Sarah Hodges

Archive for the ‘Email Marketing’ Category

How HubSpot Won My Heart (Seriously)

In Email Marketing on February 25, 2013 at 2:04 am

Foot-mouthI think I cried a little the day I found out that HubSpot acquired Performable. I definitely drank scotch. For months, I’d eagerly watched as my buddy, Christopher O’Donnell, and the Performable engineering team, cranked like crazy to put all the analytics giants out of business. I hopped on screenshares, sent over pages of feedback and even camped out at the office on the weekends, stopping just short of throwing on a cheerleader outfit. And then they sold to the enemy.

Here’s the thing—HubSpot was a killer marketing company. Their team was packed with the best in the biz, churning out content that attracted leads like ants to cotton candy. But the product itself always left something to be desired. And it made me mad. Really mad.

HubSpot literally wrote the book on Inbound Marketing. I’ve been behind those doors, and that marketing team was (and is) legit. From mounds of data to buyer personas, to a test/measure/optimize mantra, they were constantly pushing themselves to new ground. But when it came to the product, HubSpot was treating its users like second-class citizens, dumbing down its feature set to the lowest common denominator. The HubSpot blog was an absolute treasure trove of information, but none of those best practices, the tips and tricks, none of that marketing goodness made it’s way into the product. It just wasn’t right.

I’d be lying if I said that I hadn’t sworn several times that I would never use HubSpot. And now here I am, foot in mouth, to tell you that I love me some HubSpot. After much hassling from David Cancel, I took their new email tool for a spin when we launched Man, I was hooked. I couldn’t get enough, so I signed up Smarterer.

HubSpot Email Campaign

HubSpot Email PreHeader Text

Awhile back, I wrote a post called For Better or For Worse: Guide to Choosing an ESP. Well, HubSpot and I are living happily every after. Everywhere you turn in the UI, you find a default setting or a visual cue to help you market the right way. From a reminder to tag your email with a campaign for consistent tracking to a simple field that lets you customize the preheader text, HubSpot does the heavy lifting. It lets me free up my brain power for strategy and creativity. It’s efficient, empowering, and just plain smart.

Seamless is the best way I can describe HubSpot now. You know what it reminds me of? Performable.


Don’t Make Me Think: Embrace a Single CTA

In Email Marketing on June 14, 2011 at 5:08 pm

Getting to ‘inbox zero’ these days can be such a challenge that email gamification apps have even begun to emerge. Don’t make your customers think too hard; eliminate the burden of choice and make it easy to act by including a clear call-to-action (CTA) in your emails. 

You’re playing for gold

Email can be a fruitful communication channel when you respect your customers’ inboxes by sending relevant, well-timed emails. Take the time to map out your email marketing strategy and individual CTA; your customers will look forward to receiving your emails, and the time you invest up front will pay dividends in increasing conversions. 

Too legit to quit (i.e. it really works…)

A few weeks ago, we launched ‘win-back’ campaign targeting recently lapsed customers.

Our goal: drive conversions. Our customers’ goal: get motivated and get fit.

We kept the CTA simple, included a link in the header, body of the email, and a single button; a simple email with just a few lines of text and a single button increased conversions by 14%!

What’s your game plan?

1. Is your CTA relevant to your customer?

If you’re objective’s not aligned with your customer’s needs, prepare for your click-through rate to tank. Ask yourself, how does your CTA create value for your customer?

2. What’s your objective?

Let’s say you want to drive referral by reminding your customers about a positive experience they had with your product. Tell them a story to evoke that emotion, but don’t lose site of your CTA! You want your customers to share the experience (through Twitter, Facebok, etc.) to drive users back to your site.

3. How easy is it to locate your CTA?

So, you went to the trouble of making sure you have a compelling CTA; now, how will your customers find it? A few tips:

  • Include the CTA in the subject line of the email (under 40 char. recommended).
  • Include the hyperlinked CTA in the header of the email.
  • Include the CTA above the fold.
  • Include the CTA link in the P.S. of the email (if applicable).
  • Test a mix of links and buttons; take a look at your clickmap or use utm parameters to track your links, and evaluate which links your customers engage with.
  • Extra credit: link the images in the email to the same landing page to which you link the email CTA.

As always, after you’ve launched the email, measure the efficacy of your campaign by monitoring the unsubscribe rate and conversion rate for the email, and evaluating the click map to identify future optimization opportunities.

I wrote this post for a new Marketing Playbook from Performable that I’m pretty sure is going to change the world

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