Posted on 7/23/2015 in Business and Strategy

By wakefly

Creating your first HubSpot workflow can be both exciting and discouraging.  The idea of taking your marketing automation to the next level with HubSpot workflows can make digital marketers drool, but actually operationalizing your ideas can prove extremely challenging for the first time user.

If your business uses HubSpot and you’ve been looking to set up your first workflow, follow these 6 steps for Creating Effective HubSpot Workflows to get the most out of this potentially daunting task and generate positive results for your business.

1. Define Your Goals

Before you begin, sit down and develop a clear understanding of the following:

  • Who will this campaign target? Is there a specific persona you want to target?  Maybe you want to target contacts that have viewed a specific webpage or opened an email?
  • What will determine success? Do you want users to register for a specific webinar?  Are you trying to nurture contacts from one stage in the funnel to the next?

Establishing a clear and specific understanding for the “who” and the “what” is essential.  Don’t try to be all things to all contacts in one workflow.  Target a specific group of contacts and give them a specific objective.

2. Establish the Touch Points

Now it’s time to take advantage of the extensive persona and buyer’s journey research you have done.  Take this information and establish the exact order of touch point events.  Identify the perfect piece of content the user needs to consume in order to flow from one touch point to the next.  Map this out visually to create a linear map of the journey you want your contacts to embark on.

3. Illustrate the Logic Tree

Once you have goals and touchpoints, you need to understand the logic that runs the workflow to ensure that it achieves exactly what you want it to.  Before you start, make sure you understand the rules of engagement.  Take a look at all of the options available for starting a workflow, ending a workflow, and all the possible ways to base your if/then branches.  Understanding the logical limitations you have will avoid a ton of headaches later in the process.

Once you understand the laws of the workflow universe, it is time to grab your whiteboard!  Draw out every step in detail here.  Do all of your thinking and problem solving now so you don’t have to repeat steps or delete entire sections when you are implementing in HubSpot.

I use different colored markers to help me visualize the process.  Black for the pathways and red and green at the if/then logic branches.  Find a process that works for you visually and stick with it!

Don’t forget to build in delays as applicable.  You want to make sure you build in enough time for the contact to open the email and complete the desired action before you tell HubSpot to check to see if they have.

4. Create Your Collateral

Now is the time to make sure every list, landing page, form, thank you page, call to action, and email template you need for this workflow to be published in HubSpot.  You will need these active in the platform in order to build the campaign in the platform.

5. Build it Out

If you have followed my checklist through to this point (and have reviewed the logic several times) you now have everything you need to start implementing!  Navigate to the Workflows section in Hubspot and get to building!  If your campaign includes several different workflows working in unison, make sure to create a specific naming convention to help you keep track.  There may only be a few workflows in there now, but once you grow to Workflow Rock Star status, you will need an intuitive way to reference back to each workflow and each campaign.

6. Test and Refine

Before flipping the switch and setting the wheels in motion, run a couple of tests to make sure the workflow runs the way your logic intended.  Create a testing Gmail account and run through the workflow yourself to see where you end up.  If not, go back to the whiteboard and refine as necessary.

If you have followed these steps, though, there will likely be no refining necessary.  Once you are satisfied with the workflow, you are ready to release the floodgates!

Need help developing your buyer personas or figuring out which piece of content to use for your nurturing campaign?  Give us a call and we’ll give you a free assessment!

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