Automating Contact Updates with Lists and Webhooks

David Bullock — 

ActiveCampaign provides several tools for segmenting and managing your contacts. Chief among these are Lists. This article we’ll show you how to use Lists and Webhooks to ensure that your contacts details and access are automatically updated.

The Problem: Polling vs Pushing

The job that Memberium must do is to keep it’s local database of contact data in sync with the latest updates made to the contacts in the ActiveCampaign database. Each field update, each tag added or removed needs to be reflected in the membership site so that the member’s access is kept updated.

There’s two ways to keep the databases updated; the first is polling, which is when Memberium queries the ActiveCampaign database to check for updates. We do this when the user logs or when certain events happen. This method of keeping the databases updated leans on the API, and only does updates when we need to check, such as during a login.

However thanks to ActiveCampaign, there is a second, better way. ActiveCampaign provides the capability to push updates using webhooks when your contacts are updated. When your contact is updated, ActiveCampaign sends the updated contact to Memberium, so that the system is constantly updated.

What are Lists

Lists are a way to organize your contacts in ActiveCampaign into broad groups. Generally your CRM will only have a few lists which include broad groups of people. It’s best to organize lists around the general topics that you segment your communications by. For example, you would make a list of “customers”, but you would not likely make a list for each individual product or add-on.

Tags vs Lists

Tags and lists are similar, however, tags are a smaller, lighter weight, way to segment people into groups using fine attributes. While your lists may be “customers”, “prospects”, “members”, etc. Your tags would represent the fine level of detail, such as “Gold Access” vs “Silver Access”. Tags can also be used to track other aspects, such as whether the customer is behind on payments for a specific service offering, etc.

How to Use Webhooks

There are currently two ways to tell ActiveCampaign to send a webhook to Memberium with updated contact information.

The first way is to add it as a step in an Automation. Typically you would want to do this where a contact has done something that would cause a change to the contact. There are many different conditions (starts) you can use to start an automation, including applying and removing tags, web page visits, email opens, dates, etc. This can be very useful if you have a clear understanding of when updates need to be pushed to Memberium. It’s useful in that it is very tightly targeted and optimized.

The second way is to attach a webhook to a List. This will cause the webhook to be sent when any contact on the list is updated.

Depending on your preferences, you can create one list per product, or one list per website.

How to Add Webhook to a List

Memberium has tools to create and configure the webhooks for you and connect them to your lists.

Go to Memberium -> ActiveCampaign

Click the “webhooks” tab

Select the List you want to attach the webhook to, and select one of your webhook auth keys. Both options can be selected from the drop-down.

Click “Install/Reinstall Webhooks”

Repeat for each list you want to create a webhook for.

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