HubSpot Review

By Joren Wouters Updated on

HubSpot Review

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
    Create chatbot dialogs with a visual flow builder.
  • Test chatbot
    Is it possible to test the chatbot before putting your new flows or changes live?
  • Interface easy to use?
    Is the chatbot platform easy-to-use?
  • Easy to setup a chatbot?
    Is it easy to set up your chatbot with this chatbot platform?

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
    Use delays between messages in your chatbot
  • Images
    Can you send images via your chatbot?
  • Video
    Can you send video via your chatbot?
  • Audio
    Can you send audio via your chatbot?
  • Attachments
    Can you send attachments via your chatbot?
  • Gallery (Horizontal list)
    Show a gallery of cards inside your chatbot. A card consists of an image, title, subtitle and button.
  • Vertical list
    Show a vertical list of items inside your chatbot
  • Emojis
    Can you use emojis inside your chatbot?
  • Persistent Menu
    Can you add a persistent menu to your chatbot?
  • Quick Replies
    Can you add quick replies to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Buttons
    Can you add buttons to your chatbot where users can click on?
  • Free text input
    Can chatbot users freely type text to your chatbot whenever they want to?
  • Location sharing
    Can users share their location inside the chatbot?
  • Email validation
    When a chatbot user gives their email, can the platform validate it's a correct email address?
  • Phone number validation
    When a chatbot user gives their phone number, can the platform validate it's a correct phone number?
  • Date validation
    When a chatbot user gives a date, can the platform validate it's a correct date?

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
    Store information from your chatbot users inside fields. For example, you can ask for someone's email and store it inside the "email" custom field.
  • Tags
    Add tags to users in your chatbot flows to organize and categorize contacts.
  • User segments
    Can you create user segments based on custom fields and tags?

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
    Send a message to all or a part of your chatbot users at a specific date and time
  • Sequences
    Send messages on a pre-defined schedule with a certain time interval between those messages
  • Conditions
    Make checks in your chatbot flow based on if-then logic. For example, if the user has not given their email, ask for their email.
  • Multiple languages
    Is it possible to create a chatbot in multiple languages?
  • Easy to translate
    Can you translate text to other languages without using a third-party platform and without creating duplicate flows?

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
    Trigger chatbot flow based on certain words or phrases a user says to the chatbot.
  • Intents
    Trigger a chatbot flow by understanding the intent of the user.
  • Entities
    Capture specific information from sentences. For example, if a user says "veggie pizza", the chatbot can understand it's not a regular pizza, but a veggie pizza.
  • Dialogflow integration
    Does the chatbot platform provide a direct integration with Google's AI Platform?

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
    Can you publish your chatbot on your website?
  • Facebook
    Can you publish your chatbot on Facebook?
  • Instagram
  • Whatsapp
    Can you publish your chatbot on WhatsApp?
  • Telegram
    Can you publish your chatbot on Telegram?
  • SMS
    Can you publish your chatbot on SMS?
  • Slack
    Can you publish your chatbot on Slack?
  • Skype
    Can you publish your chatbot on Skype?
  • Email
    Can you publish your chatbot on 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
    Direct integration with live chat, either via a built-in live chat functionality or a third-party live chat platform.
  • Zapier
    Direct integration with Zapier, one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Make (formerly Integromat)
    Direct integration with Make (formerly Integromat), one of the largest integration platforms in the world.
  • Google Sheets
    Direct integration with Google Sheets, to store or retrieve data from sheets.
  • Webhooks
    Can you call an API inside your chatbot flow to send or get data from other applications?

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
    Embed your chatbot as a Facebook Widget on your website.
  • Native website widget
    Embed your chatbot as a native widget (your own branding & colors) on your website.
  • Landing pages
    Can you create a simple landing page to drive users to your chatbot?
  • Facebook Ads
    Start a conversation with your chatbot when someone clicks on a Facebook Ad
  • One-Time Notification
    Send one-time notifications via Facebook Messenger for a topic that a chatbot user has opted-in for
  • Facebook comments auto-reply
    Automatically reply with your chatbot to users who comment on your Facebook Posts
  • Button creator
    Add a button to your website to drive users to your chatbot
  • Custom URLs for your chatbot
    Generate a simple URL that can be shared anywhere to send users to 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
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free trial?
  • Free plan
    Does the chatbot platform provide a free plan?
  • Price per month
    What is the lowest price per month for creating a chatbot on this platform?
    46
  • Monthly pricing available?
    Is it possible to pay monthly?
  • Money back guarantee
    Is there a money-back guarantee in case you are not satisfied with the platform?

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
    Dashboard that provides general analytics of your chatbot.
  • User input
    Get the input from users that your chatbot didn't understand.
  • Sent messages
    The number of messages that were sent by your chatbot.
  • Open rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that opened a message inside your chatbot.
  • Click rate
    The percentage of chatbot users that click on a button inside your chatbot.
  • Conversion rate
    The percentage of users that converted through your chatbot. For example, the percentage of users that gave their email address
  • Fall back rate
    The percentage of interactions where the chatbot did not know an answer to a question.
  • Custom dashboards/reports
    Can you create your own dashboard or reports?

eCommerce

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

  • Payments
    Collect payments inside your chatbot
  • Shopify
    Direct integration with Shopify to get products, order information and cart data.
  • WooCommerce
    Direct integration with WooCommerce to get products, order information and cart data.
  • Buy directly within the chatbot
    Ability for chatbot users to buy products or services directly from a chatbot
  • Cart abandonment
    Trigger messages in the chatbot when a user abandons their cart on a website or inside the chatbot

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
    How many pre-built templates does the chatbot platform provide?
    4
  • Make template
    Can you make templates yourself?
  • Share template
    Can you share self-created templates with others?
  • Duplicate chatbot flows
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot flows, so you can easily reuse them?
  • Duplicate chatbot elements
    Is it possible to duplicate chatbot elements, so you can easily reuse them?

Optimization

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

  • A/B Testing
    Can you optimize your chatbot flows by performing A/B tests?

Support

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

  • Tutorials
    Does the chatbot platform provide tutorials on how to use its platform?
  • Documentation
    Does the chatbot platform provide documentation on how to use its platform?
  • Customer support
    Does the chatbot platform provide 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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