HubSpot Workflows: How to automate onboarding for new customers

This hack will help you use lifecycle stages to send an onboarding programme.

If you're like our client, whose onboarding for new customers revolves around a set process then HubSpot's workflows can help.

Whether you are using HubSpot's full suite or you're integrating with another sales tool like Salesforce, you can use automation within HubSpot to send a welcome onboarding sequence. 

Step 1: Use HubSpot's lifecycle stage property

Have a clear definition of your lifecycle stages so that you can automate off the back of this. This means making sure your sales team are moving a deal through the pipeline correctly, so that when someone becomes a customer the automation can kick in.

Step 2: Create an automated email

Start of the workflow for onboarding new customers.

If your process then involves sending a welcome email, you'll need to create this using the HubSpot email tool. Remember: make sure you select 'automated email' when starting out the build. Once it's ready, simply publish.

Step 3: Building the workflow

The trigger should revolve around your lifecycle stage with the first step then being the automated email you've already created. Please see the screenshot.

Step 4: Get smart with branches

Step 1-3 sounds simple, and it is. But this is where it gets fun...

Step showing the if/then branch added to workflow

Now you have the basic set-up to go in whatever direction you chose. For our client, we created a line item of 'annual contract value' so that we could tailor the onboarding emails depending on how much they paid. 

Remember: Add a delay to ensure your emails are staggered

We also made sure to add in some resends if the customer failed to click on a specific link in an email. If you need your customer to follow a set-up process, or you need them to fill in some information forms then this would work great.

image of both the if/then branches

Some more options could include branches based on:

  • postcodes or regions
  • contact owner/sales rep
  • industry

And it doesn't have to just be emails that you send. We used the task functionality in HubSpot to notify the contact owner if the customer wasn't being responsive or engaged to ensure that the onboarding process was as successful as possible. You could also:

  • Add engaged contacts to a list based on their activity. This is great if you want to use these contacts in the future for referrals or case studies.  
  • Enrol in another workflow. This would be useful if you had a survey-based workflow that you'd like your contact to be sent after they've onboarded to find out how you did.



Author: Bridget Reid 

Principal Marketer