HubSpot is a customer relationship management platform that offers robust marketing and sales software, as well as website building, customer service and operations software packages. Operating since 2005, this well-rounded platform offers tools and features that can help in the automation and optimization of email, content and social media marketing. In this HubSpot review, we’ll focus on its marketing software, known as Marketing Hub. A great way to explore the software is through HubSpot’s free plan, which offers a variety of marketing tools, with some limitations. The Starter plan can be a cost-effective option for small businesses. However, the two higher-tier plans may not work for businesses without a significant marketing budget, due to their price and additional onboarding fees.
Plans and price
Free: Limited features and up to 100 contacts.
Starter: Starts at $20/month for up to 1,000 contacts.
Professional: Starts at $890/month for up to 2,000 contacts (plus $3,000 onboarding fee).
Enterprise: Starts at $3,600/month for up to 10,000 contacts (plus $6,000 onboarding fee).
Ability to create emails with drag-and-drop tools, personalize content, batch send and track contact responses. A/B testing available with Professional and Enterprise plans.
Blog tools, landing page templates, pop-up and embedded forms, and mobile-responsive content optimization.
Short Message Service (SMS) and Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) texting features are available through a HubSpot integration starting at $49/month.
Social media posts
Schedule, update and track performance of posts on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter (with Professional plan and up).
Ad management and retargeting options.
Automatic collection of contact data along with list segmentation options.
Reports and analytics
Reporting and web analytics dashboard. SEO analytics for organic search performance available with Professional plan and up.
Over 1,400 apps with more than 700 apps related specifically to marketing.
Chat and email support available 24/7. Additional resources such as articles, guides, training videos and peer discussions are available through a help center.
HubSpot offers three paid plans in its Marketing Hub platform.
Starter: $20/month for up to 1,000 marketing contacts.
Professional: $890/month for up to 2,000 contacts plus onboarding fee of $3,000.
Enterprise: $3,600/month for up to 10,000 contacts (billed annually) plus onboarding fee of $6,000.
The initial base price for each plan includes a set number of contacts. More contacts can be added for an additional fee. You have the option to pay monthly or annually for the Starter and Professional plans and can receive a prepayment discount if you commit to an annual contract. The Enterprise plan requires an annual payment and contract. Both the Professional and Enterprise plans require a one-time onboarding fee of $3,000 and $6,000, respectively.
Add-on features are offered for paid plans at an additional cost. HubSpot also offers software for sales, customer service, website building and operations, in addition to its Marketing Hub. Any of these can be added to its marketing software for a bundled fee.
HubSpot also offers a free plan to help very small businesses with email marketing, landing pages, blogs, digital ads, forms and contact management. In addition to marketing tools, other features related to sales, customer support, website building and operations are included in the free plan. However, you are limited to 100 contacts.
How Hubspot Marketing Hub works
Users can sign up for the free plan, which offers a large number of marketing features and tools, or select one of the three paid plans and provide their billing information.
If you choose the Professional or Enterprise plan, you’ll pay a significant onboarding fee, but this provides you with a customized marketing plan plus expert guidance based on your business’s goals. Businesses that opt for the Starter plan have no onboarding fee but will need to rely on setup instructions and videos from the HubSpot knowledge base to get started. After you create your account, you can start adding members of your team, setting up your company branding, connecting apps and joining the HubSpot community.
You can access the features offered by your subscription plan through the navigation menu. These are listed under the headings of Contacts, Conversations, Marketing, Sales, Service, Automation and Reports. Information on how to use features and whether they’re available at your plan level can be found in the Marketing Tools section of the knowledge base.
Strong digital marketing options
HubSpot’s landing page and form features work in combination with the email templates and a drag-and-drop editor to help businesses develop email campaigns to reach their target audience and also collect their contact information. Blog options, ad management tools, SEO recommendations and social media features, available at the Professional plan level and above, can help to round out a business’s digital marketing strategy.
Free plan with marketing tools
The free plan offered by HubSpot is a great way to test-drive the software. Though the features are limited in some cases, you can still create, personalize and track emails; build a blog, with HubSpot branding; access an analytics dashboard to monitor content performance; and use ad management and retargeting features to monitor digital ads placed with Google, Facebook and LinkedIn. Features to help create forms and landing pages as well as capture contact information are also included.
Robust support options
Chat and email support are available 24/7 for all paid plan users. A robust offering of additional resources is available to all plan users, including a community of peers, how-to articles and guides, and a customer blog. Of note is the HubSpot Academy, which offers free online trainings, both for general knowledge or certification courses.
If you subscribe to HubSpot’s Professional or Enterprise plans, you’ll face a steep onboarding fee: $3,000 for the Professional plan and $6,000 for the Enterprise plan. While this is a one-time fee, it is significant, especially when you factor in the monthly base price as well.
Text messaging for an additional cost
For businesses that want to incorporate text messaging into their marketing plan, HubSpot offers an in-house integration. However, this is priced as a separate product, with the lowest tiered plan starting at $49 per month. A 14-day free trial is offered, which includes 25 free credits that can be applied to SMS and MMS messages.
Alternatives to HubSpot
If you’re looking for less expensive marketing software, you may want to consider Mailchimp. It offers a free plan plus three paid plans, which start at $13 per month for up to 500 contacts. It also offers a one-month free trial for the Essentials and Standard paid plans. Similar to HubSpot, paid plans include pre-built email templates, drag-and-drop editing tools and customizable forms and landing pages. However, with Mailchimp you’ll have the additional features of a creative assistant tool, A/B testing and social posting at the lowest-priced plan level.
For businesses that are looking for automated features to help streamline their content creation efforts at a lower monthly cost, Constant Contact is a strong contender. With plans starting at $12 per month for up to 500 contacts, businesses have access to features such as email templates, an AI content generator, automated welcome emails for new contacts, optimization tools for social media posts and customizable landing pages and forms at all plan levels. The AI content tool can help generate email and social media copy with just a few keywords.