April 7, 2023

The Complete HubSpot Onboarding Checklist

HubSpot Account Set Up

Getting your HubSpot account up and running is naturally the first step in your journey toward achieving HubSpot nirvana. Luckily, the setup process is straightforward as can be. Let’s walk through the steps you need to take in order to set up your account, in addition to managing other users and teams that will need to access the account.

General Account Set Up

You have a couple of options when it comes to creating your HubSpot account. Most people opt to sign up for HubSpot with their name and email address. Your other option is to sign up through your Google login or Apple ID. 

Once you’ve created your account, you’ll be automatically signed in to HubSpot. If you’re on a personal device or would like your work device to remember your login information, don’t forget to hit “Don’t ask me again on this computer” when logging in!

Create and add users

Unless you’re running things on your own, you’ll likely want to invite additional users to your account so you can collaborate in HubSpot together. To add users to your HubSpot account:

  • Click the settings icon in the main navigation bar
  • In the left sidebar menu, you’ll see ‘Users & Teams’. Click on that.
  • In the upper right of your screen, click Create user.

From here, you have two options for how you add users to your HubSpot account. You can either manually enter the email addresses of new users into the ‘Add email address(es)’ field, or you can import users from a CSV file. Keep in mind that only 100 users can be added to your account in a single CSV import, so if you’re adding a lot of users, you may have to do so through multiple CSV imports.

Create and manage teams

Within HubSpot, Teams is how you organize your users into groups that differ in terms of access privileges, reporting capabilities, administrative powers, and more. Once you’ve got all your users created in HubSpot, you’ll want to start creating teams to organize them. To do this:

  • Click the settings icon in the main navigation bar
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Users & Teams
  • From there, click the Teams tab, then click Create team

After you’ve created a team, you’ll want to give it a name! You can do so in the right panel that you’ll see after you’ve created your first team. To add more people to a team, simply click on the ‘Additional team members’ dropdown menu, then select the users that you want to add.

  • Naturally, your teams evolve, so you need to know how to edit your teams as well. To edit an existing team:
  • Click the settings icon in the main navigation bar
  • In the left sidebar menu, navigate to Users & Teams
  • From there, click the Teams tab
  • Hover over the team name that you need to adjust, then click ‘Edit’

Once you’ve followed the above steps, you’ll be able to adjust the ‘Team name’ field and can also add or remove users as needed.

PRO TIP: There are tons of permission sets that you can — and should — assign to individual users. From super admins to service reps, make sure you assign the right permissions to the right users so people can access what they need, when they need it.

HubSpot CRM Data Set Up

If you’ve worked with a CRM platform in the past, you likely can’t imagine life without it. If this is your first foray into the world of CRMs, you’re in for a treat. Ultimately, the success of your business is largely dependent on the relationships you form with your customers. 

HubSpot is an industry-leading CRM platform that helps you organize those relationships, connect in a meaningful way with your users, and ensure that all customer-related activity is consistently being tracked and monitored.

Ready to get your HubSpot CRM filled with all of your customer data? Let’s dive in.

Import Company and Contact data

Before you can launch an email nurture campaign or newsletter, you first need to get contacts and their companies into your database. Luckily, the steps you must take to import both company and contact data are very similar. 

Here’s how to start an import of company and contact data into your HubSpot CRM:

  • Set up your import files (see this HubSpot article to learn how)
  • Navigate to contacts and/or companies from the Contacts drop-down menu
  • Click Import at the top right
  • Click ‘Start an import’
  • Select ‘File from computer’

From here, you’ll have a few different options based on the data you want to import to HubSpot. 

You can import one file that either just has contacts or has both contacts and companies. You can also import multiple files and — if your files are set up correctly — associate records between the two files.

If you need help importing into HubSpot, check out this HubSpot Knowledge Base article that provides a thorough step-by-step process.

Create saved views and filtered records

Once you’ve imported your data, HubSpot makes it easy to control how you view that data to quickly find exactly what you’re looking for.

This is done by filtering records and saving views.

HubSpot allows you to quickly filter your data with four filters:

  • Contact/Company owners
  • Create date
  • Last activity date
  • Lead status 

These are located above the table of records. You can click those four drop-downs to filter.

You can also click ‘All filters’ to add custom filters.

If you want to save your view according to the filters you’ve made, you can click ‘Save view’.

Once you name your view, you can access it at any time by clicking ‘All views’ and selecting it from the list.

Another way you’ll want to organize your contacts is by segmenting them into lists. We’ll discuss that, however, in the Marketing Hub section below, as these lists will be used in your marketing efforts.

Create custom objects

If you’re a super admin in an Enterprise HubSpot account, you can create custom objects!

This is a powerful feature that you can use to customize HubSpot to fit a need that isn’t met by the standard objects in HubSpot. Just make sure that there’s not a better option within one of HubSpot’s standard objects before doing this.

If you’re ready to create a custom object, let’s dive in.

  • Click the gear-shaped settings icon in the top right corner of your HubSpot account
  • Scroll down the left side-bar and under ‘Data Management’ click the ‘Objects’ dropdown
  • Click ‘Custom Objects’
  • Click ‘Create a custom object’
  • Fill out the information in the right panel. You’ll need:
  • Object Name (Singular)
  • Object Name (Plural)
  • Primary display property
  • Property type
  • When you’re finished, click ‘Create’

Read more in our blog that breaks down custom objects for you.

You can also learn more about custom objects in the HubSpot Knowledge Base.

Create Business Units

If your company has multiple brands you’d like to manage in one HubSpot account, you can do that, too!

You can use business units to customize the branding and associate certain forms, pages, and other assets with their corresponding brands to keep things organized.

Here’s how to create a business unit:

  • Click the gear-shaped settings icon in the top right corner of your HubSpot account
  • Scroll down the left side-bar and click ‘Business Units’
  • Click ‘Create new Business Unit’ in the top right
  • Enter the name of your business unit
  • Click ‘Create’

Leverage this free checklist to start aligning your marketing, sales and  service operations.

Once you create a business unit, you can create a brand kit so you can start marketing and managing each of your brands in the same HubSpot account.

HubSpot Marketing Hub

The combined power of HubSpot CRM and HubSpot Marketing Hub makes it incredibly easy to manage your inbound marketing efforts.

The CRM gives you all the data and insights you need to deliver the right message to the right people, at the right time.

(Almost) everything we discuss in this section lives under the ‘Marketing’ dropdown in your HubSpot account.

Let’s dive in.

Segment your contacts into lists

There are two types of lists in HubSpot:

  • Active lists
  • Static lists

Active lists will update automatically based on the criteria you select. When a contact meets the criteria, they’ll be added to the list. When they no longer meet the criteria, they’ll be removed from the list.

Static lists are lists of contacts who meet the criteria at the time you save the list. Any contact who meets the criteria after you create the list will not be added to a static list automatically. You can, however, manually add and remove contacts from static lists.

To create a list, you’ll need “Write” permissions for lists in Marketing Hub.

Here’s how to find Lists in HubSpot:

  • Click the ‘Contacts’ dropdown menu in the top left of the main navigation in HubSpot
  • Click ‘Lists’
  • Click ‘Create List’

From there, you can follow the steps and start segmenting your contacts in HubSpot!

Check out our quick guide to uncover some best practices for segmenting your database.

PRO TIP: Create an active list if you’ll use that list to send marketing emails based on a contact record’s behavior or property values. You can also use active lists to segment contacts by lifecycle stage or by any property that changes over time. Use static lists for groups of contacts that won’t change over time (contact who attended an event, for example).

Create and send marketing emails

HubSpot makes it easy to create and send marketing emails to your contacts.

You can use either the drag-and-drop or classic email editor to create your email. For getting started, we recommend going with the drag-and-drop editor, as it's more intuitive and easy to use.

To start, here’s how to find the email editor in HubSpot:

  • Click the ‘Marketing’ drop-down in the top navigation
  • Click ‘Email’

In this view, you can see all the emails you’ve created, filter your emails to quickly find what you’re looking for, and even track the performance of your email marketing (click the ‘Analyze’ tab under the ‘Marketing Email’ header).

Click ‘Create email’ in the top right. From here, you can follow the steps outlined by HubSpot to create your first email. HubSpot already has some stock templates that you can use. Alternatively, you can create a custom email.

You can personalize your email with tokens, style it to match your brand, and select the list of contacts you want to send your email to.

Connect your social media accounts

You can use Marketing Hub to manage the following social media accounts:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn

You can also connect YouTube Reports, though you can’t post to YouTube from HubSpot.

Here’s how to connect your social media accounts:

  • Click the settings “gear” icon in the top right
  • In the left sidebar, scroll down and click on ‘Marketing’ (under Tools) to open the dropdown menu
  • Click ‘Social’
  • Click ‘Connect accounts’ in the upper right

Now you can select the account you want to add, follow the steps, and manage all of your social media in one place.

Get detailed instructions on connecting and managing your social media accounts in this HubSpot Knowledge Base article.

Connect your ads accounts

Just like with social media, you can manage and track your ads accounts in HubSpot.

When you connect your ads accounts to HubSpot, you’ll be able to create ad campaigns, track performance, and use HubSpot lists to create audiences to target with your ads.

Here’s how to connect your ads accounts:

  • In HubSpot, click the settings “gear” icon in the top right
  • In the left sidebar, scroll down to ‘Marketing’ and click to open the dropdown menu
  • Click ‘Ads’
  • In the ‘Ad accounts’ tab (which should open by default), click ‘Connect account’

From there, you can choose from Google Ads, LinkedIn Ads, or Facebook Ads. Click the platform you want to connect, then follow the steps in the pop-up window.

Once connected, you’ll be able to configure your settings for each ad account.

Create CTAs and Forms in Marketing Hub

HubSpot’s lead capture tools include calls-to-action (CTAs) and forms.

You can place CTAs on web pages, landing pages, blog posts, and emails. Forms can be used as their own standalone page, on a HubSpot web page or landing page, or embedded on an external web page.


No matter where your form is located, when a user submits their information, HubSpot will capture that data and store it in your HubSpot contact database.

To find where to create CTAs and forms:

  • Click the ‘Marketing’ drop-down menu in the main navigation in HubSpot
  • Click ‘Lead Capture’
  • Click ‘CTAs’ or ‘Forms’

From there, you’ll either click ‘Create CTA’ or ‘Create form’ in the top right and follow the steps.

You can style your CTA button to match your brand or even upload an image or graphic to use as a CTA.

You can easily create your form using the drag-and-drop form builder and configure what you want to happen after a user submits a form — including building a custom workflow to automate post-submission tasks.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Create a campaign in Marketing Hub

You can use campaigns in HubSpot to track and report on the performance of related assets in a central location.

For example, if you run a marketing campaign and create emails, ads, CTAs, social posts, and landing pages as part of that campaign — you can see the overall performance of all your assets in HubSpot’s campaign tool.

To create a campaign:

  • Click the ‘Marketing’ dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation
  • Click ‘Campaigns’
  • Click ‘Create campaign’ in the top right

Fill out the information in the right-hand sidebar panel and click ‘Create’.

From here, you can add assets by clicking ‘Add assets’ in the top right.

Used to Salesforce? Learn about the difference between HubSpot and Salesforce campaigns.

Use this worksheet to evaluate if moving from Salesfore to HubSpot is the right  choice for your business. 

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Set up HubSpot tracking code and tracking URLs

HubSpot gives you one central place to track all the marketing analytics that matter.

You can install the HubSpot tracking code on your site to monitor your traffic and get all the web analytics you need. You can use HubSpot tracking URLs feature to track the performance of specific campaigns. 

Use tracking URLs to get better insights into which channels are generating the most traffic, conversions, and revenue for a specific campaign. This is helpful for determining what channels to invest in down the road.

To find the HubSpot tracking code:

  • Click the settings “gear” icon in the top right of the main navigation in HubSpot
  • Navigate to Tracking & Analytics > Tracking Code in the left-hand sidebar

Copy the tracking code and add it to your site according to the instructions.

To create a tracking URL:

  • Click the settings “gear” icon in the top right of the main navigation in HubSpot
  • Navigate to Tracking & Analytics > Tracking URLs in the left-hand sidebar
  • Click ‘Create tracking URL’

Once you’ve created your URL, you can hover over it and copy the tracking URL or short URL to use in your marketing campaign.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

HubSpot Sales Hub

Connect your personal email

HubSpot makes tracking the conversations happening between you and your prospects super simple.

When your personal email (this just means your individual work email rather than a company email address) is connected to HubSpot, you’ll be able to log emails, send sequences, and track opens and clicks of the emails you send to prospects.

Download The Complete Guide to Inbound Sales to learn how to best structure  your sales team for growth.

To connect your personal email to HubSpot:

  • Click on the settings “gear” icon in the top right in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Navigate to ‘General’ in the left sidebar menu
  • Click ‘Email’
  • Click ‘Connect personal email’

After you follow the steps to get set up, you can start emailing and tracking your conversations with contacts in HubSpot.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base article:

Sync your Google or Outlook calendar

HubSpot Sales Hub is the ultimate inbound sales tool.

One great feature is the ability to schedule meetings and use meeting links so prospects can easily book meetings with you. But before you set that up, you need to sync your calendar. This will allow HubSpot to know your availability, so you don’t have to manually update it.

To sync your Google calendar:

  • Click the marketplace icon (it looks like a little shop) in the top right in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Select ‘App Marketplace’
  • Search for “Google Calendar” and select ‘Google Calendar’ in the results
  • Click ‘Connect app’ in the top right

Follow the same process for Outlook, but search for “Outlook Calendar” instead.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Set up meeting links

Once you have your calendar synced with HubSpot, you can set up meeting links.

Meeting links direct people to your scheduling page where prospects can easily book meetings with you. The meetings tool will use your Google or Outlook Calendar to know when you’re busy and will automatically remove conflicting time slots from your availability.

The first step here is to set up your scheduling page:

  • Click on the ‘Sales’ dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Click on ‘Meetings’
  • Click on ‘Create scheduling page’ in the top right

You can choose between one-on-one, group, or round robin scheduling. It’s important to note that group and round robin are not available on the free version of HubSpot.

Once you’ve set up your scheduling page, you can add a meeting link to your sales emails.

PRO TIP: You can add a “Book a Meeting” link in your email signature so you never forget.

To get your meeting link:

Click on the ‘Sales’ dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation bar

Click on ‘Meetings’

Hover over your meeting name and click ‘Copy link’

Now you can paste that link into your emails and let prospects book meetings with you themselves! Say goodbye to that awkward scheduling back and forth.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Configure deal stages

Every business is different.

HubSpot makes it easy to add and customize deal stages to match your sales process.

To configure your deal stages:

  • Click on the settings “gear” icon in the top right in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Scroll down the left sidebar menu and open the ‘Objects’ dropdown
  • Click on ‘Deals’
  • Click the ‘Pipelines’ tab
  • Click the ‘Select a pipeline’ dropdown menu
  • Select the pipeline you want to edit
  • Under the deal stages, click on ‘+ Add stage’
  • Enter the name of the deal stage
  • In the ‘Deal Probably’ column, then select a probability

From here, you can reorder your stages, delete stages, and customize your pipeline to ensure it’s suited to your exact needs.

HubSpot Service Hub

Just like the Marketing Hub and Sales Hub, Service Hub helps you keep customers at the center.

Service Hub’s suite of tools makes it easy for you to deliver exceptional customer service and easy for your customers to get the information and support they need to be successful with your products and services.

Let’s dive in.

Create customer satisfaction surveys

Customer satisfaction surveys help you measure customer sentiment by generating a customer satisfaction (CSAT) score.

To create a customer satisfaction survey:

  • Click on ‘Service’ to open the dropdown in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Click on ‘Feedback surveys’
  • Click on ‘Create survey’ in the top right
  • Click on ‘Customer satisfaction’, then click ‘Next’

From here, you can select whether your survey will be delivered via email, web page, or chat. You can customize the question and feedback portion of the survey to gather the feedback you need.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Create a knowledge base

Are several customers asking the same question? That’s a perfect opportunity to create a knowledge base article.

A knowledge base is self-serve customer support. It’s a place customers can go to find answers to their questions and get what they need without having to interact with your service team.

To create a knowledge base:

  • Click on ‘Service’ to open the dropdown in HubSpot’s main navigation bar
  • Click ‘Knowledge Base’
  • Click ‘Create article’

From here, you can write your article and customize its settings to categorize it accordingly and even provide keywords to help customers quickly find it through search.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Set up live chat

Live chat connects website visitors directly to a member of your team.

This is a great way for prospects or customers to quickly get answers to their questions or get the support they need.

To create a live chat:

  • Click ‘Conversations’ to open the dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation
  • Click ‘Chatflows’
  • Click ‘Create chatflow’ in the upper right
  • Select ‘Website’

Under ‘Live chat’, you can select ‘Live chat’ or, Service Hub Professional or Enterprise and have a knowledge base with at least three articles, you can select ‘Knowledge base + live chat’ to allow users to search the knowledge base directly in the live chat widget.

Now you can customize the live chat experience, decide where the live chat should appear on your website or knowledge base, and style the chat widget to match your brand.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

Add a support form to create tickets

The self-serve functionality of the knowledge base is great, but it would be impossible to answer every single potential customer question. That’s where support forms come in.

You can add a support form to your knowledge base to make it easy for customers to submit a question when they’re not finding what they need.

To add a support form:

  • Create your support form following the steps previously outlined in this article
  • Click on ‘Service’ to open the dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation
  • Click on ‘Knowledge base’
  • Click on ‘Customize template’ in the top right
  • In the ‘Content’ tab, click ‘Navigation bar’
  • Click the ‘Support form’ switch to toggle on
  • Select your support from the ‘Forms’ dropdown menu

It’s as easy as that! Now customers can quickly and easily reach out to you with their questions.

If you have Service Hub Professional or Enterprise, you can use a workflow to automatically create tickets based on form submissions.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

HubSpot Reporting Dashboards

HubSpot gives you powerful reporting capability so you can easily track and measure your company’s performance.

Create a dashboard in HubSpot

Before you get started building a dashboard, it’s important to know two things:

  • Your business goals
  • The KPIs you’ll track

Once you define and understand these key factors, you can build a dashboard to give you exactly the information you need.

To create a dashboard:

  • Click on ‘Reports’ to open the dropdown menu in HubSpot’s main navigation
  • Click on ‘Dashboards’
  • Click ‘Create dashboard’ in the top right

From here, you can choose the type of dashboard you want to create, name it, and customize who has access to it.

Helpful HubSpot Knowledge Base articles:

How To Choose the Right HubSpot Partner

Need help with onboarding and configuring HubSpot?

We highly recommend using a HubSpot partner agency! But how do you find the right one? You can start with the HubSpot Solutions Directory. It’s easy to search or filter to find agencies that match exactly what you’re looking for.

The most important thing to remember is that you want a partner who will help you set up HubSpot to optimize revenue generation and scale with you as you grow.

Optimizing for revenue generation requires a deeper knowledge than simply knowing how HubSpot works. A good partner will learn your unique needs and challenges and use their expertise to configure HubSpot in a way that makes sense for your business.

You can get a free one-on-one consultation with New Breed — HubSpot’s North American Partner of the Year — to learn how you can maximize the ROI of your HubSpot investment. We’ll review your goals, challenges, and opportunities and give you an actual strategy for how to achieve your goals with HubSpot.

Schedule your consultation below to get started!

BOFU | HubSpot Implement Checklist | Bottom CTA

Jon Amos

Jon is a copywriter and content marketer based in Buda, TX. If his 18-year-old self could see him now, he'd probably say, "Dude, I can't believe you live in a suburb and gave up on being a musician." Current Jon would just chuckle and say, "Yeah, well, I can't believe you think those skinny jeans look cool."


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