There are so many different marketing software CRM, so making a shortlist of the best can be tricky. You want to streamline and enhance the effectiveness of your business's marketing efforts—and now need the right tool for your online commerce operation. I've got you covered! In this post, I share from my personal experience managing online stores of all sizes, using many different marketing software CRM with large teams and complex campaigns, and share my picks of the best marketing software CRM overall.
What is Marketing CRM Software?
Marketing software CRM (customer relationship management) is a digital tool designed to help businesses manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle. It integrates marketing processes, streamlines customer communication, and organizes information about current and potential customers. The purpose is to support targeted marketing campaigns, track customer engagement, and provides insight for personalized marketing strategies.
Thryv is an all-in-one small business management software that provides communication, customer relationship management, and marketing and advertising tools.
Why I chose Thryv: This platform is robust and feature-rich, making it a good option for small businesses looking to keep their operations under one roof. It has a modular setup, with three main parts: the Command Center, the Business Center, and the Marketing Center. The Command Center is free and provides internal and external communication tools, while the Business and Marketing Centers offer CRM functionality and campaign management capabilities.
Beyond customer profiles, histories, and communications, the software also offers unique marketing and advertising tools. You can manage your business's online reputation and presence, and set up paid advertising campaigns and landing pages. Invoicing and customer portals are also among the platform's long list of features.
Thryv Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include the analytics tools provided in the marketing suite. You can track real-time analytics of your marketing and advertising campaigns, and even monitor your offline marketing efforts. The software also makes AI-powered recommendations about marketing tactics and optimizations you can implement to improve performance.
Integrations include Shopify, QuickBooks, Zoom, Mailchimp, Clover, Typeform, Gmail, Facebook Messenger, and Instagram Messenger, among others.
- Comprehensive and feature-rich
- Reputation and online presence management included
- 24/7 unlimited support with paid plans
- Some functionalities may not be relevant for everyone
- Pricing is not transparent
Salesforce is one of the biggest CRM platforms out there, and it has versions for sales, marketing, and customer support teams. The marketing features include email, personalization, customer journey building, and ad management.
Why I Picked Salesforce: Salesforce has plenty of extras that you don’t get with other platforms. For example, its mobile marketing software lets you use SMS, MMS, and notifications to reach customers on mobile. And its loyalty management platform helps you create loyalty programs to keep existing customers buying. Salesforce also owns Slack, which means the CRM integrates closely with the popular workplace communication tool. Salesforce has different modules for a variety of use cases, meaning you can scale up to include functionality for AI, customer service, business intelligence, and commerce.
Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include highly customizable platform that can be tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses across various industries. Its robust customization capabilities allow businesses to create personalized workflows, fields, and processes. Plus, Salesforce's AppExchange is a vast marketplace of third-party applications and integrations that extend the functionality of the CRM. This ecosystem provides businesses with access to a wide range of pre-built solutions for marketing, sales, customer service, and analytics.
Integrations include Google Workspace, Slack, Quickbooks, MailChimp, LinkedIn, Docusign, JIRA, HelloSign, Code Science, Active Campaign, and Dropbox.
- Feature rich & scalable
- Data rich analysis & reporting
- Highly customizable & flexible
- May be too complex for small biz
- Steep learning curve
Freshsales is a customer relationship management (CRM) software that serves as a comprehensive platform for businesses to manage their sales, marketing, and customer support operations. It employs artificial intelligence to score leads and provide predictive insights on deals, aiming to assist sales teams in identifying high-potential opportunities and closing transactions more effectively.
Why I picked Freshsales: Freshsales CRM provides tools that enable marketing teams to execute multichannel campaigns and engage with leads through various touchpoints. The platform includes AI-powered bots and automation features that assist in nurturing leads and customer relationships by enabling real-time engagement with website visitors. The platform also offers insights and analytics to help marketers understand customer behavior and campaign performance. This includes Freddy AI, which is Freshsales' AI engine that provides insights and recommendations to improve sales and customer engagement.
Freshsales Standout Features and Integrations
Key Features include tools for managing IT services and business processes within the organization, tools to help users manage their tasks and time more effectively, and communication features such as email, phone, and chat within the CRM environment. Users can also track and manage deals through various stages of the sales pipeline and track customer behavior in real-time. The CRM additionally supports marketing across various channels, allowing businesses to reach out to customers through their preferred mediums.
Integrations include the Freshworks suite, including Freshdesk, Freshchat, Freshconnect, Freshcaller, and Freshmarketer, as well as Mailchimp, HubSpot, Quickbooks, Google Workspace, and Xero.
- Simplifies the sales pipeline management process.
- Reasonable pricing structure.
- Capable of organizing large projects effectively.
- Mobile app
- AI-powered lead scoring
- Strong reporting & analytics capabilities
- Navigation can be cumbersome when dealing with large amounts of data.
- Reporting options are limited for some users' needs.
- Limited customization options
- Free version has limited features
Creatio is a comprehensive marketing CRM software that empowers businesses to effectively manage and optimize their marketing efforts. With its robust features for lead management, campaign automation, and analytics, Creatio provides a powerful platform for creating personalized marketing campaigns, nurturing leads, and driving customer engagement for businesses of all sizes.
Why I Picked Creatio: Creatio offers powerful capabilities for multi-channel campaign management, making it a valuable tool for marketing CRM. With Creatio, businesses can design, execute, and track marketing campaigns across multiple channels such as email, social media, SMS, and more. The platform provides intuitive campaign builders, allowing marketers to create personalized and targeted campaigns tailored to specific customer segments. Creatio also enables automated campaign execution, scheduling, and tracking, streamlining the process and ensuring consistent messaging across channels.
Creatio Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include powerful low-code platform that allows businesses to automate their marketing processes. With its intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can design and automate complex workflows, reducing manual effort. Creatio combines customer relationship management (CRM) with business process management (BPM) capabilities in a single platform. This integration allows businesses to align their marketing efforts with core business processes, ensuring seamless coordination between marketing, sales, and customer service.
Integrations include over 300 other tools in the Creatio marketplace. These include popular services like OneDrive, WordPress, FedEx, Process First, Make It TSI, Agovo, Amdocs, Evoqia, Meritus, Onmiline, Technology Advisors, Softline, ITS, Navicon, and Orange Process.
- Easy multichannel campaign management
- No-code automation & workflow builder
- Pick between cloud or on-site software
- Wildly convoluted pricing schema
- Min. spend of $2000/year (very odd/rare)
MailChimp is email marketing software with CRM features. They used to focus pretty exclusively on email campaigns but they have since expanded their feature list to include a landing page builder, a form creator, customer journey visualizations, appointment scheduling, and even website design.
Why I Picked MailChimp: Creating marketing materials is easy thanks to the email, landing page, and form creator, which helps capture leads and then market to them. Each captured lead gets a CRM entry, and you can then build powerful automated marketing campaigns to target customers. There is even plenty of prebuilt automation you can use to simplify the setup process.
MailChimp Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include the audience dashboard, which highlights insights you can use to power your campaigns. For example, it automatically creates customer segments you can use in your email marketing based on metrics like growth sources, email engagement, location, or demographics. MailChimp has a lot of audience segmentation and behavior analytics tools, all of which can hlep you target the right customers with suitable communications when it counts most.
Integrations inlcude QuickBooks Online, Shopify, Stripe, Yelp for Business, LiveChat, SimpleTexting, Zendesk, Wordpress, Mixpanel, Firebase, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Vimeo.
- Robust audience segmentation tools
- Simple drag-and-drop content builder
- A/B testing & AI-powered recommendations
- Not suitable for complex CRM needs
- Max 5 seats unless you buy Premium
Keap is a CRM for small businesses and entrepreneurs that helps marketing and sales teams with the entire sales process, from collecting leads to managing customers post-sale. Keap combines email, phone calls, messages, and notes to create a seamless and complete customer relationship experience.
Why I Picked Keap: Keap CRM is a versatile solution that can greatly benefit marketing departments, particularly in the context of text message marketing. With Keap CRM, marketing teams can leverage its automation and segmentation capabilities to design targeted SMS campaigns. By utilizing customer data stored in Keap CRM, marketers can segment their audience based on various criteria such as demographics, purchase history, or engagement levels. Keap CRM also provides tools for creating and managing SMS campaigns, including templates, scheduling, and tracking features.
Keap Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include easy process and workflow automations. Creating automations is simple using the tool’s if and when workflow builder. Just choose the inputs, such as a lead completing a form, and the output, such as sending a welcome message. You can also use data stored in the CRM to automatically personalize contact, for example, by adding a name to an email. Keap also has lead-scoring features. This shows you which leads are the most likely to buy so you can spend your time communicating with the most valuable people.
Integrations include PieSync, AdEspresso, BigCommerce, Bojoro, AppointmentCore, Automate.io, Zapier, Fix Your Funnel, Deadline Funnel, CustomerHub, Formlift, Gmail, Graphly, Imember360, Instapage, JotForm, LeadPages, My Fusion Helper, OptinMonster, Outlook, PlusThis, Privy, QuickBooks, ScheduleOnce, WordPress, and others.
- Landing page & form builder
- Easy to build automations
- Two-way text messaging
- Costs extra for more than 3 users
- Pricing may be prohibitive for SMBs
Insightly is an easy-to-use CRM with plenty of features for marketing teams and other business functions. The marketing features center around helping fill your funnel with quality leads for your marketing or sales teams. Insightly offers both CRM and marketing SaaS modules, so you may consider subscribing to both for a one-two punch.
Why I Picked Insightly: Insightly CRM's lead routing feature is designed to streamline the process of assigning and distributing leads within a sales team. With lead routing, businesses can establish predefined rules and criteria to automatically assign incoming leads to specific team members or sales representatives based on factors like geography, lead source, or industry. This ensures that leads are promptly and efficiently distributed to the most appropriate salesperson. Note: Lead routing is not available on the Plus (lowest) subscription plan, so I'd advise skipping that one.
Insightly Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include a unique relationship linking feature that allows users to create connections between various records, such as contacts, organizations, and projects. This enables businesses to understand and visualize complex relationships between different entities, helping them identify key influencers, track affiliations, and establish a comprehensive network view of their contacts and organizations.
Integrations include ADP Workforce Now, Asana, BambooHR, Calendly, DocuSign, Drift, Jira, Microsoft Power BI, Shopify, Slack, WooComerce, Workday, Sage Intacct, and other tools.
- All-in-one marketing, sales, service
- Lead scoring & routing capabilities
- Tons of training resources
- Integrations cost extra
- Convoluted pricing schema
Adobe Marketo is a leading marketing automation software platform that helps businesses drive customer engagement and generate quality leads. With its powerful suite of tools and features, Adobe Marketo enables marketers to create personalized campaigns, nurture leads, analyze marketing performance, and optimize their overall marketing strategies.
Why I Picked Marketo: Marketo can be utilized as a marketing CRM by large enterprises to effectively manage and optimize their marketing activities. As a marketing automation platform, Marketo enables large enterprises to consolidate and centralize customer data, providing a comprehensive view of customer interactions and preferences. With its robust lead management and nurturing capabilities, Marketo helps large enterprises track and engage with leads throughout the customer journey, ensuring personalized and targeted marketing communications. The platform's scalability allows for managing a large volume of leads and creating complex multi-channel campaigns.
Marketo Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include robust account-based marketing capabilities, allowing businesses to target and engage specific accounts or companies rather than individual leads. This feature enables marketers to align their efforts with the goals of key accounts, personalize messaging, and coordinate marketing and sales activities. Marketo allows marketers to track and analyze campaign effectiveness, lead generation, customer engagement, and revenue attribution.
Integrations include Salesforce, Microsoft platforms, SAP, Google platforms, Facebook, LinkedIn, Level3, BrightTalk, On24, Zoom, Video, ReadyTalk, TwentyThree, GoToWebinar, and CiscoWebex. You can also connect to the Adobe Experience Cloud for additional first-party tools.
- Robust account-based marketing
- Highly customizable & scalable
- Enterprise-grade functionality & security
- Pricing may be prohibitive for small biz
- Comparatively outdated, clunky UI
Nutshell CRM is a user-friendly and intuitive customer relationship management software designed to help businesses effectively manage their sales processes and customer interactions. With its easy-to-use interface, comprehensive sales automation features, and robust reporting capabilities, Nutshell CRM provides businesses with the tools they need to streamline sales activities and nurture customer relationships
Why I Picked Nutshell: Nutshell can be utilized as a powerful marketing CRM for B2B organizations, providing valuable features and functionalities to enhance marketing efforts. With Nutshell, B2B marketers can efficiently manage and nurture leads, track marketing campaigns, and analyze their marketing performance. The platform allows for easy lead capture and segmentation, enabling marketers to categorize and target leads based on industry, company size, or authority level. Nutshell's email marketing capabilities facilitate personalized and targeted email campaigns, while its robust reporting and analytics features provide insights into lead generation and campaign effectiveness.
Nutshell Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include unique contact management features. You can easily import contacts from any source and the team will even help you get set up. You can then add new leads via online forms, phone contacts, or even scanning a business card with your phone camera. The tool will automatically bring in data from around the web when you upload a contact. For example, it will add their social media accounts, and location.
Integrations include Intercom, Mailchimp, Outlook, PandaDoc, Quickbooks, RingCentral, Slack, Unbounce, Wufoo, Zendesk, Gmail, and Microsoft Office 365.
- Unique B2B marketing focus
- Click-to-call functionality
- Built-in collaboration tools
- UI can be cramped & cluttered
- Lean training resources
Freshworks is a customer experience platform with a variety of SaaS solutions, including Freshmarketer and Freshsales. Freshsales is the subscription service that includes robust CRM but, like other tools on this list, you may ultimately find buying into both the marketing and CRM packages simultaneously to be your best bet.
Why I Picked Freshsales: Freshsales is a marketing CRM platform that offers robust chat and call tools, enhancing customer engagement and improving marketing effectiveness. With its chat functionality, businesses can proactively engage website visitors, capture leads, and provide real-time support. This feature enables marketers to initiate conversations, qualify leads, and guide prospects through the customer journey. Plus, Freshsales' call tools enable users to make and receive calls directly from the CRM, log call details, and track call outcomes.
Freshsales Standout Features & Integrations
Key features include AI-powered lead scoring capabilities that help businesses prioritize and focus on high-quality leads. The system analyzes lead data, engagement patterns, and customer behavior to assign a score that indicates the likelihood of conversion. FReshsales also does phone support, handling voice interactions with high-quality calls, auto-logging and recording calls, and monitoring metrics. You can plan and manage call routing, greetings, and voicemails during holidays.
Integrations include Mailchimp, Segment, Office 365 Calendar, Hubspot Marketing, PieSync, Google Workspace, Google Calendar, Google Contacts, Quickbooks, and Xero. Additional connections are available via Zapier, but that requires a separate subscription and may incur additional costs.
- Add functionality with other Freshworks tools
- Auto-route conversations to agents
- Create custom marketing & sales pipelines
- Lacks some advanced features
- Costs extra for 1001+ emails
Best for customizability
Best for ease of use
Best value for price
Best custom sales pipeline
Best for social media connections
Best mobile app
Best CRM web forms
Best marketing automation tools for SMBs
Best email templates
Best free CRM for small teams
Best cloud-based auto dialer
Best for simple business needs
Comparison Criteria for Marketing CRM Software
Here is my process and considerations when evaluating marketing CRM software for placement on this list. First, I built a shortlist of software vendors with informative and modern websites, positive user reviews, and maybe even awards for customer satisfaction or usability. To whittle this down to a top 10, I researched each software using vendor websites, online tutorials, and free trials. With years of marketing experience, I was able to look at each software and think, "Is this something I would use? Is this something I would give my teams to use?"
The following is the list of requirements I considered when making my final picks.
Marketing CRM software will all be a bit different so I want to be transparent in what was required to make it onto this list. To be considered, the software must offer the following core functionalities:
- Ability to store and manage customer data, like customer name, contact details, purchase history, preferences, and interactions across multiple touchpoints.
- Helps businesses plan, execute, and track marketing campaigns efficiently. It offers features like email marketing, social media integration, lead nurturing, and automation tools.
Marketing CRM software typically offers a range of key features that empower businesses to effectively manage their marketing efforts. Some of the key features include:
- Contact Management: The ability to store and manage customer information, including contact details, demographics, and interactions, in a centralized database.
- Lead Tracking and Management: Tracking and managing leads throughout the customer journey, from initial contact to conversion, allowing for effective lead nurturing and conversion optimization.
- Campaign Management: Planning, executing, and tracking marketing campaigns across various channels, including email marketing, social media, and digital advertising.
- Automation and Workflows: Automating repetitive marketing tasks, such as sending follow-up emails, scheduling campaigns, and assigning tasks, to improve efficiency and save time.
- Analytics and Reporting: Generating insights and reports on campaign performance, customer behavior, conversion rates, and other key metrics to evaluate marketing effectiveness and make data-driven decisions.
- Segmentation and Personalization: Segmenting the customer base based on various criteria and creating personalized marketing messages and campaigns tailored to specific customer segments.
- Social Media Listening and Engagement: Monitoring and engaging with customers on social media platforms, tracking mentions, comments, and messages to maintain an active social media presence and respond to customer inquiries.
- ROI Tracking: Tracking the return on investment (ROI) of marketing campaigns and initiatives to evaluate their financial impact and optimize resource allocation.
- Mobile Accessibility: Providing mobile access to the CRM software, allowing marketers to manage campaigns, access customer data, and track performance on the go.
- Add-Ons: Ability to add functionality to the software to increase CRM capabilities or include more marketing-focused features.
- Custom Fields: Customize field and data types (numbers, text, phone numbers, images, social handles) to better sort contact data.
These features collectively enable businesses to streamline their marketing processes, enhance customer engagement, and achieve better marketing outcomes.
An intuitive and user-friendly interface allows marketers to easily navigate through the software, access features, and perform tasks without unnecessary complications or confusion. For instance, a drag-and-drop email builder enables marketers to create visually appealing email campaigns swiftly. Customizable dashboards and reporting features make it easier to view and analyze key metrics and performance data. These user-centric features and capabilities ensure that marketers can utilize the CRM software effortlessly, maximize productivity, and focus on delivering impactful marketing campaigns.
Software integrations play a vital role in the selection of marketing CRM software as they enable seamless connectivity and data exchange between different tools and platforms. For instance, integrations with email marketing platforms like Mailchimp or Constant Contact allow for streamlined campaign execution and audience segmentation. Integration with popular social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter enables marketers to manage social media campaigns and track engagement directly from the CRM software.
How much does marketing CRM software cost?
The cost of marketing CRM software varies widely depending on factors such as the vendor, the specific features and functionalities included, the level of customization required, and the size of the business. Generally, marketing CRM software can range from free or low-cost options for small businesses or startups to enterprise-level solutions with higher price points. Free or basic plans may provide limited features and support, while more robust solutions can range from around $50 to $300 per month, per user. Enterprise-level marketing CRM software, with advanced capabilities, customization options, and extensive support, can cost several hundred to thousands of dollars per month, often based on a subscription model.
What is CRM software in marketing?
CRM software in marketing refers to customer relationship management software that is specifically designed to help businesses manage and optimize their marketing activities. It serves as a centralized platform for storing and organizing customer data, tracking interactions, and implementing targeted marketing campaigns. CRM software enables businesses to gain insights into customer behavior, preferences, and engagement across multiple channels. With features such as contact management, lead tracking, campaign management, and analytics, it empowers businesses to enhance customer relationships, personalize marketing communications, and improve marketing strategies.
What is an example of marketing CRM?
One example of a marketing CRM strategy is personalized communication across the customer journey. This enables businesses to connect with customers on an individual level, building stronger relationships and driving better results. By leveraging customer data stored in the CRM system, businesses can tailor their communication to match specific customer preferences, needs, and behaviors. This approach allows for the delivery of relevant and timely messages, offers, and recommendations, which enhances the customer experience and increases engagement. Personalized communication can be achieved through various channels such as email marketing, targeted ads, social media interactions, and personalized website experiences. By understanding and addressing customers’ unique pain points, interests, and desires throughout their journey, businesses can nurture leads, increase conversion rates, foster loyalty, and ultimately drive revenue growth.
What are the benefits of marketing CRM software?
Marketing CRM software offers several benefits to businesses. Some of the key benefits include:
- Improved Customer Insights: CRM software consolidates and organizes customer data, providing businesses with a comprehensive view of their customers. This enables businesses to gain deeper insights into customer preferences, behaviors, and interactions, helping them make informed marketing decisions and deliver personalized experiences.
- Enhanced Customer Engagement: With CRM software, businesses can engage with customers across various touchpoints in a more targeted and personalized manner. By leveraging customer data, businesses can create relevant and timely marketing campaigns, leading to increased customer engagement and better response rates.
- Streamlined Marketing Processes: CRM software automates repetitive marketing tasks, such as lead nurturing, campaign scheduling, and data entry. This streamlines marketing operations, saves time, and improves overall efficiency, allowing marketers to focus on strategic activities and delivering impactful campaigns.
- Effective Campaign Management: CRM software provides tools and features for planning, executing, and tracking marketing campaigns. Marketers can segment their audience, track campaign performance, and measure ROI, enabling them to optimize campaigns and improve marketing outcomes.
- Improved Sales and Revenue: By leveraging customer insights, personalized communication, and targeted campaigns, marketing CRM software helps businesses increase lead conversion rates, drive customer acquisition, and ultimately boost sales and revenue.
- Stronger Customer Relationships: CRM software enables businesses to build and nurture stronger customer relationships by delivering personalized experiences, addressing customer needs, and providing excellent customer service. This leads to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and advocacy.
- Data-driven Decision Making: With CRM software, businesses have access to real-time analytics and reporting, allowing for data-driven decision making. Marketers can track and analyze key metrics, measure campaign performance, and identify areas for improvement, leading to more effective marketing strategies.
Marketing CRM software empowers businesses to optimize their marketing efforts, improve customer engagement, and drive business growth by leveraging customer data, personalizing communication, and streamlining marketing processes.
Other Ecommerce Marketing Software Reviews
Here are a few other lists of key ecommerce marketing software that you can consider for your overall marketing strategy.
- Ecommerce Marketing Tools
- Marketing Resource Management Software
- Ecommerce Content Marketing Platforms
- Ecommerce Email Marketing Software
- Marketing Automation Software
- Marketing Attribution Software
This article contains some of the best marketing CRMs available. Each has a relatively similar feature set, with the biggest differences being specific integrations, pricing, or functionality. To choose, create a list of the exact features you need and then take advantage of free trials or demos to find out more about each one.