration
When a person submits an online web form on your website, automatically create a new contact record in GoldMine or update an existing contact record if the contact already exists. Then create a history entry in the record to indicate that the online form was submitted, with the data that was provided in the form. Next schedule a Call or Next Action for an assigned sales rep to reach out and contact the person who submitted the form. Send an automatic email reply back to the person who filled out the web form thanking them for contacting you and also send an email notification to the assigned sales rep. so they are aware of the new contact as well.
- Shopping Cart Integration
When an online order is placed in the customers shopping cart, automatically create a new contact record in GoldMine or update an existing contact record if the contact already exists. Then create a history entry with all the data about the online order, for historical purposes. Schedule a next action for the necessary GoldMine user for follow-up, to ensure the order is processed. Also send a notification email as well to necessary persons for online order processing. Then create a custom detail entry in the record in GoldMine with the information about the product(s) the customer ordered.
- SendGrid.com Email Marketing Integration
When an email recipient clicks on a link in your email campaign create a history entry in the record to indicate which link they clicked on. If its a specific link we could schedule a call for an assigned sales rep, etc.
When an email recipient unsubscribes from your email campaigns, update the email address/contact record in some way to indicate they have unsubscribed so they are not emailed again. Schedule a next action for an assigned rep to notify them the person has unsubscribed.
When an email recipients email address hard bounces, find that email in the GoldMine database and remove it and create a history entry of the fact it bounced and that it was removed/deleted for that reason.
When an email recipient marks your email as SPAM, create a history entry of the fact they did so.
Reports can be provided to generate lists of all Clicks, Unsubscribes, Bounces, etc.
These are just several examples but I think you are starting to get the idea about the sort of workflow and data entry automation that can be setup between various web applications and your GoldMine CRM.
I’ve shared several videos demonstrating various applications or integrations I’ve created using a GoldMine RESTful API and Webhooks on this blog and on our YouTube Channel. I would encourage you to check those out if you are still curious about the sort of things that can be done with the GoldMine RESTful API and webhooks.
If you have questions or are interested in automating workflow and data entry between your apps and your GoldMine, you can contact us online or call us at (845)221-3800.