Hubspot are an extremely popular, yet massively over-priced, marketing automation tool aimed at small businesses.
In our recent analysis of the marketing automation industry, we found that Hubspot own a 41.6% share of the small business automation software market, positioning them ahead of Infusionsoft as the market leaders.
Despite having an exceptionally well-designed product that has proven its value to over 30,000 small businesses, we generally would not recommend Hubspot. Why? Because there are even better alternatives (e.g. Active Campaign) that cost 20x less.
While Hubspot’s starting price of $200/month may not seem like much, they’re notorious for price creep and lock-in contracts. While you may start by paying $200/mo, this can quickly end up in the thousands as you require additional contacts and features.
For comparison, where Hubspot charge $2,400/mo for 10k contacts (plus $5,000 for onboarding), Ontraport charge only $297/mo for 25k contacts (with no onboarding fee), and ActiveCampaign charge just $70/mo for 10k contacts. Ultimately, whether or not Hubspot is going to be right for you business depends on the size of your list today, and where you expect it to be in 1, 3, and 5 years time.
Hubspot’s Pros and Cons
Hubspot is one of the best designed and best marketed marketing automation tools, which explains why they have the highest number of customers among all marketing automation tools.
- The platform is easy to use – Hubspot have a beautifully designed product. Given the complexity of marketing automation software, they have done a great job of making it intuitive for small business owners with little or no coding ability.
- 7-day free trial – Most marketing automation tools do a pretty bad job of mitigating the customer’s up-front risk (high setup fees, no free trials, and long contracts). While Hubspot do require high setup fees and a contract, they are one of the only tools to offer a free trial.
- Educating their users – Perhaps the most impressive aspect of Hubspot is the extent to which they invest in educating their customers. Their blog provides an exceptional place for business owners to learn about online marketing.
- A place for all your tools – Hubspot is convenient in that it has everything in one place. While you could get 99% of Hubspot’s functionality for free (or cheap) elsewhere, it’s handy having it all in one place.
- Requires a 12-month contract – Hubspot contracts are billed annually by default. Ultimately, marketing automation is something that you’re likely to use for many years, so this is not too big an issue. However, it would be preferable to have a rolling month-on-month contract.
- No A/B testing in their basic or PRO package – If you want to run split tests, you’re going to have to upgrade to their $2,400/month package. Given that A/B testing is one of their quickest and most effective ways to improve the performance of online campaigns, it seems odd that they wouldn’t offer this at lower levels to help small businesses generate better results (and additional revenue).
- Very steep price creep – While Hubspot do have a $200/month package, marketing automation and CRM integration are only offered at their $800/month package, which includes only 1,000 contacts. As your requirements and contacts grow, so does this cost (quite rapidly).
- Most tools offered by Hubspot are free elsewhere – Hubspot offers a well-designed set of tools, but there aren’t any silver bullets in there that couldn’t be found elsewhere for free or cheap.
- Technical support is paid – Implementing Hubspot is fairly straight-forward, but if you do require ongoing technical support, you’ll have to pay for it.
- 100 Contacts
- 3 Users
- Blogging & Landing Pages
- Email Marketing
- Social Inbox
- 1,000 contacts
- Unlimited Users
- Everything in basic, plus:
- CRM Integration
- Marketing Automation
- Smart Content
from $2,400 /mo
- 10,000 records
- Unlimited Users
- Everything in Pro, plus:
- A/B Testing
- Custom Events
- Advanced Reporting