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HubSpot vs Zapier

Zapier and HubSpot are both powerful integration solutions to connect your apps, but they're built for different use cases. Here's how to choose the best fit for your business.



How many apps is your business using? If you're like most, the answer isn't one or two. According to research in 2020, the average small business uses 102 different apps, while each mid-market business uses an average of 137 apps. That's a lot of data.

These apps bring a lot of power to your business, spanning a multitude of functions and departments. But it's not always easy to get your apps to talk to one another. To solve this, you need to sync your apps. Although you can connect some apps with native integrations offered by the platforms you're using, these can be limited. For the best results, you need an app that's designed for the job.

Two of the best tools specifically designed to connect your apps are HubSpot's Operations Hub and Zapier. But what's the difference between them, and how can you choose the best fit for your business? Read on for our head-to-head comparison.

What does HubSpot do?

HubSpot is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform with Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, Service Hub, CMS Hub, and the newly launched Operations Hub software applications that help scaling companies grow better.


An Overview of Operations Hub

Operations Hub is the newest addition to the HubSpot platform. Operations Hub connects HubSpot to the rest of your tech stack, cleans your data, and automates your business process, creating a single source of truth for your company.

Operations Hub's data sync feature is designed to continuously sync contact data between your apps, two ways and in real time. This means you'll have more reliable, up-to-date, and enriched data. You have full control over your sync, and can choose one-way and two-way connections between your apps.

What does Zapier do?

Zapier is one of the leading integration platforms in the market, connecting apps with automated one-off, one-way workflows that move information between your apps following the exact rules you set.

With more than 3,000 connected apps, it enables a huge range of imaginative one-way automations to save you time in and out of work.

What types of integrations do Operations Hub and Zapier offer?

Though both Zapier and HubSpot Operations Hub specialize in software integration, these tools thrive in different use cases and achieve different results. Here's the rundown of the main differences between Zapier and Operations Hub's data sync feature and automation capabilities.

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 HubSpot Operations Hub Zapier
Historical data sync

Two-way data sync

Real-time sync

Default and custom field mappings

Flexible automation and workflows

Data quality automation

Programmable automation

One-way, trigger-action automation

Integrations between non-HubSpot apps

Phone customer support

Integrations to all supported apps on all plans

Features and Capabilities

Both tools are excellent choices to implement automated workflows and data syncs that serve a range of business processes. But Operations Hub and Zapier work best in different automation use cases. Here's how to choose the best integration tool for your business – and when to use them in tandem.

  • 1. You're working with contact data.

    When you're considering which type of integration you need for your business, one of the most important questions to ask is what kind of data you need to sync.

    If you need to sync contact data, HubSpot's Operations Hub is an excellent fit. Its data sync feature is made exactly for this: creating a tailor-fit bridge between your apps to continuously sync the right contact and company data based on personalized conditions.

    As it supports two-way syncing, whenever anything changes in one app, it's instantly reflected in your synced apps. Unlike Zapier, HubSpot syncs historical data, so you can instantly sync entire databases.

    So, because Operations Hub focuses on keeping databases in sync, it's optimized for keeping your data accurate and consistent across your apps at any time. It does this by:

    • Offering customization options for your syncs based on lists, groups, tags, and other contact properties;
    • Using automated and custom field mapping to perfectly align data between your apps;
    • Syncing your apps in real time, so all of your data is always up-to-date when something changes.


    2. You want to work with the same, correct, and updated data in different apps and devices.

    While Zapier offers one-way, trigger-action automations, Operations Hub creates a two-way mirror between your databases. You can make it so the contact data in your email marketing list and CRM exactly match, for example, or set up a sync so that only customers (and not leads and prospects) are synced with your support software.

    When any of the contacts that match your rules change, so does the data in the synced app. This gives your teams an accurate view in every app.


    3. You're already a HubSpot customer (or are looking for a CRM system).

    Operations Hub enables powerful and customizable data syncs, as well as flexible automated workflows to fit your business needs, by integrating HubSpot with the rest of your tools.

    This means that if you already use the HubSpot, Operations Hub is a natural choice to make HubSpot CRM the central source of truth for your business and connect it to all of your other tools in real time.

    If you don't have a CRM system yet – or are looking to replace your current one – consider implementing HubSpot CRM and Operations Hub to build a fully integrated tech stack from the ground up. You also have the option of adding on HubSpot's Marketing, Sales, Service, and CMS Hubs, all of which connect natively to the CRM. 

    Because HubSpot is a CRM with a built-in iPaaS, HubSpot stores your data as well as keeping it in sync, whereas Zapier – a standalone iPaaS – connects tools but doesn't store data.

  • 1. You don't need to sync contact databases.

    Zapier is a great solution for one-way, trigger-action automations from App A to App B. But Operations Hub excels when it comes to handling large amounts of data between apps – especially contact and company data – as it was built to keep large databases in sync in real time.

    Your zaps might include contact data – such as alerting your team of new HubSpot leads on Slack – but these are small, one-off pieces of data. To create a true two-way sync between your databases, Operations Hub will be a better fit.


    2. You want to automate HubSpot actions based on third-party triggers.

    HubSpot offers a range of options to create integrations and automated workflows with HubSpot at the center: in addition to Operations Hub, each Hub features its own set of automations to serve a huge variety of use cases. For example, users can create a trigger-action data push that creates a new row on Google Sheets when a certain event happens inside HubSpot. 

    However, it's not yet possible to do it the other way around and trigger an action in HubSpot when an event happens in another app – for example, when a Google Form is filled out, a new contact record is created in HubSpot. For this type of trigger-action workflow from third-party apps into HubSpot (or any other app), Zapier is the better choice.


    3. You want integrations without data syncing through HubSpot.

    Zapier thrives when you want to create super flexible and imaginative automations. With 3,000 connectors and counting, the sky really is the limit. For example, you could automatically send email attachments to Dropbox and let your colleague know about it on Slack.

    In addition, Zapier is the best choice if you want to connect third-party apps to each other. While Operations Hub connects tools to and from HubSpot CRM, Zapier allows you to create connections between any and all of their supported tools.


  • Looking for some real-world examples of how you could use Zapier and Operations Hub? Here are a few use cases specific to each platform to help you understand the difference between the two solutions:


    Operations Hub-specific use cases Zapier-specific use cases
    • Syncing your CRM and email marketing app two ways so the data always perfectly matches
    • Triggering a Slack notification when there's a new customer in Zoho CRM
    • Syncing customers from your CRM to your support platform
    • Adding new leads in Pipedrive to a Google Sheet
    • Syncing sales-ready leads from your email marketing app to your CRM with a sales label
    • Generate receipts in QuickBooks Online for new Stripe charges
  • If you're having a tough job choosing between Zapier and HubSpot, not to worry. Many businesses choose to use Zapier and HubSpot together for great results.

    Think of Operations Hub as a way to strengthen the foundations of your data: its purpose is to ensure all of your databases match one another and that everyone in your organization is working with consistent, accurate, and up-to-date data, no matter which tool they use. HubSpot CRM is at the heart of your tech stack, with your other apps connecting to it two ways and in real time.

    You can then layer trigger-action automations on top of it with Zapier; especially if you want to create workflows that don't need to involve HubSpot. In addition, because Operations Hub helps to clean and enrich your data, it can also help you get better results from your zaps.

  • Zapier and Operations Hub have different pricing models: Zapier has a volume-based pricing that depends on the number of zaps you need to carry out, while Operations Hub has fixed-price plans, with users gaining access to more features as they upgrade. Here's how they compare.


    Zapier pricing

    Zapier pricing is based on zaps and tasks. Every unique connection between your apps is a zap.

    A task is counted every time a zap successfully moves data or takes action, for instance each time you create a Google Doc for a Google Calendar event.

    Zapier has a free plan, although this is limited to 100 tasks per month and five single-step zaps.*

    *Pricing as of 7 May 2021

    Operations Hub pricing

    Operations Hub offers three fixed-price packages, with users gaining access to extra features as they upgrade their plans. 

    Operations Hub's free plan includes dozens of HubSpot-built integrations that feature two-way data syncing and default field mappings. These integrations supercharge the broader suite of free HubSpot tools that include free email marketing, free live chat software, free meeting booking software, and a powerful free CRM. Operations Hub's paid plans start at $50/month. See the full pricing information for Operations Hub here.

Summary: when to choose Zapier vs. HubSpot

While Zapier thrives with imaginative one-way automations based on triggers and actions between thousands of third-party apps, Operations Hub is unique in that it creates a continuous two-way sync of your contact data in real time. HubSpot is also capable of creating a range of automations between HubSpot and your other apps, including both out-of-the-box automation and programmable automation for maximum flexibility.

It's not a case of which app is better, but which app is right for your particular needs. And as we mentioned, you can use Zapier and HubSpot together for great results.

Here's our summary of when to choose HubSpot or Zapier:

When to Choose HubSpot

  • You're working with contact data
  • You want to work with the same, correct, and updated data in different apps and devices
  • You're already a HubSpot customer (or are looking for a CRM system)

When to Choose Zapier

  • You don't need to sync contact databases
  • You want to automate HubSpot actions based on third-party triggers
  • You want integrations without data syncing through HubSpot