No Location on activity feed

GailNYC

I am writing to complain about your new policy (effective in early August 2019) of not showing location with the email opens.

I rely on that info to let me know if someone is out of town, or if the email has been forwarded to another person in another location.

Can you reconsider this? It's really a big disappointment!

HubSpot updates
Status updated to: Not Currently Planned
Aug 6, 2019

Aug 6, 2019

Wanted to share a quick update. We continue to investigate solutions for multiple recipient tracking -- including a better way to mitigate self-open notifications. Any solution we implement, however, is unlikely to use IP address -- so exploring the right way to handle it will take us some time. 


In the meantime, we are moving forward with the removal of location data from the activity feed tomorrow to respect recipient privacy. We will continue to update this thread as we make progress.

 

-Matt

Status updated to: Idea Submitted
Jul 26, 2019

Hi folks,

 

I’m the Director of Product responsible for the sales products. We very much appreciate all this feedback. Removing location was a hard decision, and ultimately we feel it is the right one. There is an ongoing discussion in the industry about the ethics of location data of email recipients. I don’t want HubSpot to be on the wrong side of that discussion, and I want to be proud of what we build. We do understand that for some users, removing the location information from the activity feed is negatively impacting your experience, and so my team and I are looking at ways to improve both self open notifications and multiple recipient tracking. Stay tuned.

 

Thanks for listening,

Matt 

Jul 26, 2019

@stiebens61, you're right. While we are still able to minimize the risk of false open and click notifications for any activities that you perform, there are times where this technology simply won't work based on a few different factors. I've ammended my previous comment.

Jul 26, 2019

Thank you all for sharing your feedback.

 

We understand that some of our customers use location data to differentiate between recipients in one-to-many email sends. While it’s never an easy decision to remove functionality from our product, we believe this is the right thing to do to protect the privacy of the end customer.

 

We made the decision to remove the location feature after analyzing its current use and weighing that against its potential for abuse and privacy concerns for the recipients. We are currently exploring other ways to provide this functionality that don’t include revealing location data and will keep our community updated on progress.

 

Hope this helps!

Jul 25, 2019

Hi there, 

 

I'm Elise -- one of the product marketing managers here at HubSpot -- with a quick update on this. 

 

To start, thank you all for sharing your feedback and voicing your concerns. We always try to strike a balance between giving our customers the tools they want and being mindful of the impact those tools have on their audience. While email tracking is a valuable tool, we believe that tracking location data doesn’t improve the email recipient’s experience, and it feels out of step with evolving consumer expectations around privacy.

136 Replies
heathcliff
Member

TODAY'S HUBSPOT NEWSLETTER (cut and paste below) confirms that location is being removed.  Reading the company's verbiage, they seem to be genetically unable to simply tell the truth, but must dissemble and indulge in corporate-speak, such as "We don’t believe surfacing location information provides enough value to the end-recipient, however."  We, your customers, weren't purchasing your service for its value to the "end-recipient" (the person to whom we were sending the email).  Why would you even write that, and what does even mean???? 

 

Removing Location Data from the Activity Feed

Note: This post has been updated in response to customer feedback and questions.

Effective August 7, 2019, location data will no longer appear in the activity feed. 

Previously, HubSpot used the IP address of the person opening the email to surface a predicted open location for tracked emails:

Screen Shot 2019-07-22 at 2.14.09 PM

You will continue to have the option to track email opens and receive notifications whenever those emails are opened or clicked, but as of August 7, location information will be omitted: 

location_new

Update:  Since announcing this upcoming change, we have heard from some of our customers that they do find value in this feature. They have provided feedback that they use location information to differentiate between recipients in one-to-many email sends. We hear you on that point and are currently exploring other ways to provide one-to-many differentiation that doesn’t include revealing location information. 

We don’t believe surfacing location information provides enough value to the end-recipient, however. We try to create software that both helps our customers and their end-customers. Removing location from the activity stream is more in line with that goal, and we believe it’s the right thing to do to protect the email recipient’s privacy.

oldskoul
Participant

@ebeck.  

To start, WE are your customer and we want the location info. +  tracking tool.   Your/our audience is not purchasing your service we are.   Your customers in this thread, your customers, are not interested in what you believe improves our experience.   Please add the location data AND opening client information back in (phone, computer etc.  )

 

Also how about working on additional functionality rather than reducing?,  for example we are still waiting for integration for 'Outlook Stand Alone version for MAC'. 

 

Also with the announced reduction in service is there a reduction in cost? 

heathcliff
Member

Alternatives:  my challenge is that I use Outlook, and have multiple emails for different initiatives.  So far, the alternative options I've found - mixmax, outreach, bananatag - cover only one email or only track gmail.  

Agent314
Participant

Well @heathcliff ... sounds like there's a need in the market to be filled. I'm still hoping HS steps up before the 7th to mitigate this in some way. I'm not optimistic on this, however I do not live in expectation but rather the expectency of the best possible outcome. That always works for me because, while I stay focused on the destination (whatever that may be), I always keep all my options open on how I'm going to get there! One phrase which I frequently invoke when things feel like they're going south or I'm not getting what I want is THIS, OR SOMETHING BETTER. It all works together. And it always works.

 

There's a lot of politics and fear on the company side, and certainly fear on the part of their customers. As many of you know, fear has limited usefulness. Most of time, it is the root of evil and/or unhappiness and unhelpful behavior. Have a nice weekend everyone! - Jeff

heathcliff
Member

@Agent314 Wise words, and I subscribe to those sentiments, though I am seeking (as-yet-not-found) alternatives in this case.  The key variable is that HubSpot competitors are all still incorporating location ID'ing, which is confounding if HubSpot feels the necessity to eliminate.

 

ddefiore
Member

Yes, I'm VERY upset about you guys taking away this feature. I often send group emails, and I need to confirm who opens the email, based on their location, which is ALL over the country. I just can't believe this!

ddefiore
Member

Very upset about this. We use this feature all the time for our business!

Doug1
Member

It's for our own good and is quite the "Improvement"

Agent314
Participant

@Doug1 Not sure you are serious, but if you are, I suspect the rest of the group on this thread and many others would expect you to explain yourself... Kind of a suspicious post, but just my opinion.

Agent314
Participant

BTW... two days left. Any odds on a positive response from HS? Sad...

oldskoul
Participant

My location info is still working 8/5. Thus i have not cancelled HS .. 

Doug1
Member

@Agent314  Along the lines of "I'm from the government and I'm here to help".  All in Jest I can assure you.  

MarkFnkl
Member

My subscription does not end until August 11, but I have already submitted my cancellation notice, and explained that it was because of the termination of location information. I can always re-subscribe if the decision is reversed, but I see no indication that that will happen.

Agent314
Participant

@Doug1 Yeah, I sort of thought that but I agree with your sentiment. Big tech has gotten just a bit arrogant. Not that HS qualifies as Big Tech, but... (sigh).

oldskoul
Participant

@Agent314. LOL agreed.  All the little head tech wants to be their own Mark Zuck governing (what they think is) better policy,  in their 'own heads'.   

mschnitt
HubSpot Product Team

Wanted to share a quick update. We continue to investigate solutions for multiple recipient tracking -- including a better way to mitigate self-open notifications. Any solution we implement, however, is unlikely to use IP address -- so exploring the right way to handle it will take us some time. 


In the meantime, we are moving forward with the removal of location data from the activity feed tomorrow to respect recipient privacy. We will continue to update this thread as we make progress.

 

-Matt

Status updated to: Not Currently Planned
mschnitt
HubSpot Product Team
 
Doug1
Member

Wonder which Manager will take the hit when revenue drops?

Agent314
Participant

Very disappointing on all fronts and not very professional. Highly diminished product and no encouragement whatsoever. I think they've written us off and don't care. Sad day... (sigh)

 

BTW... It will be interesting to see if they leave this thread up!

JTTaylor
Member

Yes, I now have to figure out how to export my CRM in a format I can insert into another database ...meh. I am canceling before next billing period. Agree that this was pretty poorly handled.