No one can deny that HubSpot is a great CRM and marketing solution for larger firms looking to have all of their tools in one place. But is an all-in-one platform the best choice for your business?

The truth is that not all SMBs (small to mid-sized businesses) need an extensive automation platform. For many smaller businesses, HubSpot may not only be overkill…it may actually be less effective than using best of breed tools integrated together.

As an SMB you might not have the huge budget that enterprise businesses do. So before committing to a long-term contract with HubSpot, here are a few marketing software alternatives to help you build a more affordable and more effective marketing stack than HubSpot’s.  

For landing pages: Unbounce

HubSpot hails Unbounce as the leading lead-form tool, and there’s good reason. The software is easy to use, with drag-and-drop tools and deep analytics to see how your pages are performing. If your company needs a specific landing page that’s distinct from the rest of your site – or if your site is just a single landing page – Unbounce could be the right solution. Plans start at just $79 a month, which makes it a cost-effective way to capture more leads and build your subscriber list.

For blogging: WordPress

Nobody disputes that WordPress, the world’s leading blog platform (nearly 50% of all websites use WordPress), is easy to use and integrates nicely with many other marketing tools. Its longevity in the market has given it a wealth of free resources available online, from templates to troubleshooting guides to integrations.

Specifically compared to HubSpot, WordPress is a far more powerful content management system, with a wide array of plugins, widgets, coding flexibility and site-speed enhancement. It’s great for tagging and organizing media and posts on your site.

Plus, it’s theoretically free: some templates and plugins cost money, and you’ll likely want to hire a developer to augment any given theme, but the resources are out there.    

google analytics

For analytics: Google Analytics

Google’s free analytics software is easy to install and gives you the data you need to better understand what’s working and what isn’t. With Google Analytics you get info on:

  • Daily site visitors and unique site visitors each month
  • What channels are driving traffic to your site – SEO, PPC, referral, etc.
  • Time spent on site, pages viewed, and demographic/technographic data
  • Which landing page people are entering your website from
  • Which pages are getting the most traffic

As a free app from the most popular search engine, Google Analytics is a must-have when it comes to website tracking.

HubSpot’s analytics are basic; you can only really view your number of users and progression over previous months. With Google Analytics, you can check specific time periods of traffic; discover what browser, operating system and device your audience is using; dig into specific content by country; see what percentage of viewers look at multiple pages; and create reports for all this. Plus, because it’s Google, there’s a wealth of how-to information available for newbies.

For Marketing Automation and CRM: BenchmarkONE

While BenchmarkONE doesn’t have all the bells and whistles of HubSpot, it packs a core feature set SMBs love at 1/10 of the cost of HubSpot’s platform. BenchmarkONE has a breezy interface that allows you to add information to user profiles that stays with them from their initial contact as a lead to their eventual conversion to a customer.

BenchmarkONE rolls up sales, marketing and customer relationship management into one sales and marketing software – letting teams work together well and preventing customers from getting lost in a bureaucratic shuffle.

Combine that with BenchmarkONE’s built-in email marketing tools, and you get all the features you need to capture, nurture and convert more visitors and prospects into customers. Pricing starts at just $29. With BenchmarkONE, there are no contracts and an abundance of resources such as live support and training to get you up and running in no time.

Image courtesy of Hootsuite

For social media: Hootsuite

Another software to check out is Hootsuite – a social media software that allows you to monitor your social channels tidily and conveniently. A big feature for Hootsuite is its organizational structure: you can schedule posts to Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Google+, and view them all in a single calendar. You can also create different tabs on the main dashboard, allowing you to cleanly check your mentions, private messages, recent followers or news feed for each social platform in a different column. With a modest payment plan for growing teams, it’s one of the best freemium digital marketing tools around.

For keyword tracking and planning: Rankie software and Google AdWords

HubSpot allows you to track keywords in Google, effectively an add-on research tool for pay-per-click marketers. But HubSpot’s keyword-research tool doesn’t help generate many new ideas. Instead, a better option would be to find a specialized keyword tracker, such as the WordPress plugin, Rankie, which offers tracking analysis in a deeper way.

Google AdWords, meanwhile, has a specialized tool called Google Keyword Planner that utilizes its status as a primary source to tell you what keywords are worth investing in through SEO and paid channels.

By using these seven sales and marketing alternatives to HubSpot you’ll build a more budget-friendly marketing stack that’s a better fit for your business.

Need a little help putting the right tools together?

Check out this super helpful marketing stack builder. It’s a quick and easy resource to help you compare tools within your budget. Happy hunting!