Inbound marketing is a strategic approach that focuses on attracting potential customers by creating valuable content and experiences tailored to their specific needs, and the most effective way to do this is through lifecycle stages. Lifecycle stages track the various phases a potential prospect could go through on the journey of becoming an advocate of your organization.  

If you're using HubSpot, it's crucial to understand lifecycle stages. It allows you to track each prospect in their customer journey and tailor your inbound marketing efforts to attract, engage, and delight them. Utilizing lifecycle stages and HubSpot is the "wombo-combo" to create targeted content and marketing campaigns that resonate with prospects at each stage of their journey down your sales funnel.  

Key results for your organization include a frictionless customer journey and increases in revenue and retention. Let's dive into why lifecycle stages are important, how to leverage them, and some tools to use when implementing. 



Before diving into the importance of lifecycle stages, we need to understand the foundational marketing methodology that powers HubSpot as a CRM. Inbound marketing methodology and HubSpot's CRM complement each other by providing the tools and framework needed to attract, engage, and delight customers throughout their journey, driving growth and success for your business. The idea is to attract, convert, close, and delight at every customer journey stage. With HubSpot, when visitors convert, their data is automatically captured in the CRM, allowing you to monitor their journey and nurture them effectively. From there, HubSpot's CRM enables personalized content that can be delivered at each lifecycle stage. Additionally, the platform supports reporting by merging inbound marketing data with CRM data, offering a comprehensive view of the customer lifecycle from initial contact to post-sale and providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of various strategies at each stage. Now, we can discuss what makes lifecycle stages so important. 


To use lifecycle stages to attract, engage, and delight your potential customers, first, we'll need to outline and define the different stages. Each stage provides context as to what your prospect needs, various interests, and even possible pain points they could experience when trying to make a purchase. Below are examples of HubSpot's standard lifecycle stages, but HubSpot allows you to customize these completely based on your unique sales process. 

  1. Subscriber:  A subscriber is simply a contact who has opted into various forms of communication with a business. Subscribers represent potential leads that need nurturing and further qualification.
  2. Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL):  MQLs are leads that have demonstrated a higher level of engagement and often meet your business's ideal customer profile. This is where personalized marketing efforts are essential.
  3. Sales Qualified Lead (SQL):  SQLs are leads that have been identified as ready for direct sales engagement based on their level of interest. This stage marks the transition from marketing to sales, focusing on converting qualified leads into customers.
  4. Opportunity: Opportunities are SQLs that have progressed further in the sales pipeline and are actively being pursued for potential deals. This stage involves more profound sales efforts to close deals and generate revenue.
  5. Customer: Customers are individuals or businesses who have purchased or subscribed to your products/services. The goal at this stage is to provide excellent customer service, nurture relationships, and encourage repeat business. 
  6. Evangelist: Evangelists are satisfied customers who actively promote your brand, products, or services to others. Leveraging evangelists can increase brand advocacy, word-of-mouth referrals, and positive reviews, contributing to business growth. 

It's important to remember that these lifecycle stages are defaults and can be customized to fit your organization's internal language for your prospects and customers. Tracking interactions and personalizing content for each stage can be intimidating. Luckily, HubSpot has all the tools to make this process comprehensible and doable.  


Various tools and technologies are available to implement and optimize strategies based on lifecycle stages effectively. Some other CRMs have similar tools, but we will focus on how HubSpot will drastically improve these strategies based on specific lifecycle stages. 

Subscribers and Leads: 

  • Forms and Landing Pages: Create customized forms and landing pages for lead capturing, turning web users into contacts. 
  • Lead Scoring: Prioritize leads based on their engagement level and behavior. This will give each contact a predicted score on how likely they are to convert. 
  • Email Marketing: Use email marketing tools to send targeted and personalized emails to subscribers and leads. 

MQLs and SQLs: 

  • Marketing Automation: HubSpot's workflows are used to nurture MQLs, and sequences will nurture SQLs with relevant content and automated follow-ups from the sales team. Automation is beneficial when sending personalized content to contacts in different lifecycle stages, and sequences will nurture SQLs with relevant content and automated follow-ups from the sales team. Automation is beneficial when sending personalized content to contacts in different lifecycle stages. 
  • Lead Nurturing Campaigns: Design and launch lead nurturing campaigns tailored to MQLs and SQLs, curating useful information each contact needs to advance through the sales funnel. HubSpot's "campaigns" tool ties all assets made within HubSpot for easy data access and reporting. 

Opportunity and Customer Stage: 

  • Customizable Deal Pipelines: This comprehensive tool tracks deals through a sales pipeline unique to your organization, allowing for efficient deal progression and management, all while fostering cross-sell or upsell opportunities.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: With HubSpot's Service Hub, it's easy to gather customer feedback using surveys to understand their satisfaction levels, identify areas for improvement, and enhance the customer experience (CX).  

Evangelist Stage: 

  • Referral Programs: Create and manage referral programs to incentivize and reward customers who refer new business to your company. 
  • Review Management: Monitor and manage online reviews and testimonials from satisfied customers to build trust, credibility, and social proof for your brand. 

By leveraging the right HubSpot tools across various lifecycle stages, businesses can create a seamless customer experience from the awareness stage to the delight stage of the flywheel.  

With proper understanding and the right tools, lifecycle stages prove to be extremely helpful for any marketing, sales, and service teams to leverage when tracking customer journeys. These stages enable teams to segment contacts effectively, tailor messaging and offerings based on their stage in the lifecycle, and deploy targeted campaigns that resonate with each audience segment, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and customer satisfaction. 

Looking to learn more about HubSpot or receive more resources like this? Consider subscribing to our newsletter, the biweekly Growth Ops Digest!