You can connect HubSpot with hundreds of popular apps using HubSpot Integrations, but your application isn’t always listed.

You can integrate with hundreds more apps using 3rd party systems like Zapier, Automate.io. But they may not have all the features you need to successfully integrate your system with HubSpot.

Why you need integrations

Integrations automatically transfer information between different systems so you can be better informed, make better decisions and analyse data so you can improve your business.

Integrations are usually automated which saves you time, eliminates stale data and reduces the potential for errors that occur with manual data transfer.

No more collating spreadsheets from different systems. It used to take forever to collate your data but now it can be fully automated so you can spend less time collating and more time analysing the data.

What is an Integration?

Basically, information is passed from one system to the other using an integration.

The data is transferred over the internet via APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). These APIs are constantly sending and receiving data over the internet. 

Here's a simplified high level diagram of a HubSpot Integration:

 Basic API Flow

Can we integrate HubSpot with our system?

This will depend on the system you use. Most online systems have an API to access data from mobile apps and other systems. You’ll want to check their website and look for API Documentation, or Developer Documentation. If you have a real person to contact you can ask them. Or, if you’d like us to take a look then please contact us.

If the system doesn’t have an API or other way of getting data out then life is going to be a lot more difficult and it may not be possible to integrate.

HubSpot Integrations available through the Marketplace

The HubSpot Marketplace is your first place to look for integrations. You can search by  integrations that have been approved and certified by HubSpot. 

A native integration will be easy to set up and give you immediate access to the functionality you need.

Here are some typical examples of standard integrations:

  • The EventBrite Integration shares the Contact and Event Attendance information from EventBrite to HubSpot.
  • The Xero Integration shares contact information with Xero so your accounts system is up to date. The same integration pulls purchase information from Xero so your team can see purchase information in the HubSpot CRM.
  • The Google Adwords integration tracks customer acquisition from the Google Ad right the way through the customer journey.

In the HubSpot Marketplace there are hundreds of integrations for applications systems.

hubspot-integrations-20190603

Roll your own HubSpot Integration

If you can’t find a native integration in the HubSpot Marketplace you next best bet is using an intermediary service.

Here's a few of the well known integration services:

You can use intermediary services to transfer data between HubSpot and other systems. The intermediary services give you a number of options to push and pull data between systems based on triggers. A trigger could be as simple as adding a new Contact in HubSpot.

Here are some typical Custom HubSpot Integrations:

  • Pushing data into HubSpot after a transaction in an external system (thats not integrated with HubSpot).
  • Pulling data from an external system to display additional information in the HubSpot CRM.
  • Publishing HubSpot information to an external system for complex reporting and analysis.
  • Performing complex math, or date math, on HubSpot Properties that reflect your business process. 

Unfortunately not all intermediary services can do exactly what you need. You may find that you can not synchronise complex relationships, nor handle certain data types. So, you'll want to try a few different providers and try them out. If you can't get an intermediary service to transfer your data you may need to consider a Custom HubSpot Integration.

When to use a Custom HubSpot Integration

If there’s no native integration and your system is not supported with an intermediary service then you probably need a custom HubSpot Integration.

A custom HubSpot Integration can be developed to automate your business process between systems.

HubSpot Integrations allow other systems to communicate with HubSpot via an integration server. 

The normal integration requires an external Integration System to do the following jobs:

  • pull and/or push data to/from the API e.g. contact information, company information, deals
  • validate and/or convert the data for HubSpot e.g. date formats, calculations, etc.
  • retry pushing/pulling if there's a failure e.g. internet connection issue
  • log the transaction so we can see any data issues and fix them
  • reporting (if required) so you can see what's happening.

Here’s a more complex example  from Survey Monkey to HubSpot. This Custom Integration renders a PDF based on the answers from a Survey Monkey Questionnaire.

Custom HubSpot Integration from Survey Monkey to HubSpot Flow Chart


 

Potential Issues with Integrations

Our experience over the years has shown us lots of potential issues that can be exposed when building Custom Integrations. Here are a few of the issues we’ll need to check with you – specifically how to handle the exceptions:

  • Data Quality – how good is your data? We’ve worked with databases that have multiple duplicates, stale data and missing information. When data synchronisation is automated you need a strong set of rules to assess data quality. Simple validation is great – for example checking dates – but a computer isn’t [yet] smart enough to check data and flag it when it doesn’t look right e.g. multiple spellings of someone’s name.

  • Data Collisions – when you have multiple data sets you need a clear ruleset to decide which data set is the definitive source. For example if you synchronise data set A with data set B which takes priority? If your data is more recent in data set B then should it overwrite data set A?   
  • Unsubscribe – if your Contact has unsubscribed anywhere then that usually takes precedence no matter which data set is more recent. If they’ve unsubscribed and you start emailing them after a data synch then you’ll be doing more harm than good.
  • Privacy – are you handling any sensitive information? In HubSpot there’s limited privacy settings to hide confidential information. If you have sensitive information it may be best to store it outside HubSpot and show(based on permissions) the information using a HubSpot CRM Integration.

Security and privacy

It’s extremely important that all data, transmitted and received, by APIs is encrypted. If your data is being transmitted without encryption then it’s possible to intercept and read the information.

Privacy is also of paramount importance to us. We do not store any private information on our systems.

You may need to update your terms and conditions when you integrate with 3rd party integration services.

 

Custom HubSpot Integration Development Process

The last decade of development has helped us refine our process to improve the success of the project, deliver the outcomes for our clients and keep on track with time and budget. 

Our typical process goes through the following stages:

  1. Interrogation – we give you a form to complete – which feels like an interrogation. Our purpose is to learn your business goals, technical requirements and what systems you need to integrate with.

  2. Research – not all Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) are created equally. We research the API and whenever possible run tests to see if the data is the same as the documentation (you'd be surprised what we've seen come back from an API).

  3. Documentation – we document the process in English (and Geek-speak) so you can review the process and agree it's actually what you want.
    Once we confirm the requirements we can also work out the budget for the project and any ongoing costs e.g. hosting, support and maintenance.

  4. Development – we develop in a test environment and use a test HubSpot Portal to send and retrieve data and test to see if everything's working as planned.
    You and your team will get to test the system to make sure it’s delivering what we agreed on in Stage 3 (and make any adjustments if required).

  5. Deployment – we deploy the code to the live server and connect it to the live HubSpot Portal. We’ll run more tests to ensure the systems are all communicating as expected.

  6. Support & maintenance – we manage any systems that are required in the integration, monitor the logs and help you if you need any support.

  7. Enhancements – often we find there are opportunities to improve the system and/or add new features. Often these are outside of the original scope from Step 3.

 

How much does a Custom HubSpot Integration cost?

Because every business process is different and every API is different it’s impossible to guess a project budget… which is why we’ve created a research and development project so we can accurately estimate the final project.

Stage 1 – 3 are a fixed price project that allows us to create a project plan with pricing and timeframes for the next stages.

What’s the cost of not using an Integration?

One of our clients had a manual operation which we replaced with an automation. They had approximately 500 customers and every year they would run a series of manual tasks for every customer.

For every manual step we replaced with an automation, most of which took a single minute, we saved 8 hours and 20 minutes of admin time per year per task.

This freed up the administrators time to work on proactive tasks rather than mundane tasks. Ultimately the saving was several weeks per year and a happier team member.

Next Steps

A native integration, or an intermediary service will be your easiest and probably cheapest way forward. If you need help setting up an integration please complete the form below.

However, if your business is complex and there aren’t any existing integrations available than a custom integration is the best way forward.

Please fill out this form and we’ll send you our Custom HubSpot Integration questionnaire that will help us understand your needs. Once we’ve reviewed your information then we can arrange a time to meet to discuss the next steps.