The bigger your email list, the more nurturing and work it needs

The bigger your email list, the more nurturing and work it needs

You can get a lot done on HubSpot to organize and send out emails regularly or in sequence to prospects and customers. But it is also true that the larger the list and the less segmented your audiences are, the more work it needs to keep up the efficiency.

In the HubSpot community, the problems that crop up are listed regularly. One of them is when incorrect email addresses on the list hit spam traps on SORBS, causing a blocklist. Even though the person managing the list has avoided sending emails to those who do not open over 10 marketing emails in a row. The other practice they follow is to remove contacts that have been unengaged for more than 14+ days.


The way around it is to create an active list using filters like "unsubscribed from all emails" or "bounced marketing emails" or "email hard bounce reason" and use this set of filters while sending email. HubSpot already has processes in place to manage common problems with email delivery. Refining them further is the key to nurturing lists, and some of HubSpot’s premium filtering features may only be available in the Pro and Enterprise tier plans.

Understanding HubSpot’s graymail suppression features

HubSpot defines graymail as email that contacts have opted in to receive, but never open or click on. Spam filters can identify and filter out emails that your recipients are not opening or clicking on. This increases the likelihood that future emails will end up in the junk folder or spam filter. By continuing to send emails to contacts who do not open or click, you are lowering your sender score overall.

A sunset policy determines how to manage contacts who are no longer opening your emails. Negative engagement signals like a lack of opens and clicks, unsubscribes, and spam reports mean that marketing efforts are not aligned with the recipient’s needs.

Once you have a thoroughly vetted database of emails, work to segment, define the promises and craft emails that help customers. Think of it not in terms of selling alone but building credibility in the long-term

Creating a sunset policy helps reduce the effects of graymail and improves its chances of being placed in the inbox. It also helps to avoid accidental emailing to a spam trap that damages the brand's sending reputation.

The sunset policy must be actively implemented to improve reach to contacts on the list who demonstrate positive signals like opens, clicks, forwards, and replies to the emails that are sent to them. This appreciably increases click and open metrics, which show active engagement and move towards conversion.

What to avoid and what to focus on when writing subject lines

This is one of the primary problems. All the effort is put into designing the email, and the content is crafted, reviewed, edited, and polished several times. But the subject line is an afterthought, to the point where rookie email senders begin thinking about it only when they schedule the email.

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That is a little like spending hours baking a cake and then wrapping it in old newspapers. 

As spam filers have gotten more sophisticated, an open invitation to buy, try, and sample products is directed straight to spam folders and may never be seen by the prospect. People are also highly sensitized now to sensational promises from an unknown sender or even from an organization.

And when you have emails going out on a regular basis, the effort should be as much on increasing the open rate as the design and content. People only open emails that appear to offer credible help. Or information that they may seek out.

In a detailed blog post, HubSpot lists nearly 400 words to avoid when writing subject lines. Keep it as a reference and craft lines that still have an honest appeal while drawing attention. It could be the most important discipline to practice when trying to enhance open rates.

Great subject lines are the trigger for opening emails. Think of the number of marketing emails that you disregard or trash on a daily basis. And the ones that get your attention – that is the starting point

Segmentation is more complex than it looks

Even when the email address is right, a store operating in a city will not benefit from sending emails to tourists who may have dropped in for a purchase. No one is going to travel long distances to redeem a coupon or a discount.

Then age is a factor. If your product is meant for a wide audience, irrespective of gender, you will have to ensure that the tone and the benefit appeal to that particular age group. Let's take shaving razors for men. If you have managed to identify the age of the customer in the database, sending shaving tips on how to get the best out of the razor has a better draw. For older groups, the number of shaves becomes more important, as do skin care tips.

In B2B, if your product is used by multiple sectors, it is essential to reference the problems in that sector. It is easy to draft one general email and send it to the entire base, but chances are that only about 20–30% of the database may find it relevant. That makes it even harder to achieve conversions.

At BlueOshan, we have worked to help clients who manage huge databases refine their segmentation and deliverability. Apart from removing duplicates and segmenting the database, things also become clearer from a content perspective. 

This needs to be done every few months, especially if you have several lead-generation campaigns running and the list needs periodic updates. We have helped clients target specific audiences within their database, provided the details are available.

Talk to us about how you currently manage your email, your open rates, and your audiences. We will come back with ways in which that can be refined.

Get in touch with us anytime here.

Blueoshan is a HubSpot Diamond -Tier Solutions Partner. Delivering worldwide from India





About The Author

Venu Gopal Nair
Venu Gopal Nair

Advertising and Branding Specialist, CEO - Ideascape Communications, A professional journey through the tumultuous years of advertising and communication, starting in 1984. Started out in the age of print, saw the changes with the entry of satellite TV and the momentous transition to digital. Advertising and branding today is vastly different from its practices in the 20th century and the last two decades have seen dramatic changes with smartphone domination. As a Creative Director turned CEO, making the transition personally and professionally has been a tremendous experience.

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