How to use contact records for lead or customer intelligence

Last updated: June 26, 2017


The contact record in HubSpot is a useful feature that allows you to identify where your leads have been on your site, what forms they have filled out, and much more. You can determine what your leads are interested in even if they haven't directly stated it on a form. For example, HubSpot's marketing team uses the contacts tool to research their contacts and then refine their marketing personas and strategies based off of what they learn. For a refresher on how to create personas, check out this previous section of this guide.

The contact record can also be used for identifying who your best customers are. You can see the content your customers have been engaging with on your website and which emails they open and use that information to determine their interests. 

When analyzing your contact profiles, always look for your best customers. Your best customers are those who consistently interact with your website, match social stream results (they talk about your company), and fit well into your personas. Ideally you should analyze your contacts once a week, but try to at least look at them once a month to get the most out of your contacts intelligence.


Navigate to Contacts

In your HubSpot Marketing BasicProfessional, or Enterprise account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.

In your HubSpot Marketing Free or Starter account or HubSpot Sales account, navigate to Contacts

Choose contact record

Choose which contact record you'd like to edit and click on their name. This will take you to their individual contact record.

Use the overview to view a contact's interactions with you

The contact record will show you a quick overview of the most important aspects of your contact, like their name, email, and latest activity. The timeline starts with the date that the contact first came in touch with you and ends with their latest interaction. You'll see what lists your contact is a member of on the left-hand side, as well as workflow memberships and company association.

For customer intelligence, specifically, look closely at how your best customers interact with your business, whether it is through social media, their email click patterns, or their website visits.

You can easily adjust what you see on the timeline by filtering information in timeline settings. To do so, click the Filter timeline dropdown and check off the types of interactions that you would like to be visible on the Timeline.

Filtering interactions is useful for people in various roles. For instance, a marketer would want to see the needs of the contact, so they could filter to make website visits and form submissions visible. An account manager may want to filter to make website visits and emails visible to see what content the customer is interested in. A person in support may want to filter events and form submissions to see the level of the customer's involvement with the company, so that they can determine how to best go about helping the customer.

Below are the different types of interactions:

  • Lifecycle changes: a history of changes to the contacts Lifecycle Stage.
  • Salesforce syncs: a history of property changes based on Salesforce updates and syncs. (For Salesforce integrated accounts only)
  • Website visits: a history of the pages that the contact has visited. You can click on the page title to see the actual webpage.  Note the timeline provides a high level snapshot of a visitor's website activity.  Sessions of activity get group together, so you may not see every single page view on the Timeline.
  • Emails: a history of the emails you sent to the contact. It shows the status of the contact's interactions with the email: delivered, opened, or clicked.
  • List memberships: a history of the static and smart lists in your account to which the contact belongs.
  • Form submissions: a history of the forms that a contact has submitted. You can show submission details on the Timeline to see how the contact answered the form questions.
  • Automation events: a history of the workflows in which the contact has been active (Professional and Enterprise accounts only).
  • Twitter events: a history of the contact's Twitter events that they have completed.
  • Events: a history of the events that the contact has completed (Enterprise accounts only).
  • Webinar Events: a history of GoToWebinar events that a contact has completed, such as registering for a webinar (For GoToWebinar integrated accounts only).
  • Survey Events: a history of SurveyMonkey events that a contact has completed, such as filling out a survey (For SurveyMonkey integrated accounts only).

If you have the CRM enabled, you will also see the following Sales interaction types:

  • Notes 
  • Calls
  • Sales emails
  • Tasks
  • Meetings
  • Email tracking activity
  • Sequences activity
  • Lifecycle changes
  • Deal activity
  • Sales content activity

Perform contact actions

At the top of your contact record, you'll have several actions you can perform that are meant to work seamlessly with the HubSpot CRM. This way your sales team and your marketing teams can live within one contact record but have the same functionalities they've grown to love.

  • New note: This field is meant to be where you can write a quick note, whether it's from a call you recently had with the contact or worth remembering in future.
  • Email: You can email the contact directly from the contact record. This can be handy if you're looking around the contact record and remembered you needed to send the contact follow-up.
  • Call: Using a tool provided by HubSpot Sales Professional, you can call your contact directly from your record. To learn how to set this up and use it, check out this article.
  • Log activity: This action lets you log a call, meeting, or email. You can change the date and time to reflect the desired log time of this activity on their record. 
  • Create task: You can create and assign a task associated with this contact record - like making sure a sales rep folllows up with this contact.
  • Schedule: This action allows you to set up a calendar event. This will add the contact as a guest, as well, so if you and the contact decided to chat again in future, you can send them a calendar invite directly from their record. 

Add a contact property to the About card

You can add any contact property to the About section on a contact record so that you see that property quickly within the contact overview (without having to dig into all properties on the contact). To do this, click View all properties

The properties that are currently in the About section will appear on the left-hand side. On the right, you can click to expand the property information groups or search to find a property. Once you've located the property, hover over it and click Add to about. This will successfully add any property to the About card on your contact record. 

View the contact's source

To see the original source of your contact, you can navigate to the bottom of their timeline to see their original source. You can also click View all properties and search for the Original Source Type property. 

Update a contact property

To edit any of the properties that appear in the About section on the left-hand side of the record, simply click into the field to the right of the property label to make your changes, then click Save.

To update a property that is not visible in the About section, click View all properties. By default, all properties will be displayed; to see only properties that have values, check the Hide blank properties box. Locate or search for your property, then click into the field to the right of the property label to edit or add a value. Click Save changes.

HubSpot Help article screenshot

Enroll the contact in a workflow

You can see the workflows that your contact is currently in and enroll them into new workflows from the Workflow Memberships section on the left-hand side of the contact record by clicking Manage workflow memberships.


To enroll your contact into a new workflow, within the Workflow Memberships card, choose a workflow from the dropdown and click Enroll.

Add contact to a list

You can perform the same actions as you did for Workflow Membershsips for List Memberships. Click Manage list memberships to view all lists your contact is currently a member of and, to add your contact to a list, choose your static list from the dropdown, then click Add to List.

Take further actions with contacts

At the top of your contact record, you have additional actions you can perform on your contact. Click the Actions dropdown under the contact's name to see these options:

  • Search in Google: This option will search for the contact's name within quotation marks using Google's search engine, e.g. "Emily Morgan".
  • Merge: This action can help you merge a specific contact record with another, which can be helpful if you end up having the same contact in your database twice but they prefer you reach out to one email address over another. Learn more here.
  • Send opt-in email: This option will let you send an opt-in email if you have the double opt-in feature set up. Read more about this here. 
  • Opt out of email: If your customer requests that they be opted out of all email or you would like to do this for your own reasons, you can do so here.
  • Delete: Sometimes a contact can end up in the database that shouldn't be there or a contact is no longer a relevant lead. You can delete a contact record here.

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