TC HUG Recap: HubSpot Workflows and Recipe Exchange

By Donna Arriaga | January 30, 2015


Yesterday, the Twin Cities HubSpot User Group met to talk all about workflows. We had an engaging discussion that centered around an overview of of the tool, workflow recipes, and a demo of branching logic.

TC HUG attendees also engaged in compelling conversations about effective subject lines, a/b testing (even if your instance doesn’t have a/b testing functionality), and the importance of following up promptly with leads.

I think most of us would agree that workflows are an interesting and powerful tool. Across this shared interest, there seem to be a few different groups when it comes to marketers and our use of workflows…

Marketers and Our Relationship with Workflows

The Workflows Beginner (aka Padawan learner; the force is strong with this one). These marketers love that they have access to workflows in their HubSpot instance, and they’re super excited to get some in place. But factors such as limited team bandwidth or a lack of clarity on where to begin can make it challenging for these marketers to get workflows up and running.

The Active Workflows Learner (aka advanced Jedi apprentice). These marketers have a strong collection of workflows in place. They’ve leveraged workflows for lead nurturing, internal notices, and updating contact properties. But they’re hungry for more. They want to know how to build more complex workflows with branching logic. And they want to reexamine their environment to identify other possible areas where workflows could be used.

The Workflows Master (aka Jedi master, workflows ninja – take your pick). These marketers are in and out of the tool – building the right mix of simple and complex workflows that nurture, alert internal team members, and modify contact properties. They’re gauging metrics and tweaking existing workflows for optimal performance. They’ve earned the workflows Jedi/Ninja name. Though, as the name “ninja” implies, these marketers are not always the easiest to find at a HUG – at least not at first. Several are probably a little too modest to admit their workflows prowess. But ask a few probing questions, and you’ll quickly begin to see the depth of their knowledge.

Wherever we may be in our relationship with workflows, one thing remains a constant – tried and true recipes are a thing of gold. Throughout the TC HUG meet-up, I heard marketers say they were interested in hearing “success examples.”

This speaks to the heart of a goal-focused and metrics-oriented inbound marketer. Because at the end of the day, there are a ton of workflows that we could put into place. But with limited time and a growing to-do-list, we want to assure we’re investing our time in things that work. One way we can hone in on effective practices is through collaborative thought exchange – sharing tools and strategies that we've found to be effective, including a few of our favorite workflow recipes.

Workflow Recipes

HubSpot Pre-Baked Workflows

For marketers just getting started with workflows, a great resource is HubSpot’s collection of “pre-baked” workflows. You can access the recipe collection right from your HubSpot instance. When you choose “Add this Recipe”, HubSpot will automatically add the essential ingredients (e.g. starting condition list, goal list, emails) to your HubSpot instance. Then, it’s up to you to personalize the content, and make it your own.

Hubspot_workflows_-_browse_recipesThis collection of pre-baked workflows includes a few nurturing recipes like lead and subscriber nurturing, as well as internal notification and data clean-up recipes.

Nurturing: Lead → MQLs

The lead nurturing recipe is designed to convert leads to MQLs. The ingredients include:

All Leads: The starting list that triggers the workflow

All MQLs: The goal list which groups contacts with a Lifecycle stage of Marketing Qualified Lead

Lead Nurturing Email 1: This email sends an invitation to join a webinar, a highly qualifying type of marketing offer.

Lead Nurturing Email 2: This email invites leads to register for a consultation, another highly qualifying type of marketing offer.

Lead Nurturing Workflow: This workflow ties it all together, sending two emails in succession to the starting list of contacts to turn them into MQLs.

A Potential Problem with the Leads → MQL Lead Nurturing Recipe

If you have a long sales cycle, new leads may need more nurturing before they’re ready for the “Lead → MQL” workflow. Instead, take a little more time to build the relationship and nurture that lead using workflows for each of your primary industry-related topics or services.

Lead Engagement Recipe (great for longer sales cycles)

With this workflow, the goal is to engage your existing leads around content areas that they have expressed an interest in. Share on-topic content ranging from blog posts to checklists and ebooks. The goal with this workflow is to nurture your leads so you can qualify them as “engaged” leads.

Here are the ingredients:

Content Offer List: This is the starting list. It is based on a content offer download.

Engaged Leads List: This is your goal list. To build it, set up a smart list to pull in leads that are engaged with you. When creating the list, use trigger criteria such as form submissions, clicks on your emails, high threshold of visits to your website, and/or clicks on social media posts.

Lead Nurturing Email 1: Email with popular, on-topic related content.

Lead Nurturing Email 2: Email with popular, on-topic related content.

Lead Nurturing Email 3 (optional): Email with popular, on-topic related content.

Lead Nurturing Email 4 (optional): Email with popular, on-topic related content.

Lead Engagement Workflow: The workflow ties it together, sending two emails to the starting list of contacts to nurture them into engaged leads.

Once your contacts reach the goal list of “Engaged Leads”, you can enroll them into a modified version of the Leads → MQLs workflow. In the modified version, you would simply use your “Engaged Leads” list as your starting list rather than the “Leads” list.

Lead Scoring and Lifecycle Stage Workflow

We also touched on using workflows in conjunction with HubSpot lead scoring. The recipe we covered would set a contact’s property to a MQL after achieving a specific HubSpot score.

To use this workflow, you’ll first need to establish Custom Lead Scoring in HubSpot. For #HubSpotters who haven’t yet set up lead scoring, you can check out this article all about Custom Lead Scoring in the HubSpot knowledge base.

In this recipe, we focus on setting the contact property to MQL for all leads with a HubSpot Score of 10-30. The short-list of ingredients is:

HubSpot Score 10-30 Smart List: In this example, the smart list selects all contacts who are not customers and who have a HubSpot score of 10-30.

Set Lifecycle State to MQL: With this action, you set the lead’s lifecycle contact property to Marketing Qualified Lead.

Slide Deck from the Q1 TC HUG Meetup

Here are the slides, along with several more workflow recipies, from the TC HUG Meetup...

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