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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!


Using Rice Active Lists

Standard Rice Lists

Creating Your Own Static List

Starting a New Message

Part 1: Edit Message

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 (

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. 

Getting Started

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:

In the login screen, enter your Rice email address only (not the password) and then skip down to click the button, Login with SSO.

 HubSpot login screen. Enter your Rice email address and select 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.)

Rice Identity Provider Login Screen. Enter NetID and password and select Login button.

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.

HubSpot upper right corner display with Help button indicated

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

Click RiceU in upper right command menu to display options

The Settings panel will display, if it is not already selected, click on General in the left panel.

General settings page with Default Home Page indicated at the bottom of the screen.

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:

  1. 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)
  2. 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 addresses. (At this time, external email addresses are not permitted.) To learn more, see the HubSpot KB for more info:

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)

This table defines the lists available in HubSpot.
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:

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.

Select a template selection window with the Basic template Welcome selected.

  • 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.
Creating a message is a three step process:
  1. Edit - formatting the message by including words and graphics
  2. Settings - establish who the message is from, what email address replies should go to, and set the type of message as transactional.
  3. 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.
Opening screen of a new email message with the 3 options Edit, Settings, and Send highlighted.
  • 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.  

Text Message

  • 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.Text editing formatting options bar
  • You can add graphics, buttons, social media links and other items. These options are presented to the left of the message.

Screenshot of available content optionsDesign options

  • 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.

Select the text and click on the link icon.

  • 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.)

 Insert link with URL option highlightedScreenshot show link choices


Click on the section, Company logo, and editing commands will appear. Click the pencil icon, which is the edit element tool.
Section for logo. Click the edit icon to add new image.
The Edit Image window will pop-up to the left of your message. You can also update the Alt text (alternative text for screen readers) and adjust the size the image as well. Click the Replace command to change the logo image.
This screen shows an image, alt text, and width and height controls. You can also replace or remove the image.
  • 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.
This screen allows you to select a previously uploaded image or to add a new image.
  • 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.

*Rice Logos: If you need Rice logos, you can download them to your computer from the Public Affairs site:
**Digital Accessibility: To learn more about alt text, other guidelines for digital accessibility, or to understand how to comply with Rice's Digital Information Accessibility policy, go to OIT's Learning Environments web site:

Part 2: Settings

After 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.
The Settings screen allows you to enter options about your mail message- these are described in main text.
Once you have completed this form,  you can move to the next step of creating the sending or scheduling options. Be aware that you can move between Edit, Settings, and Send or Schedule at anytime. HubSpot will save your information as you complete it. You can send test messages to yourself and others and then return to make changes. BulkMail was limiting because you could only send with one message per login. With HubSpot, you can take your time, send more than one message per login, and send to more that one list at a time.

Part 3: Send or Schedule

In this next part of a HubSpot message, you select recipients and indicate when to send the message (either immediately or at a schedule time). This is also when you should test your message and look it over carefully before sending.
Send or schedule includes selecting recipients, picking the sending option of send now or schedule for later.
From the drop-down menu in the Send to field, select either a Rice list or your own list. You can select more than one list, add individual recipients, or exclude specific recipients.

Testing and Proofreading in Email

Before actually sending the message, click the Send test email button and enter the email address of the test recipients as instructed. Go to your email browser and check over the message. If you wish to make any changes, simply return to HubSpot and edit any of the three areas (Edit, Settings, or Send or schedule). Test messages are an easy way to share with others if they need to approve the final message. And unlike BulkMail, you can easily make updates after your test without having to start the message over.

Sending Now or Later

When you finished editing the message, you must decide if you want to send the message immediately or schedule it for later.  If you wish to send it later, select the Schedule for later option button and then indicate Date and Time as prompted. If you need to go back later and adjust the scheduled sent time, you can. (Word of advice: if you schedule a message, keep it on your mental radar so that if something significant happens at Rice or the world- you can reschedule. You don't want to send a message that is ill-timed and inappropriate.)

Ready, Set, Send

You have proofread the message, gotten approval from others (if needed), and either decided to send now or you have set a scheduled time, so now click the orange button in the upper right corner, Review and schedule. You might get some warning messages about required fields that are empty. Simply go back and make updates and then click Review and schedule again. HubSpot will give you a quick summary and alert you to any links that don't work within the message. If you need to make changes, click Cancel and return to edit. When finished, return to Review and schedule again. When you and HubSpot are finally satisfied that the message is ready, click the Send button (for immediate sending) or the Schedule button (for emails to be sent later). And you are done- Congratulations!

Keywords:HubSpot, Hub Spot, BulkMail, Bulk Mail, email tool, campus messages, lists,   Doc ID:110119
Owner:Liz B.Group:Rice University
Created:2021-04-06 11:45 CDTUpdated:2023-03-23 16:30 CDT
Sites:Rice University
Feedback:  2   0