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How to Create UTM Tracking URLs on Google Analytics

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How to Create UTM Tracking URLs on Google Analytics

How do you know if Facebook is a worthy investment, or if you’re getting enough traffic from your recent promotional campaign? The answer: UTM tracking links.

UTM codes help you track where traffic is coming from, allowing you to properly measure each campaign’s, platform’s, or medium’s ROI.

In this blog post, you’ll learn what UTM codes are, how to use them, and how to build them in both Google Analytics and HubSpot.

UTM codes are also known as UTM parameters — or tracking tags — because they help you “track” website traffic from its origin.

Now, you might be thinking, “Ginny, I have HubSpot, so I already know if my website traffic is coming from Google, email, social media, and similar marketing channels. What does a UTM code tell me that I don’t already know?”

HubSpot Marketing Hub provides you with these high-level sources of traffic, but UTM also helps you drill down into specific pages and posts within these traffic sources. If you’re promoting a campaign on social media, for example, you’ll know how much traffic came from social media. Building a UTM code, however, can tell you how much of that traffic came from Facebook or even a particular post on Facebook.

UTM Code Example

UTM codes can be overwhelming at first, so let’s take a look at an example. Here’s a URL with its own UTM code:

http://blog.hubspot.com/9-reasons-you-cant-resist-list?utm_campaign=blog_post &utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook

Let’s break this link down.

  • http://blog.hubspot.com/9-reasons-you-cant-resist-list: This is the base URL of the page.
  • ?: This signals to your analytics software that a string of UTM parameters will follow.
  • utm_campaign=blog_post: This is the first UTM parameter, specifically for the campaign the visitor engaged with (in this case, a blog post campaign).
  • &: This denotes that another UTM parameter will follow.
  • utm_medium=social: This is the second parameter, specifically for the channel the visitor came from (in this case, social).
  • &: This denotes that another UTM parameter will follow.
  • utm_source=facebook: This is the last parameter, specifically for the specific website the visitor came from (in this case, Facebook).

In the example above, you’re saying that once traffic comes in from people who click this link, the traffic should be attributed to Facebook. The “medium” is social media, while the “source” is Facebook.

Adding these snippets of code after the question mark above doesn’t affect anything on the page — it just lets your analytics program know that someone arrived through a certain source inside an overall marketing channel, as part of a specific campaign.

How do UTM links help marketers?

Crucial aspects of being a great marketer are being able to measure your success and measure your impact. No matter which metrics you use, you want to prove to your boss (and the company) that you’re worth your salt.

You deserve your budget — and maybe need more of it — and you deserve to dedicate time to the marketing activities that work. Building UTM codes that track your campaigns’ success is the best way to prove it.

Relying on your analytics tool’s source and medium breakdown isn’t enough to prove whether a certain strategy is working. UTM links provide more granular data that allow you to drill down to the specific source of the traffic. You can use the following UTM parameters, which we’ll cover in more detail later:

  • Campaign
  • Source
  • Medium
  • Content
  • Term

With that in mind, UTM tracking codes can help you determine:

1. Where the traffic is coming from (Source).

First up, you’ll be able to tell the specific website the traffic is coming from. Examples include:

  • Social websites (Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, etc)
  • Search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc)
  • Paid posts and sponsored listings (paid ads, sponsored posts, etc)
  • Other websites (your own site, competitor’s sites, publisher’s sites)

2. Which general channel the traffic came from (Medium).

It’s also important to know the general categorization of the source. That way, you can determine whether social media in general is a worthwhile investment, as an example. Organic search, social, CPC, and email are a few mediums you can use.

3. What type of content people clicked on (Content).

What gets the most clicks? An image, a sidebar link, or a menu link? You can tell this information with the content UTM parameter. This is essential for determining whether you need to add more images, for instance, or improve your sidebar link structure if no clicks are coming through that content.

4. Which term they used to access the page (Term).

UTM links can also help you see which terms are driving traffic to a specific page. By using the term parameter, you can determine which keywords are driving the most traffic to you, and which need more love.

Putting it all together, here’s what a UTM-tracked URL can look like:

blog.hubspot.com/marketing/what-are-utm-tracking-codes-ht?utm_medium=paid&utm_source=google&utm_content=sponsored_ad&utm_term=utm+codes

Now, let’s take a closer look at the UTM parameters you can use.

UTM Parameter Examples

UTM codes can track a medium and a source within that medium. Where it gets more flexible is in the language you use to describe that source. Maybe you want to attribute website traffic to a social network, a type of content, or even the exact name of an advertisement on the web.

Here are the five things you can track with UTM codes and why you might track them:

1. Campaign

Campaign-based tracking tags group all of the content from one campaign in your analytics. The example UTM code below would help you attribute website traffic to links that were placed as a part of a 20% discount promotion you’re hosting.

Example: utm_campaign=20_off

2. Source

A source-based URL parameter can tell you which website is sending you traffic. You could add the example code below to every link you post to your Facebook page, helping you to track all traffic that comes from Facebook.

Example: utm_source=facebook

3. Medium

This type of tracking tag informs you of the medium that your tracked link is featured in. You can use the example UTM code below to track all traffic that comes from social media (as opposed to other mediums, like email).

Example: utm_medium=social_media

4. Piece of Content

This type of UTM code is used to track the specific types of content that point to the same destination from a common source and medium.

It’s often used in pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns or with two identical links on the same page, as shown in the sample UTM code below.

Example: utm_content=sidebar_link or utm_content=header_link

5. Term

A term- or keyword-based tracking code identifies the keywords you’ve paid for in a PPC ad. If you pay for a Google Ads campaign to rank under the keyword, “marketing software,” you might add the following UTM code to the end of the link you submit to Google to run this ad.

Example: utm_term=marketing+software

The best part about UTM parameters is that you can make any combination you like of these codes — use the bare minimum (campaign, source, and medium) to track all of your links, or use all of them to get super specific about your tracking.

UTM Tracking

UTM tracking entails adding a UTM code, a snippet of code, to the end of a URL in order to track the performance of your marketing campaigns and content as well as your website’s traffic sources.

UTM Tracking Best Practices

Here are some best practices to keep in mind when creating and using UTM tracking URLs:

  • Make your URLs and links are consistent, clean, and easy to read (you may create a standard for link tagging/UTM parameter guide to ensure consistency here).
  • Keep a list of your UTM links so everyone on your team knows which tagged links currently exist.
  • Connect UTM tracking to your CRM (like HubSpot) to gain insight into how your bottom line looks.
  • Be specific with your URL UTM parameters so your tags clearly state what you’re tracking and where.
  • Stick with all lower or upper case — UTM codes are case-sensitive.
  • Keep names short but descriptive (e.g. “US” versus “United_States”).

Okay, so you’re on board with UTM codes … but how the heck do you set them up? It’s easy.

Below are instructions for setting up and measuring UTM parameters in Google Analytics and HubSpot.

How to Build UTM Codes in Google Analytics

Here are the steps involved in building UTM codes in Google Analytics.

1. Open Google’s Campaign URL Builder.

There are three different types of tracking tags you can create in Google, two of which help you track traffic to new apps on app marketplaces. You’ll be using the Google Analytics Campaign URL Builder — the third option on this list.

2. Fill in each link attribute in the following form.

Visit the page linked above and click the link to see this URL builder. Then, you’ll see the UTM builder shown below. Add the URL, Campaign, Source, and Medium information into their respective boxes.

how to build utm codes google analytics:  fill out the form

3. Use the link in your marketing campaign.

If you’d like to shorten it, you’ll need a tool like bit.ly … or just use HubSpot’s URL Builder if you’re a HubSpot customer.

4. Measure your success.

If you already have Google Analytics set up for your site, Google will automatically track incoming campaigns. Like in HubSpot, you can access them under “Audience,” then “Sources,” then “Campaigns.” Click on each campaign to view the source and medium.

how to build utm codes google analytics: view campaigns

And that’s it — you’ll have custom tracking codes set up and running in no time! In a few weeks, you’ll be able to make a case for what you need because you’ll have the right metrics available.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot

Here’s how you’d go about building UTM codes in HubSpot.

1. Navigate to your Analytics Tools.

In your Marketing Hub dashboard, select “Reports” on the top navigation bar. Then select “Analytics Tools” in the dropdown, as shown below.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: navigate to your analytics tool

2. Open the Tracking URL Builder.

In the menu of analytics tools that appears, look to the very bottom-righthand corner. You’ll see the option, “Tracking URL Builder.” Click this option at the bottom of the page, as shown in the red box below.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: open the tracking url builder

3. Open the Tracking URL form to create a new UTM code.

Whenever you create a web campaign that includes at least one UTM code, you’ll see this campaign listed on the page shown below.

This page outlines a tracking tag’s source, medium, term, content, and creation date, which you can see along the bottom of the screenshot below. Click “Create Tracking URL” in the top-righthand corner.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: open the tracking URL form to create a new UTM code

4. Fill in each attribute of your UTM code and click “Create.”

In the form that appears, fill in the URL, Campaign, Source, and Medium fields. If you’d like to add Content and Term, you can do so in the bottom two fields of this form. When you’re done, you’ll see an orange “Create” button become available at the bottom.

Click it, and HubSpot will log your UTM code as a new campaign, and this link will be ready to include on any webpage from which you want to track the traffic.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: fill in the attributes of your UTM code and click create

5. Use the shortened link in your marketing campaign.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: use the shortened link in your marketing campaign

6. Measure your success.

You can track your UTM parameters in your Traffic Analytics dashboard under “Other Campaigns,” as shown below. Click on the individual campaign to break down the source and medium.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: measure your success

As you can see in the second image, below, the name of the campaign appears to the left — based on the text in the UTM code you created — with the traffic from people who used each URL to arrive at your campaign’s main webpage.

How to Build UTM Codes in HubSpot: measure your success

Now that you know how to set up UTM links, how do you use them? Let’s take a look.

How to Use UTM Links for Your Campaigns

You can use a combination of UTM codes and parameters in a lot of ways. Here’s how you can use them in your day-to-day as a marketer.

1. Track the success of a promotional campaign.

Dropping product prices or launching a new product can be daunting, because if there’s no measurable ROI, it’ll be wasted effort. Luckily, you can tell whether users are effectively arriving to your site from your promotional efforts using UTM codes.

Here’s one example for a product launch:

mywebsite.com/new-product?utm_campaign=product_launch&utm_medium=cpc&utm_source=facebook

Or, if you’re running a discount campaign through Instagram influencers, here’s what a UTM link can look like:

mywebsite.com/sale?utm_campaign=20_off&utm_medium=paid&utm_source=instagram&utm_content=bio

2. See how well your social channels promote your content versus when your followers promote your content.

How do your organic social efforts stack up against your followers’ promotional efforts? You can create two UTM campaigns to find out.

For your own posts, you can share a link as follows:

mywebsite.com?utm_campaign=inhouse_social&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=post

Then, prompt your followers to share the word about you, but let them share the following link:

mywebsite.com?utm_campaign=followers&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=post

3. Measure the effectiveness of guest posting referral traffic.

If you’re guest posting on several industry websites, it’s essential to know whether those posts are driving traffic to your site. Guest posting can be a time-consuming, costly endeavor, especially if you’re paying a freelance writer or for a spot on the publication.

Whenever you create a guest post for another publisher, ensure all the links pointing to your website on that post have UTM parameters that tell you where the traffic came from. Here’s one example:

mywebsite.com?utm_campaign=guest_post&utm_medium=paid&utm_source=guest_post_site&utm_content=body

4. Track the same piece of content across multiple marketing channels.

This is probably one of the most useful ways to use UTM tracking codes: Creating different ones for the same piece of content, and using it across different platforms. You can drop the campaign parameter for this use case, and simply track the medium, source, and content.

Let’s say you want to track referral traffic from a video you posted on LinkedIn, YouTube, and Facebook. Here are the three different links you could use:

LinkedIn: mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_medium=social&utm_source=linkedin&utm_content=caption YouTube: mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_medium=social&utm_source=youtube&utm_content=description Facebook: mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook&utm_content=caption

5. See where most people click on your internal links in a blog post.

Is your internal linking strategy working as intended? You can track where your content gets the most clicks by adding UTM parameters. Here are three examples:

Image: mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_source=blog&utm_content=image Above the Fold: mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_source=blog&utm_content=above_the_fold Bottom of the Post:mywebsite.com/my-content?utm_source=blog&utm_content=bottom

Note: Use this strategy with caution, as using too many UTM parameters in internal links can cause confusion to Google. You should use it on a small batch of internal links, collect the clicking patterns, delete the UTM links, and then act on those results for your future internal linking efforts.

As always, ensure that you’ve set a canonical URL for each link to minimize confusion and prevent duplicate indexing.

Start Creating UTM Tracking URLs

Use the steps, best practices, and tools above to start creating and using UTM tracking URLs so you’re able to track the performance of your marketing campaigns and content. That way, you can reliably boost your metrics and improve the ROI of your digital marketing strategy.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2013 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.


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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

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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.

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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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