As college student, I regularly sit through four hour lectures. I take classes online and on campus, write lots of papers and participate in discussion boards, often just for the sake of getting the credit. So starting courses for the HubSpot Inbound Certification, I’m not gonna lie, I was thinking to myself ‘jeez how long is this gonna take’ *eye roll*. But by the end of the training I realized that everything I just learned from this marketing software company were things I have never touched on at my university. I finished the HubSpot inbound training and these are few things that really stood out to me.
One of the great things about these training courses is that they are videos of someone speaking. I know what you might be thinking, “Someone speaking on camera… and I’m supposed to stay attentive?” While the person is speaking, slides are posted on the screen with notes and numbers and pictures. Even with this seemingly boring format, they do a great job with keeping you interested.They throw out surprising statistics that you didn’t know or they simply provide material that you really want to learn.
There are plenty of resources
They also provide you with resources you might find helpful like blogs related to the topic. If you’re a note taker like me, they give you the slides first hand to take note on for the exam at the end of the training. They also give you a study guide! Take advantage of that because the exams are not easy! But by the end of this training, once you pass the exam, you’ll want to hang up your certification certificate on the nearest fridge!
I’ve never learned this stuff
My major is Business Studies and I have a minor in Marketing. The courses I take at my university are centered around the basic knowledge of business and a little sprinkle into marketing. But HubSpot dives into inbound marketing, blogging, social media and so much more that I haven’t had the opportunity to learn in depth. I am excited and eager to learn more at HubSpot Academy.
Yes, HubSpot and Ecommerce do go together. And Revenue Conduit will get you there.
To be completely honest, when I think of HubSpot users, the ones that come to mind are mainly B2B and big ticket B2C companies. Since nurturing is such a big part of the inbound methodology, quick buys on ecommerce websites never really struck me as fitting into the category of being a great fit for HubSpot.
Then a potential client approached us and told us they were looking for a way to increase their online sales. The product was clothing, underwear to be exact, and something that really intrigued us. So we started doing some research.
A big part of why this company was so enticing for us was that they were selling on Amazon, and their Amazon sales were taking off. In the past few months, their sales on Amazon have come to account for 90% of their business. Exciting? Yes. But also scary. They knew the market was there but wanted more control over their marketing and sales. They wanted more traffic to their website so they could steer their own ship.
They were using Woocommerce and were happy with how it was working. So we started looking at how it could integrate with HubSpot. It turns out there are technically two ways Woocommerce can integrate with HubSpot. Although that’s only technically. Because the first thing we tried really didn’t do anything valuable for us.
Don’t get me wrong, Zapier is a fantastic tool for many things. It’s a great way to frankenstein tools together to come up with your own marketing machine. We use it for my non-profit because we have more time than money and it gets the job done. It will take contacts from our forms to our Mailchimp account and into our CRM. Send an email to whoever needs to know about it. The possibilities are endless. But for this application, I don’t think it should even be advertised as an integration.
There is no way to get the data you need when you link Woocommerce to Zapier to HubSpot. Every new customer comes in as direct traffic, and they all come from Ashburn, Virginia. We didn’t even try to sync up more fields other than the name and email because we knew we would miss out on the info we needed if we went this route.
The only solution I could think of was a two step check out. The customer could fill out their email first on a HubSpot form before they get to the cart. That way, we would have the their original source and pages visited before they got to the Woocommerce checkout form. We found our ultimate solution before we tried this. But if you’ve done it this way, let me know how it turned out.
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HubSpot and Ecommerce with Revenue Conduit
I admit we were being cheap at first. We thought we could create our own solution and didn’t want to pay for something else on top of HubSpot. But we didn’t do enough research about Revenue Conduit to even know what it was capable of. We are learning now that it is so worth the $100/month.
This is a robust tool, but I’ll try to break it down by just what it imports when you sign up. I plan on doing more posts about this as we dive deeper into Revenue Conduit.
Revenue Conduit automatically imports a ton of customer property fields when you sync it up. You have your obvious ones like First Order Date and Total Value of Orders, to Products Bought and Abandoned Cart Products. All the data you need is there for you to create some pretty specific smart lists and segment your marketing effectively. I’ve already created a list of shoppers with boys and one of shoppers with girls so I can target the right products to the right people.
The smart lists that have been populated into my account during these first few weeks will be extremely useful. I already have lists of new customers, repeat buyers and best customers. We’ve saved so much time as these have all populated without us having to do much of anything.
OK, workflows can be scary for me. Just because my head starts to hurt when I think about how they work and what they do. But when I dive deep, it’s pretty addicting. Revenue Conduit automatically imports almost 20 workflows when it’s hooked up. They have workflows that are internal, which set fields like Order Recency Rating and Order Frequency Rating, and also ones that are set up around marketing emails for your customers. This month we will focus on getting the New Customer Welcome & Get a 2nd Order workflow up and running, and then continue doing more throughout our contract.
As our 14 day trial was ending, all our client’s historical customer data was imported. This means we have the values that were spent, order frequency, and even products purchased from all of their customers over the past 2 years inside HubSpot and at our disposal. Our client was told their customer info was being imported into Mailchimp, but Revenue Conduit found way more contacts than what we had access to initially. Since this client has their highest conversion rates from email marketing, having all these historical contacts will be huge.
Coupon Code Generation
Another big reason we started using Revenue Conduit was their dynamic coupon code generation feature. Our client had a coupon that was displayed on a pop-up after someone signed up for updates. The problem was that people were using the code over and over, and they could only change it once a quarter or so. With dynamic coupon codes, we can keep track of who has coupons, who has used coupons, and when they expire. And we don’t have to worry about them being passed around in a forum.
Don’t write off using an inbound marketing software like HubSpot because you’re an ecommerce company. The “Delight” part of the inbound methodology is much bigger than the “Convert” part in this type of setup, but the results are still just as powerful. We just synced up our client’s data and are already so excited about the things we can do with all the information. This solution is perfect for a growing ecommerce company that wants to put out marketing that matches the quality of the big guys.
We renewed our annual contract with HubSpot. It’s been 12 months since we started using HubSpot and I liked to share our results thus far.
We hit our traffic goal of 600 visits during month 9, and as we had hoped for, the vast majority of our traffic has been organic. In March of 2015 we had 232 organic visits. In March of 2016 we had 795 organic visits. That is a growth of almost 350%. We are very happy about this.
Our monthly contact goals was 15 new contacts. In February of 2016 we generated 13 new contacts. Unfortunately February is shy a few calendar days but I’m confident we’ll reach this goal in the near future.
Out of the 101 contacts, 65 were organic search, 27 were direct traffic and the rest were referrals, social media and email marketing efforts.
We brought on our second HubSpot Inbound account on month 12. As our sales pipeline continues to grow, the conversation of agency growth is showing up once again.
How Did We Achieve This
The best results came after we started to truly understand what persona was right for our agency. This became more and more apparent to us as time went on.
The biggest change for us during this process has been our network. Before starting using HubSpot we did a lot of face to face networking. By bringing our focus to our own marketing, we started to do a lot less networking. This resulted in a big shift in the types of prospects that were coming in to meet with us.
Our most successful campaigns were hyper focused
We had the opportunity to speak at an event for a very specific vertical. We decided to turn our talk into an offer as well. We followed up with everyone at the event via email and gave them the opportunity to download our free eBook. Out of 106 attendees that were sent the email, 47 opened it and 16 converted into leads. This strategy was a complete success.
We also created a blog topic for this list that shared the outcome of a project we did for a very similar organization. Inside this blog was our own UX research, which gave these contacts real insight around a problem they are most likely having. Basically, we researched their audience for them and gave them the results. Not only did we get great results from this post, but it was really fun to create as well.
Where Are We Going to Make Improvements
The struggle we’re facing is keeping up with our own marketing efforts now. I personally have dedicated most of my time with sales activities rather than marketing activities. We simply need to make the time to share information that brings value to our audience. It’s easy to just write about a topic that’s already out there. But the real time and energy comes when you are creating something that will make an impact–and the reward comes then, too.
Actions do speak louder then words. The commitment to gathering data, researching and writing is what has showed us growth. Mark your calendar and just do it. As I type this, I’m really telling myself this.
Since we’re a small hands-on agency we really need to optimize our time in order to hit our goals. When projects start coming in, the team gets hyped up, ideas and inspirations start flowing and the next thing you know, the project goes live. In the meantime, what happens to those leads that are coming in? Have they been attended properly and have they been qualified? Unfortunately, when we’re wrapped up in a project, the ball sometimes stops rolling. This is something we’ll need to solve as clients come on board and we’ll need to have a game plan set in place. The solution to this is managing our team efficiently.
We’re excited to see what we’ve accomplished after 12 months. Inbound marketing does take time and money. And yes, there were many frustrating moments but at the end of the day, using HubSpot for inbound marketing works. Now we know that it’s a perfect fit for how we’d like to do business, and with our experience we can help new clients get results quicker.
As time goes by, more and more companies of all sizes are implementing an inbound marketing strategy. They’ve researched inbound stats like these, created their plan of attack, and embarked on a complete change in the way they get the word out about their businesses. Change isn’t easy, but sometimes the cost of inaction is greater than the effort needed to make that change. Inbound marketing is one of those changes that businesses are finding to be worth it. Here are 9 inbound marketing statistics that will make you wonder why you haven’t started implementing inbound marketing yet.
Companies are 3x as likely to see higher ROI on inbound marketing campaigns than on outbound, regardless of size and type of business. source
68% of online buyers will spend considerable time reading content published by a brand they are interested in. source
Marketers who check their metrics are 3x+ more likely to achieve positive ROI. source
Companies that blog generate 67% more leaders per month than those that don’t. source
8 out of 10 people identify themselves as blog readers. source
Inbound leads cost 61% lower than outbound leads. source
80% of business decision-makers prefer to get company information in a series of articles versus in an advertisement. source
84% of 25 to 34 year olds have left a website because of intrusive or irrelevant advertising. source
95% of those who opt into email messages from brands find these messages somewhat or very useful. source