Setting Default Values for Personalization Tokens in HubSpot Emails and Website Content

“Dear ,”
( We’ve all seen that before! )

Due to a little problem with my email tokens this past week, I recently reacquainted myself with the “Content Settings” section within the HubSpot “Contacts” menu.

A few days ago we sent an email out to our customers with a {{contact.firstname}} email token in the intro to the email. Some of those emails were delivered and a handful of our contacts who were missing a “First Name” in our CRM ended up getting an email that said “Dear ,” which makes us look awesome… not.

What I failed to do was two things:

  1. I normally send emails with a different intro, something like “Hi”, “Hey”, or “Hello” which doesn’t look bad when the First Name field is empty.
  2. If the intro requires a default value I’ll typically set the value to “friend” since this seems to be the best alternative for a missing First Name field value.

So, to stop this problem from happening again, I decided to ask HubSpot support (which is awesome) for a little help. This time though, I taught the support rep a little something, which I thought you should all learn too.

Replacing email tokens in HubSpot emails:

By default, HubSpot emails give you the option to “Review” your email before you hit send, it’s actually one of the steps you will hit if you continue to use the “NEXT” button in the email interface. The “Review” section will actually show all the personalization tokens you’ve used (among other things) and what their default values are.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.32.15 AM
The screen shot here shows that I don’t currently have a value for “FIRSTNAME”

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.36.49 AM.png

By clicking the link “Edit default value” from the review section in HubSpot, you’ll be able to put a default value for the First Name field (or whatever personalization token you’ve used). Make sure to read the tool tip for more information.

After you fill in a value here, all future emails you send will contain a value for “First Name” if the record in the CRM is missing their First Name. Neat.

This is a great solution to a silly problem, but there is a better way to solve this as an administrator and make sure the entire company is setup for success.

Globally replace email tokens in HubSpot emails:

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.22.34 AM

This is particularly useful if you are an administrator of the HubSpot platform and want to allow other members of your organization to send emails without you double and triple checking each email send. Setting a token within these settings will give you some piece of mind.

Ironically, the HubSpot support team didn’t realize these settings were available in the email section of “Content Settings” – that’s why I’m sharing it with you now.

Here’s how to get there:

Step 1: Head on over to your “Content Settings” section found within the Contact menu in HubSpot.

Step 2: Click “Email” on the left navigation on the page

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom and look for the section “Default Values for Email Personalization” (screen shot below)

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.40.19 AM.png

From here, you can manage all the default values for any Contact or Company Properties in your CRM. Really neat.

Pro tip: These settings are ONLY for the email personalization tokens, so if you want to manage how these default values appear when using personalization on your landing pages and website pages, you’ll need to go back to “Content Settings” click on “Page Publishing” and scroll to the bottom where you’ll see the same type of box but this is specifically for Page Personalization.

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Sometimes you’re working with a single contact record and you need to put them through some kind of workflow.
There are plenty of ways to enroll contacts into HubSpot workflows (Pro & Enterprise plan only), but here is a quick lesson on adding contacts to workflows from the new contact layout.

How To Enroll A Contact In A HubSpot Workflow

  1. Visit the contact profile in HubSpot by searching for his/her email address
  2. Scroll down and look for the section “WORKFLOW MEMBERSHIPS”
  3. Click the drop down menu and select the KPI Survey
  4. Click “Enroll”
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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.