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Jan 2016 recap - advanced lead nurturing [slideshare]

[fa icon="calendar"] Jan 18, 2016 10:00:00 AM / by Phil Vallender

Phil Vallender

At our first meeting of the Reading HubSpot User Group (HUG) our main topic of discussion was advanced lead nurturing workflow techniques.

HubSpot workflows are powerful and flexible, able to perform a wide range of functions both internally and externally. The key use of workflows, however, is of course lead nurturing.

The evening's presentation covered some of the ways that new, and experienced, users of HubSpot get lead nurturing wrong and went on to explain three key ways in which you can instantly and easily improve the performance of yours. 

Here's the presentation from the evening:



Key takeaways

The purpose of lead nurturing is to maintain contact with and help your lead as they go through their decision making process. The aim is to deliver revelvant, informative content that aligns with or even helps the reach the next stage of the process. 

When you get access to something like HubSpot, there is very little guidance as to how you should create lead nurturing workflows. While there is no definitve approach, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your workflows are effective from the outset and that you are able to continuously improve them. 


Use the minimum number of workflows possible

A problem we see again and again is that businesses feel the need to create lots of workflows early on. Workflows based on different downloads, behaviours, events etc. This is a mistake.

By creating multiple workflows, based on different trigger events and trying out different approaches to nurturing, you are significantly diluting the reliabiltiy of your results. This means it will take you much longer to get to results, if you ever do, that tell you with any confidence if the workflows are working or not. 

By passing all your leads through a minimum number of workflows you obtain statisitical signficance in the results far sooner, meaning you will be able to tell with some certainty which parts of the workflow are performing well and which are not. Knowing this is basis for rapid and effective improment of your results overall.


Contextualise your emails

HubSpot's smart content tools give us the power to do so much more personalisation than just inserting your lead's first name, so let's use it. By completely contextualising your nurturing emails you can increase recall, relevance and results.

Personalisation begins long before you create your workflow, however. In order to be able to send contextualised emails you first need to be able to meaningfully segment your lead database.

To achieve this, you need to drop some standard questions from your forms, like city and job title, and instead create bespoke questions that create groups of leads with similar needs. Great questions are ones like 'What's your greatest X challenge' or 'Do you already by X services' etc. The answers to these types of questions will segment your leads into groups for whom you can create very different messages, and then use HubSpot's smart content to send them to the right people. 


Make incremental improvements

Once you have just a few workflows sending highly contextualised emails, you are going to starting getting significant levels of feedback data. Pretty soon you are going to see things that you think you can improve - an email that isnt getting many clicks for example - so go ahead and do it. 


Set yourself and review and improvement cycles so that on a regular basis you are identifying something that you think will improve performance of your workflow, implementing a test and letting that test run for one review cycle. Like an A/B test you should try to only change one thing at a time so that you can confidently measure the outcome at both the email and workflow level. If the test doesn't improve results, roll back to the previous version and try something else. 


In summary

By creating fewer workflows, sending contextualised emails and making incremental improvement, you can improve the results of your lead nurturing workflows both now and in the future. The time may come when it makes sense to branch out into more workflows, but do this with the benefit of data to support you, rather than just a hunch.


Phil Vallender

Written by Phil Vallender

Reading HUG leader, director of Blend Marketing and inbound marketing advocate.

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