HubSpot is a robust tool that helps companies create and track leads, grow traffic, and generate opportunities. While known for marketing automation, HubSpot's suite of offerings include Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Marketing, Sales, and Service portals to optimize the entire customer lifecycle.
HubSpot currently regards their methodology as the “Flywheel”, which is a lead nurturing method that keeps your business spinning by putting customers at the center, and aims to remove the notion that sales and marketing only work to convert leads and nothing more. Whether a flywheel or a funnel, both methods consider the same buyers journeys, with the same stages, and prioritize the customer experience.
When doing a HubSpot audit, start with a bird’s eye view by analyzing your Year-To-Date (YTD) data. The most significant indicator that something may be amiss with your lead funnel is a low visit-to-contact rate. If this number falls below 2%, that’s a red flag. A low visit-to-contact rate means your site may be getting a good volume of traffic, but your visitors are not taking next steps. Armed with this data, you can begin asking other questions such as:
Your home page is the first online impression visitors get of your entire company. So, it should speak to visitors in all stages of the buyers journey and funnel your visitors appropriately with relevant content and intuitive navigation. Use these questions to guide your assessment:
Meeting the needs of your buyer personas fuels your business. Without an understanding of who your buyers are, you won’t be able to target, or nurture, anyone appropriately.
Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is essential to organic traffic growth. Because search engines generate a significant amount of website traffic, you should focus on SEO throughout your HubSpot portal. Investigate whether you:
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Blogging is one of the most valuable tools you can use to engage with prospects and customers. When auditing your blog, look for:
You can measure elements such as organic traffic, time on page, click through rates, and more to help better understand your target buyer.
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Blogging may seem like the obvious way to create content, but content offers can extend your blogging efforts. Content offers include eBooks, whitepapers, case studies, videos, demos, infographics and any other educational resources used to reach your buyer personas, likely through landing page conversions. Determine the success of your content offers by understanding:
Landing pages provide your marketing team with a direct way to collect explicit data from prospects, like names and emails, making them a crucial part of your inbound HubSpot funnel. The content gated behind a landing page should offer value to a potential customer related to solving a specific pain point. In your audit, look for:
A thank you page is a page you redirect your visitors to after they’ve opted in for an incentive on your website. Generally, it’s used to provide visitors with a link to the content they opted in to, and to thank them for doing so. Thank you pages can encourage further engagement, mainly because you’re connecting with someone who’s already shown a clear interest in your services. Do your thank you pages highlight other offers that can move contacts through the buyers’ journey, such as:
For many marketers, forms are essential, but the strategy behind them isn’t always completely defined. Do your forms utilize progressive profiling, a HubSpot feature that replaces questions that a lead has already been asked to reduce redundancy and to increase the number of contact properties collected? Forms should also reflect the different stages of the buyers’ journey. The questions asked in forms need to correspond to what you’re trying to achieve in that stage. As such, you should ask more questions to people filling out a decision-stage form compared to someone filling out an awareness-stage form.
Well-placed CTAs throughout your email campaigns and website, including your blog content, motivate your visitors to take the specific action you want. While a standard HubSpot CTA is better than none, you’ll receive a higher conversion rate from customized, graphical CTAs with both images and text. These include buttons, slide CTAs, and text CTAs. Furthermore, use smart CTAs, which are a customized button shown to your different visitors based on rules you set related to the data stored on their HubSpot contact record.
Workflows essentially transfer information based on a set of rules. HubSpot workflows, however, are in no way limited to just email automation. In addition to triggering emails, workflows can trigger nurture campaigns, change contact profile properties, score leads, send internal notifications, and sync to a CRM system based on when a lead has met a set of conditions. Workflows are also helpful in identifying when leads are sent to sales.
Lead scoring, both traditional and predictive, is the process of qualifying your company’s leads, specifically as SQLs or MQLs, based on who they are and the actions they take when interacting with your company’s website, marketing campaigns, and other content. The process of lead scoring includes creating a system through which you assign point values to crucial pieces of criteria, properties, and behavioral actions that contacts within your CRM take. You can assign positive and negative points to specific activities.
Social media is another component of a good HubSpot inbound marketing strategy. It’s a great place to engage, interact, and learn more about your audience. Social media builds trust and consistency with your audience through promotion and engagement. HubSpot’s social media analytics tools can also provide content-related insights to target your audience better.
Email is still the preferred method of communication for marketers. Still, many companies don’t have a clear email strategy or email practices. What does that mean? Sporadic email sends, long subject lines, outdated designs, and a lack of segmentation are common pitfalls. What makes an email campaign successful? In your audit, evaluate:
Before beginning a buyer persona project, identify your buyer profile. A buyer profile defines which companies are a good fit for your product or service. Some characteristics you might use in your buyer profile are company size, annual revenue, and industry vertical. Your ideal buyer profile may be a manufacturing company with annual revenues of $20 million with 15 or more employees.
Your personas serve to define the buying patterns of individuals within your buyer profile. For example, you may want to target specific individuals in certain departments or with key responsibilities. Aim for no more than three buyer personas. You may feel there are more, but often those are likely key stakeholders or influencers, rather than actual buyers.
When creating buyer personas, consider factors such as behavioral patterns, demographics, motivations, and goals. To successfully create a buyer persona, you need to interview people within your company, likely sales representatives or account managers, as well as ideal customers you're working with. Questions you should ask to guide the conversation include:
Once you have buyer personas in place in HubSpot, you can determine how to segment your data, where to focus marketing resources, how to prioritize product/service development, and more.
Potential customers recognize they have a problem during the awareness stage. Awareness content should provide high-level educational content to address this and hopefully steer them in the direction of your offerings. Examples of awareness stage content include blog posts, social media posts and interactions, white papers, and industry tip sheets.
At the consideration stage, your audience is exploring options to solve their problems. Your content here should highlight your solution, and how it addresses their specific needs and pain points. Consideration stage content can also be blog posts, but more in-depth ones that relate to overcoming challenges. Guides, eBooks, checklists, and comparison charts also are great ideas for this stage.
And lastly, when they reach the decision stage, they’ve decided on their solution strategy. Your content here should be brand specific, and show why they should buy your product or service over another company. A free trial, detailed FAQ, case studies, or a live demo with an attentive sales representative are examples of content for this last and crucial stage.
To ensure you’re creating content that reflects each of the above stages, and speaks to your buyers’ pain points, create an editorial calendar to track your content plan. With an editorial calendar, you can track what type of content you’re creating, for what buyer, at what stage, and through what medium. That way you’ll be able to identify gaps, prevent overproduction, and always have enough content to move prospects through your buyer’s journey.
Typically, an SLA outlines what your customer will receive from your service. But to get quality customers, you need sales and marketing working as one unit. That’s why an internal SLA that defines marketing goals and the sales activities that will support your efforts should be created in your organization. Elements that need to be included in your SLA are:
As you detail your SLA, you’ll likely need to define specific marketing and sales terms, so your teams are on the same page. For example, a SQL may have a different meaning to your sales and marketing departments. Similarly, a sales executive will know the meaning of a value proposition and discovery call while the actual description may fall short on marketing.
High-level KPIs can measure the overall performance of a company, while low-level KPIs may focus on measuring a campaign’s impact or other activities in individual departments.
Measuring your KPIs will help you progress toward your business goals—whether it’s to increase revenue, double leads, or triple website visitors. Use the information gathered in your reporting audit (see step one) to inform these target metrics. KPIs provide the visibility you need to ensure that you're making progress toward your overarching goals. Here are some examples of common KPIs to track:
Auditing your portal, creating an excellent conversion pathway, and organizing your offers is valuable but will not be valuable if contacts in your database are not active. If someone hasn’t interacted with your brand for over two years, they’re distorting your data.
Helpful questions to ask that can help clean your database include:
Your marketing strategy is dependent on sending the right content to the right contact at an appropriate time. You don’t want to email your entire list with information that’s only relevant to someone who’s primed to buy. Therefore, it’s only natural to segment your contacts after cleaning up your database.
With HubSpot’s active list functionality, your contacts will join the correct list whenever they meet the right criteria (set by you). Likewise, they’ll be removed if they no longer meet those conditions. You can also create fixed or static lists if you know you need to follow up with specific contacts based on a promotion you’re running. Consider segmenting contacts initially by:
You can get the data you need to fuel CRO efforts by installing various marketing tools like Hotjar, as well as using available tools in HubSpot, to see how your visitors interact with your website. Then, you can adjust elements of the user’s experience accordingly. Most CRO Audits focus on high-value landing page, and other examples include:
Your homepage is an ideal candidate for CRO, as it's the first impression of your company, and usually gets the most traffic. CRO here can include changing the placement of links, updating CTAs, adding next steps along the buyers’ journey, and changing copy on content blocks.
Because your blog houses educational content about your services, CRO can be highly effective here as well. This can include adding CTAs throughout an article, linking back to other helpful blogs, or inviting readers to learn more about a topic by submitting their email address in exchange for an eBook or whitepaper.
CRO is an often overlooked step in creating a solid HubSpot lead funnel. Don’t forget what you learned in middle school science class: only test one variable at a time and wait for statistical significance to draw conclusions and make updates.
Every HubSpot account comes with default reports for your marketing and sales dashboards. They include:
There are four types of custom reports you can use to get the data you need. These reports are valuable to track more specific KPIs, like marketing-attributed revenue. You can segment your reports in the following ways:
Putting emphasis on your customers builds momentum in your flywheel or funnel. It also benefits your business in the following ways:
The easiest way to nurture your existing clients to reap these benefits is largely through the same methods as nurturing your leads. Personalized email campaigns (like ones detailing how they can get the most out of your products), targeted social posts, and exclusive content all demonstrate your appreciation.
In the end, your job should be focused on cultivating relationships – and not just closing deals. A strong lead funnel undoubtedly will help you close deals, but you shouldn’t forget about those leads once they’ve signed the dotted line.