HubSpot Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

HubSpot

HubSpot is one of the most used CRMs in the world. They provide a total customer relationship management system with additional marketing possibilities, such as ads, e-mail, landing pages, social media and chatbots.

I will review the chatbot software based on my criteria in my post about how to choose the best chatbot software.

User Interface

It is really easy to setup a chatbot in HubSpot. In HubSpot a chatbot flow is called a “Chatflow”, so you can just click on “Create chatflow” and the following screen will pop up:

hubspot-create-chatflow
Screen when you want to create a chatflow in HubSpot.

 

In this screen you can choose to make four kind of chatbots (which automatically gives you a preview on right):

  1. Instant reply (this is for setting an instant reply for Facebook Messenger)
  2. Qualify leads bot
  3. Book meetings bot
  4. Support bot

When you click on one of those, automatically a chatflow is made with the corresponding messages.

When editing the chatflow itself, the interface gives a good overview of the flow itself:

hubspot-chatflow-interface

If you want to edit an element, you can just click on it. And if you want to add an element, you can just click on the “+” button. So HubSpot makes use of a visual flow builder to build your chatflows. And you can also test your chatbot in Facebook Messenger, before the chatflow actually goes live.

So the editing of chatflows is really simple. But how one chat flow relates to another is quite unclear to me. Also, it is not possible to let the user go from one chatflow to another.

It is always the case that the user stays in only one chatflow, so it seems that the chatbot software of HubSpot is really limited. It is only good for qualifying leads or book meetings or support, but not for all at the same time.

  • Visual Flow Builder
  • Test chatbot
  • Interface easy to use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?

Chatbot elements

The chatbot software of HubSpot does not have a lot of chatbot elements. The basic elements are possible, like quick replies, buttons, free text input, emojis and e-mail validation. It is enough to build a basic chatbot, but nothing advanced.

  • Delays
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Attachments
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
  • Vertical list
  • Emojis
  • Persistent Menu
  • Quick Replies
  • Buttons
  • Free text input
  • Location sharing
  • Email validation
  • Phone number validation
  • Date validation

Users

The chatbot part of the HubSpot CRM is meant to enhance the features of the CRM itself. With the chatbot it is possible to add certain custom fields to users, and you can use these custom fields throughout the whole CRM. Moreover, you can put users in a certain static list, to make certain custom audiences.

But, adding tags to specific users is not possible. The same applies for user segmentation. It is not possible to make certain user segments and send them specific messages.

What must be said is that the adding of tags and user segmentation could be part of the HubSpot CRM itself, so it is possible in the bigger picture. However, when I only look at the chatbot part of the CRM, I cannot find these applications.

  • Custom fields
  • Tags
  • User segments

Messages

With HubSpot it is not possible to send broadcasts or sequences. This is a huge drawback, because this is the basis for most chatbot software. It is not possible to send a chatbot blast to your complete audience or to send a sequence of messages.

It is however possible to send a few messages on after the other, but it is not possible to send message 1, wait 1 day, and then send message 2 (what sequences are all about).

With HubSpot it is only possible to make use of the templates they provide, with some custom editing what you do yourself. It is not more than that.

What is a plus, is that there is a possibility for conditions, but this is not in the free package.

Also, it is possible to make a chatbot in any language, but it is not easy to translate your chatbot to other languages.

  • Broadcasts
  • Sequences
  • Conditions
  • Multiple languages
  • Easy to translate

AI & NLP

There is no AI&NLP in the chatbot part of HubSpot whatsoever.

It is possible to let customers type in certain keywords and match this with articles in a knowledge base. But this is not really a chatbot experience, it is more like filling in a form. Also, you need to have the knowledge base extension of HubSpot for this.

Just matching keywords and giving a response to that keyword is not possible in HubSpot.

  • Keywords
  • Intents
  • Entities
  • Dialogflow integration

Channels

With HubSpot it is only possible to have a chatbot on your website and through Facebook Messenger.

For the website integration, you can add a website widget to your website, so customers can communicate with your chatbot.

The fact that you can only use two channels is a potential drawback for companies who want to deliver an omnichannel chatbot experience to their customers.

  • Website
  • Facebook
  • SMS
  • Slack
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Skype
  • Email

Integrations

HubSpot does great on integrations. They have a livechat integration, which is the most important integration any chatbot software needs. Moreover, they have integrations for Zapier, Integromat and Webhooks.

  • Livechat
  • Zapier
  • Integromat
  • Google Sheets
  • Webhooks

Marketing

With HubSpot it is only possible to add a widget your website.

Landing pages, Facebook Ads, auto-replying on Facebook comments, use the One-Time Notification, creating buttons and custom URLs for your chatbot are all not possible.

  • Facebook website widget
  • Native website widget
  • Landing pages
  • Facebook Ads
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
  • Button creator
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot

Pricing

HubSpot comes with a free plan and a free trial, so you have plenty of room to test out their platform before you start paying.

After the free plan, the first plan costs 46$ dollar per month. But this plan is not only for the chatbot. This plan is for the whole CRM. So that is why their pricing is a little bit complicated, because it does not only apply to the chatbot part of their CRM.

However, what is a little bit strange to me, is that they mention that “Conversational bots” (aka chatbots) are part of their “Free Forever” plan. But when you use the chatbot, you do not always have the permissions to use to the full potential. For example, when I wanted to add the “Book a meeting” element to my chatbot, I got the following message:

hubspot-permission-errorTherefore, I do not know precisely which elements you can truly use when building a chatbot in HubSpot, because you need other parts of the CRM, which may cost you money.

  • Free trial
  • Free plan
  • Price per month
    46
  • Monthly pricing available?
  • Money back guarantee

Analytics

I always say: If a chatbot software does not have analytics, do not use it.

And that applies here. HubSpot does not provide analytics for your chatbot at all, whereby you cannot improve your chatbot experience.

  • Dashboard
  • User input
  • User retention
  • Sent messages
  • Open rate
  • Click rate
  • Conversion rate
  • Fall back rate
  • Volunteer users
  • Custom dashboards/reports

eCommerce

HubSpot does not have any eCommerce integrations that you can use in your chatbot whatsoever.

  • Payments
  • Shopify
  • WooCommerce
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
  • Cart abandonment

Templates & Cloning

HubSpot provides four templates to make your chatbot, which are all free.

But, it’s not possible to make these templates yourself or duplicate your chatbot flows or elements.

  • Templates
    4
  • Make template
  • Share template
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
  • Duplicate chatbot elements

Optimization

It is not possible to do any kind of optimization with HubSpot, such as A/B testing.

  • A/B Testing

Support

HubSpot provides decent documentation and customer support to help you further.

  • Tutorials
  • Documentation
  • Customer support

Conclusion

I will be honest with you, I will not recommend this software to you when building your chatbot. The software lacks too much basic features like analytics, recognizing keywords, broadcasts & sequences and proper integration with Facebook ads and comments to build your chatbot with it.

So when you should you use it then? I think this software is great when you are already using the HubSpot software as your CRM and want to try chatbots for the first time. It is really easy to setup a chatbot in just a few minutes in which you can automatically qualify your leads or let people book an appointment with you.

Comments (2)

  1. German David

    Great write up, your blog has saved me the stress to what I have been looking for. Now I know what HubSpot is all about. Thanks for the wonderful tips you gave on your blog.

    1. Joren Wouters

      Thank you 🙂

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