Branch Webhooks Integration: Simplified 101

on Data Integration, Webhook • April 12th, 2022 • Write for Hevo

branch webhooks: FI

As an application marketer, you always want to know which marketing efforts get your application the newest users, and which marketing efforts keep them coming back. It’s also important to identify your most valuable users because not all users provide the same amount of value. With this information, you can switch creatives, try a different offer, build a new campaign, or test different Ad Networks.

In this post, you are going to learn how to configure Branch Webhooks so that you can receive notifications in real-time about events happening in your application as HTTP requests. This data can in turn be used to help you better understand the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Table of Contents

What is Webhooks?

Webhooks are a form of HTTP-based callbacks that are triggered by specific events on a Web Platform. A callback refers to a small code snippet related to a Web Application. Whenever any triggering event occurs on the originating Web Platform, the Webhooks identifies it, collects the data, and sends it to the URL you specified as an HTTP request. 

When something happens, Webhooks are automated messages sent by apps. They contain a message, or payload, and are delivered to a unique URL, which is essentially the app’s phone number or address. Polling is almost always slower than Webhooks, and Webhooks require less effort on your part.

A Webhook is a simple API that enables one-way data sharing in response to events. They enable applications to share data and functionality, transforming the web into something bigger than its parts. APIs and Webhooks are both methods for synchronizing and sharing data between different software systems.

A Webhook acts as a reverse API and is used for calling another application to receive data. You can connect a Webhooks with another application to send data directly to your system as soon as there is a change in it. This makes the process very convenient and efficient for providers and users.

Using Webhooks allows Web Applications to automate their communication. Unlike traditional systems that involved one system polling other systems for some data, Webhooks enables you to automatically push data into the other system whenever some event occurs. This eliminates the need for constant monitoring by the subject.

There are several use-cases when webhooks are very helpful. Here are a few examples of the same:

  • A notification email from Paypal alerts you when the client pays you.
  • In applications like Bitbucket, every time a user pushes commits in a repository, you can use Webhooks to instantiate the CI pipeline.
  • Sending success/failure emails when the build passes/fails.

Webhooks are event-driven systems, which means it becomes active only when the desired event happens, and they are restricted to communicate over web protocol-HTTP.

Because Webhooks notify other systems when an event occurs, changes are event-driven and made in near-real-time. A continuous integration system using Webhooks might send a message to the security team only when a build failure is due to a security problem, for example. This can “push” information onto the screens of the security team, instead of causing them to search for it periodically in other systems. It can also allow systems to synchronize in near-real-time, instead of overnight or in a batch.

An alternative to a Webhook is a polling process. A polling process has a program wait five or 10 minutes, then calls an API for a list of recent transactions, adding any new ones to a list and processing them. This assumes the API provides a list of recent transactions.

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Key Features of Webhooks

The following features have made Webhooks popular in the market:

  • Low Cost: All you need to work with Webhooks is its URL and a Website to which the Webhooks will be connected. Moreover, unlike a regular bot, Webhooks are hosted on Discord. This often saves you the hassle of making a financial investment to use them.
  • Automation: Webhooks enable many types of automation powered by other services and also allow you to manually send clear messages. These features provide various use cases like posting updates, logging, posting custom messages for aesthetic purposes, etc.
  • Customization: You can associate a unique name and image with each of your Webhooks. Moreover, each message sent by these Webhooks can also be unique. You can have several different Webhooks on different channels and use them according to your need.

To learn more about Webhooks, visit here.

What is Branch?

Branch is a mobile attribution platform offering developer tools to application companies for deep linking and attribution reporting. Deep linking technology is used to send users to searchable or indexable pages on an application or website. In this context, attribution simply refers to the act of determining the cause of an event. An example would be to link an app download to a marketing campaign, such as a display ad or a user-to-user referral. Performance marketers can easily see which sources, mediums, and campaigns are responsible for the most conversions or post-install engagements using attribution reports.

Branch uses multi-touch cross-device attribution models that give due credit to all the networks and channels that are playing a part in achieving your KPIs.This allows you to get a full picture of your customer, not just at the device level, but also at the user level.

Some common metrics that are used to measure engagement and conversions include clicks, app installs, reinstalls, opens, page views, impressions, session length, session frequency, retention rate, etc. Furthermore, if your app is monetized through real-world or in-app purchases, you can track and determine which marketing efforts are most effective in attracting users with the highest Lifetime Value (LTV).

Here is how it works, many Ad Networks can send contextual click information to Branch each time a user clicks an ad. This includes details like where the link was clicked, who shared it first, the action associated with the link, the marketing push associated with the link, and a slew of other custom events that are important to you. All this is made possible through Branch’s predictive modeling algorithm that tracks and combines data about your users’ device, operating system, browser, as well as cookies. With these data points, Branch can track clicks, referrals, acquisitions, and adoption. This technology is also being used to create user-to-user referral programs.

Over 50,000 brands trust and use Branch as part of their marketing technology stack — including Airbnb, Reddit, Target, Twitch, Amazon, Tinder, and many more.

Benefits of Branch Webhooks Integration

The Benefits of Branch Webhooks Integration are as follows:

  • Setting up auto-response workflow rules: Branch Webhooks can be used in applications that require notification and a potential follow-up response. For instance:
    • Incoming leads from the homepage of a lead generation website
    • Auto-response forms
    • Email trackings, such as clicks, opens, or spam
    • Incoming customer support requests
    • And so on!
  • Customer journey mapping: Branch events can be used to visualize customers’ interactions with your brand. The data gathered can assist you in viewing your company through the eyes of your customers. You can then design the customer’s journey flow to deliver value at each touchpoint based on these insights using Branch Webhooks Integration.
  • Capturing customer data across every possible interaction and activity:  Accurate customer scoring and analytics are aided by having a unified cohesive view. The information you collect allows you to fine-tune your marketing strategy and create personalized, relevant content.
  • Funnel analytics and optimization: You can track your customer’s journey from the moment they open your app to the time they complete the actions you want with funnel analytics. Your analysts, data scientists, and other team members can then use this information to identify the stages with the highest drop-off rates, identify areas for improvement, and then optimize your funnel to boost your ROI.
  • Generating retention and cohort reports: These reports can help you figure out where your most valuable customers come from and how to find more people who are like them. These insights from Branch Webhooks integration can then be used to more effectively find and acquire users.

Setting Up Branch Webhooks Integration

Branch Webhooks is a powerful solution for app marketers looking to increase user acquisition and app engagement by integrating their data with third-party analytics and marketing tools. All of this is made possible by the Branch SDK, which allows you to export your application’s installs and down-funnel event data to your system in real-time for selection.

As users interact with your app, the system generates a series of events, which are tracked, aggregated, and sent to you via Branch Webhooks. In your local environment, you can begin receiving data about your application. This data can be used to figure out things like overall usage, user engagement, revenue, and retention.

The external system receiving the data can be your favorite analytical data warehouse that you use for analysis or a marketing automation tool. On another level, it could be a server hosted in your environment that for instance has event listeners that send a message to your API whenever a Branch event is triggered.

For Integrating Branch Webhooks you need to follow the steps given below:

Prerequisites

To use Branch Webhooks:

  • If you are new to Branch, sign up for an account. 
  • Make sure to purchase Branch’s premium Data Feeds plan. You can request a custom quote using the Enterprise package.
  • Implement the Branch SDK into your app. Currently, Branch has SDKs for Android, iOS, Web, macOS, Win 32 C++, tvOS, and Roku.
  • You will need a URL endpoint that can accept HTTP POST and GET requests. All data associated with the triggered events will be received, stored, and relayed via this endpoint.

Register a New Branch Webhook

  • Step 1: Sign in to your Branch account.
  • Step 2: Select Webhooks from the Data Import & Export > Webhooks menu in the Branch dashboard. On the Webhook’s page, click the + Add New Webhook button. You will be redirected to another screen that has all the configuration options.

Configure the Branch Webhooks

  • Step 1: To begin with, in the Send Webhook to the text area, add a Payload URL. The Branch Webhooks will send an HTTP POST/GET payload to that URL endpoint when an event is triggered. After that, decide how you want to be notified about upcoming events. GET or POST requests can be used to accomplish this.
  • Step 2: In the event dropdown field, specify the Branch event that you would like to receive in your downstream system. Branch Webhooks supports the following events:
    • Impressions
    • Clicks
    • Opens
    • Installs
    • Reinstalls
    • Web-to-app auto-redirect
    • Web session start
    • Pageview
    • SMS sent
    • Branch CTA view
    • Commerce events e.g. Add To Cart or View Cart
    • Content events e.g. View Item or Share
    • User lifecycle events e.g. Login or Subscribe
    • Custom events.

This CSV file contains a complete list of all the events available:

https://s3-us-west-1.amazonaws.com/docs.branch.io/files/full-event-ontology-05312021.csv

  • Step 3: After that, click Add Rule to save your Webhook.

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Test the Branch Webhooks Integration

  • Step 1: To ensure that your integration works as intended, you can use RequestBin.com to build a mock REST API endpoint. Request Bin is a free online tool that provides you with a unique URL that you can then use to collect and display all the events emitted by your Branch Webhooks in a human-friendly way. Note that you will need to use a Pipedream account created using GitHub or Google account to use RequestBin.
  • Step 2: On the RequestBin homepage, click the Create Request Bin button.
  • Step 3: A unique URL endpoint will be generated for you. Copy this URL.
  • Step 4: In the URL field of your Branch Webhook’s configuration screen, paste the URL endpoint that was just copied.
  • Step 5: From now on, whenever a Webhook is triggered, it will be displayed on RequestBin. The POST body will have the following syntax:
POST
User-agent: Branch Metrics API
Content-Type: application/json
{
    "name": "<event name e.g. open>",
    "user_data": {},
    "last_cta_view_data": {},
    "last_attributed_touch_data": {},
    "custom_data": {},
    "event_data": {},
    "content_items": {},
    "timestamp": 'example timestamp (int)'
}

Limitations of Branch Webhooks Integration

  • Branch Webhooks cannot be used to export events associated with Facebook Ads, Twitter Ads, TikTok, or Snap.
  • You must be on the paid Enterprise plan to use Branch Webhooks.

Conclusion

This article talks about how to use Branch Webhooks to send data from your app’s user interactions events to an external application instantaneously and seamlessly. The easiest way to understand anything is by trying it out for yourself. You’re ready to begin integrating a few Branch Webhooks connections now that you’ve gained some new knowledge. Consider how you’d like to use it before attempting it.

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