Course Promo Email Critique

Promoting a course or a new product? There are some great tips you can gather from this Hubspot Academy email, as well as a couple things to avoid. Let's dive into the breakdown:

Subject Line: 5/5

The subject line is fairly clever, using a spin on the commonly used phrase, "Lights, Camera, Action" and then throws in the value that the email is promoting. It was catchy enough to grab my attention and lead me into the email as I wanted to see why/how they could show me how to master my video strategy.

Value: 4/5

I've frequented the Hubspot Academy for their courses, so the interest in this content is high for me. The text in the top section is really helpful in breaking down the new course content and suits what I need to know about it.

Once we move down to the last section of the email, we're presented with a lot more CTAs, all of which are different from the focus of the email in the top half. This is great to have the two end-sections that are related to video marketing in there, but the middle two don't seem related, so my instinct is to either take them out or replace them with two more links that are somehow related to video marketing.

Hierarchy: 3/5

The main detriment to the hierarchy score was this huge area at the top of the email. We don't hear about minding "the fold," too much in web design in recent years, because people are more accustomed to scrolling, but this is just too much white space without purpose.

The date doesn't seem to mean much in the context of the email, so I don't see why it needs its own row with such a large font-size. The logo is also really large and slapped in the middle. I already knew this was Hubspot Academy, since their display name was displayed correctly in the inbox (before I forwarded it to this other inbox). In most instances, logos should serve more as a stamp of approval or identification, not as a large focal point. In this case, it doesn't add much value for how much space it's taking. Those two rows compounded with the very empty, very bright, very large header image, pushes the actual content of the email down pretty far, so that fold starts to get in the way of reading, which could cause increased bounce rates with some readers.

There are better examples of hierarchy later on with good contrast in font-size between header and body text, bright CTAs, and images that generally lead the eye down through the content. I'm giving it a 3/5, because the email doesn't seem as cohesive as it could be, and the top of the email is drawing too much attention to elements that don't provide purpose or usefulness to me as a reader.

Call-to-Action: 4/5

The Calls-to-Action in this email are all pretty bright and stand out well. They even capitalized on their huge banner at the top and turned it into a link to send people to their landing page. The first 3 calls-to-action link to the same landing page, which is great. Emails should try to focus on one call-to-action, even if that action comes in different forms (i.e. text, image, or button links).

On this large header image, my main critique is that there is no indicator that the image is a link, so I didn't know I could click on it until I was looking carefully at the email and saw my cursor change. This could be a simple fix, especially since it has so much space; an arrow or even the shape of a button in the image could help me identify it as a clickable section.

Urgency/Relevancy: 5/5

The timing on this is pretty great. I do appreciate the focus on 2019 in the text, which means that not only is this email relevant, the course they're promoting is pretty fresh, too. Their course just came out and they're capitalizing on a pretty relevant theme in marketing right now, so all in all, I give it a 5/5.

Total: 21/25

Overall, this email gets pretty high marks, breaking into the twenties. There were a couple tweaks that could easily be implemented, but the email was all-in-all a pretty effective email.