Both marketing and sales are challenging activities. They involve a significant amount of time, energy, study, tenacity, and patience, all of which can be in short supply when balancing the demands of your job and family obligations.
Therefore, it should come as no surprise that there are instances when these responsibilities should be addressed or take up an excessive amount of time relative to their utility.
However, if you want your company to expand exponentially, one of the most crucial things you can do is to ensure that your marketing efforts are successful.
The challenge lies in determining how to get started without having to shell out cash for pricey software or hire someone who will pay more than they ever make back.
The answer is found in the free CRM apps! There is a wide variety of choices available to consumers today, ranging from tools for email tracking to ones for lead generating.
Today, we will discuss the finest CRM platforms that are reasonable and free to assist you in managing leads, closing more transactions, and growing your business.
What are we looking at in this article?
Because this is a comprehensive guide, I'll give you a brief overview of what we'll be covering, and then you may click on the following links to skip directly to the subject that interests you the most:
We spend a lot of effort developing recommendation articles like this one, and all of our recommendations are based on data and real-world customer experiences.
Everyone has various requirements and goals regarding a software platform, and the ideal solution for one business might be a better one for another.
When scoring and ranking each platform, we aggregate insights and comparisons across pricing, features, reviews, surveys, and user feedback to exclude personal opinions and other forms of bias from our analysis.
As a result of the fact that Venture Harbour has put a number of these software platforms through their paces during our extensive search for the most suitable CRM to fulfill our requirements, we can cross-reference the statistics mentioned above with our own experiences.
It put us in a strong position to appraise the quality of the features and the balance of cost versus value and to ferret out any user reviews that did not appear to be accurate or real.
The best free (or cheap) all-in-one marketing & sales CRMs
This article aims to compile a list of the all-in-one marketing and sales CRMs that provide the most value for the least amount of money.
Therefore, we are seeking a single platform that can aggregate the data from your marketing and sales efforts to assist you in turning leads into paying customers, maintaining the satisfaction of your existing customers, and persuading them to spend more money over a longer period.
There is a trade-off between the cost and some concessions, and in some instances, this may mean fewer features. Alternatively, it may entail usage limits or other restrictions, all of which are explained on a case-by-case basis.
This guide's objective is to provide the information you need to make an informed decision on the topic.
In this post, we will only mention the features that are accessible on the free or least expensive plan that is currently being offered because we are discussing affordable and free software packages.
Nevertheless, we will describe the additional capabilities you may gain by upgrading to more expensive plans; after all, expansion is the goal with systems like this, even with free CRMs.
At the end of this guide, we explain how you can access the data used to build these rankings. In addition, we provide a set of comparison tables so that you can evaluate the possibilities next to one another.
Now that we've got everything out of the way, let's work on our first CRM platform.
Freshsales is an end-to-end sales force automation solution designed for use by sales teams. It gives a salesperson everything they need to do their job effectively, including attracting quality leads, engaging in contextual discussions, driving deals using AI-powered insights, and nurturing client relationships.
Because it automates the sales process and includes email, phone, chat, and telephony as built-in features, Freshsales enables sales teams to devote more time to making sales and improves the efficiency and productivity of their day-to-day activities. For example, salespeople may obtain insights about the best deals to go after, what actions to take, and income predictions with the help of Freddy AI. In addition, organisations that use Freshsales can advance their progress toward powerful pipeline management by taking the next step forward. When native CPQ is utilised, generating and exchanging quotes and other important sales assets are simplified.
As with many other providers, the premium packages have access to some of the most desirable services. Time-based processes, certain chatbot tools, and extensive metric reporting are some features included in Freshworks CRM. However, considering everything, the free and basic plans are both good places to begin, and you always have the option to upgrade.
- There is a plan that is free forever for startups.
- The expansion plan costs $15 per user per month and is invoiced annually.
- The Pro plan costs $39 per user per month when paid annually.
- The Enterprise plan costs $69 per user per month when paid annually.
Less Annoying CRM
Much Less Frustrating CRM, also known as LACRM, is a solution for customer relationship management (CRM) that is intended for use by small enterprises. They provide a free trial that lasts for a whole month. After that, they offer a single-paid plan that is relatively inexpensive.
Task management, lead-to-sale tracking, contact management, and follow-ups are all taken care of by LACRM. Please keep track of all the data you have on your customers and manage your leads as they move through the sales process. Maintain awareness of upcoming activities and tasks (in easy-to-use calendar and agenda formats). Serves very well as a customer relationship management system for real estate.
Emails sent and received outside of a CRM platform can be logged in LACRM if the user chooses to do so. The application gives each user a one-of-a-kind email logging address. You can use whichever email service you like when creating a contact.
There is a limited number of app connectors available, which, depending on your requirements, could be a big drawback. Also, notifications can be sent by text message or email, but not within the program itself; this decision is dated.
- $15 per user monthly, payable monthly.
The sole price plan that LACRM offers comes with a free trial period of 30 days that is completely risk-free.
OnePageCRM is the first platform we will be looking at today. Although it does not provide a free plan, it is one of the most cost-effective long-term solutions currently accessible.
It comes in first place on our list because it provides useful features while also allowing users to save information for an unlimited number of contacts on all of its plans for a price that starts as low as $13.50 per month.
- Manage your contacts, deals, and customer profiles with CRM software.
- Unlimited contacts, notes, and deals: Every plan can manage unlimited contacts, notes, and transactions.
- Email marketing: Manage your email marketing plan from within OnePageCRM using bespoke templates and messages that are unique to your business.
- Sending emails in bulk allows you to avoid sorting your communications into the spam folder by sending them with individualised details and messages.
- Sales automation aims to increase revenue while reducing the amount of time spent manually closing agreements.
- Pipeline management involves directing prospects through each pipeline stage to increase the number of leads converted into customers.
- Productivity: Every OnePageCRM plan includes the same collection of productivity and collaboration tools, which are designed to assist your team in concentrating their efforts and working more efficiently together.
- Applications native to iOS and Android allow you to manage leads and make sales while you're on the road. You can do this directly from apps native to iOS and Android.
That is an excellent list of features, as you can see, and the fact that you receive unlimited contacts, notes, and deals with any package is a win in and of itself. OnePageCRM, on the other hand, includes a few features that aren't found anywhere else, the most notable of which are the productivity and collaboration capabilities that are, once more, included in every plan.
There are some feature constraints on the more affordable OnePageCRM subscriptions, and the most obvious omissions on the SMB plan include email monitoring, email history data, and the ability to manage many pipelines at the same time.
If you go to the pricing page for OnePageCRM and select the option labeled "Compare Plans" about halfway down the page, you will be able to view a side-by-side comparison of the complete feature sets that come with each plan.
In either case, the feature set that OnePageCRM provides at these price tiers is outstanding. It is especially true when considering the few feature or use constraints between plans. As a direct consequence, the price increase across plans is moderate, which means that you will not face any significant cost increases if you choose to upgrade.
The number of people who utilise the system accounts for the most costs. Nevertheless, most service providers bill on a per-user basis regardless. OnePageCRM is distinguished from its competitors in that it does not charge additional fees as your contact list expands and does not restrict functionality as drastically as its competitors do.
How usable is OnePageCRM?
If you can look past the slightly archaic appearance of the software, OnePageCRM is a highly functional system. However, there are more attractive platforms that we're going to discuss today. In addition, it may take some time to become acclimated to all-in-one CRMs because the software can be complicated, particularly the variants that offer a greater variety of features. It is especially true with the more robust choices.
OnePageCRM does not have this issue, and it will only take a short time to become accustomed to using this platform after you have used it a few times. Naturally, you have more sophisticated requirements. In that case, you are more likely to claim that OnePageCRM is too simple to meet those requirements, but it is difficult to see anyone saying that it is difficult to use.
OnePageCRM is a platform that, in addition to storing and maintaining client data, simplifies the process of navigating contacts, activities, and deals throughout your whole pipeline. You can get to most pages with only one click, and individual profiles can be reached in just a couple of clicks, regardless of where you are on the platform.
The experience that one has when using a desktop computer is excellent. Nevertheless, using mobile applications, particularly phones, can take some work. The experience is better on tablets, especially the iOS version on an iPad, but the performance of this system is better when it's run on a desktop browser.
The rare difficulty in syncing data between online and mobile apps is more of a cause for concern. You can't help but feel less secure in using the mobile app if you've had an encounter like this, although it doesn't happen very often.
Since we last used OnePageCRM, this problem may have been addressed and resolved in subsequent software versions.
What could OnePageCRM improve?
The low cost of OnePageCRM is appealing, but it has a few drawbacks. The email marketing features that are accessible, even on the most costly plan, do not have the same degree of depth that some of the other tools we are looking at today can offer. The same is true for the automation functions that are offered by this tool.
For instance, there is no drag-and-drop email builder for developing graphic templates, an essential component of contemporary email marketing. Similarly, you cannot construct automatic drip campaigns, track behaviour on the website, or automate responses to user actions.
Therefore, while it is possible to handle transactions across the entirety of the sales funnel, there is a limit to what you can do in terms of sending automated emails and segmenting lists to offer the most convincing messages to prospects at every point of the purchasing process.
There aren't many all-in-one CRM solutions that give unlimited contacts and deals across every plan at this price range, especially on the cheapest plan, which is why OnePageCRM is such a wonderful deal.
Even though the user interface is a little bit clunky and the software appears to be a little bit dated, this is still an appealing choice for startups and smaller companies because of its affordable price tag, which is backed up by robust features and an intuitive user experience that makes it possible for anyone to pick up the software in virtually no time at all.
The disadvantage of using OnePageCRM is that it does not have all of the features available on competing platforms. For example, you can only pay extra to get access to a drag-and-drop email builder, advanced automation, or drip email campaigns because these features are not included in any pricing tiers.
You should investigate OnePageCRM if you are seeking a CRM platform that is not only inexpensive but also simple to operate and one that you can pick up and begin using right away.
There is a free version; paid subscriptions start at 12 pounds per month.
Capsule CRM is the first platform we consider that provides a free plan. Nevertheless, this plan is accompanied by several stringent limitations. The good news is that paid plans are reasonably priced, and there are only small increases in price from plan to plan. In addition, the entire platform is geared toward fostering the expansion of businesses.
It means that you may start using Capsule CRM immediately at no cost, and you won't have to start paying for it until your company is prepared to take the next step.
Capsule CRM features
- The free plan includes access to most functions as well as 250 contacts and 50 MB of storage space.
- Management of contacts includes storing data for relevant individuals and organisations and providing access to that data when needed.
- The sales pipeline is all about tracking possibilities at each level of the sales funnel and gaining insights to help improve performance.
- Managing sales duties, meetings, phone calls, and other events without leaving the app is possible using the tasks and calendars feature.
- Monitoring every part of your sales cycle and gaining insights from native reports is what you can do with sales analytics.
- Customisation: You can customise Capsule to meet your requirements by developing your fields, contact lists, tags, and user permissions, amongst other features.
- Applications native to iOS and Android allow you to manage leads and make sales while you're on the road. You can do this directly from apps native to iOS and Android.
In contrast to OnePageCRM, Capsule places a cap on the total number of contacts its users can manage on each plan. Therefore, the price of your subscription is typically based on this amount.
The fact that the capsule provides a free plan with up to two users, which includes 250 contacts and 50 MB of storage space, works as a counterpoint.
This platform was developed specifically with growing SMEs and startups in mind; it provides a system that provides actual value for free and gradually adjusts pricing as your company continues to expand its operations.
It is an example of the classic pay-as-you-go concept, but the prices for each plan are kept low so that you won't be surprised by an unexpectedly large payment at any point.
That is, of course, unless your sales force becomes larger, as the pricing is also determined on a per-user basis (as is the case with the majority of the products that we are looking at).
You'll discover a comprehensive rundown of the different pricing and plan options on the page where you sign up for the capsule.
The capsule is not very restrictive when it comes to the features it offers, but it does have certain limits. Even with the free plan, you get access to the vast majority of functions; therefore, it all boils down to the number of contacts and users you have.
In the free version of the capsule, you will still have access to an infinite number of custom fields, sales opportunities, cases, and tracks, in addition to having complete access to the calendar, tasks, and sales tools capabilities.
Of course, some elements are limited exclusively to paid plans; the most glaring example is in the reports section, where complete access is only available for the Teams and Enterprise plans.
Reporting is essential, but because Capsule's CRM was developed for rapidly expanding small and medium-sized businesses, you will have to upgrade quite soon to access the reporting choices anyhow.
Because businesses that use the free plan are less likely to use their data in the early days fully, this is a logical compromise. Furthermore, when optimising performance becomes a priority for your company, you should have signed up for a more advanced plan that gives you complete access to reporting.
How usable is Capsule CRM?
The CRM platform known as Capsule CRM is not overly complicated and is designed for use by SMEs. This simplicity enhances the user experience in terms of navigation, accessing functionalities, and any learning curve that may be there. We witnessed this in action with OnePageCRM.
Compared to some of the platforms we will examine in the future, this ecosystem has fewer features, services, and dashboards that add complexity.
This structural simplicity is thoroughly exploited by Capsule, which features some fantastic user experience design. Consequently, the system appears and operates much like a cutting-edge piece of software, and its functionality is just as easy to understand.
Another feature available on all plans, including the free edition, is a drag-and-drop interface for the Kanban pipeline, eliminating excessive clicks and status updates. It is a particular highlight of the software.
The fundamental tenet of Capsule's design is that the user should be able to browse and keep their information up to date with the fewest possible physical activities. This tenet is adhered to across the entirety of the platform.
It results in a streamlined and straightforward experience complemented by crisp images and user interface elements that effectively convey their intended purpose. Furthermore, because the onboarding and setup process is as easy as possible, you can begin using Capsule CRM immediately without worrying about the user experience (UX).
It's not a coincidence that Capsule provides a free plan of this quality and delivers an experience that makes it simple for new customers to use the product on their first day. Both of these things make Capsule stand out from the competition.
What could Capsule CRM improve?
The capsule can fulfill its mission of expanding small and medium-sized businesses with a cheap CRM platform without leaving any area for criticism. However, similar functionality is absent, like complex email marketing tools and automation, and this is also the case with OnePageCRM. You will only obtain features like this from the more cost-effective platforms sometimes.
However, as you will see further in this book, some providers are beginning to incorporate similar capabilities on their free (or lowest) plans. It is one area where businesses such as Capsules may need to improve to remain competitive in their respective markets.
If all went according to plan, the free version of Capsule CRM would include more reporting options. Nevertheless, there is always the potential for more customisation options and interfaces with third-party tools, particularly when email marketing features are in short supply. It is especially true in the case of the software in question.
In the end, cost and usability are the capsule's top priorities, inevitably leading to some clear feature trade-offs. Nevertheless, the business finds an outstanding balance between the three factors.
As long as you have a clear idea of what Capsule's CRM platform is supposed to do for you, there is a low chance that you will be dissatisfied with it. However, enterprise companies who manage millions of contacts and keep terabytes upon terabytes of data on servers will be disappointed to learn that this is not a platform designed for them.
It is a customer relationship management (CRM) platform developed specifically for rapidly expanding SMEs and startups. It provides the door for these companies to use Capsule for free and subsequently upgrade to more inexpensive plans as their company expands.
If you want this from a customer relationship management system, then Capsule is most likely the greatest solution currently accessible to you. Some businesses may outgrow a CRM platform of this kind. However, few CRM platforms offer a quality free version and provide all the features required on paid plans. Therefore, it is a significant limitation for businesses looking for a CRM solution.
Keap is a contact management and sales pipeline platform specifically designed to assist home-run e-commerce firms, small businesses operated by self-employed individuals, and even home-based businesses.
It starts with compiling a solid leads database and maintaining its organisational structure. Then, contact information can be collected by importing contact lists from many other CRMs, scanning business cards, converting cluttered spreadsheets, straightforward manual entry, or configuring a specialised form on your page. You can also add any custom fields needed to the contact information.
After completing the work and being compensated for it, "staying connected" is where everything comes to a halt for Keap. It is their commitment to converting leads into satisfied clients who will not only return but also spread love through recommendations.
Keap has many different features, making it look unsafe when you first see it (and you may not use many of them). There are a few possibilities for integration. For individuals working with a limited spending capacity, the price point may be a challenge.
- The Lite plan costs $56 per user and is payable monthly.
- The cost of the Pro plan is $105 per user per month, and it is payable monthly.
- The full plan costs $140 per user each month and is invoiced monthly.
There is an option to start a free trial for either the Lite or Pro package.
Salesmate is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution that helps salespeople spend more time selling and less time learning how to utilise new applications. It is particularly useful for newly founded companies and other small firms but also applies to property development and building trades.
This platform is continuously working to improve itself. It has significantly improved its analytics and reporting capabilities, including introducing a dashboard that is more adaptable to individual preferences and interactive. Additionally, Salesmate has improved its mobile app and incorporated additional features, including phone calling and deal management tools. Integrations with live chat and DocuSign are two of the upcoming services that will be available.
Some customisation options won't work the way you want them to, especially when you try to make custom data fields. In addition, you will require the more expensive version to use important capabilities like email analytics.
- The Starter version has a monthly fee of $12 per user and is payable annually.
- Billed annually at a rate of $24 per user/per month, the growth version is available.
- A yearly subscription to the Boost edition costs $40 per user per month.
Every one of Salesmate.io's pricing tiers comes with a free trial of 15 days.
This customer relationship management system goes above and beyond in terms of its connectivity with Microsoft Outlook. In addition, it features extremely deep administration of customers, including configurable fields that allow for more comprehensive displays of contact information.
An excellent collection of phone tools is available, including full VoIP and SMS integration. In addition, when using InfoFlo, you can choose whether you want the data storage and management to take place in the cloud or on-premise.
Lastly, the desktop version's pricing is quite affordable compared to other options.
There are a lot of helpful tools available on InfoFlo. The downside is that you will need to devote significant time to become proficient in each of them. Concerning the disadvantages of the subscription, the cloud calls for a minimum of three users, which is problematic for businesses requiring only one or two users.
- Cloud Starter costs $30 per user each month, requiring at least three users.
- Cloud Advanced costs $35 per user per month with a need of three users.
- On-Premises pricing is $99 per user each month.
You can purchase add-ons in addition to each plan's standard features. For instance, if you purchase the Cloud Starter plan, you will receive three add-ons, but if you purchase the Cloud Advanced plan, you will receive five add-ons. In addition, you have the option of purchasing additional add-ons.
Simple Systems CRM
Simple CRM was originally intended to be exactly that: simple. However, it has evolved through the years and currently incorporates various cutting-edge CRM tools.
Simple Systems provides a set of capabilities that may be utilised by the traditional three departments of an organisation, namely marketing, sales, and service. For example, lead management and campaign management are two benefits of marketing.
In addition to it, there is also automation and email marketing. The administration of contacts and pipelines is included in the sales tools. In addition to this, it forecasts sales and manages calendars and tasks. Case management, service level agreements (SLAs), and case reporting are all components of customer service.
A free plan is available through Simple Systems. On the other hand, the cost per user for premium plans begins at $14 per month when paid annually.
The best uses for Simple Systems CRM are:
- Users on an individual basis
- Compact groups
- The instruments of CRM
- Task management
Pricing begins at $15 per month.
CompanyHub seeks to incorporate some of these elements into an affordable all-in-one system, in contrast to our earlier two CRM platforms, which did not offer much in email marketing and automation.
Even though there is no free plan available, CompanyHub's pricing is comparable to OnePageCRM and Capsule CRM. Furthermore, the features that are offered by CompanyHub are superior to those offered by its competitors, making this an interesting comparison.
- Configurable Client Relationship Management allows you to manage customer data in the manner that best suits you through the use of custom fields, columns, filters, and reports.
- Lead management entails keeping track of leads throughout the customer journey.
- Pipeline management: management of a single deal pipeline is included in the most affordable plan; management of numerous deal pipelines is included in more expensive plans.
- Using native chatbots on your website, sales bots can collect visitors' leads.
- Email synchronisation, also known as 2-way email synchronisation, enables you to send emails from both CompanyHub and the email client of your choice.
- Sending emails in bulk allows users to avoid manually rewriting and sending several copies of the same message.
- Email monitoring: Unlimited email tracking is included with our plans for convenience.
- Email templates: Basic email templates are available on all plans.
- Email scheduling involves programming messages in advance so they can be sent at the most convenient time.
- Reminders: If an email goes unopened for a certain time, you can follow up with the sender by setting up reminders to go off after the allotted amount of time has passed.
- Booking appointments: Give your clients the ability to schedule appointments directly through your website, and give your team the ability to manage those appointments using CompanyHub.
- Lead capture involves using sign-up forms for email on your website to gather information about potential customers.
The Customer Relationship Management system offered by CompanyHub is highly adaptable. The company serves various markets, including startups, non-profit organisations, government agencies, and private businesses in specialised fields such as roofing and insurance.
Additionally, this is the first platform we investigate that provides more complex functionality, such as email scheduling and marketing automation. In addition, a significant number of these services are included even in the most affordable plan, which makes it an irresistible deal at $15 a month per user.
Again, the price differences between plans increase gradually, and you need to be automatically upgraded to a more expensive plan as your contact list expands. Therefore, it all boils down to your required qualities and the amount you are ready to pay for them.
When you sign up for the Automation plan, which costs $24 a month per user, you are granted unrestricted access to all of the platform's capabilities. It includes automated custom reports, workflows, scheduled alerts, bulk changes, and a great deal more automation.
At this pricing range, that is a powerful feature set. However, the primary benefit of upgrading to the Accelerate plan is the extensive customisation specific to your industry and the additional reporting that is included. As a result, you will only have the impression that you are taking advantage of essential features if you choose either of the more affordable options. But, of course, these are essential if you find that you require them.
How usable is CompanyHub?
CompanyHub provides a high-quality user experience by having an easy-to-use user interface and a large number of drag-and-drop interfaces that speed up the completion of operations. Even while the user experience isn't quite as streamlined or polished as it is with Capsule CRM, you can still count on CompanyHub to be among the most usable CRMs on the market.
Remember that OnePageCRM and Capsule CRM are simpler than CompanyHub, a more complicated software. However, the learning curve is steeper than usual because there are more navigation features and more complex aspects to become comfortable with.
If, on the other hand, you require the email marketing and automation features that the CRMs mentioned above do not offer, this is a small price to pay for the time and money you will save. It is especially true when you consider that CompanyHub's pricing is comparable to that of the other two CRMs.
You decide to go with the Automation package offered by CompanyHub. When this is the case, the usefulness improves with the ability to automate activities, workflows, alarms, and several other actions. In addition, these actions remove a sizeable portion of the human labour that would otherwise be required.
It is important to remember that most of these capabilities are separate from the Productivity plan, which is the least expensive when evaluating other options.
You may view a comprehensive comparison of the plans, pricing, and features offered by CompanyHub by going to the website and looking at the pricing page.
What could CompanyHub improve?
CompanyHub's $15/month subscription has a decent selection of capabilities for email marketing. However, email templates are one area where the service needs to meet expectations.
Although the site does include email templates that users may utilise to generate and personalise messages rapidly, the platform only allows users to generate basic text emails.
There has yet to be an email builder allowing users to create beautiful layouts or advanced sales emails such as product promotions, transactional emails, or anything else with a distinct conversion goal.
These tools are not included in any of the plans offered by CompanyHub, which is a disappointing absence for a platform that offers email marketing and automation features.
The unique selling proposition (USP) of CompanyHub's budget offering will be moot if you are required to obtain these capabilities from another source.
I sincerely hope this will be implemented shortly, and CompanyHub has a solid track record of listening to user comments and implementing new features.
In recent years, the company has expanded its platform to include calendars and reminders, two elements frequently mentioned as needing to be more present in customer reviews.
Similarly, the corporation has produced mobile apps for iOS and Android, which is something else that was mentioned in several of the evaluations that came before this one.
Therefore, CompanyHub pays attention to its users' feedback and demonstrates a willingness to enhance its product, both of which are admirable qualities in a software developer.
CompanyHub enters the market with a competitive product in terms of pricing and providing certain advanced services on affordable plans.
This all-in-one system is what you're looking for if your needs in terms of email marketing and automation are more moderate.
The risk for CompanyHub is that companies that require email marketing and automation built into their CRM system will get them from somewhere else – whether this means integrating a dedicated email marketing platform with CompanyHub or selecting a different CRM that includes an email builder, visual templates, and other features. CompanyHub faces this risk because a few features are missing from CompanyHub.
Marketing Automation, Live Chat & Helpdesk, and CRM & Sales Bay are the three different business process-oriented suites that EngageBay offers for sale. EngageBay markets itself as an alternative to HubSpot.
The final one, CRM & Sales Bay, gives users access to contact management solutions that prioritise ease of use and expanding their businesses.
The software enables multi-channel listening and compiles contact information from your business's various client touchpoints. Monitor everything from contact activity to site activity to email response rates, including open and click rates.
Integrates seamlessly with Gmail, Office 365, or any other IMAP provider and supports synchronisation in both directions.
Integrations with services such as Zapier, SendGrid, Mailgun, Xero, and Mandrill make it possible to link your CRM with other business processes and further streamline your operations.
Needs to have more native integrations with apps from third-party developers. The number of available email template possibilities is limited, and their designs are extremely straightforward.
- You can utilise a free plan restricted to 1,000 contacts and 1,000 branded emails.
- The most basic plan is $10.39 per user per month when paid annually and $12.99 per user per month when paid monthly.
- Pricing for the growth plan is as follows: $19.99 per user/per month when billed annually; $24.99 per user/per month when billed monthly.
- Pricing for the Pro plan is as follows: $39.99 per user per month when billed annually; $49.99 per user per month when billed monthly.
When compared to the CRM platforms that have been discussed up until this point in this essay, ActiveCampaign represents a significant advancement. This software is designed for large businesses but does not have the associated high price tag. Regarding customer relationship management (CRM), marketing, and sales platforms, we're looking at the first one that gives full features.
The lowest monthly price starts at just $9 and includes up to three users, 500 contacts, and unlimited email storage. However, on this plan, you do not have access to the CRM that ActiveCampaign provides. Hence, you should proceed directly to the Plus plan, with costs beginning at $49 per month.
This subscription covers you for up to 25 people, whereas most tools are billed monthly per user. Therefore, $49 per month for up to 25 users is a steal. However, that might sound expensive compared to some of the other platforms we have researched and evaluated.
In addition, the Plus plan of ActiveCampaign includes the most sophisticated set of marketing and sales automation features we've looked at so far — by a significant margin.
- CRM allows users to manage their contacts and automatically update their details without requiring input from the user.
- E-mail marketing: Highly developed e-mail marketing programs, such as targeted e-mails, triggered e-mails, broadcast e-mails, and more.
- Send unlimited e-mails to your contacts with all of our plans thanks to our unlimited e-mail feature.
- E-mail builder: A drag-and-drop e-mail builder is included with our pricing plans.
- E-mail templates Make use of or make changes to e-mail templates to develop campaigns quickly.
- Autoresponders: Send instant or delayed automated e-mail responses to prospective customers based on the time delay you specify.
- Automation of sales processes eliminates the need for manual labour by carrying out sales-related tasks, notifications, and reminders.
- Contact and lead scoring: Give priority to leads so you can concentrate your marketing and sales efforts on the prospects with the highest potential return.
- Automate e-mail marketing campaigns and responses to distribute messages and automatically take action using marketing automation.
- Automation builder: ActiveCampaign's automation builder allows you to create your automation workflows using a simple drag-and-drop interface.
- Tracking of the site and events: Tracking the behaviour of users on your website allows you to credit the success of your campaign and offer appropriate messages based on user actions.
- Assistance to Customers: Give assistance to customers through e-mail and live chat.
- Retaining consumers requires locating and rewarding your most valuable clients to encourage additional purchases.
Although this is the most sophisticated collection of tools we have come across in this guide, ActiveCampaign is an altogether more serious platform overall. When you upgrade to the Plus plan, you can access a full set of CRM, email, marketing, sales, and customer support services powered by some of the most advanced automation technology currently available.
You won't have to worry about paying for email marketing software, a landing page builder, or productivity tools to automate sales chores when you use ActiveCampaign because it includes all of these features. Instead, everything is integrated into the same platform from the beginning.
We are not suggesting that ActiveCampaign is the sole marketing and sales tool you will require. Nonetheless, it comes as near as any other provider. Because of this, you will save money on the overall cost of your software.
ActiveCampaign provides the best value of any CRM system currently on the market to small and medium-sized organisations searching for a simple, all-in-one solution.
The pricing structure of ActiveCampaign is rather more complicated than the pricing structures of the other providers that we have looked at today – or, at the very least, it is different. It is one of the drawbacks of having such a comprehensive collection of functions.
Prices will steadily increase as your contact list grows, which means you will pay more as the platform generates more money for your company. If you join the Plus plan, you will spend $49 per month and be able to manage up to 1,000 contacts and 25 users.
Let's say that you decide to go with the Professional plan. If this is the case, you are immediately covered for up to 50 users and 2,500 contacts for the starting price of $129 per month. In addition, it introduces even more advanced features, including attribution, automation split testing, and web personalisation.
The Plus plan, which covers most of ActiveCampaign's tools and automation features and has the following price increments based on contact counts, is a good starting point for most firms and should suffice for their needs.
- 1,000 contacts – $49/mo
- 2,500 contacts – $99/mo
- 5,000 contacts – $135/mo
- 10,000 contacts – $199/mo
That translates into a monthly cost of $199 for an all-in-one sales and marketing CRM, which covers up to 10,000 contacts and 25 users and comes equipped with sophisticated email marketing and automation functions.
The automated technology that drives ActiveCampaign's features is the platform's strongest suit, and it is in this area its prices are competitive with those of competing products.
With the automation builder that uses a drag-and-drop interface, you can put your complete marketing plan at your fingertips. It allows you to trigger activities and messages at any stage of the customer journey before and after the initial purchase.
How usable is ActiveCampaign?
ActiveCampaign has done an excellent job designing a marketing suite that incorporates these many capabilities into a straightforward user experience.
It is unavoidable that there will be a learning curve. Still, ActiveCampaign offers a wealth of online documentation, support, and one-on-one training to ensure you get off to the most successful beginning possible.
The platform's customer relationship management (CRM) and interactive capabilities, such as email, landing page, and automation, benefit from drag-and-drop interfaces.
The built-in sales and marketing automation also delivers a UX lift by minimising the manual input required by team members to execute actions and update data. As a result, it helps to improve the overall quality of the user experience.
ActiveCampaign makes the process of establishing and administering campaigns a breeze. Nevertheless, the experience of building resources, particularly emails via the email builder, can be more complex than the process of creating campaigns.
The builder that uses a drag-and-drop interface is efficient, but it is not nearly on par with the builder that Mailchimp offers. Nevertheless, Mailchimp's builder is currently the best one available on the market.
ActiveCampaign's email builder is by no means subpar, and the platform trounces Mailchimp in every other respect — the two solutions aren't even comparable to one another.
In a similar vein, the landing page builder needs to be more on pace with the likes of Unbounce and Instapage. Still, once again, it's pretty close, and comparing one ActiveCampaign feature to specialist landing page builders is an unfair competition - it simply helps us give you an idea of what to anticipate.
The drag-and-drop automation builder that ActiveCampaign provides is a different story altogether. However, this feature is one of the most powerful aspects of the platform since it enables users to develop automation workflows visually.
Although there is some degree of inconsistency with some of the tools, ActiveCampaign manages to accomplish something quite outstanding, taking into account all of the features that are available here.
What could ActiveCampaign improve?
When I consider the extensive collection of capabilities that ActiveCampaign provides at each price point, I need help to criticise anything about the service. While some tools, such as the email builder, are different from the field's leaders, the email and marketing technology provided is on par with anything else available.
Therefore, there are certain spots here and there where there is space for improvement. However, the focus here is on the finer aspects and finding problems.
However, there is one item that is lacking that we would like to discuss, and that is transactional emails. For instance, you may use ActiveCampaign's email builder to construct emails that request payment from your recipients. However, in a purely technical sense, they behave like conventional emails, from which recipients can unsubscribe, and historical transaction data is not maintained in a specialised report.
A specialised transactional email system that enables you to manage email payments, accounts, and transactional data has been lacking up until now.
None of the systems we have researched so far come equipped with a transactional email system. Since Sendinblue is the only platform we are considering that accomplishes this, it may be overly critical of ActiveCampaign to criticise them over this issue. Nevertheless, ActiveCampaign is the one that comes the closest to being an all-in-one marketing platform that we have, and the addition of transactional emails would make it unmatched.
Having an all-in-one marketing system is as near as you can go. While ActiveCampaign's plans might not be the most affordable solutions we're looking at today, they will save you money in the long run because you won't need to pay for as many other products.
You won't need another email marketing platform merely to get a better builder because ActiveCampaign's email builder isn't exactly on par with the finest solutions (like Mailchimp). Still, it's pretty close too. On the other hand, the landing page builder is more of a weak area, and currently, we use Unbounce, which integrates without any issues with ActiveCampaign.
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign has been working to enhance its builders over the past few years; if we start over, we may not need to subscribe to additional tools like Unbounce.
To summarise, ActiveCampaign offers the best value for the money to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that need advanced marketing and automation features built into their CRM. In addition, ActiveCampaign packs enterprise-level features into an affordable system, saving you thousands (or tens of thousands) of dollars in software fees.
The Octopus CRM system is the only one discussed in this article. It is not a CRM in the conventional sense of the term, which refers to a system that compiles all of your customer information in one location. Instead, it is a tool that pulls data from LinkedIn – and only LinkedIn – into a platform similar to a CMS so that you can manage your marketing and prospecting plan on the social network that is considered the most authoritative for professionals.
Octopus CRM is a highly affordable platform that empowers you to do more with your LinkedIn data by developing a dedicated marketing funnel for the network and automating sales processes. This technology is ideal for any firm that uses LinkedIn as a prospecting and lead-generation tool.
Octopus CRM features
- Marketing funnel for LinkedIn: Construct your marketing funnel for LinkedIn to handle prospects and nurture leads up until the point at which they are ready to convert.
- Send personalised connection requests to LinkedIn connections on the second and third levels automatically using automated connection requests.
- With bulk messaging, sending hundreds of messages to all your 1st level contacts at once is possible.
- Automatic endorsements: Automatically endorse up to seven abilities on the profiles of the people with whom you are connected on LinkedIn.
- Reporting: With Octopus CRM's expanded reporting capabilities, you can track your campaigns' performance.
- Zapier & HubSpot integration: Zapier can be used to extend the capabilities of Octopus CRM, and integration with HubSpot can make a CRM solution more comprehensive.
The personal CRM, auto invites, and the opportunity to interact with premium LinkedIn users exclusively are all included in every Octopus CRM plan, which starts at just $6.99 per month in cost.
Using those capabilities will make it easier for you to prioritise and manage the leads you receive through LinkedIn. For example, if you were to get just one customer through the use of Octopus, this would likely cover the cost of your subscription to the Unlimited plan for the rest of your life. But, again, it is because of the large returns you often obtain from LinkedIn prospects.
Suppose your company places a high priority on marketing through LinkedIn. You should probably pay extra cash for the more expensive Advanced or Unlimited plan instead of trying to save money. You will have access to the LinkedIn funnel builder if you subscribe to the Advanced plan; the price of $14.99 a month is well justified by this feature alone.
Similarly, the Zapier connector accessible on the Advanced plan for $24.99 per month unlocks new functionality across hundreds of other apps.
Adding HubSpot CRM integration transforms Octopus into a potent augmentation for your existing LinkedIn marketing plan.
In addition, if you select the Advanced plan, you will be assigned a personal account manager and given access to an activity control feature. This function will notify you whenever your LinkedIn account experiences any unexpected activity.
How usable is Octopus CRM?
Octopus is an easy-to-use platform with the goal of doing a certain task that is essential for business-to-business (B2B) organisations. Because of this, there is virtually no steep learning curve, and finding one's way around the interface is about as simple as it can get.
The user interface design is not very innovative, but given the straightforward nature and singular purpose of the platform, there is no compelling reason to make any significant changes.
However, several possibilities were lost in turning the platform into a more effective tool. For instance, you have to carry out certain operations by hand, such as adding prospects to campaigns, although it would be fantastic to have capabilities like lists or tagging that might automate this process in part.
In a similar vein, you are required to manually activate automated messages daily, which decreases the benefits to your productivity.
What could Octopus CRM improve?
As was covered in part before this one, there is a significant amount of space for development in the form of introducing further automation or improving the automation of features that are already there. Furthermore, in certain instances, features or functions that should be clear are absent. For example, you have to manually initiate actions, which is especially counterintuitive for automated tasks.
In some situations, there are minor things that may be improved, such as the addition of a tool that would remove pending connection requests in bulk so that they wouldn't have to be done manually.
In addition to this, we think the Octopus website may benefit from having more thorough help materials. The video tutorials are fairly brief, and they only provide a general overview of the essential functions. The resources section includes a frequently asked questions guide as well as video tutorials.
No documentation is available online for resolving technical problems or making the most of Octopus CRM's more complex features.
In recent years, we have not witnessed a significant amount of product development, upgrades, or the introduction of new features. And although we are, on the whole, rather impressed with the platform, this leaves us wondering whether any of the enhancements that we are looking for (or, for that matter, anyone else is expecting) will take place in the near future.
Octopus CRM verdict
Octopus CRM is by no means an ideal system, but it does offer a one-of-a-kind and straightforward answer to the difficulties associated with managing leads from LinkedIn. Any productivity boost in nurturing LinkedIn prospects is a win for B2B companies, and Octopus CRM can help you discover and nurture leads you wouldn't have found otherwise.
When using Octopus CRM, it can be aggravating to have to manually complete certain tasks, especially when some of the features that are intended to automate those tasks are not fully developed.
On the other hand, considering the cost, Octopus CRM contributes a great deal more to the success of your LinkedIn marketing strategy than it requests in exchange.
BenchmarkONE is a customer relationship management (CRM) system that is extremely comprehensive. Additionally, it works wonderfully for automating email marketing to gather prospects and qualify them.
The features of sales automation help to manage your pipeline and contribute to a greater number of successful conversions.
It works extremely well for companies ranging from small to medium in size, such as consulting firms, private practices, and agencies. In addition to this, it provides extremely granular reporting and analytics.
Regarding pricing, groups with more than five members will be required to purchase a more expensive package. Since there are no facilities for customer support, this CRM cannot be considered an all-in-one solution.
- The free version can only be used by one person at a time.
- The Core plan costs $70 per month for two users and is invoiced every six months.
- The Pro plan costs $139 per month for five users and is invoiced every other month.
- The Enterprise plan costs $199 per month for an unlimited number of users and is paid semi-annually.
In addition, there are two premium onboarding services with a value of either $199 (which is included with Core Plans) or $399 (included with Pro and Enterprise plans).
eWay-CRM is an add-on for Microsoft Outlook that gives you access to all of the tools you need to manage your relationships with your customers effectively. Because it is directly integrated into Microsoft Outlook, it is an excellent benefit for groups of people who prefer to work in an atmosphere that is already comfortable for them.
- Take charge of the leads and deals.
- Keeping tabs on activities and projects.
- Cooperate with the rest of your team.
Everything without ever having to leave Microsoft Outlook!
Because it possesses so many useful functions, this customer relationship management system (CRM) is an excellent choice for any small or medium-sized company. In a nutshell, it gives you access to a wide variety of useful tools, some of which include lead management, email marketing, and more! Therefore, no matter what it is that you want to do, eWay-CRM can help you do it.
Because it can be adjusted to meet any requirements you could have, the system is incredibly simple to operate. For instance, you have the ability to personalise the user fields, the workflows, and the form layouts in such a way that they contribute to your overall level of productivity and efficiency.
In a nutshell, eWay-CRM is an excellent option to consider if you want to boost both your sales and your connections with your customers, and this is especially true if you already use Microsoft Office. Additionally, smaller businesses that require a CRM that is connected with Microsoft Outlook will want to give this program a shot if they are in the market for such a solution.
The free plan has a lot of restrictions, and the subscription plans could be prohibitively expensive for small and medium-sized businesses.
As a result of the fact that the plugin is already incorporated into Outlook, there is no way to download it onto a Mac. Users of Macs can, thankfully, access a web-based software version.
- The good news is that eWay-CRM comes packaged with a free plan that you can use for an unrestricted amount of time. One user is limited to using it, and only 200 megabytes of cloud storage are included with the purchase.
- The other piece of excellent news is that you have the option of purchasing a lifetime license for the software or paying for it on a subscription basis (cloud version) (hosting it on your server).
- The lowest cost for a monthly subscription is currently set at $24 per user per month, while the lowest cost for a lifetime license begins at $369 per user plus 15% yearly support.
HubSpot is the only major software provider that offers a free CRM with unlimited contacts and many other free tools to help you drive early business growth. This makes HubSpot unique among major software providers.
Put aside the cost for a second: this is one of the best customer relationship management (CRM) platforms that you can find anywhere, and the fact that you can start using it immediately – and that it is free to use forever – is a very important thing.
However, as stated in the heading that you just read, the free CRM offer that HubSpot provides does come with a few restrictions.
The corporation has amassed a multibillion-dollar empire by convincing companies to join up for its free customer relationship management (CRM) system and then upgrade to one of its expensive software plans. There is no trickery involved here (the CRM will remain free of charge for an indefinite period of time), but HubSpot has built its business strategy around growth. In fact, it is mainly responsible for pioneering the pay-as-you-grow model that most CRM providers use today.
Because of this, the most cutting-edge capabilities typically come with a heftier price tag.
- Infinite contacts: HubSpot's free CRM allows you to save an unlimited number of contacts.
- Management of contacts: Construct views and carry out automatic activities to simplify the process of managing your contacts and data.
- Activity on the website: Gain insight into what a contact is doing on your website, such as viewing pages, submitting forms, engaging in sales activity, etc.
- Deals: Keep a database of them, keep track of them, and manage them across the entire pipeline.
- Prospecting: View available information about the businesses that are visiting your website as well as the businesses themselves.
- Email marketing: Track the performance of your email campaign, receive notifications when emails are opened, and construct visually appealing email campaigns with the help of templates.
- Duties & Activities: Organise, manage, and keep tabs on the various activities and tasks related to sales that comprise your customer relationships.
You can save and manage an unlimited number of contacts, companies, and deals using HubSpot's free CRM. You are also provided with an excellent set of functions that are already incorporated into the CRM. These features include prospecting, task management, and basic email marketing.
All things considered, HubSpot gives you a lot for free, which is one of the reasons why CRM is such an attractive option for small and medium-sized organisations.
When you sign up for the free versions of HubSpot's marketing, sales, and customer support software packages, the deal becomes much more attractive.
These free versions provide landing pages, segmented lists, email scheduling, email templates, live chat, and reports, in addition to many other features, without requiring the user to pay anything for marketing or sales software.
The free versions of HubSpot's products come with several disabled features, which is where things begin to become more challenging. For instance, you can maintain an infinite number of contacts on the free CRM, but, you are restricted in the number of customers for which you may utilize the marketing functions; for example, you are only allowed to send 2,000 emails per month (with HubSpot branding).
Don't get me wrong—you won't find a free CRM that's better than HubSpot's, and the firm includes a lot of free marketing, sales, and support capabilities across all of its products. But you won't find a free CRM that's better than HubSpot's.
This ought to be more than adequate to kickstart early growth without paying any monthly costs. However, you will rapidly reach a point when feature limits will hold you back, and you will be compelled to look into paid options.
This is where things start to get pricey, as you go from paying nothing to paying hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands for a yearly contract, which you need to pay upfront. This is in addition to any setup fees and other charges that may be incurred.
Because of this, HubSpot is an excellent method to get started without spending any money, provided that you are aware that the platform is intended for businesses to upgrade.
How usable is HubSpot?
HubSpot offers its customers one of the most intuitive and enjoyable user experiences available in the marketing software industry. In addition to having an easy-to-navigate and responsive user interface, HubSpot's tools are unparalleled and consistently high quality.
When we were looking at ActiveCampaign previously, one of the minor annoyances that we noticed was that some of its tools did not quite match the quality of other tools. This was one of the tiny niggles that we mentioned. On the other hand, Hubspot performs an appreciably better job of keeping the quality of all of its products and tools consistent with one another.
Having said that, HubSpot is considerably more expensive, and the company must explain these rates.
The division of HubSpot's products into five distinct categories also helps improve the user experience. These categories are as follows:
- Free tools
- Marketing Hub
- Sales Hub
- Hub for Service
- CMS Hub
This split makes it simpler to operate and comprehend HubSpot's software, but, it also makes the platform more expensive to use if you want access to marketing and sales functions.
Even if all you do with HubSpot is use their free CRM, there is still a significant learning curve involved. The fact that features are still accessible in the architecture and navigation of the system is the aspect of using HubSpot's free tools that is the most frustrating. This results in a complicated platform that is full of features that you are unable to use; if you try to use one of these features, you are prompted to upgrade to a paid plan.
While you're still getting used to the software, you'll most likely encounter quite a few of these prompts, giving you the impression that you're being pressured into making an additional financial investment.
What could HubSpot improve?
The fact that we are focusing on free and low-cost platforms in this post makes it challenging to provide feedback on HubSpot's free customer relationship management system. On the other hand, HubSpot gives you so much for free that you really can't find a reason to complain about it, especially when compared to the other free solutions that are out there.
However, because there are sometimes constraints or limits on the features, the pricing structure can be very annoying. Unfortuitously, some of these limitations and classifications don't make a whole lot of sense, either.
To create segmented lists, for instance, you need to sign up for HubSpot's Marketing Hub, which seems counterintuitive given that this functionality should be made available on the Sales Hub.
You are confronted once more with the requirement to either upgrade or purchase an additional product.
No matter how much money you spend on HubSpot, you will not have access to the customization features, regardless of whether you utilise the free or paid version of the service.
The software is offered in its default state, and users have the option to pay for additional features or not.
However, automation is a significant area in which HubSpot falls short. Although paid plans come with a predetermined quantity of marketing automation capabilities, there is very little room for the customisation of workflows.
Given the cost of HubSpot's subscription plans, we would anticipate the presence of a greater number of sophisticated automation options within the software itself.
This is the only CRM of its kind that offers truly unlimited contacts as well as a wide variety of features and free tools, and it is completely free to use forever. As a result, HubSpot is the best free CRM platform available in many respects.
However, this is all part of the company's strategy that is designed to get businesses signed up to its software and, ultimately, upgrade to paid plans. The ultimate goal of this strategy is to generate revenue for the company.
HubSpot can provide the growth path you need and the free entry you need to spark initial growth if you expect to drive real growth and get to a point where you are paying tens (or possibly hundreds of thousands) of dollars annually on marketing software. If you have these expectations, you should consider using HubSpot.
In a similar vein, HubSpot can meet your requirements even if you do not anticipate your company to experience a significant amount of expansion and if all you desire is a free CRM that you can use indefinitely without ever having to pay for additional features.
When it comes to smaller and medium-sized businesses that want to drive real growth without committing to the fees associated with enterprise software, HubSpot becomes problematic when it's used in the middle ground.
The price difference between the free and paid versions of HubSpot is too great for these businesses, and the price jumps between plans (or contact numbers on the Marketing Hub) are significant.
Because of this, you risk receiving an unpleasant bill or seeing your growth rate slow down as you approach the limits of your account.
Sendinblue was originally a straightforward yet effective email marketing tool for little firms, but in recent years, the company has significantly expanded its offering.
It continues to give some of the best transactional email tools that are currently available, which is something that the majority of sales and marketing CRM vendors miss.
However, in addition to this, it provides entire sales and marketing systems for smaller enterprises, including one of the most expansive free plans and rates that are both sensible and affordable across the board.
- CRM means managing all of your leads and contacts across your pipeline.
- Manage an infinite number of contacts with any of our plans thanks to our limitless contacts feature.
- Marketing via email: Managing and automating email marketing efforts to increase the number of leads that are converted into customers.
- Sendinblue's free edition includes some of the best features available for transactional email, so even small businesses may take advantage of the platform's capabilities.
- Send up to three hundred emails daily with the free plan. You can send up to three hundred emails daily with the paid plan.
- Email builder: Sendinblue's drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to create visually appealing emails.
- Marketing automation includes the following features under the free plan: the ability to create automated workflows, track user behavior on your website, and activate automated campaigns for up to 2,000 contacts.
- Chat: Speaking with clients and visitors on your website is a great way to generate leads and solve any technical problems that may arise.
On the firm's price page, you'll find a plan comparison and a list of Sendinblue's features. You'll quickly see that the company provides one of the most feature-rich free plans we've seen in the market today.
You may receive a sales CRM for exactly zero dollars per month, along with unlimited contacts, email marketing, and marketing automation, and a generous limit of sending up to 300 emails per day, in addition to plenty of other features.
You will also receive a drag-and-drop email builder and a library of email templates. With these tools, you can create and send visual email campaigns to prospects at every point of the customer journey.
In addition to this, you are granted access to Sendinblue's Transactional Platform, which is renowned for having some of the most advanced transactional email features available. Because of this, Sendinblue is an excellent choice for smaller SaaS companies, online shops, and other transactional enterprises. However, larger companies may discover that they outgrow the platform's other features as they expand their product use.
That's rather impressive for a free plan. In fact, HubSpot is the only firm that can beat Sendinblue's free offering with its own free product. The most important distinction, however, is that the subscription plans offered by HubSpot are extremely expensive (to say the least), whereas Sendinblue's free plan is designed to be inexpensive for small and medium-sized businesses.
When you upgrade to the Lite plan, which costs $25 per month, you have access to A/B testing and get rid of the daily email send restriction and the Sendinblue branding that appears on your emails.
The Premium plan represents a more significant increase in cost, coming in at $65 per month. However, with this plan, you are granted access to an integrated landing page builder, Facebook advertising campaigns, multiple shared inboxes, advanced reporting, heatmaps, email open and clicks tracking, and you can send automated campaigns to an unlimited number of contacts.
Because the premium plan allows you to establish an unlimited number of accounts, rather than charging you on a per-user basis for the $65 monthly fee, you will only be charged the flat rate.
How usable is Sendinblue?
Sendinblue, for the most part, provides a user experience that is satisfactory, mostly due to the ease with which its program may be utilized. This customer relationship management (CRM) platform is not advanced or loaded with features. Even its most complex functions, such as email marketing and marketing automation, are simplified versions of the features that are given by more advanced platforms such as ActiveCampaign.
On the other hand, you are getting an email builder with the free plan, which is something that very few CRM providers offer.
Sendinblue has also provided us with the odd instance of unavailability, however, this problem appears to have been resolved very recently. Even though this doesn't happen very often, it can still shake your trust. Because of this, we'd appreciate a warning system that would let us know when emails haven't been delivered or received because of a system outage.
The worst worst-case situation is when customers do not receive purchase confirmations, receipts, or other communications, which is terrible for the image of your business as well as your revenue.
What could Sendinblue improve?
Aside from the comparatively insignificant problems that we've already covered, Sendinblue's customer care might need some improvement. Your only option at this point is to wait for the support tickets to be taken up, which is obviously inconvenient. In addition, the early responses tend to be somewhat formulaic and contain information that is readily available on the website of the Help Center.
Sendinblue has, to its credit, significantly increased the amount of online material and resources during the course of its existence. There is certainly space for improvement, particularly for clients with technical problems. Nonetheless, there is a wealth of support documentation available to assist new users in getting started.
As was said previously, several of the built-in tools that are included with Sendinblue might benefit from being updated, particularly the email and landing page builders.
We are also curious as to whether or not the platform might benefit from offering an additional plan priced somewhere between the Advanced plan (which costs $25 per month) and the Premium plan (which costs $65 per month). Regardless of the price range, the company provides a service that is of high value to customers.
Sendinblue has one of the most remarkable free plans accessible, and the pricing for all of its paid plans is very fair. We send all of our transactional emails using this very platform since we believe it to be the most effective solution currently available (although we use ActiveCampaign as our sales and marketing CRM).
Sendinblue is an excellent option for companies of a smaller size who are looking for a sales and marketing CRM that offers free access and can scale along with their company's needs. On the other hand, if you want your company to go beyond the realm of small business and into medium or large businesses, you should probably budget more money for a more sophisticated system that can expand along with your company as it expands.
Daylite is a customer relationship management system (CRM) that was developed with Mac, iPhone, and iPad users in mind. This is a pretty good platform for startups and small businesses with up to one hundred employees that are looking to expand their client list and projects to scale their operations.
There are customer relationship management (CRM) features and project management tools included in the Daylite set of tools. The traditional divide between tasks dealing with customers and those dealing with employees was intended to be dismantled in this plan. It is not just for marketing and sales purposes. It can be used by any department to keep everyone up to date on what is happening with a project that is being done for a client.
The Daylite Mail Assistant, which integrates directly with Apple Mail, is another wonderful benefit of using Daylite (very few platforms do). Daylite provides a large number of opportunities for customisation. These include a variety of methods for classifying and labeling contacts, tasks, projects, and deals, among other things. It gives you the ability to make individualised and adaptable reports, as well as provide an administrative team and user permissions. Last but not least, as a tool for the Mac, it is compatible with other Apple applications such as Calendar, Contacts, and even Siri.
There is only one plan available with Daylite. As a result, there will be less leeway in terms of pricing and package customization. A further restriction is that the program is designed exclusively for use on Apple devices as a CRM and project management tool.
- Daylite has a monthly cost of 24 dollars per user and is payable annually. You may get the most up-to-date information on prices and deals by going to the vendor's website.
- Daylite provides a free trial period of 30 days. Additionally, a complimentary onboarding call that lasts for thirty minutes is included to assist new users in getting started with the service.
Bitrix24 is one of the most popular free CRMs globally based on the number of users that have signed up for it. Bitrix24 offers a cloud-based customer relationship management solution that is free for as many as 12 users but has a storage limit of only 5 gigabytes. In terms of its features, it delivers essentially the same variety as paid plans, albeit on a smaller scale.
You will find everything you require there, including but not limited to: job automation, reporting, sales monitoring, pipeline management, and lead management.
The intuitive user interface contributes to Bitrix24's user-friendliness (the Kanban view is especially good). In addition, there is access to phone channels, email channels, chat channels, and video channels within the app, as well as mobile apps for iOS and Android, which ensures that your team will be able to close transactions and diffuse conflicts at the most crucial times.
Even if the user interface has a nice appearance, it cannot be easy to navigate through the many components at times. It's possible that the available customisation options aren't powerful enough for highly specialised and sophisticated corporate applications. The app occasionally experiences lagging.
Additionally, it is important to note that the learning curve for Bitrix24 falls well within the moderate category.
- Free business tool suite for up to 12 people that are just starting off.
- The CRM+ plan has a maximum of six users and costs $55 per user per month when billed annually or $69 per user per month when billed monthly.
- The cost of the Project+ plan is $55 per user per month when paid annually and $69 per user per month when billed monthly for a maximum of 24 users.
- The standard plan supports up to 50 users at $79 per user/per month when billed annually or $99 per user/per month when billed monthly.
- The cost of the professional plan is $159 per user, per month when it is paid for on an annual basis and $199 per user, per month for an unlimited number of users.
- The pricing listed above is for the version that is stored in the cloud. On-premise solutions are also available.
Streak is a customer relationship management system that is completely integrated into your Gmail inbox. Using this well-known and widely used piece of software, the app makes it simple for new users to start using CRM.
Basic customer relationship management (CRM) tools and very full email functions are included in the free edition of Streak, which is designed for personal use (i.e. freelancers and solo businesses).
For instance, email templates allow you to customise emails and send them out in large quantities. This is a significantly more effective option than sending out generic mass-blast emails for marketing purposes.
Using the Streak CRM Importer add-on, you can easily retrieve contact information and data from Google Sheets. Alternatively, you can import offline CSV files to build your mail lists. Because of this, it is not essential to fill in the blanks and send individual emails to each person any longer.
Email monitoring provides you with information about who has seen your email, how many times they have read it, and where on earth they are located (thanks to a convenient map view).
When you know that someone reads your message and have a better understanding of their behavior, you are better able to move the sales process along by following up in a way that is both well-timed and appropriate. This is an excellent way to increase visibility across your entire team, but it is especially useful in sales.
As a consequence of this, you will be able to steer clear of tactics involving repetitive emails and cultivate healthy relationships with the appropriate customers.
In the meanwhile, keep phone logs and meeting notes to help maintain a record of your non-inbox interactions that is easy to access, organized chronologically and according to the type of engagement. In addition to this, you will be responsible for managing leads and sales by building an endless number of pipelines (the free version provides unlimited pipelines too).
Maintain in-app notes, centralize record-keeping, implement data tracking on your contact correspondence, and determine whether or not leads have opened your emails. These are just a few of the benefits of using contact management software.
Streak is a browser extension, which means that to use it on a different device, you will need to download the extension and log in again. This can be an annoying process, especially if you switch between many devices frequently. In addition, considering that Streak is a lightweight CRM, it is possible that it will not function well for more intricate company procedures.
- Individual users are not charged for access to the personal version.
- The cost of the professional plan is $49 per user per month and is paid for on an annual basis.
- Billed annually at a rate of $129 per user/per month, the Enterprise plan can be purchased here.
There is, in fact, a free version of Insightly, but, if you go to the pricing page for Insightly, you will have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page to see it. It seems as though this was done on purpose. Despite this, the freeware offers a somewhat decent value for your lack of financial investment by providing you with capabilities for managing projects and contact information, all of which are available through an intuitively laid out user interface. The learning curve and the amount of time required for installation can both be reduced thanks to the availability of training films that present the product's features in a manner that is simple to understand.
Insightly is a complete customer relationship management system that includes capabilities for lead routing, workflow automation, customer management, and sales pipeline management. It is structured around the fundamental principle of relationship linking, which refers to the intricate web of interactions that occur between your business and its clients and potential clients.
"Record linking" refers to the process of creating detailed, lifelike portraits of all the contacts in your business universe by capturing data from multiple channels, then analysing it to determine who knows whom, who has interacted with whom, and when those interactions took place. This is an integral part of the process.
The flexibility to personalize Insightly's features is a significant element of its appeal. You don't need to know developer stuff to construct bespoke apps and data visualizations to track crucial metrics; all you have to do is click through settings and drag-and-drop items into the appropriate positions.
By assigning business roles and defining department permissions, you can regulate the organisational security of particular modules, contact records, etc.
The platform features a native connection with G Suite as well as Microsoft 365, as well as Mailchimp, Slack, Dropbox, and QuickBooks, in addition to a large number of additional applications.
The free edition of the CRM only allows for two users, there is no data backup mechanism, there are daily limits on mass emailing, and there are limits on the number of custom fields that may be used per record. Similarly, if you want access to more extensive and helpful lead assignment modules, you must upgrade to a paid plan.
- A basic plan that supports up to two users completely free of charge.
- The Plus plan costs $29 per user monthly and is invoiced yearly.
- The monthly fee for Professionals is $49 per user and is payable annually.
- The Enterprise plan costs $99 per user per month and is invoiced annually.
- The Plus and Professional plan each come with a free trial period of 14 days to try them out.
Pipedrive is a visual "pipeline" management solution that can be used by businesses that do not desire a standard customer relationship management system. The entire platform is designed to make it possible to visualize the path taken by the customer and to manage leads at every level of the sales funnel without becoming bogged down in data.
Companies that do not have experience managing databases and teams that are not technically trained can benefit greatly from using this. But, of course, the trade-off is that you lose some of the granular control that is afforded by some of the more powerful CRM platforms that we have looked at in this post. However, this is exactly why Pipedrive was created in the first place.
- Visual pipeline management lies at the heart of Pipedrive's design rather than the more conventional components of a customer relationship management system.
- Lead management entails tracking and visually updating lead statuses, in addition to managing leads along the full sales funnel.
- To better organise and categorise your sales data, you can add an unlimited number of custom fields.
- Integrated email: Pipedrive can be synchronised with your preferred email client so that messages can be sent from a single location (email open and click tracking available on Advanced plans and higher).
- Automating tedious sales duties and receiving individualised advice from Piepline's AI Sales Assistant is what sales automation is all about.
- Apps for mobile devices, including native apps for iOS and Android.
Pipedrive does not come with a particularly robust feature set, especially on its most affordable Essential plan, which costs £12.50 per user each month. This is especially true of the Essential plan.
The good news is that you don't have to worry about contact numbers bumping you up onto more expensive plans. On the other hand, the platform focuses more on funnel management than contact data anyway, so there's really no need to worry about that.
Because Pipedrive takes a more straightforward approach, you will be able to spend less time managing data and more time conducting business with clients who are less concerned with differentiating between contacts, companies, leads, and deals, as well as other types of prospects.
On the other hand, if you want to dig deep into customer information and get granular with your sales actions, you won't find what you need in Pipedrive because it's too basic.
There is a lack of notable characteristics as well. For instance, Pipedrive does offer some fundamental sales automation, but there is almost nothing in the way of email or marketing automation on any of the plans, and you can forget about any email or landing page builders entirely. Pipedrive also does not offer a free plan.
Pipedrive's system is expandable with the help of two add-ons that are available as an option. These add-ons are as follows:
- With the optional LeadBooster add-on (which costs £32.50 per month), you can collect website leads using chatbots, live chat, web forms, and a dedicated prospector tool.
- Add-on for Website Visitors: Find out which companies are visiting your website, how they came across it, what they interacted with while they were there, and how long they stayed for (£40.00 per month).
Either one of these adds a significant number of features to Pipedrive, but the monthly fees are fairly eye-watering for a product of this price point.
How usable is Pipedrive?
The user experience provided by Pipedrive is its most notable strength. This is due to the company's combination of an easy-to-use user interface (UI) design and the streamlining of lead management into a system that makes the customer's journey more straightforward.
Pipedrive does an excellent job of condensing marketing and sales management into a more streamlined tool. However, for many businesses, this platform oversimplifies the sales process. However, for businesses that need the basics (and a little more) worked into an easy-to-use system, Pipedrive does a great job condensing marketing and sales management.
The central component of Pipedrive's platform is its visual pipeline management tool, which enables users to assign offers to various stages of the customer experience. It is simple to add new deals, contacts, and activities to each stage of your funnel using the drag-and-drop interface, and you can do so without having to navigate to individual customer profiles and manually update status fields.
Pipedrive's platform is exemplified by this fantastic solution, which makes it possible to streamline an essential sales activity.
What could Pipedrive improve?
Pipedrive is not a conventional customer relationship management system, in which the primary emphasis is typically placed on contact management. Therefore, there is a limit to what you can do in terms of storing client data and the activities that you may trigger. Depending on your requirements, the platform's simplicity can either be considered its greatest strength or its greatest drawback.
The more significant issue with Pipedrive is the functions that are included at various price points. First of all, there is no free plan to help ease you into using the tool, and while the monthly rates are comparable to those of the other tools we've researched, the capabilities that are included with each plan are inadequate in contrast to those offered by the other tools.
Therefore, you are not getting a return on your investment that is comparable to what you would receive from other tools.
You are required to agree with the streamlined approach taken by the site. In that case, you will have the impression that you are being cheated, which is especially likely to be the case if you want the capability of those expensive add-ons.
Pipedrive is, in our opinion, a platform that was developed with tiny and non-technical enterprises in mind, ones that would profit from a simplified version of sales management, and it accomplishes this goal one hundred percent of the time.
Pipedrive is a great visual pipeline management application that demonstrates that sales management does not need to be complicated in any way.
Companies who want to manage deals across their pipeline but don't want to get bogged down in client data or analytics will find this platform's ease of use and its reimagined version of a CRM to be great solutions.
Look in other places if you want a sophisticated CRM that can scale along with your company as it expands.
Pipedrive provides good customer service, a marketplace full of apps and connections, and quality reporting options; nevertheless, the pricing and feature balance is not pushed in the direction that we would like them to be. You'll see in the next part how Pipedrive compares to other similar platforms and how it ranks among the top ones.
Are you wrapping up: Which is the best free (or cheap) CRM for you?
Every single platform that we have investigated to provide a free (or low-cost) marketing and sales CRM has its own unique method that they employ. Your decision will ultimately be based on which strategies are most compatible with your business objectives. Nevertheless, the most important thing is to keep an eye on the future and to be truthful about your intended rate of expansion.
Imagine that you want to develop your small or medium-sized enterprise into a large one by expanding it as much as possible. If this is the case, you should consider immediately transitioning to a more advanced platform, such as ActiveCampaign, which will continue to provide the capabilities you require at pricing that are affordable even as your company continues to expand.
It is simple to select a cost-effective CRM for the near future, but you do not want to spend the next five years moving from one platform to another.
On the other hand, if you anticipate that your company will remain in the small or medium bracket for the remainder of its existence, then you should consider platforms like as Sendinblue and EngageBay since they provide excellent features at pricing that are affordable for small businesses.
Frequently Asked Questions
A CRM tool lets you store customer and prospect contact information, identify sales opportunities, record service issues, and manage marketing campaigns, all in one central location — and make information about every customer interaction available to anyone at your company who might need it.
A CRM strategy is a company-wide plan for your business to grow revenues and profit, reduce costs and enhance customer relationships (putting them first). Many choose to do this with the help of CRM technology in addition to other marketing strategies and customer support models.
A lack of commitment or resistance to cultural change from people within the company can cause major difficulties with the CRM implementation. Customer relationships may break down and result in loss of revenue, unless everyone in the business is committed to viewing their operations from the customers' perspective.