ECommerce is a rapidly growing market that has been taking the world by storm, but how can we keep up with the competition? Knowing exactly where your business’ efficiency, productivity, and workflow can be improved is the first step to keeping your business running smoothly. The answer to how these can be improved lies in utilizing API integrations.
In this article, we’ll discuss a popular CRM platform that has a mountain of API integrations to help you personalize your website. You’ll also learn exactly what an API integration is, how it works with Hubspot, why you should be using it, and how to get started.
What is Hubspot?
Hubspot is a CRM (customer relationship management) platform, meaning that it was developed with the purpose of helping businesses manage their customer relationships. Like other CRMs, Hubspot offers tools the empower businesses to optimize their sales and marketing services so that they can focus on creating quality customer experiences that, in turn, help drive profits.
Beyond Hubspot’s CRM solutions are their CMS solutions, or content management system solutions. These services give users the capability to manage and create content on their websites to powerfully promote and showcase their business in order to take full advantage of the thriving online shopping market.
How does Hubspot work?
The way that Hubspot works is that they broke their platform down into individual hubs with specific tools for sales, analysis, marketing, operations, etc. This allows users a more customizable experience by giving them the option of only using what they need. For example, one business might only want to utilize hubs that are targeted towards customer experience, while another company might want their CRM to prioritize social media marketing and content management while foregoing other hubs.
A quick review of Hubspot
Though there are plenty of other CRM competitors to choose from, Hubspot shines in creating a simple and accessible user experience. However, optimizing the functionality of Hubspot will be a major component of making the most out of the platform, which means using APIs to add extra features for your customers. Luckily, Hubspot’s real claim to fame is the platform’s ability to seamlessly integrate with other apps, tools, and websites that you’re already using.
Other reasons to consider using Hubspot are its marketing tools, which can assist businesses in their growth and reach, as well as how scalable the platform is since you only choose the Hubs you need and can add more as your business expands.
The caveat to the above is that while Hubspot does offer a free version, it can get pricey beyond that, so even though it has the ability to expand with you, you’ll be paying at least the equivalent price tag. Additionally, to truly get Hubspot working to the best of its ability for you, it requires a skilled developer to properly set it up.
What is API integration?
The acronym API means application programming interface – in simple terms, the API acts as an intermediary between two or more applications that are exchanging information. If you’ve ever logged into an app by using Google or Facebook, you’ve used an API. In this example, the app that you’re logging into is exchanging the login credentials with Google/Facebook to get you verified and signed in.
Another example is synching scheduling information. In the very likely case that you’ve scheduled a Zoom call, it’s also likely that you were able to easily add it to your calendar with the simple click of a button. This is an API working to make Zoom and your calendar communicate seamlessly.
Though having a number of different software applications can complicate even the simplest of tasks, using API integration seamlessly allows data to be automatically transferred between multiple software platforms, which greatly decreases the need for human input (imagine having invoices generated automatically). This frees up employees to do other tasks that need a human touch.
Why should I consider using API integration?
It’s no secret that with technology where it is today, users and consumers expect the utmost level of speed and convenience – and it’s on businesses to keep up. With everything happening digitally and at a lightning pace, cutting any potential error and areas of drag in the workflow can significantly decrease the losses a business might face.
In fact, a study by Cleo showed that poor app integration cost 66% of businesses surveyed more than $500,000. While this may sound daunting, it also means that there are meaningful gains a business can make by incorporating an API. Put simply, API integration setup can save you time, money, and reduce losses made by human error.
Interested in learning more about the basics of API integration? Check out this article.
Benefits of using Hubspot API integration for small businesses
Hubspot is a bustling marketplace for native API Integrations. On top of their already highly customizable platform, it offers over 1,000 integrations, allowing users to create their own personal, all-in-one CRM. A primary benefit of using Hubspot API integration for small businesses is creating a better, more optimized user experience for your team. Because data synchronization happens in real time, all users are up to date on the goings-on in the business at all times. This synchronization also increases efficiency in productivity.
Hubspot API integration can help your organization in a variety of ways, including tracking sales, collecting leads, workflow, and more. Some of the more popular types of platforms that businesses tend to integrate with Hubspot include DXPs (digital experience platforms), CMSs (content management systems), email marketing, communication platforms, PIMs (Product Information Management), and more.
Other integrations include advertising, analytics, communication, sales, content, e-commerce, social media, etc.
Some examples of these applications that Hubspot can integrate with are:
- Google Calendar
- WordPress – for the complete guide, click here.
- Outlook & Outlook Calendar
- Facebook Ads
- Google Ads
In the Hubspot App Marketplace, there are thousands of apps available for users to utilize to enhance their customers’ experience on their website.
Hubspot API Integration Use Cases
Automate your marketing tasks
Imagine being able to automate all the tedious and repetitive tasks required in marketing: scheduling posts on social media, sending out email campaigns, or running analytics to get insights about your website visitors – all of these things and more can be done automatically with Hubspot API integration.
Improve your customer service
Your customer service team and all of your clients will thank you for using API integration. If you’re using a different platform to handle incoming questions and concerns from customers, you can use Hubspot API integration to synch platforms in real time.
This allows customers to receive the help they need more quickly and gives customer service reps the ability to access chats or support tickets with greater ease and speed without having to switch back and forth between platforms.
Empower your sales team
Sales reps who have greater insights into their leads have a greater advantage than those who don’t. In this use case, you can use Hubspot API integration to connect your CRM to give reps easy, quick access to any relevant information they need to close a sale.
For meetings with clients and customers, integrating Google Calendar or any other scheduling app will remove any cause for scheduling confusion.
Before you get started
There are a few things to know and consider before integrating APIs with Hubspot. To save you time down the road, take a moment to learn more about them or send us any questions you have.
Authentication is simply when an application is accessed. Hubspot uses OAuth 2.0 and private access keys in order to authenticate. It’s recommended that you know how your applications are verifying who is sending requests. For more information, click here.
An API endpoint is a location within an API where responses from different systems and applications are accepted and sent. Hubspot has API reference docs that include an overview and endpoint review, but you’ll need to know what specific URLs you’re using to send requests.
Usage or Rate Limits
API usage limits refer to the limitation on the number of requests that a user can make to an API. This keeps the API functioning properly and ensures that it doesn’t get overwhelmed with requests.
With OAuth apps, there is a limit of 100 requests per 10 seconds for free and starter accounts. At higher tiers, there is also a higher limit of requests.
How can I integrate my apps with Hubspot?
When using API with Hubspot, you have two options for how to integrate your apps:
- Use one of Hubspot’s native integrations from the Marketplace
- Create a separate integration over the API – this option will work if you have another system that needs communicating with (I.e., CRMs, social media, etc.).
HubSpot doesn’t have a true “backend” so if you want to have a website page gather data from an API, you’ll be unable to do so without exposing the API key. For customized integrations with Hubspot, you’ll need to use Hubspot’s API for everything to work correctly with Hubspot itself. HubSpot provides a user-friendly API that is well-documented. This makes it fairly easy for developers to understand and create reliable integrations.
If you have in-house developers or access to technical resources, you should be able to integrate your systems effectively. HubSpot’s API provides the flexibility to create custom integrations tailored to your unique business needs. This can be especially valuable if your business relies on specific workflows or requires a high degree of customization.
While Hubspot is known for being accessible, implementing and testing how apps exchange data and figuring out a workable data flow can be a tricky and time-consuming process. Ultimately, there are a lot of misconceptions about what can be done with Hubspot – it is simply a matter of thinking outside the box and either having or hiring people with the right skills to make it happen. Businesses who don’t have their own in-house developers and are serious about making the most of their online presence often hire a development team to help them optimize their workflow.
Private vs Public Apps
With OAuth (the security standard that Hubspot uses to allow apps to securely access data in another app), Hubspot supports two app types: public and private. Generally, both private and public apps work fairly similarly, but each one has different features.
If you want to build an app that is meant to have multiple users, or if you want your app listed on the Hubspot App Marketplace, you’ll have to make a public app. There are also some Hubspot features that can only be used with public apps, for example, timeline events. If all of this sounds like what you are aiming to do, you should consider creating a developer account or working with a developer to get you going in the right direction.
Creating private apps is better suited for integrations that are intended for individual Hubspot accounts that will not have multiple users. These may also be custom-made apps or apps built directly into Hubspot.
Bonus API Integration Resource List
Need more API IT Support? See our other articles on integration and optimizing your business’ workflow, or send us a message to talk to one of our professionals!
A Helpful Guide to Hubspot API Integrations for Small Businesses Summary
Taking your business to the next level doesn’t always have to mean more work – in the case of Hubspot API integrations, it can actually mean less work in the long run. Taking the time to learn more about Hubspot API integrations and how they work can have meaningful payoffs. However, just like any good business owner, know when it’s a good time to delegate the task of building your website and integrations to a professional developer.