“Your account has been temporarily suspended from sending emails.” There it was, in bold red letters: We'd surpassed the acceptable threshold of the almighty bounce rate.
The objective of the email was sound; we wanted to launch an email introducing our company and our services to a list of prospects and hope for some relevant bites -- maybe even grab some low hanging fruit. What we hadn’t considered were any of the essential preparatory steps, like segmentation, contact validation, and opt-in verification. Sounds like Marketing 101 (which it is), but our team was so excited to dive into HubSpot and grow our email list that we threw caution to the wind and we're now suffering the consequences.
To stop the biggest oversight of my career from becoming a recurring trend, we needed to review our email marketing strategy and fine-tune the process with which we launched our campaigns.
1) Combing Through the Data
Ever send an email to an address like firstname.lastname@example.org? We realised pretty quickly that our email information was so off-base that we'd inadvertently applied for several jobs and logged a support ticket or two with our send. Email accuracy is critical to online reputation management, not only for the sender, but also for the provider, in this case HubSpot.
2) Understanding Our Audience
Once you’ve got a handle on the cleanliness of your prospect list, segmentation is the next crucial step. Our list contained a wide variety of contacts scattered geographically, and at different job levels within all kinds of verticals. It took about two weeks before we had nailed down a proper segmentation strategy that aligned with our objectives. For example, by segmenting by job function we can target our messaging based on user personas.
3) Content Creation
Unfortunately, our CTA was too generic and not exciting enough to generate the necessary click-throughs. Positioning our company and offers behind a simple Contact Us button wasn’t going to Jedi-mind-trick anyone into getting in touch. We quickly discovered the importance of great content creation to demonstrate the value we provide and that we are willing to give you something in exchange for your precious contact information. So we started developing content, and lots of it. Ebooks have proven to be a popular format for our content, but it’s important to test lots of different types of content and make sure you're giving your readers useful material in the format that they want to receive it in.
4) Need- Match- Engage
Essentially, you need to give your prospects the opportunity to receive the information they want, not force-feed them what you want to sell. Proper contact alignment paired with educational content allowed us to take our lead nurturing to a new level. Understanding our prospects' needs, matching that with educational content, and engaging them in meaningful conversations allowed us to foster a relationship. And that made all the difference.
We've gone from a system suspension notice to an average open rate of 15% and a growing list of valued subscribers. Our average click-through rate has inceased significantly as well, to around 8%. This new approach has allowed us to confidently hit “Schedule and Send e-mail” in our HubSpot email tool from here on out.
The email above resulted in a 17.9% submission rate on the Ebook landing page.