18.08.2023

Marketing & Growth

Transform your campaigns with HubSpot's programmable emails

13 min read

Maria

Transform your campaigns with HubSpot's programmable emails

In this article, I'll walk you through the ins and outs of programmable emails and show you how they can revolutionise your marketing efforts.

In today's digital landscape, email marketing remains a cornerstone for businesses, but what if I told you there's a way to take your email campaigns to a whole new level of personalisation and efficiency? 

Enter HubSpot's programmable emails, a powerful tool that empowers marketing teams to create dynamic and customised email experiences. While it’s still in beta and could be sunsetted at any time, it has been in beta for a while, and due to its powerful abilities and increasing popularity, we’re confident it’s here to stay.

What are programmable emails?

Think of them as a sous chef at your favourite restaurant, tirelessly working behind the scenes to assemble the right ingredients for each guest. 

Unlike traditional emails that deliver the same message to every subscriber, programmable emails dynamically adapt their content based on individual preferences, behaviours, and interactions, allowing us to craft highly tailored and engaging email experiences. 

With programmable emails we can seamlessly integrate information from custom objects, standard HubSpot objects such as contacts and companies, and HubDB tables to create a unique picture, combining our audience's preferences and behaviour.

How does it work?

Picture this: You're the owner of a restaurant that offers Italian, Chinese, and Greek food, and you want each dish to be perfectly suited to your guests' tastes. Programmable emails act as your culinary assistant, enabling you to design and serve a personalised menu to each individual. 

As programmable emails are part of HubSpot’s email feature, we can dynamically tailor our email content based on individual preferences, ensuring each recipient receives a mouthwatering message that speaks directly to their needs, while still being able to use the standard features such as drag and drop.

Using the above restaurant as an example, let’s say John has signed up through our HubSpot form to receive our monthly email and in his form submission where he selected his preferences, he has specified he likes Italian dishes with mushrooms and Greek dishes with feta cheese. 

Since these preferences will be recorded against John’s record, by creating a HubDB table that stores all the information about our latest dishes including a column with key ingredients, we can develop a programmable email module with two sections automatically showcasing the latest dishes that fit these criteria or any criteria for that matter. 

This way John can have a personalised experience receiving the information that matters most to him, and our marketing team won’t have to create an email for each combination saving them many hours of work.

As is clear from the above, programmable emails give us the opportunity to automatically do numerous combinations of content based on a contact’s preferences, which would normally require a significant amount of manual work minimising the risk of manual errors.

Use case: British Council

One prime example of programmable emails in action was developed as part of our Marketing Automation project with the British Council. They faced a common challenge familiar to many businesses - the need to constantly update and manage part of their automated email campaigns manually, running the risk of showing outdated content to their audiences.

The team had a series of weekly webinars happening all year round and that information was included in their automated emails sent to their leads as part of their marketing campaigns. That meant that every time a webinar was completed or when a new one was coming up the following week, the British Council team had to manually update several emails removing or adding this information. 

 

HubSpot Programmable Email - British Council Example



To streamline their email marketing efforts, we developed a solution using HubSpot's programmable email beta. We built a front-end email module linked to a HubDB table where the British Council team can bulk import all of their upcoming events into a table-like spreadsheet, our trusty "recipe book" database. 

By adding the information to the HubDB table, our custom email module automatically updates the British Council's webinar emails, displaying the five upcoming webinars based on the date the recipient receives the email. No more manual chopping and changing!

Benefits and beyond

By adopting programmable emails, the British Council experienced a significant reduction in time spent on email management. What used to take 30 minutes to an hour every week now happens automatically, freeing up their team to focus on other high-value initiatives. 

The benefits extend beyond time savings - programmable emails enable businesses to deliver highly personalised and relevant content to their audience, improving engagement, conversion rates, and overall customer satisfaction.

With the British Council team delighted by the results and now familiar with how programmable modules work, we have developed 2 additional programmable modules for the British Council, showcasing their social events and the exam dates coming up based on the lead's location. 

How programmable emails transform your marketing efforts

Now that you understand the basics of programmable emails, let's explore the transformative power they bring to your marketing efforts. 

Whether you're a small business or an enterprise-level organisation, programmable emails offer a range of benefits that can take your campaigns to new heights.

Unleashing the power of personalisation

In today's competitive landscape, personalisation is key to capturing the attention and loyalty of your audience. And as mentioned above, programmable emails allow you to deliver highly targeted content based on individual preferences, behaviours, and demographics, helping the messages resonate on a deeper level.

Streamlining workflows and boosting efficiency

Time is a precious resource, and programmable emails help you make the most of it. As the British Council example showed, by automating the email creation and updating process, you can say goodbye to tedious manual tasks. 

No more sifting through countless emails or spending hours updating templates. Programmable emails enable you to streamline workflows and allocate your team's valuable time to strategic initiatives that drive business growth.

Driving conversion rates and revenue growth

At the end of the day, the success of your marketing efforts is measured by conversions and revenue. Programmable emails empower you to deliver relevant content at the right time, nudging recipients closer to making a purchase or taking desired actions. 

By delivering highly personalised and timely messages, you can significantly improve your conversion rates and drive revenue growth.

Elevating the customer experience

Customer experience is a top priority for businesses across all industries. Programmable emails enable you to create seamless and consistent experiences across the customer journey. 

While you can use personalisation tokens to insert variables such as the recipient’s first name to everything from onboarding emails to post-sale follow-ups, programmable emails are much more complex and can ensure that every touchpoint is tailored to the individual recipient.

With programmable emails, you can take your marketing to new heights, unlocking the full potential of your campaigns and connecting with your audience on a deeper level.

Industries primed for programmable emails

While the benefits of programmable emails are undoubtedly appetising, it's important to identify the industries where this innovative approach can truly shine. Let's explore a few industries where programmable emails can work wonders, transforming the way businesses connect with their audience:

  • Real estate: Real estate is a prime example of an industry that can reap remarkable benefits from programmable emails. Imagine a potential homebuyer, interested in specific locations, pricing ranges, and property criteria. Instead of drowning in manual email updates, programmable emails allow you to seamlessly integrate data from databases like HubDB to create a variety of content combinations. This means delivering tailored property listings to potential buyers, perfectly matching their preferences, without the cumbersome manual effort.

 

  • E-commerce: In the world of online shopping, personalised recommendations can make or break a sale. Programmable emails can be a game-changer for e-commerce businesses. By leveraging customer data and purchase history, you can create dynamic email campaigns that showcase products perfectly aligned with each individual's preferences. Whether it's clothing, electronics, or home goods, programmable emails let you serve up a virtual shopping experience that feels tailor-made for every customer.

 

  • Travel and hospitality: The travel industry thrives on creating memorable experiences, and programmable emails can add an extra layer of personalisation to the journey. Whether it's crafting customised vacation packages based on preferred destinations, travel dates, and activities, or sending timely updates on flight and accommodation options, programmable emails can transform the travel experience into an adventure designed just for the traveller.

 

  • Financial services: For financial institutions, building trust and maintaining strong relationships with clients is paramount. Programmable emails can play a significant role in this regard. Imagine a scenario where a client is interested in specific investment opportunities, retirement plans, or mortgage options. Programmable emails allow you to dynamically generate and deliver financial insights and offers tailored to each client's unique financial goals and circumstances.

 

  • Health and wellness: In the health and wellness industry, personalised communication can make a significant impact on engagement and adherence to healthy habits. Programmable emails can provide a platform for delivering individualised fitness routines, meal plans, and wellness tips. By understanding clients' fitness levels, dietary preferences, and health goals, businesses can send emails that motivate and inspire, catering to each individual's journey towards a healthier lifestyle.

Navigating the limitations and embracing the possibilities

While programmable emails offer a wealth of benefits and industry applications, it's important to navigate their limitations to maximise their potential. Understanding these limitations will help you make informed decisions and set realistic expectations for your email marketing strategy.

Beta status and potential risks

It's essential to acknowledge that programmable emails are still in beta within HubSpot. This means that while they are powerful and promising, they may not receive immediate priority in terms of updates and bug fixes. 

As with any emerging technology, there is a level of risk involved. However, HubSpot's commitment to innovation and customer success ensures that it will continue to refine and enhance the programmable email functionality over time.

Reporting and tracking limitations

One important consideration is the limited reporting and tracking capabilities within programmable emails. While you can track clicks and interactions with links in the email, reporting on specific versions of dynamic content are not readily available within the email itself. 

This means that in-depth analysis and persona-based reporting, while feasible, will require additional work to set up.

Embrace the possibilities

Despite these limitations, the possibilities offered by programmable emails are vast. Here are a few ways to make the most of this powerful tool:

Automate for scalabiltiy

As your business grows, programmable emails provide scalability and automation capabilities. Whether you're managing high volumes of data or complex business processes, programmable emails empower you to deliver personalised messages at scale, saving you time and resources.

Leverage custom objects

By integrating custom objects, you can enhance the personalisation and segmentation capabilities of programmable emails. Customise your content based on customer attributes, preferences, or previous interactions to deliver truly tailored experiences.

Integrate seamlessly with HubSpot

Programmable emails seamlessly integrate with HubSpot's comprehensive suite of marketing and sales tools. Harness the power of custom reports, automation workflows, and customer relationship management to create cohesive and impactful campaigns that drive results.

How Huble can help you leverage programmable emails

At Huble, we're passionate about helping businesses unlock the full potential of programmable emails and other innovative marketing strategies. 

As a leading marketing consultancy, we have the expertise and experience to guide you through the implementation and optimisation of programmable emails, ensuring you get the most out of this powerful tool.

Ready to supercharge your email marketing efforts with programmable emails? Speak with our team today to learn more about how Huble can help your business deliver personalised, engaging, and highly effective email campaigns that drive results.

Remember, in the competitive world of digital marketing, standing out is essential. Programmable emails can be the secret ingredient that sets your brand apart, so don't miss out on this opportunity to create remarkable email experiences that leave your audience hungry for more!

Not using HubSpot yet?

Book a demo with our team today.

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