The marketing technology landscape has grown tremendously in recent years and there is competition amongst clients to utilize the opportunity that abounds with it to foster an efficient customer relationship model. Using integrated tools such as Webhook and HubSpot in creating custom callbacks that notify you of a customer’s preferences, likes, etc. has a way of helping you shape specific product offerings for such a customer.
Webhooks not only tell you when a change is made but do so almost immediately. They are a powerful tool that eases your workload and sharpens your response output. HubSpot on the other hand offers insight into the data gotten from the callbacks from Webhooks to enable an organization to cater to its marketing strategy, sales promotion, and general customer services.
This blog article aims at showing you how to integrate HubSpot Webhooks by creating events that will be triggered whenever it’s required by other applications. Here is a brief outline of this blog:
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HubSpot is an American company and marketer of software products that aids marketing, sales, and customer services. It provides tools necessary to handle customer relationship management, content management, social media marketing, lead generation, web analytics, live chat, search engine optimization, and customer support. This can be done by using its features which include Free CRM, Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub.
Content on HubSpot is primarily optimized for the user and its services are affordable. It syncs the sales and marketing process, therefore, acting as a one-stop-shop for your marketing tools and channels. HubSpot also has integration features with other Customer Relations Management (CRM) systems such as salesforce.com, SugarCRM, NetSuite, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, etc. There are also third-party products like templates and extensions which are readily available.
Additionally, HubSpot offers consulting services and an online resource academy for learning inbound marketing tactics.
A Webhook is a method of altering and modifying the behavior of web pages or web applications by using custom callbacks. It can be explained basically as a user-defined HTTP callback that is triggered by specific events. When the trigger event happens on the source site, the Webhook takes note of the event, collects the data, and sends it to the URL specified in the form of an HTTP request. This event that causes a trigger can be a comment posted on a blog, a sign-up, etc.
A Webhook delivers data to other applications as it happens, meaning you get data immediately unlike traditional APIs where you would need to poll for data very frequently to get it in real-time. This makes Webhooks much more efficient for both providers and consumers. Webhooks are typically used to connect two distinct applications. You can even configure an event on one site to trigger an action on another site.
Setting up HubSpot Webhook Integration
Webhooks API enables connections to your HubSpot account which allows you to subscribe to real-time events. Rather than making an API call when an event happens in a connected account, HubSpot can send an HTTP request to an endpoint you configure. HubSpot will determine whether a given Webhook can read your data and push updates outside of HubSpot. These rights are the ones you grant whenever you install a HubSpot integration in your portal.
In this section, you will learn how to set up HubSpot Webhook integration to maximize the efficiency of your web applications. You will also learn how to create an App, install it, and subscribe to your Webhook on HubSpot. Below are the steps involved to achieve this.
Creating an App
First, you will need to create an app as every Webhook needs an app to function. To create an app on HubSpot, carry out the following steps in order:
- Create a HubSpot developer account
Before creating an app, you will be required to have a HubSpot developer account, this can be done by signing up for free on HubSpot.
- Create an app
Once you have created the developer account and you are logged in, the HubSpot home page is displayed. On the page, click on “Create an App”. This can also be done by using the “Create App” button as shown in the figures below.
- Next, you will fill out some basic information and settings for your app such as app name, description, logo, and support contact info on the page. When users authenticate your app with their HubSpot account, they will see the name, and other information you filled as shown below.
- In the next tab, you can configure your Auth setting as seen in the diagram below. It includes client ID and client secret. Client ID and secret are what HubSpot uses to authenticate requests made by your application. You can simply refer to them as your username and password.
- Next, you will set up scopes for your app, this information will be needed for initiating an OAuth connection between your app and HubSpot. Click on the dropdown at the bottom of the page to add new scopes to your app. The Redirect URL is where users will be sent after granting your app access to their HubSpot account. If you don’t include a redirect URL, users will get a connection error. Redirect URLs must use HTTPS unless they are on the localhost. Further reading on initiating the OAuth process can be done here.
After going through the steps listed above, you will have successfully created an app. You can read more about app creation from the official HubSpot documentation.
Installing an App
Installing an app can be achieved in two steps: authorization and token generation.
- For authorization with a HubSpot account, you will create an authorization URL by getting the client ID for your app and initiating the OAuth process. Select the account where you want to install your app.
After choosing an account, you’ll be presented with a list of scopes based on the &scopes= and &optional_scope= parameters you set for the authorization URL.
After granting access, you’ll be redirected based on the &redirect_uri= parameter in the original authorization URL, and a ?code= parameter will be appended to the URL. You will use that code in the next step to generate an access token.
- Generate the initial OAuth tokens using the auth code provided during authorization. To generate your refresh and initial access tokens, you will need the code from the ?code= parameter of the authorization URL, redirect_url from Step 1, client ID, and client secret.
Once permission is given for your app to the generated initial tokens, the installation is complete and it will be listed on your Connected Apps page which can be found under Settings > Integrations > Connected Apps.
Finally, we integrate the Webhook in HubSpot to get a custom callback. In setting up the Webhook, you will need to specify a URL to send notifications to, tune the rate at which your endpoint can handle requests, and set up Webhook subscriptions. Setting a rate limit helps HubSpot send you notifications as fast as possible without putting too much load on your API.
Webhook URL and Rate Limits
You can set up your Webhook URL and rate limit on the configuration page in your developer account by doing the following:
- In the Apps dashboard, select the app that you will like to set up Webhooks for.
- On the navigation panel, select Webhooks found on the left. Doing this brings up a prompt with an interface where you can set the target URL and event throttling limit. The image displayed below shows an example of this.
Once the Webhook URL and rate limit have been set, you can proceed to create one or more subscriptions. Webhook subscriptions tell HubSpot the events your app would like to receive. The are various subscription types namely: Contact creations, Contact deletions, Privacy compliant contact deletions, Company creations, Company deletions, Company property changes, Deal creations, Deal deletions, Deal property changes, etc.
To set up a subscription in your developer account, do the following:
- In the developer Apps dashboard, select the app that Webhooks will be created for.
- Select Webhooks on the left of the navigation panel.
- Click “Create subscription”.
- On the new screen prompt, select the object type, be it contact, company, deal, etc. and also select the appropriate event type such as creation, change, deletion, etc.
Note: Deleted for privacy can only be selected when “contacts” is the only selected object type.
- For property change events, you will be required to select the property in question. This can also be done manually by entering the property names, which allows you to use custom properties.
NOTE: New subscriptions are created in the paused state, therefore, you will need to activate the subscription for Webhooks to work.
Test your Webhook
Once the Webhook application is activated on your HubSpot portal, you can create/delete a contact to see if it appears in Request.bin. If it does, your Webhook has been created successfully.
You have been taken through a journey on how to integrate HubSpot Webhooks. This was done by first explaining the way Webhook works, then an explanation of HubSpot was provided. In HubSpot, you learned how to create an App, install it, and set up the App to receive Webhook notifications. Setting up Webhooks required you to set the URL and rate limits, as well as the subscriptions.
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