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Inbound Marketing

LeadIn vs. HubSpot: Is It the Best HubSpot Alternative?

As a marketing agency, onboarding new clients always consists of finding the right marketing platform to fit their needs. For most of our clients, HubSpot is the tool of choice; and we are Gold Partners with HubSpot. For others, HubSpot may not be a good fit, for a variety of reasons. Luckily, there are alternatives to HubSpot that can do quite well on their own.

LeadIn is one such tool that is providing inbound marketing functionality to marketers outside of the HubSpot platform. It was created by a couple HubSpotters, and the features for this WordPress plugin are pretty exciting.

But is LeadIn a viable alternative to HubSpot? Let's examine the pros and cons of each so you can make up your own mind which one will be the best fit for your business.

LeadIn vs. HubSpot: Which is Best?

To start off this Battle of the Tools, I have to say that I don't think you can directly compare LeadIn with HubSpot. They are different tools with LeadIn trying to provide some of the awesomeness of HubSpot to users of WordPress. But with LeadIn, to do what marketing needs to do, 3rd party plugins and tools will have to fill in some functionality gaps.

Still, for companies who aren't sure they want to invest in HubSpot, LeadIn is a valuable tool. Let's get to the comparison.

LeadIn vs. HubSpot: How Much Does it Cost?

LeadIn is priced very reasonably. As a matter of fact, it's absolutely free at this moment in time. That could change eventually, but at the present, you just install it into WordPress. 

However, using LeadIn as your inbound marketing platform won't be free as you have to factor in 3rd party tools, like an email marketing platform and, if needed, a landing page alternative. So there will be costs associated with filling functionality gaps, but compared with HubSpot they will be minor.

Fully Functional LeadIn Setup Price: $120-$180.00 per month for 10,000 contacts.

We will break these down into individual tools later in this article.

HubSpot, on the other hand, is not free. As a matter of fact, it's expensive. For businesses that require it's functionality, it's a steal! It's all in how you look at it.

The most popular HubSpot package with our clients is the Pro package, which starts at $800 per month. This is only for 1,000 contacts, though, and additional contacts come in at $50 per thousand. With HubSpot's lead qualifying functionality, you will be able to automate culling of bad leads. This will ensure that the leads that are taking up space in your marketing system are targeted and qualified.

Fully Functional HubSpot Price: $800.00 per month for 1,000 targeted leads.

Yes, HubSpot can feel very expensive, but the power it brings to marketing is worth it. It's so worth it that we have a special deal we make with our clients who choose HubSpot as their marketing platform. If you're interested in finding out more, just contact us.

Read More: Is HubSpot Worth the Cost?

LeadIn vs. HubSpot: Functionality and Tools

HubSpot wins this battle hands down. It's not even close! Still, for those who can't afford HubSpot, you can build a serviceable alternative with LeadIn and some 3rd party tools. But for any company dedicated to growing, and creating a powerful marketing automation system, HubSpot has the tools you need.

In-Depth Analytics

HubSpot Statistics

HubSpot features deep dives in analytics and trends, not just in traffic, but in every critical area of usage. 

  • If you want to understand how well your Calls-to-Action are performing, there's statistics for that. 
  • If you want to know which landing page needs to be improved, there's statistics for that. 
  • If you want to know which e-mail link is being clicked the most, there's statistics for that.

In all honesty, if there's anything you need to know about your marketing assets, HubSpot is tracking it in their analytics.

LeadIn does have analytics regarding lead generation, but it's very basic. When I say basic, I do mean basic. To get real insights, you would have to rely on something like Google Analytics or KissMetrics. Most companies are used to these tools anyway, and honestly we use Google Analytics even with HubSpot, so it's not a major deal.

The downside of Analytics is that it doesn't have the built-in integration with everything the way HubSpot does. So some metrics won't be as clear-cut as with HubSpot analytics.

LeadIn Stats and Metrics

Lead Capturing

LeadIn sports a popup that can be effective in building a mailing list. But it doesn't support individual content offers, which is the bread and butter of HubSpot's lead generation toolset. So, if you want to offer an eBook for download on a landing page, you will have to rely on 3rd party tools to build that functionality. 

In some cases, these tools entirely bypass LeadIn, so you miss having that contact in your LeadIn database.

HubSpot features robust landing pages and forms that are easily customized and managed. Every lead that is generated is in your HubSpot system, so you don't have to worry about having more leads in your email marketing platform than you do in your contacts list.

If HubSpot is too expensive, however, 3rd party tools can offer a viable alternative to HubSpot.

Landing Page Alternatives Costs: Unbounce $99/mo / Leadpages $40/mo

Email Marketing

LeadIn connects with leading email marketing providers like MailChimp. A few years ago, this meant you lost a ton of functionality but thanks to advances in MailChimp's platform, you can now do some pretty sophisticated email marketing with IFTT logic and the like.

HubSpot's email marketing platform is on another level entirely. Automated workflows can trigger off of any action, making your automated email marketing very focused on the lead's actions and interest in your website. You can track deep analytics in every e-mail, and even build list segmentations off of the actions leads take when they receive an e-mail.

If you're looking for simple email marketing tools that will keep your website visitors engaged, LeadIn + Mailchimp can do that beautifully. But if you're looking to fine-tune your email marketing, HubSpot gives you that kind of power.

For 10,000 contacts, MailChimp costs $80/mo.

Lead Nurturing and Automated Marketing

MailChimp is making inroads into this functionality, but it's confusing to setup and difficult to manage. However, as they develop more features, you are starting to see email marketing be more sophisticated from the LeadIn side.

With HubSpot though, it's already super-powerful. With lists, automated workflows, lead scoring, and email marketing all working together, I can do just about anything in an automated way. I can even change lead status and fields based on actions taken or not taken.

The lead nurturing system is really why HubSpot is worth every penny. Seriously, I can't oversell this part. As a marketer, I would pay double for HubSpot's functionality here over any tool, free or paid.

Calls-To-Action

Again, HubSpot wins this battle, but what would you expect when you're talking $800 vs. a free tool? HubSpot's CTA's allows you to personalize your website offers to lead status or actions, and to track A/B tests of different CTAs. It really is in a class all it's own.

With LeadIn, again there are 3rd party plugins that allow you to manage your Calls-to-Action. So you can have the CTA functionality, but you won't have the depth. 

For some companies, this is not a big deal and a 3rd party plugin works just fine.

CRM Tools

LeadIn Contact Information

You can see the resemblance of HubSpot in the CRM functionality of LeadIn. In your WordPress dashboard you'll be able to get some in-depth information on your visitors, as well as see how they have interacted with your website pages.

For a free tool, this is really awesome functionality!

HubSpot features a free, fully-developed CRM that includes contact management, opportunity marking, and the basic features you have come to expect from full CRM apps. The fact that it integrates seamlessly with HubSpot marketing make it a win.

If you're comparing HubSpot to other CRM systems like SalesForce or Zoho, you have a battle. Thanks to the marketing integration with the HubSpot platform, I lean toward HubSpot in that battle, unless you have a huge enterprise operation that requires the massive functionality that SalesForce can offer.

But we are comparing HubSpot to LeadIn in this article, and I have to say, there not on the same level, but if I'm not invested in HubSpot, I'm going to be utilizing the CRM features of LeadIn to get insights into my leads.

Ease of Use

HubSpot requires a lot of setup by qualified professionals. Landing pages have to be designed and coded, and the modules have to be done by those who know what they're doing. If you're going to invest in HubSpot, you have to design your website on their website platform. 

Once this is done though, a marketer can build new landing pages and customize pages easily without the need to bring in a designer or developer.

LeadIn, on the other hand, is just a plugin for WordPress. If you have a WordPress website already set up, you can install LeadIn in just a few minutes and have it running for you. Most of the difficult setup is getting API keys from your 3rd party tools, and plugging them in to your WordPress system correctly. But that doesn't require an actual developer most of the time.

In short, once your website is designed for the website platform you're using, both LeadIN and HubSpot are easy to use and manage. But to do everything a marketer has to do, HubSpot is easier. 

The most frustrating part about using LeadIn for marketing is that you have to work in the 3rd party tools platforms. So for e-mail, I have to open and work in the MailChimp platform. Then, for landing pages, I have to login and use the Unbounce or Leadpages platform, and then make sure it's integrated with my other plugins. This can get really time consuming.

Is LeadIn a Viable Alternative to HubSpot?

The answer to this question is, not really. But it's still a great plugin to have at this point. They are really two different tools, but with a little help, LeadIn can help you build a FrankenHubSpot for a lot less money. For some smaller companies, this is the right thing to do - sacrifice the deep features of HubSpot in order to save some overhead.

This plugin is not in its final stages by any means, though. Development continues and over time, LeadIn may arise to take on other WordPress marketing platforms like InfusionSoft or Rainmaker

With the HubSpotters being the brains behind this plugin, I imagine you'll see great things coming from it in the future.

The Bottom Line: 

if you can afford HubSpot, it's well worth the investment. It can give you the ability to do marketing like you've never done before. If you can't, and your website is built on WordPress, you should install LeadIn right now - it's a worthy plugin that's only going to get better with time.

Written by Ryan Scott / August 27, 2015

is the Inbound Marketing Artist at Lean Labs. His marketing experience ranges from colleges to SMBs, and tech startups. When not marketing, he's sure to be enjoying something nerdy.

Articles by Ryan Scott