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Episode 165: Drag and Drop email editor gotcha and workaround, plus Google Analytics Intelligence

This episode of HubShots brought to you by our HubSpot HealthCheck service:

Welcome to Episode 165 of HubShots!

Welcome to HubShots – APAC’s number 1 HubSpot focussed podcast – where we discuss HubSpot tips & tricks, new features, and strategies for growing your marketing results.

We hope you enjoy the podcast as much as HubSpot’s CEO, Brian Halligan does.

This episode we revisit the new drag and drop email editor and discover that it doesn’t support CTAs, but there is a workaround. Plus Google’s Analytics Intelligence. And a really simple way to qualify leads to determine if they are sales ready.

Listen to the episode here: https://soundcloud.com/hubshots/165-drag-and-drop-email-editor-gotcha-and-workaround-plus-google-analytics-intelligence/

HubShots, the podcast for marketing managers and sales professionals who use HubSpot, hosted by Ian Jacob from Search & Be Found and Craig Bailey from XEN Systems.

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Recorded: Tuesday 09 July 2019 | Published: Friday 19 July 2019

Shot 1: Inbound Thought of the Week

Always be helping.


Here is something we encourage everyone to do > Inbound Sales Training

Shot 2: HubSpot Marketing Feature of the Week

A bit more on the new HubSpot email drag and drop editor (following our initial thoughts back in episode 161)

Some good things:

  • Very simple to use and move sections around
  • Simple styling
  • Adding new sections is easy (much nicer than when using the traditional editor eg using repeaters)

Some puzzling things:

  • Can’t natively add CTAs (UPDATE: 24 July 2019 – This is now available as an option in the Button control)
  • Can’t add any html scripts for that matter eg can’t add CTA embed code to try to get around the missing CTA functionality
  • Can’t globally control some basic styling eg line height of paragraphs (although you can do this in each section you add), better styling of links etc

Some solutions:

UPDATE 24 July 2019: This is no longer required – the CTA option is now available in the Button control – however, we’ve left it here as a quick overview of how to create custom modules:

  • To get around the CTA issue, you can create a global email Custom module that will show a CTA (see the code below) and then drag that onto the email. Big thank you to Mun Shuen from Hubspot Support who got this working for me.
  • Here’s the code to add:
    {% cta guid=”{{ module.cta_field }}” %}


  1. Create a local custom module that is used in emails:
    Design Manager   HubSpot 1
  2. Add a CTA field:
    Design Manager   HubSpot
  3. Add the code in the main module code window:
    Design Manager   HubSpot 2
  4. Drag the custom module into your email editor:
    hubspot custom module
  5. Select the CTA to use

Note: the CTA might not render properly in the email editor. However it should render fine when the email is read in the email client.

More updates from June:


Shot 3: HubSpot Sales Feature of the Week

Be Direct – don’t disguise your intentions

How to determine if leads are sales ready.

Ask on forms: Are you ready to speak to us?


  • Would you like us to call you?
  • Would you like to speak to sales?

Shot 4: Marketing Gotcha of the Week

See above: You can’t put CTA natively into emails using the drag and drop editor.

Shot 5: Marketing Tip of the Week

Google Analytics Intelligence

Insights in Google Analytics – just ask questions at the top of the page:

Analytics 1

Use the Analytics Intelligence list on the right hand column to see other suggested insights:

Analytics 2

Shot 6: Insight of the Week

Marketing should do one thing: Build more trust.

That’s a paraphrase of Seth Godin’s approach to marketing.

Ask yourself: Does this ad, article, email, campaign, strategy help people and build more trust in us?

Shot 7: Retirement of the Week

Some social reports are leaving us – two Twitter reports (Timelines and Sent Messages)

Shot 8: Resource of the Week

Understanding all the different Google sections in the search results:


  • Answer boxes
  • How to boxes
  • Knowledge boxes and panels
  • People also ask (PAA)
  • Refine by
  • etc

Shot 9: Quote of the Week

“If you deliberately plan on being less than you are capable of being, then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy the rest of your life.”

Abraham Maslow

Shot 10: Bonus Links of the Week

Please leave us a simple star rating as this helps us improve and reach more marketers.

HubShots Episode 165: Drag and Drop email editor gotcha and workaround, plus Google Analytics Intelligence

Episode 165 Transcript

– [Ian] Welcome to HubShots episode 165. In this episode, we revisit the new drag-and-drop email editor and discover that it doesn’t support CTAs, but there is a workaround. Plus, Google Analytics Intelligence. And a really simple way to qualify leads to determine if they are sales-ready. You’re listening to Asia-Pacific’s number one HubSpot-focused podcast where we discuss HubSpot tips, tricks, and features, and strategies for growing your marketing sales results. My name is Ian Jacob from Search & Be Found, and with me is Craig Bailey from XEN Systems. How are you, Craig?

– [Craig] Really good, and #HelpBetter.

– [Ian] That’s right! And let’s talk about our Inbound Thought of the Week, Craig. I was thinking about this, really what is Inbound all about? It’s always be helping. And it highlighted to me because I was updating some of my training, I was doing I think the inbound sales training and you know what? It really did highlight it’s all about helping people get to where they want to get to without just shoving things in their face or what they don’t need at the time, so it’s really about timing, context, content, and all these other things but I think it’s great.

– [Craig] I think it’s a really good reminder and we’ll pick up on that ever so slightly in shot six and inside of the week as well.

– [Ian] So I wanna encourage you. I will put a link to the HubSpot Academy to go and have a look at what trainer it is. You know what? I’m always surprised how much it’s growing. I saw some really good courses today.

– [Craig] You were pointing out the Daniel Pink one and then there’s an Instagram mentor and strategy guide, and yeah, Mari Smith was in there. Like, it’s really good.

– [Ian] That’s right, so they’re really utilizing even people outside of HubSpot that are experts in their field to really help people that are using HubSpot, even not using HubSpot but using it as a hub for training, so I want to highlight that Inbound Sales training and I would encourage people even in marketing to do this training because I think it really gives you a good understanding of how you can tie in with sales better. All right, Craig, onto our HubSpot marketing feature of the week. We’re gonna talk about email marketing and the new email editor.

– [Craig] Yeah so I’m picking up on this, we chatted about this in episode 161, you remember when we first were playing with it, and at the time I hadn’t really had a good chance to, I guess, play with the enigma as they say. I have had that chance now, and you know what, I quite like it. And I just started with the simplest drag-and-drop template, and that’s actually how I’m writing our next newsletter and I just really like just dropping on text bits and dividers and that’s it. I’m trying to make our emails as simple as possible. And there is basically a trend or push to this from most people anyway, so those days of the busy templates with all kinds of curved corners and all this kind of stuff in email templates is pretty much going away. I know there are some companies that have branding standards they still have to do that kind of stuff, but more and more it’s really about paring it right back, simplifying it, especially on mobile for a better mobile experience. Nice and clean. So the drag-and-drop editor, I think it’s time to kind of it just embrace that, and the utility of being able to drop modules or things onto their email and move them around easily is really good. However, you do, I guess, sacrifice a few things and we’re gonna basically chat about our findings. Before I launch into that, how are you finding it?

– [Ian] Well I started using it on a marketing starter product, and so it was great. I could get stuff done really quickly. It was easy to teach people what to do. It just worked well out of the box and I loved the templates that are there to get started as well. Quite a selection. Here’s a welcome email, here’s a re-engagement email, here’s if you wanna promote something, so I think they’ve got that sorted really well. And like I was discovering, like I was talking to you, is that, okay, I was using that and I didn’t really transition to using that on Marketing Professional or Enterprise where we use things like calls-to-actions, And I thought to myself, okay that’s cool. And then I went back and I thought, Oh, I want to add a CTA in my email. How do I do that? Oh, I can’t do that. Did you know about this, Craig?

– [Craig] I didn’t know about it until you highlighted it to me today, and then it drove me nuts. I couldn’t believe it that you couldn’t insert a CTA into the email in Marketing Pro, in the drag-and-drop, I just couldn’t believe it. We’ll come back to that because we do have a solution for that. What are some of the other experiences you’ve had with it, in terms of using it?

– [Ian] Well I think the design is a lot nicer. It’s a lot simpler, it’s cleaner. I’ve had a lot of customers actually tell me, “Oh, that actually looks really nice, and we created that quickly.”

– [Craig] It kind of protects you from yourself if you wanna try doing complex things. I’ve found that it’s a bit limited in styling. So the big one that gets me is I always like to adjust the line height in paragraphs in emails so that there’s a nice–

– [Ian] Space.

– [Craig] We’ll call it breathing room around paragraphs, but you can’t actually override that so I find that frustrating, so I tend to be putting a whole lot of returns or blank lines in emails, which isn’t ideal, but it’s the way I get around it. You can’t actually add HTML scripts of any kind. They get stripped out. I guess that’s again to protect people from themselves. But the reason we found that is because we tried to get a CTA. There’s no native CTA module to just drag on to the email, but we thought oh, let’s go, let’s be smart, let’s go and get the embed code. Oh yeah, we’ll try that, put it into the source view. Nope, the editor just cleans that right out, strips it out. So for example, you can’t actually override this. We can’t set at the email level styling for links to be anything other than their defaults. So I normally don’t like underlines on links, but I use a border underneath a link because I think it’s a nicer style. And that’s pretty common. Or hover over things. But anyway, you can’t do those kind of things. However, they’re not showstoppers. But the CTA one was. So we do have a workaround

– [Ian] A solution.

– [Craig] A solution for the CTA issue, so I’ll go through that now. Basically, and this is a big thank you to Monchurn from the HubSpot support team. I got straight onto the chat with her, I was like, “What’s going on? How come I can’t add a CTA?” She goes, “Oh, let me check.” So, you know how we said a couple of weeks ago, the support people, they’re no dummies. It’s not the junior out there.

– [Ian] That’s correct.

– [Craig] These are smart people. So she gets straight on and she goes, “Oh, okay. Yep, I’ve replicated. Can’t do that. “Ah, I’ll try and embed the code.” I know I’ve already tried that. She said, “No, okay. That didn’t work. “Okay, so what I’m just gonna do, “so I’m just gonna create a custom control “and then let’s see if we can go from the more “if I can add a custom control into the thing that has the CTA.” She goes hang on, “I’ll just check that out.” and I’m like, “Oh, okay. That sounds like a good idea.” She comes back, “Okay, here. “I’ve created a custom control in your portal. Here it is.” She gives me a link. This is all in the chat, right. And she goes, “Here’s what you do.” And she even sent me a screenshot. “Drag that on and insert your CTA.” And it worked. Now the only thing is that it didn’t really render in the design view of the editor, but as soon as you send yourself a test, it did render the CTA nicely. So it worked. And so that’s actually a really cool workaround. So with that in mind, we’re sharing kind of what she did and I’ve got a few screenshots in the show notes about how to set up a custom control, or custom module rather. You basically create a custom module to be used in emails. Can be a local one. Then you basically add a field to that custom module. This is all in the show notes. And then you add a little bit of code, which we’ve got in the show notes there, and then you can drag it straight on back in your email. Drag it back on. And then there’s CTAs in your drag-and-drop editor. And of course I’m hoping–

– [Ian] That this is a standard.

– [Craig] No, hoping that this solution lasts for about a week or two, because we go, “Oh, hang on. They’ve added CTAs to the drag and drop editor like they should have done in the first place.” Anyway, there’s the interim solution.

– [Ian] All right, on to HotSpot sales pitch of the week, Craig. And we’re gonna talk about being direct, and not disguising your intentions.

– [Craig] Actually can I set this up? I’ll say is there a way in that we can determine if leads are sales-ready?

– [Ian] Absolutely Craig.

– [Craig] What is this secret magical tip?

– [Ian] It is as simple as adding this question to your form. Are you ready to speak to us, yes or no?

– [Craig] I love this, because it’s like how do you determine if leads are sales-ready? You ask them.

– [Ian] Correct. And so we’ve been doing this with one of our customers, and it’s actually worked really well. Because where you think someone might be ready to speak to the sales team, they actually might not be. But here you’re giving the opportunity. And so what we’re doing is we’re able to filter out what sales follow up, and be active about that versus following up every single lead that comes through. And it’s working really well.

– [Craig] And it’s all about being direct as you said at the start. Because we put in these fields to disguise our intentions. So the typical one is what’s your timeframe for purchase, just researching, not to three months, etc. All to basically slot them in your segment and then put them into a nurture. They’re kind of disguising it, and really what we’re saying is, “Should we contact you straightaway?” Because as soon as someone puts in the next couple of months, straight on to the phone to them. Why don’t we just ask them? And so I really like that. Would you like us to call you? You put that as a question. Now, a lot of people won’t. And these were the same people that when you ask for a phone number, they put in zero, zero, zero, etc. But there are people that’ll say, “Yes, the reason that I’m filling out this “form is because I want to actually go to “the next step, and I want you to contact me.” And of course, that’s it, straight through to sales

– [Ian] That’s right. And so you can make that a dependent field, right? So basically if they answer yes, then show them the mobile phone input. If they answer no, they don’t do anything and just push that submit button.

– [Craig] Absolutely right. Let’s start actually treating people intelligently. Like a prospect.

– [Ian] Yes. All right, Craig, on to our Marketing Gotcha of the Week.

– [Craig] Well, quite simply our Marketing Gotcha was that you couldn’t add CTAs to the drag-and-drop email editor and thanks to HubSpot Support that’s been solved.

– [Ian] That’s right. All right, Marketing Tip of the Week, Craig. We’re talking about Google Analytics intelligence, and this is insights in Google Analytics. And you’ll see this because there’s a lot of machine learning and artificial intelligence running, so they’re actually able to give us insights. But let’s take this a step further.

– [Craig] I hadn’t actually tried this. There’s a little search box at the top of Google Analytics And you can type in anything. I didn’t even know about this. I was blind to it.

– [Ian] Because I think when you do that, your assumption is that you’re searching for a particular feature to get to or your searching for some help.

– [Craig] Well, I think ’cause I’m so used to analytics, I know my way around. So I saw it as a help box. How do I find the journal’s report? Like you said, it’s navigation. Well, it does do all that as well. But no, this is about you ask a question. So you just basically ask it questions. What was my best performing page last week? How much revenue did we make? What’s the best channel? Like you ask it questions, and it gives you these answers.

– [Ian] Very conversational, Craig.

– [Craig] It is conversational and it’s really smart, and surprisingly helpful. So, we’ve got a few screenshots. Ya know how I found out about this?

– [Ian] By accident?

– [Criag] No, I was giving training on Google Analytics at a client site last week, and they said, “What’s that box up at the top?” I was like, “I think it’s just a help box.” I learn things in training. I’ve been training clients for years on Google Analytics on these kinds of things. There’s so many new things that come out. I think this is a good reminder to me and maybe to other people listening that are very familiar with it, you just kind of have this blindness. You’re so used to doing what you do, you don’t go exploring or finding other things, or you miss new features. And look, this is really good.

– [Ian] Mind you, Google is not that great at telling us about new features but

– [Craig] Well, maybe. There’s been a box staring me in the face for how long? It’s probably been there for ages.

– [Ian] It’s probably been there for a year, Craig.

– [Craig] I don’t know. But anyway, make use of it folks. It’s really good.

– [Ian] All right, Insight of the Week, Craig.

– [Craig] Here’s a paraphrase of a Seth Godin kind of approach.

– [Ian] Is this from his book?

– [Craig] This is not. Well no, this is from a while back at one of his posts.

– [Ian] Okay.

– [Craig] Could be part of his book, really. And picking up what you started with Inbound Thought of the Week about helping people, here’s what he says about marketing. “Marketing should do one thing. Build more trust.” Okay, I’m paraphrasing it, but that it’s in a nutshell. I thought that was very interesting. I was reminded of this today when I was reading an article. But this whole idea about marketing, and so I’ve been just putting together a newsletter for our agency . I was like, “What am I doing in this newsletter? “Am I trying to sell? “What am I trying to do?” And actually I found this comment really helpful. I’m just trying to build more trust. Trying to help people, and I’m aiming for them to trust me more. It’s predominantly for existing clients. Like there are leads and prospects on the list as well, but it’s really about clients. I want to help them better, and I want them to trust us more. And so I found this comment really good. And so really I think the takeaway, and why we’re mentioning it in the show, is ask yourself this. Any time you’re working on marketing piece, does this ad, does this email, does this article, does this blog, does this campaign, does this strategy help people and build more trust? Because if it doesn’t, then perhaps it’s time to question it.

– [Ian] All right, on to our Retirement of the Week, Craig.

– [Craig] Do you use the social reports in HubSpot? And in particular, the Twitter? Some of the Twitter pieces like journals, , and sent items, and stuff? Have you ever used those?

– [Ian] I started using the new ones

– [Craig] Right. These old ones, well apparently they’re taking them out. I was like, “Oh, I didn’t even know they were there.” So apparently, do you know why–

– [Ian] It was highly used.

– [Craig] Low usage. I’m like, “Oh, well that makes sense.” There’s one I can totally understand.

– [Ian] But have a look at this, right? This is interesting. And I look at it from the perspective of they’re clearly measuring stuff and measuring what people are looking at. Now it takes extra resource to actually produce these reports and give it to people. Multiply that by the number of accounts and users they have to do this for. That’s a potential massive saving.

– [Craig] Oh, so you think there’s a utilization–

– [Ian] Utilization.

– [Craig] Over here.

– [Ian] Absolutely.

– [Craig] Well, but if no one’s using, or you mean preparing it for no one to use? There is that as well.

– [Ian] Correct. Yeah.

– [Craig] I more think about the code base.

– [Ian] Yeah, well that’s exactly right.

– [Craig] Keeping the code base maintained. Because these things break over time, especially a Twitter piece. Ah, it’s broken. Well, no one’s using it. Let’s take it out. That’s one less bit of code that we have to test on each release, and update, and stuff like that. Yeah, totally.

– [Ian] What was that really interesting stat we saw in the HubSpot update about duplicate data or about having unclean data costing businesses three trillion dollars a year.

– [Craig] Was it trillion?

– [Ian] Yeah, it was something huge.

– [Craig] How’d they calculate that?

– [Ian] Yeah, but it was a big number. I mean this is one of the things, and it doesn’t have to just be data that you’re managing. It could be anything that you work with. Is it a tool? Is it things in your process that you’re doing that’s actually not required anymore? Like talking to somebody in sales today, they were saying one of his colleagues was saying, “Like, why do I want to do a demo? “They can watch a video?”

– [Craig] That’s a good point.

– [Ian] Right? So prior, if you think about it, when really good video walkthroughs and demos of products weren’t available someone would actually show you, walk you through it, and do that.

– [Craig] Because I get the logic of that, but quite often I’ll send videos to people and they don’t watch them, but they want to get on a Zoom call and I go through exactly the same thing. And they’re like, “Oh, great.” Even if they don’t ask questions, they’re like, “Oh, cool. Thanks for showing me that.” I’m like it’s exactly what was in the video. There was something about doing it in person that some people prefer. And in fact, there is doing an in-person I don’t prefer. I’d much prefer to get a video because for starters, I can watch it at double-speed. But so I can just stop it, go back, whatever. So I actually prefer a video, but I know some people don’t. They prefer that personal walkthrough.

– [Ian] And here’s the thing, this is maybe one of those questions you ask. How would you prefer to have a demonstration? Would you like to watch a video, or would you like a live walkthrough?

– [Craig] Yeah, well here’s building on it, Ya know webinars?

– [Ian] Yes.

– [Craig] Ya know webinars are still big. I can’t believe people sign up to attend a webinar at a later time. And then quite often you attend the webinar and it’s pre-recorded, right?

– [Ian] Yes.

– [Craig] You’ve had to sign up to watch it–

– [Ian] And have to wait.

– [Craig] And wait, and then you get to see the video. It’s pre-recorded and it’s a YouTube video. And then you go, “Oh, hang on. “I’ll just click on it. “Ah, here it is on YouTube. “I could’ve gone and seen it straight on YouTube.” It still works for some reason. People are signing up for those kind of, well I sign up for them. I’m a fool myself. But it just seems like an inefficiency, but it’s still really, what’s the word? I don’t know about popular, but it’s still–

– [Ian] It’s still working in certain segments of the market.

– [Craig] It’s still .

– [Ian] All right, Craig. Onto our Resource of the Week. Understanding all the different Google sections in the search results. And this is a post from?

– [Craig] From We are ROAST. And it’s a good summary. You look at Google these days, and how many organic results do you see?

– [Ian] Well, there right down the bottom.

– [Craig] You’re lucky if you see any. But there’s always other things. Knowledge panels, knowledge boxes, ask boxes.

– [Ian] Answer boxes.

– [Craig] I’m sorry, answer boxes. People also ask boxes. Of course there’s maps, listings, there’s shopping results. Tons of things. There’s all those different things. Oh, plus there’s the occasional just search result.

– [Ian] Correct.

– [Craig] There’s all those things. Well, if you wanted a good overview, I actually use this in training. I was giving some SEO training to a client last week and we went through all of them, and they were just like, “Oh, yeah.” People don’t realize how complex Google is getting these days. And of course the result that Google wants is for you to never leave Google. All the answers stay on Google. So there’s this fight for actually getting attention first, but then click through second.

– [Ian] I think it’s very, very valuable to understand. Like, it changes on a daily basis. And when we’re doing stuff we’ll be testing things, and were like, “Oh, never seen that before.” And I’ll show you stuff, but you’re not seeing it. So it’s really interesting. And this is happening across the board, but people are actually not understanding because they’re seeing what they want to see. They’re getting the results that they want to get, and they’re getting better at doing that. That people don’t even realize that it’s happening.

– [Craig] Yeah, it’s a self-reinforcing bubble that we put ourselves into.

– [Ian] All right, what’s our Quote of the Week, Craig?

– [Craig] Here’s the quote. “If you deliberately plan “on being less than you’re capable of being, “then I warn you that you’ll be unhappy the rest of your life.” That’s a quote from Abraham Maslow. So you remember Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs? I think we all learned that at school. That’s a quote from him way back when, and I just thought that was useful. Be your best. Don’t be less. I think people do sometimes just couldn’t be bothered, and they’re unhappy. So not really a marketing-related quote. Just a life–

– [Ian] A life-related quote.

– [Craig] A life gem, there you go.

– [Ian] All right, we would love you to leave us a rating on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, on any platform that you listen to us on. It will greatly help us reach more people, and we would love if you could actually share it with somebody that you know that really enjoys marketing and sales, and maybe using HubSpot. Because it’s such a great way to get in front of them. Until next time, Craig.

– [Craig] Catch you later, Ian. Hey, there. Thanks for listening to this episode of HubShots. For show notes and the latest HubSpot news and tips, please visit us at HubShots.com

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HubShots: A weekly podcast for Marketing Managers discussing HubSpot and Inbound Marketing. Hosted by Ian Jacob and Craig Bailey.

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