HubSpot Review 2024: Is It Really The Best All-In-One CRM?

HubSpot is a genuine heavyweight of CRM software. Catering to businesses large and small, it’s known for its all-in-one business software with a focus on marketing and CRM.

If you think inbound marketing and CRM software, HubSpot is the name that pops up the most. Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah founded HubSpot in 2006. It’s now one of the biggest CRM platforms with over 200.000 customers worldwide.

For this HubSpot review, I am testing the sales, marketing and service hubs. I’ll cover its contact management, automation, email marketing and lead generation features. I also cover topics like usability, customer support, and price. Including explaining exactly what you can do for free.

HubSpot CRM Platform Review Summary

Short on time? Here’s a quick overview:

  • HubSpot has a lot to offer. It scales for every size of business. And the parts are connected making it an all-in-one CRM.
  • You can do a lot for free on HubSpot. There’s a free CRM, sales, marketing, customer service, and the CMS.
  • HubSpot has a great interface. Most parts are very user-friendly and the experience is slick.
  • It’s quick and easy to get started. All features have on-screen tutorials for beginners.
  • HubSpot CRM is highly customizable. And you can choose from 1500+ integrations to add the tools you want.

HubSpot is a great starting point as a free CRM tool for small businesses. And it scales as your business grows. Sign up for a free account here.

Get started with HubSpot for free

HubSpot’s Most Important Features

Hubspot important features

As a genuine all-in-one CRM, HubSpot offers a huge range of tools. These are some of the highlights:

  • Sales CRM: It’s at the core of all HubSpot tools with in-depth, customizable contact management and deal tracking.
  • Marketing Hub: Including email marketing, landing pages, websites, SEO, social media marketing, and analytics. There are AI tools for generating content.
  • Service Tools: The Service Hub has live chat automation and ticketing. Automate answers to recurring questions and assign chats to team members based on rules.
  • Automation: HubSpot is packed with automation options across its sales, marketing and service suites. A visual editor makes building sequences easy.
  • Integrations: With 1500+ integrations, you can connect almost any tool you want.

Try HubSpot for free

HubSpot Review: CRM, Marketing Automation and Service Platform

Hubspot CRM customer platform

The HubSpot product suite is called Customer Platform. It has 6 different Hubs: Marketing, Sales, Service, CMS, Operations, and B2B Commerce.

You can mix and match features from Hubs to create your own bundle. There is also a plan with access to all 6 Hubs.

HubSpot CRM and Sales Automation

All data is kept in the HubSpot CRM. It is what they started with and is the heart of HubSpot. The sales CRM is free with every account.

Hubspot CRM customer data records

In the CRM tab, you see a list of your contacts, companies, deals, and customer service tickets.

The main thing is to have all your Pipeline Data in one place. If you think you have an opportunity to sell to a particular contact, you create a deal so you can see all the info on it and work to keep the deal going forward. You can create deals manually in every contact record.

creating a sales pipeline in Hubspot CRM

You can change the deal stages to reflect your own sales process. And simply drag and drop into a new stage of your sales pipeline.

Hubspot CRM Kanban board view of a sales funnel

In HubSpot, all the pipeline info is in one place so the sales team all have the same up-to-date details. The pipelines are shown in a kanban board on the Deals page. Click on a deal to add extra info like attachments, quotes, notes and product details to the record. 

adding information to Deal records in Hubspot CRM

You can create tasks that move deals to the next stage. Then assign them to the right person. In HubSpot, you can create and delegate emails, phone calls and other follow ups. Check the tick box on a deal and click Create Tasks.

creating tasks for sales pipeline management in Hubspot CRM

The HubSpot Sales Hub connects to your email, Gmail or Outlook account to send emails. There are pre-made sales email templates to speed things up.

As a free sales CRM, this is very impressive. If you’ve used a CRM before it’s all very logical. So it’s just getting the hang of the process, which is pretty easy.

Sales Hub’s sales automation is a real time saver. Centralised Deals and pipelines already make sales teams more efficient. Then you can automate more manual tasks, and save even more time. 

Set rules to automatically assign and move tasks. You can let someone plan a follow up call,  based on updates to deals. And mix it with automated emails to build a personalized follow-up sequence. Nice is the way you can A/B test different versions to check which gets the best responses.

creating workflows in the Hubspot Sales Hub

With automation you can build workflows for the entire sales funnel. Act on a prospects action. Like clicking a link in a marketing campaign or browsing a product page to enrol a prospect into a sequence.

Sales automation on this level is the connection between sales and marketing.

HubSpot adds AI to the mix. Prospecting tools identify the best leads. HubSpot AI will then create relevant outreach content to maximise engagement. They say that sales professionals save over 2 hours each day by using AI tools to automate these manual tasks.

Hubspot CRM sales automation dashboard

Data is hard to analyse when it’s in different tools. HubSpot’s analytics, reporting, and dashboards unify your customer data so you can make smarter data-backed decisions. Marketing Hub customers who use reporting close 8X more deals.

Try the HubSpot CRM for free

Sending Emails with HubSpot

Email marketing is a core part of HubSpot Marketing Hub. To start sending emails, you pick a template and the drag-and-drop editor opens up..

Hubspot CRM email marketing features

Everything you see in a template is organised into content blocks. You can click and drag blocks to move them around. Or add new ones from the sidebar on the left. Layout blocks structure how your email design looks. 

uploading an image in Hubspot CRM’s email editor

Editing content on the page is very easy. Click inside a block and the editing menu opens on the left. I started by adding my own logo. It was just uploading an image and dragging it in. Notice the ‘Design with Canva’ button to the bottom right. The Canva integration means you can design graphics in the HubSpot editor.

Next, I wanted to add a main image and heading. So I dropped image and text blocks into the email body. 

Hubspot AI tools and text editing options

HubSpot offers lots of support for writing email content. Every text box shows a formatting menu at the top. Highlighting text gives you a lightning icon. This opens HubSpot’s generative AI writing tool. It can reword, expand, shorten, or rewrite text. 

Hubspot CRM email personalization

You can personalize emails with contact data using ‘tokens’. You can use all data in the CRM to personalize emails. On paid plans, you can also personalize emails so they show different content to different contacts. HubSpot calls this ‘smart content’, also known as dynamic content.

Hubspot CRM email testing and sending options

In total, my email took under 30 minutes to write and design. It shows how easy HubSpot’s editor is to use.

Onto sending. HubSpot’s email settings, testing and scheduling options are all at the top of the screen.

Hubspot CRM AI subject line generator

HubSpot’s AI writer is really useful for generating subject line ideas. You can personalize the subject line the same way you can body text. The Settings tab is where you add the subject line. As you know. Tthe subject line has a big influence on open rates.

In the Send or Schedule tab, you select your recipients. You can send them straight away or schedule for later.

There are 2 testing options. HubSpot’s A/B testing is very flexible. A lot of email marketing software only lets you test different subject lines. HubSpot lets you experiment with anything you want. You can send a test email to yourself or a teammate to check how your email looks in an inbox.

Email Templates in HubSpot

Hubspot Marketing Hub email templates

These are some examples of email marketing templates in HubSpot. The designs are a good starting point and saves time. But these are still pretty basic compared to responsive email templates you can find in the best email template editors. And the choice is limited. 

In HubSpot’s defence, I found that simple templates work well with the editor. It’s very easy to quickly customize your own templates. If you need more templates, connect Beefree with HubSpot. Beefree has 1200+ email templates and all of them work with HubSpot.

HubSpot Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a real strength of HubSpot’s Marketing Hub. There’s a lot you can automate, including:

  • Set up drip campaigns to send sequences of emails at fixed times.
  • Trigger workflows based on subscriber actions.
  • Combine emails, SMS, and push notifications in the same workflow.
  • Split workflows with if/then conditions.
  • Automate lead scoring and segmentation.
Hubspot CRM AI-based marketing tool

All of this is done using HubSpot’s visual workflow builder. Each Hub has their own Automations tab for building and managing workflows. 

It’s handy that workflows are right there when you need them in the platform. For example, set rules to automate an email campaign from the email builder. Or set subscription follow-up rules directly when you are in the form builder.

Hubspot CRM workflow automation builder

I like how HubSpot organises the automation building blocks. Workflows start with an ‘enrollment trigger’. Triggers can be filter-based or action-based.  It’s a really simple system to get the hang of.

  • Filter-based triggers are based on an attribute criteria. 
  • Action-based triggers start when a contact takes an action. 

There are dozens of action triggers available in the HubSpot platform. They vary according to the type of automation you are building. For example, you can trigger emails if a contact clicks a link, browses a web page, or fills out a form.

Hubspot CRM automation action options

Once you have set your trigger, you piece together workflow actions. There are 6 types of action you can add to a marketing workflow:

  • Communication: Send an email, SMS or web push notification.
  • Delay: Set a waiting time before the next action.
  • Record management: Create or edit contact data.
  • List management: Add or remove contacts to and from lists.
  • Ads management: Add to or remove from an advertising list.
  • Workflow conditions: Create multiple pathways with if/then conditions. Or connect to and trigger another workflow.

HubSpot automation is simple to get to grips with, if you know what you want to do. On the free and Starter plans, you put up to 10 actions in a single workflow. On higher plans there’s no limit. 

Try HubSpot for free here

Lead Generation in HubSpot

HubSpot has a CMS for website building and content management. Creating landing pages starts with templates.

Hubspot CRM review landing page templates

I found HubSpot’s web and landing page templates really good. Most are set up so you can drop straight into creating.

Hubspot CMS web page editor

The landing page builder’s look and feel is similar to the email builder. I like this consistency, and it shortens the learning curve across the whole platform. You can even add videos and meeting scheduling to your landing and web pages.

Hubspot landing page templates

My landing page template already had a form block in it. To embed a form, you just click on the form block. Then select a pre-made form from the menu to the left. You can also create a new form. This takes you through the form-building steps.

Hubspot CRM software form types

HubSpot offers 6 form types. The embedded form sits inside your site, ecommerce platform or web page anywhere you want. You can also build a dedicated page with just the form on it. Other popular formats you probably know – engaging the visitor (when used with moderation). Pop-ups, slide ins and dropdown banners.

Hubspot CRM system form templates

Once you have your form type, choose a form template. Templates have pre-formatted fields. I chose a newsletter sign-up form. Other options include registration, e-Book downloads, contact and support forms.

Hubspot CRM software form builder

All templates are fully customisable. The form editor is based on the same interface as the email editor. You simply drag and drop the data capture fields or ‘properties’ you want into position. HubSpot also has smart forms. You can use country, device type, source, language, membership, and lifecycle stage on HubSpot landing pages and website to display smart forms for a segment of visitors only.

You can add data consent and ReCAPTCHA to your forms easily. These should be default on every form to keep you privacy-compliant. And stop spam bots from submitting your forms. 

The Options tab lets you set what happens when someone completes a form. Like the thank you page and notifying team members. HubSpot’s strength as a CRM is obvious here.

Another lead management option is setting a lifecycle stage for the new contact. Lifecycle stage ranks contacts by the nature of your relationship with them. It’s used for segmentation, triggering automations, and lead tracking.

HubSpot publishes every form on a page. You can share the URL as a link or embed it to a page.

Try HubSpot for free here

Contact Management in HubSpot

HubSpot handles segmentation with lists. Lists are groups of contacts organised by shared properties. 

creating lists in Hubspot CRM

You have a choice of creating static lists or active lists. Static lists don’t change unless you edit them manually. Active lists change as contact properties change. You can use automations to update contact properties. This lets you control how you segment and target contacts based on contact behaviour.

I’ve talked about HubSpot’s CRM several times. You get a feel for how powerful HubSpot’s contact management options are as soon as you open a contact record.

Hubspot CRM contact record

There’s a lot of information packed into one screen. Here’s how it’s all organised.

  • The left sidebar is where you find actions and contact properties. Actions include communication options, like sending an email or setting up a meeting. Properties are any information you know about a contact. Those shown by default include Lifecycle Stage and Lead Status. 
  • The main column in the centre shows activities and associations. There’s a summary of recent contact activity. And a separate tab for seeing a full history. Associations show all the other records a contact is linked with.
  • The right sidebar also shows associated records. It also adds other objects like subscriptions, payments and invoices.

You can access most information you need from one page. Most of what you see is also customizable. HubSpot calls the different record sections cards. Many of them have a settings cog icon in the top right corner. Clicking on this opens up the card builder.

adding or removing properties in a Hubspot CRM contact record

The card builder lists all the current cards on the record. Clicking Edit opens editing options for individual cards. Here you can add or remove the properties displayed in different sections.

managing contact properties in Hubspot CRM

There are 181 contact properties from personal details to activity logs. You can log web, email, advertising and sales engagement for every contact. This all feeds into properties like lifecycle stage and lead scoring. HubSpot has customizable lead scoring. You can set up positive and negative scoring for contacts and companies/deals separately. Set the number of points and use AND/OR criteria to fine-tune your scoring.

contact properties in Hubspot

In short, you can track relationships with every contact in incredibly fine detail. And use the insights to help turn them into paying customers.

Support Customers Live with HubSpot

I mentioned that support tickets are one of the main record types in the HubSpot CRM. Tickets are to the customer service CRM what deals are to sales. They’re key to organising and tracking customer queries and help requests. 

In the Service Hub, you can create ticket pipelines for managing tasks across a team. You can build workflows to automate ticket creation, delegation, and updates. You can connect multiple communication channels, including phone, email, and live chat.

Speaking of live chat, you can build live chat widgets in HubSpot. You can embed chat widgets on any web page. Or build them for Facebook Messenger. 

Hubspot CRM chatflows

HubSpot calls this chatflows. It’s part of its automations. You don’t use the visual automation builder, but it’s very straightforward. 

creating a chatflow in Hubspot CRM

A chat ‘flow’ is all about setting how and when a chat window appears. And what people see when it does. You can assign specific widgets to certain team members. This helps direct help to the best place from different pages.

Hubspot CRM inbox

HubSpot logs all live chat messages. You can view all chat history in the Inbox view of the CRM.

Get started with HubSpot for free

HubSpot Integrations

Hubspot integrations

HubSpot already has a lot to offer. But if you want it to do even more, you can connect 1500 tools. Popular integrations include Gmail, Outlook, WordPress, Facebook and Google Ads, and Zoom.

Most of these are what HubSpot calls ‘traditional’ integrations. They send data one way, from the external app into HubSpot. They integrate data created only after the connection between the platforms is made.

HubSpot offers a more advanced level of integration in the Operations Hub. These integrations offer two-way, real-time data synchronization. There are 110+ apps available, including Pipedrive, Brevo, Zoho CRM, ActiveCampaign, Shopify and Mailerlite.

HubSpot Pricing and Plans

HubSpot has 3 pricing plans for 5 Hubs and the CRM Suite. And you can pick and choose tools to create your own custom bundle.

The Starter Marketing Hub costs $20/month for 1,000 marketing contacts, 5,000 emails, email marketing automation, blogging, landing pages, ads, live chat, and payments. On the Starter Sales and Service Hub, you can have 2 pipelines per account for $20/month/user. 

CRM Suite pricing starts at $50/month for Starter with 1,000 marketing contacts, 2 Sales, and 2 Service Hub users. Read our full HubSpot pricing guide for all the details about how much HubSpot costs.

The free HubSpot CRM tools include 100 marketing contacts, 2,000 emails, 20 landing pages, 1 pipeline, a website, a blog, ads, and live chat.

HubSpot has generously offered an exclusive 25% discount on the Growth Suite for our readers. Get it here today.

See full pricing

HubSpot Pros and Cons

featured image: Hubspot review 2024

Pros

  • All-in-one CRM platform including sales, marketing, customer support, and operations tools, plus the CMS.
  • The stacked free plan includes simple tools from all Hubs.
  • Most parts are user-friendly, it’s easy to find your way around.
  • HubSpot has lots of advanced features, especially automation.
  • You’ll connect to almost any software you need with the 1500+ integrations.

Cons

  • HubSpot’s pricing structure is quite complicated. And it gets expensive quickly on higher plans.
  • I’d love to see higher send limits and more templates for email marketing.

Try HubSpot for free

HubSpot Customer Support

Hubspot customer support

HubSpot has great support options across the board. The online knowledge base has user guides available for all the Hubs. When you first sign up, you get on-screen tutorials to walk you through all the features.

Support options are available via a chat window. On paid plans, you can talk to the HubSpot team through this. On the free CRM, it serves more as a search function for the knowledge base. You ask a question, and a bot directs you to relevant resources. You can also contact support via phone and email on paid plans.

HubSpot: Is it the CRM & Marketing Automation platform for you?

There’s a reason HubSpot is one of the most popular CRMs. Small businesses and start-ups can grow their business on the free and Starter plans. But HubSpot also scales to a powerful all-in-one platform as your business grows.

Here’s the final scoring for my HubSpot Review.

Ease of Use: 4.5 / 5
Value for Money: 4.5 / 5
Editor and templates: 4 / 5
Functionalities: 5 / 5
Automation: 4.5 / 5
Customer service: 4 / 5

Overall, I give HubSpot 4.4 out of 5 for the value of its free plan and its incredible range of features.

Try HubSpot for free

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is HubSpot free and legit?

Yes, HubSpot is free and legit. You can use HubSpot for free. HubSpot offers a completely free CRM. Many people rate the free version as the best free CRM software available. The free HubSpot CRM includes sales pipelines, email marketing, lead generation, service tools, landing pages, and a CMS.

Try HubSpot for free here

Is HubSpot good to use?

Yes, HubSpot is a great CRM system to use. It has a very user-friendly interface. There are a lot of tools and options, but consistency helps to speed up the learning curve. It also offers a centralized platform for many different apps. You can manage most business processes in one place.

Get started with HubSpot for free

Is HubSpot better than Salesforce?

A lot of people prefer HubSpot to Salesforce because it’s better value and easier to use. Salesforce is more of an enterprise CRM. It’s rated one of the best CRM software options for sales teams. But small business users often find it complicated and expensive. HubSpot has a free plan for start-ups. But it still scales up to the enterprise tier. HubSpot CRM has better options for marketing teams. This includes the HubSpot CMS Hub for website management.

Is HubSpot good for email marketing?

Yes, HubSpot is good for email marketing. Its core email marketing tools are free to use. And it’s very easy to create, send and manage email campaigns. Features include a user-friendly drag-and-drop editor with a Canva integration for creating graphic designs. And HubSpot has its own AI for editing and improving email text.

How good is HubSpot free?

HubSpot’s free tools are hard to beat. The free version has everything a start-up business needs for managing customer relationships. You can build a contact database using forms and landing pages to generate leads. Customizable pipelines let you track every support and sales process with deals and tickets. You can build automated workflows to nurture leads and make your marketing efforts more efficient.

What is HubSpot CRM?

HubSpot CRM is a customer relationship management platform. It includes standalone ‘hubs’ for sales, marketing, support, CMS, operations and B2B commerce. Its CRM Suite is an all-in-one plan that includes all products.

HubSpot Alternatives

We reviewed the best HubSpot alternatives in our full guide. Here’s a quick rundown of good alternatives to HubSpot. 

HubSpot vs. Engagebay

Engagebay has a lot of similarities to HubSpot. It also positions itself as a one-stop CRM. Its products are split into separate ‘bays’ for sales, marketing and customer support. But it also has an all-in-one suite combining them all. It has a free plan with access to tools from all 3 bays. Check out our full Engagebay review to find out more about features, pricing, pros and cons.

Engagebay’s biggest difference is pricing. It’s more affordable than HubSpot, especially when above the cheapest tiers. But HubSpot offers much more sophisticated features. It includes a CMS, operations tools, and B2B commerce.

HubSpot vs. Salesforce

Salesforce has a reputation as one of the best CRM tools for enterprise sales teams. Its sales and forecasting tools include more advanced automation options than HubSpot. They are more customizable and the reporting tools are better to analyze business metrics.

But HubSpot serves better as an all-around CRM. Its marketing tools are superior and it offers a full website CMS. HubSpot is also easier to use and quicker to learn. It’s got a slicker, more modern interface. And it has an excellent free tier packed full of features. Salesforce has no free plan. Check out our review of the best CRM tools in Australia to see if HubSpot or Salesforce is ranked higher.

HubSpot vs. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign is a marketing automation platform. It specializes in email marketing. Its automation builder and 900+ workflow templates are highly intuitive, easier to use and more flexible than HubSpot’s. It also has a CRM to build and automate sales funnels. Check out our review of the best sales funnel software to compare HubSpot and ActiveCampaign. 

HubSpot is more feature-rich overall than ActiveCampaign. It offers a full suite of service CRM tools. And its CMS can be used to create blogs, whole websites, adverts, and social posts. Its contact management tools are much more flexible and open-ended.

ActiveCampaign is more affordable. But HubSpot has a free tier packed full of features. Find out more about features in our full ActiveCampaign review or learn more about how much it costs in our ActiveCampaign pricing guide

HubSpot vs. Pipedrive

Pipedrive is a specialist sales CRM for small businesses. Its strength is building and managing sales pipelines. Its interface is clean and slick, making it easier to track processes. There are multiple views for seeing different information. There’s very little learning curve. And Pipedrive is also very attractively priced.

Pipedrive does offer paid-for extras for lead generation, email marketing and web tracking. But it can’t match the breadth of HubSpot. HubSpot is a genuine all-in-one CRM covering sales, marketing, support, CMS and operations. And while its pricing structure is a little complex, its free CRM is a good tool for a business to get started online. Find out how high HubSpot ranks among the best Pipedrive alternatives.

HubSpot vs. Zoho CRM

HubSpot vs Zoho CRM is a battle of two big hitters. Both are packed with features that cover the full CRM spectrum. Zoho CRM is part of an even bigger suite of business apps. It benefits from this with things like its omnichannel communications options. It supports telephone, email, social media, live chat, web conferencing, push notifications and self-service portals. Both sales and marketing campaign options are very flexible. And you can easily automate messages on multiple channels.

Zoho CRM is more attractively priced than HubSpot. HubSpot does benefit from an excellent free tier. HubSpot also offers a superior user experience. Its interface feels modern and user-friendly compared to Zoho’s. Check out our review of the best CRMs in Canada and find out if Zoho and HubSpot are in it.

HubSpot vs. Freshsales

Freshsales is a CRM for SME sales and marketing teams. It features sales pipelines, multichannel marketing campaigns and lead generation. It’s very easy to use and great value. Compared to HubSpot, it offers some advanced features at much more affordable prices. The best of these include sales and marketing automation. Plus AI-powered lead scoring.

Both Freshsales and HubSpot offer free plans that are attractive to beginners. HubSpot edges the number of tools available for free. It’s also the more feature-rich CRM software overall. There’s more flexibility in how you track and log customer interactions. There are customer service, CMS and operations tools. And it scales to meet the needs of much larger teams. Find out if Freshsales or HubSpot ranks higher in our review of the best CRMs with email marketing.

About Paul Newham


Paul Newham is a content writer specialising in business blogging, report writing, software reviews, and online copywriting. He has 5+ years of email marketing, marketing automation and software review experience. He tested over 60 business software including email marketing tools, CRMs, outreach services, SMTP providers, email verification, and AI writing tools.
With a background in journalism and PR, he understands business content from both sides. And knows what makes for great, engaging copy, but also understands that for businesses, the written word is all about driving value.

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