Low-Cost Hubspot Alternatives We Use Everyday

Low Cost Hubspot Alternatives for Marketing AutomationUnless you are new to the world of Inbound Marketing and Marketing Automation – you have no doubt heard of Hubspot.  You might have even seen a demo or viewed a webinar.  Speaking from personal experience as former Certified Partners, Hubspot is the cream of the crop.  They offer an incredible array of features and insight into your visitors.  There’s just one problem – not everyone can afford the price tag!  The entry level packages start at $200/month, but in order to get the most popular features, you are looking at $800-$1000/mo for a minimum number of contacts.  One of the main reasons Hubspot is so expensive is that they cover so many things on their platform.  Email, Contact Lists, Lead scoring, Content Management, Social Publishing, SEO Analysis, etc.

So What are some Hubspot Alternatives?

One thing we found when we used Hubspot was that being a WordPress user, we weren’t taking advantage of a lot of Hubspots features – but we were sure paying for them!.  So, as much as we loved Hubspot, we decided to take the time to find alternatives that would cost much less, while offering the same results.  We get a lot of questions about hubspot alternatives and decided to write this post to cover some of our favorites.   We hope you will find them useful as well!

Hatchbuck – Marketing Automation

Hatchbuck - Marketing AutomationHatchbuck, which starts at $99/mo, is the most full-featured of the products we chose to facilitate our marketing automation.  Hatchbuck’s standard features include: contact management, lead scoring, form generation & conversion tracking, CRM, email creation. and mass-email service.  In a nutshell – Hatchbuck serves as the core of our marketing automation system.  It handles our marketing emails, automated drip email campaigns, and more.  Hatchbuck keeps track of each visitors activities on our site and wraps it all up in an easy to use contact management interface.  All in all – we couldn’t be happier with Hatchbuck.

WordPress – Content Management

Wordpress for Inbound MarketingOne big criticism many have of Hubspot is their content management system.  It isn’t that their CMS is bad, to the contrary, it is a very robust CMS.  The bigger issue is that there are so many great CMSs out there – why would you want to reinvent the wheel?  There is also the risk of something happening to Hubspot, and your site data is locked in a proprietary CMS that you do not host.  We have long been fans of WordPress for its ease of use and for the fact we can make a WordPress site look any way we wish.  It is a great platform for Content Marketing and is very SEO friendly.  Best of all – WordPress is absolutely free!  Wordpress is by far the most popular CMS out there (in terms of installations, not personal opinion here).  It is also completely open-source and non-proprietary, meaning you can take your site anywhere.

Gravity Forms – Lead Generation

Gravity Forms - Best Form Builder for WordPressFirst of all, Hatchbuck lets you build forms and embed them in WordPress.  However, there are times we would rather control that process entirely on the website.  Gravity Forms makes it quite easy to set up a landing page form with downloadable content hidden behind a form.  Gravity forms is inexpensive ($39 for a single site license), and allows the user to create practically any type of form imaginable.  With their free addons, there is virtually no limit to what you can build.  Order forms, surveys, quizes, and of course – general contact forms.  One of the best things about Gravity Forms is the flexible confirmation and notification options.  You can develop custom notifications based on conditional logic.  For instance – you might have the user choose “general contact” or “technical support” when they fill out the form, and you could display a custom notification based on the choices they make.  These notifications can be used to deliver whitepapers, ebooks, etc.

Lead In – Lead Intelligence

Lead-In - Lead Intelligence for WordPressLead-in is a plugin for WordPress that was actually developed by Hubspot.  The idea was simple – to bring Hubspot-level visitor intelligence to WordPress, and NOT charge for it.  Lead In is a free plugin that offers a lot of additional functionality through “Power-Ups”.  Power-Ups include specialty stats, connectors for popular email services, pop-up forms and more.  Out of the box, Lead In pulls in a good bit of detail about a visitor, once they have filled out a form.  It tracks return visits, gives you detailed drill-down paths so you can study their behavior, and much more.  Lead In can often get the users company name and information, size and even social profiles, making it easy to get some background information on a lead before you reach out to them.

Mailchimp – Email Marketing

Mailchimp - Email Marketing & AutomationPersonally, we route all of our email through Hatchbuck.  However, we have a lot of clients that don’t need that level of marketing automation such as drip campaigns, etc.  For those situations, it is hard to beat Mailchimp.  For the record, you can actually set up drip campaigns in Mailchimp – however, if you plan on doing that a lot, you need to look at a system designed for that sort of activity.  At its core, Mailchimp provides a fantastic interface for creating and designing emails, managing your contact lists, and sending out mass marketing emails.  Mailchimp is free as long as your contact list stays under 2000 members (and you don’t mind the little monkey at the bottom of your emails).  When it becomes time to pay for your account, it starts out at $20-$30 per month.  Very reasonable!

A Final Thought…

This is certainly not an exhausting list of Hubspot Alternatives – if you are truly interested in apples-to-apples competitors of Hubspot, there are a few out there.  Google “marketing automation” and you will find a slew of products that fill this space.  Be warned though, many are equally expensive and some are even more!  If you have that kind of budget, you can’t go wrong with Hubspot.  For start-ups and small businesses, however, part of being a nimble and adaptive business is diversifying your tool-set.  Don’t put all your eggs (data) in one basket.  With the tools we mentioned above, you can put together a customized marketing automation suite that does just what you need.

Need Help with Marketing Automation, Inbound Marketing or SEO?

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Middle-Earth “Places To Stay” Reviews

A Hobbit Hole built 20 minutes from our office in Flag Pond, TN.

A Hobbit Hole built 20 minutes from our office in Flag Pond, TN.

It’s time for the final installment of The Hobbit films.  The Battle Of The Five Armies opens tomorrow.

As Yext certified partners, we’re always keeping an eye on local search marketing and online reviews.

So I did a little digging and found these reviews of Places To Stay In Middle-Earth.  Should you find yourself on an adventure in those parts, this may be helpful.

The Prancing Pony

“The ale is good — supernaturally good.  But you may have to remind the proprietor, Butterbur, to bring it to you a couple of times.  Quite forgetful.” – Meriadoc Brandybuck, 4 Stars

“Finding a guest at The Prancing Pony is about as easy as crossing the Ford of Bruinen at high tide.  Won’t be back.” – Black Rider, 1 Star

Mirkwood

“Someone call an exterminator.” – Bombur, 2 Stars

Helm’s Deep

“I asked for a wake-up call at 7:30.  Jumping dragons, I’ve never heard a horn like that.  I had the shakes all day and Gandalf had to use sign language til we got to the Gap of Rohan. (And boy does he know some sign langauage.)” – Pippin, 2 Stars

Weather Top

“Great view. Rough neighborhood.” – Strider, 2 Stars

The Paths Of The Dead

“As advertised.” – Gimli, 1 Star

Lothlorien

“Be warned that if you leave a bad review of this place or the lady who resides here, you will rue the day.  Aragorn can track IP addresses, Legolas has the eyes of an eagle, and my axe is hungry. Forth, the three hunters!” – Gimli, 5 Stars

Shelob’s Lair

“Bombur, you got the number for the exterminator?” – Frodo, 1 Star

Isengard

“Host is less than hospitable.” – Gandalf, 1 Star

“Gandalf, don’t be hasty.  We are now under new management. Please visit again and stay a while. horuummm borrruuummm snorruuuummmm” – Treebeard, 4 Stars

Osgiliath

“The place could use a reno.” – Faramir, 2 Stars

Minas Tirith

“Grandfathered in before elevator codes took effect. Get in shape before you come.” – Pippin, 3 Stars

“Wonderful library for bookworms.” – Gandalf, 5 Stars

“Excellent infirmary.” – Faramir, 5 Stars

The Dead Marshes

“They advertise it as a historical landmark with thrilling haunted tours. True, but it’s not worth the money.” – Frodo, 1 Star

Mordor

“I think there’s a Peeping Tom.” – Frodo, 1 Star

“The bathrobes are itchy.” – Samwise, 1 Star

Fangorn Forest

“Nice break on a lonely stretch of road.  Chilly in these parts, but there’s a lot of good firewood here.  Hey, is the wind blowing that tree?  Wait a min…” – Ugluk, 3 Stars

Edoras

“The courtesy of this hall is somewhat lessened of late.” – Gandalf, 2 Stars

“I don’t know who does the hiring here, but putting that Worm-tongue guy behind the front desk? Mistake.” – Gimli, 2 Stars

Bag End

“The silverware is exquisite.” – Lobelia Sackville-Baggins, 5 Stars

Rivendell

“Sweet conference room.” – Gandalf, 5 Stars

“Sharp knives.” – Boromir, 1 Star

The Old Forest

“Wonderful place to take a nap, but the old man who runs the place is a few mushrooms short of a full basket.” – Samwise Gamgee, 4 Stars

The Lonely Mountain

“Swanky!” – Smaug, 5 Stars

“This facility is no longer available for public use.” – Thorin Oakenshield, 5 Stars

The Misty Mountains

“Careful, there’s a trap door.  But there are some great finds here.” – Bilbo, 1 Star

“Keep your valuables locked in the safe in your room.  Thievesses about.” – Gollum, 4 Stars

Mines Of Moria

“Frequent power outages and a weak foundation.  Bring your own linens and a change of underwear.” – Gandalf, 1 Star

The Shire

“If anyone sees one of the Entwives, please email fangorn999@aol.com.” – Treebeard, 4 Stars

“I haven’t had pipe-weed this good in an age.  Longbottom Leaf! Longbottom Leaf! Longbottom Leaf!” – Gandalf, 5 Stars

The Grey Havens

“The ferry ride was nice.  Superb retirement community.” – Frodo, 5 Stars

 

ALSO SEE: Your Website Is Like Bilbo’s Ring

Looking for Website Maintenance Services?

Website Maintenance ServicesITD Interactive offers a wide range of website maintenance services for companies of all sizes and budgets.  Our web maintenance services are arranged in a series of straight-forward packages that allow us to discount our hourly rates based on the number of hours in the block.  This provides great value to those who need a higher level of updates per month – and the flexibility of using a smaller block of hours allows companies with smaller website maintenance needs to save money as well. (more…)

Website Development Pricing: Numbers You Won’t Expect

E-commerceIt’s time to get your small business website built (or rebuilt).  But what can you expect as far as website development pricing?

For a small business website of up to 30 or so pages, you can expect to see anywhere from a few hundred dollars (some teenager working from his bedroom) to tens of thousands (ad agencies in metro areas).  We’re glad to show you our pricing below, but first let’s consider some of the more intangible numbers.

When you get a firm number from a web designer, you’ll want to add these numbers to the bottom line.

The Headache Cost – $200 – $500

If you’ve been through the process before, you’ve probably had to take some ibuprofen ($5 right there) before the new site launched.   (more…)

How To Build Links And Influence People

How To Win FriendsAre you looking to get some momentum with web traffic?  Trying to figure out how to build links and bring in more customers?  This post is for you.

I’ve been listening to that lavishly written classic on human relations “How To Win Friends And Influence People” while jogging lately.  What a powerful book.  This is probably my fourth time through the audio version.  It will not be my last.

It got me thinking about how building web traffic (link building, SEO, social media) is basically winning friends and influencing people online.  So it makes sense that we can take what Dale Carnegie said back in the 30s and tweak and update it some to implement his techniques on the web.

There is a great deal to be learned here for content and inbound marketers.  The outline below is verbatim from Dale’s book with his statements in bold and my comments following each.  Some of the points deal with winning friends (and getting links), while others deal with influencing people (converting visitors into customers).  Parts 1 through 3 of the book relate to content marketing, while Part 4 is about leadership which doesn’t apply here.  These comments are through Part 3 only.

How To Build Links And Influence People

Part One

Fundamental Techniques In Handling People

  1. Don’t criticize, condemn, or complain.  In all online interactions, keep on the sunny side. This is especially true with the use of sarcasm, which never plays well in text form.  Stay light years away from negativity, whining, and sarcasm. (more…)
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