Today, we have a newly released feature we just can’t wait to talk about.
We NEED to tell you about it right now.
Introducing incoming webhook triggers for Thrive Automator – your new time-saving, business-scaling, funnel-boosting shortcut to integrate almost any online tool with your WordPress website.
Incoming webhooks mean that any other web application can now talk directly to your WordPress website in real-time. Email services, checkout tools, scheduling applications, online course platforms... they can all share their data with your site, so you can set up smart automations to save time and integrate your funnels.
If you’ve ever wanted to automatically collect data from other online tools and automatically trigger an action on your website, then incoming webhooks will be your new best friend.
Here’s how you can take advantage of incoming webhooks in your online business...
Just Added to Thrive Automator: Incoming Webhooks!
Update your Thrive Automator version today to discover the newly added ‘incoming webhook’ trigger.
This generates a unique URL that ‘listens’ for incoming data in order to trigger an action supported by Thrive Automator on your website... such as creating a user account, or giving access to a Thrive Apprentice course.
But before we get too far into the details, let’s start at the beginning...
What are Webhooks?
Webhooks are a powerful and flexible way to send real-time data from one web application to another.
‘Web applications’ is an intentionally vague term that includes:
- WordPress plugins like Thrive Automator
- Email marketing services like ActiveCampaign
- Payment and checkout tools like Stripe
- Online course platforms like Teachable
- Scheduling applications like Amelia
- Form and survey tools like Jotform
For example, webhooks allow your payment platform to tell your website when someone makes a purchase AND pass along the customer’s data, so you can automatically set them up with access to a Thrive Apprentice online course.
This is incredibly powerful, as webhooks can automate entire funnels or business processes, and provide your audience with a rich and seamless experience.
Webhooks can be found everywhere online, connecting service A to platform B, or tool C to plugin D. In fact, services like Zapier and IFTTT actually run on the concept of webhooks, allowing them to pass critical information between different web applications.
Now you can do the same using webhooks inside Thrive Automator.
Incoming vs outgoing webhooks
Thrive Automator now supports both incoming and outgoing webhooks, so your website can receive or send important events and data.
Incoming webhooks receive data, and are useful for triggering an action on your website (e.g. granting access to a course) when an important event takes place on another web application (e.g. a tag is set in your email marketing service).
You’ll find the incoming webhooks in the ‘trigger’ options of Thrive Automator.
Outgoing webhooks send data, and are useful for sharing important events and data that take place on your website (e.g. a course module is completed) with another web application (e.g. setting a tag in your email marketing service).
You’ll find outgoing webhooks in the ‘actions’ step of Thrive Automator.
The Difference Between Webhooks vs APIs
If you’ve ever tried to connect two tools, plugins, or web services in the past, you’ve probably already heard of APIs, or Application Programming Interfaces to use their geeky full name.
Webhooks work very differently from traditional APIs, and provide more opportunity to quickly and individually respond to new events.
How webhooks work
Webhooks are event based, meaning that data is passed from one website to another every time a specific event takes place, such as a sale through Stripe, or applying an ActiveCampaign tag.
A webhook informs your website of each individual event in real-time, as they occur.
Hey! Something important just happened!
Here’s the data you need...
How APIs work
In contrast, traditional APIs are request based, meaning that data is only passed when:
- A request is a made, and
- New data is available
If your website doesn’t make a request, it doesn’t receive an answer or any data. This can lead to pointless ‘conversations’ where nothing really happens... until it finally does. The technical term for this is polling.
Has anything happened yet?
How about now?
Oh yes. Something really important happened an hour ago.
Here’s the data...
This isn’t to say that webhooks are always better than traditional APIs. Sometimes you want to collect a list of many events and their data at the same time (like importing a list of sales), but it’s clear that the real-time benefits of webhooks can make a huge difference when you need to trigger an action immediately for each individual event.
What Types of Tools Use Webhooks?
Pretty much any website, tool, platform, plugin, or web service that collects data can send a webhook, if their developers choose to.
Here’s a quick list of some popular tools that send webhooks to other websites:
Send a webhook whenever an email subscriber triggers a particular stage of an automation, receives a specific tag, an email is sent, an email is opened etc.
Send a webhook when a new student enrolls on a course, updates their profile, completes a quiz, leaves a comment etc.
Send a webhook whenever there is a new successful payment, an invoice is paid, the cart is abandoned, an order is refunded etc.
Send a webhook when a booking is scheduled, rescheduled, or canceled etc.
Send a webhook every time a form is completed, along with the submitted data.
Zapier, IFTTT, Automate.io
These tools automate processes by connecting different applications... using webhooks! They also offer an outgoing webhook action that allows you to receive data into Thrive Automator’s incoming webhook trigger feature.
With this new update to Thrive Automator, your website can now listen out for these webhooks to trigger automations whenever new events take place AND pass along the data they contain.
Real-World Use Cases for Incoming and Outgoing Webhooks
Let’s look at some ways you can use Thrive Automator’s webhook features in your online business...
1. Send customer data DIRECTLY from checkout tools such as Stripe, PayPal or Digistore24
Previously, you’ve been able to sell your Thrive Apprentice Products using a combination of WooCommerce and your choice of checkout tool... usually Stripe, PayPal or ThriveCart.
But did you know that most checkout tools (or payment gateways) can send webhooks?
You know what that means!
Now Thrive Automator can ‘listen’ for incoming webhooks from your checkout service, and automatically give access to a Thrive Apprentice course or Product.
We LOVE WooCommerce, but thanks to our new incoming webhooks trigger, you can uninstall WooCommerce until your business needs true eCommerce features.
Right now, you’ll need an incoming webhook automation for each Thrive Apprentice Product you sell... so if you have 5 Products, you’ll need to create 5 automations, each associated with a different ID in your checkout tool.
In the near future, we’re planning to offer a single automation that can dynamically filter different product IDs, saving you even more time and maintenance.
More checkout-specific guides here, and more to come soon...
2. Grant instant access to an online course whenever a tag is added in your email marketing service
Simply add a tag to a subscriber in your email application (ActiveCampaign, Mailchimp etc.) and watch as your WordPress website automatically creates a new user with access to a Thrive Apprentice online course or Product.
This means you can grant instant access to a free or paid course just by encouraging your subscribers to click a link in an email that automatically assigns a tag.
Or you can do the OPPOSITE... automatically revoke access to a specific online course or Product when someone graduates, unsubscribes, requests a refund, or a tag is removed.
Imagine changing a student’s entire range of Product access based on a simple email tag like beginner, intermediate or advanced.
This is bonkers powerful! Just think about all the ways tags can be added and removed, such as through follow-up automations, subscriber actions, and other tools that communicate with your email marketing tool... all of these options now allow you to trigger actions on your site such as giving or revoking access to an online course!
3. Automatically give access to an onboarding course when a client books a coaching session
That’s right, you can accept coaching or consulting sessions on tools like Amelia, Calendly and Acuity Scheduling, and instantly pass that data along to your Thrive-powered WordPress website, so you can automatically create a user account with access to an onboarding course in Thrive Apprentice.
No more waiting until you get to the “office” to manually copy across the data... now your clients can experience a professional, customer-focused brand that wastes no time in helping them achieve their goals.
4. Connect two entirely different websites using webhooks
Since Thrive Automator now supports both incoming and outgoing webhooks, you’re able to send events and data between your websites.
What does this mean in real terms?
Now someone can sign up to your mailing list on your main website, and automatically get a WordPress account and instant access to your Thrive Apprentice course on a different website.
Just set up Thrive Automator to trigger an outgoing webhook whenever an opt-in form is submitted, or whenever someone gains access to a Thrive Apprentice Product, and then pass their data across to an incoming webhook on your other website.
This can also work across websites and subdomains, so there’s no problem hosting your online school on an easy-to-remember subdomain like learning.mysite.com.
We’re just scratching the surface of what’s possible by combining incoming and outgoing Thrive Automator webhooks... we can’t wait to see the ways you connect your online ecosystem across multiple websites.
Are You Hooked Yet?
We’re super excited about the addition of webhooks into Thrive Automator – it opens up so many new possibilities for connecting your Thrive-powered website to the other tools in your business.
Today’s post gives you a quick peek into some of the use cases we think might be popular, but there really are endless applications that will save you time and headache, and scale your business.
Remember, this is just the start of opening up our Thrive Themes ecosystem to better integrate with third-party tools. Here’s some of the other initiatives we’re working on for you...
- More actions in Thrive Automator triggered by incoming webhooks.
- Dynamic filtering within a single automation, so you can pass along information like product ID from your checkout tool.
- Support for custom fields in WordPress actions and email autoresponder actions in Thrive Automator.
- Discussions with many of the brands and tools you’re already using, so you can share your events and data if you choose.
- A Conditional Display API that allows any 3rd party membership plugin to hook into our Conditional Display feature.
- A public Thrive Apprentice API that let’s new checkout tools build direct integrations for course creators.
- A new Forms API that means any email service can easily integrate with both Thrive Automator and the visually editable forms built with our Thrive Visual Editor
We’d love to hear how you plan to use webhooks to connect your business, and if you’ve got any great ideas or questions for our team!