The Best HubSpot Naming Convention - Your Path to Platform Zen. Phew.

Our hard-earned lessons are your path to platform zen. 

You need a robust and easy-to-follow naming convention for everything in your HubSpot instance, or it’ll get out of hand and twelve months from now, you’ll be cursing that you didn’t do this from day one.

If you’re looking for this now, I bet you already know this pain, so I’m going to stop selling you on the idea and get down to business.

HubSpot Video

 

Things that need a naming convention:

  • Campaigns
  • Workflows
  • Emails
  • Landing Pages
  • CTAs
  • Snippets
  • Templates
  • Files
  • Lists
  • Chatflows
  • Forms

Other elements, like reports, just need to be named using common sense. If you’re unsure, always be verbose. Explain what the thing is so that someone else can get its purpose from the title.

‘Lead Report’ is mainly useless but quick to type.

‘2022-Q4 Lead Source Report’ is better. See how that works?

Naming HubSpot campaigns

What do I need to see when looking at my campaign list? The date the campaign started, the name of the campaign and the goal of the campaign. If we’re working in multi-regions, I’ll include a region code too.

Here’s the formula:

what to name hubspot campaigns

A few HubSpot campaign name examples:

  • FY22Q1 - GB - Moving out of the backroom - New subscribers
  • FY22Q2 - FR - Auto chit chat - Upsell chatbots
  • FY22Q3 - ALL - Website grader - New website enquiries

This approach allows you to sort your campaigns in an easy to understand fashion, in date order.

Excellent for a glance, brilliant for reporting.

If you wanted to add anything else in, like a persona, you could do that too. Just be wary not to add too much here, as the more you add, the harder it gets to manage.

Regarding the hyphen separating the terms, you could use a pipe ‘|’ symbol if you wanted to, or a • just keep consistent when you start. We use a hyphen because everyone knows there that is on the keyboard!

I like to space my hyphens as it enables me to scan faster. If you can get away without the spaces, go for it.

Naming HubSpot workflows

This one is so insanely important. If you only do one thing in this whole guide, I implore you to do this first.

Why?

When you have a whole bunch of workflows running and you need to do something, like, let’s say you acquire a company that use Salesforce and you’re moving them into HubSpot (naturally!), you need to be able to see at a glance what is going to happen. How are the workflows going to affect the new contacts?

Hell, you may even find yourself creating workflows that contradict workflows you’ve made some time ago and forgotten about.

There is little more frustrating than seemingly random things happening in your platform because your automations have gotten out of hand!

It’s this kind of stuff that’ll make you spray your coffee into your keyboard.

The solution is an easy one. Here’s the secret:

what to name hubspot workflows

Simple!

You can then look down your workflow list and quickly see what does what.

We use the prefix to differentiate the departments to which the workflows belong.

MK = Marketing, FN = Finance etc.

Every character counts, so we try and keep the names as short as possible.

Real-world examples:

  • MK - When an SQL form is submitted ›› Notify Jane
  • MK - When a lead completes an MQL form ›› Pass to the sales team
  • FN - When a deal is closed ›› Notify the finance team
  • MK - When a contact abandons X page ›› Send a discount code
  • MK - When a contact opens a case study ›› Prompt for a meeting

A workflow is an input and an output. That should be the title; as you can see above, it works superbly.

This symbol: ›› is created by pressing Alt+Shift+4, twice(PC) or Option+Shift+4, twice (Mac).

Naming HubSpot emails

We use two different naming conventions for our emails. One for one-off emails and one for automated emails.

One-off emails:

Usually for ad-hoc comms and newsletters. The recipe is simple:

what to name hubspot one-off emails

Examples:

  • Aug21 - Company newsletter
  • Nov21 - Hybrid Mail product update
  • Dec21 - Discount code surprise for existing customers

Just remember to include enough information so that someone else can quickly understand the purpose of the email without having to open and read it. For example, if you wanted to announce a new hire to your customers:

'Jan'22 - Announcing Luke Skywalker as the new head of the Jedi'

Is good.

'New hire email'

Is not good.

For automated emails

Automated emails are very likely to be part of a series, so we need to consider that. Also, this can get a little unwieldy and naming these emails appropriately is one of the hardest naming conventions to get right.

We’ve tried a lot, sigh, a LOT of ideas.

This is the best:

what to name hubspot automated emails

Oh, and if you need, you can add a language variable between the campaign and the email order. If you’re always working in one language, just leave it out.

But wait, what if we don’t attach our emails to campaigns. You really should. We consider everything that has a measurable desired outcome can and should be a campaign.

Upselling? Campaign.

Asking leads to update their preferences via your centre? Campaign.

Following up from a website interaction? Campaign.

Marketing is primarily strategic but even tactical bits and bobs can be worthy of a campaign. I have to measure success (so I can get better, right!), so I love campaigns.

So, here are some real-world examples of automated emails from the campaign we mentioned earlier:

  • Auto chit chat - EM1 - Introducing chatbots
  • Auto chit chat - EM2 - Chatbots case study
  • Auto chit chat - EM3 - Bumping this to the top of your inbox
  • Auto chit chat - EM4 - Chatbots DIY guide
  • Auto chit chat - EM5 - Have a play with our chatbot
  • Auto chit chat - EM6 - Talk to us about chatbots

As an extra note, I like to put all campaign emails into a folder named after the campaign. Your mileage may vary. I think it’s much tidier.

And finally, for more complicated workflows, you might need to consider branching. If you have if/then branches, you might have a lot of emails in a workflow, so the approach above can be modified with the addition of a branch indicator (BR1, BR2) before* (* essential) the email number, It’s not 100% perfect but it works pretty well as it keeps the name short.

Examples:

  • Auto chit chat - BR1 - EM1 - Introducing chatbots
  • Auto chit chat - BR1 - EM2 - Chatbots case study
  • Auto chit chat - BR2 - EM1 - Book a chatbot demo

And finally, with a region tag:

  • Auto chit chat - GB - BR1 - EM1 - Introducing chatbots
  • Auto chit chat - GB - BR1 - EM2 - Chatbots case study

That’s as complicated as you ever really want to get but it’ll keep good order, is easy to follow and easy to sort.

Naming HubSpot landing pages

Again, we link landing pages to campaigns. I’d like to take a moment to cover what a landing page is as we often see them used in ‘creative’ ways.

I believe a landing page is designed to be both an entry page and a conversion point. By this, I mean that a new contact would arrive and convert on this page, perhaps from a paid Ad, for example.

If we were creating a page for a gated asset that we linked to from another part of our website, we call that a squeeze page. We don’t use landing pages for squeeze pages. You could. We don’t.

We name our landing pages in a similar fashion to our campaigns but we swap the campaign goal to the landing page offer.

what to name hubspot landing pages

Here are some real-world examples:

  • FY21Q4 - DE - Auto chit chat - Chatbot guide
  • FY21Q4 - DE - Auto chit chat - Book a call
  • FY21Q4 - DE - Auto chit chat - Chatbot academy subscription

Naming HubSpot CTAs

Super simple. All of our CTAs are linked to campaigns, so we follow the same naming convention for our CTAs as our Landing Pages.

what to name hubspot ctas

Examples:

  • FY21Q4 - DE - Auto chit chat - Chatbot guide
  • FY21Q4 - DE - Auto chit chat - Book a call

Naming HubSpot snippets

Often overlooked and usually created in a hurry. Spend an extra few seconds when you’re making them to write a very explanatory (but conscience name.

You may use snippets as quick answers to common questions in a live chat or an email, or perhaps you’ll use them to create a framework for taking call notes. Again, there are lots of options.

what to name hubspot snippets

For example, some good Snippet names are:

  • Content marketing resources
  • About our company
  • Meeting link - Mark
  • SEO tips
  • How to set up 2FA
  • Our address
  • Our price list

Regarding organising them, we have folders for each person who uses snippets and then one global folder for company-wide valuable snippets.

Naming HubSpot templates

Specifically, these are complete emails that you may find yourself writing over and over. For example, we used to do a lot of print work and asked our clients to review and sign off the design work before printing. It was the same email every time and it had a very specific construction, which made it perfect for Templates.

Again, the naming convention is simple, just remember to explain the exact purpose of the email template in the name and you’ll be fine.

what to name hubspot sales email templates

👍 Good examples:

  • Print proof sign-off request
  • How to link your calendar to your Hubspot account
  • How to set up 2FA
  • Monthly SEO report - high level
  • Initial response to an incoming referral
😥 Bad examples:
  • New update message
  • Hello
  • End of year
  • PQ Report

Naming HubSpot files

File naming is often overlooked and I get it, you’re busy and the file names will do the trick. At a pinch, sure but if the files are client-facing, make sure you name them appropriately.

If we send out a how-to guide, we make sure it is named so that whoever downloads it can find it on their computer!

what to name hubspot files

👍 For example:

How to get your on-page SEO right - a handy guide.pdf

😥 Not:

SEO guide_v2-MN- FINAL.pdf

Also, pay attention to folders here. This is one place where folders are just essential. Divide up your content in a sensible way and prefix the folders with Marketing, Sales or Service. We use:

  • MRKT - Website images
  • MRKT - Blog images
  • MRKT - Downloadable guides
  • SALES - Case studies
  • SALES - Service datasheets
  • SERV - How to guides
  • SERV - Evangelist programme docs

You get the idea. Divide your content into easy to understand buckets and remember to put new docs into the correct folders.

By doing this simple thing, you’re helping the entire company to succeed. Being able to lay your hands on a critical doc at the right time is just gold.

Naming HubSpot lists

I so frequently see a platform overburdened with lists. They are such a helpful tool but often, users are unsure about the best way to segment data and create so many less-than-useful lists.

We have three rules for naming lists.

  1. Static lists should have a date prefix
  2. All lists should be very explanatory in their names
  3. Sort your lists into folders

HubSpot static lists

The recipe is:

what to name hubspot static lists

Good examples:

  • FY20Q1 - Contacts who attended our Hybrid Mail roundtable event on Jan 21st 2020
  • FY21Q2 - Contacts from Cognism that we want to prospect for our Hybrid Mail system

Bad examples:

  • Leads from our last event
  • Cognism upload

HubSpot active lists

We don’t prefix active lists with a date because they don’t represent a fixed point in time.

However, much like a workflow, there is a criterion for a contact being on an active list, so that’s what we use to name them.

Almost all of our lists stat with 'contacts who'

what to name hubspot active lists

Good examples:

  • Contacts who are currently MQLs
  • Contacts who have downloaded our Hybrid Mail case study
  • Contacts who have a HubSpot score of >100

Bad examples:

  • Companies for export
  • Email clickers
  • Event registrations

Naming HubSpot chatflows

Chatflows are pretty simple to name. Most people don’t have hundreds of these but it’s still worth considering. So we tend just to explain where and when the chatflow will be used.

what to name hubspot chatflows

For example,

  • Live chat - Working Hours - All pages
  • Chatbot - Out of hours - All pages
  • Chatbot - 24/7 - Product pages

That’s all the description we need to keep a handle on what’s what with our chatbots.

Naming HubSpot forms

I’ve saved my favourite subject for last. So this is a double-dose of advice.

  1. You don’t need a lot of forms.
  2. Seriously.

We’ve run and continue to run complex websites and campaigns with just a few forms per instance. Like, five or six forms, total.

It makes life so much more manageable.

What we do is run a form for each part of the buyer lifecycle. Each form asks for a little more information than the last.

For example, a subscriber form only asks for an email address. A Lead form asks for First name, Last Name, Email.

For an MQL, we add in a phone number and a company name. If we have a form that creates an SQL, such as a product demo form, we’ll probably ask for a little more information that’s specific to the demo to help qualify them.

That’s it.

For your contact us page form, it’s also worth adding a dropdown to help segment business enquiries from suppliers, recruitment, and general chit-chat.

We also prefix our forms with a number to quickly sort them into lifecycle order on the forms page.

The recipe is:

what to name hubspot forms

So, our form list looks like this:

  1. Subscriber Form
  2. Lead Form (Short)
  3. Lead Form (Long)
  4. MQL Form (Short)
  5. MQL Form (Long)

Then we program the post-submission logic into workflows that have the enrollment criteria set to something like - If the Lead Form is Submitted on Page Name.

With only a few forms and a handful of workflows, you can deliver epic and easy to manage marketing, sales and service automation.

There you have it.

Final thoughts and key takeaways

This guide is the culmination of countless experiments across many instances and I genuinely hope it helps you get back to maintainable platform zen.

To help you implement the HubSpot naming convention, I've created a handy Google Sheet template that you can swipe and share with your team.

It covers everything in this guide and it'll help you loads! Use the form at the top of the page to grab it.

And of course, if you need any help with anything in your platform, from setup to advanced demand generation programmes, we’re always here to lend a hand.

— Mark, TheHubSpotGuy @ Prosper.ly

Book a call with me to chat about how to release the full potential of your HubSpot investment.