How To Use HubSpot Lists For Deeper Analytics
I love lists. I make them for everything—grocery shopping lists, to-do lists, packing lists, lists to keep track of the books I want to read and ideas for my upcoming wedding—you name it, and I likely have a list for it.
Typically, these lists are handwritten. There’s just something about putting pen to paper and detailing out what needs to get accomplished that makes it more enjoyable (not to mention the tremendous amount of satisfaction I get when I’m able to cross off an item once it’s complete!). Even with advanced technology and all of the endless (and I’ll admit, cool) ways that I could be making lists right from my computer or phone, I still prefer the old fashioned kind. Except when it comes to HubSpot lists.
What Are HubSpot Lists?
As you probably already know, we use HubSpot for not only our own inbound marketing efforts but for our clients’ as well. And one of the features of the software is the ability to create lists—an incredibly important part of marketing.
HubSpot allows you to funnel your contacts into lists based on certain properties and traits. This is useful when emailing or setting up workflows so you’re able to send (or not send) to the contacts you want.
As you can see in the example above, we have a list for all of the contacts who have subscribed to our blog and a list of contacts who are qualified leads or customers so we can exclude them from any marketing emails. (You can learn more about setting up these basic lists here.)
While these are obvious ways to utilize HubSpot lists, there is actually a lot more you can do than just organize and email your contacts.
Using HubSpot Lists For Reporting
HubSpot’s reporting features allow you to glean basic insights on visits, leads, and customers by source as well as keyword and page performance reports. This information is helpful when looking at the big picture, but when it comes time to dive into more in-depth analytics, you won’t find a report for that. Unless you want to spend an extra $200 per month on HubSpot’s “Reporting Add-On.”
What you can do, though, is pocket that extra $2,400 a year and get a similar wealth of detailed analytics utilizing HubSpot lists. Check out some of the ways we’ve been able to use lists for advanced reporting.
Reporting Leads Generated By Blog Posts
Blog Optimization Leads
Every month, we implement a blog “optimization” for some of our clients, which is typically a small tweak in the way we are currently doings things with the goal of increasing leads and conversion rate. This may be adding an H3 CTA to the body of an article, swapping out a designed CTA for a more relevant offer, or giving the blog post a “refresh” by adding in new content.
Once this optimization has been made, we then set up a list that looks like this:
Here are the steps we follow:
- Select a period of time before you made the blog optimization. Example: 4/01/2016–6/10/2016.
- Go to “Page Performance” in HubSpot, and report on the number of page views for the time period you’ve chosen. Divide page views by blog contacts to get the page’s conversion rate.
- Back in lists, select a period of time after you made the blog optimization. Example: 6/11/2016–9/20/2016. Divide page views by blog contacts to get the page’s conversion rate.
By first running the list before the blog optimization was made, we’re able to see how many contacts came directly to the blog. Once the conversion rate of the blog post is determined, we’ll update the list’s Create Date to after the optimization was made (using the same duration of time for accurate reporting). Once we have both conversion rates, we’ll compare the two. If the conversion rate is higher post-optimization, then we know we were successful.
General Blog Leads
You also likely spend a lot of time curating content for your blog, but how do you know if it’s generating leads for your company? You guessed it—with another HubSpot list! Find out how many leads originated from your blog each month with a simple list like this:
We define a lead coming from a blog post as “First Page Seen,” but note that this starting condition will only work if your blog posts include “blog” in the URL.
Identifying & Reporting Inactive Leads
If you’re a HubSpot user, you’re probably all too familiar with its pricing model and how the cost is tied to the number of contacts you have in the portal. Over time these contacts can really start to add up, many of them being dead leads, so it’s important to be able to get a better idea of who these contacts are.
The list criteria will vary depending on the nature of your business and what you deem an “inactive” or “disengaged” contact, so we recommend you decide on a definition that is specific to your company and industry.
Here’s an example of a list condition we’ve used for clients (and Nectafy):
Whether you attempt to re-engage these leads with an email campaign or purge them altogether is up to you, but this will give you a much better picture of the number of disengaged contacts you have in your portal and when they last visited or interacted with your site.
Organizing Leads By Persona And/Or Lead Score
It’s important to have a solid understanding of who your leads are, and we recommend reporting on this monthly using one of the following methods.
You’ve spent time identifying your buyer personas, but now what? While HubSpot does show leads by persona on your dashboard, they’re only displayed as a percentage of your total contacts, not by month.
By creating a separate list for each of your organization’s personas, you’ll be able to determine how many contacts that month were attributed to each.
If you’ve been dedicating your inbound efforts to blogging and writing offers geared toward CEO Charlie, but your monthly buyer persona list shows that the majority of your company’s leads are Manager Pat, you’ll know that it’s time to reevaluate your strategy.
You can also take this a step further by adding the condition that the contact property Lifecycle Stage is equal to Lead, MQL, or Customer to further analyze your contacts’ personas, as seen in the example below.
Lead scoring is a feature that allows you to assign points to your leads based on their activities and behaviors. It helps you determine which leads should be prioritized and moved along to sales.
Once you have your lead scoring set up (learn more about how to establish a lead scoring process here), you’ll want to keep an eye on the contacts that have a lead score less than or greater than or equal to the lead score that you’ve concluded suggests a warm or qualified lead. These lists may look like this:
Checking this list periodically will help you determine when it may be time to send a nurture email campaign to less engaged contacts versus who is active on your website and should be prioritized as a lead.
Determining Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs)
For some (unknown) reason, HubSpot’s basic source reporting doesn’t include an option to view your MQLs for a specified timeframe, which is where a HubSpot list comes in. Use these lists to report monthly and gather better key insights:
You can learn a lot from MQL reporting, such as the lead’s first referring site, their recent conversion, their original source (organic search, paid, social, direct traffic, etc.) and more by exporting these properties from the list. In fact, we send one of our clients a weekly MQL report so they can compare week-over-week where around the world all of their MQLs are coming from, which offers are converting the most leads, how those contacts got to their website, and more.
Reporting On Free Trials By Month
Does your company offer a free trial? If so, you can dive into more detailed analytics (such as how many people per month are requesting a trial, if there is a trend in the region of the country/world contacts are coming from, how long they spend on your site before requesting a trial, etc.) by creating a list and then exporting your selected properties.
Don’t Forget To Stay Organized
HubSpot lists are a great way to dive deeper into some pretty useful analytics, but if you aren’t careful with how you name them, you’ll quickly become confused as to which lists are what.
Make sure each list has a specific and clear name so you can quickly navigate to that list when needed. And be as detailed as possible so your reporting continues to be a breeze—not an added headache.
How Do You Use Lists?
I’d love to hear how you use HubSpot lists (or any list for that matter!) for your company’s detailed reporting. Let me know in the comments section below or tweet us @nectafy!