10 Hacks to Clean Up a Messy HubSpot CRM in Under 24 Hours

10 Hacks to Clean Up a Messy HubSpot CRM in Under 24 Hours

Doing a little spring cleaning? I definitely am. And in between cleaning out clutter from the garage (so. many. empty. boxes.) and banishing dust bunnies, I'll also be doing some digital cleanup. 

By definition, a CRM can get pretty messy: contacts, deals, quotes, tasks, notes all need tending, and in the course of a busy day it's easy to let simple maintenance slide into a major chore. "Please clean up my messy CRM" is one of the most requested HubSpot tasks we get. Although, it's not always phrased that way. More often, you know your portal is messy when you start saying things like "I can never find what I need."

An in-depth fix to a messy portal will take time, but if you're ready to get cleaning there are quick things you can do to make a big impact. Our HubSpot team has rounded up 10 hacks you can easily do in under 24 hours to tidy up your CRM.

10 Hacks to Clean Up a Messy HubSpot CRM in Under 24 Hours

1. Check form fields + properties

This is probably the most important step, but fair warning - it's also the one that will take you the longest. Double-check your most vital forms to ensure that you're using the proper fields - for example, are you using the default "First Name" field that comes with HubSpot, or did a team member create a new form field called "first name"? 

2. Create data formatting conventions

You can avoid duplicate form fields by creating a formatting convention for your fields and properties (make all states a 2-letter abbreviation for example). Document this somewhere - ideally in your HubSpot portal, or use Google Sheets Docs or Excel - and share it with anyone on your team who uses HubSpot. This will help users know what properties/form fields exist before they create new ones, as well as formatting/naming conventions to follow if they do need to create a custom field.

Note: A quick de-dupe of properties is VERY easy with Ops Hub!

3. Look for companies and contacts with no names

During a manual import, it's easy for contacts to be imported with no names but just email addresses. Look for contacts where First Name and/or Last Name fields are blank. Assess whether these contacts can be updated with a name (if known). You may need to reach out to your sales or customer service teams to identify contacts. If their email address looks spammy and the contact hasn't taken any recent actions, you may just want to mark them as spam.

4. Set up an email suppression list

Creating an email suppression list is a great way to keep your email bounces low, and your overall CRM clean. Create an active list called "Email Suppression List" with the following filters: 

  • Email hard bounce reason is known; or
  • Marketing emails bounced is greater than 5; or
  • Unsubscribed from all email is equal to True; or
  • Email address quarantined is equal to True; or
  • Invalid email address is equal to True

If you have any contact properties for solicitations, include that in this list as well. Once you've created this list, you can exclude it from marketing email blasts and can create a workflow to mark these contacts as non-marketing.

Related Content: How to Manage Your Number of Marketing Contacts in HubSpot

5. Use association labels

Use association labels for parent/child companies, or to show how business is being done. Some use case examples from HubSpot are:

  • A contact can be Manager at one company, but also Former employee at another company.
  • A deal can have multiple associated contacts, one Decision maker and another Billing contact.
  • Two company locations are associated, where one is the Headquarters and the other is the Regional Office.
  • Multiple contacts from the same family are associated, with labels for Partner, Parent, and Child.

Creating relevant association labels will help keep your data clean and accurate.

▶ Tutorial: Create and use association labels

6. Use folders wherever you can

Folders are an easy and extremely effective way of keeping your HubSpot tidy. Templates, snippets, workflows, emails, landing pages and sequences all allow you to create folders and subfolders. Organizing your content into folders also makes it easy to find what you're looking for. 

Pro tip: If you're not sure where to start with folders, start with team + function. For example, if both your sales teams and customer service teams use sequences, create a folder for each team.

7. Use descriptions in fields and workflows

A lot of redundancy and clutter in HubSpot happens from multiple people using the same tool. What might seem like an obvious label to one person is a confusing roadblock to another. One hack to reduce clutter is to utilize the description options whenever possible - but always for fields and workflows. Adding a quick description of what and why gets all users on the same page.

8. Review your integrations

HubSpot monitors and notifies you on integrations and necessary updates, but sometimes you might not see an update. Sometimes integrations stop mapping data properly, or encounter unreported issues. Take the time to review your integrations and ensure they're working correctly.

9. Delete old custom properties you aren't using anymore

You likely have irrelevant or outdated custom properties you don't need around anymore - for example, from form fields on an event registration or special promotion page. Take some time to remove these properties from your account. Not only will it help clean up your CRM, but it will also prevent other team members from accidentally using those properties in the future.

10. Turn off/archive old content

If you're using any other HubSpot Hub in addition to CRM, your account can quickly become cluttered with crusty old content. Old workflows, emails, landing pages and forms can all be safely unpublished and archived. I recommend archiving instead of deleting for almost anything - that way, you can restore it if needed. A good place to start with retiring content is past events - typically, those don't live on your site anymore and you won't need to keep other content live.

Longer-Term Fix: Work with a HubSpot Partner

The quick fixes above are a start, but often, they're not enough to keep clutter at bay and maintain your CRM at an optimal level. Most HubSpot CRMs become messy due to a combination of a lack of time and employee training. Ensuring your HubSpot is kept clean often requires spending hours of your time or pulling team members away from vital duties to help with data clean-up. If you don't have spare time (and who does!), you can lean on HubSpot experts who will conduct an in-depth audit of all of your Hubs, provide recommendations and implement those recommendations - with minimal time investment on your end.

Get the Most out of HubSpot CRM with a HubSpot Partner Agency

HubSpot-Platform-Enablement-AccreditedBizzyWeb is a HubSpot Platinum Partner: we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for all hubs. Our team has over 196 certifications in HubSpot (and constantly growing). No matter what your HubSpot needs are, our team is ready to handle them.

Plus, we are the only agency in Minnesota with a Platform Enablement Accreditation from HubSpot - sounds fancy, but it means we're top-notch in making HubSpot work within your business.

BizzyWeb is a Minneapolis-based digital marketing and web design agency that helps companies get the high-quality leads they need to grow and thrive. Our tactics include inbound marketing, SEO, advertising, web design, content creation and sales automation. We are an accredited HubSpot Platinum Partner and we offer full-service HubSpot onboarding, enablement and strategy for new and current users.

Jen Meyer
Author: Jen Meyer
Jen Meyer is the COO and Vice President of Marketing at BizzyWeb, and a HubSpot expert.