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Missing associations between HubSpot objects cause problems throughout your organization. Your sales and marketing teams rely on accurately related objects for context in sales conversations and account-based marketing applications. Customer support and success teams also miss important information, and analysis and reporting are skewed. Missing relationships can impact your customers across the entire customer journey.

With Insycle's Associate app, you can automatically detect relationships and link contacts, companies, deals, custom objects, and other object types in bulk. You can create hierarchical associations such as child and parent relationships, and you can copy data between the linked records. This will maintain order in your HubSpot CRM and give your teams a complete picture of every account.

Key Use Cases

How It Works

The Associate app makes it easy to match different HubSpot object types, or identify parent-child relationships and associate them in bulk.

Powerful filtering options let you segment objects based on attributes like existing relationship identifiers, company names, domains, or any other field. Records that meet these criteria can automatically be linked to other records based on matching rules, and labels can be applied.

These configurations can be saved and automated, set to run automatically at regular intervals, putting your association process on autopilot.

Supported HubSpot Record Types

The following HubSpot CRM objects are supported in Insycle:

  • Contacts
  • Companies
  • Deals
  • Tickets
  • Line Items
  • Custom Objects

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1: Filter Records Down to Those You Want to Associate

Navigate to RevOps Acceleration > Associate.

Select the database and the record type in the top menu. Then explore the templates for an existing solution that may be close to what you need.

Each row in Step 1 is for a field you want to look at to determine whether to include or exclude a record from this task. With this filter, you're telling Insycle what records you would like to update. 

In the below example, contacts that do not have an Associated Company ID but do have a Company Name, will be included in the results.

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When you click Search, Insycle will list records in the Record Viewer at the bottom of the page. If you make changes to the filter, you need to click the Search button again to refresh the viewer.

Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Create the Relationship

With HubSpot, there are two options for creating associations between record types:

  1. Use a field that should have matching values on each record. For instance, you might select "Company" for contact records, and "Company Name" for company records.
  2. Use existing relationships to fill in missing associations. For example, if you already have relationships between contacts and deals, and also between contacts and companies, you can use these relationships to create associations between deals and companies.

Using Field Values to Match Records and Create Associations

Under Step 2, define the rules for matching the different records in bulk and create the relationship:

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The first line tells Insycle what action to take on what records:

1. Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. You can AddRemove, or use the Replace action to remove existing associations and create new ones.

2. Associate specifies the type of record you want to create the relationship with. In the example above, Contacts will be associated to Companies.

3. The Labels field names the relationship.

4. Click the Companies Filter button to narrow the target records down to those that would be a good fit for this relationship.

In the Company Filter popup you could, for example, add the "Company name," field and set the Condition, "exists." This tells Insycle to only consider companies for association if the Company Name field has a value in the database.

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Click Search to apply the filter and close the popup. Note that the Company filter will not update the results in the Record Viewer, only in your final Review steps.

The next line tells Insycle what values to use to identify matches between the records:

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5. The Field Name is the field from the source record (in this example, Contact) you want to try and match with the target record (Company). In the example above, Company Name from the Contact record will be used. 

6. The Match Field is the target field to be matched with the source record. In this example, the Company Name field from the Company records will be analyzed for a match.

The Field Name and Match Field are often the same for both records.

7. The Comparison Rule tells Insycle whether the values between the Contact and Company records must be an Exact Match or Similar Match. In most cases, you'd select Exact Match, but you can learn more about these Comparison Rules in the Advanced How-Tos below.

8. In the Ignored field you can specify parts of a field value to ignore, such as specific text, whitespace, or characters. In the dropdown, check the box for the values you'd like to ignore.

In the example, the Ignore rule tells Insycle to ignore a list of Common Terms that may appear in the Company Name field such as "LLC," "Inc." or "Co." This is often a necessary field for matching companies. To view or alter the list of Common Terms, click the Terms button at the bottom of this section (see below).

9. The Match Parts field tells Insycle whether to match the entire field or just part of it—such as the first or last few words, or first and last characters.

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10. If no matching company is found, an association will not be created. In these cases, you can choose to automatically create a new company object based on what is in the contact record. Check the Create new Companies when no matching is found box to enable.

There are a couple of things to note when using this setting:

  • This feature only works when associating contacts to companies, not companies to contacts.
  • When using the "Exact Match" Comparison Rule, the "Create new..." setting could potentially create duplicates, so you should be thoughtful with the Matching Field and Comparison Rule that you use.

11. The Ignored "Common Terms" can be edited using the Terms button.

12. Check the Count unmatched Contacts records as Failed box to flag unmatched contacts as "Failed" on the Result popup and in the CSV report. When left unchecked, unmatched records are counted as "Unmodified."

Using Existing Relationships to Create Associations

Under Step 2, click the Related tab and configure the rules:

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  1. The Action tells Insycle what to do to the records surfaced in Step 1. You can AddRemove, or use the Replace action to remove existing associations and create new ones.
  2. The Association is the relationship you want to create, the one that is missing on the source record. In the below example, we want to create a relationship between deals and companies.
  3. On the Related From dropdown, select the association that already exists on the source records, and already has the same relationship you want to add to the source records. In this example, the deal records are already associated with contact records, and those contacts are already linked to companies. 
  4. On the Related To dropdown, select the relationship from the associated record to copy to the source record. In this example, we'll copy the contact's associated company to the deal.

Use the HubSpot association Labels to categorize the relationships or filter the related records. A Label option must be selected for each rule. If you don't want any labels applied, use the Unlabeled option.

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  1. Use the Association Labels to categorize the relationship. You can add, remove, or replace one or more labels based on the Action you've selected. In the below example, the new relationship between a deal and company will be labeled as "Primary."
  2. The Related From Labels act as a filter where only the existing associated records with the matching labels will be used/looked at. In the example, only contact records with a "Decision Maker" label will be used.
  3. The Related To Labels act as a filter where only relationships with the selected label will be copied to the source record. In this example, only companies with "Primary," or "Branch" labels will be added to deals.

Learn more about Using Existing HubSpot Associations to Fill in Missing Relationships.

Step 3: Copy Values between the Associated Records (Optional)

If there is valuable information in either of the records you are creating the relationships with, you can automatically copy values between them to avoid errors and save time.

Under Step 3, select the field from the source record type (in this example, contact), and the relevant field on the target records (companies). You can choose to copy values from the source record to the target, or target record to the source. In the example, the address will always be copied from the company to the contact.

The Copy Rule gives you three options:

  • Only when Target Field is empty
  • Only when Source Field is not empty
  • Always copy

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The preview CSV will include these fields, and specify if the value was copied for each record.

Step 4: Preview and Apply Changes to Your HubSpot Records

Preview Changes in a CSV Report

Now with the filters and association/linking actions in place, you can preview the changes you are making to your data. That way, you can check to ensure the relationships are being created as expected before those changes are made in your live database.

Under Step 4, click the Review button, then select Preview in the popup.

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On the Notify tab, add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

On the When tab, click Run Now and select which records to apply the change to (in most cases this will be All, but if you have a large number of records, you may just want to do a chunk for a test), then click the Run Now button.

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Open the CSV file from your email in a spreadsheet application and review the columns.

When using fields to make associations, each row in the CSV includes:

  1. Source record info (in this example, contacts)
  2. Target record info (companies)
  3. Source field value before it is changed
  4. Target field value
  5. Result of the copy operation (if set up in Step 3)
  6. Result of the association. This example shows, "Added" which means an association was made.

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When using existing relationships to make associations, each row in the CSV includes:

  1. Source record type (in this example, deals), with the ID, Deal name, and deeplink to the HubSpot record.
  2. Related record type (contacts), with the ID, email, and deeplink.
  3. Record type to be associated (companies), with the ID, company name, and deeplink.
  4. Result of the association. This example shows, "Added" which means an association was made.

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If you set a copy operation up in Step 3, the CSV will also include info about the copy results.

If the results don't look the way you expected, go back to your filters in Step 1 or functions in Step 2 and try making some adjustments, then preview again.

Apply Changes to HubSpot

If everything in your CSV preview looks correct, return to Insycle and move forward with applying the changes to the live HubSpot data.

Under Step 4, click the Review button again, and this time select Update mode.

On the When tab, you should use Run Now the first time you apply these changes to the CRM.

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Save a Template and Set Up Automation

After you've seen the results in HubSpot and you are satisfied with how the operation runs, you can save all of the configurations as a template, and set up automation so this association operation runs on a set schedule.

Return to the Template menu at the top of the page and click Copy to save your configurations as a new version of whatever template you started with. Then click the pencil to edit your new template name.

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Under Step 4, click the Review button, and select Update mode.

On the Notify tab, select the send option appropriate for your automation: Always send, Send when errors, or Do not email.

Add any additional recipients who should receive the CSV (and make sure to hit Enter after each address). You can also provide additional context in the message subject or body.

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On the When tab, select Automate, and configure the frequency you'd like the template to run. When finished, click Schedule.

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Create a template for each segment and association configuration, then you can create a Recipe to automatically run them together. You can also integrate Insycle Recipes into HubSpot Workflows.

Audit Trail and History

With the Activity Tracker, you have a complete audit trail and history of changes made through Insycle, including processes run in Preview mode or data syncs. At any time you can download a CSV report that lets you see all of the changes that were made in a given run of the operation.

Navigate to the Activity Tracker, search by module, app, or template name, then click the Run ID for the operation.

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Tips for Creating Associations in HubSpot

  • There are two ways to create associations between HubSpot records:
    • Use a field with a similar value in both records. For example, "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website Domain" on the company. Then, you can pick those fields to match the records and establish the association.
    • Copy associations from existing relationships. For example, if you already have relationships between contacts and deals, and also between contacts and companies, you can use these relationships to create associations between deals and companies.
  • You can add, remove, or replace associations with multiple labels in bulk, with one action.
  • You can make associations in both directions: for example, contacts to companies, or companies to contacts.
  • Though making associations will work in both directions, consider that contacts to companies is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "If Company is Not Found Create New Company" feature) are only designed to work when contacts are being associated to companies.
  • For straightforward relationships with obvious matching fields, the direction of the relationship doesn't matter. But in some cases, such as creating associations with custom objects or child and parent companies, the direction may be important. If you are having trouble, try changing the direction of the association.

HubSpot Specific Considerations

Primary Associations

HubSpot records allow for multiple associations. For instance, a contact might be associated with both a primary company, as well as several subsidiary companies. In HubSpot, you can designate an association as the "Primary" association. This is visible on the record's profile page. The "Primary" tag is technically a label but has other implications such as that association showing at the top of association lists and being more visible within the UI. 

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With Insycle, you can add or remove the "Primary" label using the matching rules you set for your template.

Learn more about using the HubSpot Primary label in Insycle.

Multiple Associations and Labels

The Associate app supports HubSpot's multiple associations and association labels. You can use Insycle to add or remove multiple associations between any objects (including custom objects and parent/child companies) and select an association label. For example, associate two companies with the same contact, label one company "primary," and the other as "agency."

Insycle also supports the ability to add or remove child and parent company associations and hierarchies, using rules, in bulk.

Learn more about managing HubSpot labels with Insycle.

Advanced How-Tos

Using Existing Relationships to Fill In Additional Associations Use Case

Let's say you are a SaaS company, and someone has signed up as a user for a trial which creates a contact and a deal that are already associated. HubSpot automatically creates an association between the contact and company using the domain, but you also want to create a relationship with the company the deal is for.

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In the Associate app, you select the deals object type, since this is part of the association you want to create. On the Related tab of Step 2, you tell Insycle to look at the contacts that are associated with each deal, then take the company from each contact and add it to the deal record.

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Insycle then goes through all of the deals in your segment and associates deals to companies based on what's in the related contact records.

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Using Exact Match vs. Similar Match Comparison Rules in Step 2

The Comparison Rule defines what kind of likeness to look for when deciding if field values should be considered a match for association.

It's a good idea to start with Exact Match for the straightforward matches, then use Similar Match to look for edge cases.

Exact Match looks for values that match exactly, with no differences from one record to the next. Any unique identifying fields should use Exact Match. This is usually your best bet when looking for associations.

Similar Match looks for values that may be close but with a one-character difference (like a typo, extra character, or missing character) and broadens the search. This search behaves like when Google shows results for a slightly different term or says “Did you mean...”

For example, if a Company Name of, “Acme” is found, it could include records with the Company Name values, “Akme," "acm," or "Acma,” as matches.

Similar Match uses looser criteria that cast a wider net for what can be considered matches. Make sure to carefully review the results to ensure the relationships being created are what you're expecting.

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*Note that ID fields can only be Exact Match, never Similar Match.

Removing Associations

With Insycle, you can remove associations and all labels for that association in one step. Select the Remove action, and all relevant labels, including unlabeled ones, in the Labels dropdown. 

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With Insycle, this is all done in one step. 

Learn more about using associations and labels in HubSpot.

Flag Unmatched Records in Your Inbox

When using the Associate app, you have the option to be alerted when records aren’t matched. This may be helpful if you want to investigate and address any records where a relationship has not been created.

Under Step 2 check the Count unmatched records as Failed box.

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Then in the Step 4 popup on the Notify tab, you can select the email delivery option “Always send,” or “Send when errors.”

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When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a “with Failures” suffix on the report email subject line…

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…and a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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When you save this associate configuration as a template and set up automation, the report emails will let you know when a relationship has not been created for a record so you can address it as needed.

Troubleshooting

There's a "Failed, multiple sources/target matches," Result in CSV

A "Failed, multiple target matches (x)" or "Multiple sources matched" result occurs when multiple records meet your matching specifications. For example, if you were linking contacts to companies, and Insycle found ten company records with the name "Microsoft," it wouldn't know which Microsoft to establish the relationship with.

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There are a few options for resolving this issue:

  1. If there shouldn't be multiples of these records you should first go through the process of merging duplicates before trying to create these relationships.
  2. If there are supposed to be multiple similar, but distinct records, you can add another matching field in Step 2 to make the criteria more specific. A record would have to match both field values to be considered appropriate for making the relationship. associate-hubspot-contacts-to-companies-step-2-domain-and-country.png
  3. Or, use the filter in Step 2 to narrow the records to be associated.
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    In the filter popup you could, for example, add the "Company name," field and set the Condition, "contains" "HQ." This tells Insycle to only consider companies for association if the Company Name value includes the term "HQ."
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There's an "Unmodified, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

An "Unmodified, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" result occurs when there aren’t any records that meet your matching specifications.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

There's a "Failed, no matching record found…," Result in CSV

When using the Associate app, you have the option under Step 2 to Count unmatched records as Failed. When checked, any record where there is no match to create the association will be counted as “Failed.” This will be reflected by a, "Failed, no matching record found (use 'Grid Edit' to troubleshoot)" message in the Result column of the CSV report.

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You can examine the data in the unmatched records and troubleshoot using the Grid Edit module. Look at different fields and values to identify why your associate setup didn’t work for the record. Then decide what match options could work or if some cleanup is needed.

Learn more about reviewing your data using the Grid Edit module.

There's a "Failed, not related to [Companies] through [Contacts] association" Result in the CSV

When using existing relationships to make associations, a "Failed, not related to [record type] through [record type] association" error in the CSV's Result column indicates the record associated to your selected source record type does not have the association you are looking for.

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For example, if you are setting up the process to associate deals to companies by looking at the contact records, if a contact doesn’t have a company associated with it, there is nothing to copy to the deals.

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I get an "Association Validation Error" when I click the Review button in the Associate app

In the Associate app, if you click the Review button under Step 4 and are met with an "Association Validation Error" message, it's most likely that you forgot to set the Labeling for one or more of your association rules.

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Under Step 2, each part of the association rule must have one or more Label options selected. If you don't want any labels applied, use the Unlabeled option.

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Remember, the Association Labels categorize the relationship, the Related From Labels act as a filter on the related record, and the Related To Labels act as a filter on the relationships to be copied to the source record. For more detail, see the Step 2: Configure Rules That Will Create the Relationship section above.

No Obvious Field to Use for Matching Between the Two Record Types

Bulk associations require that you have a field that you can use to match the two records. For instance, you might select "Company" for contact records, and "Company Name" for company records. You then use these two fields to associate the two records.

But what do you do if you have no obvious matching field between the two record types that you would like to associate?

For example, maybe you would like to associate contacts not only with the company that they work for but with the parent company as well. In this scenario, it is not very likely that you capture the parent company on the contact record, which means that you may have no field to use to match the association. As a result, you'll need to create a custom field for contacts and companies, such as "Custom Parent Company." Ideally, if child companies are already associated with parent companies, you'll be able to pull this data from your company records and populate both custom fields using your CRM's automation features.

Then, you'll be able to use the Custom Parent Company field for both contacts and companies to make the match.

The key is finding a data point that would allow you to match the associations, even if it is only available for one object type. Then you can create the custom matching fields that allow you to make the associations.

It's Taking a Long Time for Insycle to Find Related Records

When associating using fields in Step 2, it can take a while for Insycle to find and match records if the fields being used to identify the relationship have very long values. The longer the values the longer it takes Insycle to process the data and generate the results. This might come up when using links with long ID numbers, LinkedIn bios, or other URLs with long strings (e.g., https://www.linkedin.com/in/svadin%C3%ADr-n%C4%9Bmec-1234b31a3/).

If the end of the values are all unique you can try and speed this up by using the Match Parts parameter under Step 2, which will limit the comparison to the last several characters.

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Or use the Ignored > Text (Substrings) parameter, and click the Terms button.

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On the Ignored Text tab of the popup, add the common portion of the URL or text string.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What fields can I use to create associations?

You can use any field in your database to create relationships between records, you just need to figure out which field in each record type will have the same value. For instance, you might select "Company" for contact records, and "Company Name" for company records. Or you could use "Email Domain" on the contact, and "Website Domain" on the company.

Commonly used fields for linking include company names, company domains, and company URLs.

Can I associate companies to contacts instead of contacts to companies?

Yes. You can associate in either direction.

Though making relationships will work in both directions, consider that contacts to companies is the standard direction, and some features (such as the "If Company is Not Found Create New Company" feature) are only designed to work when contacts are being associated to companies.

Or in some cases, such as creating relationships with custom objects or child and parent companies, the direction may be important.

Can Insycle manage parent-child associations and links?

Yes, Insycle can help manage parent-child associations. For more information, see the Associate or Link Parent-Child Companies article.

Can Insycle create and associate a new company record if there isn't one found?

Yes. If no matching record is found, you can choose to automatically create a new company record based on what is in the contact record. Under Step 2, check the Create new Companies when no matching is found box to enable, then select the field to use for naming the new company.

How can I identify companies created using Insycle's "Create new Company..." checkbox?

When Insycle creates a company record during the association process, the Original Source Data 2 property value will be "Insycle Data Management."

Can Insycle associate activities with a company or other record?

Currently, it is not possible to access, update, or associate HubSpot activities in Insycle.

Can I integrate my Insycle template with a HubSpot Workflow?

Yes. With Insycle's Associate app, you can create advanced association templates and run them from within HubSpot Workflows.

You’ll need to configure association templates in Insycle, bundle them into a Recipe, and insert the Recipe into your HubSpot Workflow.

Learn how in the Associate Records in HubSpot Workflows article.

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Additional Resources

Related Help Articles

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