Hubspot Review – Inbound Marketing Tool Review 2013
For quite some time now I’ve wanted to do a Hubspot review as I’ve been hearing so many good things about it. As it’s about time I did another marketing tool review, I decided to sign up for their free trial and do a Hubspot review and find out exactly what it is that everyone’s been talking about.
Hubspot clearly aims to be the go to source for all things internet marketing, including online lead generation, social media management, content marketing and just about everything else. It has been bragged about as being the only complete online marketing tool, and from a first glance it definitely appears that they’ve covered just about everything.
Hubspot Review: All Your Marketing Belong to Us
In my Hubspot review of their free trial, it is very apparent that they have made a strong effort to be a true on stop solution for online marketers, and they cover a lot of ground in their efforts.
- 30 day Free trial
- Platform covers everything from social media to blogging and lead generation
- Relatively easy to use interface with a great walk through
- Great learning materials and documentation
- Tons of data and analytics, almost an overwhelming amount
- Plugins to CMS and blogging platforms like WordPress
- Analytics can be obtained from Google for free
- A bit too basic for experienced users
- Blog post creator lacks features you can find on WordPress or other platforms
- Very expensive for those on a small budget
- Basic (least expensive) package is lacking automation features
- Paid CRM integration options
Hubspot Review – Features and Functions
Hubspot’s user interface is pretty straight forward and very easy to use. Your dashboard’s landing page will present you with updated stats every time you login, showing exactly how effective your marketing efforts have been through the platform.
From the dashboard, you can dive into everything you need to do to throw your marketing into overdrive.
Blogging on Hubspot
Hubspot allows you to create and maintain your blog inside of their platform, meaning you won’t have to navigate away from your marketing tool as you proceed to get to work. The Hubspot blogging platform is basically just a WYSIWYG editor with a few basic features, keyword counter, and SEO recommendations.
The blog platform is very basic, while they give you the basic options you would come to expect, if you’ve used a platform like WordPress or even Blogger, you will find yourself a bit disappointed by the lack of features available. It does offer some unique features like inserting a call to action button, but aside from that it’s no more impressive than any of its competitors.
Social Media Management on Hubspot
Social media marketing is 100% required for anyone creating content online as a means of promotion, so it makes sense to include a social media tool into the same platform as your blog editor. Hubspot has included a complete social media management tool that allows you to manage all of your accounts in one place. I found this part of the Hubspot platform to be exceptionally easy to use and noticed some of their features are unique to the system itself. Hubspots social media manager will let you link your account to the most popular social networking sites like:
One of the aspects that impressed me the most was the settings they allow for each network (follow me, auto-post, etc) but they immediately include all of your LinkedIn groups, which can be a HUGE time saver for marketers serious about promoting their content to a specific niche. In addition to a number of social accounts, they also allow you to use custom short links and provide Bit.ly integration if you happen to have an account.
Hubspot has a fairly unique tool dubbed the Social Inbox that lets you create various different streams for your social media profiles and allows you to track what is going on with your clients and prospects.
Build Your Website with Hubspot
When I first started looking into Hubspot, I was completely unaware that the platform allowed you to build an entire website for your business and manage it from within the platform. They offer a pretty easy to understand interface for setting up the individual pages of the website, you simply drag and drop different elements where you’d like to see them and your pretty much done.
The website pages and content management capabilities of Hubspot are excellent for those of you with little to no website building experience; however, once again it just leaves a lot to be desired for experienced designers and marketers when compared to the other options out there. If you’re experienced with WordPress and are comfortable building website with the platform, you will find that the layout is a bit difficult to work with and limited in potential compared to what you’re used to. With that being said, for those who haven’t spent a lot of time building websites, it is a great option to get your business online quickly and easily.
If you aren’t interested in using their CMS to manage your website, there are plugins available to integrate Hubspot into your existing website that will allow you to use their tools and reporting with your current site.
Hubspot Landing Pages and Calls-to-Action
If you have any experience marketing online, you understand the value of customized landing pages and strong call to action items within them. Hubspot understands this, and they have made sure to include tools to handle both of these things on their dashboard.
Landing Pages: Hubspot gives you a TON of different layout options when you start building your landing page, one of which should fit your criteria for the particular landing page. Once you name your landing page and select the layout, Hubspot will bring you to an extremely straight forward page that allows you to customize every aspect of the pre-designed landing page. Simply setup your headings and type out your copy, input a form and some social icons and your good to go.
Call-to-Action: This function is just a fancy marketing way of saying “website button builder,” because that’s really all it is. This button builder does happen to let you completely customize just about every detail of your call to action based on their pre-designed settings and also lets you upload your own image. While it’s not the craziest idea I’ve ever heard of, giving you the ability to create unique call-to-action items inside the platform and then use them across ALL of your marketing mediums makes things a lot easier for a marketer when setting up a new campaign or product.
Email Marketing on Hubspot
If you’ve built up your websites properly, blogged about interesting topics, created great content and setup the right forms and landing pages, at some point during the process I hope that you asked for an email address. If you did, Hubspot provides you with built-in email marketing tools to reach out to those prospects you’ve funneled through your pages.
If you haven’t used drip marketing strategies before to create a buzz about your business, now may be a good time to learn a bit more. Email marketing allows you to keep your brand in front of your prospects eyes as often as possible all while providing them with useful and engaging information in their email inbox.
Hubspot’s email marketing tool is great, and keeps up there with Constant Contact and MailChimp, email marketing tools that everyone’s familiar with. Where Hubspot’s email marketing becomes incredible, is that it is integrated with ALL of the other tools they provide you with. All of your website’s forms, landing pages and call-to-action buttons can generate information for you that can be used immediately all within Hubspots dashboard. Since Hubspot manages all of the other aspects of your marketing, adding a fully functional email marketing tool to the mix just makes sense, and it makes your life a lot easier.
Their email templates aren’t lacking eiether. The are easy to customize and of course offer built-in lead tracking that you would expect.
Hubspot Reporting and Analytics
If you’re serious about your internet marketing, then analytics and reporting are one of your top priorities. Without good reporting tools, you’ll never truly be able to track how effective your efforts have been. Hubspot offers a great tracking system and reporting tools that let you track everything that goes on in your emails, through your website and on your social media profiles.
Hubspot’s reporting lets you gather up data from all of the tools they provide you with so you can show your boss that your efforts have been with it. Plain and simple.
HubSpot Pricing and Packages
Features and functionality are great, but for a lot of people it truly comes down to price. Hubspot offers a lot of great features for people who are just starting out in internet marketing as well as some great features for experienced users, but their pricing structure may be in another league for many people.
Hubspot currently offers 3 different packages:
- Basic – $200/mo
- Professional – $600/mo
- Enterprise – $1,000/mo
Once you’ve decided how little or how much functionality you need, you’re then asked to decide on the number of contacts you currently have in your email lists then you’re asked to add the number of leads you expect to generate (or currently generate) annually, which can add anywhere from $100 per month to $1,00,000 per month to your package price. After that, there are various other charges that will add a few hundred more to your total yearly price.
Clearly, unless you’re a large company or happen to have a major marketing budget, this is going to push Hubspot out of your price range. However, if your budget will allow for a marketing tool to eat up some money, this is a great option to consider.
Hubspot Review – Conclusion
Overall, Hubspot offers a great suite of features and the opportunity to manage every aspect of your online marketing from one location. While I enjoyed the time I spent using the platform, I couldn’t help but ask myself every time I tried a new feature, “why do I need this when I have…” If you’ve already picked up a program for your email marketing and your social media profiles, and already manage your website on a CMS like Joomla or WordPress, it’s hard to fathom using a program like Hubspot as a replacement for these existing (and mostly free) systems, especially when it comes down to the price tag. However, the features that Hubspot has to offer are great, but I can’t honestly say that any of it is worth the huge monthly fee.
Have you used Hubspot for your internet marketing? What did you think about it? Share your thoughts about this Hubspot Review by leaving a comment!