OpGen Media: Marketing Ops & Demand Generation Insights

Marketing Automation Best Practice: Cleaning Up Your HubSpot Portal

Aug 1, 2018 10:45:54 AM / by Osman Sheikh


Does Chaos Reign in Your HubSpot Portal?

Over time, your Hubspot portal may start to get unwieldy. Badly named lists, random workflows that do too many things, and an undisciplined approach to data cleanliness can lead to larger problems down the road.

Why Does Marketing Automation Hygiene Matter?

When it comes to marketing automation, thinking long-term comes with benefits. Clearly, there are more interesting and exciting marketing activities than cleaning up your marketing automation system. However, without a well-maintained HubSpot portal and contacts database, you’ll face difficulty in segmenting your contacts database successfully due to non-standardized data and lack of insight into the meaning and purpose of your fields. A survey of digital marketers found that “inaccuracy, incompleteness or outdated info” in marketing automation systems makes data hygiene a top priority for over half of respondents.

For B2B companies with long sales cycles, it is crucial that you’re able to segment your list and create personalized nurture tracks even 6+ months after a contact is created. If you were tasked with creating a list of leads from a specific industry that had visited a specific page on your website and had been marked as unqualified, how long would it take you to do so? For marketing teams with large and complex databases, there may be hours of cleaning and pruning data to get an accurate list.

Fields and Contact Properties

As your marketing strategy grows and you come up with more ways to collect and use customer data, you may end up with a large number of fields. To ensure you’re able to put this data to use in the future, adopt naming conventions for your HubSpot portal. To start, setup a shared spreadsheet to keep track of different fields, the information they’re storing, and what these fields are used for.

For fields or contact properties, your naming convention should clearly label the source of the information and its primary purpose. For example, a phone number field pulled from a form submission may be labeled as Phone Number - Form Fill. If you’re using HubSpot’s Salesforce integration, a field that only pulls data from Salesforce may be labeled with “- CRM” to show that it is a field updated through your CRM.

In addition, use HubSpot’s contact properties groupings to create groups that segment your contact properties logically, such as having a “Salesforce Information” group for fields that are synced from Salesforce and “Survey Responses” from data pulled from surveying your contacts.


Lists and Workflows

HubSpot makes slicing and dicing your contacts database into multiple lists so easy that you may end up with hundreds of different lists. To keep your lists useful, adopt naming conventions to designate what the different lists are used for. For example, make it clear if a list is being used solely for workflows or reporting purposes. Then use folders to categorize even further, such as a folder for your exclusion lists and a folder for lists segmented geographically.



Data Cleanliness

Every now and then, you’ll have to create new contact properties or update the values of existing properties. When this happens, you can end up with a database where the same value is stored in different fields for different contacts or contacts with values that are no longer in use. For example, if you have a picklist field called Industry with 15 very specific values and decide to simplify it down to 5 broad categories, you’ll need to ensure that contacts still using the old values are updating. If not, you’ll end up with issues when trying to cleanly segment your contacts.


To ensure your database is standardized, use a HubSpot workflow to retroactively update old values to new ones. Continuing with the example above, you would create a workflow with different branches based on the old values. One branch would check if the Industry field on a contact contains “Pharmaceutical Marketing” and if it does, update it to “Healthcare”.


Unwanted Contacts

HubSpot’s pricing model is based on the number of contacts in your database, so having a large number of unwanted or unengaged contacts can cost you both in terms of complexity as well as monetarily. It is good practice to schedule time monthly or quarterly to go through your system and delete unwanted contacts. A good place to start is contacts with emails that have bounced. After that, move on to contacts that have not opened an email from you or visited your website in a certain time period, such as the past 6 months. You’ll want to backup the contacts you delete by downloading a CSV and uploading it somewhere safe, such as in Google Drive, while keeping in mind the security of your data.








Topics: Marketing Automation

Osman Sheikh

Written by Osman Sheikh