What to Check for before sending out emails in Hubspot

Occasionally, amidst the hustle of sending out emails, especially in bulk, our nerves can lead to inadvertent mistakes. To alleviate this, here’s a straightforward checklist for a quick refresher or reference. While these points may seem obvious, having them at hand serves as a helpful reminder to ensure a smooth email dispatch.

  • Recipient Organization:
    • Consolidate all marketing contacts into one main list to avoid confusion.
    • Label multiple lists for different purposes and keep them to a manageable number (10 or less).
  • Suppressions List:
    • Exclude specific groups like competitors, customers, and unsubscribed individuals.
  • No Name Setting:
    • Determine a placeholder for cases where the first name is unavailable.
    • Consider using a blank space when utilizing dynamic tags.
  • Subject Line:
    • Ensure the subject line is concise, ideally seven words or less, to prevent truncation.
  • Testing:
    • Send a test email to yourself to verify the format and overall appearance.
  • Sender Identification:
    • Opt for a personal email address over a generic corporate one to enhance deliverability.
  • Time Zone Consideration:
    • Choose whether to send emails based on the recipient’s time zone or your own.
  • Uncheck “Send to Unengaged Contacts”:
    • Disable the option to send emails to contacts below a certain engagement score to streamline the list.
  • Mark Contacts as Marketing Contacts:
    • Ensure all intended recipients are appropriately marked as marketing contacts in HubSpot.

That all! I hope that helps and happy emailing!

Tools you can use to optimize your website

Note: These sites are Freemium, meaning some features are locked behind a paywall. However, I still think what they offer for free is useful.

PageSpeed Insights

PageSpeed Insights is a valuable tool that enhances your website’s speed by analyzing and identifying specific areas for improvement. While some optimizations may require programming expertise, many issues can be easily addressed without extensive technical know-how.


Among the plethora of useful tools they offer, my personal favorite is the Site Audit, which is specifically designed to enhance SEO performance. This feature provides actionable recommendations, including insights on keywords, backlinks, and more! Although there is a usage limit, it still provides a wealth of valuable information to optimize your website effectively.

Google Analytics

This tool is a no-brainer when it comes to gaining valuable data insights. With its ability to reveal trends and provide a deep understanding of your page’s performance, Analytics is a must-have. Once you become proficient with Analytics, you can explore two other highly recommended Google products: Google Tag Manager and Google Search Console. The amount of functionality and potential here is immense; some professionals even have dedicated jobs focused solely on SEO, with Google as their primary tool.

Let me know if there are any sites I’m missing. I’m constantly look for new tools and learn.

HubSpot: Exploring the Shortcomings of a Popular Marketing Platform

Introduction: In the world of marketing and sales, HubSpot has emerged as one of the most widely recognized and utilized platforms. With its suite of tools and features aimed at streamlining inbound marketing processes, HubSpot has garnered a large user base. However, like any software or service, HubSpot is not without its shortcomings. In this article, we will delve into some of the limitations and areas where HubSpot falls short, providing a balanced perspective for those considering the platform.

  1. Costly Pricing Structure: One of the significant drawbacks of HubSpot is its pricing structure. While it offers a free version with limited features, the full suite of tools can be quite expensive for small businesses or startups. The cost increases significantly as you add more contacts and require access to advanced features. This can make it challenging for companies with tight budgets to fully leverage the platform’s capabilities.
  2. Steep Learning Curve: HubSpot’s extensive feature set and complex interface can lead to a steep learning curve for users who are new to the platform. While HubSpot provides training resources and certifications, mastering all the tools and functionalities can take a significant amount of time and effort. This learning curve can be a hurdle for businesses looking to quickly implement and integrate the platform into their existing workflows.
  3. Limited Customization Options: Despite offering various templates and design options, HubSpot’s customization capabilities are somewhat limited compared to other marketing platforms. Users may find themselves restricted when it comes to customizing landing pages, email templates, or even the overall look and feel of their website. This lack of flexibility can be frustrating for businesses with specific branding requirements or those looking to create a unique user experience.
  4. Integration Challenges: While HubSpot integrates well with many popular CRM systems, such as Salesforce, there can still be challenges when integrating with other third-party tools. HubSpot’s ecosystem may not support certain niche or industry-specific software, forcing businesses to rely on workarounds or manual data transfer. Limited integration options can hinder the seamless flow of data and reduce the overall efficiency of marketing and sales operations.
  5. Reporting and Analytics Limitations: HubSpot provides basic reporting and analytics capabilities, but it falls short in delivering advanced insights and data visualization. Users often find themselves needing to export data to external tools or resort to creating custom reports to gain a deeper understanding of their marketing efforts. This additional step adds complexity and can lead to delays in accessing actionable insights for making informed decisions.

Conclusion: HubSpot undoubtedly offers a comprehensive set of tools for inbound marketing and sales automation. However, it is essential to consider the platform’s limitations and shortcomings before committing to it fully. The cost, steep learning curve, limited customization options, integration challenges, and reporting limitations are factors that businesses need to weigh against the benefits. By thoroughly evaluating their specific needs and conducting a comparative analysis of alternative solutions, businesses can make an informed decision about whether HubSpot is the right fit for their marketing strategy and operational requirements.

The Top AI Programs Right Now (2023)

AI is progressing at a scary rate. I’ve never thought it would reach to the level it is now, but we may not be far from having an AI that can interact with us on a Human level or even better.

Here are the current hottest AI Programs to use right now by category:



This company has blown up due to how good it is. Companies right now are following them in their footsteps. Simply write a prompt and then it generates a response. You can refine through further prompting. It is predicted future job is writing prompts, who knows where we’ll go. Right now it is free, but there is a waitlist. There is also a premium option.

Personally, I love ChatGPT. It helps me save mental anguish, pain, frustration and road blocks when it comes to writing.


Google’s chatbot! Similar to ChatGPT it works through prompts too, however it is not available in every country.


It checks your grammar, paraphrases and fluency. When paired with a Chat Bot it makes writing far more efficient.



It is not easy to use, you will have to sign up for Discord, and everyone can see what you are promoting. That is a two edge sword. There may be things you don’t want others to see. However, seeing what people are creating helps you become a better creator.


Much easier to use than Midjourney. You can prompt the AI to create images. You have to be very specific in your prompts. There is a waitlist, but I prefer this over Midjourney for ease of use.


They do have an AI component that is pretty great but is kind of buried. Canva, though, I think is great to have in your toolbox. They have so many templates, images, etc., that have made me much more efficient.



I like this as it immediately allows you to play with it intuitively. Also, if you have a screen recording program like OBS, you can rip the audio without creating an account.


They have a free option with presets like Boomy.



Think of those training videos where a person talks to you on the screen. This is what they specialize in. It is very corporate but very good. It’s not free, but it does save money for companies who are looking for this type of style.


If you are on social media, especially TikTok, you have run into this program. They have so many templates to create different styles and types of videos it amazes me how good it looks.

I look forward to seeing how AI grows and how I can incorporate them into my life.

How to hit the ground running with Hubspot for Sales & Marketing (2023)

Now that I’m out of the private sector, here are some things I wish I had known before using Hubspot to make the most of it.

Define your persona.

In Hubspot, you can define scoring your contacts. Here is the HubSpot article on how to access it.

You have to decide what is important to your company or you. Common ones are:

  • Open email
    • # of times they open in an email
  • Click on the link in the email
  • Specific contact characteristics:
    • Company size
    • Company Revenue
    • Title
  • Website visits
  • Etc.

There is also a persona tool you can use in HubSpot to use as a guide for onboarding.

Customized your Dashboard on what matters the most

Their predetermined boards are good and are one of the things I enjoyed about HubSpot. Specifically for Marketing, I would suggest a Lead Gen Dashboard. Business is all about how much money you can generate. The marketing part of that is generating Leads/MQLs.

HubSpot offers predefined dashboards which you can explore. It gives you a good baseline to start.

Customized the View

You can choose what view to show for email and contacts. Choose what is best for you. For emails generally have:

  • Open Rate
  • Click through rate
  • Numer sent
  • Unsubscribe

Clean up your Properties

I guess this is the nature of the beast, but this kind of grinds my gears. When you create a form for a specific event, you have unique fields that you may only use once. Like “What’s your favourite drink” or something similar. HubSpot will create a unique contact property and attach it to the contact. You only need it for a specific amount of time. What are the chances of you using it again? Perhaps you would like to keep it, but this can become a little unmanageable.

When you are exporting the list, all of the fields you have ever created will show up. You can unclick these options when exporting or deleting them, but it gets a little annoying. So, do a routine cleanup of your contact proprieties.

Of course, that’s not to say you want to keep items for historical data like previous landing pages or emails.

Automate cleaning your list

When people unsubscribe, have them automatically removed from your main marketing list and move to a do not email list or similar. The toughest part of email marketing, I find, is maintaining your list from getting too messy.

That’s it for now, and I am still learning the monster that is HubSpot. They are constantly improving, growing and changing things. That’s one of the reasons I like using HubSpot.

My gripe with WordPress

WordPress has grown over the years, and I even use it for this page. However, over the years, I have had some gripes with the platform. Here are some of them below.

Incompatibility with Themes and Plugins

I will say this gripe is the nature of the beast. When you have so many creators making Plugins and Themes, this was destined to happen. There are incompatibilities with plugins and themes when you install them. Often, you don’t know they will break something until you install them. That’s the risk you take. This sucks because I find a cool plugin to use it, and it doesn’t work with a theme or vice versa. Even extensions will slow down Word Press. This is the major gripe I have.

Too Reliant on Plugins

If you are looking for extra functionality, forget it with Word Press. The company is reliant heavily on its Plugin Creators to create it. This creates an ecosystem where there a pressure from creators not to add any native functionality because they will lose out on revenue. I get these are businesses that rely on Word Press users for a living. This is a foregone conclusion. You will have add a bunch of plugins if you are looking to level up your site. Once you are in it, it’s hard to move away from it.


I had my Word Press hacked twice. I have never experienced this with other platforms, such as WebFlow, and Site Infinity, and that’s just to name a few. WordPress seems to attract the worse and the best. Being hacked was an unpleasant experience, and I lost one of my sites’ data. You have to have a security plugin and make backups if you can. That’s the only advice I can give you.

I’m not knocking on WordPress; it is super easy to use. That’s why I continue to use it. I also have a soft spot for it. However, for future client projects, I recommend another web site builder.

Known Glitches and Minor Pain Points in Webflow

These are the common glitches, complaints and pain points I’ve seen so far in the forums and social media. They range from minor things to bigger problems.

Current State Glitch

You can see my post on to fix this. This a known glitch where a specific link state shows up in WebFlow that isn’t easy to find in WebFlow. It is not intuitive at all.

Break points in Pagination Items for CMS Collection

Webflow has a standard function, like many web design platform, to design how a page look at different sizes. Unfortunately, you cannot do that with CMS. Let’s say that you want only 20 items to show per page on a desktop, but on mobile, you just want 4 items to show. Nope, not possible. There are workarounds, but it is annoying not to have this function built in.

Pagination Next Button Sends you back to the top

When you enable CMS pagination, or pagination in general, when you click next, it will send you back to the top. This is especially annoying when you have the CMS near the bottom of the page. There are workarounds for this. You can find it on youtube.

No Slider Option for CMS

CMS is undoubtedly one of the key features of WebFlow. Surprisingly, it doesn’t have an option for a slider. There are workarounds to this, too by making it overflow and making it draggable.

The lacking retail and product features in WebFlow

This is one of the biggest complaints I’ve heard on Reddit and the forums. It does not compare to Shopify. Webflow is good for portfolios, agencies, and small businesses. However, if you have lots of products, don’t use them.

Form Submission Collection

This has mixed reviews from what I’ve seen across the web. Some didn’t get notified of any form submissions, while others did. The vast majority suggested getting a 3rd party app to ensure you get every form submission.

Multi-language is not possible in WebFlow

Webflow has said they were bringing this in 2022. However, many don’t know the progress on this feature that is very much wanted. It’s 2023, and still nothing. There is a 3rd party vendor called Weglot, and I think that’s why WebFlow stalled on this feature. This is a feature I saw on other competitors’ products years ago.

Hyper personalized Posts Body Text for Blogs

If you want your page to have a unique look, a la McKinsey, for example. You can’t do that; the blog relies on CMS. Which only allows rich text body.

The limit for Multi Reference Field

Being able to reference other CMS gives customization that isn’t possible with other CMS. However, WebFlow does impose a limit of a max of 10 with their paid, maybe a bit more with their corporate accounts. This limits my creativity and possibilities.

No Native Filtering Lists

When you start having a huge CMS list, you will want to filter it to give the user a better experience. Nope, you can’t do that. There are third-party codes to work around this. My favourite is Finsweet.

No Native Lightbox Captions

The Lightbox gallery lacks captions. I think that this should have been added way earlier. There is, again, a workaround, and I made a post about it here.

Let me know if you have any more, and I will add them to the list.

I’m not knocking WebFlow. It is still an amazing platform I use personally and professionally. I’m impressed with what they have done. I just want to blow off a little steam.

What to do when working with an International Photographer

*Note: This is my anonymous interview with a friend.

Here are some top things I wish I had known before working with an International Vendor. We hired a wedding photographer in another country, which is our experience.

Define the terms of the contract clearly – Especially the Currency

What happened to me was that I didn’t specify what currency we were paying in. It caused a bit of an argument when we wanted to pay USD as it would save us money vs paying in Euros. It caused tension in the relationship, and I wish I had nipped in the bud way earlier.

Get someone local if you can – or start studying the local culture deeply

Although we hired an international photographer, where we were shooting isn’t their home country. They just live close and could drive there. I thought they would have at least looked up the local culture and customs, but they didn’t. They directed us to do certain poses and actions that were not in line with the local custom and were offensive. This is a general good rule thumb to do when you are travelling.

Have your own vision

The photographer might have their own vision or storyboard. You can ask about their process, and understand how much you need to prepare. I wish we looked up places where we would like to take photos at, and what we wanted to do.

Look up the International Holidays

This should have been a non brainer but it totally slipped our mines. A lot of rentals were closed (Do this ahead of time if you can), and locations were too. Which was a bummer.

I hope these few tips helped! Have a wonderful week!

How Kpop Fans and Top Music Stars Cultivate Passionate Fans

There are similarities in how top musicians and K-pop stars approach their fanbase and generate business. Both groups have a highly dedicated fanbase that is often called a “fandom.” These fans are typically extremely passionate and emotionally invested in the artists they support. They are often willing to spend large amounts on merchandise, concert tickets, and other related products.

Cultivating a branded Fandom

One tactic that both groups use is creating a sense of exclusivity and belonging. Top musicians and K-pop stars often create language, slang, and symbols unique to their fanbase. Fans who are “in the know” and understand these references feel part of a particular group separate from the mainstream.

For example, K-pop bands have names for their Fandom. The top female kpop band Blackpink calls their fans “Blinks”; another group, Twice, calls their fans “Onces.” Western Artists also do the same, although unofficially. Beyonce calls her fans “The Beehive”; another example is Ariana Grande, who calls her fans “Ariantors.” Giving their fandom identifying monikers brings the fans together under one umbrella.

In K-pop, there is a whole unique term that only those inside the community would know, and for both groups they have inside jokes or history that one can reference and immediately recognize as a fellow fan. These all create a stronger connection between fans, artists and fandom.

Twice Fans can purchase a lightstick to show their support in concerts.

Social Media

Both groups also use social media to build relationships with their fans. Top musicians and K-pop stars often have a highly active presence on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, where they share personal updates and behind-the-scenes footage and interact with their fans directly. This helps build a sense of intimacy and connection between the artist and their fans, leading to increased loyalty and sales.

They are constantly creating content to keep fans constantly on the lookout and invoke a sense of FOMO if they don’t follow their favourite artist closely. Here is an example from K-pop, groups often release dance practice videos. These have become productions themselves. Teasers are produced, and different versions are released, all of the same dance!

Image of 7 versions of the same dance. There were actually 10 versions that could be found.

In addition, being constantly on social media and sharing their lives create a “parasocial relationship.” Individuals form a one-sided, one-directional relationship with media figures such as celebrities, fictional characters, or social media influencers. In a parasocial relationship, the individual feels a sense of intimacy and connection with the media figure, even though the figure does not reciprocate those feelings or even know the individual exists. The individual may feel they know the media figure personally, despite having no real-world interaction with them, and may develop feelings of loyalty, affection, or attachment towards them. Parasocial relationships are common in today’s media-driven culture and can positively and negatively affect individuals’ mental health and well-being.


Both K-pop and western artists create collectibles for the most die-hard fans.

Collectibles are important to music fans for several reasons:

  1. Emotional value: For many music fans, their collection of music memorabilia, including vinyl records, concert tickets, t-shirts, posters, and other items, holds significant emotional value. These items are often associated with specific memories or experiences, such as attending a favourite band’s concert or discovering a new genre of music. Collecting and displaying these items can be a way for fans to connect with the music on a deeper level and to relive positive emotions associated with those experiences.
  2. Historical significance: Many collectibles are considered to be historically significant, especially those related to iconic musicians or moments in music history. Owning a rare or unique item can be a way for fans to feel connected to that history and to be part of something bigger than themselves.
  3. Investment value: Some music fans see collecting as an investment, with the value of certain items increasing over time. Collecting rare or limited edition items can allow fans to enjoy their emotional and historical significance and potentially make a financial return on their investment.

Collecting music memorabilia can be a way for fans to express their love and appreciation for their favourite artists and music and connect with others who share their interests. K-pop has exploited this. For example, there are collectible trading cards in albums. Some of these cards go for 1000s of dollars. They also create different versions of the same album!

4 versions of Twice’s Between 1&2 Album.


No top artist or group becomes famous without a scandal in their lifetime. Even if it’s stupid, it puts them on the radar of many. For fans? This increases their attachment to the artist because they defend them, and when you fight for someone, you become fonder of them.

Controversy can create even more dedicated music fans in several ways:

  1. Strengthening existing loyalties: When a musician or band becomes involved in controversy, their existing fans may become even more dedicated and loyal to them. This is often because the controversy reinforces the fans’ belief that the musician or band is unique, edgy, or stands for something important. The fans may feel that they are part of a select group that understands and appreciates this.
  2. Attracting new fans: Controversy can also attract new fans who may not have been interested in the musician or band before. This can happen because the controversy generates publicity and media attention, increasing exposure for the artist and their music. Some people may be drawn to the artist or band out of curiosity or a desire to be part of the conversation surrounding the controversy.
  3. Creating a sense of community: Controversy can also create a sense of community among fans of the artist or band. When fans feel that their favourite musician is being unfairly criticized or attacked, they may band together to defend the artist or band and support each other. This can lead to a stronger sense of connection and solidarity among fans.

Overall, controversy can be a double-edged sword for musicians and bands. While it can lead to increased attention and fan dedication, it can also damage reputations and alienate some fans. It’s up to individual artists and bands to decide whether the potential benefits of controversy are worth the risks.

Infamous moment between Kanye West and Taylor Swift.

Fans are the lifeblood of any artist’s career. It pays off when you treat your fan well and create a connection with them.

How to optimize your images for Web

A good practice for your website if it isn’t loading fast is to reduce the size of your image. You can reduce it via free online resources or in Adobe Photoshop.

There are different image types. You will usually see it in the image type at the end of the file name, such as JPG, PNG, GIF, etc. or by right-clicking the file and choosing “Properties.”

First Compress Image

If you type in compress [image extension] into google, you can find plenty of free websites that do this service. Sometimes, there are limits to how many you can compress. Here are my favourite site to use:

You can see there are three image compression options.

The second is to choose the correct format

In terms of which image format is the lightest, WebP is the lightest but not widespread. I prefer PNG for the web, jpg for photos, and gifs for short animations.

The third is to cut up images.

With Photoshop, you can slice images into pieces, which then quickens the load time. Below is a tutorial

This one is a bit more advanced method for optimization.

The Fourth is to reduce the dimensions

Find the maximum size you need for your webpage. Often time the image is way bigger than it needs to be. To reduce the dimensions, you can use any free image editing software.

I usually screenshot what I need, find the dimensions and reduce the image to that size.

The Fifth is to reduce the number of colours

The fewer colours, the smaller the file. You can do this via photoshop by going to export> Save for Web

You will see on the left-hand side the colour drop-down options. The fewer colours, the smaller the file.

How to add calendar links in SendGrid Email from Zoom

First, you have to download the ICS from ZOOM.

Upload the ICS file somewhere. You can use mega, HubSpot, or wherever it lets you upload a file.

Next, create a new single send in Send Grid.

Choose the code editor.

Or you can duplicate an email and choose code editor ver.

You will see a window like this. Find where the content begins.

You will then type the HTML code:


You can edit the look with other HTML codes like text colour, bold, size, etc.

Send a preview email to yourself to test it out. It should work.

I hope that helps!