10 Advanced Criteria for Identifying Leads to Delete Out of Your HubSpot Database

By Ross Andrew Simons

not-breakup-ecard-someecards.jpgYour HubSpot contact database has ballooned in size. You’re way over your cap. Your HubSpot subscription renewal date is staring you down. And you know that if you don’t delete some of those leads, you’re going to pay hundreds of dollars a month in additional costs for HubSpot.

So, your mission is to cut down the size of your database by deleting leads out of it. We get it; that’s smart, it’s going to be a big money-saver. Keep in mind that every “extra” lead in your database costs between $0.01 (for HubSpot Enterprise users), $0.05 (for HubSpot Professional users) and $0.10 (for HubSpot Basic users). That’s not much on a per-lead basis, and the return-on-investment on some of those leads could be substantial; of course, not every lead is created equal and some of those may never return value.

We want to help you make the right decisions on who to cut out, that way you only cut out leads that are unlikely to return value for your organization.

Generally, you’re going to cut out leads based on two things:

  • Lead Behavior - do they even seem interested in what you’ve been providing them, for free, thus far?
  • Lead Demographics - are they even qualified to use your products/services?

Below, we’ve provided some deletion criteria for you to build into a HubSpot smart list. Keep in mind that these are starting points, but you would ultimately want to adjust them for your unique situation. Anything that’s been underlined below is easily adjustable to your unique situation.

(This article was reviewed for content and up to date as of 2018.)

Lead Behavior

In this section, we’re trying to identify leads who simply aren’t responding to your attempts. Think of this like dating--you’re reaching out, you’re texting them, you’re messaging them, maybe you even sent them a Facebook friend request...and you’ve been either met with a tepid response, or no response at all.

If their behavior doesn’t indicate interest, despite your best efforts, then it’s time to move on. Remember: if you haven’t been actively marketing to them over the last 3-6 months, then you should give them a free pass; it’s not fair to break up with them when you haven’t been trying very hard to maintain the relationship, is it? To help you identify only leads that have been ignoring you, we’ve controlled for marketing actions in the criteria below. (See, advanced!)

1.) Delete leads who have not viewed a single web page in a long time.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Time of Last Visit = more than 26 weeks ago.
  • Last Email Send Date = Less than 12 weeks ago
  • Lifecycle Stage SQL, Customer, or Subscriber

2.) Delete leads who have not sustained engagement with your emails.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Emails Opened = less than 3.
  • Emails Delivered = more than 12.
  • Last Email Send Date = Less than 12 weeks ago.
  • Last Email Opened = Less than 12 weeks ago.
  • Lifecycle Stage SQL, Customer, or Subscribe. 

3.) Delete offline/paid/purchase leads who are not interested.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Original Source = Paid or Offline.
  • Number of Pageviews = 0.
  • Emails Opened = 0.
  • Lifecycle Stage SQL, Customer, or Subscriber 

4.) Delete leads who have unsubscribed from your emails.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Opted Out of All Communication = yes.
  • Lifecycle Stage ≠ SQL or Customer

5.) Delete leads who are “dead” leads, i.e. churned contacts.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Emails Bounced = Greater than 0.
  • Lifecycle Stage SQL or Customer.

Lead Demographics

You likely have some specific criteria you’re looking for in your leads. For example, perhaps you only work with companies with at least 1,000 employees; or perhaps you only work with companies between $500,000 and $1.5 million in revenue; or perhaps you only work with leads within 150 miles of your zip code. The criteria given below are fairly universal for b2b companies, but you should include anything that is a dealbreaker. 

If you’re feeling pressure to cut down the size of your contact database, these leads are a good place to start. Just remember that these leads could still bring value to you: they might still read and share your content with their networks, they might move on to a company that is a better fir for your offerings, or they may even be your next rockstar employee.

6.) Delete leads who do not have the minimum amount of revenue.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Revenue = less than $5,000,000. 

7.) Delete leads who do not have enough employees.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Number of employees = less than 1,000.

8.) Delete leads who are students (doing research).

The criteria are as follows:

  • Job Title = Student.

9.) Delete leads who are not in the right industry.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Industry IT, Healthcare, etc..

10.) Delete leads who don’t have the right budget.

The criteria are as follows:

  • Annual Budget for marketing software = less than $50,000.


There you have it. Those are 10 criteria to inspire you. If you follow our lead here, before long you will have a sizable list of leads that you can clear out, while being careful to avoid deleting leads that might provide value to you of your organization.


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