We are a online marketplace - buyers and sellers. We want to be able to incorporate lead capture with tag to person with Freelancer/Buyer from live chat or Ebook download (contact info needs to go to CRM). We also want to be able to provide customer service if needed and put in a ticket in the same system, this could come from contact us page or live chat. We want to be able to see what email was sent, we want to be able to see churn, retention, and be able to program our drip campaign all in one system. We want all these above mentioned features all in one central place, instead of managing 10 different softwares. We have looked at Base CRM (they do have integrations but can be very expensive) and we looked at ElasticMail as our SMTP mail integration. *Note our platform is built on Cake PHP For email automation we are looking at Ontraport and Autopilot. For payment processing we are looking at Braintree. Do we have to use Zapier? If yes, what will help accomplish customer life cycle management at an affordable price? We don't mind scaling.
At Gun.io we're about to replace our legacy home-grown system for these items with Hubspot. So far we are happy with it. It doesn't do _everything_ but it does enough and it's easy enough to use for non-technical staff. We got it up and running with about a month of dedicated work, mostly on developing the content.
Take a close look at Agilecrm.com we are using it for a couple of clients and it has most of the Hubspot features, enables automatic tagging (buyers and sellers) and you can set up automations for your ebook download etc as you detail in your question.
You will be able to get rid of your email automation software as it's included in the tool. And the service pricing is about 80% lower than comparable other services plus has more features. Take a look at this page where they run detailed comparisons to Hubspot and other popular services https://www.agilecrm.com/compare
Have you explored intercom.io? Based on what you have listed, it can fulfill all the use cases but yes depending on your size, it can be an expensive proposition beyond a certain customer base.
This is what I have used to fulfill the above use cases -
1. Lead capture - through different channels automated using zapier, integromat, automate.io - basically spread your use cases across different automation and then add the lead data to a single crm automation system. I prefer customer.io and sendx.io
2. I use customer.io to basically use it for existing customer or atleast who have already shown interest
3. I use sendx.io for cold mail, drip campaigns to them
4. Not using live chat at this point. But if I use this, again would prefer a tool that have a webhook which I can then use to send the data to either senx.io or customer.io.
Hope the above helps.