Be able to amend GDPR Subscription preferences through workflows

The new communications subscription properties are great, however only if using the HubSpot default form properties to gather consent. However, if we use custom properties for example, we have one that asks 'Do you want to optin - Yes or no' radio button, then there seems to be no way of starting a workflow that updates the subscription preferences. Also, third party providers such as Unbounce or Leadpages don't see the subscription preferences, and therefore we have to use custom properties in the forms.
53 Replies
Occasional Contributor

This option doesn't exist. Following the steps listed above is a manual process. I shouldn't have to set a calendar reminder to do this daily or weekly - it should be automatic through a workflow. 

Regular Contributor

^ Agreed

Occasional Contributor

Hi @bmccluskey,


Best practice is using the subscription type found in your system setting, so you don't have to make things unnecessarily complicated by creating workflows.


You could run the manual process once to align your contact property to the subscription type and make sure your forms GDPR compliant and have their consent in place containing the subscription type(s) moving forward.


It's a one time tedious effort, but it solves your struggles and you're using the system as intended.

Regular Contributor



We don't use Hubspot forms, so we defenitly need in the workflow and on Hubspot API. A lot of our contacts comes from "Offline sources" and GDPR subscription settings is a manual job for us.

Occasional Contributor

Hi @raphaelarias,


I see your point! That does make things a bit more challenging.

I guess it's not an option to consider switching over to HS forms? 😉


I will keep my eyes open for you guys whenever I find something useful.


We're in the same boat...   (we're a Ferry operation, so pun intended.....)  I have GDPR compliant information on our booking forms.  We we're good to go.  Use Collected Forms to bring that information into HS.  With a Workflow, I can change/update the Legal Basis to Contact, but not assign the Subscription Type.  Support says and can do, a manual update on anyone in that list, BUT.....  If I can do a process manually, why not automatically???  Isn't that what these computer thingies are for????  Smiley Tongue Smiley Tongue



Occasional Contributor

Hey Scott!


my two cents on this is that Hubspot has build their system so that it works perfectly fine when you're using their tools as intended. If someone only gets to use some of the tools, then things don't necessarily tie in to each other very well.

Hubspot shouldn't have to worry about supporting other ways of working while their system is set up fine.


If you'd ask me about the workflows... the idea behind the GDPR is that your contacts/customers tell your business what you are allowed to do with their data. So for me the first vital piece of consent would be to have consent to store and process their data. Once you have that, you can enroll your contact into your HS portal and start moving data around to your needs.


Meaning... as long as you don't have their consent logged in the system, you shouldn't be able to process data in the first place so in that case there's also no reason to have the option in for workflows to assign consent.


My advice would be, if optional for your business, to start using the HS forms instead. It will make your lives a hole lot easier.

Regular Contributor



We - businesses - are responsible for GDPR compliance, and I expect the tools I use to allow me to do that, not to prevent me. Specially in an efficent way, because at the end of the day, this is marketing automation, isn't it?


Easy to say we should use Hubspot as it was designed, hard to make thousands of business in different industries with different needs to accommodate one or few ways of working with a system.


That's why customisable workflows exist. That's why APIs exist and we can do whatever we want.


In my case, I can't use the forms. So, that means I'm not using Hubspot correctly? No, it means that Hubspot should support more flexible ways of using the features they designed.


And at the end of the day, if I make a mistake using all this flexibility - workflows, API - and because of that I'm not GDPR compliant anymore, that's my responsability.


Based on your advice, I should use forms, but what if I can't?


And Hubspot feedback on that continues to be silence.

Esteemed Contributor | Platinum Partner
@CST - Unfortunately it's not always as simple as this. Consider this - A client of mine is a chain of leisure centres with 20 branches. They get walk-in enquiries and joiners which are registered on their bespoke membership management system and all necessary GDPR requirements are met - An API then creates the contact in HubSpot - But there's no way of adding in the permissions other than doing this manually in HubSpot. Or another client who uses Unbounce as a landing page builder as unfortunately as much as it pains me to say, the functionality within HS isn't as good as Unbounce. On the form, we collect the necessary permissions, but there's no way of updating HS with this. Or another client who we are migrating from Infusionsoft over to HubSpot. I need to upload 1800 contacts - With no way of updating permissions. In an ideal world, everything would be done in HubSpot - But I can give you loads more examples where this just isn't possible.
Occasional Contributor

@CST We use Hubspot for everything... I do mean everything!

But as a subscribtion based company it is critical if we can't automatically add and (even more important) remove legal basis when a person start/stops as a customer.

I guess I can live with having to add the legal basis manually  – even though I bought HubSpot so they could relieve me from the manual processes. But I can't live with not being GDPR compliant because the legal basis isn't removed the moment a customer stops being a customer. A manual process involving humans is way to fragile a process.

Occasional Contributor

Hi @raphaelarias,


I agree that responsibility lies with us as a company and I understand what you're saying but I don't entirely agree to everything. All Hubspot needs to do is be GDPR compliant. They are. 

And yes, it is an almost impossible task to build a platform that provides in all the needs for those thousands of businesses. So basically you already gave your own answer and yes it is indeed easy to say that using the available feature makes your live easier. But hey... It is a fact you can't denie that is does make it easier and as long as no one else provides solutions, this is the only obvisous solution I have to share with you guys. Up to you to do with it whatever you like 😉


Like you said so yourself.... they have great API's available which allow you to develop all kinds of cool stuff. Downside is that not everyone has the skills or knowledge to develop something so this is only useful for coders. So if you can ... go ahead! Put your creative mind to use 🙂


I never said that people who don't use all the HS tools are using it wrong. I just said that "if optional for your busines", it would make your lives a hole lot easier. All I'm doing is try to explane why things do or don't work as they are right now.

Regular Contributor



We do use the API. That's why we need subscription options update via API.


I appreciate your help and suggestions, truly do. Does not change the fact these are features missing on both workflows and API.


And I would like to hear from Hubspot too. They've been very silent regarding the issue.

Occasional Contributor



I'm assume you already found this page?

Not entirely sure what you specifically are trying to find out but you should be able to assign the subscription types via API.


Regular Contributor



Yes, I saw this page before. And as far as I can see now, Hubspot has increased their API coverage. Before it was only possible to unsubscribe, now apparently it's possible to subscribe too.


I'll double check if that's the case.




@CST Unfortunately, using a HS form is impossible.  The form that's being filled out, is from our reservations software, for customer purchases.  We do get permission from them to send and the types of mail to send.  Hubspot then automatically imports this "form" information", ie name, address, phone, etc.  It will not assign, automatically, the Legal Basis (which we have received.  This I can do via a workflow, but the assigning to a subscription type, cannot be in a flow.  I can manage this list manually and in that way assign these people to the correct Subscription Type.  It's the logic that defies me.  If we can do something manually AND it's legal and aboveboard, we should be able to automate the same process.



Occasional Contributor

Exactly, Scott. 


  1. The responsibility to be GDPR compliant falls to individual companies. HubSpot has enabled their platform for compliance, so now the onus is on each company to use the platform responsibly.
  2. There really isn't any logic to their decision. If I can go into the sales tool, hit "more," and update the subscription type for 60,000 people at once, there's aboslutely no reason I shouldn't be able to do the same in a workflow.



Occasional Contributor

Hi all,

is it possible to create a workflow to double opt out in order to confirm an unsubcription (e.g. unsubscription from a newsletter)?


best regards
Sebastian Winter

New Contributor

100% Agree, when using a mix of HS and LinkedIn Leadgen forms there is no way for us to automate this. Seems foolish this is left out of workflows. 

Esteemed Contributor

Great idea, a must-have feature!

Status updated to: In Planning
HubSpot Product Team

This is currently being worked on by the team!


We do not have a hard ETA yet though are pushing to get this out soon.