Creating Marketing Emails with HubSpot

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Email remains one of the most effective digital marketing techniques available. Email helps you build relationships with your leads and nurture them through the buyer’s journey towards a sale. When a prospect shares their email address, they are expecting useful information in return-- email is how you supply that information. For this reason, it’s important that you treat email with care, never spamming your contact lists. Creating readable, engaging marketing emails with high-value content should be an important focus for your digital marketing team. HubSpot provides a powerful email platform to help you accomplish that goal.

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HubSpot doesn’t just provide the tools to create good-looking emails. In HubSpot, you can track the success of individual emails and how they perform within campaigns. In addition, you can segment your contacts, personalize content, perform A/B testing, and create entire drip campaigns within the HubSpot platform.

Creating Your Email

Before you begin, you'll want to spend some time deciding the intent and audience of your marketing email. Who are you trying to reach and what exactly is the purpose? The reason being, HubSpot offers a multitude of templates that you can use that are tailored to your specific needs. So, it’s best to have a clear understanding of this before jumping in.

Once you’ve decided the direction you’d like to go, navigate to Marketing > Email to begin the process of creating your new email. Have a look below at the HubSpot email dashboard:

From here, you will select Create email. This opens a pop-up window where you can choose either the Drag and drop editor or the Classic editor. HubSpot currently offers two options for creating your email layouts. The main difference between the two editors is only the email creation process, not the type or style of emails you can create. Within each of these editors, you can access easy-to-use templates, add personalization, and create sharp, professional-looking emails.

We will walk you through the features of each editor. First up, the Classic!
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The Classic Editor

After selecting the classic editor, the next step is to choose a template for your email. The template produces an email with placeholders for elements such as header, images, body text, call-to-action (CTA) button, and social links. You’ll then edit the placeholders to display the images, text, CTA, etc. that you want in this particular email.

In the classic editor, you can decide to choose a HubSpot template, your own template or search the HubSpot Marketplace. If you don’t have an email template that you want to use, you can grab one from the HubSpot Marketplace. In the HubSpot Marketplace, there are hundreds of templates created by HubSpot and their partners, available for free and for purchase. In addition to email, templates are available for blogs, landing pages, web pages, and system pages.

If you want a specific style of template, you can search the Marketplace by filtering for layout style, features, industry, email purpose, cost, etc. Email templates are available for newsletters, holiday mailings, case studies, and a variety of other purposes, and have been created for over 20 industries.

You can access the marketplace from inside HubSpot by navigating to Marketing > Files and Templates > Template Marketplace.

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If you need a free template, you can find plenty labeled “Free” in the lower right corner. Once you’ve chosen your template, you’ll name your email:

Once you’ve given your email a name, the fun begins! You can now start to edit and personalize your email.

First, let’s start with your email details. Click into the email details section below to add a From name, From address, subject line and preview text.

You’ll notice the Personalize buttons next to Subject line and Preview text. Here you can insert personalization tokens.

For example, your subject line may read: Hi (first name), here is your 25% coupon code!

 Next, you can edit the Settings of the email: 

Here you can add a Subscription type (Marketing Information, Blog Subscriber, etc.) or add your email as part of Campaign, which is used to group multiple pieces of content for analysis across a single marketing effort.

You can now begin to edit the header, footer, and body of the email: 

You can add your company logo, logo alt text, and even link the image to a URL. You can also add links to your social media accounts. Once you’ve got the body, header, footer and email details in good shape, you'll head over to the Recipients tab. Here you can either choose to include or exclude a list or an individual. If you are using this email for a DRIP campaign, here is where you would also save that email for automation. Saving an email for automation enables you to use it in a workflow.

Next, head over to the Review tab to resolve any issues. HubSpot will flag any problems with the email here, and you can correct them before sending.

 Finally, get ready to send or schedule your email. You can either send now, schedule this for later or schedule based on the recipient’s time zone. 

 That summarizes the email creation process using the Classic editor. Next, we will look at the Drag and Drop editor, which is still in beta testing, but many HubSpot users are excited about the new features and ease-of-use it offers.

Drag and Drop Editor

Recently, HubSpot added the Drag and Drop editor to the design manager for email creation. As this editor is still in beta, currently some features are unavailable, notably Blog and RSS emails. 

Drag and DropBefore you choose a drag and drop template, you need to select if this email will be a regular or automated email. An automated email can be enrolled in workflows, while a regular email cannot. If you’re creating an email for a drip campaign (for example, to enroll unengaged customers in a re-engagement campaign), it’s important to make sure it’s designated as automated. If it’s not going to be part of a workflow (for example, a one-time promotional email), you can designate it as regular.

Once you’ve chosen whether the email should be regular or automated, you then can begin to drag modules (such as a header, a CTA, or a text box) into the editor to lay out your email. If needed, you can also begin with a template in this editor, and save layouts you’ve created as templates for future use. For example, if you create a re-engagement email with the drag and drop editor that has a layout you like, you can save it as a template as a starting point for future re-engagement emails.

Many users find the drag and drop editor more intuitive, providing more flexibility for email creation with less work required to make the email look good and function correctly. If it doesn’t work for you, you can use the classic editor to create emails inside a more structured template.

We will walk you through the creation of a drag and drop email using the example of a fictional online doghouse store, “Danny’s Doghouses.” Danny wants to send a welcome email to his new new customers. He’d like to offer 15% off a purchase of $100 or more using the code “15OFF” for being loyal customers.

First up, he needs to design his email.  After navigating to Marketing > Email > Create email > Drag and Drop > Regular, Danny chooses his template:

After selecting the template, Danny then begins to edit his email. He chooses to drag and drop and edit the following modules: company logo (replaces), a personalization token, an image, two rich text modules, and their social media icons.

 He can make additional changes as he toggles between the Design and Content tabs here: 

 Once he’s happy with his design, Danny then heads over to the Settings tab (which is essentially a combination of the email details + settings tab in the Classic editor): 

Finally, Danny is ready to send his email! He heads over to the Send or Schedule Tab and adds his list of current customers and excludes his unengaged contacts. He can choose to send now or schedule for later. 

 ...and voila! Danny’s promotional email is sent. 

Automation

One of the standout features of HubSpot’s email marketing tools (available in both editors) is its marketing automation capability. You may want to make your email part of a drip campaign, or simply automate sending. You can set some of these features when you create your email.

save for automation - 1In HubSpot, you can easily automate an entire drip campaign to operate independently. You can choose from dozens of triggers and workflows to have emails sent when and to whom you want. HubSpot’s workflow tool makes it easy to plan ahead by creating a branching flowchart of your drip campaign. If you have designated an email as “automated”, you’ll be able to pull it into a workflow.

 Bringing an email into a marketing automation workflow. 

Reporting

HubSpot also makes it simple to gather data on your email marketing performance, as well as processing that data into easily readable reports you can access at any time. Simply navigate to Marketing > Email in your HubSpot account. Click the “Analyze” tab to see your reports.

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In the Analyze tab, there are several reports you can look at, navigable by the left-hand sidebar. These reports are Overview, Sent, Delivery Rate, Open Rate, Click Rate, and Contacts Lost. Within each of these reports is further data relevant to that particular report. For example, within the Open Rate report, you will also see data for “Emails with highest open rate” and “Engagement by device type”. Within each report, you can also organize your data by Email Type, Campaign, and Time Range to drill down further. Additionally, at the top of the page, there is an “Export Charts” button that will deliver a PDF of your reports to your email.


Reports are extremely important in measuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. You don’t want to overwhelm your leads with too many emails, but instead, nurture them along the buyer’s journey. Tracking your opens (how many people opened your email), clicks (how many people then clicked on a link in your email to be taken to your website), and bounces (how many emails didn’t send properly to their recipient), among other metrics, are instrumental in measuring performance. While there’s no magic number you should aim for (and benchmarks can vary by industry, company size, and other factors), seeing what performs well and what performs poorly can help you improve future campaigns.


Conclusion

Email marketing is one of the most important aspects of the inbound methodology. Proper lead nurturing still takes place almost entirely over email, and creating engaging emails with good content that make your leads want to click through is essential. HubSpot helps you create good-looking, functional emails with ease in addition to providing workflow automation and performance reporting. With the new drag and drop editor being layered in on top of the existing advanced features, both beginners and advanced marketers can design powerful email campaigns that help move your leads along to the next step of the buyer’s journey.

Written by Rare Karma Team