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    How an A/B Test of Landing Page Form Copy Improved Lead Quality

    By Sara Davidson

    clean_dataWhen most people talk about getting quality lead information from forms, they usually talk about one tactic: changing the length of the form. The longer the form, the better quality the leads will be ... right?

    Truthfully, it's not always that simple. For most businesses, changing the form length is a great way to get started with increasing lead quality -- but at a certain point, you're going to need to experiment with other form conversion optimization tactics to get better information about the people filling the form out. 

    At HubSpot, we've had a long lead generation form on our website for a while, but it wasn't quite getting us the best results we needed to efficiently rotate the right leads to Sales. Below is what we tested to help improve the quality of our form submission data -- all without adding a single form field.

    The Problem

    Like we mentioned above, we've always ... Read More

    7 Free Sales Tools to Help Close More Deals

    By Anum Hussain

    Imagine getting a phone call in which someone tells you your home has been broken into and the FBI is investigating. Your heart would drop, right? Mine did.

    But then, about 5 seconds into the call, the message took an unexpected turn: No one had broken into my home, but rather, I was just being warned that break-ins that the FBI

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    The Power of Marketing Personalization in President Obama's Re-Election

    By Steve Hall

    Content is king, right? Everybody says that, so it must be true ... right? Well, to a certain degree, it is. But content on its own is worthless unless it's high quality, relevant, personalized, and delivered in context.

    During the 2008 presidential election, content played an important role in electing Barack Obama. Four years later, content played an even more important role: With inbound marketing strategies applied, that content was given context.

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    10 Targeting Opportunities Most Marketers Are Missing Out On

    By Hannah Fleishman

    Hey baby, let’s get personal.

    Settle down! I'm just talking about with our marketing!

    One of the most lovable things about inbound marketing is how easy it is for marketers to target communications. Traditional marketing tactics can sometimes target a particular age group or income level, but it’s nearly impossible to reach out to customers on an individual level. Then, along came inbound. Cue fireworks. Meticulously segmented fireworks. Now, all we need to segment our marketing efforts is a CRM system, some time, and a few tips on where to start.

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    7 Social Media Tools Salespeople Should Keep in Their Back Pockets

    By Elizabeth Rosenthal

    social sales

    Inbound marketers have jumped on the idea of using social media to spread content, and generate traffic and leads. But is your sales team making the most of all the social media tools and features out there? Maybe. Maybe not.

    Believe it or not, social media can be utilized all the way through the bottom of the sales and marketing funnel, helping your sales organization close more deals, more easily. And the best part? Social networks are coming out with little new features all the time that make Sales' life easier. So cozy in and take a little tour with me on some of the social features you may -- or may not -- know about that could help close some more sales before the end of the month. And please, share your cool social tools and tips with us in the comments!

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    How Context Strengthens Your Entire Marketing Funnel

    By Jeffrey Russo

    broken chain

    When you think about your marketing funnel, how do you think about the work you do to optimize it? You may have never considered it, but a lot of what you probably do is work to minimize the number of breaks in your marketing chain.

    Ideally, you should be working to carry information and context about your leads throughout the different stages of your funnel -- minimizing as many breaks in your marketing chain as possible, and strengthening the impact of your marketing.

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    How to Capture More (and Better) Lead Intel With Progressive Profiling

    By Pamela Vaughan

    kids raising handsintermediate

    Raise your hand if you hate filling out forms!

    So if I had to guess, I'd bet that a lot your hands are raised right about now. Heck, so is mine! But any savvy inbound marketer knows that forms are the way of the online conversion world. After all, how would we generate and reconvert leads as effectively without them?

    But as you can understand from all the hand raising, from a website visitor's perspective, forms are a rather annoying part of redeeming offers on the web. Surely, there's a way we can make the form completion requirement a little bit easier on them. It's about creating lovable marketing after all, right?

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    4 Failing Marketing Relationships You Need to Fix ASAP

    By Rosalia Cefalu

    marketing relationships intermediate

    You know when you’ve been in a bad relationship for so long that it’s almost impossible to end it? There’s a disconnect between you two, but it almost seems like more effort to go through a breakup (or a patch up) than to just ... leave it like it is.

    Well it’s the new year, and not that we’re trying to be your new life coach or anything, but we don’t want to see you go through 2013 like this.

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    9 Undeniable Advantages of Using Personalized Content in Your Marketing

    By Corey Eridon

    personalized marketing contentintermediate

    I like going to a coffee shop and being asked “the usual?” I can smile, nod, and pay for my drink. It's more than the convenience of not even having to place an order -- it's also nice to be remembered.

    That almost never happens, though. I usually hear something like, "Hi. Welcome to Unicorn Coffee. Would you like to try our ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ Peppermint Latte Mocha?" That’s more like an advertisement than a conversation. The message is totally impersonal, and a little annoying.

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    Is it Time to Kill Lead Nurturing as We Know It?

    By Guest Blogger

    iStock 000019316456Large advanced

    Psst. Wanna know a secret? I’m no longer sure that lead stages exist.

    I know I shouldn’t admit it. After all, lead stages have been around since 1898, when Elias St. Elmo Lewis proposed the AIDA (Awareness, Interest, Desire, Action) sales model.* They’ve survived because they make intuitive sense and because they’re a useful way to organize marketing programs.

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    Is Marketing Getting Too Creepy?

    By Corey Eridon

    creepy future of marketingintermediate

    All the world's a stage.

    Tell me about it. If only Willy Shakespeare (we're on a nickname basis) could see us now. What was once private is now broadcast over Twitter. Indexed by Google. Tagged unbeknownst to you by a well-meaning friend on Facebook. Privacy-shmivacy.

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    The Technology You Need to Fix Dismal Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rates

    By Pamela Vaughan

    frustration introductory3

    Technology . It’s supposed to be a marketer’s friend -- the tool that democratizes and empowers marketing everywhere. Except ... how often does that happen?

    Instead of empowering, it paralyzes. Marketers see all the choices -- marketing automation, social media, landing pages , content management systems, pay-per-click platforms, social tracking tools, social publishing tools, social advertising tools, marketing analytics, lead management tools, lead tracking tools -- they get overwhelmed, and they freeze or veer off course into a doomed solution.

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    How to Expose the Best Leads to Your Sales Team

    By Alison Savery

    GoldFewer leads can actually generate more revenue for your business. It sounds crazy, right? For many businesses, Marketing is responsible for generating as many leads as possible in order for Sales to sell to more and more customers. So if you were to cut back on the number of leads you fed to Sales, then you would probably assume that Sales wouldn’t be able to sell as many deals. But what marketers fail to realize is that sending more and more leads to Sales can actually make them less productive. A portion of the leads marketers generate are usually either not yet ready for a sale or not a great fit for the product. And it takes time for your sales team to sort through this junk in order to identify the gold nuggets (AKA potential sales). And when you increase the number of leads Marketing generates for Sales, you increase both the number of gold nuggets and the junk, and you can actually make Sales less productive, since it will take them more time to pinpoint the leads that are actually ripe for a sale.

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    9 Ways to Truly Suck at Lead Management

    By Jeanne Hopkins

    Name Your Most Important Job as a Marketer Pop Quiz: Name your most important job as a marketer. Yes, creating brand awareness is important. Building brand loyalty is up there, too. And yes, you oversee ad development, PR, and customer satisfaction surveys, to name just a few things on your "To Do" list. But in the end, whether yours is a retail shop where customers walk in and pick goods up off store shelves or it's a business-to-business entity with a much longer sales cycle, generating and managing leads —fresh blood, so to speak—is the main focus of any business and no doubt, your #1 job.

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    Achieving Revenue Disruption Through SMarketing

    By Brian Whalley

    revenue disruption through smarketingOne of the biggest trends in business organization for 2012 will be how businesses can better align their sales and marketing organizations. Businesses with mature sales and marketing organizations are seeking ways to improve their efficiency and generate more leads and customers without having to blow up the size of their teams. This is where the idea of revenue disruption can enter a business’ goals. Revenue disruption describes how changes to the way businesses organize their marketing and sales efforts can help them become dramatically more successful. One way that companies will do this is through a “SMarketing” effort, making sure that their sales and marketing teams are well aligned and communicating with each other.

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    10 Brilliant Marketing Personalization Tips to Implement ASAP

    By Pamela Vaughan

    If you're a Netflix user or have ever purchased something from Amazon, you've experienced the awesome effects of a personalized experience. No need to browse page after page of movie titles; Netflix has a list of suggestions based on your movie preferences and viewing history. Recently watched and enjoyed The Breakfast Club? Then maybe you'd also enjoy St. Elmo's Fire, another Brat Pack classic. And if you've ever purchased a book from Amazon, you were likely greeted with a follow-up email offering other book suggestions based on the subject matter of your recent purchase. And did you return for more? Likely, you did. BRILLIANT!

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    7 B2B Buying Signals Marketers Should Pounce On

    By Kirsten Knipp

    pounceInbound marketers are getting even better at attracting visitors to their websites. But as we all know, in B2B environments, eyeballs don’t pay the bills. Getting visitors to convert into leads and ultimately sales is the name of the profitability game. With today’s modern analytics and marketing automation tools, marketers can play a bigger role in that ‘middle of the funnel’ conversion path with the power to re-engage interested prospects and tee up their sales teams for success.

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    10 Data Points You Need to Convert More Customers

    By Pamela Vaughan

    red bugThere's a dangerous misconception flying around that inbound marketing stops once you generate leads. Let's squash that rumor like a bug right now since, well, it doesn't. Effective implementation of inbound marketing follows leads throughout the sales cycle, especially considering the fact that only 50% of qualified leads are ready to buy immediately, according to Gleanster Research. This means that your leads are definitely in need of a little TLC, and that's why lead nurturing is such a valuable asset in your inbound marketing toolbox.

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