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HubSpot vs Keap: Which Tool Should You Use?

August 12, 2019

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HubSpot vs Keap: Which Tool Should You Use?

There’s no question. HubSpot scores an A++ for customer relationship management systems (or CRMs). However, it’s not for everyone.

Small businesses or medium-sized businesses with smaller marketing teams or a tight budget often can’t afford HubSpot’s steep price to access all of its features.

Their base package is free; however, you’ll get very limited use out of the tool. We’ll dive into pricing later, but what you need to know is that HubSpot IS a great tool, though it’s pricey.

Keap, on the other hand, is a fairly versatile tool that is accessible to businesses that don’t have a hefty budget to invest in a robust CRM like Hubspot. It provides excellent email marketing and automation options, ability to build landing pages, and even invoice customer and process sales.

We use both tools in our own business and for our clients. (A year ago, we wrote this comprehensive blog on HubSpot vs. Infusionsoft.) 

Having access to CRM options gives us the flexibility to recommend the right CRM for our clients, depending on their goals and budget.

Read more for our honest assessment of HubSpot vs. Keap. 

HubSpot CRM 

Hands down, HubSpot is a powerful CRM that can take your business far. It’s got everything you need, in one spot, to “do business” and track what works across your customer lifecycle.

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Landing Pages in HubSpot

It’s a super-convenient tool that houses content creating, lead magnets, email marketing, landing pages, analytics, sales and more all in one place. 

This means that it’s also really easy for you or your team to track your efforts and known what’s working.

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Keep in mind, reporting and analytics are HUGELY important. We cannot underestimate these tactics. 

You could use a free tool, get no results, and never know it  – and your business will not be sustainable or grow.

In fact, for all of the clients we work with, we require something called “closed-loop reporting.” This means that we track how a lead first found out about your business and whether the leads ever turn into sales. 

So we can KNOW if our strategies are resulting in sales and new customers, or not.

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Campaign page in HubSpot

If you’re upgrading from the free tool or just starting out, you’ll have to commit to one year of HubSpot and pre-pay that amount. And if your business is serious about tracking, growth and sustainability, you won’t be disappointed by investing in the HubSpot CRM.

Keep in mind though, Hubspot is a serious investment. Its robust tools come with a price, and it’s up to you to decide if it makes sense for your business.

One of our clients had nearly 100,000 people on their email list, needed sales tools and marketing tools combined – meaning, HubSpot would have charged them an arm and a leg to use it.  

When we first onboarded this client to HubSpot, they signed a two-year contract at $17,000.00 per year. By the third year, the CRM company was going to charge our client $8,000 (paid quarterly). We took a long, hard look at the value they would get from continuing with HubSpot and their business’ needs, and decided that Keap would be a much better option. 

With Keap, the client was able to significantly lower their CRM costs and invest the difference in other marketing elements like paid advertising, video content, lead magnets etc. 

Needless to say, this client was ecstatic that we helped them save thousands of dollars over the course of the year, and every year after.

When Is Hubspot A Good Fit?

If your business has the budget to invest in HubSpot and if it makes sense financially, we recommend taking the plunge. 

As your business grows, you can easily and seamlessly expand your use of the tool and do bigger and better things. Keep in mind, if you only close $3000-$4000k per month in sales, this might not be the best CRM choice for you – more than half of your revenue will be spent on it. 

Use your best judgement and knowledge of your business. If you need help deciding which CRM you should go with, book a free marketing assessment with us. We’ll gladly offer unbiased, honest advice.

Setting It Up

The setup time for the tool will vary, depending on your technical knowledge and how much resources you can devote to getting up to speed. It also depends on whether you’re planning to use Hubspot yourself or have an agency manage it for you.

If you’re setting up a buyer persona, free offer, and workflow, it could take you approximately 30 hours (to write, design and build the assets).

Uploading contacts and segmenting your email lists will take extra time.

Hubspot’s Learning Center is a huge database of lessons covering every imaginable topic that will help you get up to speed.

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HubSpot’s Learning Center

HubSpot Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • It’s a robust, do-it-all tool
  • It offers analytics that are waaay easier to understand than Google Analytics.
  • You can track all of your marketing and sales efforts in one place, and know what’s working.

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HubSpot’s Analytics and tracking Tools

Cons: 

  • The price is steep  – you get what you pay for.
  • The tool is complex, and there’s a considerable learning curve.

Keap CRM (formerly Infusionsoft)

We’ve already said it. HubSpot is one of THE premier CRMs. However, it’s not for everyone.

The primary factor that prohibits a business from using it is cost. 

The Keap CRM will help you automate your marketing and sales, and you’ll be able to do so at a much lower price. 

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Keap Dashboard

So what do you lose with Keap that HubSpot offers?

A note about design and development:

HubSpot gives your designer/developer the ability to build out custom templates and modules for emails, landing pages, blogs, and even entire websites. So you get a lot more control over the CSS and HTML.

Keap follows a system of pre-designed template options, where you can customize things like colors and fonts, but the designer/developer won't have direct control to edit the CSS and HTML. Keap also doesn't support blogs or host entire websites.

You might be thinking: Wow. Why would anyone use Keap then?

Keap is a GREAT email marketing automation software, but you can also build sales pipelines, invoice clients and process payments, and create landing pages. 

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Sales Pipeline

It also integrates with other tools like WordPress so you can blog, and Databox so you can manage analytics. You can also use Google Analytics to track your efforts and analyze the results.

The downside to this approach? 

You’ll need to know HOW to integrate other tools you’re using with Keap to give you a comprehensive approach to tracking and evaluating what’s working to ensure ROI. 

Some of the tools you’ll need aren’t free (like Databox), but you can replace it with Google Analytics, which is free but has a huge learning curve. Zapier lets you integrate all the tools.

Or you can work with a marketing partner to do the work for you.

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When Is Keap A Good Fit?

If you don’t currently have the resources to invest in a robust CRM like HubSpot, Keap is an awesome alternative.

For a much lower price, your business can still utilize the CRM to segment your email list, build automated email workflows, publish content and build sales pipelines.

Keap works great for: 

  • Small and medium businesses
  • Entrepreneurs
  • Speaker, authors, and consultants 
  • Small marketing teams 
  • And many others.

Keap Pros and Cons

Pros: 

  • It’s cheaper than HubSpot.
  • It offers robust email campaign/automation.
  • It’s simpler to learn than HubSpot because it’s not as robust (but more difficult than a tool like MailChimp or ActiveCampaign)

Cons: 

  • It’s not a comprehensive CRM.
  • You’ll need to factor in the cost of buying other tools to fill in what Keap is missing.
  • It does have a learning curve (but then again, you’ll have to spend time learning any CRM).

Final Thoughts

Regardless of what you hear about the battle between HubSpot and Keap CRMs, the bottom line is, there’s no one-size-fits-all CRM.

Depending on your business’ needs, and goals and budget, there is a CRM for you. 

While the HubSpot CRM requires a considerable investment, it WILL pay off. 

The robust CRM streamlines your business’ sales and marketing activities, easily integrates all the activities, and offers stellar tracking capabilities.

However, your business may not need the Cadillac of CRMs  – yet. 

If that’s the case, you can build your CRM system with Keap, integrating it with a few other tools, so you have a solid Volkswagen to drive your business forward.

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