Marketing in today’s fast-paced, digital landscape requires good tools that enable timely outreach, lead nurturing, multi-channel coordination, mixed media, conversion optimization, and more. Enter HubSpot Marketing Hub, marketing software focused on helping you attract and convert visitors through inbound marketing campaigns and various other tactics.
Despite HubSpot removing us from their partner directory, we still think the platform is one of the best all-in-one solutions for most companies’ marketing needs. If you’re leaning toward buying it, the question is: Should you jump straight to HubSpot Marketing Professional or start with a lower plan?
Let’s be real—we know that most growing businesses would balk at a price tag of $800+ per month—the current subscription rate of the Professional plan as of February 2022. However, given the right business context and goals, it’s our view that this plan can still be a worthwhile investment.
So what is the “right” business context for making HubSpot Marketing Professional a good choice? Let’s walk through some key highlights of each HubSpot marketing plan and some example scenarios.
Question: Should You Choose HubSpot Marketing Professional Or Another Plan?
If you’re considering the Free plan…
As you probably already guessed, the Free plan has barebones features—just enough to get you started:
- Forms. Collect contact information from soon-to-be and current customers using standalone, pop-up, and embedded forms.
- Email marketing. Create and send bulk emails (up to 2,000 per month) to contacts you’ve collected through forms and offline methods. Take advantage of drag-and-drop editing and format optimization based on device.
- Ad management. Connect accounts from supported ad networks, use all available ad types, and create audiences based on your website visitors.
- Landing pages. Use a drag-and-drop editor and simple templates to build up to 20 responsive landing pages for visitor conversion.
- Live chat. Chat individually with your visitors as they browse your website, answering questions they may have and pushing them toward a sales call or a product purchase.
- Support. You’re limited to self-serve options (HubSpot knowledgebase and forum).
What business context works best for the Free plan?
If you just started your business, or you’ve been in business for a while with little to no marketing efforts, the Free plan serves to get your feet wet. You can familiarize yourself with the platform and get yourself set up with foundational marketing features.
For example, let’s say you started your business a year ago and have been relying on word-of-mouth referrals and a small amount of traffic to your website. You work by yourself or with a team of two to five people, none of whom are dedicated to marketing. You decide to explore different marketing tactics to start growing your business and you’ve heard good things about HubSpot, so you’re willing to try it. In this case, the Free plan could be a good (but temporary) fit.
If you’re considering the Starter plan…
With the Starter plan, which is an affordable $45 per month, you can make HubSpot your own (no HubSpot branding) and get technical help when you need it:
- Forms. By upgrading to Starter, you can use custom styling on your forms.
- Email marketing. Starter provides five times the email send limit of your marketing contact tier.
- Ad management. In addition to website audiences, you can also create Facebook Lookalike Audiences and two contact and company list audiences.
- Landing pages. Go a step further than Free by incorporating custom domains for your landing pages.
- Email and in-app chat support. Starter grants you access to the HubSpot support team via email and app chat.
What business context works best for the Starter plan?
It’s called the Starter plan for a reason. The Free plan can help you test the waters, but the Starter plan is really where you want to begin your marketing journey if you have a limited spend and inadequate bandwidth for full-time marketing efforts.
Small companies with a tight budget can use the Starter plan to take better control of their marketing presence and ensure their presentation isn’t minimized by HubSpot branding, which can be distracting or confusing for visitors. Marketing assets with third-party branding may even be taken less seriously by visitors.
Here are some other indicators that Starter may be a suitable fit for your business:
- You have 1,000 or fewer marketing contacts.
- You’re receiving a small number of leads and converting less than about 20 of these leads per day.
- You’re blogging consistently with little to no trouble.
As long as the time required to create blog posts, and convert and interact with your leads, isn’t too time-consuming, Starter could work for you. However, once your team is feeling stretched, it’s time to consider HubSpot Marketing Professional.
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If you’re considering the Professional plan…
At $800 per month, the HubSpot Marketing Professional plan takes your marketing to the next level by significantly increasing your marketing efficiency:
- Omni-channel marketing automation. Create automated campaigns across email, social media, your website, and more with the help of up to 300 visual workflows and bot builders.
- Custom reporting. Build up to 100 custom reports using data from your contacts database and marketing engagement data so you stay informed about your marketing efforts.
- Social media. Schedule and publish updates, and analyze performance across the major social media platforms—Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
- A/B testing. Identify the best versions of landing pages and emails by testing variations of copy and design.
- Teams. Create up to 10 separate teams.
What business context works best for the Professional plan?
One of the biggest draws of the Professional plan—and what sets it apart from the lower plans—is its automation features. Being able to build workflows that require no direct human interaction frees up a lot of time for your team and ensures no lead gets left behind.
But if you’re currently using Starter, when do you know it’s time to make the move to Professional? Consider it if:
- You have leads coming in and don’t know what to do with them.
- You’re missing out on conversion opportunities.
- You’re ready to go all-in with your marketing and now have the appropriate budget.
How To Get The Most Out Of HubSpot Marketing Professional
Nearly all of Nectafy’s clients are on the Professional plan. Based on our experience, doing the following will help you make the most of your $800 bucks monthly:
- Dedicate a team member to learning HubSpot’s ins and outs and continually executing on that knowledge.
- Assign at least one team member to work on marketing strategy.
- Commit at least two people to focus on content marketing (what Nectafy calls growth content)—including strategizing, writing, editing, and wiring up for publishing.
- Designate at least one team member to sales, handling the leads your marketing efforts produce.
If you’re considering the Enterprise plan…
Enterprise is HubSpot’s highest plan, jumping up to $3,200 per month. Think of it as the Professional plan on steroids, with advanced features catering to the needs of larger corporations and multi-brand businesses.
- Reporting dashboards. Enterprise doubles your dashboards from Professional’s 25 to 50.
- Custom reporting. Get 500 custom reports vs. the 100 in Professional.
- Omni-channel marketing automation. Upgrade from 300 workflows to 1,000.
- Teams. Go from 10 teams to 300.
What business context works best for the Enterprise plan?
One of the biggest draws of Enterprise is that it includes 10,000 marketing contacts. Compare that to Starter’s 1,000 and Professional’s 2,000, and you'll see it's a huge jump.
Only one of our clients has ever needed Enterprise, and that’s primarily because they had multiple brands—they wanted the efficiency of managing all their brand domains in one tool, something that isn’t possible with the lower packages.
Need help making the most of your HubSpot Marketing Professional investment?
The HubSpot Marketing Hub is a powerful marketing tool, but it can sometimes be overwhelming for the uninitiated. Even seasoned users may find it a challenge to use the platform to its full potential while also handling their other responsibilities.
That’s where Nectafy comes in. Not only do we help alleviate the burden of setting up the platform, but we will also work alongside you in using HubSpot to support your growth marketing efforts.
We’ve got growth marketing down to a science, with a little art thrown in for good measure. We handle strategy, content production, execution, monitoring, reporting—every aspect of growth marketing that contributes to your business success. We’d love to show you the magic of this highly effective marketing initiative—drop us a line if you’d like to talk!