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We’re big fans of marketing automation. And what’s not to love? This technology allows us to run smarter and more powerful marketing campaigns that lead to faster, better results.

If you’ve been considering using marketing automation software HubSpot, you might have questions about what type of setup is required before your marketing campaigns are running like a well-oiled machine. As a HubSpot Gold Certified Agency Partner, we’ve helped get many small business clients up and running with our HubSpot onboarding service. Below is what the onboarding process looks like for our clients. 

HubSpot offers several different hubs: CRM & Sales Hub, Marketing Hub, Service Hub, Operations Hub and the CMS.  Though our clients have used various hubs, this article will focus on the Marketing Hub.

What happens during the HubSpot setup process?

HubSpot requires a moderate amount of work to set up each account, but don’t let the upfront work intimidate you. We’re able to help coordinate and execute much of this work on behalf of our clients, and when they do need to be involved in the onboarding procedure, we make sure the process is clear and straightforward.

Here are some of the tasks that will be completed during the setup of your HubSpot portal. While we find that most of our clients need the following set up for their account, your company’s goals and initiatives will ultimately determine what’s required.

Unless noted, these tasks are typically completed by either Simple Machines Marketing, your HubSpot Channel Consultant, or your current web developer. 

  • Connect your domain or subdomain to HubSpot.
  • Set up email sending domains.
  • Ensure that your own traffic is excluded from analytics so you don’t artificially inflate your traffic metrics.
  • If you currently blog on another platform and choose to move it to HubSpot, you can simply import it into the portal. This process is easiest when migrating from WordPress; imports from other platforms may take additional time. Otherwise, the blog will need to be set up.
  • Create templates to ensure landing pages and emails built in HubSpot mimic the look of your website.
  • Install JavaScript tracking code onto your website.
  • Import your list of contacts and ensure its up-to-date and only includes contacts who have opted-in to receive communication from your company. Although you will be responsible for supplying this list, Simple Machines can import the data into HubSpot on your behalf.
  • Create buyer personas and add them into your HubSpot portal. In most cases, buyer personas will have been created during the Simple Machines discovery process.
  • Setup any optional integrations between other systems you use and HubSpot.

How long will it take?

How quickly the portal setup takes may be impacted by how quickly you’re able to provide the s required information and, if applicable, how long it takes your web developer to make updates. Generally speaking, a portal setup can be completed within 7 – 10 business days.

How much time should I personally plan to spend during the setup process?

While much of the technical setup will be completed by Simple Machines and HubSpot, there are a few items that do require your time. 

For many clients, compiling a list of contacts and reviewing for accuracy can be the most time-consuming part of the process. How long this takes will be dependent on the size of your list and the frequency in which you’ve updated your list — both to add new contacts and remove outdated contacts or opt-outs. The smaller your list or the more frequently updated it is, the less time you’ll need before sharing your data with us. 

Some clients choose to set up integrations between HubSpot and other programs they use. While these integrations are sometimes easy to complete and require only a small amount of time, some integrations may take a few hours to test and set up.

You should also set aside a small amount of time to review templates to ensure that you’re happy with the final product.

How much time should I plan to commit to using HubSpot once it’s up and running?

Your level of commitment is a personal choice, and we have clients who are completely hands-off — letting Simple Machines be the sole operators of their portal — as well as those who are very hands-on, collaborating with Simple Machines on their daily HubSpot marketing initiatives.

If you choose to take a hands-on approach, we’ll sit down with you to show you the ins and outs of your portal. We also recommend taking at least one of HubSpot’s training courses, including the HubSpot Marketing Software Certification course for an in-depth guide to using the software and the Inbound certification course to understand the theory behind inbound marketing and tips for success. 

If you have questions about getting started with HubSpot or are looking for an agency partner to help you get the most of your marketing automation software, give us a call at (773) 219-1090, email us at or download our guide to everything HubSpot below.