Will this email hit the (Hub)spot? 👊

Tearing down Hubspot's welcome email...

Hey there!

Hope you’re well!

This week, I’m tearing down Hubspot’s welcome email. Hubspot are the experts when it comes to marketing, but does their onboarding reach the same level?

It’s safe to say their welcome email is a little… different… to what we’ve seen in previous teardowns.

Let’s take a look.

As you can see, Hubspot have opted for a much more designed email. No plain-text here. I’ll get to that later.

For now, let’s check off the usual two suspects: the subject and the sender.

The subject line is your standard “Welcome to Hubspot” drivel. A waste of space.

As for the sender, “The Hubspot Team” is a little meh. Why not make it more personal. Use an actual name.

Onto the email. The header is actually personalised to me. That’s a nice touch and immediately grabs my attention.

The subheader then reminds me why I signed up for Hubspot in the first place. Focusing on the benefits like this is key to an effective welcome email.

But you have to be careful not to go overboard, as you’re about to see…

Okay, so you scroll down and you see this. Much like a sales email or landing page, Hubspot have gone all out here. This is pure benefit-led copy.

That then leads to a clear CTA to install the tracking code. An essential first step if I want to start benefiting from Hubspot.

But hold on. Scroll down further and there’s even more benefit-led copy. It’s fast becoming a sales pitch. There’s nothing wrong with selling, but you have to remember that I’ve already signed up for Hubspot at this point. No need to lay it on so heavy.

Plus, each little section has its own CTA. So now I’m confused. Which one am I supposed to click? Am I supposed to go through each in turn? If so, why not break it down into an email series? (Or even use in-app onboarding to do the rest.)

Scroll down further and, you guessed it, more sales copy. At this point, it’s starting to get a little grating. I didn’t want you to go into full-on user car dealer mode. I just wanted to get started with your product. Now I’m confused, defensive, and wish I hadn’t bothered.

But at least at the end of the sales pitch they’ll thank me and let me get started. Right? RIGHT?

Nope. Instead, they give me a final CTA. This time it’s to make me upgrade my account. Now wait just a darn second. You want me to upgrade my account, minutes after signing up for your product? Why would I do that? I mean, if I wanted to be on a higher plan, I would’ve just selected that plan.

This is an awful idea. Don’t do this in your welcome emails.

As for the pretty design vs. plain text debate. Here’s where I stand… When I see a dolled-up email like this one, I immediately think I’m going to be sold to. I get my guard up. I’m less open to what’s to come. So for me, plain text is much more effective when it comes to onboarding. It feels more personal, more human.

In short, I have no idea what Hubspot were thinking when they made this welcome email.

Until next time,

PS. I’d love, love, love it if you shared this with any friends/family/colleagues/pets you think would find it useful. Thanks!

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