From landing pages to designing user-friendly websites and personalized e-mails, marketing and sales tools have become imperative for businesses of all kinds and sizes. Whether you sell a product or a service, marketing tools have now started to gain immense importance. Automating marketing not only benefits the businesses in terms of profitability and success but also guarantees a positive and improved experience for buyers and customers.
You will be surprised to see such a wide, endless variety of marketing automation tools in the market that you can choose from. Some of the very well-known tools are HubSpot and ClickFunnels. These tools, from a general perspective, have the following features:
- E-mail templates
- Website developing
- Clickable call to actions
- Landing pages
- Customer segments
- Analytics and customer insights
These software and marketing tools are best known for their flexible pricing that caters to more than just one kind of customer.
With the increasing trend in e-commerce businesses, digital marketing is on a stroll. It is vital to understand that even physical stores that have been in business for decades are now in need of diversifying their operations and switching to e-commerce. By availing tools like HubSpot and ClickFunnels, businesses can get efficient features like carts, drag and drop features, and other e-commerce website layouts.
What is a sales funnel?
The sales funnel is also referred to as the purchase funnel. It is a theoretical concept in marketing that aims to illustrate the experience customers have with the purchase of your products. The funnel has various stages that represent a buyer’s journey. Some straightforward stages are as follows:
This is the very initial, very first stage of a customer’s journey where they are merely getting to know or becoming aware of your brand and its product or service. At this point, the buyer has minimal existing knowledge and is also likely to explore your competitors as they carry on learning about you.
After the buyers learn about your product or service, they gradually gain interest in what you have to offer. After the awareness, they might develop or discover the need for the product that they did not earlier think about purchasing. They will be interested to learn more, such as pricing, longevity, and other aspects of the product.
This is a very important stage as this is when they are interested in your product and are finally evaluating whether or not they should purchase your product or service.
At this stage, the potential customer is finally an actual customer and has purchased, used, and consumed your product or service.
The main understanding of this funnel is that a lead, or a potential customer, as they reach the bottom of the funnel becomes an important customer that they must then retain. It is important for marketers to bring the customer to the final, end of the funnel.
They can do this by improving the experience at each stage. Using tools like HubSpot allows marketers and businesses to have improved SEO and to have a more responsive and credible internet existence.
By integrating such tools in their marketing operations, they are able to look closely at each stage of the funnel and consequently improve it and make it adaptable to the dynamic market.
Why are marketing tools important?
Either as individual content creators, bloggers, and influencers or as mid-sized businesses, particularly in e-commerce, you must be wondering why marketing tools are becoming so important. Software and subscription-based marketing tools such as ClickFunnels and HubSpot all have a range of features and benefits to offer. These benefits are as follows:
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a concept that the digital world is now obsessed with. SEO ensures that the digital presence and existence of your business remain prominent and receive more traffic so you can sell your product or service, or develop a brand identity in a much more effective manner.
Google and other search engines are hugely used and relied upon by many internet users. This is not only true for the current days but has been true since 2006 when online search engines had over 6.4 billion searches. The first, or at least, the very initial stages of a buyer’s journey revolves around gaining knowledge and information and becoming familiar with a particular brand or product.
In today’s internet-dominated age, people start learning about a product or a brand through these search engines. Consequently, it becomes almost crucial for you to have a prominent position and existence on these engine’s search result pages.
- Credible digital presence
When your business or brand is present online, you instantly get more credibility. Buyers are likelier to look further into your business if you have a physical existence as it makes your brand more legitimate. Therefore, to gain credibility, your business needs to have an efficient digital presence that is ensured by the use of digital marketing tools.
These marketing tools offer you remarkable features that let you stay in touch and have a much more improved relationship with your customers. Through the use of e-mail management integration, data analytics, and other similar features, it becomes a lot easier to follow-up with your existing and new customers. This helps in not only making new customers but also in sustaining the older ones.
Follow-ups also help you in gathering information that can aid you in product and service improvement. Manually following up such a wide selection of customers can rather become difficult and almost impractical. This is where the integration of marketing tools can greatly benefit you.
- Suitable for all sizes of businesses
The most significant role that these marketing tools play is for small-sized businesses and individual-owned businesses and services like content creators. They have flexible pricing. Their prices vary based on the features offered and the duration of the plan. Therefore, these tools are very convenient for various types of businesses.
You may be asking, What is ClickFunnels? To start, the company was founded in 2014 by Russel Brunson and Todd. The main objective of this company was to cope with the lack of time and resources people had when it came to building a successful funnel. The software provides convenience and successful marketing solutions to businesses by the help of answering simple questions about their business, such as:
- The products and services of their business
- Objective of their business
- The time they have on their hands to achieve these goals
Originating from Idaho, ClickFunnels had several offices at multiple locations. However, they developed a headquarters in Boise in 2016. Here we will review some notable features and services that ClickFunnels has to offer to its customers. The software is available for mobile devices, including Windows, Mac, and Web-based.
An important feature that is most significant for small-sized businesses and beginners is that ClickFunnels offers a free trial period of 14 days to all its customers.
The software can develop e-commerce websites. They can integrate features like shopping carts, order tracking, and other drag and drop functionality.
An outstanding feature is analytics, which involves customer segmenting and reporting that helps you in gathering, categorizing, and managing customer data. These insights can be helpful and fully aid you in making your services more customer-centric. This feature uses the information of your customers who visit your website or see your product and gather relevant contact information and other data to create more leads.
With the help of useful customer data, you know who will be more interested in your products or services. Therefore, you can make use of features like personalized e-mail templates and website templates that allow users to have an easy and quick journey through the website, and follow-up funnels that allow targeted marketing.
The software allows you to design customized e-mails, text messages, and other social messages that can be used to target certain people. Unlike traditional and outdated tools, this digital marketing tool allows you to efficiently follow up with your customers through advanced features.
If you’re new to digital marketing and using this marketing tool, then everything will be broken down for your ease with the 10-minute demo that ClickFunnels has on their main page.
You will be fully impressed to see that ClickFunnels has a huge range of third-party integrations and tools that you can use with ease. These include famous tools like PayPal that can be incorporated into your e-commerce websites.
ClickFunnels has a variety of plans to offer specific types of customers and clients. They are monthly-based payment programs. These include:
This plan costs $97 per month. It provides features like 100 pages, unlimited contact leads, 3 custom domains, Membership funnels, Upsell pages, Downsale pages, and an Unlimited number of members.
In comparison, this plan costs $297 per month and offers features like 300 pages, 20 custom domains, unlimited members, and contact leads, Priority Customer Support, and priority template requests. This is more suitable for larger-scale businesses with greater needs and budget.
Pros of ClickFunnels
- Flexible pricing.
- Start-up plan has a wide range of features compared to other software.
- Great for developing e-commerce websites.
- Versatile third-party tools.
- Outstanding templates for websites and e-mails.
- Customized messages for customers.
- 10-minute demo.
- Pre-designed landing pages.
- Capture visitor’s data.
- Easy to collect money with PayPal integration.
- Reporting and customer segmentation.
- Analytics for better customer insights.
- All updates are free of cost.
- No need to install any heavy applications whatsoever.
Cons of ClickFunnels
- Only in one language.
- Has won no awards.
- Integrations are lesser than HubSpot.
HubSpot was founded by two MIT graduates who saw a drastically occurring change in the business world, where marketers were changing their ways and shifting towards more digital means of business-customer relationship. The changes they saw in consumer’s behaviors, where they had become more aware of the market, and asked for uninterrupted attention, made them realize the need for marketing tools that can make businesses more customer-centric.
The concept behind HubSpot is to create a customer experience that does not solely involve the company simply “marketing” and selling their product, but rather encouraging customers to make the purchase by making them more aware about their products.
Having a notification about your e-mail being sent is not enough. As a business looking for better traffic and customer relationship, you need more than that. The e-mail tracking feature helps you get insights as to what actions were taken on the e-mail that your customer received. This also helps you in tracking the effectiveness and the preferences of your customers.
HubSpot provides pre-designed, professional templates that you can choose from. These include e-mail as well as landing pages and templates for your main website.
There are some questions and answers, some queries that all customers have. However, the repetitive process of answering each of these queries can be tiresome. For this reason, by using the snippets feature, you can create a list of pre-set snippets and short answers that will help your customers.
As discussed earlier in this article, SEO has become imperative for businesses that need online existence. Therefore, HubSpot helps its clients make a more improved customer experience by giving them efficient, tried, and tested SEO suggestions.
- Track customer interaction
The same as ClickFunnels, HubSpot also gathers relevant data regarding your interaction with customers.
For any business to improve their customer’s journey and sustain them as loyal customers, CTAs play an imperative role. Whether it is a personalized e-mail or a social media advertisement, CTAs help customers instantly act upon the message. HubSpot ensures that your ads and e-mails are effective enough by proving the CTA feature.
Pros of HubSpot
- Has served over 12,000 companies.
- Design CTAs.
- Offers personalized e-mails and other forms of messages.
- SEO suggestions help the client make a better online presence.
- Tracking e-mail feature helps you get updates about consumer’s actions in the e-mail.
- Works in 56 countries.
- Automatic customer segmentation allows for better insights into customers’ needs and client profiles.
- Offers e-mail and blog scheduling for better control and management for content creators.
- Major companies and e-commerce sites use HubSpot.
- 68 paid and free landing pages.
- SalesForceSalesCloud integration for superb sales management experience.
Cons of HubSpot
- Slightly pricier than ClickFunnels.
- No PayPal integration.
- Not the best for e-commerce.
- No free trial.
Many businesses often find themselves confused as to which tool to use for their marketing operations. Similarly, tools as competitive as HubSpot and ClickFunnels are also really difficult to choose from. However, the final choice can be dependent upon your business’s size, objectives, and budget as well.
For businesses that are smaller in size, individual owners, or content creators, ClickFunnels seems to be a better choice since it is more budget-friendly and has a more e-commerce-suitable approach. Meanwhile, HubSpot has more professional level, hardcore features that are also priced heavily. This makes it more suitable for full-scale businesses.