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How to Clean Up HubSpot Contacts In HubSpot CRM (+ Data Cleansing Tools)

There are many reasons why HubSpot has such a cult following. It’s a user-friendly, all-in-one platform that enables your teams to provide customer service, market, and sell better. As a result, you significantly boost the customer experience.

It’s like a gift that keeps on giving: Happy customers means customer retention. They’re also a great source of referrals, as well as keeping your pipeline full of upsell opportunities. In addition, your employees get to work with a wide variety of tools that make their jobs easier. No matter how you look at it, everybody wins. 

But the road to happiness doesn’t just end with you switching to HubSpot. Let’s take the customer relationship management (CRM) software, for example. We’re going to focus specifically on the CRM because each hub could do with its own blog

When you import your contacts and start adding in new ones, you may feel your heart swell up with pride as you watch your business grow. You know more people. You can launch bigger campaigns, send more marketing emails, follow up with more prospects… until some of the data becomes outdated. Then, it suddenly doesn’t look as promising as it once was. 

What’s a business to do? Clean up the database; that’s what. But first, let’s do an overview of why HubSpot remains a top choice in the first place. Then we’ll go over the benefits of updating your contacts, and how to do it. 

The Benefits of Using the HubSpot CRM

Here are a few of the key benefits of using the always-free HubSpot CRM for your business. Regardless of your industry or type of business, you can reap the advantages. 

It Helps You Bridge the Gap Between Sales and Marketing

HubSpot is known for providing one of the best marketing automation platforms on the market in its marketing hub; and it integrates seamlessly with HubSpot’s CRM. When you use these tools together, your sales and marketing teams are able to communicate and see each other’s reports while going about their respective duties.

It Integrates With Your Business Website

HubSpot’s premium tier subscription has a feature that integrates your CRM with your website. With this feature, you will be notified when a lead visits your site. This way, you can stay up to date on all the content your leads view, the information they download, and the other pages they engage with.

You can then leverage this knowledge to create targeted, personalized conversations that provide more value to your prospects as you guide them along their buyer’s journey.

It Allows You to Track Communication

HubSpot’s CRM gathers all data relevant to each contact. This means that every prior communication, previous purchase, any customer service issues, preferences, job roles, apprehensions, etc… is all stored in a single, centralized location. This provides your sales reps with full visibility of what a contact may need to nudge them towards signing that sales contract with you.  

It Automates Data Entry

With the HubSpot CRM, your team won’t have to worry about spending time logging calls, emails, interactions, or meetings. Instead, information is automatically collected and organized in the system. Everyone’s job is easier, and they can focus on more complex tasks. 

The CRM also makes it easy to categorize deals by the stage they are in. The rep chooses the deal stage for the contact, and the system automatically handles weighing, summation, and visualization.

It Has Comprehensive Sales Reporting Tools

HubSpot’s CRM also comes with dashboards and reporting tools; which your sales reps can use to get full context of prospects and deals, and prioritize them accordingly.  Sales reps can also evaluate their personal sales performance and keep track of their achievements and goals with HubSpot CRM reporting tools. 

Why You Should Update Your Contacts Database Regularly

To make the most of these benefits, you need to ensure your contact database is accurate and always up to date. This process is called data cleansing, and it involves removing duplicate data, closed email accounts, non working phone numbers, and unengaged contacts. 

Now, when speaking of unengaged contacts, don’t just remove them immediately. If they haven’t responded or interacted with your brand in a while, send them re-engagement emails. Maybe you’ve been out of mind because they didn’t need your services for a while; or maybe now you’re offering new services that are relevant to them. Let them know. Give them an opportunity to read about how you can help them again. 

If they remain unresponsive, then it is time to include them in the list of contacts to get rid of. 

Book a Free HubSpot Audit

Open Rates

Your open rate is the percentage of email recipients who opened your emails during a particular campaign. This number is subtracted from the total number of recipients you emailed. 

You want to keep track of this metric to determine whether your marketing efforts are effective or if it’s time to try something else. If it’s too low, it likely means that you're targeting the wrong audience — and thus, wasting time and money. 

This is not a matter of manipulating KPIs to reflect a number you’d be more comfortable with; but of focusing your efforts on attracting qualified leads. In addition, by eliminating inactive or closed email accounts, your open rate will be more accurate. 

Clickthrough Rates

Your clickthrough rate is the percentage of email recipients who click on a call to action button in your emails. It’s calculated by dividing the number of unique clicks by the number of opened messages. 

Effective marketing emails entice the reader to click through to your website or take any other desired action — download content, enroll in a webinar, sign up for an event, request a demo, etc…

Once you cleanse your database, you’ll be able to better determine whether your CTAs are effective. If they’re going largely ignored by a somewhat engaged audience, it may be time to do some A/B testing

Things To Consider Before Deleting Contacts in HubSpot

You should proceed with caution when you're looking to delete contact records. Carefully consider these factors:

Identify the Contact Types That Should Be Deleted

Categorize your unengaged contacts in a list, and determine which ones are safe to be purged from your database. For instance, the following contact types are safe to be deleted:

  • Hard bounces
  • Unsubscribes
  • Contacts from unknown sources
  • Event attendees 
  • Contacts from purchased email lists
  • People you added from social media 

Deleting Contacts Also Deletes All Past Statistics of That Contact

All contact history is deleted along with the contact information. This includes information about the links they clicked, the campaigns they’ve engaged with, and any other actions they’ve taken on your website.

This impacts your data by deleting the contact from all campaign reports. If you need to keep contacts to collect meaningful data about the success of certain campaigns, you may want to wait until a specified time (e.g., the end of a quarter) to delete contacts.

Deleted Contacts Cannot Be Recovered

If you think you’ll need these contacts again, you may want to back them up into a CSV file because once you delete them, that’s it. They’re gone forever. 

Keep contacts that you think may be useful to you in the future, and delete only the ones you’re sure won’t bring you any value.

Once you consider these elements, you are ready to begin a HubSpot data cleansing.

5 Ways to Conduct HubSpot Data Cleansing

Here are five ways to conduct data cleansing in HubSpot.

1. Use the De-Duplicate Tool in Contacts.

Duplicates cost you money because HubSpot’s pricing increases with the volume of contacts you have. Luckily, there’s a tool that allows you to de-duplicate contacts.

In HubSpot, go to your contacts at the top of the navigation bar.

  • Select “Actions” in the top right, then choose “Manage Duplicates.”
  • A list of duplicates will be split in two columns; choose "Review."
  • Review the information of each contact to determine which contact to keep and which to delete.

2. Identify What Data Problems You Should Clean Up

Assess the overall state of your data. Check for data that is not up to date, useful, or relevant. Decide what is worth keeping and what you should eliminate.

Bad data often stems from human error (such as typos when entering an email address), but here are some additional situations you should check for:

  • Hard bounced or unsubscribed contacts: It’s best to delete these contacts from your database when you see them. 
  • Unengaged contacts: Properties such as the last marketing email opened, recent sales email, replied date, and recent conversion date in HubSpot are good indicators of a contact’s engagement level.

3. Create Workflows to Update Data

HubSpot workflows can be used for more than email and sales automation. Use them to update your data by categorizing it and setting enrollment triggers. This helps sort out your good data from your bad data. 

For instance, you can categorize your contacts by region and get rid of contacts that don’t fit in a specific region. Create a workflow with criteria that says the state or region is ____. Then, you can create a yes or no option. Workflows are expansive, so you can set the criteria as you need to simplify your process. 

Sort your contacts and see where your contact data stands so you can easily get rid of the contacts that don’t fit anymore.

4. Use the List Feature to Check for Missing Data

Deleting lists is easier than deleting contacts one by one in HubSpot. Create active lists with unknown buyer personas or view contacts without companies. Once you set your list criteria, you can delete the whole list of contacts together to save you time.

Here's how to create lists to delete contacts:

  • Navigate to Contacts, then use the dropdown to select Lists.
  • Select Create List.
  • Make sure it is an active list.
  • Select the filters that would qualify your contacts to be deleted. You may also select qualifiers to segment your contacts further.
  • Create a reminder to check and delete the list periodically.

5. Seek Help From HubSpot

It is a lot of work to keep on top of cleaning up your data. You have to be dedicated to setting aside time every month or every week to clean up your CRM. 

If you don’t have time, reach out to HubSpot or a HubSpot partner agency that can help you use tools that allow you to strategize, plan, and execute data cleansing in a simple but effective way. 

Tips To Make the Data Cleaning Process More Efficient

Before you get too excited and start any of the above mentioned actions listed above, take some time to develop standard operating procedures (SOPs). 

Figure Out Who Is In Charge Of Cleaning Your CRM Database

Don’t just agree at a meeting that your company should clean up your CRM and leave it at that. Establish who’s going to do it and whether it will be a sole person’s responsibility or a specific team’s effort. 

Set a Schedule at Regular Intervals

How often is the data in your CRM going to be cleansed? Quarterly? Every six months? Yearly? The right answer will depend on the nature of your business, length of sales cycles, campaigns, and how extensive your contacts list is. 

Agree On Nomenclature

Managing contacts will be a lot easier if everyone uses the same format and enters the same type of information. Figure out what makes the most sense for your business, and include the information in your company’s policies or SOPs knowledge base.

3 Effective Data Cleansing Tools

Here are three data cleansing tools that will help speed up your HubSpot cleansing process.

1. Insycle


Insycle is a HubSpot integration that finds and merges duplicate contacts, companies, and deals in HubSpot. The best part? They do it in bulk, automatically. 

With Insycle, you can cleanse contacts, deals, and companies to improve personalization and achieve high-quality data. It also allows you to schedule the HubSpot cleansing process so they run automatically.

2. Data Ladder


Data Ladder is one of the fastest and most accurate data matching and cleansing solutions. It has a highly visual platform that is designed to quickly identify and resolve contact data quality issues. 

Data Ladder also matches and links records to de-duplicate and integrate data sets from almost any source.

3. WinPure


Use WinPure to quickly and accurately clean data and remove all the duplicates from your CRM. With WinPure, you get advanced data profiling, intelligent data matching, and WinPure CleanMatrix, which provides a simplified method of applying data cleaning processes.

Sticking to a regular routine for cleaning up the contacts in your CRM, no matter how you go about it, is vital. This ensures you can maintain control over your data.

This puts you in the right spot to keep up with a great HubSpot CRM strategy that streamlines contact management and supports your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts. 

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Alejandra Zilak

Alejandra Zilak

Alejandra Zilak is a content writer, ghostwriter, blogger, and editor. She has a bachelor's degree in journalism and a Juris Doctor. She's licensed to practice law in four jurisdictions and worked as an attorney for almost a decade before switching careers to write full time. She loves being part of the Bluleadz team and implementing SEO best practices with her content. When not working, she loves to read, write fiction, and long distance running.