Tuesday, April 24, 2018

4 Reasons to Segment Your Customer Database by Persona and Lead Source

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At its core, inbound marketing is a data-driven approach. All incoming leads are funneled through your company's website, providing you with a roadmap to respond to customer needs, expectations and engagement behaviors in real-time. But in order to truly reap the benefits of an inbound marketing strategy, segmenting your customer database by buyer persona and lead source is key. We've laid out four ways that database segmentation influences your ability to hone your marketing strategy, scale through automation and see the greatest impact on your bottom line.

1. Tailor and Target Your Communication to Specific Audiences 

One of the greatest benefits of segmenting your database by persona is the ability to target your messaging to specific audiences. If you use your defined buyer persona characteristics to segment incoming contacts into corresponding persona lists, then you'll be able to tailor your messaging to address the unique needs and pain points of each group. Using HubSpot, you can create persona-specific email campaigns and craft smart content that will appear to visitors based on their identified persona segment to effectively deliver personalization at scale.

2. Understand Engagement Behaviors as They Relate to Your Core Buyer Personas

In addition to targeting your communication, different buyer personas will engage with content and move through your funnel in unique ways. Segmenting your database by persona will also allow you to track engagement behaviors, conversion rates and other key funnel metrics as they relate to each of your primary audiences and optimize your engagement strategy in a way that makes sense for each group. If one buyer persona is churning more than others toward the middle of your funnel, then it may be an indication that you don't have enough contextually-relevant content or conversion points for this persona and funnel stage. Knowing this will help focus and inform your content strategy moving forward.

3. Gain Insight Into How Different Marketing Campaigns and Channels are Performing

Segmenting your database by lead source will also help you identify how different marketing campaigns and strategies are contributing to your pipeline. If you execute a social media or PPC campaign and want to track how your strategy has influenced lead traffic and quality from that particular channel, all you need to do is look at campaign metrics for that defined source. 

Along with tracking specific campaigns by channel, segmenting your database by lead source will allow you to compare the performance of all your existing marketing channels and pivot your strategy accordingly. If your PPC campaign isn't contributing as many qualified leads as organic search, for example, then you may want to: a) consider refocusing your time and budget on improving organic traffic and keyword ranking and b) rethink your PPC strategy.

 4. Establish a Framework for More Granular Reporting

Segmenting your database by persona and lead source will provide the structural framework necessary to execute more sophisticated and granular reporting down the line. If you'd like to build more complex reporting mechanisms that use existing lists as building blocks, then it's vital that your baseline segmentation structure and criteria are accurately configured and maintained. If not, then any reporting that leverages this segmentation will be inherently flawed. For example, if you're interested in leveraging HubSpot integrations to prove marketing attribution by channel, campaign and touch point, you'll need to start from a solid segmentation framework.

Want to learn how to choose the right marketing attribution model for your business? Check out our B2B marketing attribution guide below.

CMO guide to B2B attribution modeling

Friday, April 20, 2018

Omnichannel Retail Experiences: Personalization Across In-Store and Online Channels

omnichannel retailThe online experience plays an important role in the decisions shoppers make offline — and the influence of digital on the in-store experience is only going to grow. In fact, by 2022, Forrester expects the internet to influence 41% of in-store sales during customers' purchase journey. As the importance of digital channels increases, retailers are [...]

Omnichannel Retail Experiences: Personalization Across In-Store and Online Channels

omnichannel retailThe online experience plays an important role in the decisions shoppers make offline — and the influence of digital on the in-store experience is only going to grow. In fact, by 2022, Forrester expects the internet to influence 41% of in-store sales during customers' purchase journey. As the importance of digital channels increases, retailers are [...]

Thursday, April 19, 2018

New Breed’s 7 Step Guide to Creating Email Workflows in HubSpot

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While workflows can be utilized to automate many different types of actions, email automation is one of the most essential lead nurturing features that HubSpot's workflow tool has to offer. A properly configured email workflow strategy can enhance your lead generation efforts and accelerate revenue growth. Here are 7 steps to execute flawless email nurturing workflows:

1. Identify Your Desired Outcome

Before anything else, it is essential to identify the action you want your prospects to take. The email content you create and the way you structure your workflow should work to persuade prospects to take this action. Do you want them to download a premium content offer? Register for a webinar? View a blog post? Whatever it is, make sure you have it narrowed down before you begin crafting your workflow strategy. We recommend creating a campaign in HubSpot to associate with this workflow to ensure you can effectively manage all the assets in this campaign.

2. Establish a Timeline

Based on your desired outcome, establish an appropriate timeline to run this campaign for. If your desired outcome aligns with a specific date like the airing of a webinar, your timeline will be fixed. Conversely, if you are creating an ongoing nurture campaign with no time-sensitive call-to-action, your timeline will be indefinite. Identifying your timeline for this campaign will enable you to create the proper amount of email assets and configure your workflow accordingly.

3. Craft Your Emails with Inbound Best Practices

Now that you’ve identified your goal and configured a campaign to track it with, it’s time to create your email assets. When drafting your emails, be sure to use compelling copy and visual assets that clearly state the value of your offer. Utilize HubSpot’s Call-to-Action tool to create a CTA that will persuade users to the desired action you defined earlier in your strategy. Most importantly, remember to set up additional attribution and reporting so you can see the holistic impact of your efforts. Lastly, remember to select “Publish for automation” for all of the emails you want to include in your workflow. We recommend utilizing a numerical naming convention to make your workflow configuration process a bit easier. Numbering your emails ensures that you are sending your them in the right order.

Download our Email Best Practices Checklist to increase your email conversion rates

4. Determine Your Enrollment Trigger

The enrollment trigger is the criteria that a contact must meet to be enrolled in this workflow. To enable marketers to make the most of their workflow campaigns, HubSpot offers a wide variety of enrollment criteria. Contacts can be enrolled based on list membership, form submission, contact property or integration property, just to name a few.

If you’re not sure where to start, consider the contact properties of your ideal target for this campaign and use them as a foundation for your enrollment criteria. Use these properties to create a custom list of prospects and then use that membership of that list as your workflow enrollment trigger.

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5. Select Your Actions and Configure "If, Then" Branches

Action branches represent the actions that the contacts enrolled in your workflow might take. In this case, you’ll want to select “Send Email.” From here, you can select from any of the emails you’ve published for automation. At this point, the numerical naming convention for your emails will be helpful to ensuring the emails are being sent in the proper order.

When selecting your actions, it is important to remember the goal of this workflow. What action do you want your prospects to take after viewing your email content? This desired action will determine the criteria of your “If, Then” branches. Essentially, “If, Then” branches are criteria that you can use to determine whether or not a contact has taken your desired action.

For example, if you’re sending promotional emails to urge prospects to register for a webinar, you don’t want to continue sending them emails asking them to register if they’ve already done so. “If, Then” branches allow you to screen your contact list to check if they have completed your desired action.

In the example pictured above, an email is sent, a four day delay occurs and then the contact list is reviewed with an “If, Then” branch that screens the contact list to see who has registered for the webinar. From there, it determines that those who have not registered for the webinar after receiving email 3 are to be sent email 4.

6. Set Appropriate Time Delays Between Actions

When executing an email workflow, it's essential to make sure that you are not bombarding your prospects with an excess of content. No prospect wants to receive an email every day, or even worse, multiple times a day. Avoid making this critical mistake by staggering your email sends over several weeks. In this case, time delays will be critical to ensuring that emails are being staggered properly. HubSpot allows users to set their time delays down to the exact minute, so be sure to plan out your delays in accordance with your desired timeline.

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7. Consider Additional Settings

Once you’ve configured your actions and time delays, be sure to consider additional settings before turning your workflow on. Within the “Settings” tab in the workflow tool, you can adjust the settings accordingly. From here, you can associate your campaign with the workflow, select personas to target and create un-enrollment or suppression criteria.

If your goal is to reach business professionals, we recommend configuring the settings so that workflow actions will only execute on business days between working hours. Doing so will ensure that your content is being received at the times when your prospects are most likely to check their emails.

For more tips and tricks on how to get the most out of email marketing, download our checklist below.

Free Download: Email Marketing Best Practices Checklist 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

What Does it Mean to be in "Growth Mode?"

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At New Breed, we often find ourselves uttering the term growth mode. We use it to reference a critical phase in a SaaS company's development in which inbound strategies and practices can serve as a growth accelerant. But the marketing industry is ripe with flashy labels and acronyms that can be disorienting if not furnished with meaning and context. And as much as we love using the latest lingo, we don't want to do so at the expense of integrity or clarity. Alas, here's our definition of growth mode and our guide for recognizing when you've reached it.

The Basics

Not to be confused with beast mode, growth model or Google's more left-field suggestion, Did you mean Growth Hormone?, the term growth mode (within the context of business and marketing) refers to companies that have bridged the gap between startup and scaleup and are taking definitive steps to expand their operation. While both startups and scaleups pursue growth in their own right, growth mode cites a specific type of development that only becomes pertinent in the scaleup phase. But before we delve more into what that phase entails, let’s dial it back to the beginning.

Startups

In the last decade, shows like HBO's Silicon Valley have helped bring the startup into popular consciousness. The show's California namesake has become a tech mecca in it's own right, but the cutthroat stakes, growing pains and grit that's amplified to a comical extent on series like Silicon Valley and Shark Tank have resonance beyond the boundaries of select U.S. cities. For over a century, the startup has been an emblem of the American free market and a driving motif in the American Dream.

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Like these shows illustrate, the startup phase is a vulnerable and sometimes chaotic period in a business' development that's laden with a unique sense of urgency and excitement. Startups are focused on achieving product-market fit and defining a scalable business model to simultaneously support and requisite growth. In short, they’re working through the trial-and-error phase of their development in which they’re attempting to define their audience, perfect their product, locate their niche and configure their operational and revenue model to form a positive trajectory.

Companies in the startup phase may try out a few different product iterations or performance models on a small audience and pivot their growth strategy based on the results. Since startup teams are small and fundamental business elements are yet undefined, pivoting at this stage doesn't carry the same inherent risk and consequences that it might later on.

Startups aren't classified by a magic number of employees. In fact, teams can range in size from a couple of people to around twenty employees. Since they don’t yet have the revenue or long-term foresight to build-out specialized departments, most startup employees are generalists who vacillate between several operational roles. At this stage, process is less important than experimentation, so teams often function in a more freeform way that only works in small groups.

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Since startups haven't quite figured out a reliable revenue model, they often kickoff with seed funding and use their next investment surge (what's known as series A funding) to achieve a minimum viable product (MVP) that will allow them to progress on to the next development level.

Download The Definitive Guide to SaaS Marketing to learn actionable ways to grow your business.

✨The Next Level: Scaleups✨

To have reached the scaleup phase is no small feat, but it's still a far cry from unequivocal success. On one hand, scaleups have achieved MVP and determined a sound business model that will allow them to continue to grow and prosper if certain stipulated conditions are met. In a sense, they've found the right equation for success, but may still be working to source the right resources to make it function.

For good reason, a huge part of the scaleup phase is actually scaling-up your business — or hiring more specialized employees to define and fortify your operational teams. Scaleups are known for hiring in these three areas:

1) Marketing and Sales

Why: Once you've progressed beyond the startup phase, building out a specialized marketing and sales force is seen as one of the next requisites to growth (and a critical element in the aforementioned success equation). In order to generate revenue to fuel further growth initiatives, it's vital that you have a team of individuals dedicated to attracting, engaging and closing more customers. 

At New Breed, we unite our marketing and sales teams under one masthead department:Revenue Operations. Since aligning these two teams is an essential condition of growth, scaleups should focus not only on hiring, but on establishing direct communication and a sound  data-feedback loop between both team's activities.

2) Customer success

Why: As your customer base grows, having a team that's dedicated to customer satisfaction and quality assurance becomes critical to maintain the same level of service. In addition, a higher customer retention rate and Net Promoter Score (NPS) will fuel long-term business viability and revenue consistency. In order to evolve in tandem with customer needs and expectations as you scale, you need direct feedback from customers on how they're using your product and how you might improve it.

3) Management/Leadership

Why: The urgency that companies experience in the startup phase doesn't dissipate when they achieve scaleup status. It's still important to move quickly, but doing so at scale requires a stable infrastructure. The more people that you add to your team, the more crucial organizational hierarchy becomes. In order to function and communicate effectively as your company grows, it's necessary to hire people who have experience managing big teams and aligning daily responsibilities with overhead company objectives.

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In addition to defining roles and hierarchies, delineating and documenting a clear, replicable processes is also part of establishing a stable infrastructure. While experimentation is an essential part of any startup's success, scaleups must become more risk-adverse in order to survive. At this point, they should have a solid understanding of what works for their business and what doesn't (courtesy of all their former business adventures and mishaps). Any experimentation that happens from here on out should be conducted within a more limited scope, with lower stakes. A scaleup's funding stage is usually into series B or later (depending on the specific product model and resources required) and investors may begin to limit any additional forward spending based on projected return.

Growth Mode and Marketing

We've finally arrived back where we started. Once scaleups have begun to expand their operation, their focus should shift once again to growing their customer base and sustaining that growth trajectory over time. Growth mode refers to this unique period of action (scaling your operation) and strategic planning (expanding your perspective beyond short-term survival and investing in long-term growth opportunities).

When your company reaches growth mode, marketing can play a pivotal role in your ability to execute your next development push. Apart from simply drawing qualified leads to your product or services, the right marketing platform and approach will give you the insight you need to take advantage of growth opportunities down the line and move the needle on key objectives at the least amount of risk and expense to your company.

There's a reason why inbound marketing caters to SaaS companies in growth mode — and why inbound-savvy scaleups outperform and outpace their competition. In today's digital marketplace, your website is the crux of your brand and your roadmap to sustaining long-term growth.

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Give your Saas company a jumpstart by learning how to apply inbound marketing strategies to generate leads and win customers at key junctures in your development journey. Download the free guide below to get started.

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How Evergage is Working with Clients to Enable GDPR Compliance

If your company has an online presence, you are probably already familiar with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR. We want to be clear about how Evergage is thinking about GDPR and how we are helping our clients to enable GDPR compliance in this blog post. We are deeply committed [...]

How Evergage is Working with Clients to Enable GDPR Compliance

If your company has an online presence, you are probably already familiar with the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation, otherwise known as GDPR. We want to be clear about how Evergage is thinking about GDPR and how we are helping our clients to enable GDPR compliance in this blog post. We are deeply committed [...]