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How we make magic with the HubSpot <-> Appcues integration

Appcues power users generally have one thing in common–we heavily use integrations. Your product doesn’t exist in a vacuum and neither do the humans who use it. Appcues isn’t some mysterious magical closet to Narnia, it's a friendly tool with a welcoming stoop and a nice cool beverage waiting for you. We love all our stoop guests, but today I'm going to walk you through a few ways we make a little marketing magic happen with our friends at HubSpot.

The background:

If you’re using HubSpot for marketing or your CRM and not using it with Appcues in any way–I can almost guarantee you are missing out. We use HubSpot here at Appcues for parts of our marketing communications (more about that another time) and for CRM data.

I’ve mentioned in other articles how we use HubSpot for a few different use cases, but I want to focus this piece on a few scenarios—in hopes that a little Appcues-HubSpot-show and tell will spark your imagination to repurpose these concepts for your own programs.

Not a HubSpot user? No sweat. I’d still give this article a scan and see if any of the Flows catch your eye. Many of our integrations work similarly to this one, so if you want to replicate anything we’re doing here, just let us know. (You do know how to contact us right? Just in case… support@appcues.com)

Plan of action:

Yeah ok, so my general article framework doesn’t exactly fit this format. We’re going to go with it anyway. Say you just connected your HubSpot integration. What’s the plan?

  1. Determine which fields to bring in from HubSpot

Sales owner? Monthly recurring revenue? Think about what you’re storing there and if it could be valuable to segment by. Do you use custom fields specific to your business and communications that would be helpful to segment by or use in Flows?

Don’t forget, you can use personalization tokens like you do in email in Appcues. So instead of “Hey {{first name}}” you could grab fields you may be collecting in your CRM to get more specific to your industry/person/product. Something like “Hey there! Looking for help with {{onboarding}}?”

  1. Brainstorm ideas across teams

If you have sales or customer success folks (or any other teams besides your own!) working in HubSpot, I always like to recommend having a quick brainstorm sesh with them. Not only will they have ideas about how they’d love to reach clients, they’ll know what sort of data would be valuable to get from Appcues. Por ejemplo, alert internally and externally when someone completes a Flow—maybe your sales reps or onboarding specialists might find this intel handy?

  1. Review your flows

Which flows could benefit from a little data enrichment, better segmentation, or automation? I did this when I joined Appcues and found an opportunity to replace a mailto: link with a button that starts all kinds of parties. If you review your flows through the lens of endless possibilities–you might have a different perspective. 

How we built it:

We’ve added more and more flows that rely on the HubSpot integration and have continued to experiment as we’ve seen good results. We’ve got a basic flow we started with that you could whip up in 10 minutes (depending on how many sellers are on your team!) using a  “Schedule a demo” slideout for trialers. This uses HubSpot contact owner data to target specific prospects and serve up a friendly photo of who they can work with to get sales help at Appcues.

This is a basic slideout build with some fancy CSS on the photo to bump it out a bit from the slideout and make it pop (code below). To power the targeting, we pull in the contact owner from HubSpot.

If you want to try out setting an image outside the boundaries of a slideout for yourself, here's the CSS we used to make that work!

.appcues-backdrop[data-pattern-type="shorty"] {
       display: none;
modal-container, cue {
       overflow: visible !important;

Now this is a pretty basic example, using only HubSpot data for targeting. There’s no push of data back into HubSpot or automation required, instead the CTA links to regular ol’ call scheduling functionality. If you’re not a HubSpot or Appcues power user–this is a great place to start.

a screenshot of appcues targeting showing using hubspot fields

But if you’re feeling ready to try something spicy, you can trigger a HubSpot workflow off a completed flow, too! That means you toggled on that little “complete flow” switch for a specific button, or that user saw all the steps in the flow. There’s tons of use cases for this—and here's a few examples I’d love to try but haven’t yet (P.S. if you try them, I’d love to hear how they went!):

  • “Contact me” button that kicks off a HubSpot alert and email to the contact owner rather than a calendar scheduling link for personalized flows or outreach
  • “I’m interested” button for promotions and betas that doesn’t require customers to fill out a form–just kick off a workflow that enrolls them into a list (and maybe sends a confirmation email via HubSpot)
  • Send support/success/sales reps a notification when people complete specific flows, like an onboarding or promotional flow
  • Add people who skipped a crucial flow to a list for later follow up or analyses
  • Many more I’m not thinking of! (Probably.)

Here’s a couple cool tactics I have tried:

  • “Remind me via email” button that uses a HubSpot workflow to send more or less the same content in the flow via email
  • Segmented out people who already registered for our annual conference using a HubSpot field to avoid irrelevant messages

I’ll dig into the first one. The general bones of this workflow are really easy to swap out or build upon–you don’t even need to follow this exact recipe. 

I covered this in an article detailing how we chat with NPS promoters, but I’ll use a different example with the same type of flow. (FWIW, this was for a one time promotion, but it’s more or less an identical setup.) 

a screenshot of a slideout asking to take a survey
Use an email me button to let folks take control over their communications.

If you have two buttons like we do in this example, make sure one and only one button is toggled to “Mark as complete”. The flow is counted as complete when this button is clicked, preventing anyone who skipped or didn’t opt in to this flow from getting unwanted emails. Once your Flow is created, you’ll want to copy/paste or keep track of your Flow id and name. You’ll need this to set up your workflow in HubSpot. I’m assuming you already have your HubSpot integration connected–if it’s not showing up in your list of options as contact enrollment trigger, double check that you’ve correctly connected or drop us a line, support@appcues.com

A HubSpot workflow showing how to trigger an email from a Flow.

Select “Appcues integration: Flow event” and filter by flow id, then select the event type as “Flow Completed.”

This ties back to that button you set as the toggle earlier? Make sense? Excellent. That wee button knows when it has been clicked, marking a flow completed, which kicks off the trigger to enroll the person who clicked the button in this workflow. Be sure you only have one button completing the flow

As you can see in my screenshot, I also have it looking at Flow name. Having these double catches prevents two mistakes I’ve made in the past:

  • Changing Flow names associated with automation breaks the workflow, so just looking at the ID prevents any typos or name changes
  • You want to start over and clone a Flow, then forget to update the Flow id, so double checking the name catches in case the Flow id changes but the content is the same

This isn’t necessary–up to you if you’re error prone like me. 

Once you have your enrollment trigger set up, you can do…pretty much anything! Like I said in my example, I sent the same survey we were asking about in the Flow via email because it’s a lengthy survey. It takes more than 5 minutes, so I figured folks might want something in their inbox to remind them. 

In addition to building segments targeting contact owners for personalized flows, I’ve also found a lot of use in using data from HubSpot to prevent mixed and over-messaging. For example, in our most recent use case, we were running in-app announcements inviting folks to our annual conference. 

I’ve found here at Appcues and elsewhere that a “live now!” announcement in-app for webinars can be really powerful at driving last minute sign ups and attendance. However, I didn’t want to invite people to register who already registered and risk annoying them. So I used our data from HubSpot (a strangely named field related to our Hopin <> HubSpot integration) to exclude anyone from that day-of message. They were already getting plenty of emails letting them know what’s going on, so I didn’t want to remind them in Appcues as well.

This is set up exactly the same as you would set up a Flow targeting a specific contact owner, just grab that property from HubSpot, map it to a property in Appcues, then create your segment pointing at that field. (Then dust your shoulder off, you earned it.) 

Adding a new property from HubSpot is as simple as picking from a list and adding in your own values on the right.

Like I’ve said a few times (sick of me yet?), these use cases are both specific and broad. You can take this exact formula (legit, just follow everything you see in the screenshots!) and swap out names, Flow ids, add your own automation steps, and you’re off to a great start. 

If you’re not sure what would be valuable, get in touch with your user-facing teams and ask them.

  • What would be helpful for you to know about product usage?
  • Is there a time when you struggle to get in touch with users we can help facilitate?

Or think about the other tools you’re using in the sales process, how could Appcues talk to those via HubSpot? Once you go down the rabbit hole, it’s hard not to get excited about making all these tools talk to each other.

Let me know what you end up trying, I’m always looking for new faces to contribute to Made with Appcues. Just drop me a line at lyla@appcues.com or say hi on LinkedIn.