How to use conversations

Last updated: May 18, 2018

Available For:

Marketing: N/A
Sales: N/A
Service: Professional

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

Please note: the conversations tool is currently available to users with a Service Hub Professional subscription only. 

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.


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.
  • 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


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.


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.

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.
  • Reassign replies: enable this feature if you want to reassign replies to other team members.


Connect a chat channel

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.


    • 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 whether your specific URL is or isn't included among the places where you want your chat widget to appear. 
    • 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.


  • On the Message screen you can customize your message content.
    • Enter a welcome message, and set up conditions and an email capture message so you can follow up on unanswered chats.
    • Under your Options you can click the checkbox to indicate whether your welcome message should display on your selected website pages be default. 
    • You can see a preview each of these settings using the corresponding tabs in the right sidebar.
  • In 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.

Connect your team email inbox channel

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


    • 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 conversations inbox can only be connected to a Gmail or Office 365 account. The inbox doesn't support an email alias, forwarding email address, or Google Groups.

    • After you've made your selection, click Connect your account. You'll see a dialogue 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. 
      • If you'd like to distribute incoming emails evenly across multiple users, you can use the round robin functionality to assign conversations across selected users or teams in your account.
      • 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.

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 icon link 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, you'll receive an email with a transcript of your chat directly to your inbox, including a timestamp of your conversation and a link to the website where the chat originated.


Respond to an email conversation

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 or schedule Meetings 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.

Create additional inboxes

Conversations includes the ability to have multiple inboxes for different teams.

A new inbox can only be added by users with Admin access in your account. 

To view and manage an inbox:

  • Click the inbox name in the upper-left corner to view your existing inboxes or add a new inbox.


  • Click Create Inbox to add a new inbox:
    • Give your team inbox a name.
    • Use the dropdown menu to specify which team members can access this inbox. Users will only be able to see the inboxes that they have access to.


  • After configuring your new inbox settings, you can connect a channel for this inbox.


By default new conversations assigned to you will send alerts to your browser. To manage sound alerts:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings icon settings in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar, click ConversationsNotifications.
You can manage the rest of your notifications for conversations in your global notifications center: 
  • Navigate to AccountProfile & Preferences.
  • In the left sidebar, select Notifications > Assign and scroll down to manage your alert preferences for New email conversation and New live chat conversation.

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