You’ll be hard-pressed to have an honest discussion about marketing automation without HubSpot coming up. According to Marketing Automation Insider, HubSpot owns 41.6% of the small business automation market with over 30,000 clients. Ease of use, affordability, app integration and reputation are among the benefits of choosing HubSpot for your marketing automation platform.
However, there are a few drawbacks to choosing Hubspot if you’re looking to streamline your marketing needs. Critics complain that HubSpot’s prices begin as low as $200/month, but can easily creep up to $2,400/month (or more!) as businesses require additional features (think website, reports and ads) and contacts. For instance, if you want to manage 1,000 contacts, you’ll need to scale up to the $800/month package. Some people also dislike that they’re locked into annual signup rather than paying month-to-month. Furthermore, HubSpot offers no A/B testing in the basic or pro packages – if testing is as important to your business as it is to Mod Girl, this could force you into the $2,400/month package. While testing isn’t included, most of the other tools they offer in their Enterprise package can be found elsewhere for free. While HubSpot is easy to navigate and use, their technical support is a paid service, should you need it.
Several of our small businesses clients tell us that Hubspot is “overkill” for their business needs. While they see the value, they find themselves only utilizing a small percentage of Hubspot’s tools – and not seeing their return on investment.
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Here are a few Hubspot alternatives that may be more suitable for your business:
Why: Hatchbuck targets smaller businesses who may not need or be ready for full-blown marketing automation and CRM tools. It covers basic automated tasks like form management, audience segmentation, and drip marketing campaigns. As Fit Small Business points out, Hatchbuck works best for businesses that generate leads from their website who want better lead nurturing, customer preference tracking and email automation.
Why Not: It lacks all the online marketing bells and whistles included with Hubspot, like social media monitoring, landing page creation, analytics, and more. Larger companies or businesses looking for an all-in-one solution that easily scales up with their enterprise and integrates with other platforms may want a more robust solution. For most of our small and medium sized clients, the simplicity and affordability are precisely what they like about Hatchbuck. Companies can get started for just $99/mo although the majority of Mod Girl clients find that the $200/mo professional packages suits their needs best.
We find it’s more affordable to utilize other tools in conjunction with Hatchbuck such as LeadPages, SproutSocial, and RavenTools. We also love that Hatchbuck easily integrates with 3rd party apps and by simply creating a “zap” in Zapier we can seamlessly connect our Hatchbuck with our favorite apps.
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Why: InfusionSoft is the #2 marketing automation solution on the market. Marketing Automation Insider says InfusionSoft works best for companies with 2-25 staff members. They offer many of the same features as HubSpot at a slightly more affordable rate.
You can manage 5,000 contacts, send unlimited emails, manage landing pages and lead capture forms, run an eCommerce store and retrieve analytic reports. It’s got a flowchart-style campaign builder that people like, high email deliverability rates and fast platform loading.
Why Not: One drawback is no website hosting and management. Another drawback is the mandatory $2,000 educational training when you sign up for “quick-start services.” Compared to Hatchbuck, we found InfusionSoft to be more confusing to learn with many features our clients really didn’t need.
Why: If you need Salesforce and third party integration, Marketo may be a good option for you. Their “Spark” small business plan offers the ability to send up to 30,000 emails, nurture leads, manage lead capture forms and landing pages, gather marketing analytics data, and integrate social media accounts. We Rock Your Web points to the company’s rapid growth as evidence of their value. They offer a lower price and more features than competitors like Eloqua which nudges them up closer to being a real HubSpot competitor. The interface is easier to use compared to InfusionSoft.
Why Not: Some customers report that they feel “nickel-and-dimed” by the additional $300/month charge for increased email functionality that includes spam check, better IP addresses, and deliverability. The functionality for nearly every feature is fairly limited compared to HubSpot.
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Image Source: MarketingWeekly.com
Ready To Get Started with Marketing Automation?
All marketers know that in order to save time and convert more leads, automation software is a must-have. Yet, choosing the right platform and learning how to use these solutions can be a challenge. As Inbound Method reminds us: marketing automation is not truly automatic. “The system needs an operator to function correctly, that means at least 5-10 hours per week dedicated to inbound marketing to make it work for your business,” they explain. “None of these systems are set and forget, they all require tweaking to get better and generate more leads.” Mod Girl Marketing boosts your marketing efficiency by applying these tools to your business marketing plan and by helping you reach your organizational goals using the latest technology.