Inbound Marketing is something done in stages. It’s an ongoing process with several layers of activities. Multiple skills are required to execute it well.
Many of the companies we work with are starting from scratch, with little to no marketing assets in place. Adopting inbound marketing isn’t something that will bring you instant gratification, but the benefits are clear and results are compounded over time. Over 12-24 months, companies who invest in inbound marketing methods see a growing, powerful lead-generating and nurturing system that drives revenue and produces impressive results.
The stages of inbound
If you are starting fresh, the first stage will include some time to build the foundation, where you don’t see much in terms of results. After this period, you start seeing the beginning signs of life as leads start to trickle in. Then, at some point, usually around month 6-12, you start to see things grow. Companies who stick with inbound marketing past the 12-month mark see impressive results.
How to save up to 50% on your first year of HubSpot
Let’s look at how much HubSpot costs, then let’s look at how Alaniz Marketing can help you save up to 50% off your first year.
The Basic plan
The basic plan is just that: basic. It doesn’t work well for the long-term for any company that wishes to grow. There are limitations in this plan that can hamstring your marketing efforts as you build up your marketing assets, such as only including 100 contacts. Adding more contacts increases monthly price very quickly.
The most glaring limitation of the basic plan is the lack of marketing automation features. Automation is the lifeblood of inbound marketing. It is a force multiplier, allowing the marketing platform to capture, qualify and nurture leads before any sales manpower has to be spent. Being able to qualify and nurture your leads so sales can concentrate on those most likely to buy, and not waste time on those who aren’t ready to make a decision, is what makes inbound so powerful.
Therefore, most companies can’t live on the basic plan for more than about 4-6 months.
The basic plan is affordable, starting at $200 per month. But there are additional startup costs, like the required onboarding training, which is $600. Plus, to build your website on HubSpot requires an additional $100-to-$300 per month.
The Professional plan
The pro plan adds features like custom lead scoring, Salesforce integration, higher email count, and unlimited users. Of course, the most valuable, is the addition of the marketing automation tools to power your inbound strategies. But these additions come with an increased price tag: $800 per month, plus the onboarding training fee of $3,000.
In your first year of Inbound, you spend most of the time learning, planting seeds, and building a solid foundation and scalable processes. The first 12 months of getting started produce significantly lower ROI than 12 months of running at full steam with a structure and assets in place. Therefore, while the features of the professional plan are needed, the price tag for year one is hefty.
The price tag for year one of the pro plan is $15,000, add in another $3,000 if you plan to send your in-house team to the Inbound Conference, which we feel is an absolute must for any company serious about inbound marketing.
That comes to a hefty $18,000.00 investment for the first 12 months, which will be mostly spent on the runway, building up the speed needed to actually take off.
When adopting inbound, most companies are establishing a new system of marketing and lead management, and even new sales processes. Many times, they are hiring new employees and their website almost always needs to be revamped to operate effectively. For some companies, $18,000 isn’t a large sum for a marketing platform by itself, but when you add in essential elements like a website revamp, the cost of HubSpot can be overwhelming. We can help with that…
Saving money for the growing phase
We’ve created a strategy for our clients to take advantage of the power of the HubSpot platform, while mitigating some of that up-front cost during the first year of inbound marketing. This way, companies can feel safe about making that 12-month or more investment while giving time for the seeds to grow rather than needing immediate ROI.
Below is a couple of strategies that will save you up to 50% in year one, and significant savings beyond that as well.
Here’s how it works
#1. Choose the right site package: up to $900
When building your site on HubSpot, the Content Optimization System (COS) comes in two tiers:
- Website Starter is $100 per month (up to 3,000 contacts)
- The full Website platform is $300 per month
If you have less than 3,000 website visits per month, you can start out with HubSpot’s Website Starter. This will allow you to build your website, and startup your marketing at a lower monthly cost, while you create your marketing assets. Depending on how long it takes to fully build your website, or grow your traffic above 3,000 visits a month, you can save $800 or more by starting on Website Starter.
#2. A smart subscription strategy: up to $3,600
Most of our clients who are new to inbound marketing don’t have to start out on HubSpot Professional at $800 per month.
First, when a company adopts the inbound methodology and buys HubSpot, they usually spend a month to develop a solid inbound marketing strategy based on their business goals. This strategy includes developing buyer personas, analyzing competitors, developing blog topics and a blogging calendar, and creating premium content topics for each buyer persona.
Then, for the next two months, you’ll actually be creating the various content pieces you need and revamping your website. This is almost always required in order to align the website user experience with the lead-generating and lead-nurturing processes of inbound marketing.
With your revamped website, you will begin inbound marketing with an initial focus on exposure and SEO, building traffic to the website and converting leads. At this point, you won’t be focused heavily on lead scoring, lead nurturing, or long-term marketing automation. It just makes more sense to focus on building web traffic first, rather than spending the time to develop the long-term assets with no visitors to experience them. Thus, most companies won’t need or use the features of the Professional package for the first 4-6 months.
What’s the point of paying for features you may not use for 6 months? Of course, there are many factors that come into play, and the decision of which tier to start out with should be made on a case-by-case basis.
Some Factors to Consider:
- Are you newly adopting inbound marketing?
- Are you currently generating leads online?
- Do you have premium content ready to go?
- Do you have a significant volume of traffic to your website?
- Do you have existing lead nurturing campaigns to launch with?
- Is your blog well-established or just getting started?
Creating the assets you need to drive more website traffic and generate leads takes time. For most people starting from scratch, we would suggest starting on HubSpot’s Basic platform ($200/mo) for the first 4-6 months. This will save you $600 per month for as long as you’re on Basic. Once you have the assets in place, and traffic grows, it will make sense to upgrade to the Professional subscription.
If you’re brand new to inbound marketing, starting off with Basic can save you up to $3600. However, if your company has established content marketing campaigns, going with Basic is not a good option.
#3. Required training fees waived: up to $5,000
HubSpot is 100% dedicated to ensuring their customers are setup for success. For that reason, customers are required to pay an onboarding/training fee on top of the subscription pricing. This pays for the training of your employees to effectively use HubSpot.
HubSpot training is required with each platform, and it adds dramatically to the cost
- Basic – $600
- Professional – $3,000 (applies to all new Pro licenses, even if you are migrating from Basic)
- Enterprise – $5,000 (applies to all new licenses, even if you are migrating from Professional)
When you sign up with HubSpot through Alaniz Marketing, these required fees are completely waived. Working with a HubSpot partner means any onboarding is done by the certified partner. This results in up to $5,000 in savings depending on which tier HubSpot subscription you need. Most clients will ultimately want to use at least the Professional Package, which means a savings of $3,000 – $3,600.
It’s worth stating that, some companies have tried to save by starting with Basic, thinking they’ll save the $2,400 on training when they upgrade to Pro later. This doesn’t work, and HubSpot charges the full training fee when you upgrade. The only way to avoid the training fees is to sign up through a certified HubSpot partner, like Alaniz Marketing.
It is important to understand that, while you are saving on the HubSpot training cost, you are also picking up the expense of ongoing services with the HubSpot partner you work with. The ongoing services are required in to waive the training fees. So it’s important to select a highly qualified partner you feel will out-perform your internal marketing team’s performance. This way, you not only save on HubSpot costs, but you’ll experience a greater ROI as well.
Companies who buy the Professional package directly from HubSpot pay at least $15,000 for their first year. It’s worth every penny, but a lot of companies find it to be a tough pill to swallow when they are just getting started with inbound marketing.
How does saving 50%, or more, on your first year of HubSpot sound? Here’s how you can save up to $7,800 on your first year alone:
With savings this huge, I bet it brings up a lot of questions. This is no problem, you can schedule a conversation with us to get all the details for this amazing opportunity. And ask us about saving another $1,000 on a completely custom marketing strategy based on your business goals.