Nurturing leads in HubSpot (in 2020): The ultimate guide

January 7, 2020   |   21 min read time    Austin Walker Austin Walker

Nurturing Leads in HubSpot (in 2020): The ultimate guide

Alright, so you already have a winning lead generation device: HubSpot.

But how do you increase your close rate? The truth is, in most cases, whether B2B or B2C, consumers won’t buy right away. Instead, they’re going to need some time to decide if your product is right for them.

But what is lead nurturing? Lead nurturing is the process of helping leads move through and complete their buying process.

We’re going to outline tools HubSpot gives you to help your business be more successful, how you can work it into your website design, and how to implement best techniques to help you succeed in 2020.

If you were looking to increase your leads, you might want to check out Nurturing

Ch 1. Understanding the Buyer Persona

Since you’re already attracting leads into the business, you might have a decent idea on what type of potential client your service or product attract.

Your product or service definitely satisfies some sort of need, right?

But how do we know what type of person it is that’s going to purchase it?

It’s generally a mix of market research, but if you’re a new business, this is probably something that you’re working to figure out.

What is a buyer persona? The buyer persona is what our perfect customer would look like if they were a real person. Their wants and needs, demographics that help them actually make the purchase, their own personal goals and motivations, as well as the different behaviors they exhibit before, during, and after they’re looking for your product or service.

Questions you’d want to know

  1. How would one of your potential buyers describe themselves?
  2. What kind of job title do they hold?
  3. What is their annual household income?
  4. Explain your potential buyer’s values
  5. What kind of experience do they expect from your product or service?
  6. Where do they normally go to find information?

There are other questions that may be more specific to your industry, but in order for us to draw up a story, these will work.

Now, in order to truly understand and draw a picture for yourself and the rest of your company, create a story. They’re easy to understand, and will help identify which marketing mediums make the most sense, which KPIs to use, and how you measure your success.

For some pretty great examples of what your persona story looks like, here are some examples.

In Ch. 2, let’s put the buyer’s persona to good use, and pull our marketing efforts through their entire journey.

Ch 2. Understanding the Buyer’s Journey

Now that you have put together a buyer’s persona, and have written out their story, let’s string out how they make a purchase. Then, in the later chapters, we’ll put together tools and strategy to help nurture them through their entire experience, and increase the odds that they’re going to choose your business for their wants and needs.

How do buyers make a purchase? Most purchases have very similar thought processes for consumers.

This can be put into three different categories:

Awareness

This is the point where your potential buyer is going to be realizing that they have a problem. This is the ah-ha moment when they decide whether they’re going to take action and see if there are services available that can help them with their need, and start weighing how important the problem is to them.

Now, in our case we’re targeting people who have already taken action, and moved through awareness, and are considering their options. That’s why they’ve already become a lead through us. However, knowing what content they’ve looked at, how they’ve researched, and where we may be able to help them more can help us achieve better results.

Consideration

This is when a buyer has realized they’d like to try and solve their problem, and begin to analyze information in their current space. At this point, they’ve started to get downloads, list off options on what’s available in the market, weighing on what criteria is important to them and what’s available, and engages with content that really helps them start to build a list of potential solutions.

Decision

This isn’t just about a consumer making the actual decision. This is the deduction of the listing they’ve built in the consideration stage, along with their complete focus on the solution of their problem. They’ve now narrowed their decision down to just a few solutions, and are engaging more frequently with whom they believe to be the best solution for them.

The decision part of the buyer’s journey is when consumers now have the information of what they want, and are trying to decide who can deliver it to them with the most value at the best price.

For example, when you’re at the grocery store deciding on which type of bread to get. You know that bread is what you want, but you have many options in front of you. Once you’ve decided what type of bread you want - rye, wheat, white, or sourdough - you now have very few options left. The decision process is analyzing which of the ones left will work the best for you. Is this loaf too expensive, does this one have the amount of fiber you’d like to have, is it packaged in a way that you like?

The firm selling the product really needs to resonate with you at this point. And that’s what we’re trying to do in the decision stage for our potential buyers.

Let’s keep going through to Chapter 3 to start working on how to nurture leads in the Awareness cycle.

Ch.3 Awareness

Now that we’re to the point where we understand and have implemented a buyer’s persona and we now understand our buyer’s journey, it’s time to start implementing methods to help push them along the funnel.

Let’s look back at our question: “where do they normally go to find their information?”

This should be listed out in your story. That is essentially the first part of the buyer’s journey, awareness, and into consideration.

72% of buyers will reach out to Google when searching for information. That’s a lot of search volume with people looking for a product or service that you may offer.

We can turn this part of their search into a lead generating opportunity for us, by creating informational media that helps the consumer with their purchasing decision, and keeps you in the top of their mind to make a purchase.

They may also decide from the information that you produce that your product isn’t right for them. Don’t worry, this is a good thing. You wouldn’t want someone to make a purchase of a product that isn’t right for them. It leads to poor reviews, and a bad overall experience for the customer.

Create videos

Videos are a great way to build interest. 6/10 people would rather watch videos online than on television.

They’re also a really great way to explain information that would otherwise be difficult to understand through reading.

With online trends towards the continued advancement of video, it’s pretty important to make sure you’re utilizing it to help your leads gather more information about your products and your brand.

The videos should be helping advance the user’s understanding of the product or service you’re offering.

Add a video to your blog post:

Navigate to the page that you want to add the video to, website page, landing page, or blog in HubSpot. In our example we’ll be using a blog.

In a rich text module, click the video icon. Sometimes you’ll have to enable your settings to allow you to post these videos. Go ahead and do that.

 

Click onto the video that you want to embed within the page.

If you haven’t uploaded the video into the system, you can actually just upload a video from your personal library or files.

Pro tip: after you’ve embedded the video, just make sure to add tags to the video so that Google will recognize and rank your video.

You can also add a lead form onto the video, along with a call-to-action in order to drive more leads into your funnel.

Create social posts

Social posts are great for connected to new, and reconnecting with current customers. It’s also a great way to lose a lot of time if you don’t have a proper social media strategy put into place. We’d highly recommend doing the training within HubSpot’s academy to get yourself started.

Social media is a great way to have users understand your brand, get them in touch with your company, and draw awareness into your brand identity.

According to a poll taken by Sprout Social, 48% of online consumers say that they want to see responsiveness from companies on social media channels and if they are responsive they ‘re more likely to buy.

37% of those respondents also said that they’re more likely to buy if the brand appears to be humorous.

But does that mean that you need to do things like be humorous and more responsive? The answer is, like most other things, it depends.

If being humorous can resonate with your brand, the answer is absolutely. You don’t want to make decisions in your strategy that take away from who your company is, and the customers you’d like to attract.

For example, Old Spice is able to create humor and match with its audience, even though the products they produce are otherwise pretty common, and could easily be boring.

At one time, Old Spice tweeted Taco Bell that their lack of use of real fire within their fire sauce was false advertisement. The two brands continued to go back and forth on the topic, and the user base for the two resonated with a lot of social shares.

Once you have your social media strategy built, you can almost automate the whole thing in HubSpot. Here’s how:

Navigate to the social media tab under Marketing.

In the social media tab, you’ll notice you have the ability to schedule posts one at a time, or you can schedule in bulk:

 

Along with posting, you can also monitor all of your accounts within this window.

 

Monitoring allows you to see how people are interacting with your brand in real time, give you a chance to connect with them, and make an impact.

Remember, use best practices from always-changing algorithms in your social media choices. This will help you drive additional awareness to your brand, and begin to nurture more leads and increase your company’s brand awareness.

Another great way to make sure that you’re connecting with the right audience, and matching with users that are similar to your buyer’s persona, you can always go into your social media accounts and look through the users that have liked or followed your brand.

Publish blog posts

Blog posts are one of the essential things that people are going to utilize in their informational search and start considering what the problem is, whether there’s something available to help solve their issue, and if your company offers the right solution.

Before you start putting together a bunch of blog posts and spend a bunch of time writing, you need to create a strategy.

This is where we go back to the buyer’s journey.

What kinds of keywords would someone be using if they are searching for your product? What issue do they have, and how do they use your product to solve it?

This is where your blogging strategy begins. For more information on how to create a blogging strategy, HubSpot has really great information here: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/blog-strategy-guide

Your blogging strategy is important in understanding where your potential buyers are at this point, and the types of information they’re looking for to really drive them further down the funnel.

Research your Competition

One really great way to understand what’s working well, is to research your closest competitors. What blogs are they posting that are getting traction? What keywords are they ranking for? You can make adjustments given how you may be targeting your own subset of potential buyers, but ultimately, it will most likely be really close.

Tools that we’ve used to do this research in the past:

SEMRush

Ubersuggest

Moz

The great thing is that Ubersuggest is free, but Moz and SEMRush can produce your results really quickly, as well as monitor your competitors over time. HubSpot also has a competitive analysis tool, but don’t share as much information about what kind of content your competitiors are posting. You can check out your ranking compared to competitors by going to Reports > Analytics tools > Competitors.

Once you have thoroughly analyzed what kind of links your competitors are getting and what keywords and blogs are sourcing those links, it gives you a place to at least start your blogging strategy.

Publishing the blog

Now that you’re pro status in the blogging strategy side, it’s time to create your first post and publish.

In your blogging tool, you’ll want to write your post. Remember, you’re talking to what’s important to your buyer’s wants and needs, and what can be helpful in their informational search, not necessarily how it benefits your company or using the post to sell.

Publish your post, and monitor for ways that can increase your search volume over time. A/B test the title, meta tags, and content. Over time, this will help bring more traffic in from work you’ve already done.

Social Media Publishing

When you publish a blog post, make sure that these posts are going out to social media channels automatically.

To adjust or check these settings, click on the gear tab in the upper right hand corner.

 

Once in settings, select the social tab under Marketing

 

Assuming you already have your social media accounts connected from earlier in the post, look under the column that says “Blog auto-publish.”

Make sure that your social media channels are connected to the proper blog you want published to those specific channels.

Now, whenever you publish a new blog, the headline of your blog, along with a link to it will be auto-published just a few minutes after it goes live.

Your blogging strategy at this point is solid. Let’s move onto designing and publishing an Infographic next.

Design and publish an infographic

Another great way to help your users dissect information that’s otherwise pretty boring, or can be difficult to understand is designing an infographic.

Infographics have been hot then cold again and then hot. Regardless of how important they are to the tech world right now, first decide if it’s right for your brand, and whether it’s going to add value and uniqueness to help your potential buyers make a decision.

Some great tools for creating infographics:

Canva

Venngage

Piktochart

Visme

Infogram

Vizualize.me

Snappa

Animaker

They’re a great way to convey information that is otherwise pretty difficult to understand. It can also add a lot of flavor to things that otherwise wouldn’t be very fun, like data sets.

For example, look at this infographic that was used to help someone understand a great strategy and mix for their blogging strategy:

 

HubSpot used examples with something we all can relate to, food, to create an infographic we can all understand, about blogging strategy. The visual representation keeps the data light, and also helps the user understand and remember the information in a better way.

Infographics are great for visualizing what sort of data your industry produces, statistics that might help your user understand how well your product works, or just what kinds of great things that your company does.

Implement into HubSpot:

After creating the infographic, you’ll want to download the file through whichever tool you chose.

Go into the webpage or blog post that you plan on implementing it into, and very similar to embedding a video, click on the plus sign next to the text box. Click on Add image:

 

Select the file you’d like to use, or upload from your desktop.

After implementing the infographic, make sure you add in tags to make sure that Google can understand what the picture is and rank it.

One of the best things about infographics is they’re really easy to share, and social media users find fun ways to interact with them as well.

Utilizing these different methods can help generate information for your potential buyers, increase the amount of content on your website, as well as get you some visibility on social channels to increase your web presence and your visibility in the marketplace.

Let’s move into the consideration phase of our guide to help take the contacts you make even further down the funnel.

Ch. 4 Consideration

Create a newsletter

Newsletters can be designed to do something very important: keep in contact with your potential buyers. These emails can share what the company is up to, what sort of impact you’re making, and industry news that they may be interested in.

Here’s the way it runs: a potential buyer signs up for follow-up information or subscribes to one of your blogs and becomes a contact. They’ve now become a MQL or marketing qualified lead, and need to have some nurturing to help push them into a SQL or sales qualified lead.

One of the important distinctions to understand about a newsletter: it’s not about you.

When publishing a newsletter, you want to keep the buyer’s journey at the forefront of your mind. Publish information that can help the contact make better decisions about their purchase or how your goods might be able to help them.

You can also publish information that would be of further use of them in their journey, such as how to use your product or service, upcoming webinars or training for your services, and what other uses your product may have.

For example, companies have utilized them for many different purposes. Forbes has compiled a list of really popular newsletters that you may want to subscribe to.

Trello outlines how improving processes in the workplace can help a business grow and be more profitable. This works for their brand and matches the identity of an audience they’d like to attract because they have project management software.

Harvard Business Review publishes a daily management tip, which connects a need to the potential readers of their publication.

To put together and publish a newsletter, go into your HubSpot portal:

Access the email tab under “marketing.”

Click onto “New Email” and select regular. The other two are for blog publishing and automatic emails for people within a workflow. We will get to workflows later.

You’ve now reached the template marketplace, where you can choose a custom made template that has been pre-populated for you, or you can drag and drop a template for yourself.

For the most part, templates work pretty well, but you can try one and test it to see if it works for what you’re trying to accomplish first.

Create the email. The name doesn’t have to be anything other than what you’ll recognize to be the newsletter, and your audience won’t see it.

Look up catchy subject lines and utilize them first before A/B testing your own. It’s a great way to speed up the process of getting a high open rate.

Opt-in Monster does a really great job giving us some examples.

Pro tip: make sure that you use your logo to have some reference to your brand. The logo doesn’t have to be huge, but it should be visible somewhere within the newsletter so your subscribers understand and make the connection to your brand.

There are a couple things that are important within the newsletter to continue to push your leads down the pipeline:

  1. add points within your lead scoring when they click through your posts.
  2. Set up workflow trigger emails for any calls-to-action that you have within the posts you feature within the newsletter.

The reason this is so important is so that you can see when someone is taking notice of your posts, and are paying more attention to your brand. Once they’ve reached a high enough lead score, it’s probably worth setting up a call or reaching out to them to see if they’re ready to purchase.

We will be showing you how to lead score later on.

An ebook

Ebooks add a lot of benefits in helping your leads grasp exactly how your product or service is going to help them satisfy their needs.

Generally, ebooks are set as downloadable content and is “more advanced” or more valuable than the current content you offer.

The next step in your leads’ journey.

Ebooks are packaged with a ton of information. So much that they generally have many pages and different chapters, similar to what you would find in a novel or textbook.

The only difference is, the book is completely digital. Saving the planet one book at a time!

Ebooks take a ton of time to create, because there’s so much content, but they’re handy to download and your potential buyers may reference it more than once.

Within your chapters, you may get to different parts of information that are crucial to the work that your company does, and the services you offer.

For example, if you’re a software company selling CRMs, when you decide to talk about growing contacts and how that can be done. Since that’s a trigger to pique interest of your potential buyer, add a call-to-action and a link to a landing page so that the reader can sign up for a webinar, or maybe even a product demo.

Let’s publish the ebook:

First, structure your chapters and titles within the book. Make sure that they’re specific, and you have the headings set correctly.

Create the design.

Use visuals to help your audience connect with the information more. Implement them using our methods above.

After you’ve finished creating the ebook, download it in a PDF format and upload it into your files.

Create a landing page specific to your ebook and how it benefits your audience, outlining what crucial information your potential buyer should expect to read about, and publish.

Set the landing page and form to automatically send the file to the buyer when they’ve given their information.

Use the download as a lead trigger in your workflow to increase the value of that customer.

Showcasing and hosting webinars

Now we’re getting more interactive with our audience. Webinars are an easy way to have one-on-one interaction with your potential buyers, and also prompt them to take further action.

Webinars generally share a presentation with a lot of information to audiences to help them make a purchasing decision, or feed them even more value than they’ve gotten in other mediums. They can also use this time to ask questions in real time, or get feedback on what things they’re really hung up on.

You can also record the webinars to have evergreen content that can be shared long-term.

To host a webinar, you’ll need some video software:

GoToMeeting

Zoom

Zoho

HubSpot actually integrates with GoToMeeting, so that’s easier to track contacts, create a landing page, and receive data from GoToMeeting that can help your company track.

Implement videos

Install GoToWebinar Integration

Go to the upper right hand corner and find the little picture of a house. Click onto it and then click through to App Marketplace.

Search for the integration for GoToWebinar.

Now, you’re going to want to actually promote the webinar through a landing page that you send out to leads that are already interested.

This is a heavy distinction to make, otherwise your webinars might end up pretty empty.

Find the subscriber list, or make a new list from buyer personas or leads that have scored high.

Send emails to those subscribers or leads to ask them to join the webinar and send them to the landing page you created.

Create case studies

One of the reasons this is the last category within Consideration, is case studies can really help a potential buyer answer questions that are keeping them from moving from consideration to the decision phase.

Case Studies help a user understand how a product or service has benefited others, and tries to answer questions that they’ve had during their journey, as well as give them social proof and metrics that prove how well the product or service satisfies their need.

It tells a story of a buyer (similar to them) that has gone followed the entire purchasing journey and eventually bought the product, and why.

Case studies are frequently one of the last touch points you’ll have with a potential buyer before they actually decide to make the purchase.

These are really your time to shine.

How much did you help a client increase profitability? Efficiency?

What methods did you help improve or change, and what sort of impact did it have on a business?

How much did you completely change someone’s life? What are the examples of how the product or service is used and why does it make so much sense to the want or need you’re trying to satisfy?

Case studies are the one time that you can really start showing yourself up. Before this moment a company is spending time managing the relationship and letting someone choose for themselves why they’re valuable to them. Now, it’s time to show someone why they should choose you over your competitors.

Here is a list of case study examples, and their templates and formats, that you can copy.

It’s a good idea to create a website page for case studies. You want these to be visible to your potential audience, and easy to access.

Create a lead trigger to reach out to a lead if they’re accessing your case studies. This is a big signal that someone is close to getting ready to buy. At this point, it’s safe to reach out. They know who you are, and they have an understanding of what they’d like to do.

Implement the case studies in a link within the navigation header within your website. You’ll be glad you did.

Ch. 5 Decision

Great, we’ve now gotten to a point where we’re going to start closing our leads. This is the point that we’ve been working so hard for.

If the job was done right up to this point, leading your potential buyers through their journey in a smooth way: awareness, consideration, and now into their key decision time, you will close more deals than if the process doesn’t make sense, leaves them feeling in the dark, or is more confusing than helpful.

Let’s see how you can utilize HubSpot to make sure that your firm can benefit from the leads you’ve generated.

Product/service demos

Demos are an awesome way to overcome other objections that a potential buyer has, and is toiling with before they can make the decision.

It’s your opportunity to research into what someone has alraedy seen (through the workflow) and what parts they’re missing in their analysis of the product that they’re looking at.

You can also help them understand how your product or service differs from the competition, and uncover any other weaknesses in their thought process to build up more value in those specific areas.

Asking questions like:

  • Does this benefit you?
  • How will you be using the product?
  • Is that something that you feel would be in your best interest?
  • Does that fit your needs?
  • What can we do to serve you better?

 

Well-positioned pricing page

Pricing pages should be available within your website as well. Somewhere easy to navigate to, so that potential buyers can understand if they can even afford your product or service.

Free trials

Remember when the ice cream man would give you a free ice cream cone? Or even better, Costco lunches where they serve you product from within the freezer?

Well, although it is nice of them to give away free product, it wasn’t without cause.

Giving a customer the ability to try out your product before making some sort of commitment is one of the more popular ways to increase the customer base.

You’re giving them a chance to answer other questions they may have had about the usability of your product, and if it works better for them compared to your competition in the marketplace.

HubSpot still uses the freemium version for the first several hundred contacts of it’s CRM. And the rest of the software platform is built on those contacts. They give you the contacts and the ability to monitor their actions, so you can see how valuable the other services are, and how they continue to add value to the contacts you already have.

For example, getting marketing software added to help promote and manage the blog, along with monitor analytics and traffic from one spot. Posting to social media and monitoring traffic all from one location.

It all starts with getting the first several hundred contacts for free in the CRM.

You’ll have to gauge for yourself what the best way to produce a free trial is for your potential buyers, but once you have it, let them know it’s available.

You can have a trigger built into one of your workflows to que a trial for someone once their lead score has reached a certain point.

Or, you can just add an automated email to your HubSpot account to see if it’s something that they’re interested in.

First, segment out people who have a higher lead score. You don’t want to be sending to people that have just arrived on your website, you’ll push them away.

Instead, you want to target people that already have some interest in your brand, and are looking for their solution.

Go into your marketing tab, scroll down to email.

Create a new email and select a template from the list.

Write a compelling email that’s quick and to the point.

Here are some great examples.

Utilizing the examples will give you a great starting point within the emails to start testing from there and improving as the metrics start coming in.

You want to have high click through rates onto your landing page to purchase the trail, as well as a high open rate.

Without these metrics you may be torching your leads and there may be an issue with your lead scoring; they’re just not quite ready enough to give your product a try.

In conclusion, lead scoring doesn’t have to be difficult, and HubSpot can help you automate most of the process. It’s important to stay active in approaching your leads, and communicating with them in a way that is less intrusive. That’s what inbound design is all about.

Look forward into the conclusion to see how you can start creating workflows and winning lead scoring systems to make sure that you’re continuously nurturing your leads and increasing your close rate.

Ch. 6 Conclusion

Getting leads onto your website is truly a big victory. But they won’t do your business much good unless you’re able to nurture the lead and secure the sale.

The practices and processes we’ve outlined here can help you achieve victory more often than not in your lead generation process.

In our next series, if you’re interested, we show you how to design and build workflow sequences and utilize lead scoring to make sure that you’re reaching out to leads at the right place, at the right time, at the right price.

The workflows help automate the process to take out a lot of the legwork you currently do, and puts your content to work for you!


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