Bulk update contacts in HubSpot – which to use: HubSpot CRM or Workflows? [HubSpot Hack]

Bulk update contacts in HubSpot – which to use: HubSpot CRM or Workflows? [HubSpot Hack]

If you’re not using the free HubSpot CRM today, then you should definitely consider turning it on. For those using the Marketing tools as well, the CRM can occasionally provide additional value to your day to day automation / administration needs. For instance, in the past (before the CRM was around) the only options you had to update details in your database were:

  1. Use a Workflow in the HubSpot Marketing tool
  2. Download a CSV, update the CSV, Upload the CSV with changes (blegh)

However, I recently discovered a little HubSpot Hack (feature) in the HubSpot CRM which allows users (with the right permissions) to bulk update the contact records from any query or view in Contacts section of the HubSpot CRM.

Here’s a quick GIF I made showing where to access this feature:

BulkEdit Contacts HubSpot CRM

The beauty of this feature is that it’s rediculously fast. There is almost no downtime between hitting “update” and the field change. I tested it today on over 16,000 records and it was finished in less than a minute (probably less than 30 seconds).

Note: The old way to update details in your database is still useful from time to time. For example, you might still want to update properties in your database when a change is made somewhere else. That’s where workflows come in. Or perhaps you need to update more than one piece of data on your records and you don’t want to wait for a workflow to complete the process, that’s where a CSV comes in.

Curious what I mean about “waiting for the workflow”? Here’s a fun fact, HubSpot will sometimes “throttle” your contact enrollments into workflows if there are too many contacts entering a workflow or lots of workflows being performed at once.

“Contacts will be enrolled in your workflow at a rate of 20 contacts per second. Workflow enrollment throttling is account-specific, not workflow-specific, so this throttling applies to workflow enrollments across all of your workflows in your account.”

You can read more about that in the HubSpot support article here.

Hopefully this little HubSpot Hack will save you some time in the future. 🙂

Have any tips, tricks, or “HubSpot Hacks” to share? Let me know by tweeting me, or leave a comment below.

There Is No Autopilot In Marketing Technology

The way I see it

Everywhere you go (on and offline) people talk about the latest and greatest features and functionality in the growing suite of products available to marketers. If you haven’t already seen the landscape of marketing technology tools – a graphic produced by Chiefmartec.com – I highly suggest checking out the latest version (it’s still growing). These new tools are making marketing departments more valuable each year, but something is still missing.

In my opinion there is a huge void in the discussion about marketing technology in general. All too often we are swayed by the salesman on the other end of our demonstrations touting “easy-to-use” or “seamless integration” while we completely ignore our sense of rationale. I hope this post will start a discussion about the work it takes to make these tools actually function.

Rethink Your Automation Investment ROI Model

What drives your decision to purchase marketing software today? Is it an ask from your boss? Perhaps it’s a need to track something better, or deliver something faster. No matter what, I recommend approaching every decision the same way you would approach buying a car.

Despite knowing very little about cars, I really like to compare marketing technology to them. Cars, much like marketing technology, offer a lot of different makes and models and they all basically accomplish the same thing. Each car will get you from point A to point B. Some can do it more efficiently, some can do it faster, and some can cost you a lot of money while others cost a lot less.

In a traditional ROI measurement, you’ll typically look at how much you spent versus how much you made in return. When it comes to marketing technology, I believe you need to think of ROI as more than just “How much the software costs vs. How much I earned.” I believe ROI should be approached from the perspective of “do I have the right people to make this new tool a positive investment?”

Each marketing technology investment should consider costs on two fronts. The first being how much the tool costs and the second is how much the staff to manage the tool costs.

Let’s keep going with this car comparison. The one missing component to this comparison is the status we feel when we drive a nice car versus a “less-nice” car. Unlike purchasing a Ferrari vs a Ford Focus (no offense, I love fuel efficiency and I certainly can’t afford a Ferrari), nobody will look at you differently if you choose one SaaS solution over the other. In fact, most of the time they won’t even know.No matter what product you decide to purchase in the end, be sure you have the right mechanic to keep things in line.

In the car example, a mechanic does more than keep the car running, he or she could even make it run better. You (as the car owner) may generally know how to drive and maintain your vehicle, but typically you don’t know how to make it run better or faster. When I talk with business owners about marketing tools, I feel the same way.

Businesses today are purchasing marketing technology with an expectation that it will magically deliver results.

For instance, business owners may think building a landing page is really simple (because the sales guy did a really good job making it look easy), or tracking multiple touch points just happens after their $10,000+ implementation is over. What about future campaigns? What about the next landing page that needs to be built? Do you have the time to build it?

There is no autopilot in marketing technology. It isn’t a flip-of-a-switch growth engine and it certainly doesn’t do all the stuff it can do…. unless you have the team to do it. To make your investment successful it will take time, dedication, and the right staff.

Questions for you

Do you feel as though you’ve been sold something that hasn’t proven great ROI yet? When you purchased a new marketing technology tool, did you plan on hiring someone to manage the tool or did you hire someone after the fact?

For the skimmers:

If you’re like me and don’t always want to read everything… here is the point I try to make in this post:

There is no autopilot in marketing technology. It is not going to magically work. It isn’t a flip-of-a-switch growth engine. It doesn’t actually do all the stuff it can do….unless you have the team to do it.

Questions to guide your buying process:

When I shop for marketing technology, I always ask questions that are tailored to the business I’m working with. No matter the industry, however, there are some general questions you can ask to get you headed down the right path:

  • What are the must have features?
  • Do you need the extra features?
  • Will (or can) you use the extra features?
  • Do these features make sense for the money I’m about to spend?
  • Do I have the ability to fully utilize this new tool?

That last question —”Do I have the ability to fully utilize this new tool?” — is the most important of them all…

Who’s this for?

I suppose this post is for two groups. The first group are those that have already decided to pursue new marketing technology and they know it’s the right move for their business. They have also decided on two or three solutions to thoroughly evaluate for their needs. For those of you in “buy mode”, this post aims to keep you grounded.

The second group are those working at a company with a role like mine. For you, this post should (hopefully) resonate with some part of you. Perhaps it will serve as the words you have had at the tip of your tongue or in the back of your mind…

A bit of background:

I’m a marketing technology manager. Thanks to the ever changing suite of marketing tools, I get to spend at least a portion of my time learning new ways to empower the marketing and sales team at my company. That’s my job, and I love it. This is why I believe it’s time the marketing technology discussions — the ones happening every day during every demo of every product — need to start talking about the people it takes to make the technology work. I believe the martech leaders have a responsibility to set the right expectations for the products they are selling. The Software as a Service model needs to start focusing more on the Service end of the business.

One Keynote You Won’t Want To Miss at #INBOUND15


I just bought my ticket to INBOUND 2015 and I’m SUPER excited! The event runs from September 8 – 11.

Last year I was able to attend INBOUND 2014 and I had a great time talking with Darmesh Shah and Sean Crafts. I learned a lot from each of the Keynotes, and breakout sessions. I met a bunch of great people from HubSpot and even more amazing people from around the world.

This year, I’m really excited to hear from the opening Keynote speaker Seth
. For those of you who don’t know who he is, please pinch yourself and make sure
you’re alive… kidding. Seth is (as Google would say) an American author, entrepreneur,
marketer, and public speaker. Take some time to read through his content, check out his blog, and get his books. You won’t be disappointed.


You might be familiar with his books Linchpin, Tribes, The Dip  and Purple Cow.

In addition to his writing and speaking, Seth is founder of squidoo.com, a fast growing, easy to use website. His blog (which you can find by typing “seth” into Google) is one of the most popular in the world.

His latest, The Icarus Deception, argues that we’ve been brainwashed by industrial propaganda, and pushes us to stand out, not to fit in.

If you haven’t had an opportunity to register for INBOUND 2015 you can follow this link to learn more.


One way I stay in touch with the foundations of business is by picking up a good book and reading about how the greatest make it happen. (Yes, that means sometimes reading the books again).

Every great Entrepreneur has their trials and tribulations. Many of the greatest set out to do something that will change the way we look at things, and sometimes we are lucky enough to see just how they made it happen. The following list of books are just a select few that I believe should be read by each and every person passionate about Business, and ESPECIALLY by those in Executive Roles (or wish to be in one).


  1. Good To Great” – Jim Collins
  2. Great By Choice” – Jim Collins & Marten T. Hansen
  3. Winning” – Jack Welch (Former CEO of GE)
  4. First, Best, or Different: What Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know About Niche Marketing” – John Bradley Jackson (Director of Entrepreneurship CSUF)
  5. Delivering Happiness” – Tony Hsieh (CEO, Zappos)


How Can PPC & Inbound Marketing Work Together?

It’s an interesting question to ask.

Quick facts: To date, Inbound marketing is primarily focused on 4 major components.

  1. Blogs
  2. Email
  3. Social Media
  4. Landing Pages

Inbound marketing gets results. PR2020 published a book on just how effective the Inbound strategy can be (you’ll have to buy it to see their results). Basically the gist of a great inbound campaign focuses on Generating Leads, Converting those leads with a CTA (Call To Action), Closing the lead with the proper workflow, and finally making the customer happy by showing them smarter content. In practice, Inbound marketing results in more back links and “crawl-able” content.

Using Inbound marketing and PPC isn’t talked about often. (which is why we are talking about it)

First – PPC (Pay Per Click) advertising are those ads you see on the right side of your Google search screen and often “Premium Ad Space” is reserved for the top of the search window. (See image)



So how do you take the age-old (not that old) method of PPC ads and make them work for your inbound strategy?

Simple! just link the ads to relevant landing pages!

If you take the time to link your ads to landing pages specifically built to capture leads, you will have an even deeper understanding of which ads work the best. You should be paying attention to this through an analytic setup of some kind. Most commonly, people use Google Analytics.

Wait… you mentioned “Landing Pages”

That’ll be in another post… stay tuned for our Landing Page update!

Lead Generation & Twitter Cards – Inbound Marketing

Leads Funnel


(for everyone this time)

So what are “Twitter Cards”?

From Twitter (thanks Twitter):

“Twitter cards make it possible for you to attach media experiences to Tweets that link to your content. Simply add a few lines of HTML to your webpages, and users who Tweet links to your content will have a “card” added to the Tweet that’s visible to all of their followers.”

How Do I Use It?

You can use it to have SIGN UP forms for your email lists available on Twitter directly… AWESOME! Also, you can have a particular look and feel associated to each type of card you assign to your websites. Embedded information allows the cards to appear just the way you want them. Check out these screen shots below of the sample cards.

Twitter-Image Twitter-Image3

How do they perform?

Well.. no one really knows how well they will perform in the long run, but for now we have some research to refer to.

Check this out… Mashable shared how Twitter Lead Generation Cards performed for some companies. “In a case study quoted on Twitter’s blog, outdoor gear and apparel company Rock/Creek saw a 4.6% engagement rate and generated more than 1,700 new email contacts in one week by using a Card within a Promoted Tweet.”


Can I Integrate with My Company?

Actually yes!

According to Twitter Support you can link them with the following CRM / Marketing Automoation tools:

And possibly with: