We have an UPDATED version of this post! Please see our new 2019 version here: [Updated] SharpSpring vs Hubspot: A ‘Real Deal’ Marketing Software Comparison
Marketing software is the heart of coordinating your small business marketing for maximum impact. Marketing software boosts your leads, supercharges conversion, and increases sales, so it’s essential to make the right investment in your marketing software.
Two of the most well-known and preferred marketing software options for small to medium-sized businesses are HubSpot and SharpSpring. Both perform a similar function in integrating and streamlining marketing tasks, combining SEO content creation, email automation, paid ads, and other inbound and outbound marketing tactics in an easy to use interface. However, there are some differences that you should consider before choosing the right marketing software for your business. Below we outline an honest, ‘real deal’ comparison between HubSpot and SharpSpring, to help you make the right choice for your business.
HubSpot is one of the most well-recognized names in Inbound marketing and often referred to as the industry leader in marketing automation. HubSpot launched in 2006 and revolutionized the inbound marketing concept. Their marketing platform is powerful and diverse with everything a business needs to market effectively.
Longstanding company – Founded in 2006, HubSpot has a longer history and a vast range of resources on inbound marketing.
Advice and support provided for software – HubSpot offers platform training and support, but dedicated managers or platform migration support requires an extra cost.
A broad scope of marketing tools across a range of marketing tasks – Everything a business needs in one place.
Highly reviewed and well trusted – HubSpot is consistently recognized as a leading marketing automation software.
Integrates with other marketing and communication tools – HubSpot integrates with other CMS and CRM platforms. However, it does prioritize its proprietary platforms.
Much higher price – HubSpot’s startup cost is $18,000 for the Pro software and $33,800 for the Enterprise package, while annual fees are $15,000 and $28,800 respectively. Annual payments are also required to be paid up front.
Proprietary CMS – HubSpot encourages customers to use their CMS platform for landing pages, forms, and other content creation such as blogs. However, most customers prefer to use other open source platforms such as WordPress. Swapping over to another platform can be tedious and a significant disadvantage in the long term.
Limited features on lower price point plans – Unless you plan on going Pro ($800/month) or Enterprise ($2,400/month), you will miss out on a ton of key features. HubSpot’s lower priced plans do not give you the capability to use marketing automation, meaning your email marketing efforts will be limited. Email marketing is a huge piece of Inbound Marketing so this is a factor you will want to consider in your decision-making process. Other missing capabilities include A/B testing, advanced lead scoring, and the ability to use CSS to match site without tech support.
Agency Relationship – Most businesses want to save time and effort by working with a marketing agency to manage marketing software. The HubSpot model can sometimes have the software coming between the agent and the business, requiring more work and effort for both parties.
Low contact limitations – HubSpot marketing plans come with a set number of contacts allowed on each plan (no surprise there). The catch is that the contact limitations are pretty low for the price you pay. For example, the Pro plan has a limit of 1,000 contacts as default. After that, you are required to pay an additional $50/month for each additional 1,000 contacts. So if you have 5,000 contacts in your CRM, the cost of your software just went from $800/month to $1000/month.
We found that HubSpot is a highly respected and powerful marketing automation platform that meets all the marketing needs of most SMBs. However, you pay for the brand and history with a much higher price tag, and some significant features are not available on the lower priced plan. HubSpot can be great for a company that wants a variety of marketing automation tools and a wealth of marketing resources, but HubSpot might not be the best choice if you want maximum value out of your marketing software for a more reasonable price.
SharpSpring is a newer addition to the marketing automation software world, offering power and flexibility that is comparable to HubSpot. Despite being a newer company, SharpSpring is highly rated and trusted, providing outstanding value for a powerful platform.
A fraction of the cost of HubSpot – SharpSpring has a $1,800 get started fee and $7,200 annual cost for up to 10,000 contacts. The fee is paid month to month, so no need to pay a year up front.
Note: Your monthly fees are lower if you sign with a SharpSpring Partner Agency like Leads Ngin!
High Powered Tools – SharpSpring offers just about all of the tools and functionality that HubSpot offers on their highest priced Enterprise plan, providing even more in some cases. SharpSpring provides core marketing automation, email, form building, contacts and tracking, landing pages, blogging and sales tools. Best of all, they do no limit capabilities based on subscription level.
Integrates perfectly with other platforms – Connects with other CMSs and CRMs according to your preferences.
Full Support Included – No extra fees for platform migration or dedicated support.
Great for Agencies – SharpSpring offers agencies more control and determination about how marketing automation happens, treating companies like partners. SharpSpring has the capability to white-label the software out of the box and rebrands different features.
Newer company – While SharpSpring is gaining steady progress and development, it’s still a younger company.
SEO Recommendations – SharpSpring doesn’t offer SEO recommendations to optimize content, so this needs to be done individually.
Render Testing Emails – While all other email automation features are included with SharpSpring, render testing is available for a small additional fee.
We have found SharpSpring offers astonishingly good value for high-powered and easy to use software that’s comparable to HubSpot. Taking into consideration price point, agency/user-friendliness and marketing capabilities, SharpSpring might even have the edge. With constant development, SharpSpring is set to innovate and advance even more. For a small to medium-sized business who wants excellent marketing automation software packed with value for a very reasonable price, SharpSpring could be the ideal choice.
Every business is unique, and so there’s no ‘one right choice’ when it comes to marketing automation software. Identifying your needs and priorities, and taking them through with a digital marketing agency is the best first step. Leads Ngin has experience working with both HubSpot and SharpSpring software, and are uniquely positioned to analyze your needs and find your best solution. Don’t settle for sloppy and low-performance marketing – contact Leads Ngin today to reach more contacts, convert more leads and boost your sales.