How to choose your workflow actions

Last updated: January 13, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

Once you have your workflow type selected, your starting conditions set, and your goal list added (when applicable), you can begin adding actions to your workflow.

Actions are individual functions that execute as part of a workflow, such as sending an email, adding a delay between actions, or setting a contact property value. For example, you might have workflow that delays 1 day after a contact is enrolled before sending that contact an email and updating a contact property with a specific value.

Setting the timing of actions

In standard workflows, when a delay is added, that delay is relative to the previous action. When an action executes, the next action is scheduled. If that action is a delay, the workflow will wait the specified time before it moves onto the next action. When adding a delay in a standard workflow, you will set the delay in days, hours, and minutes, and that delay will be relative to when the previous action or enrollment occurred.

Keep in mind that when a contact is scheduled to execute an action, the workflow does not check for an update to that action, whether it's a change in the subsequent action (you select a different automated email to be sent) or a change in the length of the delay, until the original scheduled time arrives. When that time arrives the workflow will check the action to see which email it should send, or if the delay should last even longer.

In order to add a delay in your workflow, click the plus icon to add an action then choose Add delay

In a fixed date or property based workflow, any delays are relative to the selected fixed date or the date property value set on the contact's record. You will need to decide whether the action will execute before, on, or after the specified date and at what time.

For best performance and consistency, we recommend that you plan and test your workflow before activating it, and that you not alter the delays or actions once a workflow is live. In later sections of this guide you will learn about testing and troubleshooting workflows.  

Adding actions

There are many types of actions that you can add to your workflow, and we will learn more about the types of actions below, but we should first learn how to add any action to your worflow.

To add an action to your workflow, click the plus icon in your workflow.

Once you have added the action, select the type of action you would like to include. Actions include different types of lead nurturing, sales, and administrative actions.

You can add an additional action anywhere in your workflow by clicking any of the plus icons - whether they're orange or grey (this just changes based on whether the action is between steps or not).

Add delay

The Add delay action adds a delay before the next action is executed. If used as the first action in a workflow, it represents the delay between when the contact is enrolled in the workflow and when the subsequent action after the delay executes. In a standard workflow, you can choose to delay in days, hours, and/or minutes.

When a delay is used in a fixed date or property-based workflow, that delay is based around the date (fixed date) or date property (property-based) selected at the start of the workflow. In a fixed date or property-based workflow you will need to decide whether the step will execute before, on, or after the specified date and at what time.

Add if/then branch

The Add if/then branch action allows you to have your contacts follow one path or another based on whether or not they meet criteria you set in your workflow. For example, if you send someone an email as the first action in your workflow, later in the workflow you can send them different content or perform different actions depending on whether or not they opened the email you sent in the first action.

In HubSpot, this is called branching logic, and it is also commonly known as "conditional logic." You can learn all about how to use branching logic in HubSpot Workflows in this article.

Send an email

The Send an email action sends an external email to contacts enrolled in your workflow, and allows you to select any of the automated emails that you have published. Use this action when you want to send personalized emails to your contacts, but be sure to be mindful of the timing and frequency of your emails.

If you have not already created emails to use in a workflow, you can also create emails (both external and internal) directly within the Workflows tool. To do so, select the action to send an email and find Create Email to the right. From here, you’ll be brought into the email tool where you can create and save your email. Upon saving, you’ll be brought right back to your workflow where you left off.

Send internal email

The Send internal email action allows you to send an internal email to either a specified email address(es) or to an email property, such as HubSpot Owner Email. Here, you can find a quick guide on setting up email notifications in workflows.

Note that if you choose use an contact property that stores an email address and the enrolled contact does not have a value for the email property, no internal email will be sent (not applicable when you send to a specified email address). You can, however, set a default personalization value for the email property.

Send internal SMS

The Send internal SMS action allows you to a SMS message to either a specified phone number or to the phone number linked to one of your HubSpot users, which each user can set by navigating to Account menu > Settings > My Profile.

You can use personalizaiton tokens within the body of your SMS message by clicking the silhouette icon and selecting a contact property to include.

If you're sending an internal SMS internationally, be sure to add the appropriate country code just as you would if you were texting or calling someone internationally from your phone.

Create a deal

The Create a deal action allows you to automatically create and associate a new deal with each contact that completes your workflow. You can set the owner of the deal and use personalization to customize the Deal name for each associated contact. You can also select the Deal pipeline, Deal stage, Close date, and Amount right from the workflow action. For more information about creating deals with Workflows, check out this article

Create a task

The Create a task action allows you to automatically create and associate a new task with each contact that completes your workflow. You can choose to set the task's owner based on each contact's HubSpot Owner or select a specific HubSpot Owner for all the tasks set by this workflow. You can also set the task's status, due date, owner, and description right from your workflow. For more information about creating tasks in Workflows, check out this article.

Rotate leads

The Rotate leads action allows you to distribute your leads to different HubSpot Owners. You can set two or more HubSpot Owners using the dropdowns. The percentages will automatically update as you add more owners so that your leads are assigned evenly across your team.

Set contact property value

The Set contact property value action allows you to set a specific contact property’s value, such as automatically setting a contact's Lifecycle Stage to Marketing Qualified Lead. Use this action when you want to set a value for a contact property for the contact that enters into your specific workflow.

While workflows allow you to use and update your custom Salesforce properties (if integrated), you cannot change or set data that is controlled only by Salesforce, such as Owner Name and Owner Email. Salesforce owners must be set by assignment rules or updates in Salesforce.

Set company property value

The Set company property value action allows you to set a specific company property's value, (e.g. setting a company's Industry to Communications). Use this action if you'd like to automatically set a company property value for the associated companies of contacts enrolled in your workflow.

Add to/Remove from a list

The two actions: add to static list and remove from static list allow you to add/remove contacts to/from an existing static list. You can use this static list for multiple purposes, such as viewing historic enrollment, viewing the number of contacts who have completed a workflow without entering the goal list, or to send a manual follow up email to the list outside of the workflow.

Increment a numeric contact property value

This action allows you to add to a numeric contact property. For example, if you have a numeric property called Number of trials, you can increment this property by a value of 1 (or more) each time a contact submits a trial form. This action also supports negative values if your goal is to reduce a numeric contact property value through a workflow.

Increment a numeric company property value

This action allows you to add to a numeric company property. You can increment a property on each enrolled contact's associated company record by a value of 1 (or more) every time a contact goes through the workflow. This action also supports negative values if your goal is to reduce a numeric company property value through a workflow.

Copy a contact property value

This action allows you to copy data from one contact property to another contact or company property. This is most useful in situations of data clean-up. If you no longer use a certain property but want the data copied to another, similar property, you can use this action to automate the task. Note that the source and target properties must be the same field type.

Copy a company property value

This action allows you to copy data from one company property to another company or contact property. This proves most useful in situations of data clean up. If you no longer use a certain property but want the data copied to another, similar property, you can use this action to automate the task. Note that the source and target properties must be the same field type.

Trigger a webhook

This action allows your workflow to communicate with an external system. For example, you can use a webhook to send a HubSpot contact's information (formated in JSON) to an external CRM, when he or she submits a particular form. This action supports the use of the POST or GET callback method. Check out using webhooks in workflows to learn more.

Please note: HubSupport does not support the implementation or troubleshooting of webhooks in Workflows. You can read more about workflows on our Developers website and you should direct any technical questions related to webhooks to our Developers forum.

Clear a contact property value

This action allows you to clear the value of an existing contact property and is best used in data clean up. You can also use it in conjunction with copying/setting a contact property value. An example would be if you'd like to revert the Lifecycle Stage of your contacts. To do so, you can add an action to clear the Lifecycle Stage property and then add an action to set the new Lifecycle Stage. 

Clear a company property value

This action allows you to clear the value of an existing company property and is often used in data clean up. You can also use it in conjunction with copying/setting a company property value. An example would be if you'd like to revert the Lifecycle Stage of your contacts' associated companies. To do so, you can add an action to clear the Lifecycle Stage property and then add an action to set the new Lifecycle Stage. 

Enroll contact in a workflow

This action allows you to enroll a contact in any other workflow that is currently activated. Using this action prevents the need to modify the other workflow's starting condition for enrolling the present workflow's contacts. The other workflow is already live and performing other actions you've set, so it's best not to alter the other workflow as it may disrupt its enrolled contacts' flow to completion.

Set a Salesforce task (SFDC integrated only)

If you are using the HubSpot integration with Salesforce, you can use Workflows to automatically set a Salesforce task on a lead or contact record. The task can be assigned to either the contact's Salesforce owner or the integration user. A status must be selected and you can include a subject line and comments for that task. You will learn more about using workflows with Salesforce in a later section of this guide.

Set a Salesforce campaign (SFDC integrated only)

This action allows you to enroll contacts in a Salesforce Campaign and to set their status in the campaign. You will learn more about using workflows with Salesforce in a later section of this guide.

 Once you have added your steps and actions to a workflow, you will still want to consider your workflow's settings before activating it.

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