Ashley is a content writer and brand developer. After graduating with a degree in print-journalism, Ashley’s storytelling skills took her from the bizarre world of on-camera acting to the practice courts of NBA basketball players to the virtual meetings of inbound marketers. Today she specializes in building memorable brand voices online, with a focus on the travel & tourism, e-commerce and tech industries.
HubSpot is inbound marketing automation and sales software, software that allows teams to work on everything they need to attract visitors, convert leads, and close sales in one centralized tool.
Though it's not the only tool of its kind available, it is an innovative and popular option - especially for teams who want to approach driving leads and conversions through the inbound marketing method.
HubSpot is the marketing automation tool of choice for over 21,000 companies. Here's why:
- It's easy to use (and comes with a ton of free training).
- It's extremely comprehensive (includes website hosting, email, landing pages, blog hosting, and CTA's just to name a few).
- The tool is created around inbound marketing - a marketing methodology pioneered by HubSpot.
At Lean Labs, we make no secret about it — we're big fans of HubSpot. Like many small businesses, we were initially hesitant to begin paying for something we thought we could cobble together ourselves.
But we quickly saw just how much more effective we became once making the switch. In fact, the software is SO integral to our productivity, and results-driven philosophy, that we have literally turned down monetary offers from other vendors. Someone wanted to pay us to use their software in exchange for our feedback, and we said, "Thanks, but no thanks!"
Ok, so you get the idea; HubSpot is pretty great. But, no matter how wonderful a tool is, pricing is always a factor. For that reason, we're breaking down the different plans of HubSpot and what you get with each.
HubSpot offers its marketing software in three different plan options. Yes, a sliding scale. You pay for what you need.
Dream with us for a second: Wouldn't it be cool if every business offered sliding-scale pricing? Airlines, restaurants, designer brands... We digress!
Plan prices increase based upon:
- The number of contacts you have.
- The level of traffic visiting your site.
- The number of hosted subdomains you would like.
- The number of features you desire (i.e. landing page customization, marketing automation).
NOTE: HubSpot also offers sales software, that has some pretty awesome integration features. It is available in two different plan options. But since we're mainly focused on the marketing side of things here at Lean Labs, that's what we'll be covering.
1. HubSpot's Basic Plan
The Basic Plan is just what it sounds like — very basic. With its small contact limit, and lack of marketing automation features, it is most suitable for 1-2 person teams, small start-ups, or companies wanting to "play around with inbound marketing."
While the plan comes with ALL of the features needed to manage an inbound campaign in one place (i.e. blogging, social, email), it lacks functionality. Without being able to use marketing automation to design a marketing funnel, larger teams will feel stifled. Grow your list quickly and you'll suddenly find yourself close to the next pricing tier without the extra features.
$200 per month + $600 on-boarding fee
Note: Scroll down to "ninja hacks" to learn about waiving on-boarding fees)
100 Contacts + 3,000 Site Visits (per month)
+$100 per 1,000 extra contacts
- Integrated Social Publishing—Publish your articles to all of your social accounts with just a few clicks.
- Blog SEO Recommendations—Get automatic recommendations for optimizing your articles for search engines (i.e. guidance on title length, keywords, alt tags).
- Blog Analytics—Ever wanted to know how someone found your article? Here you will see where they came from and if they are clicking on your CTA (Call-to-Action).
- Mobile Optimization—HubSpot offers the option of hosting your blog on their site. If you take advantage of this (we recommend you do for several reasons), the software automatically adjusts pages to be mobile.
- Goal Tracking—One place to keep track of your campaign goals.
- Campaigns—Organize emails, landing pages, blog posts, and social media activity into group campaigns to get statistics on how everything is working together.
- Buyer Personas—Segment your personas and gain insight into how to personalize your marketing.
- Sources—Learn where people are coming from before they land on your site.
- Page Analytics—Install a HubSpot tracking code on your site (if not hosted on HubSpot). Learn page performance based on views and CTA conversions for blog posts.
- Competitors—Spy on the competition and learn how many pages they have indexed in Google and which keywords they rank for (among other insights).
- Landing Page Analytics—Learn how each landing page is performing based on page views, form submissions, click-through rates, etc.
- Social Media Monitoring—Set-up multiple searches across multiple social channels and review the results in one place.
- Social Media Publishing—Forget the hassle of logging into separate accounts, post social updates across the board from one place.
- Social Media Analytics—Learn which posts are getting clicks and interactions.
- Social Media Bookmarklet—A Chrome browser feature, allowing you to tweet and post what you find while browsing online.
- Keywords—While not the best tool for serious keyword research, HubSpot has a great tool for helping you identify basic words to rank for. Good for quick brainstorming.
- Links—Learn who is linking back to your pages for SEO power.
- Calls-To-Action—Quickly create CTAs for your site and obtain click-through-rates.
- Forms—Create an unlimited number of forms for collecting visitor and lead information.
- Mobile Optimization—Automatically adjusts the page to fit mobile devices.
- Segmentation—Categorize your leads based on a variety of contact characteristics (a very useful tool for high-level strategy) like user downloads, traffic sources and purchasing history.
- Email Optimizer—Check everything over before pushing "send" with this checklist of email must-haves.
- Email Testing—Make sure everything looks right with the preview feature.
- HubSpot Connect—This tool lets you connect other programs you use to HubSpot.
- Tasks—A simple built-in task management tool.
NOTE: Earlier, we recommended hosting your site on HubSpot's COS system. The reason being?
It's SUPER fast, good for SEO, and great at keeping sites from crashing.
Case In Point: One of our previous clients was on the hit TV-show Shark Tank. We built their site on HubSpot, and it handled an amazing level of site traffic the night of its airing.
If you decide to migrate and host your site on HubSpot, you're looking at an extra $100 a month (for up to 3,000 visits).
2. The HubSpot Pro Plan
The Pro Plan is ideal for small businesses running comprehensive inbound marketing campaigns that require a higher level of automation and analytics. Most businesses we see using the Pro Plan gross under $10 million annually and have at least one employee who is solely dedicated to marketing (or the budget to partner with an inbound agency).
Cost: $800 per month + $3,000 on-boarding fee
Note: Scroll down to "ninja hacks" to learn about waiving on-boarding fees)
1,000 Contacts + UNLIMITED site visits
+$50 per 1,000 extra contacts
Here you get all of the features included in the Basic Plan (see above) PLUS the following:
- Smart CTAs—Customize your CTAs based on user downloads.
- Smart Fields—Once someone has already completed certain form fields, you can set the form to automatically remove previously filled out fields from view and ask new questions.
- Smart Content—Set parameters that deliver pre-selected content to specific viewers. (Note: you must host your site on HubSpot’s COS system to access this feature)
- Progressive Profiling—Use page forms to better segment and understand leads.
- Custom Lead Scoring—Determine which leads are most interested based on customized factors (i.e. website behaviors, demographics, credentials).
- Sales Lead Revisit Notifications—Automatically notify your sales team when a lead revisits your site or takes a desired action.
- Branching—Create more versatile email workflows.
- Email Lead Nurturing—Schedule an unlimited number of emails to be sent out over a specific period of time (SUPER necessary for running sales funnels for every stage of the Buyer's Journey).
- Automation Templates—Campaign templates that help you automate emails.
- List Analytics—Gain special insight into how your contact list has grown, as well as what marketing activities have been most (and least) effective.
- Attribution Reports—Gain basic insight into how content is contributing to website traffic and lead generation.
- User Roles—Assign different roles to team members based on how they’ll be using HubSpot.
- HubSpot API—Create custom integrations with other software that your company frequently uses.
- WebHooks—Don't have a developer? WebHooks makes connecting with other applications easy. All you need is an API.
- Hosting - Host your website on HubSpot for $100 per month for up to 3,000 visitors a month.
3. The HubSpot Enterprise Plan
The Enterprise Plan is best for businesses who already have an established database of contacts and are grossing more than $10 million annually. These businesses have an internal marketing team and need all the bells and whistles to keep things organized. Your company may be ready for Enterprise if you need extensive analytical capabilities, revenue reporting, customer segmentation and reporting, A/B split testing functionality, detailed insights on site activity and ROI.
With this plan, you also get UNLIMITED sub-domains (great if you decide to build a lot of sites on HubSpot) and 9,000 more contacts without paying extra fees.
Cost: $2,400 per month + $3,000 on-boarding fee
Note: Scroll down to "ninja hacks" to learn about waiving on-boarding fees)
Contacts: 10,000 + UNLIMITED Site Visits
+$10 per 1,000 extra contacts
With the Enterprise Plan, you get all of the features included in the Basic AND Pro Plans (see above) PLUS the following:
- Revenue Reporting—Create custom revenue reports with filtered details of your choosing.
- Custom Event-Based Reporting—More in-depth insights from event-based segmentation, scoring, and triggers.
- Contacts Report—Create custom contact reports with filtered details of your choosing.
- Companies Report—Create custom companies reports with filtered details of your choosing.
- A/B Testing Of Landing Pages—Create two or more versions of a landing page and track them to see which performs best.
- Predictive Lead Scoring—Help identify your best leads.
- Event-Based Segmentation & Scoring—Segment contacts based on the actions they take (i.e. the number of visits to your website, leads who clicked on specific pages, specific emails opened).
- A/B Testing Of Emails—Create two or more versions of an email and track them to see which performs best.
- Event-Based Automation Triggers—Schedule specific user activities performed on your site to trigger workflows and/or email nurturing.
- A/B Testing Of CTAs—Create two or more versions of the same CTA (LIVE) and track them to see which performs best.
HubSpot hosting services, for websites with over 3,000 visitors a month, starts at $300 per month.
Other Service Options
HubSpot Sales Software
The software allows users to see who is visiting your website in real time, how often they are visiting, and which pages they are interested in the most. With data like this, sales staff can better personalize their sales interactions and just generally be more helpful to consumers.
When used in conjunction with HubSpot Marketing, automation adds powerful tools for the sales team as well, with workflows triggered by user actions, and more insightful lead scoring. HubSpot Sales comes with two different plan options: FREE and PRO at $50/month. As expected, the paid version includes the features you really need to set-up sophisticated sales campaigns.
HubSpot CRM Software
Hubspot's CRM offers a convenient way to organize contextual information about prospects and customers. The program was designed to integrate with HubSpot Sales, allowing team members to easily track deals, progress, and a variety of customer data points on the fly.
The best part about HubSpot CRM? It's completely FREE. Once you have created your account, you may add up to 1 million contacts and enroll unlimited users.
For $200/month HubSpot provides custom sales and marketing reports, allowing your team to configure reporting as they see fit.
For $100/month, HubSpot connects your paid spend to leads and customers.
How HubSpot Payment Works
Though that may seem like a drag, paying in full does lend itself a nice element of accountability. Knowing you can't cancel after a couple months, may motivate you to actually work your marketing plan, learn the tool, and see your strategy yield results.
With that said, there are some workarounds...
How to Pay Less for HubSpot (aka Ninja Hacks)
1. Purge Subscriber Lists
As previously mentioned, HubSpot's pricing is designed to scale with the size of your business. Due to the annual fee structure, there are no "overcharge" fees. That's good news—it means you can grow your list as quickly as your effort allows.
Before it's time to renew, simply purge your lists of inactive contacts. While we'd all love to have a 100 percent engagement rate, that just isn't how it works. People sign up for things at various times and various reasons.
Unfortunately, those inactive contacts can make it difficult to determine how well you're really doing when calculating KPIs (Key Performance Indicators), and cost you more. Shave off enough contacts, and you may find yourself eligible for the same plan all over again.
Is HubSpot Worth It?
Ultimately, that's a decision every company must make for themselves.
Obviously, we absolutely think it is! As the saying goes: Time is money.
With HubSpot, we don't have to update Wordpress plugins, thwart off hacks, analyze performance issues, pay for servers, or depend on a developer every time we want to integrate a new feature.
HubSpot is the only tool we know of that lets sales and marketing truly focus on sales and marketing.
Another thing that initially attracted us to HubSpot?
They want their customers to succeed.
As we have discussed, they have built the success of their customers into their pricing model. They make more money when you meet your goals. Which is why they provide a bunch of free training via their HubSpot Academy. In addition to more specialized training, the academy offers a free inbound marketing certification program.
To learn more about HubSpot and what it offers, check out What is HubSpot?
For companies evaluating a marketing automation tool, read Why HubSpot? and learn why other businesses choose HubSpot to help them scale their markeitng and sales efforts.
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