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5 API integrations to improve retention

Jun 1, 2023
Shweta Joshi
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Successful software does not exist in a vacuum.

The mark of modern websites and apps people love to use is interconnectivity.

It’s the interactions that create the most value.

This article is for business leaders who make decisions that impact product development and less-technical product managers looking to hone their tech chops, who are also ready to increase their software interaction to grow retention — and reap tons of other benefits.

Sound like you? Then keep reading to learn about achieving cutting-edge connectivity through API integrations.

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What are API integrations?

An application programming interface, or API, is a set of protocols. These protocols enable software to work together to share data and complete various functions.

APIs are “middleware” that exist to facilitate communication between ecosystems in a way that’s quick, secure, and standardized. This communication is key in enabling companies to share data — saving storage space — as well as basic features — saving software development effort and time.

In a world with upwards of 10,000 marketing technology applications alone, why should businesses spend valuable time re-creating basic tooling and gathering reams of existing data?

That’s APIs in a nutshell. “API integration” is the term that describes when APIs are deployed within digital platforms to create that interconnectivity.

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To build or to buy?

For huge enterprises, extremely security-focused organizations, or especially niche industries with unique needs — it may be necessary to use engineering resources to create your own specialty API connections.

For everyone else, there are existing API integrations.

When you create your API integration from scratch, your independence buys you full customization. However, independence comes with a price — engaging your full-time developers, or a team of contractors, for a long time.

That amount of time will vary based on many things, from the size and capability of your team to the complexity of the API integration needed. It’s safe to assume that if you need a custom API integration, it will probably be decently complex.

If you’re considering building your own API integration, consider the cost of engineering time in actual dollars and energy directed away from value-adding or business-critical development tasks.

The core value in buying existing API integrations is how they extend the features and functionality of your app — without your team having to create those features and functionality, or gather the data that powers them, internally. Engineers get to retain their focus on security, scaling, and creating the unique elements that serve your app’s core objectives.

Of course, there is always a tradeoff. In this case, using a pre-built API integration is likely going to come with a one-time or ongoing fee, which may increase as usage increases. It will also make you somewhat reliant on an existing service provider, which means you must stay on your toes to keep up with any changes they implement.

In a modern, agile business with access to development resources, the caveats that come with using existing API integrations should be surmountable — but it’s important you know both sides of the story so you can make an informed decision.

Business benefits of going with pre-built API integrations

Considering buying into an API integration platform that’s ready to go?

From cost savings to revenue creation, time and error reduction, approachable scalability, user retention, and more — let’s talk about the serious value existing API integrations bring to your organization.

Low-cost, revenue-generating experience advancements

We’ve seen it proven time and time again that users and customers care about the in-app experience.

In fact, a 2022 report found that 77% of people will spend more after having a great brand interaction.

Thankfully, creating those interactions can be as simple as implementing API integrations that make your app feel modern, engaging, and fun.

Buying into pre-built API integrations is going to get you to these revenue-generating experiences faster and likely with less money spent than building out basic interactions from scratch would.

Retention — of course

Where else can an impactful customer experience lead your business beyond revenue generation? To retention.

No surprise, research has again found that positive customer engagement has a positive impact on customer loyalty.

At a time when the cost of customer acquisition is consistently on the rise, loyal customers who come back to your brand time and time again are more valuable than ever before.

Time-saving, error-reducing automation

API integrations are literally built to automate data transfers between applications — so why ask your team to do it themselves?

With an API integration, the correct data is delivered in real-time and without any of the cost-consuming downtime, duplication, or error that manual data transmission usually entails.

Affordable data scalability and storage

First, pre-built API integrations empower growth within your business by giving developers back the time they’ve spent creating rudimentary tools from scratch.

In addition, they create space by reducing data collection, storage, and processing needs. For example, if you want to provide translation services within your in-app chat, without an API connecting you to a translation tool — or a chat tool that handles translation itself — you’d have to create, maintain, and pay for secure storage space for a huge translation database.

Then your product can handle audiences of all sizes as traffic scales up and down with seasons, trends, and industry fluctuations.

With an off-site API, you only pay for the server space you need at any given moment and let the vendor maintain the staff and tooling it takes to manage volume and performance.

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5 Easy-to-use API integrations to improve app retention

Ready to hit an all-time high in time-to-revenue, retention, scalability, and beyond?

Then it’s time to shop for a ready-made API integration. Here are just a few recommendations to get you started.

Sendbird: In-app chat API

Sendbird is a leader in in-app communications that lead to engagement, conversions as well as long-time retention.

The chat messaging API integration in particular gives businesses everything they need to spin up modern and robust WhatsApp-like messaging that boost the user experience — while ensuring data security or app scalability.

Our particularly user-friendly chat API and SDKs as well as native and React UI components make development and design especially quick, getting you to value and revenue in no time.

But why bother with in-app chat?

Because fast, accessible, high-quality conversations are core to creating a positive, modern app user experience. And as we now know, a delightful experience leads quickly to loyalty and retention. 

Want to learn more about chat and customer retention? Don’t miss our guide to How chat API boosts customer retention in mobile apps.

Mixpanel: User data analysis and reporting APIs

Mixpanel is software that tracks user interactions to create reports, which provide insight into engagement and retention.

Developers can make use of Mixpanel’s many APIs to extend and customize data analysis in various ways.

For example, the Data Pipelines API enables you to add analyzed and organized Mixpanel data to your own data warehouse for safe storage and use. The Ingestion API does the inverse, helping you connect your app with Mixpanel to pipe your data into the platform for analysis.

With Mixpanel’s API integration tools, all the ways that you can slice and dice datasets to create and test user experiences that create loyalty are practically endless.

Mailchimp: Marketing, email, and ecommerce APIs

Chances are you’re familiar with Mailchimp, a beloved platform for marketing automation, email marketing, and most recently ecommerce.

There are several ways developers can apply Mailchimp API integrations to mobile apps.

Use Mailchimp’s marketing API integration to use data from your app within their platform to generate personalized marketing campaigns.

The email API integration will help make those important transaction emails you have to send from your app automated, faster, and personalized — increasing opens and conversions.

You can even use the Mailchimp Open Commerce API integration to add in-app ecommerce functionality, complete with automation and personalization that boost customer engagement and retention.

Elastic: Data search and analytics API

Elastic gives users end-to-end visibility into their data across platforms, makes that data searchable both within their platform and their own websites or apps, and secures everything with threat detection and response.

Elasticsearch in particular powers Elastic’s search and analytics capabilities.

Integrate Elasticsearch into your app via their REST API to store and index various types of data and make it quickly and accurately searchable and analyzable. With the Elasticsearch API integration, you can make fast yet fully data-informed decisions to keep your user experience fresh and engaging.

HubSpot: Sales automation APIs (and beyond)

HubSpot is a fully-featured customer relationship management (CRM) platform with everything businesses of all sizes need to pull off sales, inbound marketing, and customer support.

For HubSpot users, HubSpot’s app marketplace is brimming with solutions for enriching your capabilities and bringing your whole workflow under one roof. And how do these solutions work? Through HubSpot’s API, which was purpose-built to help businesses connect tooling within HubSpot as well as their own apps to create a fuller experience.

For example, the Sonero API integration joins sales and client calls to automatically take notes and import them into HubSpot as tasks — so your team can devote their full attention to the conversation at hand. While this API integration isn’t about connecting back to your mobile app, it’s one that empowers your team to provide a thoughtful follow-up experience that engenders loyalty.

This is just one of many tools within the HubSpot marketplace — we recommend checking it out yourself if you’re looking for more ways to tap into HubSpot’s API for increased functionality and retention.

Start building up retention today with this easy API integration

With all the basics and benefits of API integration covered, business decision-makers and product managers alike should feel prepared to inform what cutting-edge API integrations their app is ready for.

Get started with Sendbird’s API integration for chat — or voice and video comms, live streaming, customer support, in-app notifications,unified inbox, and more! — when you sign up to try Sendbird for free.

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