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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

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2018 state of marketing automation report


It’s the second year in a row that we’ve teamed up with competitive intelligence and lead generation provider SimilarTech to conduct research on the trends that shaped the marketing automation landscape over the last year.


The report findings are based on data scanned from 100 million websites and focuses on the top six software and technology marketing automation companies (arranged here in alphabetical order):


  1. Eloqua
  2. Hubspot
  3. Infusion Soft
  4. Marketo
  5. Pardot
  6. TowerData (pushing aside Act-on this year)

Following a successful collaboration last year, teaming up with the SimilarTech team was a no brainer.

SimilarTech is a competitive intelligence and lead generation tool that tracks technology adoption and usage analytics in real-time. The company was founded in June 2014 by Yaniv Hadad and Eyal Weiss, two former software engineers from SimilarWeb, with business insights expert and serial entrepreneur, Chen Levanon joining in 2016.

SimilarTech’s technology and analysis tool provides business insights through website crawling. This technology allows users to spot trends, research the market, generate leads and prospects by providing information like technologies used on a particular website, revealing a specific technology’s use throughout various websites, or tracking and listing an entire category of web technologies.

Some of the report highlights


  • Overall, 2017 shows a rapid 297% growth in the adoption of marketing automation technologies.
  • In 2016, 482,765 websites had marketing automation technologies installed on them. In 2017 the number grew to a whoopping 1,920,643 websites.
  • While demand grew, supply of 34 technologies remained the same between 2016 to 2017.
  • 6 dominant technologies hold 84% of market share, which is 27% more market share than on 2016. This indicates that their dominance grew from last year more on the expense of other small companies.
  • HubSpot was found to have the largest market share in 2017 – 30%. HubSpot had the largest market share in 2016 as well, back then it was 21%.
  • There has been a shift in the power balance! Act-On who was one of the 6 dominant technologies in 2016 has been pushed aside by TowerData who is now one of the 6 dominators.
  • Eloqua has seen the largest growth in 2017 with an astonishing increase of 100%.

Click below to view the full report

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

Marketing is about to get weird- AI Marketing with Jim Sterne-1

A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure to go to one of Israel’s largest annual marketing conferences: All Things Data. The first speaker up was Jim Sterne, a “professional explainer” and the author of 12 books (and counting). His newest book and the topic of the lecture was “Artificial Intelligence for Marketing”, a daunting way to start my morning since data science, math, and coding are far from my vernacular of know-how.

Lucky for me, Jim must have foreseen that look in my eyes and the eyes of about 100 or so other marketers sitting in the room. So he started from the beginning.

The Basics of AI

Artificial intelligence (before we go into what it has to do with marketing), can be broken into 5 sections:

  1. Robots – Probably the most well known form of AI from the movies, robots nowadays are doing things that I can’t even imagine doing myself. Like this backflip for example.

  1. Face recognition – We’ve already seen this used both in the movies and IRL to sign in to portals, as well as knowing which friends to tag in photos on Facebook.
  2. Natural Language Processing – Think of your friends Siri, Alexa, or a bot. They can take words you type or speak, make sense of what you’re saying (or at least trying to say), and offer you a response based on your requests.

4.Computer vision – Now, imagine you give a computer a set of laws about what a chihuahuas looks like. Now try to give the computer this picture game below, with a mix of chihuahuas and muffins. As humans, this is pretty funny, and while it may take us a second to look at each picture closely, we’ll most likely ace this test. A computer? Well a computer may be faster at spitting back answers, but they can be pretty bad at these sorts of puzzles. But they’re slowly getting better due to…

5.Machine learning – This is the part of AI that allows machines to learn from their mistakes (something us mere moral are still grappling with). Let’s break down how machines do it.



3 Needs for 3 Deeds

This next part of the presentation is what Jim referred to as “3 needs for 3 deeds”. When I was jotting down my notes during the presentation, I ended up making a table that looked a little something like this:

3 Needs 3 Deeds
Data Detect
Goal Decide
Control Revise

Let’s make sense of my scribbles. In order for machines to be good learners, they’re gonna need a lot of data. Lucky for machines, we live in the era of overwhelming amounts of “Big Data”. Unlucky for machines, most of the data we have is messy. So we’ll need to clean that up so it can be used by the computer properly.

But data with no goal, is mostly pointless. Think of the computer asking you, “based on the data you gave me, what would you like me to figure out?” You answer or goal can be anything from, “let’s detect which of these cells are cancerous” to “should this automatic car stop, go, or yield?”, or in the case of marketing, “which of these people should view this ad?”. Based off the goals you set, the computer will then be sent on its way to make sense of all the data in front of it, reder which of the data is important in completing its task, and then using that data to find a solution. For our last example of a goal relating to ad placement, the computer may use pieces of data such as time spent on a website, number of pages viewed, previous purchases, and things of that nature in order to determine who should see a 15% off coupon ad.

Once the machine starts trying to accomplish a goal, you can offer it the control to, you guessed it, detectdecide, and revise what data was helpful in its mission, what it can do without, and what other pieces of data may be beneficial in completing the task. Going back to our example, the computer might learn based on real-time responses that visitors chosen to see the ad should spend more time on the website and have viewed fewer pages in order to receive the pop-up offer.

The Machine’s learning curve

Just like people, machines have different ways in which they can learn, each coming with their own pros and shortcomings. Let’s take a look.

  1. Supervised – In supervised learning, we offer the computer a training crash course where we offer it a specific data set’s input and correct output. This is explicit so it’s a great way for a computer to learn, but it can sometimes be tedious to have a human organize these data sets and babysitting their progress.
  2. Unsupervised – This is where Jim started talking about correlation and causation. In these kinds of learning models, we don’t offer the machine ‘right answers’. We leave it up to the machine to find and create categories based on data we’ve given them. Maybe a machine will look a crowd of people and divide them up as men vs. women, or those wearing hats vs. those who aren’t. You get the idea.
  3. Reinforcement – Anyone who ever took an Intro to Psychology course learned about human reinforcement and remember something about a rat and a lever. This one’s kinda similar. Here, machines are given data, a goal, a ‘lever’ of what they choose to do as behavior with the given information, and lastly are given feedback (although not always instantly) on if their behavior was ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in order to learn better for next time.

AI for marketers

Throughout the talk, Jim mentioned numerous ways in which AI is beginning to play a big part in how we do marketing. For starters, he talked about x.ai, a scheduling bot that will send emails for you to help you tee-up, reschedule, or even cancel meetings for you.

Another cool example of companies harnessing AI is GumGum V.I., a company which uses computer vision to scan BILLIONS of photos across TV, online stream, and social media to ones relevant to your brand. The company can then give you serious insights on what campaigns work best in regards to gender, household income, time of day, top performance verticals, etc.

So what else can AI do better than human marketers? Jim gave a pretty nice list of marketing tasks we can hand over to ML, including testing, lead scoring, personalizing content (something I love doing with HubSpot Sales), inbound email sorting, social media monitoring (think Hootsuite), and many others.

Wrapping up

Going to All Things Data, I had the thrill of listening Jim, a man who’s seen in the marketing arena move from the streets, into digital, and now to AI. Walking in, I had a good feeling I was going to be lost in a sea of data for an hour, only to walk out dumbfounded and more confused than ever. Instead, I learned from Jim that AI is not only something that can be tangible to the average marketer, but is something we are already seeing before our very eyes come to life.


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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

state of marketing automation

Over the past few months, we’ve teamed up with competitive intelligence and lead generation provider SimilarTech to conduct research on the trends that shaped the marketing automation landscape in 2016.


The report findings are based on data scanned from 100 million websites and focuses on the top six software and technology marketing automation companies:

  1. Act-On
  2. Eloqua
  3. Hubspot
  4. Infusion Soft
  5. Marketo
  6. Pardot.

When we set off the conduct the report it was only natural to team up with the SimilarTech team.

SimilarTech is a competitive intelligence and lead generation tool that tracks technology adoption and usage analytics in real-time. The company was founded in June 2014 by Yaniv Hadad and Eyal Weiss, two former software engineers from SimilarWeb, with business insights expert and serial entrepreneur, Chen Levanon joining in 2016.

SimilarTech’s technology and analysis tool provides business insights through website crawling. This technology allows users to spot trends, research the market, generate leads and prospects by providing information like technologies used on a particular website, revealing a specific technology’s use throughout various websites, or tracking and listing an entire category of web technologies.

Some of the report highlights


  • the six biggest technologies hold over 57% of the market share.
  • The total number of websites using marketing automation technologies in 2016 has increased to 482,765.
  • Hubspot was found to have the largest market share in 2016 (21%).
  • Marketing automation is most popular among B2B companies.
  • Most Billion dollar companies (enterprises) use Marketo
  • Pardot has seen the largest growth in 2016 with an astonishing increase of 108.9%. The rest of the six dominant technologies averaged a growth of 48%.

Click below to view the full report

The State Of Marketing Automation 2017




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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

Marketing automation automation header


Staying ahead of the game and finding solutions that support your marketing strategy can get challenging. Some solutions might seem an overkill, while others may seem superficial. Breaking down what you identify as a need and finding the ultimate solution/s can make or break your Inbound Marketing strategy. There is no conclusive answer, it sums down to your business goals and overall marketing strategy. Here’s how to identify whether you need a marketing automation “all-in-one” solution or a “best of breed” solution.


1. Setting the stage – terminology

Here are the main terms to understand:

“Best of breed” – this refers to solutions aimed at solving one challenge. For example, a tool that helps you convert leads into customers by sending them automatic nurturing emails.

“All-in-one” – this refers to solutions that aim to provide one holistic place for solving different challenges.

Inbound Marketing” – the inbound methodology is broadly divided into four stages:

  1. Attract
  2. Convert
  3. Close
  4. Delight

inbound marketing methodology: strangers to visitors to leads to customers to promoters

The idea is to turn strangers –> visitors –> leads –> customers –> promoters

You do so by targeting buyer personas, creating online campaigns to drive qualified traffic to your blog, converting that traffic to leads using landing pages and content offers, nurturing the best leads into sales and finally retaining those customers.

Marketing automation solutions are required for each stage of the inbound methodology.

Not all companies need a holistic solution for all of the stages. Sometimes point “best of breed” solutions are the right way to go. It depends on what stage of the inbound methodology you need a solution for. HubSpot is the only tool that provides a full solution for all four stage of the Inbound Methodology. Prices begin at 200USD/mo with an Enterprise package costing 2,400USD/mo. It could be an overkill if your company only needs a solution for specific stages of the methodology. It could also not be good enough for enterprises who identify their main challenge as lead nurturing. So, let’s evaluate.

Marketing Automation eBook

2. Which stage of the inbound methodology do you need a solution for?

1. Attract ->

The goal of this stage is to attract relevant buyer personas to your website by publishing content that is of value to them. At this stage the content is such that educates your prospects and does not suggest solutions or propose your services. Your prospects are an a very initial research stage and are not ready to be sold to.

Required tools:

Blog/ Content Management System­­ – your content needs a home. In order to write, publish and update content you’ll need to use a content management system. By publishing your own blog, you are creating a long- term asset that when done right, will generate relevant traffic. Note that guest writing for other’s companies’ blogs, but make sure you are also creating a content garden of your own to water.

Best of breed CMS solutionWordPress is hands down the safest most solution in the CMS domain. If you’re interested in exploring others, here’s Capterra‘s ranking of top CMSs.

Costs: the most popular CMS solutions are free. You’ll need to pay third parties for hosting, domain and if relevant – CSS editing.

SEO Tools for onsite optimization – you’ll need make sure that your content is optimized so that it will show up in SERPS (Search Engine Result Pages) when your buyer personas are searching for relevant keywords. Otherwise your efforts for the attraction stage of the inbound methodology will be lost in the land of faraway result pages that no man has ever stepped on (yes, you can use PPC to bypass this obstacle, but in the long run, you’ll want organic traffic).

Best of breed solutionYoast SEO is a wordpress plugin that you can easily install on your blog in order to optimize your content for SEPRS. If you’d like to dive a little deeper –  here are 7 quick onsite SEO blog optimization tips.

Costs: Yoast offer a free version which won’t suffice. The premium price for one year varies between 60USD a year for one site, to 1,499USD a year for up to 200 sites.

Social Media Updates/Monitoring – utilize social media to spread the word about your content, grow a following and generate traffic to your blog. This can be done manually, yet there’s only so much you can do without automation. Publishing remarkable content (never take your foot off the quality gas) to multiple accounts and groups can be a very effective way to attract your target personas.

Best of breed solutionHootsuite is a social media software which is the tier 1 of its breed. Its interface isn’t very friendly, but what it lacks for in its interface, it makes up for in endless social media features.

Costs: The monthly subscription for Hootsuite is free and for less than 3 profiles. For over 3 profiles the cost is $9.99 a month.

2. Convert ->

On this stage your goal is to capture the information of those visitors who are reading your content, thereby turning them into leads. The best way to go about that is by inviting them to download a special content offer by clicking on an intriguing CTA. The CTA will send them to a landing page where they will be asked to provide info you’d like to capture in return for them receiving the offer. A content offer could be an ebook, whitepaper, infographic, template, or any other information which you believe would add value and establish your brand’s authority, thereby pushing them towards the next steps of the buyer’s journey.

Required tools:

Landing Pages with Lead Capture Forms – these are the page where your visitors will land on from your blog after requesting to receive a content offer. There are several best practices to follow in order to create converting landing pages. Make sure you are using a software that will enable you to follow best practices.

Best of breed solutionsPagewiz and Unbounce are professional WYSIWYG solutions which enable creating landing pages easily without needing to know a word of code.

Costs: Pagewiz costs 29USD/mo, Unbounce costs 49USD/mo. Both offer a free 30 day trial.

  1. Close ->

On this stage the goal is to nurture your incoming leads into customers. The main focus at this stage is to establish further trust, add further value, get the prospect to consider your offered solution and then decide to buy your solution from you. Quite a significant stage.

Required tools:

Drip marketing / automated email software – emails play a significant role in any sales cycles which requires nurturing. When dealing with a high volume of leads, it’s a good idea to create drips that will automatically send personalized emails to leads upon trigger events such as inviting them to download a template a few days post downloading an ebook, inviting them to a free demo and so on.

Best of breed solutionsMailChimp provide a friendly and convenient solution for creating automatic drips. Mailchimps features are limited. In order to create sophisticated workflows based on indepth logic and behavioral patterns and lead scoring, you will need to pull out the big guns. The ultimate solutions for sophisticated workflows are Eloqua and Marketo. The cons of the latter are their complex integration. The pros are their level of detail and features. If you are looking to nurture leads for an enterprise, and have no problem with the earlier stages of the inbound methodology – they might be the right way to go.

Costs: Mailchimp starts off for free and get up to 199USD/mo depending on your number of contacts. Eloqua and Marketo are enterprise solutions with starting costs of approx. 2000USD/mo.

4. Delight ->

On this stage your goal is to delight your customers, reduce your churn rate and turn your customers to ambassadors. Generally speaking the idea is to keep on providing added value, educating and attending your customers’ needs. Marketing automation can help greatly in that respect as well.

Required tools:

Drip marketing / automated email software – let your customers know their opinion matters. Send them triggered follow up emails requesting their feedback after conducting certain actions. Re-engage with them after set times of inactivity. Send them coupons and loyalty rewards. And so on.

Best of breed solutions are the same here as in the “close” stage.

Summing things up

Taking a best of breed approach could be a good idea in cases where you need a point solution for isolated stages of the inbound methodology.

Enterprise solutions such as Marketo and Eloqua should be considered in cases where an enterprise identifies their main challenge in nurturing leads.

HubSpot is the best solution for companies who need a holistic solution for all stages of the inbound methodology.

If you’ve got any questions or comments, do give me shout out.

If you found this useful, and you’re curious to learn more about marketing automation, I invite you to download our Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation eBook:

Schedule a FREE consultation




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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

How to use marketing automation to reduce your churn rate header

Introduction – reduce your churn rate

An incoming lead is an important milestone in the buyer’s journey. You probably know where and when that journey begins but are you in control of when it ends? Are you focusing on nurturing your leads and forgetting to nurture your customers? Consider this – if your churn rate is higher than your growth rate, you’re lying to yourself and essentially generating income from new customers and then flushing it down the drain by overlooking customer retention. The good news is that customer retention can be automated to a certain extent. Here are some quick evaluations and tips which can help you reduce your churn rate and break out of a destructive loop.


Awareness is the first step to change – calculate your monthly churn rate

A company’s churn rate is the percentage of customers who stop subscribing to a service in a given time frame.

There isn’t one method of calculation – in-depth drill downs could provide a picture that is more precise. Yet the general equation for calculating your monthly churn rate is very straight forward:

monthly churn rate number of cutomers lost/total amount of cutomers at the start of the month

If for example at the beginning of October you had 100 customers, then lost 5, your churn rate would be 5%.


In this example, if you’re not acquiring at least 6 new customers a month you’re either not making money or worst, losing money.

Throw in the fact that it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one and the need to take customer retention actions becomes a no brainer.

Stay on your customers’ mind

Now’s the time to point out that there’s no marketing cure for sucking. Make sure that your product lives up to your promise to your customer or else it doesn’t justify its existence. Assuming that’s a given – engagement is the name of the game. Neil Patel makes a strong point:

“However you choose to define it, engagement matters. Why? Because a customer who doesn’t use your product isn’t going to keep paying for your product. Think about it. If you pay $90/month for a home cable subscription, but nobody in your home uses it, you’re going to cancel. Likewise, if your customers are not engaged — not using the service for which they are paying — then they will cancel.”

Marketing automation drips to the rescue

A drip campaign is an automatic campaign utilized to send certain information at a certain order and time. Sending could be via email, SMS or any other channel. For the sake of simplicity, let’s focus on emails and see how we can maximize them to reduce churn rate and keep your customers interested and engaged.

There are many online tools you can use to set up automatic email drip campaigns. MailChimp and Autopilot are great solutions for quick wins. More sophisticated solutions are provided by marketing automation pros such as HubSpot and Marketo yet the simple solutions more than suffice for creating the following drips:

New customer welcoming drip – provide your customers a proper welcome onboard. Send new customers a series of personalized emails:

  • Welcome them
  • Explain how to use your product (you can arrange and label the info as a short and friendly course)
  • Invite them to sign up for your newsletter, social networks, etc.

Recurring dates drip:

  • Your customer’s birthday
  • Anniversary
  • Holidays and special events

Information drips for upcoming product features

Membership renewal drips – send renewal incentives to customers nearing the end of their membership.

Integrate your product with your marketing automation tool and create product action triggered events. Some ideas could be:

  • Product action follow up email asking for feedback or providing more information about the action conducted
  • Sell other features
  • Re-engagement emails to inactive customers after a certain time of inactivity, offering incentives and answering FAQs
  • Send coupons as loyalty rewards
  • Say goodbye when a customer leaves, ask for feedback and provide incentives to reconsider

How To Create An Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy Call to Action


Learn from the pros

Here are some great examples of companies using marketing drips for customer retention:

This welcome email send by project management SaaS Asana clarifies the clear benefits of the tools, invites them download the app and to learn more. It’s simple and actionable.

asana dashboard


Dropbox send emails to customers who aren’t engaged, this email is personal, friendly, clarifies the product’s benefits and educates them:

dropbox page


Godaddy is known for their superb customer service. A simply customer service follow up email lets the customer know that they care:

godaddy page


This is a great creative example of Taskrabbit taking advantage of an occasion which isn’t an obvious opportunity.

taskrabbit email


Make sure to structure your emails correctly, and note that utilizing automatic email drips do not grant you a pass to ignore your customers on a personal level. In addition to automation make sure to apply these 7 customer retention tips that are miserably overlooked.

Bottom line

Use your churn rate as a key KPI. Make sure to pay attention and evaluate how you can constantly improve your customer’s overall experience. Put yourself in your customers’ shoes, be creative and ask yourself how you can utilize automation to maintain the best possible relationship with your clients and engage them.

If you found this useful, and you’re curious to learn more and find out how to create a long lasting Inbound Marketing strategy, we invite you to download our How-To guide for creating an Inbound Marketing strategy

Schedule a FREE consultation

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

How To Use Lead Scoring in Marketing Automation header

Introduction – Lead Scoring in Marketing Automation

In the previous post we covered what marketing automation is, and some of the best tools to use. In this post we will cover lead generation and lead scoring which are some of the key elements of marketing automation.

Be sure to read the previous post “what is marketing automation” before diving into this read.

Lead Generation more leads.

This is the primary goal of any business nowadays. Businesses and marketers go out of their way to find new lead acquisition channels, lower cost per lead acquisition, reduce the time needed to acquire a lead and improve lead quality.

Marketing automation software helps businesses automate a large number of marketing activities and improve all of the above mentioned metrics by a lot. Let’s take a few examples:

1. Emails and newsletters

Emails are one of the most popular and effective communication channels in the world. When a prospect signs up to your newsletter, that does not mean that they have become a lead. They have not expressed direct interest in your product or service. Marketing automation can help turn those prospects into leads.

If your marketing strategy involves email marketing (and it absolutely should), you probably know how much time it takes to manually send emails and newsletters to corresponding leads. On top of that, different leads might be in different stages of their buyer’s journey, which means that they need different content and level of personalization, in order to move further down the sales pipeline. Considering the fact that your company might have anywhere from 10 to 1000 leads, all of these activities will soak up too much time. MA can help reduce (and even eliminate) the time needed to organize and manage email marketing activities.

2. Social media messaging

Depending on your business and audience, you might need to send social media messages at a time that isn’t the most convenient for you, but is the best time for your customers since that’s when they are most active on their corresponding social media accounts. An easy example would be if your business is located in San-Francisco, but your audience is from Europe. The time differences make it increasingly difficult to send the right social media messages at the right time. MA can help you schedule your marketing messages at the time and date most convenient for your strategy and help get the most out of your efforts, without any manual work.

 3. Reports and analytics

Understanding the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns is crucial to improving your marketing activities and strategy. Marketing Automation tools help businesses clearly see and understand marketing data and analytics, with in-depth reports on technically every important metric: visits, conversions, engagement, etc. When you know what works and what doesn’t, you can use that information to your advantage.

Lead scoring

In order to increase the effectiveness of your business sales, you need to establish a mechanism which will help you understand how to approach each potential customer on an individual level. When this mechanism is absent, marketing teams, wrongly, refer every lead that has downloaded an eBook to sales and tell them to proceed with the process.

Unfortunately, not all leads are created equal. This kind of uncategorized activities will only ruin the customer experience, waste the time of sales team, and even create an impression of unprofessional approach to business for potential clients.

It’s important to keep in mind that only 25% leads are ready to buy and should be passed to sales. There may be a lot of reasons for this: the lead doesn’t have decision making authority, the lead requires more information and value from your company before making a decision, or even as simple as the lead wants to read your eBook first, then have a conversation with your sales team

Marketing Automation eBook

Likewise, there might be cases when leads are “hot” and ready to buy, but due to disorganized processes, they don’t receive any touch points from sales and then it becomes a little too late: the person may reconsider, choose to use the services of a competitor, postpone his buying decision, etc.

This is why your business needs to have a number of criteria that a lead must satisfy, before you can consider him “sales ready” and actually have a decent chance at converting that lead into a paying customer.

This mechanism is called lead scoring. When lead scoring, a company establishes a scale and ranks prospects according to the value they represent to them. The higher the score, the higher priority the lead receives.

The key thing about lead scoring in marketing automation is that each company has to determine the above mentioned lead criteria for themselves, and figure out what kind of lead behavior is worth anything.

As a beginner, here is the scheme you want to create:

Visitor  Lead  Marketing Qualified Lead  Sales Qualified Lead

Later on, you can choose to add more scoring options in between those you have here (like subscriber, information qualified lead, opportunity, customer, etc.), but make sure you don’t over complicate everything. The more options you have, the more stuff you need to keep track off and therefore, you will have higher error margins.

Marketing Qualified leads (MQLs) and Sales qualified leads (SQLs) are also defined by the company. To paint a better picture, one company might consider the same lead (which has satisfied a number of criteria) an MQL, while another company may considered it an SQL.

All of this might seem fairly complex and difficult to organize and manage, but MA helps deal with this pretty easily.

Let’s start with defining the important criteria according to which a lead starts representing value for your company, or in other words, what happens after a visitor downloads your eBook, for instance. How do you know whether the lead becomes an MQL, or SQL, or doesn’t become any of those and isn’t worth spending time on?

For this purpose, you will need to use past and existing customer and lead data. Since assigning the criteria is every company’s job while having no specific formula to look up to, there is no better way than to implement your own business data and analytics. You will need to use both behavioral (what the person does on your website) and demographic data (age, sex, etc.) and also utilize your ideal buyer’s representation.

Let’s use an example to make things easier to understand:

Suppose you are a software company that offers a tool to make high quality images/infographics to enhance marketing activities (think Canva for businesses). Your business data and analytics tell you that the most successful sales processes, as a result of which you closed most customers, happened like this:

A person visited your website four times (originally, he visited from social media)

      1. After visiting the website four times, he downloaded an eBook (awareness stage)
      2. After the lead filled out the form, you noticed that the lead matches with the description of your ideal buyer (he is the design department manager, 25-35 years old, works for a small/medium business with an annual salary of $150.000, etc.)
      3. 2-3 days after the first eBook he downloaded a second eBook (consideration stage)
      4. Your company sent three emails to the lead and he opened all three of them and clicked the CTAs inside your emails
      5. Your Sales team contacted the person and closed every eight out of 10 of those leads.

Based upon this data, here is how you can create your scheme:

A visitor that arrived through social media marketing channels automatically becomes a lead when he downloads his first eBook (or any other content on a landing page)

The lead becomes a marketing qualified lead if:

      • His demographic information matches your ideal buyer’s information
      • He visited your website at least three times before and after downloading the book (awareness or consideration stage)
      • He also downloaded a second eBook (consideration or decision stage)

This will be the minimal criteria that every lead will have to satisfy, in order to be considered of any value to your company and earn the rank of an MQL. In other words, when a lead becomes an MQL, your marketing team should focus their attention on that person and spend time to craft personalized marketing messages, offer personalized content via emails, engage with the lead, etc.

The MQL becomes an SQL if:

      • The lead opens at least two out of three marketing emails sent to him
      • The lead clicks on at least two out of three CTAs inside those emails

After this happens, you can confidently assume that the corresponding prospect is “hot” and can be approached by your sales team to close the deal.

This example may or may not suit your company. Consider the most important things we looked at in this example, when drilling through your business data and create a corresponding match:

      • First time visitor vs a returning visitor
      • Lead source (social media, organic search, etc.)
      • The number of times the lead downloaded content behind a form on a landing page
      • The lead’s stage in the buying cycle (what kind of offers is the lead interested in? Awareness, consideration, decision)
      • Does the lead’s demographic data match with your ideal buyer’s data?
      • Email open rates
      • Email click rates

Determining this information correctly is critical. The more precisely you can match this information to the leads you have, the more qualified leads you will receive and accordingly, the more accounts you will close.

Remember that your scheme is always subject to change and improvements. When you gather enough data using your initial scheme, take some time to analyze and understand whether everything is going according to plan, or you need to make changes for scoring a specific lead.

When you think about doing this for a single person, it doesn’t sound too harsh. If you have 100 leads to take care of however, this task suddenly looks to eat up weeks of working time. This is where MA tools come in handy. MA tools allow you to create certain workflows that will automatically move a lead further down the sales pipeline as soon as he or she satisfies all the criteria you set for each specific lead lifecycle stage.

A workflow is a series of automated tasks and events that trigger when a lead performs certain actions according to the criteria you set prior. The convenient thing about workflows is that you can basically plan the whole lifecycle stage of the lead within the workflow, including sending emails, adding/removing contacts, updating contact information, etc.

Using the previous example, when your lead becomes an MQL in your workflow, your emails will be sent automatically to that person, without any manual efforts from the marketing team. Also, you can choose to remove that lead from the workflow (or even move him to another workflow with other criteria) if, for instance, he doesn’t open any of the three emails you sent him.

All of this might take some time to organize and set up, but once you nail it down, you will save hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars in the future, as well as shorten your sales cycles, which will improve the effectiveness of your business and improve your bottom line by a lot.

Workflows can also be used in lead nurturing strategies.


Lead scoring is a key element of marketing automation. It is a mechanism that is used to help you approach potential customers on an individual level. It’s all about personalization and not approaching prospects with sales when they are not ready to hear from your sales team. Be sure to take the time to implement a lead scory mechanism in your company.

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business using marketing automation, I invite you to download our free “Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation and how to use them” eBook.

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

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Introduction – Is HubSpot worth it?

A common misconception that many businesses have with HubSpot is that “it simply doesn’t do it”. They say they use the tool and still can’t see the promised (or desired) ROI, which leads to frustration and even more problems than before.

The truth is though that those businesses that don’t see HubSpot ROI are in one of those two boats:

  1. Their business doesn’t need HubSpot
  2. They aren’t using it properly, they just think they are.

Not every business in the world needs HubSpot to succeed. In fact, not every business needs marketing automation to succeed either. If you’ve purchased HubSpot just to have your website hosted on the platform, you might want to think again, since it costs a lot of money to set up and maintain your portal, while there are other, free options like WordPress that you can use for the same purpose.

Using your HubSpot portal to its maximum efficiency is an essential aspect for achieving positive HubSpot ROI. Many business owners think that simply buying the tool is going to transform their business in some magical way, and all they need to do is simply do their marketing activities through the platform. However, using the platform poorly, or not utilizing it fully, will not only deliver poor ROI, but also cause even more problems than you had before.

Today, we have gathered together this post, which will shed some light on the four most common HubSpot setup problems that businesses create for themselves, without even realizing it.


1. Creating content without using the keywords tool

Content generation is one of the primary means of generating traffic and leads for most companies. As of today, content quality, relevance and freshness are the main criteria that all businesses tend to follow, but they often forget to utilize SEO in the process.

While the weight of having keywords inside your content has lost its superior effect on appearing on SERPs over time, it’s still there, and it’s still important if you want to top the charts with some of your content.

Research has proven that the number one organic search result receives 32.5% of clicks, followed by 17.6% for number two and 11.4% for number three. To put it simply, the top three SERPs results enjoy more than 50% of all organic clicks for a given search term, out of a few hundred million results.


Essentially, it’s better to rank in the top three for just one or two topics, than have an average position for hundreds of topics. Utilizing keywords correctly with the keywords tool makes a big part of this journey for HubSpot users, which most of them, tend to ignore.

2. Not utilizing social monitoring

Keeping track of social media activities is a very difficult task, especially if you don’t have a dedicated social media person (or even a team) to take care of everything. Every second, on average, 6000 Tweets are tweeted4000 Instagram pictures are posted, and every 60 seconds, 210 Facebook comments and 293.000 status updates take place. How can you keep track of important activities (that are relevant to you) within this social chaos storm if you don’t spend 25 (yes 25) hours a day doing that?

This is where social monitoring can help. You can customize the tool to monitor only those hashtags that you want, or show comments on posts that you care about, or monitor your own feed for any customer comments, complaints and so on. Businesses lose tons of opportunities by not making use of the feature, and even hurt themselves when, say, an improper Tweet from their company goes live, but they find out about it too late and get into trouble trying to clean up the mess when it’s already gone viral. Sometimes, a single, bad Tweet can ruin your whole career

3. Not distributing your marketing activities by campaigns

When you’re just starting with your marketing, there is very little going on: you have a small number of customers and leads, fewer website visitors, less content, less nurturing to do, less social media activity – basically less everything. This isn’t the most pleasant thing ever, but hey, you just starting taking off so it’s all understandable, and also it means that you technically need to devote less time to take care of all those activities properly.

As the numbers grow though, it’s super easy to get lost in the sea of information that you gather from your HubSpot portal analytics and other sources, which makes it increasingly difficult to respond (or even manage) anything properly.

This is exactly why HubSpot has the campaigns feature. It allows you to classify all your content, social media activities, nurturing emails, etc. and assign them to specific campaigns to later keep track of the results, and understand what need to be changed/improved.

HubSpot Campaigns Screen


Most business owners fail to understand this right off the bat, and by the time they catch up (or someone tells them about the solution right under their nose), it takes double amount of time and work to reorganize everything properly.

Morale: Don’t be in the wrong boat – use the campaigns feature right off the bat and watch your team’s productivity grow.

How To Create An Effective Inbound Marketing Strategy Call to Action

4. Manually doing email campaigns and not setting up workflows

73% of your leads are not ready to buy.

This is pretty much what lead nurturing is for. Lead nurturing helps your newly acquired leads become even more aware of their challenges and understand that your company has it in its power to help. Just like in the previous example, when you have a small number of leads, this can be done manually. However, as the number of your leads grow, automation is what’s going to save you hundreds of hours of time.



Manually performing email nurturing actions not only makes businesses lose time, but also close less leads, and, ultimately, receive less profit. Here is a detailed article on how setting up your workflows properly can boost your sales significantly,  or read more on How to do Inbound Marketing with HubSpot


It’s pretty easy to get lost in your digital marketing activities, and it’s equally easy to blame the software for your own mistakes. However, proper usage and management of your HubSpot portal will quickly show you why they are the leaders of marketing automation industry. Avoid those mistakes when setting up your portal and make sure you make a habit of doing everything accordingly. If you do that, positive ROI and profits will start appearing on the horizon, and you’ll be getting closer to them with each consecutive, successful step.

Curious whether you can take your Inbound Marketing to the next level?

As HubSpot partners we can help you do just that! Click the button below to book your free HubSpot consultation

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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy


Introduction – Time is of the essence

The number one resource for digital marketing is always the same – time. If businesses had unlimited time to nurture their leads (assuming the leads are of high quality and businesses know their job well), they would eventually close them into paying customers without worrying about deadlines or meeting sales quotas.

While HubSpot workflows don’t have the power to stop time, they have the power to decrease the time you spent on segmentation, routine marketing activities, lead nurturing, managing your leads and contacts, and sending out corresponding emails to the right group of leads at any given time.

This sounds a bit magical, so let me explain in details.

What is a workflow?

A workflow is a series of automated actions set by you that trigger differently, based on the behavior of a specific user (which is also set by you). The good thing about workflows is that they go beyond simple marketing automation like sending a thank you email whenever a lead downloads an ebook, or having an in-line thank you message after a lead submits a form.

Here is a sketch that shows an in-depth workflow’s logic and behavioral patterns:

workflows sample

Why use Hubspot workflows?

Workflows allow you to personalize your approach to leads (up to offering a personalized approach to each and every lead if you choose to do so), while saving time for your sales team.

Imagine an existing lead downloads her third eBook from your website, and now you want to classify that lead as “sales ready” and hand her over to sales.

Based on the information you have about the lead, you create personalized emails and messages, and send relevant information to nurture the lead even further, so she will be “hot” when your sales team gets in touch. This means that the lead stage changes from “MQL” to “SQL”. Lead scoring can help you with the latter. You’re welcome to learn about how to use lead scoring in marketing automation.


Source: HubSpot

Surely you can do all of this manually, using a simple spreadsheet (or even pen and paper really), and you will still get it done without spending money on marketing automation.

Now imagine that you have 20 such leads, and also 10 lead types that performed other, different activities and require completely different content, level of personalization, messaging, etc. That makes spreadsheets look pretty bad, right?

The goal with workflows is to spend less time on routine activities, set the criteria you want and automate it to work exactly as you want it to. With workflows, you can take all your lead data (data you gathered from forms, social media, direct communication or any other source) and put it to good use, by being able to send the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Another example.

You can create a series of emails, and customize a workflow to send them out when a lead:

  • Visits a certain website page
  • That visited the certain page has a company with more than 50 employees
  • Is from industry X and is located in Y
  • Has viewed you resources page X number of times, downloaded Y eBooks and opened Z emails
  • The list is literally endless. It’s all a matter of how much personalization you want to put in and classify your leads accordingly.

Marketing Automation eBook


How exactly will workflows help you stay on top of your marketing game?

The main strength of workflows is that they are completely customizable and there is no right or wrong way to set them up. If you are in a sensitive industry (healthcare, for instance), you can choose to really go deep into small details when nurturing, or in case you are in ecommerce, you can just create workflows to continuously offer different products to leads, without wasting even a second to make it happen.

Workflows allow super-effective segmentation, giving you the chance to close more leads in the same amount of time

With the ability to send a personalized message to pretty much any lead at any given time, you get the chance to segment your audience effectively, and capitalize on every bit of lead intelligence you have. This allows to have a super-effective, to the point lead nurturing process and send out emails to people that are both short, extremely specific and relevant to their business challenge, while having all of this happen automatically. As a result, you will dramatically increase the number of your leads as well as their quality.

To give you an idea on how much you can acquire, consider this case study by HubSpot, which states that one of their clients doubled the amount of leads and almost tripled their landing page conversions. Workflows have been a big part of this, since they helped achieve almost 7% CTR, which is very high , and also increased the number of their converting MQLs to 7.2%.

Full customization – content and timing

Customized content is good, but you also need to think of the best times to send out nurturing emails. For instance, if you have leads that are much closer to buying your product or service than others, you can set your workflows to send out multiple emails to those leads during the week instead of just one, and also choose the best time to do so.

This is extremely convenient not only because different people are more inclined to open an email on different hours , but also due to the fact that your business might have leads in different time zones. Don’t waste opportunities simply because you can’t send out nurturing content at 4am in the morning manually. You can learn what the best times for sending email are in this post about email marketing benchmarks.

Workflows allow you to fully utilize your marketing potential

Typically, a business performs marketing activities, which give a bunch of data about a certain lead, which, in most cases, is simply not used. This leads to poor nurturing, poor lead quality, waste of time and resources, missing on opportunities, less personalized messages and ultimately, much less ROI than you would otherwise have. Workflows are ideal if you:

  • Are still manually sending out nurturing emails to prospects
  • Are still manually updating contact information
  • Have lead data that you never fully utilize
  • Need more personalization
  • Want higher lead quality
  • Want to increase the number of your leads and conversions

Conclusion – Workflows as a business owner’s best marketing tool

Workflows are the most advanced marketing tool available to businesses today. They help save time, improve personalization, lead quality and quantity, close more leads in less time, and improve ROI. What else could a business owner ask for?

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business using marketing automation, I invite you to download our free “Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation and how to use them” eBook.

Schedule a FREE consultation


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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy



In the previous posts we covered the basics of marketing automation, learned the best tools to use and looked into lead generation and lead scoring. In this post we will cover lead nurturing and website analytics which are the final two key elements of marketing automation.

I urge you to read the previous posts before proceeding with this read.

Lead nurturing

Lead nurturing is the process of developing healthy relationships with leads at every stage of their buyer’s journey and sales funnel. The lead nurturing efforts focus on listening and identifying the needs of the leads and providing answers and actionable solutions to them. Lead nurturing is done mainly via email marketing campaigns, and aims to provide valuable content that will help leads move further down the sales funnel .

Let’s see why lead nurturing is important for B2B businesses in numbers:

These statistics should clearly answer the question why you should bother with lead nurturing.

Lead nurturing is tied closely together with lead scoring and defining the criteria of MQLs and SQLs. Since almost 80% of leads aren’t ready to buy due to various reasons, it makes no sense to try and persuade them via sales calls. Remember that we live in the age of technology and information is available to anybody with an active internet connection. Any person can jump on his laptop and Google whatever he wants to know about, and most likely, he will find that information.

The purpose of lead nurturing is to basically show potential customers why they should choose your product or service to satisfy their need by helping them solve their business related issues that they are interested in.

With the help of MA, automated lead nurturing can become a real breeze for your company with the help of workflows. The principle to set up those workflows is very similar to what we described above.

In the  example in the previous post (the Canva one, remember?), we assumed that the person who became a customer took all his actions on his own.

This is not always the case.

Most of those actions (like downloading another eBook, opening emails, etc.) are results of successful lead nurturing campaigns, which give prospects the answers to their questions, pain points and issues.

Just like before, you will need to choose criteria (buying cycle stage, number of downloads, email open rates, click rates, etc.) on how a certain lead will progress through the sales pipeline and what kind of marketing message will he receive next. The key is to always offer high quality, valuable content to prospects if you want to build trust and help them progress all the way to the bottom of the sales funnel.

Lastly, nurturing can be used for customer retention purposes as well. As you know, the journey doesn’t end with closing leads into customers – you also need to retain your existing customers to maximize profits and nurturing emails are one of the best options available. In fact, in 2014, emails were cited as the most effective digital marketing channel for customer retention in the U.S. and that still remains true to this day.

Marketing Automation eBook

Website analytics

When MA tools are integrated with your CRM, your receive the single, ultimate reporting and analytics tool that helps combine all marketing and sales data in one single, centralized space, which can be shared among both teams and utilized for improving all sales and marketing related processes.

The best part about all this is the alignment of sales and marketing teams and their activities, since each team will be able to see the actions of the other and use the data to their advantage.

For example, marketers can look at sales reports to determine which marketing campaign brought the most leads and results, and focus their efforts in that direction, while sales teams can make use of personal contact information to tailor their conversations to the specific needs of potential leads they are going to talk to, and dramatically improve conversion rates.

Website analytics make an essential part of any digital marketing strategy and help marketers craft more effective and efficient campaigns, messages and content that will best answer the needs of their potential buyers.

Though marketing campaigns may vary depending on your strategy, there are a number of key metrics that you need to keep track off and monitor all the time:

  • Number of website visits (from each channel individually)
  • Visitor to lead, lead to MQL, MQL to SQL, etc. conversions
  • Number of offers downloaded
  • Number of blog comments/shares
  • Social media engagement

These metrics will help understand whether your lead scoring and nurturing efforts are making any significant impact, and help apply any changes that are necessary.


We’ve reached the end of this 3 part series. Hopefully by now you have a fair idea of what MA is and how it can be applied.

MA tools have been proven to help businesses streamline their sales and marketing processes and increase revenue by up to 40%. Keep in mind that the MA adoption and effective utilization will take some time, getting used to and require certain (maybe even significant) changes in your digital marketing strategy and general approach to marketing. The investment starts to pay off after six month of usage and keeps on growing, reaching its  full potential after two years of utilization on average.

Good luck!

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business using marketing automation, I invite you to download our free “Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation and how to use them” eBook.

Schedule a FREE consultation


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John Doe

Architect & Engineer

We love that guy

What Is Marketing Automation header

Introduction to marketing automation

Over the past several years, marketing automation (MA) has seen a huge increase in usability all over the world. In fact, the adoption of MA has increased almost 11 times just from 2011-2014. In 2016, on average 49% of companies are currently using Marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (55%) adopting the technology. – Emailmonday “.

If you’re not sure what marketing automation is, but have been too embarrassed to ask, this post will get you up to speed.


What does Marketing Automation mean?

In a nutshell:  MA refers to softwares and technologies that enable marketers to help their leads find their own path leading to a purchase, retain the customers and reduce churn rate. This is done by:

  • automating repetitive marketing activities (such as sending emails, classifying leads, scheduling social media messages, and much more)
  • effectively managing online marketing on multiple channels
  • collecting data across channels, integrating it with a CRM and turning that data into actionable insights

Marketing Automation eBook

How does marketing automation work?

A good MA campaign will be prospect centric and strive to be as personal and contextual as possible. It’s best applied when approached from an Inbound Marketing perspective.

The fourth stages of the Inbound Marketing methodology are:

1. Attract strangers and turn them to visitors on your blog/website

2. Convert the visitors to leads

3. Close the leads as customers

4. Delight the customers and turn them into promoters

inbound marketing.png

the inbound methodology

Inbound Marketing automation is about using all the information you know about a person to understand their needs and challenges, and then providing them with the information they need, when they need it. This report will get you a clear grasp of the marketing automation trends in 2016.

It’s important to note that contrary to popular opinion, marketing automation does not sum up to triggered emails. When done right, marketing automation goes way beyond emails and is tailored around the evolving needs of your buyer personas, their behaviors and their interactions with you across all marketing channels (such as page views, social interactions, content they read or downloaded etc). MA helps you collect data that arms you with context about your prospects journey, enables you to personalize your messaging in accordance with their behavior, and guide them down the marketing funnel.

Let’s observe a standard conversion path:


(source: Hubspot)

MA can help improve all stages of the funnel:

Top of the funnel

Many CMOs buy databases of contacts and then try to nurture them with marketing automation. This type of strategy is spammy and rarely results in positive ROI. Sending emails to people who did not opt-in to receive your content, is technical, detached and will result in prospects blocking you.

The way to go about it is to understand that your prospects are searching for information in search engines and on social media. Leverage this knowledge to create content that adds value to your prospects and use MA to publish your content in multiple channels.

Make sure to publish content that is relevant to your prospect’s needs and challenges. Don’t write to “everyone”. Tailor your content around the real, live people at the receiving end of your campaigns and their stage of the buyer’s journey:

Buyer's Journey

Using MA will help you turn visitors on your website to leads using calls to actionslanding pages and forms. Here’s an example of an automated lead generation path:

Middle of the funnel

Once a visitor becomes a lead, MA can help you nurture that lead and turn them into a Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) and further on Sales Qualified leads (SQLs) using workflows, personalized emails and lead scoring. Using MA you’ll be able to send triggered content to your leads based on their behavior. For example, if a lead downloaded an ebook, you can send them an email inviting them to read further content, and to submit a form in exchange for receiving more value from you. The lead can progress down a personalized funnel, have their needs and challenges attended based on content they have already consumed, and based on data they provide when filling out forms. The prospects will essentially be segmenting themselves and going through a “choose your own adventure” style path leading to purchase.

Bottom of the funnel

Based on the data you will accumulate using MA tools, you will be able to transfer SQLs over to your sales team after qualifying them (as well as screening irrelevant leads). Sales will enjoy an advantage of knowledge about the lead’s journey up until that point. They will be able to only reach out to relevant leads, conduct a personal conversation with them, that is their lead score and is inline with their stage of readiness to buy.

How can you know if you need marketing automation?

Evaluate the following:

  • Do your marketing efforts generate a steady flow of new and qualified leads?
  • Is your sales team having a hard time attending to all the leads you’re generating?
  • Do you have a content strategy in place?
  • Do you align your strategy with your prospects’ buyer’s journey?
  • Are you tracking leads across every touch point in their journey?
  • Do you have a lead nurturing strategy?

If you answered yes to most of the above questions, it might be time to include MA in your marketing strategy.

Note that MA does not replace human contact. MA provides structures that will always need adjusting and overlooking to adapt to your prospects’ evolving needs. Don’t become a robot..


Marketing automation can help you accumulate behavioral data and paint a complete picture of your prospects journey. Leverage that data to nurture your prospects based on their unique interests, challenges and needs. Personalize and automate repetitive activities and help your prospects down their path to purchase.

If you’d like to learn more about how to grow your business using marketing automation, I invite you to download our free “Key beneficial aspects of marketing automation and how to use them” eBook.

Schedule a FREE consultation

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