Hubspot Review: Is It A Complete Inbound Marketing Tool?
Inbound marketing tools are an easy way to unleash the true potential of promotional campaigns. Such tools automate lead generation, lead nurturing, content management, and other crucial but long marketing processes. It results in higher efficiency, better quality leads, and improved ROI.
Keeping all the renewing demands of the marketers in mind, Hubspot was one of the first platforms to bring the idea of automation software into marketing. Since then, we have noticed many great tools like ActiveCampagin, Plezi, Pardot etc., enter the marketing automation sector and succeed.
If you are someone who has been in the marketing sector for quite a while, you surely have heard of Hubspot. They are a one-stop platform for all your inbound marketing requirements. Be it related to tools, courses, or support for your marketing projects, Hubspot does everything.
As someone working in the digital marketing sector for quite a while, I have got the chance to use Hubspot inbound marketing tools. Through this blog, I want to share my thoughts and feedback about the automation tools and help you make the final decision.
This blog will explain:
But first, for marketing beginners, let’s discuss a fundamental question.
What is Hubspot?
Hubspot is a software company that provides cloud-based solutions for marketing and sales. It offers inbound marketing tools for content management, sales, marketing, etc.
With the mission of helping millions of companies grow better, Hubspot has worked with over 120,000+ customers across 120+ countries. It has also trained over 450,000+ inbound marketing professionals. It is evident from the numbers and range of services that Hubspot is one of the most robust platforms in digital marketing.
Winner of G2’s #2 Best Global Seller for 2021, Hubspot started in 2005 as a platform that provides tools and assistance for inbound marketing.
Fun fact: Inbound marketing is a term coined by HubSpot’s co-founder and CEO, Brian Halligan.
While Hubspot started as a simple client relationship management (CRM) platform, it now provides free and paid versions of its CRM software. Hubspot has also launched specific software for marketing, sales, services, etc.
It can get complicated if I start explaining all Hubspot’s inbound marketing tools together. So I have broken it down into a list for better understanding.
Hubspot’s Review Inbound Marketing Tools
Hubspot provides specific software services in five different fields:
- Content management (CMS)
They all have their free versions and priced packages. But you can buy these SaaS in a bundle by either opting for a CRM suite or creating one of your own.
Let’s briefly discuss the various features and pricing of all these software.
Hubspot’s marketing software streamlines your marketing campaigns into an easily accessible solution. It takes care of your scattered customer data and optimises tedious sales cycles towards better lead flow.
Marketing hub aims to attract your target audience, convert them into customers, and run successful marketing campaigns. It has all the features a modern marketer needs to create personalised buyer’s journeys.
Some of its prominent features are:
- Email marketing
- Marketing Automation
- Salesforce Integration
Trello, Reddit, loom, etc., are some of the big companies that use marketing hub to serve their growing business.
Converting a lead is the most challenging part of inbound marketing. Hubspot’s sales hub solves it by providing a robust platform that looks after your CRM and manages the sales pipeline efficiently.
It focuses on building stronger customer connections through sales management playbooks. These are simple guides for your sales team that contain call scripts and guidebooks to align efforts in the right direction.
Other crucial features of Hubspot’s sales hub are:
- Meeting scheduler
- Live chat
- Multiple deal pipeline
Big companies like Zapier, Casio, etc., use this platform for boosting their sales.
Content marketing hub tackles your problem of connecting with your audience through content. It helps create and customise web pages with a drag and drop editor. With this tool, you no longer need to wait for your developer to publish the content.
CMS hub comes with many features like:
- Fully integrated CRM
- SEO recommendations
- 24/7 security through multiple web applications like firewall, SSL, etc.
- Web pages automatically optimise for every device.
- Code alerts for faults and bugs that can cause page failure and slow loading speed.
No free plans are available for the CMS tool.
A lead generation process does not end when your lead turns into customers. You have to also work to retain them. But with all the marketing and sales activities, it can become hectic. Keeping this problem in mind, Hubspot came up with its customer management tool or service hub.
The best way to gather great social proof is by providing excellent services and support to your customers. The service tool makes it easier to communicate with your customer and listen to their feedback. It empowers your customer support and helps you establish deeper relationships with your clients.
Some of its prominent features are:
- Customer portal
- Help desk and ticketing system
- Shared inbox to manage conversations in one place
It is the latest edition of Hubspot’s inbound marketing tools. It aims at creating well-organised and automated business processes for companies. Cluttered customer data can lead to mismanagement and in return, decrease your efficiency. By focusing on the operations aspect of marketing, Hubspot helps in providing better customer experiences.
Some great features of the operations hub are:
- Programmable automation
- Workflow extensions
- Sync and clean customer data
As inbound marketing tool bundles, Hubspot offer:
- CRM suite
- Create your own
In the CRM suite, you get access to all five hubs, and it becomes a one-stop platform to manage and look after all your marketing and sales needs.
Hubspot Review: Benefits and Drawbacks
I have personally used the CRM suite of Hubspot, which allowed me to explore all the five hubs. The inbound marketing tools help make tasks easy, but sometimes it becomes challenging to decide what to use with so many functions.
Below I have created a benefits and drawbacks list of Hubspot’s inbound marketing tools, inspired by personal experience:
- Flexible Dashboards
Every company’s needs are different which means their KPIs can also be different. But many inbound marketing tools have rigid dashboards that only provide you monitoring for selected metrics.
Hubspot’s flexible dashboards solve this problem. You can create your dashboards on Hubspot and customise them according to your company’s goals whenever you want. If you are not a fan of developing things from scratch, you can use one of the pre-built dashboards provided by Hubspot and customise it.
Whether for service, sales, or marketing, you can have dedicated dashboards for all these sectors and always keep your teams on track.
- Contact list & Segmentation
After a contact list gets created in Hubspot’s CRM tool, it gets divided into two parts which are:
1. Static list
2. Active list
In a static list, a user has to get manually moved in or out. An active list gets built automatically from criteria that act as a filter. It helps in creating a database of good quality leads. On the Hubspot platform, we can make these criteria or filter with the help of AND or OR conditions.
Segmentation is crucial for nurturing leads. Hubspot’s tool allows you to do sophisticated segmentation with ease and fetch you leads that have a high intent of buying.
- Comprehensive Workflow
You can create different types of workflows on Hubspot ranging from scheduled, trigger-based, etc.
By selecting the main aim of your workflow, you can build multiple campaigns for your lead nurturing, deal progressions, and customer support.
It also has a robust email marketing and nurturing setup wherein you can create email sequences containing variations. It simply means if a user does not open an email from the sequence, they will receive a variation of the same email, where the objective will be the same, but the content will be different.
Hubspot provides templates for workflow and emails, which are helpful for new marketers.
- Free Plan
Hubspot is one of the few CRM platforms that provide free inbound marketing tools. They have provided a free plan in all five hubs and the CRM suite. Fresh marketers or experienced marketers, who want to try Hubspot’s tools before making the final call, will find this feature quite beneficial.
The free plans are not just for namesake but actually provide you with an overall experience of what all the hubs can do.
- Complex Pricing System
When you finally decide on buying one of Hubspot’s inbound marketing tools under a paid plan, a dilemma will surely hit you. Its pricing tiers are complex and would need standalone research to help you choose the right plan. Even after talking with sales, some might find so many features confusing and completely opt-out of buying a plan.
So many features sometimes work against Hubspot, making some simple processes exhaustive. Like, the dashboard feature does make reporting easier in Hubspot. But sometimes, finding the most simple metrics can become a daunting task.
- Free Plan has no Customer Support
Hubspot scores are high in the customer support department. They have an extensive knowledge base and online videos to help all types of users. But they do not provide customer support or even live chat for free plan users. It can sometimes leave you stuck at points of your marketing where you require a human to solve your problem.
Hubspot is a tool that helps you transition from a weak sales system to a stronger one. Inbound marketing tools offered by Hubspot under different hubs assist marketers to focus on sectors like sales, operations, etc., in a refined manner.
But with so many features on a single platform also come drawbacks like overpricing and complicated workflows. So if you are someone just getting started with your inbound marketing journey, I would recommend going for tools that are easier to understand and fit right into your budget. Some of the options are ActiveCampaign and Plezi.
The most crucial aspect for understanding which inbound marketing tool will be perfect for you is understanding the process of lead generation and lead nurturing.
Here’s a handy guide for lead nurturing that you can use to get a clearer picture of what all you should include in your marketing campaigns:
B2B Lead Nurturing: The Ultimate Guide