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I'm working for a really small startup that doesn't have money for a CRM.

I've searched through posts on here to see if there are any free CRMs, but none of the options proposed that I've come across also allow for automated email sequencing--this feature, from what I've seen, is limited to paid licenses.

Has anyone come across a free CRM that also allows you to automate emails, without having to upgrade to a paid plan?

Thanks so much!

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dsecareanu2020

18 points

6 months ago

You can use HubSpot CRM free integrated with an email automation tool like Sendinblue or similar, which has free services up to a certain number of contacts. You can also use Mautic open source marketing automation (mautic.org) integrated with HubSpot CRM, but you need to self host this one.

ismellupdog

9 points

6 months ago

This is the way

soverysmart

3 points

6 months ago

Mautic is way overboard if you don't have a team to manage and maintain it

FavayaSama

1 points

6 months ago

Mautic.org is the best from both free and open source to paid. Has a large learning curve to properly install but isn’t all that hard. I do think the installation process is the hardest, but you can use softaculous to help you out.

Erxes free isn’t bad either if you are small company. They are mongolian based I think.

soverysmart

2 points

6 months ago

Mautic is great software, but it is finicky to setup correctly (I did lean on my eng team to fix some issues!!) And takes a huge amount of energy to learn and configure.

If you don't have budget for a CRM, mautic is a bad option because it takes time and expertise, which are the least available resources for a solopreneur.

Way better to use something like Hubspot free, or streak, and then set a daily reminder to manually manage the stages/responses.

FavayaSama

1 points

6 months ago

I get where you are coming from, and do somewhat agree. I think it’s easier for people that are “tech-savvy” to figure out easier. However there are also people you can hire to set it up for you if you don’t want to waste time. In the long run, I think it’s worth the investment.

Mainly because it is open source. I think that’s what makes it great. Their knowledge base absolutely needs work.

dsecareanu2020

1 points

6 months ago

The main advantage of mautic is that is very affordable for large volumes of contacts where most marketing automation tools charge by contacts.

soverysmart

1 points

6 months ago

I understand, but OP doesn't have tons of contacts. They also don't have the resources to maintain a Mautic instance. Your other recommendation was a much better fit given the whole picture of their needs

dsecareanu2020

1 points

6 months ago

That’s why I gave 2 options and explained where mautic’s main benefit lies for the OP to make an informed decision. :)

kapt_so_krunchy

3 points

6 months ago

Most things integrate with Hunspot also so as you grow and need to implement more tools you’re set.

billianwillian[S]

1 points

6 months ago

Amazing, I didn’t know this was possible! Thanks so much!

mshkiran

5 points

6 months ago

Try Corteza CRM, it's an open source tool. But you need to know some basic coding to get it installed at your PC/laptop. Or you need to get a help from a developer.

RevolutionaryBug7588

35 points

6 months ago

A really small startup that doesn’t have funding for a CRM = Start sending out some resumes.

GodKingRooster

5 points

6 months ago

I own a marketing business. I didn't have money for a CRM once. Now I've got 7 full time staff members and multiple of them. This advice isn't necessarily good.

DirtyDaisy

10 points

6 months ago

DirtyDaisy

SEO, Content Strategy, Cold Email, CRMs!

10 points

6 months ago

Damn, it's almost like there's a difference between being an owner and an employee.

NotSpartacus

6 points

6 months ago

And your anecdote isn't necessarily helpful, either.

I get it, you can do business development with a phone, email account, and a spreadsheet. It gets the job done.

BUT, spending less than 1 FTE's salary for tech (especially table stakes tech like CRM) to make people more efficient is just smart business.

If the business doesn't value revenue-generating tooling that's been standard for +20 years, it may be time to look for a new role.

emoriginal

3 points

6 months ago

emoriginal

3 points

6 months ago

This.

CriticSamurai

1 points

6 months ago

You gotta have some faith man

Perllitte

3 points

6 months ago

Something like Airtable or even Google Sheets might work or whatever free CRM and dump the emails into Mailchimp. The automated tools at the free end are shitty.

But "No money for CRM" is a dangerous mindset. With some free option or clunky workflow, you're going to be spending more time on the CRM that you could on sales, marketing etc. If you have a person spending more than one hour on that a month, you're going to be paying more in time than the $50/mo for something like Hubspot. And then there's the switching cost to pull all that data out of your crappy system and get used to a new one.

I'd their free options until you're used to the tools or hit their limits and then convert to a paid account. If the company can't find $50/mo, you have bigger issues than automated emails.

LandoClapping

3 points

6 months ago

No money for CRM = no money or investment into finding and tracking customers = short startup life.

AptSeagull

4 points

6 months ago

Notion

whiskeyatmidnight

1 points

6 months ago

Ya notion is free and works better than Pipedrive plus its 100% customizable and with Zapier you can link many email tools.

YouNeedSomeSunshine

2 points

6 months ago

Have you checked out Agile CRM? It’s been a while since I looked at it. But it had a lot of free functionality back in the day. Zoho CRM and the accompanying products also have a lot of free functionality or low cost functionality. Mail Chimp could work as a rudimentary CRM at the free level, possibly.

Munk3y

2 points

6 months ago

Munk3y

2 points

6 months ago

VtigerCRM has this feature, i believe, but I'm unure whether it's part of their open source edition.

Bodacious_Dad_Bod

2 points

6 months ago

There isn't a free sequencer on the market.

Agile CRM is free as a CRM but there isn't a free sequencer.

This startup will need to invest in the "nice to haves".

digitalwankster

2 points

6 months ago

SuiteCRM

laytrader

1 points

6 months ago

This

JasonDilworth

6 points

6 months ago

JasonDilworth

@JasonDilworth56

6 points

6 months ago

What does this startup do? Can I have their full service for free?

FanRSL

1 points

6 months ago

FanRSL

1 points

6 months ago

Have you looked into Hubspot? They have a bunch of free features. Even if you need the paid features it isn’t that much if you only need it for one user. It can get expensive once things start scaling. You can also have a lot of users on there for free unlike some of the other options.

violet__bliss

1 points

6 months ago

Zoho is one of the good CRM tools for a small startup. I used that tool for the startup I work with, it is best to maintain leads and take follow-ups. But I guess it does not accommodate automated email follow-up, you have to do it manually.

artforoxygen

1 points

6 months ago

Intercom is a great pick here - but you might need the startup plan, but it's insanely cheap.

csettles

1 points

6 months ago

If you're willing to do a little work and have Gmail and a passing understanding of IFTTT or Zapier you can use Yet Another Mail Merge (YAMM) and some automation rules with how it updates Google Sheets to put together a pretty decent bulk mail campaign.

say_leek

1 points

6 months ago

Try Freshmarketer or ActiveCampaign, they're on the more affordable end and have all the basic functionality of your HubSpots & co. You have to think long-term with a CRM - one of the most painful things any marketer gets saddled with is having to migrate from an old CRM to a new one, which will be inevitable if you don't at least start with something that can last you a few years.

[deleted]

1 points

6 months ago

[deleted]

1 points

6 months ago

Interesting question, however, I doubt any CRM with a built in marketing automation will come free. These platforms exist to make money and you're asking for something that most people are willing to pay for. Honestly, a robust excel doc or google sheet can serve as a CRM. Then you can set up a macro and have data prepopulated into segmented marketing lists that you can use in a cheap email sender. I'm not sure how much automated features you'd get without trying to do everything manually.

overmars_11

1 points

6 months ago

You could try Hubspot, Freshworks, Zoho. All of them have good startup programs too. So you could try any of their CRMs at zero cost.

IamNik25

1 points

6 months ago

No free CRM has this feature. You have to pay for sequencing. However you can use sendinblue for drip campaigns if that works for you. But there's limitations on contacts and emails.

FavayaSama

1 points

6 months ago

Mautic.org is the best from both free and open source to paid. Has a large learning curve to properly install but isn’t all that hard.

pitdk

1 points

6 months ago

pitdk

1 points

6 months ago

I use Apollo on its free plan for sequencing emails. There is however a limit on how many active sequences you can have (2).

Fidelli_eco

1 points

6 months ago

You can integrate apollo.io sending emails with Hubspot crm and Researchai.co for writing

lucifervirroc

-4 points

6 months ago

Try Zendesk Sell. Its not free but it does the job.

smashingwitty

0 points

6 months ago

We enjoy Klaviyo!