The 8 Best HubSpot Competitors (Reviewed by Former HubSpotter)

Despite relying on marketing tools to run effective marketing campaigns, generate high-quality leads, and develop better working relationships with sales teams, 59% of marketers aren’t making the most of the tools they have.

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So when looking for a tool with the features you need to help you make the most of it, you realize that the problem isn’t a lack of enough tools in the market to choose from.

The pace at which different marketing tools are evolving to provide relevant features and functionality is mind-numbing.

And in a classic avoidance strategy to save yourself from analysis-paralysis when looking for a tool with the features you need, you find yourself going for one tool that you’ve always known: HubSpot.

Among other reasons, HubSpot’s inbound methodology has changed the way most marketers approach marketing campaigns.

And assuming that you use inbound marketing for your marketing campaigns, it’s difficult to think of another tool that would be as good as HubSpot.

However, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t tools with relevant features and functionality to help you make the most out of them and run effective inbound marketing campaigns.

And in this post, we’re going to talk about eight HubSpot alternatives and competitors and explain when you’re better off choosing them over HubSpot.

But first…

What is HubSpot?

HubSpot is a marketing platform designed to help you run all your inbound marketing campaigns in one place to attract traffic, nurture and convert leads, and retain your customers.

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To help you run effective inbound marketing campaigns, HubSpot offers five core tools also known as “hubs’’.

  • The marketing hub helps you increase your traffic and automate lead generation to generate more leads at scale. It also provides you with detailed analytics to help you evaluate your performance
  • The sales hub helps you streamline your lead nurturing efforts, track lead activity online, score your leads to your leads and convert them when they’re ready
  • The service hub helps you manage tickets, collect customer feedback, and provide a knowledge base for your customers
  • The CMS hub to help you deliver a unified content experience throughout the customer journey by building your website and run all your content marketing activities inside HubSpot
  • The operations hub allows you to sync all your data, automatically clean it up and store it all inside HubSpot, to get rid of data silos that lead to bad decisions due to inaccurate data.

HubSpot also comes with more than 750 integrations making it easier to use with any other tools you have in your tech stack.

Each of these core tools comes with a ton of features, most of which you may or may not need depending on your needs and goals.

So to make the most out of the tool you’ll either have to spend time training your team or hire someone who already knows how to use HubSpot‌.

While HubSpot is a great tool, its pricing is out of reach for most businesses. So if your business isn’t ready to use all or most of these features, then you might end up paying a lot of money for features you don’t need.

And if you’ve found yourself wishing that there was a tool that’s‌ ‌just‌ ‌as‌ ‌good‌ ‌as‌ ‌HubSpot,‌ with the features you need right now to help your business grow, then you are in the right place.

G2 score: 4.4 / 5

The 8 Best HubSpot Competitors in 2021

Here’s a list of eight HubSpot competitors:

  1. Marketo
  2. ‌Ontraport
  3. Act-on
  4. Omnisend
  5. SharpSpring
  6. Sendinblue
  7. ConvertKit
  8. Pardot

1. Marketo Engage

Let’s start with one of HubSpot’s biggest competitors: Marketo Engage.

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It’s one of the most popular enterprise solutions for B2B marketers, with some of its key features being marketing automation, revenue attribution, lead management, and email marketing.

B2B sales cycles are long, and it’s easy to lose track of leads or even fail to know what channels contribute to conversions.

Marketo’s revenue attribution shows you what content, offers, and channels are working in your campaigns.

This way, you’ll know how much time, effort, and resources you need to produce more of these assets and distribute them to the right channels to keep your leads engaged.

Another great feature is lead nurturing and management, which helps you stay in touch with your leads, score them, and send them to your sales team, despite the channel they’re using to engage with your brand.

Marketo Engage is technical, so you will have a steep learning curve when getting started with the tool. If you don’t have an IT department, you might need to hire a Marketo specialist to help you make the most of the tool as you run your marketing campaigns.

That said, both Marketo and HubSpot are worthy contenders as marketing tools. However, HubSpot leans towards small to medium-sized businesses and startups, thanks to its user-friendly setup. Marketo, on the other hand, is a B2B enterprise solution.

So, if you’re a B2B marketer looking for an enterprise tool to run your marketing campaigns, Marketo is an ideal tool. Also, if you’re planning to use Salesforce as your customer relationship management tool, choose Marketo as their integration is better than HubSpot.

G2 Score: 4.1 / 5

2. Ontraport

Ontraport is another all-in-one marketing platform, with all the tools you need to run your marketing campaigns in one place without the enterprise-level price tag.

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It has a lot in common with HubSpot offering features such as a Customer relationship management tool, marketing automation, pages, and a form builder.

That said, here’s what you’ll like about Ontraport:

  1. You don’t need developers to help you customize the tool to meet your needs. Use their drag and drop builders, templates, and an intuitive user interface to help you set up the tool as you want to.
  2. Ontraport helps you improve email deliverability, and you won’t have to pay extra for that. It also provides you with all the relevant data you need from your campaigns to help inform the decisions you make about how you’ll run your campaigns.
  3. It is flexible. If you’re already using WordPress as your blogging platform, you don’t have to use their CMS. Integrate your existing content management system and still use Ontraport.
  4. Ontraport’s support team receives more resources after their engineering department, meaning that they are intentional about helping their customers learn how to use the tool and supporting them all along.

As compared to HubSpot, Ontraport has fewer integrations.

If you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing solution without enterprise-level pricing, go for Ontraport. You’ll find all the support you need when using the tool and, most importantly, the flexibility you need to use Ontraport to run your business.

G2 Score: 4.3 / 5

3. Act-On

A comparison between what employers were looking for in marketers they wanted to hire in 2019 and in 2020 shows that understanding different aspects of digital marketing matters as it helps them stay flexible and use their knowledge to perform better.

Top content marketer's hard skills

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Think of it as a generalist who can dive deep into a single domain and drive business growth.

And since these marketers will be using different tools to run marketing campaigns, the level of skill your team has determines how well they will make use of the software you give them.

And if you don’t have enough money to hire and retain highly experienced marketers and still pay for expensive tools, then you’re better off going with a tool like Act-On.

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Act-On is a growth marketing automation platform ideal for marketing teams that are just getting started with marketing campaigns.

It comes with different solutions for businesses, ranging from demand generation to drive business growth to automating buying journeys to help you deliver a unified brand experience to buyers.

It also helps you automate product launch campaigns to acquire new customers, onboard them, and run customer loyalty programs to retain your customers.

While using Act-On, you’ll find that the email and landing page templates they provide aren’t appealing as you expect and it’s hard to use the drag and drop builder if you don’t have some coding experience.

However, when you’re getting started with digital marketing or leading a team that isn’t highly experienced in creating and running marketing campaigns, choose Act-On.

Don’t worry though, at some point, you will outgrow the tool and by then, you’ll have what it takes to other tools that match your skills and experience levels.

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​G2 Score: 4.1 / 5.0

4. Omnisend

I might be a little biased here, but I think that if you’re in e-commerce, then Omnisend should be the tool you’re using when running omnichannel e-commerce marketing campaigns.

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Use Omnisend’s email marketing tool to create email workflows to help you nurture your customers, right from welcome email sequences, cart abandonment emails, to re-engaging subscribers.

Most of these workflows are prebuilt for you so all you need to do is use their intuitive drag and drop builder to make a few adjustments to your templates to align them with your needs.

Here’s a caveat though: Omnisend doesn’t have a huge number of templates to choose from and you can’t customize your templates as you’d want to. You’ll have to work with the limited options you find in the tool.

Omnisend also provides you with reports and analytics to help you know how well your campaigns are performing, starting from your best-selling products, channels with the best ROI, and your customer retention metrics.

If you’re using SMS marketing as part of your marketing strategy, use Omnisend’s SMS feature to communicate with your customers anywhere in the world.

Pro and Enterprise version users receive free SMS credits each month. In my opinion, this is quite flexible, especially if you’re paying $99/mo for the pro version and getting a custom quote for the enterprise version.

Omnisend also has seamless integrations with popular e-commerce software such as Shopify, Shopify Plus, Woocommerce, and Bigcommerce.

G2 Score: 4.6 / 5

5. SharpSpring

Having a marketing automation tool backed up with a solid customer support team is critical. It helps you gain the confidence you need to set up your automation workflows, learn from your failures, and learn how to best use the tool.

That way, you become more effective at setting up and running effective marketing campaigns and increase your conversions.

There are different tools with different types of customer support, but among enterprise-level tools that won’t tie you to annual pricing contracts, SharpSpring stands out among the rest.

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Using SharpSpring eliminates the need to pay for a tool and then spend weeks and months trying to learn how to use it.

In addition to offering great support, SharpSpring allows you to:

  • Set up and run marketing automation campaigns
  • Manage your social media campaigns
  • Design high converting landing pages using its landing page builder

As a first-time user, you might feel intimidated by all these features and the user interface might feel overwhelming due to the number of elements you need to pay attention to. At times, the tool can also be buggy, making it slower than usual.

The tool is also easy to use and thanks to its intuitive user interface, you can set up and track each of your campaigns then use its great dashboard to visualize your campaign performance.

Hubspot’s support is great but the cost is prohibitive for small businesses. So if you’re looking for a tool with great support and pay for features you’re going to use, then Sharpspring is the tool to go for.

G2 Score: 4.5/5

6. Sendinblue

Having started as a digital agency, Sendinblue has evolved into an all-in-one marketing platform helping you run your marketing activities from one place. So the team behind Sendinblue understands what it takes to keep things simple when running your marketing campaigns.

Most of the leads you generate aren’t always ready to buy from you so you’ll need to nurture them till they’re ready to buy.

And if you’re constantly attracting lots of traffic to your website, then Sendinblue is an ideal tool to use when creating landing pages and signup forms to convert your website visitors into leads and then using email marketing and marketing automation to increase conversions.

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Use its email marketing and SMS marketing features to keep in touch with your subscribers, nurturing them and notifying them of your offers.

Use the CRM software to track your leads and score them based on their activities online, then assign tasks to your sales team to help them reach out to qualified leads at the right time.

Sendinblue also provides you with marketing analytics to help you evaluate the performance of your campaigns making it easier for you to identify areas where you need to improve to get better results.

The best thing about SendInBlue is that if you’re looking for an email automation tool alone, then you’re going to find one here.

And if you’re looking to scale your marketing activities, use their premium or enterprise versions without having to pay more for features you won’t need. All you need to pay for is the number of contacts, with unlimited storage for all your contacts in each plan.

G2 Score: 4.6 / 5.0

7. ConvertKit

The creator economy has never been bigger than it is right now with 46 million amateurs and more than 2 million professional creators.

For professional creators, the quality of content you create and your consistency determine how well your efforts will pay off. So, deep work is critical. It requires discipline and dedication to create and ship your content consistently.

In addition to that, you also need a tool like ConvertKit that supports your work through its ease of use and flexibility to help you spend more time creating and selling products to your audience.

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Use their landing page builder to build high-quality landing pages and signup forms to build an email list.

As your audience grows, use their email designer to create beautiful emails and automate delivery with their email marketing feature.

And if you’re selling digital products, use their commerce tool to list the products you want to sell, let buyers make payments on your site, and deliver products through ConvertKit.

ConvertKit’s pricing model is designed to grow with you. Start with the tool for free when you have less than 1,000 subscribers. As your list grows and make more money in the process, choose the Creator or Creator Pro plans to help you manage your business better.

The simplicity that comes with using convertkit makes it an easy pick over HubSpot, so if you’re a professional online creator, just go for Convertkit.

G2 Score: 4.4 / 5.

8. Pardot

Pardot, just like Hubspot, is another all-in-one marketing automation software and serves clients in financial services, media, manufacturing, and healthcare.

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Their seamless integration with Salesforce means that you’ll be in a better position to manage all your marketing activities in one place.

For example, if you’re running email marketing campaigns, use their huge selection of email templates that are customizable to align with your brand.

It also allows you to schedule your emails with and use their integrated A/B testing and reporting feature to see what elements in your emails (subject lines, calls to action, offers) drive more conversions.

Personalize your messages depending on your prospect’s behavior, and segment your list to help you send relevant emails to your subscribers.

The Salesforce integration allows you to keep track of every prospect, score them using, and know when they are ready to be moved to the sales team without losing valuable opportunities.

Pardot Einstein, the AI-powered lead tracking and scoring feature makes it easier to identify and follow up with potential leads, saving you from using traditional lead scoring methods that aren’t always accurate.

Since your data’s value depends on how many insights you derive from it, Pardot’s AI features help you identify trends and similarities in your campaign performance to help you know what you need to do to optimize and get better results.

Being an enterprise tool, Pardot’s price range is similar to HubSpot, so price won’t be one of your considerations when choosing between the two tools.

However, if you are a diehard fan of the Salesforce CRM platform, and haven’t liked Marketo yet, then go for Pardot. Also, if you’re looking for a tool that will help you with account-based marketing to serve clients with different needs, Pardot is the way to go.

G2 Score: 3.9 / 5

Conclusion

There you go. Eight HubSpot competitors and solid alternatives.

By now, I hope you’re free from the burden of thinking you have to pay a lot of money for a tool only to end up with features you don’t need.

Is this list all there is? No.

There are tools like Pipedrive, Bitrix24, ActiveCampaign, Salesforce, Close, and more. The list is endless and wherever you go, you’ll find overlapping features and functionality.

The idea here is to help you understand that you can still run successful inbound marketing campaigns using tools other than HubSpot.

Each of the tools we’ve listed is ideal for different stages of business growth, different company sizes, industries, and marketing budgets.

Secondly, being scrappy saves you more time, helps you stay focused, and since you’re supposed to deliver results and hit your monthly KPIs, so you need a tool with the features you need to get the job done.

Anything more than that is a distraction and puts your job, your team, or your business on the line.

Over to you. Which tool are you going to pick and make the most of the features it has?

Shadrack Wanjohi
Shadrack Wanjohi is B2B SaaS and Marketing Writer who creates content for B2B brands.

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