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The 10 Best CRMs for Marketing

the 8 best CRMs for marketing

Effective marketing is about more than just attracting one-time customers.

It’s about creating a lasting impression that will keep all your customers engaged with your products or services and coming back for more.

Imagine a locally-owned store operating in a small town—a simple, familiar place where the shopkeep knows your name and knows precisely how to help you find what you need.

That level of individual attention might seem lost in modern business, especially on the chronically impersonal internet. But with the right customer relationship management (CRM) solution, you can optimize your marketing to suit the unique needs of every customer, just like you might in a small independent business.

With a little help from a good marketing CRM platform, personalized marketing practices can be expanded to even the largest customer databases.

What is a CRM system in marketing?

CRM stands for customer relationship management, the process companies use to track and analyze interactions with their customers throughout the customer lifecycle. Many businesses manage customer relationships through a CRM system, which is software that provides an overview of customer relationships and tools for moving leads down the sales funnel.

CRM systems compile customer data from across multiple channels, allowing businesses to track leads and close more sales. In short, CRMs help companies nurture their relationships with customers, prospects, and leads so they can grow.

Marketing CRM software is used to drive more sales through marketing efforts. Facilitating more effective marketing campaigns is one of the top functions of a CRM, along with improving sales processes and streamlining customer support. Using a CRM in marketing allows your marketing team to automate communication, organize their efforts, track and nurture leads, and gain insight into their campaigns through reporting.

Why is CRM important for marketing?

The importance of CRM for marketing lies in the software’s ability to store and manage your customers’ and leads’ information. Here are a few reasons why CRM is important for marketing:

  • A CRM offers insight into what leads and customers need: A ​​digital marketing CRM is a powerful tool for visualizing where leads are in the pipeline and tracking their communications with your team. Through a CRM’s intelligent data storage, your marketing team has the insight it needs to nurture leads into customers and customers into advocates.
  • A CRM allows your marketing team to take advantage of automation: A CRM lets you automate certain repetitive marketing activities, like sending email sequences, while allowing your team to focus on other tasks and still retain a personal touch in their communications.
  • A CRM improves collaboration between your sales and marketing teams: When your sales and marketing teams are using the same CRM, they have access to the same customer information and can share data, issues, and solutions, leading to a better customer experience. 
  • A CRM can contribute to more effective marketing efforts: No more scratching your head over where your leads are coming from. With features like lead attribution in your CRM, your team can evaluate which channels bring in the most leads and adjust your marketing approach accordingly. Plus, you can use custom reports to dig deeper into the data.

Looking for an easy-to-use CRM with powerful features?

Nutshell has what you need.

Explore Nutshell’s Features

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The 10 best CRMs for marketing

CRMKey featuresBest for:
NutshellComplete sales and marketing solution, front-end lead collection integration, filtering capabilities, email marketing automation, integrations with third-party email marketing toolsBusinesses looking for a complete integrated solution for contact management, sales automation, and marketing
ZohoData collection from web forms, targeted email lists based on user behavior, Google Ads integration, Campaign ManagerSmall and medium-sized businesses who want to improve their marketing automation
HubspotFull-feature CRM, drip campaigns, customized emails, complete solution for creating landing pages, blog content, marketing emails, and reviewing analyticsNew businesses looking for a free-but-powerful CRM solution to get off the ground
SugarCRMCampaign Wizard, Smart Reporting Engine, automated SMS and email tracking, in-person customer interaction trackingBusinesses with an advanced marketing team capable of getting the most from SugarCRM’s complex feature set
AgileMarketing automation tools, audience segmentation, automated social campaigns across multiple platforms, automated email personalization, A/B testing, in-depth tracking and analytics reportingSales teams looking for a CRM solution with advanced features and a simple interface to help achieve marketing goals
ActiveCampaignMarketing automation tools, email automation system, targeted, personalized emails based on behavior, customer and contact tracking, Engagement ScoreMarketing experts looking for powerful marketing automation tools
GreenropeStandard CRM features, autoresponders, drip campaigns, audience segmentation, surveys, SMS marketing campaigns, workflow charts, landing page building and deploymentMedium-sized businesses looking to improve their marketing automation for customer retention
AriticEngagement through email, SMS, social media, and on-page, customized messages and promotions based on user behaviors, segmentation for personalized drip campaigns, push notifications, on-page contentMarketing specialists looking for an integrated solution for campaigns and tracking through a CRM interface
Zendesk SellEmail sequences, email automation, pipeline management, in-depth reporting, lead filtering by stageOrganizations that need to improve their conversion rates through marketing
Monday.comMarketing automation, reporting and analytics, email personalization, website forms for lead generationBusinesses looking for plenty of automation features to make their marketing strategy more impactful

Each CRM on this list includes a host of integrated marketing features built directly into the software, as well as available add-ons that can enhance their marketing capabilities. These tools simplify your marketing efforts, allowing you to automate certain communications and track customer behavior in much less time.

Let’s take a look at 10 of the best CRMs for marketing.

1. Nutshell

Nutshell is a complete CRM for marketing and sales equipped with a powerful feature set that allows it to work for just about any business.

Nutshell’s award-winning CRM seamlessly incorporates new contacts and opportunities into its industry-leading reporting and sales automation tools. This makes it easy to manage customers in every phase of the acquisition process and view in-depth analytics data for your entire business.

Another way that the platform stands out is in its filtering capabilities. Nutshell’s tags and custom fields allow you to group and segment your contacts by any conceivable attribute, and the interactive map feature lets you identify all your buyers in a geographic area and export them into a segmented marketing list with one click.

Nutshell Campaigns is an optional email marketing automation suite that allows users to design, send, and measure marketing emails and automated drip sequences directly out of Nutshell. Since this tool connects directly to your CRM data, you can get a complete sense of your historical relationship with every customer, more easily tie your marketing efforts to sales outcomes, and keep your customer data in sync between your CRM and email marketing software. Nutshell customers can send 150 marketing emails each month free of charge, even without a paid subscription to Nutshell Campaigns.

Nutshell also offers additional marketing features and add-ons, including Landing Pages—a no-code landing page builder that makes it easy to collect leads and improve marketing campaign performance.

In short, Nutshell’s simple interface and marketing-focused features make it extremely easy to build stronger relationships with new prospects and existing customers, as well as craft beautifully designed marketing messages and drip sequences based on their demographics, behavior, and lead status.


Powerful email marketing, minus the headaches

Nutshell Campaigns plugs directly into your CRM data, so you can create highly targeted audience segments, track the impact of your emails in real-time, and manage all your communications out of a single tool. Get started for free!



an envelope with a piece of paper in it that says to audience

2. Zoho

Zoho allows you to collect data from every web form on your site, automatically manage targeted email lists based on user behavior, and generate unique promotions for specific customers and email lists.

This powerful combination enables you to automatically track and interact with customers based on how they use your site and services.

You can take it a step further with Zoho’s built-in Google Ads integration, which allows you to track the efficiency of your advertising campaigns in the sales process from your CRM.

While the automation tools are enough to earn Zoho a spot on this list, their expansive Campaign Manager adds serious value to the package. Design, budget, and track your advertising campaigns—all from a single interface.

  • Pricing: $14 per user per month for Standard, $23 per user per month for Professional, $40 per user per month for Enterprise, $52 per user per month for Unlimited. 15-day free trial available.
  • Best for: Small and medium-sized businesses who want to improve their marketing automation.

3. Hubspot

The Hubspot platform consists of a huge array of marketing tools, including a full-feature CRM decked out with a few notable marketing automations.

Hubspot’s drip campaigns tool allows you to create customized emails targeted to specific customer needs. After you’ve created the e-mails, you can assign dozens or even hundreds of different triggers, conditions, or actions, any of which can automatically assign your customers to an appropriate mailing list or send them targeted promotions after they’ve completed a specified behavior.

These powerful triggers can do more than just send emails. They can notify your team of potential leads requiring immediate attention, add tasks to your CRM, and provide a complete portrait of customer data showing how each user interacts with your site.

Outside of marketing automation, Hubspot provides a complete solution for creating landing pages, blog content, marketing emails, and reviewing analytics.

  • Pricing: Free option for small teams, with various paid plans and add-ons available. A typical plan costs $30-$50 per month, but costs range up to as much as $5000 per month.
  • Best for: New businesses looking for a free CRM solution to get off the ground

4. SugarCRM

SugarCRM is one of the most powerful CRM solutions on the market. However, it is an advanced platform meant for more experienced users. Therefore, while extremely capable, it comes with a difficult learning curve that might leave inexperienced users wishing for a simpler solution.

That being said, if you can familiarize yourself with SugarCRM, the powerful marketing tools it offers can prove very rewarding. SugarCRM includes a built-in Campaign Wizard which can track every customer interaction across text (SMS), e-mail, and even in-person.

Combine this with SugarCRM’s Smart Reporting Engine which can automatically sort your customers into targeted lists for personalized promotions and you have a massively effective  suite of marketing automation tools contained within a CRM interface.

  • Pricing: $49-$135 per user per month for Sell, $80 per user per month for Serve, $1,000 per user per month for Market. Free demo available.
  • Best for: Businesses with an advanced marketing team capable of getting the most from SugarCRM’s complex feature set.

5. Agile CRM

Agile CRM includes marketing automation tools that let you segment your audience based on behavior and automatically respond to website visitor behavior like clicking web links, filling out forms, and other common actions.

It also includes the ability to quickly design, deploy, and track social campaigns across multiple platforms such as Twitter and Facebook.

Other nifty bits of automation include automated email personalization based on contact data, automated A/B testing for your email campaigns, and in-depth tracking and analytics reporting for all relevant customer behaviors.

  • Pricing: Free for up to ten users (some restrictions apply), $9.99 per user per month for Starter, $39.99 per user per month for Regular, $64.99 per user per month for Enterprise (annual pricing).
  • Best for: Sales teams looking for a CRM solution with advanced features and a simple interface to help achieve marketing goals.

6. ActiveCampaign

ActiveCampaign includes a complete CRM solution, but the core of ActiveCampaign is its marketing automation tools, which predate the CRM itself.

That means if you’re looking for a CRM with powerful marketing automation, ActiveCampaign is one of the few options that truly puts those features first.

Right out of the box, ActiveCampaign gives you a massively powerful email automation system, which can sort your customers into specific email lists and send out targeted, personalized emails to your leads based on their behavior.

In addition to email automation, ActiveCampaign closely tracks your customers and contacts and assigns them an Engagement Score. This lets you rapidly identify your most interested leads with little more than a glance at your dashboard.

  • Pricing: $29 per month for Lite, $49 per month for Plus, $149 per month for Professional, contact for quote on Enterprise (annual pricing). 14-day free trial available.
  • Best for: Marketing experts looking for powerful marketing automation tools.

7. Greenrope

In addition to all of the features you’d expect from a standard CRM, Greenrope integrates a few unique ways for your marketing team to engage with customers.

You can set up the usual autoresponders, drip campaigns, and audience segmentation. But Greenrope also allows you to easily create surveys to collect valuable customer data, automate SMS marketing campaigns, and generate workflow charts for your team on the fly, all based on customer behaviors.

Greenrope can be put to good use by a savvy marketing team both for setting up effective automated campaigns as well as collecting important customer data. It can even be used to rapidly build and deploy landing pages, giving you a complete platform for tracking and realizing almost every facet of your marketing strategy.

  • Pricing: Pricing based on number of contacts. Prices begin at $99 per month, ranging up to $799 per month. Free trial available upon request.
  • Best for: Medium-sized businesses looking to improve their marketing automation for customer retention.

8. Aritic

Aritic provides you with everything you need to engage with your customers through email, SMS, social media, or even directly on-page.

Customize messages and promotions based on user behaviors such as visiting certain pages, filling out forms, responding to emails, and dozens of other potential triggers.

Aritic allows you to automatically segment your audience for personalized drip campaigns, send out customized push notifications to phones and desktops, and display unique on-page content to help drive attention and conversions.

  • Pricing: Pricing based on number of contacts and users. For 1000 contacts, pricing is $19 per user per month for Lite, $79 per user per month for Starter, $99 per user per month for Professional; contact for quote on Enterprise. Free trial available.
  • Best for: Marketing specialists looking for an integrated solution for campaigns and tracking through a CRM interface.

9. Zendesk Sell

zendesk sell crm for marketing

Zendesk Sell is a sales CRM that focuses on providing a complete picture of your company’s contacts. Zendesk Sell offers general CRM features like pipeline management and reporting to help you get the big picture of your sales efforts.

One of the most notable marketing features of Zendesk Sell is its ability to set up email sequences so your team can streamline their marketing outreach. Filter leads by stage and create bulk email lists to easily reach everyone who needs to hear your messages. You can also set up email triggers that will help you automate more of your workflow. 

The combination of these features with Zendesk Sell’s reporting capabilities helps their customers dig down into the data to improve their conversion rates. 

  • Pricing: $19 per user per month for Team, $55 per user per month for Growth, $115 per user per month for Professional, $169 per user per month for Enterprise. Free trial available.
  • Best for: Organizations that need to improve their conversion rates through marketing.


monday sales crm

With’s marketing features, teams can monitor their interactions with prospects to more effectively guide them toward a sale. Features like marketing automation, analytics, and email personalization are helpful tools for the marketing team — and your entire business.’s website forms allow you to gather information from leads, import it directly into the CRM, and automate email sequences based on their preferences. Then use the reporting tools to track performance and improve your efforts.

  • Pricing: For three seats, pricing is $12 per user per month for Basic, $17 per user per month for Standard, $28 per user per month for Pro, and custom pricing for Enterprise.
  • Best for: Businesses looking for plenty of automation features to make their marketing strategy more impactful. 

Essential CRM features for marketing teams

Just about any modern CRM will offer a goldmine of data for your marketing team to review. A quality CRM lets you view the details of every interaction a customer has with your business, including detailed breakdowns of each purchase, inquiry, support ticket, and any other conversation they’ve had on your website or with your team.

The most effective CRMs for marketing tend to automate and simplify many essential tasks that allow you to build productive and long-lasting relationships with your customer base. To learn more about that, check out our guide to the many ways marketers can use CRM software.

Here are a few features that your marketing team will absolutely need:

  1. Customer conversation histories: By having a chronological record of every interaction a prospect or customer has had with your company, you can deliver the most relevant marketing communication at the right time. In this way, a CRM can function as sales engagement software, tracking interactions with prospects so you can sell more efficiently.
  2. Lead form integration: When a website visitor completes a form to receive a content offer, subscribe to your newsletter, sign up for a demo, or contact your sales team, their name and email address should populate in your CRM automatically.
  3. Customer filtering: Being able to segment your prospects and customers by factors such as geographic location, industry type, lifetime value, and date of last contact allows you to create highly specific marketing messages that are more likely to capture your buyers’ attention.
  4. Automated email nurturing: A well-equipped CRM should cut down on the labor your marketing team needs to invest into organizing email lists and sending follow-up emails, by automatically sending email communications based on where a prospect is in your sales process.
  5. Visibility into which marketing efforts are generating the most revenue: The ability to track leads from source to sale helps you understand which marketing efforts are paying off and which should be improved or cut loose. While it’s rare to find a CRM that can do this out of the box, it’s worth it to find a platform that offers an integration or add-on that can tell you the revenue impact of individual marketing campaigns.

Making all of this data quickly searchable and easy to digest gives your marketing team a full view of all the need-to-know details about your customer base. That information empowers you to make personalized recommendations, offer uniquely targeted promotions, and add genuine value to the one-on-one interactions you have with your customers.

Choosing the best CRM for your marketing campaigns 

There are many CRM software options with features your business needs to succeed in its marketing strategies. How do you know the right choice for your team and goals? When wondering how to choose the right CRM, start by comparing prices, features, and reviews.

  • Price: Many CRMs have similar pricing structures, but the features included in each subscription often vary widely. Cheap plans are priced lower for a reason, usually because they offer fewer tools.  
  • Features: Your marketing team needs several robust features to succeed in its CRM marketing strategy. Consider your company’s specific needs and how you might be able to use a feature to expand your marketing horizons.
  • Reviews: User reviews are a helpful source of information on a CRM’s effectiveness. Browse reviews from multiple sources and consider the number of reviews and what each review praises or criticizes the CRM for.

Modern CRMs pack a lot of features into a single piece of software. Every business and every team has a different approach when it comes time to put these tools to work.

As important as marketing automation might be to building your customer relationships, it’s even more important to have a CRM your entire team is comfortable with. So when you’re looking for a CRM that will provide value to your marketing team, find something that effectively collects and tracks all of the important data you need to make informed marketing decisions in a way that’s easy to use right out of the box, without extensive training requirements.

Remember that many features of marketing automation can be found in popular CRM add-ons and integrations. If your favorite CRM is lacking a few marketing tools you were hoping to put to work, shop around for an email marketing tool that seamlessly connects with your CRM, bringing some of the features you’re looking for to the platform you’re familiar with and enjoy using.

Final tip: CRMs are generally priced per user, so if you plan to give your marketing team access to your CRM, it really helps to find one with a low base price.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with the free trials for a few different CRM solutions until you’ve found one that fits best into your team’s workflow. You’ll be surprised at just how much the right CRM can improve your business!

Marketing CRM FAQs

What are some CRM marketing examples?

There are many CRM marketing examples out there that can give you a good idea of how to use a CRM in your marketing strategy. Examples of a CRM in marketing include: 

  • Using a CRM to automatically send a series of emails to a lead once they take a specific action 
  • Generating reports on the effectiveness of marketing campaigns
  • Tracking which marketing campaigns your prospects have already received to maximize your communications and avoid flooding them with marketing messages

What is the best type of CRM for marketing?

CRM software comes in many varieties, each with its own capabilities. The three main types of CRM software are: 

  • Analytical: If you want a CRM that primarily gathers and analyzes data to provide insight into customer behavior, analytical CRMs have what you need. This type of CRM uses reporting and visualization to help you manage customer relationships and hit your KPIs. 
  • Collaborative: Collaborative CRMs function as a tool for uniting your entire team in its mission to manage customer relationships, from C-level executives to sales reps and marketers. This type of CRM keeps everyone on the same page by providing access to shared tasks, communication logs, customer data, and more. 
  • Operational: The purpose of an operational CRM is to facilitate daily tasks, such as contact and workflow management, sales and marketing automation, and customer support. Through an operational CRM, your team has all the information they need to streamline their operations.

Because of its wider range of capabilities than the other two types of CRM software, a CRM used for marketing is likely to be an operational CRM.

The best CRM for marketing

So which CRM is best for marketing teams? The best option is clear: Nutshell is a powerful CRM that provides numerous marketing features at an affordable price. 

Nutshell’s features include robust marketing tools like customizable reports, marketing automation, integrations, and many more. Our CRM makes it easy for marketers to automate their workflow, collaborate with their team, and gain insight into their marketing campaigns. And with pricing that lets you save money without sacrificing the features you want, Nutshell is a compelling choice. 

To see for yourself how you can take your marketing to the next level with Nutshell, start a free 14-day trial today!

Try Nutshell free for 14 days!



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