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The Pros and Cons of HubSpot's Marketing Hub Starter: Is It Worth It?

HubSpot, one of the leading inbound marketing softwares for sales and marketing teams alike, recently launched a budget-friendly starter pack for businesses looking to go inbound.

The HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter offers a wide variety of lead capture and lead nurturing tools that any small business can use to get their marketing efforts off the ground and started the right way.

But, how does the Marketing Hub Starter compare to their free marketing tools and their professional and enterprise packages?

Let's take a look at some of the pros and cons of this new software package and the potential benefits it can bring your business.

Pro: It’s Very Affordable.

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The Marketing Hub Starter is a budget friendly marketing solution at only $50 a month, compared to the next level up (professional), which is $800 a month, billed annually. Additional tiers are available based on the company’s number of contacts.

Starting out on a smaller scale allows your business to accustom its employees to the most basic features of a marketing software, from live chat and form creation to reporting dashboards and email marketing.

Once you know how these features work and are able to easily use them to improve your marketing efforts, you’ll be more prepared to level up to Marketing Hub Professional.

“Marketing Hub Starter gives growing marketing teams the tools they need to get started in one easy to use platform, without the enterprise software price tag. And when they’re ready to take their marketing to the next level, HubSpot will grow with them by making it easy to add features as needed.”      – Kipp Bodnar, CMO of HubSpot

Con: It Only Adds Four New Features to the Free Marketing Tools Already Available.

HubSpot is a leading software company that organizations in all kinds of industries want to work with. They are looking for valuable marketing tools to help increase their lead generation and organize their customer contact information. Within the free tools, marketers can:

  • Create forms
  • Manage contacts and contact activity
  • Gather contact and company insights
  • Create Facebook/Instagram lead ads
  • Use one Conversations inbox
  • Use team email
  • Add live chat to their website
  • Create basic chat bots (without custom if/then logic)
  • Receive standard reports on one dashboard

These basic lead capture tools are easily accessible and free for any company to use from HubSpot. When you upgrade to the starter pack, you receive these features plus:

  • Removal of HubSpot branding
  • Email marketing tools
  • Lists
  • Mobile optimization

Con: The Additional Tools Come With Limitations.

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On HubSpot’s pricing page, you can easily compare the tools available with each marketing pack. If the tool is 100% available for use, the circle turns orange and is marked with a check. If there are restrictions involved, the orange is marked with a horizontal line.

When checking out the added tools to the HubSpot Marketing Starter, you will notice these limitations listed:

  • Email marketing: 5X contact tier email send limit per calendar month. Includes personalization. Does not include design manager, blog/RSS emails, or multiple CAN-SPAM footers.
  • Lists: Up to 25 smart lists and 25 static lists. List segmentation criteria limited to form submission data, contact property information, and marketing email activity.
  • Mobile optimization: Content limited to email only.

So, what does this mean?

If your company has 100 contacts, you'll only be able to send up to 500 emails per month. If you are trying to use email marketing to actively and consistently connect with your leads and prospects and feed them valuable information to convert them to customers, you might not have as much leeway as you'd hoped. 

How do these restrictions compare to the other packages available?

The good news is the email marketing and lists tools are actually restricted with every package HubSpot offers.

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For both the professional and enterprise marketing package, businesses have a 10X contact tier email send limit per calendar limit. They do include design manager and blog/RSS emails, however, and enterprise offers multiple CAN-SPAM footers.

As far as lists, compared to the 25 smart lists and 25 static lists available through the starter package, the professional package offers 1,000 smart lists and 1,000 static lists, and the enterprise package offers 1,500 smart lists and 1,500 static lists.

These limitations probably have little effect on smaller businesses with a smaller number of contacts and are just now expanding their marketing efforts to build out their customer base. This is really who the Marketing Hub Starter is targeting, after all. In fact...

Pro: It's the Perfect Package for Any Small Business.

If you're a small business looking to boost your lead gen and brand awareness and prioritize your contacts, you need this starter pack.

No other marketing software around will be this affordable and offer all the tools that HubSpot does. Sure, there are limitations. You can't create and manage calls to action, landing pages, utilize HubSpot's social media manager, or build out smart content.

However, chances are, all this is new to you anyways.

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And don't worry. As you're just starting to get your feet off the ground, there are additional tools you can use for social media and CTAs. If you want to plan out your social media content and schedule posts for the week, websites like Hootsuite and Buffer are great, and free, options to use. If you need some place to design CTAs to entice prospects to check out new offers or promotions, free design websites like Canva are great alternatives.

Until you're really ready – both mentally and financially – to dive head first into a more advanced HubSpot marketing package, you can still find ways to use what HubSpot has to offer while finding alternatives to the limitations of the starter package.

Pro: HubSpot Will Be There for You Every Step of the Way.

Marketers using the free marketing tools can only turn to HubSpot Community for support.

However, the Marketing Hub Starter gains your business access to email and additional in-app support options from HubSpot. This means you won't be left to your own devices: Any questions you have, HubSpot will be there to answer. 

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New softwares can be tricky; you just start learning the ropes, and you aren't sure the right place to go next. With HubSpot support, you'll be able to build a stronger marketing strategy with the new tools the Marketing Hub Starter provides.

If you haven't already jumped on the inbound train, don't let it take off without you. For any business interested in going inbound and learning all the basics of what HubSpot has to offer, consider trying out the Marketing Hub Starter.

HubSpot says it perfectly: There's a better way to grow. And the starter option is your best first step. 

HubSpot Starter Pack CTA

Baylor Cherry

Baylor Cherry

Baylor is a Marketing Specialist for Bluleadz. As a native Floridian, she enjoys soaking up the Florida sun, buying clothes she can’t afford, and dreaming about one day owning a dachshund.