UPDATE 10/26/2016: We’ve updated the marketing features of each alternative and added two new solutions since the post originally went live.
As one of the most well-known marketing automation solutions on the market, HubSpot has become a defacto choice for many businesses looking to implement marketing automation into their marketing toolbox.
Best known as an inbound marketing platform, HubSpot focuses on helping businesses use software to implement and manage inbound strategies for lead gen, including email marketing, SEO, and blogging. With 15,000 customers and 75,000 users, HubSpot is considered one of the best and most popular marketing automation systems in the industry.
But that doesn’t mean they’re the right choice for your business, especially with all the different marketing automation software products currently on the market. So how do you sift through the options to find the one that’s right for you?
To help during your research process, I’ve put together a list of some alternatives to consider over HubSpot that more than 30,000 businesses are currently using for their marketing automation needs.
Price: $1,000-$3,000 per month
Since being acquired by Salesforce, Pardot has become a marketing automation favorite for Salesforce users because the company continues to develop a more seamless integration between the two systems.
Users praise its ease of use, with WYSIWYG email design and step-by-step instructions when creating a new piece of content, such as landing pages, forms, drip programs, and automation rules.
- Native integration with Salesforce.
- WYSIWYG email building.
- Integrates with WebEx.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Pardot
- Built-in CMS.
- Robust blogging platform featuring keyword rankings.
- Social media integration.
- Optimize email sending times and days based on past performance.
Price: $895-$3,195 per month
Marketo is another very popular alternative to HubSpot, with 3,000 businesses using the system. Users rate it high for ease of use, though they do say there’s a learning curve for new users, since it’s an advanced system.
- Offers more 3rd party integrations, including WebEx.
- 10,000 contacts database, no matter the price tier.
- App available Windows Phone.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Marketo
- Most basic price package is 1/4th the cost of Marketo’s lowest price.
- User Friendliness.
- Built in CRM.
Price: $199-$599 per month
Infusionsoft provides a marketing automation solution specifically for small businesses. While HubSpot recently unveiled a built-in CRM late last year, Infusionsoft has always had a combined CRM and Marketing Automation system.
Like all complex software systems, Infusionsoft does take some time to implement, according to users, but they all agree that after the hassle of setting up the system and organizing all of their campaigns, the results are well worth the initial effort.
- Includes eCommerce tools, such as a customizable storefront, a shopping cart function, and order history linked to the shopper’s CRM profile.
- No recurring costs.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Infusionsoft
- Blogging platform.
- Integrates with more CRM systems other than its own.
Price: $600-$2,000 per month
As a marketing automation system built for small marketing teams, Act-On promises you’ll spend less time managing the nuts and bolts of marketing and have more time to focus on your business, customers, and results.
Apart from those great features and capabilities, current users rave about Act-On’s customer service, saying that “…most of all, their customer service & support is second to none.”
- Pricing is based on active contacts (those who were sent an email) per month, not the size of your entire database.
- API functionality is offered across all price tiers.
- Integration with Webex.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Act-On
- Predictive analytic capabilities.
- Netsuite integration.
Price: $800+ per month
“The first choice of people buying marketing automation for the second time.” That’s a pretty bold statement! But Net-Results is a favorite among second generation marketing automation users, based on the product’s ease of use and powerful tools.
Their users love the drag and drop function for landing page and email building, as well as all their other easy-to-use features, like lead nurturing and scoring, tracking and analytics, email creation, and social integration.
- Two options for pricing: unlimited email send or unlimited database of contacts. All features are included no matter which option is chosen.
- No setup fee.
- Free trial available.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Net-Results
- System has more standard features, such as A/B testing and dynamic content.
- Content blogging capabilities.
Price: $950+ per month
Salesfusion differentiates itself from other marketing automation solutions as “the only marketing automation software solution that is built on a CRM database” and “can integrate at a deeper level to customers’ installed CRM systems.” So if you’re concerned about how your CRM and marketing automation system will work together, Salesfusion is definitely a worthy option to consider.
Salesfusion users feel very satisfied with the platform, stating that the software is easy to use and there hasn’t been a “I wish it did this” moment as far as functionality goes. Though users agree that the system takes some time to get used to, especially if it’s your first time using marketing automation, most Salesfusion users feel it’s worth the time and effort in the long term.
- It has a QR code generator feature if you want to connect your print campaigns to your digital ones.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Salesfusion
- Even though it promotes its CRM-based system, Salesfusion doesn’t actually offer its own CRM product, unlike HubSpot.
- A mobile app.
Price: $149-$1,999 per month
Marketing Optimizer bills itself as an extra employee for your marketing team, giving you the power to automate more marketing tasks and save you time.
Users love Marketing Optimizer’s ability to connect the sales and marketing teams, and they praise the software’s ease of use and its excellent customer service.
Marketing Optimizer Differentiators
- Unlimited features at every price level, only limiting number of contacts and number of email sends.
- Built in call tracking software.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Marketing Optimizer
- Integrates with a variety of 3rd party platforms in addition to including API functionality.
- Includes more advanced features, such as dynamic content, email deliverability testing, and mobile optimization.
- Social media integrations.
Price: $895-$1,995 per month
A big selling point for Experiture: it has two separate systems specifically for B2B or B2C companies. While marketing automation software is more popular for B2B brands, it’s still a valuable tool for B2C companies to consider. Experiture allows consumer-facing brands to “create, deploy and optimize individualized marketing…build automated, ongoing programs that foster continued, personal customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.” Who wouldn’t want to build relationships with both current and potential customers?
Declared a perfect fit by one user, Experiture provides excellent customer service on top of its easy to use platform and extensive features, including “custom email dissemination, seamless, personalized landing pages, creation of GURLS and QR Codes for print along with a powerful reporting system.”
- Offers eCommerce functionality to combine customer data across all systems, including POS and ERP solutions.
- PPC marketing.
Where HubSpot Wins Over Experiture
- Built-in CMS and blogging platform.
Price: $400- $800 per month
SharpSpring boasts about their affordability while offering features that “businesses actually use for success.” Built for both large agencies and small businesses, SharpSpring offers exceptional customer service.
The marketing automation software is web-based and plays along well with other SMB’s while being universally CMS capable.
- No extra fees for more features.
- No contracts, giving you the ability to cancel anytime. Also has pricing model specifically for agencies.
- WYSIWYG landing page builder, including the ability to create a series of linked pages designed to funnel visitors and prospects into leads.
Where Hubspot Wins Over SharpSpring
- Publishing capabilities for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
$200-1350 per month
Where Real Magnet hangs their hat on is their strong tracking capabilities, while having a powerful analytics page.
The Bethesda-based company offers the gamut of marketing automation featuring numerous integrations, all while offering ease of use.
- SOAP API capabilities.
- Secure Page Services.
Where Hubspot Wins Over Real Magnet
- Publishing capabilities for blogs.
If you don’t have several hundred dollars a month to invest in one of these Hubspot competitors, there are also plenty of free marketing automation systems to get you started.
What other marketing automation systems would you recommend?
Header by Abby Kahler