B2B Marketing Consulting & Agency Services Blog

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter vs. Professional: Which is Better for Your Business?

- April 30, 2021 7:15 pm

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter vs. Pro Plan

The marketing automation and CRM software market is becoming more saturated each year – market research firm Prescient & Strategic Intelligence estimates a 13.1% compound annual growth rate of the industry by 2030.

Whether or not your company already uses a marketing automation platform, the message is clear: many businesses are discovering the benefits of marketing automation to tie together all of their marketing efforts in one place. But with all the big-name systems to choose from, where do you start, and how much do you invest?

This leads to another question: what do you need? Let’s explore these options within the HubSpot Marketing Hub. While we do not work solely with HubSpot (looking at you, Act-On, Marketo, Pardot, and SharpSpring), we are a HubSpot partner and have special expertise in getting the most out of HubSpot marketing tools.

Contact Innovaxis for a HubSpot Consultation or Audit

Starter Isn’t Necessarily for Startups

Do not be afraid of easing into HubSpot by signing up for the basic marketing hub. At a $50 per month base price, the available tools may be sufficient, especially if your company:

  • Currently uses an email system like Constant Contact or MailChimp
  • Does not have a CRM or isn’t happy with how the current CRM is being used
  • Doesn’t want to use marketing automation (yet)
  • Emails 5,000 or fewer contacts on a regular basis

Marketing Hub Starter is a great way to get a taste of what HubSpot can do, and it doesn’t require the upkeep that the pro plan requires. With email campaigns, web forms, and a robust CRM, this plan is for you if you aren’t ready to jump from the $50 per month tier to the $800 per month tier.

For HubSpot Marketing Hub Pro, You May Need A Pro 

When you move up to the pro level, the many additional tools come with a higher level of responsibility. That responsibility encompasses managing marketing contacts, setting up workflow automation, connecting your social media accounts, creating a chatbot, setting up lead scoring, maintaining up-to-date contact lists, and much more. And if you don’t have a HubSpot pro on your team, this could cause trouble. The greatest risk is paying at least $800 a month and using less than half of the tools you’re paying for. Or worse: getting surprise bills from HubSpot because you have exceeded your allotted number of marketing contacts.

With pro, fewer leads will fall through the cracks – you can connect contacts and companies in your CRM to actions taken on your emails, website, and social media. This sets your sales team up for success because they can get a better idea of who specific prospects are and where they come from.

HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter vs. Professional Comparison





Starts at $50/month (paid annually); includes 1,000 marketing contacts Starts at $800/month list price (paid annually) but is negotiable; includes 2,000 marketing contacts

Landing Pages

Included: requires template creation by HubSpot partner or HubSpot support team


Not included Included: requires template creation by HubSpot partner or HubSpot support team

Forms & follow-up emails

Included: create forms easily with a drag and drop editor, easily implement forms on website with copy/paste

Marketing Contacts*

*once you exceed your allotted # of marketing contacts, you are bumped up to the next tier and charged automatically, and you cannot downgrade back to the tier you were in before until your next contract period – learn more here

Includes 1,000 marketing contacts; increase in increments of 1,000 contacts

Pricing for marketing contacts (monthly):

  • <1,000: Included in your $50/mo. subscription
  • 1,001-3,000: $50 per additional 1,000 contacts
  • 3,001-5,000: $45 per additional 1,000 contacts
  • 5,001+: $40 per additional 1,000 contacts
Includes 2,000 marketing contacts; increase in increments of 5,000 contacts

Pricing for marketing contacts (monthly):

  • <2,000: Included in your annual subscription
  • 2,001-22,000: $250 per additional 5,000 contacts
  • 22,001 – 42,000: $225 per additional 5,000 contacts
  • 42,001 – 62,000: $200 per additional 5,000 contacts
  • 62,001 – 82,000: $175 per additional 5,000 contacts
  • 82,001+: $150 per additional 5,000 contacts

Non-Marketing Contacts (CRM)*

*If you change a contact from marketing to non-marketing, the change does not take effect until the beginning of the next month

Contacts switched from non-marketing to marketing will take effect immediately

Up to 15 million; does not count toward your contact tier if they are labeled “non-marketing contact”

Social Media

Not included Included: replace Hootsuite, Sprout Social or any other post scheduling tool with the social tools in HubSpot
Up to 50 connected accounts, 10k posts/month, schedule up to 3 years in advance

Email Marketing

5x the number of marketing contacts in your tier for email sends per calendar month
Ex: 2,000 marketing contacts would allow you to send up to 10,000 emails per month
10x the number of marketing contacts in your tier for email sends per calendar month
Ex: 10,000 marketing contacts would allow you to send up to 100,000 emails per month

Email List Segmentation

25 active lists (criteria limited); 1,000 static lists

Example of an active list: automatically create a list of contacts based on a form they submitted or pages they’ve viewed on your website

1,000 active lists; 1,000 static lists

Live Chat

Included: limited
Cannot route chat notifications to certain users; all users with access to the chat inbox will receive the notification
Included: can route chat notifications to specific users or teams

Conversational Chatbot

Included: can automatically collect contact information for you before you start live chatting with a user

Limited: cannot create if/then branches based on user responses

Included: can automatically collect contact information for you before you start live chatting with a user

Can create if/then branches to collect specific information; more like talking to a real person

Marketing Automation (Workflows)

Not included Included: create custom workflows to automate marketing, sales, and service processes; segment contacts based on certain criteria to create targeted marketing lists, automate emails, request reviews, and much more

Required Onboarding Fees

None One-time fee of $3,000 to HubSpot directly, or choose to work with a HubSpot partner instead

Lead & Company Scoring

Not included Included: requires setup by identifying most important downloads, page views, and other actions on your website

Salesforce Integration

Not included Can connect for additional monthly fee; requires setup by someone who knows HubSpot and Salesforce well


Not included Included: create custom, trackable CTA buttons to place on pages and in emails with A/B testing capability

Can be tailored based on contact lifecycle stage, contact region, referral sources, etc.

This is not an exhaustive list of features. For the entire list, view HubSpot’s pricing page.

Finding Your Fit

While Marketing Hub Professional offers a more complete platform, your business may not require all the bells and whistles up front. As a HubSpot Gold partner and HubSpot Marketing Hub expert, Innovaxis is constantly learning and experimenting with HubSpot tools to get the most out of any size budget for marketing automation as a part of a greater B2B marketing strategy. Contact us today to get answers to your HubSpot questions, or for a marketing automation audit.

Learn More About HubSpot as Part of Your B2B Marketing Strategy