Every business that uses HubSpot uses it differently: some use it for hosting blogs and landing pages; others use it for the management of their whole website; and some of them use it for lead management, lead nurturing and social media.
HubSpot is a large platform - so if you are just getting started with it or consider yourself a HubSpot 'rookie', knowing how to best use the tools will allow you to get results quickly and improve your efficiency.
Therefore, to help you use the HubSpot platform to best effect and in line with best practice, we asked our team of experts for their top tips and tricks to make you a better HubSpotter overnight! Here are our twenty-six tips, tricks and habits to make you a successful HubSpotter.
1. Send follow-up emails to verify and clean email addresses
If you are using landing pages to convert website visitors into leads, they will have to provide you with their email address in order to receive your offer. Some contacts, however, will not want to provide you with a real email address.
To ensure they have provided you with a valid email, you can set up an automated follow-up email – thanking them for their download or sign up – and use it to see whether or not the email soft or hard bounces. Using this method, you can create a list of contacts whose email addresses bounce and then tidy that list up.
2. Remove the navigation on all landing pages
The sole purpose of a landing page is to convert visitors into leads - so the last thing you want to do is allow visitors to click off it via the navigation or links on the page! Remove the navigation, links, and make your landing pages distraction-free so people concentrate on completing the form!
3. Redirect landing pages to thank you pages – and don't use thank you pop-ups
After a website visitor fills in a form and downloads your content, you should take the time to thank them… but not with a simple pop-up thank you message.
By using a pop-up thank you message, all you are doing is saying ‘cheers’.
Instead, use a thank you page. With a thank you page, you can thank them in detail whilst also providing more information and other useful content that they might be interested in. This gives them the opportunity to further engage with your website!
4. Use buyer persona-style questions on forms to automatically assign personas
If you are a HubSpot user - or have studied Inbound Marketing - you will know about the importance of buyer personas and segmenting your contacts into each one. Segmenting your contacts based on buyer persona will allow you to provide a more personalised experience, but segmenting your contacts manually can be time-consuming.
Instead, use HubSpot's form fields and workflows to automatically set a contact's persona. To do this, you include qualifying questions on your forms, for example: "What is your biggest challenge?" and then set up a workflow to automatically assign a contact to a specific persona depending on their answer to the question.
You can then set up lead nurturing and smart content based around specific personas, rather than assuming all of your contacts are interested in the same thing!
5. Use smart calls-to-action (CTAs) in conjunction with smart content to display content that is relevant to the website visitor both in content and stage of the funnel
Smart CTAs and content are great. With smart CTAs, your CTA content can change depending on the visitor viewing it, so instead of showing the same CTA to everyone, you show them something different. Persona, lifecycle stage, product interest, device – all of these factors are taken into consideration to alter your CTAs accordingly.
6. Use branching logic in workflows to ensure contacts never receive the same content but something different each time
Branching logic in workflows allow you to specify whether or not an action should trigger based on certain criteria being fulfilled. For example, if a contact has already downloaded and read an eBook, you can set up an action to ensure they are sent something new instead. This is just a simple example but you can create entire workflows around whether or not a contact takes an action.
We frequently use this tool for lead nurture pathways. Comprehensive branching logic will help you to improve your lead nurture and subsequently help you to move people through the sales cycle!
7. Use naming conventions to make life easier for everyone
This is key, especially if you are a new HubSpot user. Inconsistent naming conventions will make it difficult for you (and the rest of your team) to find what you are looking for.
Have a look at these internal landing page example below:
George’s landing page for recruitment email – January 2018
Landing P for Sarah – Oct 25
Software demo email – Testing 23 Feb 18
Imagine trying to find these content assets / documents! Make it easy for yourself and follow a specific naming convention – like this, for example:
8. Ninja-like workflows
Workflows are every CRM manager’s best friend.
However, the success of a CRM system is heavily dependant on how up to date the information is kept. Things like email addresses, lifecycle stages, contact information and any information your sales team needs are kept within a CRM.
We use ninja-like HubSpot workflows to ensure that updates to information can be as automatic as possible. For example, if you qualify out a lead, rather then manually having to remove a lead owner, remove from your email liststings and more - HubSpot would do this all for you in the background.
9. Use custom reporting dashboards
A mantra we live by at The B2B Marketing Lab is: “Don’t report for the sake of reporting”.
What this means is that we only ever report on the stuff that matters – i.e. the stuff that actually allows us to make informed decisions.
Any vanity metrics are thrown out the door straight away.
So, rather than report on a bunch of irrelevant vanity metrics, use HubSpot’s reporting dashboard to create custom reports with the information you need - not what your CEO needs, or your junior needs… you can help them to create their own custom dashboards specifically for them 😊.
10. Build internal email suppression lists to filter contacts out of other lists
As you will be creating and adding new landing pages and emails throughout your Inbound campaign, you and your team will no doubt want to test them to ensure they are working correctly. In the testing process, checking that your forms are working correctly is essential - however by completing forms you and your team members will be added to HubSpot as ‘contacts’.
Of course, you know that you are just testing but this kind of information will skew your reporting. To avoid this, build a separate email suppression list that filters out everyone with the email of @yourcompany.com – this way all of your lead reports and contact lists are fully accurate, and you do not have ten different ‘marketing assistants’ from your business on your contact list!
11. Review and clean up invalid contacts at regular intervals
One thing to accept in the Inbound Marketing world is that every now and again, you will get random people subscribing to your blog or filling in a form on your website and becoming contacts. This, along with the people who are reluctant to provide you with their real email address, means that you will probably end with a few of the following:
To minimise this, we would suggest going through your contacts on a fortnightly basis and tagging anyone who is ‘invalid’. You can then research each invalid contact to try and find some valid information on them. If you cannot, you can then remove them from your contacts.
12. Frequently A/B test landing pages
HubSpot Professional and Enterprise customers have access to the landing page A/B testing tools. To ensure your conversion rates on your landing pages are optimal, you should use the A/B testing tools on them.
If you’re getting a conversion rate under 25% on your landing pages, they need improvement.
If you’re getting a conversion rate over 50% on your landing pages, they can still be improved!
Using A/B testing you can test individual elements on the landing page to help you determine the best page layout and design, including evaluating things like:
Location of form
How much text should be on the page
Should you need to scroll to see the form
What imagery is being used
13. Use a variety of CTAs and test them
Similar to A/B testing your landing pages, you should use a number of different CTAs across your website. Different CTAs will allow your website visitors to engage on a level that isn’t just ‘contact us’ and help you to move them through the sales cycle.
If you want to check the performance of your CTAs and refine them, you can easily pull that data – including views and conversions – within a specified timeframe. We would suggest testing your CTAs to see which ones work best. It might be down to their placement, colour, or text.
14. Create customised social sharing buttons
You should be encouraging people to share all the content you create throughout your Inbound Marketing campaign – and you can do it with social sharing buttons. Social sharing buttons are included within your HubSpot blog and landing pages by default, but you can also create your own and embed them. Make sure you do!
15. Analyse social media results to optimise messaging
Whilst we’re on the topic of social media – the HubSpot social media tools are awesome. The HubSpot social tool allows you to monitor and analyse each individual tweet, LinkedIn post, Facebook post, and Instagram post to identify what works and what doesn’t.
The HubSpot social media tool puts you in a position to readily determine what social posts work well – whether it’s down to the use of certain words/phrases or post length. With this knowledge, you can refine your social posts to improve your engagement with your audience.
16. Create and implement queued and smart form fields
Your forms are incredibly important when it comes to whether or not a website visitor converts on a landing page.
In order to improve your forms, you should be using queued form fields (known as progressive profiling). Queued form fields mean that if a contact has already submitted at least one form on your website and answered the default questions on your forms, the next time they encounter a form they will be asked something else.
For example, if they have already provided you with the company they work for and their job title, wouldn’t it be annoying for your website visitor to input that information again – and wouldn’t you want to know something else about them?
Using HubSpot’s queued fields, form fields that a contact has already answered can be replaced with different ones; this ensures that you are constantly increasing the profile you have on your leads and putting your sales team in a better position to sell. It also reduces the length of your forms by removing form fields that contact has provided information for.
17. Ensure that graymail is excluded from email sends
‘Graymail’ is essentially where contacts have subscribed and opted-in to receiving email from you at some point in time but have never really engaged with you.
If people aren’t engaging with your emails and you continue to include them, all you are doing is decreasing the overall success of your email campaigns and affecting your reporting.
We would recommend that you build lists of contacts who are not engaging with your emails and removing them from your nurture lists and email batches.
18. Track all engagements in HubSpot Sales to monitor performance and touch points with prospects
Make sure that any engagement that your sales team have with your prospects and leads is recorded in HubSpot. This also means sending emails from within HubSpot, too. If you use Gmail or Outlook, make sure you connect them both to your HubSpot CRM to ensure you can track your emails.
Tracking all of your engagement in HubSpot means that you have all your information in one place, making it easy for your sales team to review progress and keep up-to-date.
19. Successfully map leads and contacts from marketing to sales
As lead engagement can start outside of HubSpot, it’s important that your lead mapping set up to allow you to capture the right information for your sales team. By having the right fields set up in HubSpot for lead data capture, you can ease the transition of leads from marketing to sales – allowing you to go from a HubSpot rookie to HubSpot rockstar overnight… and please your sales team.
20. Create personal and team wide filters in place to manage contacts
While your marketing manager will want a view on all the leads currently sat with marketing to nurture into sales-ready contacts, your sales team will want separate views of all their opportunities at each stage of the sales cycle.
This means filtering your data for each team so that they can concentrate their efforts on the most important leads. A lot of work, right?
Not with HubSpot.
In HubSpot, you can use marketing lists and filter data within the sales contacts, companies and deals views in order to find the exact information you need. You can create your own view of lead data for personal use or create team-wide filters to manage contacts.
21. Ensure top of the funnel success
We love funnels. We love funnels that provide us with an end-to-end view of our activity and allows us to see exactly how many website visitors we need on average to generate one new customer.
HubSpot’s tools provide just that. At the top of the funnel, you can see website visits, blog visits, traffic by source, conversions, PPC success and much more to help you keep an eye on your activity.
Of course, there’s a lot more work to do at each stage of the funnel from that point onward, but being in a position where you can see all your activity at the top is a great start!
22. Let people book appointments when it suits them
What if there was a tool that could read your calendar, identify your availability, and then allow prospects to schedule an appointment with you when you are free?
There is! It’s called the Meetings tool and it’s available as part of the HubSpot Sales platform. The meeting tool allows prospects to schedule appointments faster and removes the back-and-forth of emails.
We have had great success just by placing a ‘book a consultation’ meeting link on our website; prospects can get in touch if they need support and it’s much friendlier then a big scary ‘contact us’ button!
You can book an appointment with us here!
23. Use lead scoring, lead tier, and probability to closing metrics
The HubSpot lead scoring tool is amazing – it allows you to rank prospects and attach values to them based on information they have provided and their behavior on your website. This approach allows you to separate quality leads from those who are just starting to look around.
Completed a form on the website? One point
In the business’ target market? One point
Completed a contact us form? Five points
Provided a personal email address rather than a work email address? Minus two points
With HubSpot’s lead scoring, you can prioritise your lead engagement. In addition to this, the tool will automatically separate your leads into tiers and provide you with a percentage chance that a lead will ‘close’ (become a customer), putting your sales team in a strong position to determine who to engage with first.
24. Keep the house in order with the file manager
As you are creating new collateral for your Inbound campaign on a regular basis you need to keep your house in order.
You don’t want to have important documents all over the shop; you need them in one place.
HubSpot’s file manager makes it easy for you to store and keep track of your files. You can easily upload PDFs, images, fonts, videos, audio files, and any other assets to file manager, and you can also create folders or directories to house those files in. Your files are then uploaded and hosted on a global content delivery network, allowing them to load in a flash, and anyone in the business can access them wherever they are.
25. Use lead flows to increase on-page conversions
HubSpot’s lead flows tool allows you to create pop-ups, prompts and forms to get your content offers in front of your visitors and increase conversion points on your site.
With the lead flow tool, you can use certain triggers to determine when your pop-up, prompt or form appears for a website visitor, for example: how long they have been on a page, how far down the page they have scrolled, or whether they show exit intent.
The lead flow tool makes it really easy for your website visitors to engage with your business, giving them different options to get in touch with you. Done well, lead flows can increase your conversion rate significantly. The lead flow tool comes as part of the free and paid HubSpot package.
One more for luck...
26. Use support and advice from a HubSpot Diamond Partner.
Plenty of businesses like yours use the support, advice and guidance from HubSpot Diamond Partners to ensure they are using their HubSpot platform effectively. If you're looking for detailed advice on setting up your portal, see HubSpot Setup.
Whether you are looking for a fully outsourced marketing department, temporary support, or just advice on how to get the most out of your HubSpot platform – please get in touch with our team and tell us your requirements and we will see how we can help.