Is HubSpot really free...? And other inbound questions


By Natalie Howells

19 Aug 2019

Since we became a HubSpot Partner, we've fielded plenty of questions from people who've heard of HubSpot but don't know what it is, whether it's worth using, how it works, or why they should care. So, we've put together a few of those questions (and answers, of course) to help out. 

Is HubSpot free?

 This is the big question, because there are also rumours that HubSpot is expensive. So, which is right?

HubSpot CRM is free - really. The CRM is a powerful tool that allows you to organise, track and nurture your leads and customers. Any business should have a CRM to keep track of customer data, but most of them are pretty expensive. HubSpot CRM contains everything you need, without resorting to spreadsheets. 

It also includes live chat, deal tracking, and automatic logging of customer interactions - pretty impressive stuff. 

Recently, HubSpot also added a few more tools to its free offering - Ads, Forms, and Email Marketing. 

Ads in HubSpot let you compare performance across networks, and see exactly which contacts interacted with your ads, giving you deeper insight into your paid-advertising strategy.

The email marketing tools include an intuitive drag and drop editor, best in class deliverability, and analytics to help you optimise your lead nurturing. And a full suite of conversion tools, including forms and pop-ups, make it easy to convert visitors to your site into leads.

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Why/how is it free?

There's no such thing as a free lunch, right? So, what's the catch?

There actually isn't one. The CRM and associated tools really are free of charge, and you don't have to do anything special to get or keep them. Of course, this leads to the question of how HubSpot can make money if they're giving such great tools away for nothing. 

Well, that's fairly simple, too. The idea is that once you see how great the free tools are, you'll want to upgrade to the paid tools. It's not sneaky or underhanded - you get something useful for nothing, which gives you a taste of how much your business benefits. And when you see those benefits, investing in other tools comes naturally. 

If you never decide to purchase a license for the other tools, that's perfectly ok. You don't get penalised. But HubSpot know that what they offer is worth it, so they're not afraid to give something away for nothing. 

 

Is HubSpot right for every business?

In a word, no. It's an incredible tool for many businesses, but no tool is perfect for everyone, and there are some reasons that a business might not be the right fit for HubSpot. 

Where the system comes into its own is with considered purchases - sales that include a level of research and consideration by customers. The inbound method is ideal for these types of purchase because it gets content out there in front of the people looking for it. 

If your business is more about impulse buys, inbound might not be the right approach. If your margins are low and you're more focused on speed and volume, again, it might not be right. That's not to say it's a definite no, it just isn't necessarily a yes. The best approach would be to speak to a HubSpot Partner to get their advice (like us, for example). 

 

Is HubSpot suitable for small business?

HubSpot is suitable for most businesses (see above for exceptions), so it is absolutely suitable for smaller businesses.

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If the level of investment required is a concern for small businesses with limited budgets, the free tools offer a great starting point - they're not cut-down versions, they offer the full experience, so you can get started while you build your business. The Starter package offers a very reasonable step-up, and once your business is thriving, you'll have plenty to invest in the Professional package.

But even if you never get to that point, the free tools are not only suitable for small businesses, they're better than the majority of free and even paid tools out there right now, so you've got nothing to lose.  

 

Is HubSpot GDPR compliant?

GDPR is a serious deal for businesses dealing with customers, leads, or contacts in the EU, so having compliant software is a must. 

HubSpot enhanced their software with extra tools and features to make it easier for businesses to comply with the regulations, including:

  • Cookie consent - display automated cookie banners and capture visitor consent
  • Lawful basis - new default property added to contacts to store information about the lawful basis to store and use their data
  • Subscriptions - track opt-ins as well as opt-outs
  • Deletion - GDPR delete function added to permanently delete a contact's data
  • Re-add - warnings show when you try to add a contact that previously was deleted under GDPR

All you have to do is toggle on the GDPR function in settings and you're good to go.  

 

Is HubSpot a cult?

Uh, no? We may have bought into the methodology and the software, but we've never been asked to chant or exclusively wear orange for the rest of our lives!

Sure, this is a funny question, but it brings up an interesting thought. The people who use HubSpot tend to be evangelists - it's a great system, after all - so when you're part of the family, you're in. And then you tell others how great it is. Not a cult, just a lot of people benefiting from something and being happy about it. 

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Is HubSpot any good?

Well, it's probably not surprising that we're going to say yes to this. There's always a caveat, though. Yes, it's good if you actively use it and if it's the right fit for your business. But, if you're not following the methodology, or if it's simply not the right fit, then it won't seem quite so great to you. 

From another perspective, it's simple to use, the interface is clean and pleasant, and there are tonnes of integrations available so you can link it to the systems you use every day. 

There's also a learning centre that helps you get the most out of HubSpot, with videos and certifications to guide you through using the software to its fullest extent. 

 

When was HubSpot founded?

2005. 

 

Where is HubSpot located?

HQ is in Massachusetts, while the European HQ is in Dublin. 

There are also offices located in Singapore, Sydney, Tokyo, Bogota, and Berlin. 

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Who uses HubSpot?

Lots of people! But if you're looking for some specific examples, you can find a fair few on HubSpot's case studies page, including:

  • Casio
  • Suzuki South Africa
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
  • National College of Ireland
  • TUI Travel (North America)
  • Randstad
  • Airstream
  • Trello

The majority of companies using HubSpot are based in the US, followed by the UK. 65% of the companies using HubSpot have 1-50 members of staff. 

 

So, there you go - quick answers to the most common questions we get asked about HubSpot. Do you have other questions we haven't answered? Get in touch and we'd be more than happy to talk it through. 

 

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