Best free CRM: Choose Insightly to launch your business Sales by Val Riley April 10, 2023Let’s talk about Free CRMs. When you launch a business one of the first questions you’ll face is what tools to use. Your cash burn rate will likely be of concern, so it’s important to find software that will help you run your business without wasting time and money on a complex system you don’t need.A software tool that is at the heart of most businesses is a customer relationship management (CRM) system. A CRM is a single source of truth for your operation. You’ll record your sales activity, see your pipeline, and increase productivity. So if your customers are just saved in your phone or living on a spreadsheet, it’s probably time to look into a CRM.In this post, you’ll learn how Insightly is the best solution for getting your business off the ground and how you can use it for free as you embark on your new business venture. Insightly is the best CRM for small businesses and the best CRM for startups. So if you’ve got big dreams but not a big budget, read on.A free CRM trial vs. a free CRMMany CRMs will have a free trial and a free plan. What’s the difference? A free CRM trialA trial is typically only 7, 10 or 14 days. It will allow you to use the software, but will end after that short period of time. You will be prompted to purchase the software to continue using it. Beware that you may be trialing a version that is the most expensive one the business offers, so be sure the features you are using will be available in the paid plan you select at the end of your trial.A free CRM planUnlike a free CRM trial, a free CRM plan or a free CRM is available to use for as long as you need it. Depending on the vendor you choose, your free CRM may have severe limits on the number of contacts you can have in the system, the number of emails you can send from it, and you may not be able to access some of the features of a paid plan. However, these limits can be quite generous as you are just starting out. Look for a vendor that doesn’t require a credit card to sign up. You don’t want to be caught by surprise with a charge on your card for a CRM you thought was completely free. What CRMs are free?When choosing a free CRM, look at the details of the free program you are signing up for. HubSpot CRM, Bitrix24, and Zoho CRM both offer free plans, but with extremely limited features. When you check out HubSpot pricing or Zoho pricing, you’ll see why.Conversely, the Insightly CRM Free plan is free forever for up to 2 users. You get: 2,500 contact records, which is a big number for a small business. You can also customize the CRM to your business with two custom fields. You’ll get 5 email templates and you can send up to 10 emails per day. You can also make the CRM work for you by using custom page layouts. Plus, you can link Insightly with your accounting software, so if you’re using QuickBooks or Xero, that integration is free and included. Insightly Free plan:2,500 contact records2 custom fields5 email templates 10 emails per day Custom page layoutsNative integrations (G-Suite, QuickBooks, PandaDoc, Xero & more)With these available features, the ability to customize and the generous limit on contacts, Insightly free CRM is the ideal choice, even ahead of options like open source CRM or self-hosted CRM. Why weigh yourself down with CRM duties when you should be focusing on growing your business?Why choose a free CRM?Starting a business is hard. As you choose relationships with vendors, especially in the early months and years, it’s important to look for business partners that want to grow with you. A company that wants to charge you hundreds of dollars or even thousands of dollars right out of the gate doesn’t understand what it’s like to be a growing business.Beware of companies that seem like a great deal up front. One popular CRM will provide an introductory rate of 90% off and then charge you full price just a year later. It’s clear from this model that this company (hint: HubSpot) doesn’t understand what it’s like to start a business. To think that year one growth will be so steep that you can absorb that type of price increase is so unrealistic.Insightly’s free plan is free forever…that’s it. Once you decide you need more contacts in the system or more users to operate it, then you can determine the timing to move up to a more robust, paid plan. That’s your decision…you own the business. It’s part of Insightly’s mission to help small businesses grow. Heck, we were once a small business too! By leveraging cloud data storage that is fully secured, Insightly can offer these plans to start-ups and small businesses. We want to be a partner that supports you and grows with you. Best CRM for Google workspaceAnother benefit of choosing Insightly CRM is how easily it integrates with Google. Insightly is the best CRM for Google workspace and since you can use both for free, it’s a great combination to use to kickstart your business. For Google Mail, Google Drive, Google Sheets, Google Slides, Google Calendar and more, Insightly has integration options. What can you do with the Insightly Google Mail integration? You can manage your business in Insightly without having to leave your Gmail inbox using a Chrome Extension. Once you download and install the sidebar from Google’s marketplace, you can create a new contact, create tasks, link opportunities, and save/send emails without having to leave your inbox. You can also send messages from your inbox and have those messages automatically appear in the CRM.There is similar email integration functionality in Microsoft Office where you can manage your business within the Microsoft Outlook inbox. Other integrations that are included with Insightly CRM are: Evernote, MailChimp, Microsoft integrations, PandaDoc, QuickBooks, Quote Roller, Xero and Zapier.How does a free CRM help grow your business?With Insightly CRM, you’ll get a current view of your entire sales funnel – what’s closing now, next month, or next quarter. You can sort your data to see deals won and lost, what meetings you have coming up, and what deals are in the works. You can sort your data and act on it.By linking relationships in your CRM, you’ll get more insight beyond names and job roles. You’ll record every interaction with your prospects. You’ll be able to send batch emails and link your email application to your CRM to keep both tools in alignment. Stop using your phone, a spreadsheet or a trusty notebook to record interactions…go digital and up your game. Plus, you can use Insightly on the go with the free companion mobile app. Most businesses show an increased conversion rate when they bring a CRM into their tech stack. (Source: Entrepreneur magazine.)Best of all, you don’t need any money to get started – Insightly doesn’t even ask for a credit card.How do I start a free Insightly account?It’s easy to get started with an Insightly free account. To do so, you’ll first want to start a free trial. You’ll fill out the required fields and your new account will be created. In-app prompts will help guide you as you explore Insightly CRM. Over the next 14 days, you’ll also receive emails helping you get acclimated to the system. To help understand how the platform works, there is fake data (also called dummy data) in the system. After you poke around a bit, you’ll want to delete that data and start entering yours.The series of emails emails and a bar at the top of the application will count down until the end of your trial, but don’t worry about losing access. When your trial ends, you’ll automatically be moved to a free account. That account is free for up to 2 users forever. What happens when I am ready to upgrade to a paid account?Your business is growing and you need more power – great! Whether it’s more users, more contacts, more emails, more templates, or more customizations, it’s time for an upgrade. You can upgrade your account directly from within Insightly, or you can reach out to a team member to explore more options. For example, it may be time to add a marketing automation application like Insightly Marketing, or you may want to access more complex integrations with Insightly AppConnect. If you have a customer service team, perhaps it’s time to look at Insightly Service for support ticketing. A demo of these applications can go a long way in determining the growth trajectory of your business. You can watch a demo on demand, or request a personalized walk through with a team member. Customer Relationships Val RileyVal Riley is a tech marketer with more than 20 years of experience. She specializes in Content Marketing at Insightly and previously worked for a marketing automation platform as head of Product and Content Marketing. Also known as The Decaf Marketer, you can reach Val on LinkedIn.