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Top 6 Best Marketing CRMs for 2024

Looking for the best CRM to supercharge your marketing efforts in 2024? You've come to the right place! In this extensive guide, we’ll spotlight the CRMs that are not just popular, but are finely tuned to elevate your marketing game. We're delving into CRM platforms that offer more than just basic functionality – they bring a seamless, integrated experience to automate and optimize your marketing campaigns. Our focus here is on user-friendly interfaces that make managing customer relationships and executing marketing strategies a breeze. We’ll also evaluate the effectiveness of features like bulk messaging, best practices drip campaigns, and advanced analytics. Plus, we're diving into user reviews and ratings from trusted sources to give you the real scoop on how these CRMs perform in the hands of actual users.



Intelligent CRM with robust email automation and detailed segmentation


Has several pricing tiers with usage limits

Top Choice



Best marketing CRM with powerful marketing automation and extensive template library


Fixed pricing plan

logo of intuit mailchimp


Popular CRM with high deliverability


Pricing varies based on usage and tier

Top 5 most effective ways to utilize a marketing CRM

CRMs open up a myriad of possibilities for enhancing workflow and boosting marketing efficiency. In this section, we'll explore the five most common and impactful ways to utilize a marketing CRM. Each method is designed not just to streamline your marketing operations but to transform them into a more customer-centric and effective process.

By utilizing these features, marketing teams can create more efficient, effective, and personalized campaigns, ultimately driving better results and customer satisfaction.

10 key features to look for in a high-performance marketing CRM

Each of the features below will not only streamline various marketing processes but also significantly enhance overall efficiency and effectiveness. From advanced segmentation to seamless multi-channel campaigns and real-time analytics, these features work together to create a harmonious and productive marketing environment. Whether you're in the market for a new CRM or looking to upgrade your current system, understanding these key components will help you make an informed decision and ensure your CRM is a powerful ally in driving exceptional marketing results.

By leveraging these features, marketing teams can create more efficient, effective, and personalized campaigns, ultimately driving better results and customer satisfaction.

Quick comparison of top email marketing automation tools

Software Intro Price Differentiator
Comprehensive features and extensive automation
Active Campaign
Detailed segmentation and A/B testing
high email delivery rates with customizable templates and robust analytics
Campaign Monitor
Smart segmentation
Extensive automation and personalization features
Tools for optimized customer communication

1. Shape

Founded: 1999
HQ: Irvine, California, United States
Key Info
Price: $119/user/mo
Free plan: No
Support: 24/7 (In-product support + email)
Best For
Marketing teams looking for comprehensive features and advanced automation
+ Offers a range of marketing automation tools, including email campaigns, landing pages, and lead scoring.
+ It allows users to create custom workflows and automate repetitive tasks.
+ Keeps all contacts in one place and provides an integrated communication system, including phones, emails, and texts.
- Steep learning curve
- No over the phone support
Calendly, Zapier, MailChimp, WordPress, and many more
Pricing Model
Sales & Marketing CRM: $119/user/mo
Point of Sale: $47/user/mo
Lead Funnels: $299/mo

Shape is a comprehensive CRM with sales, marketing, and customer service features. The interface is organized making navigation and collaboration easy. With features like bulk messaging, best practices drip campaigns, scheduling, and a library of over 1000 templates, the CRM is designed to automate your marketing and lead generation efforts across both emails and SMS. 

As the name implies, the best practices drip campaigns follow industry best practices and streamline your communications to enhance customer experience.

The prebuilt email and SMS templates are one of Shape’s distinct features. They are versatile and can be used in different contexts such as cold outreach, engaging warm leads, and even post-closing campaigns, saving you time so you can reach prospects faster. These templates are not rigid and can be easily customized to suit your needs using the drag-and-drop HTML email builder.

Shape e-mail templates

Automation is not the only aspect Shape shines. The platform ensures you are targeting the right audience in your drip campaigns at the right time through customer segmentation using tags. 

Every customer record has a tags field that can be automatically filled through triggers or added manually within the record. With these tags, you can segment customers based on several criteria such as interests, purchase history, or other details that make the most sense for your specific needs. 

As you send out your marketing campaigns, Shape’s advanced analytics and reporting tools help you track your performance. This allows you to understand how to improve your workflow automation. As a result, you can hit your goals and deadlines faster.

Once you have a clear grasp of your current performance, you can use tools like A/B tests, data-driven heatmaps, and predictive CRO to improve your strategies and ensure every aspect of your marketing is tailored to meet customer needs and preferences. Together, these techniques work to optimize both conversion rate and customer retention.

Shape tag management

Additionally, Shape seamlessly integrates with marketing management tools such as Gmail, Outlook, HubSpot CRM, and Calendly through Zapier’s 6000 integrations improving the team’s efficiency and impact.

All these features as well as Shape’s flexible and customizable nature make it the ideal platform for marketing teams. But if you are sales team looking for some marketing features, then Shape has got you covered with features like sales automation, task management, contact management, multiple sales pipelines, mobile app and many more features to effectively manage your sales process.

Unlike many CRMs, Shape’s pricing is straightforward with no confusing tiers so you know just what you are getting into. At $119 per month, you’ll get access to the complete sales and marketing suite with all its features, support, and integrations.

However, with extensive functionality comes a bit of a learning curve. Being a comprehensive tool with different features and capabilities, it may take a while to fully get the hang of it. But the platform stays on top of this with intuitive onboarding tools and a responsive customer support team. 

Ultimately, Shape’s range of marketing automation tools and easy to navigate interface earns it the top spot on this list as the best marketing CRM. The advanced automation features allow teams to save time on repetitive things and focus on acquiring and retaining customers.

User reviews also support this, rating the CRM system a 4.8/5 on Capterra for its ease of use, features, and value for money. 

In the words of a satisfied user, "Shape Is the easiest and most fluid CRM I've ever used. The marketing features strengthen my relationship with my clients, and I barely even have to lift a finger to utilize this option to the fullest.”

2. ActiveCampaign

Founded: 2003
HQ: Chicago, Illinois, USA
Key Info
Price: $29+
Free plan: No; Trial: 14 days
Support: Phone, email, & chat
Best For
Businesses and marketing agencies seeking intelligent automation and advanced customer targeting.
+ Has a visual representation of the campaign sequences making it intuitive and user-friendly.
+ It allows for the creation of complex, personalized email sequences that engage customers effectively.
+ Easily supports even very large mailing lists
- Active Campaign lacks a global setting option for making universal changes across all emails.
- The pricing may pose challenges for small businesses or startups, limiting access to its more advanced features
- The email campaign editor could be more streamlined.
- Simple tasks, like changing the email name, may require multiple clicks
Salesforce, Accounting Suite, Xero, Quickbooks, and 900+ more
Pricing Model
Lite: $29/month
Plus: $49/month
Professional: $149/month
Enterprise: $259/month

When testing ActiveCampaign, it was clear that even though it is a complete CRM solution, it places its marketing automation features at the forefront. You can immediately send mass emails through its robust email automation system and ensure they get to the right audience through segmentation and dynamic content.

Like Shape, tags are used for segmentation and are added to each prospect profile based on their actions, such as clicking links in your emails or visiting your site. These tags indicate their interests, so you can send them exactly what they want to see. 

In addition to email automation and segmentation, ActiveCampaign also offers autoresponders, email scheduling, and several templates so you are not just sending the right message but also doing it at the right time. 

The best part is you don't have to be a tech wiz to use any of these features thanks to the drag and drop email builder and pre-designed templates. In just a few clicks, you can reach your target audience through visually appealing emails. 

Active campaign Automation builder

The email campaign editor could however use a lot more streamlining. Clicking multiple times to carry out simple tasks like adjusting font sizes or changing the email name took away from the overall user experience.  

Apart from emails, Activecampaign also sends out marketing campaigns via SMS but SMS automation is only offered as an add-on from the Plus plan which starts at $49 per month when billed annually or $70 per month when billed monthly for 1000 contacts.

ActiveCampaign doesn't just send out campaigns, it tracks your contacts and customer behaviors closely. Through split automation, you can A/B test your entire automation workflow against another across your communication channels to see what strategies or approaches work best and what don’t. 

Plus with the several pre-built reports, you can visualize the most important detail of your marketing efforts, from email open rates to customer engagement patterns and optimize them with solid data insights.

Active campaign workflow setup

However, although ActiveCampaign comes with several powerful features, the pricing model can become costly and limit your access to these features. The Lite plan begins at $29 and only offers basic email marketing and marketing automation features. This price is for 1000 contacts and goes up as your contacts increase. The Plus plan starts at $49 for 1000 contacts and includes other features like landing pages, custom audiences, and advanced lead management. 

For advanced features like split automation, conversions tracking, and custom reporting, the cost escalates to $149 and $259 monthly for the Professional and Enterprise plans respectively and increases as you add more contacts. Therefore, if you are a small business that needs to take advantage of all these features, the pricing can be a deal breaker.

Overall, ActiveCampaign’s visual representation of the campaign sequences along with its integration with over 900 apps including several social and content marketing software makes it intuitive, versatile, and user-friendly. You can easily create complex, personalized email sequences that engage your customers effectively in just minutes. 

It also supports very large mailing lists but this can come at a high cost that’s not friendly to small businesses. Regardless, the platform maintains its reputation as one of the best CRM for intelligent marketing automation and its 4.6/5 rating on Capterra is proof. 

5. MailChimp

Founded: 2001
HQ: Atalanta, Georgia, USA
Key Info
Price: Starts at $0
Free plan: Yes; Trial: No
Support: Email
Best For
Marketing professionals needing reliable email campaigns and comprehensive analytics
+ Using generative AI, it creates and enhances marketing campaigns by generating content, personalizing messages, and providing insights and recommendations based on customer and financial data.
+ The different design and branding elements help you make appealing emails while following brand guidelines.
+ MailChimp's ablity to seamlessly integrate with different software streamlines processes and enhances overall marketing campaign management.
- The cost depends on the number of subscribers, so the price can go up rapidly and unexpectedly.
- The system has issues and occasional errors that might affect its use.
- It is hard to build complex and articulate automations
Zendesk, WordPress, Quickbooks, Stripe, and 300+ more
Pricing Model
Essentials: $9.20/month
Standard: $13.74/month
Premium: $274.81/month

Mailchimp is a popular email marketing and automation platform that has now grown into a full-featured CRM. It comes with hundreds of pre-built customizable email templates, a drag and drop editor, and simple automation tools to simplify routine tasks. These features in addition to its advanced analytics dashboards and other tools make it a popular marketing CRM for marketing professionals.

One factor that distinguished MailChimp during our evaluation was the focus on deliverability. Mailchimp does not just send marketing emails, the CRM ensures your emails get delivered to your audience’s inbox and do not end up in the junk folder. 

It comes with built-in email authentication that makes your emails appear more trustworthy to email servers and Internet Service Providers (ISPs). Every email you send through Mailchimp is provided with three types of authentication: DKIM, SenderID, and SPF for free to increase their likelihood of reaching the inbox.

mailChimp home page with quick actions and snapshot of email performance

MailChimp also ensures that these emails are delivered to the right inboxes. It comes with pre-built segments for common targeting techniques based on buying behavior and engagement. You can also use any of the built-in surveys to segment customers based on their responses for subsequent marketing campaigns.

Once you have your customer segments, you can find out what resonates with them best through A/B and multivariate testing. You can test up to 3 variations of your campaigns with different subject lines, layouts, images, and send times and use the advanced analytics and reporting tools to get a full performance report. This removes the need for guesswork and allows you to adjust your campaigns to suit customer behavior. 

As a full-featured marketing CRM software, MailChimp Integrates with over 300 apps including several social, content, and SMS marketing software, thereby serving as a single source of truth for your marketing data. On the flip side, the CRM’s major focus is on email automation. SMS is only available as an add-on to US-paid plans only. Building complex and articulate automation on the CRM was also challenging during our test.

Getting up and running with MailChimp was easy. Their personalized onboarding services provided live, hands-on support from an onboarding specialist and removed the learning curve usually associated with robust CRMs. 

MailChimp dashboard

The pricing model also made things easy. It has a free plan with limited email automation and reporting features that can give you a peek at what to expect when you move to the paid plans. From the free plan, you can upgrade to the Essential, Standard, or Premium plan at $6.50, $10, or $175 respectively. However, this price is only valid for 500 contacts. It can go up rapidly as you add more contacts to your list. 

Overall, MailChimp’s different design and branding elements help you make appealing emails while following brand guidelines. Its integration with over 300 software also streamlines processes and enhances overall marketing campaign management. 

However, because the cost depends on the number of subscribers, the price can go up rapidly and unexpectedly. We also noticed occasional issues and errors with the system as well as difficulties while creating complex automations. Yet, the platform maintains a 4.5/5 score on Capterra showing it is more recognized for its strengths than shortcomings.

4. Campaign Monitor

Founded: 2004
HQ: Nashville, Tennessee, USA
Key Info
Price: Starts at $11
Free plan: No; Trial: Available
Support: Email
Best For
Businesses seeking a user-friendly platform for creating professional email campaigns
+ Provides active real time report of interactions with mails
+ Has numerous templates to make the designing process simpler
+ Drag-and-drop interface makes it easy to add images, links, and other elements to email.
- Templates are not fully customizable
- Campaign Monitor lacks native social sharing features
- Support is only via email but responds quickly
Salesforce, WordPress, Shopify, Intercom, AdRoll and 250+ others
Pricing Model
Lite: $11/month
Essentials: $19/month
Premier: $149/month

If your priority is simplicity and ease of use, Campaign Monitor is a great choice. It prides itself on providing easy to use yet powerful email marketing tools such as custom email template builder, free image gallery, marketing automation, and smart segmentation. The visual drag-and-drop email editor further simplifies the platform ensuring you can create eye-catching and professional email marketing campaigns without any training required. 

For marketing automation, provides an intuitive visual journey designer for creating timely emails, reducing the time you’d normally spend manually creating and sending campaigns. You can A/B test your emails and segment your audience through custom fields like gender, location, or interests, which ensure your campaigns are personalized.

Campaign monitor campaign automation builder

What set Campaign Monitor’s email marketing features apart for us when we tested the CRM was its Preference Center. This feature allows your email subscribers to adjust how you interact with them rather than hit the unsubscribe button.

For example, they can choose the type of email topics they receive or adjust the frequency of their emails. Doing this not only increases the chances of retaining them on your list but also ensures they stay active. The full analytics suite then seals it with actionable insights to improve your email performance and boost your ROI. 

In addition to email campaigns, Campaign Monitor also supports personalized SMS campaigns. Sending SMS campaigns was intuitive, taking only minutes to prepare and craft the perfect message. Not to mention the platform’s versatility, integrating with several social and content marketing software such as Google Analytics, Hubspot, and Stripo. 

Campaign monitor training module

The price starts at 11 per month for the Lite plan, and scales up based on features and number of subscribers. Several training videos are also available to make your onboarding process a breeze.

To sum up, Campaign Monitor’s numerous templates, real time reports, and drag and drop interface come together to make the CRM easy to use earning it a 4.5/5 score on Capterra for ease of use. However, these features are not fully customizable and you can only receive help from the support team via email. The absence of native social sharing features also limits your direct social media engagement functions within the platform.

5. HubSpot

Founded: 2006
HQ: Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Key Info
Price: Starts at $0
Free plan: Yes; Trial: 14 days
Support: Phone, email & chat
Best For
Businesses needing comprehensive marketing tools with advanced analytics and integration
+ All marketing activities can be tracked and easily transformed into KPI's as a dashboard
+ Everything from advertising, email marketing, SMS, and social can be managed by HubSpot
+ Easy to track customer journey
- Some key features are available only in the enterprise plans
- The tiered pricing model, although flexible, can lead to unexpectedly high expenses as you scale up your activities.
1500+ apps including email service providers like Gmail and other popular tools like Google Calendar, WordPress, Mailchimp, Mailerlite
Pricing Model
Starter: $15/month
Professional: $800/month
Enterprise: $3600/month

The Hubspot platform consists of a marketing hub with email marketing tools such as dozens of free email templates, A/B testing, segmentation, analytics, landing pages, etc.  

These tools allow you to create, personalize, and optimize your emails independently, without the need for designers or IT. 

Plus, since it is supported by the HubSpot sales CRM database, you are sure that the customer data you’re using to personalize and optimize your emails is accurate. This credibility is one of HubSpot’s major selling points.

After creating your emails, you can customize the layout to display optimally across any device using the drag and drop editor. You can also tailor your emails to each subscriber based on properties within the CRM such as lifecycle stage, list membership, or any contact information in their profile. These properties automatically add the most relevant subject lines, CTAs, attachments, and more contributing to more opens and click-throughs.

HubSpot email type selection screen

That’s not all. You can continuously optimize your email campaigns using the A/B test and analytics dashboards. The A/B test tool creates a second version of your email campaign so you can see how variations in details such as subject lines, contents, and CTAs affect your email opens or CTR. The tool then picks the better version and sends it to the recent of your audience list.

Outside of email marketing automation, HubSpot supports automated and personalized SMS campaigns. The SMS feature comes with personalized tokens, workflows, and contact integration so you can send time-sensitive offers, create targeted SMS campaigns, and communicate in real time. 

For example, you can easily send appointment reminders, promotional updates, or event notifications via text messaging to boost customer engagement, loyalty, and ultimately conversions with timely and personalized experiences.

Despite all these features, HubSpot extends its functionalities by integrating with over 1500 apps including several marketing software such as Canva, BulkSMS, Vimeo, etc.

HubSpot email metrics

HubSpot Marketing Hub offers a free plan that gives you access to limited marketing tools. From our test, we observed that this free plan is only a way to ease you into the CRM. As your needs build up, you’d have to move to the paid plans with significantly higher pricing. 

The starter plan costs $18 per month but only adds bulk emails, pop up forms, and landing pages to your tool kit. If your team needs to automate marketing efforts across multiple channels, get custom reports, and more, you’ll need the Professional plan at $800 per month or the $3600 Enterprise Plan. 

These prices are for the base contact list and increase as you add more contacts. Therefore, for a small business, the free and starter plan may be too limited in its features while the Professional and Enterprise plans with the advanced features come with a hefty price tag. 

Altogether, HubSpot manages most of your marketing needs from advertising, social, and email marketing, to SMS. You can also track customer journeys easily across multiple touchpoints and deliver personalized experiences based on their behaviors. 

However, the tiered pricing model, although flexible, can lead to unexpectedly high expenses as you scale up your activities. This is a major setback as many of the key features are only available in the pricey Professional and Enterprise plans.


Founded: 2020
HQ: Newark, Delaware, United States
Key Info
Price: Starts at $0
Free plan: Yes; Trial: 14 days
Support: Phone, email & chat
Best For
Teams looking for seamless customer interaction and automation without SMS capabilities
+ Analytics and reporting tools provide valuable insights into customer interactions and team performance
+ The software provides a unified inbox for centralized customer communication, streamlining interactions.
+ Automation and chatbot functionality save time by handling routine tasks and inquiries.
- Gist App's user interface is generally intuitive, but some of the more advanced features may have a steeper learning curve for new users.
- Additional tutorials or in-app guidance for these features could be beneficial.
- Lacks email drag and drop design tool Integration limitations might arise with specific systems or software used by businesses.
Google Calendar, WordPress, Gmail, Mailchimp, and many more
Pricing Model
Professional: $29 per month
Premium: $99 per month

GIST is an all-in-one CRM software that focuses majorly on optimizing customer communication. Creating beautiful and professional-looking emails with GIST during our test was effortless due to the intuitive drag-and-drop editor. You can easily add custom layouts, images, colors, and logos that match your brand. 

GIST’s email marketing tools allow you to send different types of emails such as broadcast emails, drip campaigns, automated emails, scheduled emails, email funnels, and upsell and cross-sell emails. 

Before sending these emails, you can set specific campaign goals to define the milestones you’ll want to attain with them. Once you’ve sent them, the CRM’s analytics and reporting give you actionable insights to improve your email strategy by helping you analyze key email metrics such as delivery rates, open rates, link clicks, bounce rates, etc. 

Gist email automation page

However, the CRM does not support A/B testing which can limit how well you optimize your email strategies. On the other hand, it supports segmentation through smart fields and integrates with Zapier and more than 30 other apps to add more personalization as well as social media and content marketing functionalities. 

As you use GIST for your marketing needs, you are not left alone as the customer success team members are readily available to guide you from onboarding training to weekly workshops, and general customer support. 

Getting started with GIST is easy even if you are switching from another tool. The best part is if you are migrating with over 5,000 email subscribers, the dedicated migration team will do all the job for you down to the last form. 

Another setback while testing GIST was the lack of an SMS feature. For a platform that puts customer communication at the fore, not having an SMS feature means missing out on a channel that provides direct engagement with customers.

GIST has a generous free forever plan with features like unlimited conversation history, team inbox, and automated welcome messages.

Gist Inbox

The professional and premium plans cost $29 and $99 monthly and add automated features like chat triggers, automated assignment rules, and meeting scheduling.

Overall, GIST provides a unified team inbox that centralizes customer communication and speeds up interactions. The automation and chatbot functionality also save time by handling routine tasks and inquiries while the analytics and reporting tools provide valuable insights into customer interactions and team performance. 

However, some of the more advanced features may have a steeper learning curve for new users. Although the user interface is intuitive, having additional tutorials or in-app guidance for these features would be beneficial.

How to pick the best marketing CRM

When deciding on the best marketing CRM software for your business, it's essential to weigh these features against your specific needs. Consider the size and scope of your marketing operations, the variety of communication channels you use, and the level of automation and analytics you require. Budget constraints and potential for growth and scalability are also crucial factors.

A practical next step is to engage with free trials or demo versions of the CRMs that seem to align with your business needs. This hands-on experience will provide valuable insights into the user interface and functionality of each system, helping you assess how well they integrate into your existing workflows.

Remember, the goal is to choose a CRM that not only addresses your current marketing challenges but also has the potential to scale and evolve as your business grows. The right CRM should streamline your marketing processes, enhance the efficiency of your team, and ultimately lead to improved customer engagement and higher conversion rates.

By selecting a customer relationship management software that fits your current needs and has the scalability to grow with your business, you'll be equipped to manage and optimize your marketing strategy effectively, leading to better customer relationships and increased marketing performance.


Our Top Pick - Shape


4.8/5 - from 2,000+ reviews

All-in-one software for marketing, sales, customer service, CRM, and operations. Improve communication and maximize your business.

Please note: All pricing mentioned in this article is based on information available as of 28-05-2023 and sourced from the respective companies' public pricing pages. While we strive for accuracy, we recommend verifying with the specific company for the most up-to-date details.

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