6 min read

Episode 266: Why HubSpot Email Preference Groups are finally awesome, plus tips for creating Tickets from Conversations

Episode 266: Why HubSpot Email Preference Groups are finally awesome, plus tips for creating Tickets from Conversations

Welcome to HubShots Episode 266: Why HubSpot Email Preference Groups are finally awesome, plus tips for creating Tickets from Conversations

This edition we dive into:

  • Tools are your friend
  • HubSpot Email Allow Lists (ie IP addresses for your IT team to implement)
  • Why HubSpot Email Preference Groups (Enterprise) are finally awesome
  • Setting up Custom Team Sidebars 
  • Automatically creating and managing Tickets from Conversations 
  • Custom Report Builder is your friend

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Recorded: Wednesday 10 November 2021 | Published: Friday 12 November 2021

🌱 Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week

Tools are your friend

As you grow, so do the tools you use in your business.

It's something we use to get things done. We use tools to build things, fix things, and help us in our jobs. 

What we often fail to realize is that there are tools for parts of our lives, hobbies and jobs.  Using the right tools at the right time can help you break through barriers, help you work faster, and solve unique problems that you may face along the way.

So here are some things we are thinking about when we evaluate tools:

  • Can this cut down my time to get the job done?
  • Is it easy to use?
  • Does it give me insight into my data?  Especially if it uses artificial intelligence and machine learning.
  • Will the investment pay you back many times over?
  • Does it reduce stress/ anxiety? This is an intangible benefit and is often overlooked.

Some tools we like to use:

  • Optmyzr to help manage Google Ads
  • Agorapulse for managing social media if you're not on Marketing Pro!
  • Loom for recording quick videos
  • Feedly to get through information quickly and bookmark it for use
  • Google Workspace
  • 1Password, LastPass for password management and Authy for 2FA management
  • Slack for team communication
  • Zoom and Teams for video meetings
  • Teamwork for project management
  • Elgato lights for enjoyable lighting
  • Apple Macbook Pro
  • Standing desk
  • Apple Airpods
  • Bose noise cancelling headphones
  • Good backup mobile data, in Australia we use Telstra
  • Overcast for podcast listening
  • Newsblur for blog reading


✨ Shot 2: Quick Shots of the Week

Here’s a few quick items of interest we noticed:

  •  A/B email testing now available in Workflows (this has been in beta for a while, and is now generally available). Note that an A/B email can only be used in a single workflow (<= potential gotcha).
  • Blog post editor is a little nicer (when no content has been written yet)
  • The forecast tool is now available in the mobile app

HubSpot added a bunch more data sync integrations (for apps you’ve probably never heard of…)

🐧 Shot 3: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week

Email Allow Listing

This is one for the more geeky amongst us (or your IT Manager) - it’s the list of IP addresses that HubSpot sends email from.

Handy in case your IT department needs a list of IP addresses to allow to receive from (eg for internal email notifications). See also this HubSpot KB article.

You can find this from the Marketing > Email page:

This will show you the list of IP addresses that HubSpot sends from - you simply Copy to clipboard and then pass these onto your IT department to allow:

Email Preference Groups (Enterprise)

Settings > Marketing > Email > Preference Groups

(This is a Marketing Hub Enterprise feature)

The email preference centre for portals with multiple brands is getting pretty slick now. It allows you to set up multiple email subscription types and company locations. 

Here’s a look at our XEN portal, with the HubShots Preference Group expanded:

Notice that you can now view a Preview of what the Manage Preferences page would look like to a user (who clicked Manage Preferences in an email footer):

Very nice!

One little gotcha - the Global Resubscription email is still… global. You can’t tailor this for each brand:

Ideally this email could be tailored for each Preference Group as well.

💰 Shot 4: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week

Custom Teams Properties Sidebars (Enterprise)

All Hub tiers allow a level of customisation of properties that show in sidebars of objects (contacts, companies, deals, tickets, etc).

Enterprise tiers take this a step further and allow specific sidebars to be set for teams.

They are set up in the same place - Settings > Data Management > Properties > Record Customisation:

One thing to note (as the name denotes) is that these are built for Teams - so you should think about setting up your Teams first.

Assuming you have your teams in place, you can then create custom sidebars for each. An example for how this might be used:

  • Sales teams might show sales related properties (activities, etc)
  • Marketing teams might show engagement related properties (sessions, pageviews, marketing email opens, etc)

This is a handy way of keeping the left sidebar as clean as possible for each team.

They’re really easy to create and provide conditional options as well:

One Little Gotcha To Be Aware Of

Since these are built for teams, the question you might have is: what if a user is a member of multiple teams (ie a secondary member of other teams)?

The custom sidebar will only show for the team that the user is a Primary member of.

Which makes sense when you think about it - but caught me out initially.

👨‍🔧 Shot 5: HubSpot Service Feature of the Week

Creating Tickets from Conversations

An incoming conversation can automatically create a ticket - this is a handy option but is hidden away in settings. You can set this from the Inbox Settings for the Channel.

Settings > Tools > Inbox > Inboxes:

And click the Edit button for the channel:

You can also Edit the ticket properties that are created:

One useful setting is the Ticket Owner - you can have this automatically set based on the Conversation Owners.

But what about if the Conversation is initially Unassigned?

HubSpot is quite smart - it initially sets the ticket as having no Owner, but then when the Conversation is assigned to a user, the Ticket owner is updated.

Updating the Ticket to be Resolved when a Conversation is Closed

Conversation workflows are your friend here.

You can create a Conversation Workflow to trigger on a Conversation being Closed (in a specific Inbox if required) and then set the associate ticket status to resolved (or whatever your Ticket stage is appropriate):

What else?

There’s other scenarios you may want to cater for (eg what is a Conversation is reopened etc) - for these you can use Workflows to reopen the ticket as well.

🤖 Shot 6: HubSpot Workflow Action of the Week

HubSpot Custom Code Action Failed Attempt 1

Back in episode 261 we mentioned we were starting to investigate Custom Code Actions in workflows (this is available if you have Operations Hub Pro or above).

Over the last week I’ve been trying to get up-to-speed with this functionality… but so far I just keep hitting blockers.

Custom Code Actions seem like a wonderful addition to workflows, since they (ideally) allow use cases such as:

  • Phone numbers to be formatted
  • Names to be cleansed (eg split a full name into first and last name)
  • Line items to be counted (and summed)

There’s a few parts to setting up a custom action:

  • Setting up any special variables (eg an API key) 
  • Setting up input and output variables
  • Writing the Javascript that performs the actual action

The first two parts are fine.

But writing the Javascript has done my head in.

HubSpot helpfully provides an overview, plus a bunch of code examples on github, but so far I haven’t been able to get any of them to work (I’ve tried the Name splitting one as a simple example of getting something going).

My suspicion is that the fields I’m attempting to reference via the API calls aren’t set properly, but I feel likely I’m flying blind here - the console errors aren’t very helpful and I can’t work out how to debug them.

Why am I telling you this, if I haven’t even been able to get it to work?

Simply this - I suspect I’m not the only one struggling. I’ll keep chipping away and keep you updated on progress once I work it out.

💡Shot 7: Insight of the Week

Custom Report Builder is your Secret Weapon

Although the Custom Report Builder has been in the product for a while now (it was in Beta for a long time) it’s only just recently that I’ve fully appreciated how powerful this is for users.

As we’ve mentioned in previous episodes there’s definitely a learning curve associated with getting up to speed with it (and frankly, I think the interface isn’t quite as intuitive as it needs to be) but once you get the hang of it, you can put together some very useful reports.

Lately we’ve been building reports around:

  • Revenue influenced by email marketing campaigns
  • Breakdowns of deals by source versus time to close (ie which source closes quickest)
  • Tables of joins across contacts, deals and emails
  • Attribution of deals to different forms used on the site

This is only going to get more powerful (especially when you see some of the dataset capabilities in Operations Hub Enterprise) and I’d predict that in the not too distant future there will be HubSpot Consultants that do nothing else except build custom reports for clients.

If you’re into data analysis, analytics and reporting, then get your skills up in the Custom Report Builder.

 Shot 8: HubShots Throwback of the Week

Goodbye Throwback of the Week

We’re sunsetting the Throwback of the Week Shot.

Now, now, no crying please...

📚 Shot 9: Thought of the Week

Quick Gratitude Tip

Imagine a world with no Undo feature in any product. 

Now be thankful you don’t live in that world.

Ta da!

✍️Shot 10: Quote of the Week

"If one wants to be active, one mustn’t be afraid to do something wrong sometimes, not afraid to lapse into some mistakes.”

— Vincent Van Gogh

🏋️ Shot 11: Training of the Week

HubSpot Custom Report Builder Training

Check out the Custom Reports Training on HubSpot Academy

🧲 Shot 12: Follow Us on the Socials

Connect with HubShots here:

Connect with Ian Jacob on LinkedIn and Craig Bailey on LinkedIn 

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 and XEN Solar.

HubShots is produced by Christopher Mottram from Podcastily.

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