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HubSpot Review


HubSpot Email Marketing

Email distributions follow a simple process of list configuration, email design (normally from a template), email test review, apply target and suppression lists, and scheduling.

HubSpot lets you create static (for one-off email distributions) and smart (dynamic) lists which automatically update based on contact field data changes or list membership.

To advance beyond batch and blast email distributions, HubSpot uses lead behavior-driven communications by applying lead activity and history to determine the timing of email distributions. This behavior-driven configuration can trigger communications through email, SMS and chat systems. It can also be applied to internal communications, such as notifications to your sales team when a lead has taken an action.

HubSpot email marketing strengths include the following:

  • To begin the process you can create your own HTML email templates, or select from a library of templates that have been tested across email clients and mobile devices using Litmus Email Testing.
  • HubSpot delivers standard email configuration options such as the ability to customize your email subject, body and sender based on fields in HubSpot or your CRM system, and also create customizable templates with editable areas, widgets, and tokens. But then the application goes further by also permitting the ability to target communications based on lead activities, personas and behaviors.
  • Marketers can create trigger emails based on page views, social media mentions and other activities. Trigger emails are proven to generate some of the highest email conversions.
  • For leads that Unsubscribe, you can offer a Communication Preferences page in order to permit the lead to take a temporary break or opt out of select email distributions, rather than permanently unsubscribe to everything.
  • If a lead converts on a particular email, the lead nurturing tool can automatically remove them from one campaign and add them to a different and more relevant campaign.
  • You can schedule emails up to one year in advance and set preferred time intervals between distributions.
  • You can also create up to ten templates to choose from when drafting new emails. Emails and templates can support multi-column formats with different column sizing.
  • Emails are automatically rendered from mobile devices.
  • Email reporting includes email delivery, opens and clicks. You can also drill down and to see the actions of leads that clicked through the email.
  • HubSpot mandates an unsubscribe asset in all emails in order to be CAN-SPAM compliant. They also automatically unsubscribe hard bounces and reader spam designations. Anything over about a 5% bounce rate is considered spam, and gets an uncomfortable call from their deliverability team.
  • HubSpot email marketing offers packaged integration with email service providers such as CampaignMonitor, Constant Contact and Mail Chimp. This may be helpful for B2C companies or higher volume email distributions.
  • At the time of this HubSpot review, email reputation scores were in the 97 to 99 range for a sampling of IP addresses reviewed.

HubSpot email marketing weaknesses include the following:

  • Emails do not support the embedding of content blocks or components such as registration or other forms in the email body in order to increase conversions by allowing the recipient to register or complete a form without ever leaving the email.
  • While some email scheduling is available, there isn’t an ability to limit email distributions during business hours—a helpful option to increase B2B deliverability rates. That said, it is possible to schedule a starting date and time, and the system may or may not complete the task during business hours.
  • Email deliverability testing is particularly weak when compared to other marketing automation software solutions. HubSpot can send an email test (in both HTML and text) but there's a lack of tools to reasonably identify which ISPs, email clients and spam protection services will find objectionable content (and block the emails from being received) and suggest resolution for such content before the emails are actually sent. This will most definitely impact email deliverability rates.
  • While HubSpot will provide a dedicated IP address for an additional fee, the company strives to keep all customers on shared IP addresses. HubSpot claims a shared IP is better for reputation scores for SMBs who email less frequently and suggests that with a unique IP, infrequent users can actually get penalized or blacklisted for what appears as random behaviors, or distributions that are very infrequent, as reputation scoring models are looking for consistent flow. It’s a fair argument, but nonetheless customers run the risk of being put into a bad neighborhood and having their email deliverability affected.
  • HubSpot does a lot of email throttling for large volume email distributions. Otherwise Gmail or other ISPs often refrain from or slow their forwarding of big volume emails. The intent is reasonable, but the impact may be unsatisfactory for scheduling and distribution purposes.
  • There is no ability to A/B test emails.

Next: HubSpot Landing Pages & Lead Scoring Review >>

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