You bought HubSpot and your lead flow hasn’t improved. You’ve tried to improve your marketing, but nothing seems to be working. You’ve done some emails, you’ve written some blogs, you’ve worked on your website and you’ve done all the HubSpot certifications.
It’s NOT HubSpot’s fault (the software, not the company, of course). It’s what you’re doing. I don’t mean that in an accusatory way. How could you know exactly what to do? Most so-called experts don’t know what to do either.
But you can execute some upgrades in HubSpot that might just be the difference between seeing an increased number of leads and hoping something gets better tomorrow. Remember, hope is not a strategy. It might be time to try a few new tactics.
Here we go!
1. Live Chat And Chatbots
When you want answers, you want them immediately. That’s how most people think today, and enabling chat gives your website the capabilities of answering a prospect’s questions fast.
Our research shows that people who use chat are generally more qualified and further along in their buyer journeys than people who fill out forms. This means chat generates more sales-ready leads than a form.
The prospects visiting your website might want to chat with your team. They are certainly noticing when chat is missing, and it’s highly likely that by adding chat you can increase the number of leads your efforts generate.
Here’s more good news. HubSpot comes with chat features already built in. Simply turn them on and start customizing the experience.
HubSpot comes with live chat and a chatbot tool. The live chat would alert you that someone on the site is chatting and needs to be picked up. This is relatively straightforward, and you can alert a number of people or rotate the alerts as needed.
The chatbot takes a little more thought, as you want to arm the bot with questions that prospects are asking along with the answers to those questions. You want to make sure the right questions and answers are on the right pages, and you want to give the bot a chance to collect contact information so a human could get back to them if requested or required based on the chat.
You can always get a transcript of the chat after the bot conversation is over, and a human could review and follow up accordingly. It’s a good idea to consider how both live chat and chatbots would be deployed on the site. They both should have a positive impact on lead generation.
2. Automated Lead Nurturing
When someone fills out a form on your site requesting educational information from your company, you have the opportunity to automatically send them a series of emails, triggered by their request for information.
This is called automated lead nurturing.
It’s a wonderful feature of HubSpot that automates prospect follow-up and, if used correctly, can help move your prospect along in their buyer journey. It can also help continue the conversation with your prospect without the need for a sales rep.
But like most of HubSpot’s best features, this needs to be configured, turned on, monitored and optimized over time.
The strategy behind automated lead nurturing should be to move your prospect along in their buyer journey and give them additional offers to help them signal their progress.
Since your lead nurture campaign is limited to a handful of emails, ideally you want them to request another content offer so you can launch another automated lead nurture. This would continue until they finally convert and ask to speak with a sales rep.
Good lead nurturing continually asks prospects if they’re ready to speak with a rep. As you can see, there is some art and science to effective lead nurturing, but this HubSpot feature is highly effective at improving the number of leads you create for sales.
The more you personalize, the better your results. Yes, personalization is harder, because it takes more work, more thinking and more strategy. But it pays off.
HubSpot can help in this area. Their smart forms feature allows your website to pre-populate certain form fields with information HubSpot already knows about your visitors. This should make the conversion process easier and quicker.
But there is even more personalization you could consider, like role- or industry-specific pages and content to further personalize the website experience for visitors.
When it comes to email, personalization doesn’t stop at Dear Mike. It should be much more than that. If you’ve segmented your list (and you should have done this), you can create multiple one-to-few email streams that are highly personalized. This works better than sending the same email to thousands of people.
Again, you can send role-specific, industry-specific, challenge-specific, product-specific and use-case-specific emails to have a highly personalized campaign that could double or even triple normal open and click-through rates.
You can offer specific content by segment, and HubSpot makes it easy to clone campaigns so you’re only changing the personalized content, using tokens from your contact database and creating a remarkably personalized campaign approach.
Video is by far one of the hottest ways to communicate with your prospects. It should be front and center in almost everything you’re doing.
About 65% of people identify as visual learners. They prefer to watch rather than read. This means you need video on your website, in your emails, in your sales process, in your nurtures and as part of your customer service experience.
HubSpot doesn’t have any video production features but they do play very well with video. You can store videos in HubSpot just like you store pictures. You can use video in email campaigns, on landing pages, on website pages and in your blog.
With a simple Vidyard plug-in, your sales reps can record video clips for prospects and include them in emails, email templates stored in HubSpot and sales sequences.
Turn on your camera and get filming. Today, people are not expecting Hollywood production quality videos. They prefer authentic, homegrown videos. Keep them short, make them highly personal and track their impact on your performance.
By adding this to your tactical plan, you can increase leads and sales opportunities significantly.
One of the great aspects of marketing today is that attitudes, opinions and perspectives are all out the window. Today, facts drive marketing, and there is no better place to get facts on your marketing performance than HubSpot.
Want to know which pages of your website are getting the most visitors and which pages aren’t getting any visitors? Check in HubSpot.
What to know which email topics are getting more attention from your prospects? Check in HubSpot.
Want to know which offers are getting attention? What is the performance difference between gated content and ungated content? Which blog articles are getting views and shares? Which videos are getting watched all the way through to the end? It’s all there in HubSpot waiting for you to pull out the insight and take action on it.
In 2009, when I first bought HubSpot for our agency and started using it, I finally had access to real-time performance data that put a bright light on what we were doing that was working, not working so well and not working at all.
Nothing has changed, but the light has become 100 lights.
Today, every aspect of marketing is open to analytics. You should be tracking and reviewing the performance of everything you’re doing.
Just yesterday, we were discussing pages on our website and which ones could be moved or removed. A quick review of the data showed exactly which pages were getting viewed, which pages were converting and which pages were not.
This type of insight can inform your decisions, help you make better decisions and contribute to improved performance over time.
Just keep in mind this one thought: When it comes to marketing analytics, your goal is not to build dashboards or reports. The goal is to uncover the insights buried in the data so that you create a better action plan and improve performance.
6. A/B Testing
Testing and experiments in marketing should be among your top priorities. If you never test anything, you never learn anything.
Your tests and experiments will fail more often than they succeed. Failure teaches you what NOT to do again. Failed experiments are not failures but rather important learnings.
Perhaps one of the greatest experimenters in human history, Thomas Edison, said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” If you’d prefer something more current, Simon Sinek said, “The value of experimentation is not the trying. It’s the trying again after the experiment failed.”
A/B testing (you might hear it referred to as split testing or bucket testing) is a method of comparing two versions of an asset, such as a webpage, an email, a landing page or a CTA button. The test compares small differences between the two versions to see which one performs better.
Here’s an example of A/B testing a subject line from an email.
Group 1 gets this subject line: Fix The Marketing At Your Portfolio Companies Today
Group 2 gets this subject line: John, Can We Help You Fix The Marketing At One Of Your Portfolio Companies?
The rest of the email remains 100% the same. It’s important to NOT change more than one variable at a time. While you might be tempted to do two completely different versions of the email, you will never know exactly what drove the performance differences.
Was it the subject line, the copy, the images or the offer? Remember, the goal of A/B testing (and all testing, for that matter) is to learn something that can be used to improve performance across the board.
In this case, does personalization help the open rate?
Testing and experimentation should be a major part of your ongoing optimization efforts if you want to see improvement in your marketing. HubSpot provides a variety of A/B testing tools.
7. Social Media Monitoring
Your prospects are talking about you, your industry and your competitors on social media. Wouldn’t it be cool if you found out about a conversation and could then target that prospect or share that conversation with a sales rep?
You can with HubSpot. Once you set up HubSpot and put in the keywords you’re interested in monitoring, you’ll get notifications when people in your contact database are chatting or posting on social media networks.
You can intercept conversations about competitors and insert your company into the conversation. You can monitor your own company for any positive or negative posts associated with your products or services.
You can look for conversations around products, services or industry challenges. This is an amazing way to intercept prospects or customers and make sure your sales and service team is a part of that conversation going on in the social media metaverse.
This does take some work. You do have to monitor the feed and make sure the opportunities are forwarded along.
Obviously, the bigger your prospect and customer database, the more hits you’ll see. But this should be part of how you use HubSpot on a regular basis, and this will take you from zero to hero if you spot any social media activity that allows sales to jump in and close new business.
We’re all busy, but setting up automated alerts makes doing our jobs that much easier. Here are some of the alerts you can set up in HubSpot to keep you tuned in to how your marketing is working.
- Account: Receive a notification when a super admin updates your notification preferences.
- Ads: Receive a notification when your ad sequence ads are started or paused.
- Blog: Receive notifications when there is a new comment on your blog draft, when a user shares a blog draft with you, when there is a new comment on your blog post and when you receive an @-mention in a comment in a blog post draft.
- Chat and email conversations: Receive notifications for chat and email conversations from the conversations inbox. Receive a notification when a conversation is assigned to you or reassigned to you, there is a reply on a conversation and there is a new unassigned conversation in the inbox. If a user has never navigated to the conversations inbox, they will not receive conversations notifications, even if they are turned on.
- Contacts and companies: Receive notifications when a company or contact is assigned to you when there is a duplicate record when you’re @-mentioned in a company or contact record.
- Custom objects: Receive notifications when a custom object record is assigned to you or when you’re @-mentioned on a custom object record.
- Dashboards: Receive notifications when a dashboard report email is sent to you, when you’re @-mentioned in a note on a dashboard or when you’re assigned permissions to view or edit a dashboard.
- Deals: Receive notifications when a deal is assigned to you, when a deal you own or follow moves to a different deal stage and when you’re @-mentioned on a deal record.
- Feedback surveys: Receive notifications when there is a new customer loyalty, customer satisfaction or customer support survey submission.
- Form submissions: Receive notifications when a visitor or contact submits your form.
- General: Receive notifications when you’re @-mentioned in a comment when there’s an update to a project when a record that you own or are following is associated with another record, when there is a new comment on an activity you logged or commented on or when someone views a document you’ve sent.
- Quotes: Receive notifications for quotes. Receive a notification when a countersignature is needed, a quote is paid, a quote is signed by a customer, a quote you countersigned is fully signed or a quote you own is fully signed.
- System notifications: Receive notifications when your export is ready to download, when your import is complete, when your Salesforce integration is paused or there is a sync error or when a Salesforce user requests access to a record in HubSpot.
- Tasks: Receive notifications when you’re assigned a task, when a task assigned to you is due or when you’re @-mentioned in a note on a task. You can also opt to receive one email every weekday as a summary of your tasks.
- Tickets: Receive notifications when you’re assigned a ticket, when a ticket you own or follow moves to a different ticket status or when you’re @-mentioned on a ticket record.
- Website visits (email only): Receive notifications when contacts, companies and prospects visit your site.
- Workflows: Receive notifications when a “send notification” action is triggered for your user in a workflow.
With all these alerts, let’s spend at least a few minutes talking about how a couple of them would be wildly helpful in upgrading your current marketing execution.
Website Visits – When you get notified that one of your prospects, customers or contacts is visiting your website and the pages they are spending their time on, pass that along to your sales or customer service team.
How amazing would it be for a sales rep to reach out to a prospect who just spent a few minutes on your pricing page or on a success story page? How would a quick call or email look to them?
“I just received a notification that you were on our pricing page. I hope you found everything you were looking for. If there is anything additional you need, if you have any questions or if you’d like to talk about some of the special pricing options NOT on our website, please let me know. I’d be happy to hop on a call or chat and handle anything you might need.”
Remarkable, right? Have you ever received an email or text like that? Me either.
Feedback Survey – When you get notified that a customer has completed their customer satisfaction survey, there are several ways you could use that notification to continue creating a remarkable experience for your customer.
If the survey is positive, respond with a thank you, ask for a referral or review your referral program with them, ask for an online review and provide a link to that review site. You could even create a set of standard email templates to be used. Now you turned your happy client into an advocate.
If the survey is not positive, immediately pick up the phone and give them a call. Right away you can respond with an action plan to address their issue or concern.
Customers are always happy to tell people about their negative experiences, but they are also always willing to forgive when a company is proactive and deals with their concerns.
One of the powers of HubSpot and marketing automation in general is it empowers you to do more with less. Alerts allow you to be in more than one place at a time and be much more proactive in your ability to support remarkable experiences.
We all know these remarkable experiences are key to driving leads, sales opportunities and new revenue from both prospects and customers.
If you’re not using HubSpot to its fullest, let us know. We’re happy to help.
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