Hubspot Enhancing Marketing Automation Features

We were invited to attend Hubspot Analyst Day in Boston, MA as they unveiled their latest platform improvements. While Hubspot’s claim to fame has been inbound marketing, the company made it clear they intend to compete with traditional marketing automation players like Marketo, Eloqua, and Pardot.

Hubspot Entrance“We started as a Get Found App helping you get more visitors and convert leads,” said Brian Halligan, Hubspot CEO and Co-Founder. Now we need to convert those leads to customers which is the basis of our Marketing Suite.”

The first step in the process was the launch this week of an enhanced contact database, segmentation tool, and email marketing engine. This functionality was demonstrated by Chris O’Donnell, Director of Product Management who came to Hubspot as part of the Performable acquisition last year.

Contact Database
– Universal marketing database that is integrated with landing pages, email, and other features.
– Track your contact’s online browsing history, email history, form submissions, and social media information.

– Create static and dynamic lists (which automatically update) based on any contact field, previous list membership and form submission.

– Salesforce integration allows the email to come from Lead Owner and will automatically track the campaign.
– Track overall opens and clicks and then drill down and to see the actions of each individual contact.
– Social network sharing.
– Email results update on your screen in real time.

Automated Workflows (Available Later this Year)
– Automated emails sent in sequence.
– Modify the Contact record, send email, change list status
– Lifecycle Stage is a drop down.

Social In Box (In Beta Test)
– This feature improves upon user experience of more established players like Tweetdeck and Hootsuite.
– Adds LinkedIn and Google alerts with SEO grade to Twitter and Facebook feeds.
– Information listed in relevance verus chronological order.
– Single versus multicolumn approach.
– It also includes Google Alerts. SEO Grade of Google Alert (NY Times or Blog).
– LinkedIn people can sort based on job title (CMO or Marketing). You can watch them.

Much of this functionality already exists in other marketing automation vendors but Hubspot is not concerned they are late to the party. “We see the market as largely untapped,” said Christopher O’Donnell. “We want to find the right features and really put together a user experience that is Apple easy. We are trying to set the design higher and create a modern application that feels as good as anything on the web.”


CTO and Co-Founder, Dharmesh Shaw, concluded the event with a vision of the future in his presentation, How to Make Marketing Automation Better.


Make Marketing People Love. “I would like to see marketing become a noble profession,” said Shaw. “Create engagement, not an email list. Create a community of users. We want to create a relationship with all these customers in one platform.”


“The industry kept adding knobs & dials. Most execs that have purchased marketing automation will admit behind closed doors that it has become glorified email marketing software. The recent innovation has been how to improve the workflow process. The real answer is that you should not need those things at all. The software should do all the work.”

“We need Intelligent Lead Scoring. Is the fact someone downloaded a white paper a higher value versus an eBook. 10% of lead base is not called because your point structure. The dream is to allow everything to be compared in the system. Every customer we add to the mix adds value to other customers.”


Use the web as input. “Website crawlers that will identify email URL and take information from website like what industry, B2B or B2C.

Timing is money. “Optimize email sends based on when users past email activity or tweet times.

Write great headlines. Rule the world. “A/B Testing of subject lines that  will automatically send the better performing headline.”

Personalize the entire experience and increase happiness. “We know when a person visits a website and blog and it looks the same for each visitor. Why not have message pop up on a website when a specific person visits the site. Most blogs are chronological and that is not logical for all companies.”

Hubspot Employees

All Hubspot employees are posted on wall in order of hire date.

“This stuff is only possible if everything is on the same platform. We love WordPress but it would take forever to make this happen,” said Shaw.

On average Hubspot customers get a 32% increase in leads per month and the company has over 7,000 customers with $28M in revenue in 2011. The first 3 years of growth came from small businesses with no marketing staff and 1 – 20 employees and has expanded to companies with 4 – 5 marketers and 20 – 200 people. The next target audience would be 200 – 2000 employees where Hubspot believes 70% of their needs are met on with the current Hubspot feature set.

“The ultimate goal is to grow an anchor company in Boston like,, ebay, Google, Zappos,” said Halligan. A number of companies have tried to purchase Hubspot but Halligan has turned them down. “I want this company to stay in here for 100 years.”

Hubspot Vision

Mantra that drives the Hubspot brand.


  1. Todd says

    This sounds like an exciting new addition to Hubspot. But I am curious –
    what exactly is ‘marketing automation’ without the ability to send
    automated emails? That’s the biggest reason we use marketing automation at
    my company. Until that product launches and all the bugs have been worked
    out, I would stick with Pardot or Marketo

    • says

      Todd, The current Hubspot solution has a basic tool that allows you to send automated email. It is not nearly as robust as Pardot or Marketo but the new workflow tool that launches later this year will be very close.


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