How to use messages

Last updated: April 17, 2018

Available For:

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

Sales messages is a Sales Starter and Professional tool where you can chat with visitors on your site. Embed messages onto your website to let your visitors quickly and easily ask questions about your service and to help you capture qualified leads with minimal effort. This article walks through how to set up messages, customize your settings, and start chatting with visitors. 

Please note: it is currently not possible to use messages with a Wix site. Read more here.

Navigate to Messages

In your HubSpot Sales Starter or Professional account, navigate to Sales Tools > Messages.
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Customize your messages settings

Before you create your first message, set up your meetings settings by clicking Settings in the upper right. Alternatively, you can click Settings in your main HubSpot Sales navigation bar and then select Sales > Messages in the left sidebar menu.

Here, you'll see the following tabs: 

  • Targeted messages: on this tab, you can turn your existing messages on/off, edit or delete an existing message, or click Create a message to create a new message.  

  • My profile: on this tab, you can customize what information about you will appear in the chat widget.
    • Avatar and name: hover over the avatar and click Change photo to select a photo for your messages chat window. To change your name, hover over the name field below your avatar and click the pencil icon, then type in a new name. 
    • Job title: enter your job title here. This will appear below your avatar and name in the messages chat window.
    • Introduction: enter a message to introduce yourself to visitors. This will show in your messages chat window after a visitor clicks on your messages icon to start chatting. 
    • Show Meetings link: click to toggle the Show a link to your Meetings booking page in the Messages chat window switch on to allow visitors to book a meeting with you directly from your messages window. You can select which meetings link you'd like to use by clicking the Select Meetings link dropdown menu, and enter the text you'd like visitors to see in the Meetings link text field. To learn more about the meetings tool, click here.

  • Notifications: on the Notifications tab, you can choose how you'd like to be notified of messages.
    • Sounds: click to toggle the switch on to hear a sound when a visitor sends a new message to you.
    • Browser push notification: click to toggle the switch on to see a notification from your web browser when a visitor sends you a message.
    • Browser tab notification: click to toggle the switch on to see the number of new messages in the messages tab of your browser window.
    • New message notification: click to toggle the switch on to receive an email each time a visitor sends the first message in a new conversation. 

  • Appearance: on this tab, you can customize how your messages widget will appear to visitors.
    • HubSpot Branding: click to toggle the switch on to show HubSpot branding on your messages chat window.
    • Accent Color: select a default color for your messages icon and widget, or enter a hex value to use a custom color.
    • Preview: toggle between Open and Closed to see what your messages window will look like before and after a visitor clicks the messages widget.

  • Availability: on this tab, you can set when you will appear as online and offline.
    • Turn Messages online/offline manually: with this enabled, you can manually set yourself as online or offline using the dropdown menu in your sales messages dashboard.
    • Turn Messages online/offline based on your schedulewith this enabled, you will appear as online or offline automatically based on your preset schedule. After selecting this option, you can click and drag available time periods on the calendar.  

  • Code snippet: click the More dropdown menu to access the Code snippet tab. Here you can access the code snippet you need to add to the page(s) on which you wish to display a message.
    • If you are installing the code snippet yourself, navigate to the Install code snippet section and click Copy to copy the code snippet. Embed the snippet immediately before the closing body tag (</body>) on any page you want to display the messages widget. For a walkthrough on where exactly to place this code snippet, check out this article.
    • If you need someone to install the code snippet for you, enter the person's email address in the Need someone else to install the code? field, and click Send.

Please note: if you already have the HubSpot tracking code installed on your website or if your website is hosted on HubSpot, you do not need to install this code snippet separately.

Create a message

You're now ready to create your first message. To get started, click the Targeted messages tab in your messages settings. Then click Create a message.

Select Chat prompt, then click Next.

You'll then be brought to a new screen which will take you through the steps of creating your message.

Target Audience

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.

If a contact meets more than one of the criteria above, they will see the message customized for the most targeted criteria. For example, the message intended for contacts who are a member of a segmented list would take priority over the message for all tracked contacts.

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. Read more about this here

Click Next to customize your targeting on the next screen. In the first dropdown menu, Website URL will appear by default. From the second dropdown menu, select is or isn't, and then enter the website URL you do or do not want your chat widget to appear on. Click OR to add additional URLs.

When you're done, click Next.

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Message

Next, customize your online and offline messages and your messages options:

  • Online message: this message will appear for visitors right when they land on your site. You can leave this field blank if you'd like.  
  • Offline message: this message will appear for visitors landing on your site when you're offline. 
  • Pop open the welcome message as a prompt: check the box beside this option if you'd like your welcome message to pop up by default above your chat widget when visitors land on your site page.
  • Collect visitor's email address: select this option to prompt the visitor to provide their email address before they receive a reply from you. They will then be created as a contact. Learn more about creating contacts via sales messages here.  

A preview of your messages window will be in the bottom right-hand corner. Click Next when you're ready to move onto the next step.

Routing

In this step, you can specify particular users and/or teams who will receive messages when visitors start chatting. 

You can also specify an offline fallback and select whether or not you'd like a visitor's message to be routed to their HubSpot owner if they exist as a contact in your HubSpot contacts database. Read more about message routing here.

Click Next to move on to the last step.

Publish

Name your message and click Publish when you're ready to publish it on your site page(s).
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Get to know your messages dashboard

After you create your first message, you can access it for editing in your messages settings. To read current or past conversations and to set yourself to online or offline, navigate to your messages dashboard under Sales Tools > Messages

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Here, you can: 

  1. View open and closed chats: click the dropdown menu in the upper left-hand corner to filter between your open and closed chats. They will appear in the left sidebar right below the dropdown menu. 
  2. Respond to messages from visitors: type your response in the text box at the bottom of the conversation and click Send. Please note that at this time, it's only possible to respond to visitors using the messages tool from your desktop; this cannot be done on mobile devices.
  3. Close your current chat conversation: click Close toward the upper-right corner of your conversation to move your chat from open to closed. 
  4. Associate a visitor with a contact record or create a new contact: after capturing your visitor's email address using the Capture email address after visitor sends first message setting or by asking them for their email address, click Associate visitor in the right sidebar to associate your visitor with an existing contact record. If a contact in your HubSpot database exists with a matching email address, you can associate the visitor with the contact record. If no matching contact record exists, then you can create the visitor as a new contact. 
  5. Set yourself to online or offline: click the Online/Offline dropdown menu in the upper right-hand corner to appear online to chat with visitors or to appear offline so visitors know you're not available at the moment.

Please note: contacts cannot be added to your HubSpot contacts database automatically via messages. Upon the first conversation, the visitor is still associated with an anonymous tracking cookie.  However, if you have a history of chatting with a visitor and they return to your site later in the same browser, the messages tool will load your conversation history with that visitor since the system recognizes the tracking cookie. Please see this article for additional information on creating contacts using the messages tool.

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Messages best practices

As you're using messages, keep these best practices in mind:
  • Messages perform well on products and pricing pages. since these pages signal a user with buying intent, more conversations and meetings happen on these pages.
  • Prompt a visitor to ask a question. conversations happen more often when visitors understand the widget is where they go to ask a question.
  • Create multiple messages. adding different messages to different pages on your site is a great way to ensure the prompt to your visitor maximizes replies. The more specific your message is to the page your visitor is viewing, the more likely they are to ask a question. 

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