HubSpot, a powerful CRM platform, offers a free edition that surpasses many paid CRMs available in the market. Whether you opt for the free or paid version, HubSpot CRM seamlessly integrates with marketing, sales, and customer service teams. It is a highly recommended solution for any business seeking to enhance their customer relationship management.
This review presents our comprehensive research and first-hand experience with the software – highlighting its strengths and weaknesses – to aid you in determining whether it is the ideal fit for your business needs.
Hubspot Advantages and Disadvantages
Our top recommendation for a free CRM is HubSpot. For numerous businesses, the free CRM version suffices, especially for those in search of an improved approach to managing customer relationships. However, it is not flawless and presents some limitations.
Comprehensive free plan: HubSpot’s free plan stands out from the rest, offering a wide range of features that effectively support your CRM strategy and enhance customer relationships. Unlike other free plans that fall short on delivering their promised features, HubSpot goes above and beyond with its comprehensive free plan. With a capacity to manage up to one million contacts and a variety of tools for customer support, marketing, sales, content management, and operational CRM, HubSpot's free plan is an excellent option for businesses seeking a robust CRM system at zero cost.
Flexible pricing options: Although HubSpot's paid plans may come with a hefty price tag, there are various ways to customize your subscription to meet your business's unique needs at a reasonable cost. You have the option to purchase individual hubs or upgrade multiple ones at a discounted rate. If none of the out-of-the-box bundles suit your team's requirements, you can opt for a customized CRM solution with only the features you need. HubSpot's marketing, sales, customer support, and operational hubs are available starting from $45 per month each, while the CMS hub starts at $23 per month. By bundling them all together in the Starter Bundle, you can save a considerable amount of money and enjoy all the hubs for just $45 per month.
Scalable Solution: HubSpot's philosophy is centered around growth, and their suite of tools reflects that. They offer scalable solutions for operations, content management, customer service, sales, and marketing, so you're covered no matter your business needs. What's great about HubSpot is that their tools are modular, allowing you to customize your CRM system by mixing and matching payment plans and solutions for each module. As your business grows, so do your needs for more advanced features, and HubSpot is designed to grow alongside you. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, HubSpot has exactly what you need to take your business to the next level.
Ease of use: Despite the complexity of HubSpot's modular pricing structure, the platform itself is user-friendly and intuitive. The software's developers have done an excellent job of making its hundreds of features accessible and easy to use. Even on the free plan, navigating around the software is a breeze. Unlike many CRMs that struggle to balance power, automation, and ease of use, HubSpot excels in all three areas. The software doesn't sacrifice intuitiveness for power. Ease of use is especially crucial for free plan users who lack access to live customer support. However, in our experience, the software is so easy to use that you won't need support anyway. In case you do, HubSpot provides an extensive knowledge base and third-party tutorials to help you out.
Easy to create: HubSpot's ease of use is not limited to daily navigation, as it is also incredibly simple to create content with. Landing pages, forms, and emails in content creation areas are all drag and drop, and you can bulk-create and schedule social media content. This feature will be advantageous for many businesses that are pressed for time and cannot devote resources to content creation.
Customer support: HubSpot is known for providing top-notch customer support services. Depending on the plan you choose, you can connect with the support team through chat, email, or phone. You can even reach out to HubSpot Support on Twitter. While these support options are limited to the paid plans, users of the free version can still take advantage of the extensive online knowledge base and community.
Variety of free tools: Regardless of whether you use HubSpot for your CRM, their free tools are available to everyone. We find it impressive that HubSpot offers numerous free tools for new business owners to utilize, such as a blog idea generator, an invoice template generator, free business templates, an email signature generator, and more. With these resources at your disposal, you can ensure that your business has everything it needs to succeed, right from the start.
Complicated Pricing Tiers: Although HubSpot's flexible pricing is a clear advantage, it's important to note that there's a fine line between flexibility and confusion. With an extensive range of plans and pricing options available, it's easy to become overwhelmed and discouraged. Consequently, some customers may end up opting for the free plan or even abandoning HubSpot altogether.
No Customer Support on Free Plan: While users of the free version can access the online knowledge base and HubSpot community, sometimes they may prefer to speak to a live person for assistance. It is unfortunate that HubSpot does not offer live chat to those on the free plan, which could have helped them showcase their award-winning customer support capabilities and expand their reach.
Easy to Max Out Limitations on Free Plan: In the grand scheme of things, the free version is, well, free! However, it's essential to acknowledge the limitations of the free plan in comparison to the more advanced options. For instance, on the free plan, you can only receive up to 200 email tracking notifications every month. In contrast, the Starter plan offers unlimited email tracking notifications. While some of these restrictions may not be a significant concern for you, others may be critical deal-breakers. If the limitations negatively affect your business, it could be a prudent decision to contemplate upgrading to a paid HubSpot plan or exploring other providers.
Hubspot Pricing Options
Having examined both the advantages and drawbacks of HubSpot, it's time to explore the products it provides.
As we mentioned earlier, HubSpot provides a wide range of free tools across all its product offerings, such as CRM, marketing, sales, and service tools. However, if your business outgrows these free tools, you can upgrade to premium versions. Unfortunately, the pricing structure for these upgraded versions can be confusing due to the numerous packages and pricing tiers available.
For instance, a CRM and sales tool package starts at $45 per month over a 12-month contract. If you decide to use their marketing tools, the Starter plan's lead-in price is also $50 per month over a 12-month contract. But, here's a tip, you can get access to all of HubSpot's product offerings (except for CMS Hub) under the Starter Growth Suite bundle for only $50 per month. This bundle usually costs $150 per month, but HubSpot has reduced the pricing during this difficult time.
The bundle includes advanced analytics dashboards, automatic task creations and notifications, up to 5,000 monthly marketing emails, access to HubSpot's intuitive mobile app, ad retargeting capabilities, and automatic conversion routing for sales and service teams.
If you need more features, the Professional or Enterprise Growth Suite may be right for you, but the pricing jumps to $1,781 per month respectively.
In conclusion, make sure you research the pricing models to determine what you're getting in the standalone plans versus a bundle. If the bundle is on sale for $50 per month, grab it! You'll get access to many tools for nearly the same price as a standalone plan.
HubSpot Marketing Hub
HubSpot’s marketing software is specifically designed to help you attract and convert the right audience into customers, without having to break the bank.
With the Marketing Hub, you can run complete inbound marketing campaigns, publish blogs, build your search authority, and track and manage ads – all under one roof. You can also manage your social media channels, create high-converting landing pages, and monitor your progress.
The Marketing Hub is trusted by many big-name companies, including Frontify, Monday.com, Trello, and SurveyMonkey, and has won several awards from G2.com and Capterra for being the best of the best.
- Free tools – $0.00
- Starter – $18.00 per month
- Professional – $800.00 per month
HubSpot Sales Hub
HubSpot's sales software is an all-in-one CRM solution that empowers your teams to close more deals, build stronger relationships, and streamline their sales pipeline. Equipped with features such as email templates, email tracking, and call recording, your team can communicate with customers seamlessly and consistently.
With HubSpot, you can also provide your team with branded quotes and sales management playbooks to keep everyone aligned and on track. By using HubSpot's sales software, you can ensure that nothing falls through the cracks and your sales process is optimized for success.
Here are some features of HubSpot’s sales hub:
- Enable prospects to schedule appointments that integrate seamlessly with your calendar
- Automate your sales process with a personal touch
- Route live chat conversations to the appropriate salesperson to foster stronger customer relationships
- Manage your sales pipeline with ease, ensuring that important deals don't fall through the cracks.
The CRM software offered by HubSpot is unparalleled and the comprehensive communication tools provided by Sales Hub only serve to reinforce its status as an industry leader. With all these features available in one platform, your business will be stronger and you will have more time to devote to your customers. Simply put, there's little more you could want from a CRM software.
- Free – $0.00
- Starter – $18.00 per month
- Professional – $450.00 per month
HubSpot Service Hub
After optimizing your team's performance, it's crucial to prioritize your customers. But, focusing on your customers means more than just attracting and converting them. It requires investing in them, understanding their needs, and providing exceptional support. That's where customer service management (CSM) software comes in, allowing you to scale your support and unify your front-office teams. Thankfully, HubSpot's Service Hub provides a one-stop solution for all your CSM needs.
Here are the some of the features of Service hub:
- Service Hub enables you to create a sophisticated help desk and ticket automation system.
- You can build a detailed online knowledge base for customers to troubleshoot their issues.
- Service Hub provides a smart live chat that guides customers to the appropriate team or person.
- You can consolidate your team's emails, live chat, Facebook Messenger, and other communication channels into one central inbox, providing complete visibility into the communication pipeline.
In today's business landscape, customers expect prompt and personalized support. HubSpot understands this and offers a solution by consolidating all service data and communication channels in one platform. This means you can focus on supporting and satisfying your customers instead of dealing with complaints and scattered information.
The pricing structure for Service Hub follows the same three-tiered approach as Sales Hub, with Free, Starter, and Enterprise options.
HubSpot CMS Hub
It's widely known that creating engaging and interactive content is crucial for building strong relationships with your audience. By offering helpful advice to your audience, you can earn their trust and loyalty.
But how do you deliver this valuable content? The answer is simple: a content management system (CMS).
With HubSpot's CMS Hub, you can easily create and manage website pages using a drag-and-drop editor. And the best part? Your pages will automatically be optimized for different devices, ensuring your content looks great no matter how it's accessed.
In addition, the CMS Hub offers the following features:
- SEO recommendations that will help improve your website's visibility and ranking
- Access to pre-built website themes that can be easily customized to match your brand identity
- Multi-language content creation to help you reach a global audience
- The ability to analyze the impact of your website with contact attribution reporting
- 24/7 security monitoring and threat detection to keep your website secure from potential cyber threats.
While WordPress is considered a CMS powerhouse, HubSpot’s CMS Hub is an excellent product for businesses that prefer to have all their tools in one place without the hassle of dealing with a separate web host. Though it may not be as powerful as WordPress, it still provides an array of useful features.
- Free – $0.00
- Starter – $23.00 per month
- Professional – $360.00 per month
It is worth noting that the CMS Hub is not part of the Growth Suite bundle we mentioned earlier. As a result, using HubSpot to manage your content can be quite expensive, particularly when you can get access to powerful content management systems like WordPress or Wix for a fraction of the cost.
HubSpot faces stiff competition in the marketing, sales, and customer service software market. Some of the top competitors of HubSpot are:
- Marketo: Marketo is a leading marketing automation software that provides marketers with tools to manage and optimize their marketing campaigns. Its capabilities include lead management, email marketing, social media marketing, and analytics.
- Salesforce: Salesforce is a cloud-based CRM software that offers sales, marketing, and customer service automation tools. It is known for its robust sales automation capabilities, and its customer service platform, Service Cloud, is a strong competitor to HubSpot's Service Hub.
- Adobe Experience Cloud: Adobe Experience Cloud is a suite of marketing, analytics, and advertising products that enables businesses to deliver personalized experiences across multiple channels. Its marketing automation platform, Marketo Engage, competes with HubSpot's Marketing Hub.
Concluding the review, it can be said that HubSpot provides a complete package of tools that are suitable for businesses of all sizes to manage their marketing, sales, and customer service operations efficiently. With its Sales Hub, Service Hub, and CMS Hub, HubSpot provides businesses with the ability to manage their entire customer lifecycle in one platform.
Although HubSpot's pricing may be considered high compared to some other options, its features and capabilities justify the investment for businesses looking for an all-in-one solution. Overall, HubSpot's platform is a solid choice for companies looking to improve their customer experience and streamline their operations.
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