Customer Service

HubSpot Competitors and Alternatives for Chatbot Builder

19 min read
Jul 5, 2024

HubSpot is well-known for its all-in-one marketing, sales, and customer service tools, including a handy chatbot builder. But let's face it, not everyone finds HubSpot to be the perfect fit. It can be too pricey, too complex, or lack the one feature you really need.

This article explores the best alternatives to HubSpot's chatbot builder. Whether you're looking for a budget-friendly option, something with specific features, or a tool that complements your current setup, we've got you covered. We'll help you find the right chatbot builder to boost your customer interactions and perfectly fit your business.

What is HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot's customer relationship management (CRM) hub is its crown jewel, designed for sales leaders. It is the central platform where all customer interactions and customer data are managed. Some features of HubSpot CRM include:

Unlike most of its services, HubSpot offers its CRM for free permanently, not just as a trial. This no-cost offering is appealing to small businesses and startups, as it provides valuable tools without an initial financial commitment. However, this can be misleading since the CRM is the only aspect of HubSpot that remains free. As businesses grow and need more advanced features, they will face significant costs for additional hubs and functionalities, which can quickly add up.

HubSpot plans

HubSpot offers various plans tailored to marketing, sales, and customer service. Each plan is designed to cater to specific needs and can be combined for a more comprehensive solution.

Drawbacks of HubSpot

Despite its reputation for quality marketing and sales automation features, HubSpot has several drawbacks that can make it less appealing for small businesses.

1. Too expensive for most small businesses

HubSpot's pricing plans can be deceiving. The Starter plan costs $18 a month, allowing you to work with 1,000 contacts but offering limited features. 

For more comprehensive tools and capabilities, businesses need to upgrade to the Professional plan, which costs $1,780 a month, or the Enterprise plan, which costs $5,000 a month.

Additionally, the Enterprise plan requires a mandatory one-time onboarding fee of $12,000. These costs can be prohibitive for small businesses and startups with limited budgets, making it difficult for them to access the full range of HubSpot's features.

2. Technical support isn't free

Technical support is not included even with the Professional or Enterprise plans. If you encounter issues or need assistance, you must pay to resolve them or try to fix them yourself. 

This can be a significant drawback for small businesses that lack in-house technical expertise. Paid support can quickly add up, increasing the overall cost of using HubSpot.

3. Reporting features aren't great

HubSpot's reporting capabilities have been criticized for lacking depth in certain areas. For example, it does not provide detailed user navigation data or segmented traffic reports, which can lead to potential blind spots in your company's operations. This limitation can hinder your ability to make data-driven decisions and optimize your marketing and sales strategies effectively.

4. Templates are not intuitive

Unlike many HubSpot competitors, HubSpot's templates require some knowledge of CSS, making them less user-friendly for those without coding skills. This can be a significant barrier for small businesses that do not have dedicated web developers. Customizing templates using CSS can slow the creation of marketing materials and increase dependency on external resources.

5. You can't customize your contract

HubSpot contracts are inflexible. If you want to cancel your subscription early, you can't, which can be a significant drawback for growing businesses. This lack of flexibility can be a financial burden if your business needs change or you find that HubSpot is no longer the right fit for your needs. 

Being locked into a long-term contract without the option to cancel can limit your ability to adapt and respond to changing market conditions.

User reviews of HubSpot

While HubSpot is excellent for large enterprises, it has several flaws that make it less suitable for small businesses. Users have highlighted issues such as the high cost of advanced features, the complexity of using specific tools, and the limited reporting capabilities. Many small business owners have expressed frustration with the hidden technical support costs and the inflexibility of HubSpot's contracts.

Despite these challenges, HubSpot continues to be a popular choice for its comprehensive suite of tools and robust CRM capabilities. However, these drawbacks can outweigh the benefits for small businesses, prompting them to seek more affordable and flexible alternatives to HubSpot as alternatives.

Top 15 HubSpot competitors and alternatives of 2024

1. ChatBot

ChatBot is an advanced AI-powered platform designed to provide quick and accurate responses to customer inquiries, enhance customer support efficiency for customer relationship management, and streamline communication processes for businesses of all sizes.

ChatBot

Key Features:

Price: Pricing varies based on the selected plan and business requirements. ChatBot offers scalable pricing options to accommodate businesses of different sizes and operational needs.

Best for: Businesses looking for an AI-powered chatbot solution that prioritizes quick setup, 24/7 support capabilities, independence from third-party AI providers, and robust data security measures.

2. Marketo

Marketo is frequently compared to HubSpot, which has similar features and high customer satisfaction scores. Originally designed as a B2B enterprise solution, it requires more IT knowledge for advanced features.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $895 to $3,195 per month

Best for: Mid-level to enterprise-level companies aligning prospect engagement with business goals.

3. InfusionSoft

InfusionSoft is a popular, affordable option for small businesses seeking marketing automation without high costs. It excels in CRM and sales operations but leaves much to be desired for complex marketing campaigns.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $199 to $599 per month

Best for: Small businesses marketing ecommerce products needing CRM software and marketing automation.

4. Eloqua

Eloqua, provided by Oracle, excels in dynamic reporting capabilities and advanced campaign-building. It offers real-time insights and integrates with over 500 partners.

Eloqua

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $2,000 to $4,000 per month

Best for: Medium to large-sized companies executing full-fledged marketing campaigns with in-house technical resources.

5. IBM Marketing Cloud (Silverpop)

IBM Marketing Cloud, originally Silverpop, excels at visualizing the buyer's journey and providing cross-channel experiences for email, mobile, and web. It offers comprehensive lead generation, acquisition, scoring, and nurturing tools.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Available upon request, generally in the $2,000+ range

Best for: Large to enterprise-level companies with in-house technical resources.

6. Adobe Marketing Cloud

Adobe Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive suite designed for digital marketing, integrating powerful tools to streamline marketing efforts across various channels. It comprises eight key solutions: Analytics, Audience Manager, Campaign, Experience Manager, Media Optimizer, Primetime, Social, and Target.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Calculated based on a quote depending on company size and needs.

Best for: Individuals familiar with Adobe products and large enterprise businesses.

7. SharpSpring

SharpSpring is a marketing automation platform primarily designed for agencies but versatile enough for most businesses. Its unique Visitor ID feature uses reverse IP lookup to identify web visitors.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $400 to $800 monthly for businesses, flexible agency pricing.

Best for: Agencies and small businesses looking for advanced features without high costs.

8. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a specialized tool for creating email campaigns, offering various templates, list segmentation options, and robust reporting analytics.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $17 to $149 per month.

Best for: Budget-conscious small businesses with simple marketing needs.

9. Leadpages

Leadpages is a premier landing page builder offering user-friendly interfaces and built-in optimization tools, making it easy to create conversion-focused landing pages.

Leadpages

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $25 to $199 per month.

Best for: Small businesses with limited technical knowledge.

10. Act-On

Act-On is a marketing automation software solution designed for small to mid-sized businesses. It provides tools for managing marketing efforts efficiently and offers real-time insights into conversion funnels and customer behavior.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: Based on the number of active contacts.

Best for: Small to mid-sized businesses needing a comprehensive marketing automation solution.

11. WordPress Franken-System

With the most important factor coming down to price, Lean Labs  came up with a DIY marketing automation solution where small businesses could piece together their sales automation software based on a few open-source solutions:

While this setup requires technical knowledge and effort to integrate the various tools, it can be a cost-effective solution for small businesses with limited budgets.

Best for: Very small businesses comfortable with using multiple tools and platforms to create a customized email marketing automation solution.

12. ClickFunnels

ClickFunnels is a dedicated landing page builder and lead capture form with easy-to-use funnel templates and detailed tracking tools.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $97 to $297 per month.

Best for: Small businesses seeking simple automation for landing pages and sales funnels.

13. Autopilot

Autopilot is a visually stunning marketing platform that offers multi-channel marketing automation, enabling businesses to create personalized customer journeys.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $49 to $249 per month.

Best for: Small businesses needing multi-channel marketing automation.

14. Ontraport

Ontraport is a robust marketing automation software solution for email, landing pages, and campaigns, offering a wide range of features for small businesses.

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $79 to $497 per month.

Best for: Small businesses seeking a comprehensive, all-in-one marketing automation tool.

15. Pardot

Pardot is a popular B2B marketing automation solution offered by Salesforce. It provides comprehensive marketing automation features like form design, landing pages, drip campaigns, and third-party integrations.

Pardot

Pros:

Cons:

Price: $1,000 to $3,000 per month.

Best for: Mid- to enterprise-level B2B companies with a budget for higher-tier plans.

What about HubSpot?

HubSpot is a solid and versatile marketing automation platform and software that integrates various essential tools for businesses to streamline their marketing efforts and enhance customer engagement. Here's a comprehensive look at what HubSpot offers and how it compares to other options in the market.

HubSpot is renowned for its comprehensive suite of marketing automation tools and features, making it a preferred choice for businesses across different industries. From lead scoring and smart forms to blog management and social media campaigns, HubSpot provides a holistic approach to inbound marketing.

Pros:

Cons:

  1. Editing Challenges: Users may encounter inefficiencies when navigating between different screens for editing purposes, which can disrupt workflow efficiency.
  2. Permissions Structure Limitations: HubSpot's permission settings may lack the granularity desired by organizations that need tighter controls over user access and edits.
  3. Reporting Customization: While HubSpot offers robust reporting capabilities, the level of customization in its reporting dashboard may not meet all business needs.

Price: HubSpot offers three pricing tiers tailored to different business sizes and needs, ranging from $200 to $2,400 monthly, making it accessible yet scalable.

Best for:

Conclusion

For those looking to manage costs and find more tailored solutions, exploring HubSpot alternatives is essential. Beyond the high expense, other factors such as implementation complexity, a steep learning curve, and the need for specific functionalities might drive you to consider different options. 

Thankfully, the market has strong alternatives that match or surpass HubSpot's digital marketing automation tools and CRM capabilities.