When it comes to finding the right tool to manage your marketing, sales, and service, you have options — too many options. So many options that you might end up picking one simply because the name sounds familiar. One such familiar name in this arena is the HubSpot marketing, sales, and service platform. It’s a thorough and robust option, indeed, but weighing the pros and cons is vital before selecting any tool for any purpose whatsoever. Let’s dive into this a little more deeply.
A Little Bit of Context on the HubSpot Marketing Tool
Just to ensure we’re all on the same page, here’s what you need to know about HubSpot. It’s truly an all-in-one platform for everything and anything marketing, sales, and service. It includes CRM, email marketing, social media management, and customer service tools. You can even use it as a CMS to build your website.
Sounds pretty amazing, right? Truthfully, yes, the HubSpot marketing and sales tool does offer may benefits. But before you purchase your membership, let’s talk about some of the drawbacks.
8 Drawbacks of the HubSpot Marketing and Sales Platform
1. It Gets Expensive — Quickly
Let’s get this one out of the way since it’s so often a dealbreaker.
At a glance, HubSpot might look affordable. In fact, you get the CRM for free, plus a few additional tools. The Starter plan is just $50 a month (although it’s increasing as of November 1, 2019). However, if you’re a smaller business or otherwise working on a tighter budget, that’s where the good news ends.
HubSpot’s free version offers very limited features, so you’ll only be able to use it for the most basic things. Moreover, as your business grows, the prices you will need to pay will also rise, and quite steeply. For instance, their Starter plan ($50) only includes 1,000 contacts. If you go beyond that, you’ll have to subscribe to their Professional plan, which will allow you to add another 1,000 contacts to your database, but it’ll set you back $800 per month. And, if you require more, then you’ll have to get their Enterprise plan at $3,200 per month. Still, this will only offer you a maximum of 10,000 contacts.
As your number of contacts grows (which it certainly will, as your business expands), then you’ll also have to pay more. It would seem reasonable if not for the steep rise in the package price every time you decide to go for an upgrade.
This might not be the most practical and affordable option for your business. In fact, it might not be doable at all. While very expansive and certainly impressive, HubSpot gets pricey and fast.
2. Their Contracts Aren’t Flexible
While we’re on the topic of flexibility, here’s another one that many businesses frown on. Once you agree to a contract — like six or 12 months — you’re locked in, period. There are no early cancellations or refunds. If you don’t use your maximum number of contacts or realize you don’t like a specific tool, it doesn’t matter. You will continue to be billed (even if it’s on a monthly basis) until you’ve fulfilled the entire contract cost.
While this might be all right for businesses whose strategies and processes fit well with HubSpot’s features, this isn’t practical for businesses that are still in more of a testing period. If you decide to try out the platform and you realize that it’s not a good fit for your organization, you’ll still have to pay for it until your contract with HubSpot ends.
Many (if not most) platforms are doing away with contracts completely. It’s because nobody wants that pressure. While we won’t argue that HubSpot is a pretty remarkable tool, you better be 100% certain that you’re in love with it before you drop that kind of money.
3. It’s Difficult to Use Not as an All-in-One Tool
If you want to experience HubSpot’s full benefits, running everything through its platform is the recommended course of action. This includes building your website in their own CMS. If you’ve already built your website in another CMS like, say, WordPress, and if you’re quite satisfied with it (which a lot of businesses are), you can imagine the extra work this would entail.
The HubSpot marketing, sales, and service tool is designed to be an all-in-one solution — and in terms of that specifically, it does a good job. However, and this is important, many businesses cannot run on one platform alone. If you’re only wanting to use a few select features within HubSpot, you’re likely better off going elsewhere. Plain and simple, this isn’t the best way to use HubSpot. Plus, you won’t be getting as much “bang for your buck.” There are more affordable alternatives.
If your business requires customization, then HubSpot’s lack of flexibility may present a problem for you. It’s quite overwhelmingly an “all or nothing” tool.
4. The Templates are Difficult to Modify
HubSpot templates can be a bit complex to modify without knowledge of CSS. This will be one more hurdle you have to jump if you don’t always have access to someone with this skillset. There are plenty of other alternatives offering a more user-friendly approach to building or editing templates. This will save you time and money, and it puts you in the driver’s seat. That’s exactly what we need from a platform, especially when we’re spending money on it.
5. There’s a Lack of A/B Testing on Lower Packages
Split testing, or A/B testing, is an effective way to determine the best strategy for improving performance. It’s when you compare two different versions of something to find out which one produces better results for your brand. For instance, you might split test two Facebook ads with different images or two landing pages with different headings.
Unfortunately, if you’re on HubSpot, you’ll have to purchase their Professional package, which runs at $800 per month, to take advantage of this feature.
This can’t be stressed enough. You must be testing these variables if you want to (a) get the most out of the tools that you’re paying for, and (b) be successful with your digital marketing strategy and your overall online presence.
6. Reporting is Limited
For now, some of HubSpot’s reporting isn’t as diverse or as detailed compared to a few of its competitors. An example is its lack of segmented traffic reports, which would have the ability to give you information about the percentage of various kinds of traffic visiting your pages. Furthermore, at present, it’s also unable to provide data on how mobile users navigate your page. This is incredibly important. Most people nowadays use their phones to browse websites. If you’re not able to study and analyze this audience, you’re missing something huge.
These analytics and insights are going to be your best friend. They’re a must-have. If you’re not going to get them from HubSpot, a very large piece of the puzzle is missing.
7. You Have to Pay for Additional Technical Support
Implementing and using certain features within HubSpot might be straightforward. However, if your company requires continuous technical support, then you’re going to have to pay for it. HubSpot charges for technical assistance when requested.
8. There are Plenty of HubSpot Marketing and Sales Features With Cheaper Alternatives
So much of this conversation is going to come down to the cost. Like we said in the very beginning, you have so many options. And here’s the bad news for the HubSpot marketing and sales tool. There are more affordable options that will essentially do the same thing.
Let’s be honest: We’re all mindful of our budget. And why wouldn’t we be? Running a business isn’t cheap, and every dollar matters. Understandably, you want to know that your money is being put to good use.
Here’s the thing. Some of HubSpot’s features have free or cheaper alternatives that are equal in functionality and quality. Some businesses prefer these other options over HubSpot because it enables them to pick and choose what they like best from various platforms. As we mentioned earlier, because HubSpot is best utilized as an all-in-one tool, it’s much more difficult to “pick and choose.” It’s simply not in your best interest.
So, What’s the Best Choice for You?
To be clear, the answer to this question is going to depend on what kind of business you’re operating. You should also consider your needs, goals, and pain points.
We’d be lying if we said that there’s a one-size-fits-all solution. There isn’t. If you’re in need of a tool that will help you manage everything from start to finish, then yes — HubSpot might be something to consider.
1. More Affordable Pricing Options
Pay monthly. Pay yearly and save a little cash. It’s up to you. Either way, you can get access to all of our features for less than $50 a month.
Important note: This is for the all-in-one package. You can indeed opt for the individual marketing tool, CRM, or service tool. Flexibility is the name of our game, so pick whatever makes the most sense for you.
2. Get the Split Testing Options That You Need
Under the Growth package, you’ll be able to run A/B testing for your email broadcasts and your landing pages. Find the process that works best for your brand, so you can make sure that your money is working hard for you. We’re here not just to give you access to our platform but also help you improve your strategy.
3. Grow Your Email List on Your Own Terms
Even using just the free plan, you can start growing and nurturing your email list. Email marketing is crucial because it’s got an ROI unparalleled by any other type of marketing. We know that if you’re a smaller business or new to the game, paying for something like HubSpot when you’re just beginning isn’t a feasible option. Do it with EngageBay for free and get the ball rolling.
4. You Call the Shots — Period
When you use EngageBay, you’ll never be locked into anything. You can change your plan at any time, including upgrading, downgrading, and deleting it. We have no cancellation fees. After your current billing cycling, you’ll never be billed again. Plus, you can pay for “extras” as needed. For instance, if you get through your email quota, you can quickly and easily add more. We offer customizations that other platforms don’t, meaning that we’ll work with you to meet your needs.
We know you have a lot of options to consider, and it can be really hard to narrow down the selection. That’s why we’re inviting you to try EngageBay for free. Don’t wait to take action.
Sign up for free today and see what all the buzz is about.