Using Slack for Expired Credit Cards

One of my favorite integrations that MyFusion Helper offers is the Slack integration. If you're not already familiar with it, you really owe it to yourself to get a free Slack account and play with it for yourself. Slack is a instant messaging system on steroids.

You can created threaded conversations (called “channels”), group conversations, private conversations, easily search and find old messages, ping messages for easy reference and even integrate intelligent smart bots.

Learn More...

Click here to learn more about how the Slack Integration Helper works and watch a short tutorial video on setting up your first Slack integration.

Best of all, you can get started for FREE with Slack and many will never need anything beyond the free account, so it's not a bait and switch account either.

What I want to talk about today is a simple way to use Slack and our Slack Integration Helper to make your expiring credit cards more manageable – especially if you have someone else on your team that manages them.

Billing Automation

Billing automation is built into Infusionsoft, so you may be asking me “why” would we need a Slack integration. But the Billing Automation and Expired Credit Card Automations both have some real flaws, so listen carefully because using Slack may help you stay on top of these issues and prevent you from getting months behind on collections.

The “Black Hole” of Expired Credit Cards

There's one big gotcha with expired credit card automation logic. In case you're not familiar with it, the way the system works is that you can send out reminder emails prior to a credit card expiring in order to try and get the card holder to update their credit card before it actually fails. Seems logical, but here's the rub.

If the contact ignores the various warning emails and the credit card expires, you'll never know about it. It will simply fall into a big black hole and be ignored. Now, if you're familiar with Billing Automation, you may be thinking that it's not a problem because when the credit card is processed and fails, you'll catch it with the billing automation emails.

But you won't.

The fact is that it's kind of an odd “catch 22” scenario. Infusionsoft is smart enough to know that the credit card has expired and therefore is smart enough to know that trying to process it is pointless, so it won't even try. That means you'll never get the billing automation failure messages because it won't actually ever try to bill them.

So what we do is use a combination of a couple of things to fix this black hole.

  1. The first thing we have to do is use the Global Action for when a credit card is updated to set a tag. We can then use that tag to terminate a expired credit card campaign. Now, if they update their credit card, the tag will be set and it will remove them from our nag messages.
  2. We integrate Slack, via MyFusion Helper, to post a message to a #billing-failure Slack channel after the credit card has expired and the contact has failed to update it.

Now you'll get a realtime message that the credit card has expired and it will be sitting there in Slack for you to follow up with.

Making it More Useful

That's nice, but it can be much better with some minor tweaks. What I like to do is grab the URL that appears when you click on a contact record. Then, inside the Slack notification message that I setup within MyFusion Helper, I paste in that full URL and do a little merge trick to make it the right URL for the current contact.

The URL will look like this:

At the end of the URL, the “ID=1441” is the actual Contact ID. The nice little trick we can do is simply “merge” in the Contact ID from within MyFusion Helper using the merge codes. Now the URL (inside of MyFusion Helper) would look like this:{{Id}}

NOTE: I also changed the “&” to be “&” instead. That's called an HTML Character Entity and it's important that you use it in the URL.

In fact, let's just make it easier for you. If you want to use the exact code I use in our internal Slack Integration Helper, you can simply swipe this:

{{Email}} - {{FirstName}} {{LastName}} {{Phone1}} ->{{Id}}

By doing this, the slack message will be formatted with the URL that is clickable and will provide 1-click access directly to the contact. This makes it much easier for you – or the team member handling the billing failures – to go right where they need to, quickly and easily.

I even take it one step further and put a line of equal signs on the next line below the URL so that I create a nice little visual separator inside of message. Of course merging in the name, email and phone number is also wise to do.

Now for obvious privacy reasons I have blurred out the email, name, and phone number information from the records below, but you can still see how this layout makes it very easy to view and provides the simple 1-click URL to launch into Infusionsoft.


Also, look at the last example above and you'll see a green checkbox after it. This is how we train our team to indicate that they were able to reach out to the contact and resolve the expired credit card issue. We use the “reaction” icons and take advantage of the green checkmark for success and a red x for a lost billing.

This makes it trivial for me to keep on top of the team and monitor that they're following through for us. I can load up Slack on my cell phone (always open) and quickly see the progress and see when a team member fixes an issue as well.


This is really just one quick example of how to make Slack work for you. We also use it in the Billing Failure automations as well as numerous other realtime notifications. For example, when setting up campaigns for clients or when monitoring a big launch for a client, I'll use these streaming Slack notifications to monitor progress, get error notifications, and many other things.

Have fun with it and remember that you can setup a Slack account for free. I'm pretty sure once you start messing around with Slack it'll be “love at first sight”!


If you haven't already, make sure to signup below for our Tuesday Tips to get more ideas, tips and suggestions about how to improve your automation each Tuesday!

Nick Kulavic

Nick Kulavic is the Co-Founder of MyFusion Solutions and the Lead Developer. Basically he's the wizard behind the curtain of all things MyFusion! :-)

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 0 comments

Leave a Reply: