Mastering HubSpot Workflow Goals: A Success Plan

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
April 7, 2024

Understanding and setting ‘HubSpot workflow goals’ is crucial for any marketer aiming to measure and enhance campaign performance. This guide strips away the complexities, laying out a straightforward path to select, apply, and track workflow goals effectively, ensuring your contacts smoothly transition through your marketing funnel.

Key Takeaways

  • HubSpot workflow goals effectively measure and refine marketing strategies by unenrolling contacts who meet specific criteria, thereby indicating the success of the workflow.
  • Setting up precise, actionable workflow goals in HubSpot aids in tracking progress, nurturing leads, and aligning marketing efforts with broader objectives to enhance lead management and customer satisfaction.
  • Regular evaluation and adaptation of workflow goals are critical to address changing market trends and contact behaviors, ensuring the continued relevance and effectiveness of marketing strategies.

Understanding HubSpot Workflow Goals

Illustration of workflow goals

In essence, HubSpot workflow goals define the ultimate aim of a workflow. Once the enrolled contacts meet the goal criteria, they are automatically unenrolled. This feature plays a fundamental role in measuring the success of contact-based workflows and refining marketing efforts. By offering a clear measurement of success, workflow goals serve as a compass, steering your marketing strategies in the right direction within HubSpot.

Imagine running a marathon without a finish line. It would be challenging to determine whether your performance was good or bad without a clear endpoint to reach. Similarly, without a defined workflow goal, it would be difficult to gauge the effectiveness of your marketing efforts. You wouldn’t know if your contact-based workflows are achieving their intended aim or if they are falling short. This is why setting up workflow goals within your HubSpot account is crucial.

The Role of Workflow Goals in Contact-Based Workflows

Workflow goals in HubSpot form the backbone of contact-based workflows. They provide a clear focus for your objectives and allow for the effective monitoring of strategies used to nurture contacts. These goals can be tailored to include progress indicators like migration to a new lifecycle stage, engagement with targeted content, or achieving a specific number of interactions. This customization aids in advancing contacts through the sales funnel.

Think of workflow goals as checkpoints in a video game. These checkpoints track your progress and guide you towards the ultimate objective of the game. Similarly, workflow goals in contact-based workflows serve as these checkpoints, tracking the progress of contacts and guiding them towards the ultimate objective of your marketing strategy. By achieving these goals, contacts move closer to becoming customers, marking a win for your marketing efforts and an achieved workflow goal.

Workflow Goal Criteria: What You Need to Know

Setting workflow goals that mirror the subsequent step in the sales process is crucial. For instance, if the goal of your marketing strategy is to convert nurtured contacts into Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) or Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), your workflow goals should reflect this objective. When contacts meet the workflow goal criteria, they are automatically unenrolled from the workflow. This prevents them from receiving redundant or unnecessary actions.

Common workflow goals revolve around lifecycle stage changes, engagements such as form submissions and clicks, and quantifiable interactions with content like page views or email clicks. Think of these criteria as the milestones your contacts need to reach in their customer journey. Each milestone indicates a positive step towards conversion, and reaching these milestones should be celebrated as a sign of a well-performing workflow. Utilizing a workflow editor can help streamline this process and ensure your workflow goals are met efficiently.

Setting Up Workflow Goals in HubSpot

HubSpot workflow goals setup

Now that we understand what workflow goals are and their importance in contact-based workflows, it’s time to dive into setting up these goals in HubSpot. Workflow goals play a significant role in measuring the effectiveness of your marketing strategies. They provide insights that can help you refine your business strategies. Defining precise, actionable, and measurable goals for workflows can create a more structured and focus-driven marketing approach in HubSpot.

Well-defined workflow goals align with broader marketing objectives, aiding in nurturing leads effectively through the sales funnel. To set a goal in HubSpot, navigate to the workflows page, select the workflow, click on ‘Goal,’ and define your goal criteria. These goals can be created based on various actions such as email opens, clicks, or form submissions, ensuring they are linked to your desired outcomes. Once a goal is achieved by a contact, they are unenrolled from the workflow, signifying their progression to the next stage of the customer journey.

Regularly reviewing and refining workflow goals is crucial to adapt to changing market dynamics and contact engagement levels.

Defining Your Workflow Goal Criteria

Workflow goals in HubSpot serve as the guiding light for a contact-based workflow, measuring success in engaging and nurturing contacts. Common workflow goals include:

  • Advancing a contact’s lifecycle stage to Customer
  • Tracking engagement indicators such as form submissions or CTA clicks
  • Interactions with marketing content

When defining workflow goal criteria, it’s recommended to select clear qualifying actions that indicate a contact’s progress, like booking a meeting or signing up for a demo following an initial content interaction. To set a workflow goal in HubSpot, you choose and set goal criteria in the workflow’s Goals tab, which can include conditions like lifecycle stage progression or measurable contact engagements.

Configuring Workflow Enrollment Criteria

Setting up workflow enrollment criteria is like setting up a filter for contacts. These criteria can include conditions where contacts are only enrolled if they have not met the workflow’s goal criteria, to target them with relevant marketing emails. As an enrolled contact progresses, HubSpot workflows allow for the use of goal criteria as enrollment triggers, enrolling contacts based on achievements in previous workflows, ensuring marketing efforts adapt to the contact’s journey.

To initiate a workflow, HubSpot provides a variety of enrollment triggers based on certain events such as contact interactions with ads or form submissions. Re-enrollment settings can be configured in HubSpot to auto-enroll contacts when specific trigger events reoccur, accommodating ongoing engagement. Moreover, using if/then logic, HubSpot workflows can be configured to account for scenarios where an enrollment trigger is based on the non-occurrence of an event.

Monitoring and Evaluating Workflow Goal Performance

Monitoring and evaluating workflow goal performance is as crucial as setting the goals themselves. Goal conversion rates in HubSpot are calculated based on contacts that have been sent a marketing email in the workflow, and are available with Marketing Hub Professional and Enterprise accounts. HubSpot users can track and analyze the workflow’s goal conversion rate using reporting tools found in the Goals tab of a contact-based workflow, providing metrics and visual reports.

Contacts who meet the workflow goal after enrollment are counted towards the workflow’s goal conversion rate, while contacts meeting the goal upon initial enrollment are excluded to maintain accuracy. Workflow goal conversion rates and workflow performance can be adjusted and analyzed over time, without the existing goal data being affected, except when all goal criteria are cleared, which resets the conversion rate to zero.

Enhancing Marketing Strategies with HubSpot Workflow Goals

Nurturing contacts through targeted marketing content

Leveraging HubSpot workflow goals can significantly enhance your marketing strategies. Workflows in HubSpot simplify lead generation and processing, thereby improving marketing initiatives and saving time for teams. By understanding customer journeys, HubSpot workflows align in-house initiatives with broader growth goals, enhancing overall marketing efforts.

Tailored HubSpot workflow goals directly enhance marketing outcomes by:

  • Leading to better qualification of leads
  • Boosting customer engagement
  • Reducing response times
  • Increasing conversion rates.

Moreover, tailoring workflow goals contributes to:

  • Improved team performance
  • Rapid creation of campaigns
  • More accurate forecasts
  • Cost reductions
  • Elevated customer satisfaction

Utilizing HubSpot workflows provides insights and outcomes integral for realizing the company’s target goals and supporting growth and expansion.

Nurturing Contacts through Targeted Marketing Content

Workflow goals can be leveraged to nurture contacts through targeted marketing content. They can track and automate actions triggered by specific contact behaviors such as form submissions and email engagement, facilitating personalized content distribution. By providing a streamlined form submission process, contacts have a better user experience, leading to increased engagement and more comprehensive lead qualification data.

Implementing separate workflows for different types of communications, such as transactional follow-ups and nurturing efforts, ensures contacts receive appropriate messages throughout their journey. It’s like having a personal assistant who knows exactly what to say to each contact, when to say it, and how to say it, based on their unique journey and interactions with your brand.

Streamlining Sales Team Collaboration

Using HubSpot’s workflow goals to unenroll contacts once they become a customer streamlines lead management by signaling the sales team to initiate targeted follow-up actions. Sales teams can promptly identify and take action on leads that have met workflow goals, such as form submissions, by directly accessing this information within the workflow details page.

Setting actions like ‘talk to sales’ form submissions as a workflow goal facilitates the qualification of leads, indicating readiness to engage with the sales team. Workflow goals can monitor contacts’ engagement, such as form submission or click-through on calls-to-action, aiding the sales team in focusing on the most promising leads.

Workflows designed to trigger internal notifications and tasks within the HubSpot CRM support the organizational functions and foster better collaboration between marketing and sales.

Adapting to Contact Trends and Lifecycle Stages

Adapting to contact trends and lifecycle stages is key to a successful marketing strategy. HubSpot workflows can automatically upgrade or downgrade contacts between lifecycle stages, such as from Lead to MQL or SQL, based on their engagement, signifying either progression or regression in the buyer’s journey. Workflow goals can be designed to unenroll contacts once a desired level of engagement is detected, or aim to re-engage them to further nurture through the sales funnel.

By using geographic and lifecycle suppression lists within workflows, contacts are ensured to receive appropriate content, respecting their current stage and location, ultimately increasing the relevance and effectiveness of the communication. Due to updates such as Apple’s iOS 15 affecting email tracking, it’s recommended to adjust workflow goals to rely on alternative engagement indicators, like clicks or replies, for more accurate measurement.

Overcoming Common Challenges with HubSpot Workflow Goals

Challenges with HubSpot workflow goals

While HubSpot workflow goals can be highly beneficial, like any tool, they present their own set of challenges. Workflows with too many goals can become challenging to manage, thereby reducing their effectiveness. HubSpot limits the number of criteria for workflow goals, which may require users to prioritize or split goals into multiple workflows.

A common mistake is having a workflow with conflicting goal criteria, which can lead to only contacts being pulled in different directions. Regularly reviewing contact lists and workflow logic helps to prevent and correct errors, keeping workflows targeted and effective. Outdated goals can lead to missed opportunities and wasted resources if they don’t evolve with market trends and customer behavior. Ensuring that the right contact meets the goal criteria is essential for success.

Hence, it’s crucial to update workflow goals periodically to reflect changes in marketing strategies, ensuring they remain aligned with current objectives. Employ flexible goal-setting techniques that can easily be adapted to cater to quickly changing conditions or unexpected market shifts.

Balancing Multiple Criteria and Goals

Balancing multiple criteria and goals can be a challenging task. Here are some important points to keep in mind:

  • Updating workflow goal criteria or adding new filters does not reset the progress tracking.
  • Clearing all goal criteria resets the number of contacts that have met the goal and the workflow’s conversion rate to zero.
  • To add multiple criteria in a workflow, consider the potential impact on performance tracking, as clearing all goal criteria reverts the conversion rate and completion counts to zero.

Using AND/OR logic within HubSpot’s goal setting allows for the management of multiple criteria, enabling precise and effective targeting for various marketing goals. This feature can be likened to a Swiss Army Knife, allowing you to tackle various challenges with a single tool, thus making your marketing strategy versatile and adaptable.

Avoiding Confusion between Suppression Lists and Workflow Goals

Understanding the difference between suppression lists and workflow goals is key to effectively managing your contacts. While both unenroll contacts from workflows, goals measure success, and suppression lists exclude specific contacts. Suppression lists are used to exclude certain contacts like competitors or existing customers from workflow enrollment and are especially recommended when no marketing email send is involved in the workflow.

Workflow goals count towards the goal conversion rate when a marketing email within the workflow is sent to the contacts, hence goals should be used when the workflow includes marketing emails to measure nurturing success accurately. An unsubscribed suppression list should always be maintained to comply with email regulations and protect the integrity of your workflow goals.

Ensuring Active Contacts and Form Submissions

Ensuring active contacts and form submissions are accurately tracked is crucial for a successful marketing strategy. Workflow goals in HubSpot are particularly significant when a workflow contains a marketing email send, as the goals are designed to measure success based on email interactions. Contacts count towards the goal conversion rate only if they have been sent a marketing email as part of the workflow, stressing the need for accurate setup of workflow goals in email campaigns.

To effectively track form submissions, it’s recommended to use a single form across various assets, leveraging the URL of each asset as a unique identifier for submission tracking. This is akin to using a unique bar code for each product in a supermarket, allowing for efficient and accurate tracking of each item.

Real-Life Examples of Successful HubSpot Workflow Goals

To bring all these concepts to life, let’s look at some real-life examples of successful HubSpot workflow goals. Handled, a company with 121 locations, provides an excellent example of the effective use of HubSpot workflow goals that contributed to their expansion, as detailed in a HubSpot case study.

Think with Google also presented a case study on HubSpot that included success stories from three different companies. These cases emphasized the beneficial outcomes achieved through data-driven HubSpot workflow goals. These real-life examples provide a tangible perspective on the power of well-implemented workflow goals in driving business growth and expansion.


In summary, mastering HubSpot workflow goals is crucial for any business aiming to streamline their marketing efforts and drive growth. By understanding their role in contact-based workflows, setting them up correctly, and overcoming common challenges, you can harness the full potential of these tools.

We’ve journeyed through the mechanics of workflow goals, delved into their setup, explored how they enhance marketing strategies, and even examined real-life success stories. The path to mastering HubSpot workflow goals may seem complex, but with the insights and knowledge shared in this guide, you are now equipped to navigate it confidently. Embrace the power of workflow goals and watch your marketing efforts soar!

Frequently Asked Questions

What's the difference between suppression lists and workflow goals?

Suppression lists exclude specific contacts, while workflow goals measure success and unenroll contacts from workflows.

What is the purpose of HubSpot workflow?

The purpose of a HubSpot workflow is to reduce user error when sending emails and following up with leads, and to help businesses scale their marketing efforts by automating repetitive tasks. It saves time and ensures consistency in the communication process.

How do I set goals on HubSpot?

To set goals on HubSpot, click the settings icon and go to Reports > Goals. Then, click Create and follow the prompts to customize your goal based on the object type.

How do I see the performance of a workflow in HubSpot?

To see the performance of a workflow in HubSpot, you can navigate to the left-hand navigation and find "Performance" to access engagement metrics such as email opens, clicks, and goal criteria. Additionally, you can review the workflow's history and performance on the workflow details page or analyze its effectiveness using the enrollment history from the workflow editor.

How do I set a goal for a workflow HubSpot?

To set a goal for a workflow in HubSpot, navigate to Automation > Workflows in your account, click on the contact-based workflow, go to the Goals tab, and then click Set goal. Select and set the goal criteria in the dialog box, and click Save. This will help you effectively track and achieve your workflow objectives.

Bastien Paul
Bastien Paul
Bastien is the CRO of Hublead. With over 5 years in marketing and sales, using Hubspot, Bastien has written several studies and marketing guides based on data, many of which are well-known in the industry. Bastien likes to question standard marketing and sales beliefs and aims to make things simpler and more efficient.
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