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Using HubSpot to Send Messages to Rice Community
An introduction to using HubSpot by approved Rice staff members to send campus emails. HubSpot is the replacement for the Rice Bulk Mail tool, which is being phased out in 2023. HubSpot not officially rolled out to the university due to policy issues- hopefully soon!
Online Help and Customer Support
Testing and Proofreading in Email
Welcome! HubSpot is new to Rice, including OIT, so we are all learning together. This document is designed for individuals who used BulkMail to send out campus messages with HubSpot quickly. Your thoughts on how to improve this document are appreciated. Send comments via the Comment button in the Feedback section at the bottom of this document. Thanks!
What is HubSpot?
HubSpot is a commercial product that is classified as a customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which manages marketing, sales, services, and operations. Rice has licensed HubSpot to serve as a replacement for the Rice-developed tool of BulkMail. HubSpot account holders will be limited to approved Rice employees, just like BulkMail.
HubSpot is not a replacement for the ALLDEPTS mailing list (email@example.com).
Initially HubSpot is only to be used for sending "transactional" or email messages to groups of individuals within the Rice community.* Similar to the BulkMail tool, you have the choice of using active lists of Rice members (such as all undergraduates or current instructors) or to create your own static list.
*NOTE: Transactional message is a term that HubSpot uses to describe a relationship-based email (and is not part of a marketing campaign). Messages to members of the Rice community are based on their status at Rice.
HubSpot is a robust tool and there will be many components that you will not use for sending email messages so do not be overwhelmed. One important distinction is that we are not using the marketing components of HubSpot to send emails but rather sending transactional email messages. This document will help you focus only on the aspects of HubSpot that you need for sending email messages.
How to Get an Account
Previously, the BulkMail tool was restricted for use by the Office of the President and pre-approved designates. BulkMail is being phased out in 2023. See Bulk Mail (being phased out in 2023) (Rice login required).
As HubSpot is rolled out as the BulkMail replacement, more details will be worked out. If you need help setting up a HubSpot account or have questions, please reach out to the OIT Help Desk.
Logging into HubSpot
Once you are notified that your account is created, you will be able to login using your Rice NetID and password via Single Sign On (SSO). Go to: https://app.hubspot.com/login
In the login screen, enter your Rice email address only (not the password) and then skip down to click the button, Login with SSO.
SSO or Single Sign On will permit you to login using your Rice NetID and password. After you enter your Rice credentials, select the Login button. (Note: If you are already authenticated via SSO, you will be logged in automatically without having to enter your Rice NetID and password again.)
Enter the code sent from HubSpot and click on Log in.
Online Help and Customer Support
If you have questions about working with HubSpot, check out their KnowledgeBase. In the upper right corner, you click on the Help button (circle with a question mark). On some screens, a Help icon (speech bubble labeled Help) is available in the lower right corner.
Set up your Default Home Page
We recommend that you set your preference for your initial screen to go to the Email page. In the upper right of the command menu, click RiceU, which will drop down a menu. Then click Profile & Preferences.
The Settings panel will display, if it is not already selected, click on General in the left panel.
At the bottom of the screen, select the pull-down menu for the Default Home Page and select Email. To manually go to the Email page, click on Marketing on the upper blue command bar and select Email from the drop down menu.
Sending a Message
This two-step process requires you to:
- identify your audience then decide if you are using an existing list or creating your own list (See section, Step 1: Select or Build a Mailing List)
- create the message in HubSpot and select sending settings (See section, Step 2: Creating the Message and Settings)
In HubSpot, you don't select the mailing list until the third screen of options. However, this is a very important part of sending messages to campus so it is important to know before you start who is the message going to and what mailing list will you use or create.
Step 1: Select or Build a Mailing List
You have the choice of using an existing Rice community list (called active list) or creating your own list (called static list) of members of the Rice community with @rice.edu addresses. (At this time, external email addresses are not permitted.) To learn more, see the HubSpot KB for more info: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/lists/create-active-or-static-lists
Using Rice Active Lists
Active lists are maintained and updated on a routine basis by OIT and are based on a person’s Rice classification. Here's a few examples:
- Students - Undergraduate Juniors
- Instructors - Current Term
- Employees - Staff
- Everyone at Rice
When using HubSpot, you will be presented with a drop-down list of mailing lists to choose from and the current number of individuals in that list will be listed as well. You are able to choose more than one list at a time. For example, you could email Undergraduate Juniors and Undergraduate Seniors at the same time.
NOTE: the same lists that were available in BulkMail are available in HubSpot, which are listed in the next section.
Standard Rice Lists (click the plus sign (+) to display the list or the minus sign (-) to close the list)
|HubSpot Rice List Options||Descriptions|
|Everyone at Rice||faculty, staff, students, visitors, and guests: current, new, retired, visiting, recently graduated, and incoming|
|Employees - All||includes current, emeritus, and retired|
|Employees - Emeritus||only retired emeritus faculty|
|Employees - Retired||only retired|
|Employees - Faculty||current faculty only, including emeritus faculty who are currently active|
|Employees - Staff||current staff only|
|Instructors - Current term||anyone listed as a course instructor by the Registrar's Office in the current semester. Semester boundaries roll over on Jan 1, May 15, and Aug 1.|
|Current Faculty and Instructors||Combination of Employees - Faculty and Instructors - Current term|
|Employees - PostDoc||anyone with the terms 'postdoc', 'post doc', or 'post-doc' listed in their title|
|Students - All||undergraduates and graduate students, (Note: can include recent graduates and new incoming students)|
|Students - All minus recent graduates||undergraduates and graduate students, but no recent graduates. (Note: can include new incoming students)|
|Students - Undergraduate All||undergraduates (Note: can include recent graduates and new incoming students)|
|Students - Undergraduate All minus recent graduates and future students||only current undergraduates. (Recent graduates may not be cleared out for several months after graduating. Future students have not yet matriculated.)|
|Students - Undergraduate All minus recent graduates||only current and future undergraduates. (Recent graduates may not be cleared out for several months after graduating.)|
|Students - Undergraduate Freshmen||based on credit hours|
|Students - Undergraduate Sophomores||based on credit hours|
|Students - Undergraduate Juniors||based on credit hours|
|Students - Undergraduate Seniors||based on credit hours|
|Students - Undergraduate Professional||architecture students doing a fifth year for a Masters of Architecture|
|Students - Visiting||both undergraduate and graduate students|
|Students - Graduate All||all schools including JGSB* as well as visiting graduate students, including recent graduates and future students|
|Students - Graduate All minus recent graduates||current graduate students only. (Recent graduates may not be cleared out for several months after graduating.)|
|Students - Graduate All minus JGSB*||graduate students in all schools except JGSB*|
|Students - Graduate All incoming||new graduate students in all schools who have not yet matriculated|
|Students - Graduate All incoming minus JGSB*||new graduate students in all schools except JGSB* who have not yet matriculated|
|Students - All JGSB*||all full-time MBA, Executive MBA, Professional MBA students, and Onliine MBA students at JGSB*|
|Students - Graduate JGSB* MBA||only full-time MBA students at JGSB*|
|Students - Graduate JGSB* EMBA||Jones School students in the Executive MBA program|
|Students - Graduate JGSB* PMBA||only Professional MBA students at JGSB*|
Students - Graduate JGSB* OMBA
|Jones School students in the Online MBA program|
*JGSB = Jones Graduate School of Business
Creating Your Own Static List
Static lists are generally one-time use lists. For example, sending messages to a specific group of individuals to share information. Static lists in HubSpot are like using your own file within BulkMail. Individuals on your list must be active members of the Rice community with a Rice email address. (At this time, external email addresses are not permitted.)
You can import .csv, .xls, or .xlsx files to create these lists.
They can be edited if you need to add or delete a few individuals but it requires a bit of effort. If there are many updates to your list, it might be easier to create a new static list in HubSpot after manipulating the data in an external program (i.e. Excel).
To learn more, see the HubSpot KB for more info: https://knowledge.hubspot.com/lists/create-active-or-static-lists
Step 2: Creating the Message and Settings
To start an email, go to the Marketing pull-down menu in the upper bar and then select Email. You will be presented with a screen labeled Marketing Email. You might see a list of previous messages that you or a member of your team created. However, if you and your team are just starting with HubSpot, you might not see past messages.
You can click the button, Create Email, to start a new message.
Another way to start a message is to clone a previous message. This is particularly helpful if you are sending a similar message from the past or if you practice with a test message then you can easily convert it to your final message. Both ways of starting a message are covered below. Unlike BulkMail, HubSpot keeps a record of your messages so you can clone them to adapt for future messages and to view statistics about opening rates.
Starting a New Message
After clicking the Create Email button, you will be asked what type of message with the choices of Regular, Automated, and Blog/RSS. Select Regular.
- You will be presented with a choice of template options. You can customize templates for your office or group and once you have created them and they will show up here.
- HubSpot has a variety of templates that you can start with. For the examples in this document, we are using the Welcome template in the Basic category. You can try out others but be aware some of them designed for the marketing aspect of HubSpot.
- Click on the template you would like to use and you will be presented with a screen that is in Edit mode, which is indicated in the bar above the message with the word Edit with a line below it.
- Edit - formatting the message by including words and graphics
- Settings - establish who the message is from, what email address replies should go to, and set the type of message as transactional.
- Send or schedule - send a test message, select the list to mail the message to, schedule sending time.
- You switch between the other three modes, Settings, Send or schedule, and Automation (more marketing based) by clicking on the words in the second menu across the top of your screen. The main three parts that you need to send a message are circled in red in the graphic below: Edit, Settings, and Send or schedule. You can switch between them at any time and your changes are automatically saved. So unlike Bulk Mail, this is not a one step process where you do the majority of your editing outside the message. With HubSpot, you can start a message and wait days before you send. You can clone a message and try new graphics and compare. HubSpot is a design tool to help you craft and send a message. If you have used other tools, like MailChimp, you will see similar advantages.
- Note the Help icon (speech bubble labeled Help) in the lower right of your screen. Click here to find HubSpot's support tools including a searchable KnowledgeBase.
- Also check out the Exit and Save buttons in the upper left. If you need to stop working on your message, click Save. The Exit button takes you up to the main HubSpot command page and out of the edit email mode.
Part I: Edit Message
In your early usage of HubSpot, you might wish to keep your messages simple and only have text with a logo at the top of the message. In this example template (Welcome template in the Basic category), you can update the text and then swap the generic Company Logo and replace it with the general Rice logo or your department's logo.
- Type or paste in words.
- Format the text using the edit commands in the format bar above the message. To make the formatting bar appear, you can double click on the text or click the Text button on the right.
- You can add graphics, buttons, social media links and other items. These options are presented to the left of the message.
- To add links or attachments, first select the text that is associated with the information and then click the link icon on the formatting bar.
- You have several choices of link types including: Email address, Email subscription link, File, Meeting, One of your pages, and URL. Use URL for the link to go to a web page. And if you wish to include an attachment, then link to a File and you will be asked to select the file. (Remember if you attach a file, be sure the file is digitally accessible. Please do not include a .jpg of a flyer without alt text or a .pdf that has not been checked for accessibility. See the section on Digital Accessibility below.)
- The majority of your screen will be grayed out and you will see the Insert image box.
- You can use an image that you have previously uploaded by double clicking on it.
- You can add new images by clicking the Add image button.
- You can import an image from a web page or upload a file from your computer by following prompts.
- Once the image* has been uploaded, it is important to edit the alt text so that it describes the image in words, which are read aloud by screen reader software and are critical to Digital Accessibility.**
- Adjust the size of the image as needed. If you only alter one dimension, it will automatically adjust the other to keep the image in the current proportions.
- You can also a link to a URL when someone clicks on the image in the message.
- You can adjust the alignment and how much space you would like around the image.
- Once you are finished editing, click Done in the upper left corner of the Edit Image box.
Part 2: SettingsAfter you have finished editing the text, move to Settings (by clicking Settings in the second menu across the top of your screen). You will be presented with a screen requiring you to fill in many options for sending the message, including:
- From Name: this is who the message is from, does not have to be the person who is using HubSpot sending the message. For example: a staff member could send on behalf of a Vice President.
- From Address: The email address of the person the message is from. If you wish to have replies go to a different email, unclick the option, "Use this as my reply-to address." For example: if the message is about registering for a workshop, it might be best if the responses are sent directly to the staff member in charge of registration rather than the person sending the message.
- Subject line: headline summary of message.
- Preview text: a brief summary that appears in some mail readers mailbox. If text is not entered, the beginning of the message is used.
- Internal email name: the name of the message, that only appears in your HubSpot account, to help you keep messages organized.
- Language: defaults to English
- Subscription Type: You need to change the type to Transactional under the Transactional Email heading in the drop-down menu.
- Office Location: Name of department or group
- Campaign: optional, an internal way of organizing messages, not visible to email recipients. For example: if you are sending several messages a group for a specific purpose you might want to group them together in a Campaign.