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What's the Deal with HubSpot’s Offline Contact Creation

What's the Deal with HubSpot’s Offline Contact Creation

January 12, 2022

HubSpot’s source properties help us identify where contacts come from, including how they came to visit a website AND how they were created or updated via offline sources. 

The “Original Source” property tells us the first known source that a contact interacted with our business. It can be:

  • “Organic Search”
  • “Paid Search”
  • “Referrals”
  • “Direct Traffic“
  • “Organic Social“
  • “Paid Social“
  • “Email Marketing“
  • “Other Campaigns“
  • AND “Offline Sources“ - This one tends to confuse us.

Crack Marketing Automation

Usually, when a contact has the value “Offline sources”, it means they were created through an import, by API, or by an integration such as Salesforce. There are additional reasons, but they are less common.

It's often easy to figure out which one of these reasons it is by looking at two additional source properties, “Original source drill-down 1” and “Original source drill-down 2”. 

Sometimes, this isn’t so simple. There may be contacts created with the “Offline sources” value even if they originated from a web source. This is very misleading and frustrating.

This can occur when a contact uses an ad-blocker, which may block HubSpot’s tracking cookies. For example, a contact who first interacted with the chatbot on your website could have an “Offline sources” value if they blocked tracking cookies. Here is an excerpt from HubSpot’s knowledge base article regarding the subject:


HubSpot Offline Source Reasons

Contact Us to Decipher Your Contact List

As you may be aware, ad blockers are used by the visitors themselves to block certain web requests. Unfortunately, there is not much that can be done on HubSpot's side of things to bypass this. Here are some practical takeaways which may help mitigate and deal with offline contact creations:

  • Verify that your HubSpot tracking code and script are firing correctly. This can be done by going to your website > right click > inspect > Network tab > refresh the website > click the “Name” header. At the top, you should see your HubSpot portal’s code, which is a 7 digit number. Next to it, you should see the column “Status”. If it’s firing correctly, it should have the status “200”. Please refer to this guide for more information.

  • Create a custom report of the count of offline contacts created per month with a source drill-down. This can help to identify suspicious contact creations. 

    • Filter: Original Source = Offline sources

    • X-axis: Create date: monthly

    • Y-axis: Count of contacts

    • Break down by: Original source drill-down 1

Get in touch with Marketing Envy for more expert HubSpot wisdom and guidance.

PS: If you found this helpful, I'd really appreciate it if you can click here to share it on Twitter - besides helping my ego, it's just fun to get notifications 😉

About the Author

Arie Kelmachter

A data-centric, optimization-seeking B2B marketing operations consultant with a heavy focus on Marketo, Hubspot, and Salesforce. Adept in email marketing, database hygiene, lead nurturing, funnel design, alignment, data normalization, and optimization. Also, I love solving complex problems that people stay away from.

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