The Impact of Direct Mail: Pt.3 - Pipeline pre "Closed Won"

In the previous parts of this series about measuring marketing attributed revenue and ROI, we’ve been outlining a way to set up activity tracking & reporting that’s NOT based on default Hubspot Engagement Types, but a custom event (Direct Mail sends).
Based on this, the 2nd part discussed how to use this in Hubspot campaigns and understand the attributed revenue (ROI) you will eventually see there.

If you read those - or you are spending a lot of time in Hubspot - you are aware of how awesome that already is, but also where it can limit your understanding of success. Or at least slow it down significantly (long sales cycles anyone?). That’s why we’re looking at a few additional ways to gain more insights in this final part.

An ROI workaround - “Pipeline Influenced” and reporting along a demand gen funnel

With Hubspot campaigns falling short on the ability to report on Company level as well as anything before a Closed Won, you are obviously leaving data on the table. With the average Close (Won) Rates being around 15-25% (of course heavily depending on the business), you are missing out on a significant amount of data, most importantly you will want to understand the “marketing influenced pipeline” - so the impact on all sales deals. 


Otherwise, you will have nothing to show if just ANY ONE of the criteria mentioned in the 2nd part of this series necessary for revenue attribution isn’t happening, at the right time. A quick refresh: 

To address that, you will need a flag on Contacts, but especially their Companies to better understand everything that happens in all those cases that didn’t close-won - but you might have come very close!

So we run workflows (based off form submits as we use landing pages to verify addresses, but you can also add that step to the before mentioned “Reachdesk Engagement Activities (so even before a page visit happens depending on the “Status” targeted) to tag these Companies: 


That will enroll everybody who confirmed his shipping address. As we do this per campaign, re-enrollment isn’t needed. 

Next, we add those flags. There are really only 3: 


  • Last Touch: Gets updated all the time with ...you guessed it, the most recent (marketing) touchpoint:
  • All Touches: let’s append (on a multi-select property!) that value there as well:


And of course you will want to understand any initial marketing touches you can be proud of: 

  • First Touch: only updates the very first time: 


And finally, to be able to show “Influenced Direct Mail Campaign A” Companies for the last week / month / quarter, you will need a dedicated date stamp (of course representing the “date of step”): 

If you need more granularity for specific, major campaigns, an additional date might be required (they can get overwritten depending on your campaigns!). 


That will result in a view of Companies “touched”, e.g. “Last week”; broken down by their current lifecycle Stage: 


From there, it’s easy to also “First” and/or “Last” if you want to see that attribution as well: 

As we did “last week”, it’s not surprising to see that for the time being, a majority of these touches are also the “last” ones. 


Now, depending on your Business & Demand Gen Funnel model, you understand that e.g. “Opportunities”, broken down by Account Tiers, have Deals with an avg. value against them (pipeline), so you have a first ballpark to attribute value to your campaign even though nothing is Closed Won (yet anyway)!

So in this case, 4 Opportunities in Tier 2 Accounts are ~96k ARR in pipeline “influenced”. 


Unfortunately, we can’t (easily) understand all the other touch points on each Company  even if we look at “All Assets”. This would require a “company by company” evaluation to understand how many there are and how the linear attributed value looks like - not feasible. But still, it’s a good start.
This will get you learnings from your campaigns much, much faster than waiting for the avg. sales cycle to play out - especially on top-of-the-funnel (direct mail) campaigns.

And then there’s one more way - more efficient and even more accurate.

Regular updates & best practices around ABM, direct mail & B2B sales and marketing!


Report on “Influenced” Deals

Much like what we did there with Companies, we do with Deals.  

Let’s include those data points on Deals as well, that will help us understand “pipeline generated” to some extent.
So, as usual, with a form fill we raise those flags: 


To make sure the right campaign then can be singled out for all Opportunities, you can simply add another property that captures that: 

In addition, we also hand that responsibility to the people who know best what made them book in a Meeting or move/create Sales Qualified Deals: the sales reps. When performing those crucial, but definitely fun actions in Hubspot, we ask them to indicate WHAT made that possible from a few different angles and provide them with ready-made options to speed things up & easily segment afterwards.
Marketing campaigns come up and will then get the best attribution there is: the one with a human touch!


Closing Comments: 

By now, it’s clear that attribution cannot deliver the absolute truth. And it can get rather detailed and complicated - not always worth it. There is such a things as analysis paralysis and overthinking things.
So this shouldn't come as a surprise and is actually perfectly fine! After all, attribution requires data collection and data collection by its very nature is never perfect. There are things you just can’t collect data about and there will always be gaps.
And it’s only getting harder to paint this picture: with Google sunsetting 3rd party cookies, it becomes even more important to have a solid (digital marketing) campaign strategy, a 1st party cookie strategy, a solid CRM & data model as well as reliable reporting in place. 


What is required is a mental shift: data will always require humans to interpret it, add context, analyze, and draw smart conclusions - taking gaps and inaccuracies into account. A dashboard without this analysis will never be able to provide good value. Relevant context needs to be layered on top, and analysis should be ordered towards particular decisions that need to be made and problems that need to be solved.

Attribution is not about proving the (absolute) “value” of things.

Attribution is about being able to tell you what works (& what doesn't) - providing the ability to constantly improve.

The Sales Development Playbook:
How to break through to Target Accounts using Direct Mail & Gifting

Markus Reutner
Marketing Ops & Demand Gen

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