HubSpot Email Marketing Strategy For More Opens

open email

Have you ever felt like you are doing all you can to get your emails opened, but the open rates are still low? In this scenario, you need to determine what is considered a good open rate for your industry. In this blog, learn how to increase your open rate by improving your email marketing strategy and your use of the CRM. 

According to Campaign Monitor, an open rate between 15% and 20% will cover most industries, and you can research more to find the number within that range that best speaks to yours. Once you know what you are striving to get to, you can take the necessary steps to get there. 

Next, you'll need to get organized.

Clean Up Your Database

That's the advice we give clients in many circumstances, and it’s also the first step to communicating with people who are actually interested in your content, product or service.

Inside HubSpot, you can export a spreadsheet with all your bounced and unsubscribed contacts.

After reviewing that spreadsheet and deciding who to keep and disregard, you can then upload this list back to the CRM, create a new list, and delete those unengaged contacts.

This concept might seem scary at first, but it's necessary, as you want to dedicate your marketing efforts to interested leads, and not waste times and resources on those that aren't. 

Email tool_email marketing strategy


Unengaged Contacts

When sending an email from HubSpot, you might have noticed an optional box to check 'unengaged contacts'. This is located under the 'Recipients' tab in each email you create. 

unengaged contacts_email marketing strategy

According to HubSpot, a contact will be categorized as unengaged if they meet one of the following criteria:

  • Never opened a marketing email from you, and hasn't opened the last 11 emails you've sent them.
  • Previously opened a marketing email from you, but haven't opened the last 16 emails you've sent them.

With this in mind, it's best practice to always check this box and stop emailing people that are not interested in your content. This will naturally increase your open rates, and will also focus your efforts on the right people.

Set Up Your Personas

personas_email marketing strategy

At some point, you probably have either discussed or fully documented buyer personas - your target audience and ideal customers.

But what you might not know, is that HubSpot has a contact property called 'Personas' that will allow you to categorize your contacts in the CRM.

The Personas property has an editable dropdown menu where you can add your personas and include that label to associated contacts. 

From there, you can create active lists using this property as a filter, and then write emails specifically for each one of the lists. This then allows you to write targeted content, increasing your chances to have a greater percentage of people open and engage with your emails. 


properties_email marketing strategy

Now that you know how to use the Personas property, this is only one type of segmentation you can use when working on your email marketing strategy.

By assigning other beneficial properties to your contacts, based on your client’s needs, you can create additional types of active lists. Take these lists to write new content, and create offers that speak to a specific group of people.

*HOT TIP: For example, attendees of certain events that share common interests can receive content related to topics explored at these events.

In addition to the technical part of segmenting contacts in HubSpot, determining your tone, voice, and improving the quality of your writing, will also help make your email campaigns even more successful.


Test, Test, Test

ab-create-test_email marketing strategy

Testing is an essential habit you need to adopt, period.

Lucky for you, your email marketing strategy is set up for success in HubSpot, with the A/B Test tool.

If you are a Marketing Pro user and above, you can use the A/B Test tool for email, and analyze a second variation of that specific email. See how to set this up here.

If you don’t have access to the A/B Test tool, you can still test manually by cloning one email and changing one variable you want to test in the second - such as the subject line or a CTA. Then just split your list into two as well, so you can send the two variations to different contacts. 

>> HubSpot Video - Email Marketing: Testing Your Emails


If you are not sure what to test, subject lines are one of the most important factors in your email marketing strategy, and when doing this right, a great way to increase open rates.

Depending on your audience, you can try a more conversational tone, or asking a question that intrigues the reader to open it.

If you are sending an article to a more serious crowd, a 'news-like' headline can work as well. Just remember to not use sales-driven language, as your audience and HubSpot might perceive it as SPAM. This type of language includes:

  • Free
  • Coupon
  • Discount
  • Amazing... and similar verbiage. 

After the emails are sent, check your emails’ performance in HubSpot and compare the open rate with previous emails. This is an opportunity to identify what is working and what can be improved. 

 For specifics about what to look for regarding performance, keep reading. 


Review Performance and Keep Improving

As time goes by, observe each of your emails and it's metrics, and notice if your open rates look any different in the following circumstances:

  • What days of the week have a higher open rate?
  • What time of the day are more people opening your emails?
  • When I get a higher open rate, what does my subject line say? And what topic does this email cover?
  • Can I make an offer based on the topic of the email with the highest open rate?

After some analysis, you can the test a different format with one group of people or try sending at different days and times and observe any changes in open rates. 

Remember, getting to know the leads in your database and keeping it organized and clean is a work in progress, but essential to help increase your emails’ open rate. 

By following the steps above and having patience to see results from a consistent, long-term email marketing strategy, you will set yourself up for success.


There you have it... our top email marketing strategy tips. Do you want to learn more about HubSpot Email? If you found this helpful, you may also enjoy:

If you want to speak to a HubSpot Specialist about your specific email marketing needs, feel free to book a complimentary 30min chat, by clicking the button below.

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Remotish is hyper-focused on servicing companies that plan to use or currently have HubSpot. We have been keeping up on our HubSpot skills since 2013. We make HubSpot awesome.


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