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HubSpot’s release brings quoting and payments improvements

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HubSpot's release brings quoting and payments improvements

Some of the most exciting updates from the past month (March to mid-April) include:

  • Service Hub relaunch 
  • Customizable quote templates
  • New features for HubSpot payments and invoices
  • RevOps certification 

Service Hub relaunch

On March 15, HubSpot relaunched its Service Hub tools with new features, including service level agreements (SLAs), Customer Portal and inbound calling. The price has also increased beginning May 2.

These improvements could help more companies adopt HubSpot as a cross-functional revenue operations platform by adding their service team to a tool their sales and marketing teams may also be using.

I was somewhat disappointed to see only minimal improvements to my favorite Service Hub tool, the Knowledge Base, which our company uses for internal documentation. 


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Customer Portal improvements

For Hubspot Service Hub Pro and Enterprise users, the Customer Portal now allows end-users to see all tickets from their company in the customer portal instead of only viewing their own individual user tickets. 

Where to find it. Under the Service menu, Customer Portal. Also, in the Settings area, Website, Customer Portal, scroll down to the Ticket Permissions for the feature described above.

Why we care. Customers can now learn from the answers of other team members’ ticket submissions, which reduces duplicate support tickets. 

Service level agreements (SLAs)

For Hubspot Service Pro and Enterprise users, the new SLAs build out its help desk functionality with working hours, time to first response, time to close, reporting, lists and workflows using SLA properties. 

The two SLA settings per inbox are Time to first reply (to the ticket) and Time to close (the ticket). You have two options for each setting: apply to all tickets in the inbox, or apply based on priority. SLAs will only apply to the chosen work hours when conversations have associated tickets in the inbox.

Where to find it. In the Settings area, Inbox, Inboxes, SLA tab. 

Why we care. SLAs help to set and meet customer expectations about the timing of responses, help the customer support team to prioritize tickets, and help customer support managers to coach reps and improve the support process using reporting and workflows — such as reporting on how many tickets are due soon. 

Inbound calling (beta)

Admins with Sales or Service Hub Starter and above can now buy a U.S., United Kingdom or Canadian phone number to use inside HubSpot for outbound or inbound calls. The calls forward to your own phone and create records, transcriptions and recordings inside HubSpot. Users must have a paid Service Hub seat to receive calls on their personal devices.

Where to find it. In the Settings area, Calling, the orange button on the right, “Get a HubSpot number.”

Why we care. Previously, only outbound calls were possible in HubSpot. Answering inbound calls is part of many customer service teams’ responsibilities, which will help keep all conversations from the same customer in the same system without additional tool integrations.

Customizable Quote templates 

Admins with Sales Hub Pro or Enterprise can now create custom quote templates inside of HubSpot, utilizing the power of CRM, CMS, and HubSpot’s new payment features. The previous limitation was three basic templates. 

Where to find it. Admins can go to the Settings area, Objects, Quotes, then Customized Quote Template. Developers will need CMS starter or above, or Marketing Hub Pro or Enterprise. Developers can use the HubSpot design manager tool to create custom themes, templates, and modules for quotes while ensuring the branding is consistent with style guides. 

Users can find the completed quote templates in the usual Sales Quotes tool.

Why we care. Many users complained there were not enough template options or they needed to create more complex proposals or contracts beyond simple quotes. This led users to buy and (hopefully) integrate additional quotes software in the past.

New features for HubSpot payments and invoice

The beginning stages of the HubSpot Payments tools were announced in the fall, making it easy to embed payment links inside HubSpot tools such as quotes.

As these are for U.S. users only, our international friends are missing out on these features, and we hope that HubSpot can roll out international versions soon. 

Invoice object for QuickBooks Integration users

Similar to the contact or company objects, invoices from QuickBooks now have their own object records inside HubSpot. 

Where to find it. Go to the Contacts menu, then click on the blue Contacts link underneath the top menu, then click on Invoices in the dropdown menu.

Why we care. You can now see invoices in one place instead of only on individual deals, and you can use the invoice data in workflows, reporting, and list segmentation.

My company uses QuickBooks, and the integration has been fairly manual to use over the past year while HubSpot worked on improvements. We’re still waiting on an invoice paid date property to sync from QuickBooks, but these new invoice updates are promising.

Sync QuickBooks Invoices to HubSpot

You can automatically add QuickBooks invoices to HubSpot’s invoice object and automatically update invoices in HubSpot when you update an invoice in QuickBooks.

Where to find it. Go to the Settings area, Integrations, Connected Apps, QuickBooks, Invoices tab and there is a toggle on the right side of the screen. Note: If you turn this on, you should first audit and match your Products in HubSpot and QuickBooks, or it could affect your QuickBooks reports and your sales team’s line items in HubSpot.

Why we care. Because manual work is not fun, attaching and detaching invoices to deals and companies, such as when the QuickBooks invoice wasn’t started in HubSpot (recurring invoices). 

You can now embed a payments button link in your marketing emails.

Where to find it. In the email editor, add a button to your email and choose payments in the left side panel dropdown.

Why we care. This feature can help companies bypass the need for a full e-commerce store and help recipients quickly register for a paid event directly from email. It removes a step in the payment process, and removing friction can increase your customers’ willingness to pay.

You can now add additional contact property fields to your payment links beyond just first name, last name, email address and phone number.

Where to find it. Either from the Sales menu, Payments, or go to the Settings area, Objects, Products, Payment Links tab. When you create the link, the new properties are available to add to the form on the second page of setup.

Why we care. Capturing more data can lead to more reporting and workflow opportunities. 

RevOps certification 

HubSpot Academy has released over five hours of content in their free Revenue Operations (RevOps) certification course.

Lessons include: Applying RevOps to the Flywheel, Systems Management for RevOps, Communicating the Value of RevOps to Company Leaders, Structuring Your RevOps Team, Hiring RevOps Team Members and Evaluating and Iterating Your RevOps Strategy, and more.

Where to find it. In your HubSpot portal, click on your profile picture, go to HubSpot Academy, and search the catalog.

Why we care. HubSpot is a RevOps tool since it can be used across many revenue teams such as marketing, sales, and customer success, with the data flowing easily and accurately through the customer lifecycle. Though there has been a huge increase in RevOps job titles, there aren’t many RevOps certifications or courses. Many people have different definitions of RevOps, so it can be a confusing space, and there is a need for education. HubSpot’s been working hard on this certification for a long time; they interviewed me for it a year ago.

This resource blends practical advice with high-level concepts in an easy-to-consume format that will give anyone of any skill level something to work at.

Additional notable releases

  • CRM Associations improvements
    • You can now associate multiple object records to each other, such as associating more than one company with each contact, deal or ticket. In Pro or Enterprise levels, you can also create custom association labels and use them in lists, workflows and reports, such as “main point of contact” for a company. This is a big improvement over the previous limitations of describing object relationships.
  • Workflow sync to sandboxes (beta)
    • This has been a missing feature in the sandbox tool. Previously, you could create amazing workflows in the sandbox, but you had to recreate them in your regular HubSpot portal. Now you can easily sync them into production.
  • Lifecycle stage customization (beta)
    • This is a highly requested but potentially dangerous feature. Every other area where that function is useful (i.e., Attribution Reporting) will be impacted, and other departments that rely on that property for a different purpose than your use case.
  • Calling integrations for all HubSpot users
    • Free HubSpot users, and users without paid seats, can now use outbound calling integrations to call HubSpot contacts. Previously, they either had to upgrade or only use it for 15 minutes a month.
  • HubSpot app for Zoom meetings
    • Use Hubspot from within Zoom meetings you are hosting to look at participants’ contact records, create new HubSpot contacts and add notes to their contact record during the meeting.
  • Sync health
    • Previously, there was little visibility to background errors preventing records from syncing. Sync Health tells you which records are syncing, being excluded from the sync or failing to sync.
  • Improved multi-touch attribution
    • Two new industry-standard multi-touch attribution models are now available: J shaped and inverse J shaped. 

All the updates, all the time

If you are a HubSpot user, you can find a complete list of recent updates by clicking on your profile picture, Product Updates, and filtering for the last 30 days, past three months or past year.  

HubSpot also describes select new features and shows roadmaps of future items in development on its website.

I also recommend following HubSpot Academy Senior Inbound Sales Professor Kyle Jepson on Linkedin or Twitter. Search for #HubSpotTipsAndTricks.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.


About The Author

Jen is the head of operations at Remotish, a HubSpot RevOps and WebOps agency. Her work includes creating plans, processes and programs such as a knowledge management program (wiki), a comprehensive employee onboarding program and a referral partner program that generates 45% of company revenue and earned her the 2022 Heroes of RevOps award from Revenue.io. She was a lesson professor for the HubSpot Revenue Operations certification, a RevOps correspondent at INBOUND2021 and a panelist on the INBOUND After Hours show and the MoPros Career Fair. Jen is currently writing a book about RevOps, to combine her love of research, writing and lifelong learning.

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The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them

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The Biggest Ad Fraud Cases and What We Can Learn From Them

Ad fraud is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, the latest data indicates that it will cost businesses a colossal €120 billion by 2023. But even more worrying is that fraudsters’ tactics are becoming so sophisticated that even big-name companies such as Uber, Procter & Gamble, and Verizon have been victims of ad fraud in recent years. 

So what does this mean for the rest of the industry? The answer is simple: every ad company, no matter their size or budget is just as at risk as the big guns – if not more. 

In this article, I summarize some of the biggest and most shocking cases of ad fraud we’ve witnessed over recent years and notably, what vital lessons marketers and advertisers can learn from them to avoid wasting their own budgets. 

The biggest ad fraud cases in recent years 

From fake clicks and click flooding to bad bots and fake ad impressions, fraudsters have and will go to any lengths to siphon critical dollars from your ad budgets.

Let’s take a look at some of the most high-profile and harmful ad fraud cases of recent years that have impacted some of the most well-known brands around the world. 

Methbot: $5 million a day lost through fake video views 

In 2016, Aleksandr Zhukov, the self-proclaimed “King of Fraud”, and his group of fraudsters were discovered to have been making between $3 and $5 million a day by executing fake clicks on video advertisements. 

Oft-cited as the biggest digital ad fraud operation ever uncovered, “Methbot” was a sophisticated botnet scheme that involved defrauding brands by enabling countless bots to watch 300 million video ads per day on over 6000 spoofed websites. 

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Due to the relatively high cost-per-mille (CPM) for video ads, Aleksandr and his group were able to steal millions of dollars a day by targeting high-value marketplaces. Some of the victims of the Methbot fraud ring include The New York Times, The New York Post, Comcast, and Nestle.

In late 2021, Aleksandr Zhukov was sentenced to 10 years in prison and ordered to pay over $3.8 million in restitution. 

Uber: $100 million wasted in ad spend 

In another high-profile case, transportation giant Uber filed a lawsuit against five ad networks in 2019 – Fetch, BidMotion, Taptica, YouAppi, and AdAction Interactive – and won. 

Uber claimed that its ads were not converting, and ultimately discovered that roughly two-thirds of its ad budget ($100 million) wasn’t needed. This was on account of ad retargeting companies that were abusing the system by creating fraudulent traffic. 

The extent of the ad fraud was discovered when the company cut $100 million in ad spend and saw no change in the number of rider app installs. 

In 2020, Uber also won another lawsuit against Phunware Inc. when they discovered that the majority of Uber app installations that the company claimed to have delivered were produced by the act of click flooding. 

Criteo: Claims sues competitor for allegedly running a damaging counterfeit click fraud scheme 

In 2016, Criteo, a retargeting and display advertising network, claimed that competitor Steelhouse (now known as MNTM) ran a click fraud scheme against Criteo in a bid to damage the company’s reputation and to fraudulently take credit for user visits to retailers’ web pages. 

Criteo filed a lawsuit claiming that due to Steelhouse’s alleged actions — the use of bots and other automated methods to generate fake clicks on shoe retailer TOMS’ ads — Criteo ultimately lost TOMS as a client. Criteo has accused Steelhouse of carrying out this type of ad fraud in a bid to prove that Steelhouse provided a more effective service than its own. 

Twitter: Elon Musk claims that the platform hosts a high number of inauthentic accounts 

In one of the biggest and most tangled tech deals in recent history, the Elon Musk and Twitter saga doesn’t end with Twitter taking Musk to court for backing out of an agreement to buy the social media giant for $44 billion.

In yet another twist, Musk has also claimed that Twitter hid the real number of bots and fake accounts on its platform. He has also accused the company of fraud by alleging that these accounts make up around 10% of Twitter’s daily active users who see ads, essentially meaning that 65 million of Twitter’s 229 million daily active users are not seeing them at all. 

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6 Lessons marketers can learn from these high-profile ad fraud cases 

All of these cases demonstrate that ad fraud is a pervasive and ubiquitous practice that has incredibly damaging and long-lasting effects on even the most well-known brands around the world. 

The bottom line is this: Marketers and advertisers can no longer afford to ignore ad fraud if they’re serious about reaching their goals and objectives. Here are some of the most important lessons and takeaways from these high-profile cases. 

  1. No one is safe from ad fraud 

Everyone — from small businesses to large corporations like Uber — is affected by ad fraud. Plus, fraudsters have no qualms over location: no matter where in the world you operate, you are susceptible to the consequences of ad fraud. 

  1. Ad fraud is incredibly hard to detect using manual methods

Fraudsters use a huge variety of sneaky techniques and channels to scam and defraud advertisers, which means ad fraud is incredibly difficult to detect manually. This is especially true if organizations don’t have the right suggestions and individuals dedicated to tracking and monitoring the presence of ad fraud. 

Even worse, when organizations do have teams in place monitoring ad fraud, they are rarely experts, and cannot properly pore through the sheer amount of data that each campaign produces to accurately pinpoint it.

  1. Ad fraud wastes your budget, distorts your data, and prevents you from reaching your goals

Ad fraud drains your budget significantly, which is a huge burden for any company. However, there are also other ways it impacts your ability to deliver results. 

For example, fake clicks and click bots lead to skewed analytics, which means that when you assess advertising channels and campaigns based on the traffic and engagement they receive, you’re actually relying on flawed data to make future strategic decisions. 

Finally – and as a result of stolen budgets and a reliance on flawed data – your ability to reach your goals is highly compromised. 

  1. You’re likely being affected by ad fraud already, even if you don’t know it yet

As seen in many of these cases, massive amounts of damage were caused because the brands weren’t aware that they were being targeted by fraudsters. Plus, due to the lack of awareness surrounding ad fraud in general, it’s highly likely that you’re being affected by ad fraud already. 

  1. You have options to fight the effects of ad fraud  

Luckily, as demonstrated by these cases, there are some options available to counteract the impact and losses caused by ad fraud, such as requesting a refund or even making a case to sue. In such cases, ad fraud detection solutions are extremely useful to uncover ad fraud and gather evidence. 

  1. But the best option is to prevent ad fraud from the get-go

The best ad fraud protection is ad fraud prevention. The only surefire way to stop fraudsters from employing sophisticated fraud schemes and attacking your campaigns is by implementing equally sophisticated solutions. Anti-ad fraud software solutions that use machine learning and artificial intelligence help you keep fraud at bay, enabling you to focus on what matters: optimizing your campaigns and hitting your goals. 


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