Technology Tip

How Inbound Marketing Tools Work

How Inbound Marketing Tools Work

Inbound marketing refers to the ways in which prospects learn about and develop an interest in your product. Once this reaches a threshold of interest they are amenable to further discussions leading to a purchase. The “magic” to this process is to record the interactions of your prospects with your web site. With this information you are looking to be able to determine when the prospect crosses over to the level of interest that justifies more in-depth discussions.

Signals of interest

In general, your web site is a source of free information for your prospects and customers. Or at least that is their point of view. Users expect a whole lot of free and useful information, well curated and easily accessed. This can be installation instructions on your You Tube channel, technical papers showing test results of the product, case studies that show the product in a variety of uses, a selection guide that helps a prospect configure the version of the product in which they have interest. The one thing that is constant is that all of this information is connected together typically via the email address or a cookie attached to the contact information of the visitor.

Be Strategic


As part of the strategy when setting up your web site, you want to be sure to create lots of opportunities for interaction. You might have one or two white papers, a product selection guide, a blog that focuses on specific performance aspects of your product and so forth. You want to select this information to capture a fairly wide spread of interests. Then you will make an assessment of how close the prospect might be to the next step based on what information they have consumed and their timing. Just for an example, a white paper download is usually fairly high level information, so the prospect might just be getting educated on the technology. If they follow that download with the download of a specific set of model specifications, say a week later, they are now looking more closely at your product as a solution. At this point they might be more amenable to a call or email from your company.

Set Up For Success

This is a simple example and you will find that the more chances you have for interaction before you eventually have that email/call then the better you will understand your prospect’s frame of mind and the more effectively you will be prepared. Of course the mechanics of executing this strategy depend on your resources. If you already have a CRM tool, it probably has an inbound marketing section built in. You would just need to activate it and populate it with enough “good” information that your customers and prospects will want to download it. And of course you will need to develop the algorithm that calculates a score for each user and signals your sales team when a follow-up is needed.



To be most effective you should treat this as an ongoing experiment. Does changing the title of a blog attract more downloads? If you have a “host” for your You Tube channel, are they more credible if they are wearing a lab coat? By offering special access to items on sale, can you get prospects to reveal more contact info (company name, phone number) and so on. Each of these experiments gives you more insight to a certain segment of your market which helps you understand the buying journey from your customer point of view – and that means more closed sales.

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