Once you understand just what HubSpot can do, you start to realize that coming up with alternatives to HubSpot is a little like coming up with alternatives to the Swiss army knife. When it comes to managing your business needs, HubSpot is capable of pretty much everything you need to support your core workflows. (There's no wine opener, though, which can be disappointing).
HubSpot's so versatile, in fact, that it's made several of our best apps lists:
Choosing a HubSpot alternative, then, means that you'll have to narrow in on what exactly it is you're looking to accomplish. You're not alone in making that determination, though. We've conducted a series of exhaustive, head-to-head tests comparing HubSpot to other competitors to see how its many features stack up. Combined with the options you'll find by clicking through the lists above, you should get an idea of which tool is the right one for your business. Or if maybe you should just stick with HubSpot.
5 HubSpot alternatives
Salesforce for an all-in-one sales and marketing CRM
Zoho CRM for an affordable CRM
Mailchimp for email marketing
Pipedrive for a sales-focused CRM
ActiveCampaign for marketing automation
A HubSpot alternative for an all-in-one sales and marketing CRM
Before I get into how these two tools diverge, let me start by acknowledging that Salesforce and HubSpot have a lot in common. Both offer a wide range of marketing and customer management features, including CRM, sales forecasting and analytics, customer service features, contact scoring, VoIP, and marketing features. You know, just to name a few tiny things.
At the same time, there are a number of differences between HubSpot and Salesforce that are worth considering. In general, HubSpot is thought of as more of an inbound marketing tool, while Salesforce is more associated with sales automation. That produces differences in everything from user interface to feature availability to pricing structure.
HubSpot, for example, offers a more thorough, plan-based model of bundled marketing features, while Salesforce offers features in separate plan packages, or as individual apps. As a result, Salesforce's interface is more customizable, but also potentially more complicated, while HubSpot offers you a cleaner, more user-friendly experience. Finally, Salesforce has the edge when it comes to sales reports and forecasting, if those are your primary needs.
Read more: HubSpot vs. Salesforce
A HubSpot alternative for an affordable CRM
Zoho CRM is another option well worth considering. It competes with HubSpot on a number of levels: both provide you with a basic range of features (to build workflows, nurture leads, and organize tasks), and both allow you to import lists, files, and leads for ease of platform-switching or integration.
HubSpot has an edge in a number of ways, though. To begin with, HubSpot provides users with an easier onboarding experience, with more resources to help new users find their way around. HubSpot also delivers a slicker, more intuitive interface than Zoho, whose dashboard is limited by comparison. Finally, and most importantly, HubSpot provides more robust features than are available with Zoho, including things like deeper reporting, contact and lead management, email marketing, and automation features.
To Zoho's credit, it works very well as a project management platform—and it integrates with a massive suite of other Zoho tools. And in the end, perhaps its greatest asset is the price. While HubSpot is a more complete package, Zoho's much more affordable pricing makes it a more viable option for smaller businesses.
Read more: HubSpot vs. Zoho
A HubSpot alternative for email marketing
If you're using HubSpot primarily for your outbound marketing, then you might consider Mailchimp as an alternative. Both apps will give you access to effective, intuitive email builders that require no design or marketing experience to use, and both provide you with metric-rich reporting tools. They even allow you to design functional landing pages for lead capture and have various other built-in tools that go well beyond email.
Mailchimp is generally a much simpler and easy-to-use tool than HubSpot, largely because it lacks all the extra features of a traditional CRM. With a narrower focus on email marketing, Mailchimp provides you with reporting to gauge how well your outreach is landing, as well as a functional landing page builder, autoresponder emails, and basic workflows that respond to customer behaviors.
With HubSpot, on the other hand, you'll be getting many more features—and more complexity along with them. HubSpot's landing pages, for example, are more customizable by comparison, and its automations are more advanced, allowing you to nurture leads throughout your pipeline. Other features give you the power to tackle not only marketing, but sales, content management, operations, and customer service. Mailchimp doesn't account for much outside of marketing.
Of course, all that functionality on HubSpot comes at a price. While both Mailchimp and HubSpot offer free plans, HubSpot is going to be a more substantial investment than Mailchimp once you shift to a paid plan. With that in mind, if you're looking for a simple tool that focuses mainly on email outreach, then Mailchimp might be your best bet.
Read more: HubSpot vs. Mailchimp
A HubSpot alternative for a sales-focused CRM
If you're still shopping for a multi-dimensional CRM, Pipedrive is another option worth considering. As two of the most popular CRM platforms, both HubSpot and Pipedrive deliver sales tools, analytics, integrations, and a host of extra features to help you manage content, projects, and more. The key difference is that, where HubSpot offers a wide variety of services to grow your business, Pipedrive specializes in supporting your sales teams.
HubSpot's value is that it can be many things to many people, providing you with contact management and deal tracking, regular and automated marketing campaigns, website and landing page design—and did I mention customer service? In fact, virtually all aspects of your customer experience can be handled using HubSpot's platform.
To be fair, Pipedrive can do a lot of what HubSpot does, just not with the same degree of functionality. For example, you can take advantage of Pipedrive's optional email marketing features at a higher-tier service plan, but it's not as deeply integrated into the nuts and bolts of the platform the way HubSpot's is. Instead, Pipedrive's value lies in the intuitive, accessible dashboards, reports, and analytics that let you build and manage a seamless sales pipeline (it turns out that Pipedrive isn't just a clever name).
And while both apps offer free plans, Pipedrive's paid tiers are more affordable. For a more economical, sales-focused alternative to HubSpot, Pipedrive is a great option.
Read more: HubSpot vs. Pipedrive
A HubSpot alternative for marketing automation
Both HubSpot and ActiveCampaign are known best as CRM platforms, and there's actually a ton of overlap between the two tools. Both offer smooth onboarding and intuitive interfaces, a wide choice of templates to support your business processes, robust automation, a variety of sales and marketing features, as well as a built-in CMS.
HubSpot is a bit more customizable—for example, it allows you to update its dashboard and integrate custom reporting widgets. But ActiveCampaign doesn't slack on features: its pipeline interface is intuitive (and includes unlimited pipelines), and you can customize task types and get detailed pipeline reports across a variety of fields and metrics.
Add a nice drag-and-drop functionality in its workflow builder (something HubSpot lacks), and you have a solid HubSpot competitor, even if it's not quite as robust. Plus, ActiveCampaign has helpful support features integrated into all of their available packages, so you don't have to pay extra for them.
Read more: HubSpot vs. ActiveCampaign
Which HubSpot alternative should you use?
Start by considering what your business really needs to nail down in its day-to-day workflows. Contact management? Email marketing? Lead nurturing? Customer support? Live chat? Sales pipelines? Content updates? All or some of the above?
Then think about your capacity (and try to be honest about your limitations—they have a way of making themselves known sooner or later). What resources can you devote to things like onboarding and troubleshooting? What sort of financial outlay makes sense for your business, both now and in your projected future? Taking all of these variables into account will give you the fullest picture of just what you need out of a CRM, and that will point you in the right direction.