Frequently asked questions when using the delivery time optimization action within HubSpot workflows

HubSpot's workflow engine is incredibly powerful and in fact can be used to deliver batch / one-off email deliveries.  When using Seventh Sense a workflow is needed as it's the delivery mechanism which means HubSpot still handles all of the deliveries, analytics, reporting, etc.  Everything you are used to with the regular email tool exists, however, you will need to change your process.  Hopefully, you'll find that the value outweighs you changing your process along with saving you some time in the long run!

The below covers a number of questions we often receive from HubSpot users.  If we haven't covered a question, please do reach out and we'll get it added for everyone.

Why can't I see the email I want to deliver in the "Send email" action?

When creating the actual email, you'll need to create it as an "Automated" email type.  If you created the email initially as a "Regular" email type or have continuously cloned your email templates, don't worry, you can easily change this setting.  You do this by navigating to the "Send or schedule" tab in the email template and in the top right, you will see an "Actions" drop down menu.  Click there and you'll see "Convert to automated email" option which you will want to click.  Simple as that!

Can I add a suppression list(s) to a workflow?

Short answer, absolutely! 

In the workflow edit screen, click on "Settings" which is in the menu, navigate to "Unenrollment and suppression" which is on the left hand side of the screen and then you'll see "Suppression lists for this workflow" which is a drop down list(s) picker.  One thing to note is that you'll want to make sure you click the "Save" button after you add your lists.

Pro Tip: For any mailings that you'll regularly be using Seventh Sense with (for example a monthly newsletter), you should create a workflow template that you clone once per month which will carry the suppression list(s) you've selected with the clone. 

Should I add a delay step between a send email step and the next delivery time optimization step in a workflow that includes multiple email sends?

Short answer, absolutely and this is quite critical! 

If a delay step is not included after a send email step and rather it immediately goes to another delivery time optimization step, there is a significant possibility that people will get back to back emails.  The reason for this is that after the email is sent, if the contact enters a delivery time optimization step and fires to the Seventh Sense system, the system could see that hour as the most optimal time of email delivery and then tell HubSpot to execute the next action (the next send email action) which means that contacts could receive back to back emails (or within the same hour).  

Pro Tip: For campaigns that have multiple send email steps, you should use at least a 12 hour delay between a send email step and the next delivery time optimization step.  We typically recommend using at least a one day delay though.

Will the delivery time optimization workflow action step respect the custom times / days of execution setting in a workflow?

Short answer, absolutely! 

While we don't typically recommend using this setting when you're using a delivery time optimization workflow action step, there may be cases where it's appropriate to use.  The workflow settings are the master controller of the workflow, so the times of execution are respected. 

One thing you should be aware of and this setting works similarly with any other action in a workflow; if the delivery time optimization step recommends that an individual be delivered their email or move to the next action at 10:00pm based on that being their peak engagement time within the delivery window, if you have a setting that states actions can only execute between 9am to 6pm, HubSpot will not execute the action until 9am the next day.

While a contact(s) is in a delivery time optimization workflow action step, can I change the delivery window?

Short answer, no!

When a contact enters a delivery time optimization workflow action step, the delivery time is computed and set for that contact regardless of whether you change the delivery window while they are in the action step.

If it is a longer running campaign and contacts will always be flowing through the step, you can change the delivery window and any new contacts that hit that step will respect the delivery window as it appears in the workflow action step at that time.

Additionally, if for whatever reason you do need to change a the delivery window and there are contacts in that step, you can always add another delivery time optimization step after the original with a new delivery window.  You would then delete the original delivery time optimization step and anyone that is currently in the original action would immediately flow to the next delivery time optimization step which would then have the new delivery window take effect.

Pro Tip: One potential use case for the above is if you have a longer delivery window, say 5 days, and you have a conflicting email that needs to go to that audience on day 4.  Simply add another delivery time optimization step with a 1, 2 or 3 day delivery window, delete the original which will cause all the contacts to immediately move to the new step.

What delivery window should I use for my mailings?

Short answer, it depends!

Seventh Sense provides multiple "Delivery window" options for this very reason.  For example, if you have a time sensitive email that needs to go out "today", then you may want to use the 12 hour delivery window.

The biggest thing you want to consider when selecting your "Delivery window" is whether you have overlapping windows where you'll be delivering emails to the same list or portions of the same list.  The last thing you'll want to do is deliver a contact multiple emails within the same hour on the same day.

What happens if I use overlapping delivery windows?

Short answer, it depends!

For example, if you are delivering two emails in the same week and use a 7 day delivery window for both mailings, then you run the risk of delivering two emails to that same contact within the same hour on the same day.

For that reason, if you're sending to the same audience or a portion of audiences that are the same, we do not recommend having overlapping delivery windows.

Can I use the delivery time optimization workflow action to enroll contacts into another workflow or into a sales sequence?

Short answer, absolutely! 

You would simply place an "Email delivery optimization" action step that points to the other workflow or sales sequence.

Pro Tip: Enrolling contacts into a sales sequence from a workflow is only available with a HubSpot Marketing Enterprise subscription, however, you get the benefits of throttling the sales sequence email deliveries.

How do I monitor email deliveries within a workflow?

There are two areas where you can monitor deliveries when using a workflow.  The first being in the email dashboard as you would monitor performance of a regular email send.  The second place you can do this is on the "Details" screen of the actual workflow.  The "Details" screen has far more information as to the actions happening within the workflow and is best for troubleshooting issues.  Both provide near real time information.

How do I monitor the performance of an email being sent through a workflow?

You can monitor the performance of an email the same way you always have.  Simply navigate to the email dashboard and click on the email you want to see the performance for.

Can I turn off / delete a workflow after it has been used to deliver my batch / one-off email?

Short answer, absolutely! 

After a workflow has been used to deliver your email, you can either turn it off or simply delete it.  The workflow is only used as the delivery mechanism.  That said, we do recommend that you create workflow templates that you can easily clone for mailings that you send regularly.  For example, a bi-weekly newsletter.  This will save you time in the creation process of the workflow.

Can I see how many contacts are still scheduled to have their email delivered?

Short answer, absolutely! 

Just like any action within a HubSpot workflow, you can monitor how many people are still in that action by clicking on the action and then navigating to the "Contacts in action" tab.  

Pro Tip: When contacts are in a Seventh Sense action, it will display the max number of hours / minutes a contact can stay within the action.  So it does not display exactly when the contact will actually move to the next action step within the workflow like a workflow delay step does.

Can I use multiple Seventh Sense workflow actions in the same workflow?

Short answer, absolutely! 

In fact, depending on what the goal of the email is, we recommend it.  Just like you can add any number or variation of HubSpot actions with a workflow, you can do the same with Seventh Sense workflow actions.

Can I still deliver an email to multiple lists within a workflow?

Short answer, absolutely! 

Depending on the delivery type (start delivering immediately or scheduling an email delivery for a future date) you'll use different mechanisms. 

If you are performing a manual enrollment of a list into the workflow, you can add as many lists as you'd like through enrolling each list one at a time.  

If you are using a starting criteria, you can keep adding as many lists as you'd like by simply using the "is a member of list" option.

Will using workflows impact any of the analytics or reporting within the HubSpot email tool?

Short answer, no! 

Using workflows to deliver your emails has zero impact on the analytics or reporting capabilities within HubSpot.

Are there any limitations on how many people I can send through a workflow?

Short answer, no! 

Both HubSpot and Seventh Sense have built very scalable systems.

Are Seventh Sense actions fault tolerant?

Short answer, absolutely!

Seventh Sense has been working with HubSpot's engineering team for years and was actually part of the early discussions and beta as the custom workflow actions API was developed by HubSpot.  As part of these discussions, we collectively agreed to components of the system that would allow for failures to occur within Seventh Sense actions without causing disruption.

For example, if an email delivery optimization step fails for whatever reason, a contact would still proceed to the next action step in the workflow.  In short, contacts will never get "stuck" in a Seventh Sense workflow action step.

Why didn't everyone on my list(s) receive their email?

Seventh Sense will never eject a contact from a workflow.  Due to the fault tolerance of the integrated systems, if everyone did not receive their email, then it's likely due to a configuration issue of the list.  For example, if you don't remove unsubscribes, hard bounces, etc. from your list(s), or have "Don't send to contacts with low engagement enabled" or have not properly set all of the contacts within your list to marketing contacts, then HubSpot will drop them from the email step.

If you'd like to further troubleshoot these types of issues, then you should check out this support article or contact HubSpot's support. 

Can I change content of an email while it's being delivered?

Short answer, absolutely! 

While an email is being delivered, you can really change anything about the email.  For example, fix a misspelling or broken link, update the subject line because you had a better idea for it while you were in the shower that morning, update an image or promotional offer, etc.

What do the alerts mean that I've seen in the workflow?

If you see alerts within a HubSpot workflow that Seventh Sense actions were not able to execute, it's likely there was a failure in HubSpot's ability to communicate with Seventh Sense's system.  This could happen for a myriad of reasons.

Because the integration is designed to sustain failures, there is no corrective action that you need to take.

What happens if I turn off a workflow in the middle of an email delivery?

Regardless of using Seventh Sense workflow actions, if you turn off a workflow, all contacts that are in different steps of a workflow will be drained from the workflow.  Meaning they will proceed to the end of the workflow without any actions executing.

Can I add a delay after my email has been sent in case I want to do something with them later?

Short answer, absolutely! 

For example, if you are sending an email to a specific list and know you want to send them an email next week or next month, however, you don't have the content ready yet, you can simply add a long delay step which will hold all of the contacts until you are ready to execute the next mailing or action.  

I see some alerts / errors being reported in the HubSpot workflow stating that some delivery time optimization workflow actions didn’t execute. Should I be concerned?

Short answer - No.

At times there can be transient network errors in the communication between Seventh Sense and HubSpot. The two systems were designed to handle these types of failures through a timeout mechanism which means if a contact fails at the deliverability audit step, they will flow to the next step in the workflow.  So you will never see contacts get "stuck" in a delivery time optimization step.

Pro Tip - If you ever see more than a 1% failure rate, please open a support ticket with us at



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