Episode 260: Simple Steps, HubSpot KB changes, HubSpot Email Health Reports, and HubSpot Rotate Owner Workflow Action tips
By XEN Systems
Published: Friday 17 September 2021 | Last updated: Friday 17 September 2021
Welcome to HubShots Episode 260: Simple Steps, HubSpot KB changes, HubSpot Email Health Reports, and HubSpot Rotate Owner Workflow Action tips
This edition we dive into:
- The relief of single, simple steps
- HubSpot blocking knowledge base listing pages (not articles)
- HubSpot Email Health Report tips (selecting by Subscription type)
- HubSpot Sales reports
- HubSpot Rotate Owner Workflow Action (and quick tip)
- Avoiding the flight to tactics temptation
- HubSpot Password Security reset date setting
- Is it still worth it to create content on our sites?
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Recorded: Monday 13 September 2021 | Published: Friday 17 September 2021
Shot 1: Growth Thought of the Week
Simple, single steps
I had a meeting with one of our (my wife and my) financial advisors this week - we’re currently restructuring some company arrangements across the various businesses we run.
After a 90 minute session there was a ton of notes, a bunch of spreadsheets with capital gains and other tax considerations, plus a list of assets that needed to be transferred between entities. To make matters unsettling, we discovered that advice that we had received from an accountant a few years ago was incorrect and needed to be unwound.
For our financial advisor, this is all just standard stuff. To him it is easy to understand, digest and action.
But for me it was overwhelming. At the end of it the financial advisor said ‘let me know what you want to do.’ Frankly, I had no idea. Where to even start?
I left the meeting (ie the zoom call) with a sense of anxiety, and a feeling of despair. Perhaps what I actually wanted to do was park the whole thing and not think about it...
It occurred to me afterwards that all the financial advisor needed to say was: ‘there’s a lot there - but here’s the one simple thing I’ll do to get started…’ I would have given the go-ahead right there and likely felt my anxiety dissipate quickly.
Why do I mention all this?
I was chatting with Ian about the experience afterwards, and we discussed this growing sense of overwhelm that everyone is feeling these days - after too many zoom calls, too many lockdowns and too many results to achieve. Most people, it seems, are exhausted and can’t cognitively handle complexity anymore.
It’s why we’re seeing far too many knee-jerk marketing campaigns launched on a tactical whim versus a strategic consideration (‘we need to do webinars’, ‘we need to be on TikTok’, ‘we need to send out swag’, etc). More on this in Shot 8.
It’s also why more people than ever (especially in marketing) are looking for new roles. We’re looking for distraction from the overwhelm.
Looping back to my financial advisor experience (and how he made feel overwhelmed) - I realised I’m probably doing the same thing (but with marketing) for some of our clients. Whilst I’m comfortable with marketing strategy and tactics, for them it can be overwhelming - it’s not what they do day in, day out.
So I’ve realised I need to adjust. I need to get back to simple steps. One step at a time.
Perhaps this is food for thought for your activities. Are you breaking down your strategies and plans into simple steps for your clients (be they external customers, or internal stakeholders)? Are you avoiding overwhelming them.
Be their source of relief, not their source of anxiety.
Shot 2: Quick Shots of the Week
There’s a backlog of items to mention - due to us having a different format for our last few episodes whilst we did a dive into HubSpot CMS Suite Starter, HubSpot CRM Suite Starter and HubSpot CRM Suite Pro.
Here’s the key items of interest we noticed:
- Multiple data sync connections to platforms (eg multiple connections to Dynamics, or MailChimp or ActiveCampaign etc)
- Btw the list of connections continues to grow with more than 60 now in place (ie developed by HubSpot) at the time of recording this
- Reminder: the sync HubSpot tasks with Google calendar feature is now live for everyone (when we mentioned it a few episodes ago it was still just rolling out)
- HubSpot themes are now available on the Envato Marketplace
- HubSpot has now enabled embedding of their website grader tool into other sites (eg here it is on the XEN site)
- The SEO Tool has additional checks added (these are basically just taken from Google Lighthouse) and some are updated in the website grader tool as well (eg recommending you make your link anchor text more descriptive). Aside: I’m in too minds on this as blanket advice - I’ve found (through testing) that sometimes a link that simply says ‘click here’ gets more clicks (ie SEO benefit versus user engagement benefit)
- Check out the HubSpot community article for the full list of recent HubSpot updates.
Shot 3: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week
Marketing Email Health Reports
A quick tip when using the Marketing Email Health tool (from your Marketing > Email area) - you can filter down by specific email subscriptions eg here’s the email health ratings for our HubSpot weekly email:
Things are looking pretty good.
Compare that to another of our brands - where things definitely need some attention:
Notice also that you can choose to view the Current rating, versus the trend over time.
Shot 4: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week
Dashboards for Sales
There are many more things on this dashboard but 2 things we want to highlight so teams can stay on top of their deals.
- To see some details of deals that are past their close date
- To see the value of those deals past their close data broken down by owner. Goal here is to make sure that we are supporting others within the team to win.
Shot 5: HubSpot Service Feature of the Week
Block Knowledge Base Search Listing Pages from Google
In Settings you can control whether Knowledge Base search listing pages (ie not the actual knowledge base articles of course, only the listing pages) will be blocked from Google.
In most cases, we recommend you block the listing pages. The main reason is because there can end up being tons of variations of the listing pages (eg you could run into hundreds of variations) - all chewing up your allocation of Google crawl budget. Instead, you want to keep Google focussed on the actual knowledge base articles.
Note: this is similar to why we usually block tag and category blog listing pages from Google.
It’s important to be aware of this change, rolling out now.
Potential gotcha: some users have seen a message about this in their portal and thought it meant all the actual articles were getting blocked! That’s not the case at all (it’s just confusing wording in the message) - it’s just the listing pages.
Shot 6: HubSpot Workflow Action of the Week
Rotate Owner HubSpot Workflow Action - Sales Pro feature
This is a very handy action for assigning contacts, deals and tickets to various owners:
Owners can be set based on specific users and teams:
Rotate User Lists - Enterprise Feature
However, an often missed feature is that the ‘owner’ field can include custom User lists. Eg at XEN we have an Account Manager ‘owner’ field on contacts (as well as the actual Contact Owner). For example, I might be the actual Contact Owner, but the Account Manager is another member of the team (not me).
This is handy when a contact becomes a customer for example. I might still be the main Contact Owner, but one of our Account Managers can automatically be assigned.
Note: Rotating User lists is an Enterprise feature.
Shot 7: HubSpot Security Setting of the Week
HubSpot Last Password Reset Date
I was scouting around in the HubSpot Settings and discovered this setting for when I last reset my password:
Yep, back in 2013 - that’s 8 years ago. Time flies.
Just for fun I looked in LastPass (where we store all our passwords) to check how strong the password was. I was pleasantly surprised to see it was indeed a very strong password - good to see we’ve had decent password processes in place for a while. But I decided it was time to reset it anyway:
When did you last reset your password?
Shot 8: Insight of the Week
Overwhelm and the flight to tactics
In Shot 1 I mentioned the battle we’re all fighting with overwhelm, and touched on one of the side-effects we’re seeing: the flight to tactics.
Just in the last few weeks we’ve seen otherwise long term, strategic marketers falling into the trap of implementing short term, reactionary activities such as new event types, content formats and social channels.
Now, don’t get me wrong - I’m a big fan of test and measure. And the need to quickly adapt (or ‘pivot’ if you want to play along with your marketing bingo cards). But rapidly changing times don’t necessarily justify embracing marketing distractions.
Here’s how to check - can you answer the question: Why are we doing this?
If you don’t have a clear answer, then it’s likely you’re chasing distraction (as opposed to testing).
Back in episode 252 we chatted about maintaining a testing backlog.
Many marketers are often highly creative - and we need to continually capture those ideas.
But the most successful marketers are disciplined and strategic. They make considered decisions (albeit quickly) and implement methodically, measure accurately, and analyse carefully.
The reason they can do this is because they are careful with their time. They have time for analysis, because they say ‘No’ to most of the marketing temptations (distractions) that attack them daily.
What have you said Yes to lately, that you probably should have said No to? It is too late to say No now?
BTW I am basically preaching to myself with this shot.
(Fun fact: this ‘How about No bear’ meme has been around since 2006)
Shot 9: HubShots Throwback of the Week
Via the HubSpot product updates blog.
This time a year ago HubSpot was releasing the Email Health Tool (ie that we covered in Shot 3).
Shot 10: Resource of the Week
Should we be creating content on our own sites?
Rand’s latest piece on his SparkToro site discusses the reduced exposure our content (eg assume blog post) gets on platforms these day, whether it’s social sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc), communities (Reddit, Discord, etc) and Google (and Bing).
Given that the potential for our owned content to be seen is so diminished, what are we to do? Should we even bother?
In most cases the answer is still yes - providing value is important. But it’s a given, not an exception these days.
It’s one of the reasons Ian and I still prepare this podcast each week - it’s continual content creation (hopefully high value) that we then distribute in multiple formats and channels.
And it’s the reason why we’ve been focusing on building our email list over the last year - it’s now the highest distribution channel for our content.
(BTW, if you haven’t yet subscribed, make sure you sign up for free on the HubShots site here)
Here are three takeaways:
- Carefully decide on your content strategy (keep it simple and say No to most formats/channels)
- Create regularly and with high value
- Distribute widely, but ideally focussed on the channels you can control (eg email)
- Review your analytics results
One of the ways to do this is to look at the HubSpot Traffic Analytics Tools by looking at Sources.
Then look at the Page Analytics and Content Details to gain more insight.
Shot 11: Quote of the Week
“Life is ten percent what you experience and ninety percent how you respond to it.”
- Attributed to lots of different people
Shot 12: Bonus Links of the Week
Useful thread on Twitter from Will Critchlow on internal linking. In particular how internal linking may benefit the linking from page (more so than the linked to page) - which seems counter to what you may have previously thought.
Shot 13: Follow Us on the Socials
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Published: Friday 17 September 2021 | Last updated: Friday 17 September 2021