In this guide we will walk through our integration with Webmerge, which allows you to send physical letters through Lob without having to write code. This kind of setup should significantly reduce the amount of manual work needed to send out mail, and can be generalized to a number of different situations. For the purpose of this exercise, we will be showing you the send out invoices to your vendors.
Before we begin, please be sure to have accounts with Webmerge and Lob. Note that you will need to upgrade your Webmerge account in order to unlock access to mail via Lob. More information on upgrading, pricing, and features of Webmerge can be found here.
Part 1: Setting Up Your Letter in Webmerge
1. Go to your Webmerge home page, click “Let’s create your first document” and name the document. We have named ours “Vendor Invoice”.
2. Based on whether you have a file to upload or need to create one, you may choose one of these 3 options: uploading a file, using a template or creating a file from scratch. If you prefer to have some guidance while getting started, we recommend choosing a template (these come with merge fields for your variable content). We’ve selected the “Customized Invoice” template.
3. Next, choose how you want the created PDF file to be stored. For simplicity, we’ve selected the default option of keeping it in “Stash”, Webmerge’s cloud storage.
4. Lastly, choose where the data that will populate your letter will come from. Is information such as the payee names, their addresses, the invoice amounts etc. stored in a csv file? Or is it rather stored in an external database/CRM? This will differ depending on your particular use case. For this example, we’ve selected to pull our data from a csv file.
5. Once you click finish, you will now see the template appear, including the placeholders for merge variables. You may use the editing features under the “Document Builder” tab to customize the document to your liking.
6. Once you are satisfied with the design, we recommend testing it out by filling in some of the variable information under the “Test” tab. Fill the required fields and click “Test Document” to see what a sample invoice would look like. This will show you the end result of the document, which will ultimately be printed and mailed by Lob.
Part 2: Connecting Lob and Webmerge
7. Now that your letter is ready to go, we want to connect Webmerge to Lob. To do so, click on the “Deliver” tab > “New Delivery” > Lob. You will then be prompted to enter your API Key, which can be retrieved directly from your Lob settings. Note that you’ll need to enter your Secret API key (as opposed to your Publishable key). To begin, we strongly recommend using your Test API key to try the functionality of the service. This will allow you to test and confirm that your integration is properly set up before sending (and paying for) any actual documents.. After you’ve pasted the API key, match the “To” and “From” address fields below with their corresponding fields from the dropdown.
8. Once filled out, save your delivery form. You will always be able to go back and edit it if needed. In fact, when you are ready to actually start sending out the mail, you will need to go back to this delivery and swap your Test Secret API key for your Live Secret API Key.
Part 3: Provide Webmerge with your Address List
9. The last step is to tell Webmerge who you want to send your letters to. To do so, click on the “Merge” tab. This will allow you to either upload a mailing list (e.g., a csv), manually enter the information, or create a custom integration to feed Webmerge the addresses. For the purpose of this exercise, we’ve chosen to upload a csv and match our columns to the merge fields.
- Mailing List - By clicking “Upload Data”, you can upload a csv file with all your addresses' information (name, company, address etc.). Once uploaded, you will be prompted to match the columns of your csv to the Webmerge fields.
- Manual Data Entry - Webmerge provides a very basic input form through a URL. You will be prompted to manually fill all fields for each address. This can be helpful if you’re only looking to send out one letter, but potentially too manual for bulk mailings.
- Custom Integration - If you are building your own integration, you'll want to send data to your document via the Merge URL posting on this page. You can send data via a webhook (HTTP POST name/value pairs), using the fieldnames in your document (ie first_name=John&last_name=Smith&phone=312-555-3029).
10. Once you’ve designed your document, connected both apps, and uploaded your mailing list, you should be all set! The message below indicates that your letters were successfully created in Lob.
11. In order to verify that the letters were actually created, go to your Lob dashboard, and click the Letters tab (make sure you toggle to Test environment). As shown below, a vendor invoice was created for each address provided in the csv.