conversations

Use conversations

Last updated: September 14, 2018

You can use your conversations inbox to manage your team's email inbox and targeted messages all in one place. Learn how to use the inbox, set up your channels, and respond to conversations with your HubSpot tools. 

User access to the conversations inbox

In HubSpot accounts that have access to conversations, any user in the account can use conversations as long as they are included as a team member on the inbox.

However, if the user is not a Sales Hub StarterProfessional or Enterprise user or a Service Hub StarterProfessional or Enterprise user, they cannot be assigned to receive incoming conversations in your routing rules. They can still assign and respond to unassigned conversations, but these conversations cannot be routed to them automatically. 

Using the conversations inbox

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Conversations > Inbox.

Across the top of your inbox, you can search all your conversations using the search bar in the upper-right corner. Use the dropdown menus to customize your view:

  • Status - sort your conversations based on whether they're Open or Closed.
  • Channel - sort conversations based on whether they were created through Chat, over Email, or select to view All.
  • Assignee - view conversations assigned to a specific team member.
  • Date - filter conversations over a specific timeframe.

conversations-filters-no-tags

In the left sidebar, you can manage your conversations from different views:
  • All conversations - all your team's conversations.
  • Assigned to me - conversations that have been routed or assigned to you.
  • Unassigned conversations - conversations that need to be triaged and assigned to an owner.
  • Email - conversations that originated from your team's email inbox. 
  • Chat - conversations that originated from a chat widget on your site.
  • Bots bot conversations that were never or have not yet been assigned to an owner. 
  • Filtered - these are emails that are not relevant to your business conversations, such as promotional emails. Any emails received from a role email (marketing@, sales@, etc.) will be sent to Filtered instead of the general Inbox

inbox-filters-with-bots

You'll see a list of all conversations in your selected view with the following details:
  • The name of the contact who started the conversation.
  • The email subject line or preview of the chat transcript.
  • The timestamp of when the email or chat was opened.
  • A label to indicate if the conversation is from a Chat or Email channel.

view-inbox

Next to your list of conversations is a detailed view of the selected conversation from your inbox. Here you can:
  • Use the dropdown in the upper right corner to assign the conversation to a new owner.
  • Reply to the chat or email conversation.
  • Click the checkmark icon success to mark the conversation as closed.
The right sidebar gives you full details of the contact record associated with your selected conversation. In this side bar you can:
  • Click the name of the contact to open their record in a new tab.  
  • Click Create ticket to create a new ticket associated with this contact.
  • Click the More dropdown to create a new engagement on the contact record such as a new call or email. You can also select Block sender to block them from future interactions with this channel, or Disassociate Contact to remove the association between the contact and the live chat thread.  more-contact-actions-in-conversations-inbox

Please note: if you block a sender, the conversation will move to your Filtered view in your inbox. Moving forward, the visitor will see the chat widget when they visit your site, but if they attempt to chat with you, these messages will not surface in your conversations inbox. Emails sent from previously blocked senders will show up in the Filtered view. You can always unblock a sender from your Filtered view so future conversations are visible in your inbox. 


right-sidebarThe chat widget in the lower-left corner includes a few important settings for your chat messages:
  • Away mode: use this setting to indicate whether you're active or away for incoming conversations. When you toggle on Away mode you will still appear as available for any open chats currently assigned to you so you can finish those conversations and close them out, while appearing away to new incoming visitors. 
  • Reassign replies: enable this feature if you want to reassign replies to other team members.

away-mode

Connect a chat channel

Please note: only users in your account with Admin access can connect a chat channel.

To add or edit a channel to your inbox:
  • Click Inbox Settings in the lower-left corner, then click Chat. This will bring you to your targeted message settings.connect-chat-channels
  • Click Edit appearance to customize the style of your chat widget to reflect your brand. 
  • Click Edit chat availability to give visitors insight into your team's availability and when they can expect a reply.
    • Always: your team always appears available to chat. Use the dropdown menu to let visitors know when they can expect a reply. If you don't wish to show visitors this information, select Don't show a reply time

    • Based on team member status: visitors can chat with your team if at least one team member is available. Use the dropdown menus to set a reply time and the away status. If no team member is available, select Show away message or Hide chat launcher.

    • During business hours: with business hours, set expectations with your visitors about when your team is available to chat. While an individual user can chat whenever, the business hours setting lets visitors who come to your site outside of those hours know when your team will be back online. Use the dropdown menus to specify days and time ranges. Click + Add hours to add more days and time ranges. Set a reply time and decide what visitors should see when no one is available to chat. team-chat

Please note: if a bot is associated to a targeted message, it will override the message's chat availability settings. As a result, the chat widget will always appear. This means the bot can hand off a conversation to a user outside of business hours if the individual user is still set to Available. Therefore, enable Away mode outside of office hours so a bot does not hand off a conversation to you. 

  • Click Create targeted message to move though the setup wizard to create a chat channel for messages
    • On the first screen you can select the type of targeted message you want to set up, and review how this chat will appear on different device types. After reviewing these settings, click Next.
    • On the Audience screen, you have the following choices of who you want to show your chat widget to:
      • Everyone: anyone who visits your site will see your message.
      • Anonymous visitors: anyone who visits your site anonymously will see your message.
      • Tracked contacts: only tracked visitors who exist in your HubSpot contact database will see your message.
      • Segmented lists: only tracked visitors who meet your smart list criteria will see your message. If you select this option, an additional dropdown menu will appear, and you can select your smart list from here. 

Please note: if you select Tracked contacts or Segmented lists as your target audience, visitors who meet this criteria must have a tracking cookie associated with their contact record in order for them to see your messages widget. 

  • On the Targeting screen, you can set up exactly where your chat widget should appear. 
    • Use the dropdown to select a targeting option for your website URL. Your options are is, isn't, contains, doesn't contain, starts with, or doesn't start with. Then enter the specific URL where you would like the chat widget to appear. Use the wildcard option by adding /* at the end of the URL to capture all URLs that begin with the target URL. All URLs are case sensitive. 
    • You can also use query parameters to specify where your chat widget should appear. Click the first dropdown and select Query Param, then enter the parameter name and value.
    • Click OR to add more rules to indicate exactly which URLs should display your chat widget. 
    • Click the trash icon delete to delete an existing targeting rule.

target-for-conversations

Please note: you can create more than one chat widget and have it display on different pages on your website. For example, you may want a specific chat widget on your pricing page only, but want a different widget on your homepage. You can create another targeted message following these same instructions and update the targeting rules accordingly to show only on the specified pages. 

  • On the Message screen you can customize your message content.
    • Welcome Message: enter a welcome message, and set up conditions and an email capture message so you can follow up on unanswered chats.
    • Send message from: choose who the message should appear to be sent from. You can choose specific users or teams or the HubSpot owner of the visitor. If more than three users are selected, three users will be displayed randomly. If you choose to send from the HubSpot owner, select a fallback user for any new or unassigned visitors who start a chat. 
    • Email capture: indicate when to prompt the visitor to provide their email address.
    • Email capture message: compose a message to display when asking visitors for an email address to follow up.
    • Options: click the checkbox to indicate whether your welcome message should display on your selected website pages by default. 

You can see a preview each of these settings using the corresponding Preview tabs in the right sidebar.

message-settings-send-from

  • On the Routing screen, you can set up rules to assign the owner for an incoming conversation through this chat widget. You can assign these conversations to specific user(s) or team(s), or leave them unassigned for your team to triage from the conversations inbox. 
  • On the Review and publish screen, you can see a full preview of how your chat widget will appear to visitors. Add a Message name to help you recognize the chat widget content, appearance, and settings you've just created.
  • Finally, you'll need to install the HubSpot tracking code on your website in order for visitors to see your messages. You can send this code directly to your web developer, or copy the code to your clipboard and set it up yourself.

Please note: websites built with Wix do not support conversations, so you will not be able to include the chat widget on your Wix site. 

Connect your team email inbox channel

Please note: Only users in your account with Admin access can connect a team email inbox channel.

To add a new channel to your conversations inbox:
  • Click Inbox Settings in the lower-left corner of your inbox, then click Email

    connect-channels

    • In your channel settings, click Connect team email in the upper-right corner to move though the setup wizard to create a team inbox channel for emails. 
    • Select whether you'd like to connect a Gmail or Outlook 365 email inbox. Notice that at this time IMAP connection is not supported. If you're not sure what type of inbox you're using, learn more about how to connect your inbox to the HubSpot CRM. 

    Important: any inbox you connect for conversations should be a shared inbox because all incoming emails will be visible to your team. The email address you are connecting cannot already be connected in a user's email integrations. If it is, the user will need to remove the connection before you can integrate it into a conversations inbox. 

    The conversations inbox can connect to a Gmail or Office 365 account. If you are using an email alias or Google Group, you will need to set up a hosted email in the conversation inbox which you can use to forward emails from your email alias or Google Group.

    • After you've made your selection, click Connect your account. You'll see a dialog box open with more details about sharing this email account with HubSpot. You can review the terms and click Accept and connect.
    • After you finish connecting your inbox, you'll be prompted to set up routing rules for incoming emails to this account:
      • You can assign new incoming messages to the contact's owner, specific users or teams, or leave them unassigned. 
      • Use the Apply action dropdown to indicate whether you'd like to Create a ticket for each new incoming email. If you choose to create a ticket, use the right sidebar modal to set up the ticket properties that should populate each new ticket.

If after you connect your inbox, you need to add more team members, you can do so from your inbox settings. Any user in your account can use conversations, but they need to be included on a team inbox in order to email contacts from the conversations inbox. 

Manage your inboxes

You can have multiple conversations inboxes set up for your different teams. For example, if both your sales team and customer success team need to use the inbox to communicate with customers, you can set up separate inboxes to manage these customer interactions. 

Please note: only users with Admin access in your account can add a new inbox or delete an existing inbox. Only Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise, Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise, or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise accounts can set up multiple inboxes.

To add a new team inbox:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar. 
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Conversations Inboxes
  • Click Create inbox in the top corner.
  • Give your team inbox a name.
  • Click the Team members dropdown menu to specify which team members can access this inbox. Users will only be able to see the inboxes and respond to emails in the inboxes that they have access to. 

inbox-settings

Once the inbox is created, team members can manage communication specific to their role in the appropriate inbox. 

To manage your inbox and inbox integrations:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the sidebar menu, select Conversations > Inboxes.
  • Hover over an inbox name and click Edit
  • To specify which team members can access an inbox, click Team members in the sidebar menu. Then use the dropdown menu to specify which team members can access this inbox. A user needs to be added to your list of team members to send an email to a contact from that conversations inbox. manage-team-members
  • In the sidebar menu, click Slack to connect a Slack account or manage your existing integrated channels.  
To delete an inbox: 
  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the sidebar menu, select Conversations > Inboxes.
  • Hover over an inbox name and click Delete

delete-inbox

  • Type in the name of your inbox to confirm this action, then click Yes, delete.

Please note: deleting an inbox will permanently remove it from your account along with any email channels, chat targeted messages, and conversation threads. This action can't be undone. 

Respond to a chat conversation

You can compose your chat response using the text editor at the bottom of your conversation. The contact record is available in the right sidebar for full context throughout your conversation.

  • Type your response into the text editor at the bottom of the conversation.
  • Click Snippets to quickly add short, reusable text blocks into your chats.
  • Use the link iconlink to share a link with your contact.
  • Click the dropdown in the top-right corner to adjust the conversation owner of your chat.
  • When you're ready to send each response, click Send.
  • Once your chat is closed, click the checkmark icon success  to mark the chat conversation as closed.

After you close each chat, a copy of the chat transcript will be sent automatically to the visitor. You can also choose to manually send the transcript to other contacts once the chat has ended:

  • In the closed chat window, click More Email chat transcript.
manually-send-transcript-from-inbox
  • Click the Email address dropdown menu and select a contact's email address . 
  • In the Subject field, edit the subject line text. 
  • Click Send transcriptselect-transcript-recipients

The transcript will be sent directly to the visitor's inbox, including a timestamp of your conversation and a link to the website where the chat originated. 

chat-transcript

Respond to an email conversation

If you are a member of a team inbox, you can respond to an email message directly through your connected team inbox using the rich text email editor. Just like with chats, you have the contact profile in the right sidebar for context.

  • Click Reply in the lower left corner of your email conversation to respond to an email conversation.
  • Click Templates across the top of the email editor to insert a template email. You can also insert Documents, schedule Meetings, or attach a quote from here.
  • The icons across the bottom of the email editor can be used to modify your text style, insert a link, add an image, include a snippet, link to a knowledge base article, or upload a file. 
  • Once an email conversation is closed, you can find it again by adjusting the Status filter across the top of your inbox to view Closed conversations. You can reopen an email conversation anytime by sending a new reply.
  • If there are any other objects (contacts, companies, deals, or tickets) associated with this email, you can click to view them or add new associated records.

email-reply

Please note: you will be notified when a visitor initiates a chat or sends you an email. Learn more about configuring your conversations notification preferences

Reassign and respond to a bot conversation

If you are using bots on your website, you can see any ongoing bot conversations in your inbox by navigating to the Bots view. You can assign these conversations to yourself and finish chatting with the customer:

  • In your conversations inbox, select Bots from the left sidebar. 
  • Click to open a bot conversation. 
  • Click Take over conversation

The bot will then stop responding to the visitor and the conversation will move out of the Bots view and into the All conversations view where you can continue chatting with the visitor. take-over-bot-conversation

Additional options for targeted messages

If you've enabled General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in your account, you can customize your messages to include a step to ask your website visitors for their consent to communicate.

Please note: while these features live in HubSpot, your legal team is the best resource to give you compliance advice for your specific situation.

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Conversations > Inboxes
  • Hover over the inbox containing the message you want to edit, then click Edit.
  • In the left sidebar, under Channels click Chat. This will open up a list of all targeted messages created for this inbox.
  • Hover over the message you'd like to update with GDPR consent and click Edit.
  • In the left sidebar, click Options.
  • To capture a visitor's consent to process their data, click to toggle the Consent to process data switch on. 
    • Click the Process type dropdown menu and select one of the following:
      • Require explicit consent - with this option enabled, visitors will need to click I agree before they can send a message. 
      • Legitimate interest - the visitor's consent is implied when they start to chat with you. The consent to process data text will still display, by the do not need to click I agree to start the chat. chat-widget-legitimate-interest
    • Use the Consent to process data text field to explain why you need to store and process your customer's personal information.
  • To opt a visitor into a subscription type when they start to chat with you, click to toggle the Consent to communicate switch on. 
    • Click the Subscription type dropdown menu and select which subscription type you are opting your visitors into. 
    • Use the Consent to communicate text field to inform customers what type of communication they're consenting to.chat-gdpr-settings
  • When you are done, click Save

 

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