Without an inbound marketing component, your business might as well be operating under a rock someplace. You won’t experience the kind of growth you deserve. Moreover, if you languish too long, your competitors will become predators. They will take you out of the game.


At Stern, we call this the “Highlander” dynamic.


In the 1986 film Highlander, various immortals roamed the earth trying to behead each other and install themselves as the sole survivor of a lost alien race.


Don’t let your film get beheaded. If you haven’t done so already, you should be setting up a plan for inbound marketing services or contracting one from Stern RIGHT NOW!




Inbound marketing do-it-yourselfers are likely perplexed by the sudden proliferation of inbound marketing software tools. Today’s blog cuts through the dross and compares two of the most popular inbound marketing tools for small- to medium-sized businesses: Infusionsoft and HubSpot COS. And of course, by the end of this post, we’ll show you which tool we think is the out-and-out winner.


Again, “There can be only one…”




Plenty of smaller companies that can’t afford a heavyweight automated marketing platform and contact relationship management system have successfully leveraged Infusionsoft. Put simply, Infusionsoft is a cost-efficient means for running an online business. It offers a nice suite of form and tracking tools so you can organize purchases, actions, and the behaviors of your individual contacts from one springboard. It automates email marketing via a powerful tagging protocol and refines messaging as your prospect clients interact with various links. The software offers vital support via phone, live chat, or email. Many users have reported that the support component alone makes Infusionsoft worthwhile.


And yet. . .


Infusionsoft has drawbacks. It’s hard to learn for one thing — complex, lengthy learning curves are always a little off putting. The basic program noticeably lacks functionality in the spheres of CTA and persona tracking (some users might consider this minus a ‘meh,’ but we at Stern do not). Infusionsoft’s tracking has been known to be . . . er, a bit error prone, which is obviously not what we’re looking for. But the most onerous aspect to Infusionsoft is that you have to purchase add on components to enjoy the best experience. The cost of these add on components can really begin to mount — and this is on top of your startup fees and required training package fee, which typically amount to two or three thousand dollars combined. And yes: the training fee has to be paid even if you already know how to use Infusionsoft. Duh!




Many small to mid-size companies have turned to HubSpot for their inbound marketing needs, and with good reason. Hubspot offers a simple interface which is comforting to newbies and experienced users alike. The program features a powerful, flexible proprietary content management system whose features give marketers the ability to focus on doing their jobs rather than mastering or working around their set of marketing tools.


Did we mention that the learning curve to use HubSpot is short? That’s another big plus, as is the fact that HubSpot features remarkable reporting, tracking, and analytics capabilities — and yes, this includes persona tracking. HubSpot also features a Content Optimization System that maximizes your efforts at automatic responsive design and tailors emails to specific audience tranches while allowing you to personalize your company’s website for individual visitor categories.


Overall, HubSpot functions as a complete inbound marketing/search engine optimization platform. The SEO component includes robust keyword tracking and analysis, inbound link tracking, on-page SEO command, and an optional blogging module that helps your blog generate leads. In general, HubSpot is a one-stop shop for all of your company’s email, social, web, and ecommerce needs. The program’s development team makes frequent improvements and have also provided a built-in responsive design that makes HubSpot compatible with virtually any mobile device.


So what’s the downside?


Well. . . we’ve always felt that HubSpot should offer more in the way of CRM functionality. The company says they’re addressing this issue and we look forward to road testing their solution. Sometimes the very simplicity of HubSpot can work against it. For instance, the program’s statistical analysis capabilities would acquit themselves better if they offered more details out of the box. And price is always an issue, of course. Put simply, HubSpot sure ain’t cheap. It’s priced for businesses looking to take a deep dive into the Inbound Marketing pool, rather than, say, their first paddle with water wings. And technical support carries additional fees, which can be onerous for first time users.




As far as we at Stern are concerned, HubSpot takes the prize, hands down.




HubSpot is easier to use, resulting in massive time savings first your marketing staff. Some users have reported that they can accomplish tasks in HubSpot in fully one-third the time it would take to accomplish the same tasks using Infusionsoft.


Also, as we mentioned, HubSpot developers have served as good stewards to their product. They regularly add functionality which translates as dividends to the user base. The inclusion of a CRM component is just one example of how seriously HubSpot’s developers want to make your work life easier.


HubSpot’s price tag might deter some new businesses from making the purchase. While we sympathize, Stern feels that — as far as this cage match is concerned, the clear winner is HubSpot.


Try it today and see if you agree!