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How to set up a workflow in HubSpot

Last updated: August 21, 2017

Available For:

Marketing: Pro, Enterprise
Sales: N/A

Lead nurturing keeps your leads engaged with your company and shows them that you understand their specific needs. Your contacts might not yet be in the decision stage of the buyers journey, but they may be in the awarness or consideration stages and looking for educational content, such as eBooks or whitepapers. By understanding where your contacts are in their buyer's journey, you are better able to provide content that relates to their specific needs and thus move them down the funnel. The workflows tool in HubSpot can help you automate and scale this lead nurturing process.

HubSpot Academy

Best practices

Our HubSpot Academy team has created a project that can help you get a workflow set up specifically for lead nurturing. This project will walk you through performing the following:

  • Follow-up with your leads automatically
  • Nurture your contacts further into the buyers journey
  • Close leads into customers

Click here to dive into the project!

Read more

HubSpot workflows are not intended to blast all your contacts with the same, generic offer, nor are they intended to completely separate your marketers from the nurturing process. Instead, workflows are intended to help you automate and scale your marketing interactions to find out more about your contacts so that you can provide them with contextual information that relates to their specific needs and questions. By learning more about your contacts, you can better segment those contacts and entice them with more contextual content. Before beginning the setup of the example lead nurturing workflows below, you may want to review some of the 6 biggest lead nurturing no-no’s that you’ll want to avoid when designing and executing your lead nurturing campaigns.

Instructions

In this article, you will learn how to set up a basic workflow. You'll be guided through choosing a starting condition, setting your workflow criteria, and adding actions and delays.

To illustrate how to perform these actions, the example workflow below is set up to send a follow-up email to a contact who fills out a specific form. Let's get started.

Navigate to Workflows

In your HubSpot Marketing Professional or Enterprise account, navigate to Contacts > Workflows.

Create new workflow

On the workflows dashboard, click the New workflow button at the top-right to a create a new workflow.

Name your workflow and select workflow type

In the dialog box, enter a name for your workflow and select a workflow type. Since this example workflow will be based on a contact filling out a form, we'll select Standard. You can learn more about selecting a workflow type here.

Set enrollment criteria

Next you'll set up the criteria that your contacts will need to meet to be enrolled in your new workflow. Click Set enrollment criteria, then select the type of criteria you'd like to use to enroll contacts. There are several starting conditions you can choose from, all of which are outlined here. In this example, we want to enroll contacts who fill out a form, so we'll select Form submission

Once you select the type of criteria you'd like to use, you'll see options to refine this criteria. In this case, we'll select which form we'd like to use to segment and enroll contacts into this workflow. When you're done refining your criteria, click Done

You'll now see your enrollment options. There are a few things you'll want to review or consider here:

  1. Set criteria - Here you'll see any criteria you've already set. You can click the pencil icon to make edits.
  2. AND/OR - These buttons will allow you to set and/or rules to build out your workflow criteria. Click AND to set another criterion that a contact must meet in addition to the criteria you've already set. Click OR to set a criterion if you'd like contacts to be enrolled when they meet either set of criteria. 
  3. Reenrollment  - Click Change reenrollment options here if you want to allow contacts to be enrolled in this workflow more than once. 
  4. Enroll existing contacts - check the Enroll contacts who already meet these criteria box next to enroll contacts in your database who already meet the criteria you've set. 

When you've finished setting your enrollment options, click Save.

5. Add an action to your workflow

Next you'll add steps to your workflow. To add an action, click the plus icon

Next, select the action you'd like to add to your workflow. To learn more about each of the actions available, check out this article. In this example, we want to send a follow-up email to a contact after they've filled out a form so we'll select Send an email (information on creating an email for use in workflows can be found here). Once you've selected an action type, set the details of the action you've chosen, then click Save to add the action to your workflow. 

6. Workflow settings

Click Settings at the top of your workflow. Here you’ll find a variety of settings you can use to change how your workflow functions, such as what days of the week you'd like actions to execute and if there are contacts you'd like to suppress from the workflow. Refer to this section for more information on workflow settings. 

Once you've configured your settings, click Save settings at the bottom.

7. Test your workflow

You may want to test your workflow before taking it live to see how the actions will execute for enrolled contacts. Click Test in the top-right corner. To learn more about testing your workflow, check out this article.

8. Activate workflow

When you're happy with how you've set up your workflow, activate it to start the automation magic! To activate your worflow, click to toggle the status switch in the top-right corner to ON.

After you choose to turn on your workflow, you'll see an overview of your workflow settings. Click Edit next to any of these settings to make changes. Once you've reviewed your settings and are ready to begin enrolling contacts, click Turn workflow on.

You can modify this example to suit your needs. Later in this guide, you can learn more about analyzing the results of your lead nurturing efforts. Remember, for every business the number of contacts nurtured, the goal of the workflow, etc. will be different.

You can also take your workflows a step further by introducing branching logic to execute actions conditionally based on how a contact has engaged with your business. Learn how to use branching logic in workflows here.

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