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Clearing Property Values in Workflows

[fa icon="calendar'] Mar 13, 2017 3:22:29 PM / by Stephanie Casstevens

There are so many things you can do with workflows. From creating sophisticated lead nurturing campaigns and lead assignment workflows to simply assigning buyer personas, the possibilities are vast. I use workflows for external and internal communication and even administrative tasks. However, I'd been creating workflows for a while before someone told me this one simple yet valuable tip: clear your contact property values before setting a new one. (note: this is available for professional and enterprise HubSpot portals only.)

What do I mean? Well, say you have redone your buyer personas and you're going to reassign everyone's persona based on a new definition or set of properties. Or, maybe you want to set a contact owner based on where someone recently converted but that contact already has a different owner. These properties may not update properly because they already have a value in place. 

Setting Contact Property Values Using Workflows

The "set a contact property value" action allows you to set a value in a selected field for one or more contacts. For instance, you may want to set a contact's Lifecycle Stage to Marketing Qualified Lead when they hit a certain lead score. 

Clearing a contact property value before setting a new one is a good step in many cases. Whether you're doing some data cleanup or copying a value from one field to another, it's good to clear the value first to be sure your new value is assigned. While this is not always necessary, I find it's become my safety net in many workflows. Plus, there are times when HubSpot workflows will even warn you that you may want to clear a certain value before setting a new one.

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When to Clear a Contact Property Value First

Setting a Lifecycle Stage Backwards:

For instance, in setting a Lifecycle Stage you may not need to clear the value first. However, if you want to revert a Lifecycle Stage backwards such as from Sales Qualified Lead back to Marketing Qualified Lead, you'll need to clear the value first. Why is this? Lifecycle Stages move forward naturally in this order:

Subscriber > Lead > MQL > SQL > Opportunity > Customer > Evangelist > Other 

If you import a list of contacts and some of them are already in your system, they will retain their existing lifecycle stage. However, if you import everyone as customers but want to revert some back to leads, you'll need to clear the property value and reassign it.

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Assigning New Blog Subscription Frequency

Another time you may want to clear a contact property value before assigning a new one is when you're working with blog subscriptions. Whether you're moving from giving your contacts options for frequency to only monthly or want to combine your daily and instant subscribers into one list, you'll want to clear the property first. This way, you're working from a blank slate when you assign the new frequency property. 

Setting a Contact Lead Owner

When it comes to assigning leads to my sales team things get a bit tricky. We have a lot of legacy owners who are either not here any more or have switched teams. When a new lead comes in or someone moves from MQL to SQL we send an internal notification to our team members based on our lead assignment rules. We also make them the owner in Salesforce if they're not already the owner. This is where clearing the contact property value first is important. 

Bonus Tip: Workflows for Data Cleanup

If you have different properties that mean the same thing and want to deduplicate your properties (maybe you have "job title" and "title") you can use workflows to clean this up. Start by creating 3 lists of contacts with duplicate properties.

List 1 includes contacts where property version 1 is known. List 2 contains contacts where property version 2 is known. List 3 is members of both lists who thus have values in both properties. To properly merge these fields without losing any data you can follow the steps in this HubSpot project for help.

I hope you find this tip/trick helpful! If you have any questions feel free to reach out to me on Twitter @stephcasstevens. Be sure to sign up for updates so you never miss an upcoming HUG where we share these tips and tricks live and answer your questions!

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Topics: HubSpot Tips & Tricks

Stephanie Casstevens

Written by Stephanie Casstevens

One of two leaders of the Chicago HUG, Stephanie is the marketing manager at Label Insight and has been using HubSpot for 5+ years, attended 4 INBOUND events, and has 8 HubSpot certifications. Stephanie is a Carthage College graduate and photographs weddings in her spare time.

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