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Connect channels to the conversations inbox

Last updated: November 17, 2022

Applies to:

All products and plans

Channels represent the different paths your users can take to contact your team. You can connect channels to the conversations inbox so messages sent to any of these channels will be triaged together in the inbox. A channel can be one of five types:

  • Team email: connect a team email channel if you want emails sent to a shared team email address to appear in the inbox. You can connect a Gmail or Office 365 email account, or set up a hosted email account. Once this channel is connected, you can customize the from name, from address, team email signature, and control which team members incoming emails are routed to.
  • Chat: connect a chat channel to add chatflows to your website pages. You can customize your team availability and your chatflows' branding when setting up the channel.
  • Facebook Messenger: connect your Facebook Messenger channel to add a chatflow to your Facebook Business page. Messages sent to your business on Facebook will appear in your inbox.
  • Form: connect a form channel to collect form submissions in the inbox. Your team can then respond to the submission like they would any other incoming conversation. When you connect a HubSpot form, a ticket can be created in the inbox for each new submission.
  • WhatsApp Business account: if you have a Marketing Hub or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise account, you can connect a WhatsApp Business account to send and receive messages from a verified WhatsApp phone number. Learn more about how to connect a WhatsApp Business account as a channel in HubSpot.

You can connect channels to an existing inbox or when creating a new inbox.

Connect and customize a team email channel

With a team email channel, your team can view, manage, and reply to emails sent to a shared email address in the conversations inbox. All incoming emails sent to a connected team email address will be visible to your entire team.

This is different from a connected personal email, which is an email address that is unique to an individual user and not used by anyone else on your team. You cannot use the same email address as a user’s personal email and a team email address in HubSpot. Learn more about the different inbox connections.

Connect a team email address channel

To connect your team email address:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox you want to connect a channel to.
  • Click Connect a channel.
  • Select Team email.
  • Select Yes, this is a shared account.
  • Click Next.
  • Based on where your email address is hosted, select Gmail, Office 365, or Other mail account. If your inbox isn’t hosted with Office 365 or Google, or you’re using a Google Groups account or email alias to communicate with contacts, select Other mail account. This allows you to forward emails from your mail client to the conversations inbox.

email-inbox-type-selection

Please note: IMAP and Office 365 GCC High and DOD environments are not supported.

  • Review the terms for sharing this email account with HubSpot, then click Continue.
  • Select or enter the email address you want to connect, enter your login credentials, and complete the connection process to allow HubSpot to access your inbox.
  • You'll be redirected to the Email Details screen where you can customize the information that contacts will see when they receive an email from you, including the from name and email signature.
  • To customize the from name that appears, click the From name dropdown menu and select one of the following:
    • Agent and company name: contacts will see the user's name and the company name when they receive an email. Enter the company name in the text field.
    • Company name: contacts will see the company name when they receive an email. Enter the company name in the text field.
configure-send-from-address

Please note: the From name feature is not supported for Office 365 connected inboxes.

    • In the text box, customize your team email signature in the Simple editor, or click HTML and edit the signature in HTML. Use the rich text toolbar at the bottom to format the text, insert a link, or insert an image. To insert a personalization token that will populate the sender's name, click the Insert Token dropdown menu and select Full name, First name, or Last name.
  • On the right, preview the from name and email signature, then click Next.
  • By default, incoming conversations will be left unassigned in the inbox. If you’re assigned to a Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seat, you can set routing rules to automatically route incoming emails to specific users and teams in your account:
    • Click to toggle the Automatically assign conversations switch on.
    • Click the Assign to dropdown menu and select a routing option:
      • Specific users and teams: assign incoming emails to the users or teams selected. Select the users or teams from the Specific users and teams dropdown menu.
      • Contact owner: assign incoming emails to a contact's owner. The contact must have an owner assigned to their record and be tracked with a cookie. If the owner is offline, the submission will be emailed to the visitor's owner.
conversations-inbox-connection-ticket-assignment

Please note: incoming messages can only be automatically routed to users with assigned Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seats. If the user does not have access to a paid seat, you cannot include them in your automatic assignment rules.

  • To edit the default ticket properties, including the ticket pipeline and stage:
    • Click Edit ticket next to the Treat incoming conversations as support tickets setting.
    • In the right panel, use the dropdown menus to edit the properties.
    • By default, if you have set up automatic assignment rules in the inbox, the ticket owner will be the same as the conversation owner. To change the ticket owner, click the Ticket owner dropdown menu and select another option.
    • Click Save.
change ticket owner

Please note: there is a limit to the number of objects that can be associated with a contact record. If a contact record hits the limit, a ticket will not be automatically created when they start a conversation. Learn more about the technical limits for object associations on HubSpot's Product & Services Catalog.

  • Click Connect & finish.

Your team email is now connected, and you can compose and reply to emails in the conversations inbox. If a visitor sends an email to the conversations inbox using an email address that is not already associated with a contact record in your account, HubSpot will automatically create a new contact record for that email.

Edit team email channel settings

To edit the team email channel settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox the team email channel is connected to.
  • Hover over the team email address and click Edit.
  • On the Configuration tab, you can edit the from name and address, the signature, and the associated contact for forwarded emails. By default, when an email is forwarded to the inbox, the email will log to the original sender's contact record. To log emails to the record of the sender who forwarded the email instead, click to toggle the Choose original sender of email forwards switch off.
  • On the Automation tab, make changes to the email conversation assignment rules or ticket automation rules.

Connect and customize a chat channel

With a chat channel connected to your conversations inbox, visitors can begin a conversation with your team right from your website. Members of your team can chat with customers in real-time or set up a bot to send pre-set responses and gather information.

You can customize the appearance of the chat widget, including the widget color and avatar, and set your team's availability preferences.

Connect a chat channel

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox you want to connect a channel to.
  • Click Connect a channel.
  • Select Chat.
  • By default, the chat widget colors will be based on your account's branding settings. You can customize the color by selecting one of the other preset colors, or manually entering a hexadecimal value, or by clicking the color picker to the right of the hexadecimal value field and selecting a custom color.

  • Click Next.
  • To set the name and avatar that appear at the top of the chat widget, click the Chat heading dropdown menu and select an option:
    • Specific users and teams: select the checkboxes next to the names you want to appear at the top of the chat widget. If you select more than three users, their names and avatars will randomly appear. Learn how the chatflow's selected language will impact your chat heading.
    • Custom name and avatar: enter a custom display name, then select a custom image.
    • Contact owner: if the contact is known and has an owner, the contact owner's information will appear. Click the New visitor fallback dropdown menu and select a fallback option for any new or unassigned visitors who start a chat.
  • In the text box, enter a welcome message that will appear when visitors first start a chat.
  • By default, incoming chats are left unassigned in the inbox for your team to triage. If you're assigned to a Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seat, you can set assignment rules so that incoming chats are automatically routed to specific users and teams in your account:
    • Click to toggle the Automatically assign conversations switch on.
    • Click the Assign to dropdown menu and select a routing option:
      • Specific users and teams: assign incoming chats to the users or teams selected. Select the users or teams from the Specific users and teams dropdown menu.
      • Contact owner: assign incoming chats to a contact's owner. The contact must have an owner assigned to their record and be tracked with a cookie. If the owner is offline, the submission will be emailed to the visitor's owner.

Please note: incoming messages can only be automatically routed to users with assigned Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seats. If the user does not have access to a paid seat, you cannot include them in your assignment rules.

  • To automatically display the welcome message when your pages load, select the Pop open the welcome message as a prompt checkbox.
  • Click Next.
  • Set when your team should appear available to chat and let visitors know when they can expect a reply. Select an availability option:
  • Based on team member status: visitors can chat with your team if at least one team member assigned in your assignment rules is available.
    • If at least one team member is available, on the Available tab, click the Show typical reply time dropdown menu and select a reply time. This is the time included in the automated message that is sent to a visitor after they send their first message, and it appears at the top of the chat widget.
    • To customize the experience when your team is away, click the Away tab. Enter the message text in the text box or click the dropdown menu and select Hide chat launcher so the widget does not appear if no one is available.
  • Based on business hours: set consistent days and times when your team should appear available to chat. If you're creating a bot, learn how customize the bot's availability preferences based on your inbox settings.
    • Use the dropdown menus to set your team’s availability. Click + Add hours to add additional day and time ranges.
    • To set up the visitor's experience when your team is available, click the Available tab. Click the Show typical reply time dropdown menu to let visitors know when they can expect a reply.
    • To set up the visitor's experience when your team is away during business hours, click the Away tab. Click the If all team members are 'away', then dropdown menu and select an away mode widget behavior.
    • To set up the visitor's experience when your team is not available, click the Outside business hours tab. Click the dropdown menu and choose to either show an away message, show a reply time, or hide the chat launcher when a visitor comes to your site outside of business hours.
chat availability based on business hours
    • Chat is available 24/7: select this checkbox if your team always appears available to chat. Click the Show typical reply time dropdown menu to let visitors know when they can expect a reply. If you don't want the reply time to appear, select Don't show a reply time.
  • Click Next.
  • Preview how your chat widget will appear on different devices using the device type buttons above the preview.
  • Click Publish, or if you're using the chat widget on an external website, you'll need to add the HubSpot tracking code to your website pages.
    • To add the code yourself, click Copy, then add the code right before the </body> tag on every page you want the chat widget to appear.
    • If you need help adding the code to your pages, click the View instructions for dropdown menu and select your website provider. Click the externalLink external link icon to view the instructions in a separate browser tab. If you host your website on WordPress, click I host my site on WordPress, then follow the instructions to install the HubSpot All-In-One Marketing – Forms, Popups, Live Chat WordPress plugin.
get help installing tracking code
  • To send the code to your web developer, enter their email address in the Email a team member field and click Send.

Please note: if your website is hosted with Wix, you may need to use the Chat widget SDK to target your specific pages for your chatflow. Learn more about adding the tracking code to a website hosted with Wix.

  • When you're done, click Publish.

After connecting your chat channel, learn how to customize your chat profile then start chatting with your website visitors.

Edit chat channel settings

To edit the chat channel settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox your chat channel is connected to.
  • Hover over the chat channel and click Edit.
  • To edit the widget's appearance, including the accent color and position of the widget, click the Configure tab. You can also edit which email address the chat transcript is sent from. Users in a Starter, Professional, or Enterprise account can also remove HubSpot's branding from the widget.

send-from-email-for-chat-transcript

  • To make changes to your availability settings, click the Availability tab.
  • To access the tracking code, click the Tracking code tab.

Learn how to make edits to the configuration and appearance of chatflows in the bot or live chat editor.

Connect and customize a Facebook Messenger channel

To respond to incoming messages sent from your Facebook Business Page, connect a Facebook Messenger account as a channel in your conversations inbox. When you connect Facebook Messenger, a default chatflow will be created and enabled in your account. This is the primary chatflow used on your Facebook Messenger page. You can access this default chatflow by editing your Facebook Messenger channel or in the chatflows tool. You can also create custom Facebook Messenger chatflows.

Please note: you must have Account Access permissions in HubSpot and an admin for your Facebook Business Page to connect a Facebook Messenger account to HubSpot. Users with Social publishing access must also have the necessary admin permissions in order to connect a Facebook Messenger account.

Connect a Facebook Messenger channel

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up in your account, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox you want to connect a channel to.
  • Click Connect a channel.
  • Select Facebook Messenger.
  • Click Continue with Facebook.
  • In the pop-up window, log in to your Facebook account. Pop-ups must be allowed in your browser in order to log in to your Facebook account from the pop-up window.

Please note: you must have an Admin role on the Facebook page you want to connect. Confirm or edit your current role to move forward with the connection process.

  • Click Connect next to the Facebook Page you want to connect.
facebook-messenger-connect-facebook-page

Please note: you cannot connect a Facebook Messenger account to more than one HubSpot account.

  • In the Greeting text box, enter a message to display the first time a visitor starts a conversation with you.
facebook-messenger-greeting
  • Click Next.
  • To send a reply to visitors immediately after they send their first message, enter a response in the Send instant reply text box.
  • By default, incoming messages are left unassigned in the inbox for your team to triage. If you're assigned to a Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seat, you can set routing rules so that incoming messages are automatically routed to specific users and teams in your account:
    • Click to toggle the Automatically assign conversations switch on.
    • Click the Assign to dropdown menu and select a routing option:
      • Specific users and teams: assign incoming messages to the users or teams selected. Select the users or teams from the Specific users and teams dropdown menu.
      • Contact owner: assign incoming messages to a contact's owner. The contact must have an owner assigned to their record and be tracked with a cookie. If the owner is offline, the submission will be emailed to the visitor's owner.

Please note: incoming messages can only be automatically routed to users with assigned Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seats. If the user does not have access to a paid seat, you cannot include them in your routing rules.

  • Click Next.
  • To preview how your greeting and instant reply will appear, use the Greeting and Instant reply buttons above the preview image.
  • In the bottom right, click Done.

You'll be redirected to your inbox settings, where you'll see your Facebook Business Page listed with the status switch turned on. On your Facebook Business Page, when a visitor clicks the Send Message button, the Messenger window will open in the bottom right. The visitor can compose and send a message that will then appear in the conversations inbox.

When a visitor interacts with the Facebook business or bot, Facebook Messenger’s Platform Policy Overview specifies that messages can be sent within seven days for an inquiry that cannot be resolved within the standard messaging window. For example, if your business is closed over the weekend when an inquiry comes in, you have seven days to respond. Automated messages or content unrelated to user inquiries cannot be sent outside of the standard messaging window of 24 hours.

seven-day-facebook-policy

Learn how to respond to incoming messages in your conversations inbox.

Edit Facebook Messenger channel settings

To edit the Facebook Messenger channel settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox your Facebook Messenger channel is connected to.
  • Hover over a connected Facebook Messenger account and click Edit.
  • If you've turned on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in your account, you can turn on GDPR for a connected Messenger account to collect a visitor's consent to process their data.

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

    • Click to toggle the Apply GDPR to Facebook Messenger switch on.
    • Click the dropdown menu and select one of the following:
      • Explicit consent: visitors need to click I agree before they can send a message.
      • Implicit consent: visitors' consent is implied when they start a conversation with you. The consent to process data text will still display, but they do not need to click I agree to start the conversation.
    • In the Consent to process data text box, enter text to explain why you need to store and process the visitor's personal information.
  • In the Greeting text text box, you can also make edits to the message that appears when a contact first starts a conversation. To make changes to the instant reply message, navigate to your primary chatflow.

Please note: because Facebook Messenger's Profile API does not allow HubSpot to collect a visitor's email address, duplicate records might be created if a visitor starts a conversation on multiple pages.

Connect and customize a form channel

When a visitor submits a form that is connected to the conversations inbox, you can respond to their inquiry in the inbox like you would respond to an email. For HubSpot forms, you can also create a corresponding ticket for the visitor's request.

Connect a form channel

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up in your account, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox you want to connect a channel to.
  • Click Connect a channel.
  • Select Forms.
  • Select an existing form or set up a new form:
    • If you’re connecting an existing form, click the Select a form dropdown menu and select an existing form. To create tickets when a contact submits this form, make sure ticket properties are included on the form. Then click Next.
conversations-connect-form
    • If you’re creating a new form, click Create new form. Name your form and set up fields and options. Ticket fields are included in the form by default to set the ticket name, description, pipeline, and status when the ticket is created through the form submission. Once you’ve customized your form, click Update form. Then in the bottom right, click Next.

Please note: the Ticket Pipeline and Ticket Status fields included on new forms by default are hidden and will not appear in the editor or on the live form. You can edit the ticket pipeline or status when editing the default ticket properties in your form settings.

  • By default, incoming form submissions are left unassigned in the inbox for your team to triage. If you're assigned to a Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seat, you can set assignment rules so that incoming form submissions are automatically routed to specific users and teams in your account.
    • Click to toggle the Automatically assign conversations switch on.
    • Click the Assign to dropdown menu and select a routing option:
      • Specific users and teams: assign incoming form submissions to the users or teams selected. Select the users or teams from the Specific users and teams dropdown menu.
      • Contact owner: assign incoming form submissions to a contact's owner. The contact must have an owner assigned to their record and be tracked with a cookie. If the owner is offline, the submission will be emailed to the visitor's owner.

Please note: incoming messages can only be automatically routed to users with assigned Sales Hub or Service Hub paid seats. If the user does not have access to a paid seat, you cannot include them in your assignment rules.

  • To customize the ticket properties, click Edit ticket.
  • In the right panel, use the dropdown menus to edit the properties.
conversations-form-configure-new-ticket
    • Click Save.
  • To finish connecting your form, click Save.

You can also connect any form to the inbox directly from the form editor. In the left panel of the form editor, in the Ticket Properties section, click to toggle the Automatic ticket creation switch on. This will add the default ticket fields to the form so a ticket is automatically created from each form submission. To edit the assignment rules, navigate to the form channel settings.

When a visitor submits the form, the submission will appear in the inbox where you can respond to the customer's inquiry.

Please note: hidden form fields will not appear on the submission in the inbox, but will still appear in the form submissions dashboard and on the contact record's timeline.

If a contact has reached their form submission limit, a ticket will not be created when they submit a form connected to the conversations inbox.

Edit form channel settings

To edit the form channel settings:

  • In your HubSpot account, click the settings settings icon in the main navigation bar.
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Inbox > Inboxes. If you have multiple inboxes set up, use the Current view dropdown menu to select the inbox you’ve connected the form channel to.
  • Hover over the form channel and click Edit.
  • Edit the assignment rules or ticket properties.
  • To edit the form fields, hover over the form channel and click the Options dropdown menu, then select Manage form.

Connect a WhatsApp Business account as a channel

If you have a Marketing Hub or Service Hub Professional or Enterprise account, you can connect a WhatsApp Business account to send and receive messages from a verified WhatsApp phone number. Learn more about how to connect a WhatsApp Business account as a channel in HubSpot.

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