More threads by Chris Ratchford

Chris Ratchford

Jul 18, 2012
Reaction score
Lately I've been coming across more stuff about HubSpot.

I really don't know much about their platform- but do any professionals/agencies use this?

Their website sucks when it comes to researching their service. I don't want to read sales pitches.

But I'm always looking for better methods for automation and reporting.

I know that software doesn't do SEO... so I'm not looking for that ;)
I think I just answered my own question... I have a potential client who uses HubSpot and after some digging around I see that they target newbies and business owners, not SEO pros.
I like the idea of Hubspot, but I've found, in nearly every case, that any software that tries to do too much generally doesn't do anything all that well. Plus, none of their sales materials, including a one-on-one sales pitch/webinar have convinced me I would actually get a lot of use out of it.

I've been thinking about using some combination of Kissmetrics, Infusionsoft and integrating that with another CRM or something.

Would love to hear if anyone else uses something like that.
The company I work for is an SEO reseller in the US, and we have our own custom dashboard for rankings/reporting. We do SEO, PPC, Email, Social, etc... I think the dashboard is easy to use and work with, so if you're interested you can check out our site in my signature. If you do happen to take a look at it, let me know what you think and how it compares to other reporting/CRM systems. PM if you want to find out more, and I can help, but I'm not a sales guy and I don't want to annoy anyone with overly promoting the company.
I've been considering going to Hubspot. For what it charges, it really isn't half bad. It'll allow me to consolidate some other services AND it'll allow proper email list segmentation when somebody signs up (like infusionsoft does), and has a lot of reporting and analysis available to see what is working and what isn't working.

Has anybody on the forum signed up?

I am a bit put off by the mandatory $2,000 training on the Professional plan though...
I'd like to bump this thread and see if there are any new and updated thoughts on Hubspot. I had a client ask me about it. . . .

my uneducated view of it is that it seems like a lot of stuff for a typical local business. . . for some of my larger clients, I'd consider it a "maybe".

The weird thing is: I'm not sure what my role as their internet marketing firm would become if they chose it (I'm always a bit paranoid). It seems like if they are using Hubspot, the need to buy SEO from me goes away.
I could be wrong, but Hubspot is more of a tool to drive online success but can't actually execute. Just because you have data & the tool doesn't mean you necessarily have the understanding how to use it - that's where you would come in to the equation. You would define the strategy and execute while using the 3rd party tool to scale.
I purchased HubSpot last year. I spend 3 months doing research and deciding that it was a good option. Overall the backend is really nice and it provides a ton of data.

I'm not renewing my contract. You need 20+ hours a week dedicated to it in order to make a great ROI. I'm a small agency and I thought that I could get the time in and make it work. I was wrong.

If you are considering the product, and have specific questions, I would be happy to answer. But if you are looking to do this and not have someone dedicated to it full-time then your money is best spent elsewhere.

That's awesome feedback. Our team has been considering using HubSpot but were thinking of going with SharpSpring instead. We wanted a great CRM that has lots of automation (following up with leads, seeing status of leads, reporting etc). In your experience was there a better option that does all of this?
Why do you need to allocate 20+ hours per week? I don't know too much about Hubspot besides the general information they put out, so what kind of manual work is there for the platform? I kind of assumed the work was more frontloaded in the beginning during the setup phase, and then slowly went away as you got the automation in place. Sounds like that's not the case?

All of those features are really nice, and if you have the people that can take care of it, then HubSpot is a great solution. The reporting is really clean and it's nice to see each and every pageview and when a contact/lead has visited the site.


Yes, their is a lot of work frontloaded in the beginning, but in order to use it effectively you need to spend a good amount of time each week on the following:

-They recommend you publish 2 blog posts per week
-Using the 80/20 rule, you should spend 80% of the time promoting content vs the time it took to write. You can see that this adds up really quickly if you're publishing 2 great blog posts per week.
-Looking at your automation funnels and seeing if they are converting
-Social monitoring and posting
-Creating new campaigns every quarter

I thought initially that I would need maybe 5 hours a week to make it work. I was wrong. You might be able to get a little bit out of it, but for the investment I would say 20 hours a week is more suitable.
Wow. Great feedback Blake!

My read of this feedback would be that for My clients, unless they are on the larger side, this would be a non-starter. Too expensive, and requires too much time.

Would you agree?
Wow. Great feedback Blake!

My read of this feedback would be that for My clients, unless they are on the larger side, this would be a non-starter. Too expensive, and requires too much time.

Would you agree?

Yes, it can work well for some clients, as long as they have the budget. Internally we were looking at 1 full-time account rep for every 3-4 new clients brought on board. The retainer for each client ranged between $6000-$12000/mo. Plus the cost of the software.
2 blog posts per week could be overkill if you're not publishing anything of substance. I'd rather spend time creating something valuable that takes the entire month, then getting real traction out of it instead of pushing out 2 BS posts per week. The rest of the activities seem like things you should be doing though (ORM, Sales funnel tweaking, etc).

What's the typical cost for the software? If you're bringing in clients and charging between $6-12k/mo, would it be useful to bring on have the account rep work the sales funnel/conversion rate optimization and then hire a content writer for each rep to write 1 post per week (or less) for each client?
I totally agree that 2 posts per week is overkill. As an example, we have been working on one monster post for a few months now that should be launching in April. No way you can do anything quality super fast.

Pro is $800/mo with a $3000 on-boarding fee. Regarding structure for doing the work we have steered away from that model.

We've done some strategic planning to figure out what we really want to do for clients, what we can charge, and what market we want to go after (niching).
Hi Chris,

About 6 months ago we made the decision to become an Inbound Marketing Agency and Hubspot was the catalyst that helped us make that decision. We have been using Hubspot internally, gone through partner training and even attended the last Inbound convention that Hubspot puts on. We've put a lot of thought into it so I'll try to give a thorough post for those starting their journey.

First I think it's important to understand that you really don't want to get into Hubspot to use as an SEO or reporting tool. It's an inbound marketing software to help you do inbound marketing. It's not a substitute for an SEO campaign. To understand the value of Hubspot you'll need to understand the inbound methodology and then be commited to that methodology - and believe me it's a commitement (20hrs a week or more). SEO is a part of inbound marketing but it's just a piece.

You can research (and probably have) inbound marketing on your own so instead of me going down a rabbit hole, I'll explain why an SEO company would want to make a commitment to inbound marketing.

Anyone doing SEO at a high level should relate to the grind of a mature SEO campaign. I'm talking about those campaigns that are at least 6 - 12 months old and the onsite optimization has been done, all of the directories that matter have been filled out, easy industry links have been gotten...etc. At this point an SEO campaign boils down to content, hard to get links, and social shares. Artificially manufacturing any of these has dried up - it doesn't work as well as it used to. So the campaign stagnates or grows ever so slowly. We wanted to find a strategy that vastly improves on typical SEO techniques at this stage of a campaign - enter inbound marketing.

Over the last 6-12 months of an SEO campaign you've supercharged the clients traffic however, most clients websites have webpages that only address the Decision stage of a buyers journey such as pricing, features and benefits. A lot of organic traffic is research oriented so most of the traffic isn't ready to buy and they leave to do more research. This is where inbound marketing and IM software comes in. All of that research based traffic now has ebooks to download, whitepapers, technical help docs...etc which only require an email address to view. Now you are building an email list that you can drip campaign other helpful content to drive them to the decision phase of the buyers journey. An SEO campaign usually doesn't do this. We get them to the front door, throw up a few lead gen forms and track conversions - right? Now you have other tools to lead gen with. You can see how we do it on our local SEO page. On the right hand sidebar you will see a call to action to download a technical SEO checklist for a website redesign. Thats our IM content for website designers that are researching how to preserve SEO in hopes that we can convert that web designer to be a referral partner.

I wrote all of that to help everyone understand how you would use a software like Hubspot,Sharp Spring, Marketo, Pardot...etc. Without the inbound marketing methodology to go with it these are just expensive software packages.

You'll need a certain size client to be able to support any IM software. Hubspot recommends a client that is 5 million in revenue, has a medium- long sales cycle and has sales reps to follow up on leads. I would agree with these recommendations. That wipes out most local SEO clients. The average inbound marketing agency charges $3,000 minimum and as much as $15,000 per month for these services. The type of quality content that is generated justifies those fees but most local SEO campaigns can't support it.

I for one have been looking for another alternative to diversify away from Google's ever changing landscape. It's a strong possibility that the map pack turns into "pay to play" which will dry up a lot of local SEO accounts. Losing 4 spots already makes it tough for most beginning local SEO accounts. Inbound marketing is our pivot. I know many of you are feeling the same way so wanted to share our journey to possibly help with yours.


Login / Register

Already a member?   LOG IN
Not a member yet?   REGISTER

LocalU Event

LocalU Webinar

  Promoted Posts

New advertising option: A review of your product or service posted by a Sterling Sky employee. This will also be shared on the Sterling Sky & LSF Twitter accounts, our Facebook group, LinkedIn, and both newsletters. More...
Top Bottom