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Madison FilipiakSeptember 15, 20223 min read

Your Questions About HubSpot Smart Content, Answered [INBOUND Takeaways]

Which of these emails would you rather open?

Option 1: [First Name], Ready To Buy Those Nike Air Max? 👟 

Option 2: Open For An Order Update

If you chose option one, 80% of consumers would likely agree with you. With today’s abundance of data and advanced marketing technology, consumers and businesses expect a personalized experience. In fact, according to McKinsey, 76% of consumers get frustrated when personalization is not used.  

With HubSpot smart content, creating personalized marketing messages and customized end-user experiences takes just a few clicks.   

During INBOUND 2022, Mike Tatum, Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Athletic Greens, shared how marketers can leverage smart content to create a personalized customer experience—with minimal effort. 

Not sure what smart content is, or how to use it? You’re not alone. 

Continue reading to uncover answers to some of the top asked questions about smart content during HubSpot’s INBOUND conference.

What is smart content?  image source: Mike Tatum INBOUND 2022 presentation

HubSpot’s smart content gives marketers the ability to display different content to users based on each contact’s properties, interactions on your site, or engagement in channels.

After setting rules, the following smart modules can be added to HubSpot emails, blog posts, pages, and templates: 

  • Images.
  • Blocks of text. 
  • Call-to-action buttons. 
  • Subject lines. 
  • And more. 

While there are some exceptions, most smart rules center around either a known contact’s lifecycle stage or list membership.

For example, a list of contacts with a C-suite job title may see one block of copy, while non-members will see a different block of copy. Not only does smart content enable marketers to creatively target their users, but it also ensures end users receive content that actually resonates with them. 

Image source: Mike Tatum INBOUND 2022 Presentation

3 common questions about HubSpot’s smart content

Although it’s fairly simple to start testing smart content, you may still be left with some questions. Here are a few that were answered during INBOUND. 

1. Should I use smart content when A/B testing marketing content?  

While combining smart content with A/B testing might sound like a good idea, Mike cautions against it. The goal of A/B testing an email or call-to-action is to see which resonates best with your audience. Like any experiment, involving too many variables (think: smart content + A/B variations) will complicate the conclusion you’re trying to reach.

Source: HubSpot

Rather than using smart content in your A/B tests, it’s best to A/B test your content first, then personalize the winning content with smart modules.  

2. How will new privacy features affect smart content functionality?  

Privacy features have impacted and will continue to impact the way we collect information from users. When dealing with restricted data or missing data, make sure the default version of your content is as impactful as possible.

This way, a user with a missing “last page viewed” or “first name” property still receives a well-written, engaging message.  

3. Is there a point where smart content has gone too far or becomes too complicated? 

Absolutely—not all data you collect is meant for content marketing. Imagine receiving an email with the following message:

Madison, thank you for viewing our product page yesterday at 10:51 a.m. on your iPhone 13 Pro. Are you still interested in those shoes?  

When using smart content, consider the information that is most valuable to your end user. Does the type of device or time of day when they visited your site really matter? Probably not. 

Adding too much personalization can cloud your message and raise privacy concerns. Instead, think through elements, like a relevant product photo or related resource, that will enhance your user’s experience while also increasing their chances to convert. 

Get started with smart content. 

Ready to strategically implement smart content, but need some support? As the first HubSpot partner agency, our team has worked with clients across many industries to optimize their HubSpot portals for comprehensive marketing campaigns. Let’s discuss what’s possible with HubSpot.

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Madison Filipiak

Madison Filipiak is a senior consultant at Ready North. She joined the agency in January 2021 with a background in content marketing. Madison is a 2018 graduate of the University of Mount Union, where she earned her degree in marketing and communications.