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18 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes

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18 Email Newsletter Examples We Love Getting in Our Inboxes

When you’re constantly inundated with social media, news, and emails, every day can seem like a case of information overload – trying to parse what’s important is a challenge. Subscribing to the right email newsletter can deliver the information you need. Done well, an email newsletter with a purpose is like a trusted source helping you cut through the clutter.

In this blog post, we provide tips and tricks for creating a newsletter that delivers value to subscribers and include examples of exemplary newsletters, explaining what makes them work.

The curation serves to up-level the journalistic quality of your content, which results in two things:

  • Increases the value you provide
  • Improves your authority and credibility in your audience’s eyes

When people first start doing email marketing, they often assume they need an email newsletter. However, newsletters are only effective when done well.

“It’ll have everything our customers care about, all in one place,” they rationalize. “Our list will be different — people will actually look forward to getting our newsletter,” they argue. “Since we’re only sending it once a month, it’ll be a breeze to put together,” they say.

And while all of those things may become true for a few lucky individuals, lots of email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting mush of content people automatically ignore, archive, delete, or straight up unsubscribe from. And this isn’t great for you, your metrics, or your company’s success.

So if you’re thinking about creating an email newsletter, keep on reading. In this post, we’ll cover:

Email Newsletter Ideas

Email newsletters can include a weekly round-up of blog posts, case studies regarding your product or service, upcoming company events and webinars, or even a behind-the-scenes look at your company.

Of course, you don’t want to create a newsletter just for the sake of creating one — instead, you should do thorough research on what your audience might prefer, and what your company is well-suited to offer.

If you’re looking for general email newsletter inspiration, you’re in luck. Here’s a list of some of our favorite ideas for email newsletters:

  • Round-up of popular or recent blog posts or videos
  • New job openings at your company
  • New case studies or product launches
  • Membership/customer deals and promotions
  • New best practices or tips
  • Industry news
  • Quotes
  • Recent survey results related to your industry
  • Internal employee news, including anniversaries, promotions, and birthdays
  • Listicles (i.e. “10 Best Vacation Spots of 2020” if you work for a Travel publication)
  • A team spotlight with pictures and bios
  • Photos or stories customers have shared
  • Behind-the-scenes at your company, or interviews with company executives
  • Monthly business recap
  • New training opportunities
  • FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and answers
  • Upcoming webinars, or recordings of past webinars

Next, let’s explore some newsletter designs to inspire the aesthetic of your newsletter.

Featured Guide: Email Newsletter Design Examples Lookbook

email newsletter examples lookbookLearn how to build an email newsletter from scratch, and see dozens of email newsletter examples from real businesses with this free guide.

Email Newsletter Design

While you can get creative with the structure of your email newsletter, the general anatomy typically includes:

  • Your logo or masthead
  • A featured image and other eye-catching visuals
  • Top stories featured at the top
  • Additional content and promotions following
  • An email footer with social links and subscription information

anatomy of an email newsletter designFrom a design standpoint, your company’s newsletter should be a true reflection of your brand. For instance, if your website features minimalist design and clean, plain black-and-white text, then you don’t want to create a super colorful newsletter, which might confuse new subscribers.

There are a few best practices, however, you can employ to ensure your design is up-to-par regardless of your audience’s preferences:

  • Clean, crisp images (no blurry images)
  • Text (use same text throughout), company logo, and icons
  • Try filters, memes, or video
  • Make the CTA clear and obvious — and just have one (i.e. “Click here to shop” or “Click here to read”)
  • Create a hierarchy with CTA early-on
  • Mobile-responsive
  • Test the length of your newsletter to ensure it’s not too short or too long for your audience

Of course, the design of your newsletter will depend on your brand, as well as the message. For instance, you might want to create a colorful, attention-grabbing newsletter if it largely focuses on visuals of new products — alternatively, if it’s a round-up of recent blog posts, perhaps you try a more minimalist look to mimic the appearance of a letter.

Of course, you’ll want to A/B test whichever design(s) you choose, to ensure they resonate with your audience.

I’d also recommend looking into pre-made templates if you’re not familiar with designing emails. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you’ll have a bunch of pre-made templates in the email tool.

However, if you’re still unsure about your newsletter design, there’s nothing better than looking at examples for further inspiration.

Take a look at the following newsletters that knocked it out of the park, and consider using some of their design elements as inspiration for your own.

 

Each newsletter on this list is fabulous for different reasons. Some have exceptional design, some have exceptional copy, some have exceptional calls-to-action … but all are exceptional at solving for their subscribers’ needs.

1. The Hustle

The Hustle is a daily newsletter that promises “business and tech in 5 minutes or less.”

While there are a ton of business and tech newsletters out there, what makes The Hustle remarkable is its tone at the intersection of informational and hilarious.

Take two of their most notable headlines from 2021 as an example:

  • “Inside the world’s most booked Airbnb”
  • “How Bob Ross paintings became a coveted investment”

The Hustle also allows subscribers to customize the content they receive to fit their interests (see the “Snippets” section in the example below).

The formula of great content + unique tone + personalization works well for The Hustle’s audience as they’ve grown to more than 1.5 million subscribers.

The Hustle daily newsletterImage Source: The Hustle

2. Atlas Obscura

Atlas Obscura’s newsletter does more than provide travel recommendations – it also delivers compelling stories about the world to your inbox.

With stories like “Spotting Squid in the Tides of Oahu” and “Dreaming of Spaghetti and the Sea,” the Atlas Obscura newsletter is a portal for exploration. They do an excellent job of writing attention-grabbing headlines and finding unexpected, delightful details – library apartments, haunted coffee, and 19th century skulls are just a few examples. 

Combining interesting stories, captivating photos, and incredible destinations, the Atlas Obscura newsletter reels in the reader.

See the Pen Newsletter – Arcana Obscura by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

3. Buffer

Buffer does a great job at keeping the newsletter concise, making it easy for readers to get the knowledge they need with a skim. They understand that readers want to catch up on the fast-paced and ever-changing social media landscape, so they break down the latest news and trends. 

The newsletter is packed with information without feeling overwhelming due to its simple and organized structure.

See the Pen Newsletter – Buffer by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

4. The Washington Post The 7

The news is overwhelming and trying to scroll through Twitter to catch up on what’s happening can lead to distractions. The Washington Post understands this and created “The 7” to break down the seven most important stories of the day.

The newsletter is memorable because you can expect exactly seven stories to be sent to your inbox every weekday morning. The listicle format makes the newsletter skimmable. Under each story, they include bulleted points like “why this matters,” “why now,” and “the numbers” to get the point across succinctly. Complex news is made digestible.

See the Pen Newsletter – WaPo by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

5. Phrasee

Phrasee’s weekly newsletter is as informative as it is delightful. They deliver curated articles accompanied by fun graphics, GIFs, and memes.

Their tone is personable and lively, almost like the newsletter could fit in on social media. With their unique and daring tone, they know how to stand out from the crowd.

phrasee email newsletterImage Source: Phrasee

6. The New York Times Cooking

A picture is worth a thousand words, says the adage. This couldn’t be truer for newsletters – if your content lends itself to imagery, use it to your advantage like The New York Times Cooking newsletter. The New York Times may be known for delivering news, but it also has a robust cooking section packed with creative, multicultural recipes that are beautifully photographed.

Highlighting new recipes from different chefs, Their New York Times Cooking newsletter is never stale. They expertly include a variety of recipes so readers get value out of finding something new to try.

See the Pen Newsletter – NYT Cooking by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

7. Quartz Daily Brief

The Quartz Daily Brief provides a rundown of must-know news, Quartz’s most popular stories, and other interesting highlights about the economy.

The newsletter is straightforward like a brief without being dry, with visuals like charts to help pique the reader’s interest. Sections for need-to-know news, what to watch for, top reads, and surprising discoveries keep things organized. The breadth of material means the reader can choose from a variety of topics to further investigate.

See the Pen Newsletter – Quartz by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

8. Moz Top 10

Moz Top 10 is a semi-monthly roundup of top pieces of content about marketing. Essential to any marketer, Moz Top 10 links to key marketing content with actionable insights. The content is not just their own; they link to external sources.

Examples of digital marketing and SEO content includes how brands can take stands on issues and backlink index comparisons.

Moz's Top Ten Newsletter

[Click here to see the entire email.]

9. Vox Sentences

Vox Sentences is a nightly email meant to quickly get its readers up to speed on the best stories from the day. The content ranges from the day’s top news to fun stories from all over the web. They do a great job balancing their own content with external sources, and the stories they choose are always really high quality.

vox sentencesImage Source: Vox

10. TheSkimm

If you want to stay up on what’s happening in the world and have some delightful writing delivered to your inbox first thing in the morning, look no further than TheSkimm. It’s a daily roundup of what’s happened in the news in short, punchy paragraphs.

The best part? You don’t have to click out of the email to read the news if you don’t want to — although they do link to their sources if you want to read further.

For your own email marketing, TheSkimm is the place to go if you’re looking for writing inspiration or for emails without much visual content.

the skimmImage Source: TheSkimm

11. Below the Fold

Below the Fold is a weekly newsletter (from Acciyo) that surfaces important and interesting stories that simply aren’t making headlines due to the crowded, never-ending news cycle we all experience day in and day out.

Acciyo’s editorial team handpicks great news stories that they believe deserve “front-page love” but are being beaten out by an “infinite scroll of breaking headlines” — stories that range from how investors are profiting from emergency room bills, to how one Mexican company turned prickly pear into sustainable fuel.

below the fold newsletterImage Source: Below the Fold

12. The Ringer

Remember Grantland, the sports and pop culture blog owned by ESPN that was started by sports journalist Bill Simmons? In October 2015, ESPN announced it would be ending the publication of Grantland. Shortly thereafter, Simmons formed Bill Simmon Media Group and recruited a whole bunch of former Grantland staffers to launch a brand new newsletter in March 2016 called The Ringer.

Although The Ringer is written and run by many former Grantland employees it’s a different project than Grantland was. Where Grantland focused on sports and pop culture, The Ringer branches out into other areas like tech and politics. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, is among the contributors. I like how focused they are on experimentation: “We want to have fun, take chances, analyze, theorize, obsess, and try not to take ourselves too seriously,” said Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey.

Another differentiator? The Ringer’s website was developed in partnership with publishing platform Medium – which means the newsletter reflects that clean, minimal design.

the ringerImage Source: The Ringer

13. The Marginalian

The Marginalian is one of the most interesting newsletters out there. In fact, the folks who write it call it an “interestingness digest.” Every Sunday morning, subscribers get the past week’s most unmissable articles about creativity, psychology, art, science, design, and philosophy — topics that are really appealing to a wide audience. At its core, it explores what it means to live a good life.

Brain pickings newsletter

[Click here to see the full newsletter.]

14. The New Yorker Recommends

The New Yorker Recommends is a weekly newsletter highlighting what their staff reads, watches, and listens to. It is packed with curated recommendations for books, movies, TV shows, and music. 

Having staffers select their own recommendations gives this newsletter a personalized, hand-curated feeling that helps readers connect with the content.

See the Pen Newsletter – The New Yorker Recommends by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

15. Polygon Patch Notes

Polygon Patch Notes shares the staff’s picks for new movies, TV shows, video games, comics, manga, and tabletop RPGs. The newsletter also links to a free new game and highlights top stories on Polygon, ranging from reviews to guides.

The mix of curated staff picks and top stories in a simple format makes this an easy-to-digest newsletter. Polygon Patch Notes also employs a personable tone, making the read relatable and fun rather than overly businesslike and bland.

See the Pen Newsletter – Polygon by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

16. Apple News+ Audio

The mobile-first format for Apple News+ Audio capitalizes on people’s increasing reliance on smartphones – according to Pew Research Center, 85 percent of Americans have a smartphone. 

The format is also interesting – rather than solely delivering updates with text, subscribers can listen to audio. It makes sense, given that the newsletter highlights best Apple News+ Audio stories; including the icon with a link to listen makes it easy for subscribers to dive into a story.

See the Pen Newsletter – Apple News+ Audio by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

17. Medium

Medium is a blog-publishing platform that has been continuously building momentum since its launch in 2012. Publishing on the site has really picked up in the past few years, and nowadays, there are a ton of people publishing posts on the site every day.

Of course, that means there’s a lot of content for the average person to filter through. To help bring great content to the surface, Medium uses email newsletters. And after I open this newsletter every day, I end up going to visit several Medium posts without fail. (Mission accomplished for Medium, right?)

Here’s why: The newsletter feels pretty minimal. Because of the way that Medium uses colors and section dividers, they’re able to give you a ton of content in one email without it feeling overwhelming. Plus, they offer both a daily and a weekly version of the digest, allowing users to opt in for the email frequency they feel most comfortable with.

medium email newsletter from Jun-02-2022-04Image Source: Medium

18. The Strategist

From New York Magazine, The Strategist curates deals, shopping advice, and discounts.

The newsletter does a great job of including relevant shopping information, paying attention to the trends. The Strategist also includes a wide variety of products and services to shop for, casting a wide net.

See the Pen Newsletter – The Strategist by HubSpot (@hubspot) on CodePen.

Creating an Email Newsletter Your Subscribers Love

Even though newsletters are one of the most common types of emails to send, they are actually some of the hardest to do right. We hope these examples gave you some quality inspiration so you can create newsletters your subscribers love to get in their inboxes.

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

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Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads (And How To Fix It)

Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

You ask the head of marketing how the team is doing and get a giant thumbs up. 👍

“Our MQLs are up!”

“Website conversion rates are at an all-time high!”

“Email click rates have never been this good!”

But when you ask the head of sales the same question, you get the response that echoes across sales desks worldwide — the leads from marketing suck. 

If you’re in this boat, you’re not alone. The issue of “leads from marketing suck” is a common situation in most organizations. In a HubSpot survey, only 9.1% of salespeople said leads they received from marketing were of very high quality.

Why do sales teams hate marketing-generated leads? And how can marketers help their sales peers fall in love with their leads? 

Let’s dive into the answers to these questions. Then, I’ll give you my secret lead gen kung-fu to ensure your sales team loves their marketing leads. 

Marketers Must Take Ownership

“I’ve hit the lead goal. If sales can’t close them, it’s their problem.”

How many times have you heard one of your marketers say something like this? When your teams are heavily siloed, it’s not hard to see how they get to this mindset — after all, if your marketing metrics look strong, they’ve done their part, right?

Not necessarily. 

The job of a marketer is not to drive traffic or even leads. The job of the marketer is to create messaging and offers that lead to revenue. Marketing is not a 100-meter sprint — it’s a relay race. The marketing team runs the first leg and hands the baton to sales to sprint to the finish.

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via GIPHY

To make leads valuable beyond the vanity metric of watching your MQLs tick up, you need to segment and nurture them. Screen the leads to see if they meet the parameters of your ideal customer profile. If yes, nurture them to find out how close their intent is to a sale. Only then should you pass the leads to sales. 

Lead Quality Control is a Bitter Pill that Works

Tighter quality control might reduce your overall MQLs. Still, it will ensure only the relevant leads go to sales, which is a win for your team and your organization.

This shift will require a mindset shift for your marketing team: instead of living and dying by the sheer number of MQLs, you need to create a collaborative culture between sales and marketing. Reinforce that “strong” marketing metrics that result in poor leads going to sales aren’t really strong at all.  

When you foster this culture of collaboration and accountability, it will be easier for the marketing team to receive feedback from sales about lead quality without getting defensive. 

Remember, the sales team is only holding marketing accountable so the entire organization can achieve the right results. It’s not sales vs marketing — it’s sales and marketing working together to get a great result. Nothing more, nothing less. 

We’ve identified the problem and where we need to go. So, how you do you get there?

Fix #1: Focus On High ROI Marketing Activities First

What is more valuable to you:

  • One more blog post for a few more views? 
  • One great review that prospective buyers strongly relate to?

Hopefully, you’ll choose the latter. After all, talking to customers and getting a solid testimonial can help your sales team close leads today.  Current customers talking about their previous issues, the other solutions they tried, why they chose you, and the results you helped them achieve is marketing gold.

On the other hand, even the best blog content will take months to gain enough traction to impact your revenue.

Still, many marketers who say they want to prioritize customer reviews focus all their efforts on blog content and other “top of the funnel” (Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation) efforts. 

The bottom half of the growth marketing funnel (Retention, Reputation, and Revenue) often gets ignored, even though it’s where you’ll find some of the highest ROI activities.

1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 123 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

Most marketers know retaining a customer is easier than acquiring a new one. But knowing this and working with sales on retention and account expansion are two different things. 

When you start focusing on retention, upselling, and expansion, your entire organization will feel it, from sales to customer success. These happier customers will increase your average account value and drive awareness through strong word of mouth, giving you one heck of a win/win.

Winning the Retention, Reputation, and Referral game also helps feed your Awareness, Acquisition, and Activation activities:

  • Increasing customer retention means more dollars stay within your organization to help achieve revenue goals and fund lead gen initiatives.
  • A fully functioning referral system lowers your customer acquisition cost (CAC) because these leads are already warm coming in the door.
  • Case studies and reviews are powerful marketing assets for lead gen and nurture activities as they demonstrate how you’ve solved identical issues for other companies.

Remember that the bottom half of your marketing and sales funnel is just as important as the top half. After all, there’s no point pouring leads into a leaky funnel. Instead, you want to build a frictionless, powerful growth engine that brings in the right leads, nurtures them into customers, and then delights those customers to the point that they can’t help but rave about you.

So, build a strong foundation and start from the bottom up. You’ll find a better return on your investment. 

Fix #2: Join Sales Calls to Better Understand Your Target Audience

You can’t market well what you don’t know how to sell.

Your sales team speaks directly to customers, understands their pain points, and knows the language they use to talk about those pains. Your marketing team needs this information to craft the perfect marketing messaging your target audience will identify with.

When marketers join sales calls or speak to existing customers, they get firsthand introductions to these pain points. Often, marketers realize that customers’ pain points and reservations are very different from those they address in their messaging. 

Once you understand your ideal customers’ objections, anxieties, and pressing questions, you can create content and messaging to remove some of these reservations before the sales call. This effort removes a barrier for your sales team, resulting in more SQLs.

Fix #3: Create Collateral That Closes Deals

One-pagers, landing pages, PDFs, decks — sales collateral could be anything that helps increase the chance of closing a deal. Let me share an example from Lean Labs. 

Our webinar page has a CTA form that allows visitors to talk to our team. Instead of a simple “get in touch” form, we created a drop-down segmentation based on the user’s challenge and need. This step helps the reader feel seen, gives them hope that they’ll receive real value from the interaction, and provides unique content to users based on their selection.

1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 298 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, if they select I need help with crushing it on HubSpot, they’ll get a landing page with HubSpot-specific content (including a video) and a meeting scheduler. 

Speaking directly to your audience’s needs and pain points through these steps dramatically increases the chances of them booking a call. Why? Because instead of trusting that a generic “expert” will be able to help them with their highly specific problem, they can see through our content and our form design that Lean Labs can solve their most pressing pain point. 

Fix #4: Focus On Reviews and Create an Impact Loop

A lot of people think good marketing is expensive. You know what’s even more expensive? Bad marketing

To get the best ROI on your marketing efforts, you need to create a marketing machine that pays for itself. When you create this machine, you need to think about two loops: the growth loop and the impact loop.

1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755163 789 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To
  • Growth loop — Awareness ➡ Acquisition ➡ Activation ➡ Revenue ➡ Awareness: This is where most marketers start. 
  • Impact loop — Results ➡ Reviews ➡ Retention ➡ Referrals ➡ Results: This is where great marketers start. 

Most marketers start with their growth loop and then hope that traction feeds into their impact loop. However, the reality is that starting with your impact loop is going to be far more likely to set your marketing engine up for success

Let me share a client story to show you what this looks like in real life.

Client Story: 4X Website Leads In A Single Quarter

We partnered with a health tech startup looking to grow their website leads. One way to grow website leads is to boost organic traffic, of course, but any organic play is going to take time. If you’re playing the SEO game alone, quadrupling conversions can take up to a year or longer.

But we did it in a single quarter. Here’s how.

We realized that the startup’s demos were converting lower than industry standards. A little more digging showed us why: our client was new enough to the market that the average person didn’t trust them enough yet to want to invest in checking out a demo. So, what did we do?

We prioritized the last part of the funnel: reputation.

We ran a 5-star reputation campaign to collect reviews. Once we had the reviews we needed, we showcased them at critical parts of the website and then made sure those same reviews were posted and shown on other third-party review platforms. 

Remember that reputation plays are vital, and they’re one of the plays startups often neglect at best and ignore at worst. What others say about your business is ten times more important than what you say about yourself

By providing customer validation at critical points in the buyer journey, we were able to 4X the website leads in a single quarter!

1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 910 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

So, when you talk to customers, always look for opportunities to drive review/referral conversations and use them in marketing collateral throughout the buyer journey. 

Fix #5: Launch Phantom Offers for Higher Quality Leads 

You may be reading this post thinking, okay, my lead magnets and offers might be way off the mark, but how will I get the budget to create a new one that might not even work?

It’s an age-old issue: marketing teams invest way too much time and resources into creating lead magnets that fail to generate quality leads

One way to improve your chances of success, remain nimble, and stay aligned with your audience without breaking the bank is to create phantom offers, i.e., gauge the audience interest in your lead magnet before you create them.

For example, if you want to create a “World Security Report” for Chief Security Officers, don’t do all the research and complete the report as Step One. Instead, tease the offer to your audience before you spend time making it. Put an offer on your site asking visitors to join the waitlist for this report. Then wait and see how that phantom offer converts. 

This is precisely what we did for a report by Allied Universal that ended up generating 80 conversions before its release.

1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To1716755164 348 Why The Sales Team Hates Your Leads And How To

The best thing about a phantom offer is that it’s a win/win scenario: 

  • Best case: You get conversions even before you create your lead magnet.
  • Worst case: You save resources by not creating a lead magnet no one wants.  

Remember, You’re On The Same Team 

We’ve talked a lot about the reasons your marketing leads might suck. However, remember that it’s not all on marketers, either. At the end of the day, marketing and sales professionals are on the same team. They are not in competition with each other. They are allies working together toward a common goal. 

Smaller companies — or anyone under $10M in net new revenue — shouldn’t even separate sales and marketing into different departments. These teams need to be so in sync with one another that your best bet is to align them into a single growth team, one cohesive front with a single goal: profitable customer acquisition.

Interested in learning more about the growth marketing mindset? Check out the Lean Labs Growth Playbook that’s helped 25+ B2B SaaS marketing teams plan, budget, and accelerate growth.


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