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Ignite Achieves a 300% Increase in Free-Trial Signups

Ignite couldn’t pivot from consumer to corporate clients with its existing disparate tools. After implementing the HubSpot CRM Platform and utilizing HubSpot payments and custom objects,Ignite saw an increase free-trial signups by 300%.

  • 300% increase in free-trial signups

  • 50% less time spent on managing member payments

  • 30% less time spent producing training events


Ignite is a leadership community that helps early to mid-level leaders thrive with its proven curriculum and engaging learning platform. Ignite believes strongly in the power of community and experiential learning to transform individuals, institutions, and the world. Ignite is an offering of sr4 Partners, an organizational health consultancy.


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    Shifting From a Consumer to a Corporate Customer Base

    Phuong Le, Community Manager, and Training Producer at Ignite spent hours every week identifying fraudulent event registrations. 

    Ignite hosts live online leadership training sessions every week with access for paid members. Unfortunately, Ignite’s existing tech stack couldn’t stop non-members from accessing those training events for free. 

    “It was the Wild West,” says Ryan Jeffery, Ignite Cofounder. “The registration page stated that these sessions were only for paid members but, in reality, anyone could sign up. So we’d spend hours verifying registrations on the backend.”

    “We basically operated on the honor system,” agrees Phuong. “I’d have to manually reach out to non-members and ask them to join.”

    The underlying problem was Ignite’s tech stack. Ignite had cobbled it together over the years as it transitioned from a startup to a major player in the leadership training space. 

    Initially, Ryan built Ignite’s website on Squarespace. As the company grew, additional tools were added, including Eventbrite, Stripe, Zapier, Zoom, and its own email platform.

    “A lot of it was just taped together,” Ryan admits.

    Lack of integration among these tools—and particularly the disconnect between payment processing in Stripe and lack of true membership management in Squarespace—created inefficiencies where Ryan and his team would have to log into multiple systems to try and get a complete picture of members and their payments. 

    At the same time, the process for producing training events was also inefficient due to the limited integration between Squarespace and Eventbrite. 

    Phuong had to compile all event-related information into a spreadsheet and then manually enter that information into multiple tools, including Squarespace and Eventbrite. It was time-consuming, duplicate work, which elevated the risk of mistakes. 

    When Ignite decided to shift its sales focus from consumer to corporate clients, Ryan, Phuong and the rest of the Ignite team decided it was time to make changes to its tech stack. They knew they’d need new functionality and a more seamless member experience to successfully serve corporate clients.

    “We needed a platform where our members could log in, see what training was coming up, sign up, and take part,” says Ryan. “We couldn’t do that with our old platform.” 

    Ignite would also need the marketing tools necessary to find and attract these new corporate clients. 

    “We needed to get in front of the right sort of clients and communicate our value,” says Ryan.

    Ryan and his team started looking for a platform that would allow them to consolidate website content, marketing, and sales on one platform—while also simplifying membership and event management.

    In addition, they’d need to find a solution that they could implement without disrupting services to Ignite’s existing members. 

    “If we were to move, we’d need a smooth transition,” says Ryan. “We would need to continue to engage with our members even as we rebranded and migrated platforms.”

    Consolidating Content, Marketing, Sales, and Membership Management on the HubSpot CRM Platform

    After some investigation, Ryan and his team decided to implement the HubSpot CRM Platform, including CMS Hub, Marketing Hub, and Sales Hub.

    The team also decided to work with a HubSpot Solutions Partner for the strategy and implementation. They selected Aptitude 8 because of its HubSpot CRM expertise and experience with demand generation, web operations, and branding. 

    Emily Wingrove, Practice Manager for Demand Generation at Aptitude 8, explains how her team approached the project:

    “We spent a few weeks in discovery to really understand what Ignite needed, and then we built a data model, web design, and web functions that would support those needs.”

    Emily’s team also looked carefully at everything the HubSpot CRM Platform could bring to the project, including its membership feature, HubSpot payments, and dynamic CRM pages powered by custom objects. 

    Managing member payments with HubSpot payments 

    Aptitude 8 worked with the Ignite team to implement HubSpot payments, which put membership management and payments on the same platform. 

    “With HubSpot payments, we have clear visibility into both payments and memberships, so we can communicate with the right people, the right way, at the right time,” says Ryan. “It allows us to seamlessly manage our monthly membership subscriptions.” 

    Centralizing payments and memberships onto one platform also makes it easier for Ignite’s corporate clients to manage their own employee subscriptions. 

    Consolidation also brought new internal efficiencies to the payment process. 

    “With HubSpot, you don’t need multiple logins for various tools to view and manage your payments and memberships data,” says Emily. “Using just your HubSpot login, you can see the entire customer journey and how the activity is impacting your bottom line. Not to mention, all your communications around payments are native inside HubSpot and easy to use.”

    HubSpot payments also made it possible for Aptitude 8 to close the loophole that allowed non-members to join training events—and put a free trial option in place instead.  

    “Today, people get a 30-day free trial when they sign up,” says Emily. “After that time elapses, we ask them to sign up with their credit cards; should they not want to pay, we have workflows that remove their ability to access the private content.”

    Using HubSpot CRM custom objects for event production 

    Aptitude 8 also used HubSpot CRM custom objects to automate the event production process. 

    Emily explains:

    “We set up training events as custom objects in HubSpot, with a set of properties related to the details of the event. We then built a page template and custom modules that display those property values. So instead of having a content editor clone pages and update them manually for each new training event, we put all that information in a custom object that populates the pages automatically.” 

    Consequently, the process is much faster and less susceptible to manual errors.  

    Aptitude 8 went even further, using separate custom objects for every training event instructor—and its own HubSpot app, Associ8—to automatically associate instructors to their respective training events.

    “It created this harmony of data and object associations to power a frontend experience that is beautiful, seamless, and simple,” says Emily. 

    Growing corporate membership with Marketing Hub 

    Today, Marketing Hub is helping to get Ignite in front of potential corporate clients by marketing to new free trial signups. 

    “Once people sign up for a 30-day free trial, we cultivate their potential membership through automated email sequences,” says Phuong.

    300% Increase in Free-Trial Signups

    By consolidating content, marketing, and sales on the HubSpot CRM Platform and utilizing powerful features such as payments and custom objects, Ignite is attracting more corporate clients than ever before. 

    This is most evident in the 300% increase in free-trial signups since implementation. 

    Processes are also much more efficient thanks to automation and consolidation, resulting in significant time savings. For example, Ryan estimates the Ignite team spends 50% less time tracking and manually reaching out to members for payment. 

    Meanwhile, Phuong estimates that she’s producing training events 30% faster and preventing a loss in revenue of $375 a month in fraudulent training signups.

    Given these great results, Ryan strongly believes in the benefits of consolidating on the HubSpot CRM Platform. 

    “The power of having a CRM that connects your customers, touchpoints, communication, marketing, and payments in one place can’t be overestimated,” says Ryan.

    • ryan jeffrey
      The power of having a CRM that connects your customers, touch points, communication, marketing, and payments in one place can’t be overestimated.
    • em headshot
      It created this harmony of data and object associations to power a frontend experience that is beautiful, seamless, and simple.
    • phuong le
      Once people sign up for a 30-day free trial, we cultivate their potential membership through automated email sequences.
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