What is Marketing Automation: How to Use HubSpot Workflows

Imagine a tireless marketing assistant that works 24/7, sending personalized messages, nurturing leads, and saving you precious time. That's the magic of marketing automation, and tools like HubSpot workflows put this power at your fingertips.

HubSpot Workflows

Want to learn more about how to use HubSpot to grow YOUR business?

What is Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation is the systematic use of technology to streamline and automate marketing tasks, eliminating manual efforts and enhancing operational efficiency. From lead generation and segmentation to campaign management and analysis, automation empowers marketers to focus on strategy and creativity, freeing them from the burden of repetitive tasks.

Why Does Marketing Automation Matter?

Automation accelerates the pace of marketing activities and ensures precision and consistency. Tedious processes like email marketing, social media posting, and lead nurturing can be automated, allowing marketing teams to allocate their time and resources strategically. This efficiency translates to better resource utilization and improved overall productivity.

Beyond task automation, marketing automation is a catalyst for enhancing customer engagement. By leveraging data and insights, marketers can create personalized, targeted communication that resonates with their audience. Automation tools enable the delivery of timely and relevant content, ensuring that customers receive information tailored to their preferences and behavior.

Customer journeys become more dynamic and interactive, fostering stronger connections between brands and their audience. Automation allows for real-time responses to customer interactions, creating a seamless and personalized experience across various touchpoints. This heightened engagement not only nurtures leads but also contributes to building lasting customer relationships.

The HubSpot Advantage

While there are countless marketing automation tools on the market, HubSpot stands out. HubSpot is a comprehensive solution designed to simplify and amplify marketing efforts, offering an intuitive and powerful platform that seamlessly integrates with various marketing channels.

HubSpot workflows serve as the engine driving automated marketing campaigns. These workflows are automated actions triggered by specific events or conditions, allowing marketers to create personalized and targeted campaigns at scale. Whether lead nurturing, email marketing, or customer onboarding, HubSpot workflows streamline complex processes, making them accessible even to non-technical users.

HubSpot's appeal lies in its user-friendly interface and the robust features that set it apart from other marketing automation platforms.

  • All-in-one platform: HubSpot offers an all-in-one solution that integrates CRM, marketing, sales, and customer service. This seamless integration allows for a holistic view of customer interactions and data, enabling marketers to make informed decisions.

  • Smart content personalization: HubSpot workflows enable intelligent content personalization based on user behavior, ensuring each interaction is tailored to individual preferences. This level of customization enhances engagement and increases the likelihood of conversion.

  • Analytics and reporting: HubSpot provides comprehensive analytics and reporting tools, allowing marketers to track the performance of their campaigns in real-time. This data-driven approach enables continuous optimization and refinement of marketing strategies.

  • Scalability: HubSpot is designed to cater to businesses of all sizes. Whether you're a small startup or an enterprise-level organization, HubSpot's scalability ensures that your marketing automation efforts can grow alongside your business.

By streamlining tasks and enhancing customer engagement, this technology empowers marketers to navigate the complexities of the digital age with agility and precision. 

The Core Components of HubSpot Workflows

HubSpot workflows are a marketing automation powerhouse, allowing marketers to orchestrate intricate campaigns precisely and efficiently. At the heart of this tool are three components: Triggers, Actions, and Conditions.


Triggers act as the catalysts that set HubSpot workflows into motion. These are specific events or actions that initiate the automation process. Understanding trigger events is pivotal for crafting workflows that align with the customer journey. Common triggers include form submissions, website visits, email interactions, or changes in contact properties.

For instance, when a website visitor fills out a subscription form, it can trigger a workflow that sends a personalized welcome email, adds them to a segmented list, and initiates a series of follow-up communications. Identifying the right triggers ensures that automation is initiated at the most opportune moments in the buyer's journey.

Examples of effective workflow triggers:

  • Form submission: Triggering workflows when a user submits a form, indicating interest or engagement.

  • Email interaction: Initiating automation based on user interactions with emails, such as opens, clicks, or replies.

  • Contact property changes: Responding to changes in contact details or behavior, allowing for dynamic adaptations to evolving customer profiles.

By strategically incorporating triggers, marketers can ensure that their automated workflows are timely and contextually relevant, contributing to a seamless and personalized customer experience.


Once triggered, HubSpot workflows facilitate the execution of a series of predefined actions. These actions range from sending emails and updating contact properties to enrolling contacts in specific campaigns or notifying sales teams. The key is to map out a sequence of actions that align with the overall marketing strategy and the particular goals of the workflow.

HubSpot workflows empower marketers with a range of customizable actions. For instance, if a contact opens an email but doesn't make a purchase within a specified timeframe, the workflow can automatically trigger a follow-up email with a limited-time discount. Customizing actions allows for tailored responses to diverse scenarios, ensuring the automation is efficient and adaptive.

Whether it's nurturing leads, onboarding new customers, or re-engaging inactive contacts, the flexibility in action customization enables marketers to address various objectives through a single automated workflow.

Examples of practical actions:

  • Send email:

    • Trigger: Contact opens an email → 

    • Action: Send a follow-up email with additional information or a special offer

  • Update contact properties:

    • Trigger: Contact submits a form → 

    • Action: Update contact properties to reflect their preferences or status, helping to segment and personalize future communications

  • Enroll in a campaign:

    • Trigger: Contact clicks a specific link in an email → 

    • Action: Enroll the contact in a targeted marketing campaign to nurture them further based on their expressed interest


Conditions add a layer of intelligence to HubSpot workflows, enabling marketers to apply logic and decision-making within the automation sequence. Conditions act as filters, allowing the workflow to take different paths based on specific criteria. This is instrumental in creating dynamic and personalized customer journeys.

By implementing conditions, marketers can tailor workflows for personalized customer journeys. For instance, based on a contact's behavior, the workflow can branch into different communication paths – sending educational content to engaged leads and offering exclusive promotions to high-value customers.

Conditions empower marketers to respond dynamically to customer interactions, ensuring that each contact receives a unique and relevant experience based on their engagement history and preferences.

Examples of adequate conditions:

  • Contact properties:

    • Condition: If the contact's lead score is above a certain threshold →

    • Path: Send the contact into a more aggressive lead-nurturing path with targeted content and promotions.

  • Behavioral triggers:

    • Condition: If the contact has not opened any emails in the last 30 days →

    • Path: Trigger a re-engagement email series to bring the contact back into the marketing funnel.

  • Page views:

    • Condition: If the contact has visited specific product pages → 

    • Path: Tailor the workflow to provide more detailed product information or send targeted promotions related to the viewed products.

How to Create a HubSpot Workflow

1. Access the HubSpot Workflow Tool

Start by navigating to your HubSpot portal. Within the HubSpot dashboard, locate the 'Automation' tab, and select 'Workflows.' This grants you access to the robust Workflow tool that serves as the canvas for your automation masterpiece.

Upon entering the Workflow tool, you'll be greeted with a clean interface designed for user-friendly navigation. The intuitive layout ensures seasoned marketers and those new to automation can seamlessly navigate and create workflows.

2. Define Objectives and Goals

Before diving into the technical aspects, it's crucial to define the objectives and goals of your workflow clearly. Ask yourself: What is the purpose of this automation? Are you nurturing leads, onboarding new customers, or re-engaging dormant contacts? Establishing clear goals will guide the workflow creation process and help select the most relevant triggers, actions, and conditions.

Consider the specific outcomes you aim to achieve, such as increased conversion rates, improved customer satisfaction, or shortened sales cycles. A well-defined purpose ensures that your workflow aligns with broader marketing strategies and contributes meaningfully to organizational objectives.

3. Set up Triggers, Actions, and Conditions

With your goals in mind, proceed to set up the core components of your workflow.

  • Triggers: Identify the trigger events that will initiate your workflow. Whether it's form submissions, email interactions, or changes in contact properties, choose triggers that align with your defined objectives. For instance, if your goal is lead nurturing, a trigger could be a contact downloading a whitepaper.

  • Actions: Once triggered, outline the series of actions that will unfold. Actions may include sending emails, updating contact properties, enrolling contacts in campaigns, or notifying sales teams. Customize each action to ensure it aligns with your overarching goals. For example, if a contact opens a pricing email but doesn't purchase, set an action to send a follow-up email with a limited-time discount.

  • Conditions: Implement conditional logic to create dynamic and personalized customer journeys. Conditions act as decision points within the workflow, allowing contacts to follow different paths based on specific criteria. For instance, if a contact's lead score is high, the workflow can lead them into a more aggressive lead nurturing path.

4. Test and Optimize Workflows

Before deploying your workflow, thorough testing is imperative to ensure seamless execution and desired outcomes.

  • Preview and test: HubSpot provides a preview and testing feature that allows you to simulate the workflow and assess how contacts will progress through it. This step ensures that triggers are activated correctly, actions unfold as intended, and conditions guide contacts through the appropriate paths.

  • Monitor analytics: Once live, continuously monitor the performance of your workflow using HubSpot's analytics and reporting tools. Track key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Analyzing these metrics provides insights into the effectiveness of your workflow, allowing for real-time adjustments and optimizations.

  • Iterate and enhance: Marketing automation is an iterative process. Regularly revisit and refine your workflows based on performance data and evolving business needs. Use A/B testing to experiment with variations and identify the most effective combinations of triggers, actions, and conditions.

Need some more help? Take this free HubSpot lesson!

Best Practices for Effective Marketing Automation

Regarding marketing automation, following best practices is critical to unlocking the full potential of tools like HubSpot workflows. 

Nurturing Leads

Create Targeted Lead Nurturing Campaigns

Tailoring lead nurturing campaigns to meet your audience's specific needs and interests is foundational. Segment your leads based on demographics, behavior, or engagement history. 

Craft targeted content sequences that guide leads through the sales funnel, providing valuable information at each stage. HubSpot workflows allow you to automate the delivery of these personalized campaigns, ensuring timely and relevant interactions.

Maximize Customer Engagement

Beyond initial lead capture, sustained customer engagement is vital. Use HubSpot workflows to automate engagement strategies, such as drip campaigns, triggered emails, and personalized content delivery. 

By understanding your audience's behavior and preferences, you can create dynamic workflows that adapt to their journey, fostering continuous engagement and increasing the likelihood of conversion.


Craft Personalized Content and Messaging

Personalization goes beyond addressing customers by their first name. Leverage data insights to create content that resonates with each segment of your audience. Use HubSpot workflows to dynamically populate emails and landing pages with personalized information, ensuring your communication feels tailored and relevant. Personalized content enhances the customer experience, leading to higher engagement and brand loyalty.

Tailor Communication Based on Customer Behavior

Implementing behavior-based triggers and conditions is crucial for effective personalization. HubSpot workflows allow you to track and respond to customer interactions in real-time. For example, if a contact consistently engages with video content, automate workflows to deliver more video-based material. 

By adapting your communication to individual behaviors, you demonstrate an understanding of your customers' preferences, building stronger connections and increasing the impact of your marketing efforts.

HubSpot Workflows: Your Key to Marketing Automation

HubSpot's versatile tools empower marketers to streamline marketing processes and adapt to evolving customer needs. The strategic deployment of HubSpot workflows emerges as a key catalyst for achieving lasting success and fostering enduring customer relationships.

New call-to-action


Nicole is a HubSpot Operations Lead. She also works on campaign management for clients. A Pittsburgh native, she is a lover of the outdoors, good food, and taking advantage of every travel opportunity that comes her way.

Article Contents

Leave a Comment