Email marketing: HubSpot tools

By Stellan Björnesjö

Email marketing: HubSpot tools

There are 459 email marketing tools and platforms listed on the review site at the time of writing, and HubSpot isn't one of them. Huh? Yes, HubSpot isn't allowed to be in the email category as it's not a "pure" email marketing tool. However, this more holistic view happens also to be one of its core strengths as an email marketing platform. Therefore we thought it relevant to answer some common questions around using HubSpot for email marketing, based on our experience from working with HubSpot since 2012.

What should email marketing software do?

One can always debate what capabilities an email marketing tool should provide, and requirements vary greatly based on industry and use case, but at least you need the basics:

  • Enable the creation and sending of emails via HTML or WYSIWYG editor
  • Provide email templates
  • Allow users to preview and send test emails
  • Store, track, segment, and manage email contact lists
  • Provide reporting and analytics

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As mentioned, close to 500 email marketing tools and platforms listed on the review site currently meet these criteria. HubSpot, however, is not one of them because G2 also lists one additional condition:

  • [The tool shall] "Not provide additional marketing automation features in channels other than email as their core function."

Hence, because HubSpot can do more than a traditional email marketing tool, it's not allowed to compete in the email marketing platform category

This fact does not make HubSpot a less good platform for email marketing. On the contrary, it makes HubSpot even more compelling as automation is an essential part of email marketing, from lead nurturing to abandon basket reminders.

Is HubSpot good for email marketing?

As a stand-alone email tool, it meets all the basic requirements listed above and more and is super easy to use for the average marketeer, sales, or service individual:

  • It's possible to design good-looking emails with drag-and-drop templates without involving designers or developers (if you can have some flexibility in your branding, otherwise let a professional design and code templates for you).
  • Personalise email to increase open- and click-through rates. You can use any information from a subscriber's contact record to automatically serve up the most relevant subject lines, content, links, attachments, and calls-to-action.
  • Maximise the impact with A/B testing and detailed analytics. For example, uncover the subject lines that get the most opens, better engagement rates, and more sales.

How does HubSpot use email marketing?

The strength of HubSpot is that it's better than the sum of its parts. Email marketing in HubSpot is not limited to marketing only, nor is it limited to email marketing in a more traditional sense, e.g., sending newsletters. Email "marketing" is instead an integral part of the platform used in more ways:

  • Email marketing: Newsletters
  • Notifications: Blog subscriptions, form submissions, etc.
  • Marketing automation (workflows): Lead nurturing, sales and service rep notifications, etc.
  • Sales automation: Email sequences
  • Service automation (ticketing): Status updates

What is HubSpot email marketing certification?

HubSpot's email marketing certification course mainly covers what you'll need to start using email marketing in the traditional newsletter-focused sense:

  • Contact management and segmentation
  • Personalisation
  • Testing
  • Email deliverability
  • Analysing your email sends

How do I create an email marketing campaign in HubSpot?

A campaign in HubSpot refers to a specific feature called the "campaigns" tool. The campaigns tool in HubSpot allows tagging related marketing assets and content, so it becomes easy to measure the effectiveness of collective marketing efforts. For example, a product launch consisting of email, social media posts, landing pages, and traffic sources such as paid ads. 

To create a campaign in HubSpot, you follow this guide, but to send an email marketing campaign, you first need to create and edit the email itself. These are the five steps to follow:

  1. Create a new email
  2. Edit email layout and content
  3. A/B test your email
  4. Preview or test your email
  5. Send or schedule your email

Is HubSpot better than Mailchimp?

Both HubSpot and Mailchimp have made transparent takes on this:

Interestingly enough, they are relatively unbiased in their arguments: 

  • HubSpot states that they offer everything that Mailchimp does and more, and 
  • Mailchimp says that HubSpot is a comprehensive tool but can also charge much higher prices.

Both these statements are factual, and so the answer to the question is that it depends on what purposes and objectives you have with your email marketing effort and what level of software license budget you have to support that effort.

What is better than HubSpot?

There is little doubt that HubSpot is a compelling platform that is broader than "pure" email marketing (in the traditional sense). It's easy to use and works for most, from the free version to the Enterprise level (disclosure: This is why Zooma uses HubSpot and recommends it in most cases). 

However, there are situations where HubSpot doesn't fit as naturally. For example, if you rely on email marketing to communicate with millions of customers and prospects across multiple languages, geographies, brands, or business units and require a highly specialised integration with, e.g., an ERP system. In this scenario, you would probably want software that you can tailor to your every need and scale regarding how you make the selection of addresses, analyse data, and feed conversions right back to your BI and ERP.

If you want to keep finding out more about email marketing, take a look at our email marketing guide - it answers the most common questions our customers have about email marketing and gives some tips on how to design your emails, how to build an email list, and the benefits of email as a communications channel.

You can also get more email marketing advice in the presentation below - we've gathered all of our knowledge about segmentation and automation and condensed it into a downloadable guide that you can share with colleagues. 

Download the guide

Download the guide

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Stellan Björnesjö
Online Strategist at Zooma since 2012. 15+ years of experience as a manager, business developer and specialist within online and e-commerce.
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