A Comparison of the 3 Most Popular All-In-One Online Marketing Tools

The three most popular online marketing tools generate a whopping 433, 500 searches every month.

There’s a reason for that.

These three particular tools also generate confusion as to what they are used for, the differences between them, and pricing. The three tools we’ll compare are MailChimp, which is mainly for email marketing, and all-in-one online marketing tools like GetResponse and HubSpot, which are used for many other functions, email marketing only being one of them.

What are all-in-one online marketing tools?

Let’s think about all the elements involved in online marketing. I like the way Curata depicts the areas:

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Now, you could use tools for each element, or you could use one tool to do everything from one dashboard.

Perhaps you’re even nodding your head as you think of the stack of Excel spreadsheets you’ve been using to try and keep tabs on all your initiatives. Tracking is a nightmare, and trying to keep up with your email plan is just about hopeless.

And then…how do you get a collective picture of how it all ties together, and whether it’s working or not? And the bigger your business gets, the harder it becomes to manage all your online marketing workflows…

Online marketing tools streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows so that businesses can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.

The most common functions of all-in-one marketing solutions include:

  • Email marketing
  • Lead management
  • Web forms
  • Website management
  • Drag and drop landing page builder
  • Content management and marketing
  • A/B Testing
  • Search engine optimization guidance
  • Workflow automation
  • Analytics

 

Marketing automation, which is what all-in-one online marketing software does, connects all the touchpoints of various activities.

With marketing automation, you can personalize the customer’s journey and segment behaviors, interests, and demographic details.

It ties all workflows together, to give you one complete picture.

The difference between Mailchimp, GetResponse and HubSpot

Now, all three platforms – GetResponse, HubSpot and MailChimp – offer a complete email marketing and autoresponder platform, but only GetResponse and HubSpot offer not only email marketing, but also other marketing automation for small businesses.

MailChimp can by no means be called an “all-in-one” online marketing tool, but I’ve included the service in this post for the sake of clarity; mainly to show the difference between an email marketing software platform and an all-in-one online marketing tool which includes email marketing as one element in the overall bundle.

This post details the differences between all three platforms, and you’ll be able to see how they compare in terms of pricing and offering.

Why online marketing tools?

Why is there so much interest in these tools, and what makes them so powerful for small businesses?

Well, there are four aspects to this:

  1. Marketing may not be your core service or product offering, so you wouldn’t want to spend enormous amounts of time on it. These tools help streamline your processes to give you more time.
  2. The tools act as somewhat of an online marketing guide, which makes learning about this business area a lot easier.
  3. They help make you more productive and effective because you can manage all, or most of your activities from the same platform.
  4. They help you target prospects better and improve your customer’s journey.
  5. Paying for one tool instead of many to do different tasks, can end up saving you a substantial amount of money.

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Image Credit: EmailMonday

#1: GetResponse

GetResponse first started out as an email marketing software provider, and today, they offer an all-in-one online marketing tool that features just about everything a small business needs for marketing in the virtual sphere. It can no longer be viewed as just email marketing software, because it offers a complete solution.

GetResponse offers a comprehensive email marketing campaign platform that you can use to plan workflow automation and email campaigns. On top of that, you can create landing pages and call-to-action forms with ease. The new features include tracking visitors in real-time to maximize profit and traffic, as well as cart abandonment recovery features.

GetResponse is the only all-in-one online marketing tool that includes webinars in their offerings, and it’s also known as the world’s easiest email marketing platform.

With a starting price of $49 per month for the marketing automation service, which also includes an email marketing platform, it’s the ideal place for small businesses who plan to grow. If you want all the features, the most popular plan is only $49 per month, compared to HubSpot’s which starts at $200 per month.

Getresponse

Automation packages offered by GetResponse

#2: HubSpot

Hubspot

HubSpot is a sophisticated all-in-one online marketing tool that features inbound marketing benefits.

HubSpot allows you to create your own landing pages and call-to-action forms, and it guides you with on-page SEO. HubSpot is also a content management system so it’s easy to update your website content and optimize it for search engines.

At an extra cost, you can even add the CRM and Sales functions.

HubSpot is mostly used by small to medium businesses.

HubSpot’s plans start at $200 per month, and their most expensive option will set you back $2400 per month.

#3: Mailchimp

Mailchimp

MailChimp is only an email marketing platform, not an all-in-one tool. Depending on the package you choose, it allows you to create, automate, manage and measure email campaigns.

It doesn’t boast the features that GetResponse or HubSpot has of course, but it is an excellent option for entrepreneurs just venturing out into online marketing, or who have a very tight budget.

MailChimp is one of the biggest players in the realm of email marketing with a huge database of active users. While it incorporates some automation elements, these are mostly for email marketing campaigns that do not extend beyond or apply to other verticals.

Functions comparison

Hubspot

GetResponse

Mailchimp

Email marketing

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email templates

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email workflows

Yes

Yes

Yes

Marketing campaign workflows

Yes

Yes

No

Website management

Yes

No

No

Build landing pages

Yes

Yes

No

Build webpages

Yes

No

No

On-page SEO

Yes

No

No

Automation

Yes

Yes

Yes

Landing pages

Yes

Yes

No

Analytics

Yes

Yes

Yes

Social media management

Yes

No

No

Blogging blueprints

Yes

No

No

Blogging SEO

Yes

No

No

Content management

Yes

No

No

Call to action forms

Yes

Yes

Yes

Webinars

No

Yes

No

Shopping carts integration

No

Yes

Yes

Website tracking

Yes

Yes

No

Email marketing & automation

All three online marketing tools have the same email marketing and automation capabilities. Mailchimp only offers this service, whereas GetResponse and HubSpot offer additional features.

Landing pages

Both HubSpot and GetResponse offer landing page builders. MailChimp does not have this feature.

Analytics & website tracking

All three platforms offer analytics according to their service offerings, but only HubSpot and GetResponse offer website tracking.

Shopping cart integration

Only GetResponse and MailChimp offer shopping cart integration.

Webinars

Webinars are offered exclusively on the GetResponse platform.

Conclusion

When you first either take your business online, or you’re venturing into online marketing, Mailchimp is the most affordable entry-level email marketing tool. GetResponse’s email marketing plans are cheaper than MailChimp if you have decent amount of subscribers. Also, MailChimp only centers around email marketing and is not an all-in-one online marketing tool like GetResponse and HubSpot.

If your business is at a place where you can afford it, it’s obvious that Hubspot offers more all-in-one online marketing tools and automation, but also comes at a hefty price that not all smaller business can afford.

For almost all the same functionality as HubSpot offers, GetResponse gives you at a fraction of the cost, which makes GetResponse my choice of all-in-one online marketing tools for small businesses.

Expert Interview with SEO and SEJ Contributor Ben Oren

ben-orenWith over 10 years of experience handling SEO at the highest levels, Ben Oren has seen it all and done it all, twice. He has worked in medium and large agencies managing the internet marketing strategy for super brands like WSOP, Babylon and more, which he now combines with consulting and strategy for various medium and large clients after co-founding an internet marketing agency. Ben has also tackled marketing under start-up conditions, as he is the co-founder and CEO of an innovative e-commerce app.

Ben has truly tackled online marketing from every angle – conversion, SEO, PPC, E-mail, UX, content, and more – and the insights he’s accumulated have made him a regular contributor at leading industry publication Search Engine Journal.

Q: Over the years, you’ve worn many ‘hats’ and fulfilled different functions for different clients: in-house, agency, consultant, auditor. How do you feel that has contributed to your professional development?

A: I believe anyone interested in ascending to the top of their field today can’t settle for only one type of working experience, be it in-house, agency, consultant or other.

Personally, this variation in work type has greatly contributed to my professional development, and particularly, enhanced my ability to adopt a broad perspective when assessing problems and ways to tackle them.

There are usually two main variables to consider when faced with a business dilemma: the first is the industry itself, which in our case is internet marketing. It’s dynamic by nature and constantly evolving, meaning that there are countless solutions to every problem.

The second variable is the client’s niche, and everything having to do with their positioning within it – company size, marketing budget, online readiness, online state (penalties, priors, filters, etc).

Every single stakeholder has their own interests, limitations and special considerations when facing a business decision, and having an in-depth understanding of these can only help communicate and strategize better to reach an optimal solution.

Q: As an experienced marketer and entrepreneur, what is the greatest misconception you’ve come across among start-ups trying to use social media in order to ‘break’?


A: I can actually think of two basic assumptions which are misconceptions that lead start-up heads to choose social media marketing.

The first wrong assumption is that it’s free, and if we invest efforts into building a large audience then it’ll be free to advertise to said audience whenever we’d like to push our product and company. The second wrong assumption is that building a large, loyal follower base is relatively easy.

To address the first assumption, social media marketing is far from free, both when considering (1) the cost of producing high quality content by a dedicated content professional, and (2) the drastic downsizing of organic post reach in favor of paid advertising, carried out by social networks such as Facebook.

The current trend is to move towards a paid model, whether it’s by impressions or clicks – meaning that posts on a business page will only reach a very small percentage of that page’s followers unless you pay – ending up in a miniscule chance for a positive ROI.

As to the second assumption, a truly engaged, sizable, real audience that’s interested in a product or service rather than only having followed in exchange for a one-time offer, is challenging to achieve. Community growth takes time, resources, clear strategy and long term commitment towards gaining potential customers through social media, and retaining existing customers through social media. It necessitates a level of social media presence that not every start up realizes: real time response, professional outputs and engaging storytelling.

Unfortunately, time and again I see start-ups entrust no-one with the task of maintaining social accounts, ending up with deserted business pages that never took off and serve as a sad, outdated reminder. In the worst examples, the page is also flooded with questions and complaints that go unanswered, several damaging reputation.

In short, my recommendation to any start up interested in using social media is to build a sustainable strategy and be realistic about what it entails in terms of budget and man-power. Social media is a tremendous, powerful vehicle with many advantages, but for those to materialize it takes serious performance, patience and persistence.

Q: In your early days in the online marketing industry, you mainly handled SEO, but now you’ve branched out into content, user experience, conversion and a well-rounded understanding of marketing for large organizations. Do you believe that SEO’s future is questionable, and is that why you’ve distanced yourself from it?

A: I didn’t leave or distance myself from SEO. SEO is here to stay and will be around for a very long time; it’s just changing and developing, requiring us to adapt our methods and practices accordingly.

In my career development, I chose to expand my knowledge by tackling different aspects of online marketing, never neglecting SEO. I don’t think the future of SEO is questionable, but I don’t think it’s necessary or appropriate for any business.

SEO has undergone a transformation both in the way it’s performed and in the way it’s perceived. It is no longer regarded as a stand-alone channel, but rather as an integral part of a holistic marketing strategy. As a result, an SEO professional needs to be considerably knowledgeable about content strategy and social media, otherwise effectiveness will be hard to assess or measure.

Another component that’s constantly changing is Google’s algorithm, growing more and more sophisticated with every passing day. Links don’t behave as they used to, relevance is no longer measured the way it was, and engagement level holds greater weight, leading to the marginalization of spammy practices. If one fails to keep up regularly with all of these changes, it can be impossible to move forward and understand exactly what works and how.

Q: You’ve started and managed a start-up; do you have any tips to share from your experience, particularly regarding marketing a start-up?

A: Co-founding and managing my start-up, I encountered three main limitations:

  1. having a limited budget
  2. limited man-power
  3. limited time
On one hand, you’re constantly feeling like you’re behind and that, any moment now, you’ll stumble on an article about an unknown competitor doing exactly what you’re trying to do, but better. On the other hand, you lack the budget and financial justification to recruit more personnel in order to accelerate development. These two lead to a shortage in time – there’s never enough time when working on a start-up!

This is shared by all start-ups I know, and it often leads to the irresponsible misplacement of valuable funds in dubious marketing shortcuts publicized in who-knows-where. The combination of lacking real marketing know-how and not investing in expert guidance, is a sure way to throw time and money down the drain without any results to speak of. Therefore, my best recommendation is to hire a marketing consultant – someone with rich, varied experience and results under his/her belt – to guide the existing team on the best uses for their time and money.

Marketing efforts will still be carried out by the existing team members; however, they’ll be monitored by a professional and form part of a strategy that’s been tailored to the start-up’s niche, state, budget and competitors. Sure, it’s an expense, but it yields results and, more importantly, it can be thought of as an investment: empowering the existing team to handle marketing and slowly decrease dependency on external consultants and agencies.

Q: Outside of your experience with start-ups and small businesses, you’ve handled online marketing endeavors for enormous, international corporations such as WSOP, Caesar’s Entertainment, Babylon, Bouclair Home and more. Please highlight the professional methodological and executional differences when working with both types of companies.

A: Methodologically, surprisingly enough, there isn’t much of a difference. The difference lies in the ability to execute more advanced methods, and the subsequent quality of said execution. Larger companies have a clear advantage thanks to their budgets and recognizability, lending them greater possibilities that small and medium businesses don’t have access to.

For instance, if a large, leading corporation is interested in a partnership with a well known figure, its clout and deep pockets mean it’s likely it will come to fruition as long as there’s agreement between both sides. Small and medium businesses often don’t have the means or access necessary to even garner initial interest.

On the other hand, small businesses benefit greatly from a shorter decision process and a quicker, more efficient turnaround time. Corporations often struggle with miscommunication between different departments, sometimes yielding mediocre execution for otherwise brilliant campaigns. For example, the content and marketing department may not have direct, ongoing communication with the sales department, ending with a marketing campaign that isn’t optimally geared towards the company’s actual end clients.

5 SEO Tips For Boosting Your Local Rankings With Perfect Mentions

This recent online marketing technique is the ultimate solution to almost 90% of local business owners who are seeking ways to brand their businesses in the local market and enhance local SEO results without violating any search engine protocols.

Simply put, local citations refer to online mentions of your business name alone or with your address and phone number on local directories, classifieds, blogs, email newsletters, or websites.

These mentions may or may not have any links. If performed strategically and diligently, local citations can add immense value to any business.

Why are local citations powerful?

Several reports and surveys show that local citations play a major role in determining the local SEO ranking of any online site, accounting for a 25% boost in the ranking of most websites.

Types of Local Citations

There are two types of local references – structured and unstructured. Structured local mentions are those that are added to business listing sites, such as local classifieds, review sites, and yellow pages.

Unstructured local references are those which are added to blogs, websites, and government sites. Both structured and unstructured local citations play an essential role in improving your local business rankings in the search engines.

The more times your business gets mentioned, the higher it will rank. You can analyze the patterns with a local citation analysis tool to help you create powerful mentions for optimal results.

1. Know the difference between links and citations

One common mistakes most business owners do is confuse local citations with links. These two are different – citations are basically intended for branding, while links are for conversions.

Citations do not have to carry any link, although links may be added to them, and they are used primarily for increasing online prominence. On the other hand, links are particularly intended for cross-linking other websites with yours.

If you want to fully understand the basics of internet marketing, you can sign up for SEO Training.

local-citations

2. Make sure all information are correct and use a consistent format

It is important that your SEO citations contain accurate information about your company and that they appear in the same format in all the different business listing sites.

Seeing consistency on your local citations in popular sites will give your target audience an impression of professionalism and committed approach.

3. Avoid duplicate listings

Focus on building identical citations for your business across different listing sites. Remove any duplicate listings of your business on other sites. Having more than one citation showing different addresses, phone numbers, or names can cause uncertainty and affect the credibility of your business.

Perform regular follow ups with the listing sites and update your listing with accurate information or delete duplicate listings to ensure better user experience.

4. Choose the right categories

The key to success for any business is in selecting relevant citations that will lead target customers searching for your products or services straight to your business.

When you incorrectly tag your services or products under the wrong categories, your rankings get hurt. Instead of being visible to people who are searching for your products or services, your target audience only sees your competition.

5. Integrate key information

Incorporate key information such as images, videos, and special offers, to add interest and motivate potential customers to your business. Adding these to your listing brings in more value to your business and creates trust among your target customers.