Read about the dilemma our CEO was faced with while deciding which marketing automation tool to partner with for our very own Digital Marketing and Consulting Business!
On 25th April, 2015, after several weeks of consideration and some sleepless nights, I was about to make a decision to became a HubSpot Partner but was introduced to Infusionsoft by a friend. I thought, as a startup trying to make its place in a market that has over 1800 marketing companies in 44 different categories in North America only – “My Lord, can decisions get easier please”.
As I discussed and re-discussed with my team, reading various articles throughout the last few weeks – my conclusion was that neither Infusionsoft nor HubSpot was the perfect answer; as each has their strengths and areas of development. As a start-up, which is bootstrapping, with a goal to establish a healthy business, I believe I understand the benefits and the limitations of Infusionsoft, which has brought me to the realization that HubSpot can help me grow my business since I can use it for my own business and for my clients as well.
So moving forward I’ll have to purchase both Infusionsoft and HubSpot for my business in phases (and I need to time this well) because since I am in the business of helping other companies, professional salespeople, sales managers, business owners and entrepreneurs automate their sales and marketing so I need to be well-versed in the leading tools on the market to help them make the best decision for your business.
I can see the value in the content-creation, Analytics, Reporting and Lead-Capture tools HubSpot offers and I’m excited to leverage them to grow even faster.
Hubspot VS Infusionsoft
HubSpot vs Infusionsoft is more like comparing a Detached Home to a Condo Unit. Both have their place and both serve an important need at different price points. In these analogies, Infusionsoft is the Condo Unit, while HubSpot is the Detached Home.
While both require an up-front training investment, and both offer sales and marketing automation, they go about it in dramatically different fashions.
HubSpot charges a healthy sum for convenience, great Analytics, elegant tools for creating your content such as emails, lead magnets, and landing pages coupled with great support.
HubSpot also requires you to prepay for a year, and that’s a big pill to swallow for many small businesses (and it’s why I haven’t jumped the gun on their software YET!)
But to be totally honest with you, entrepreneurs can be a flighty group of people and sometimes we need to just dig deep, pay a healthy sum and use that big credit card statement as an attention-focusing tool that makes our resolve to get a healthy ROI even stronger.
Infusionsoft, on the other hand, after the $1,999 Kickstart, offers a month-to-month contract. However, despite this more affordable approach to bringing on new clients, I am sure too many people cancel Infusionsoft after a very short time—like during their 30-day Kickstart—and even months and years later because they just aren’t using the software.
What you need to look at while comparing marketing/sales automation platforms?
Creating, running and building a business is hard work. Any powerful, business-multiplying tool will cost some money and take some effort to learn. So what you need to look at when you compare any sales automation / marketing automation platform includes:
Company Culture – both HubSpot and Infusionsoft are run and staffed by passionate, motivated professionals who are committed to helping entrepreneurs grow and I like what I’ve seen and experienced with both.
Affordability / ROI – I’ve touched on this a bit and will offer more insight below but you are looking at at least $4,400 up front for HubSpot and you could easily get into the $15,000 to $22,000 range for your first year of HubSpot ownership, with most paid up front. But one needs more help on the inbound marketing side of things and training is required in creating effective content, testing out Calls-to-Action, measuring everything you do in that regard, and getting detailed reports on your marketing efforts. Keeping the aforementioned factors in mind, the extra money for HubSpot could be justified by the excellent support it provides.
Support – via both live support and documentation – Both have solid documentation and HubSpot offers live support on the phone 24/7 but limited at nights, which is fine. Infusionsoft offers live chat support 24/5 as well as during the day on weekends to augment their live phone support during the day, Monday to Friday, with an option to pay for an even higher level of 24/7 support for just $29/mo.
Ease-of-use – both have steep learning curves if you are brand new to this type of technology, but both offer services to get you up and running quickly.
HubSpot is teaching advanced concepts as it pertains to mastering Inbound Marketing. This includes blogging, social media, landing pages, lead magnets, calls-to-action, A/B split testing, then measuring, monitoring, and then adjusting your offers to increase your results and helping you automate your Attraction, Conversion, Closing and Delighting.
HubSpot came out with a CRM last December —FINALLY—but they do have elegant integrations with the larger players in the CRM space such as Salesforce.com and the larger eCommerce players out there such as Shopify.
Infusionsoft, with their built-in CRM, sales and marketing automation functionality and shopping cart (in the $379/mo Complete package) is helping you automate 50-100% of your entire business, but they do not have a CMS (Content Management System) to help you create and measure the effectiveness of your inbound marketing.
The reason people quit Infusionsoft is because they don’t have processes to automate and don’t want to take the time and effort to document what they do or how they’d like to do it. The reason people quit HubSpot is for the same reason. While HubSpot puts a lot of things under one roof, you still have to take the time to create the content and the workflows and test and measure and monitor and adjust your results. (Whosoever said owning and running and building your own business is a walk in the park lied to you.)
Affordability: As mentioned above, you own Infusionsoft on a month-to-month basis while HubSpot requires you to pay annually. While I was never a fan of the annual pre-pay, I’ve seen too many people burned by “free trials” and “no setup cost…just jump in and wallow around until you figure it out…then come to us with your hat—and credit card—in hand and pay what we demand to get you on the right track!” to be a fan of those processes, either.
So what do you do next….
Both platforms offer great business-building tools with a different emphasis and vastly different price points and focus areas in marketing and sales automation:
- HubSpot focuses on the top of the funnel by giving you frameworks for your social media and website content – but you still have to write the content to create the inbound traffic they – and I – say you need to grow. They also give you great analytics, sexy email templates, split-testing capabilities and great training and support.
- Infusionsoft offers true sales and marketing automation – including CRM, Email Marketing & eCommerce – found nowhere else at their price point along with great training and support.
So when it comes to HubSpot vs Infusionsoft for a startup business with a finite budget, I’d say it is a difficult decision but will be simple if you define your persona (target market) and business model. We can certainly help you with that. Retain MarkiTech team to help you with your marketing projects and future inbound marketing. Sign up for our free consultation.
P.S. Nauman, finally decided to go with Hubspot and we are proud platinum partners of Hubspot since April and are going from strength to stregth.