The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

The Good, The Bad and the Ugly by Kaptain Kobold on Flickr

In last week’s Inquirer, I announced that I was leaving Hubspot and explained why. I tried to be clear about the reasons why it didn’t fit me and might be a fit for others but left a couple of things out. Thankfully, Hubspot CMO Mike Volpe graciously chimed in and added some good points. I encourage you to read his comment and see what he had to say.

Today, I wanted to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly of that move after one week. I think there some good lessons – positive and negative – we can all learn from. Let’s start with the ugly.

Tip Jar: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

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[ismember]The Ugly

The newsletter was ugly. Literally. The design was lousy and it was incomplete. A couple of the default template settings went un-customized and the color scheme was offensive. I simply didn’t perform the due diligence I should have or invest the time. Shame on me.

The Bad

This is illustrative of one of Hubspot’s great advantages (that it “just works”). I had some typos and design flaws with my Google Analytics conversion tracking. It only took me about 36 hours to nail it down but I lost a little data and it cost me some time troubleshooting. Not a disaster but also not good.

The Good

I have two anecdotal stories that, hopefully, are harbingers of the future. One of the main reasons I wanted to move everything back to WordPress is for the flexibility to do more advanced lead generation with my blog. Specifically, I’m moving to a membership model that will eventually include more and more resources for my Inquirers. The first implementation of that resources is this newsletter.

Using Hubspot, I would publish a teaser each week with a call to action for people to subscribe. This was only moderately successful. Last week, I implemented a membership plugin that hides/reveals content. People can immediately unlock content (for free) if they sign up. The results were – in one word – BOOM! My email list has grown by 13% in one week. That’s double my historic signup rate. I do have to recognize that the article went viral a little and so this probably won’t be sustained. However, overall conversions are WAY up and several of the website tweaks I employed in conjunction with the Hubspot migration worked.

The second bright spot was an interesting but not entirely explicable development. I published three blog posts last week on WordPress and received a branded Google Alert for each of them. This is something I haven’t seen in a long time. It could be coincidence but those seem like long odds. It could be that the WordPress environment was/is much more search engine friendly. Perhaps there were some adjustments I could have made to the Hubspot blog setup to fix that, but here’s one instance where Hubspot probably didn’t “just work.”

All in all, I’m loving the freedom and drinking in all of the analytics from this move. Whenever you make big changes, it’s a huge learning opportunity to be able to compare results. And I’m learning a lot.[/ismember]

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