The most common question I get is “Adam, what would you recommend for a CRM marketing software”.

For those who are not familiar with what CRM stands for it is “customer relationship management”. A CRM is a system to manage prospect or client interactions.

As marketers, we can use a CRM to send relevant messages (generally via email) to nurture prospects down the marketing funnel (a blog post for another day).

Before I give provide you with my top CRM marketing recommendations, I want to say there are 100’s of options available, see a few below:

marketing crm automation

As you can see from above graph from G2 | Crowd that are lots to consider. However, a leader doesn’t necessarily mean it is the right fit for your business.

There are many Top Marketing CRM which sit within “High Performers” and most will do a great job, but will depend on your experience, resources, & features required.

My CRM Marketing Recommendations

Most of the time people want to know the price, features and usability (how easy to use), so I have included this in my feedback below:

1. Active Campaign

active campaign logo

We have found that Active Campaign is perfect for most business needs.

  • Price: Great value and we recommend the Plus plan minimin. The Attribution & Site Messaging features on the Professional plan are worth considering.
  • Features: It is not a complete marketing solution. However, landing pages, call-to-action buttons/banners etc. can we easily integrated with their forms or third-party apps.
  • Usability: It is simple to use & to set up an automation is very straightforward (most used feature). The CRM database section is simple but visually not as impressive as others.

2. Agile CRM

In the past, we have recommended Agile CRM for businesses looking for a feature-rich CRM marketing software.

  • Price: Great starting price (free), but it can quickly add up when you add users, increase database and send emails.
  • Features: Where do I start… they have so many features, but I don’t believe they are the best at everything. If they don’t have a feature, they will probably build it in the future, where Active Campaign will rely on app integration more often.
  • Usability: We find Agile CRM the most difficult to use, but has improved over time. Like everything, once you have used it a few times it gets easier. Suited to the intermediate/advanced users.

3. Hubspothubspot logo

We were a Hubspot partner until last month. They are one of the leaders in the industry, and the first to create an inbound marketing focused CRM & marketing automation software.

We found most clients want Hubspot but cannot afford it. Considering we have the marketing stack (apps) that can do most things, it became less relevant for us to recommend, but still a worthy recommendation.

  • Price: It can be on the expensive side and is suited to businesses who have in-house marketing teams or large marketing budget where $16k~ (professional plan) a year on software doesn’t matter. They have a Free CRM which works well with their sales tool, which sales teams love. However, if you want real marketing automation, you need to use their marketing software.
  • Features: The CRM & marketing automation is very similar to Active Campaign. Also, they have features such as landing pages, social media tools, reports, etc. However, in the past 18 months, I felt they dropped the ball with innovation but their most recent update (via email) it seems they have added a few features to compete with the other platforms out there.
  • Usability: I believe it’s the easiest to use and tailored towards businesses with an in-house marketing team. They have the best service and offer plenty onboarding, training and support.

As mentioned before, they are plenty of options out there, so it’s more about how you use the CRM marketing software, not the tool itself.