Sea of Knowledge

How to Reduce Marketing Contact Volume in HubSpot

One of the biggest fears HubSpot users face is exceeding their marketing contact volume. Marketing contacts are billable contacts in HubSpot and each account has a set limit before you're charged for the next tier of contacts. Marketing contacts can receive marketing emails and be included in advertising targeting lists.

What are HubSpot Marketing Contacts?

Marketing contacts are the number of contacts that count towards your HubSpot subscription cost. They allow you to have unpaid contacts in your database that you do not market to. This is helpful if you want to keep job applicants, internal team members, or past customers in your database without contributing to your billable contact volume.

How Can I Use Marketing Contacts in HubSpot?

Marketing contacts are the paid contacts you can market to. If you want to communicate with contacts via marketing communications, they will need to be billable in your account. 

The following tools only work with marketing contacts:

  • Marketing emails
  • Ad audiences
  • Marketing Workflow actions (Send email and Add to or Remove from ads audiences)

How Do HubSpot Marketing Contacts Work?

Contacts in HubSpot can be easily set to marketing or non-marketing contacts. This setting can be changed via a Workflow action or contact view update.

Once a contact is set as a marketing contact, they are immediately added to the billable contact count. And, once a contact is set as a non-marketing count, they are added to a queue that will be updated on the first of the following month. This means you need to be careful as you add new marketing contacts to your database. New marketing contacts will immediately be added to your marketing contact volume which means they will be instantly billable if it exceeds your marketing contact volume.

You can monitor the volume of marketing contacts in your HubSpot account by navigating to Account & Billing > Usage & Limits.


How to Reduce HubSpot Marketing Contacts

HubSpot notifies you whenever you are approaching your marketing contact volume limit. When that happens, you can do one of two things. 


One - decide to keep your database growth and upgrade your marketing contact limit. 

Two - reduce the number of marketing contacts in your account.

If you proceed with option two, here are the areas to focus on to reduce your marketing contact volume in HubSpot.

  1. Unsubscribed and bounced contacts. Create a Workflow to automatically set unsubscribed or hard bounced contacts as non-marketing contacts.
  2. Disengaged subscribers. If a contact in your database hasn't engaged with your marketing emails in 6-12 months, create a Workflow to automatically set them as non-marketing contacts. They can become a marketing contact again if they reconvert in the future.
  3. New contacts. Ensure the setting for new contacts is set to non-marketing contacts. That way integrations and non-marketing forms will not automatically contribute to your marketing contact volume.

Note: These steps focus on email-focused marketing strategies. If you want to use contacts for ad audiences, you may want to add additional criteria before setting them as non-marketing contacts.