HubSpot and Outbound Marketing: 4 Tips to Run Better Outbound Campaigns
is the Head of Marketing at Lean Labs. His experience ranges from higher education to SMBs and tech startups. When not doing digital marketing, he's sure to be enjoying some kind of nerdy pastime.
HubSpot handles outbound marketing too.
Dharmesh Shah and Brian Halligan, the founders of HubSpot, co-wrote the book on Inbound Marketing. Since they launched their software to facilitate inbound marketing, there has been an assumption that HubSpot is all about inbound. And, it does inbound really well.
But, with the right strategies, HubSpot handles outbound marketing very well. In this article, we're going to lay out some practical advice on how to make HubSpot play friendly with your outbound marketing efforts.
HubSpot and Outbound Marketing: 4 Easy Tips
The beauty of inbound marketing is the ability to measure almost anything automatically. UTM codes allow me to track multiple behavioral instances without the user ever knowing. That's not nefarious; it's just a better experience than most outbound conversions.
For instance, I once worked with a professional from the outbound marketing world. They thought inbound was "cute" but the real wins, in their mind, came from the outbound world.
The contention we faced was this person wanting to put fields like, "how did you find us?" on all of our top-of-funnel forms. When I explained that every additional form field reduces the conversion rate, I was met with a lengthy lecture about the need to measure the success of outbound campaigns with those critical questions.
Yes, I'm venting from an old confrontation I've been harboring on the inside for too long (this feels good). But, the truth is, you don't have to abandon conversion principles just to run outbound effectively on HubSpot.
I'm not anti-outbound. I think outbound still has a huge part in a holistic marketing strategy. But technology has advanced to a point where you can make outbound behave pretty close to inbound. And, you can do great things without hindering your conversion rates, or creating annoying hoops for outbound leads to jump through.
Tip #1: Bit.Ly is your friend!
You don't have to use Bit.ly. You can use any shortener - even your own custom one.
The principle is this: You don't have to give them the real domain.
If you do an outbound ad, you need to have a call to action. This call to action is usually a phone number or web address.
We'll talk about phone numbers in the next point.
Rather than printing your domain name, try adding a shortened URL like you would find through Bit.ly. This URL will go to a certain landing page, which can be measured by HubSpot. And, the only way this landing page is found, is by people visiting that shortened link, which only appears in your print, radio, or tv ad.
When a person becomes a lead, HubSpot already knows if they visited that page, and a contact record can be created that lead X came from ad Y.
Tip #2: Use Call Tracking
Call tracking software is like a Bit.Ly for telephone numbers.
Some people are still stuck on trying to get the public to remember their phone number. Here's the truth, no one remembers phone numbers anymore.
The only phone number I know is mine, and my mom's home number. I remember her home number because it's been the same one since I was a tiny baby. And, she recently canceled that phone line... so now, I technically don't know her number anymore.
If I need to find a business phone number, I look it up on my smartphone.
The point is, don't be stubborn with the phone number you put in your advertisements. It doesn't matter if it's not your real number, they won't remember anyway.
Call tracking software creates multiple numbers that can be tracked and integrated with HubSpot. So, if you put number X in your print ad, anyone who calls that number will be tracked in HubSpot.
That way, you know exactly how much return you got on that ad.
There's really smart software that works with Google Adwords as well, so you can track which ads/keywords drive the most phone calls.
Tip #3: Don't Do Outbound in Isolation
If you're going to do outbound marketing, don't do it in isolation. The inbound methodology says that your website should become a hub for all your marketing, including outbound.
Whatever you're strategy is for inbound marketing, you can create marketing synergy by complimenting inbound with outbound ads.
Rather than have outbound ads go for the sale, create more top-of-funnel outbound ads that offer something of value in advance?
Rather than send all outbound traffic to landing pages or the home page, send them to content that can do a much better job of communicating value than a one-page ad.
Your marketing should be a strategy of which inbound and outbound are parts. But they should work together toward the same goal.
Tip #4: Make Events Live Website Experiences
You know all the tactics for inbound marketing on your website. When you're in-person at events, make the same experience happen.
Rather than try to get people to sign up for demos, or trials, try to give your contacts something of value. I'm not talking about giving away merch - that's the fastest way to get bad leads. You can always give away merch, but that's brand awareness.
Instead of trading merch for leads, trade something your personas would find extremely valuable.
We worked with one client who created a huge report their target audience would find super valuable. They would pay to get a copy of this report, it was that spot-on.
The client then had this report professionally printed in a magazine form. And, at their events, they gave them away, in exchange for allowing recipients to register as a lead to get this report over and over again in the future.
It was value for the potential customer.
It was value for the company - everyone interested in that report was exactly their persona.
They didn't have to leave the event and weed through all the contacts that just filled out a form to get a t-shirt.
Making HubSpot Work with Outbound
HubSpot software is really smart. Even seasoned outbound pros can tweak their processes just a tad and enable HubSpot to enhance outbound with inbound.
If you're not yet a HubSpot customer, you are missing out on some of the greatest software for digital marketing. The most common reason companies don't sign up for HubSpot is the price - and we've solved that problem.
If you're interested in HubSpot, you'll want to read our guide on saving up to 60% off HubSpot.