3 Ways HubSpot Allows You to Personalize Relationships

by Kendra Uminger | Updated Nov 5, 2021

“Hi, friend. Here are some generic offers loosely-but-not-really-related-to what brought you to my website in the first place. I think you and I both know I’m just trying to sell you something.”

How many marketing emails have you opened that are not at all relevant to your areas of interest? How many ads have you seen for snow boots when you live in Southern California?

As marketers, it’s easy to fall victim to the trap of “one-size-fits-all” marketing. The result is a homogenous blend of content that doesn’t excite even the most ready-now buyers. The solution is as simple as taking a step back and thinking of your own experiences.

No one likes feeling like “just another person” getting served the same content everyone is receiving. In fact, according to the results of an Online Personal Experience study released by Janrain (now Akamai), nearly three-fourths (74%) of online consumers get frustrated with websites when content (e.g., offers, ads, promotions) appears that has nothing to do with their interests.

Building a personalized relationship with your prospects is one of the most powerful tools you can activate as a marketer. Personalized emails get better click-thru rates, personalized CTAs have a higher click-to-submission rate, nurturing leads with targeted content produces a 20% increase in sales opportunities….the list goes on, but you see the trend.

The great news is that HubSpot can help you quickly and easily personalize your leads’ experiences. Here are three ways HubSpot can help you build personal connections with your leads right away.

1. Personalization tokens

We know what you’re thinking. “Did I really just spend all this time reading about how important personalization is just for someone to tell me that I can personalize my emails with a contact’s first name?”


Personalization tokens are often thought of as that typical Friend tool, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. HubSpot personalization tokens can be used for literally any contact or company property.

Adding Personalization Tokens

HubSpot contact properties range from IP state, to the last page seen, to contact owner, to persona. Let’s say you want to email a contact about a special promotion you’re running, but you want to make it more personal. Your email could contain something like this:

I wanted to let you know about a special rate promo we’re running for our customers in the state of (California).

Perhaps you want to encourage a contact to take the next step based on the last page they visited. You could say,

If you found (How to update your countertops) interesting, here are a few other articles that you may like…

Little callouts like their first name, state, and pages visited can be very impactful.

2. Automation

HubSpot is a powerful lead nurturing machine that is often criminally underutilized. You can design workflows for practically any purpose you can think of. Two types of workflows have routinely proven themselves in the realm of personalization:

  1. Segmentation
  2. Topical Nurturing


Segmentation workflows are great for learning about your existing database and allowing them to “choose their own adventure” via explicit selection. You can also implicitly segment your database. Here are overviews of both.

Option A: Explicit Segmentation

Let’s say you’re a contractor that specializes in interior home remodels. You have a lot of great content related to several different types of projects like flooring projects, kitchen, and bathroom remodels. You currently have a database full of people and, because you didn’t realize how great HubSpot is, you don’t have a ton of information about what interests them.

You can set up a workflow that allows users to SELF SELECT their topic of interest. The email could look something like this:

Hi Friend,

I know how terrible it is to receive an incessant stream of marketing emails that aren’t interesting to you. I don’t want to be another boring email. I want you to be EXCITED to see my business in your inbox. So, tell me, what kind of content would you like me to send you?

CTA: Send me information about how to update my kitchen
CTA: Send me information about how to refresh my bathrooms
CTA: Send me information about how to do a flooring project 

I promise I’ll only send you emails when I have great content to share about what you care about!

By asking your contacts to ENGAGE with your content and SELF SELECT what they care about, not only are you telling them, “I care about you!” but you’re also backing it up with content they have specifically requested. This can be a mini-milestone in the relationship because you're establishing that you do two things many don't: listen and deliver.

Topical Nurturing

Once a contact clicks on a CTA, indicating their topic of interest - you’ve gained valuable insight that you can use to continue to forge that personalized experience.

For example, you can set up a workflow with enrollment criteria based on those CTA clicks, and load it with emails related to that CTA’s corresponding area of interest. Practical Example: A contact clicked “Send me info about how to do a flooring project,” and you send them weekly emails related to flooring project blogs, ebooks, resource pages, and samples.

You can also create a list based on that CTA click to use for smart content (more information coming later) or to use for occasional email blasts when you have flooring offers or content to share.

Option B: Implicit segmentation

If you’re not one for a flashy show of affection, implicit segmentation is a great fit for you. Keeping with the contractor example - you have several pages related to each of the services you provide (kitchen, flooring, bathroom). If your leads have accepted cookie tracking, HubSpot logs the pages they’ve visited.

You can segment users based on page visits and assign them a topic of interest. Example: If the contact visited “Flooring Samples” or “How to Start a Flooring Project” or “Flooring Installation Services” then assign them the topic of “Flooring.”

Once again, you can either enroll them into a workflow based on those page visits, you can create a contact property value related to their topic of interest and then enroll them into a workflow based on that, you can enroll them into a list... The possibilities are nearly endless, but the end result is the same: You’ve identified a lead’s area of interest and can send them personalized content based on that interest!

3. Smart rules

With HubSpot, you can use smart content (in emails, on landing pages, or on web pages) and smart CTAs to display different versions of your content based on specific criteria.

You can base your smart rules on the following:

  1. Country
  2. Device type
  3. Referral source
  4. Preferred language
  5. Contact list membership
  6. Lifecycle stage

Most of the criteria available is self-explanatory - but let’s take a moment to review the possibilities of the 5th criteria: contact list membership.

Earlier, we mentioned you have the ability to sort contacts into lists based on their interests. You can add an individual to a list based on their behavior, such as CTA clicks, page visits, or form submissions on specific pages. Now, you can use that same list to display personalized content based on their interests.

Continuing with our home improvement user - they’re on a list of contacts who are interested in flooring projects. On your site, you display multiple CTAs asking people to contact you for a quote on their latest project. If you use smart CTAs, you can display different variations of the CTA based on user interest. Flooring contacts visiting your site would see a CTA that says “Contact Us About Your Flooring Project Today” while bathroom contacts would see “Contact Us About Your Brand New Bathroom Now.”

The same practice can be used in emails or on landing pages by utilizing smart content text modules.

Like many of the personalization features offered within the HubSpot platform, the opportunities to incorporate smart content throughout your contacts experiences with your brand are almost limitless.

If you’re interested in learning how personalized experiences and HubSpot can drive systematic growth for your organization, take a look at our guide on building your Digital Utopia Blueprint >>.