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Update and filter contacts using source properties

Last updated: May 1, 2024

Available with any of the following subscriptions, except where noted:

All products and plans

Based on actions taken by the contact, HubSpot automatically updates the Original and Latest source values. You can also edit these values manually. Once you know a contact’s Original or Latest source, you can use source and source drill-down properties to segment your contacts in HubSpot tools, such as lists and workflows.

If you’ve noticed a contact’s Original source value has changed and want to understand why, you can check the Original source history to see the source of the change.

Please note: there is a new Record source property, which explains how records were created. The Original and Latest source properties will be updated to focus on how contacts first or most recently interacted with your web content. To better understand how records were created, including methods beyond website interactions, refer to the Record source article.

Understand HubSpot's automatic updates to source values

When a visitor lands on your site, HubSpot tracks their activity and identifies them as a unique visitor by setting tracking cookies in their browser. These tracking cookies allow HubSpot to automatically update your contacts' source property values.

Original source

HubSpot can track a visitor's activity on your site even before they are added as a contact to the CRM. Once the visitor is added as a contact, HubSpot will try to associate the new contact record with any previously tracked activity. If HubSpot is able to match a new contact with previously anonymous visitor activity, the Original source property will update to reflect the source of the contact's earliest visit to your site.

The following scenario is an example of when a contact's Original source value would change:

  1. In March, a visitor lands on your site for the first time by clicking a Google search result. HubSpot sets tracking cookies in their browser.
  2. They browse a few pages on your site, but do not submit a form. HubSpot tracks their site activity using cookies and can identify them as the same visitor if they revisit your site. However, the visitor is not yet a contact in your HubSpot CRM.
  3. In July, they are imported as a contact from a CSV file. This sets their Original source as Offline sources.
  4. In September, the contact either:
    • submits a form on your site, or
    • is sent an email from your HubSpot account and clicks a link in the email that goes to your site.
  5. HubSpot associates the contact with their previous site activity:
    • the contact's tracking cookies are passed through the form submission, or
    • identity tracking from the links in your HubSpot emails, along with the tracking cookies already set in their browser.
  6. The contact's Original source changes from Offline sources to Organic search. This is because their first interaction with your site was via the Google search in March, which was earlier than their import via CSV file in July.

Latest source

Unlike Original source, a contact's Latest source may be updated many times as they continue to interact with your content. After the original Latest source value is set, the value will update automatically only if a new session has been created for the contact. This includes the following scenarios: 

For example, if a contact visits your website from a link on your social media, their Latest source will be updated automatically to Organic social. If a user then imports a file which includes the same contact, the contact's Latest source will not update because an import doesn't create a new session.

Manually update a contact's Original or Latest source value

You cannot edit the Original or Latest source property options, but you can manually change a contact's source value to any of the existing traffic sources. If you edit a contact’s Original or Latest source, the source drill-down properties will be cleared.

If you have Edit access for contacts, you can:

Segment contacts using source properties

You can use Original and Latest source property values and the drill-down values to segment contacts in HubSpot tools such as saved views, lists, workflows, and custom reports.

When a contact’s Original or Latest source is Offline sources, the Source drill-down 2 property will display either the label or internal name of the value. An info information icon will appear to the left of the value if there is an internal name for the value, which you can view by hovering over the icon. When segmenting contacts by this value, you may need to use the internal name instead of the label when creating a saved view, list, workflow or custom report.

Please note: if there is no info information icon or if the value here matches what you see in the dashboard, there is no internal value. You can use the value as is for filters.

To find a contact's value for the source properties:

  • In your HubSpot account, navigate to Contacts > Contacts.
  • Click the name of a contact.
  • At the top of the About this contact section, click Actions, then select View all properties
  • In the search bar, enter Original source or Latest source to find the source and source drill-down properties. 
  • If you're using the drill-down 2 property, hover over the info information icon next to the property value to view the internal value.


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