By Christopher Hutchens

With HubSpot, marketers have access to many tools that can make our lives easier. From its easy-to-use content management system (CMS) to a robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform, HubSpot provides many different ways for sales teams and marketers alike to drive results. 

While many sales teams use HubSpot for follow up and reporting, it often falls on marketers to set up the initial automation to allow those teams to prosper. In this article, let’s look at the six most helpful automation features in HubSpot that can save you lots of time and effort once implemented.

1. Workflows to Trigger Sales Activity 

Sales people want to sell. They don’t want to spend time guessing who is interested, who to follow up with, or what to do next. The more time a sales person can spend talking to prospects and customers, the more opportunity they have to close deals. 

As marketers, it’s our job to help sales teams work smarter, not harder. And with HubSpot, there are many ways to automate sales follow ups so that your reps know who to contact, when, and in what context to follow up. 

In HubSpot, you can set up workflows that alert sales to follow up with someone. It’s one of the easiest and most helpful things you can do for your sales reps, and you can provide as much context or detail as needed for them to follow up with. 

In the example below, we’re alerting sales reps (contact owners) to follow up with prospects who haven’t submitted the required information to create an account. By setting up this automation, we are ensuring that sales reps are alerted and follow up with folks who have pending accounts. The result of this is more closed accounts. 

 

 

2. Connect to Outside Applications

HubSpot has the ability to talk to other software tools, like CallRail, GoToWebinar, Salesforce, Zoom, Zapier, and so forth. Did you know that not only can you extract data from outside software and get it into HubSpot, but you can trigger events in outside applications too? 

In the example below, we’re passing data directly from HubSpot to Zoom via a simple workflow. This prevents any sort of manual entry on the Zoom side by creating the contacts for us automatically. By doing this, we ensure that anyone who signs up via HubSpot will receive reminders and login instructions that are triggered by Zoom. 

Often we are trying to get data into HubSpot, but we shouldn’t forget that we can use HubSpot to push data into outside applications as well. 

 

 

3. Use Custom Code to Trigger Actions

This automation is available only to HubSpot’s Enterprise customers with Ops Hub. For these customers, HubSpot allows you to utilize custom code to trigger a myriad of actions. 

For example, if you want to set up weighted lead routing so that 40 percent of your leads go to your top two closers while 20 percent go to your new sales rep, you can do that with the code below (see screenshot). 

There are many examples and pre-existing codes that you can utilize to set up powerful automations in HubSpot, but the opportunities are truly endless with this capability. 

 

4. Smart Lists

HubSpot’s ability to easily segment contacts makes it a joy for marketers. Customer segments are one of  HubSpot’s most widely used tools, and they can be used in so many different ways that it’s important to get familiar with them. For instance: 

  • Want to track how many people download your e-books? Use a smart list. 
  • Want to see how many customers you have from Florida who spend more than $1,000? Use a smart list. 
  • Want to trigger customized content based on who is visiting your website? Use a smart list.

In the simple example below, we’re tracking how many people signed up for our January webinar. This list will continue to grow as more people sign up over time, and we can always refer back to this for future webinar marketing and sales outreach. 

 

 

Getting familiar with segmentation and building lists in HubSpot will allow you to hone your marketing efforts, to make sure they’re aligned with the right audience. 

5. Smart Content

No two customers are the same. While they may use the same product or share the same industry, it’s important for marketers to remember that every day we are speaking to multiple personas. 

Because of this, the language we use and the products we sell (or upsell) need to vary depending on the user and the problems and pain points they are trying to overcome. With HubSpot’s smart content and personalization capabilities, we’re able to use automation to customize the messaging that prospects and customers see. 

An example of smart content in HubSpot could be showing a different homepage image for demo users versus live users. Another example could be using a different headline for new customers versus long-time customers. By leveraging smart lists, which we discussed previously, marketers can truly customize the user experience for anyone. 

6. Follow-Up Emails 

One of my personal favorite automations in HubSpot is probably the simplest: the ability to trigger follow-up emails. 

Because you can trigger an email based on any number of events, this is a feature both marketers and salespeople can use for so many different use cases. For instance: 

  • Have a customer who recently abandoned their cart? Send a quick follow-up email letting them know they left some things behind.
  • Want to upsell customers who recently purchased from you? Schedule a related products email to go out after their purchase.
  • Want to simply thank someone for being a valued customer? Schedule a thank-you email for customers who have been with you over six months. 

The possibilities are endless with follow-up workflows, and they allow marketers to create customized experiences for people based on the actions they take. 

In the example below, we set up a simple follow-up campaign to target individuals based on their website activity. The logic is set so that when someone visits either of these two pages, we send them related resources and products for them to learn more. The result is a customized experience that relates to the products and pages they were recently looking at, to ensure these emails are relevant and reaching the right audience. 

 

Keep Up to Speed on Marketing Automation Features in HubSpot

Over the years, HubSpot’s platform and capabilities have grown tenfold. Integrations are always being added and new features are constantly released. It has expanded from a small business inbound marketing tool to a robust CMS and CRM that mid- to enterprise-level companies are now adopting for its profound automation capabilities. 

While these are some of the most helpful marketing automation features I’ve seen, there are so many capabilities in HubSpot. You need to consider what’s necessary for your business and what would make the most profound impact. Many times, setting a small automation for your sales team can make a difference on your bottom line, so be strategic in setting up automation and try to focus on creating the best experience for your customers.

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Christopher Hutchens

About the author

Christopher Hutchens is a Senior Marketing Specialist at SmartBug Media based in Salt Lake City. Originally from Chicago, Chris graduated from Mizzou and worked in Columbia, Missouri as an interactive project manager for five years before coming to SmartBug. Outside of work, Chris loves to travel, snowboard, and play/watch basketball. Read more articles by Christopher Hutchens.

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