Working Black Friday: Is Lead Generation on Your List?

Jeanne Hopkins
Jeanne Hopkins



Sales Funnel As retailers across the country hope to start the holiday shopping season with a BANG! today, I enjoy the day after Thanksgiving as a time for planning the following month. It's probably one of the few days of the year that you can actually think about the end of the month, and then the end of the year.  And, it's pretty quiet on the work front too.

 Yes.  I am working today.  And, yes, it is Black Friday.  Why won't you find me in line with the thousands of other shoppers looking for a super-duper bargain? Because, quite simply, I hope to tie a big red bow on the actions necessary to have a successful December.

Primarily, I hope to forecast the expected number of workable leads for the 32 HubSpot sales people on our team. With the Service Level Agreement (SLA) our team has in place with Sales, and it would be fantastic if we could exceed the number we've committed to with them.  What a great way to end the year and begin the next one with a pipeline filled with prospects! 

How do we achieve our SLA?  It's not easy, and with at least three new sales people joining the company each month, the SLA grows incrementally because we've agreed to make sure that every sales person - no matter how small - gets a certain number of leads to achieve their quota.  That gives the Marketing Team a quota to achieve.  And that quota requires planning. 

The HubSpot Get Found Team works very hard to create remarkable content for our blogs, newsletters, web pages, and other communication outlets such as SlideShare, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook...the list is almost endless. All their valuable content forms the link bait to drive visitors, contributing to the valuable source of organic sales leads that convert to customers at a very high rate.  

The Convert Team continues to focus on the lead generation plan that will  optimize the number of leads we will create for the Sales organization.  We're responsible for finding opportunities that turn HubSpot thought leadership content into workable leads, opportunities and customers. 

What's in store for December lead generation?

* A fantastic thought leadership webinar, featuring HubSpot's Dan Zarrella and his new book on Social Media. 

* More webinars , featuring HubSpot speakers, with MarketingSherpa, Web Marketing Today, the AMA, and WebMarketing123. 

* Special offers - featuring the HubSpot founders' book on Inbound Marketing - extended to subscribers of RainToday, Debbie Weil, Jill Konrath, Ardath Albee and MarketingProfs. 

* And, we have several nurturing emails going to our customer and prospect lists, offering product demonstrations, and HubSpot application review sessions featuring our bevy of speakers, all under the auspices of our Product Evangelism guru, Kirsten Knipp.

Each of these individual marketing efforts requires a special Landing Page associated with it .  Why?  HubSpot knows that conversion increases with a form, a call to action and a very strong offer.  We often tell people that of the hundreds of landing pages we have created - on average - convert around 27%.  As a benchmark, that is a noteworthy percentage of visitors to leads. 

For the many marketers HubSpot talks to, the single greatest obstacle to creating landing pages is a lack of resources, and oftentimes the resource is in-house. In a prior marketing position, I either spent $500 with my agency to get a landing page for my press release, my Adwords campaign, my email program or I went with out a valuable conversion opportunity.  Forget IT, it would take weeks to get anything and then it would not be what was needed. 

With HubSpot we can create landing pages on the fly (comparatively) to take advantage of conversion opportunities...well, opportunistically.  And, we track every single one of the metrics.  The offer, the form, the visitors, and the conversion rate.    

There are many variables we consider for landing pages in an effort to increase conversion rates .  And, we try them all.  Again and again, in an effort to find the magic that will get us one more lead.

What about shorter copy length?  Could it be a simple page with few graphics?  Will we offer a single landing page versus a multi-step page?  Should we consider utilizing an aggressive sales language or go for the soft well?  What if we wrote bulleted copy instead of paragraph copy?   All of these ideas play into the goal of increasing conversion rates. 

A small increase in conversion rates can mean a large increase in the number of workable leads for the sales team.

At HubSpot, because the marketing team uses the HubSpot software for their programs, we're able to simply create landing pages that enable us to perform all sorts of tests on conversion rates so the relationship between testing and performance is critical to success - for the marketing team and for the sales team.

Yes, it will be a very good December for our sales organization.  Because, we've planned, we've considered, we've discussed, and we've agreed to a workable objective via our SLA. 

These are the things we think about every day, but today I have to wonder...will Sears or Toys "R" Us ever have a Black Friday that lets me get leads at a whopping discount?  That is one bargain I'd definitely get in line for at 3 AM.

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