We use HubSpot for our own customer lifecycle marketing and for our clients'.
While nothing in life is perfect, HubSpot gets pretty damn near close for this task.
We've been able to grow new leads by 300% or more, convert MQLs to SQLs at astounding rates, and pass off thousands of qualified leads to happy sales teams.
But we know we owe a lot of our success to marketing automation.
Here's our honest take on 7 ways HubSpot is the right tool to manage your customer lifecycle and marketing funnel — from people who work in the HubSpot trenches day in, day out.
1. Smart lists
Lifecycle marketing is all about sending the right message, to the right person, and at the right time.
How can you do that well?
To be effective at conversion, organization is just as important as segmentation.
You must create and maintain accurate lists of contacts in different lead stages.
With HubSpot, lifecycle lists are a set-it-and-forget-it kind of strategy.
Here's how it works:
1. You set up criteria for your lifecycle stages: leads, MQLs, and SQLs. This could be a form submission, a certain page view, an email click, etc.
2. You create a "smart" list with these criteria.
3. Everyone who meets these criteria in your database will be added to the list — voila!
Sure, it takes some legwork to define your lifecycle stages and set criteria for your lists.
But once it's done, you'll have the right people in the right lists — and you can use these lists in many places, which we'll get to in a second.
2. Automated workflows
The biggest component to lifecycle marketing is moving people through the funnel.
This is usually done with a series of gradual touches — generally through emails.
Ideally, we marketers want to create a personalized experience for everyone, but that's not entirely possible.
With HubSpot, though, you can set up the next best thing: Automated workflows based on lifecycle stage.
Remember those lists we talked about earlier?
They'll come in handy for HubSpot email workflows.
For example, if somebody downloads a middle-of-funnel eBook A, they can automatically register in your "MQL - Downloaded eBook A" list.
Then you can set this list to enroll automatically in "MQL Workflow A."
When you set up these "reactions" for every action on your website, you create a fully automated digital marketing funnel.
You should make these workflows relevant to the lead based on their lifecycle stage, and on the previous action they took.
For example, you can set up workflows to be purely educational for new leads, but you can enroll sales-qualified leads into a sales-focused workflow.
When you can automate the entire nurture process with HubSpot, you spend less time writing, managing, and sending tons of new emails.
This frees you up to continue to get hyper-focused with new workflows... and relevancy is today's biggest converter.
3. Smart content
People in different lifecycle stages like to be treated differently.
You wouldn't want a stranger to ask you for your deepest, darkest secret... and you wouldn't want an old friend to ask you what your last name is.
Smart content lets you treat your leads appropriately depending on how "close" they are with your brand.
Basically, you navigate to any rich text editor in your emails, web pages, or landing pages, and click on the "Manage smart rules" icon:
Then you can set criteria based on a number of things, one being membership in a lifecycle stage list:
Then, you adapt your messaging based on that criteria "rule." Easy!
If you set up your smart content on lifecycle stage, brand new visitors could see "Hello, welcome to our website!" while return, repeat visitors who are more engaged SQLs might see, "Welcome back — request a demo today!"
Smart content is a simple HubSpot tool that helps you maximize relevancy across all of your marketing channels.
4. Smart CTAs
How can you maximize conversions on your website?
Dish up fresh, new content!
Smart CTAs were built for reconversions, and HubSpot makes them really easy.
Just like smart content, you set up smart CTAs with different criteria:
With smart CTAs, a first-time visitor might see an eBook offer, but an SQL would see a bottom-of-funnel white paper.
You can also use the information you gain in form submissions (like preferences, specific challenges, job title, etc.) to make these CTAs even more relevant.
In a way, you're making a custom offer for everyone.
We've seen smart CTAs generate up to 20% conversions or more, compared to generic CTAs which can convert at 1-2%.
5. Reporting dashboards
Effective lifecycle management all comes down to tracking the success of motion through your sales funnel.
If you're not using marketing automation, though, you're managing a lot of statistics across different platforms, spreadsheets, and dashboards.
That's where HubSpot's Reporting Dashboard excels.
You can customize the dash to get all of the lifecycle reporting stats you need, such as:
- Which traffic sources contribute the most to each lifecycle stage
- Where each buyer persona is in the customer lifecycle
- How many people are moving through each funnel stage
You can also see conversion rates for each of your emails, form submissions, and landing pages. This lets you build a wholistic picture of how people are moving through (or falling out of!) your sales funnel.
6. Easy contacts to CRM lead stages
When a lead is ready to buy, what's your sales process look like?
Is it a mad scramble to hand off a list of people to your sales team?
Is there even any communication between marketing and sales?
HubSpot makes this transition really easy.
With the HubSpot Sales CRM, you can quickly import a lead from the marketing COS into a sales deal stage.
(Oh, and you can even use those nifty automated workflows we talked about before to automatically assign leads to sales reps based on geographic location or another criteria.)
Your sales rep can go back through the contacts profile and see all of the actions the lead has taken with marketing — like which eBooks he downloaded, and website pages he lingered on.
And every sales action is also tracked in the contact's profile, to keep an organized record of sales prospecting.
This makes your marketing and sales alignment a smooth, effective transition!
If you have HubSpot, you should be using all of these tools for lifecycle marketing. You're paying to play the game — so play it with all your MVPs!