Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’re probably aware that US company HubSpot is the king of inbound marketing automation. According to a 2015 survey by Mintingo, HubSpot was revealed to have the largest market share by customers, thereby beating all other marketing automation providers currently on the market.
Their sales and marketing platform aim to help companies attract, secure and convert as many leads as possible. In other words, they’re a marketing powerhouse – and they’ve built an entire brand on the idea that they can help you be one, too. However, HubSpot is far from the be all and end all of marketing automation software. In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at the 6 best HubSpot alternatives in 2019.
What is marketing automation software?
So, you’ve started a business. But what now? As any business owner knows, your next step should be to streamline your sales and marketing efforts in order to drive further growth and expansions for your business. However, bringing new business on-board is far from an easy activity.
- You must attract, nurture and secure possible leads
- You must communicate efficiently
- You must align your sales and marketing efforts
Facing this, most business owners will find that there’s a need for a marketing tool that integrates and streamlines all your customer data, handles all your communication efforts, and which can also hold all your vital customer data. This is what a marketing automation solution can do with ease.
Essentially, a marketing automation platform is what enables and streamlines digital communication. Firstly, the solution features a core system which have email blasting that can handle email sequences on an industrial scale. Secondly, the solution will give you the opportunity to follow the customer through the various stages of your sales funnel, giving you the opportunity to interpret their reactions to every stage and adjust your communication accordingly. Most marketing platforms also offer workflow features that can facilitate A/B split testing, which again can lead to increased sales. To conclude, a marketing automation solution can enable you to trigger effective communication with the right people via the appropriate sales channels. We also have an e-guide covering the difference between a CRM and a marketing automation software.
What does HubSpot’s marketing platform offer?
We’ve already mentioned how HubSpot is the king of inbound marketing strategies. In line with this image, HubSpot offers a platform designed for your company to attract attention and interest, capture leads and then nurture those leads into closed sales.
As an integrated all-in-one solution, HubSpot can offer you the best features from both CRM and marketing automation systems. This can be highly beneficial – especially for those of you who operate on a tight budget – as you get all the best features from two different software solutions for the price of one. If you need more tools, you can even add certain sales applications as free add-ons. The current HubSpot platform offer four business subscriptions: free, starter, professional and enterprise. But what is the cost of HubSpot? The prices depend on which tier you wish to acquire, but at the moment HubSpot prices are as following:
Free – £0
Starter – £42/month
Professional – £655/month
Enterprise – £2,624/month
Both professional an enterprise is billed annually. We recommend that you acquire a subscription plan that will fit your use now. HubSpot pricing is designed to scale with the size of your business, so you will need to purchase additional contacts if your business experience growth. Depending on which tier you choose to pay for, you can benefit from these marketing features:
- CMS/ blogging platform
- Social marketing
- Web analytics
- Landing pages (with A/B testing)
- Email marketing campaigns (with A/B testing)
- Lead management
- Built-in CRM database.
As you can see, HubSpot is undoubtedly a good product at a great cost. However, it doesn’t mean that the search for the right marketing automation tool should stop right there. There are plenty of good solutions on the market, and HubSpot might not necessarily be the right fit for you. Do you want to learn more? Here’s our review of HubSpot vs Marketo.
6 Great alternatives to HubSpot
HubSpot is far from the only provider offering you the best of both worlds. Also HubSpot competitor LeadSquared offers a marketing automation platform integrated with a sales-focused CRM. The company has been around since 2012, and they’re well-known for their customer-focused vision. Before launching their marketing suite, the founders spent a considerable amount of time with professional marketers, thereby discovering their exact needs before building the platform.
If you’re looking for a solid marketing automation tool, LeadSquared might be the right solution for you. The platform offers lead capture, lead nurturing and engagement analytics. In addition, they’re using artificial intelligence their new conversion platform. Thanks to the embedded AI, you can learn customer behaviour and start adjusting your sales funnel accordingly. In 2019, LeadSquare can bring you benefits such as
- Email marketing (with A/B split testing)
- Conversion platform with embedded AI for increased lead scoring
- Landing pages (with A/B split testing)
- Sales automation and tracking
- Mobile CRM
Another great, and budget-friendly, HubSpot alternative is the fully cloud-based platform Act-On. This solution is designed with SMEs in mind, providing a more affordable and compact marketing tool than the likes of Eloqua and Pardot.
Act-On doesn’t come with a built in CRM database, which can be a deal breaker for many potential buyers. However, it does offer seamless integration with CRM systems such as Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics and SugarCRM. Essentially, Act-On is a compact, affordable solution for those looking for the basics or perhaps trying a marketing automation tool for the very first time. The service is offered in two price tiers, and some of its basic features include:
- Attribution modelling
- A/B split testing
- Competitor analysis
- Marketing funnel reports
- Social publishing
- Lead generation
Like both LeadSquared and HubSpot, Infusionsoft offer what they refer to as a “complete sales and marketing automation solution”, including features such as CRM, lead management and email marketing.
Infusionsoft (which is now part of Keap) is known for taking a complete opposite approach when it comes to product development. The platform is first and foremost a CRM solution, meaning that their contact management and sales features are incredibly robust compared to HubSpot.
On the other hand, you’ll find that their marketing and lead gen tools are a little bit weaker than the other competitors. But don’t let this scare you away, we truly believe that Infusionsoft is one of the best alternatives to HubSpot currently on the market. An added benefit is their built-in e-commerce module, where businesses can set up their own digital storefront with the click of a button. Their licenses are sold in groups from 3-10, and the cost is generally much lower than the price of HubSpot. To conclude, their marketing automation features include
- Robust CRM solution
- E-commerce tools
- Payment processing
- Sales automation
- App exchange
Despite being a relatively new player on the marketing automation market, LeadOutcome can still offer some serious competition to HubSpot.
As a new contender, LeadOutcome offers a marketing suite which is constantly being updated and developed further. It should also be taken into consideration that most of the features and campaigns offered are incredibly easy to set up, making it the perfect marketing platform for small businesses who might be new to digital or inbound marketing.
LeadOutcome comes with a low price tag, making it one of the most affordable HubSpot alternatives. While this solution is brilliant for anyone on a tight budget, it does lack some vital marketing features. For example, if you rely on social media analytics, SEO tools or content management, it will require separate add-ons. This shouldn’t be too complicated though, as LeadOutcome can integrate with most web-services through APIs. What will you get from your LeadOutcome platform?
- Easy to set-up marketing campaign
- Lead activity tracking (pixels)
- 1-click email templates
- Easy integration through APIs
This brand is another serious contender to HubSpot, and it’s one of the most robust e-commerce and marketing platforms out there. In addition to a full set of features for lead generation and nurturing, sales management and analytics, SharpSpring also offers shopping cart integration, dynamic emails and A/B split testing on both emails and landing pages. In other words, this is a good solution if you have an e-commerce business in place and want to accelerate your lead nurturing across various channels.
SharpSpring also offer integration with solutions such as Salesforce CRM and Google AdWords. The platform is great if you already have a marketing effort in place, and now wish to layer on with more detailed and robust analytics and features to accelerate your existing efforts. When it comes to costs, SharpSpring bills on a monthly basis. This further lowers the total cost of ownership compared to other providers.
- Lead generation
- Lead nurturing
- Sales management
- In-depth analytics and reporting features
- Shopping cart integrations (Magento and Shopify)
Lastly, we have Pardot which is another solid marketing automation platform. As Pardot is owned and developed by Salesforce, it’s a popular option for those who already have a Salesforce system in place. The two solutions integrate effortlessly, leaving you with even more in-depth contact, reporting and analytics features.
Pardot offers great features for lead nurturing, ROI analysis and reporting and advanced email analytics. However, starting at $1,000 per month, Pardot is one of the most expensive marketing platform alternatives on the market. On the flipside though, the tools are flawless and of the same high quality you would expect from a Salesforce-product.
- Streamlined lead management
- Smarter lead generation
- Seamless sales alignment
- Embedded AI
- Insightful ROI reporting
Selecting your next marketing automation platform
As you can see from our comparison, there are plenty of good alternatives to HubSpot on the market. When it comes down to it, all of these platforms sport features that are intended to optimise your marketing strategy and outreach. However, they all have significant differences in the suite of tools they offer. And when selecting your next marketing automation solution, it’s absolutely imperative that you choose the one that best matches your requirements.
Need some expert advice? Reach out to one of our marketing automation experts for non-chargeable buyer advice!