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Censored by a HubSpot Competitor Blog

By John McTigueMay 19, 2012

If you have followed our blog for a while, especially if you have contributed comments, you know that we don't moderate comments - we allow them unless they are profane, spammy or otherwise generally offensive. We encourage different points of view and disagreement with our positions. I think this is the best policy for any blog. The whole idea is that blogging promotes an exchange of ideas and encourages discourse. That's why it shocked me that my comment to a pretty one-sided blog post about HubSpot's new email client software was apparently censored.

censoring reasonable blog comments is a bad idea

To put things in perspective, this week HubSpot launched its new email marketing software. Yesterday, a competitor published a blog post denouncing HubSpot on the basis of hypocrisy - that email marketing is an outbound "push" tactic and goes against HubSpot's inbound marketing strategies. You can read the entire post here and decide for yourself. My comment was neither inflammatory nor critical of the host's software. I simply defended HubSpot's decision to develop its own email marketing software on the following basis:

  1. Email marketing to an opted-in list of leads is somewhere in between extremes of inbound and outbound marketing. HubSpot goes to great lengths to honor unsubscribes and remove hard "bounces" in the software.
  2. HubSpot does not promote or encourage email "blasts" to an unsubscribed list - in fact they discourage this tactic.
  3. Every professional marketer includes email in his/her arsenal of tactics for nurturing leads, staying in touch and announcing new capabilities - this is what their subscribers sign up for. They can always opt out if they feel so inclined.
  4. HubSpot's competitive edge is the integration of marketing tools across the entire internet marketing spectrum, so it's natural (and convenient) to include email in this suite.
  5. Although we advocate inbound marketing, we don't exclude outbound - in fact we encourage it when it makes sense and can contribute effectively to marketing ROI. Last time I checked, HubSpot feels the same way. It's the indiscriminate use of outbound tactics that no longer serves any of us well.

I felt that the blog post author was biased and unfair in his evaluation of HubSpot's announcement and move into email marketing as a clear violation of its inbound marketing mantra. The author asserts, "For the record, I have always found Hubspot’s position to be a bit disingenuous. For a long time now, I have been getting a daily email from them about some thing or the other. How is that not interruption marketing?" He even brings politics into the mix saying, "...this feels a lot like Mitt Romney explaining why ObamaCare is bad and the essentially identical RomneyCare is good." Well, I have to say, if you really object to reading HubSpot's blogs, then feel free to unsubscribe. But maybe you should read them before you start putting HubSpot into an inbound-only box. They don't say that.

That's why I made my comment in good faith, in order to present the other side of the argument - that HubSpot is doing something sensible, something that we marketers have demanded, and something that makes them more competitive with other marketing automation companies. The fact that the author and/or editor decided to suppress my comment goes against the entire fabric of transparency and open discussion. I even tweeted to the company's Twitter account to set my comment free - to no avail.

Look, I'll admit, we do have a dog in this fight. We're a HubSpot Partner Agency, and proud of it. We have developed this relationship because we feel that their software is the best solution for integrated online marketing. We don't exclude other solutions - in fact we embrace them, but we will defend a friend when they're attacked by a competitor without a solid case in fact. The fact that my comment was censored is the shocker here.

What are you guys thinking?

Photo credit: TiBooX


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The Author

John McTigue

With over 30 years of business and marketing experience, John loves to blog about ideas and trends that challenge inbound marketers and sales and marketing executives. John has a unique way of blending truth with sarcasm and passion with wit. You can connect with John via LinkedIn, Twitter and Google Plus.
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