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HubShots Episode 305: The End of 2023 HubSpot Bumper Episode

HubShots Episode 305: The End of 2023 HubSpot Bumper Episode
HubShots Episode 305: The End of 2023 HubSpot Bumper Episode

Welcome to HubShots Episode 305: The End of 2023 HubSpot Bumper Episode

This edition we dive into:

  • Preparing for a Fast Start in 2024
  • Quick shots (Loom, Clearbit acquisitions)
  • Active lists of non-marketing contacts who used to be marketing contacts
  • How to build a list of ZoomInfo contacts
  • Adding images in meetings in the HubSpot app
  • Using LinkedIn Sales Navigator with HubSpot - pros and cons 
  • How to find who created a contact 
  • Sequence sender score analysis
  • Triggering SMS to contacts from a workflow
  • Blocking contacts with free email addresses
  • Smart content rules to block contacts from some countries
  • Last Message from Visitor ticket property
  • HubSpot’s Data Model Overview
  • Teamwork Workflows marketplace app
  • Consultant versus Coach
  • Tons of training options

You can watch this episode on our YouTube episodes playlist.

Are you a subscriber on the HubShots YouTube channel?

We’re also available on Spotify or Soundcloud if that’s easier for you.

Did a colleague forward this episode to you? Sign up here to get yours every Friday. 

Have you downloaded the latest version of the HubShots Framework yet? (It’s your 5-Stage plan for getting the most out of HubSpot).

Note: whenever you see a (Stage X) notification at the end of a Shot it indicates what stage of the HubShots Framework it relates to. 

Please forward this on to your work colleagues.

Recorded: Wednesday 29 November 2023 | Published: Friday 08 December 2023

Table of Contents

🌱 Shot 1: Growth Thoughts of the Week

Preparing for a 2024 Fast Start

As I write this there are 16 business days until Christmas - the race is on.

Whilst many are focussed on finally being able to crash and relax, others are already planning for a rapid start to 2024 in early January. Which camp are you in?

At XEN, we’re in the unusual position of potentially planning to work right through the holiday break (this hasn’t happened before), simply because a number of our clients are only planning to take the minimum public holiday days off and then power through. We’ll be there to support them as needed.

This is the complete opposite to last year, when it felt like most customers had already checked out by mid December and we didn’t hear from them until mid January at the earliest. How times change!

Part of this is the opportunities that are around - in mid-market especially there is more demand than supply, and thus most companies are doing everything they can to keep up.

But perhaps another part is the increased competition in the market. Whilst mentioning the rapid embrace of AI feels like a cliche, its effects can’t be denied. Companies are focusing on reducing waste, replacing human capital with AI and processes, and accelerating their go-to-market plans.

It’s exciting and exhausting at the same time.

Why do I mention all this?

Simply this - if you need to down tools to recharge and refresh, by all means do. 

But don’t assume you can waddle back into 2024 at a leisurely pace.

A quick tactical tip while we’re here: if you’re in B2B and haven’t tested upping your paid ad spend during the holiday break, then this is the year to test it. Most companies pause ad spend during the break - we often double ours to take advantage of the cheaper clicks. Will be interesting to see if that trend occurs again this year. As always: test and measure.

Feel free to book in a session with us if you’re keen to kick off 2024 well.

preparing for a 2024 fast start

Automation shouldn’t add new stuff, it should first automate existing manual processes

In the HubShots Framework, Stage 3 is focussed on automation. That is, automating as many processes as appropriate.

The key word to note here is: appropriate.

Many companies try to add completely new stuff using automation, before they’ve even automated their existing manual processes

The trap they fall into is automating a bunch of processes that add little value (eg mass spamming) to the business, and then neglecting to automate the high value processes that are currently manual, but needn’t be.

They mistake scalability with busy work… automating busy work rarely provides value.

When approaching automation in HubSpot, start by reviewing your current manual processes, and ordering them in terms of:

  • Value/impact to the business
  • Amount of time they take up

And then chip away at the high value processes that are currently quite time consuming.

Note: automation doesn’t have to be a workflow or sequence - it can just be turning on some notifications (and turning others off)

Here’s some examples of scenarios to consider:

  • Anything that stops things falling through the cracks eg missing lead submissions, notifications to follow up
  • Anything that reduces cognitive load (eg tasks to remind specific actions, etc)
  • Anything that qualifies the work to be done eg lead scoring
  • Internal notifications based on process status (eg deal stage, ticket status, contact lifecycle, contact behaviour, etc)
And here’s some to be wary of:
  • Anything that sends external emails - consider carefully before diving in 
  • Anything that bulk allocates (eg lots of tasks - akin to busy work)

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✨Shot 2: Quick Shots of the Week

Here’s a few quick items of interest:

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🚀Shot 3: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week

Non-marketing contacts who used to be Marketing contacts

To create a list of Non-marketing contacts who have previously been Marketing contacts, you can use the ‘has ever been any of’ condition in List filters:

Non-marketing contacts who have previously been Marketing contacts

Leave a comment on Threads or LinkedIn.

How to Build a List of ZoomInfo Contacts

Building a list of ZoomInfo contacts is easy, but has a gotcha.

The simple part is using Original Drill-down 2, the tricky part is knowing the value to use.

Here’s an example of what the list criteria could look like:

How to build a list of Zoominfo Contacts

To find the number to use (ie 206398 in this case) you can hover over the Original source drill-down 2 property on the contact record:

Internal Value for Zoominfo property

Ian goes through this in more detail in this video:

HubShots Daily Shorts: Build a List of Zoominfo contacts

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💰 Shot 4: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week

You can now add images easily to meetings, calls etc on the HubSpot app!

This is great for those who visit locations and people and want to capture important items.  A picture is worth a thousand words!

You can now add images easily to meetings, calls etc on the HubSpot app!

Is the LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration with HubSpot worth it?

We’ve seen a rise in the number of customers asking about integrating LinkedIn Sales Navigator into their HubSpot portals.

To do so you need to be using LinkedIn’s Advanced or Advanced Plus tiers (currently starting around $180 AUD per month) and you need HubSpot Sales Pro or above.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator has a number of plans.

So, is it worth it?

Like most things: it depends.

Firstly, how does it work? There's a pretty good overview of it here.

Summary: It's... OK.

Some nice features, but also a bunch of limitations.

In no particular order:

  • requires a HubSpot Sales Pro (or Enterprise) seat - probably fine for the most sales team considering it
  • it won't important contacts into HubSpot
  • instead you navigate to an existing contact (or company) in HubSpot and it shows you further details (the detail can be pretty useful)
  • you can send LinkedIn InMails right from within HubSpot
  • but it won't log them in the HubSpot activity timeline (you need to manually log it) 

As to the question of whether it is of value - it depends.

  • For companies whose reps are working LinkedIn for hours each day, it's a no brainer.
  • For reps who are just doing a bit of prospecting and research here and there, it's expensive for the value it provides.

A good use case:

  • a bunch of target accounts (companies) are assigned to a sales rep
  • sales rep might use ZoomInfo, Apollo or Clearbit etc to create and/or pull in enriched contact data into HubSpot
  • the sales rep then goes through each contact, reviews LinkedIn details, connects, sends InMail, and creates Task reminder to follow up, all within HubSpot

Other things to be aware of:

  • HubSpot is working closely with LinkedIn to upgrade the whole integration they have
  • Expect some big improvements in the coming months 

Here’s how the Sales Navigator integration looks in HubSpot:

LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration in HubSpot

Want to Find Out Who Created Which Contacts? 

Created by User ID tip

To find out who created the contact you can view the Created by user ID property:

Created by User ID tip

But how do you create a list of contacts created by that User ID?

You need to know the actual record number for that user - you can get that by hovering over the user (the little ‘i’) or by checking the user in Settings

Finding the internal value for Created by User ID


Template performance

This is very useful to understand the effectiveness of the templates you are using.

Template Performance

Also good to understand who is using them and how they are performing.  You could use this to find out winners in the organisation if someone is using them well.

find out winners in the organisation if someone is using them well

Sequence sender score to see how the team is performing

This is very useful to understand the effectiveness of the sequences that the team are sending. What it highlighted here was the big difference in reply rates of 2 team members using the same sequence.  

One person has almost a 4x better reply rate because we discovered they took the time to research the contact and personalise it when compared to the other team members' emails.

Sequence Sender Score

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👨‍🔧Shot 5: HubSpot Workflow Feature of the Week

Triggering SMS to contacts from a workflow manually

We created this so it could be used for one off things by particular people on the team.  Gives us the opportunity to send personalised sms to contacts.  It was originally used to notify contacts on the day who were attending dinner and specialised events.

Here’s the details of the simple workflow automation

Manually triggering SMS to contacts from a workflow

Contacts were often chosen from a static list or individually selected.

Manual enrollment

Example of a message that was sent.

Example of Message sent


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🔥Shot 6: CMS Hub Feature of the Week

Two quick reminders for reducing low quality form submissions.

Block free email addresses

A reminder that all it takes is a simple tickbox in a form to block free email addresses:

Blocking free email domains

We also maintain a list of spamming domains that we add in as well - you can view/copy our list here.

Think carefully about whether you block free email addresses, and ideally analyse past results.

For example, if you are a consumer or e-commerce company, then you’ll likely want to accept free email addresses.

But if you are a B2B company, run some analysis across all your deals over the past few years, to work out whether they were from contacts with free email addresses. The easiest way to do this is to create a list of contacts (with free email addresses) that had associated deals that were marked as Closed Won.

Smart Rules for blocking form submits from some countries

We used to get a lot of spam Contact Us form submissions from some countries.

To reduce this we use smart content to switch out the form being shown (if the traffic is coming from one of those countries).

Here’s how it looks for a typical page.

Create a smart rule in your content section (eg here’s how it looks in CLEAN theme for a page):

Smart Rules for blocking form submits from some countries

Simply create a smart rule based on the country of the visitor:

Managing content for specific visitors based on country

And for those visitors show a form that doesn’t have an email address field:

visitors show a form that doesn’t have an email address field

Note: this only works if your portal doesn’t allow contacts to be created without an email address (which is the case for most portals) - you can check this in your settings:

forms submission settings

If your portal does allow this (eg you get a lot of phone calls and create leads from them, without needing an email) this won’t work for you.

Here’s the results for our portal:

forms submissions results

That’s 770 or so form submissions that didn’t create a contact (and thus saved us having to deal with them).

Note: we only use this for our Contact page form, we don’t block for assets (eg we allow anyone to sign up for newsletters, download ebooks, etc). But for contact requests we have to be protective of our time.

(Aside: that’s also why we’ve removed phone numbers entirely from our sites - too many spam calls. We only provide our phone number to qualified prospects and customers)

[Back to Top]

🔧Shot 7: HubSpot Service Hub Item of the Week

Last Message from Visitor

This is a property on tickets that you can query (or use as a workflow trigger).

Here’s the definition (from HubSpot’s KB):

Last message from visitor: whether the most recent message came from a visitor or an agent. If this property is set to true, it indicates that the last message on a conversation was from a visitor. If it's set to false, it indicates the last message was from an agent (including comments).

Here’s an example of using it in a workflow trigger (in this case we wanted to notify internally if the client had responded to a ticket):

Last Message from Visitor set as workflow trigger


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🔧Shot 8: HubSpot Admin Feature of the Week

HubSpot’s Data Model Overview

A quick walkthrough of HubSpot’s Data Model Overview - very handy for quickly checking how the data is organised in your portal, along with how many records in each object.

There’s a walkthrough on LinkedIn here, or on YouTube here:

HubSpot's Data Model Overview


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🔧Shot 9: App Marketplace App of the Week

Teamwork Workflows App

Not to be confused with the existing Teamwork app in the marketplace, the new Teamwork Workflows app now lets you create Teamwork Tasks and Projects from a Workflow action:

Create Teamwork Tasks and Projects from a Workflow action

It’s only basic so far, but I’ve had some feedback from Teamwork letting me know new features are rolling out in future.

A few things to note:

  • the workflow action that creates a task puts it at the top level in a Task list, there's no option to make it a sub-task of an existing task 
  • there's no return value with the link to the created task or project, which would have been nice, as we like to store that against the deal ideally 
  • there's no way to update an existing task

Check it out here.

[Back to Top]

💡Shot 10: Listener Feedback of the Week

“You cover the topics beyond surface level and the documents you also provide are great for reflection.”
- Skyler

[Back to Top]

🏈 Shot 11: AI Prompt of the Week

Midjourney prompt for a tech company 

Midjourney prompt for a tech company

Prompt: a mannequin made of multicolored quantum entanglement in the fractal mist macrophotography black background --style raw --stylize 75

Tons more Midjourney prompts and inspiration here.

[Back to Top]

📚Shot 12: Thought of the Week 

Consultant versus Coach 

Useful clarity from Chris Marr in his book Becoming an Authoritative Coach

Have been reflecting on this in terms of both clients and team members.

  • For clients = we are consultants (may be different for your business though)
  • For staff = I need to be more of a coach (as do the senior leadership team)

The trap I often fall into is trying to solve the problem for a team member, instead of coaching them to solve it themselves.

The first is quicker initially, but the latter is more impactful longer term.

Consultant vs Coach

Consultant vs Coach

(Also mentioned this on my blog here and Threads here)

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✍️ Shot 13: Quote of the Week

“Invest in preparedness, not in prediction.”

Nassim Nicholas Taleb

[Back to Top]

🏋️ Shot 14: Training of the Week

The Hub Tribe LinkedIn Live with Oliver Lopez

We had a blast chatting with Oliver Lopez about HubSpot’s ‘new’ customer platform messaging.

You can view the full hour long chat on our HubShots channel here, or on LinkedIn here.

HubSpot Admin HUG episode on Familiarising with a portal

A good overview of how to evaluate a HubSpot portal. Nice run through by Caleb King - watch it on YouTube here.

How to Log In to HubSpot | 2024 Edition

For the lols, a year ago I created a video on how to log into HubSpot, just to see if it would get any views (eg are people actually searching for that?). Turns out there are a few searches. So I’ve updated it to now be relevant for 2024 - would do me a favour and give it a like on YouTube.

How to Log in to HubSpot in 2024

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🏋️ Shot 15: Have You Downloaded The HubShots Framework?

HubShots Framework Poster

Download a copy of the HubShots Framework A3 PDF poster (recently updated with colour coding and more).

The HubShots Framework

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🧲 Shot 16: Follow Us on the Socials

Connect with HubShots here:

Connect with Ian Jacob on LinkedIn and Craig Bailey on LinkedIn and Threads

HubShots, the podcast for marketing managers and sales professionals who use HubSpot, hosted by Ian Jacob from Search & Be Found and Craig Bailey from XEN Systems, XEN Create and XEN Solar.

HubShots is produced by Christopher Mottram from Podcastily.

We record using (<= affiliate link)

Please share this with colleagues - it helps us improve and reach more marketers.

HubShots Episode 305: The End of 2023 HubSpot Bumper Episode


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