Inbound Success Playbook

Get the Most Out of Digital Sales & Marketing Technology (& Measure ROI)

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As we’ve established throughout these playbooks, inbound is not a set of tactics -- it's a business philosophy that guides the sales and marketing approach of an organization through obsessive listening, teaching, and a desire to solve the problems of the marketplace.

For this philosophy to work, a few things have to happen:

Even if you are able to accomplish those things, it’s critical that a business can answer the following question:

"But did our content make us any money?"

If your organization is going to spend the time, resources, and money needed to make inbound and creating content work, there absolutely should be an ongoing understanding of the company’s return on investment (ROI).

For example, we've invested a lot of time and resources into our pillar content strategy at IMPACT. But without a tool like HubSpot, we would have never known that strategy generated more than $195,000 in revenue in a six-month period, in addition to helping us grow our organic traffic. 

Marcus Sheridan also would have never discovered The Big 5 content topics -- which have generated millions of dollars in revenue for businesses around the world -- without HubSpot, which gave him the ability to see which of River Pools articles were the highest performing. 

You see, the fact is, as businesses, we must make money.

And then we must turn a profit.

All this inbound stuff is nice, but without it helping you to seriously generate more revenue for your company, it’s not worth the price tag on the cover.

It is for this reason that, with digital sales and marketing, tools do matter -- a lot.

In this playbook, you will learn how to get started with HubSpot, and how to maximize your investment in marketing and sales technology, so you can start measuring the return on your own investment with inbound.

Step 1: Get Started with HubSpot

What You'll Need with HubSpot

At a minimum, you will need the HubSpot Marketing Hub, but we also recommend the HubSpot Sales Hub and CRM. Without the HubSpot CRM, you will not have access to native reporting on exactly how much revenue your content is generating. 

How to Get Started with HubSpot

After you sign-up for HubSpot, complete the following steps:

  • Add users and create teams within your HubSpot portal, and set access permissions. (Teams are for Pro and Enterprise only.)
  • Set up your company branding in the HubSpot portal.
  • Set your language and region settings.
  • Implement lead revisit notifications -- Pro and Enterprise only.
  • Customize cookie tracking and privacy policy.
  • Connect your domain to HubSpot.
  • Migrate your website and any pre-existing blog content, as needed into HubSpot. 
  • Complete your templates setup for email newsletters, blogs, landing pages, and so on.
  • Install the HubSpot tracking code and troubleshoot, as needed.
  • Set your site domains (and subdomains), as needed. 
  • Exclude your own site traffic from your analytics.
  • Import your existing contacts into HubSpot, as well as any associated opt-out lists.
  • For the CRM, also import deals and pipeline information.

How to Start Using HubSpot Marketing Hub

  • At the very least, have your team get inbound and HubSpot certified.
  • Create calls-to-action for premium content, demos, etc.
  • Create forms and landing pages for those offers. 
  • Start using HubSpot to publish your new content -- blog articles, content pillars, videos, etc.
  • Create social posts to connect with your community and to promote your content. 
  • Send marketing emails, such as newsletters and follow-up sequences for when someone downloads an offer. 
  • Use HubSpot conversations to create conversational chat opportunities on your website. 

Marketing Pro and Enterprise users also have access to "smart" content (which will change what a person sees, depending on who they are, activity, location, and other variables), A/B testing for emails and pages, attribution reports, and custom reports. Enterprise users also have exclusive access to predictive lead scoring and event creation. 

To learn more about HubSpot Marketing Hub -- what's included, how to get started, competitor comparisons, and more -- read our Ultimate Guide to HubSpot Marketing for Businesses. You can also learn more about our HubSpot training, setup, and support services for businesses who want to see big results.

Step 2: Measure the ROI of Your Marketing & Sales Efforts in HubSpot

By using HubSpot for marketing and sales, you will be able to extract actionable intelligence and data across every activity of your marketing and sales teams, giving you a full picture of how successful your inbound efforts are. 

Tracking Performance & Financial ROI in HubSpot

For every blog article, landing page, and email, you will be track metrics in HubSpot including (but not limited to):

  • Page views
  • Page sessions
  • Visitor-to-lead conversion rates 
  • Website traffic by source
  • Open rates, click rates, and click-through rates

You will be able to track these metrics as an aggregated average for all-time performance or custom date ranges through your dashboards and HubSpot's analytics tools.

But when it comes to revenue, the HubSpot campaigns tool will be your greatest asset, since it is available to all tiers of HubSpot Marketing Hub accounts.

For every campaign you create, you'll get a running tallie of what's called "influenced revenue" that's associated with the assets you've attached to a campaign -- blog articles, emails, landing pages, etc.

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Keep in mind, however, that you will not be able to retroactively track revenue. The campaigns tool will only track revenue from the date an asset was added to a campaign forward. 

If you are a HubSpot Marketing Pro or Enterprise user, you can create what's called an attribution report, which will give you a customized report on how different types of content factored into the activities of your leads -- for example, you may find that a particular piece of content has a high percentage of leads attached to it who later on became customers. 

Of course, without the HubSpot CRM -- or a robust integration between HubSpot and your CRM -- you will not be able to make this connection without manually checking if those leads later become customers.

Learn more about our HubSpot training, setup, and support services for businesses who want to see big results.

Step 3: Get Your Sales Team Using HubSpot

As we've referenced a few times throughout the two previous steps of this playbook, your ability to report on the financial ROI of your inbound efforts will dramatically improve if your sales team is also using HubSpot and the HubSpot CRM. 

But beyond reporting capabilities, think of all the actionable, advanced lead intelligence your sales reps will have at their fingertips if -- in three clicks or less -- they can see all of the website and landing pages a potential buyer has viewed, as well as the blog articles they've read and the content offers they've downloaded? 

Immediately, they'll have a deep understanding of a potential buyer's needs and where they are in the buying process, all just by knowing their activity and behavior, thus doing away with the old "blind" conversations many of them may be used to. 

With that in mind, we recommend:

  • Committing to the HubSpot CRM
  • Scheduling a HubSpot CRM On-Site Training for your team, as we have found it is the quickest way to get your sales team embracing the HubSpot CRM as a culture.
  • Having your sales reps take the inbound, inbound sales, and HubSpot sales software certifications.

Learn more about how we can help your sales team get started using HubSpot.