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.
Comprehensive software suites that target inbound marketing and sales professionals generally cover two categories of functionality.
First, functionality that helps marketers to publish and distribute content easily. Secondly, functionality that collects important business intelligence data and offers marketers access to the data in useful ways.
New Rainmaker, a product of Copyblogger Media, provides a series of tools that are similar to HubSpot but built as a package that works on top of WordPress technology.
HubSpot vs. The New Rainmaker WordPress Marketing Platform
If you have been using HubSpot to date, you may be wondering if you'd be better off making the switch to New Rainmaker. If you are considering getting started working with an inbound marketing software, you may confused as to which way to go. We've looked at both platforms thoroughly and are happy to share our impressions on the main advantages and disadvantages of each.
Content Management Power
New Rainmaker is a simplified WordPress skin, where the plugins, themes, SEO tools, A/B testing platform, hosting and technical aspects are all taken care of on your behalf. This way, you don’t have to worry about debugging component conflicts, customizing code, or managing updates – tasks that sometimes make working with WordPress a major challenge.
The New Rainmaker CMS is easy to use, but its functionality is limited.
Because the good folks at Copyblogger are bent on retaining quality control, you can’t add anything to it. If the system doesn’t match your requirements exactly, there’s nothing you can do about it.
HubSpot, on the other hand, used to draw criticism for the lack of management features of its publishing platform. However, the company's relaunched Content Optimization System (COS) is a much-improved version of the platform. The power rivals that of WordPress, but it's far easier to customize.
The most amazing feature of the HubSpot COS is the ability to show different content to different users depending on their position in your sales funnel. This personalized user experience brings whole new level of marketing automation and message targeting.
Email Marketing Versatility
HubSpot features its own robust email system. Like any marketing automation platform worth its weight, it supports autoresponders. Once you've used the system's settings modules to establish your buyer's journey and associate the relevant touch points with actions that visitors take on your site, you can start setting up emails to match each trigger, and the whole thing runs itself, nurturing leads to the point of sales-readiness. The HubSpot system really is marketing automation at it's finest.
New Rainmaker offers the option to send one email after an action is completed, it relies on integrations with email service providers such as MailChimp and AWeber. For smaller companies, or individuals, this isn't necessarily a negative. Mailchimp and Aweber are fine e-mail systems and are getting more powerful all the time. For some brands, HubSpot's features may be way more than you need, or will even use.
However, for brands who are looking for a heavy-weight marketing automation system, and want to concentrate on converting leads, using a single, integrated marketing solution like HubSpot makes more sense.
Testing Your Calls to Action
Every inbound marketing strategist knows that optimizing your calls to action (CTAs) is pivotal to the success of your company’s web presence. To this end, HubSpot and New Rainmaker have different philosophies on the best way to lead visitors to act.
New Rainmaker's CTA platform works with lead capture forms only, while HubSpot works with graphical buttons that can be placed on any page or email.
On the one hand, this is a matter of personal preference based on what you're looking for to best market your business. On the other hand, customizing forms is a far more maintenance-intensive process than customizing buttons.
Also, New Rainmaker's CTA experimentation reporting tools are a little sparse, while HubSpot is capable of displaying CTA-specific landing page metrics including views, views-to-click percentage, clicks, clicks to submission percentage and number of submissions.
HubSpot also makes A/B testing CTA's simple, something you can implement and start testing and capturing data in a couple minutes.
Templates for Landing Pages
Once again, New Rainmaker and HubSpot have different philosophies on landing pages.
New Rainmaker aims for landing page design minimalism, while HubSpot's templates encourage marketers to soup up landing pages with content.
New Rainmaker offers templates to use as starting points, or the option to build landing pages totally from scratch. In order to get things looking exactly how you want, though, you may need a little bit of technical knowledge.
As with CTAs, HubSpot gives you more robust metrics and analytics about landing page clicks and conversions than New Rainmaker.
Integrating Sales with Marketing
The ultimate goal of marketing is, of course, to drive sales. A high-quality inbound marketing platform has to offer a solution for turning leads into customers.
HubSpot integrates with Shopify for a smooth e-commerce system, which provides vital data marketing teams can use to optimize their activities.
Rainmaker has its own shopping cart system, which for some is a benefit. For others, it's a problem because it emphasizes sales of digital products like ebooks and premium content access subscriptions. It lacks the versatility of HubSpot's Shopify solution.
HubSpot also recently rolled out its own CRM tool that made it an even more powerful platform for sales-heavy companies.
The Best Platform for You
The New Rainmaker has been making a splash online with a lot of positive reviews. It must be noted, though, that Rainmaker has a lucrative affiliate program that may be skewing those reviews.
HubSpot has been around a lot longer and relies less on external apps, but there's a vibrant business ecosystem of approved HubSpot Partners (full disclosure – Lean Labs is a HubSpot Partner).
Both software solutions can simplify and promote your marketing and sales efforts.
The bottom line is this. If you are a major WordPress fan but don’t mind the limitations of the skin, Rainmaker might be the best solution for you. (You might also want to check out HubSpot vs. WordPress in which we explore the two platforms more generally.) If you're a small brand, like a blogger, speaker, or author, the New Rainmaker platform gives you a great set of tools for marketing your content to the public. The price tag is much lower than HubSpot, and the feature set is powerful enough to make the investment into New Rainmaker worthwhile.
But if you're a company looking to grow with efficient, powerful marketing tools with comprehensive data and analytics at your fingertips, HubSpot is the way to go.
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