I feel like I need to give you a bit of background story here. I think I’m pretty organized, and I generally don’t forget things. Why? Post-its are my friends — every color, everywhere. It’s almost unbelievable to see how these little pieces of paper have saved my life so many times. Have an idea? Post-it. Need a reminder? Post-it. Quick notes during a call? POST-IT! You get the idea: I’m a huge consumer of Post-its. I love them. Period.
But lately things have changed. I can’t help but notice that my Post-it block hasn’t shrank much in size… No, nobody comes at night to refill it, and it doesn’t contain more paper. Truth is, I have another partner: I’ve been working with HubSpot!
Since I realized how helpful HubSpot has been to my everyday work, I wanted to share the reasons with you and take the opportunity to thank HubSpot for some of its time-saving features. Let’s dive into some of them!
HubSpot is Smart…
I have to admit that when I first heard one of my colleagues talk about “smart lists,” I was a bit confused with the terminology and wasn’t too sure what they meant. If you can relate, let me explain.
Smart lists are dynamic, meaning that they constantly update. New contacts who meet the criteria will join the list even after the list has been created for the first time. So, for example, a smart list would be valuable when you have an email campaign to a particular subset of your contacts running over time, and always want the list to update with new contacts who meet the criteria. You may also use a smart list for reporting purposes. For example, you can keep track of the current number of contacts to date who filled out a particular form.
Example. When I want to create a list of all the people who attended a manufacturing event last month, I create a static list because the number is set: we know who came, they came and left, and the number won’t change.
On the other hand, if I want to have a list of who downloaded my new eBook, I don’t want a static list as—at least I hope—the number of viewers will grow with time. I need a list that will automatically update itself with the new leads who filled out the form on my landing page and got my eBook. Yes, HubSpot smart lists can do that!
And it’s pretty easy. All you need to do is tell HubSpot you want a smart list and set the criteria it will use to create and update the list. In my example above, I’ll have to choose the property “Form Submission,” and then select:
- Contact has filled out form: [Master contact form]
- On [Essentials of Lean Manufacturing eBook Landing Page]
That’s it! I don’t have to write on a Post-it to update the list every week with the new contacts who downloaded my content because HubSpot will do it without me! Isn’t that great?
…And It’s Faster Than You…
People, raise your mouse if it’s already happened to you — you look at a lead’s profile and can’t tell if they’re ready to be an MQL or not. No shame in that. It’s pretty common, but here’s how to change that!
After long hours of brainstorming and analysis with your team, you’ll be able to establish what amount of information you need to define someone as an MQL for your company. Once you’ve established this, how do you manage the process? Is someone on your team in charge of analyzing the leads and organizing them into the right categories: Subscriber, Lead, MQL, SQL, Customer, etc.? I won’t upset you by estimating the number of opportunities you might have missed doing so, but just consider this new option:
You understand the whole concept of smart lists, right? Well, HubSpot has a similar system for identifying your contacts’ lifecycle stages. After you define which MQLs or SQLs criteria are valuable to your company, you can go into HubSpot and set the corresponding stages with the information you gathered. It can be “Contact Property is equal to [job title] AND Contact is located in the US AND, etc.” OR “Contact Property is equal to [job title] AND Contact is located in Canada AND, etc.”
Once you receive enough information about a contact, HubSpot automatically updates their lifecycle stage and you’ll be able to nurture appropriately.
For the record, my Post-its never reorganized themselves to let me know when an item was urgent on my to-do list.
…And It Works For Me…
“Marketing Automation.” Where to start? I know it can be a confusing topic for some people, so I’ll mostly give you an example of how time-saving it is and let you read more about marketing automation if you like.
Workflows in HubSpot are so clever that it can almost feel creepy sometimes. Let’s say you rethink your strategy and decide that all your contacts who downloaded eBook A need to read the blog C associated with it, and then finally receive an email with Whitepaper B. Ok…seems like a lot of work for one contact, so imagine how much effort it would take for 500!
I still painfully remember the first time I used an automated/coding software in high school; it was called “Turbo Pascal.” For those who don’t know it, consider yourselves lucky and STAY AWAY FROM IT!
So, when I heard I would be in charge of workflows here at Weidert, the teenager inside of me wanted to run away. Weirdly enough, workflows are one of my favorite things to work on now.
In HubSpot, the workflow section is welcoming, well organized, and you don’t need two years (or more) of experience in coding to operate it.
To create a workflow, all you need to do is set the enrollment condition. In my example, Contact filled out a form on the eBook A Landing Page.
- Create an action (send email “Blog C promotional email”) after a set period of time—let’s say six days after the download.
- You can create your second action as an “if/then” branch to make sure you’re not sending the third piece of content to someone who already downloaded it. (For example: IF contact hasn’t filled out form “Master contact form” on “Whitepaper B Landing Page” THEN send email “Whitepaper B promo email” AND if contact has filled out form “Master contact form” on “Whitepaper B Landing Page” THEN end of the workflow.)
It’s amazing how easy it is to simply rely on a software to do these repetitive actions that would otherwise be extremely time-consuming. Plus, did you know that 63% of companies who are outgrowing their competitors use marketing automation? Just saying…
…And It’s the Best Reminder!
Sorry Post-it, I know that’s harsh! For blogs, emails or social posts, the hard part is to work on them, and then remember to come back later to publish them. I like to have things organized in advance without disturbing my work every now and then, or having to stop what I am doing on Tuesday at 9:31 a.m. because I have to publish a blog post.
No more calendar reminders. No more Post-it reminders! Now, when I work on a blog that I format and it’s ready to publish, I can schedule it to go out on a particular day, at a particular time.
Same goes for social media posts. Please, don’t tell me that you log into your different accounts every time you need to publish a social post every day? HubSpot offers a multi-account platform where you can manage your accounts and write your Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+ posts and schedule them for weeks to come. It still takes you some time, but you work on it just once, not bits and pieces every day. Apparently, by automating my social media efforts, I’m saving more than six hours per week!
The idea is the same for emails. Two things I find fascinating though:
- When you write your email, you add your recipients lists and you schedule it. If you selected a smart list, contacts added to the list between the time you scheduled your email and the time it actually sends, will receive the email as well!
- You can schedule a smart send, which means that HubSpot will take into account the time zone of each recipient and send them the same email accordingly. If you want your contacts to receive your email on Wednesday at 11:09 a.m., they’ll receive it at this precise time, no matter where they are.
Enough praising. All I have to say is THANK YOU HubSpot, for setting me free of numerous reminders, for automating my routine tasks, for saving me so much time, and for making me feel like I finally understand the art of coding (HaHa).
We love you here at Weidert! And, don’t worry Post-it, you’ll still play an enormous role in my personal life!