If you’ve decided to start HubSpot onboarding with an agency – or if you’re doing it independently – you’ll need to get pretty savvy with creating conversion sequences. If you’re following the inbound methodology (which we highly recommend you do) you’ll be encouraged to create educational, helpful, free content for your audience to download – such as pillar pages, ebooks, checklists and guides, which we call lead magnets. In return, all you ask is a few details from the person downloading it using a form.

Conversion sequences are the journey you take your prospects on in order for them to convert and become leads. When a contact fills in your form in exchange for your free lead magnet, they become a contact in your database. You then follow this up with an appropriate email trying to move them to take the next step. Understanding this process will be key to building your customer base and growing your business, so in this post we aim to answer the common questions our clients have about this stage.

If you’re onboarding with ESM Inbound, we will focus on conversion sequences during our fourth call – and we dedicate the whole call to looking at the process and tools together. Below, we’ve broken down the experience into digestible chunks so you can start planning your first conversion sequence on your own, or get ahead before your next call with us (we like it when clients do this!)

Old fashioned telephones lined up on a wall

Element 1: The CTA

During the call we will explore what a CTA is. Your CTAs (calls to action) are vitally important to get a visitor to start the whole download process. They are the gateway to getting more information from your prospects, so getting them right is crucial.

What do they look like?

A CTA is a button, image with copy on it or scrolling banner. This can be positioned on a blog post or webpage:

  • At the side so it tracks the reader as they scroll
  • Within the main body of the content
  • Over the top of a video
  • Along the top or bottom of a page as a banner

You will need to experiment with CTAs and find out which location works best for your buyer personas, discovering which position gets the most clicks.

Best practice

This, again, will depend on some trial and error for your visitors, such as which colour and font you should have on your CTA button, or whether images work better than copy on its own. But one consistent best practice is to use imperative language to encourage a reader to take action and to keep the copy short. Examples include:

  • Download your ebook
  • Submit your details
  • Get your free guide
  • Subscribe to blog
  • Convert more visitors

Start the CTA with an action verb, instructing your visitor to click, and follow it with a very clear (yet short) description of what will happen when they click – what will they be getting if they begin this journey?

How to

Creating a new CTA in HubSpot is straightforward, simply follow this lesson in HubSpot Academy for a detailed walk through.

A plane's wheel landing on landing strip

Element 2: Landing Page

We will then take a closer look at landing pages. This is the next page your visitor will see once they’ve clicked on your CTA. For example, if you’re offering them a free checklist to help them get ahead and feel organised, your landing page acts as a gate to this useful content.

You don’t just want a CTA to click straight through to the free offer or you won’t be able to collect the visitor’s contact details for your database – you need to create a page that ‘protects’ the content before giving it away in exchange for their details.

What do they look like?

A landing page has some specific features such as:

  • A large, clear heading reminding them what the offer is and what they’re getting out of this exchange.
  • An explanation of the offer you’re giving them, listing the benefits (preferably in bulletpoints to make it easy and quick to read).
  • A form – you need this to capture details. Remember to make the length of the form relative to the lead magnet you’re offering them: if they’re downloading a one-page checklist, asking for 16 fields to be filled in on the form is excessive – usually just the name, email and company is enough to get started.

Best practice

There are certain clever things you can do to ensure your landing page is inviting and your visitor takes the next step by actually filling in your form:

  • Remove the navigation menu from the top of the page so they aren’t tempted to click off
  • Make your copy succinct and short – don’t distract unnecessarily with wordy content
  • Only have one offer on the page and all messaging directed at that offer
  • Use a video or image of the product in use, or a visual to represent what they’ll receive.

How to

HubSpot explains how to build landing pages in this helpful HubSpot Academy article, from how to personalise them to your style, to editing the URL and meta description.

A board with letters spelling out thank you

Element 3: Thank You Page

A thank you page comes next. Once a prospect has filled in the form on your landing page, they are going to want to get their hands on your free lead magnet pretty quickly. Their next screen needs to be a thank you page – this might sound a simple task, but there are tricks of the trade that make this page a key one.

What do they look like?

HubSpot includes lots of templates you can use to create these pages, the thank you page included. Generally these pages have:

  • Two columns for the copy: one side to say thank you and offer the link to their download, one to keep them interested in other offers or pages of your website you think they may be interested in
  • The navigation menu is returned now, to encourage them to browse your other services and products
  • A short page without too much copy again, so a reader doesn’t get overwhelmed. Most importantly, it needs to be clear where the download they were promised is – put it alone on its own line or create a clear, isolated CTA for it.

Best practice

Apart from offering the link to your lead magnet and returning the navigation menu, HubSpot says:

“You can try to direct them to the next offer in the buying cycle, to your blog, to informational pages, or even to your social media profiles.”

Including your social media buttons is a great idea if you want them to become followers on these channels – pointing them towards other offers, webpages and your blog is no longer a “dangerous” step as they’ve already converted on your page (by telling you their contact details) – so by leaving your site, they are merely exploring your brand in more detail.

How to

There is lots of guidance about building your thank you page in this HubSpot Academy article, including templates, how to add content and link it to your landing page.

A road leading down to the sea with a sunny sky

Element 4: Follow-Up Email

Finally, you need to apply follow-up email best practices. You’ll want to send a prompt follow-up email to remind the visitor about your brand (and to check the email they provided works). You can attach the lead magnet within the body of the email – just in case they didn’t download it on the thank you page, but this email serves another function, too.

What they look like

A follow up email is the chance to cement what a prospect already knows, as well as offering them the chance to download something else that might be of use:

  • You might want to start by thanking them again for their download before providing another link to the lead magnet they requested
  • Explain that, since you know they were interested in e.g. your checklist, you have another offer that might also be of use to them – make sure this is a relevant offer, linked to the first resource they downloaded.
  • Add a link to this resource, too – this will build trust with your visitor since you’re showing you understand the materials they need to help them. If you offer the link as an un-gated link, simply clicking straight through to the resource, they’ll be thrilled to get a bonus.
  • You may, however, want to gate the content but instead of asking their email address this time (as you already have it), you could include further fields to try to learn even more about them, such as their location, industry, budget, or number of employees at their company.

How to

This HubSpot Academy article explains how to send a follow-up email and automate it through workflows, enabling your email to be sent automatically once the form is submitted.

Once you’ve built each element in your conversion sequence (not to mention crafted the fantastic, helpful lead magnet that all your visitors want to download in the first place) don’t forget to monitor how it’s performing in your HubSpot marketing hub. To understand more about your visitors and their behaviour, you’ll need to be able to measure which conversion sequences are working better than others and why. Sometimes tweak may be needed, even something small like changing the colour of your CTA can make a difference. We hope by following the tips above, you soon see an increase in traffic to your site and your database starts to grow.