ONBOARDING A NEW RETAINER CLIENT

OTime to complete: 5 hours over 3 weeks

This project will walk you through a process for onboarding a new client.

Completing these steps will allow you to:

  • Follow HubSpot's proven plan for onboarding new accounts.
  • Get your client generating value within their HubSpot software as soon as possible.
  • Position your agency for momentum and success with your inbound retainer.
Step 1: Create a new client questionnaire
Learn how

To-do

  1. Send a list of questions for the client to answer so that you can prepare to ask more in-depth and relevant questions during the meeting.
  2. If you don’t currently have a questionnaire, here’s some questions you can include:
    • What tools and platforms are you currently using in your marketing efforts?
    • What are your goals? Is this leads, customers, or revenue?
    • What is the lifetime value (LTV) of each customer? What is your LTV goal?
    • Do you have customer personas? Who is your ideal client?
    • How much does it cost you to acquire a customer?
    • What ROI have you seen on your current marketing efforts? What are you currently investing in?
    • What percentage of your customers is generated through online methods?
    • What are the steps in your sales process? What are the common hesitations clients have?
    • How do you currently find leads? Do you know what your cost per lead is? Do you know what your lead-to-conversion rate is?
  3. Put these questions into a Google Doc or Word Document that you will be able to share with your client.

Example

Pro Tip

You don’t have to create a new set of questions for each client. Tweak and add more questions based on what information you need to gather from each new client.

Not sure what information you should gather?
Here's an example of an onboarding form for you to use at your agency.
Step 2: Create a kickoff deck
Learn how

To-do

  1. Build a short presentation deck to use during your first meeting with your new client that includes (at least) the following: title slide, agenda, team members they will be working with, and scope of the work.

Pro Tip

Looking for high-quality stock images to include in your kickoff deck? Here are a few websites that provide free high-resolution photos that don't require attribution: Unsplash, Pexels, and StockSnap.io.

Step 3: Send a welcome email to your client to set up the kickoff call
Learn how

To-do

Within 24 hours of the contract being signed, send a welcome email to your client. Include the following in your email:
  1. Request the available times and dates for a kickoff meeting where all stakeholders can attend within one week.
  2. Outline what type of people need to be on the call - for example, content creators, technical/web support, the person approving work and establishing timelines, and the sales professional who will be handling inbound leads.
  3. Provide an agenda for that will be covered during the meeting.
  4. Include link or attachment to the questionnaire.

Pro Tip

To reduce the back-and-forth of find a time that works for your client, you can use a free scheduling software, such as ScheduleOnce, that shows what times you are available and allows your client to book an hour meeting on your calendar.
Need some help getting your new client onboarded?
Read the "New Client Kickoff Playbook".
Step 4: Prepare for the kickoff call with internal stakeholders
Learn how

To-do

  1. Review notes that were taken during the sales process to get a refresher on your client's challenges and goals. 
  2. Explore your client's website to see what existing marketing activities they're doing and potential "quick wins" (such as optimizing page titles, or adding a form to the "Contact Us" page).
  3. Review your retainer. Make sure you know the start date and end date on the signed retainer and review the inbound services you had planned on providing.

Pro Tip

“Review the statement of work together during the kickoff meeting so everyone is on the same page about what is being delivered! Remember that everyone in the room for the kickoff may not have been involved in the entire sales process, so it’s important to confirm objectives, deliverables, timelines, and expected results to avoid miscommunication and scope creep.” - Marisa Smith | The Whole Brain Group | @WHOLEBRAINGROUP
Need some help getting your new client onboarded?
Read the "New Client Kickoff Playbook".
Step 5: Complete the kickoff call
Learn how

To-do

Typically, the kickoff call will be an hour-long conversation with the major stakeholders to get everyone on the same page. Here's an example agenda you follow:

  1. Introductions: Give everyone on the call a chance to introduce themselves. The ultimate goal is to build rapport with the group and establish a relationship of collaboration.
  2. Recap of the scope of work per the contract
  3. GPCT: You will now want to set SMART goals – Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timebound. Start to outline some tactics that will help the client reach his or her highest priority goal as soon as possible. Based on the challenges and goals, identify high priority items that your team can begin to implement immediately
  4. High-level Marketing Overview: Understand the client’s previous marketing efforts. Discuss what marketing successes and failures the company has seen in the past.
  5. Roles & Responsibilities: Remember, this is a partnership. There are certain things your agency needs to deliver on and there are also some responsibilities on the client end.
  6. Next steps: Every check-in meeting should end with a list of action items and a recap of discussion items.

Pro Tip

Try communicating face-to-face. While you won't have all your clients come into your office to attend this meeting, you can use technology such as Google Hangouts, to video conference and share your kickoff slide deck.
Watch the Kickoff Call training video.
 
Step 6: Send a follow up email to the client
Learn how

To-do

  1. Every client call or check-in meeting should end with a list of action items and a recap of the discussion items. 
  2. The follow-up email should include:
    • An overview of the discussion points covered during the kickoff call.
    • The collateral and information the client owns and needs to send to the agency — such as the logo, past press releases, newsletters, and marketing materials.
    • A request for login details or information for accessing the client’s CMS, social media profiles, analytics accounts, and other promotion tools.
    • A request for the existing leads database list.
    • The date your agency will present a marketing plan that outlines an analysis of previous marketing activities, the strategy for achieving the clients goals, and the activities your agency will execute on in order to attract, convert, close, and delight customers.
    • Calendar invite for monthly or weekly status meetings with the appropriate contacts.
    • Calendar invite for a persona planning session, content creation training session, or technical training.
    • An overview of the marketing tactics your agency will begin working on immediately.
  3. Review the follow up actions with your project team and then send the email to those involved in the project on the client-side after the kickoff call.

Pro Tip

Don't wait too long to send your follow-up email! You don't want to lose momentum.
Want more insight into how to retain your clients?
Read "The 5 Keys to Retain Customers for Life".
Step 7: Set up your client account on internal tools
Learn how

To-do

  1. Once the kickoff call has been completed, you should be ready to put your client into your project management system.
  2. If you don't have a project management system, here is a list of popular project management tools used by other HubSpot Agencies: Google Drive, Teamwork, and Basecamp.

Example

Pro Tip

Teamwork Projects integrates with HubSpot. If you're already using Teamwork, or looking for a new project management software, learn more about how Teamwork integrates with HubSpot here.
Want to learn more about how Teamwork integrates with HubSpot?
Watch these videos to see the integration in action!
Step 8: Help your client complete their HubSpot technical set up
Learn how

To-do

  1. Get access to your client's HubSpot portal by having them invite you as an Administrator user in their portal.
  2. Determine if your client will be blogging on HubSpot and if they wish to import their current blog into HubSpot. If your client is importing a Wordpress blog, follow these instructions.
  3. Confirm with your Channel Consultant whether or not your new customer has a template set up in progress with HubSpot. (If a customer is going to host their whole website with HubSpot, they do not need a template set up.)
  4. Ensure that they are not currently in a website redesign process.  If they are, hold off on the templates (if to be finished within the next 2 months). If they are going to be doing a redesign down the road (greater than 2 months from getting started), move forward with the HubSpot template set up.
  5. Understand if your client will be using any HubSpot Integrations and plan your time accordingly.
  6. Notify your client that the technical setup has been completed.

Example

Pro Tip

Your client will not be able to see valuable ROI from HubSpot until the technical setup is complete. Strive to complete all technical setup tasks within the first week of your engagement.
Need some help getting your client's HubSpot portal setup?
Use the "Complete Your HubSpot Portal Set-Up" project for your client.
Step 9: Import your client's list of contacts
Learn how

To-do

  1. Discuss with your client the lists of contacts you will want to import into HubSpot. This might include blog subscribers, leads, all contacts, existing customers and contacts who have previously opted-out of communication.
  2. Have your client send over all lists to your as .CSV files.
  3. In your client's HubSpot portal, navigate to the Contacts tool.
  4. Follow the instructions below to import the list(s) of contacts:

Pro Tip

If you have used a different Email Service Provider to send marketing emails on behalf of your company, you probably already have a list of people that have unsubscribed from your communications. You should import this "opt-out list" of people that have unsubscribed, to ensure that you do not email them with HubSpot's email tool.
Learn how to import contacts into HubSpot.
 
Step 10: Develop personas with your client
Learn how

To-do

  1. Work with your client to conduct interviews with their customers and prospects, either in person or over the phone, to discover what they like about your client's product or service.
  2. Talk to your client's sales team to gather feedback on the leads they're interacting with. What generalizations can they make about the different types of customers your client serves best?
  3. Use your research to complete the Buyer Persona Development worksheet.
  4. Navigate to your client's Buyer Persona tool.
  5. Add your client's buyer personas to their tool.
  

Example

Pro Tip

After you add your client's buyer personas to their HubSpot portal, add the persona field to forms on their website to allow your client's leads to self-identify which persona they are. This will allow you to gather more data on your client's leads and to personalize the nurturing you set up.

Need some help getting started with developing buyer personas?
Watch the Buyer Persona training!
Step 11: Begin the inbound campaign building process
Learn how

To-do

  1. Understand what is involved in an inbound campaign around a content offer using this HubSpot Project.
  2. Refer to the activity planning and services pricing work you did within your Agency Inbound Framework Project.
  3. Use the persona(s) you developed in step 3 to build out inbound marketing campaigns with your client and segment their audience of contacts into lists.
  4. Plan within the first 90 days of your client's inbound retainer to complete 1-3 offer campaigns using your Agency Inbound Framework to determine and manage the time, costs, and people involved. 

Example

Pro Tip

Remember to base the campaign around your retainer expectations and target this campaign towards a specific persona.
Need some help getting started on delivering inbound services?
Watch the Delivering Inbound Services training!
Finished this project? Schedule a call with your Channel Consultant to review!