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Gifting as a Service: Announcing the Zest API

August 24, 2023
Gifting as a Service: Announcing the Zest API

In a landscape driven by emails, virtual meetings, and automated responses, maintaining a personal connection with customers can be challenging at scale. That’s where Zest comes in.

Zest was built on the notion that giving a gift shouldn’t bog you down or bum you out. It should be easy, intentional, and joyful for givers and recipients. Simply put, Zest is the gifting platform built for modern businesses: no demo calls, no minimum gift orders, no hefty SaaS fees, and now it comes complete with an API that’s just as free to use as the rest of the platform. 

Automation software like Zapier and Make provide easy ways to automate processes, but no two companies use automation software the same way, and there are still limitations to those platforms. That's why a lot of companies opt for completely custom solutions. And with the Zest Gifting API, you can bring gifting directly into your custom workflows regardless of the specific software you use.

In this blog post, we’re going to explore how you can use the Zest Gifting API to build a gifting workflow that works for you (and your sales pipeline). So let’s get into it!

What Is an API?

API stands for Application Programming Interface (API). APIs are the great connectors of the internet, and to quote Red Hat:

APIs are sometimes thought of as contracts, with documentation that represents an agreement between parties: If party 1 sends a remote request structured a particular way, this is how party 2’s software will respond.

It's through APIs that we can ask Google "what's the best gifting platform?" (spoiler: it's Zest), or send a message on Slack when we hit the enter key. And it’s actually how we’re going to send a gift!

Step 0: (Optional) Install Postman

To get us going, we’re going to use Postman in this blog post to help make our requests. But no matter if you prefer another tool or an old fashioned cURL request, you’ll be able to follow along!

Step 1: Start a gifting campaign at https://gifts.zest.co 

Gifting campaigns let you tailor your gift to whatever task you have at hand. Want to follow up after a cold outreach? Plant a seed for a new deal with a succulent. Or, celebrate a sweet new partnership with a sweet box of cookies!

You don’t have to add any recipients yet, just get your campaign ready to go. For the purposes of this tutorial, make a campaign with unique links.

A screenshot of Zest's "Choose a send method" screen with a pink arrow pointing to the "Give me separate links to send to each recipient" option.

On the next step, you’ll also be able to customize your gift to match your brand by uploading a logo and selecting digital gift wrap colors.

(Want a full refresher on how to create a gifting campaign?  Watch Liz, our Zesty head of marketing, break it down here.)

Once you’ve created your campaign, copy the campaign ID from the URL and save it for later.

A URL showing https://gifts.zest.co/admin.gifts.my-new-gifting-campaign and my-new-gifting-campaign is highlighted.

Step 2: Request an API key

Now that your campaign is set up to send gifts, head over to the API & Integrations section of your admin portal. Once there, you’ll be able to create and deactivate your API keys.

Note: First-time API users will need to fill out a verification form, but from there it’s smooth sailing through the API seas.

A screenshot of Zest's API and integrations page with arrows pointing to the side menu and a button that says "Create key."

Click the “Create key” button to get your top secret Zest Gifting API key, and remember to store it somewhere safe like 1Password or in AWS Secrets Manager.

A popup message reading "API Key Created" with instructions on how to copy the key and warning users to store it somewhere safe.

🔐 Security tip: Make sure you do not commit your secret key to your code repository like GitHub or GitLab! Use a secrets manager like CircleCI, GitHub Encrypted Secrets, or AWS Secrets Manager to ensure your keys are not accidentally leaked. Accidents can always happen, so we’ve made it easy to deactivate your keys whenever you need to.

Step 3: Send a gift via the Zest Gifting API

Now it’s time to make the magic happen! Open up Postman and create a new POST request. Make sure you add an API key with a key of “x-api-key” and the value of your secret key you saved in Step 2.

A screenshot of Zest's API key dropped into Postman

Next, click the “Body” tab and fill out the contents of your request. Specify your campaign’s ID, the name of your recipient, and the message you want to send like I did below.

The contents of a custom integration in Postman

Finally, hit send! You will get the ID of your new gift back as well as a direct link to your new gift. Use this link to power the next phase of your gifting workflow! And remember, you’ll only pay for gifts that are accepted.

A completed API post in Postman

What Will You Unwrap With Zest's Gifting API?

Congrats! You’ve sent your first gift via API! Want to unwrap your very own gift? Head over here to our demo gift to experience the joy that comes with a gift.

Now that you’ve sent and unwrapped your gift, it’s time for you to build your own custom Zest Gifting API integration. You’ll be sure to surprise and delight your clients with a well-timed, thoughtful gift.

And if you have a company hack-a-thon, the Zest Gifting API will help you snag first place when you show how easy it is to automate a gift on your clients’ birthdays!

And remember, you can always reference our API documentation here or drop us a line.

Happy gifting!

Shreya Khadke
Shreya Khadke
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