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Money.  We switched mainly to save money.

Sure, Hubspot is nice, especially when you are first starting out, don’t know a whole lot about inbound marketing concepts, and don’t know about all the other available tools that do aspects of what Hubspot does in a single platform.  Being able to log into a single system to view all your metrics, post your blog articles, track  conversion, do keyword research, and launch opt-in email campaigns with marketing automation right out of the box is nice.  Their customer support and knowledgebase is good too.

But it’s expensive.  I’ve personally been using the Hubspot platform for over 4 years (prior to BernieSez, I used it for EnviroChain, a product that had an exit a few years ago).  To sum it up, I basically got tired of paying $350/month for their service when there are plenty of free and near-free alternatives that I’m aware of.  Tools like the following:

  • WordPress and its huge ecosystem of plugins to do most anything you would ever imagine
  • KeywordTool.io (great for finding keyword ideas)
  • adwords.google.com/keywordplanner (keyword monthly volumes and competition)
  • semrush.com (keyword ranking)
  • google.com/analytics (every metric under the sun)
  • optimizely.com (A/B split testing tool)

All of the above tools are either free or practically free.  And they perform their particular task at least as well and mostly better than Hubspot does.

Use scalpels, not Swiss army knives.

swiss-army-scalpel

Think of it this way: when you buy a Swiss Army Knife, it can do a ton of stuff.  But it’s bulky, doesn’t do any one thing really well, and odds are that you will never use even 1/4 of the tools it has. So with that in mind, we finally switched to using several scalpels—just the ones we need—which are not only much better, but they are also much less expensive.  And faster.  Metrics are near instant with the scalpels we use, whereas metrics provided by Hubspot lag at least 2 hours, and usually longer.  I’ve seen metrics gaps of more than 24 hours.  That kind of delay just doesn’t happen with Google Analytics.

Switchover was painful, but worth it

Switching over was a pain in the ass.  Hubspot doesn’t make it easy to leave, even though they claim it is easy.  For us at least, when we wanted to export our content out of Hubspot, we were only able to grab the most recent 50 blog articles with their export tool.  Apparently you have to export the rest manually, one by one.  Since we had over 200 blog articles, that was one big-ass effort to do, considering all the images and embedded links that had to be fixed on the target site.

But it was worth it, for sure.  Now we have full control of own stuff and are not beholden to any company.  That’s one of the advantages of using WordPress: you control it, not someone else.   And of course, the money savings of over $4,000 per year.

Disrupted: a tell-all book about Hubspot

Oh, and have you read the inside story about Hubspot?  There’s an entire book titled Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Startup Bubble. It’s about the culture at that company…very weird place, to say the least.  I read the book, and there are a lot of disturbing things in there.  For example, Hubspot preaches inbound strategies and how outbound is ineffective and basically dead nowadays.  Yet they still use a huge bank of young employees to cold call on small businesses to pitch—you guessed it—their inbound tools.  The irony stinks.  That and more in the book.  Read it.

Click the button below for an interview of the book’s author by Fortune Magazine.

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