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Establishing a Clean up Process in HubSpot

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With a growing database you will eventually have to deal with incorrect information that enters your HubSpot portal for a number of reasons. This can lead to inaccurate and unrealistic reports, and simply dirty data you can’t trust. That’s why cleaning the entire portal is an important task to review on a quarterly basis, or more often..

In this blog, we will show you how to organize a helpful clean up process to address all parts of HubSpot.


Set Your Clean Up Rules in HubSpot

To get started, you need to prioritize what items you will tackle first. This is important to help you with a more productive clean up, and to free up assets that might be deleted.

Let me explain…

HubSpot does not allow you to delete a property if it’s in use somewhere else, like on forms, workflows, lists, etc. The same goes for a list that might be hooked on a workflow. 

When you find an item that is hooked in 200 different places, it will be pretty unproductive to go look at 200 places and come back to that item to delete it.

That’s why you need to start your clean up with Forms and end with Properties. Whatever you clean in between does not make a huge difference, but if you encounter a huge amount of connections that are preventing you from moving forward, pause and address that first.

For example:

If you need to delete one property that is hooked to 100 forms and 50 workflows. Pause the property work, and first audit the forms, then the workflows. This will free up that specific property a lot, and if there are still items hooked together, you will have a significantly smaller number to address. Eventually, your property is completely free of connections and can be deleted.

Next, we will show you how to analyze each area to clean up.

Step 1. Review and Delete

Go through all of HubSpot and review anything that was never used, out of date and shouldn’t be updated, overdue, etc. Here are some suggestions of what to look for:


  • Forms - Look for forms that are not being used anywhere (i.e not published on a landing page) and/or have no submissions. Check with your team if the forms can be deleted.

  • Lists - Review all lists and delete the ones not in use. On the lists page, you can see on a column in the far right if the list is hooked to anything such as a workflow or an scheduled email. If you create a lot of lists to send emails, you can delete them once the email is sent so you don’t accumulate too many lists.
  • Campaigns - Look for duplicate and irrelevant campaigns that can be deleted. You may have campaigns that were created for testing or just don’t have any assets connected to it, if that’s the case, this probably doesn’t need to exist in HubSpot so go ahead and delete them.

  • Workflows - Review the workflows that are turned on, to see if they are correct, then see if any of the workflows off can be deleted. You can delete workflows created for testing with no current purpose, or workflows that have zero enrollment and zero completions. Read this article to learn how to audit your workflows.

  • Landing Pages and Website Pages - Pages that are not relevant to your website should be unpublished and archived. For Landing Pages, you can archive the ones used for a temporary campaign or anything that is not current in your business. For Website pages, you might have old pages that were simply removed from your site menu, but still can be found through a search. If the content and design do not align with your company anymore, unpublish and archive.  Don’t forget to redirect the URL to avoid 404!

  • CTAs - Look for CTAs that are not being used anywhere, and check with your team if they can be deleted. Similar to the lists, you can see in the far right column where the CTA is connected to.

  • Sequences - Look for sequences that are not in use and are irrelevant. Delete them. First, check with your sales team to learn the sequences that they actually use before deciding what can be removed. Sequences work similarly to workflows, so sequences that are tests or have zero enrollment can probably be deleted. If you find a sequence you want to delete, make sure to unenroll people first, as the action would still continue in the backend.

  • Documents  - Look for documents with no views and no links created, then delete those.
  • Dashboards - Look for dashboards that are irrelevant or redundant and delete them. If you have too many reports and dashboards, chances are you don’t have much clarity on what metrics you want to see. Try to narrow down on the essential metrics for each department (Sales, Marketing, Service, etc) and remove any extra dashboards.

  • Templates - Review your current templates that are in use and organize them in folders. The ones that are not in use and outdated should be updated or deleted.

  • Users & Teams - Access the option Users & Teams under settings and look to remove past employees and anyone that should not have access to your CRM. For current employees, review their permissions settings and make sure they only have access to the tools they need.

  • File Manager - Organize your files in folders and name them following a standard pattern. Files not attached to anything and irrelevant files should be deleted. Learn here how to establish naming conventions in HubSpot.

  • Social media accounts - Review the social media accounts connected to HubSpot. Remove the ones not in use.

  • Deals - Review the accuracy of your deal stages and pipelines. Make sure you don’t have several pipelines unless this is required for your business, such as when you have different sales processes for different products or services.

  • Properties - This is a big project, but you may have properties with no data or with redundant naming. Look for those properties first, and work with your team to see what can be deleted or merged. A good way to start is navigating to Settings>Properties, and clicking export all properties on top right. From there, you will get a spreadsheet that you can sort by custom or default properties, number of records with that value and other options you can choose to refer to.

  • Clean up overdue deals and tasks.


Step 2. Review and Update
Items that should not be deleted, but might need an update.  

  • Review all HubSpot settings to see if they are mirroring your processes. For example, automatic associations between contacts and companies and lifecycle stages. Read this article to learn how to do a full HubSpot Technical Review.

  • Make sure emails, templates, sequences, workflows, snippets, etc, are up to date with your company’s voice and tone. If you’ve deleted some of those items on step 1, those that stayed might need an update in case any process has changed in your company.
  • Review properties and ensure all the information needed is in HubSpot and no properties need to be updated. Same here, if you have deleted some properties, you may want to review the ones that stay to adjust a description or move them to a group.


  • Update everything to follow the agreed naming convention.

Step 3. Clean the Contact Database

Additional contact clean-up options aside from email bounced and unsubscribed.

  • Delete duplicate contacts and companies. Navigate Contacts, and click Actions on top right. Select Manage Duplicates in the dropdown to merge the duplicate records. Read full instructions on how to do that task and what to consider before merging.
  • Run a Permission Pass workflow on contacts who have not engaged with your marketing emails in the past 2 years (this number can be adapted according to your needs). The idea here is to email those contacts and ask them to click on a CTA to confirm that they want to stay in your email list. Delete all contacts who did not engage with the Permission Pass campaign.

Ongoing Updates to Keep Your Database Clean

After a complete clean up and update of your database, we recommend a new export of bounced and unsubscribed contacts every two months to ensure you are working on a realist number of potential leads.

To maintain properties, templates, sequences, and make sure other tools are always up to date, create processes and assign a manager for these areas, so this person is always in charge of maintaining this tool at its best.

Manage duplicate contacts and companies once a month to ensure you are not dealing with duplicated data. Moreover, if you create the habit of deduping monthly, this task can be fairly easy as the number will never be too high.

To make this maintenance process easy, do one step per month and document your decisions throughout the cleaning process. This will help your quarterly review to move a lot faster.


If you found this article helpful, you may also enjoy:

If you need help to audit your HubSpot portal and clean your data, feel free to book a call below with a HubSpot expert:


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