With the undeniable growth of inbound marketing and the positive results it brings, more and more businesses are looking to adopt the inbound methodology into their marketing strategy. However, just like with every marketing plan, there is a cost and whilst inbound marketing is fruitful, you need to be sure you’re getting the best value for your budget.
What does inbound marketing involve?
Inbound marketing can be broken down into 6 core areas: Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content, Social Media, Email, Advertising and Sales.
Why is HubSpot so popular?
HubSpot is widely considered as one of the first, all-in-one marketing automation systems and contains everything needed (and conveniently specified above) to formulate a successful marketing strategy.
HubSpot is a scalable system that allows businesses of all sizes, from SMEs to enterprises to align their goals and grow their business. HubSpot was created not only to making inbound marketing affordable, but accessible for all. Inbound is all about putting your potential customers first.
How much does HubSpot Marketing cost?
You’re probably asking; “what are HubSpot’s pricing plans”, which can be quite confusing when trying to decide which one is right for you. Currently, HubSpot has 5 pricing plans with different tariffs for each, meaning HubSpot can be completely free, all the way up to paying £1,960 per month (excluding onboarding and additional service costs). The plans can be seen below:
|Social Media Suite||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Custom Event Reporting||Yes|
* - Figure converted to GBP from original $50/month billing cost.
What are the alternatives to HubSpot?
To properly understand the true cost of inbound marketing without HubSpot, it’s important to cover the 5 core areas that make up inbound marketing with appropriate software.
SEO is one of the most crucial areas of the inbound methodology and it’s even more important that you invest in a software that will let you do it effectively. Tools like Moz and SEMRush are the big names in the SEO hemisphere, being developed directly by market leaders, but often come at a premium as a result.
SEO is one of the hardest areas to source software for due to the vast scale of it. SEO can mean anything from backlink tracking, website audits, to keyword rank tracking, so the value you get back from your chosen software depends massively on what you need from it.
Below are the most common features you’ll find with paid SEO software that’s necessary to perform effective inbound marketing:
|Moz Pro||SEMRush Pro||HubSpot Basic|
|Monthly Price||£115.49 ($149)||£154.98 ($195.95)||£165 ($212.88)|
|Onboarding Cost||N/A||N/A||£490 ($632.20)|
|Total First Month Cost?||£115.49 ($149)||£154.98 ($195.95)||£655 ($845.08)|
|Amount of Users?||10||3||Unlimited|
|Number of Lists/Projects||30||50||N/A|
|Keyword Reports per month?||5,000||150,000**||N/A|
*- The above figures are for the lowest priced basic packages with necessary features
**- SEMRush Pro Keyword Reports are daily and have a 5,000 daily limit containing 30,000 results. The daily figure has been multiplied by 30 days.
With hundreds of different web hosting and website builders available out there, it’s easy to miss out on the features you need and having to pay a premium at a later date.
It’s difficult to move platforms at a later date, so getting the right price and functionality is crucial. Having a platform that’s affordable and open source, will allow your website to grow as your content does and avoids any potential bottlenecks.
|WordPress Premium||Wix Unlimited||HubSpot Starter Website|
|Monthly Cost||$8.25 (£6.48)||$9.98 (£7.76)||$102 (£80)|
|Monthly Site Visits||Unlimited||Unlimited||3,000|
|Site Hosting||Free (included)||Free (included)||Free (included)|
|Landing Pages||No (Plugin needed)||Yes||Yes|
Whilst any inbound marketer knows that social media can make or break your inbound strategy, there’s not many providers out there that allow for seamless customisation and automation.
It’s crucial you choose a package that will let you personalise your messages. Automating the same social posts will make your social accounts sound like a robot. If you can’t personalise your messages, how is it going to resonate with the person viewing it?
With HubSpot you can automate and personalise your social messages before publishing.
|Bufffer - Small Agency||Hootsuite||HubSpot Basic|
|Monthly Cost||£77.78 ($99)||£400 ($509.10)||£165 ($212.88)|
|Number of Users||5||5||Unlimited|
|Scheduled Posts Limit||2000||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Competitor Tracking||Yes||Yes||10 Competitors|
|# of Social Platforms||6 Platforms||35+ Platforms||4 Platforms|
|# of Social Profiles||25 Total||50 Total Profiles||N/A|
Email is very important when it comes to inbound marketing. Emails can be used to drive returning customers to your site and nurture new contacts.
Like SEO & content, it’s vital you choose the right provider for the features you need, whether that’s end-to-end tracking, automation, or both. We’ve gone with the market leader MailChimp and it’s counterpart, GetResponse Pro for comparison.
|MailChimp Pro||GetResponse Pro||HubSpot Basic|
|Monthly Cost||£7.86 ($10)** for 500 subscribers||£38.49 ($49)||£165 ($212.88)|
|Additional Costs||$199 (Pro Marketer)||N/A||N/A|
|Number of Users||Unlimited||3||Unlimited|
|Monthly Email Send Limit||Unlimited||Unlimited||10x Contact Tier Limit|
|Contact Limit||2000 (before additional costs)||5000||1,000 Contact Properties|
*- This figure is for sales, email, leads, (among others) combined.
**- This increases by $5 for every 500 subscribers added
Getting leads is one thing, but nurturing them into customers is something that is remarkably easier with the right sales software.
With a magnitude of features and the way consumers are interacting with websites constantly subject to change, two of the big names Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics still remain as the favourites among businesses.
|Salesforce - Professional||Microsoft Dynamics For Sales||HubSpot Sales Pro|
|Monthly Cost||£60 ($76.50) per user||£71.60 ($91.29)||£39.22 ($50) per user|
|Task and Event Tracking||Included||Included||Included|
|Campaigns||Only in Salesforce Classic||Included||Included|
|Account and Contact Management||Included||Included||Included|
|Opportunity Tracking||Included||Included (Create, Edit or Close Opportunities)||Included (Contact Timeline)|
How much would it cost to do inbound marketing without HubSpot?
Using the above, without HubSpot inbound marketing would cost you at the very least £3,579 a year (this is excluding some of the premium options available in separate software).
Then when you can compare that price with the entirety of HubSpot’s package on the basic features (or Pro if there’s only one) below:
|HubSpot (with Agency support so no onboarding fee)|
|Marketing Basic||Sales Pro||CRM||Starter Website (optional)|
|Monthly||£165 ($210.37)||£39.26 ($50)||Free||£80|
|Yearly||£1980 ($2,524.43)||£471.12 ($600)||£0 ($0)||£960 ($1,223.97)|
So, how much would I save using HubSpot?
Now that we know the base cost would be around £3411.112 to utilise HubSpot’s basic paid features in all areas, we can tailor a plan that’s adequate to perform inbound marketing in comparison to HubSpot’s as seen below:
|Inbound Marketing Channel||Chosen Software||Monthly Plan Price|
|Content||WordPress Pro||£6.48 ($8.25)|
|Social Media||Buffer||£77.78 ($99)|
|GetResponse Pro||£38.50 ($49)|
|Sales||Salesforce Pro||£60 ($76.37)|
|Yearly Total:||£3,579 ($4,555)|
|% Difference compared to HubSpot||4.77% more yearly|
The HubSpot features aren’t just what you pay for...
Obviously most inbound marketers don’t pay for HubSpot just because it works out cheaper. The real reason HubSpot is so widely used, is that it offers convenience and measures your growth all in one place. All your digital marketing tools are working together and you can measure your results more effectively. Your marketing efficiency is more optimised and your output can be better as tasks are done quicker yet to a higher quality.
However, this comparison is just the tip of the iceberg with the vast amount of providers out there, especially when it comes down to content. Therefore we've put together this FREE downloadable checklist with a greater look at HubSpot, WordPress and another big player in the Content arena, Drupal.