Need help understanding what a Webhook is

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Need help understanding what a Webhook is

At the most basic level, can someone help me understand what a webhook is?

I am looking to learn from a very basic example on the consumer/lead side.  I feel most of the information online is from a developer standpoint and as a someone with more of a traditional marketing background, I am finding it hard to understand. 

My understanding of a webhook as follows, (caution, this may be wrong.)  Example: A person fills out a form for more information on a service or product, which logs their email, name, location, and associates their ip address with that information.  You setup an if/then program for when someone visits a certain category, page, etc. on your website.  It triggers an action such as an email getting sent to this person to take an additional action, such as a purchase.  These actions all get captured and stored under a particular ip address or lead info. 

Amazon example of what I believe a webhook is: I am logged in under my account for amazon.  I research power drills.  I browse a few drills and then exit my browsing session.  A day later, I look at drills again (Amazon knows I really want a power drill...) This second session triggers an action 6 hours later that emails me to see if I am still interested in the power drill. Maybe even offering me an incentive to make a purchase. 

Am I on the right track?

My second question is, do webhooks have any involvment with retargeting?

If someone can confirm what I am thinking is correct, or explain to me the correct definition of what a webhook is, I would greatly appreciate any insight.  For my understanding, if you can provide how it works from the consumer/lead side, it would greatly help. 


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Re: Need help understanding what a Webhook is

No Kevin. That is not what Marketo webhooks are.

Web hooks are 'hooks' you can create in Marketo workflow to augment it by communicating with external third party web services.

For example,


You want to send a SMS text message. Marketo does not support sending SMS message as the part of the core Marketo workflow flow actions. So how do you do it? Use webhooks.

You might have a third party service which can accept a 'request' via a web service and send out the SMS.

Here is an example from Marketo LaunchPoint.



Say you are using a 'gifting' service to send out Holiday gifts this year. The gifting service might have set up a webform for you to submit new 'gift' requests. Now you want to create a workflow in Marketo which will automatically submit a 'gift request' when a form is submitted in Marketo. Here also, you can use a webhook to auto-submit the 'gift request' form.

These are just simple examples. There is much more that can be done. Basically, it is a mechanism where one can 'extend' Marketo workflow functionalities by 'hooking' external web services in Marketo flow.

Hope this helps

Rajesh Talele

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Re: Need help understanding what a Webhook is

And to answer your other question. There is no inherent relation of a webhook and retargeting.

There might be some work flows where a webhook can be used to interact with a 'retargeting' service to transfer data but it is a specific use of a web hook.