HubSpot has many powerful features and one very useful and frequently used tool is email marketing. It’s quite different than the kind of email marketing that people have come to dislike and avoid. This unique strategy for email marketing is to only send to a carefully cultivated distribution list of interested people that request to hear from you. This blog post consists of understanding how to cultivate distribution lists and subsequently improve open and click rates.
Just for an example, we’ll use a hypothetical company called Rogers Electric. Rogers Electric has a contact database composed of over 100,000 contacts, most of whom have submitted their information via web form. These submissions indicate that the contact is officially requesting some type of specific salesperson response or inclusion to the newsletter. When a contact has identified themselves as one that would like to receive more information, they are entered into the Rogers Electric newsletter distribution list. One of the goals is to email only the truly interested parties, and there is a way of detecting which customers are actively engaged in the newsletters and website. This may be counterintuitive to the concept of marketing, but there is a method to this.
This type of marketing, in you which you attract your leads, rather than blast out to everyone possible, is known as “Inbound Marketing”. Inbound Marketing is a newer concept compared to “mass marketing” and has become an entire revolution in the way companies reach interested parties and potential customers. The basic idea is to only contact and market to leads that have asked you to. That way you can avoid creating counter-productive marketing that is deemed as web spam or harassment. Additionally you are using your own sales resources more efficiently by focusing on those that want to hear from you.
Another thing to consider when creating a newsletter strategy is knowing when the most ideal time is to send it. Results shared from HubSpot based on previous research and testing have revealed that Thursday afternoons happen to be an ideal time to catch potential leads. This is when they are most receptive to opening emails from outside parties that do not have a direct correlation to their immediate work. Frequency is another way to demonstrate courteousness and consideration for your potential customer base, therefore Rogers Electric only sends these emails twice a month. Time and frequency are vital to the success and rules of Inbound Marketing, otherwise you risk unsubscribes, reports of Web Spam, or alienating your audience.
Aside from who to send to and when, the actual newsletters must of course be relevant, interesting, and helpful to readers. By presenting fresh content and useful links to quarterly initiatives, Rogers Electric can keep their audience engaged. By rotating out the content,Rogers Electric has seen how the email newsletters themselves become a tool for study. The analytics give clues as to what is the most interesting of the promotions and helps to steer future content based on something we saw in the data.
HubSpot has an excellent dashboard for monitoring the success of an email newsletter with interactive graphics, bar charts, and pie charts. The full amount of emails sent and what portion were opened is made known in real time. After about 24 hours of an email being sent, the full results can be seen in the dashboard organized by sent, opened, clicked, and unsubscribed. According to HubSpot resources, less than 2% unsubscribes is a good result but at Rogers Electric, we frequently get less than .8% unsubscribes. Patterns have been discovered in the analytics whereby proving how colorful graphics or a change in template layout have resulted in an uptick of interest.
When considering the design of the newsletter, much effort has been made to improve the Rogers Electric templates and add aesthetic value to the graphics of the emails. The technical workings of the HubSpot marketing platform were studied to discover how a new template could be applied best. The HTML and CSS of the email was altered to make possible a new layout that would host full width masthead images and an attractive three column layout underneath. The text with the marketing message was reduced in word count to a quick and easy to read section with a link or “call to action”. Finally, the bottom of the email was used to suggest a couple of other popular topics with Rogers Electric Customers.
By working hard to understand both the HubSpot email marketing tools and strategies of Rogers Electric, new learning has been achieved about how to improve open and click rates. Following the rules of Inbound Marketing, we can cultivate our distribution lists to only contain interested parties that want to hear from us. Producing relevant and fresh content wrapped in an appealing design will help to keep readers looking or entice them to take a second look. This will result in a distribution list that grows in quantity and becomes a respected resource for information that adds value to the Rogers Electric brand and reputation in the industry.