HubSpot is one of the most comprehensive CRM platforms on the market. But what if you don’t need such a complex service and simply want to run marketing campaigns without overpaying? It’s worth turning to one of HubSpot’s alternatives.
To help you make an informed decision, we’ve analyzed HubSpot’s functionality for inbound marketing and compared it to the seven marketing automation tools.
HubSpot Features for Email Marketers
HubSpot is the ultimate CRM solution. However, its offerings are split into so-called hubs based on the purpose they serve:
- Sales Hub
- Marketing Hub
- Service Hub
- CMS Hub
- Operations Hub
You can access all the hubs in the CRM suite (starting at $45/month) or purchase each plan separately. Oddly enough, Marketing Hub Starter also starts at $45/month as well as every other hub-specific plan inside HubSpot. So if you don’t need advanced functionality inside any specific hub, going for the HubSpot CRM suite is the most cost-effective option.
What features does an email marketer access inside the Starter plan?
- Forms: standalone, embedded, pop-up, and collected forms.
- Emails: 5x marketing contact tier email send limit per calendar month (if your contact limit is 1,000 emails then you can send 5,000 emails per month).
- List segmentation: up to 25 active lists and 1,000 static lists. You can segment contacts only by submission data, contact property information, and marketing email activity.
- Landing page builder: custom domains and simple templates.
- Reporting: email health insights, basic performance metrics, including deliverability rates, open rates, CTRs, etc., additional performance data, e.g. time spent viewing email, a granular view of email performance with each individual contact.
- Integrations: Google Calendar, Google Sheets, Shopify, WordPress, Hotjar, Databox, and 100+ integrations.
- Project management: a built-in collaboration tool for HubSpot users.
All these features are a part of HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. Sales teams and support reps will also find some useful features in the Starter plan. But for additional limits and more advanced functionality (A/B testing, collaboration tools, advanced lead scoring, etc.), you’ll need a costly upgrade.
HubSpot offers free CRM and sales pipeline management software where you can send up to 2,000 emails per month. The Starter plan simply adds more credits and removes HubSpot branding from emails, landing pages, and forms. The next Marketing Hub plan starts at $800/month and includes automation, A/B testing, contact scoring, content management, SEO, and social media management features.
HubSpot: The pros and cons
After all, why do users choose HubSpot? Without a doubt, the platform has a number of advantages:
- All-in-one software.
- No contact limits for transactional emails.
- The built-in performance analytics and granular data visibility across channels.
- The ability to use basic customer relationship management functionality for free.
- Responsive support.
- HubSpot Academy covers a huge range of topics and is widely known for its certifications.
- If you are ready to invest heavily, HubSpot will allow you to build a customizable software solution serving most of your business needs.
- With a mobile app, you can manage campaigns on the fly.
On the downside, users usually notice the following drawbacks:
- The lack of a tagging system.
- The Marketing Hub isn’t intuitive enough.
- A high entry cost.
- To set up automated workflows and sequences, you’ll need to upgrade to a plan starting at $450/month (the Sales Hub plan).
- A free plan isn’t flexible at all.
- Overall, HubSpot lacks flexibility for those not willing to use its API.
7 Top HubSpot Alternatives For Email Marketers
Now, let’s go through a list of HubSpot competitors for small businesses and SaaS startups looking to spend less time and money managing email campaigns.
Mind that we’ll primarily focus on the email marketing functionality of HubSpot and other tools on this list.
Sendinblue, an all-in-one marketing automation platform, offers sophisticated solutions for small and growing businesses. Despite the abundance of advanced features (transactional email API, list segmentation, dynamic personalization, automation workflows, etc.), Sendinblue is extremely easy-to-use.
Sendinblue’s email marketing toolkit includes:
- Drag and drop email builder
- Marketing automation functionality
- A/B testing functionality
- Transactional email (automation workflows, API, SMTP service)
- List segmentation
- Send time optimization
- GDPR-compliant forms
Paid packages start at $25/month. In both Lite ($25/month) and Premium ($65/month) plans, you access 20,000 email credits per month and can always add extra emails. This way, you can add 80,000 more credits on top of your Lite plan for only $40/month.
Sendinblue has a flexible pricing structure – you can add pre-paid SMS or email credits to any plan without the need to pay for additional features that you don’t need.
There’s also a forever-free plan that includes 300 emails/day, basic sales CRM, core API features, and real-time reporting.
Why choose Sendinblue over HubSpot?
The very first and important advantage of Sendinblue over HubSpot is the price tag. For $25/month, you can send 10x more emails with Sendinblue than a $45 HubSpot plan would allow you to. And at a cost of $65/month, you’ll be using features that are only included in HubSpot’s top-tier plans, starting at $450/month.
To make it clear what you get for the same money inside Sendinblue and HubSpot, we’ll compare Sendinblue’s Premium and HubSpot’s Starter plans:
Mailchimp is probably HubSpot’s biggest competitor. Similar to HubSpot, Mailchimp offers a variety of products for marketing teams, sales reps, and customer support teams. An email marketing solution is only one of the many features available inside the platform.
If all you need is an easy-to-use drag and drop builder and an opportunity to build simple sales funnels, Mailchimp is the right choice for you. But if you need advanced automation tools, you’d better search for a different option. While Mailchimp allows you to implement segmentation and even set up multi-step automation workflows inside its top-tier plans, building custom automations is hardly possible with the tool.
Unfortunately, transactional emails aren’t included in Mailchimp’s standard pricing plans. You’ll need to be a user of the Standard or Premium plan and buy an add-on starting at $20/month to send transactional messages to your customers.
Compared to HubSpot, Mailchimp is way more affordable. Its Essential plan starts at $11/month, with a maximum of 500 contacts and 5,000 emails per month. You can buy extra contacts, and the number of email credits will grow accordingly.
SendPulse is a user-friendly and simple alternative to HubSpot.
The best thing about SendPulse is how many features you access on its free plan. You can send up to 15,000 per month, use SMTP relay, and create up to 5 one-step automation flows without paying a cent.
For WordPress website owners, SendPulse offers an email plugin – with it, users can send marketing and transactional emails.
Contact verification and campaign approval sometimes take too much time, but it’s nothing critical. Speaking of the drawbacks, the platform also doesn’t leave much space for customizing workflows and segmenting contacts (automatically).
If features available on a free plan aren’t enough, you can upgrade to a Standard plan for only $6.40/month or choose a ‘pay as you go’ option starting at $25 for 10,000 emails.
SendGrid is another affordable alternative to HubSpot. Contrary to many providers from this list, SendGrid doesn’t offer any CRM software but specializes in email marketing and transactional email services.
Here are the reasons users prefer SendGrid as the HubSpot alternative:
- High volume sending & good email deliverability
- Drag and drop builder & HTML editor
- Simple email automation setup
Overall, it’s a great solution for tech-savvy marketers who can make use of SendGrid’s code and flexibility. It’s good for early-stage startups that are expecting lightning-fast speed and scalability from their email marketing software.
Surprisingly, SendGrid has included automation in its Free plan and has restricted it for the Basic plan users. As a paid user, you’ll need to upgrade to the Advanced plan ($60/month) to keep using marketing automation software.
You can create 1 sign-up form, store 2,000 contacts, and send up to 6,000/month for free. The Basic 5K plan starts at $15/month. Email API plans, if needed, should be purchased separately. They start at $14.95.
Constant Contact is online marketing software specializing in lead generation, event marketing, marketing automation, and online surveying.
Aside from the typical features of an email marketing tool, Constant Contact offers email surveys that you can embed in your campaigns and get real-time insight into your customer feedback.
The company claims themselves a perfect solution for small businesses and nonprofits.
Constant Contact pricing
The Core plan begins at $9.99 for up to 5,000 contacts and a monthly send limit of 24x your total contacts. The most basic package includes tools for email-list building, email marketing, and real-time reporting. Automated emails and list segmentation are available in the Plus plan which starts at $45/month. No free plan is available.
Here comes one more popular HubSpot competitor. Campaign Monitor is a sophisticated email marketing software offering only the most necessary features:
- Drag and drop email builder
- Marketing automation
- Transactional email services
- Performance analytics
A recently released Link Review tool is also worth the mention – the tool automatically crawls your emails and identifies any links that are broken or outdated.
The ease and flexibility of contact management are two major reasons users choose Campaign Monitor. It’s ridiculously easy to build segments based on a wide range of criteria. Also, you can import and export audience lists almost without restrictions, which is a rare find in the world of email marketing software.
While enjoying automation workflow templates, email marketers might lack the flexibility. Still, marketing agencies can trade it for the white labeling feature, which distinguishes Campaign Monitor from the majority of available email marketing tools.
Campaign Monitor pricing
Just like Constant Contact, Campaign Monitor doesn’t offer a forever-free plan. The product starts from $9/month for 500 contacts and has a monthly email sending volume of 2,500 emails. You can either increase the number of contacts and emails by buying extra credits within the Basic plan or upgrade to the Unlimited plan (from $29/month) and send an unlimited number of emails.
GetResponse is an online marketing platform for all things email marketing, lead management, sales automation, paid advertising, and more. Users often choose GetResponse because of its autoresponder and drip campaign features.
The platform is a good choice for ecommerce marketers for its ecommerce toolkit, e.g. payment getaway integration, e-product delivery, etc. GetResponse also offers the WordPress plugin and a wide range of other integrations for ecommerce businesses.
On the downside:
- The platform doesn’t optimize emails for mobile view automatically, and you need to design separate mobile versions by yourself.
- Transactional email service is only available in custom plans.
- Most of the automation workflows (except for Birthday, Welcome, and Thank you emails) are accessible only in the Plus plan.
In the forever-free plan, you can add up to 500 contacts, send unlimited emails, and use GetResponse’s contact and sign-up forms. There’s also a 30-day free trial where you can access all the premium features.
Paid plans start at $15.58/month – at this point, you can set up autoresponders, use basic segmentation features, run A/B tests, and access major integrations. However, to build advanced automation flows and segment contacts dynamically, you’ll need to go for the Plus plan ($48.38/month).
What’s the Best HubSpot Alternative?
HubSpot can be overwhelming for SMBs. If you don’t want to overcomplicate email marketing, you’d better pick a more intuitive and affordable solution. The best HubSpot alternative for your company is the one that fits your needs and doesn’t require you to pay for extra features that you’ll never use.
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