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HubSpot

How Much Does HubSpot Cost and Is It Worth The Price Tag?

Are you still debating whether to use HubSpot or not? We don’t blame you. With HubSpot's extensive suite of inbound marketing management tools, it’s easy to get lost in their huge list of features.

While it is possible to use several different tools to do everything that HubSpot offers, you might or might not decide you're better off going with the platform that does it all right out of the box. Still, with monthly plans starting at $200, this isn't a decision to take lightly, so let's take a look at exactly how HubSpot handles pricing. Hopefully you'll gain some insight into what the bottom line would be in your specific case, which should help to shed some light on a tough decision.

Instead of focusing on every aspect of every module of the HubSpot suite, therefore, you might do well to begin by paying attention to the particulars of your own company. How many clients do you currently serve? How many leads do you anticipate capturing and needing to nurture via automation in a given month? How developed is your SEO? How much traffic does your site receive in a given month? Do you already have, or even need, a CRM? By starting with your current and projected business situation, we can determine the costs involved with opting to manage it all in HubSpot.

Choosing the Right Plans

To determine which marketing management platforms and subscription plans are best for your business, you'll need to first wrap your head around the terms and features of each option.

Pay especially close attention to the components of each package and their resulting costs. Note that bigger isn’t always necessarily better. These packages are formulated to meet the needs of growing companies, which can vary greatly from situation to situation. Even when two companies seem "on paper" to be comparable, the specifics of each one's inbound marketing efforts are likely to be widely different.

Thankfully, HubSpot's pricing model takes these types of variables into account. The downside is that it can be a bit confusing to those who are unfamiliar, but we'll break it all down for you.

What's Included in All of the Packages

Let’s begin by reviewing the different pricing plans, so you can gain a better sense of how each builds on the next. The three main plans are Basic, Professional and Enterprise, and it is important to note that all three of them will give you access to the following key HubSpot modules:

  • Content management system
  • Business blogging platform
  • SEO tools
  • Analytics for social media, blog and website
  • Email marketing platform
  • Social media engagement tools
  • Audience list creation and management
  • Prospect identification
  • Lead tracking

What that boils down to is that each of the marketing packages includes solutions for publishing content, attracting and managing an audience, messaging with prospects and reporting. The question of what distinguishes each of the packages is really a matter of how much you'll be using each module.

On to the specifics.

What You Get with Basic

For $200 per month, the Basic package allows you to grow and refine your business as you build momentum with inbound marketing. This package allows you to have three user logins, with a maximum of 100 contacts, but you are welcome to add to your network for an additional $100 per 1,000 contacts. Depending on how heavily you plan to invest in acquiring traffic, the 3000 monthly visits limit might be a bit confining. Key features include a blog and landing pages.

With Basic, you get at least a taste of all of the HubSpot modules, aside from the automation tools.

What You Get with Professional

The Professional package, which will run you $800 per month, includes everything that is in the Basic package, of course, but with higher quotas and more features. For example, you can set up an unlimited number of users, and you can work with 1,000 contacts ($50 for each additional 1,000 contacts). Professional doesn't have any limits on site traffic, and it gives you access to robust email marketing automation tools.

Your subscription also entitles you to marketing automation with customizable lead scoring rules and Salesforce CRM integrations. Professional also unlocks HubSpot's "smart" content tools, which allow you to dynamically customize landing pages and calls-to-action according to visitor profiles.

What You Get with Enterprise

Larger businesses have larger business needs, and the $2,400-per-month Enterprise package rises to the challenge. It includes 10,000 contacts, with a mere $10 more for each additional 1,000 contacts.

The package includes all of the features of the Professional package as well as advanced reporting, A/B testing to determine version efficacy and the power of custom event-triggered lead scoring.

Onboarding Costs and Premium Services

Rather than surprising you with hidden costs, HubSpot makes it clear that there are initial fees involved with account setup. Getting started with their inbound marketing platform should provide a boost for your company, and HubSpot's fee structure reflects this. Onboarding fees also includes various levels of access to managed care from HubSpot reps.

  • Basic onboarding / $600
  • Professional onboarding / $3,000
  • Enterprise onboarding / $5,000
  • Onsite onboarding, where HubSpot provides two days of intensive, in-person training, an investment of a different caliber / $20,000

Additional services are also available. For example, HubSpot goes beyond their marketing expertise to offer technical know-how as well, as with the designated technical support option ($4,200) that provides your company with strategy, planning and technical support. Similarly, designated technical support together with a custom campaign strategy ($7,200) takes you to the next level in this service category. Custom consulting (starting at $10,000) offers professional hand-holding when you need those auspices to move forward, and HubSpot classroom training ($500 per seat) can help bring new team members up to speed on the theories and methods of inbound marketing.

Reaching the Bottom Line

To put all of this abstract pricing information into concrete form, let's take a look at a hypothetical example, a company that we'll call Growing Strong.

At present, they already have a database of 2,500 active contacts, and their current website receives an average of 5,000 visits each month. They want to migrate their site to HubSpot. If we start them on the Professional plan, they will pay $800 to include the first 1,000 of their contacts, and an additional $100 ($50 x 2) for the second and third thousands of contacts. Onboarding costs for the Professional package are $3,000.

That brings us to a sum total of $3,900 for month one and $900 for subsequent months – hardly an "impulse buy" but quite possibly a worthwhile investment for Growing Strong management, when we consider all of the valuable features and advice they'll be getting.

The Criteria that Matter

Of course, whatever package you choose will be further fine-tuned by HubSpot to meet the particular needs of your company. HubSpot makes no assumptions about the ways people use their tools, recognizing that no one package will fit all customers. Each business is a world unto itself, and a company that is best served by the Professional package will not do well to increase to the Enterprise just for the sake of it. Of course, as your company grows, expansion into the higher-level packages is easy.

For example, a small company (or a company that hasn't gone online yet, or even one that is just getting started with inbound) should probably opt for the Basic plan. Having three users may be exactly what this type of business needs. Or it may be too few, in which case, moving into the “unlimited” zone of the Professional package makes sense. Similarly, any company that is investing heavily in growth should do a cost-benefit analysis to determine whether they might do well to upgrade their subscription package – granted, the jump from 100 to 1,000, or from 1,000 to 10,000 is hardly incremental.

Similarly, you'd do well to evaluate the inbound marketing tools available with each package to determine whether upgrading might "pay for itself." Alternatively, if you find that your team is not using certain tools very much or at all, then it might be time to scale back – or to double down on your commitment to leverage everything at your fingertips.

Which Package Is Right for Your Business?

Take a look at each of the modules offered by HubSpot and determine which ones you might already need and/or would want to make use of immediately upon getting started with the platform.

Just don't forget to also consider your longer-term goals. What level of inbound marketing do you believe you'll be effectively leveraging in a year from now? Do you have a CRM yet, for example? How many leads does your website generate in a given month? How many leads do you anticipate being able to capture per month over time, once your inbound marketing efforts start paying off? How do you intend do go about converting them into customers?

Now ask yourself the same questions with regard to web traffic. How much do you receive now, and how much do you anticipate receiving, as you grow?

The answers to all of these questions – and probably a few more – can go a long way towards giving you what you need to plan your budget for marketing tech tools. They'll probably also help you to define your marketing strategyand even your business goals in general. Once that's all sorted out, it will be easy to determine the best package for your company via HubSpot’s checklist of features and services.

HubSpot's many useful features for digital publishing and marketing are priced to reflect the value that they're designed to deliver. While the platform's pricing structure may seem overwhelmingly complex at first glance, when you examine it with your business growth plans in hand, figuring out the subscription plan that's best for you gets a lot easier.

Written by Ben Jacobson / April 24, 2015

A content and social media marketing specialist, Ben Jacobson joined the Lean Labs team in the summer of 2014. Ben has been active as a digital branding professional since the early days of social media, having overseen projects for brands including MTV, National Geographic, Zagat and Wix. His writing has appeared in Social Media Explorer, Search Engine Journal, Techwyse and the Mad Mimi Blog. Ben resides just south of the Carmel Mountain ridge in Israel with his dashing wife and two sprightly descendants.

Articles by Ben Jacobson