Sales and Marketing Performance Blog

HubSpot Inbound Marketing Performance Review - Year 4

Posted by Mark Gibson on Thu, Dec 13, 2012

Wow, what a year for Admarco.net and for HubSpot.
In our 4 th year as HubSpot customers, this review will by necessity examine the advances in the HubSpot platform as well as what we have achieved in using it. Prior reviews are available.
Hubspot Review – Year 1
HubSpot Review Year 2
HubSpot Review Year 3 

This year HubSpot took some very big steps in product usability and capability which established the product in a new market, where it is able to compete directly with marketing automation vendors Pardot, Marketo and Eloqua, but with some fundamental and important distinctions in that it is a robust and easy to use inbound marketing platform.

HubSpot accelerated growth and now has more than 8,000 customers in 46 countries. During the year HubSpot placed itself on the path to IPO by adding key executives and raising a further $35M in a funding round to bring the total funding raised to $100M. 

Admarco.net Traffic and Leads 

This year we increased our inbound traffic by more than 100%.  We generated nearly 700 leads and published more than 50 content pieces. Our Website was redesigned by KunoCreative to give it a brighter and more accessible look and feel, with a design spec inspired by  a visit to the Apple Store.  


Our average visit-lead conversion rate decreased to 1.5% after we reworked all of our landing pages and increased the number of fields on the form, which has had the desired effect of improving lead quality.

We have 35 landing pages, with an average conversion rate of 17%.

Major HubSpot Improvements

The HubSpot product got a lot better this past year. For our purposes, the Email and Contacts applications are the most important and useful innovations. 

Analytics and dashboard.

The analytic engine was rewritten this year and is more robust and comprehensive and the Dashboard landing page after login provides a particularly useful snapshot of performance vs. last month and a jumping off point for all applications.

Email

Prior to the new email tool, we have used the MailChimp and Constant Contact email services, but no longer. With the new integral email tool, it's super-easy to create and send emails within HubSpot. So easy in fact, I drafted a blog article on a recent SFO-Boston Virgin flight using the onboard WiFi. When I was happy with it I posted it on HubSpot and sent an email to a targeted set of users using the new contacts and email applications, which took about 10 minutes. 

Contacts

The contacts system allows us to segment by any attribute or combination of attributes in a beautiful, easy to use interface. This has been very useful in identifying the various interest groups who have converted into leads over the past 4 years.

One insight that was particularly interesting was learning more about our most frequent visitors - those with the highest lead score. The contacts with the highest lead scores are nearly all consultants and competitors in the sales and marketing performance improvement business and this highlighted the need to negatively weight these visitors in the lead scoring algorithm. 

Smart CTA’s, Smart Forms and Landing Pages.

These three innovations make it much easier to develop once and re-use elements common to Blog, Email and Website content creation. For instance I reworded a Call to Action for an email I sent out recently and changed the link to a new landing page. The CTA was used on a dozen other pages and the simple update to the text and the new landing page link published immediately to all other pages. 

Workflow Engine and lead nurturing

This is an area we still need to exploit and I plan to take few days over the XMAS vacation to read the tutorials and rework our major lead nurturing paths. It takes time and effort to think these through and to create the necessary content to make them work. 

Areas for improvement - HubSpot CMS and Blog

The blog and CMS are the weakest part of the platform and long overdue for an upgrade. I believe the rewrite is nearing completion on the blog and this will be welcomed by the community using the HubSpot CMS and blogging platform. 

Ten Rules for Inbound Marketing Success

  1. Figure out who your ideal customers are and develop buyer persona's
  2. Get clear about how your products create value with a messaging architecture
  3. Work with an inbound marketing partner for much higher odds of achieving the results you are seeking
  4. Redesign your Website and navigation with a fresh, clean and uncluttered look
  5. Create a content inventory and develop a content publication strategy
  6. Create conversion offers, landing pages, cta's
  7. Generate content based on the interests and issues your target buyers are facing, based on the Messaging Architecture and publish it in forums your ideal persona's are likely to find it
  8. Connect into the social networks of your ideal persona's
  9. Nurture leads
  10. Analyze and repeat.
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Topics: inbound marketing, hubspot review, marketing performance

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