Today's episode is all about how much HubSpot costs.
I think there are two different ways to answer that question. (OK, well maybe three ways if you work on Wall Street and want to know what a share of HubSpot ($HUBS) costs on the New York Stock Exchange. On the date this podcast episode went into production: $81.50 per share.)
SMART Goals and Opportunity Costs of Forgoing HubSpot
The first way is to think about your SMARTS goals -- your goals that are
For example, let’s say your SMART goal is to grow revenue from $3.0 million to $4.5 million within two years. Give yourself a specific date that's on your calendar: two years from today.
There is an opportunity cost for every single month that you procrastinate. There's an opportunity cost for every month that your goal attainment is delayed.
You're essentially looking to grow your revenue from $250,000 to $375,000 per month.
No matter how many bells and whistles you purchase along with HubSpot, that software commitment will be a drop in the bucket compared to the $125,000 per month that your company is not achieving because you're not attaining your goal and you're procrastinating.
So that's one way to look at what HubSpot “costs” and that's the opportunity cost of not achieving your SMART goal -- even a modest SMART goal for a small- to mid-sized business.
However, I suspect that when you asked that question -- “How much does HubSpot cost/” -- that you're looking for a more literal answer and the actual costs.
Actual Costs of Purchasing HubSpot Software
There are two parts of the actual costs:
- The HubSpot software itself -- That's what I'm going to focus most of this episode on.
- The implementation -- The salaries or professional services fees, or a little bit of both, for your implementation, training, and hiring staff to run your HubSpot software -- implement inbound marketing and inbound sales, content creation and promotion, managing the leads, optimizing, and reporting.
But in today's episode, we're going to focus on the actual cost of the HubSpot software.
The Two Different Kinds of HubSpot Software
And even within the HubSpot software, there are two broad categories:
- HubSpot Marketing software
- HubSpot Sales software
HubSpot has historically been better known for the marketing software -- which HubSpot has been creating and publishing since the company was founded back in 2006. The HubSpot marketing software that you know today: its first incarnation started being commercialized in 2007 and 2008.
More recently, since around 2014, HubSpot has gotten into the sales software business as well.
And I'm thinking that sometime during 2018, HubSpot will also be getting into the support software business, as it’s already planting the seeds for that with announcements made at the most recent INBOUND conference.
Costs for HubSpot Marketing Hub
So let's talk about HubSpot’s Marketing Hub -- its marketing software that's only recently been changed to “Marketing Hub,” instead of just “Marketing.”
There are four levels of HubSpot Marketing Hub that you'd want to consider -- anywhere from free (basically $0 per month, $0 per year) all the way up to $2,400 per month. Or almost $30,000 per year -- or more. And there are a lot of options in between.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Free
So let's first start with HubSpot Marketing Hub Free.
This was formerly known as LeadIn -- originally built as an experimental plugin that worked primarily with WordPress, the open source content management system (CMS).
HubSpot Marketing Hub Free today is primarily for lead capture and activity tracking. It gives you
- Lead analytics dashboard
- Lead Flows that allow you to collect leads from any website page where you can embed a little bit of HTML -- just a real simple form. We have Lead Flows deployed on our website collecting a First Name, Last Name, and Email Address that goes right into our portal’s HubSpot contacts database. But with Lead Flows, there are integrations for other email service providers (ESPs) as well.
- Forms collection
- Contact activity capture -- With HubSpot Marketing Hub Free, there is a “catch.” The activity that you capture is limited to seven days of website activity after a new contact is added to your database. When you upgrade to a paid version of HubSpot Marketing Hub, you can unlock the full contact history and go back as long as the contact’s history exists. So in our case, I can go back and view activity history on the contact timeline back to when we first started out with HubSpot Marketing software back in late 2010, early 2011.
- Basic contact management capabilities
- Contact insights and company insights -- some auto-populated information that shows up in your contact database, similar to what you might see on the About Us page of a company's website or on a LinkedIn company page; just some general information about a company. In theory, it can also auto-populate information about a specific person that more than likely would also pull from a LinkedIn or Twitter profile.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter
So the next level up, regarding the Marketing Hub product line, is HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter.
That's a $50 per month offering. Most HubSpot customers pay annually, so HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter would be $600 per year. Moving up from HubSpot Marketing Hub Free to HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter allows you to customize your forms and access more lead Insight.
With the entry-level paid HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter software, you can:
- Remove the HubSpot branding -- so you're not doing free advertising for HubSpot in return for HubSpot Marketing Hub Free. That can be important for a lot of people because it removes the distraction factor on your forms.
- Add custom fields
- Call or email HubSpot product support
HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic
Now HubSpot Marketing Hub Free and HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter are more recent offerings from HubSpot -- just becoming available during the past year or so in their present form and packaging.
The next three levels of HubSpot Marketing Hub -- what was formerly known as HubSpot Marketing have been around for several years. So there’s:
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise
HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic is a $2,400 per year piece of software, or what HubSpot calls $200 per month and includes:
- Mobile-optimized blogging tools
- SEO and content strategy -- what's now known as pillar plages and cluster pages, to help with your search engine optimization (SEO) and organic traffic generation
- Social media publishing
- Social media monitoring
- Basic email marketing -- with a limited number of contacts out of the box (100) with limited publishing frequency (up to 10 times per month)
- Calls to action (CTAs) -- to move visitors from one part of your website to landing pages
- Landing pages
- Standard secure sockets layer certificate (SSL)
- Single subdomain support
HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional
The HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional software base configuration costs $9,600 per year, or what HubSpot calls $800 per month.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional gives you everything in HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic plus:
- Marketing automation -- what HubSpot calls Workflows
- Goal-based lead nurturing through Workflows -- You set a goal that you want to achieve. Then when you achieve that Workflow’s goal (joining a Smart List), that goal attainment is measured, almost like a conversion of sorts.
- Salesforce integration -- essential if you're going to use the Salesforce CRM software
- Smart Content -- gives you access to personalization tokens to use in different places throughout your website and calls to action
- Attribution reporting
- Granular user roles -- which is a huge issue for most businesses that want certain users to only have access to certain parts of their HubSpot portal. This is similar to how your IT manager might configure file permissions and user roles on your other shared IT resources.
- A/B testing
HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise
The next level up -- the highest level of HubSpot marketing software -- is HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise, which has a base cost of $28,800 per year -- which HubSpot advertises as $2,400 per month.
In addition to everything that's included with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise gives you:
- Revenue reporting
- Event reporting
- Predictive Lead Scoring -- Where HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional requires that assign rules that add or subtract point values to certain conditions on a lead’s contract timeline, Predictive Lead Scoring in HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise uses artificial intelligence to score leads for you -- once you meet the minimum requirements for accurate scoring.
- Contacts reporting
- Company reporting
- Events-based segmentation -- as part of your Smart Lists support
So there are some advanced features in HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise.
But there's another big reason why a lot of people end up with HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise -- which I’ll get to in a moment when we talk about costs and HubSpot contact tiers.
(Again historically, HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise was known as HubSpot Marketing Enterprise, or simply HubSpot Enterprise. (Even with all the advances in HubSpot’s sales software product line, HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise is still the only software carrying the “Enterprise” descriptor.)
Understanding the True All-In Costs of HubSpot Marketing Hub
Now aside from HubSpot Marketing Hub’s newer, lite versions -- HubSpot Marketing Hub Free ($0 per year) and HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter ($600 per year), the other three versions of HubSpot Marketing Hub have additional costs that can add up.
Because onboarding -- essentially training and in some cases consulting -- is mandatory, it’s nearly impossible to just purchase HubSpot Marketing Hub for just the base costs of HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, or HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise.
Most HubSpot customers end up purchasing some Add Ons, additional contacts capacity, and mandatory onboarding. So let's talk about the pricing and costs.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic: Cost of Add Ons, Additional Contacts, and Onboarding
With HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, there are three different Add Ons.
- Website basic content management system (CMS) -- that allows for up to 3,000 visits per month. $1,200 per year ($100 per month)
- Reports -- for custom reporting of sales and marketing. $2,400 per year ($200 per month)
- Ads -- that allows you to tie your advertising spend -- with Google AdWords and Facebook advertising -- to contacts and customers in your HubSpot portal. You’ll see what specific efforts are impacting specific contacts and customers. $1,200 per year ($100 per month)
With HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, 100 contacts are included in the base cost. Contacts include any combination of contact records in your HubSpot Marketing Hub database including Leads, Marketing Qualified Leads, Sales Qualified Leads, Opportunities, and Customers. Many people find that initial 100 contacts capacity quite limiting. You can add additional contacts -- in blocks of 1,000 contacts -- for $1,200 per year ($100 per month).
Mandatory onboarding, to get you up and running, is required for HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic at a one-time cost of $600.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional: Cost of Add Ons, Additional Contacts, and Onboarding
For HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, there are three different Add Ons as well.
- Website content management system (CMS) -- with no visitor limits. $3,600 per year ($300 per month)
- Reports -- for custom reporting of sales and marketing. $2,400 per year ($200 per month)
- Ads -- that allows you to tie your advertising spend -- with Google AdWords and Facebook advertising -- to contacts and customers in your HubSpot portal. $1,200 per year ($100 per month)
So the HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional Add Ons are pretty similar to the Add Ons for HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic. The big difference: the website CMS is $3,600 per year ($300 per month) vs $1,200 per year ($100 per month) because it un-gates for traffic limits. With the lower cost CMS, you’re limited to 3,000 visitors per month.
However one of the bigger differences with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, aside from the more sophisticated feature set, is the number of contacts included in the base cost (1,000 included contacts vs. 100 included contacts) and the cost of additional contacts. The cost for additional contacts goes down drastically. Instead of paying $1,200 per year for each additional block of 1,000 contacts on HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional you’re paying $600 per year for each additional block of 1,000 contacts. The cost for additional contacts capacity is cut in half.
With HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, the mandatory onboarding is more one-on-one, as opposed the small group format with onboarding for HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic. The cost of onboarding for HubSpot Marketing Hub Profession is a one-time cost of $3,000.
HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise: Cost of Add Ons, Additional Contacts, and Onboarding
With HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise, the Add Ons are identical to the Add Ons that you see with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional:
- Website content management system (CMS) -- with no visitor limits. $3,600 per year ($300 per month)
- Reports -- $2,400 per year ($200 per month)
- Ads -- $1,200 per year ($100 per month)
Additional contacts are one of the biggest reasons that I've seen people opt for HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise-- which used to known as HubSpot Marketing Enterprise.
For starters, 10,000 contacts are included in the base cost of HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise, as compared to 1,000 included contacts with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and only 100 included contacts with HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic. The cost for additional contacts, again in blocks of 1,000 contacts of additional contacts capacity, is only $120 per year.
That’s one-tenth, or 90% less than, the cost of the additional contacts with HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic. And one half, or 50% less than, the cost of the additional contacts with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional. Again because of this dramatic pricing difference, a lot of customers end up with HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise solely for this reason.
Mandatory onboarding for HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise is considerably more involved with the most advanced onboarding consultants -- a lot more one-on-one attention. The onboarding for HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise is a one-time cost of $5,000.
Recap of Costs for HubSpot Marketing Hub Product Line
So those are the offerings and costs on the HubSpot Marketing Hub side: anywhere from
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Free at $0 per year
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter at $600 per year
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic from $2,400 per year (plus Add Ons, additional contacts capacity, and mandatory one-time onboarding)
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional from $9,600 per year (plus Add Ons, additional contacts capacity, and mandatory one-time onboarding)
- HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise from $28,800 per year (plus Add Ons, additional contacts capacity, and mandatory one-time onboarding)
HubSpot Sales Hub
Now on the HubSpot Sales Hub side -- remember sales is relatively new for HubSpot, only within the past couple of years, whereas HubSpot as a company was founded originally to work on solving marketing-related problems with software.
These sales productivity tools in HubSpot Sales Hub were originally know as HubSpot Signals and then as HubSpot Sidekick. But they evolved tremendously in recent years.
On the sales side of HubSpot’s software product line, there’s a free version there as well. Hubspot has gotten into the freemium pricing model recently.
HubSpot Sales Hub Free
In HubSpot Sales Hub Free (cost: $0 per year), you get:
- Gmail and Outlook integration
- Contact management -- By using the same contacts database as with the HubSpot Marketing Hub software, there is no integration needed.
- Contact insights and company insights -- same as with HubSpot Marketing Hub
- Companies -- to group contacts together
- Deal management
- Task management
- Email scheduling -- so you can set up an email to for example send at 2 p.m. tomorrow
- Email tracking and notifications -- so you can see which people are opening your emails and clicking on the links in your emails. However, in HubSpot Sales Hub Free, you’re limited to 200 recent opens -- which can get ungated to no limits in paid versions of HubSpot Sales Hub.
- Email templates -- but you’re limited to five templates with HubSpot Sales Hub Free
- Documents library -- but you’re limited to five documents with HubSpot Sales Hub Free
- Calling through your web browser -- but you’re limited to 15 minutes of calling per user per month with HubSpot Sales Hub Free
- Meetings -- with limited functionality in HubSpot Sales Hub Free
- Canned snippets -- but you’re limited to five snippets with HubSpot Sales Hub Free
- Report - one canned report supported in HubSpot Sales Hub Free
So HubSpot Sales Hub Free gives you a little bit of a taste of what have HubSpot Sales Hub is all about. But on the free version, you're pretty limited.
HubSpot Sales Hub Starter
With HubSpot Sales Hub Starter (cost: $600 per user per year), you get
- Email tracking and notifications -- with the unlimited ability to track and be notified in real time about which people are opening your emails and clicking on the links in your emails
- Email templates -- you’re virtually unlimited: 1,000 templates per user per month
- Documents library -- essentially unlimited: you’re limited to 1,000 documents per user per month. Are there people in your sales organization sending out more than 1,000 documents each month? Yes, it’s possible but not likely.
- Calling through your web browser -- It opens up quite a bit more. But you could still hit the capacity pretty easily if you average more than 25 minutes of calling for 20 business days each month. You’re limited to 500 minutes of calling per user per month.
- Meetings -- unlimited and customizable
- Canned snippets -- similar to with Email Template and Documents, with 1,000 canned snippets per user per month, it’s going to be tough to use up that capacity.
- Live chat -- to install on your website
- Email sequences -- kick off as a series of emails that goes to a prospect at predetermined time intervals
- Phone and email support -- HubSpot Sales support by phone and by email when you need it
HubSpot Sales Hub Professional
The highest level of HubSpot Sales Hub is HubSpot Sales Hub Professional (cost: $4,800 per year for the first five users and $960 per year for each additional user). Beyond the functionality in HubSpot Sales Hub Starter, HubSpot Sales Hub Professional includes:
- Multiple deal pipelines -- can be very effective to segment out for different products, services, and divisions that your sales team works on and in
- Sales automation -- kind of similar to the HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise Workflows, but with properties more relevant to sales teams
- Predictive lead scoring -- similar to what’s found in HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise
- Required fields -- can be especially helpful for larger sales teams
- Products catalog
- Smart send times -- similar to email marketing send time optimization in HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise. If you know a particular person is most likely to open an email between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. their local time on Wednesday afternoons, HubSpot Sales Hub Professional will send your messages at the ideal times
- Smart notifications
- Salesforce integration -- similar to what you get with HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional and HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise
HubSpot Sales Hub: Cost of Add Ons
There's only one available Ad On with HubSpot Sales Hub software (HubSpot Sales Hub Starter and HubSpot Sales Hub Professional): the same custom reporting Add On that’s available for HubSpot Marketing Hub Basic, HubSpot Marketing Hub Professional, and HubSpot Marketing Hub Enterprise. It’s a $2,400 Add On.
- Reports -- $2,400 per year ($200 per month)
With HubSpot Sales Hub, for most customers contact capacity will never be an issue and there is no need to purchase additional contacts capacity.
And as of now, there is no optional or mandatory onboarding for HubSpot Sales Hub software.
Recap of Costs for HubSpot Sales Hub Product Line
So here again are the HubSpot Sales Hub costs: anywhere from
- HubSpot Sales Hub Free at $0 per year
- HubSpot Sales Hub Starter at $600 per user per year
- HubSpot Sales Hub Professional from $4,800 per year for the first five users and $960 per user per user for additional users
In addition to HubSpot Marketing Hub software and HubSpot Sales Hub Software, there's also HubSpot CRM Free -- which just like HubSpot Marketing Hub Free and HubSpot Sales Hub Free -- has a cost of $0 per user per year.
HubSpot for Startups
If you are enrolled in an incubator or eligible for a program where you’re in a Series A startup, or seed stage, there's HubSpot for Startups that you may want to look into as well.
This is by application only for people that are enrolled in an eligible program. I believe there are at least a few dozen programs eligible for HubSpot for Startups, probably considerably more by now since I looked at it a couple of years ago.
A little back, I gave a talk to a local incubator that’s participating in HubSpot for Startups at Tech Runway at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) in Boca Raton, Florida. It’s mostly a technology-based incubator. There are some biotech-related startups in there as well.
If you’re involved in an incubator or some kind of accelerator program, look into HubSpot for Startups as it can provide a big discount.
The Bottom Line on How Much HubSpot Costs
Pulling this all together, in terms of how much HubSpot costs…
I started out by asking you to think about the opportunity cost of procrastinating, delaying, and not getting started with your inbound marketing and inbound sales. We looked at how a company with a modest 50% revenue growth target over two years could be losing $125,000 per month by ignoring this and kicking the ball down the field.
But let's focus again on the actual costs of HubSpot.
You have the HubSpot software costs, and that's mostly what I've been talking about in this episode.
And then there's the actual cost to implement HubSpot: train, hire, and staff -- either to build a team internally or to work with an outside firm or combination of the two on your strategy, traffic generation, lead generation, sales cycle acceleration, sales enablement, optimizing everything, and reporting. You need to take all of that into account to get an idea of what HubSpot is really going to cost.
The last thing you want to do is end up with what I call ELS: Elliptical Machine Syndrome. Have you ever known someone that was excited about upping their game on their fitness regimen and getting into really good shape as part of their New Year’s Resolutions on January 1st? Around year-end, that person goes down to the local sporting goods store or warehouse club and buys an elliptical machine.
He’s gung-ho about working out every day at 5:00 a.m. for the first couple of weeks of the year. However by Super Bowl Sunday, Valentine's Day, President’s Day, or St. Patrick’s Day, you go over for a dinner party and notice that the elliptical machine is now being used a coat rack. Poor sad elliptical machine -- it had so much promise for a few weeks but is now collecting dust and being used as a coat rack. It’s sad.
So we don't want your HubSpot software -- with the big investment that you're making -- to turn into that and become an atrophying victim of Elliptical Machine Syndrome.
You can't reach your SMART goals if you're not doing inbound marketing and inbound sales. If you're not constantly publishing and promoting content. If you're not constantly improving how you go about generating leads and accelerating leads into sales opportunities. And all the great things surrounding thought leadership, competitive positioning, differentiation, sales cycle acceleration, and revenue growth.
So those are some of the key things that I want you to think about when you ask the question: “How Much Does HubSpot Cost?”
I'm so glad to have had you with us for this episode of the Inbound Sunshine Podcast.
I'm Joshua Feinberg, and we look forward to seeing you back again next time.
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