What I Learned at HUGS 2011

by Jon Cooper

A few weeks ago I was blessed with the opportunity to attend the HubSpot User Group Summit (HUGS) 2011 conference, and I picked up quite a few tricks from some of the seminars they held. Because I knew you guys would want to hear about it, I decided to take some notes on some of the specifics. So, here are my takeaways from the conference.

Conversion Rates


Here are a few quick tips on what does and what doesn’t convert on your landing pages. Here’s what to do:


  • Offer information people can’t get anywhere else (make that be known)
  • Use the words webinar, whitepaper, and eBook
  • Feature the word “free”
  • Feature the words “Winner” and “contest”
  • State what you won’t do (i.e. won’t ask for phone number)
  • Focus on asking relevant questions; help them understand why you’re asking for that specific piece of information.
  • Ideally ask 3-6 questions on each form
  • Mention city & state


Here’s what NOT to do:

  • Have information that seems “too good to be true”
  • Have more than 1-2 Text Areas
  • Use the word “age”
  • Use either “phone” or “call”
  • Use the word “submit”
  • Use either “download” or “register” instead of “click here” or “go”


The best takeaway: Use content based offers, not sales based offers


Another great way to convert much higher is through building trust. The two main ways to do this without being a huge brand is through better web design and your company’s response to negativity. The main thing you can do now about improving your website’s layout is to not make it resemble other people’s websites. A great example of what not to do is having the same WordPress theme that’s being used by 10,000 other websites. On the subject of your company’s response to negativity, Dan (the guy who conducted this particular seminar) stated that once people find your company, they will without a doubt start looking elsewhere on the Web for something negative. If your company is legitimate, then chances are you will find some unhappy customers on the Web. That’s OK – every company has that problem, but it’s what you do in response to this negativity. A great example of what to do is Apple – my MacBook had a minor technical problem, and when I brought it to the Apple store, they gave me a brand new unit just to play it safe.

Here’s Dan’s Scientific Method for Marketing:

  1. Define your goal
  2. Research potential changes
  3. Test those changes
  4. Repeat step 3


This information is via Dan Zarrella’s workshop.



Everything Else


Save the criticism – I know I have much more information from Dan’s seminar than everyone else’s, but that’s for a good reason. I’ve been around the block for a lot of other marketing concepts, but that type of landing page information was something I hadn’t heard before. So here’s everything else I took away from the event.


  • In a nutshell, here’s the 5 steps to obtaining social media leads:


  1. Get the basics right
  2. Maximize content discovery
  3. Create conversion ubiquity
  4. Test and fail test
  5. Optimize for maximum leads


  • The shelf life of a social media link is 3 hours


  • When lead nurturing…
    • Market free content: don’t go for the lead right away
    • Show your most popular content
    • Higher lead conversion rate when they are the most engaged with you (i.e. a fresh subscriber)
    • Be personal, not fancy, in emails


  • Three tips for a great CTA (Call to Action)
    • Clear and concise
    • Action oriented
    • Urgency

For all you link builders, I was just as upset when there was only one link building workshop (I didn’t attend – it was a beginner’s workshop). Then again, it was an inbound marketing/Hubspot conference, so it’s not like I was expecting one.


So what things stuck out to you most? I know for me it was the shelf life of a social media link. I had no idea they only last 180 minutes! Did anything above catch you by surprise? Comment below & let me know!


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This post was written by...

Jon Cooper – who has written 129 posts on Point Blank SEO.

Jon Cooper is a link builder based out of Gainesville, FL. For more information on him and Point Blank SEO, visit the about page. Follow him on Twitter @PointBlankSEO.

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What I Learned at HUGS 2011 - Point Blank SEO