HubSpot Review

By: Puranjay Singh   Last updated: 04 May 2017

HubSpot is an inbound marketing, marketing automation and CRM solution that targets small business. It remains a pioneer in inbound marketing and offers a rapidly improving CRM. However, the marketing automation capabilities aren't as extensive as the competition and pricing is a major concern.

Features

User-Experience

Pricing & Support

Overall

Best for: Small businesses

Plans from: $200/month

HubSpot Overview

HubSpot is hard to miss if you look up any marketing related content online. As the company behind the term "inbound marketing", HubSpot absolutely dominates the digital marketing education field with its thousands of marketing-focused articles.

Understanding HubSpot's offerings can be a bit confusing at first. On its homepage, it advertists three core features - HubSpot Marketing, HubSpot Sales and HubSpot CRM.

Screenshot of HubSpot's core features

These features are designed to help you handle every aspect of the customer's journey - from acquiring their attention to turning leads into wins.

  • HubSpot Marketing helps you attract attention and capture leads
  • HubSpot CRM gives you better insight into each captured lead
  • HubSpot Sales helps your salespeople nurture and close deals

All of this ties into HubSpot's philosophy that marketing is more about educating and helping customers rather than selling to them. By capturing leads through organic channels (mostly social and search), sending them the right content on an automated basis, and handing them off to your sales team, you can - theoretically speaking - get more deals at lower costs.

Understand that at its heart, HubSpot is still an inbound marketing tools. Whatever marketing automation features it has are incidental. It wasn't designed to be a marketing automation tool from scratch (unlike Infusionsoft or Onraport). Instead, marketing automation is just one of its many features.

Essentially, think of HubSpot as an "all-in-one" marketing tool that has a firm focus on the Awareness stage of the customer's journey. It will give you all the tools - even a blog and keyword research tool - to capture leads. It will also help you send these leads automated messages on a limited basis.

Just don't expect it to have incredibly powerful marketing automation features - that is simply not HubSpot's focus.

About HubSpot

After a short stint as a "unicorn" (i.e. has a $1B+ valuation), HubSpot went public in 2014 (NYSE:HUBS). It currently has a market cap of $2.47B. It brought in $270M in revenues in 2016 and has over 1,000 employees.

In other words, when you're dealing with HubSpot, you're dealing with a fast growing public company with hundreds of milions in revenue and thousands of employees. It is a stable, mature business with proven track record of success, not some tiny bootstrapped startup.

Suffice to say, HubSpot will be around for years, even decades to come, so your investment is safe.

Review Methodology

My revew methodlogy for HubSpot (and all marketing automation software) is focused on the following three traits:

  • Marketing automation capabilities and features
  • User-experience, pricing and support
  • Insight from industry professionals gathered through surveys and conversations

My target audience in these reviews is small businesses, startups, and infopreneuers. Large businesses and enterprise customers have very different requirements. Some of the recommendations here might not apply to them.

I also run a marketing agency where I deal with a lot of marketing automation cases. A lot of insight and opinions come from my personal experience using and testing these tools and their use cases.

HubSpot Features

Features are obviously important - this is why you buy the software in the first place.

For marketing automation software, your first priority should be strong automation capabilities. Everything else - CRM, A/B testing, landing pages, etc. - comes after that.

In this section, I'll look at some of the most important features in HubSpot and how they stack up against the competition.

What I like

  • Top-notch tools to attract and capture leads (blogging, landing pages, etc.)
  • Strong and improving personalization capabilities
  • Impressive sales automation capabilities
  • Tools for every stage of the customer's journey - Awareness to Retention

What I don't like

  • Marketing automation capabilities are limited
  • Speed remains an issue; several tools are slow
  • Several marketing tools (blogging, keyword research) are available for free elsewhere
  • No E-commerce or payment processing capabilities.

1. Best-in-class Tools for Attracting and Capturing Leads

HubSpot is by and large an inbound marketing software. As such, its inbound tools - blogging, keyword research, landing pages, social media, etc. - are some of the best in the industry.

Even more importantly, all these individual tools are well-integrated. You can run your keyword research, then use selected keywords in your blog posts which include CTAs to your landing pages. All of this is easily accessible from a single dashboard.

This is something no other software in the marketing automation category offers. Using HubSpot will make you feel much more in control of your top of the funnel health.

HubSpot has a powerful blogging tool

HubSpot's top of the funnel capabilities are top-notch. This screenshot shows the blogging tool's on-page SEO checker.

2. Marketing Automation Features a Visual Editor

Like Infusionsoft and Salesforce, HubSpot also features a visual editor for creating marketing automation workflows. Like these other two tools, you can visualize your entire funnels and create automation rules for reach stage.

The downside is that the visual editor simply doesn't give you enough customization options as, say, Ontraport. You can automate only a handful of things and customization is limited.

Using the marketing automation tool makes it clear that HubSpot is first and foremost an inbound marketing software.

Screenshot of HubSpot Automation Campaign builder

HubSpot has a visual campaign editor where you can drag-drop elements to create automation rules.

3. Trello-like Pipeline Management Works Great

HubSpot's CRM is a relatively new addition to its software suite, but it has rapidly grown into a highly competitive offering. The kanban board-like interface makes it easy to keep track of your entire pipeline. Since the CRM is neatly integrated with the rest of the software, data entry is severely reduced. HubSpot will automatically gather data about email opens, responses, etc. if you use HubSpot's built-in solutions (such as SideKick).

It's not perfect, of course - the CRM can get confusing to use at scale - but the close integration makes it the heart of your marketing and operation.

Screenshot showing HubSpot's pipeline management with the ability to filter out leads

Above: HubSpot gives you the ability to filter leads based on custom defined criteria.

4. Lead Nurturing Capabilities are Impressive

Lead nurturing - the part where you work on leads to push them from "cold" to "warm" and "prospect" to "customer" - is a big focus at HubSpot.

Consequently, you get a ton of tools for automating lead nurturing. You get email sequences and tracking to send the right emails to each prospect (and measure their performance). You get detailed profiles for each lead right in the inbox ('inbox profiles'). And you get a detailed overview of each interaction with a lead in a single window.

All these tools make HubSpot a powerful tool for nuturing leads.

Screenshot of HubSpot's email sequence creation tool

You can create personalized email sequences and send them out on specific dates for leads that meet your pre-defined criteria.

5. Built-In Prospecting Tools Work Well

One of my favorite HubSpot features is the ability to see what companies (as opposed to just IP addresses) are visiting your site. You also get in-depth filtration capabilities to zoom-in on the audience you (or a specific salesperson) cares about. You can filter prospects by their city, Facebook page, and even annual revenue.

In fact, you can even set up alarms to notify your team if a promising prospect lands on your site or performs a specific action.

There are several standalone tools (like LeadFeeder) that offer the same capabilities for hundreds of dollars. HubSpot bundles it for free.

Screenshot showing HubSpot's prospecting tool with the ability to filter leads

HubSpot not only shows you which companies are visiting your site, but also lets you filter visitors based on location, company revenue, and even Crunchbase data.

6. Plenty of Tools for Closing Deals

There are three things you need to close deals:

  • A way to quickly call prospects
  • A way to setup meetings quickly
  • A way to share important documents

HubSpot offers all these features as part of its sales software. You can setup meetings with the Meetings tool, find and share documents from a central repository and make calls from the CRM itself.

This makes closing deals faster.

Screenshot of HubSpot Documents

HubSpot Documents gives you quick access to all your documents. Use it to create document packs for different leads.

7. Content Personalization Features with Smart Content

Content personalization is something HubSpot didn't focus much on in its early stages, allowing Marketo to get a leg-up on the competition. This isn't the case anymore - HubSpot has strong personalization features that are getting better every month.

You can personalize emails, email sequences, CTAs, and even landing page content (like greeting a lead named "Dave" with "Dave, Download Your eBook Here"). You can also show different content pages to different users based on their characteristics.

This is a feature I'm pretty excited about and would love to see where the HubSpot team takes it in the future.

HubSpot Smart Content screenshot

You can personalize content on landing pages based on the visitor's location, referral source or customer lifecycle stage.

8. Average Built-in Templates

You get a number of built-in templates for landing pages and emails. The template editor works well enough but the basic templates are average at best. They are conversion-optimized (i.e. they use a layout that facilitates conversions), but they don't exactly look very pretty.

Of course, you can customize all templates as per your needs, but not a lot of businesses will have the time and resources for that.

HubSpot landing page editor

HubSpot's landing page editor is powerful enough, but the built-in templates lack visual flair.

9. Personalization Tools Help Retain and Delight Customers

Most marketing automation tools focus on customer acquisition. But there's another stage after that - retention and customer delight.

HubSpot's personalization tools are great for doing this. You can "delight" customers by sending them to customized landing pages, you can reach out to through the social media tool, and you can keep track of relationships with the pipeline management tool.

This is a part of the buyer's journey many tools (and businesses) ignore, but HubSpot doesn't.

Screenshot of HubSpot's nurturing and customer retention tools

Some automation rules you can use to delight customers (along with HubSpot Smart Content as shown above).

10. Social Media Management Built-In

Here's another thing I like about HubSpot: you don't have to purchase an additional social media software.

HubSpot has all the basic social media management features you'll need. You can monitor your channels from the HubSpot dashboard, keep track of conversations and even tie it to your CRM for better prospecting.

More importantly, the social media tool is integrated into your main dashboard. This means you can publish from the same place where you design and build your campaigns. This gives you a lot more clarity.

HubSpot social media management tool

You can use the social media management tool to monitor and respond to social activity without leaving HubSpot.

11. Price Creep is Very Significant

One of the worst things about HubSpot - and something that stops me from wholeheartedly recommending it to people - is the price creep.

HubSpot starts off at $200/month, but to get most of the features mentioned above, you'll have to pay at least $800/month. That's not all - you'll also have to pay extra for custom reports ($200/month) and for ads ($100/month).

Worse, the Pro version ($800/month) gives you just 1,000 contacts, and each additional 1,000 contacts is an extra $50/month. For 10k contacts, you're looking at an extra $450/month.

That's not all - you also have to pay $3,000 in onboarding fee with the Pro plan.

For 10k contacts, you're looking at a starting bill of at least $4,250. Pricey.

Split testing is a core feature in Ontraport

HubSpot's price for the Pro plan with 5,000 contacts, a starter website, custom reports and dedicated IP shows the price creep.

12. Speed Remains an Issue

I like my software fast, and this is something HubSpot suffers from. Plenty of features are just not as fast as you'd want them to be.

For instance, the blog tool has a built-in library of free images - a very thoughtful feature. Unfortunately, the process for finding and attaching images is slow enough that you'll want to not even use the tool.

This is just one example. It's not a dealbreaker, but if you like things fast, you'll be slightly disappointed with HubSpot.

HubSpot email editor screenshot

Some tools, such as the email editor, can be slow, especially when searching through media libraries.

13. Limited Integrations

One of my chief complaints with HubSpot is the relative lack of focus on integrations.

HubSpot's "Connect" program, which helps other tools integrate with HubSpot, is a relatively recent addition. As such, the number of integrations available in the HubSpot marketplace right now are very limited.

Sure, you can usually integrate most popular tools, but if you use something a little more niche, you'll struggle to find a ready made integration.

Of course, you can create your own integration with the API, but that's not something most small businesses can do easily.

HubSpot Connect Integrations

HubSpot Connect is still in beta and the number of integrations is very limited.

HubSpot Features List

Feature availability is very limited in the starting plan (Basic, starting at $200/month). You don't get marketing automation, smart content, or even A/B testing. To access most sales-focused features, you'll have to upgrade to the Enterprise plan ($2,400/month) to get features like predictive lead scoring, custom event reporting, etc.

So while HubSpot does have a ton of features, their availability varies a lot from plan to plan.

Let's take a look at HubSpot's top features:

Availability Feature Description

Visual Automation Builder

HubSpot has a simple visual interface for building automation flows.

In-Depth Segmentation

HubSpot's CRM supports in-depth segmentation to zero-in on your target audience.

Mobile Optimized Templates

HubSpot's built-in template library has a number of mobile-optimized templates.

Content Management

HubSpot doubles up as a CMS. You can quickly access all your documents - eBooks, brochures, blog posts - from a single interface.

A/B Testing

A/B testing is available, but only from the Pro plan onwards.

Built-in CRM

HubSpot has a built-in CRM that integrates with the marketing tools.

Content Predictions/Recommendations

HubSpot offers "Smart Content" which can help you create personalized content offers.

E-Commerce Capabilities

HubSpot does not offer any e-commerce capabilities like checkout forms and shopping carts.

Membership Sites

HubSpot does not offer any membership sites.

Text Messages and Postcards

You can't send automated postcards or text messages through HubSpot

1:1 Customer Journeys

While you can't automate at an individual-level, HubSpot does give you an overview of each interaction with a prospect

High

Email Deliverability

HubSpot's email deliverability is better than industry average

Limited

Integrations

Although HubSpot has an API, the number of integrations are limited at the moment.

Payment Processing

There is no built-in payment processor in HubSpot. Integrating with third-party providers is hard as well.

Affiliate Program Management

There is no support for creating/managing a referral or affiliate program.

Social Media Management

HubSpot has a built-in tool for managing and publishing to major social networks

Email Tracking

HubSpot offers email tracking through SideKick, HubSpot's primary email tool.

Summary

HubSpot's top of the funnel tools - blogging, landing pages, CTAs, forms, etc. - are some of the best in this category. In fact, HubSpot is the only tool in marketing automation software list that even has any blogging capabilities.

HubSpot's sales and retention tools are similarly good. The only offering in our list that exceeds HubSpot's sales automation capabilities is Salesforce, and that's mostly because of Salesforce's sales pedigree.

The downside is that HubSpot's marketing automation capabilities are very limited. You also don't get any e-commerce capabilities or payment processing. If you are an infopreneur or very small business, you'll have to look elsewhere for these features.

Another negative: a number of HubSpot features are available for free elsewhere. You don't really need HubSpot's blogging tool, for instance. WordPress can do it much better. You don't need HubSpot's keyword research tool either; the free KeywordTool.io is a better alternative.

To sum it up: HubSpot is a powerful inbound marketing tool, but it is expensive, has too many features and offers mediocre marketing automation capabilities.

If you want an all-in-one inbound marketing software, go ahead and buy HubSpot. But if you want a marketing automation tool with some inbound capabilities, you'll do better with one of many HubSpot alternatives.

HubSpot User Experience

I place a premium on UI/UX in any software. I've experienced it first hand in my agency - if the software is too complicated, people tend to not use it. User-experience, not features, is often the factor in any successful software deployment.

When evaluating user-experience, I think from the perspective of the software's target audience. In HubSpot's case, this would be small businesses where either the founder or a single marketing person is responsible for all marketing. As such, this user is not always technically proficient (which is why he is using HubSpot in the first place).

Based on this target user, below is my review of HubSpot's user-experience.

What I like

  • All features are neatly integrated. Easy to find what you want
  • Search functionality works great
  • CRM is easy to use, at least at a small scale

What I don't like

  • Slow speed; some tools don't work as swiftly as they should
  • Feature bloat. Not always clear what tool to use, and when
  • Relatively steep learning curve, especially in higher-tier plans

1. Well-Integrated Software

HubSpot's feature list is huge. Usually, a big list of features means that you'll struggle to find what you want.

This isn't the case here. All of HubSpot's features are neatly integrated. The social media management tool, for instance, plugs into the rest of your marketing so you can plan campaigns from a single dashboard.

The integrations are strategic as well. For example, the keyword research tool works seamlessly with the blogging tool so you can find and target the right keywords in your content.

With HubSpot, it's usually easy to find what you want. Screenshot showing HubSpot UI

Despite all the features, HubSpot's navigation makes it easy to find what you need.

2. Intuitive CRM

HubSpot's CRM is quickly becoming one of the company's best offerings. In my experience, it works much better than many standalone CRMs, at least in terms of user-experience. The kanban board-like interface helps segregate leads into different funnel stages. It feels very intuitive, unlike the list-focused UI of most CRMs.

HubSpot's Trello-like pipeline management

HubSpot's CRM ha a Trello-like kanban board interface.

3. Steep Learning Curve

HubSpot isn't actually hard to understand. The problem is that there are so many features that you'll find yourself getting overwhelmed with all the details.

If you're the sole person on your marketing team, you'll have to figure out how the marketing tools plug into the CRM, which, in turn, plugs into the Sales tool. It's a lot to learn and you can easily get confused.

In other words, this isn't a tool for very small marketing teams.

HubSpot Smart Rules

The sheer volume of features means that you'll spend a lot of time mastering all of them, such as the Smart Rules-based CTAs pictured here.

4. Slow Speed

My biggest pet peeve with HubSpot is its slow speed. Some features don't load as quickly as they should. The image search tool, for instance, works too slowly to be effective while blogging (especially if you like to use a lot of pictures in your blog posts - something I recommend).

Loading times have improved, but it remains a negative point.

Screenshot of HubSpot's inline editor

HubSpot's inline editor is a big improvement over the previous blog editor, but is still not as fast as WordPress.

5. No Easy Sign-up

The HubSpot pricing page has a pricing calculator, but to actually pay and use the tool, you will have to go through sales.

Of course, that should be a given since there is mandatory onboarding. But this isn't a tool you can sign-up for, take out for a spin and figure it out slowly. HubSpot is a much more serious commitment with an annual contract and significant onboarding.

I realize this isn't a negative for most businesses, but if you are a very small business, this initial commitment can be a problem.

Screenshot showing HubSpot sign-up process

To use HubSpot, you have to first sign-up for a demo and get in touch with sales.

6. User Interface Can be Better

HubSpot isn't a bad looking software by any means. In fact, it has improved radically in the last couple of years.

However, it still isn't as polished as the new breed of enterprise tools like Asana or Slack. The gray-orange color scheme can get dull after a while and there is no element of "fun". It's a tad too serious.

Again, this isn't a dealbreaker, just something I wish HubSpot focused on.

Screenshot showing HubSpot content promotion tool

Some features have a very cluttered design, such as the content promotion tool which is just a massive grid.

Summary

HubSpot does a remarkably good job of integrating its huge list of features. The search functionality is great and it's usually easy to find what you need - documents, features, leads. I particularly like the CRM and pipeline management capabilities.

On the downside, the learning curve is steep thanks to the feature bloat. It is also not easy to sign-up for the software.

To sum it up: HubSpot is (relatively) easy to use given its huge feature list. But mastering the software can take a while, even with the mandatory onboarding/training. The UI looks slightly dated as well, though finding what you need is still easy. On the whole, HubSpot's user-experience is good, but not great.

HubSpot Pricing, Support, and Community

Pricing is obviously important when you're buying a powerful, all-in-one marketing suite. Generally speaking, simple email marketing automation tools like ConvertKit are quite affordable. Full-fledged marketing/business automation software like HubSpot, on the other hand, can go up to several hundred dollars each month.

Support is another major consideration when buying marketing automation software. This software category tends to be complex; you'll want knowledgeable support within easy reach at all times. Some tools offer only email support. Some offer limited phone support with an option to upgrade to more comprehensive support. I also consider onboarding (whether mandatory or optional) and any additional software training in my evaluation.

Comunity is an important but often overlooked factor. A vibrant community means that you get access to insight, learning and networking opportunities. It also means that it's easier to find freelancers and consultants to work with the software.

Let's see how HubSpot fares on these counts below.

Pricing

HubSpot's pricing is very misleading. The cheapest plan - Basic - starts at $200/month and gives you just 100 free contacts. For every 1k extra contacts, you'll have to pay $100/month. If you have 2,100 contacts, for instance, you'll have to pay $400/month right off the bat.

To access most features, you'll need to spend at least $800/month for the "Pro" plan. This will unlock marketing automation, A/B testing, Salesforce integration and Smart Content.

Plus, there is the mandatory onboarding. There is a signficant price creep here. The 'Basic' onboarding costs just $600, but with the Pro plan, you'll have to get pro onboarding at a price tag of $3,000.

Then there are all the add-ons you'll likely need to buy. A simple website will cost you $300/month (WordPress is free; Squarespace is $12/month). SSL will be $100/month (GoDaddy will sell you one for under $75/year). A dedicated IP for transactional emails will be $500/month.

All of this means that your initial investment with HubSpot can be as high as mid-five figures. This makes it one of the priciest tools in our list of marketing automation software.

But that's just for the marketing software. The Sales software is priced differently. You get the basic version for free, but the Pro version with most tools you'll actually want, is $50/user/month.

Thankfully, HubSpot CRM is free to use.

Let's look at different HubSpot plans below:

Plan Pricing Billing Period No. of Contacts Onboarding Fee Min. Total

Basic

$200/month

12 months

100

$600

$3,000

Pro Best Value

$800/month

12 months

1,000

$3,000

$12,600

Enterprise

$2,400/month

12 months

10,000

$5,000

$33,800

A few things to keep in mind:

  • There is an annual contract.
  • You have to buy mandatory onboarding that starts from $600 and goes all the way up to $5,000.
  • Basic plan has very limited contacts - just 100. Each extra 1,000 contacts are $100/month.
  • You can send 10 emails to each contact for free each month. Beyond that, you'll have to pay a fee.
  • Buying technical add-ons - SSL, API access, etc. - can be extremely expensive. You're better off buying from a third-party.

HubSpot is expensive with significant price creep. Any moderately sized business with a few thousand contacts will end up spending upwards of $15,000 initially. The more your technical requirements, the more you'll have to pay.

What I particularly dislike is how HubSpot charges an exorbitant fee for basic features and add-ons. A website, for instnace, is a whopping $300/month. You can use Squarespace or Wix to build one for a 10th of the price.

Similarly, a dedicated IP is $500/month. Same with a basic SSL - $100/month ($500/month for a custom one). Most businesses will require some of these add-ons. This can easily increase your bills by several thousand dollars each month.

Simply put, HubSpot's pricing is not at all small business friendly. If you are just starting out, you'll do better by using a dedicated marketing automation tool and using cheaper alternatives (like WordPress) for your inbound marketing.

The pricing makes it so that only established businesses will see a strong ROI from HubSpot.

Competitor Pricing

How does HubSpot stack up against its chief competitors? Below, I've compared the cheapest plans across key competitors:

Software Cheapest Plan Min. Billing Period Onboarding Fee Min. Total

HubSpot

$200/month

12 Months

$600

$3,000

ActiveCampaign Cheapest

$17/month

None

None

$17

ConvertKit

$29/month

1 month

None

$29

Eloqua Most Expensive

$2,000/month

12 months

None

$24,000

Infusionsoft Best Value

$199/month

12 months

$999

$3,387

Marketo

$895/month

12 Months

None

$10,740

Ontraport

$79/month

1 month

None

$79

Salesforce

$400/month

12 months

None

$4,800

SharpSpring

$400/month

1 month

$1,800

$2,200

I chose InfusionSoft as the "best value" since it has the most comprehensive list of features for marketing automation at the lowest possible price tag (for the features you get).

Of course, there are cheaper alternatives - ConvertKit and ActiveCampaign - but they don't have nearly the same features as HubSpot.

Bottomline: Don't use HubSpot if you don't have an established product, well-mapped buyer personas and a way to funnel and convert leads. If you plan to just "test things" out, HubSpot can become very expensive, very fast.

Support

HubSpot's support is solid - at least as long as you don't need a lot of dedicated help.

The mandatory onboarding takes care of a lot of teething issues with the software. You can also opt for optional in-depth training to better equip your team for inbound marketing. You can also purchase quarterly consultations, support and training.

Next, you get free phone and email support. You can also use the live chat tool to access help.

Besides this, you can tweet HubSpot for help - they're very active on social media. And of course, there is an extensive knowledgebase as well.

The best part of HubSpot's support, however, is HubSpot's massive, massive library of blog posts, eBooks, and templates. HubSpot's blog is arguably the biggest in the marketing space. You also get free access to HubSpot Academy, one of the best marketing education resources around.

As a downside, dedicated support is really expensive - $500/month.

To sum it up:

  • Self-support is best in the industry. The marketing academy is incredibly useful.
  • Phone and email support are free for paying users
  • HubSpot offers a number of training options and services
  • Dedicated support is expensive, starting at $500/month.

Community

HubSpot pioneered the inbound marketing methodology. As such, it is a leader in the marketing community. It hosts the largest inbound marketing conference in the world - INBOUND. It also runs the largest (and arguably, the best) marketing Q&A site - Inbound.org

Thanks to HubSpot's support and championing of inbound marketing, tons of marketers host formal and informal marketing events and meetups in cities around the world. You can see HubSpot's presence at formal events here.

Lastly, HubSpot's blog is a fantastic source of learning and community. The blog article library is truly massive with thousands of posts covering every topic under the sun, from marketing automation to inside sales. Besides the blog, you can also turn to HubSpot's Community to find answers to your questions.

Screenshot of HubSpot's Commnuity Forum

All in all, I rate HubSpot's community focus a solid 5/5.

Summary

HubSpot's pricing makes it hard for me to recommend it wholeheartedly, especially if your key focus is marketing automation. To get most features, you'll have to pay hundreds of dollars each month.

The good part is that support and community are top-notch. In fact, I can confidently say that the HubSpot community of inbound marketers is the best in the industry, and INBOUND one of the best marketing events around.

In short:

  • Pricing: Expensive to start with significant price creep Very Poor
  • Support: Great free support, expensive dedicated support Good
  • Community: Vibrant, helpful community - both online and offline Excellent

Alternatives to HubSpot

Infusionsoft

Small busienss friendly marketing automation with enterprise-grade features and flexibility. Perfect for growing businesses.

Rating:

Marketo

Enterprise-ready marketing automation tool with a focus on personalization. Great for established businesses

Rating:

Salesforce

Enterprise-grade marketing automation with a focus on 1:1 customer journeys. Perfect for medium and large businesses with complex needs.

Rating:

Final Verdict

HubSpot would be my no.1 recommendation if I was reviewing inbound marketing tools. As a pioneer in this field, it remains the single best solution for the inbound methodology - attracting, capturing, converting and delighting customers through every stage of the buyer's journey.

But since I'm reviewing marketing automation tools in this section, HubSpot's capabiltiies are limited at best. Marketing automation isn't even available in the cheapest plan.

Having said that, HubSpot's automation and personalization features are better than much of the competition. The CRM works great and sales automation is actually effective. The email tracking, smart content, and pipeline management capabilities are top-notch.

The biggest issue, for me, is pricing. The starting plan gives you very limited features. To access most features, you'll have to pay a whopping $800/month minimum. Each additional feature can add a few thousand dollars to your annual bill - not to mention the expensive, mandatory onboarding.

To summarize, HubSpot is designed for established small businesses that want to use the inbound marketing methodology. If you just want a marketing automation tool, this isn't the software for you.

Choose HubSpot if you:

  • Want to start using inbound marketing
  • Don't have an existing blog or established online presence
  • Prioritize inbound marketing, CRM and sales over marketing automation
  • Have an initial budget of $15,000+



Not sure if HubSpot is for you? Check out some HubSpot Alternatives such as Infusionsoft and Salesforce