This comparison is made comparing the prices and features of HubSpot Marketing Professional (~$800 p/m) versus an integrated tech stack.
This assumes you are not using HubSpot as an ABM platform so the following features are ignored:
- Visitor IP lookup
- Site personalization based on user
Important: One major reason to avoid HubSpot is also that subscriptions are locked in for 1 or 2 years. Building an alternative tech stack can help you with some flexibility, but provide more room for error and less stability.
A marketing CRM helps you manage thousands of contacts and their information securely in one place. A useful marketing automation will allow you to tag to segment your audience and provide automations that can trigger drip sequences and information updates.
- Allows tagging
- Sophisticated automation at a great price
- Has the important features such as forms, CRM database and sales pipeline included
- Integrates with a large amount of other applications in the market
- Each account comes multiple seats as standard. Very handy
- Free migration service
- Sales pipeline doesn’t provide income prediction (yet)
- Tasks functions are a little weak compared to HubSpot, must be viewed from the application’s home page
- HubSpot includes a level of data enrichment which adds useful information to your company entries based on their domains
Price: $70 USD p/m for 1000 contacts for the Plus version, which includes 25 users.
Sales CRM & Pipeline
A sales CRM helps keep you manage your active opportunities and manage workflow for sales teams. Our job is to make life as easy as possible for sales people to close deals, so this means task management, notifications and sharing of intel.
- Extremely easy to use
- Predictive income pipelines help you know if you / team members are on track
- One of the only CRMs I’ve seen that offer Google map locations. Useful for teams that visit clients in person
- Can sync activities with Google calendar
- Integrations with industry popular apps
- Integrates natively with ActiveCampaign
- Separate from a full marketing automation and email marketing system
- For smooth cross population between Pipedrive and ActiveCampaign, you should use Piesync
Price: $24.90 per user, p/m for the professional version (which includes automation).
Piesync starts at $49 per month, depending on the number of contacts.
Booking apps help you get more appointments, call back requests and consultations. This is because picking a time from an interactive calendar is easier than messaging back and forth.
- Integrates directly with ActiveCampaign
- Calendar embed
- Round-robin function allows you to dish out leads
- Charge fees while accepting meetings
- Cannot remove previous appointment data. But this is relatively true also with HubSpot
- Does not integrate smoothly with Pipedrive unless you use Zapier or Automate.io
Price: $12 per user, for their pro plan.
Google Analytics is great. But, you will probably want to pull data from a wide range of sources such as your CRM and task management tools to get a real view on what happening in your business.
- Integrates with a lot of data source, including Google Analytics, Google Sheets and Zapier which give you access to basically everything
- You can make multiple dashboards in the one account, to cover different views of the business
- There is a phone app that’s easier to use than Google Analytics
- Allows you to set high level goals and tie metrics to measure this
- Can trigger automated alerts which identify problems or points of notice
- Integrates natively with ActiveCampaign
- Free account only comes with 3 data sources
Price: $49 p/m for the basic plan.
A Content Management System (CMS) is basically the software that runs a website that holds pages. WordPress, Wix, Shopify and SquareSpace are all considered CMS’.
WordPress with Elementor
Note: Elementor is a premium plugin for WordPress that provides the ‘drag and drop’ building capability.
- 40-60% of the web is built on WordPress, so finding upgrades, tutorials and help is easy
- It can be a powerful platform with so many plugins available that allow custom features without expensive development
- Designing and building sites or pages on WordPress can be faster than using other CMS platforms
- Given it’s popularity, it will integrate with most marketing tools as standard
- You are not ‘locked in’, sites built on WordPress are owned by you and not subject to a subscription fee to remain active
- Like all websites, WordPress sites are targets of online malicious bots which look for vulnerabilities. If you do not maintain your site, it can be compromised
- You need your own hosting, which can cost around $15 USD a month for reputable, performance provider
- There is a learning curve to using the CMS, compared to Wix or HubSpot
Pricing: Free. Elementor Pro (recommended) is $49 per year, however a free version of Elementor is available and fine by itself.
Landing Pages and CTAs
Landing pages and CTAs are a smart way to direct and convert traffic to particular offers and get them into your marketing funnel. HubSpot provides embedded CTAs that are easy to manage all in one place to manage performance from one view.
- ConvertFlow offers more powerful CTAs that can provide multiple steps and form logic in the same unit (rather than pass users to a landing page or form)
- ConvertFlow offers Stick ‘announcement’ bars, testimonial sliders an quizzes which HubSpot does not
- Landing pages and basic lead tagging features are also included
- No obvious weaknesses
Price: $49 p/m for 5,000 visitors and unlimited CTAs
Live Chat and Chatbots
Chatbots are a great way to encourage more leads or handle more support enquiries from your existing website traffic. For this, I suggest Continually.
- Extremely affordable chatbot builder compared to alternative options
- Product is high quality and easy to use
- Multiple seats included as standard
- Strong free version
- Google Analytics events are tracked automatically
- Pricing model based on number of site visitors can make it less suitable heavily trafficked sites with low marketing budgets
Price: $17 p/m for 3 seats and 10k website views
Sending a high volume of proposals can be a time consuming task for your sales team. Document management tools help you send more high quality proposals while also tracking them to contacts and their engagement with them.
- Natively integrates with Pipedrive
- Drag and drop proposal builder
- Takes payment on the application itself, lowering conversion friction
- Integrates with ActiveCampaign through Pipedrive or Zapier
Price: $49 per person, p/m for the PandDocs teams
Estimated total cost: $270.90 p/m with 1 sales person.
With 3 sales people: $371.70 p/m with 3 sales people.
- The price is significantly lower than a single instance of HubSpot’s marketing professional package
- Many applications are stronger in their own particular area than HubSpot
- Sales can manage tasks in Pipedrive while management can review Databox dashboards
- Marketing teams will need to hop between apps
- Setup of the entire marketing stack will be an investment of time and expertise.
- There is a risk that integration is never ‘complete’ and attracts further resources to tweak
- Databreach is practically a bit higher risk as you have more apps to deal with