A Study of 14 Companies
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anaging your business efficiently and effectively
requires the best tools available. Leveraging tools
to streamline and magnify marketing and sales
efforts can be especially important for small businesses
with limited resources, but tools cost money, so they have
to be cost-effective as well as increase productivity.
The HubSpot inbound marketing platform is a good
example. But does it really make a difference?
How HubSpot compares to free tools
Free is an attractive price. But since there is no free tool
that can support all your marketing efforts, you have to
acquire and coordinate a variety of independent marketing
production and analytical tools – things such as Dream-
weaver, Wordpress, Google Analytics, MailChimp, Hoot-
Suite, something that helps research keywords, etc. That
can be a lot of work, and it can be frustrating.
HubSpot is not free, but it is comprehensive. It incorpo-
rates a series of specific tools to handle virtually every
aspect of your marketing creation, delivery, reporting and
evaluation. And they’re all integrated.
At OverGo Studio, we realized we had the data right in
our hands to make some apples-to-apples comparisons
between free tools available to marketers and HubSpot.
This case study illustrates our actual experience
with actual clients over a 12-month period. We used a
sampling of 14 client companies, each of whom published
the same quantity of blog posts over the 12-month period
measured. Each one also received the same level of
inbound marketing services.
Seven companies used HubSpot, seven did not.
Both groups included B2B and B2C companies across a
diverse range of industries, all of which fall into the small
business classification. We measured organic traffic at the
On HubSpot NOT On HubSpot
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start of their inbound marketing program, then we
measured again exactly twelve months later. We measured
lead generation, and compared sub-groups of B2B and
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
Generating Website Traffic with
HubSpot vs. without HubSpot
Each company included in this study posted two blogs
per week. Companies not using HubSpot saw an average
increase of 170% in organic traffic after one year,
whereas those using HubSpot saw an average organic
traffic increase of 590%.
We attribute that significant disparity to the difference in
tools available. The goal of blogging is to publish content
that is most likely to get your company listed by search
engines, ranked as high as possible.
HubSpot facilitates that with:
• Ranking opportunities– a feature within the keyword
section that shows which keywords offer your business
an opportunity to get ranked on the first page of search
results. It looks at your current ranking and how competitive
your keyword is, then makes blogging recommendations.
• Conversion opportunities– another feature in the
keyword section, that shows which keywords are attracting
a lot of traffic but not converting. It suggests ways in
which you can increase conversion.
• Long-Tail Opportunities– keywords that are very
competitive and therefore hard to rank for, but for which
your ranking could improve substantially if you add a
certain word or phrase.
• Competitors– a feature that compares your site’s
ranking and search volume to your competitors and
shows which competitors are ranking better than you,
on which keywords.
• Campaigns– a feature that helps organize keywords
into campaigns, for tracking and measurement.
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Free tools– Google Analytics and Google’s Keyword tool
– give you a list of keywords, showing their search volume
and ranking difficulty, but no data regarding your site’s
ranking or competitor-specific data.
Lead Generation with
HubSpot vs. without HubSpot
For this part of our study, we grouped companies by B2B
and B2C and used the 12-month data to calculate a
monthly average for each company, to adjust for seasonality.
The B2B clients not using HubSpot saw an average increase
of eight leads per month, whereas those using HubSpot
averaged 18 leads per month. B2C clients not using HubSpot
saw an average of 18 leads per month, whereas those
using HubSpot received an average of 71 leads per month.
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That means companies using HubSpot received 125%
more (B2B) and 294% more (B2C) leads than companies
not using HubSpot. It should be noted that several of the
B2B companies received distinctly fewer leads because
their targets are multi-million dollar deals, a much smaller
pool of opportunity.
We also looked at lead conversion percentages. That’s the
average number of leads divided by the average number of
website visits. If you get one lead for every 100 visitors, that’s
1%. B2B clients using HubSpot had an average conversion
rate that was 43% higher than those not using HubSpot.
For B2C clients, HubSpot users averaged a 50% higher
conversion rate than their counterparts not using HubSpot.
An increasing conversion rate that accompanies an overall
increase in website traffic indicates high quality lead gen-
eration. That can have an exponential impact on your mar-
keting. For example, if you have 2,000 visits per month and
a 2% conversion rate and, that’s 40 leads. If traffic doubles
but the conversion rate remains at 2%, that’s 80 leads. But
if you double both factors, you now have 160 leads.
HubSpot facilitates lead generation with:
• The Calls-to-Action (CTA) Manager– a tool that
manages graphic elements on your website such as
your “click here” buttons that invite prospects to take
the next engagement step. This tool supports automatic
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A/B testing – you can upload a variety of images which
are then shown to visitors and tested to see which one
gets the most clicks and also drives the most conversions.
The tool picks the image that performed best, then
compares it with the next image in line, till you find the
one with the highest click-through-conversion sequence.
• The Smart CTA– this feature takes it a step further,
detecting if a visitor has already responded to this image
and converted in the past. If so, it shows them a different
image. It can also detect the visitor’s interests or buying
cycle stage, to show the most appropriate image.
• The Landing Page Manager– a feature that enables
quick customization and launch of landing pages. Research
shows a positive correlation between the number of
landing pages on your website and the number of leads
you will generate. Using this tool along with the Form
Manager tool and built-in A/B testing allows you to
quickly generate landing page offers and test them.
• Smart Lists– a tool that automatically updates lists
you’ve created by moving contacts around according to
criteria set. You can segment your targets by sales cycle,
interest or many other attributes, and when they return
to your site the system automatically updates your lists
based on current interest or status. This allows you
to highly-target automated email campaigns.
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Free tools don’t go quite so far.
• Google Analytics supports A/B testing of entire pages,
but not specific elements within the page such as an
image or call to action. You can’t see CTA conversion
percentages, nor is there an automatic function that
enables “intelligent” display to each visitor.
• MailChimp and similar free tools integrate with Google’s
A/B testing tool, so you can add the email service forms
to your static landing pages for testing. But you cannot
segment leads into dynamic smart lists.
• No free tools enable automatic updating of target
segments for lead nurturing campaigns.
Lead Nurturing and Email Marketing
For clients who weren’t using HubSpot, we used MailChimp
and iContact. HubSpot includes an email marketing tool that
is equally robust and also integrates seamlessly with all the
other HubSpot tools, including the Smart Lists feature.
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Lead Capturing with HubSpot vs. without HubSpot
We also used MailChimp and iContact forms to capture
leads into those databases for our non-HubSpot clients.
We found that the tracking numbers from these tools and
Google Analytics did not match. In addition, Google can tell
you how many leads you generated from different sources,
and MailChimp can tell you who became a lead on a certain
date, but not the source, campaign or keyword. So you have
information, but you can’t collate it meaningfully to discern
what elements of your marketing are working or not.
HubSpot provides a complete lead history, showing what
campaign they came from, keyword they used and what
they viewed. You can pick a point in time and see which
campaigns drove the most qualified leads. You can update
leads by sales cycle status to separate them as marketing
qualified, sales qualified, an opportunity or customer. That
enables you to report ROI for each campaign. And the
numbers always match, because all the data comes from
a single integrated system.
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HubSpot and AdWords Campaigns
One of the inbound marketing techniques we used with
all clients included in this case study was AdWords cam-
paigns. We found that these campaigns were far more
effective for clients using HubSpot than for those using
Google Analytics. We believe this is due to the detailed
lead and conversion information available via HubSpot,
data not available via Google Analytics or AdWords.
As an example, for one client using HubSpot, we were
able to reduce their AdWords spend from $8,000 to $500
per month, yet still increase the number of customers
generated by their AdWords campaigns.
Statistical Significance of this study
In the interest of transparency, the increase we noted in
website traffic using HubSpot is statistically significant,
at 95%. The percentage increases in conversions do
not meet the statistical significance test of 95% certainty
for this group.
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HubSpot is a clear winner.
• The platform includes tools not available via free software. HubSpot
actually incorporates more tools than the ones mentioned in this case
study, including a Social Media tool.
• HubSpot’s across-the-board integration gives you more information, in
more useful ways. The single platform enables you to improve content
creation and deploy and measure online marketing campaigns faster
and more effectively.
• Access to more, and more accurate, data allows you to shift marketing
resources to the most effective campaigns and eliminate non-producers.
You can generate more leads of higher quality for less money.
• All seven of our clients that were not using HubSpot during the
12-month period of this case study have since converted to HubSpot.
Can you afford HubSpot?
• You should be comfortably able to pay for the tool for at least one year,
and you should be able to execute an inbound marketing program.
• As of this writing, all the tools mentioned in this case study, except A/B
testing, are available in the HubSpot Professional package for $800 per
month. There is also a Basic package for $200 per month.
• When it’s easier to execute tactics and strategies with a single system in
place, you can save time. And time is money, for every business.
Who is OverGo Studio?
Unlike other inbound marketing
agencies who started as tradi-
tional marketing firms and had
to transition to new methods,
our Founder and President,
Rick Kranz, started OverGo Studio
specifically as an inbound
marketing agency. That’s always
been the focus of our entire
marketing team. We love to
build and execute marketing
processes that stimulate growth
for our clients.
As a HubSpot Gold Certified
Partner, OverGo Studio has been
formally recognized for bringing
the inbound message to our
clients and for executing inbound
marketing services on their
behalf to the highest standards.
In 2012, we were also nominated
by HubSpot for having the best
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