The goal of market automation software is spelled out in its name: it is meant to maximize your marketing efforts by automating the flow and essential tasks of your marketing campaigns. Businesses of all sizes can benefit from this software; it can enable small businesses with few or no dedicated marketing personnel to enact sophisticated digital marketing strategies that would otherwise prove too time intensive for them to mount. For larger enterprises with extensive marketing departments, marketing automation software can keep the entire department on task and ensure that marketing messages stay cohesive and focused, all marketing channels are used effectively, and that all leads are pursued.
With the plethora of marketing automation software that is available, choosing the best one for your company can be a difficult task. To help make your decision a little easier, we have been running a weekly marketing automation software review. In previous weeks we featured our review of Act-On software and our Marketo software review; we continue this week with our Market Automation Software Review of HubSpot.
HubSpot is the leading inbound marketing software platform with a host of highly satisfied users. It integrates a wide range of features to facilitate marketing efforts, including marketing automation, blogging, social media monitoring and publishing, contacts, SEO, email marketing, and analytics in a single platform. The Basic, entry-level version of HubSpot acts more as a website and content managing service, without any advanced marketing automation features, but users who opt for the Professional version or above get a robust marketing tool that excels at helping small and mid-size businesses (SMB) maximize their online marketing strategies. With a fantastic support staff, full suite of features, and a user-friendly app that makes it easy to monitor your HubSpot campaigns on the go, it is no wonder HubSpot is holding on to the top spot.
* Since Marketing Automation is not included with the Basic version of HubSpot, this review will be covering the Professional and Enterprise versions.
HubSpot Platform Features
Reports & Analytics – HubSpot provides a full set of marketing reporting and analytics, including marketing channel metrics on landing pages, email analytics, and CTA conversion ratios. Full-funnel analytics provides reports on content while tracking the complete customer lifecycle. Sources and Attribution reports examine traffic and conversions; the Enterprise version also includes a Contacts report. Some reporting features can be a little counter-intuitive, but with practice users will be able to access a considerable amount of marketing data.
CRM Integration – HubSpot provides CRM integration for the major players, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Infusionsoft, NetSuite, Nimble, Sugar and Zoho. Seamless integration with Salesforce includes revenue reporting, lead scoring, and instant bi-directional syncing that keeps contact information current. HubSpot will soon complete the rollout of its own CRM, currently out in Beta, with the basic module provided free of cost and additional features available for a fee.
Mobile App – HubSpot’s mobile app lets users track the current month’s progress for generating visitors, leads, and customers, and compare performance to competitors from month to month. Users can publish messages on their social media platforms and monitor streams; Enterprise customers can create marketing events and track how they move leads through the funnel.
Customer Support – Users give top marks to HubSpot’s customer support, full of praise for their willingness to patiently talk customers thorough implementation and assist with problems that arise during use. The excellence of HubSpot’s customer support is a critical selling point, since the software has a sharp learning curve that will have many users contacting customer support for assistance.
- Email Marketing – HubSpot offers a robust email marketing solution that includes advanced list segmentation and personalization features that combine with smart content to make tightly targeted email campaigns a breeze. The templates and image editor are a bit limited, while the automatic mobile optimization is a big plus. An integrated content calendar, email analytics, and relationship-based transactional emails make HubSpot a dynamite choice for marketers who want to enact comprehensive email campaigns.
- SEO – The SEO Dashboard included in HubSpot provides a standard set of SEO features, such as keyword research and rank tracking, and as-you-type suggestions to improve blog writing. SEO performance metrics that analyze organic traffic and page performance round out the list of HubSpot’s SEO features.
- Lead Management – HubSpot includes an exceptionally robust set of lead management tools, beginning with a contacts database with custom designed properties, timeline, and prospect tracking. Easy-to-build segments and a simple drag-and-drop form builder with progressive profiling makes targeted marketing easy, while native integration with your CRM, social media, and third party marketing tools help maximize your marketing efforts.
- Social Marketing – HubSpot is more helpful with forming social marketing strategies than with creating the content to carry them out, as the tools it includes are focused on analytics, scheduling, and monitoring. Users can view interaction histories, pull in content, schedule posts, publish and share content across platforms. A unique feature calculates the ROI of social media marketing campaigns so users can prioritize their efforts.
- Landing Pages and Forms – Landing pages and forms are easy to build through the intuitive interface offered by HubSpot. Create custom page layouts with drag-and-drop ease; code capabilities takes customization a step further. Smart content allows adaptive landing pages that change according to customer profiles, while progressive profiling keeps forms short and fast to fill. Automated A/B testing is available with the Enterprise version.
- Blogging – HubSpot’s blogging tool has built-in SEO, content creation templates, and integrated analytics. Subscription options turn blogs into email marketing campaigns customized to reader preferences.
- CTAs – One of HubSpot’s integrated inbound marketing tools is an advanced call to action generator that lets users easily create dynamic CTAs that adjust images and targeted offers using persona-based and lifecycle-based Smart Lists.
- Marketing Automation Campaigns – HubSpot includes an automated Workflow tool to nurture leads to sales-readiness. Automation templates make it easy to create campaigns that are tied to every marketing channel; internal notifications alert appropriate staff as leads move through the steps. Event-based automation triggers, which start automation campaigns based on actions visitors take on the user’s website, are available with the Enterprise version.
- CMS – HubSpot offers its content management system as an add-on service for an additional $200 per month fee. HubSpot’s CMS has a unique feature that sets it far above the competition: website personalization using smart content. Forms, buttons, and content can be customized to change according to location, source, or device, as well as visitors’ industry, country of origin, and place in the marketing lifecycle. As for other features, the image editor and drag-and-drop layout creation tools are intuitive and easy to use, and you can add custom code; sites are created using responsive website design so they are automatically optimized for mobile.
HubSpot offers a one-month free trial, then users must sign up for a one year contract, paid annually, with pricing broken down to the monthly expense. HubSpot offers three plans:
- The Basic plan, which as stated above does not provide many of the features reviewed, is available for $200 a month with a mandatory one-time $600 training fee. It includes 100 contacts, 3 users, and 1 subdomain, with 3,000 site visits and 1,000 emails per month.
- The Professional plan, which lacks A/B testing, some reports, and certain features as noted above, is available for $800 a month, with a mandatory one-time $3,000 training fee. It includes 1,000 contacts, unlimited users, and 4 subdomains, with unlimited site visits and 10x contact tier limit emails per month.
- The Enterprise plan, which includes all features, is available for $2,400 per month with a mandatory one-time $5,000 training fee. It includes 10,000 contacts, with unlimited users, subdomains, and site visits, and 10x contact tier limit emails per month.
- Additional contacts can be added at $100 per 1,000 contacts for Basic, $50 per 1,000 for Professional, and $10 per 1,000 for Enterprise subscribers. All users have access to HubSpot’s training, marketing library, and User Groups. An extensive list of support options and training is available for fees that range from $500 for classroom training to $18,000 for the Platinum Success package.
HubSpot User Profile
HubSpot’s marketing software is suitable for companies engaging in b2b or b2c marketing, and is available for organizations of all sizes. The majority of users are small businesses with 50 or fewer employees.
HubSpot has become a market leader by providing strong scheduling features, robust lead management tools, and inbound marketing features that are second-to-none. With mid-range pricing and superior customer support that helps to mitigate a sharper than expected learning curve, HubSpot is a powerful marketing automation software platform that handles a wide range of marketing chores. A host of happy users attest to HubSpot’s suitability as a marketing solution for small companies with limited marketing personnel.
Hopefully this Market Automation Software Review of HubSpot will assist you with your purchasing decision. Join us for next Thursday’s Market Automation Software Review, when we will be taking an in-depth look at Salesforce software.
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Contact us at Blue Interactive Agency today at 954-779-2801 for professional content creation services to ensure your marketing success.