How to Automate Removal of “Dead” HubSpot Marketing Contacts in CRM

Email list management. There was a time when those words struck fear in the hearts of marketers. The process was manual, time-consuming, and not very consistent. 

There’s not one marketer I know who has time to devote to inefficiency.

That’s why I love creating automated workflows in HubSpot to help my clients keep their databases clean. Creating a workflow is an easy, powerful, and automated way to remove “dead” marketing contacts from your mailing lists so your CRM database remains clean.


And a clean CRM database is an effective way to:

  • Keep your email list current without scrubbing it manually
  • Reduce bounces and protect your email sending reputation
  • Stay under your Marketing Contacts limit in your HubSpot CRM
  • Ensure you’re not paying for inactive marketing contacts HubSpot has on file

Creating a workflow in HubSpot to automatically categorize unsubscribed or bounced contacts as non-marketing may sound like it comes with a steep learning curve or a serious time commitment. It doesn’t! In this week’s “HubSpot How-To” video, I’ll walk you through a three-minute tutorial that will help optimize your marketing impact.

Creating a Workflow to Set Unsubscribed & Bounced Contacts as Non-Marketing: Video Transcript

I’m Brian Loesch, HubSpot expert and Weidert Group Consultant with today’s HubSpot How-To.

Let’s dive into creating an unsubscribe workflow.

As you may know, in HubSpot you are charged monthly for marketing contacts. It doesn’t matter how many contacts you have in your portal, but what does matter is how many contacts you’re marketing to. Essentially, you can have hundreds of thousands of contacts in HubSpot, but if you’re only sending marketing emails to ten thousand of them, you should only get charged for that many contacts per month.

Those charges can add up over time, especially if you’re constantly getting new contacts. One way to manage that number is to ensure people you aren’t marketing to are being pulled out of the list. That doesn’t happen automatically.

A new person may unsubscribe or bounce for any number of reasons — clicking the unsubscribe button in your emails, bad email address, full mailbox, or maybe they marked your emails as spam. These contacts won’t automatically be pulled from your list, but it’s very easy to create a workflow that’ll do that for you to eliminate manual changes.

Here’s how.  

We’re going to create a workflow from scratch. It’s going to be a blank workflow, contact based, that I’m naming the “unsubscribe workflow.”

Now, let’s choose the triggers — those actions that occur when filter criteria are met. Here, we’ll choose a contact property.

Then we’ll choose the bounce type. I’m picking email hard bounce, and indicating that it is known. You aren’t required to itemize it. To itemize, choose one of the options from the drop-down. But for the most part, if they’re bouncing now, they’re going to continue bouncing. It’s best to just remove them.

We can also add an “or” filter here, so they’ll enroll in the workflow if their email hard bounce is known, or if they’ve chosen to opt out of all email altogether. To do so, choose one item here and scroll down to find “set marketing contact status.” Set as a non marketing contact and hit save. You’re done. It’s just that easy.

Now anytime you’re sending out marketing email and the email bounces the person will be enrolled in this workflow, which will automatically set them as a non-marketing contact in HubSpot. They won’t get marketing from you anymore, and they won’t be bouncing anymore. Plus, you won’t get charged for them.

Same will happen when someone chooses to opt out. When they opt out, they’ll enroll in the workflow, It’ll unsubscribe them, and you will no longer be charged for those contacts. It’s a super easy, quick thing you can do to keep your portal clean.

Thanks for watching today’s HubSpot How-To. See you next time.

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One of the best ways to leverage the power of HubSpot is to collaborate with a team that knows how to get results faster. As a HubSpot Partner since 2011, Weidert Group has the accredited expertise and tools to help you make the most of your HubSpot investment.

Our HubSpot Onboarding Services are your solution to training new HubSpot users, upskilling team members, and a host of custom quick-start or guided onboarding and training options. Connect with the Weidert Group team for next steps!

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