Ten of the best CRMs for marketing


The best CRMs are built upon the basis that customer relationships are improved when data, tasks, and communication are brought together into one central hub.  It, therefore, follows that a good marketing CRM will link the marketing department with sales and customer service. By having essential customer information at your fingertips, marketing campaigns can be more finely honed and a higher ratio of leads closed.

As marketing becomes more personalized, customers respond by coming back for more. It’s all about working cleverly.  Most marketing CRM tools are cloud-based enabling ease of access even when on the move. Features on offer include such things as campaign management, marketing automation, and email forensics.

So what are some of the best marketing CRMs out there?

1. Act! 

Specifically a marketing CRM, Act provides users with real-time metrics that help turn leads into sales.  It integrates well with current sales and marketing activities, allocating leads to specific sales reps and tracking KPIs across all processes.  Email marketing facilities are included with some great email templates.

2. Intercom 

Think of Intercom as a customer-based messaging platform.  It takes care of lead generation, customer interaction tracking, customer support, and engagement.  Based on account-based marketing processes, it follows the customer through the sales funnel from beginning to end.  You will be able to see when specific accounts are viewing your website, re-routing them through to sales. Easy tracking of KPIs finishes off the package.

This CRM comparison guide will help you figure out which software best suits your company's requirements

3. Hubspot

Hubspot has a lot going for it, including the fact that it is a free CRM.  It pulls potential clients to you with winning content rather than pushing products at them.  Provides well thought out landing pages, email facility, analytics, social media links, lead management, and marketing automation.   If you like to use blogs as part of your marketing campaign, HubSpot provides the perfect tools, enabling you to publish branded SEO content.

4. Zendesk 

Here the focus is on building powerful customer relationships by providing great customer service. Zendesk Connect provides users with targeting marketing in the form of personalized messages based upon user preferences/behavior. Alerts can be set to alert for marketing campaigns, segmenting customers according to their value.

5. Nutshell 

Use via the web or mobile, this is sales force automation on the go. Find data on customer conversations at your fingertips, ensuring that ongoing communication is spot-on.  Because you know exactly who you are talking to, customers respond positively. Lead form integration helps convert website viewers into contacts. Leads and contacts can be segmented according to your pre-set filters.  Email automation facility included, linking to Mailchimp.

6. Insightly

This is a SaaS CRM suited to SMEs.  Takes care of marketing and sales, integrating with Office and G Suite. Sophisticated contact management provides visibility to sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Integral Business Intelligence (BI) pulls together real-time and historical data, providing insight via valuable metrics

7. Mailchimp

Choose this CRM marketing platform if you regularly run email marketing campaigns. Not only does the platform organize data as it’s collected but it uses the insights gained to send out targeted messages.  Automation covers sending emails via triggers set by you such as saying thank you to a customer who has purchased or reminding them of items left in their cart.

8. GoSquared

Tracks your app users in real-time allowing full segmentation.  Each contact has a live profile. Great tool for providing in-depth information on web traffic, enabling you to boost conversions.  Full marketing automation included via an easy-to-use dashboard. Segregate customers according to type, focusing the most attention on the high earners. Every page view is tracked and analyzed, providing you with a detailed view of site performance. You get to know more about the people viewing your site meaning that your marketing can be tailored and refined.

9. Agile CRM

Full sales and marketing automation for small businesses.  Make your message not only consistent but apt. Easy to implement, it provides full integration via a cloud-based SaaS service that is fully responsive being mobile-ready.

10. Active Campaign

This is a fully personalized email marketing platform that is easy to use and fully automated. Segment contacts and automate routine processes. All departments can access customer data from one central hub ensuring that follow-ups aren’t missed, deals are updated and pipelines managed.

Agile CRM vs ActiveCampaign

For those looking at Agile CRM and comparing it to ActiveCampaign, the main difference between the two is that Agile comes with most capabilities built-in whilst ActiveCampaign integrates well with 3rd party software such as Salesforce or Nimble.

Final thoughts on marketing CRM

With so many good marketing CRMs to choose from, you need to take your time and assess your business needs carefully before making a purchase. Analyze your current manual processes carried out by the marketing team and look at how the CRM will take care of them.  The idea is that you will not only save time by automating routine procedures but will improve client relationships by being able to connect with them in a fully personalized way.  

Once you have narrowed your selection of marketing CRMs down to the top 3, look carefully at each vendor and rate them according to:

  • Price – are there any add-ons?  What happens to the price as you scale-up?
  • User attractiveness – how much training is involved? Is the user interface easy to use and intuitive?
  • Integration – how will it fit with your existing tools?

The more you know about your customers the easier it is to build relationships that last.  Repeat business is extremely valuable, particularly when compared to the time it takes to build new.  By treating your current clients in a personal way, they will appreciate your understanding and keep coming back.  Meantime, analysis of potential new client data means that you can tailor your communications specifically, making a positive response far more likely.

Your customers are out there – you just need them to show you care.  With the best CRM for marketing in place and ready to go live, communicating with them in a language that they understand and respond to just became a whole lot easier.


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Jane Tareen

About the author…

An MBA-qualified professional, Jane specializes in all kinds of copywriting and creative content production. With many years spent working in advertising and publishing, she is also skilled in editorial production and proof-reading. Whilst writing, she has a constant companion in the form of one very large Fox Red Labrador!

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Jane Tareen

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