When it comes to running a business, there's no denying that having the right tools can make all the difference. HubSpot is a marketing, sales, and service platform that helps businesses grow better. But with so many options to choose from, it can be tough to know where to start.

Do you go for the free version or invest in the paid version? As Tony Stark, aka Iron Man, once said, “Sometimes you gotta run before you can walk.” But before you start sprinting toward your next big move, it's important to consider what you actually need. And that's where this blog comes in.

We're going to take a closer look at the free and paid versions of HubSpot, highlighting the benefits and limitations of each, so you can make an informed decision about which package is right for your business.

So, whether you're just starting out or already on your way to success, read on to find out how HubSpot – the all-in-one marketing software can help you take your business to the next level.

Let's take a closer look at HubSpot Free vs Paid services highlighting the benefits and limitations of each allowing you to make an informed decision. 

HubSpot Free CRM

Gone are the days of navigating through difficult interfaces and complex features. With HubSpot CRM, simplicity meets efficiency. HubSpot CRM platform is not just about managing contacts; it's about building relationships.

Imagine having all your contact management, report analysis, lead generation, and customer relationship tasks handled in one place. Now, picture doing all of this without spending a penny.

Yes, you read it right – HubSpot Free CRM lets you do all that and more for absolutely free. No credit card hassles, no trial payments, just get it started for free. It is one of the best CRM software available and is even ranked better than many paid CRMs. 

Let's dive deep into its features!

What do you get with HubSpot Free CRM?

HubSpot CRM offers various tools with no additional or hidden cost. Let's explore some of the key features offered by Free CRM. 

  • Contact Management: HubSpot CRM's Contact Management provides tools to streamline communication, enrich contact details, and gain insights from past interactions.
hubspot-contact-management-tool

With HubSpot CRM, you can create and store up to 1,000,000 contacts. This scalability ensures that businesses of all sizes can manage their leads and customers efficiently. It also allows you to log various activities such as emails and calls directly within the system.

HubSpot CRM goes beyond basic contact information by allowing users to enrich contact records with additional company details. Utilizing these tools, users can easily access and view previous interactions with contacts.

  • Pipeline Management: HubSpot Pipeline Management is a powerful feature to visualize and streamline your sales processes. You can see the various stages of your deals to understand the current status and prioritize activities.
hubspot-deals-pipeline

HubSpot allows you to customize the pipeline by defining and customizing stages to match your sales processes. You can also track individual deals as they move through each pipeline stage.

Additionally, you can associate tasks with specific deals, ensuring that critical activities are aligned with the sales pipeline stages.

HubSpot also allows you to prioritize deals based on their stage and likelihood of closure. This helps sales teams concentrate on high-potential opportunities, thereby improving overall efficiency.

  • Sales Automation: HubSpot offers various sales automation features to streamline your sales processes without incurring additional costs. It allows you to create and automate email sequences. This feature is valuable for sales teams as it helps in nurturing leads through a series of pre-defined emails.

You can also automate routine tasks associated with the sales process. This includes setting reminders, updating contact records, and triggering specific actions based on predefined criteria.

hubspot-workflow-automation

HubSpot Free CRM also enables you to set workflow automation. From lead qualification to deal progression, workflows can automate repetitive steps and ensure a consistent approach.

Overall, the free version of HubSpot includes basic marketing automation tools that allow you to automate repetitive tasks and create targeted campaigns for your leads and customers.

  • Lead Generation: HubSpot provides a user-friendly Form Builder that enables businesses to create customized forms easily. These forms can be embedded on websites or landing pages to capture visitors' information, turning them into potential leads.

The inclusion of a Live Chat feature allows you to engage with website visitors in real time. This immediate interaction not only enhances the user experience but also provides an opportunity to capture leads directly on the website.

Further, with automation features, you can set up follow-up tasks and reminders ensuring no lead is left unattended. These timely interactions contribute to building stronger relationships.

  • Meeting Scheduler: Simplify the appointment-setting process with the Meeting Scheduler feature. You can share your availability, allowing leads and customers to schedule meetings at mutually convenient times. This tool streamlines the scheduling process and enables efficient communication.
hubspot-meeting-scheduler

Apart from the free CRM tools, HubSpot also offers Free tools within its Marketing, Sales, Operations, Service and CMS Hub. Here's a brief overview of these tools:

1. Free Marketing Tools

2. Free Sales Tools 

  • Deals Pipeline
  • Contact Management
  • Live Chat
  • Meeting Scheduler
  • Quotes

3. Free Service Tools

  • Ticketing
  • Contact Management
  • Live Chat
  • Team Email

4. Free CMS Tools

  • Website pages & blog
  • Drag and drop editor
  • Basic SEO
  • Managed cloud hosting
  • Custom domain creation

5. Free Operations Tools 

  • Two-way data sync
  • All third-party integrations
  • Default Field Mappings
  • Historical sync

What are the Limitations of HubSpot Free CRM?

While the free version offers a great starting point for small businesses and individuals, it comes with certain limitations. Businesses must look into both the benefits and limitations of the software or tool to get an idea of how far they can go.

  • Limited Users: The free version has a restriction on the number of users who can access the CRM. If your team grows, you may need to upgrade to a paid plan.
  • Basic Features: While it offers essential features like contact and lead management, it lacks some advanced features available in the paid versions, such as advanced automation and reporting tools.
  • Email Tracking Limitations: The free CRM has limitations on email tracking, meaning you may not get as much detail about how your emails are performing compared to the paid versions.
  • Limited Customization: You can customize fields, but the level of customization is not as extensive as in the paid versions. This might be a drawback if you have specific and complex requirements for your business.
  • Storage Limits: There are limits on the amount of data (attachments, documents) you can store in the free version. If your business deals with a large volume of data, you might hit these limits.
  • Integration Restrictions: While it integrates with many popular tools, the free version may not support all the integrations available in the paid versions. This could be a limitation if you rely on specific third-party apps.

HubSpot Free CRM is a great starting point for small businesses, but as your needs grow, you might find the limitations in user numbers, features, customization, storage, and integrations may require upgrading to a paid plan.

HubSpot Paid Subscription Plans

The free version of HubSpot is great, but if you want to boost your sales, marketing, operations, and customer service, consider upgrading to one of the paid Hub plans.

HubSpot's paid plans come in three packages: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise. You can also bundle the CRM Suite with the specific hub you need.

By opting for the paid version, you gain access to advanced features that are perfect for businesses aiming to expand and streamline their operations. Enjoy improved team collaboration and in-depth analytics with various Hubs.

Let's explore the subscription plans offered by HubSpot to elevate your strategy.

HubSpot Marketing Hub Subscription 

HubSpot Marketing Hub is a one-stop solution for your inbound marketing needs. It brings together various tools and features to help you plan, execute, and analyze your marketing tasks.

Key Features

Here are the key features of Marketing Hub:

  • Campaign Management 

HubSpot Marketing Hub provides tools for planning, executing, and analyzing marketing campaigns. You can create campaigns, define goals, set priorities and associated marketing assets such as emails, landing pages, and social media posts.

HubSpot also enables the segmentation of contacts based on various criteria, allowing for targeted and personalized campaigns.

  • Marketing Automation

With the marketing automation feature, you can create automated workflows to trigger actions based on user behavior, such as sending follow-up emails, updating contact properties, or assigning leads to sales.

You can also design automated campaigns to nurture leads through the sales funnel, delivering targeted content based on user interactions.

  • Marketing Analytics 

HubSpot Marketing Hub allows you to track key metrics such as website visits, email open rates, conversion rates, and social media engagement. It lets you analyze the return on investment for various marketing campaigns and channels.

  • Dashboards & Reporting

HubSpot provides customizable dashboards and reporting tools for users to monitor and analyze their marketing data. You can create personalized dashboards with widgets displaying specific metrics and data relevant to your marketing goals.

  • Salesforce Integration

HubSpot Marketing Hub can integrate with Salesforce, a popular customer relationship management (CRM) platform, to streamline communication and data sharing between marketing and sales teams.

It allows you to sync contacts and lead information to ensure that both teams have access to the latest data. Further, the integration facilitates the smooth transition of leads from marketing to sales by automating lead handoff processes based on predefined criteria.

Subscription Plan

The HubSpot Marketing Hub Subscription plan is a comprehensive solution designed to empower businesses in elevating their marketing strategies.

You can choose from three plans: Starter, Professional, and Enterprise, depending on what your business needs. This toolkit focuses on managing customer relationships, automating marketing tasks, and using smart analytics.

hubspot-marketing-hub-subscription

Whether you're starting with simple marketing or want to do more advanced campaigns, the HubSpot Marketing Hub Subscription plan has everything you need in one easy-to-use package.

HubSpot Sales Hub Subscription

HubSpot Sales Hub offers a suite of powerful tools like lead management, optimizing deal pipelines, automating repetitive tasks, and providing insightful analytics for informed decision-making.

Key Features

Let's dive deeper into some of the important features of Sales Hub:

  • Lead Management & Prospecting

HubSpot Sales Hub facilitates efficient lead management and prospecting, allowing you to organize and prioritize your leads effectively. You can keep track of leads and their interactions with your business, helping you understand their level of engagement.

  • Deals Pipeline

Deal Pipelines in HubSpot Sales Hub provide a visual representation of your sales process, allowing you to track and manage deals through various stages.

You can tailor the deal stages to match your sales process, ensuring alignment with your requirements. It also lets you monitor the progress of deals as they move through the pipeline, making it easier to identify the areas for improvement.

  • Sales Automation

Utilizing sales automation can help you create automated workflows for tasks such as sending follow-up emails, assigning leads to sales reps, or updating contact information. You can even set up automated email sequences to nurture leads and guide them through the sales funnel.

  • Email Tracking 

Email Tracking features in HubSpot Sales Hub provide insights into how recipients engage with your emails, helping you gauge interest and tailor your follow-up strategy.

You can receive notifications when recipients open your emails, allowing for timely and informed follow-ups. Additionally, it allows you to monitor links clicked in emails, providing valuable insights into the content that resonates with your leads.

  • Sales Analytics & Reporting 

Track key sales metrics, such as conversion rates, deal sizes, and win/loss ratios and create customized reports to gain insights into your sales process.

  • Forecasting

The Forecasting feature in HubSpot Sales Hub assists in predicting future sales performance based on historical data and current trends. Users can assign probabilities to deals at various stages in the pipeline, providing a more accurate forecast of potential revenue.

These features collectively empower sales teams using HubSpot Sales Hub to manage leads efficiently and make informed sales forecasts.

Subscription

If you're looking to boost your sales game and make smarter decisions, the HubSpot Sales Hub Subscription plan is here to help you succeed.

hubspot-sales-hub-subscription

Whether you're a small startup or a big company, this subscription has got you covered. It comes with exciting features to help manage leads, streamline deals, and automate important tasks.

HubSpot Operations Hub Subscription 

HubSpot Operations Hub helps teams work together smoothly by making sure everyone has the right information at the right time.

Key Features

Let's explore the key offerings of Operations Hub Subscription:

  • Data Quality Automation 

Set up automated processes to clean and standardize data, reducing errors and inconsistencies. Plus, you can automatically enrich your data with additional information from reliable sources, enhancing the depth and quality of your records.

  • Data Quality Command Center 

The Data Quality Command Center is a centralized hub within HubSpot Operations for monitoring and managing data quality. It allows you to monitor quality metrics, and track changes and modifications to your data, ensuring transparency and accountability.

  • Workflow Extensions 

Extend workflows to connect with external tools and services and integrate specific actions or steps into your workflows to meet unique business requirements.

  • Custom Report Builder 

The Custom Report Builder feature allows users to create reports to analyze and visualize data based on specific criteria. With its drag-and-drop elements, you can easily build insightful reports.

  • Datasets

Datasets in HubSpot Operations Hub enable the consolidation of data from various sources into a single, unified view for analysis.

These features contribute to the effectiveness of operations by ensuring that data is accurate, accessible, and aligned with organizational goals.

Subscription

With tools to organize and understand your data better, the HubSpot Operations Hub Subscription plan is here to make your business operations smoother and more efficient.

hubspot-operations-hub

The subscription plan includes features that focus on data management, automation, and improving overall efficiency in business processes.

HubSpot CMS Hub Subscription 

HubSpot CMS Hub is a versatile content management system designed to create, manage, and optimize your online presence with ease. With CMS Hub, organizations can build and customize their websites without the need for extensive technical expertise.

Key Features

  • Drag-and-drop website builder: HubSpot CMS Hub provides a user-friendly drag-and-drop website builder, allowing users to create and customize web pages without the need for extensive coding knowledge.
  • 100+ Pre-built themes: With a collection of over 100 modern and professionally designed themes, you can create visually appealing and functional website designs. Themes are designed to be responsive, ensuring a consistent experience across different devices.
  • Blog Maker: The Blog Maker feature in HubSpot CMS Hub allows users to create, manage and optimize blog content seamlessly within the platform.
  • Dynamic Content: HubSpot CMS Hub supports the creation of dynamic content, allowing website elements to change based on specific visitor characteristics or behaviours.

Subscription

Subscribing to HubSpot CMS Hub empowers you to create professional websites without the use of technical codes. Take a look at various pricing plans and their offerings.

hubspot-cms-hub-subscription

HubSpot CMS simplifies web development, facilitates seamless content management, and empowers organizations to create engaging experiences.

HubSpot Service Hub Subscription

HubSpot Service Hub is a customer service platform designed to help businesses deliver exceptional support and build lasting relationships with their customers.

Key Features

  • Customer Portal: HubSpot Service Hub includes a Customer Portal, providing a dedicated space for customers to access information, resources, and interact with your business.
  • Knowledge Base: Businesses can create a knowledge base with resources such as articles, FAQs, and tutorials. This empowers customers to find answers to common questions, reducing the volume of support inquiries and enhancing the customer experience.
  • Inbound Calling: Inbound Calling in HubSpot Service Hub allows businesses to handle customer calls directly within the platform, streamlining communication and support processes.
  • Customer Feedback Surveys: Collecting and analyzing customer feedback is made easy with Service Hub, allowing businesses to understand customer sentiments and continuously refine their service strategies.
  • Help Desk & Ticketing: Service Hub offers a robust ticketing system that allows businesses to efficiently organize, track, and prioritize customer inquiries and support requests. This allows customers to find answers to common questions, reducing the volume of support inquiries and enhancing the customer experience.

Subscription

The HubSpot Service Hub Subscription is a valuable investment for businesses committed to delivering top-notch customer service. Take a look at its diverse pricing plans.

hubspot-service-hub-subscription

With a focus on self-service, knowledge sharing, streamlined communication, and customer feedback, this subscription plan equips businesses with the tools needed to build strong and lasting customer relationships.

Limitations of the paid version of HubSpot

Before you upgrade to the paid version of HubSpot, let's take a quick look at the limitations. It's always good to be informed, so you can make the best decision for your business. 

  • Affordability: The paid version of HubSpot can be quite expensive for some businesses, particularly for small or startup companies. It can be a significant investment, so it's important to evaluate the cost.
  • Complexity: While the paid version of HubSpot offers more advanced features and capabilities, it can also be more complex to use. It may require additional training and expertise to fully utilize all of the features and integrations.
  • No. of Domains: Some plans limit the number of domains you can use. If you manage multiple websites or need flexibility with domains, be aware of the limitations associated with your chosen plan.

Which is the right Hub for your business?

Determining the most suitable package for your business can be a challenge. However, this blog may have provided insights into the advantages and drawbacks of both HubSpot's free and paid versions.

The free version offers valuable features, but if you're aiming for that extra punch of tools and support, the paid version might be your go-to.

Let us know what Hub aligns perfectly with your business needs in the comments below.

If you're still unsure about selecting the right package, feel free to Contact us for expert guidance and assistance!

Frequently Asked Questions

HubSpot's paid version offers advanced features such as A/B testing, lead management tools, and robust analytics and reporting. It allows you to store an unlimited number of contacts, simplifying customer and lead management. In contrast, the free version lacks these advanced capabilities and has limitations on the number of contacts you can store. The paid version is ideal for businesses seeking more comprehensive marketing and sales tools, while the free version is a basic option for those with simpler needs and smaller contact lists.

The difference between HubSpot Free and Starter lies in their suitability and capabilities. HubSpot Free is ideal for newcomers to inbound marketing and customer resource management. It offers essential tools without cost. In contrast, HubSpot Starter is designed for budget-conscious businesses seeking automation for marketing, sales, customer service, and operations. It provides more advanced features and support, but it comes with a subscription fee. The choice depends on your experience and budget in the world of digital marketing and customer management.

HubSpot's free CRM plan offers basic marketing automation features, which can be helpful for small businesses. However, it has limitations, and once you hit those limits, you'll need to upgrade to a paid subscription to fully leverage HubSpot's marketing automation capabilities. So, while the free version is a decent starting point, its value for more advanced marketing needs may require investing in a paid HubSpot plan.

You can use HubSpot's free CRM indefinitely as long as it meets your needs. If you're a solopreneur with a small operation or a small business not focused on rapid growth, the basic features of the free version may suffice. You won't be forced to upgrade unless you require the advanced features available in the paid versions of HubSpot CRM.