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Marketing Automation Cost: HubSpot, Infusionsoft, and SharpSpring

By July 22, 2016May 19th, 2017Inbound Marketing, Lead Gen, Strategy

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation” blog series.

Marketing automation is growing in popularity as consumers and businesses increasingly search online before contacting a supplier. Optimizing web content for search, creating landing pages and calls to action, building lead nurturing and follow up emails are all time-consuming, labor-intensive tasks. Automating them has the potential to engage future customers as they search for solutions, turning anonymous shoppers into known leads and customers.

There are now lots of marketing automation platforms to choose from. Trying to figure out how much they cost and what they offer can be a little confusing. Comparing pricing can be particularly tricky. If you look at three of the more popular platforms for mid-large businesses (short of global enterprises), HubSpot, Infusionsoft and SharpSpring, you’ll find their published pricing to be pretty clear. But that’s not the whole story because they don’t all offer the same features. Depending on what you’re looking for and how you want to use the products, the pricing may well vary or you may not be getting what you think you are.

Take, for example, HubSpot. Yes it is the most expensive of the group. It also has the most features. In addition to contact database management, email and workflow automation, landing page, form building tools for lead capture, and lead scoring and nurturing, HubSpot also features SEO keyword ranking, social network monitoring and publishing, a blogging tool, and “Smart” features that personalize web pages and email and track how contacts interact with your website and emails. Infusionsoft and SharpSpring lack those features. But if you don’t want or need them, you may be fine. (Note SharpSpring announced it will be adding a blogging toolkit).

SharpSpring’s “no contract” and virtually flat pricing with 100,000 contacts included is certainly attractive. Pricing by the number of contacts you have, like HubSpot and Infusionsoft do, means that the more successful your lead generation campaigns are, the more your platform will cost. SharpSpring also has advanced lead scoring and management features that allow you to calculate the financial cost and results of every campaign, something HubSpot and Infusionsoft lack (HubSpot Enterprise offers advanced ROI analysis, and starts at $2,400/month). Infusionsoft has built-in e-commerce functionality in its Complete package, something neither HubSpot or SharpSpring offer. Infusionsoft also charges based on the number of emails you send limits how many people can use the platform.

Another consideration is the cost of implementing marketing automation. The onboarding programs are one cost–and are highly recommended. One of the great risks of marketing automation is that it goes unused due to insufficient training. The people running these marketing automation businesses want to set you up for success. In addition to training, onboarding programs build experience and confidence. You get your first taste of success and want more.

In addition to onboarding, someone is going to have to create the content, build, and manage campaigns, and monitor and measure results. If you have internal resources with spare time on their hands to do this, the perceived cost may be very small. If you have to hire an employee or agency to do it, you will need to figure that into the overall investment in marketing automation.

This blog post is part of “The Ultimate Guide to Lead Generation” blog series.