There are many HubSpot alternatives that offer core functionality a business needs to successfully generate leads and automate marketing.
HubSpot is good at what they do, that’s why they are one of the most well-known marketing automation platforms out there. Let’s look at the 8 HubSpot alternatives for marketing automation and see how their basic plans compare.
This post has been updated in April 2021, and I update it at least once every quarter to stay on top of pricing and feature changes.
In addition to actual platforms, you’ll also learn a bit more about WordPress marketing automation as an added bonus.
When looking at these alternatives to HubSpot, here’s a list of features you should consider to be able to implement an inbound marketing strategy and campaigns for your business:
- Landing Pages and Lead Capture Forms
- Automation, Lead Nurturing, Autoresponders
- Email Marketing and Email Blasts
- Social Media Updates and Monitoring
- SEO Tools and Optimization
- CRM and Sales Tools
You will quickly realize that HubSpot is the only all-in-one platform as there are no competitors that would match HubSpot 1-to-1 in features. It’s not a bad thing, it’s actually good. HubSpot has added a service component to their stack, I won’t be getting into that as it’s not relevant for marketing automation discussion here.
Why Businesses Leave HubSpot
All businesses I’ve worked with that left HubSpot have barely used 10% of all the features the platform offers. You pay for everything, yet end up using 2-3 top features. That’s why you need to find a platform that fits your critical needs. Don’t get HubSpot because it has everything. You’ll be wasting money. Here’s what one client and former HubSpot customer said about the experience:
I donated my arm and leg to be able to pay for HubSpot’s coaching in hopes to increase my traffic. As a beginner to the online marketing and web developing world, I had to learn quite a lot, from basics to advanced material. If my responsibilities as a business owner only revolved around website and online marketing, I’d be on cloud nine. But for someone that didn’t have a lot of experience, I couldn’t devote all the time necessary to really take advantage of my investment, unfortunately. And when it was all said and done, I had a good website, but not a GREAT website, and a flat-lined lead to customer generator.
You have to be prepared to use HubSpot, it’s not just about the budget to pay for it.
In many cases, without a dedicated team, you will be overwhelmed with HubSpot’s platform. You’ll end up procrastinating, not using it, and wasting your precious budget.
The following alternatives to HubSpot will give you the necessary tools to help you drive traffic, generate and nurture leads, and convert leads to happy customers without giving up and arm and leg for it. Let’s dive in.
Marketing Automation That Listens and Learns
ActiveCampaign is a great option for those looking for an affordable, yet powerful HubSpot alternative. They started out years ago as a simple email marketing platform, but over the years they’ve added marketing automation, CRM, machine learning, and live chat to be a proper marketing automation provider for SMBs.
I particularly like their automation campaigns (the heart and soul), which allow you to automate not only marketing activities (emails, SMS, tagging, etc.) but also sales and productivity. In the CRM I have different pipelines where I’m able to cater to different sales processes based on the services we offer.
To help automate some backend office stuff (and help increase productivity) I’ve created automation campaigns that are triggered by stuff that either I’m doing or data that changes inside ActiveCampaign. For example, I have campaigns that will move deals to different stages or create tasks based on the stage the deal is in.
One very helpful feature in ActiveCampaign is the ability to share email templates and automation campaigns with others, simply by giving another ActiveCampaign user a unique link to import them into their account.
With higher-end plans, you can add site messages (messages that show up on your website), attribution tracking (see where leads are coming from), machine learning (helps predict win probability of your deals), predictive sending (emails sent based on contact’s engagement to get the opens you need), and many other features.
If you’re a GSuite or Gmail user, like I am, you’ll find ActiveCampaign’s Gmail extension for Chrome invaluable. That little bitty thing is a lifesaver. It tracks open rates of my emails sent in GSuite, plus I can access and manage contact records in the sidebar when I view email conversations. So I always know who I’m talking to, where we left off, and where we are on the deal!
If you’re an ecommerce business, you can take advantage of the “deep data” integration ActiveCampaign offers for ecommerce platforms to import orders into your account. Right now it’s available for WooCommerce, Shopify, BigCommerce, Square, and API to build your own integration.
- Unlimited emails
- 500 contacts
- Email marketing and newsletters
- Marketing automation
- Up to 3 users
The basic (Lite) plan starts at $15/mo. If you want to add landing pages, CRM, sales automation, lead scoring, and SMS marketing you’ll need to go with the “Plus” plan at $70/mo and you get 1000 contacts. If you also want website personalization, site messages, predictive sending, and marketing attribution then you need a Professional plan for $159/mo. This is the plan I’m on.
The pricing is incredibly generous compared to HubSpot, keeping in mind how sophisticated ActiveCampaign is. Plus, ActiveCampaign offers free migration and an active Facebook group where you can get help from other ActiveCampaign users.
If you need a live chat and want to integrate it with your automations for a unified experience, ActiveCampaign offers Conversations that costs $19/mo/user.
Ideal For: Small businesses and startups looking to start with marketing automation, but any business (medium and large enterprises) can use ActiveCampaign. It is packed with features, considering how affordable it is. SaaS businesses can leverage ActiveCampaign for user onboarding and customer success, while ecommerce businesses can personalize their email marketing based on purchasing behavior, order data, and recover abandoned shopping carts. It’s also a great tool to sell services and info products, you can create funnels to sell, upsell, and cross-sell your services/products.
If you’re migrating from another provider (like HubSpot), ActiveCampaign offers a free migration service to migrate contacts, email templates, opt-in forms, and automation workflows. Will save you a ton of time and resources.
Agencies: ActiveCampaign is a great option for agencies, and they offer several different options. You can resell (and white label) it, you can let ActiveCampaign handle payments while you handle the account, they also offer an affiliate program for customers. I’ve used a combination of these with my clients over the years. The reseller option is great if you want to handle everything and include ActiveCampaign cost in your retainer.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.6 out of 5 (7192 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 8.8 out of 10 (347 reviews)
Capterra Score: 4.5 out of 5 (1168 reviews)
Marketing Automation and Sales CRM
SharpSpring is one of the closest alternatives to HubSpot on this list. If you compare features 1-to-1.
Like any other platform on this list, SharpSpring offers a full suite of marketing automation features. You can track visitors on the website, and then act on it with automated campaigns. They do track anonymous visitors, which are then identified when they submit a form. So you won’t lose any past history, which becomes critical during the sales process.
What I like about SharpSpring the most is the analytics it provides. In addition to basic analytics like the page, email, and sales metrics, it provides holistic marketing campaign reporting. That’s the screenshot I’ve included. You’re able to get an overall picture of your marketing campaign. This is incredibly useful for marketing agencies working with clients. It becomes very easy to show ROI, so your clients know exactly what you’re doing. This is why SharpSpring is popular among digital marketing agencies.
Plus, SharpSpring is one of the only platforms that also provides a blogging capability. It’s nothing fancy, but you’re able to host a blog with SharpSpring. Otherwise, you can integrate it with your existing website.
The last thing I want to mention is SharpSpring’s CRM. This CRM was built with sales teams in mind. It includes everything a sales team needs to sell, including detailed reporting. If you have a sales team, this would be the right tool for you.
- Starting at 1,000 contacts
- All plans include all features
- Unlimited users (great for teams)
The basic plan starts at $399/mo, billed annually but if you ask they can offer a monthly option. [[In addition to the monthly fee, SharpSpring does include a one-time onboarding fee of $1,800. So you’re looking at $2,250 the first month. Since this is on a month-to-month basis, this makes SharpSpring more accessible than HubSpot. SharpSpring includes all features in all plans, while the pricing is based on how many contacts you have.]]
SharpSpring has generously offered a $300 OFF onboarding fee for Inbound Method readers. Please mention the Inbound Method when you talk to a sales rep.
Ideal For: SharpSpring is great for digital marketing agencies (especially HubSpot partners looking for something more affordable for their clients) looking to use marketing automation with their clients. CRM has the right tools to be very useful to companies with sales teams. With proper tracking, reporting, and collaboration the CRM can rival Salesforce easily. If you have more than one sales rep, this would be the right tool.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.5 out of 5 (648 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 7.5 out of 10 (537 reviews)
Capterra Score: 4.5 out of 5 (679 reviews)
Complete Sales and Marketing Toolbox
SendinBlue is another viable alternative to HubSpot, with an interesting mix of marketing tools to help you get stuff done.
It offers marketing automation that allows you to create automated campaigns to engage and nurture your leads and customers. You’re able to use email, SMS, and live chat to engage with contacts. Plus, it allows you to optimize the send time of your campaigns for each recipient – similar to ActiveCampaign’s predictive sending.
In addition to marketing automation tools that rival HubSpot’s, SendinBlue includes a fully-featured CRM to help you manage contacts and your sales process. You can have unlimited contacts with SendinBlue since they charge based on how many emails are sent. So you don’t have to worry about going over the limit and deleting old contacts.
The 2 features that make SendinBlue stand out from the rest of these alternatives to HubSpot are transactional emails and Facebook ads.
If you have a web app that sends emails (invoices, order notifications, sign-up emails, etc.), you can use SendinBlue to send these emails just like SendGrid, Mailgun, or Amazon SES. Keeping this inside SendinBlue gives you the added advantage of having this important data available in your contacts’ records. So not only do you see marketing emails but sales and app usage emails as well.
If you run Facebook ads, using SendinBlue you can create and run ads within the platform while getting the benefits of having reporting data available right there. This way to can compare ads and campaigns to see what’s working and what’s not working. Facebook ads platform can be complex for beginners, so with a simpler UI you’ll be able to create and run ads quickly, and more of them to get better ROI.
- 300 emails/day
- Unlimited contacts
- Sales CRM
- Marketing automation workflows
- Page tracking
This is SendinBlue’s free plan. The main limit is 300 emails/day. It’s a nice plan to get started, but be prepared to upgrade to send more emails. Your emails will also include the Sendinblue logo/branding. The first paid plan starts at $25/mo with 10,000 emails per month and no daily limit. You can store an unlimited number of contacts.
If you want marketing automation, landing pages, Facebook ads, and other features you would start at $65/mo with 20,000 emails.
Ideal For: With its free plan, SendinBlue can provide startups and micro-businesses without a marketing budget a way to get started. If you send transactional emails and want to tie reporting with everything else to get a better insight into what happens SendinBlue can be a good alternative to SendGrid, Mailgun, etc.
TrustRadius Score: 8.2 out of 10
Capterra Score: 4.5 out of 5
G2 Crowd Score: 4.4 out of 5
Business and Marketing Automation
Ontraport (formerly Office Autopilot) is somewhat unique as it brands itself as business automation, not specifically marketing automation. It’s actually a closer alternative to Infusionsoft, but its marketing automation features make it a perfect candidate for specific businesses as an alternative to HubSpot.
I’ve noticed that many online businesses (coaches, course creators, infopreneurs, etc.) use Ontraport, because it offers ecommerce functionality to sell digital products and even offer subscriptions. It offers everything from order forms, one-click upsells, subscriptions, coupons, lead management, and CRM to power your online business from a “sales” perspective. In addition, you can manage your own affiliate/partner program as well.
Plus, unlike all other platforms, Ontraport gives its customers the ability to create membership websites to create recurring revenue streams. This is a nice feature for non-technical users that don’t want to mess with WordPress plugins.
On the other hand, Ontraport includes all the features of a marketing automation platform to help you get leads and sales. It offers email marketing and leads nurturing, landing pages, forms, and extensive reporting capabilities. Plus, it offers SMS, postcards if you need those, and WordPress integration.
- 1000 active contacts
- Unlimited emails
- 1 user
- Unlimited landing pages and forms
- Unlimited popups
- Limited if/then rules automation
The basic plan starts at $79/mo billed monthly. Ecommerce, membership sites, referral programs, etc. do require a higher-end plan starting with $147/mo. The basic plan is great for marketing automation alone.
Ideal For: Ontraport is uniquely positioned to help run and automate online businesses. It’s great for anyone selling digital products like courses, ebooks, service subscriptions, and memberships. I see coaches using it to sell their packages and courses and infopreneurs selling ebooks, courses, and other educational resources.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.3 out of 5 (133 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 6.6 out of 10 (33 reviews)
Capterra Score: 4.2 out of 5 (66 reviews)
Small Business CRM and Marketing Automation
BenchmarkONE (formerly Hatchbuck) is great for small businesses. It’s an affordable tool that’s easy to use, has a small learning curve, and it has all the necessary tools to automate your marketing and sales. You can start using Hatchbuck almost immediately after sign up. Once you tweak a few settings and integrate them with your website, you’re ready to go. Hatchbuck is simple to use, but that’s due to a limited set of features you would find on other platforms.
Hatchbuck doesn’t have social media management tools, it doesn’t have landing pages, and it doesn’t have CMS to host a website. Visitor tracking (webpage tracking) will only track contacts after they submit a form or click on a link in an email. It does not record visits prior to form submissions, so you’re losing some important data there.
Most small businesses don’t know what to do with it anyway, so it might not be important to you. Looking at what you don’t want can be more helpful than looking for what you want. One of the chief complaints with HubSpot is that you pay for tools you don’t need or use, so it’s good to find a platform that fits your specific needs and pay for that. With its simplicity, Hatchbuck is a good option for beginners and small businesses.
- Send 1000 emails/mo
- 500 contacts
- Social profiles
- Marketing automation
- Landing pages and popups
That’s the new Free plan offered by BenchmarkONE. It’s a great way to start and you’ll be up and running quickly. The higher-end plans include CRM, deal pipeline, dynamic content, Gmail and Outlook integrations, mobile app, and more.
Ideal For: Small businesses looking to get started with marketing automation and a CRM. BenchmarkONE also offers agency pricing, so you can either let clients pay BechmarkONE directly or you can include the price into your retainer.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.5 out of 5 (171 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 6.1 out of 10 (50 reviews)
Capterra Score: Not on Capterra anymore
Email Marketing and Online Campaign Management Tools
GetResponse has a different approach to marketing, some of the tools it offers are a bit different from everyone else on this list and HubSpot.
Yes, it does offer marketing automation features all platforms offers. That’s why it’s on this list of HubSpot alternatives. You can do complex marketing automation workflows based on conditions, triggers, and filters to generate leads and convert them to customers. For ecommerce businesses, it does offer cart abandonment recovery so you get those missed sales.
Where GetResponse stands out among other alternatives to HubSpot are automated funnels and webinars.
Automated funnels give you pre-built funnel templates you can use to quickly create your own funnels that consist of landing pages, forms, emails, even payments with integrations to popular payment processors like Stripe, PayPal, Square, etc. You can sell anything using these funnels – digital and physical products.
“Webinars” is another unique feature that other marketing automation platforms don’t offer. You can actually run webinars using GetResponse while taking advantage of all other tools, including automated funnels. So if you use webinars to generate leads or sell your products/services, you could combine everything in one platform and take advantage of creating funnels quickly. You wouldn’t need a third-party webinar platform like WebinarNinja, which I use.
It also includes sales CRM and landing page builder, with lots of templates.
- Unlimited emails
- 1000 contacts
- Send newsletters and autoresponders
- Landing pages
- 1 sales funnel
- Unlimited lead funnels
- Facebook and Google ads
The basic plan starts at $15/mo, which is pretty reasonable compared to HubSpot and the features you get to use. Higher-end plans include automated funnels, ecommerce, sales CRM, and many more features.
Ideal For: GetResponse can be used by anyone looking to get started with marketing automation. However, I would recommend it to online businesses selling products and/or services. This also includes businesses that market and sell using webinars. You can even charge for webinars. The combination of automated funnels and the webinar platform alone is worth the investment in GetResponse.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.1 out of 5 (631 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 8.1 out of 10 (57 reviews)
Capterra Score: 4.1 out of 5 (248 reviews)
Lead Generation and Growth Platform
Wishpond offers a mix of tools geared at generating leads with social media, although it is not limited to social media. It offers a drag-and-drop landing page builder with a lot of built-in templates that you can start using right away. Plus, they offer marketing automation features that allow you to nurture leads with personalized emails.
In addition, Wishpond also includes popups to help you capture leads so you wouldn’t need any additional services for popups.
What really separates Wishpond from all other platforms is its contests and promotions feature. It allows you to run your own photo contests, sweepstakes, referral promotions, coupons, and many more. If these are important to your marketing, it’s nice to have them integrated with lead nurturing and lead management features for a more holistic approach.
They’ve also added a referral suite, which allows you to create viral referral campaigns to increase engagement and brand awareness. It’s nice to have it built-in, so you don’t have to pay for another tool. It’s a great HubSpot alternative if social media is a huge part of your marketing efforts, like B2C businesses.
- Unlimited visitors
- 1000 leads/contacts
- Unlimited user accounts
- Landing pages and forms
- Marketing automation
- Website popups
- Contests and promotions
- No API access with the basic plan
The basic paid plan starts at $49/mo billed annually and $75/mo billed monthly. If you need a platform that offers social media engagement tools and coupons/promos, Wishpond is a good choice.
Ideal For: B2C businesses can find a lot of value. If you’re looking to do more social media marketing and viral referral campaigns, Wishpond is a good option as it offers those features. Plus, if you already have a CRM you can integrate Wishpond with it since they don’t offer CRM.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.0 out of 5 (121 reviews) TrustRadius Score: 8.8 out of 10 (6 reviews) Capterra Score: 4.1 out of 5 (86 reviews)
Integrated Marketing, Sales and Service Software
EngageBay is a comprehensive, fully-featured marketing platform that easily qualifies as an alternative to HubSpot.
It offers marketing automation features to help track, engage, and convert visitors to leads, while enabling email follow-ups and lead nurturing. You get access to email sequences, automation workflows, landing pages, live chat, forms, popups, and social media tools.
What makes EngageBay stand out from the rest of the platforms are the service desk and 360-degree customer view.
This is the only platform on this list that offers service desk features, similar to HubSpot’s service platform. This gives you the ability to manage your support tickets and support department. What makes this unique, you can create automation across all tools in EngageBay. This means that you can automate your support department similarly to how marketing automation works. Moreover, you can combine automation across marketing, sales, and support to improve the efficiency and productivity of your team (or just you).
Plus, with a 360-degree customer view, you can see everything that happens to your customer across marketing, sales, and support. So not only are you able to automate processes for all 3, but you’re able to see all of it for your customers in one place. That’s a good way to gain alignment across the entire organization. At least marketing and sales, since they do like to butt heads with each other.
- 1000 contacts
- 1000 branded emails/mo
- 2 lists
- 2 Email sequences (marketing automation)
- 5 Autoresponders
- 1 Landing page
- Social media tools
- Live chat
- Sales CRM and tools
- Services management (help desk/tickets)
All this comes with EngageBay’s free plan. It’s a generous plan with a lot of tools included, but those tools are limited. To get the full experience and higher contact and email limit, you would need to upgrade to a paid plan. They start at $14.99/mo for 15,000 contacts and 10,000 branded emails.
One thing to keep in mind, all paid plans come with branded emails. So emails you send out to your contacts will have EngageBay’s logo in them. You will have to purchase unbranded emails to remove their logo.
Unbranded emails will cost you $4/1000 emails if using EngageBay’s server. If you use your own SMTP provider like Postmark, Mailgun, SendGrid, Amazon SES, or custom SMTP then you can buy them for $1/1000 emails. This is not listed on the pricing page, you have to ask.
One thing to note about EngageBay’s pricing, they do offer separate platforms for lower cost in case you need something specific. So you only pay for the tools you use. You can pay for sales tools (Sales Bay), service tools (Service Bay), and even marketing tools (Marketing Bay).
Ideal For: With a robust free plan, EngageBay will be a good option for startups and small businesses looking to get started. Businesses with budgets can leverage EngageBay to unify their marketing, sales, and support departments to get a 360-degree view of their customers. If you need to offer support to customers, you can use help desk features to do so. IT businesses can benefit from EngageBay’s all-in-one suite.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.6 out of 5 (100 reviews) TrustRadius Score: None (2 reviews) Capterra Score: 4.6 out of 5 (67 reviews)
Lead Generating Machine
You might not consider WordPress to be a marketing automation software and lead generating machine, but you can do pretty much everything with WordPress now. Out of the box, WordPress is an excellent CMS, and with excellent plugins, it can be extended to do anything your heart desires. This includes marketing automation.
- Easy to use CMS
- Advance SEO with plugins
- Landing pages with custom post types
- Lead capture forms with plugins
- Social media integration with plugins
- CRM integration with plugins
- Email marketing and lead nurturing integration
- Marketing Automation and lead tracking
- Freedom to customize anything you want
A lot of work that I do is either helping businesses get started with marketing automation, get a better website, or help a HubSpot customer migrate to a new setup that usually includes a WordPress website.
Depending on what the client needs, we figure out the best approach to take. With WordPress, there are a million ways to skin a cat. For my own business, for example, I use WordPress for the website, SEO, and landing pages. While marketing automation and CRM are handled by ActiveCampaign. I simply didn’t want to have everything in WordPress. If WordPress goes down, I still have access to my CRM and my emails continue to go out uninterrupted. Plus, if WordPress is hacked I don’t have any personal information there so there’s no need to report breaches under GDPR.
WordPress can be one of the best and most affordable alternatives to HubSpot for small businesses on a tight budget if that’s what you want. Don’t expect to have everything in WordPress that HubSpot offers. Frankly, it’s not necessary. Find tools that complement WordPress. A toolbox is better than a Swiss Army knife. If one tool breaks, you don’t have to replace the whole thing.
Marketing Automation Plugins for WordPress:
Over the years there were several marketing automation plugins for WordPress. At this time, there’s only one that will give you a lot of the features you find in HubSpot inside your WordPress website.
Groundhogg allows you to manage marketing funnels, send out broadcast emails, has a built-in CRM, reporting, works with all themes, and integrates with many popular services and plugins. This all takes place inside your WordPress admin. The pricing starts at $20/mo billed annually.
If you do plan to have all of this inside WordPress you will need a dedicated SMTP service to send out emails and not end up in spam. You will also need to pay attention to the security of your website since you will store a lot of private information in the CRM. Your website being hacked would be considered a breach under the GDPR and must be reported.
Ideal For: If you’re using WordPress for your website, you should consider if adding marketing automation plugins makes sense. They do add another layer of complexity to managing WordPress (if something breaks), but if you have skills or dedicated support to manage WordPress it can be a viable solution especially if you’re on a budget.
You should also consider a hybrid approach, what I do. Let WordPress power certain parts it’s good at while letting another platform power marketing automation. If you have multiple websites that need to be tracked in one place, you’ll need a third-party platform. You can’t use the plugin I mentioned above since it will only track websites they’re installed on.
G2 Crowd Score: 4.3 out of 5 (7874 reviews)
TrustRadius Score: 8.4 of 10 (2595 reviews)
Capterra Score: None, lists WordPress.com instead
Wisdom For The Road
Over the last 12 years, I’ve worked with hundreds of businesses leaving HubSpot. None of them ever regretted switching to WordPress or another, more suitable alternative. The key to their newfound success was a narrow focus on the tools that they really need to get the job done now.
Don’t get an all-in-one solution just because you can or you want to. Get the tools that will meet your immediate needs to increase revenue quickly. Once you begin generating leads and sales, you can always scale. Remember, you don’t need marketing automation software to generate leads.
Any of these 8 alternatives to HubSpot will offer marketing automation. You just need to know exactly what features you need and what you’re trying to accomplish. Don’t forget, it’s not really automatic. The system needs an operator to function correctly, which means at least 10-15 hours per week dedicated to inbound marketing to make it work for your business.
None of these systems are set and forget, they all require tweaking to get better and generate more leads. If you’re shopping for a marketing automation platform, read this post to help you with your decision.
Do scan through the comments below, over the last few years many new platforms popped up and left a comment. You’re bound to find something new there.
If you have any questions or need help, tweet me.
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post are affiliate/partner links.