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When to Choose HubSpot Marketing Hub Pro Over Starter

HS Marketing hub logoComparing the different HubSpot Marketing subscriptions can be a bit overwhelming and, upon first glance, you may be wondering why the pricing is such a huge jump between levels. HubSpot–leading Inbound Marketing software–offers a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, a marketing-focused hub, a sales-focused hub, and a services-focused hub. Within each hub is a different level of features available starting with the Free CRM, then the Starter level, followed by the Professional level, and the Enterprise level–which has the most features (but is best-suited to large corporations).

For this post we are focusing on the Marketing Hub only and just the Starter and Professional levels. There is quite a monthly price jump between the two and it's important to understand the capabilities of each.  Below we have boiled down what we believe are key differences between the two.

Most Useful Features You Will Find in HubSpot Marketing Professional:

  • Marketing Automation
  • Blog 
  • Calls-to-Action
  • Social Media
  • A/B Testing
  • Campaign Reporting
  • Video Hosting and Management
  • Custom Reports
  • Website Traffic Analytics

Marketing Automation - If your company has a good amount of leads and contacts rolling in from your website and your sales team, you'll find that marketing automation adds a new level of efficiency to your processes. You can automate your tasks, emails, social media, and ads by creating up to 300 different workflows with Marketing Hub Professional. For example, when you send out an email campaign, you can set a workflow to determine what happens next when a recipient clicks on a Call-to-Action (CTA) to download something. Since each piece of content aims to find the customer in a certain stage of the buying cycle, you can choose the next appropriate step to move them along. If they download an ebook your workflow could send them a follow up email a few days later to ask if they found it helpful and if they would like to schedule a consultation to discuss it further. But workflows aren't just for prospects, you can utilize them for customers as well (see example below). If you are serious about having an inbound marketing strategy, marketing automation is a great way to execute it.

Sample Marketing Automation Workflow:

Sample of Marketing Automation

Blog - It's quite handy and a real time saver to have your blog integrated with HubSpot. The interface is user-friendly, provides a helpful SEO grader, and allows for easy insertion of CTAs you have already created within HubSpot.

The optimize feature when creating a blog post shows you areas to fix in red with drop-downs containing detailed guidance:

HubSpot Blog Post SEO

Calls-to-Action - When your visitor lands on your webpage, reads your email, or downloads content, the call-to-action is the step that you want them to take next. It's often in the form of an eye-catching button that makes it clear where and how to complete the next step. The custom creation of CTAs in HubSpot Pro is simple, easy and saves time. You don't have to worry about using Photoshop or the like to create your buttons–it's all right in HubSpot and you can create a variety of CTAs and then pop them into webpages, emails, and blog posts where appropriate. 

The CTA button creator allows you to customize size, color, font, style, and more: 

HubSpot CTA Creator

Social Media - If you are looking to consolidate your marketing activities and have your social media posting and metrics all in one place, it's very helpful to have that functionality available in HubSpot. In Pro you can schedule posts, and see metrics such as audience, interactions, clicks, shares, impressions, and sessions. The channels you can connect include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

A/B Testing - If you are putting a lot of time into your website and bringing in solid traffic, you will likely want to devote energy to continually adding new landing pages and webforms for offers. It gets really strategic (and fun) when you start performing A/B testing on your different offers. Testing different versions of the same offer (trying out different headlines, body copy, and photos), allows you to hone in on the best performing variations. This function in Pro makes it very easy to see the results of your testing.

Campaign Reporting - This is a great feature if you are running multiple campaigns and trying out different angles until you find what works. It's similar to A/B testing but it let's you organize and group specific pieces of content into a campaign and understand how each landing page, blog post, etc is affecting your goals.

Video Hosting and Management - If video is a big part of your marketing game, then the convenience of hosing and managing video files within HubSpot would be beneficial for you. You can easily embed your videos onto site pages and in your social media posts. It's also easy to add CTAs and forms within the videos, and track their performance.

Custom Reports - The reports in HubSpot are powerful tools for demonstrating the ROI of your marketing efforts to your stakeholders. There are many good reports in the Starter version, but if you want to get really custom and develop reports that are unique to your company and industry, the custom report feature in Pro is valuable. 

Website Traffic Analytics - These reports give more detail about how your content is performing with detailed filters, like bounce rate, average time on page, and more. And, it's worth noting that the reports are easy to interpret as well as modify for different parameters.

Making the Leap to Marketing Hub Professional

The features discussed above help to form the foundation of an Inbound Marketing strategy and get you on track for excellent lead nurturing as well as customer retention. If the Starter level of the Marketing Hub is a good-sized pontoon boat with a lot of cool features, then Professional is like a nice speedboat–you can ski behind it and it has a lot more features to round out your day on the water (the Enterprise version is a yacht!) If a good majority of the features listed above sound like what your company needs in order to meet your marketing and sales goals then Marketing Hub Pro in HubSpot is an excellent choice for you. 

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