8 mistakes that will ruin your inbound campaigns

Jacob Hammar • 17 Nov, 2020


Working as a marketing manager at a B2B tech company – you know that inbound marketing is one of the most powerful ways to increase brand visibility and generate qualitative leads. But there are some common mistakes that can ruin your efforts. Learn about these mistakes in my blog post below or get more in-depth information by watching this webinar on the same topic.

Let’s dive straight into business!

Mistake 1 - You’re doing ad hoc marketing

The first common mistake we see when it comes to inbound marketing is that many companies are doing ad hoc marketing. That means that you’re not being strategic. Instead, your marketing is based on an ad hoc approach, where decisions are made without thinking of the bigger picture. Here are just some examples of ad hoc marketing we see: 

  • You are re-using content created by global marketing.
    Re-using content is cheaper and you don’t have to spend time creating it. But it isn't successful to work with content that's not tailored to your own campaignna.

  • You are copying your competitor.
    Copying other companies’ content is never a good idea. Just because it works for them, doesn't mean it will work for you. You should create something that suits you, your campaign and your target audience.

  • You are doing the same campaign over and over again.
    Because of the ever changing marketing landscape, creating the same type of campaign will loose its effectiveness. Make sure to update your campaign tactics! 
  • You are running webinars for the wrong reason.
    Webinars can be great content assets and it's a popular format, but it shouldn’t be done just because it’s trending. It should be done because it fits your campaign and your target audience.

Another key here is that you set goals and objectives for both your long-term marketing plan, but also for specific campaigns and activities. Use your goals as a compass, make every decision with the goal in mind. If you don’t set goals it is easy to cut corners which decreases the power of your campaign. 

Mistake 2 - You are using the wrong content

Another common mistake within inbound marketing is that you’re using the wrong content. You think the content you're using in your campaign should be successful, however the results beg to differ. More often than not, the content is the problem. ​For example; 

  • You're using content that interests you, but is irrelevant to your target audience.
    Avoid this by understanding what type of content and what format that suits your buyer persona. 
  • It doesn’t look good.
    Your content should be easy to digest and look good. Good content is easy and pleasing to read and look at.

Start with creating a specific buyer persona (a semi-fictional character of your ideal buyer). Then make sure to choose the right format, it’s important the format matches the buyer’s journey.

For example; infographics and light content for the awareness stage meanwhile webinars and product sheets are for later buyer stages. Always keep a good balance in your content!

Mistake 3 - You’re not setting aside the resources that are needed

Your want to create the perfect campaign, but the time, money and efforts from everyone involved isn’t put into it. The art director, the copywriter, the marketing team, everyone needs to do it, there is no way around this. If you don’t put aside enough time and money for the campaign, it won't be as successful.

Think of inbound marketing as an investment. If you put money and time into it, it will generate ROI.

Mistake 4 - You don’t know how to calculate your ROI

You’re proud of your inbound campaign but when someone asks about the ROI on the marketing, you’re not sure how to answer. That will make the stakeholders think twice about the next initiative as the return has not been proven.

It is all about measuring. Measure everything you can measure, click-through rate (CTR), number of leads generated, how much one lead costs etc. But to calculate ROI you also need information about the sales process; close rate, how many leads that turned into a meeting, and much more. 

Most important of all; always include the sales team.

Mistake 5 - You don’t align with sales

And the transition is pretty smooth to the next mistake. That you don’t align with your sales pals.

This is probably the most common mistake, the classic gap between marketing and sales. Marketing feels that they don’t get any sales support in their inbound campaign, while sales don’t feel like marketing generate any valuable leads or opportunities. And on it goes.

Solve this by getting sales onboard early in the process. Maybe by asking them “how would you like to be involved?” or “which content do you in sales think would match our persona best?”. Get them to feel more involved, then it’s more likely they will follow up on your leads. Also get them to understand that marketing can make their job easier by presenting better campaigns with them being more involved. It’s much easier to sell on inbound leads than cold leads. 

Plan, produce and execute the campaign with sales. This will help marketing to do a better job with the campaign and it will be easier to handover leads for a follow-up. And don’t forget to set a reminder to send over all leads to sales on a weekly basis!

Another tip is to stack up the numbers from the campaign to make it more comprehending for sales and business decision-makers.

Mistake 6 - Technical foundation for lead management

Through good inbound campaigns you generate new leads and contacts. However, a common mistake is that new contacts are not prioritised by sales and don’t get the nurture needed for becoming a sales qualified lead. With tech tools (which are a necessity to get effective inbound campaigns), you can implement intelligent nurturing and automatic handovers to sales.  

There is no “right tool” for everyone, spend time and find resolutions for your needs, it will be worth it. Remember that one system for everything is the most optimal vs. different systems for each little thing.

Mistake 7 - You don’t optimize your campaign 

Another common mistake is to spend weeks and months working on a campaign you look forward to launching. But the target audience doesn’t engage as you thought it would because you haven’t optimized enough. After the campaign is launched, you say “too bad”, and move onto planning the next campaign and hoping for better results.

In this scenario, you need to change your way of thinking, instead of thinking “Let’s see what happens” you need to turn it into a “Let’s go”. All parts of a campaign can be improved at any time and you need to be ready to do the work, always while keeping your campaign's storyline in mind.

Use data to find out where your campaign is under-performing and where you lost your leads to know where you need to make improvements, is it for example:

  • Your landing pages?
  • Your ads?
  • On your media channels?
  • Your emails?
  • Do you have the right target audience?

When you have found where you lose leads, start improving on that point.

Regarding to optimisation in different channels, a common question is what benchmark you should have when it comes to open rate, click rate as well as CTR on LinkedIn.

It is hard to say, and it depends on a lot of factors. We encourage you to establish your own benchmark that you can improve over time. But without hanging on to it too much you can use this numbers as guidelines:


LinkedIn CTR – 0,3%  

Email open rate – 35 %  

Email click rate – 5-10%

Mistake 8 - You focus on new leads. Only.

You measure the success of your inbound marketing campaign solely on the amount of leads generated, but you are forgetting about some of the clients. It is important to focus on existing clients as well as on lost clients, sales dialogues and more. As an example, your forgotten clients in the CRM system can be targeted by creating an inbound/email campaign with specific messaging.   

Remember that inbound marketing isn’t equal to lead generation. Lead generation is a part of inbound marketing, but inbound marketing is so much more. ​Inbound marketing has positive side effects in positioning, awareness, SEO and is a tool that you can use for both generating new leads, but also for cross-sell and upsell opportunities.

As a summary, you should always remember these 4 key takeaways:

  1. Always set goals and keep them in mind when making decision.
    Never forget about the goal and your focus will automatically result in you creating a great inbound campaign.

  2. Create content for your buyer persona, not for yourself.
    Don’t write what you want to write, write what wants to be read. Put yourself in the buyer persona shoes while creating your content.
  3. The right systems make your work easier and your campaigns better.
    And don’t forget to align with sales.

  4. You need resources to create great campaigns.
    It takes time, money and competence. It takes, you, sales, copywriters, designers, web developers and it's not smart to cut any corners. Invest time in your campaigns, that is your most important resource. 


Feel free to reach out to us if you need any help. We create all kinds of inbound campaigns and we would be happy to help solving your problems. Book a time with me directly here, or learn more about inbound strategies in our eBook.


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