Hubspot is one of the biggest marketing and sales SaaS companies in existence.
Their smart content marketing strategy, combined with a solid product, has elevated them into one of the best-known brands in the digital marketing world.
Despite being known for their own inbound and content marketing, Hubspot's team started to realize that they had a problem: their emails didn't seem to really resonate with their audience. They decided to evaluate their subscription model closely, then give it a total overhaul.
They were losing subscribers, even though on the surface, their subscription rates were growing. New users would sign up regularly, but most of the time, they unsubscribed shortly afterward. While Hubspot's great lead magnets were enticing, the emails they were sending out just weren't keeping people interested enough to stay subscribed.
Here are some of the key problems they found after auditing their original email subscription model, and how they decided to fix it. You might be able to get some ideas for freshening up your own email campaigns — a lot of these issues are pretty common.
3 Key Takeaways From An Analysis of Our Old Subscription Model
1) Our subscriber list was growing, but people weren't sticking around.
At the time of my initial research, we were churning approximately 10% of our total subscriber list size each month. I'll dive into the reasons why folks were likely churning in greater detail below, but quite simply, our subscribers were jumping ship because their needs weren't being met.
When we took a closer look at exactly how long subscribers were staying engaged with our subscription emails for, we found:
- On average, 16% of new Marketing Blog subscribers unsubscribe of their own volition before the six-month mark.
- On average, The Marketing Blog retains ~22% of new subscribers for six or more months.
What's the consequence here? Well, considering that we're acquiring a sizable number of new subscribers each month, keeping them engaged for a longer period of time means:
- More traffic from new subscribers
- A better subscriber experience
- Better list health and deliverability
- More opportunity to convert subscribers into leads
At this point, there are all things that we were missing.
2) Subscribers were overwhelmed by the number of emails they received.
Once churn and engagement numbers were crunched, we decided to issue a survey to the subscribers who were starting to lose interest in our subscription. One of the major themes that surfaced in their responses? Email overload.
In fact, 30% of survey respondents said that the number one thing they didn't like about our blog experience was the number of emails they received. For more context, here's a look at some of the raw responses we got:
- “Content is good, just send it less often.”
- “I would really like it a couple of times a week. Not every day, but not once a week either. A Monday, Wednesday, Friday cadence would be good.”
- “It was too much.”
- “Too frequent. Would gloss over them as spam.”
3) Subscribers didn't always feel that the content was relevant to them.
The cool thing about running a blog that's been around for so many years is that some of our subscribers have been there since the beginning. They've skilled up through the ranks with the help of our content and have evolved into savvy inbound marketers. But then there are our new subscribers — each with varying degrees of marketing experience and interest.
Was our existing email subscription meeting the needs of everyone? Not quite. Mostly because we were sending the same exact blog posts to our subscriber base, regardless of their content preferences.
Do any of those problems sound familiar? Take a page from Hubspot's playbook and email your subscribers and find out what they like and don't like.
You can learn more about how Hubspot upped their email marketing game in the full blog post.