HubSpot marketing subscription type and marketing contacts: What's the difference?


This blog post is a part of the HubSpot Tips & Tricks video series by Actuado. In each blog post, you'll find a useful tip in video format, with transcription.


HubSpot marketing subscription type and marketing contacts: What's the difference?


Video transcript

Marketing contacts, marketing subscription types, it all sounds the same. And to be honest, sometimes it's also confusing to me. But if you want to send marketing emails in HubSpot, you need to understand the difference.

Welcome to HubSpot Tips and Tricks! I'm Jasna from Actuado and today I'll explain what is the difference between HubSpot marketing subscription type and marketing contacts

If you are using HubSpot marketing plan you probably know that HubSpot charges by the number of contacts you have in your CRM. Which can get expensive. 

So HubSpot introduced marketing contacts that make it possible to choose which contacts you'll be billed for. That means you can set contacts as marketing contacts if you want to market to these contacts by sending marketing emails or newsletters and using these contacts as audiences in the ads tool. 

If you just want to have them as contacts in the CRM, there is no need to set them as marketing contacts.

What if you want to set some marketing contacts to non-marketing contacts? You can do that in settings, but you need to be mindful of the fact that they will be set as non-marketing contacts on the next update date, which we can see is the 1st day of the next month. 

But if you want to set non-marketing contacts to marketing contacts that will be reflected immediately. However you can't set contacts as marketing then non-marketing in the same month.

OK, now we learned about marketing contacts. But is that the same as the marketing subscription type? It's not! I know, confusing, but bare with me.

You do need to set contacts you want to send marketing emails to as marketing contacts, but you also need to have a lawful basis to communicate with these contacts through email which is represented by the subscription types. As you know in the EU we have the GDPR. In HubSpot you can enable and enforce the GDPR setting, so that only the users who opted-in to receive marketing emails (and this is reflected in the specific subscription type) are allowed to be sent marketing emails.

There can be several subscription types, but one of the few you already got in your HubSpot, is the marketing information subscription type. Go to Settings > Marketing > Email > Subscription Type to see it. Of course, you can also rename it, so perhaps that is less confusing to users in your company. You might also add new subscription types.

When you send out marketing emails, you'll have to choose which subscription type this email will be sent to, so that we can make sure only contacts who opted to, say, marketing emails, receive these them. You can only send one marketing email to one subscription type, so if you want to send the same email to more than one, you'll have to clone it and send it again by choosing another subscription type.


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Jasna Suhadolc

Jasna is the founder of Actuado and a seasoned digital marketing expert with over 2 decades of experience. She works with international clients on CRM implementation, inbound marketing and sales strategies by providing consulting, training and speaking services. She has a passion for new technologies and shares her knowledge of digital marketing with Doba faculty students. Her agency partners with HubSpot and Vidyard. She is also the author of the book New opportunities of e-communication, a sought-after speaker at conferences and a frequent jury member at awards. She was a long-time member of the Management Board of IABC EMENA.