There's no hiding the fact that we are unapologetic HubSpot fans here at 30dps. So I will make no pretense at this being an unbiased answer to the title question. However, we do occasionally run across folks with whom we have a discussion about the "high cost" of HubSpot. Candidly, we put off our own decision to start using HubSpot for over a year, largely because of the perception that the cost was too high for our meager marketing budget. But since the day we pulled the trigger on it, we've never looked back with anything but satisfaction and gratitude.
Investment vs. Cost
As cliche as it may sound, HubSpot should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. Like most software tools, there is a utility value that comes with its use that is hard to monetize. Conversely though, few tools are capable of showing such a clear return on investment as HubSpot. I often say "HubSpot is the best check we write every month" because I so clearly see the value it provides. Here are just a few of the more profound benefits we (and our clients) see from the use of HubSpot:
- Actionable information. I'm a big believer in the importance of mining analytics, but too often our reporting tools presented lots of data—an overwhelming amount in fact—but very little actionable intel. HubSpot not only gives you lots of charts and numbers, it often explains what to make of it, and prescribes what you can do to improve.
- Integrated content management. While you can certainly be a HubSpot user and not take advantage of its content management system, their CMS is one of my favorite components. It is a much more intuitive and helpful CMS than common tools like WordPress or Joomla, and the fact that it integrates seamlessly with the rest of HubSpot just makes the decision a no-brainer. Why pay the cost of hosting your website elsewhere and having to manage your website and your marketing automation in two disparate systems?
- Lead generation made easy. While any website can be set up to generate leads, the entire HubSpot marketing automation and sales platform is designed to help generate and process leads. If lead generation is important to your business, HubSpot is a tool that can help significantly toward generating and managing those leads.
- Improved search engine ranking. Okay, it might be a stretch to give HubSpot the credit for this because, by itself, it cannot affect your ranking. BUT, I can tell you with total conviction that it is unlikely that we or our clients would be enjoying the success we've seen with SEO if it weren't for HubSpot. It gives us all of the tools we need to optimize every piece of content and manage our keyword rankings.
- All-in-one management tool. While we have helped clients with other marketing automation and content marketing tools in the past, they were disparate systems that lacked the sophistication and mature feature set of HubSpot. HubSpot has a single, easy-to-use interface that integrates sales, marketing automation, content management, and analytics reporting within a single login, which is a real luxury. Our clients always remark about how intuitive and robust the tool set is. Their dashboards and reports provide insights into what's working and what to improve.
But Let's Talk Money
HubSpot is more expensive than some other partial solutions that give only a portion of what HubSpot offers—or give it in a less intuitive manner than HubSpot—but there's no denying that you get what you pay for. HubSpot's pricing is based on several components:
- Number of contacts
- Website traffic (the Basic plan + Website Starter CMS option will give you a limit of 3,000 visitors per month)
- Feature set
If you pay attention to the contacts that are generated from your (hopefully) well-engineered website designed to attract just the right prospects, you should have only those contacts in the system that are important to you. Thus, you are only paying for the contacts that you deem valuable.
As you read above, if your website traffic is fewer than 3,000 visitors per month, HubSpot offers a Basic plan and a Website Starter option for their CMS that is a great value. As your website traffic increases, your costs will increase. But as an inbound marketer, isn't driving increased traffic to your website one of your most important goals? If you are doing it right, you should be seeing increased sales that more than justify the increase in cost as you move to the next level. And with it, comes an improved feature set.
The increased expense of the Pro and Enterprise versions will make perfect sense for someone who has exceeded certain thresholds for active contacts and inbound traffic. But the increase in functionality (like A/B testing, custom workflows, smart content, and revenue reporting) that accompanies these stepped-up versions offers an inbound marketer's gold-mine with an exceptional ROI.
Ultimately, every business owner or manager has to make tough decisions on how to spend their money. While marketing can be costly, it truly should be viewed as an investment rather than an expense. Your marketing will either prove to be a worthwhile investment that shows a solid return, or it will prove to be a waste of time and capital. It is certainly possible to waste money on HubSpot, and I would strongly encourage anyone considering HubSpot (or any such tool) to not waste their time and money if they are not committed to inbound and content marketing. However, if you understand the nature of consumers today, and how they control the interaction, you would be wise to make that commitment to inbound marketing. And if that commitment is there, HubSpot will not only prove to be NOT too expensive, but will almost certainly prove to be a wise investment decision with a terrific ROI.
Sometimes You Just Need a Little Help
If, like virtually every successful inbound marketer, you desire to grow your website traffic, increase your number of qualified leads, and improve the efficiency and return of your marketing efforts, HubSpot will prove to be a great value. If you're not sure exactly how to make the most of HubSpot, you can turn to one of the leading HubSpot Partners, 30dps (with offices in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Springfield, Missouri, and Olympia, Washington). Please don't hesitate to contact us. We are serving clients across this great nation and would be happy to help you get the most out of this excellent tool.