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The Inbound Playbook

How to Drive Quality Traffic to Your Website

Just a few years ago, a consistent blog posting schedule might have been enough to make the leads roll in.Fast forward to today, in a cluttered, noisy, content-saturated digital landscape, you need to drive quality traffic that converts.Google has been making a million changes that revolve around the intent and the context of your content, and..

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Inbound Recap: Sponsoring a Booth—An Outbound Strategy

Strategy & Lead Gen 5 minute read

We're still coming down from our #INBOUND17 high—as what happens to us every year that we've attended. As HubSpotters and inbound evangelists, there's a common understanding among us that HubSpot's annual Inbound conference is a must-attend. And we did! We attended all the sessions, accepted all the swag, went to all the parties, and drank all..

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Guide to the Marketing Lead Lifecycle Stages

Strategy & Lead Gen 10 minute read

This blog post was originally published in September 2013, but updated on September 7, 2017.

Last month we talked about what it took to build the framework to start increasing your website performance. At this point you are probably starting to get the increase in traffic you were looking for and getting those unknown visitors to convert into..

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The Ultimate Guide to HubSpot Workflows

Strategy & Lead Gen 15 minute read

Marketing software is essential in today's competitive online world. It allows a marketer to save time and scale marketing campaigns with relative ease. However, using the software alone will not generate new leads or guarantee existing customers coming back. Successful online marketing requires taking timely, relevant actions based on what a..

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Where Do My Blog Posts Fit Into the Buyer's Journey?

Strategy & Lead Gen, SEO 6 minute read

By now, you know how important blogging is for your business. But blogging about anything without any purpose or goals won’t help you. Each and every blog post you publish should be written with a specific part of the buyer’s journey in mind.

Of course, that’s easier said than done. It’s not easy to figure out what questions your potential..

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Buyer's Journey vs. Customer Lifecycle: What's the Difference?

Strategy & Lead Gen 9 minute read

Marketers love jargon. We're capable of having high-speed conversations with buzzwords flying so fast, it would make a layperson's head spin.

Sometimes, though, we can get tripped up on the very lingo we love so dearly.

One trip-up we've noticed is the difference between two separate marketing and sales concepts: the buyer's journey and the..

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5 Signs You Are Wasting Money on HubSpot

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 4 minute read

You're smart, savvy and have a good understanding of inbound marketing. You have been blogging, implementing SEO, sending out email campaigns, posting on social media and following the inbound marketing methodology. So, why aren't you getting the results you wanted using HubSpot? I am sure you're thinking HubSpot is not working. The reality..

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4 Impressive Stats That Will Convince Your Boss to Invest in Lifecycle Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen 5 minute read

Raise your hand if you've ever been a victim of a pummeled proposal. Or a shutdown suggestion. Or an ill-received idea.

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Hubspot Hacks: Queue up Smart CTAs for Lifecycle Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 5 minute read

Nothing tickles me more than having my work done for me. Like you, I got a lotta sh** to do, and as an inbound marketer sometimes I have to be a wearer of many hats, doer of many jobs.

So if there is anything I can do that helps me "set it and forget it," I'M IN.

One of the awesome things about inbound marketing with HubSpot is that every..

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What is an Inbound Website?

In the recent years, you probably have been hearing more and more about inbound marketing. Inbound is a style of marketing that puts the human back into the mix and educates potential buyers instead of selling them. Does that sound like a marketing style that you could get on board with moving forward? Of course!

So, what is the difference..

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The 6 Basic Emails You Need to Start Lifecycle Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen 4 minute read

Lifecycle Stages help you organize your database by the stage they are at in your sales cycle: subscriber, lead, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, opportunity, or evangelist. Since your communication with your contacts varies depending on what lifecycle stage they are in, it is critical to have the ability to segment your contacts..

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What To Expect After a Year of Inbound Marketing

Each of the clients I've worked with has a different set of marketing chops.

Some are small teams jumpstarting their company's first year of growth. Others are established businesses with hundreds of employees; they're simply looking to diversify their over-arching marketing strategy with inbound.

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From Traditional to Modern Marketing: The Buyer's Journey Has Changed

Strategy & Lead Gen 4 minute read
Do you remember the Yellow Pages?

If you're like me, you'll remember meeting with your Yellow Pages Representative and going over your ads for the year — it was almost a requirement for those of us in marketing. The Yellow Page meeting was one of the most important marketing meetings for your small business all year. You would look at all the..

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5 Simple Ideas to Take Your Lead Funnel to the Next Level

Strategy & Lead Gen 7 minute read

Everybody wants a strong lead funnel.

A fully fledged funnel is a big project, but you can take smaller steps to help improve conversion rates and move people along the buyer's journey better, and faster.

Try these five simple ideas on for size! 

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7 Ways HubSpot is the Best Tool for Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 6 minute read

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..

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6 Tenets of A/B Testing Every Marketer Should Know

Strategy & Lead Gen 6 minute read

This is a guest post by Niraj Ranjan Rout, the founder of Hiver.

Testing is one of the most reliable ways to draw marketing insights and optimize your campaigns.

A/B testing is a better alternative to blindly following best practices, especially for email marketing. It can help you figure out how even seemingly small aspects — such as the..

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Are eBooks Dead for B2B Lead Generation?

According to a 2016 Demand Gen Report, 47% of buyers viewed 3-5 pieces of content before engaging with a sales rep.

But only the most engaging content will get them to convert.

As an agency that runs lots of tests for conversion, we're generally moving away from eBooks for B2B lead generation.

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Will Lead Generation Software Really Grow My Business?

You might have heard that 49% of marketers are using marketing software to generate more qualified leads.

As you set and refine your strategy for the year, you might be wondering: Is lead generation software right for my business?

The right program can take your marketing process to a new level. But it's also an investment of time, training,..

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What is a Qualified Lead? That's the Wrong Question

Identifying a great lead is one of the most important things you can do for your sales process.

But too many marketers ask the wrong question: Is my lead qualified?

The better question you should ask is, Which kind of qualified lead am I dealing with?

When you understand the difference between a marketing qualified lead and a sales qualified..

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How to Rock Your Sales Funnel [Free Marketing Audit Template]

For marketers who want to reliably fill their sales funnels, content is key:

93% of B2B companies say content marketing generates more leads than traditional marketing strategies, according to Marketo.

But many marketers are finding that content alone isn't enough.

For one-third of B2B marketers, the biggest problem is figuring out how to serve..

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5 Marketing Objectives Examples for a Strong Sales Funnel

Strategy & Lead Gen 7 minute read

OK, big question coming at you:

How will you make your marketing strategy a success this year?

A lot of plans and strategies probably come to mind. And you might wonder which marketing goals will pay off the most.

One surefire way to organize your objectives into one cohesive strategy is by asking this question:

How can I make my entire sales..

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How to Delight Your Customers with Content Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen 6 minute read

This post is a guest contribution by Antonio Tooley of edugeeksclub.com.

If you are a professional content marketer, or if you have a product or a service you would like to offer people, you are probably already familiar with the inbound methodology, and its four stages: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight.

The thing is, a lot of marketers..

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How We Generated 369% More Leads in 3 Months Using LinkedIn

As a marketing professional, you're always chasing that new source of leads.

Sometimes, it feels like you've looked everywhere... exhausted all of your outreach channels.

But as we found with one client, sometimes a new lead generation opportunity is hiding in plain sight. You just have to know where to look.

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Our 5 Top Insights From Inbound 2016: Blogging, Web CRO & More

Strategy & Lead Gen, SEO 6 minute read

Ah, Inbound 2016 in Boston — it was a week of live tweeting, quick eating, and marketing fanboy crushes (looking at you, Gary Vaynerchuk).

This conference is the place to be if you're interested in innovative marketing. It's where clever marketers come to give ideas and advice. We all gather in buzzing conference rooms and forge the future of..

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Where to Get Free Inbound Marketing Training for Your Team

 Inbound marketing training doesn't have to be pricy.

The methodology is anyone's game. And you can grab the benefits of inbound marketing without breaking the bank... if you know where to look.

We're pulling back the curtain on our favorite resources to learn the inbound methodology, stay up-to-date with new tactics, and even get certified.

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Your Marketing Process is Out of Order. Here's How to Fix It.

Strategy & Lead Gen 7 minute read

Have you ever tried brushing your teeth and putting the toothpaste on afterwards? Or baking a cake and then pouring on the sugar?

What about measuring marketing ROI at the beginning of a campaign?

While the first two scenarios sound ridiculous, many marketers don't realize the latter is just as bad. 

Like cake baking or tooth brushing, your..

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6 Fresh Perspectives an Inbound Marketing Agency Will Bring You

Routines are a good thing. Most mornings, I walk to work, catch up with a podcast, and swing in my favorite cafe near the office for coffee — and it's a great way to start a jam-packed day.

But routines can feel more like ruts when it comes to a long-term strategy. Auto-publishing social posts, scheduling "blah" blog content just to fill the..

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7 Segmentation Lists You Need in Your HubSpot Portal

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 8 minute read

People love digital experiences that feel tailored to them.

Think about the last time that you got an email that really piqued your interest and made you click. Chances are, it was relevant to you.

In fact, segmented campaigns perform 58.99% higher than non-segmented campaigns (Source: MailChimp.)

To get the most out of your HubSpot investment,..

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Are Marketing Tools Helping, or Killing, Your Lead Conversion?

Strategy & Lead Gen 5 minute read

Are you using a range of tools to "check the boxes" of marketing?

Your effort might be divided in a handful of places, like a blog platform, email software, and a social media publisher — and your attention might be diced up, too.

Maybe you're darting between several browser tabs, or logging in and out of a few apps every day.

Investing in..

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Grow Leads and Revenue With an Inbound Website Redesign

Did you know that buyers complete more than half of the buyer's journey before talking to sales?

This means that your buyers are already researching and deciding on solutions long before a sales call. The most successful companies are present in the first half of this journey — their websites attract, convert, and help close leads throughout..

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When, Why, and How to Update Your Buyer Personas

Strategy & Lead Gen 5 minute read

A Marketing Sherpa case study found that using buyer personas leads to a 171% increase in marketing-generated revenue.

It's probably not hard to believe: Today's consumer prefers a personalized experience.

In fact, buyers are 48% more likely to consider solution providers that personalize their marketing to address their specific business issues

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Why Your Sales Team Should Steer Clear of Top-of-Funnel Leads

Maybe this marketing + sales snafu is familiar: You've generated a few dozen leads online, and your sales team is chomping at the bit to get them.

You've done your job, so you pass the names on to sales reps. They get called, sales are closed, everyone's happy.

Easy enough, right? Not completely.

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7 Steps to Convert Your Target Buyers With Content Offers

Strategy & Lead Gen 10 minute read

Do you ever have that "a-ha!" moment when something is just right, and happens at the perfect time?

It could be a song that plays on the radio and fits your mood perfectly. Or a bit of advice in a fortune cookie that you really needed.

As an inbound marketer, your goal is to give leads that satisfying a-ha moment with your content offers.

It..

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How to Inject the Inbound Marketing Strategy Into Your Next Website Redesign

Do you want a website that's both effective and cost-efficient?

Do you want your website to generate leads and centralize your sales strategy?

By baking in elements of an inbound marketing strategy, you can generate and nurture leads with your next website redesign.

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Effective Email Marketing for the Customer Lifecycle Stages

Strategy & Lead Gen 7 minute read

What do email marketing and dating have in common? (No, this isn't a joke setup...) When you get down to it, dating isn't really about the dinner, the outfit, or the first kiss. Just like email, it's all about the messaging.

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How to "Future Proof" Your Digital Marketing Presence

I went to a lecture on "future proofing" by Kipp Bodnar, the CMO of HubSpot, and I walked away with this: We can't rely on our current strategies forever — or we're doomed!

But, then again, adaptation has always been a compelling challenge for modern marketers.

Your digital marketing presence may be solid today, but will it withstand the test..

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Lead Generation Strategies: Inbound, Outbound, and the Space Between

Strategy & Lead Gen 6 minute read

It's easy to fall into the dichotomy that was scolded recently by Adena DeMonte in her recent article, "Inbound vs. ABM: That's the Wrong Question."

You can see a swath of articles and statistics pushing the idea that "Inbound = good! Outbound = bad!" However, as I've moved between the extremes, I've learned that many of our best lead..

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Why Your Website Redesign Will Fail Without Content Strategy First

Is your website gathering dust? Are your visitors yawning — or worse, bouncing? It's time for a website redesign.

But before you call up your designer or start picking color palettes, you should pause and put content first. Sorry, designers — the appearance of your website takes a backseat to the message it's conveying. After all, if there's no..

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Assumptions About an Inbound Marketing Strategy That Hold You Back

Strategy & Lead Gen, SEO 6 minute read

I'll spare you from the popular moniker about what assumptions do to you and me. (You're welcome.) But in all seriousness, we see a lot of well-intentioned marketers dive into an inbound strategy — and miss the target only because they're making incorrect assumptions. One misconception can really hold back your success.

You can be well-versed..

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The Best Inbound Marketing Process Works Like an Olympic Athlete

Strategy & Lead Gen 4 minute read

Stoked about the summer Olympics? We are too. Those world champion athletes inspire us to be stronger, faster, better. Alright, alright — I'm off the couch! They can inspire your inbound marketing process, too.

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Why Your Lead Generation Strategies Are a Mess (And How to Unite Them)

What's your marketing game plan?

If you refer to your "marketing strategies" in plural, you're probably already at a disadvantage.

You might be overseeing a mess of strategies — website, content, social, and SEO — like different silos that operate more or less independently of one another.

If this is the case, you're at a disadvantage from your..

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Don't Fail Because You Gave up on Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

Think, for a second, of the stock market. Like a rollercoaster, it ascends... then descends. Up, up, down, and up. You know the graph.

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How We Use HubSpot For Customer Lifecycle Marketing

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 5 minute read

Think about the first time you went to your now-favorite coffee shop. The first time you visited, maybe you spent a little time scoping out the best place to site and reading over the menu. You didn’t know anybody there.

The more frequently you went, the more it seemed to change: You found your favorite spot to..

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7 Tips to Getting Company Buy-In on Inbound Strategy

There are a surprising number of one-man marketing teams. Since I started working at SparkReaction I’ve met at least six people who have been lone wolves in their marketing departments at one point or another. As I’ve learned more about inbound marketing the more I just want to give them all a high five, because solo inbound work is tough!

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How a Simple Marketing Audit Can Jumpstart Your HubSpot Strategy

Strategy & Lead Gen, HubSpot 10 minute read

How’s your marketing faring these days? That should be a question you have a quick answer to (and, ideally, your answer would be, “It’s going superbly, thanks for asking!”).

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What Are The Components of a Successful Inbound Strategy?

Strategy & Lead Gen 4 minute read

You're convinced that inbound marketing might just work for your business — but what exactly does inbound marketing entail? Even if you've got a good grasp on the basics, this checklist will give you a deeper understanding of all the moving parts that make up an inbound marketing strategy.

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The Best (And Worst) Email Subject Lines We’ve Seen

Strategy & Lead Gen 5 minute read

If you’re anything like me, there are probably a few email subscriptions that you open every time it hits your inbox — no matter its subject line. My daily read is theSkimm, a newsletter delivered daily at 8 a.m. with the day’s news in a fun, editorial style. I swear by it. Every day, theSkimm has a fun subject line, like “Long weekend inside”..

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