As we said in Chapter 1, inbound marketing is the process of creating and generating qualified leads. To clarify, when we use the word “lead,” we mean a person who has expressed an interest in your product or service. This interest is shown by downloading an offer, filling out a form, or requesting more information about your product or service. Generating leads with inbound marketing is simply the process of attracting visitors to your business and turning them into known leads.
Hubspot breaks down the process of inbound marketing into 4 phases: Attract, Convert, Close, Delight.
The 4 Phases of Inbound Marketing
At its core, inbound marketing is the process of providing value and useful information to prospects, make the business visible, earn trust, and nurture the prospect until you earn the sale. In reality, inbound marketing is the digital version of the same marketing that has stood the test of time. It’s simply a more scalable, efficient, and modern way to approach marketing.
Throughout all of these stages, it’s important to ensure that you’re attracting the right type of visitors and leads to your company by building out your buyer personas. But we’ll cover more on that in Chapter 5. The value of thinking of your inbound marketing strategy in these stages is that it allows you to tailor your messaging based on where a contact falls in the buyer’s journey. There are many benefits to building an effective inbound marketing strategy. We’ll cover those in the next chapter!
The process of a visitor coming to your site and discovering their desire for more information about your business is where a visitor becomes a lead. Visitors to your site have a choice: either build a relationship with you, or leave and never come back. This is the phase that helps prompt a visitor to provide information through contact forms or content offers.
In this phase of inbound marketing, your team is nurturing the relationship with the new lead through whatever communication means necessary to seal the deal and close the customer.
Once a lead becomes a customer, the relationship doesn’t end there. You have the opportunity to take them from a customer to a promoter of your business: someone who will gladly share about you to friends and family. The way to create people who are passionate about your business is by continuing to provide them great value. Create special offers and discounts for them, continue to offer valuable information, and commit to the best customer service possible.