Integrating HubSpot with Your SaaS App: Goals, Use Cases & Processes

Planning ahead and building out comprehensive HubSpot marketing campaigns using your app analytics and feedback tools end up saving you time, money, and frustrations. Not to mention you won’t miss out on those opportunities you may have looked over if you didn’t have the information in front of you.

The marketing lifecycle from lead to customer is the lifeforce of a campaign. Keeping it personal is paramount to developing relationships and making conversions count. 

So how does integrating your app with HubSpot help you in the long-run with your marketing initiatives? Here are just a couple of things to keep in mind.


Goals and Use Cases

Let’s first look at three big use cases for integration:

1: Knowing What Your Users Are Doing

Having a clear understanding of knowing what your users are doing allows you to service them in the most personal way. If you know a user has logged in to your app and used it a couple of times, but didn’t do anything meaningful, and then stopped using it for the next 6 months, you can target those people through HubSpot marketing campaigns. Why is this important? Because it gives you the opportunity to figure out why the user isn’t using the app. Are they having issues with your product? Do they just not need it? By reaching out and providing helpful tips on how best to use your app will most likely keep them as customers.

A good example of a company doing this is PieSync, an iPaaS company that helps businesses increase productivity by keeping your contacts in sync. I signed up for an account with them and started to connect two different applications where I wanted to sync my contact records. I only got to the part of connecting the apps in PieSync, but then got distracted and never completed the configuration. I received an email from PieSync the next day asking me if I needed any help with my configuration and giving me a how-to video in case I needed it. 

If you take advantage of this information, you can have a well-thought-out retargeting campaign that gets users to become life-long customers.

2: Upselling Customers

If you have a customer that is on one of your low-tiered packages, but see that they may in fact need a more advanced option, this would be the perfect opportunity to upsell those users. By providing meaningful and personal messages as to what they are doing, and what can help them do it better will most likely increase conversions in your upsells.

3: Product Feedback

What better way of knowing what your product roadmap should be than seeing what people are actually using within your app? If you see a user is only using only one feature of your product, you can reach out to them to get some feedback as to why they aren’t using it. It can help you understand where your product lacks and how you can improve it. 

You know that people using your product already love it. Customer success is easy to understand. But if people are unsure and not using your product regularly, try to figure out why that is. Do they need assistance? Are technical issues getting in the way? When you understand this, you can send targeted emails to those users to ensure you keep them as customers.

Overall you have more targeted marketing, and it helps you understand your roadmap in the future of your product.

4: It’s Better Connected

Managing personalization and contextualization without adequate tools can be an uncontrolled and frustrating process, and at a certain point, your marketing efforts will unfold and extend into an unmanageable field of loose ends, lost causes, and non-trackable efforts.

Keeping customer and lead information organized, integrated, and up-to-date is fundamental to executing a successful inbound marketing program. Putting strong organizational systems in place from the get-go is the best way to make sure you’re collecting the most valuable data and optimizing what you can achieve with it.

Building the Integration

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits and objectives of some common use cases for connecting HubSpot to your SaaS app, let’s now look at how to do the implementation process itself.

Getting Started

When doing any kind of integration, the first thing you need to do is take a step back and look at your business objectives from a bird's eye view. It can get extremely complicated if you do not first map out everything you want to send from your SaaS app to your marketing automation system. Below are a couple of suggestions on how to get started.

Get Everyone Involved

And I mean everyone. This is going to be a big project, so understanding what each department (developers, managers, leadership, etc) wants to achieve is key to a successful integration. Every department will have their wants and needs with this integration, so it’s best to have numerous working sessions and discussions to determine what the final outcome will be when you have finalized the integration. 

Document, Document, Document

I honestly cannot say this enough. It’s extremely important to document every discussion and work session you have in order to reference the document during the integration. When you have finalized your document for each business objective and defined what each department wants, it’s best to get signatures from everyone that they have agreed. It’s important to note that this document is not the end all be all, and you can make changes down the line — but you need a clear path to get it up and running in order to make changes down the line. When having these meetings, always think about the future to set up the integration for success when you make changes down the line.

Build Your Mappings

Now that you have got the final approval on the business objectives of the integration, it’s time to map out the integration. What actions from your app will trigger what property fields in your marketing automation to update? If you spend the time to draw and map this out, it will save you so much time in the long run. You will document what custom property fields on what objects  in HubSpot you want to map to and what the triggers are to update those property fields. I have used tools like Lucidchart to help visualize the flow.

Once you’re finished with this, it’s integration time!

Set Up a Sandbox Environment

It’s best to never do any type of integration in your live environment, so you’ll need to set up a sandbox environment. In most cases, your integration will only be a one-way integration and not a bi-directional one, so you’d only need to set up a sandbox environment in HubSpot. As of 2021, setting up a sandbox in HubSpot has never been easier. Learn more here. It’s time to start testing! 

Test Real-Life Scenarios

After you've spent some time testing in your sandbox, it’s time to really test out real life scenarios to truly ensure the integration will work as you want. Remember that document you created to determine your business process and flows? Well now is the time to reference that sheet and play out every scenario. Once you determine that every situation is working, it’s time to roll out to the live environment.

Move to Live Environment

When you’re ready to move to the live environment, it’s best to do it slowly. The last thing you want to do is switch everything to your live environment and something goes wrong and all your data gets overwritten. Cleaning up a mess is a lot harder than just taking it slowly from the start. As you’re slowly moving it over, it’s best to monitor and test daily as you’re doing the transition.

You’re Done, Now What?

Just because you have successfully built out your HubSpot integration doesn’t mean you can turn away and just let it run. With these types of integrations, it’s always important to monitor and track to make sure things are still running smoothly. API calls break sometimes, and business objectives change, so it’s imperative this is an ongoing process. But since you have documentation of everything you’ve done, it’s easy to continuously make improvements!

This post was originally published July 2020 and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.