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14  min read

What is HubSpot

Abhishek Agrawal
By Abhishek A Agrawal
May 16, 2022
Table of Contents

    It was back in 2006, when two guys named Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah realized that the world of marketing was changing, but most importantly, they realized that the way businesses market to their customers had to change too.

    From inbound marketing to sales enablement, HubSpot has been a pioneer in redefining how businesses operate.

    To know more about HubSpot, how it works, its features, pricing and more… read on.

    What is HubSpot

    HubSpot is a cloud-based inbound marketing and sales platform that helps businesses of all sizes grow.

    It offers integrated solutions for:

    • Marketing,
    • Sales,
    • Customer service, and
    • CRM

    HubSpot makes it easy for businesses to:

    • Attract visitors,
    • Generate qualified leads,
    • Convert leads,
    • Close deals,
    • Increase your ROI,
    • Optimize your marketing strategy, and much more

    You can easily integrate HubSpot with other tools like Salesforce, Integrately, Google Analytics, and more to make your workflows even more efficient.

    It lets you have a single dashboard to nurture your existing customers as well generate new leads for your sales team.

    How does HubSpot work

    Hubspot offers an all-in-one marketing tool kit that helps you:

    1. Attract visitors to your website
    2. Convert them into leads
    3. Close deals

    You can create and manage optimized website content to attract more traffic, convert the traffic into leads and nurture the leads finally converting them into customers.

    Besides, it is well known for providing excellent customer service and support.

    It also has a wide range of features that are constantly updated. This makes it one of the most comprehensive tools available today.

    All in all, HubSpot is a CMS (Customer Management System), CRM (Customer Relationship Management), and sales and marketing platform that gives you the power to launch and manage targeted marketing campaigns to generate leads and close more deals.

    It helps you optimize the following stages of the customer journey:

    Awareness -> Interest -> Consideration -> Decision -> Delight

    HubSpot WorkFlow

    Image Credit: www.hubspot.com

    What is HubSpot used for

    You can use HubSpot for a variety of marketing, sales, and customer service tasks, including:

    • Email marketing: Access a wide range of email marketing templates to create and send targeted emails.
    • Social media management: Post updates to your social media, track social media activity, and measure the performance of your social media campaigns.
    • Content management: Create, publish, and optimize content for your website and blog.
    • SEO: Optimize your website and content for better search engine visibility.
    • Lead capture: Use lead capture forms to collect leads from your website and social media channels.
    • Lead nurturing: Create targeted email campaigns to nurture leads through the sales funnel.
    • Sales enablement: Track, manage, and close deals.
    • Customer service: Provide excellent customer service and support.

    Pros

    HubSpot offers a variety of features making it one of the popular platforms!

    • Ease of use: Even users with no prior experience can use it easily. The platform is intuitive and user-friendly, with a drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy to create and customize content.

      For example, you can create beautiful landing pages in minutes, without writing a single line of code.

    • Extensive range of features: Offers an extensive range of features, making it a comprehensive toolkit for businesses of all sizes.

      For example, the platform offers email marketing, social media management, content management, SEO, lead capture, lead nurturing, sales enablement, and customer service features.

    • Integrations: Integrates with a wide range of popular business tools, making it easy to manage all your marketing, sales, and customer service activities from one platform.

      For example, you can integrate HubSpot with Salesforce, Google Analytics, and more.

    • Customized modules: Modules can be customized to your specific needs, making them a flexible tool for several tasks.

      For example, you can create a custom module for lead capture forms or social media management.

    • Free trial: Offers a free 14-day trial, so you can try out the platform before committing to a paid subscription.
    • HubSpot Academy: A comprehensive online academy providing users with everything they need to know to make the most of the platform. It offers certification courses, video tutorials, and other resources to help users get the most out of HubSpot.
    • Customer support: Excellent customer support, with a knowledge base, online training courses, and 24/7 live chat support.

    Cons

    There are a few cons of using HubSpot, namely:

    Pricing: HubSpot’s pricing is based on the features you use and the number of contacts in your database. While this makes it easy to scale your subscription as your business grows, it can also be expensive if you need to use all the features.

    Complexity: Because HubSpot offers a variety of features, it can be complex to use and may require some training to get the most out of it.

    HubSpot Pricing 

    HubSpot offers its CRM and a few Marketing, Sales, Service and Operations for free. For other services, it applies charges as below.

    Packages > HubsStandardProfessional Enterprise
    Marketing$45/month$800/month$3200/month
    Sales$45/month$450/month$1200/month
    Customer Service$45/month$360/month$1200/month
    CMS$23/month$360/month$1200/month
    Operations$45/month$720/month$2000/month
    CRM Bundle (Monthly Package)$50/month$1780/monthNot Available
    CRM Bundle (Yearly Package)$45/month$1600/month$5000/month

    Besides the standard packages mentioned above, you can also customize the Hubs/Bundles as per your requirements.

    It also provides premium services for expert help and guidance.

    Who can use HubSpot

    Well, HubSpot is an all-in-tool for businesses of all sizes. 

    Whether you’re a small business or a large enterprise, HubSpot can help you grow.

    It can help you with a variety of marketing, sales, and customer service tasks and get rid of the need for multiple disparate tools.

    Get the most out of it with these simple tips:

    • Start with the basics: Start with the Marketing Hub Starter plan if you’re new to HubSpot. It will give you access to the core features you need to get started.
    • Get training: Take advantage of HubSpot’s online training courses and resources to learn how to use the platform and get the most out of it.
    • Integrate your tools: Maximize the benefits of using HubSpot by integrating it with other business tools you use, such as your CRM, accounting software, and live chat.

    HubSpot offers a free trial. Sign up for a free trial today and discover how HubSpot can help your business grow.

    Consider upgrading to a paid subscription only when you’re ready to take your business to the next level.

    HubSpot Features

    HubSpot tools offer several features that help businesses with inbound marketing and sales efforts.

    Some of the key features of HubSpot’s tools include:

    • Effective Content Management System: Helps businesses easily create and manage their website content. Its drag-and-drop editing, customizable templates, and SEO tools help optimize content for search engine visibility.
    • Lead Nurturing and Segmentation: Segment your leads and nurture them with targeted content. Features like lead scoring and workflows help automate the lead nurturing processes.
    • Social media monitoring and publishing: Track what’s being said about your brand on social media, so you can quickly respond to any negative sentiment. The social media publishing tool allows you to schedule and publish content to your social media accounts.
    • Marketing Automation: Streamline your marketing efforts with tools for email marketing, social media campaigns, and lead management.
    • Sales Tool:  Helps your sales team to close more deals with automatic lead nurturing, deal management, and email integration.
    • Analytics and Reporting: Get detailed analytics and reports on website traffic, leads, and customers. The reporting features can help businesses track their progress and identify areas for improvement.
    • Integrations: Connect your marketing and sales data by integrating with several popular business applications, such as Salesforce, Google Analytics, and WordPress. 
    • Personalized help and training:  Get personalized help and training to get the most out of HubSpot tools. They also offer several resources, such as ebooks, webinars, and blog posts, to help you learn more about inbound marketing and sales.

    How to Use HubSpot

    Now that you know what HubSpot is and what it can do for your business, let’s look at how to use the HubSpot tools.

    To start with, let us first go through the account setup process.

    Setting up your Account

    To get started, create an account with HubSpot. You can do so by

    • Signing up with your name and email-id, or
    • Using Google account/ Apple ID

    You can either opt for a free trial or a paid subscription. You can further customize your subscription plan to include only the features you need.

    Once you create your account, set up the following:

    • Invite your team members: The team members can join on receiving the invitation and then set up their profile and account. Set roles and permissions for each member to implement access control.
    • Connect your domain: Manage your content by connecting your website with HubSpot.
    • Customize your Settings: Set up your account time zone, language, default currencies, and security.
    • Connect apps: To See your sales and marketing data in one place 
    • Add your social media accounts:  Publish content and track analytics by connecting your social media accounts with HubSpot.

    Once you setup your account, you can use HubSpot in various scenarios like:

    1. Manage your CRM
    2. Market your Business
    3. Generate  Sales
    4. Support Customers
    5. Build Your Website

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    Manage your CRM

    The CRM Database is the foundation of business relationships and processes. HubSpot CRM consists of 4 standard objects:

    • Contacts: People with whom the company already has or aspires to have a business relationship. You can access it from the Contacts tab at the top left corner. You can create / import contacts. Contact consists of properties for storing the information (For example, it can have a name, email-id, phone, etc as the properties). You can create, edit and delete them too.
    • Companies: It stores information about businesses and organizations and can have properties and actions (import, edit, delete etc). You can find it in the Contacts tab.
    • Deals: They are the methods to identify qualified leads for sales opportunities. They can be in various stages of a sales pipeline. You can access it from the Sales tab at the top. Deals have properties for storing information (For example, Deal name, stage, amount, expected close date, etc).
    • Tickets: It is a record of customer support requests. It has properties for storing information ( like ticket number, status, priority, etc.) and keeps track of customer inquiries and support requests. You can access it from the Service tab..

    Besides the built-in objects provided by HubSpot, you can also create custom objects. Each object can hold several records and you can perform the following actions on them:

    • Add, Edit. Update, Delete
    • Associate: The associate action creates relationships between 2 objects. For example, you can associate a contact with a company
    • Segmentation: Divide your database into groups based on views or lists. You can then analyze the results and target your efforts accordingly

    You can thus manage your entire CRM.

    Market your Business:

    HubSpot provides various tools that help you with your marketing efforts.They include:

    • Landing Pages
    • Lead Capture Forms
    • Send and Analyze Marketing Emails
    • Create and Monitor Social Posts
    • Create and Analyze Ad Campaigns
    • Generate Reports

    Landing pages:

    To create a landing page, go to the Marketing tab and click on Landing Pages. Then, click on Create Landing Page and assign a suitable name to the Page.

    You can then choose a template and preview/ apply it

    create a landing page,

    Easily edit the template according to your requirements.

    HubSpot edit template

    Besides, you can use the following tabs:

    TabUsed for
    Settings Set the title, URL, slug etc of your page
    Optimized Optimize your page for SEO in the tab 
    Publish To publish the page immediately or schedule it for later.

    Lead capture forms:

    Discover more about your visitors by building simple and advanced forms. Forms integrate with your contacts database and make it easy to keep track of your prospects and convert them into customers.

    You can access the form section from the Marketing Tab.

    You can either :

    • Collect submissions and contacts from website forms that weren’t created in HubSpot, or
    • Create a new form 

    HubSpot supports the following built in  forms:

    Form TypeUse
    Embedded FormFits in your website
    Standalone PageCan be shared through a link
    Pop-Up boxPops up in the center
    Dropdown bannerDrops from the top of the screen
    Slide-in Left BoxSlides from the left of the screen
    Slide-in Right BoxSlides from the right of the screen

    Choose your form-type and proceed for its customization.

    For example, you can set up a Pop-Up form that has settings for:

    SettingUse
    Call outSet up your featured image, text, etc
    FormAdd and edit the form fields in this section
    Thank youSet up the thank you message, once the form is submitted
    Follow UpThe quickest way to connect with your customers on form submission
    TargetingChoose the Webpages for your pop up form to appear
    OptionsSet your preferences for dismissed form, sending notifications, etc
    PreviewCheck how your form looks like before publishing
    HubSpot Lead Form

    Once done with all the edits and settings, click on publish, and your Form will be live.

    Send and Analyze Marketing emails:

    Use the marketing email tool to:

    • Engage with your contacts,
    • Send promotional offers of your products/ services,
    • Provide news and updates on your business

    So start creating email campaigns from the Marketing tab. You can send up to 2000 free emails per month. For advanced features like automate, test, etc, you can upgrade to Marketing Hub Starter/ Marketing Hub Professional plan.

    To start sending mails, you first need to set up your account from the Manage tab.

    You can have a List view that displays emails in the following category:

    • Draft
    • Scheduled
    • Sent
    • Archived

    You can also switch to the Folders view and :

    • Tailor your setup experience from your previous tool,
    • Import your contacts and Opt-in list

    The Email tools option can be used to set your:

    • Bounced / opt-in contacts,
    • Contact lists, 
    • Files, etc

    Click on Create Email  and start creating your mails.

    HubSpot provides some basic ready-made templates to start with. To create professional emails, you can upgrade to the Marketing Hub starter.

    Select a suitable template and proceed with editing it. You can edit the existing content or add a new one.

    HubSpot Create New Email

    You can also change the design settings

    HubSpot Email design system

    Use the Settings tab to set your:

    • Name, 
    • Email-id, 
    • Subject Title,
    • Preview Text,etc

    Once the draft is complete, use the Send or Schedule tab to send/ schedule your email.

    You can also:

    • Import the contacts from a list
    • Set ‘don’t send to’ list

    Upgrade your plan to avail the following premium features,

    • A/B Test
    • Save email as a template
    • Unlimited emails

    Once done, click on the Review and Send button to send the mail.

    Use the Analyze tab to get the details about your email campaign like:

    • Recipient engagement
    • Delivery details
    • Email performance report
    • Campaign performance, etc

    Create and Monitor Social Posts

    This feature is available in the premium versions only. You can connect your social media accounts and schedule and publish your posts to several networks simultaneously. It also helps you track social media engagements.

    This can be done in 3 simple steps:

    • Connect your social media accounts to HubSpot
    • Create and publish social posts
    • Monitor your social inbox streams in HubSpot

    Create and  Analyze ad campaigns

    The HubSpot ad tool can assist you to utilize your other marketing assets and CRM data to develop brand recognition and attract high-quality leads for your company. When your advertising campaigns are linked, HubSpot adds tracking to them, which will automatically create contacts in your HubSpot account when they convert. You can do all this within HubSpot by following the below steps:

    • Connect your ad account: Google | Facebook | LinkedIn
    • Create audiences
    • Create Google search ad campaigns
    • Create Facebook and LinkedIn lead ads and website traffic ads
    • Use Ads attribution in HubSpot to track your ad conversions

    Generate Reports

    Analyze all your marketing efforts in the form of reports or Dashboards. 

    To do so, visit  Reports > Dashboards

    You can either select from the readymade Dashboard or create your own customized Dashboard.

    HubSpot Dashboard

    Generate Sales

    The Sales tool of HubSpot allows the Salespeople to manage and close deals and generate revenue for your business.

    It includes the following tools:

    • Complete tasks
    • Track deals
    • Send Sales emails
    • Book Meetings on your Calendar
    • Set up an inbox for sales inquiries
    • Set up a live chat or bot
    • Monitor lead activity and engagement
    • Analyze Sales

    Complete Tasks: Use this tool to :

    • Keep a track of your to-do list, 
    • Create tasks for upcoming mails, calls, etc.
    • Summarize your tasks, 
    • Understand task performance

    Visit Sales > Tasks to assign tasks, edit /filter, schedule and much more

    HubSpot Tasks

    Track Deals:

    SStore information such as close date, deal amount, deal owner, deal record, etc. Monitor your deals through various pipeline stages and identify the roadblocks. To access the deals or create new ones, visit Sales > Deals. Further you can create and assign quotes to the deals.

    HubSpot Deals

    Send Sales Emails:

    Send sales emails from a contact record in HubSpot using the HubSpot email extension or your email inbox. Follow the below steps for doing so:

    • Connect your email: Gmail | Office 365 | IMAP 
    • Install the HubSpot Sales email extension or add-in: Gmail | Office 365 | Outlook desktop
    • Create and send email templates
    • Send and reply to one-to-one emails

    Book Meetings on your Calendar:

    Book your demos and calls by simply connecting your Calendar to HubSpot. Follow the steps below:

    • Set up the meetings tool 
    • Create and edit scheduling pages
    • Use HubSpot’s calendar sync with Google Calendar or Outlook Calendar
    • Schedule a meeting with a contact in a record

    Set up an inbox for sales inquiries:

    Create a conversations Inbox dedicated to your sales team. You can also connect a chat channel, Facebook Messenger channel, or form channel to your inbox.  You just need to :

    • Create a conversations inbox (a central location to receive all your messages /inquiries)
    • Connect channels to the inbox: Team email | Chat | Facebook Messenger | Form
    • Collaborate with your team in the inbox
    • Compose and reply to emails in the conversations inbox

    Set up a live chat or bot:

    Connect your sales team with the leads either through chatbots (automates responders) or LIVE chats. For this, you need to set up a conversations inbox and install the HubSpot tracking code on your website.

    Monitor lead activity and engagement:

    Track your prospects ( potential convertible leads) by installing a HubSpot tracking code on your website. Then in the global search bar, enter ‘Prospects’ and you can then see the prospect’s information.

    HubSpot prospects

    Analyze Sales:

    Visit the Dashboard (Reports-> Dashboard) and create your sales reports from pre-existing templates or customize it according to your needs.

    Support Customers

    HubSpot’s Service Hub software enables you to deliver great customer service, scale your team’s efforts, and grow your business. You can use this tool to do the following tasks:

    • Set up a conversation inbox for your team: Central location where messages from all your connected channels appear. The support team can reply to messages from the inbox and create support tickets to track customers’ issues.
    • Set up a live chat or bot: Help customers resolve their queries by setting up an automated bot or through LIVE chats.
    • Manage support tickets from customers: Create ticket records whenever a customer posts a support query. Once the ticket is created, any HubSpot activities related to the ticket will be logged to it.
    • Create knowledge base: A collection of articles that contains information about your products or services. It’s designed to help customers find answers to their questions without contacting your support team.
    • Receive feedback from your customers: Collect customer feedback and track it over time. You can use this tool to create surveys, gather feedback through email, or receive in-app feedback.
    • Analyze your Support Data: Visit the Dashboard (Reports -> Dashboard) and create your support reports from pre-existing templates or customize it according to your needs.

    Build Your Website

    It is easy to build and design your website using HubSpot’s Website Platform. You can use this platform to create a responsive website that looks great on all devices. The platform includes everything you need to get started, including templates, tools, and guidance.

    To get started, you need to:

    • Set up templates and select a theme: HubSpot provides free starter templates and themes to start with. Besides, it also has an Asset marketplace to purchase professional ones.
    • Build Pages and create content: Edit existing pages of the template or create new ones.
    • Set up Blog: HubSpot’s Blog tools help write engaging content to grow subscribers. Tag posts, manage authors, manage subscriptions, and much more.
    • Improve your website’s SEO: HubSpot’s platform includes built-in tools to improve your website’s SEO. It helps increase conversion rate and traffic.
    • Track your website’s performance: Track the performance of your website using HubSpot or by adding Google Analytics to your pages. Access this from the Reports tabManage your CRM

    With all those utilities in a single tool,  HubSpot is truly a powerful marketing package to opt for.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, HubSpot is a comprehensive inbound marketing and sales platform that can be used to help businesses of all sizes grow and scale their operations. 

    It offers a wide range of features, tools, and capabilities to help organizations attract visitors, convert leads into customers, and close deals. HubSpot is also very user-friendly with an intuitive interface that makes it easy for anyone to get started. 

    However, there are some drawbacks – such as the pricing structure which can be prohibitive for smaller businesses – and it can take some time to learn how to use all of its features effectively. 

    But overall, HubSpot is a powerful toolkit that can help businesses increase their online visibility, drive more leads and sales, and improve their customer relationships.

    FAQ's about HubSpot

    What does HubSpot do exactly?

    Hubspot does the work of an entire marketing team, including email marketing, social media monitoring, and management, content management, website design and development, SEO tools, lead capture and conversion, lead nurturing, sales enablement, and customer service.

    Why is HubSpot so popular?

    HubSpot is so popular because it is an all-in-one marketing solution that helps businesses of all sizes grow. It offers customizable packages, a free trial, and training resources to help users get the most out of the platform.

    What is the benefit of HubSpot?

    The benefit of HubSpot is that it offers an all-in-one marketing solution that is customizable and easy to use. It also provides users with a free trial, so they can try the platform before committing to a paid subscription.

    What kind of companies use HubSpot?

    The kind of companies that use HubSpot include small businesses, large enterprises, and companies of all sizes in between. For example, HubSpot has helped companies like Lenovo, Samsung, and Toyota grow their businesses.

    Is HubSpot a CRM?

    Yes, HubSpot is a complete CRM that offers features like contact management, sales automation, and marketing automation.

    Can you use HubSpot for free?

    Yes, you can use HubSpot CRM for free. You can also use limited features of HubSpot Marketing, Sales, Service, and Operations Hub for free. Besides these, you need to pay as per the features you opt for.

    What is unique about HubSpot?

    HubSpot is unique because it offers an all-in-one sales and marketing platform that helps businesses grow. It is also easy to use and offers a free trial so that users can try the platform before committing to a paid subscription.

    What is HubSpot academy?

    HubSpot Academy is the worldwide leader in inbound marketing, sales, and customer service/support training.

    What are HubSpot tools?

    HubSpot tools are the ones that help you build your inbound marketing and sales platform. It includes HubSpot's CRM, Sales, Marketing, Service, and Operations tools.
    Abhishek Agrawal
    Author - Abhishek A Agrawal
    Abhishek is the founder of Integrately, CompanyHub, and Dreamwares. He is passionate about technology and entrepreneurship. He is always looking to leverage technology for the growth of the business. He has a deep understanding of how businesses work and uses this knowledge to build products that help entrepreneurs grow their businesses.
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