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5 HubSpot workflows for lead management

By Katie Paterson · February 22, 2022
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When you're steering an inbound marketing ship, there are a few questions that are almost always on your mind:

  • Are we keeping tabs on everyone who enters our marketing database?

  • Are we creating enough leads for the sales team to work with?

  • Are they actually working the leads we're generating for them?

Most of the time, the answer to these questions really comes down to the technology you're using for lead management. If you're using HubSpot's Marketing Hub (Professional or Enterprise), you'll have access to their marketing automation workflows, which—if you set them up right—will essentially manage all those concerns for you. 

Setting up marketing workflows initially can be a little tricky, but once you have them in place, you really can sit back and watch the warm leads stream into your CRM like magic. I once worked for a software company that had HubSpot workflows in place that were so effective at creating leads, they hadn't been touched in over a decade. So put the work in now, and you can reap the benefits for literal years.

What are HubSpot workflows?

HubSpot workflows are automations that trigger certain desired actions in the CRM without you or your team having to perform any tasks manually.

When a contact in your HubSpot CRM meets the workflow enrollment criteria (which you set), HubSpot will notify your sales team, update the contact's status, or trigger an automation that encourages that contact to do something you want them to do (like book a demo or open an automated email).

To create a new workflow, go to Automation > Workflows in the main HubSpot menu.

Workflows in the HubSpot Automation navigation

All the workflows in this guide are contact-based, so select Contact-based from the menu if you want to try building any of these from scratch.

Selecting Contact-based workflows in HubSpot

5 HubSpot workflow examples for lead management

HubSpot has a bunch of templates you can use to get started, but I wanted to share some of the most effective HubSpot automation workflows I've used to help create and nurture a stream of qualified marketing leads.

  1. Welcome workflows

  2. Lead scoring workflows

  3. Lead nurture workflows

  4. Video integration workflows

  5. Re-engagement workflows

1. Welcome workflows 

You want as many people as possible to fill out your lead gen forms, not just to build your mailing list but also because gathering an email address instantly transforms a website visitor (who isn't trackable) into a lead (who you can track, nurture, and hopefully convert into a sale). 

I suggest setting up a welcome lead flow workflow that does the following:

  • Enrollment trigger: Contact fills out lead gen form

  • Action 1: Contact's lifecycle stage is changed to Subscriber (if they're a brand new contact/don't already have a lifecycle stage)

  • Action 2: Send automated welcome email that includes a few of your best pieces of content to get them reading/clicking around a bit more

  • Action 3: If the contact opens and clicks the email, lifecycle stage is changed from Subscriber to Lead

The visual workflow builder in HubSpot for the welcome workflow

This welcome email sequence will help you get a new subscriber instantly warmed up and engaging with your content. If you share downloadable assets in the welcome email, it can also drive contacts to landing pages, where you'll be able to gather more information on them by adding extra fields to your forms. And the more info you know, the easier it is to determine if they're a lead worth passing through to Sales.

2. Lead scoring workflows 

HubSpot's lead scoring is one of my favorite features. There are two main ways to give points to contacts:

  • Assign points to a contact's record whenever they perform certain "positive" actions. Maybe they get 10 points for visiting your website a bunch of times within a certain timeframe, or they download a couple of eBooks and get 5 points for each download. You tell HubSpot what actions you think indicate a contact is warming up to your brand, and they take care of the automated scoring.

  • Assign points if a contact's record data tells you they're likely to convert. For example, is their IP address located in your target market location? Does their job title tell you they're a decision-maker?

Note: You can also set up scoring to deduct points when you think a lead won't convert, so the sales team doesn't waste time working irrelevant leads—more on this over on the HubSpot blog

To make the most of your lead scoring, you can set up a workflow that does the following:

  • Enrollment trigger: Contact gathers a certain number of HubSpot points

  • Action 1: Contact's lifecycle is changed to Lead, MQL, or SQL (depending on how high their score is)

  • Action 2: If/then branch—if lifecycle becomes SQL, change contact owner to a member of the sales team

  • Action 3: Send sales team member an in-app notification of new SQL

The best part about this workflow is that it closes that gap between marketing and sales by sending a notification to sales when a hot lead appears in the system.

3. Lead nurture workflows 

Lead nurture workflows are built to push contacts down the marketing funnel. 

When a contact downloads one of your assets (for example, an eBook, report, or whitepaper), a workflow can enter them into a nurturing program that sends a series of emails to encourage further action based on whatever they originally downloaded. Then you can set different actions depending on which emails they open and engage with.

You can also use if/then branches to send contacts down different routes depending on their personas or what stage they are in the customer lifecycle, so they get hyper-personalized content that speaks directly to their needs. 

Here's an example lead nurturing workflow you could try:

  • Enrollment trigger: Contact submits a form to download asset

  • Action 1: If persona is x, y, or z, they receive an automated email that speaks directly to that persona

  • Action 2: Delay 5 working days

  • Action 3: Send automated email #2 that contains mid-funnel content speaking to needs of that persona

  • Action 4: If/then branch

    • If contact opens/clicks, change lifecycle stage to MQL

    • If contact doesn't engage, clear lifecycle stage and put back to Subscriber

4. Video integration workflows

With HubSpot's Zapier integration, you can easily integrate HubSpot with a video platform, like Wistia, to automatically add new visitor emails into HubSpot. But what happens to these new contacts once they're in your CRM? You can set up a workflow that sends out a nurture email similar to the one mentioned above but focuses on video content since that's the medium the contact appears to engage with.

First, you'll set up email capture on your video and send those emails into a specific contact list in HubSpot. Then, create a workflow that triggers something like the following: 

  • Enrollment trigger: Contact is added to list "Leads from [video channel]"

  • Action 1: Lifecycle stage changed to Lead

  • Action 2: Delay 3 working days

  • Action 3: Automated video email #1 sent 

  • Action 4: If/then branch

    • If contact opens/clicks, change lifecycle stage to MQL

    • If contact doesn't engage, clear lifecycle stage and put back to Subscriber

The visual workflow builder in HubSpot for the video integration workflow

Workflows like this also ensure every contact is given an opportunity to move further down the marketing funnel right away rather than leaving them stagnant in your CRM until they proactively decide to do something.

5. Re-engagement workflows 

Re-engagement campaigns are a great way to create hot leads from seemingly dead ones. They might have gone cold, but they do already know your brand and have previously engaged with you, so it should be easier to warm them back up again. 

A re-engagement workflow will look something like this:

  • Enrollment trigger: Contact hasn't opened the last 10 emails you've sent them

  • Action 1: Send re-engagement email (include an offer or discount or something appealing to spark interest)

  • Action 2: If/then branch  

    • If contact opens and engages with the email, change lifecycle to Lead

    • If contact doesn't open email, add to active list "Unengaged contacts to delete"

Someone from Sales would be responsible for making a final call on that list of unengaged contacts to delete. But if your re-engagement email is doing its job, this list shouldn't be too long. Going in with a strong email subject line and offering something like a discount can turn cold leads into hot ones without you doing a thing.

Once you've set up these workflows, be sure you've also integrated HubSpot with all the other tools in your stack. That'll mean you can get contacts into your CRM without having to do any manual work; change a contact's stage based on activity in other apps; and send your sales team notifications on whatever tool they spend the most time in, whether that's a text message, Slack, email, or anything in between.

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A Zap with the trigger 'When I get a new lead from Facebook,' and the action 'Notify my team in Slack'