There’s a reason more people have heard of Mailchimp than HubSpot, but it’s not necessarily that it’s a more powerful solution. Essentially, Mailchimp is a solid email marketing platform with a pretty basic CRM added on.
It’s also free for lists of less than 2,000 recipients, and part of the deal is that there’s a Mailchimp boilerplate at the bottom of the email. Search your emails for the word “Mailchimp” and you’ll probably get dozens of results.
After 2,000 recipients, the solution becomes paid, and the footer disappears to be replaced by your own branding. Even in the basic version, you get a drag and drop email builder, the CRM, various forms and landing page templates, but as your work your way through the paid tiers, you start having the options of A/B testing, multi-step journeys, send time optimisation, behavioural targeting and advanced segmentation and more, although you’re looking at over $600 (about £430) per month for a 50,000 strong mailing list.
In short, Mailchimp does email marketing very well. It’s probably fair to say it’s the default email marketing platform, people getting started with the free version with no risk, then upgrading to more capable versions as they realise the limitations of unpaid one.
HubSpot – professionalism for a premium price
HubSpot, on the other hand, does everything that Mailchimp does and a whole lot more. In a way, it’s a one-stop marketing suite that includes email marketing, a powerful CRM, social media marketing, enhanced email analytics and page building features. You could happily do all your business’s marketing using just HubSpot, but even with the most powerful Mailchimp accounts, you might feel you’re still lacking something.
A criticism often levelled at Mailchimp is that its analytics is a bit basic, especially for beginners. It will tell you your open rate and bounce rate and all the other key metrics, and you’re left to interpret those figures yourself. With a little expertise and learning, that’s not necessarily a problem, but when you’re new to the game and are faced with a page of unfiltered data, it can be daunting.
HubSpot’s email analytics, on the other hand, drills down into the figures and gives you much more usable information out of the box. For example, it will tell you exactly where emails are bouncing, and even suggest ways of fixing it.
Needless to say, this functionality comes at a price. There’s no free version of HubSpot – prices begin with the Starter pack at £38 per month for 1,000 contacts, but once you reach the enterprise version, you can expect to be paying over £2,400 a month for 10,000 contacts, and then there’s a sliding price scale as you add more contacts.
Making the choice
If you already have a robust CRM solution, and just want a solid email handling system that will guarantee you’ll reach your recipients’ inboxes, there’s probably little point in using HubSpot. However, if you’re looking for an all-in-one marketing suite and you’re starting from scratch, and you intend to exploit the whole range of digital marketing opportunities, HubSpot will keep you and your team on the ball, with actionable data easily accessible to any stakeholder.
Don’t forget, you don’t need to use either system’s drag and drop or template designs to make your emails look professional. Getting bespoke templates made that truly reflect your business and its branding is a great way to make your emails stand out in a crowded inbox. We make them to a high standard so they render beautifully on any browser or email client, on PC or on phones. And best of all, they are a piece of cake to upload into HubSpot or Mailchimp. Why not find out more?