Ever gotten on a call with someone, only to mispronounce their name or forget which company they work for? Perhaps you needed to email the finance team at a supplier, but can’t remember who to contact?
That’s why you need a CRM or customer relationship manager. Like a super-powered version of the address book in your phone, CRM software manages every bit of contact info about your customers, suppliers, and every other person who your team interacts with—from their emails and positions to the last conversation they had with your company.
They’re valuable tools—and they don’t have to break the bank. In a market led by tools like Salesforce (from $75/month per user), CRMs can seem out of reach for startups and small businesses.
Turns out, you can get really great CRM software for free. After testing over 30 CRM apps and seeing what you could do with their free features, here are the best free CRM apps.
The 10 Best Free CRM Apps
|App||Icon:||Best for:||Free for:|
|HubSpot CRM||full-featured CRM for free||full features and unlimited team size with up to 1 million contacts|
|Google Contacts||smart personal CRM inside Gmail||full features for personal use|
|Bitrix24||a suite of tools for your team||core features with 12 team members|
|Freshsales||customer info tied to your support tools||core features with 10 team members|
|Agile CRM||scheduling meetings with contacts||50k contacts and 10 team members|
|Zoho CRM||built-in office tools||25k contacts and 10 team members|
|Streak||a customizable CRM inside Gmail||full features for personal use|
|Cloze||finding the relationship between your contacts||25k contacts for personal use|
|Intercom||tracking what people view on your site||Observe plan features|
|Interakt||following up on contacts automatically||5k contacts for personal use|
HubSpot CRM (fully free)
Best for a full-featured team CRM for free
HubSpot CRM is the best free CRM, hands down. It’s almost surprising how much it offers for free: Full CRM features, with as many team members as you want, as long as you don’t have more than 1 million contacts.
It’s powerful, but also very easy to use. Add contacts just by entering their name and email address, and HubSpot CRM will find their picture and pull in details about their company automatically. Track as much info as you want about contacts with custom fields, and connect it to Gmail or Microsoft Outlook 365 to schedule and track emails—or install its Sidekick add-on to see contact details alongside your email inbox. And preview contacts quickly from your HubSpot CRM contacts list’s sidebar popover that shows details about contacts without having to open a new page.
With a free account, you get all the core CRM features to manage contact info, create deals and track as they progress to a final sale, list tasks and appointments with contacts, and build signup forms for your website as a quick way to gather new contacts. It can even track visits to your website to know when a lead is, say, checking out your pricing page. You can then sample HubSpot’s professional marketing features with built-in trials that let you try sending automated emails or making calls from your browser before diving in with a paid plan.
If all you need is a CRM, though, HubSpot CRM’s core tools have everything you need to manage your contacts and turn them into customers for free.
- HubSpot CRM Price: Free for full features with unlimited team size and up to 1 million contacts; from $50/month Starter plan for custom form fields and branding
- HubSpot CRM Apps: Android, iOS, and Web apps
- For a deeper look at HubSpot CRM’s features and pricing, check out our HubSpot CRM review.
Google Contacts (personal)
Best for a simple personal CRM inside Gmail
It’s just the address book that’s built into Gmail, so you might be apt to overlook it when you need a tool to manage professional relationships. But the newly redesigned Google Contacts includes many of the features you’d expect from a CRM—as long as you’re working on your own.
Google Contacts automatically tracks everyone you email, adding them to your Frequently Contacted list. It automatically will find their photo, employment details, website link, hometown, and more via Google+. You can then organize contacts into groups and add as many details as you want—including notes, as long as you just add each new note in the same Notes box. There’s no way to track sales stages, but you could make new groups for every step from lead to deal, and move your contacts through the steps manually.
Best of all, Google Contacts keeps track of every email with your contacts for a simplified view of your relationships. From Google Contacts or the Gmail sidebar, you can see a list of your interactions and quickly jump to previous emails whenever you want. And, it syncs with your phone and email apps for simple access to all of your contacts.
There’s only one downside: You can’t share your full contacts lists with others, and can only share one set of contacts at a time—and even then can’t share emails without forwarding them. That makes it best as a personal CRM, one that’s perfect if you already use Gmail.
- Google Contacts Price: Free for full features in a personal Gmail.com account; from $5/month per user G Suite Basic plan for custom domain and team sharing features.
- Google Contacts Apps: Android and Web apps, and is built into Gmail; can sync with any standard contacts app as well
- For a deeper look at Google Contacts’s features and pricing, check out our Google Contacts review.
Bitrix24 (12 users)
Best for a suite of tools for your team
You need to track your team’s contacts, but you also need to talk to your team, plan your upcoming projects, share documents, and manage your own team’s contact info. Bitrix24 offers it all in a full-featured suite of software that comes alongside its CRM.
On the CRM side of things, you’ll get the standard contact and deal tools, along with a quotes and invoices tool to bill customers once you’ve landed a deal. It doesn’t pull in company or personal info automatically like HubSpot CRM and Google Contacts, but it does let you easily rearrange your contact details for the layout you want. And, with its suite of complementary tools, you can easily add a contact, sell them your services, turn that into a project, chat about the ongoing project with your team, invoice the customer for it when you’re done, and then keep track of everything in the customer’s contact page.
It’s a tool that just might keep you from losing track of what’s going on across all of your contacts.
- Bitrix24 Price: Free for core features with up to 12 users; from $39/month Plus plan for 24 users
- Bitrix24 Apps: Android, iOS, and Web apps, with desktop apps for video calls
Freshsales (10 users)
Best for customer info tied to your support tools
One of your best sources of new leads is your team’s support inbox. Maybe a customer will email who’s interested in purchasing another product, or a non-customer will get in touch with questions about your plans. Freshsales is a CRM designed for those interactions. As a sidekick to customer support app Freshdesk, Freshsales can sync contacts between your CRM and your support tool.
When you’re looking for potential customers, you could sort through your contacts based on when they emailed and what they needed, and use that to start your outreach. Freshsales can also watch your Freshdesk inbox for emails, linking them to your contacts so you’ll know when a customer has trouble and perhaps can help them on your next call. Or, if you just need a CRM, Freshsales lets you email and call customers from the app and keep track of all your interactions in one place.
- Freshsales Price: Free for 10 users with core features including Freshdesk integration; from $15/month per user Blossom plan for deal funnels, email tracking, and Google Calendar integration
- Freshsales Apps: Android, iOS, and Web apps
Agile CRM (10 users)
Best for scheduling meetings with contacts
Your contact-focused to-dos often aren’t just small tasks to check off—they’re most often meetings that happen at a specific time. Agile CRM helps you book and manage those appointments so you never have two calls schedule at the same time.
Right from your contact’s page in the CRM, you can add events that will show up both on that contact and in Agile CRM’s calendar. You can subscribe to that calendar’s iCal feed in your calendar app to make sure you never miss an appointment. Agile CRM also includes an appointment scheduling page that it automatically shares in your emails, where contacts can book an appointment when you’re actually free.
Agile CRM will also encourage your team to keep reaching out to potential customers, with its leaderboard that tracks how many calls, tasks, and deals each team member has done. It’s the little things that keep you focused.
- Agile CRM Price: Free for 10 users and 50,000 contacts; from $14.99/month per user Starter plan for unlimited contacts, email campaign tools, and marketing automation
- Agile CRM Apps: Android and Web apps; iOS app in beta
- For a deeper look at Agile CRM’s features and pricing, check out our Agile CRM review.
Zoho CRM (10 users)
Best for built-in office tools
Need to make a presentation for your client, crunch numbers about their project in a spreadsheet, or write a detailed proposal document? Zoho CRM is the easiest CRM for that with its deep integration with Zoho Workplace. From the Documents tab, you can upload existing files or create a new documents, spreadsheet, or presentation in Zoho’s office apps. You can even gather new leads with a Zoho Form, mail merge that data in a Zoho document, add both to Zoho CRM, and send it off to the new lead for their signature.
Zoho CRM itself is a customizable CRM where you can track every detail about your contacts. But its best together with other apps, with deep integration with other Zoho tools and even options to sync events and tasks to Google Calendar and Google Tasks. It’s a CRM that’ll fit into the other tools your team relies on—as long as you already use Zoho software.
- Zoho CRM Price: Free for 10 users and 25k data entries; from $15/month per user Standard plan for bulk emails, marketing campaigns, and website visitor tracking
- Zoho CRM Apps: Android, iOS, and Web apps
- For a deeper look at Zoho CRM’s features and pricing, check out our Zoho CRM review.
Streak (personal; limited team use)
Best for a customizable CRM inside Gmail
Most of the work you do with your contacts will likely take place inside your email inbox. So Streak built a customizable CRM right inside Gmail, one that’s focused on those email conversations.
Install its Chrome extension, and you’ll see a new Pipelines link alongside your Gmail tags—and a Streak button inside your emails where you can add messages to a pipeline. Pipelines are CRM workflows where you take your customer from an interested lead to a satisfied customer. You can do that on your own for free—or you can share up to 50 boxes (or CRM deals) and 200 emails with your team for free. Streak also gives Gmail superpowers, with tools to track emails, send them later, and write them quickly with templates, all of which can help you spend more time focused on your contacts and less on managing your communications.
- Streak Price: Free for unlimited boxes and pipelines for personal use, with 50 shared boxes and 200 shared emails; from $39/month Corporate plan for full CRM features and integrations
- Streak Apps: iOS and web apps; Android app in beta
- For a deeper look at Streak’s features and pricing, check out our Streak review.
Best for finding the relationship between your contacts
Ever wondered how your contacts are related? You can figure out part of the story just by looking at what company people work at, or the city they live in. Or, you can analyze conversations and figure out how close you are to each contact—and who else on your contact list they’re related to. That’s what Cloze does in a people-focused take on a CRM.
Cloze connects to your email inbox, looks through your messages, then builds a smart contact list with details about your conversations and the other people on your list that also know this person. Add other apps with the paid version for a more detailed picture with data from Slack, LinkedIn, and more. Then, use it to manage your emails, and whenever someone gets in touch you’ll know exactly how to hone your message—and who else to include in the conversation.
- Cloze Price: Free for core features and 25k contacts; from $19.99/month per user Business plan for sync with other apps, proactive reminders, and team collaboration
- Cloze Apps: Android, iOS, and Web apps
Intercom (basic features for team)
Best for tracking what people view on your site
Curious which of your customers might be most likely to purchase again, or to upgrade from your free trial to a paid plan? Intercom is a CRM that can help you find out. Install it in your website or app, and it’ll build profiles for every person who uses your app—or you can import contacts from a spreadsheet, and then track when they visit your site afterwards.
With a paid plan, Intercom adds a chat icon to the bottom of your site, where people can reach out if they have questions—or where you can proactively message and try to nudge them to towards a purchase. For free, though, all you can do is watch and then reach out on your own to people who’ve signed up to your site and have given you their contact info. It’s not a free CRM you’ll want to use to manage your normal business contacts—especially since you can’t add new contacts aside from your site or app users without importing a spreadsheet—but it can be a great tool to help you start making your CRM data more actionable.
- Intercom Price: Free Intercom Platform to import contacts and see what visitors look at on your site; from $53/month Respond Lite plan to send and receive messages with customers and add details to their profiles
- Intercom Apps: iOS, Android, and Web apps
- For a deeper look at Intercom’s features and pricing, check out our Intercom review.
Best for following up on contacts automatically
Want to track your contacts, see if they visit your website, followup with automated emails, and even answer their support tickets all from the same app? Interakt is the CRM for you—and it’s fully free for 1 user.
Whether you’re watching your site for visitors to market to those new leads, or just want tools to followup with your standard CRM contacts, Interakt’s automated template emails make it easy to send followup messages. You can then show messages to users inside your app or chat with them live on your site—or funnel their responses to your emails into a helpdesk to reply to everyone together. It goes beyond just organizing your contacts, and helps you turn them into customers.
- Interakt Price: Free for 1 user, 5,000 contacts, and 1.5k emails/month; from $49/month Startup plan for 3 users, 50k contacts, and 25k emails
- Interakt Apps: Android, iOS, Web apps
- For a deeper look at Interakt’s features and pricing, check out our Interakt review.
Alternate Free CRM Software
Still haven’t found a CRM that fits your needs? Here are a handful of other CRM tools with slightly more basic free plans:
|App||Icon:||Best for:||Free for:|
|Insightly||Manage your contacts and projects together, and get as many details about your contacts as Insightly automatically pulls in every social media profile related to your contact’s email address.||2.5k contacts with 2 team members|
|Capsule||All of your contacts aren’t the same—but odds are they fall in similar groups: potential customer, supplier, press, employee. Capsule organizes them into lists and helps you email everyone in a list together at once for a quick way to reach out to the right people.||250 contacts with 2 team members|
|Jumplead||Want to build quick websites to attract new leads? Jumplead includes a full landing page builder with forms that add contacts to your CRM, where you can quickly followup on the most promising new leads.||200 contacts for 1 user|
|ClinchPad||Like using Kanban boards to manage your project? ClinchPad gives you those same tools to organize your leads, so you can drag them through your deal workflows as you get closer to landing a sale.||100 contacts for full team|
Self-Hosted Open Source CRM
Most free CRM apps have some limits. They’re free up to a point—after that, you’ll need to upgrade to manage all of your data, bring in all of your team, or use all of their advanced features. And most of the time, customization features are locked behind a paid upgrade.
For CRM software that works exactly like your company wants and that’s free to use forever, the best option is a self-hosted, open source CRM. These CRM tools aren’t 100% free—you’ll need your own server or hosting account, and will need to spend the time to install and maintain the software. But, the software itself is fully free to use, and you can customize it however you want with plugins and add-ons.
SugarCRM Community Edition used to be the most popular open source CRM, but is currently not being developed. Today, the mantle has passed to these apps, each of which give you a unique way to manage your company’s contacts for free:
The 6 Best Open Source CRM Tools:
|SuiteCRM||a self-hosted CRM with a modern design|
|Odoo CRM Community||focused apps for everything your team does|
|Zurmo||detailed contact reports|
|vTiger||building the CRM you want with extensions|
|Fat Free CRM||a simple, email-powered CRM|
|WordPress CRM||Organizing contacts alongside your website data|
Best for a self-hosted CRM with a modern design
Want a beautiful self-hosted CRM built on the foundation that SugarCRM started? SuiteCRM is the app for you. It’s a full-featured CRM with a modern, flat design that shows as much data as you need while still being easy to read through at a glance.
It’s great for managing contacts, with tools for sales and automatically starting workflows based on your contact info. And, it can help manage your team’s customer support with a built-in portal where your customers can help each other while logging each support interaction to your CRM.
Odoo CRM Community
Best for focused apps for everything your team does
CRMs often are far more than just a contact manager, or a tool to manage sales. They’re a half-dozen things in one app—everything you could possibly need to manage contacts and more. Odoo makes things simpler by streamlining their CRM down to just one core function: Managing your sales workflow. You’ll list your deals and track everything it takes to win them in one place.
Those deals need info about companies and contacts, which you can add straight from the CRM. To add contacts directly, though, you’ll need to add the Odoo Contacts app—which will already have any contacts you’ve added while listing your CRM deals. There’s similar apps for managing project, accounting, inventory, and much more—so you can get everything your team needs in one program filled with tiny, focused apps.
Odoo’s online edition lets you use one app for free—so you could use its CRM for free, but then would need to pay for the Contacts app. Or, you can install Odoo Community edition on your own servers for all the Odoo apps your team needs for free.
Best for detailed contact reports
Zurmo feels more like professional CRM apps like Salesforce, with a more traditional CRM design and detail-filled contact pages. It’s a CRM to keep track of everything that happens with contacts, with details about every meeting, task, note, and more on each contact’s profile. It can also keep track of your products, to link opportunities and deals to the products your team is selling.
Then, with all of that data about your team’s work, Zurmo’s gamification can keep your team motivated with a leaderboard of who’s landed the most sales this month. For more actionable details, you can generate reports complete with charts from Zurmo so you never have to dig through your sales data before quarterly meetings again.
Best for building the CRM you want with extensions
vTiger Open Source is one of the most popular self-hosted CRM apps today, both because of its core features and for the wide range of extensions you can download and buy for it. It’s a full-featured CRM, complete with tools to manage your contacts, track deals, and turn them into finished sales with quotes and invoices. It’s even great for customer support, project and inventory management, calendars, and much more.
You can get all of those features out of the box, enabling the modules that your team needs for your work. For everything else, the vTiger community’s extensions let you cheaply or for free add any extra feature you might want.
Fat Free CRM
Best for a simple, email-powered CRM
Fat Free CRM harks back to the original versions of apps like Basecamp with a basic, text-focused design and tabbed menus to switch between your contacts and other data. Built on Ruby on Rails, it’s designed to be simple to install and run—even directly from your own computer if you don’t have a server.
Want an easy way to add data to your CRM? Fat Free CRM’s built around an email dropbox. Each lead, contact, opportunity, account, and more has its own email address, so you can easily forward messages to log them to your CRM.
Best for organizing contacts alongside your website data
Use WordPress to power your blog or website? The easiest way to get a self-hosted CRM then might be to install a WordPress plugin that can manage contacts right inside your website software. That way, you can include a form on your site to gather leads that are saved directly to your CRM, or can directly track when a contact visits your site and log it to their contact entry.
Here are some great options to try:
- WP-CRM for a superpowered version of WordPress’ built-in user management with custom fields and a form for adding new contacts.
- WordPress Leads to track visits to your site and log them to contact profiles—and then upgrade to get Inbound Now’s landing page builder, email tools, and more.
- UkuuPeople to organize your contacts into groups, schedule meetings with contacts, and add extra features with add-ons.
Build Your Own CRM
Want something even simpler? You could build your own CRM in an app you already use—using a spreadsheet or notebook app to store data about your contacts and interactions. Here are some great places to start:
Spreadsheet apps are some of the most flexible tools. They’re perfect for listing data—and with a bit of tweaking, you can turn Google Sheets into a powerful, automated CRM.
Google Sheets’ best feature is that it’s an online spreadsheet. Unlike a spreadsheet on your computer that only runs when you’re using it, Google Sheets can work in the background even while you’re sleeping. That makes it perfect for building a customized CRM.
Just list your contact info in spreadsheet rows, with columns for every detail you want to capture—perhaps even the date when you last contacted someone. Connect it to a Google Form to automatically add new contacts, then use Google’s
=IMPORTXML() function to pull in their social media info automatically. It’ll take a bit of work, but you’ll get a full-featured CRM that works just like you want for free.
Database Builder CRM
Want even more features in your CRM? You could use a database builder app like Airtable to make a CRM that looks and works more like a traditional CRM, but is just as customizable as a spreadsheet.
You’ll list contacts in rows as in a spreadsheet. The big difference in a database is linked records which let you tie company info to contacts—perhaps to show all of the contacts that work for one company in a new view—or contacts to deals. Airtable takes it a bit further, giving each data entry its own popover view where you can look at your contact info in detail away from the more messy table with all your data. And it includes calendar and kanban views for an easy way to manage deals, too.
Notes App CRM
Or, perhaps you want something simpler. In that case, a notes app like Evernote could fit the bill. Just make a new note for each contact, list their contact details at the top, then add details about each conversation you have with those people underneath.
Want to automate your notes app CRM? Just list your contact info with Zapier style Named Variables, aka
Email(email@example.com), and you can easily pull any data out of your notes CRM and use it in other apps.
Learn More About CRM Apps with Zapier
Picking out CRM software is only part of the challenge of effectively managing your contacts. You’ll need to approach your new contact tool with a strategy of how you’re going to manage your contacts.
Zapier’s free eBook The Ultimate Guide to CRM Apps can help. In less than an hour, you’ll learn the most important things to look at in a CRM, how to use CRM tools to push your company’s marketing forward, and how to fit them into your team’s workflow.
You’ll first have to think through what matters most: Contact info, your team’s conversations with people, or the contracts and deals you’re working on getting from contacts? That’s the three main focuses of CRM apps—and you’ll want to pick a tool that’ll help you accomplish your goals. Then, you’ll need to fit the CRM into your workflow with automations that add new contacts and log conversations so you don’t have to babysit your CRM all the time.
The Ultimate Guide to CRM Apps will teach you that and more. It’s the handbook you need for your new CRM software.
Whether you’re looking for a more advanced address book, or need an advanced business contact tool that tracks every conversation and interaction your team has with your customers, a CRM can be just the thing you need. And with these free apps, you can start keeping better track of your contact info without worrying about breaking the bank.
Have a favorite free CRM app your team relies on? We’d love to hear about it in the comments below!