Setting Default Values for Personalization Tokens in HubSpot Emails and Website Content

“Dear ,”
( We’ve all seen that before! )

Due to a little problem with my email tokens this past week, I recently reacquainted myself with the “Content Settings” section within the HubSpot “Contacts” menu.

A few days ago we sent an email out to our customers with a {{contact.firstname}} email token in the intro to the email. Some of those emails were delivered and a handful of our contacts who were missing a “First Name” in our CRM ended up getting an email that said “Dear ,” which makes us look awesome… not.

What I failed to do was two things:

  1. I normally send emails with a different intro, something like “Hi”, “Hey”, or “Hello” which doesn’t look bad when the First Name field is empty.
  2. If the intro requires a default value I’ll typically set the value to “friend” since this seems to be the best alternative for a missing First Name field value.

So, to stop this problem from happening again, I decided to ask HubSpot support (which is awesome) for a little help. This time though, I taught the support rep a little something, which I thought you should all learn too.

Replacing email tokens in HubSpot emails:

By default, HubSpot emails give you the option to “Review” your email before you hit send, it’s actually one of the steps you will hit if you continue to use the “NEXT” button in the email interface. The “Review” section will actually show all the personalization tokens you’ve used (among other things) and what their default values are.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.32.15 AM
The screen shot here shows that I don’t currently have a value for “FIRSTNAME”

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.36.49 AM.png

By clicking the link “Edit default value” from the review section in HubSpot, you’ll be able to put a default value for the First Name field (or whatever personalization token you’ve used). Make sure to read the tool tip for more information.

After you fill in a value here, all future emails you send will contain a value for “First Name” if the record in the CRM is missing their First Name. Neat.

This is a great solution to a silly problem, but there is a better way to solve this as an administrator and make sure the entire company is setup for success.

Globally replace email tokens in HubSpot emails:

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.22.34 AM

This is particularly useful if you are an administrator of the HubSpot platform and want to allow other members of your organization to send emails without you double and triple checking each email send. Setting a token within these settings will give you some piece of mind.

Ironically, the HubSpot support team didn’t realize these settings were available in the email section of “Content Settings” – that’s why I’m sharing it with you now.

Here’s how to get there:

Step 1: Head on over to your “Content Settings” section found within the Contact menu in HubSpot.

Step 2: Click “Email” on the left navigation on the page

Step 3: Scroll to the bottom and look for the section “Default Values for Email Personalization” (screen shot below)

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.40.19 AM.png

From here, you can manage all the default values for any Contact or Company Properties in your CRM. Really neat.

Pro tip: These settings are ONLY for the email personalization tokens, so if you want to manage how these default values appear when using personalization on your landing pages and website pages, you’ll need to go back to “Content Settings” click on “Page Publishing” and scroll to the bottom where you’ll see the same type of box but this is specifically for Page Personalization.

Screen Shot 2017-10-27 at 8.44.05 AM.png

About The Author — Mike Rizzo
Mike Rizzo

Mike Rizzo, is the Community-led Founder of MO Pros and MarketingOps.com. With his extensive background in marketing Mike helped build, launch, manage and optimize Mavenlink's first-ever user community and Client Advisory Board programs. He is the founder of MO Pros - The Community for Marketing Operations Pros that is growing with an average of 110 new members every month. He is also the co-host of the podcast called Ops Cast by MO Pros. As the founder of MarketingOps.com, Mike is taking a community-led approach to building resources that are purpose-built for MO Pros.

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