The 7 Best Always-Free CRM Software for Small Businesses

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    Managing a relationship with a customer requires far more than just remembering birthdays and previous purchases. The right CRM software can handle all the details and dates, leaving your sales agents free to focus on developing leads and making sales. This article covers the best free CRM software for small businesses available now.

    Quick View

    Our Methodology

    When picking the best free customer relationship management software, we looked at the number of users each lets you have and lead management tools for tracking current and prospective clients. It was also important to discover automation tools that facilitate daily tasks like chatting and sending out emails. Finally, we studied each company’s support structure and the costs for upgrading to paid plans in the future.
    Check out a more detailed explanation of our methodology here.

    Software

    Number of Users

    Paid Plan Availability

    Lead Management

    Automation Tools

    Support

    Unlimited

    Starting at $45/month

    Email templates and tracking, landing pages, web forms, some limited calling

    Automated contacts and responses, chatbots for lead generation, ticket pipelines

    Community support

    Unlimited

    Starting at $39/month for 5 users

    Custom info fields, social media management, build and host website, unlimited contacts

    Limited automation options

    Help docs and chat support

    3

    Starting at $14/user per month

    Track website traffic, web forms, templates for email marketing, sale analytics

    Five custom workflow automations

    Support docs, email and community support

    Unlimited

    Starting at $15/user per month

    Chatbots for website, customizable contact lifecycle, contact timeline, make calls from app

    Few automation features, including chatbots

    Phone, chat, and email support 24/5

    10

    Starting at $8.99/user per month

    Lead scoring, email tracking, contact profiles, landing pages

    Limited automation triggers, limited API calls

    Support docs, training sessions, email support

    2

    Starting at $29/user per month

    Visualize leads with kanban, mass emailing, email templates, duplicate detection

    2 roles and permissions, 2 configurable profiles

    Email support and community forums

    15

    Starting at $11.99/user per month

    Landing pages, lead scoring, deal segmentation and milestones, task reminders

    Form builder, customer segmentation, auto-responders

    Help docs and videos, email and chat support

    The Best Free CRM Software for Small Businesses

    There are several free CRM software options out there, but they’re not all created equally. Here are the seven that stand out to us the most.

    HubSpot logo

    HubSpot CRM – Best Overall Free CRM

    Number of Users: Unlimited

    4.8

    HubSpot makes it easy for businesses of any size to set up CRM with an unlimited number of users and up to one million contacts. Among its many features is a chat builder to customize your first point of contact. There’s no space for workflow automation in the free version of this software, and the only customer support you’ll receive comes from the community forum. Should you wish to upgrade to a paid version, expect to pay a good amount of money to do so.

    Why we chose it: HubSpot CRM has the tools to let you build a robust customer interface for unlimited users without having to shell out a single penny.

    • Unlimited number of users
    • Up to 1 million contacts
    • Chatbot builder
    • No workflow automation
    • Expensive pricing tiers
    • Customer support limited to community forum

    Number of Users

    HubSpot CRM doesn’t place limits on the number of users for its free software. There’s no need to pick and choose who to give access to, a common problem with Zoho or Insightly.

    Paid Plan Availability

    The lowest paid tier starts at $45 each month and goes up from there depending on the tools and number of contacts you’re looking for. Paid plans remove a lot of HubSpot branding and add helpful tools like automation to the mix. 

    Lead Management

    You can use HubSpot’s lead management tools to create landing pages, web forms, email templates, and more. There are even some limited calling options your team can take advantage of. These offerings are fairly similar to Zoho, but Insightly adds in impressive kanban charting.

    Automation Tools

    It’s not possible to set up any workflow automation with HubSpot’s free version. Still, you can automate responses to contacts and even set up a chatbot to interact with customers visiting your site. These features pale in comparison to Zoho’s automation tools.

    Support

    HubSpot offers little in the way of support with its free version. In fact, you can only turn to the community forum for answers if you get stuck somewhere along the way. While Insightly does something similar, Freshworks gives even free members phone, chat, and email support.

    Freshsales logo

    Freshworks – Best Free CRM for Customer Support

    Number of Users: Unlimited

    4.7

    Among Freshworks’ many free features are built-in phone and chat support for interacting with your clientele. With an unlimited number of users and contacts, you don’t have to limit access to your team, nor do you have to pick and choose which customers to focus on. Best of all, you can resolve any issues on your end by contacting Freshworks 24 hours a day during the work week. Of the features it does have, you won’t have access to automated processes, reporting tools, or document storage.

    Why we chose it: Unlimited users, contacts, and 24/5 customer support all make Freshworks a CRM worth considering.

    • 24/5 customer support
    • Built-in chat and phone for communicating with clients
    • Unlimited users and contacts
    • No reporting tools
    • No automated processes
    • No document storage

    Number of Users

    There’s no need to worry about the size of your CRM team with Freshworks. Like HubSpot and Bitrix24, you can have an unlimited number of users accessing your account at any time.

    Paid Plan Availability

    It will cost you $15 per user each month to tap into Freshworks’ premium features, and the prices increase from there. Fees can quickly get out of hand if not careful, especially when HubSpot charges a flat rate per account.

    Lead Management

    Freshworks has built-in call capability and customizable chatbots to engage interested customers. You can also monitor contact interest over time to see who your best customers are.

    Automation Tools

    Other than website chatbots, Freshworks doesn’t have much in the way of automation. This feels like a miss when Zoho’s automation tools do so much.

    Support

    The customer support team at Freshworks is a breath of fresh air. Even as a free user, you have access to the group by phone, email, or chat at all times during the work week. This is a huge blessing when HubSpot and Insightly offer nothing beyond help docs or a community forum.

    Bitrix24 logo

    Bitrix24 – Best Free CRM for Sales Teams

    Number of Users: Unlimited

    4.6

    Bitrix24 stands out with powerful collaborative tools to help teams function as cohesively as possible. Sales teams can work efficiently to connect with an unlimited number of contacts both through traditional means and social media as well. With the free version, you won’t find analytics tools or customer support to help if you’re in a pinch. Newer users do tend to struggle through a complex user interface.

    Why we chose it: Social media features and collaborative tools make Bitrix24 a great option for an active sales team.

    • Collaborative tools
    • Free connection to social media
    • Unlimited users and contacts
    • No analytics tools
    • Somewhat challenging UI to navigate
    • No customer support

    Number of Users

    You can add as many users into your Bitrix24 account as you deem necessary, whether one or one thousand. HubSpot has a similar offering, but CRMs like Insightly and Zoho limit you to just a handful of users.

    Paid Plan Availability

    Bitrix24’s first paid tier of service costs $39, which includes up to five users. You’ll have to spend $159 to unlock all features and get back to unlimited users. This strange setup is somewhat similar to HubSpot’s price per plan.

    Lead Management

    Bitrix24 has a hub for social media management and interaction, ensuring you don’t miss out on potential customers from those areas. Other included tools allow you to build and host your own website and track an infinite number of contacts.

    Automation Tools

    The CRM software falls a bit short in the automation department, lacking tools to build workflow automation or software-based communications with clients. On the other hand, Zoho’s free CRM software allows five custom automations.

    Support

    Like Agile CRM, Bitrix24 forces you to rely on help docs and the community for support should you encounter an issue. You can forward questions to the Bitrix24 team, but don’t expect a quick response to your query.

    Zoho CRM logo

    Zoho Free CRM – Best Free CRM for Automation

    Number of Users: 3

    4.6

    Zoho’s free CRM software includes several workflow tools for automating redundant processes. You can also customize web pages to a certain extent with the hope of drawing in new customers. The multipurpose digital contact book is perfect for logging current and prospective clients within your account. It may be challenging to pick just three users to access the CRM software, and they can only send 150 automated email notifications each day. There’s also no way within the free version to send mass emails.

    Why we chose it: Those with knowledge of automation can use Zoho’s automation and customization features to set themselves apart from the competition.

    • Workflow rules and automated email notifications
    • Page customization options
    • Multipurpose digital contact book
    • Only three users allowed
    • 150 automated email notifications per day
    • Impossible to send mass emails

    Number of Users

    For all Zoho has, it falls short on the number of max users in its free account, capping out at three. Make sure those three users can make the most of Zoho’s automation software. Both HubSpot and Bitrix24 don’t place a maximum on the number of users you can have.

    Paid Plan Availability

    Paid plans are somewhat reasonable, starting at $14 per user each month and increasing from there. The amount isn’t much different from what Freshworks or Engagebay have to offer.

    Lead Management

    Zoho lets you track website traffic and view sale analytics over various lengths of time. You’ll also be able to build web forms and templates for outgoing emails.

    Automation Tools

    With the free version alone, you can build up to five unique workflow automations to perform mundane tasks and lessen the load on your team. Zoho’s automation tools are second to none, especially considering CRMs like Bitrix24 don’t offer any.

    Support

    You’ll find plenty of support docs and a strong community support team if you sign up for Zoho. While you can email the company with questions, response times are often quite slow. Freshworks gives 24/5 phone, email, and chat support whether you’re paying for the service or not.

    Agile CRM logo

    Agile CRM – Best Free CRM for Email Marketing

    Number of Users: 10

    4.5

    With Agile CRM, you can send out up to 5,000 emails with your own branding to entice consumers. You can generate an unlimited number of tasks, documents, and deals to market yourself on your website. Speaking of websites, Agile allows you to build your own alongside forms and emails. Your account is limited to only ten users, and the free version caps at 1,000 contacts. Although there’s a lot you can customize, Agile CRM doesn’t have many automation tools.

    Why we chose it: Agile CRM gives teams the opportunity to express themselves through branded emailing and customization tools for emails, forms, and websites.

    • 5,000 branded emails per month
    • Unlimited deals, tasks, documents
    • Form, email, website builder
    • Limited to 10 users
    • Only 1,000 contacts
    • Minimal automation tools

    Number of Users

    You can add up to ten users to your Agile CRM setup, which isn’t a bad number for free CRM software. After all, Insightly gives access to just two users on its free account. However, HubSpot and Freshworks allow an unlimited number of users.

    Paid Plan Availability

    Agile CRM’s Starter plan costs as low as $8.99 per user each month, adding several features and increasing your contact pool to 10,000. This is one of the best-priced user-based plans, with Zoho and Freshworks coming in at $14 and $15 respectively.

    Lead Management

    You can build leads in Agile CRM through several customizable features, including branded emails and a website builder. It’s also possible to create contact profiles and track the results of emails you send out.

    Automation Tools

    Agile CRM allows you to build one API trigger in its free package, but all other automation tools cost money to access. While not bad, one trigger doesn’t look like much next to Zoho’s five.

    Support

    The service will point you toward its website for support, where you’ll find help documents and training tools. There’s an email support team for additional questions, but these options don’t hold a candle to Freshworks’ 24/5 customer service.

    Insightly_logo

    Insightly – Best Free CRM for Lead Generation

    Number of Users: 2

    4.5

    Insightly uses kanban charts and other client tracking tools to discover what customers are looking for when shopping online. These tools cover social media as well, maximizing potential clients from every available avenue. The software connects seamlessly with over 250 programs, bringing over contact information and streamlining data entry. You’ll have to do all this with just two users in the free version and minimal automation tools to share the work. Support only comes in the form of email support or community insight.

    Why we chose it: Insightly has the best tools for generating leads that can turn into clients and profits for your business.

    • Several lead generation tools
    • Over 250 business integrations
    • Automatic social profile enrichment
    • Only for two users
    • Minimal automation tools
    • Limited access to customer support

    Number of Users

    It hurts to think that only two users can use most of everything Insightly has to offer. You’ll have to pay to bring more team members into your account, where Freshworks and HubSpot feature an unlimited number of users out of the gate.

    Paid Plan Availability

    Insightly has one of the pricier plans, starting at $29 per user on a monthly basis. This feels like a steep rise, especially since Agile CRM’s first paid tier starts at $8.99.

    Lead Management

    You’ll find a large number of lead management tools, such as mass emailing with templates, duplicate detection, lead visualization, and kanban charting. The software compliments lead management with a laundry list of integrations.

    Automation Tools

    Within Insightly’s dashboard, you can control read/write permissions and set granular roles for your two users. Several other tools are available at the Professional level.

    Support

    At the free level, Insightly makes available email support and community forums for those wanting answers fast. Freshworks still sets the bar here with unlimited support during the week.

    EngageBay logo

    Engagebay – Best Free CRM for Ease of Use

    Number of Users: 15

    4.2

    Engagebay prides itself on a simple interface and marketing editors anyone can use to maximize CRM output. The software lets you brand emails with your company’s logo to personalize outgoing messages. You won’t have much luck with third-party integrations, and some templates miss the mark on modernity. If you find yourself in a jam, Engagebay’s free version doesn’t offer a phone number for support.

    Why we chose It: Engagebay has a generous limit for users and lots of important features wrapped up in an easy-to-use format.

    • Intuitive interface
    • Branded emails
    • Easy to use marketing editors
    • Minimal third-party integrations
    • Outdated templates
    • No phone support

    Number of Users

    Apps like HubSpot and Freshworks don’t limit the number of users, but Engagebay’s cap at 15 is still plenty for smaller businesses. Those nearing the threshold will either need to upgrade or consider another option.

    Paid Plan Availability

    Paid plans start at $11.99 per user, billed monthly. Other top free CRMs such as HubSpot immediately jump to a much higher $45 per month from its free service. With Engagebay, you’ll have three tiers of service to pick from as your needs expand.

    Lead Management

    Even in its free version, Engagebay lets you build landing pages and perform predictive lead scoring. You can create milestones and segment deals to facilitate workloads. The app can also send task reminders if things start falling by the wayside.

    Automation Tools

    You won’t find much in the way of automation, but Engagebay does allow users to build forms and segment customers for easier tracking. Auto-responders can come to the rescue when you need your team to focus on other areas. Compared to Zoho, these tools are just a drop in the bucket.

    Support

    Engagebay does have help docs and videos peppered throughout its site, and if you really get stuck, email and chat support are available to help. This support is better than most but still pales to Freshworks and its top-tier service.

    Choosing the Best Free CRM for a Small Business

    Several factors go into making a free CRM the best out there. Check out those we considered when making our choices below.

    • Number of Users: Whether you have a small business or a large one, you’ll want to maximize what your team can do when it comes to bringing in new customers. When choosing a CRM, small businesses should consider costs for scaling as growth occurs, making sure you don’t get pigeonholed into something you can’t afford. Large businesses need to ensure you can add the number of team members you want into your system.
    • Lead Management: CRM software should help you focus your time where it will be most beneficial while handling basic contact management. Free CRM options often limit the contact records you can store, which can put a limit on your ability to manage customer relationships. Be sure to check the number of contacts you need for your system and ensure the avenues you access most are easy to use and meet your needs.
    • Automation: Automation can take repetitive tasks off your teams’ plates, freeing them up for more specific tasks. Having automated emails or even a chatbot can streamline customer connections and bring shoppers back for more.
    • Support: Don’t underestimate the power of a good support team when things aren’t going as planned. Understanding your website and trends therein can spell the difference between success and failure. If you can’t access this information, having support nearby can save countless dollars in the long run.
    • Reporting: Reports are one of the most important tools in project management, helping to pinpoint problems and opportunities. Most free CRMs come with some limited reporting, including website visitor tracking and conversion statistics.
    • Paid Plans: Free CRM software is a great place to start out, but it’s rare to see a business stay within the realm of what free software can offer for long. Be sure to have a plan to upgrade down the road, noting available future features as well as costs.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Best Always-free CRM

    There’s understandably a lot of confusion surrounding customer relationship management software and everything packed within. The answers below should shed some light on the most popular questions on the topic.

    Conclusion

    Free CRM software is an excellent starting point for businesses looking to better understand customer relationships and retention. The downside is that you have to be able to work within certain limits and perhaps not have all the features you need at your fingertips. Each app included in our list offers incredible tools to help take your venture to the next level of growth, with plenty of opportunities to expand down the road.