Varnish Software Increases Customers by 50% with HubSpot

In 2012, Varnish Software was a fledgling Scandinavian startup with big ambitions but limited resources. Its products had a global reach, and it needed to find a way to market them effectively to the whole world. The HubSpot Marketing Platform was the solution it was looking for. Last year alone, the company has boosted its website traffic by 80% and its leads by more than 58%.


Increase in leads


Increase in website traffic


Increase in customers

About Varnish Software

Varnish Software is the company behind Varnish Cache, the open source HTTP engine, trusted by more than 2.5 million websites worldwide. The Varnish Software team builds high-performance, flexible software that helps its customers, which include the New York Times, Nikon, Vimeo and Thomson Reuters, deliver their web content and IoT information reliably, quickly and at any scale. The company has offices in Stockholm, Oslo, New York, Los Angeles, London and Paris.

Limited Resources, Big Ambitions

Hildur Smáradottir took over the marketing function at Varnish Software in 2012. As a fast growing company it had limited resources, both in terms of time and money. However, Varnish Software’s products had a global reach, so Hildur needed to come up with an effective way to do some major marketing on a minor budget.

“I figured we needed to find a good solution to market our products to the whole world, something that would help us boost our website visitors and leads. The inbound methodology and helping our audience find us and visit our site by offering them our expertise and knowledge through quality content made perfect sense for us,” says Varnish Software’s VP of Global Marketing.

She discovered HubSpot in a classic case of inbound marketing in action. Her research into the methodology brought her to the HubSpot blog, where she signed up for a free evaluation report on how well her company’s website was performing. After a demonstration of the HubSpot software, Hildur was convinced. She liked the user-friendly interface and the fact that it had the tools she needed in one platform. The fact that Hubspot was also a fast growing company that truly listened to their customers needs was an added benefit. The Hubspot team was quick to implement new features and to respond to feature and support requests.

Before choosing Hubspot as the marketing platform for Varnish Software, Hildur also evaluated other marketing automation solutions, including Marketo. However, she felt that the HubSpot Marketing Platform was the best fit, and Varnish Software implemented it in February 2013.

"We evaluated other marketing software, but HubSpot was the best fit for our requirements."

Hildur Smáradottir

VP Global Marketing

Varnish Software

Embracing the Inbound Methodology

Before Hildur joined the Varnish Software team, its marketing activities were confined to some blogging and social media posts.

“We didn’t have a lot of content on our site. Consequently, we didn’t have many calls-to-action – the only way we got any leads was through our ‘contact us’ form.”

One of Hildur’s first actions as a new marketing manager was to start building up a repository of expert content, which she then set up on Landing Pages, adding CTAs and Forms to help with lead capturing. She then eventually moved the Varnish Software blog to Hubspot’s Blog App and began to use the Social Inbox to manage the company’s social media accounts.

“We also set up three key personas – the website developer persona, the senior IT manager persona and the tech consultant persona. Since then our defined optimal buyer profile has evolved into more buyer personas. WIth Hubspot it’s easy for us to tailor the marketing we do to the needs and interests of these personas.”

One of the things that Hildur likes most about the HubSpot software is that it allows her to track every movement that a prospect makes, from where they arrive from to what they download.

“It helps us do marketing in a more structured way; it’s a very transparent platform. It gives us instant feedback about what's working and what isn't. This transparency also allows the sales team to reach out to prospects in a more relevant way as they know what the person they are about to call has shown interest in." 

Back in 2013, Varnish Software’s primary goal was to increase website traffic and lead generation. Since then, this goal has been expanded to include better alignment between sales and marketing as well as to better engage with and delight customers.

“The sales team uses the HubSpot CRM now and that’s definitely been very, very valuable. It allows us to be fully aligned in terms of the content that our salespeople use to convert prospects; they can see clearly the effect of all our activities and follow the journey of our visitors in the CRM.”

"We had a small budget to work with, but we had a huge audience so the inbound methodology and pushing content to our audience made perfect sense for us."

- Hildur Smáradottir

Results That Keep Getting Better

Hildur says that Varnish Software began to see the impact of their inbound marketing strategy “pretty much straight away” after implementing Hubspot in 2014 - resulting in a 90% increase in lead generation. These impressive results continued in 2015 and they increased website traffic by more than 80%, leads by 58% and customers by 50%.

The HubSpot Marketing Platform, she explains, has allowed Varnish Software to do the kind of marketing that gets results.

“In the past, we experimented with PPC advertising, but we found that it didn’t work for us at all, it doesn’t generate the kind of leads that we are trying to convert.”

Since partnering with HubSpot, the company has introduced a content strategy that not only draws in visitors but helps convert them into customers.

“We have whitepapers, videos and ebooks on industry trends like streaming and video-on-demand. They have proved very popular, and we also use them within our Workflows to nurture leads until they become marketing qualified.”

Hildur says that the HubSpot Marketing Platform has become an integral part of Varnish Software’s business.

"Our partnership with HubSpot will hopefully continue for many years to come. The platform is continually being developed, and we are very happy with what it has allowed us to achieve."

- Hildur Smáradottir

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