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15 Min Read

HubSpot Email Marketing Tips for Successful Campaigns

Trends come and go, but email never dies. 

Well, so far. The digital marketing landscape changes quickly, like finicky tectonic plates that shift under our feet and force us to stay on our toes. But while radio advertisements, cold calls, clickbait, and spammy pop ups are a thing of the past, email has remained a rare constant. 

That being said, email best practices have changed (and continue to change), too.

Nowadays, everyone is using some degree of automation (and if you’re not, you should be!). In this blog post, we’re going to take a look at email marketing tips for 2020—and how HubSpot can help you hit each and every wicket.  

Email Marketing Tip #1: Get Personal 

As previously mentioned, automation is an email marketing tactic that continues to grow exponentially. Being able to put your lead nurturing on autopilot with customized drip campaigns is a huge time saver. HubSpot workflows make this a cinch.

If you’re already a HubSpot user, you know this. 

But the ability to automate campaigns doesn’t necessarily mean you want to be blasting your entire database with the same, ubiquitous emails. Automation is only as effective as it is personal. 

Louder for the people in the back: Automation is only as effective as it is personal

Don’t shotgun your contact database, ever. As with everything in marketing, it’s critical that you take into account where a buyer is in the journey. You want to take a targeted approach by sending the right information to the right people at the right time. 

That might mean crafting different campaigns for different segments of your audience. 

Or it might mean crafting different campaigns for each service you offer, or each module of a product. Why is this so important? Because people only care about information that’s relevant to them

Sending relevant emails means getting the context right (where people are in their journey), as well as the content. Personalizing the actual content of an email is another can’t-miss email marketing tip. You can personalize content by: 

  • Using personalization tokens   
  • Sharing user-generated content 

hubspot email marketing tips

Personalization Tokens 

Personalization tokens are pretty straightforward. When composing an email in HubSpot, it’s as simple as selecting the “personalize” button at the top and inserting the field. Most commonly, people use this to enter the {first name} field, which inserts the reader’s name in the greeting. But you can also use tokens to insert meeting links, information about the sender, information about the recipient's company, and more. 

User Generated Content 

At its heart, personalization is all about connection. We like personalized communications for the same reason we like personalized gifts: it allows a personal connection to shine through. So, what better way to connect with your audience than sharing user generated content (UGC)? 

hubspot marketing tips for you

UGC is recognized as an effective way to simultaneously cut down on internal content creation while building social proof. You can include UGC in your emails in the form of: 

  • Product reviews
  • Customer feedback 
  • Social images tagged with hashtags specific to your brand 
  • Video testimonials 

Including UGC in your email marketing facilitates a deeper connection with customers. 

Email Marketing Tip #2: Text Only  

Here’s one that might surprise you: Marketers are moving away from heavily-designed emails. 

And it goes back to the above point about personalization. 

If you want to casually slip into someone’s email like a friend, text-only might be the way to go. When’s the last time you designed an email sent to your mom? Yeah, never.

So if it makes sense for your brand, veer away from commercial-looking emails this year. Keep it light and clean. Plain = genuine, in this case. 

Another benefit to text-only emails is that it’s more accessible for smart devices. With a growing number of voice assistants, it’s not uncommon for someone to have their smart device read emails to them.

hubspot email marketing tips-1

And this trend is only growing.

Make it easy on our robot friends by sticking to text-only emails. Emails loaded down with design, images, and links are more likely to end up in the “Promotions” tab of someone’s Gmail anyway (not the place you want to be). 

When you do include a link or an image, be purposeful about it. Consider incorporating UCG, as mentioned above. Or, include the thumbnail of a video. CISCO tells us that 80% of the world’s internet traffic is video by 2019, so that’s a medium you should be incorporating in your emails and beyond. 

(Wait, what? It’s almost 2020? And you’re not doing video? We have a blog post for that, too.)

Email Marketing Tip #3: Testing, Testing, 1-2-3

Our last email marketing tip is to never guess; always test. 

When you’re crafting your email, there are a handful of tools that can make the job a bit easier. 

First, I’m a huge fan of “testing” email subject lines with software like Coschedule (it’s free!). This is a great way to refine and optimize your subject line before you even get to the real testing.

(Psst...remember those personalization tokens? Including them in the subject line is a great way to increase your open rate!) 

Two other “soft tests” I recommend are: 

  • Ensuring all the important stuff is above the fold
  • Checking the “optimize” tool in HubSpot. Click the upward trending graph icon located on the left-hand side and you’ll get a list of ways you can improve your emails. 

Once you’ve done the precursory stuff, it’s time to do the real testing. 

Testing the Email 

First, test your email by sending it to your teammates. Click the envelope icon on the left-hand side, type in the recipients, and hit send. 

email marketing tips for hubspot

Then, test it HubSpot’s simulator. This basically allows you to preview your HubSpot emails in 30+ different inboxes. You’ll want to select all major clients, which include: 

  • Apple iPhone 
  • Gmail 
  • Apple iPad
  • Outlook
  • Apple Mail 
  • Yahoo! Mail (yes, people still use this) 
  • Samsung Mail 
  • Outlook.com 
  • Google Android
  • Windows Live Mail 

Testing in a variety of email clients will help you identify and fix any issues before your email hits your databases’ inbox. 

A/B Test 

This critical item should be on every email marketing tip blog post! We martech people are huge fans of A/B testing. Again, this is a process that HubSpot makes quite simple: 

  1. Navigate to Marketing > Email 
  2. Create an Email 
  3. On the left-hand sidebar, click the A/B icon 
  4. Enter a name for both emails; you can toggle between the two at the top 
  5. Test

Stating the obvious here, but just in case: only test one variable at a time. For example, if you’re going to test subject lines, only change the subject line and nothing in the body copy. You can also test: 

  • Who the email is coming from 
  • Offers within the email 
  • CTAs
  • Word choice 
  • Email length 
  • Link formatting (HTML vs. button vs. image) 

Once you’ve made your two variations, set the criteria for the test. This will allow you to determine the exact split within your audience. 

Test for Time and Day 

Another factor you’ll want to collect data on over time is when your audience is most active. The optimal time and day of the week varies from brand to brand. If you have no idea where to start, try Tuesday around lunchtime, but be sure to experiment and figure out what works for you. 

 

Conclusion 

There you have it...our top three email marketing tips. If you found this helpful, you may also enjoy:

If you want to speak to a HubSpot Specialist about your specific email marketing needs, feel free to book a complimentary 30min chat, by clicking the button below.

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Topics:   HubSpot Email

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