The best way to keep Outlook and HubSpot in sync

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April 24, 2019


HubSpot is a state-of-the-art CRM and marketing beast, whereas Outlook is the environment you probably spend most of your working day in. If you’re not properly connecting these two apps, you’re missing out. PieSync offers a perfect bridge between Outlook and HubSpot.

Doesn't HubSpot already have a built-in connection with Outlook?

There are a couple of Outlook plug-ins available for HubSpot users. Whether it's a desktop tray application to install or a web browser extension, these add-ons, among other things, help transfer email conversations from Outlook to have them show up in HubSpot. They also allow you to look up HubSpot details from within Outlook.

Essentially, these plug-ins process data under an on-demand principle. They will visualize actionable information, when, and only when you are working on a certain contact record.

None of these solutions actually processes Outlook’s or HubSpot’s data in the background, and that could be an issue. Data is changing all the time in both apps, and these extensions don't really offer a true two-way solution. But don't worry, that's where PieSync steps in!

Why should you choose PieSync to sync HubSpot and Outlook?

On the HubSpot community forums it seems to be a source of some disappointment that a sync with Outlook contacts is not offered out of the box.

PieSync truly strengthens the link between your contacts databases. It will make sure that contacts you manage in HubSpot are available in Outlook and vice-versa.

This consistency is required for various reasons. Think of email communication that takes place in Outlook: it can only be properly linked inside HubSpot if the contacts exist there in the first place.

Sure, HubSpot has a fully functioning mobile app which gives you access to those contacts. But that’s not enough. You need HubSpot contacts to live inside Outlook, because your smartphone syncs natively to Outlook but not HubSpot. With PieSync, you’ll have the benefit of recognizing incoming calls immediately, based on whatever info is found in HubSpot. Working caller ID. Finally.

All contact attributes will live in perfect two-way synchronization: up-to-date contacts all the time.

Just to be clear: which contacts will be synced by PieSync?

PieSync provides a solution to bidirectionally sync contacts you would find in Microsoft Outlook, specifically inside personal contacts folders. A personal Outlook Contacts folder easily syncs with your smartphone.

If you’re looking to sync other Outlook contacts, like those from a GAL or a public folder, check out this article on CiraSync.

Sync these two apps

Sounds great! How do I set up this sync?

If you haven't already, start your free PieSync trial and set up a sync between Hubspot and Outlook. A one-time operation involves logging into both apps at this stage, which is super easy. A popup will open inside PieSync and you can log in to both platforms respectively. This brings you to the sync setup, where you can leave everything in its default settings or create some custom syncs.

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The connection can be adjusted in several ways. The default setting of a sync is always a two-way sync. This means you allow PieSync to transfer changes you make to contacts in HubSpot as well as in Outlook. We recommend you keep this two-way setting. However, make sure you understand the two rules that you start off with by default:

  • All contacts in Outlook will go into HubSpot, so that may include personal contacts.
  • All contacts in HubSpot will go into Outlook, so you're running the risk of making this sync very heavy depending on your database.

To avoid those unwanted scenarios, you can use filters or switch off any of these two rules if they don't fit your workflow. This quick video shows the various options:

What are filters and actions?

Filters and actions allow you to customize your sync settings. For instance, consider the following example where contacts in an Outlook folder are matched up to an owner in HubSpot:

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There is a toggle at the bottom of this rule meaning you can also consider the rule in the other way around. Depending on the owner in HubSpot, some contacts will be synced to Outlook, and others will be kept out of scope. You can create these if-then rules for anything you like.

More settings!

In addition, PieSync gives you some pre-programmed options to manage the sync, such as choosing which application would ‘win’ when a conflicting change is detected. Usually, you let your CRM win, but of course, this is an individual choice.

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This toggle is very relevant if you are firing up an Outlook-HubSpot sync with lots of contacts already living on both sides. For example, John may exist in Outlook as well as in HubSpot, with a mobile phone number in both systems. In that situation, PieSync needs to know once which of the two phone numbers to keep moving forward.

Once the sync is running, every contact that you add or edit that matches your filters will get synced to the other side in no more than 5 minutes.

The progress of your sync can be followed on your dashboard as shown below:

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In the video below, you will see different possibilities to sync HubSpot.

Want to discover more great tips for Outlook? Click here to download our ebook “The Ultimate Guide to Outlook People”.

More information about the two apps can be found here: Office 365 and HubSpot.

Try PieSync for free

About Frans Leys

Frans helps various companies set up their data syncs, collecting all kinds of customer feedback to drive the PieSync platform forward. He started his career in corporate finance and switched four years ago to work with exciting software startups as a solutions engineer for SMEs.