If spreading brand and product awareness is what your business needs, then you need the power of the best marketing CRM out there.
Marketing platforms need to connect with sales platforms (and sometimes even customer support too). Customer relationship management is the glue that holds it all together. Still, sometimes your marketing teams have specific needs. That’s why many platforms exist as CRMs for marketing.
There are loads of great choices, so we’ve narrowed it down to the top 10 CRM Software for marketing. We break down features, niches and prices.
What is a marketing CRM tool?
So what’s the deal with marketing CRM platforms, and how are they different from regular CRMs? CRM marketing tools can help with specific strategies for generating new leads. But first, let’s back up and talk about the basics.
Any good customer relationship management platform is built on the principle of better business through overlapping communication and centralization of tasks and data. In that spirit, a marketing CRM helps out by merging marketing functions with data from sales and other parts of your business. It’s all about having all the information and tools you need to run marketing campaigns more effectively, obtain more leads, and close more deals.
This kind of CRM gives marketing teams the potential to individualize marketing, achieving the kind of ‘small-town familiarity’ with customers that will keep them coming back. Marketing efforts become more effective, with less work.
Generally, marketing solutions come in the form of SaaS cloud-based apps, although on-premise solutions are also available. That means you can access your information on multiple devices with just a quick log-in or a quick browser extension download. Mobile apps come with the vast majority of marketing CRMs, letting you do your work in the field too.
This type of CRM solution provides an array of marketing tools like marketing campaign management and marketing automation across channels, statistics on opened/unopened mail status and click-through rate, and A/B testing to find the best strategy for your landing pages.
What can a CRM & marketing system be used for?
Time to turn to an essential list of features for CRM in marketing.
Landing pages are arrival touchpoints after clicking an ad or a search result. They’re often different from homepages, as landing pages are more specifically related to what was searched for, or what ad attracted that click.
It might change based on the temporal or geographical coordinates. For example, if you own an online clothing store for women, your landing page may show swimwear to American customers in July and to Australian customers in January.
CRM for marketing tools help build and design landing pages using no-brainer visual editors and customizable templates. Otherwise, back-end coding and front-end design can be slow and costly when one needs to constantly whip up new pages on the fly.
Ads and SEO
Often, Marketing CRM also includes templates to create ads, mostly on social network sites like Facebook and Instagram where they’re non-obtrusively inserted into people’s timelines. Because no one likes pop-up ads, not even the person who created them.
Some of the best best campaign management software and marketing CRM sometimes feature spontaneous SEO suggestions when composing texts, which is required for ads and landing pages which need to include hot SEO language to come up on top for related searches.
For example, maybe you’re writing a page to promote your line of plastic handbags. While you write “plastic,” your marketing CRM might suggest the word “PVC,” which was based on algorithmically accrued data from recent online fashion trends.
Segmenting and emails
People who land on a page, or even fill out a form, may not be strong enough leads to be passed down to sales just yet. However, light leads still need to be nurtured.
Marketing CRM segments these leads into different categories, for example: based on how much time they spent on the site, what links they clicked, or how much personal info they shared on a form.
Based on segments, CRM helps marketers prepare different campaigns so their brand stays “top-of-mind” until the lead is ready to become active. This usually takes the form of email reminders.
Like with pages and ads, composing and designing email campaigns is quick and easy with marketing CRM. “Drip” features allow a scheduled series of emails to arrive incrementally over a certain time period. Single blast emails are useful for announcing big news like new products or promotions.
Just as people behave differently on a landing page, so too will they react differently to marketing emails. Marketing CRM tracks this behavior by noting opened mail and counting click-throughs, which in turn creates an even more detailed picture of each lead.
Regular testing of the efficacy of landing pages and emails is a sharp tool in the marketing CRM kit. Features like A/B testing reveal what gets higher engagement, and this data is regularly fed back into the planning and composing of the next round of marketing content.
Marketing craves data. All that testing and tracking means there are gushing wells of the stuff, which makes for invaluable analytics reports.
Workflows and automation
Finally, there are automated workflows. These are tasks that are triggered by events that marketing CRM lets you set up.
Say, you create a trigger when someone has visited your site without answering the CTA. A pre-composed email gets auto-sent to the visitor as a reminder, maybe even offering an added incentive, to come back. Or if someone drops out near the end of a purchase, a sad picture of their abandoned item can instantly pop up in a live chat, or appear in their inbox.
Best CRM for marketing comparison chart (top 10 highest rated tools)
Here’s the quick overview of our CRM tools for marketing. It has some simple software on there, though most of these are both CRM and marketing automation platforms.
Pricing starts at (/month)
Best CRM marketing tool overall
Best free CRM for marketing
Top marketing CRM for chatbots and messaging
Great CRM with marketing automation
Top CRM email marketing platform
$916 / year
Good CRM marketing software for small business
Good CRM email marketing system
Great CRM for marketing campaigns
Top marketing CRM tool for e-commerce
Good marketing CRM for ease of use
What are the best marketing CRM systems? Here’s our top 10 list:
After researching and tinkering and reviewing the user feedback, we’ve compiled a list of the top customer relationship management in marketing. It shows you which marketing CRM software is best for your business, large or small, or if you have a specific niche, like e-commerce.
HubSpot (Best CRM marketing tool overall)
Founded by MIT alumni, HubSpot has been a dominant player in inbound marketing since 2004. Today they have many modules, including a CRM system and Marketing Hub.
Helps with social media marketing campaigns and does blogging too. You can set up landing pages and do A/B testing to see which works best. Marketing automation tools help streamline the process. Track the efficacy of your marketing campaigns in real-time with “revenue attribution reporting.” Of course this works great atop your CRM data.
HubSpot does not offer many customization options. Its focus on marketing automation and contact records might be limiting if you want better relationship-based marketing.
There is a suite of Marketing tools for free
Marketing Hub starts at $45
Marketing Hub Professional starts at $800
Marketing Hub Enterprise starts at $3,200
Mailchimp (Best free CRM for marketing)
Mailchimp started out as an email subscription app. It has since grown to cover things like contact management, marketing and creative tools.
This CRM solution has sales force automation and marketing tools. Access customer conversation histories from phone calls to emails and chats. Lead form integration turns website visitors into contacts. Segment leads and customers in many ways, like by including industry, lifetime value, and location. Marketing automation makes setting up workflows easy. Also works with other Mailchimp apps like email drip campaigns.
Importing data can produce duplicate leads. Integrations are limited in number, and automation features are not super advanced.
There is a free version of Mailchimp Marketing
Essentials plan starts at $9.99
Standard from at $14.99
Premium from at $299.99
Intercom (Top marketing CRM for chatbots and messaging)
Intercom specializes in what they call a conversational relationship platform. It aims to boost customer satisfaction through more human engagement. They have a conversational marketing wing of this platform.
With Intercom, chatbots are one of the main functionalities of conversational marketing. This makes lead generation a big part of this marketing platform. The business messenger lets you greet website visitors with targeted messaging. There is smart lead routing to help reach the best sales reps based on relevant customer data.
Pricing is not readily available on their site, but using their calculations, this is not in a super cheap pricing tier. There are also some limitations with data syncing to other apps.
Intercom Starter plan starts at $79
Product tour add-ons are $199
For Conversational Marketing prices contact the vendor
GoSquared (Good CRM marketing software for small business)
GoSquared got off the ground back in 2006. It’s a platform to help software businesses grow. They have a new customer engagement module for marketers.
You can get the right message to the right audience through smart segmentation using customer information and other metrics. It gathers lead data on potential customers and uses it to automate fine tuned marketing strategies. There are advanced features to keep your more important customers well engaged, like follow-ups.
The analytics dashboard is more cluttered than it perhaps needs to be. Also this one isn’t on the more affordable end of the spectrum.
Starter plan starts at $79
Standard from at $129
Pro from at $170
For the Scale plan contact the vendor
Creatio (Top CRM email marketing platform)
Creatio is a huge platform that makes it easy to automate business processes. It can be used by no-code-knowing marketers and sales teams. They have a CRM solution with a marketing bundle.
Creatio helps plan the customer experience to move them from marketing through the sales pipeline. You can manage customer interactions across nearly all channels for top marketing efforts. It collects great contact data and does segmentation. There are great tools for marketing teams who specialize in email campaigns.
The UI is cluttered. Customization of the platform can be very time-consuming, and there is a moderate learning curve. The pricing favors enterprise-level clients.
Marketing Creatio On-site starts at $916 / year
Marketing Creatio Cloud starts at $1,042 / year
Nutshell (Good CRM email marketing system)
Nutshell is a relatively small company out of Ann Arbor, Michigan. They have separate modules for sales and marketing crm but with many interoperable functionalities.
It starts with great email templates and designs. You can segment down your audience by demographics or other contact data. Nutshell has a great email drip feature which can be triggered by custom events. There is good tracking of how effective your email marketing is going.
Importing data can produce duplicate leads, so data can become messy. Integrations are limited in number, and automation features are not super advanced.
Nutshell Sales Starter plan is $19
Nutshell Sales Pro plan is $35
Nutshell Marketing plan is based on contacts, contact vendor for exact prices
Insightly (Great CRM for marketing campaigns)
Insightly was founded in San Francisco in 2009. It came into the game with serious VC money. Their platform aims to unify project, sales and marketing teams in one CRM.
Insightly marketing set of tools focuses heavily on planning the whole customer journey. It allows for a lot of testing and feedback reports to constantly fine tune your lead management. There’s a good email builder and forms builder. The streamlining of data from marketing to sales is smooth.
Two-way sync for Google Calendar could use improvement. Custom fields for contacts are limited to 25. The CRM's UI looks a bit on the old school side.
Plus plan starts at $299
Professional from at $599
Enterprise from at $1,299
Drip ECRM (Top marketing CRM tool for ecommerce)
Drip is a CRM with a primary focus on helping out ecommerce businesses. It’s an easy, light feeling user experience for those with simple business needs.
It's fun and easy to make great looking forms. After that their email marketing automations can be set up with a great visual builder. This helps with customer retention because times follow-ups well. If you are a solo entrepreneur with an ecommerce, or a small team, this is a great choice to get started for marketing CM.
The pricing system can get higher as your contact list grows. Otherwise this platform might feel lightweight for bigger businesses.
Drip starts at $19
Act! (Good marketing CRM for ease of use)
Act! is the kind of customer relationship management tool for marketing and salespeople who are not that into software. That’s saying simplicity is a strong point.
The CRM data works together with marketing automation tools to craft targeted campaigns. You can craft pro-looking emails and plan an email customer journey. It helps you see your biggest opportunities or most valued customers. The mobile apps from the Apple Store and Google Play are very intuitive.
While there is an affordable basic CRM and emarketing package, most of the better features require you to get the more premium version, though it’s also not too pricey.
Essentials plan is $15
Standard plan is $30
Expert plan is $45
OnePageCRM advertises itself as a sales CRM for startups and small businesses. But aside from just guiding the customer journey through the sales process, it offers many marketing features.
You can use a slew of email CRM features including a nice list of templates. There are marketing automation software tools that auto generate leads from clicks to hand them over to salespeople. They also have mobile apps for iOS and Google.
While this is great for small businesses and startups, it may seem limited if you are on a fast growth track.
Professional plan is $9.95
Business plan is $19.95
What is the best marketing CRM platform for me?
The best marketing CRM will be the one that squares best with your business needs. We’ve awarded HubSpot overall, Mailchimp as the best free version, and OnePageCRM as the top choice for businesses. No matter, all our marketing CRM systems are great picks.
S here's some universal advice for SMBs looking for a marketing CRM. Before you settle on a vendor, consider these three factors. The first is pricing, in particular price jumps between different plans as you scale up. The second is ease of use, that is(a bigger learning curve will translate to more time and money spent on training instead of marketing. Finally there are integrations, making sure it works with tools you already use.
That wraps it up. Hope you found the right info you’ve been looking for regarding customer relationship management and marketing. Remember there are always many free trials and demos out there if you want a closer look at a specific marketing CRM software.