Understanding the HubSpot Flywheel

by | Jun 30, 2020 | Hubspot

If you’ve been using HubSpot services or inbound marketing for a while, or if you’ve done any kind of marketing or sales work in the past, you’re probably familiar with some sort of funnel. A marketing funnel, a sales funnel, a buyer’s journey funnel — the list goes on. 

For years, we’ve all used a funnel model to track our marketing and sales leads’ progress towards making a purchase. And while that worked alright, you’ve gotta admit it’s pretty linear. 

People come in at the top of the funnel, and they leave at the bottom. 

While that’s a nice, tidy way to think of leads, prospects, and customers, it doesn’t do a lot to keep the momentum going. As soon as a customer makes a sale, they drop out of your sales funnel, never to be seen again. 

But, we know that pulling in and converting a new customer can cost 5x more than retaining an existing customer. The marketing or sales funnel just doesn’t illustrate this well. 

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What is the HubSpot Flywheel?

It’s an updated method of conceptualizing how your marketing and sales efforts affect your customers and your company’s overall growth. 

It looks like this:

You’ll notice some similarities here with the original HubSpot inbound marketing funnel, but also some differences. 

Let’s talk a little about what each of those stages mean:

Attract

The attract stage focuses on drawing in new, qualified visitors, usually to your website. 

This is fundamental to inbound marketing methodology — drawing visitors in with high-quality content that answers their questions and solves their pain points is considerably more effective than pushing your message out to a general, unqualified audience. 

To attract qualified visitors, you’ll want to:

  • Identify who a qualified visitor is — what are their pain points? What are they looking for? What information would be helpful to them?
  • Develop content that addresses those questions and pain points. 
  • Publish and promote content on your website, social media platforms, and more. 

Your goal in the attract stage is to draw more visitors to your site, introduce them to the product or service you offer, and then answer any questions they may have about it. The key here is drawing in qualified visitors, which you achieve by developing targeted content that is specific and relevant to the leads you’re hoping to pull in. 

Engage

From the attract stage, you continue to circle visitors through the HubSpot flywheel by engaging them in a specific, personalized way that delivers the best experience possible. 

The engage stage focuses on making a connection with those visitors as they become qualified leads. You may provide content offers and more in-depth resources that help them through the consideration stage of buying, or you may engage directly with potential leads and existing clients over social media platforms and through email marketing strategies. 

Engaging with your leads and customers helps build authority and trust. When you have a solid, positive relationship with new leads and even existing customers, they’re more likely to turn to your company when they’re ready to make a purchasing decision. 

Delight

Once a lead has chosen to purchase your product or service, you continue to delight them with the highest caliber service, and additional content that helps them better use your product and engage positively with your company. 

This turns your customers into promoters: they love your company and the products you deliver and are happy to share their great experience with other consumers. 

Each stage of the flywheel highlights a specific stage of the buying process, and there are specific inbound marketing tactics you can use at each one. We wrote a guide about which inbound marketing tactics to use at each stage of the HubSpot flywheel, if you want more info there. 

How the HubSpot Flywheel Is Different

Okay, so now we get the general premise of the inbound marketing flywheel  — attract, engage, and delight. It’s not so different from the old-school funnel, right?

Well, not exactly.

Though many of the stages are the same, the fundamental premise of the flywheel vs. a funnel is what’s important. 

Rather than thinking of each customer having a specific start and end point with your company, they’re always at the center of your flywheel. 

Your communications with a customer shouldn’t end just because they’ve made a purchase. By keeping that customer at the center of the flywheel, and continuing to deliver content, support, and service that’s relevant to their needs, you keep your flywheel spinning. 

Customers who made a purchase might flow automatically back into the attract or engage stage as they consider additional services or products that your company offers. 

It’s this fundamental change — putting the customer at the center of your flywheel, and visualizing it as a continuous circle, rather than a funnel — that sets the flywheel apart as a more efficient and productive marketing and sales model. 

Check out HubSpot’s transformation video for a visual:

You’ll see in the funnel, the customer makes up a very small percentage of the total funnel. What’s more, they’re almost portrayed as an afterthought. 

Why the HubSpot Flywheel Works

The inbound marketing flywheel puts customers at the heart of everything you do. 

You can use the positive relationships you’ve built with existing customers to attract and engage new leads, convert new clients, and delight customers that help you continue attracting new ones. 

When done properly, the flywheel spins in perpetual motion. 

The flywheel lends itself much more to a holistic inbound marketing approach, where every customer, lead, and visitor matters. Because really, they do. 

When you’re visualizing your marketing and sales efforts in a flywheel, rather than in a funnel, it’s much easier to remember how important each contact is to your company’s growth. 

We hope this blog helps you understand the HubSpot Flywheel just a little bit better. If you’ve got more questions about how the flywheel works, or about how to pair it with your existing marketing and sale processes, the Evenbound team is here to help.

Let us know what kind of support you’re looking for — we’re happy to answer questions about anything ranging from marketing to sales to HubSpot services, and even company growth. 

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