How HubSpot built a viral, lead-generating app with Typeform

Using an engaging, conversational interface, thousands of marketers easily create their buyer personas.

It had all the makings of a great speech. It was powerful. It was personal. And he delivered it perfectly.

On January 25, 2011, Obama gave his third State of the Union address. He delivered a masterful speech on compromises in Congress. But what the American people needed was vision and hope. In other words, he created great content, but for the wrong audience.

It’s a lesson that all good orators, content creators, and businesses should know by now:

If you want to have impact, you’ve got to know your audience.

According to a recent study by IBM, nearly 80% of customers say that companies don’t understand them. And only 21% report that communications from companies are relevant. At the same time, 47% of companies think they’re providing relevant communications to their customers. Oops.

Luckily, there are companies that aim to put these embarrassing stats to rest. One of them is HubSpot, an inbound marketing platform, who used Typeform to build a buyer persona app—so you never forget who your customers are.

Find out how our Typeform-HubSpot integration can help with your lead generation.

Swapping buyer personas for leads

Lisa Toner is the Content Marketing Strategy Manager at HubSpot. One of her goals is to help companies understand their buyer personas—the who-what-when-where-whys of buying behavior. Lisa and her team at HubSpot had been working on a series of questions to map out these personas.

Lisa’s also responsible for generating leads for HubSpot’s inbound marketing platform. She knew there must be a way to combine these goals—a way to do lead generation with a fun, easy tool that lets people create their buyer personas.

To help her out, Lisa called Dave Boroi at Cliknetix. As Dave put it:

“Hubspot wanted a unique tool to help marketers create buyer personas. They developed a series of persona questions, and they wanted marketers’ answers compiled into a one-page buyer persona document that could be shared with their team or other stakeholders.”

After talking with Lisa, Dave had an idea, and it began with a typeform.

Looking for more content marketing ideas? Check out these 7 content marketing examples you’ve never thought of.

How to build a viral, lead-generating tool with Typeform

Dave took note of what Lisa wanted, and added a couple of requirements of his own:

“First, it needed to be user-friendly with an attractive interface. Second, it needed to be deployed in a short timeframe. Third, the prototype needed to be developed at a minimal cost. And lastly, it needed to interface with other technologies.”

Dave looked at different options, including coding a tool from scratch. But that would’ve taken months to build and thousands of dollars—a kick in the proverbials for the “deploy in a short timeframe” and “develop at a minimal cost” requirements.

A friend of Dave’s told him about Typeform, which turned out to be “an excellent solution to meet all those requirements.” With a typeform, Dave and Lisa saved thousands of dollars and turned a concept into a viral marketing tool in a handful of weeks.

How did they do it? Dave took Lisa’s persona questions and started creating the typeform. He thought about the flow of the questions, and different ways to keep people engaged as they filled it out.

You start off by giving your persona a face and a name, something like Growth Guru Gabi or Bartender Billy. This name then gets recalled upcoming questions, making the whole experience feel more personal and interactive.

HupSpot's MakeMyPersona app, built with Typeform

After some demographic questions, you get into your persona’s behavior—motivations, challenges, goals. You know, those things you’re going to help them with.

Before you finish, you agree to some terms and conditions, and leave them an email address where they can send your persona profile. Check out the MakeMyPersona app for yourself.

How long did all this take? It took David less than a week to build out the questions and create the custom design needed to melt HubSpot’s brand right into the typeform. From there they iterated on the concept until they created the experience they were after. And Dave tells us it was all pretty easy:

“Typeform isn’t just a form-building tool. It allows you to build an experience for your users with an easy-to-use build and design wizard. I was also able to interface with other platforms.”

This last bit—interfacing with other platforms—was crucial for making this all work. That’s because the real value of HubSpot’s tool is the buyer personas that users get after they complete the typeform.

This all happens automatically, thanks to the integrated workflow Dave and Lisa set up. They used Zapier to deliver their typeform results straight to WebMerge, which compiles it all into a stylized Word document. After that, an automated email sends users a link to access their personas.

Users get a summarized buyer persona to help guide their marketing efforts, and HubSpot gets a lead. Exactly what Lisa wanted.

Tweeting it out and getting results

To get the MakeMyPersona tool out, HubSpot relied mostly on social media. Is it working? Big time. As Dave told us:

“We launched the typeform in January of 2015. We had over 6,000 users in 6 months, and now just over a year after launch we’ve had more than 12,600 typeform entries.”

That’s about 1000 leads per month. Not bad. Oh, the miracle of social media—when you’re spreading stuff people want.

“We’ve got tons of positive feedback on Twitter following our ‘Click to Tweet’ button on the Thank you screen of the typeform.”

See for yourself:

Nothing better for business than a bunch of happy Tweeters. We’re glad we could help out with the tool. And it looks like Dave was too:

“Typeform is a game-changer. It served as part of my ‘technology stack’ to help my client HubSpot deploy a tool that was effective and meet time-sensitive campaign goals. HubSpot is always looking for ways to make the job of marketers easier. By teaming up with Cliknetix, and leveraging the Typeform platform, they were able to get the job done.”

Following on this success, Dave and HubSpot are currently expanding the MakeMyPersona app to additional languages. HazMiPersona? MachMeinePersona? Twitter better get ready.

How did Dave & Lisa do it?

1. Recall information to keep things conversational

Want to make your typeform more personal? Be more conversational by reusing answers from previous questions in later ones. Learn how to Recall information.

2. Use Hidden Fields to know how people found your typeform

If you already know things about your respondents—like name or email—you can use Hidden Fields to pass that information to your typeform. This cuts down on unnecessary questions. You can also find out if people find your typeform through Twitter, Facebook or some other channel. Find out more about Hidden Fields.

3. Add custom backgrounds and images to match your brand

You can use custom-made images in the background of your typeform. You can also insert images into different questions throughout your typeform to make it personal to your brand. Learn how to customize the look of your typeform.

4. Agreeing to Terms & Conditions

Need users to agree to some specific conditions? Need to include a legal agreement? Typeform gives you a Legal question type formatted just for these situations.

5. Share it on your social networks

Have you created something that you want everyone to know about? Typeforms have social share icons built right into the Thank You screen to help you spread the word. Want to be more social? Learn more about your Thank You screen options.

And of course let us know if you have any questions! Our team is always here to help.

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