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HubSpot Cleanup: Secret Workflow Superpowers

By May 14, 2015May 4th, 2023Uncategorized

Did you know that your HubSpot Workflows have some secret superpowers that make your lead nurturing more effective?? As part of taking on a new client and doing a HubSpot cleanup and rest, we check out when these superpowers have  been used. You may want to check these out yourself for your HubSpot portal.

When planning your workflow, you may determine that your workflow needs to be more specific, in terms of its logic and what it does and does not allow. Workflow settings can help you control your workflow’s behavior.

Some important questions to ask yourself before activating your workflow include:

  • Should contacts be allowed to go through the workflow more than once?
  • Should the workflow steps execute only on business days or within a certain time range?
  • When a contact is enrolled in this workflow, should they be removed from any other workflows?
  • Are there any contacts that you want to prevent from being enrolled in this workflow?

If any of these questions apply to your workflows, then you’ll want to change some settings in your workflow. Each workflow has its own unique set of options that should be considered and set before activating a workflow. You can access a workflow’s settings from the left sidebar of a particular workflow, by clicking Settings.

Managing your workflow superpowers

1. Can the same contact enroll in this workflow more than once?

If you decide that contacts should only be able to go through your workflow one time, then you’ll want to leave this setting as the default, No, just the first time they are eligible.

A few examples of when you would want to limit the enrollment of a contact to a single instance is:

  • Setting a contact property value of persona to a list of contacts based on how they filled out a form (which value they selected).
  • Sending an email after a webinar thanking them for watching and requesting feedback or providing another offer.
  • Copying a contact property from one property to another of the same field type.
  • Setting the Lifecycle Stage to Marketing Qualified Lead when they reach a certain HubSpot Score.

If you decide that contacts can go through a workflow more than once, then you would select Yes, any time they are eligible. A few examples of this would be:

  • Sending a follow-up email when a contact fills out your Contact Us form.
  • Sending an internal email when a contact visits a certain BOFU page but hasn’t converted yet
  • Incrementing a property value each time a contact enters the workflow.
  • Setting a contact property value to “interested” when they fill out specified forms.

2. Execute actions on business days only?

By default, this option is set to No. If you want your workflow actions to execute during business days only, then you’d want to set this to setting to Yes. This setting is most commonly set to Yes for workflows that send automated emails.

For example, if the workflow settings don’t allow execution on Saturday or Sunday, and a contact has an action scheduled that sends a follow-up email on Saturday at 4pm, the email will be rescheduled for the same time (4pm) on the following Monday

3. Execute actions only within a certain time range?

By default this option is set to No. If you want you workflow actions to only execute during a specific time range, select Yes and specify your time range. Note that this time references the timezone selected in your Reports > Reports Settings. This setting works similarly to the previously mentioned business days setting — if a contact is scheduled to execute an action outside of the specified time range, when that originally scheduled time arrives, the workflow will reschedule the action to execute at the next time that time range is available (generally the following day).

For example, if the workflow settings allow execution of actions only between 9am – 6pm, and a contact has an action that sends a follow-up email scheduled for 8pm, the email will not send at 8pm but will be rescheduled for the following day between 9am and 6pm.

4. Personas

You can tag your workflow with one of your existing personas. For example, if you have a workflow that engages a particular persona, you can link it to that persona. On the Workflows dashboard, you can filter your workflows by persona to see how workflows targeted at a specific persona are performing.

5. Lead scoring

You can setup a workflow to make changes your lead scoring system. For example, if you want to make 40 points the trigger for becoming a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL), you could use a workflow to change the Lifecycle Stage property.

6. Have contacts only in one workflow

Sometimes you’ll need to suppress certain contacts from your existing workflow. By default, contacts will not be removed from another workflow simply because they’ve enrolled in a certain workflow. You can use this workflow setting to select if you want them to be removed from all workflows or from specific workflows when they are enrolled in the workflow you are editing.

If you have a master workflow that trumps all other workflows, then you’d want to remove from all workflows if your contact enrolls in that workflow. An example use case might be if you have a lead going through a “bottom of the funnel” workflow, such as “speak to a sales rep,” remove them from all other workflows. If your contact is in a “top of the funnel” workflow but then converts on a “middle of the funnel” offer that enrolls them in a new workflow, you’d probably want to remove them from that “top of the funnel” workflow. In this instance, you wouldn’t want to remove from all, because you may have other MOFU workflows they could (and perhaps should) be eligible to go through.

In the Select specific workflows dropdown, select your workflow(s) that you would like to remove contacts from when they enroll in the workflow that you are editing.

7. Unenroll contact when they leave the starting list

Sometimes you may need to change the logic of your smart list, and thus some contacts may no longer fulfill the smart list criteria. Or perhaps the contact takes an action that removes them from the smart list you are using as the starting condition for your workflow. This workflow setting controls whether or not those contacts will be removed from that workflow when they no longer meet the starting criteria of a smart list.

8. Create a suppression list for the workflow

Supression lists allow you to choose a list of contacts that will not be allowed to enroll in that particular workflow. If you edit this setting to include a suppression list after contacts have already been enrolled, then the contacts on the suppression list will be unenrolled before the next action executes.

You may not want a group of contacts to enroll in your workflow for a variety of reasons, such as not allowing contacts with the Lifecycle Stage of Customer to go through your trial request workflow. In this instance, you’d want to use a “customer” suppression list for your workflow.

9. Enroll a Salesforce contact into the workflow

If you have a workflow designed for nurturing leads that you want your sales team to be able to enroll their leads in, you can turn this workflow on and it will become available for them to enroll those leads directly from a lead or contact record Salesforce. The lead/contact must exist in HubSpot for this to appear in Salesforce, in addition to the layout being added to their user role profile’s lead layout. In order to use this feature, you must be using the HubSpot integration with Salesforce, and you must add the corresponding Visualforce layout to your lead and contact layouts in Salesforce. You can learn more about using workflows with Salesforce with this User Guide article.

Taking the time to think through your settings will help ensure your automation runs according to plan. Once you’ve decided which settings should apply, click Save Changes.

These HubSpot workflow superpowers let you fine-tune your marketing automation to exactly meet your needs. We find that a lot of HubSpot customers don’t know about these superpowers and are missing out on some of the measurable automation of HubSpot, and some of the ROI of inbound marketing.

The information in this blog post was originally posted in a HubSpot User Guide; Superpower photo courtesy of Natalie Shuttleworth on flickr.


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Larry Levenson

Larry is passionate about inbound marketing and is a HubSpot Certified Trainer. He's learned the "secrets" of leveraging HubSpot to make marketing hyper-effective and customizes that information to help our clients meet their goals. Larry lives in Prescott, AZ, and when not at work, he is hiking or hanging out with teenagers as a volunteer with Boys to Men USA.