Why APIs Matter

July 14th, 2010 by Tom Elrod

One of the primary functions of a Marketing Automation system is to automate tasks that would otherwise be a manual process, just as the name itself would imply.  However, what is often missed is this automation can expand outside of the product itself.  Using application programming interfaces (APIs) to integrate with internal systems can also help automate systems running outside the Marketing Automation system as well.  LoopFuse offers a wide variety of webservice APIs to allow for such automated integration.

For example, with the LoopFuse webservice APIs, users can make programmatic calls into their account to send out email campaigns.  This can be useful for internal processes such as an account management system where automatically sending out a warning email that a client’s account is about to expire would be desired.  There are LoopFuse customers using this functionality today within their internal account management system to trigger the sending of a pre-build email campaign with the notice of expiration via the LoopFuse webservice API.  This not only allows for their marketing team to control and manage the content and messaging of the email notice, it also allows them to track the email campaign to see if the recipient opened the email and took action based on the email.  It is even possible for them to then put the recipient into an automated lead nurturing program to monitor these tracking events and automatically follow up via a follow up email or CRM activity if the recipient had not performed an action within a given amount of time.

Not only does LoopFuse allow for inbound webservice calls, but users can utilize outbound webservice calls within their lead nurturing programs.  This is important because it allows automated workflows to incorporate specific internal business data points within the decision logic of the workflow.

One LoopFuse customer uses the outbound webservice call feature within their lead nurturing program to determine how best help their users who may be having trouble.  Once an end-user downloads their demo software, they will be placed into a lead nurturing program within the customer’s LoopFuse account.  The next day, their lead nurturing program will make a webservice call to their internal system to see if the end-user has installed and run the downloaded demo.  If not, an email will be sent to the end-users asking if they are having trouble installing the software along with troubleshooting tips.  If they have installed and run the software, then the end-user will be sent an email covering more of the advance features of the software to help them progress further.  The lead nurturing program will even monitor via an outbound webservice call to see if the software has been uninstalled and email the end-user a survey to get feedback on their experience with the demo.

For more information on the LoopFuse webservice API, check out our reference documentation on outbound webservice API and lead nurturing nodes.


One Response to “Why APIs Matter”

  1. Hi Tom, I agree that APIs are a useful part of Marketing Automation systems. The challenge is to successfully explain the usefulness to non-technical marketers. The example you give is a great one: if software companies can increase conversion from trial accounts, the ROI of the API integration can be proven quickly.

    The API makes it easy to monitor trial usage and make your lead nurturing campaign more relevant. For example, if prospects haven’t used the product after registering, the first challenge is to get them to use it. Once they’re using it, it may be a good time to send them additional documentation or support information. The API will make all of this a lot easier, especially since an API is something that software developers (within those software comapanies) are familiar with.

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