How to use personalization with your content

Last updated: January 13, 2017

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Product: HubSpot Marketing
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Personalizing your content around your contacts can be vital to their engagement with your website. Of course, personalizing is great but you'll always want to know your limits so you're engaging your contacts without creeping them out. Personalization has proven to drive engagement, and according to the 2014 Science of Email Marketing Report, having simply just the first name personalization increases your click-through-rate from about 5.8% to about 7%.

HubSpot allows you to personalize your content (emails, site pages, landing pages) with any property that exists on a contact record, like their first name or company name. When you indicate that you would like to use the first name personalization token, for example, HubSpot will look into the contact record in your HubSpot account, find the first name property, pull the value from that property, and populate it in your email or page where you designate.

Before you can use personalization with your content, you need to ensure you have the contact properties in your HubSpot account first. Once you have the properties in HubSpot, follow the instructions below to navigate through the process of utilizing personalization, examples being first name and company name.

What is personalization?

By using what HubSpot calls personalization tokens, you can customize your content to your viewer. 

When you have first time visitors, you will display "default" content which is content that could be applicable to any and all visitors to your website. When your visitor comes back after previously submitting on a form on your website, or is a customer, our system recognizes them and our tool is able to generate a personalized message for them.

In the example below, we use their name, Jane, from using the "first name" contact personalization token.

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Follow these instructions and you’ll learn how to add personalization to your HubSpot content.

1. Navigate to your HubSpot page or email

Navigate to an existing or create a new page/email. This can be done by navigating to Content > Website PagesContent > Landing Pages, or Content > Email.


2. Create new or edit page/email

Once in Landing Pages or Site Pages, you can either choose to edit an existing page, or click the blue Create a new landing page/website page/email button.

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3. Insert personalization token

Once you’re in your HubSpot page, you’ll want to navigate to a rich text module on the left-hand side of your page where you normally insert your content. If you're doing this within an email, you can insert personalization into rich text modules or your main email body, too.

In the editor, locate the module where you'd like to add personalization. Place your cursor where you want to place your personalization token, then choose Insert > Insert Personalization Token

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4. Choosing your personalization

After clicking on the personalization icon, you can search for the token you’re looking for by typing it into the text field. When you've found the property you're looking for, choose the property, then click Insert.

You have four category choices for personalization:

  • Contact: tokens from this category look into the contact record and all properties associated with contacts in your HubSpot database. So tokens like First name, Last name, and Email Address live here.
  • Company: tokens from this category look into associated companies with contacts in your HubSpot database. Tokens like Total Revenue, Industry, and Company Name live here.
  • Office Location: tokens from this category look into the address you have specified in your HubSpot Content Settings. Tokens like City, State, and Zip Code will live here.
  • HubSpot Owner: tokens from this category look into your HubSpot user profile settings. Tokens like First Name, Last Name, and Signature (all of which belong to the HubSpot user) will live here.
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In the example below, we're placing the first name personalization token in the rich text content area. We searched for “first name” (within the Contact category) and found the First Name property that lives on every contact record in HubSpot. So this will show “Hey, John!” when John comes back and visits the website.
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You’ll know you’ve done this successfully when you see the name of the token with a green background, like you can see below:

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5. Using default values

It can be important to set a default value for any personalization token that you implement into your HubSpot content. Default content is what will show if there is no value to be pulled from the personalization token. 

For example, if you want to use the First Name personalization token in your page or email, but one of the contacts visiting or your sending your email to happens to not have this value in their contact record, HubSpot will fall back on the default value and display what you have placed there.

In the example below, the default value for First Name is set to "there" so if you send an email to a contact that doesn't have the first name value in their contact record. If your email is meant to say "Hi John!" but John's contact record is missing his first name, it will say "Hi there!" instead.

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