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Use SMS for HubSpot to increase customer engagement 5x - HubDo Podcast

Message Media


Luke Jenkins shares examples of how to create greater engagement and value across Marketing Sales and Operations, using the incredible 98% open rate on SMS for HubSpot.

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(Approx 20mins)

About Luke

Luke is the MessageMedia Regional Manager for UK & EMEA
(MessageMedia offering a completely native SMS for Hubspot integration).


Links to free tools, useful tips & offers for our listeners

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CLICK HERE for SMS for Hubspot user guides.


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Direct Transcription of Podcast

Greetings everyone. And a very warm welcome to another edition of the HubDo podcast, where we talk with software vendors, subject matter specialists, and end users who share real stories of how to do more on HubSpot. So I'm your host, Pete Nichols. I'm coming to you from Copenhagen in Denmark and I'm joined today by Luke Jenkins, Luke, a very good day to you. Where are you joining us from today?

Hi Pete. I'm joining from just outside London today. Nice.
Uh, not the super hot days that you've had recently. Hopefully.

Today no, thankfully, the heat wave of last week is passed. So a bit more bearable now, but anytime the sun's out, I'm generally happy. So we'll take it while it's.

Absolutely. Uh, so, um, for our listeners, if you haven't heard of Luke Jenkins, Luke Jenkins is a MessageMedia regional manager for the UK and E M E a. That's your Middle East and Africa office. MessageMedia has a complete native SMS for HubSpot integration. We're talking about that today, Luke, we are delighted to include MessageMedia on the HubDo Marketplace so that people can do more on HubSpot.
So our topic for today's episode is how to use SMS for HubSpot to increase customer engagement 5 X. So I don't know if you'd pronounce it the same way, but I guess that's a big multiple. So let's start with the question, what type of customers are an ideal fit for SMS, for HubSpot, and who isn't?

Thanks Pete, so MessageMedia as a company, we've got upwards of 65,000 customers globally. So within that, we've got quite a wide range of your, you know, smallest one-person companies right through to large enterprises and that's across a whole different room of verticals. We've traditionally, um, found that we've got a real sweet spot within that small, but particularly to mid-market.
But we find customers that are starting to get a little bit more mature and inventive with their communication strategy, adding in new channels. And then once they've got those, how do they go and optimize that to go and get better results? So, um, yeah, we can absolutely work with anyone, but generally, uh, for those types of customers in that sort of small to medium market's probably our sweet spot.

As you mentioned, global, and that's a key thing for MessageMedia.

Yeah. Uh, I mean, as you mentioned in your generous intro, um, so I look after the UK and Amir region, but we are positioned globally. We've got headquarters in Australia. Um, we've got large operations in New Zealand and North America and a development hub in Asia as well. Um, so we're well positioned to go and support customers globally.
And whether that's you need in-country support because you've got physical teams there, or even if it's just a case of wanting to go and navigate, sending some of the different compliance rules internationally that we can help you with that as.

I think that's a, a key thing to know, cuz it isn't always obvious like on the HubSpot app marketplace where you can see there's a range of solutions that talk about SMS on HubSpot, but uh, it's not obvious of what countries they operate in and uh, we've got customers using MessageMedia all over the place.
So you might find some of these other vendors, uh, only operate in the US for example. So, um, geographically or anything like that, of who do you think would be the sorts of business, where, you'd think, well, we might not be the right fit for you? Maybe another solution might suit has anything come to mind?

In terms of geography, we really don't have limitations. There are a few countries where there may be some slightly more complex. Issues or, or nuances to navigate, just in terms of the setup. Some countries, for example, will require a different, um, registration process, depending on the site sender ID that you'd like to send from, or maybe types of content, where there may be some rules or some slightly stricter type, um, day to deadlines around what you can do in terms of marketing messages, for example.
So I think it's more the difference between the type of content that you're sending and where you're sending too. But in terms of working with customers, we could absolutely do that. globally.

Uh, and a small to medium enterprise is, uh, sounds like a neat fit there. What about the most common misunderstood features? When people come in and inquire is this for me? What are the things that generally are often misunderstood or maybe the mistakes that you see people make?

I think a lot of customers are quite pleasantly surprised that it's a complete native integration. We know that there are a lot of other providers and integrations out there, and I'm sure a lot of those work quite well and will still sync with HubSpot.
The difference with us versus a lot of those is rather than having to um, be directed to another UI or Chrome extension, something like that. We're completely native within HubSpot. And so whether we're talking one to one, sending from the contact record, whether you're looking to do more sort of marketing campaigns and larger broadcasts, whether you want to use us as part of your workflows and that could be contact based or deal based workflows, um, you're gonna be able to go and set up everything and fig configure it straight from within HubSpot.
So I think that's one of the the nice surprises that customers would get when they were working with us. Um, and again, I think that native experience being able to actually leverage your own customer data pull in native contact tokens, um, is another plus point as well. Um, in terms of any other myths or misunderstandings that we probably get, um, none really pop popped into mind.
I think, again, it's work. The nice thing is working with customers, not just to understand their use case, but then actually through the integration and messaging as a channel, what can you do to go and improve the cut-through and engagement related to that message? Cause there are some really simple things that you can do even just personalizing a message. The first name's a really obvious one. But then if there's customers that have gone and purchased a particular product from you, maybe they sit within a slightly different cohort. They could be a VIP customer, or they could be linked to a particular product set, being able to go and personalize that message, um, is just gonna, it gives a nice representation view as a brand to your customers, and certainly helps to boost the engagement.

We've seen a range of use cases, uh, was one in, um, in Australia actually, uh, which one of the first implementations I saw of, uh, MessageMedia, SMS natively inside HubSpot. Uh, we needed to do some cleanup work on the, um, the way they were storing the numbers for their customers. They were only sending SMS messages primarily within that country so country codes, weren't so much of an issue, but, uh, do you see that come up sometimes at the way that the customer's data is held in HubSpot, that that can hinder things.

We, we do. And we, I suppose there, there's a bit of a difference with how those customers, um, records are updated. And within HubSpot, you've obviously got your mobile phone field and a phone number field.
And so. I suppose there's, there's a fair amount of that just educating customers. And so if they can try and get some consistency there. The nice thing is when you do go to set up, whether it's a workflow or a campaign, we can actually sync or speak to either one of those different fields. So even if you had your, your mobile number or your cell numbers stored within just the regular phone number field, it's not a problem in terms of getting those campaigns out, but again, it's always best practice just to have some consistency there with how you're actually storing those numbers. There's tons of different ways that you can have your numbers formatted. So it is always good practice anyway to have your data in a fairly consistent and clean form. But there are some things that we can do. Our gateway's pretty intuitive in trying to format numbers correctly. And actually one of the really nice things within HubSpot workflows is there's a field in there for number formatting. So if we know which, which countries you're gonna be sending to, even if you haven't got it completely spot on in terms of the formatting with full code or with the relevant prefixes, then we can, we still got some of the smarts on the back end to realize, okay if we're trying to send that to Denmark, to the UK or wherever we can actually try and interpret that message to increase the chances of delivering it successfully.

Brilliant. So picking up on the country that they're in and then, uh, yeah, fill the gap. Yeah. I can see HubSpot is doing some more improvements around that, uh, cleaning up of the formatting, the data, formatting even for people who haven't got OpsHub, some of that is, is natively done too. Um, we've mentioned native a lot, so, uh, I guess what would you, for someone who maybe is wondering, well, what does native actually mean in layman's terms? What does it mean when we say it's native to HubSpot?

Uh, great question. So native to me is where whichever your platform of choice is that's where you wanna be doing all of your work from, right?
So if I'm a HubSpot user, that's where I'm spending the majority of my time. It's my source of truth, where I'm holding all of the imported information, and details about my customer. And so being able to do all of the work that I need to from there, um, to me it gives you that native experience. And let's say you can probably get some similar outcomes through extensions and, and bolt-ons, but being able to have everything not just executed from within HubSpot, but then also stored on that contact record and as part of the activity timeline, it's really important. So if you ever need to go back, either check what coms have been sent out or even if you've got different customer teams, perhaps they need to go and check communication. People can go and leave. They can leave the business and so being able to always have that written record and have that against the contact, um, just, just makes it that much easier. And we see that more and more where it's an absolute must-have criteria where everything's natively stored within HubSpot as well for visibility.

I think that's a great explanation. I like the fact that you saying it keeps people within that same interface, the HubSpot interface, because, uh, there are some vendors who, who, who describe their integration as native, but that to them means that you click a button and the two pieces of software connect. And so there's this, uh, kind of automated two-way sync between the two, but you're still jumping out of HubSpot to use their software.
Here you are natively, natively embedded SMS right there within the HubSpot interface. So within the workflows, within the HubSpot UI, it's, uh, it's as if HubSpot have built SMS into their product when you've added yours, that the two work together. Which I think, uh, probably leads us into the next, uh, question is really is when we, the, the title of this episode is about this 5 X factor of increasing customer engagement. So I'd like to unpack that to more of, of how SMS plus HubSpot together create more value. Uh, could you give us maybe some real-life examples, Luke? What comes to mind of where we've managed to do that?

Yeah, no. Sure. Um, interestingly across our HubSpot user base, we see almost an exact even split between sales, marketing, and operations hub.
So I, I think that's quite nice evidence that actually it doesn't just Sue a particular type of business vertical or use case that there's a lot of quite wide application, to just using SMS as a channel regardless of MessageMedia, um, just be, and again, we normally would talk about the amazing open rate that you get through from SMS, which is 98%. And then that's kind of where the five X comes from versus email, which, you know, generally speaking, we, we certainly think that emails are valuable channel and best practice would say that you'd, uh, marry the two together and have it as part of more of omnichannel communication strategy. But rather than relying on emails, a standalone, starting to think about how do we go and boost that engagement and complement it with SMS. So that's the five X. Um, in terms of real-life examples, marketing's certainly a, a popular one. And in, in this day and age, when you're trying to grab attention from your customer and they could be current customers, they could be prospective customers, but it's very difficult to, to actually create enough noise and to stand out, um, from, I suppose, your competitors and just so many other businesses that are wanting to try and interact with you as a prospective customer.
Um, so we've got a customer who works in life insurance services, and they kind of felt quite a specialist wrong in terms of finding health insurance and life insurance policies, bespoke to a particular customer and their needs. And then they, they work with a very wide range of, um, providers offering those insurance services. Effectively, what they were doing is a re-engagement campaign. So once that initial policy term had lapsed, after a couple of years, they were then using SMS for HubSpot as a follow-up mechanism, just cause they had such a huge database to go through. So one that gave them the ability to go and personalize their messages.
And they actually had a very humane way of communicating in terms of the language that they used, referencing the initial interaction, they were able to pull in, um, who the initial provider was and things like policy number, again, just to sort of breed that trust and familiarity when they were sending out the messages and, um, And the CEO of the business I think he attributed about 80% of their new business revenue to just using SMS through HubSpot, which is pretty amazing. And again, a lot of that is down to having limited resources and amount, the power to go and speak to all of these customers. But a lot of these people they're working as well. It can be quite difficult to take a phone call during the day.
You don't necessarily wanna be intrusive. So being able to send out this communication. Have it as part of an overall communication strategy and they can actually confirm one that they're interested in. And then once you get into that text conversation, being able to book an appointment for a time that's convenient to them, cuz you're gonna be having quite personal conversations, maybe not things that you even wanna be discussing were right. So being able to agree on a time that suits them and they can talk freely, I think was really important. And, the engagement they've seen is a lot higher than other channels. So that's probably one of them, um, that come to mind. And then another really nice example that was good to hear. Um, this was a customer based in the Nordex enough, not too far from you in Copenhagen. And they specialize in rare investments and wines in particular. And they've got, I suppose, a V I P customer list they'll, um, segregate for, for some of these specialized offers and products that they've got access to.
And just through that VIP, um, database so one campaign, I think yielded somewhere just north of 11 K in, in terms of profit and additional revenue for them. So, um, some really nice examples for there, and again, just really understanding your customers, being able to segment that through HubSpot send out personalized communications, if you can combine that and then just be smart with not just your content, but when you're sending it out and then also incorporating different channels.
I think those couple of things combined really help you get the best engagement back from your communication.

Yeah, in fact, it was funny. I remember being on that call, Luke, we were, uh, talking to them, that business of the specialist wine and, uh, and the comment just kind of thrown onto the call of, Hey Luke, uh, your software made me, uh, $11,000 last month. And purely because of this SMS message that goes out to the existing customer base, very tailored and, uh, very curated, uh, list. And so that customer engagement, I mean, that's, that's, uh, eye-opening figure. Uh, yeah. And it translates into real dollars. Uh, so customer engagement and sales.
I have another example with the building company that I mentioned earlier, where the engagement for them with SMS is letting the customer know key stages of the build of as the house is, is going up, just sending these messages out so customers are, are not saying, Hey, I have not heard anything. How's it going? Sure. You could do that on email as well, but, uh, in their particular customer base, they've found that email open rates are pretty poor. Um, but the SMS message gets, uh, great results. So yeah we've certainly seen it firsthand. And you mentioned as, uh, uh, marketing sales and operations, the building one to me is like an operations example. Is there yeah? Any others that, uh, that you'd like to raise?

So, I suppose if we've covered a couple of marketing examples in the operations, so to round it off, uh, may maybe a good sales one, we see it really widely adopted by sales teams. And, and again, that's actually setting the appointment. So we quite often see customer inquiries come in at the top of the funnel nor, you know, using, um, the website where we can track that and filter that down in HubSpot. And so quite often it's part of that follow-up and, and sales cadence, where, so we know that there's an interesting part to your hand raiser, and then just actually being able to reach out to them. Um, again, you've got that convenience, right? People, they don't necessarily take a phone call cuz everyone's busy. They've got stuff going on during the day. So being able to quickly respond, I mean, say yes, I'm interested. Can you call me at this time? Or what we've also seen is, um, a lot of sales teams, they may maybe send that from a business name. So you get that instant familiarity and trust with who's following up with me.
And then including a link, um, to a calendar or something like that, where they can just directly go in and book a meeting directly from that. And then we can also help in terms of the tracking of that as well, to provide some additional analytics. So that's probably the most common use case I'd say in terms of sales, just being able to, I suppose, give yourself the best chance to follow up proactively and quickly, and then actually book a meeting. And generally, once you've done that, you set yourself in a pretty good position to actually go and have those discovery conversations and, and make sure that you can meet customer requirements.

Yeah, the meeting, one's a great one actually, uh, given that everybody who has HubSpot has the ability to create a meeting link. Link to the calendar. So you're always, uh, sending those out on social media or email or have you, but to text somebody you're meeting link, Hey, book, a call, and then straight away, they're adding more into your CRM, uh, natively into, into HubSpot. So, yeah. Great live examples. Uh, we might in a future episode, maybe aim to have, um, your customer from the Nordics or someone like that, if they're open to it, we might, uh, do a deep dive episode on that, but, uh, we can explore that today it's more. Introduction to folks of, uh, if they have not tried SMS, given that HubSpot has no native SMS support, uh, you need to add it. And, uh, and that's what this is all about, uh, as a, a wrap up of any, um, any other valuable tips or, or resources, uh, Luke that you wanna, uh, mention for folks.

Uh, in terms of resources. So just on a MessageMedia website, we've got a dedicated support portal that covers all of our products and key ecosystems. So you'll see if you're a HubSpot user you'll have a nice library in there with user guides, everything in terms of an installation guide, which you know, generally takes a couple of minutes once you've downloaded us, um, from, from the ecosystem and app store.
Um, it's so nice and easy to get going. And yeah, plenty of information in there in terms of whether that's setting up a workflow or even if you just wanna do one-to-one sending also, um, with our MessageMedia model. We tend to be quite hands-on with the support model that we give. So if you are within any of those, um, respective regions or time zones, we're always on hand. If you wanna have a call, you know, and that could be asking around best practice, um, how to go and increase my engagement rate. What sort of sender ID should I choose? Should that be a number? Should that be a business name? What are some of the things that I need to consider if I'm making that choice? So we're, we're very open and willing to, I suppose, help you get started, but the actual from a technical perspective, anyway, getting going is very, very easy.
Um, and then I suppose the other thing to mention is everyone is busy in their jobs and I think particularly in this modern world, that we've become accustomed to a lot of home working or doing things more remotely, quite often.. Um, certainly doesn't mean that you're less busy. And with the example, we gave earlier of, um, the wine merchant. He couldn't set up a campaign within minutes, right? So the nice thing with HubSpot is you've got all of your, um, lists that you can already have set up. So if I wanna go and send out a new campaign could be for a new product, or it could be as part of a re-engagement or retargeting, everything can be executed so quickly.
So even though we saw a really good return, the actual effort that went into achieving that is only minutes. And once you've actually put in a little bit of time upfront to go and build out your workflows or create your lists quite carefully. It makes it so much easier to just go and repeat that process thereafter.
So if you are a marketer or somebody looking to go and send out more of a bulk broadcast, either as a standalone or as part of a workflow, the reality is that you can get that compound effect. Um, once you've set it up once it doesn't need to be a big onerous task to go back and do again.

Yeah. Super quick. And then a 98% open rate. I mean, that's probably the biggest takeaway from this episode is if you've not touched SMS, uh, and just considered that, that blows, um, just about any other channel out of the water. Um, I also wanted to mention for listeners, uh, um, an offer. Thanks, Luke. We have a, a discount code of HubDo 20 that, uh, people can use to get a 20% discount on the first three months, if they wanna try using SMS for HubSpot and in the show notes, we'll have that information and link to the user guides that you've talked about. So, uh, it's been a great episode, Luke. Uh, just wanna say, it's been an absolute pleasure talking with you today. Uh, what's the best way for people to connect with you?.

Uh, a couple of different ways through the website, you'll be able to, uh, make a contact us an inquiry. You can reach out to or HubSpot Um, we can put those in the notes for you as well. So a few different ways to reach out, or if you wanna give us a call, uh, numbers online as well or otherwise, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn..

Brilliant Luke. Uh, thanks so much for your time. Uh, for our listeners, you can find more information about SMS for HubSpot on the HubDo marketplace. Just go to or click the link in the show notes. And please send us your questions. There's a chat button there. Jump in. We can help you do more on HubSpot and help you connect with Luke and the team. And, uh, look forward to, uh, meeting you again on, uh, future episodes. Thanks Luke.

Thanks Pete.

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