This article was authored by a member of the HubSpot developer community, Miles Ukaoma.
You can build it, but they’ll still need to come. That's the benefit of marketplaces; there’s already a captive audience. The HubSpot Template Marketplace has no shortage of visitors hoping to find their next website theme, module, or future template, but you’re still competing for their attention, and you need to earn your position.
In this article, we’ll explore best practices for creating unique and valuable themes to drive more awareness and adoption of your listing.
Finding Marketplace Success
The HubSpot Template Marketplace currently offers themes and modules, and is one of the most comprehensive resources for companies looking to quickly customize their website. While the HubSpot ecosystem has built and listed many marketplace offerings, it’s important to note the difference between creating and marketing them.
There are three phases to creating for the Template Marketplace – planning, building, and launching.
Start with a set of clear goals. What is the purpose of your theme? What problem are you trying to solve? What is your design approach? Knowing this early will guide your process.
Define your target audience. Who is your main persona? What size company? Which industry? What is your primary user trying to accomplish? A theme or module that addresses a specific pain-point will sell much faster.
Conduct competitive research. Spot trends, ensure your plan is relevant, find gaps in the market.
Planning to list on the HubSpot Template Marketplace? You’ll need to follow certain specifications to ensure your submission meets HubSpot’s requirements and quality standards. Definitely take some time to review these.
Consider your code structure. HubSpot CMS is a unique and nuanced platform, with which your team should be familiar. A good place to start is the HubSpot CMS Boilerplate, a well-documented and structured codebase that acts as a guide for developing custom themes.
HubSpot also provides a comprehensive Quick Start Guide for developers, covering all essential topics such as theme development, module development, custom modules and local development environments. Ensure your development process is streamlined and efficient by following this guide.
Verify that every component of your theme is highly responsive and optimized for various devices and screen sizes. We recommend BrowserStack for testing and verifying functionality.
Prioritize user experience and website performance when building your theme. Focus on optimizing for fast-loading pages, easy navigation, and accessible content.
Don’t forget to add user documentation. The ability to easily self-serve can make or break your theme, and a good experience leads to great reviews. It’s so simple to publish clear instructions about theme functionality. And don’t forget to be creative with format and multimedia!
This phase is all about testing, quality assurance, and optimization to guarantee a smooth launch.
Aside from development, you might consider setting up your theme for search. The HubSpot Template Marketplace is discoverable via search engines, and having the right keywords in your listing helps attract more visits. Plus, it makes it easier for existing users to find your listing if it meets their search criteria.
Also consider running a launch promotion of some sort, whether a social campaign or email series. There are many ways to pre-market your listing and increase the odds of success during your launch, but you need to coordinate the moving pieces early. You can learn more on this topic by reading guidance from the HubSpot Marketing Team or similar advice from another HubSpot Partner.
As with the launch of any product, don’t forget to provide ongoing customer support. It’s a chance to interface with customers, get reviews, sell more, gather product feedback, and fine-tune. Don’t waste the opportunity.
Listing Best Practices
In the previous section, we mentioned creating a compelling listing, but let’s break down what that means. Every great listing needs:
- A compelling title. Grab people’s attention and convey the main selling points.
- A clear and concise description. Highlight key benefits, features, and differentiators.
- A proper showcase. Use images and videos to demo features, customization, customer testimonials, and common use cases.
- Customer reviews. You have tremendous control over customer experience. Focus on delivering a great theme, and five-star reviews will follow.
Addressing Customer Needs in Theme Development
Collecting feedback through customer surveys and interviews is the fastest way to improve your theme – leading to better reviews, increased attention, and more revenue.
Pro tip: Create an automated email in HubSpot that triggers when someone purchases a theme and requests their feedback. Be sure to wait a few days before sending. If you fire the email too early, you risk the customer ignoring it, since they have no deep experience with your theme just yet.
If you receive positive feedback, forward a link requesting an official review on your marketplace listing. Similarly, have your support team reach out after successfully resolving a ticket to request the same. Strike while the iron is hot!
If you receive a negative review, ask for more information. This is a great way to learn how to improve your theme while demonstrating your commitment to solving for the customer.
Implementing feedback should be a continuous part of your process. Keep refining the various components of your offering to ensure you stay relevant and evolve with your customer base. Similarly, stay up to speed with HubSpot’s product portfolio to ensure your user experience is seamless and cohesive.
Creating a Winning Theme and Listing
Building and launching a successful theme on the HubSpot Template Marketplace requires a clear plan, a customer-focused mindset, and a willingness to try new things.
The best practices outlined in this article can help you create a great user experience and attract more customers. But don’t stop there! Keep testing and tweaking and adding to your listing. And never stop listening to your customers. Happy building!