Inbound & Digital Marketing Blog

HubSpot 3 is better than iPhone 5

Posted by Clarke Bishop

August 29, 2012

True, iPhone 5 is expected to have a larger screen, work over higher-speed wireless networks, and have other goodies. But, will it help you grow your business so you can afford all those new iPhones for your employees?

At Inbound Team, we are a HubSpot partner, and yes, we love HubSpot. Still, it’s rare to see a new software release that offers as much as HubSpot 3.

hubspot-3-inbound-team

Have you ever called a customer “service” number where they ask you to punch in your account number. Then, when you finally get a representative, what do they ask? “Could I have your account number please?” I cringe every time this happens, and it happens almost every time.

Unfortunately, too much online marketing works the same way. Come to our website and download our white paper. Just give us your name, email, company, phone, etc. The only problem is that we may have recently collected all the same information from the same person — Very annoying!

Inbound Team For the love of marketing

  • What if you had a website that knew all about your customers and visitors? 
  • What if it only asked for data it didn’t already have? 
  • Even better, what if it gave them appropriate content based on who they are and where they are in the buying cycle? 

Finallly, HubSpot 3 solves the problem.

At Inbound Team, we do a lot of integrations between HubSpot and other systems. We know how hard it can be to make everything work well together. 

In HubSpot 3, everything revolves around contacts. The Contacts section has been completely redesigned so that you can associate much more data with a specific contact. This really lets you know who the person is and what interests them. 

Then, you can build dynamic, “smart lists” to focus on a specific group of your customers or prospects. What if a big social media influencer visited your site? Wouldn't you want to treat them with extra care?

In the example list shown below, we’ve found our Influencers by checking their follower count and recent history. Yes, HubSpot actually looks this up for you.

marketing segmentation email marketing

Lists can be used for email marketing, but the same idea is used to create Smart Forms that only collect the data you don’t already have. 

You can even change Calls to Action (CTA) and other elements of your website based on the Contact’s information. You can show a top of the funnel CTA for new visitors and offer a totally different offer to visitors that are ready to buy.

There’s only one downside to all this marketing power — It takes some expertise to use it effectively. HubSpot has made things very usable. Still,you have to know your customers, know their buying process, create  relevant content and design all these interactions. That’s where we can help. Get a free HubSpot 3 marketing review

HubSpot 3 Marketing Review

I may never know why phone systems keep asking for account numbers and can’t integrate with customer service software. At least my marketing life just got a lot easier. My customers will love it!

Please leave a comment and let me know how you are going to use HubSpot 3 to delight your customers.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Marketing Automation


7 Ways Google Analytics Will Improve Your Small Business Website

Posted by Devine Mae Loredo

July 2, 2012

Marketers want to really know buyers so they can help the buyer understand their products and services.

Analytics Software helps you reach out and understand your audience to improve and increase your site traffic.

Google Analytics is free and is said to be the easiest way to help and is more helpful to business neophytes according to 

Share with us your experience with Google Analytics and let us know how it worked for you.

 

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Topics: Lead Generation, Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing


How do you spot management talent in an employee?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

July 1, 2012

The other day, someone asked:

"You have a team of young potential guys..all good at their basic profiles. How do you pick one amongst them who can take up a new venture on his own? Condition is that all the guys are good at their basic jobs, the daily working results et all."

Here’s the answer... The best way to spot management talent is to:

  1. Learn about the employee’s past.
  2. Look for patterns where they have shown natural leadership or management.

Even for younger employees, there should be examples where they organized a club, held some kind of elected office, or had another leadership role.

Some people will try to use a behavioral interview question like “Tell me about a time you organized something?” This isn’t usually that effective. It measures how well someone thinks on their feet. What you want to look for is someone who has a pattern or organizing things or ending up in leadership positions, not just someone who is good at telling stories!

I realize these are employees who may are already hired. But, I still recommend a structured interview that focuses on the person’s history. Please see the post on the basics of how to do a structured interview.

People who go through this process are regularly surprised at what they learn about their employees — Even for employees they’ve worked with for years.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing


Why are you here? What's the Purpose of Your Marketing Agency?

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 1, 2012

During today's Marketing Agency Insider webinar, Paul Roetzer talked about how important it is to know your Purpose. Then, he mentioned that a lot of people and companies don't really know their purpose.

Paul's comments reminded me of a game I play that always helps people discover unique insights about their purpose. I like to ask questions.  And I ask a lot of questions in the exercise.

inbound marketing know your purpose

Here's how the game goes (This is what I say):

Imagine that I have a magic button for you. (For marketing people, this can be a magic call-to-action button!).

When you press the button, you can have anything you say. Wait, stop!

Don't press the button, yet.

Let's talk for a few minutes to make sure you get everything you want.

So, tell me, what do you want to have from pressing your magic button?

I listen and ask "why" several times. Oh you want to travel the world. Why? My purpose is to clarify and understand. I try to restate and summarize the why.

The game continues ...

So, is that what you want? Are you ready to press your magic button? Wait, stop!

Don't you want something for your kids or your family?

This magic button will let you have anything you say. Don't forget to say "and." I want _____ AND _____. Say "and" as many times as you want!

So, what do you want for your family?

Again more "whys" to clarify and understand. The game continues ...

You can have all the "ands" you want. What do you want for your friends?

This cycle continues through several more questions like:

  • What about for me you selfish turkey? After all, I gave you the magic button. What are you going to have happen for me?

    Sometimes, I'll hear "I don't know, what do you want?"

    "That doesn't matter," I'll say. "What do you want to give me?
     
     
  • I like to play this game in a restaurant. So, I might ask, what would you give our waiter? 

  • Then, I look around and pick out a random person. What would you want to have happen for them?

You see, each of us has natural gifts and things we love giving away to others. It's so natural for us, that we take it for granted, and don't see!

Ultimately, the goal of my game is to learn what a person would give away with no limits or contraints. That's a huge clue to their special purpose. The game helps make that clear.

What's Your Company's Purpose?

Ultimately, you can use this game to learn a business owner's purpose, or as part of branding for a business.

What would you do for your customers and clients if there were no profit or resource constraints?

Takaways

Purpose is the reason for being for an individual or a company. 

Knowing your purpose lets you make the great business decisions that will lead to building a great business. An otherwise successful business that is mis-aligned with your purpose will make you miserable. 

Take the time to discover your purpose, and leave me a comment so I know your purpose!

Image credit: FreeFoto.com.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing


Inbound Marketing Website Design: Apple Icons & Meta Viewport

Posted by Clarke Bishop

December 30, 2011

When I was explaining HubSpot's new Marketing Grader, I mentioned gaining 2 points by adding Apple Icons and a Meta Viewport tag. Let me show you how.

Mobile Website Optimization s

How to Create an Apple Icon for HubSpot

An Apple icon is a 57 x 57 pixel graphic that can show up on an iPhone or other iOS device. You can think of this as a giant favicon. What you need to do is:

  • Create the 57 x 57 graphic and upload it to your HubSpot images folder. The graphic can be anything you want, but it's usually a version of your logo. Here's ours:
    Inbound Team Apple Icon
  • In HubSpot, go to Settings -> Website Settings and find your Header HTML box. Whatever you put in this box will show up on all your website pages.
  • Add code that looks like:
    <link rel="apple-touch-icon" href="/Portals/13372/images/inbound-team-apple-icon.png" />
    Of course, you'll have to adjust the link to point to your Apple icon.
    In my case, I put this new code right under my favicon link:
     <link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico" />
  • Scroll down and Save Changes.

Now, if one of your site visitors creates a quick link on their iPhone, they'll see your new, branded icon.

How to Setup a Meta Viewport Tag in HubSpot

The Meta Viewport tells the iPhone how to show your page. All you have to do is add one more tag under your Apple icon link: 

  • If you aren't already there, go to Settings -> Website Settings and find your Header HTML box.
  • Right under your Apple icon link, add:
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width,initial-scale=1,user-scalable=no" />
  • Scroll down and Save Changes.
Depending on your situation, there are a lot of geeky ways you can adjust the Meta Viewport tag to control how your pages display:

How to Enable Mobile Website Optimization in HubSpot

I've assumed that you already enabled Mobile Website Optimization. If not, it's easy:
  • In HubSpot, go to Settings -> Website Settings and find the Mobile Theme Optimization section.
  • Click to select Enable Mobile Optimization.
  • If you want to know how it will look, click the Preview the mobile theme ... link.
  • Scroll down and Save Changes.

Takeaway

It's quick and easy to add Apple Icons and a Meta Viewport tag. And, it get's you two points on your Marketing Grader!

If you have trouble, you're always welcome to leave your questions in a comment below.

Of course, some Inbound Marketers would rather have help with technical items. If that's you, call 800.609.9669 and we'll set this up for you.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Social Media


How to Benchmark Performance Part-2: Results & Skills

Posted by Clarke Bishop

June 13, 2011

We were just looking at Performance Benchmarks and importance of having a clear purpose for the role. Now, let’s look at the other key parts — Results and Special Skills or Competencies.

Performance Results

The Results section is the most important part of a Performance Benchmark. It says what you want the employee to Get Done. Not what you want them to do or be responsible for. What Measurable Results do you want them to produce!

Usually, you’ll have four or five specific results. Maybe a couple more, but any more than seven is too many. Make each result clearly measurable, and have a specific time frame. Here are some example results for a Sales Executive:

  • Close $400K in sales revenue within assigned territory in fiscal year 2007.
  • Identify and close 6 new customers within assigned territory in fiscal year 2007.
  • Respond to all inbound leads within 24 hours.

Of course you have to also have the ability to accurately track each result. The point is that anyone — Employee, Manager, Mail Clerk — Should be able to easily know whether the result was accomplished or not.

Special Skills & Competencies

This is the area for any special requirements. If your new employee needs to have experience in Outsourcing to Far East Manufacturers or Oracle Database Administration, this is where that information goes. If your company uses some standard competencies like Good Communicator, Persuasive, Team Player, put them here if they are important to the job. If it’s not important leave it out!

Do you know the two competencies most associated with top talent?

  • Resourcefulness - The ability to find a way to get something done.
  • Self Awareness - Accurate understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. They will also know how to leverage their strengths and compensate for their weaknesses.

The Performance Benchmark is the cornerstone for any company that is serious about great performance. Use it to evaluate both existing employees and potential candidates.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing


How to Benchmark Performance Part-1: Purpose

Posted by Clarke Bishop

June 7, 2011

I've already told you about how important it is to have Performance Benchmarks to hire the right person.

How to create a Performance Benchmark

There are three key sections:

Purpose - Overall, why are your hiring a person for this role?

Results - What results do you expect a great employee to produce?

Skills & Competencies - What special skills or other characteristics would a great employee need?

Performance Benchmark - Purpose

Why are you hiring someone for this role? Answer like this: “The ROLE NAME at COMPANY exists to ________.”

As an example: “The CEO of MyCo exists to grow the company by 15% per year while maintaining 20% profitability.”

Keep it simple and don’t try to cram everything in there. Sure, you want your CEO to maintain compliance with relevant laws, avoid lawsuits, develop people, and a bunch of other stuff. But, what do you really care about? Be Straight! This isn’t the place to sound good or sell the candidate. Having a clear purpose sets the context for the job, creates clarity, and helps you get started defining the results you want.

Next, we’ll look at defining and specifying results.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing


Hire the right person with a Performance Benchmark

Posted by Clarke Bishop

June 5, 2011

The Performance Benchmark sets the standard for the job in terms of specific results!

To hire the right people, start with a good Performance Benchmark. If you don't know what results you want, you're much less likely to have a hiring failure.

With a good performance benchmark, you can double your hiring success!

I’m always amazed how rarely managers create and use Performance Benchmarks. Why? I think there are a number of common reasons:
  • It’s work to think clearly. Muddled, imprecise thinking is easy. Clear, sharp thinking takes a little work. Not a lot, but enough that we don’t do it sometimes.

  • Managers have to take responsibility for doing their job. What if all the employees meet their benchmarks, but the group doesn’t? That means the manager didn’t see to it that everything was assigned and communicated. It’s easier to leave things vauge, so you can always blame someone else for the lack of results.

  • People sometimes resist being measured — At least at first. Employees quickly start to appreciate clear expectations. And they get a sense of accomplishment from beating the benchmark.

  • What do you think? Please leave a comment if you know other reasons.

OK, hopefully you’re thinking “I’m convinced I should use Performance Benchmarks”!

Read on and learn how to Create a Performance Benchmark ...

 

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Topics: Small Business Marketing


Infusionsoft Review

Posted by Clarke Bishop

March 3, 2010

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

I am an Infusionsoft consultant (CMAC), and I work with a lot of Infusionsoft customers. If I hated Infusionsoft, I wouldn't be in this business! It's got it's strengths and weaknesses, and since I work with it every day, I'm going to try and help you decide if it's a good fit for you.

Since I may work with you in the future, I want to paint a realistic picture of where it's good and who it will work for. It's not good for me to have to tell clients "No, Infusionsoft can't do that."

In case you don't know, Infusionsoft is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Email Marketing product. It gives you a database to store all your customers, and makes it easy to send follow-up email messages to them. Since most businesses don't do a good job of following up, this can really boost your business.

Their system is specifically targeted at small businesses. The typical starting price is $200 or $300 per month (At the higher price, you get more contacts and features). This price includes 2 users, so if you have more than two salespeople who will use the system, you'll need to add additional users at $59 per month. Infusionsoft is not recommended for companies with more than 25 users!

Infusionsoft is very aggressive with it's sales and marketing. I understand their desire to sell their product, but I think it would be better if they were more consultative in their sales approach. The sales people seem to say "Yes" to almost any question regarding the capabilities of the system. I think their sales and marketing aggressiveness is the number one reason for Infusionsoft complaints.

So, I'm going to try to help with a balanced review of their features and service. I'm going to go through each of these in the next several days, and if a link isn't active, please check back.

And, if you are or become an Infusionsoft user, please Contact Us when you need some help!

Comments are always welcome here, so if you have a specific question, please leave a comment.

Infusionsoft Features

  • Email Marketing Grade: A-
    4-8-2011 Since I originally wrote this review, Infusionsoft has upgraded the product, so I increased their Email Marketing grade from B+ to A-.

Infusionsoft Technology and Support

I hope this information helps you make a wise choice for your business. As you can see, Infusionsoft does some things very well, but you have to make sure the gaps don't get in the way of your business.

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft


Inbound Marketing: eMail Deliverability Reports

Posted by Clarke Bishop

August 24, 2009

Greased Skid Marketing is now part of Inbound Team --The Atlanta, Georgia Inbound Marketing Agency specializing in helping businesses grow with online marketing.

Mike asked a question about eMail Deliverability Reports in Infusionsoft:

First of all, as a newbie to Infusionsoft, its good to find your site and the pdf download (the analytics clickable links helped already).

My question is, is there a way to get an email deliverability (opens/clicks/hard and soft bounces etc) for all emails sent over a certain period?

I'd love to see Infusionsoft improve their reporting or open up more of the data to the API so I could create better reports.

One report you can run is the Email Batch Status report (Under Reports --> Marketing Reports). Then, click the View button to see the report.

It's not obvious, but you can click on the pie charts to get more detail! If you want a more detailed explanation, please download my free special report: Infusionsoft: 7 Keys to Top Results. Key number 6 has some detailed information on how to use the pie charts and get all the information.

You can also request new features at ideas.infusionsoft.com.  They do pay attention and do implement some of the requests!

Please leave a comment if you have other questions!

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Topics: Small Business Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Infusionsoft


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