Email Automation 101: HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows

Email Automation 101: HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows

Email Automation 101: HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows

Welcome to email automation 101! This blog is going to focus on two specific ways to implement email automation using HubSpot — through their Sequences and Workflows tools. This information is great for anyone who is new to HubSpot services or is new to their email marketing tools.

Whether you’ve been using email automation since the dawn of dial-up, or if this is the first time you’ve ever scheduled an email, this blog is designed to help you navigate email automation through the HubSpot tool specifically.

(If you’re looking for more general, non-HubSpot-specific info on email automation, check out this blog on Email Workflow Best Practices, and this blog on Inbound Marketing Automation). 

With all of that in mind, let’s get down to it. What’s the difference between HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows?

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HubSpot Sequences vs. HubSpot Workflows

The most basic difference in the two tools is that HubSpot Sequences are a sales tool, and HubSpot Workflows are a marketing tool. 

You have access to HubSpot Sequences with a Sales Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription, or a Service Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription with a connected personal inbox. 

You’ll have access to HubSpot Workflows with a Marketing Hub Professional or Enterprise subscription. 

Let’s take a clear, straightforward look at the differences between HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows with this chart. 

If that’s all the information you need, great. If you’re looking for more explanation, keep reading past the chart, and we’ll dive a little deeper. 

Breaking Down Key Differences Between Sequences and Workflows

HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows Chart

So that’s a lot. If you’re new to email automation, that might look a little overwhelming. 

Let’s look more closely at both HubSpot Sequences and Workflows. 

HubSpot Sequences: The Breakdown

HubSpot Sequences are designed to help your sales team reduce some of the time they put into repetitive communications. They can pull email templates set up in the “Templates” tool right into their inbox, where they can send out personalized, 1-1 content that nurtures those hot or warm sales leads they’ve already connected with. 

HubSpot Sequences are:

  • Customizable & Targeted. A sales rep can change the template in their email tool to tailor the message specifically to the hot lead they’re working with. 
  • Simple. A sequence email looks like any other email you’d get directly from a real person. They don’t feature a lot of images or styling. 
  • Direct. Sent directly from the sales rep’s inbox to the lead. 
  • Automatically unenrolled. The minute a lead responds to the sales rep, they’re unenrolled from the sequence. 
HubSpot Sequences are not:

  • Bulk Communication. Sequences are manually enrolled and can be sent to a max of 150 people per day. They’re meant to be 1-1 communication, rather than a sales campaign.
  • Metric Reporting. The only information you’ll get from a Sequence is whether a contact opened or replied. You won’t get metrics like click-through-rate. 
  • Automatically Triggered. Only people can trigger sequences.

    With a clear picture of what Sequences do and don’t do, here’s an example of when a Sequence might be useful. 

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    An example of when you might use a HubSpot Sequence

    Let’s say your sales team knows that your pricing sheet is a great piece of content that usually speeds up the decision making process. If they have a hot lead, they can use their “Pricing Sheet Sequence” to automate that communication a bit. 

     That might look something like this: 

    • Your sales rep sends out the first email with that pricing sheet and a meeting link. If that contact responds or books time to connect with the sales rep, that contact is automatically unenrolled from the sequence. 
    • If they don’t respond, another email might go out in 24 hours. This email might ask if the lead had any questions, and prompt them to schedule time with the rep to follow up. 
      • If they follow up, they’re out of the sequence. 
      • If they don’t they move onto the third (and usually final) email. 

    How HubSpot Sequences save your sales team time

    Sequences make frequent, regular communication a little easier. Your sales reps start with an email template that they can send straight out to the contact from their inbox or customize as necessary for that unique contact. 

    Follow-up is automatic, ensuring you keep that lead hot as they get ready to make a purchasing decision. 

    Sequences are a great method for nurturing and closing hot leads. They’re best sent individually to the leads who your team knows are ready to make a decision. 

    HubSpot Workflows: The Breakdown

    HubSpot Workflows are a marketing tool designed to nurture warm, lukewarm, and even cold leads. They’re often sent to bulk lists and are highly stylized. Most workflows are designed to give leads more of the information they want or need to help move them towards a purchasing decision. 

    Pro Tip:

    Workflows can also be used to trigger contact property changes, tasks for your sales or marketing team members, and more. Check out this workflow we use to send a text to a designated team member anytime someone chats a bot on our site.

    Though email automation is the primary use for HubSpot workflows, you can also use them to assign leads who take specific action to a corresponding contact list, trigger tasks for your team to reach out to those leads, and more. 

    BotWorkflow Example
    HubSpot Workflows are:

    • Automatically Triggered. Workflows are automatically triggered by specific actions you set, whether that’s a lead downloading a guide or interacting with a chatbot.
    • Sent Through HubSpot.  Rather than sending a 1-1 email, workflow emails are sent through HubSpot. You can change the “from” address to whatever you want, from a team member’s email address to your general marketing or info email.
    • Delayable. You can set up workflows with flexible time frames. Send an email one day, and then delay the follow-up for three days or even a week.
    • Dynamic. Add in as many pictures, videos, and visual components as you like. These emails are stylized in the HubSpot email tool, where you can use the drag and drop editor to create what you like.
    • Compatible. You can have one workflow trigger another workflow if you like. The customization options are endless and robust. 
    • Reporting. Workflows offer many metrics, from what links are clicked to the open rate, and more. As a marketing tool, you have access to marketing metrics associated with each workflow.

    HubSpot Workflows are not: 

    • Automatically Unenrolled. A contact will experience the full workflow unless you set a goal criteria that ends the workflow early for contacts who take a specific action. 
    • 1-1 Communication. These are bulk emails sent to specific, segmented contact lists. While you can implement personalization tokens, all replies will go to the same “from” email address.
    • Tracked by Reply. Anyone can send a workflow through HubSpot. Since these emails aren’t tied to a specific inbox, HubSpot cannot track replies. You will still see replies in the inbox of the “from” email address. 

    We already showed you an example of HubSpot Workflows setting tasks internally with our chatbot, but here’s an example of when an automated workflow would be helpful to your marketing team.

    An example of when you might use a HubSpot Workflow

    Let’s say your marketing team has just developed an awesome content offer. You know that when someone downloads this content offer, they’re a qualified lead. A workflow can continue nurturing that lead for your marketing team until they’re ready to talk to a sales rep. 

    Here’s how you might use a HubSpot Workflow after a lead takes the action of downloading a content offer. 

     

    EmailWorkflowExample
    • Immediately after the person downloads your content offer, you send them a “Thank You” email, with another link to download the offer, just in case they navigated away from your landing page before they saved the download. 
    • Three days later, your workflow sends them a follow-up email. It asks if they have any questions, and provides another piece of content that will be relevant to them, based on the content they’ve already downloaded. 
      • If that person downloads the second piece of content, you might send them a third email a few days later with an option to book time with a sales rep. 
      • If that person doesn’t download the second piece of content, you might send them a follow up encouraging them to reach out with any questions. Your workflow could then assign that lead to your “Newsletter” contact list, where they’ll get regular, monthly communication until they take another action that indicates they’re warming up. 

    This is a short example of a workflow. Yours can be much more in-depth than this, offering a variety of options based on every action that contact does or doesn’t take, but this is an initial example that’s a good use case for a basic workflow. 

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    How HubSpot Workflows save sales AND marketing time

    Workflows eliminate a lot of wasted time, both for sales and marketing. Workflows help nurture warm or cool leads without much work on the part of your marketing team. If a lead does take an action that indicates interest, your workflows can auto-notify the appropriate person on your team.

    HubSpot Workflows function as another marketing expert on your team, talking to your lukewarm leads for your marketing pros, and bringing them in only when it’s a good use of their time. 

    This helps your marketing team spend more of their time on the leads they know are warming up. This in turn ensures that your sales team only gets leads that are hot — ready to make a purchasing decision. 

    HubSpot Sequences vs. Workflows: Which To Use, When?

    Now that you’ve got a better idea of what Sequences and Workflows do, and what they don’t do, you should have a clear picture of when to use Sequences, and when to use Workflows. 

    As a general rule, if it’s not 1-1 communication, and you want to send a message out to a list of contacts, a workflow is your best bet. 

    If you’re working to close a hot lead or send out personalized communication to a contact your sales team has already talked to, then Sequences are the tool to use. 

    They help you deliver the right message, to the right person, at exactly the right time. 

    Now that you know more about how both email automation tools work, get your hands dirty! Set up your first workflow, or get building out your sales templates. Once you start using them, you’ll be able to see the unique benefits of each first-hand. 

    Let us know how your email automation with HubSpot goes! Are you loving the workflow and sequences tools? If you run into any questions, or if you just can’t seem to get your workflows working the way you’d like, just let us know. We’re a HubSpot Gold Partner Agency, and we’d be happy to answer any questions you’ve got about Sequences, Workflows, and more. 

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    The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

    The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

    The Breakup Email: What it Is, and How to Write It [With Examples]

    The breakup email. The sales team’s Hail Mary. It’s the very last-resort tool in your toolbox, used to draw absent prospects back into your sales cycle, if possible. The breakup email is becoming more and more popular. But as more sales teams use it, it’s harder to craft a breakup email that seems fresh and genuine, and that succeeds in bringing those prospects back into your sales cycle. 

    We’re going to teach you what a breakup email is, how to write it, and we’ll even give you a few examples of what a successful breakup email might sound like. Let’s jump in: 

    What is a Breakup Email?

    A breakup email is the very last email you send to a prospect who’s gone cold. It’s usually a last-ditch effort to get that prospect back on board before they fall out of your funnel forever. When done properly, breakup emails are effective. That said, they’re called breakup emails for a reason. Most of the time, if you’ve made it to the breakup email stage with a prospect, they probably aren’t going to convert. So why send them? Two reasons:

    • A breakup email can, and has been known to give prospects that little push they need to jump back into the sales funnel. 

    •  At the very least, it leaves a positive lasting impression with that prospect, in the event that they do need your services in the future.
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    What a Breakup Email Isn’t

    A breakup email is not to be taken lightly. The reason that we have to be so careful when writing them now is that too many sales teams have overused the breakup email, and people are getting tired of it. 

    It’s important to know that you shouldn’t send breakup emails to people you’ve never talked to. 

    We get a multitude of unsolicited sales pitches, some from companies that are relevant to us, and mostly those that aren’t. My number one pet peeve is the third or fourth email I get (after not soliciting these emails nor replying to any of them) that says, “I’ve emailed you a few times, but you haven’t responded.” 

    Um, yeah. I know I didn’t respond to your email. There’s a reason for it: I don’t know you, and I didn’t sign up to get your emails. 

    I can’t stress this enough — the breakup email is a sales tool you use with prospects you’ve actually built a relationship with. 

    If you haven’t talked to the prospect in person — i.e. on the phone, in person, or through a long chain of emails — they don’t get a breakup email. 

    Now that we’ve got that all cleared up, let’s look at some breakup email best practices. 

    Breakup Email Do’s and Don’ts:

    Not sure where to start with your breakup email? Check out these do’s and don’ts so you know you’re crafting a thoughtful breakup email that’ll catch their eye. 

    Don’t guilt trip

    No one cares how many emails you’ve sent them. Don’t lead with “I’ve emailed you many times but…”

    That’s a surefire way to never hear from them again. People are busy. If they haven’t responded to your email, there’s a reason. Leading with a guilt trip isn’t going to help. You want positive relationships, so lead with positive sentiments. 

    Do spend time on the subject line

    If you haven’t heard from this prospect in a while, it might be tough to catch their eye. Spend time working on your subject line so you know they’ll be compelled to open it. Using their name is a good way to go. It’s also good to make it clear that this is a breakup email, right from the subject line.  

    Don’t be overbearing

    If you haven’t heard from the prospect in a while, don’t ask them 15 questions in your breakup email. This is a breakup email. 

    Instead, consider leaving them with some helpful information that’s relevant to their company or specific pain point. Let them know that if they ever want help, you’re always available to chat. 

    Do make yourself available

    If you’ve got a “Schedule Time on My Calendar” feature, use it. Again, don’t be overbearing about it, but let the prospect know that’s an option that’s available to them if they wish. 

    Do remind them what you do

    You don’t need to launch into all of the services your company provides, but this is a good time to recall maybe one of the pain points or goals you’ve discussed with this prospect in the past. Give them a quick sentence about why you’re reaching out one last time, and leave it at that. 

    Do provide helpful info

    If you’ve got a strong sense that your breakup has to do with timing, and not that the prospect just isn’t interested, then it might make sense to leave them with a bit of light reading as you go. Include one or two resources that are highly relevant to that specific prospect — they might just realize they need your help after all. 

    Don’t write too much

    This is a breakup email. If you’ve had quality communication with this prospect in the past, they know who you are and what’s up. You don’t have to explain your entire history to them or outline all of the great things your company does. Keep it short and sweet. 

    Do sign off, all the way

    Let the prospect know this is the last time you’ll be contacting them. If you’ve gotten to the breakup email point, this shouldn’t be so hard on you. End your email letting them know this is the last time you’ll reach out or bug them. 

    Writing Breakup Emails:

    A General Rule of Thumb

    Your breakup emails will be significantly more effective if you take 5 minutes to think about why that prospect has gone cold and draft an email that speaks to their unique pain points and goals.

    With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few examples of what a breakup email might look like. 

    Breakup Email Examples:

    I Promise I’ll Leave You Alone

    This is a good overall go-to. If you’ve been emailing, but haven’t gotten anything back in a while, this is the email to go with. This one adds a little extra bonus in offering further resources to help that prospect solve their problems on their own. 

    If that sign off feels a little heavy-handed, you can always take it off or change it. In my opinion, it really seals the “goodbye forever” deal, which can be exactly the push some prospects need. 

    This email does a good job of saying goodbye, while also reminding that prospect why they were talking to you in the first place. You’re helpful, you have their best interests at heart, and you don’t want to bug them if they’re not interested. 

    Permission to Close Your File

    I love the “permission to close your file” email. It’s such a smart way to do a breakup email, because it doesn’t assign guilt to anyone. It’s a simple, honest statement, and it’s a good way to solicit a response in a way that’s not stressful for your prospect. All they need to do is answer yes or no.

    This one from Breakthrough Email is a great example, but I’ve also drafted one that’s a bit more personal for those companies who take a closer approach to customer relationships. 

    This email does a few things really well. 

    • It puts pressure on, without guilt-tripping. You’re going to close their account unless they let you know they’re still interested. 

    • It’s casual but specific, showing them that you were really working on their behalf.

    • It gives them an easy way to connect or an easy out. You might get a response either way, which can be really helpful in figuring out why they did go cold.

    Write the Email That’s Best for Your Prospect

    These are just examples, and shouldn’t be copy-pasted right into your email. Again, the best breakup email is the one that’s personal and relevant. These examples outline the four key items you can use:

    #1 Value proposition – Offering additional resources to remind that client why they started talking to you.

    #2 Goodbye forever – Letting the prospect know this is the last time you’ll hear from them. 

    #3 Schedule time – Reminding them that they can schedule time with you at their convenience if it’s right. 

    #4 Close their fileSimilar to the goodbye forever, but less, “I won’t bug you again,” and more, “I just want to make sure we’re on the same page.”

      You can combine any of these four tactics, or use just one in your breakup email — whatever makes the most sense to you. Just personalize them and make them your own, based on what your prospect does or doesn’t want. 

      Maybe you know the timing just isn’t right for your prospect. Then a soft breakup email that says, “Hey, sounds like the timing isn’t right. I’ll reach back out in six months.” might work really well. 

      You know your prospects. That's why you've got to write breakup emails on your own. Click To Tweet But I get that they’re not easy. I hope this blog helped give you a bit of direction. Now go out and conquer that breakup!

      Breakups are hard. We get it. If your sales team hates drafting emails like this, but knows they’re effective, reach out to the Evenbound team.

      As a full-service digital marketing and growth agency, our services touch everything from building your ad campaigns to yes, writing breakup emails for your sales team. Get in touch with us to learn more about how we can help. 

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      7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

      7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

      7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

      Content marketing tends to get a bad rap. First of all, it’s hard. It takes a lot of effort, and no matter what type of content marketing strategies you’re invested in, you need a writer to make it happen. 

      As a content strategist and writer myself, I could be a little biased in my love for content marketing, but study after study has shown that content marketing is one of the most effective inbound marketing methods to take your company to the next level when it comes to digital presence, lead generation, and most importantly to you — ROI. 

      Once you have a good content marketing strategy in place, it can provide some of the highest returns, with very little investment on your part. With all of those awesome benefits in mind, then how do you get started with content marketing? 

      Are there some strategies that are better, more proven, or easier than others?

      We say yes. 

      While nearly all forms of content marketing are effective, there are a select few that are proven to drive serious results, especially when implemented and executed properly. We’re here to talk about those seven. Use the menu below to jump to the strategy you’re most interested in, or read all the way through for everything you’ve ever needed to know to set your company apart from the competition with intuitive content marketing strategies. 

      7 Content Marketing Strategies to Take Your Company to the Next Level

      #1 Blogging Strategy

      Blogging feels like a given, but we’re going to talk about it anyway because it’s that important. If you want to up your company’s digital presence — that is, rank ahead of key competition, be the first in search results, and more — you need to blog, and you need to blog with intention. 

      Start by developing a true blogging strategy. Do keyword research and figure out which search terms are:

      • Relevant to your business
      • Highly searched
      • Easy to rank for (that is, they have low competition for organic search results)
      • Interesting and useful to your ideal buyer personas

      Then, develop a blogging schedule and strategy around those keywords. When you’re developing a blogging strategy to stick to, keep these best practices in mind:

      • Blog regularly (on a monthly or weekly schedule)
      • Write blogs that satisfy a buyer persona’s pain point or question
      • Ensure that your content creation structure makes sense. This is important for SEO and ranking purposes. See this blog on topic clusters for more information there. 
      • Write blogs that are long enough to satisfy readers and search engines alike. We recommend at least 1,000 words.

      If you blog regularly, on topics that are relevant and useful to your ideal buyer personas, you’ll start to see results. And if you’re honest, and your information is actually helpful to those ideal buyer personas, you’ll keep rising up through the SERPs for those keywords that matter most to you, and your ideal buyers. 

      #2 Email Marketing Strategy

      If blogging is how you leverage content marketing to reach strangers, then email marketing is how you leverage content marketing to reach leads you already know. 

      Email marketing gives you a decided advantage when it comes to nurturing leads through to close: 

      • You already have the lead’s contact information
      • You have a general sense of what they’re looking for — which product or service they’re interested in
      • You likely know what company they work for
      • You know that they already have at least some interest in your company — they did give you their email address, after all. 

      Use this information to your benefit. Email marketing is about strategy. Given what you know about your contacts, what information will they need to keep moving towards closing a sale?

      And, considering that many email marketing tools allow you to automate workflows, you can use these features to set up email workflows and let the tools do the work for you. While you can’t quite forget about your workflows, you can check back on the analytics and optimize as you go. 

      Email marketing is one of the only tools that allows you to market directly to people who are already interested in the products or services you’re offering. If you’re looking to boost your digital presence and close more deals while you’re at it, a solid email marketing strategy is a must. 

      #3 Social Media Marketing Strategy

      If we’re talking about taking your company to the next level, we have to talk about social media. 

      There’s no better way to get the word out about your company, and build a brand and personality, than on social media. And remember that building your social media presence is about more than just getting likes and comments. The more followers you have, the wider reach the rest of your content will have. 

      Your social media marketing strategy should be just as calculated as your blogging strategy — it’s a common misconception that keywords don’t apply to the wild west of Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, and Twitter. 

      That’s not true, especially for a platform like Linkedin, where people are searching for companies and employees by the keywords you’re already trying to rank for. For a killer social media marketing strategy check out this post, and keep the following tips in mind: 

      • Follow a regular posting schedule
      • Curate content that’s specific to each platform. What resonates on Instagram isn’t what resonates or is appropriate for Linkedin.
      • Vary your topics. Don’t just talk about what’s happening in your office or promote your blog posts. Share great posts from other industry leaders, share fun content when appropriate, and make sure you’re curating an interesting feed for followers.
      • Incorporate your keywords where it’s relevant. Don’t spam your followers with unnecessary hashtags, but do be conscious about what terms you’re using in social media copy. 

      If your company is new to social media, we always suggest starting small. Pick one platform, like Linkedin or Facebook, and put all of your efforts into building a following there. When you feel comfortable managing one platform, and you feel like you have a handle on how to get and maintain followers, you can expand into additional platforms. 

      #4 Video Strategy

      Video is hands-down one of the best ways to engage visitors. 

      People love video content, search engines love video content, and you should love video content, too. 

      That said, we know that developing a video strategy can be a little scary. It’s a much more involved process than writing a blog post, and it takes more time and money than any other content marketing strategy out there.

      Remember that you don’t always have to produce professional-quality videos. While you might invest in professional help for videos that are going up on your website, a simple how-to video can be done on a smartphone, as long as your audio quality is good, and you have plenty of natural light. 

      It’s true that video is a lot of work. It’s usually one of the last content marketing strategies that companies tend to invest in, for that reason. But if you’re really looking to stand out online, video is a surefire way to do it. Don’t take my word for it, though. Here are a few stats that should convince you, if I haven’t already:

      Okay, so not only are most marketers already using video content, but one-third of all the internet activity online is spent watching video. Put that with the fact that video is highly shareable, and that most marketing professionals report it as having a very high ROI, and you really can’t go wrong. 

      We live in a visual culture. 

      People are watching videos constantly. 

      Most millennials would prefer to watch a two-minute explainer video that tells them about your services, rather than read about it. 

      Investing in a quality video strategy will boost your digital presence far beyond your competitors. Just make sure you’re transcribing all of your videos, so search engines can rank that valuable content for you, too. 

      #5 Content Offer Development

      One of the most tried-and-true content marketing strategies to exist in the digital world is content offer development. Plain and simple, content offers work. 

      When you take the time to put together a valuable resource that someone interested in your product or service genuinely wants or needs, it’s going to pay off. 

      Since we’re content marketing strategy fiends, we’ve tested, written, rewritten, and retested about a million content offers. I can tell you with confidence, nothing converts leads better than a quality content offer. 

      So what does this do to grow your company? 

      Well, if you have an awesome content offer, you can share it around social media and promote it on your email marketing strategy. It’s great for your company’s digital presence in that way. But, if we’re talking big picture, which we should be, content offers are what get you leads. 

      If someone is interested enough in what you have to say that they give up their email address, they’re a qualified lead. 

      And when your content offers are drawing in qualified leads, your company is going to see some growth. 

      But how do you develop content offers that work?

      Think about the questions you get the most often.

      What holds people up from making a purchasing decision? Do they have trouble deciding between your products? If so, create a product comparison guide. Are they on the fence about how much of a difference your service will make for their company? Create a content offer that talks about the specific benefits your service provides. 

      Develop content offers for specific stages of your buyer’s journey.

      You know who your buyer personas are. You know what they’re looking for. You should know the places that they tend to fall out of the buyer’s journey. Whether they get stuck comparing your product to a competitor, or they just can’t decide if your service is worth the money, develop content offers that speak to those specific stages of the buyer’s journey. 

      When you have at least one content offer for the awareness, consideration, and decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey, plus content that nurtures potential leads through some of your most common sticking points, you’ll start seeing more leads convert, in less time. 

      Only gate the content offers that matter most. 

      No matter how many content offers you’ve developed, make sure you’re only gating the ones that matter most. 

      The new, most effective trend in digital marketing is to leave most of your content offers open to the public. Instead, you can offer those content offers as downloadable PDFs. This works to help you weed out unqualified contacts. Readers who are really interested in what you have to say, and want to take your offer home with them to read again, are likely to download the PDF and give you their contact information.

      While you can still gate a few content offers — like checklists or product pricing guides — try to make your content as accessible to leads as possible, while still giving them the opportunity to give you their contact information. 

      #6 Targeted Landing Pages

      If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a million times — your home page is NOT a landing page. You’ve dedicated time and effort to a specific, relevant content development strategy that’s designed for multiple buyer personas — why would you send them all to the same bland, basic landing page?

      They don’t have the same goals for your company, they don’t have the same needs, and they’re not all at the same place in the buyer’s journey. Targeted landing pages are one of the most effective content marketing strategies you can implement to directly improve your company’s digital ROI. 

      Don’t take my word for it though. This company increased online ROI by 60%, just by optimizing their landing pages. 

      That’s so easy! Landing pages are some of the shortest, most simple pages of content. Just write a lot of them, and develop them with specific keywords in mind, and you’ll start to see some serious results. 

      Before we get off the landing page rant train, let’s just close with one more example. 

      Say you’re scrolling through Instagram, and an ad comes up for a really awesome hoodie. It’s exactly what you’ve been looking for, and you’re ready to make the purchase. But when you click the ad, instead of being sent directly to that hoodie’s product page, you’re sent to the Amazon home page. 

      What a disappointment. 

      Are you going to search through Amazon’s massive website to find that specific hoodie and checkout while you’re on your 10-minute coffee break? Yeah. Didn’t think so.

      That’s all targeted landing pages are. Pages that offer your ideal buyers exactly the content they were looking for in the first place. Invest just a bit of time in landing pages that are targeted to specific buyer personas and specific content offers, and you’ll start to see results. 

      #7 Content Promotion Strategy

      Our final content marketing tip is to have a content promotion strategy. All of your other content marketing strategies — your blog, your social media, and even your email marketing — won’t mean much if you’re not working to get the word out. You should spend at least as much time promoting content as you do creating it. 

      When it comes to content marketing, you can do all the work of building and developing an awesome content marketing strategy, but if you’re not drawing people into your website to read your content, you’re not going to see the benefits you were looking for. Here are a few ways to take your content promotion strategy to the next level:

      • Cross-Channel Promotion. Promote your blogs on social media channels. Add social media buttons to the bottom of your email newsletters. Share your email subscribe link on social media, at the bottom of blogs, etc. You’re creating content in a variety of channels, as this blog has shown. Make sure your followers know about all of the opportunities you’re offering them to read more amazing content. 
      • Search Engine Optimization. The better optimized your site and content are, the more likely you are to boost organic traffic coming to your site. And when you have more traffic, you have a greater potential for leads. Check out this blog for tips on ensuring your content is following SEO best practices. 
      • Paid Search Advertising. If you’re just getting your content marketing strategy up and running, paid search is a great way to draw in the traffic you need now, without waiting for your site to organically come up in SERPs. Make sure you’re only bidding on relevant keywords, and stick to a budget, but with a little help from paid search, you’ll start seeing the traffic you’ve been looking for. 
      • Boosted or Paid Social Media. Boosted social media posts and paid social media promotion is a great way to get your social media marketing strategy off the ground, too. Boosted posts help ensure your content is reaching all of your followers. Social media ad campaigns can help you expand your reach, by getting more likes, more followers, or just getting the word out about your company.

      Start with one or two of these content promotion tactics, and see how they work. Then, make sure you’re adding them to your content marketing strategy and schedule. When you’ve scheduled in time to focus on content promotion, you’re more likely to make it happen.

      Content marketing is tough. It takes a lot of work and it takes a good writer — or three. If you don’t have a writer on staff, or if you’re just not sure how to jump into more content marketing strategies, we can help. Get in touch with the Evenbound team for more information, or check out the case study below to see exactly how we’ve helped our clients stand out from the competition with killer content marketing strategies.

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      5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

      5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

      5 Best Outbound Marketing Tools for Manufacturers

      With the rise of the digital world and inbound marketing, outbound marketing can get a bad rap. While it’s no longer the only way to reach potential customers, it’s still an important part of any marketing and growth strategy, alongside inbound marketing practices. This outbound marketing shouldn’t be limited to traditional media like radio and newspaper ads, though, but should instead incorporate modern outbound tools. Here are 5 of the best outbound marketing tools for manufacturers and B2Bs.

      #1 Social Media

      You might think that social media is irrelevant to manufacturers, that it’s just kids sending pictures to each other, rich people hawking fad diets and scam music festivals, and your out-of-touch aunt leaving odd comments on status updates.

      But that’s not entirely the case. Social media has huge potential for manufacturers’ outbound marketing efforts.

      All social media platforms have some form of advertising, and most have multiple: boosted posts, banner ads, native ads, even direct messaging ads. Not only do they offer all of these kinds of ads, they provide some of the best targeting options for running your ad campaigns.

      This is because of the nature of social media profiles—users indicate their demographics, location, and interests in their profiles, likes, and other platform activity. All of that activity can be used to target the audiences who are your desired market.

      You might still be thinking that as a manufacturer, you’re marketing to businesses, not people.

      But, if you’ve been doing any inbound marketing, you know that even to market to businesses, you have to market to people. There are certain people at your ideal client company that are key decision-makers with regard to your product, whether that is a product designer, a sourcing specialist, or a purchasing associate. You can absolutely market to those people with social media.

      For manufacturers or other B2Bs, we find that LinkedIn is one of the best outbound marketing tools available. LinkedIn has very specific targeting options for ad campaigns, down to the specific companies and job titles at those companies that you want to target.

      If you want to know more about LinkedIn’s outbound marketing potential, we’ve written about it, a lot. Check out The Definitive LinkedIn Guide for B2Bs and LinkedIn Ads and B2B Marketing to get started.

      #2 Google

      If you know anything about the internet, you know that getting people to your site means showing up on Google. While appearing in the organic search results for the keywords you want to rank for requires a certain amount of inbound marketing savvy—lots of good content, SEO optimization, keyword research, and so on—Google is also an outbound marketing tool.

      Like social media platforms, Google has advertisements. And like social media, Google is ubiquitous. If you run Google ads, they’re going to be seen. Plus, Google Ads also have great targeting options by keywords, location, and even audience behavior.

      Google Ads include two distinct types of ads: search ads and display network ads. Search ads are native ads (i.e., ads that look like regular search results but are actually ads) that appear at the top of the results page on searches for specific keywords you select.

      If you look at the first two or three results the next time you search on Google, you’ll see that they are actually ads, and are designated as such.

      Display network ads are banner and sidebar ads that appear on Google sites and sites they partner with, like local news sites, weather.com, and a host of other national and local organizations’ websites. These too can be highly targeted.

      #3 Inbound Marketing Software

      Does this seem like a contradiction? Probably. But the thing is, inbound and outbound strategies should always be working together, and not only can your inbound and outbound strategies support each other, but your inbound marketing software can also help you with outbound marketing efforts.

      How? There are a few key ways. All of the tools incorporated in your inbound marketing software such as lead management systems, prospect reports, and analytics can be used by your sales department to make sales calls and direct mail campaigns more effective. These tools can also help you see which of your marketing content is most effective and with whom it’s effective, so your outbound marketing efforts can be more targeted.

      #4 Email

      Again, this might seem like double-dipping, since email marketing is generally considered an inbound marketing practice. But, again, it can be both. You send emails out rather than waiting for them to come in, and in our book, that’s outbound marketing. Click To Tweet

      This isn’t just an email newsletter—that’s staunchly an inbound marketing practice. We’re talking about targeted email campaigns that nurture leads and bring them into the sales cycle. Using a targeted email campaign, you can push your brand, product, or service to a specific audience that has a genuine need and use for what you’re offering.

      Creating valuable and targeted messages for intuitively segmented leads can yield huge results, especially when your campaigns provide the right information at the right time, without spamming or overwhelming your leads. Using email marketing effectively can transform it from just an inbound technique to a cornerstone of your outbound strategy.

      #5 An Outbound Marketing Agency

      A tool is anything you use to achieve a desired end state or goal. When it comes to outbound marketing, a full-service marketing agency with years of experience is going to be the best outbound marketing tool at your disposal. Especially as a manufacturing company that may not have a dedicated marketing department or any existing marketing efforts that fall outside the umbrella of sales, a marketing agency can help you reach the growth goals you care about most.

      Manufacturers can seriously benefit from outbound marketing tools, especially as more and more of your target buyers trend online. For help developing an outbound marketing strategy that actually works, talk to Evenbound.

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      Email Workflow Best Practices that Convert Leads and Close Sales

      Email Workflow Best Practices that Convert Leads and Close Sales

      Email Workflow Best Practices that Convert Leads and Close Sales

      Email workflows are an excellent tool for pulling qualified leads through your sales cycle. When you set up an email workflow, you already know who you’re talking to, you have an idea of what they’re looking for, and you have a solution to their greatest pain points. One of the best lead nurturing tools in an inbound marketer’s toolbox, email workflows allow you to speak directly to qualified leads and offer them helpful, relevant content that draws them closer to making a purchasing decision.

      Since email workflows are so integral to the digital marketing process, it’s important that your email marketing strategy is rock solid. Too many emails, and you risk alienating customers. Too few emails, and you won’t see any progress on the length of your sales cycle.

      We’re going to look at a few key email workflow best practices you should be implementing convert leads and close sales as best possible. But before we do, let’s start with the two most important rules of the email workflow:

      The Golden Rule of Email Workflows

      The golden rule of email marketing, whether you’re creating a workflow or just sending out an email to your subscribers is this: Don’t be annoying.

      Seriously. I know this sounds simple, but it’s more tempting than you’d think. The, “oh, I’ll just send out one more email” feels are real. Try not to give in to them, and for the love of everything, please don’t spam people.

      Try to limit your emailing to just two or three emails per contact a week, tops.

      And if someone unsubscribes, let them. Embrace your inner Shania Twain and remember you’re better of without them. Do not. Repeat. Do Not. Continue to email them.

      The only thing that will do is earn you angry people who are definitely no longer customers, and who now have a bad taste in their mouth about your company.

      Not sure if you’re emailing too much? Imagine you were receiving all of the emails you are sending. If you’d be frustrated at getting yet another email from a peppy sales rep who doesn’t actually know that much about your company, it’s probably time to lay off.

      The Silver Rule of Email Workflows

      We’re not sure if “silver rule” is a thing, but if it is, always be offering something, would be it for email workflows.

      If you take just one thing away from this blog, it should be to always offer something in every workflow email you send.

      Whether it’s a relevant content offer, a chance to meet with a sales rep, or a free trial of your software, every email you send, especially in a workflow, should offer up something that keeps your prospective clients moving through your sales cycle.

      For more email marketing no-no’s, check out 8 Bad Email Marketing Habits Killing Your List.

      Email Workflow Best Practices

      With those two very important rules of email workflows in mind, let’s move on to some of the ultimate email workflow best practices that can help you convert leads and close sales:

      Set a Goal for your Workflow

      Before can get started developing a workflow, you have to know what your goal for the workflow is. Do you want to:

      • Set up a phone call?
      • Encourage another content offer download?
      • Get a lead started on a free trial?

      Every workflow has an end goal. Before you can write your content, and even decide who you’re talking to, you have to have that goal in mind.

      Define Your Qualified Lead

      Most email workflows are triggered by an action that indicates a site visitor is a qualified lead. You need to define what that action is, and what a qualified lead looks like before you can launch that workflow effectively.

      Let’s say the goal of your workflow is to set up a call or meeting with a prospect. Actions that might qualify a lead for this workflow could be:

      • They’ve downloaded multiple content offers that speak to consideration stage questions
      • They’re halfway through their free trial of your product
      • They’ve already talked to your marketing department
      • They’ve visited specific pages of your website multiple times, and for consistent periods of time.

      Each of these actions tells you that the lead is already slightly invested in your company. They might like your content, they’re possibly enjoying aspects of your product, and they could even already be familiar with your marketing team. When they’re invested in what you’re offering, and know a little bit about you and your company, they’re a qualified lead. You just have to decide what that looks like. For more help defining your qualified leads, check out this blog on email marketing segmentation.

      When you’ve defined what a qualified lead means to you for this specific workflow, you can get to actually writing and building out the email workflow directly for that qualified lead.

      Identify Relevant Content

      Now you know why you’re writing an email workflow, and you know who to write your workflow to. Let’s figure out what you’ll write about.

      A traditional email workflow is about three emails long. You can always make them longer if you need, and if a lead converts right away, the workflow will bail on them.

      I find that the easiest way to start writing an email workflow is to work backward. Look first at what you’re offering in each email before you start writing the content. (You are offering the lead something in every email, right? If not, see above for the Silver Rule of Email Workflows.)

      For example, you know that your last email is going to offer up your schedule for your lead to set up a time to chat. The content of that email should lead up to that last call-to-action, and could look something like this:

      Hi John,

      I hope you’ve found our Complete Guide to Opening Coconuts helpful! If you have any questions about the guide please don’t hesitate to reach out.

      I know you’ve had a great deal of interest in coconut cracking lately, and I think our Extreme Coconut Machete might make the perfect tool to help improve efficiency at your coconut water bar. Would you like to learn a little more about it?

      To set up a time for a brief chat with me, please feel free to add a meeting to my schedule.

      I look forward to connecting with you soon!

      All the best,

      Toucan Sam
      VP of Sales
      EZ-Open Coconuts, Inc

      Every aspect of this email is leading up to that final call-to-action. Let’s take a closer look at how this workflow is working specifically to convert that lead.

      Keep Emails Short & Include Questions

      The above email from Toucan Sam is an excellent example of a workflow that is short and to the point, but that still entices a lead to continue moving through the sales cycle.

      The email opened with a line that reminded the prospect why Sam was emailing.

      Then, it offered a bit of helpful information that was specific to the prospect. John has a coconut water bar, and Sam’s product could help him improve his business’ efficiency.

      In just two lines it’s immediately clear why Sam’s product would be helpful to John, and how he can learn more about it. Including a link to a calendar is especially useful, because the prospect can easily schedule a time to meet that is convenient for both parties. Click To Tweet

      It’s important to keep workflow emails short — definitely no longer than a page, but preferably no more than a few very short, one to two sentence paragraphs.

      Remember: Design Counts

      It’s also good to think about the design of your workflow emails.

      They should be relatively minimalistic — you don’t want too many pictures or too much information distracting your prospect from the message — but they should include basic things like your logo and possibly your social media buttons.

      The email should be clean and clearly laid out so the prospect can scan through quickly, without missing too much of your message. Put the most important messaging at the very beginning and very end of the email, where people are sure to see it. Bolding and bullet-pointing key callouts can also help draw attention to the content you want prospects to see most.

      Personalize Email Workflows — Both To and From

      A great email workflow best practice to remember is not only to personalize emails for the receiver but also from you. Users are more likely to at least open an email if it looks like it's from a real person, rather than from a company. Click To Tweet And getting prospects to open your email is half the battle!

      It is also good to personalize emails for the recipient, as well. Most email workflow services, like HubSpot or MailChimp, will auto-fill names and company names, along with a bit of other information for you. It’s a simple step that can make a big difference, so don’t forget!

      Send Test Emails

      Always, always, send test emails. And open them. And click all of the links.

      You’d be amazed at how easy it is to forget to add in a link or to accidentally link to the wrong page.

      You’ve spent a lot of time finessing your email, and you only get one shot to send it out. Make sure everything works the way it should before you hit that send button.

      Send First Workflow Email Within 24 Hours of Qualifying Action

      Set your workflows to go out as soon as possible after a lead completes a qualifying action. If they sign up for your newsletter, make sure your follow-up email goes out as immediately as possible.

      Set your workflows to go out as soon as possible after a lead completes a qualifying action. If they sign up for your newsletter, make sure your follow-up email goes out as immediately as possible.

      If your sales team is working to follow-up after potential clients download a specific offer, try to have that first workflow email go out within an hour of their download. That way, your company is still fresh on the prospect’s mind and they’re more likely to respond.  

      Give People Time Between Emails

      You want your first email to go out quickly, but that’s it. The other emails should take a little bit of time, in respect for the Golden Rule (see the top of this blog if you’re skimming). Don’t send any more than one email in a 24 hour period. And if you can wait a day or two between emails, that’s even better.

      Every industry and every company will see different results from different tactics, so you will have to do a bit of testing to see how often and how quickly to send your follow-up emails for best results.

      That said, a good rule of thumb is the less spammy, the better. You want to remain top-of-mind, but not at the expense of your lead’s experience with your company.

      Make It Easy to Unsubscribe

      As we mentioned in the Golden Rule at the very top of this blog, your goal with an email workflow is not to trap an unwitting consumer. Rather, you’re working to offer up relevant, helpful content that solves their pain points, and shows them of your authority in your industry. If they don’t want your help, you have to allow them to unsubscribe.

      Not only is this ethical, but it’s better for you. If you have a bunch of dud leads who qualified accidentally, or who aren’t quite ready for your services, it’s better to let them go than have them skew your email metrics to show that your messages aren’t performing.

      All of that goes to say — make it easy to unsubscribe.

      You don’t want to waste your time on unqualified prospects, and they don’t want to hear what you have to say. Let them go.

      Don’t Use Attachments

      This last point is truly an email workflow best practice: don’t attach content to your workflow emails. Nearly every company tells employees not to open emails with attachments from strangers, for the very real reason that it could be a hacker or a virus. When you attach your content offers and additional relevant content to emails before someone has asked for it, you seem fishy. (Phishy? See what we did there? 😉)

      Instead, offer links to a landing page where prospects can download your content offers or digital links to content offer PDFs. This will help increase your open rate, and likely your response rate, too. You always want to be offering something, in every workflow email, but it has to seem legit if you want people to open it.

      Whew. That was a lot.

      There’s a lot going on with email workflows. They seem like such simple pieces of content, but there’s a great deal of work that goes into them, from deciding what you’ll offer to crafting a series of emails that will work to pull your ideal prospects all the way through the sales cycle. Hopefully, these email workflow best practices will help you put together a workflow that converts leads and closes sales.

      Still struggling with your email workflows? We get it. Let us know how we can help!

      From cleaning up your contacts to developing workflow content that speaks directly to your target audience we’re email workflow pros and we’d love to help you beef up your email marketing strategy for overall business growth.

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      Amp Up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation

      Amp Up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation

      Amp Up Your Email Marketing Strategy: Use Segmentation

      You know by now that you need to be using email marketing. Maybe you even have a monthly email newsletter that you send out to clients and prospects.

      That’s a great first step, but there’s more to email marketing than just setting up a MailChimp account. If you’re ready to step up your email game to become truly effective with your email marketing campaigns, it’s time you learned about segmentation.

      What is Email Segmentation?

      Email segmentation involves separating your email list into groups based on their characteristics. Click To Tweet There are two primary ways to segment your leads, by buyer persona and by stage of the buyer’s journey.

      • When segmenting by buyer persona, this means separating your various customer types. Say your company is a building supply company, you might have several different buyer types, such as contractors who buy from you wholesale and homeowners who are buying supplies for a DIY remodeling project.
      • When segmenting by stage of the buyer’s journey, you’ll need to separate current customers from leads, and separate your leads into marketing qualified leads (MQLs), which are leads who are interested in your product or service, but who aren’t ready to commit just yet, and sales qualified leads (SQLs), which are leads who are further along in the buyer’s journey and closer to making a purchase.

      Why Segment Your Email Campaigns?

      It’s crucial that you segment your email campaigns if you want them to be effective. Why?

      Because without segmentation, your customers and leads aren’t getting content that is relevant to their needs. Instead, they’re getting information that is targeted to someone else at a different stage in the buyer’s journey, or they’re getting information that is just too general.

      Your customers and leads are only going to be truly compelled by content that is specifically tailored to their pain points and where they’re at in the decision making process.

      Delivering Relevant Email Content

      And what happens when your email content isn’t relevant? You probably already know this one: it doesn’t get read.

      Instead, it gets deleted, or worse, the recipient unsubscribes from your email list, and you’ve lost the ability to reach that customer or lead.

      Think about it, if you’re planning to purchase something, but you’re still in the decision-making phase of the buyer’s journey and are still deciding on whether you need a product or not, getting messages like “Buy Now” and “Schedule a Consultation” aren’t going to appeal to you—you’re more likely to be interested in more information on the product and the manufacturers or retailers. An email that gives you that information, rather than pushing you to make a purchase is going to be much more welcome and effective.  

      When it comes to email marketing segmentation, remember: different leads have different needs. Click To Tweet

      And that means you should be segmenting them into different lists and providing them with specific, relevant content for their buyer persona and buying stage. For more on amping up your email marketing strategy, check out B2B Inbound Tips: Using Email Marketing Effectively and 8 Bad Email Marketing Habits that are Killing Your List.

      And if you’re really ready to improve your email marketing strategy and bring in more leads, get in touch with Evenbound. We’re a growth agency with proven results in both email and inbound marketing.

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