7 Best CRM Software for Marketing in 2020

Marketing team brainstorming a new CRM idea

By Rob Binns | Senior Writer | 8 July, 2020

We’ve researched, ranked, and rated the seven best marketing CRM systems for UK businesses. Find yours today, and compare tailored quotes from suppliers


HubSpot logo white newSalesforce logo whiteFreshworks logo whiteDynamics 365 logo whiteZoho logo whiteSugarCRM logo whitemonday.com logo white
Marketing CRM supplierHubSpotSalesforceFreshmarketerDynamics 365ZohoSugar Marketmonday.com
Monthly pricing from£33.60£320£39£1,192£10£1,000£35
Contact limit1,000 to 10,000None1,000 to 25,00010,000?**10,000N/A
Daily email send limit?*5,0005,00010x your contact quota250 to 1,000?*?*
Web forms
Campaign designX
Batch email marketing£
Email tracking£X
Customer targetingX
Compare marketing CRM quotes
* Determined by email service provider.

**Dependent on correspondence type.

= The product supports this feature

£ = The product can support this feature, though an additional integration with a third-party service may be required

X = The product does not support this feature


Marketing has never been particularly easy. Even the idea of it is almost crazy – sending unsolicited messages to people you don’t know, enticing them not only to open your email, but to read it, click it, and (hopefully!) end up making a purchase.

Nope, marketing has never been easy at all. Unless, that is, you’re using the right CRM software.

Good marketing CRM software enables you to target customers with campaigns tailored to their tastes and habits. You can create forms to capture leads on your website, and turn browsers into sales-ready leads. Better still, you'll be able craft sequences of stunning emails, and send them in bulk to a custom audience – then monitor their performance to optimise future campaigns.

So, which marketing CRM is right for your business? Let’s find out.


Best marketing CRM for UK businesses

According to our research, the best CRM for marketing teams is HubSpot Marketing Hub. Making up the rest of the top seven are Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Freshworks’ Freshmarketer, Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing, Zoho, SugarCRM’s Sugar Market, and monday.com.

The best marketing CRM software comes from:

  1. HubSpot Marketing Hub
  2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud
  3. Freshmarketer
  4. Dynamics 365 Marketing
  5. Zoho
  6. Sugar Market
  7. monday.com

How did we decide, exactly? Jump to our methodology to find out.

Before you lose yourself in our research into the best marketing CRM providers in the UK, why not compare CRM software quotes with us? Simply provide us with a few details about your business, and you’ll receive quotes tailored to the size and unique needs of your marketing team. It takes 30 seconds, and it’s free.

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

With full marks for features and a superlative 93% customer approval rating, HubSpot is our top CRM pick for marketing teams. Also registering strong help and support scores, HubSpot is only let down by its price point, which reaches a hefty maximum of £2,624.

When it comes to engineering effective marketing, HubSpot can’t be topped. Its impressive free version allows you to connect the CRM system to your Facebook Ads account, and engage with your open, click, and bounce metrics. Upgrading can be expensive, sure – but it’ll also unlock HubSpot’s powerful marketing automation tools, and let you drill down into the sources of traffic to your website.

Supplier Rating : Check out HubSpot's Pricing
Starting price£33.60 per month for up to 1,000 contacts (when billed annually. Expect to pay around 25% more on a monthly plan) (free version available)
Highest price£2,624 per month for up to 10,000 contacts
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit1,000 to 10,000
Free trial?Free version

HubSpot Marketing Hub for marketing teams: feature analysis

We investigated whether each supplier offers the five following features that are important for marketing CRMs, and how well it can do them.

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes, on HubSpot’s Pro plan and above.

Batch email marketing? Yes, although the number of emails you’re permitted to send per day will be determined by the email server you’re using. Handily, HubSpot alerts you when you’re near your daily limit, allowing you to reschedule any overspill to a day when there’s less on.

Email tracking? This feature is available across all of HubSpot Marketing Hub’s plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

To find out more about what these features do – and how they can benefit your business – jump to our section titled ‘How we rated the best marketing CRM software‘ below.

Pros:

  • Offers an intuitive, aesthetically-pleasing interface
  • Integrated analytics let you measure the ROI of your content campaigns

X Cons:

  • As the features add up, so too do the costs… quickly!

2. Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Though registering strong ratings across the board for features, customer approval, and help and support, Salesforce suffers from a complicated, expensive pricing structure that may exclude marketing teams with more modest budgets.

We always recommend Salesforce. With its industry-leading set of AI-powered analytics, and a huge range of cross-channel marketing integrations, it’s… hard not to! Of course, all that functionality doesn’t come cheap. Salesforce is one of the most expensive products around, and its CRM for email marketing doesn’t exactly buck the trend. This one’s for more established marketing teams, only.

Supplier Rating : Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price*

£320 per month for email, mobile, and web

£1,000 per month for B2B marketing

Highest price£3,200 per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone (24/7), email, knowledge centre
Contact limitTechnically none, though this is governed by total storage capacity (10,000 contact maximum recommended)
Free trial?None

*Let’s talk pricing. There are many elements that make up the special case that is Salesforce’s marketing product. Each module is priced individually, so the total cost could, theoretically, be any combination of prices.

Basically, Salesforce is a system offering huge scope for your marketing team… but at an equally hefty price!

Salesforce Marketing Cloud for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes – all of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s plans include a drag-and-drop email builder for marketing campaigns.

Batch email marketing? Yes, however, Salesforce limits you to 5,000 email sends per day, per account. It doesn’t exclude duplicate email addresses, either – so you’ll need to make sure your mailing lists are ‘clean’ before launching your next campaign, in order to avoid wasted sends.

Email tracking? You can activate tracking for emails across all of Salesforce Marketing Cloud’s plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Unlimited contact storage
  • Along with HubSpot, it’s the most feature-rich marketing CRM on the market

X Cons:

  • 24/7 phone support is only available with the more expensive plans
Did You Know?

On top of being our runner-up for marketing teams, Salesforce beat out the seven other software providers we researched to be crowned our top CRM system for small businesses.


3. Freshmarketer

Starting at an accessible £39 per month, Freshmarketer also boasts some of the finest help and support of all the marketing CRM systems we looked at. It sports the third-highest customer approval scores, too, though its more modest array of features prevents it from an assault on the top two.

Spearheaded by a wonderful UI (user interface) and 24/5 phone support, Freshmarketer is a top pick for growing marketing teams. It also sits firmly on the affordable end of the shelf – particularly when compared to Salesforce. However, be warned – Freshmarketer’s basic plans drastically cap key features, and we recommend upgrading to get the most out of its tidy automation and acquisition tools.

Supplier Rating : Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price£39 for the Garden plan, with up to 1,000 contacts (free version available)
Highest price£399 for the Estate plan, with up to 20,000 contacts
Customer supportLive chat (24/5), phone (24/5), email, knowledge centre
Contact limit1,000 to 25,000 contacts
Free trial?Free version and free 21-day trial

Freshmarketer for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? A basic email builder is available with Freshmarketer’s free version, though this grows to a more sophisticated drag-and-drop composer when you upgrade to the paid packages.

Batch email marketing? Yes. Though Gmail and Outlook cap your daily send totals at 300 emails, Freshmarketer uses its own servers to deliver batches beyond those limits. How much you’re entitled to depends on the plan you select:

  • Sprout (free plan) and Blossom: Zero extra sends
  • Garden: 250 extra sends
  • Estate: 1,000 extra sends
  • Forest: 5,000

Email tracking? Available across all Freshmarketer’s plans, though you’ll need Freshsales – Freshworks’ CRM module for sales teams – to benefit.

Customer targeting? Freshmarketer offers this functionality, though the level of granularity with which you can target specific customers depends on how much you’re willing to spend.

Basic segmentation is available with the Garden plan, allowing you to segment your audience based on email activity, contact fields, lists, and journeys.

The more pricey Estate plan, however, allows for more complex targeting. This feature leverages behavioural analysis, enabling you to target customers based on their movement throughout your site.

Pros:

  • The free plan includes 500 contacts and some conversion optimisation features
  • A dedicated account manager is only available with the most expensive plan

X Cons:

  • Expect to pay between 30% and 40% more if you choose monthly billing
Compare marketing CRM software suppliers, for free Request quotes now

4. Dynamics 365 for Marketing

Dynamics 365 registers middle-of-the-road scores across all of our metrics – so it’s fitting that it’s also smack bang in the centre of this list. Solid scores for features and help and support are matched by a good customer approval rating, though its fixed £1,192 price will be a bridge too far for many marketing departments.

Though it offers some of the finest analytical CRM tools on the market, Dynamics 365 isn’t for everyone. Its hefty price point notwithstanding, this marketing CRM’s interface simply doesn’t match the vibrancy of HubSpot’s, or the effectiveness of Salesforce’s. Large marketing teams that are looking to gain an edge over competitors will still find plenty to love here, but smaller businesses are better off looking elsewhere.

Supplier Rating : Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price$1,500 (£1,192) per month for up to 10,000 contacts*
Highest priceFixed price ($1,500 (£1,192) per month) for the system, though extra lots of 5,000 contacts cost $250 (£199) each
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit10,000 contacts, with additional bundles of 5,000 available to buy
Free trial?Yes

* Reduced to $750 (£596) if you already use another Microsoft Dynamics product, and have a minimum of 10 users

Microsoft Dynamics 365 for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes – Dynamics 365 for Marketing also syncs with LinkedIn lead gen forms, allowing you to pull contact data straight into your CRM database, and easily measure the effectiveness of your LinkedIn campaigns.

Campaign design? Yes. Dynamics 365 enables you to build emails, campaigns, and landing pages with an intuitive drag-and-drop builder. 

Batch email marketing? Yes. Your email send limits are set monthly, and are capped at ten times your quota of marketing contacts (or 1,000 sends per month, if you’re on a trial).

Email tracking? Yes, Dynamics 365’s ‘Insights’ feature provides a detailed breakdown of your customers’ interactions with your emails, such as open rates and clicks.

Customer targeting? Yes, although you’re capped at 5,000 contacts per marketing segment.

Pros:

  • Cloud-based, but also available as an on-premise solution
  • The fixed price for the system offers simplicity...

X Cons:

  • ...though it’s still one of the most expensive CRM systems money can buy!

Cloud-based vs on-premise… what's the difference? Check out our guide to the best cloud-based CRM for small UK businesses to find out.


5. Zoho

It’s a familiar story for Zoho. Though it boasts an excellent rating for price (starting from just £10 per user, per month, it’s the cheapest on our list) Zoho’s features are a tad more simplistic than most of the other CRM systems here. That said, it’s easy to set up, and is still one of the most user-friendly pieces of software we’ve come across.

Known for its price, simplicity, and user-friendliness, Zoho’s CRM software isn’t so well known for its advanced features. It's also a bit of a kick in the teeth having to shell out for a separate product (Zoho Campaigns) to be able to better plan your next marketing drive. That said, you can’t look past a £10 per user, per month price point – and for micro-sized marketing teams, Zoho certainly has plenty to offer.

Supplier Rating : Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price£10 per user, per month (free version available)
Highest price£40 per user, per month
Customer supportLive chat, phone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limitDepends on the type of correspondence
Free trial?Free version

Zoho for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes; the higher the pricing tier, the more forms you can create.

Campaign design? Available on all of Zoho’s paid plans. In addition to this, Zoho has a separate campaign builder product (Zoho Campaigns). Pricing for this starts from as low as £5 (for 250 credits, on a pay-per-email basis), or is available on a yearly subscription for £43.20.

Batch email marketing? Available with all paid plans. Your daily send limit will depend on the plan you’ve selected:

  • Standard: 250 sends per day
  • Professional: 500 per day
  • Enterprise: 1,000 per day

Zoho’s Enterprise and Unlimited editions also enable you to set up auto-replies to your batch emails.

Email tracking? Yes, on all plans.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Permits a relatively low number of daily email sends
  • Simple to get to grips with

X Cons:

  • Contact limits aren’t specified
  • Not as scalable as HubSpot or Freshmarketer

6. Sugar Market

Sugar Market offers a wealth of features, including analytics and marketing automation functionality that ranks among the industry’s best. It’d almost certainly be higher up our list, if not for an indifferent customer approval rating, lacklustre customer support, and opaque pricing.

Sugar Market (SugarCRM’s marketing module, previously known as Salesfusion) caters to the more complex marketing requirements of larger businesses. Unlike many other CRM providers, Sugar Market offers just one pricing plan – meaning it’s not as suitable for those starting small and looking to scale. Its pricing isn’t transparent, though, and there’s no option to try the system for free, either. However, those who are prepared to take the plunge will receive a generous contact limit, and a wealth of enterprise-grade marketing features.

Supplier Rating : Compare Marketing CRM Quotes
Starting price£1,000 per month
Highest priceOn request
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limit10,000
Free trial?No  – offers a demo instead

Sugar Market for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? Yes.

Batch email marketing? Email sends are supported, though your daily send limits will be determined by your email server.

Email tracking? Yes, using a separate email tracker module, which works like a plugin.

Customer targeting? Yes.

Pros:

  • Visualises your marketing data in stunning, easily-exportable graphs and reports
  • Integrates with a wide range of third-party applications

X Cons:

  • No live chat support available
  • Email tracking can be complicated to set up

7. monday.com

Though suffering from a dearth of features, average customer approval ratings, and less-than-stellar help and support, monday.com is the joint-most affordable (with Zoho) system we have come across. As a gateway to the bigger, more powerful marketing CRM providers, monday.com is a great entry point into the productivity software space.

Walking a line between CRM and project management software, monday.com doesn’t sport the same bells and whistles as the likes of HubSpot and Salesforce. Yet, importantly, it’s affordable – and if you’re looking for a tool to drive productivity while benefiting from basic email marketing functionality, monday.com might just be worth a go.

Supplier Rating : Start your free trial today
Starting price£35 per month for up to five users
Highest price£69 per month for up to five users
Customer supportPhone, email, knowledge centre
Contact limitN/A
Free trial?14-day free trial

monday.com for marketing teams: feature analysis

Web forms? Yes.

Campaign design? No – monday.com offers campaign tracking only.

Batch email marketing? monday.com integrates with email platforms such as Gmail and Outlook to enable batch email sends. However, it doesn’t offer this feature in-house. Any batch send limits will thus be determined by the email service provider you choose to integrate the CRM with.

Email tracking? No.

Customer targeting? No.

Pros:

  • Integrates with CRM systems such as Salesforce and Copper
  • Inexpensive

X Cons:

  • Falls short as a comprehensive marketing CRM tool
  • No email tracking or customer targeting
  • No live chat support
Compare marketing CRM software suppliers, for free Request quotes now

How we rated the best marketing CRM providers

To rate each CRM supplier on its effectiveness for marketing teams specifically, we extended our explorations to include five key features that a good marketing CRM system has got to do well. This included honing in on functions for marketing teams only – we've looked at CRM for sales teams, and the best customer service CRM in separate pages.

So, in addition to the basics (customer support, price, contact limit, and whether there’s a free trial), each marketing CRM software below is ranked per its ability to perform each of the following crucial functions:

  • Web forms
  • Campaign design
  • Batch email marketing
  • Email tracking
  • Customer targeting

Web forms

You can have the best-looking website in the world – but if it’s not turning your site’s visitors into potential customers, it’s not reaching its full potential. 

That’s where web forms come in. With the right marketing CRM software, you can create and embed a lead capture form into your website. By collecting the name, number, and other demographic details from your website’s users – and sending them straight to your CRM – web forms empower you to turn your website’s traffic into potential deals

Campaign design

Whether you’re designing a one-off email to capitalise on Black Friday or a drip campaign to build your brand, it’s crucial that your marketing looks good.

With a marketing CRM tool, you can build emails that echo your business’ values, with powerful CTAs and an engaging design. And it’s easy – most marketing CRM software runs on simple drag-and-drop functionality

You don’t need an eye for design, either – most CRM software for email marketing provides a range of highly customisable email templates to get you started.

Batch email marketing

CRM software is all about optimising your marketing team’s processes – reaching more customers in less time, with the most effective messages.

And batch email marketing is a good example of this at its finest – after designing your emails, you can send them en masse, to a specific list of prospective customers. 

Email tracking

Of course, it’s not just about sending emails out into the ether and forgetting about them. To grow your business, you need to know how effective your email marketing campaigns have been; that is, how many people are opening, reading, and clicking your emails. 

There’s a few ways in which you can do this, but using marketing CRM software is by far the most straightforward.

Plus, when you use a CRM system to track your sent emails, you can monitor exactly which parts of your messages are getting the most engagement from recipients. Which CTAs (calls to action) are most enticing? Which images scream “CLICK ME!”? Which subject lines do your customers struggle to resist?

Customer targeting

At its most basic level, marketing CRM software acts as a contact database.

As well as providing a safe place for your customers’ names, occupations, and contact details, a CRM system can store a whole range of important client info – which you can use to create smarter, more tailored marketing campaigns, and produce more effective results.

With the right marketing CRM, you can target customers by:

  • Their buying preferences, including previous orders and total spend
  • The nature of their previous visits to your website, or interaction with your brand
  • Demographic information, such as age and gender

Lapsed customers? Re-engage them with a deal or a discount that’s too good to turn down. New customers? Let them know you care, by personalising an email with their name in the subject line. Marketing a product for women only? Filter out the men in your email list to ensure you’re not wasting precious email sends on the wrong audience.


Next steps

Which marketing CRM software provider is best for your business? Let’s recap. 

Small teams are well-catered to by low-cost options such as Zoho, Freshmarketer, and monday.com.

Sugar Market, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, and Dynamics 365 for Marketing are all designed for medium-sized to large enterprises that have more complex marketing requirements.

And of course, there’s HubSpot Marketing Hub, which we recommend for everyone.

As we said at the beginning, marketing isn’t easy – and neither is picking the right marketing CRM supplier. You have to balance the level of features your team requires, while keeping within the constraints of your budget, and ensuring you’ll get the top-class help and support you deserve.

Basically, you’ll need to compare quotes from multiple CRM providers to get the best deal. And, thanks to our free quote-finding service, this part is easy.

Simply provide us with some details about your business, answering three straightforward questions about your team, requirements, and the type of marketing CRM software you’re looking to implement. 

You’ll then be contacted directly with tailored quotes from several of the industry’s leading marketing CRM providers, providing you with all the info you need to compare and contrast suppliers, at your fingertips.

It takes less than a minute, and is free for UK-based businesses.


How we analyse and rate CRM software providers

At Expert Market, it’s our aim to provide you with the most accurate, up-to-date, and transparent product and service reviews possible. So, to help you better understand the best CRM software options out there, we’ve conducted in-depth, extensive research into the CRM software market and its top companies.

Here’s how we did it:

Independent researchers

We worked with three independent researchers to rate eight different CRM systems over a total of 40+ hours. This included five separate varieties of CRM software, as well as more than 61 specific features. Using a bespoke, industry-style algorithm, we rated each provider across four key metrics.

Ratings

  • Help and support: we assessed the level of customer support (such as email, phone, or live chat), as well as its availability (24/7, or weekdays only?), to provide a weighted score for each CRM supplier.
  • Affordability: our affordability algorithm took into account the cost of CRM ownership over 12 months – based on the average buyer – as well as factors such as free trials and money-back guarantees.
  • Features: we assessed each supplier on five specific features per type of CRM. We then weighted these scores, and translated them into a point value system. This allowed us to form accurate ratings for each CRM provider, broken down by the industry it best serves.
  • Customer approval: we assigned each provider a ‘customer score’, which involved seeking opinions from within the community, as well as feeding data aggregated from online sources into a unique algorithm. This allowed us to calculate overall customer approval scores for each CRM supplier, in real time.

survey

We take the integrity of our research seriously. If you’ve got any questions at all about our research process, feel free to get in touch with Rob, our CRM specialist, at rob.binns@expertmarket.co.uk.

Rob Binns Expert Market
Rob Binns Senior Writer

Rob writes mainly about the payments industry, but also brings industry-specific knowledge of CRM software, social media monitoring, and invoice finance. When not exasperating his editor with bad puns, he can be found relaxing in a sunny corner, with a beer and a battered copy of Dostoevsky.

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