We've written a number of comparison articles on Copper vs Salesforce, Copper vs Streak, Copper vs Airtable—and we recently got a request to write a post on Copper vs HubSpot as well. So here we are! In this article you'll find everything you need to know to help with the difficult decision on if HubSpot or Copper is best for your team. Let's dive in!
But ever stop to think why HubSpot offers such a reduced price for the first year?
HubSpot has a solid marketing automation suite—that's the core product. Believe it or not, that's all HubSpot did over a decade ago. Then, they realized that they exhausted most of their target customer-base (who were willing to pay the expensive price tag), and that the best way to sell their expensive marketing software is to actually have a "free" version of the product, to people into their ecosystem: enter HubSpot CRM.
HubSpot's CRM was built solely as a gateway product, and because of that, they want to make it as easy as possible to get started with their software. Talking: "Free starter plan" and "no credit card down necessary", clever right? Better yet, you can also negotiate a no-brainer of a plan if you want to pull in the full marketing suite as well (for the first year that is...).
What's not to like, right? Well, many teams report that after the first year, once they've already invested in setting up the system—training their employees and mapping their processes to the software—they're hit with large renewal fees for the second year onward.
Sign-up for HubSpot.
The more you get roped into using their full sales and marketing suite, they more you get reliant on their software stack, and the more your renewal fees will continue to rise.
Pricing aside, if you're a larger team (20–1,000 employees), looking for a comprehensive marketing suite, with the cash flow to spend long-term, then HubSpot can absolutely be right for you (we encourage teams to consider HubSpot before thinking about Salesforce). Here's an article we wrote on comparing HubSpot vs Salesforce.
Takeaway: Before signing up for HubSpot, make sure you understand the long-term costs associated with using the software from year to year (not just the first year where you'll get heavily discounted rates). Companies often like to think "we'll grow so much this first year with Hubspot, that year 2+ won't matter"—and to that point, the cost continues to grow with your team's growth.
There are many reasons we love Copper—you can check out a full deep-dive we did that goes into what we like about it compared to other CRM's on the market.
One of Copper's power-features is that it integrates deeply with Google Workspace, so if you're using Microsoft 365—we'd recommend steering clear of Copper (consider something like Pipedrive if you're looking for something similar).
If you're looking for a CRM that was built for relationships at the core, and team collaboration (internal/external) is important to you, Copper will be a great central hub for your team.
Copper is significantly easier to use than HubSpot out-of-the-box (hence it also being more cost effective). HubSpot offers a wider range of features when compared to Copper—such as email marketing, social media scheduling, lead management, and analytics. Copper, on the other hand, is primarily a relationship, sales, and process-focused CRM, consisting of fewer marketing and customer service features out of the box (although Copper's business tier has a simplified version of email marketing through a partnership with Outfunnel).
While it might seem appealing that HubSpot offers all these additional tools "in one", it doesn't mean that they are all great. We are deep proponents of using the best tool for the job, and when a software tries to be an all-in-one tool, we find that they often manage to do most things mediocrely (there's genuinely no real standout feature for HubSpot possibly outside of email marketing).
All-in-one tools tend to be mediocre at many things—dedicated apps tend to be more robust and offer a better overall user-experience.
Take appointment scheduling for example. HubSpot offers a "free appointment scheduler" with their tool, however it's not going to be as comprehensive as other scheduling tools like Motion or Calendly.
Tools like Motion have more of a focus on team collaboration and actual time/calendar management (read full Motion review). You can set up meeting links that check across the calendars of multiple team members for finding a time that works for everyone. Not to mention, it even allows for more personalized and friendly invites through auto-generating plain text availability (with optional link fallback) via email or your messenger of choice. Efficient scheduling and collaboration aren’t of HubSpot's core focus—they simply offer a barebones version of it to try and justify their hefty price tag. It's a clever strategy!
With Copper, you can selectively choose your ideal software stack as you grow, and integrate it together as it makes sense to (versus just throwing it all at you, all at once). This results in having a robust software stack with tools that are the best-in-market for each job (e.g. Time Management (Calendar + Scheduling), Proposal + eSignature document, Project Management, and Billing + Invoicing amongst others).
With HubSpot trying to be an "all-in-one" tool, it prices accordingly (if you skipped the beginning of the article, now is a good time to go back and read it!). With Copper, pricing is simple—you won't be thrown into large annual price increases come renewal, or constantly upsold features.
This is a good time to reflect on the needs of your team: Are you looking for a solid CRM? Or more of a full marketing automation suite? This answer will depend on your business model. Many B2B teams don't need a full marketing automation suite, and can benefit more from integrations between their CRM and other third party tools (such as invoicing or eSignature software).
Another reason why teams choose HubSpot is because they hear it "integrates with everything."
We're here to tell you this is true and (sorry to disappoint) very much false. While it's true that HubSpot has many "native integrations", we invite you to better understand what these out-of-the-box "integrations" actually do, and check if they match your expectations. The sheer number of times that we've spoken to incredibly frustrated teams about how they thought HubSpot (or Copper or any CRM for that matter) can "integrate" with XYZ software, but later learn the "integration" is a barebones connection that isn't actually useful to their process.
Here's an example: It's not uncommon to sign up for a CRM thinking it will integrate well with your accounting software like QuickBooks Online.
Until you learn that all the "native integration" allows you to do is view outstanding QBO invoices from your CRM—while you might have been hoping that this integration could automatically generate invoices in QBO from your CRM upon stage change. So while these two pieces of software "integrate", you might be a bit surprised to find out that it's not exactly what you had in mind.
The first integration gives you a level of oversight, while the second would offer your team time savings, more consistency, and less work.
Remember that the marketing teams of CRM companies just want to tick the box to say an integration is available. This doesn't mean the integration will equate to time savings or work as you expect—they have to build for the most general use-case, not your specific use-case.
It's important to keep in mind, this doesn't only apply to only HubSpot, but all CRMs in general. With Copper integrations you may come up against similar pain-points. The point we're trying to make is: don't choose HubSpot or Copper solely based on what they say they integrate with on their website, and do some duediligence to make sure these integrations meet you expectations.
With both HubSpot and Copper, you have the ability to hire a team like ours to build custom integrations. While there are additional costs to hire someone to build these integrations, investing in the integration will actually save your team time and replace actual human-hours (our customers have reported saving up to $120k in salary costs per year due to the integrations that we've built that have saved their team time 🤯).
So here's the funny thing—we have both HubSpot and Copper customers who we work with and have built custom integrations for. But what this means is that the HubSpot customer may be paying $30-$60k for software costs alone to HubSpot, in addition to hiring a team like us for their custom integration needs. While with Copper, software costs can be kept lower, which allows for more of an investment to be made in custom time-saving integrations for your team.
Both HubSpot and Copper are scalable. We've written about how HubSpot is focusing more on enterprises—trying more to go after Salesforce in terms of competition. We've worked with teams who have over 300 employees and are doing $50M in revenue, and are happily using Copper as their core CRM. 🚀
With both CRMs, the path to scaling will more than likely come from actually building custom third-party integrations focused on your unique processes.
Ultimately, the choice between HubSpot and Copper depends on your business's specific needs and budget.
HubSpot may be a better fit for teams that will rely on the marketing automation suite (that being the primary reason they are using HubSpot in the first place—not for the CRM portion). Just keep in mind that this will require the budget of $30-$60k/year on software cost alone (excluding any custom integration/automation services).
On the other hand, Copper is a better choice for teams that are using Google Workspace and want to prioritize relationships, sales, onboarding, and want a solution that will allow them to scale with the best tools on the market for each business function.
Still unsure? Read this article for a greater comparison on the best CRM software on the market.
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In this video, you'll find everything you need to know to help you decide if HubSpot or Copper is best for your team. Let's dive in!