Understanding the Difference Between a Connected Inbox and a Marketing Email Send

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Jess Swazey
Jess Swazey


The HubSpot platform offers two ways to connect with your contacts by email - through a connected inbox or through the Marketing Email tool.  But what’s the difference? And when should you use each type of email?


Connected Inbox Sending

A connected inbox email is a 1:1 communication between one sender and one recipient.  When you connect an inbox to HubSpot, you can craft personal email communication inside of the HubSpot platform, and the message will be passed by HubSpot to your inbox provider to be sent.  Messages sent through a connected inbox can be logged to the CRM to appear on a contact’s timeline.

Connected inbox sends are the right way to reach contacts who have not provided your brand with direct and verifiable permission to be included in your marketing communications.  This email type may be used for sales outreach, to inform a new contact of the benefits of your business, or to introduce a personal connection to your brand.  Connected inbox sends are also a great way to gain opt in from a contact that has not yet provided it to your organization. For example - if you traded business cards with a new contact at a trade show, you could use a connected inbox to direct that contact to an opt-in landing page or form on your company’s website.  

Marketing Email Sending

An email sent from the Marketing Email tool in HubSpot is a one-to-many communication sent from one contact or brand to a group of recipients. Marketing email sends will travel over HubSpot’s shared network for delivery. In HubSpot, a marketing email can only be sent to contacts who have provided direct and verifiable permission to your brand to be included in your marketing list.  An example of direct and verifiable permission would be when a contact submits a form on your website to sign up for your email list  where clear expectations are provided on what messaging they will receive and how their personal data will be used. You can also use HubSpot’s double opt in feature to allow contacts to confirm their subscription before receiving marketing emails from your organization.

Contacts who have not provided permission are not eligible for use in the Marketing Email tool until permission has been granted by the contact directly. Depending on where your contacts reside, you may also need to take extra precautions when it comes to email compliance standards as these will vary across global locations (GDPR, anyone?).  As a reminder, purchased or rented contacts are prohibited from use within HubSpot.

The HubSpot Email Marketing tool is a great way to reach individuals who have opted in. When sending marketing email, be sure to protect your brand’s sender reputation by following email deliverability best practices. If you’d like to learn more about best practices for email deliverability, check out this webinar.

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