Freshmarketer is marketing CRM software provided by Freshworks. It enables you to upload all your potential marketing contacts into a single database, and run email marketing campaigns for those contacts.
Freshmarketer is designed specifically for marketing, and is one of a range of Freshworks CRMs with different focuses – the other two being Freshsales for sales management, and Freshdesk for customer engagement.
In this Freshmarketer review, we dive deep into its available features, compare it to its key competitors, and analyze every aspect of the software to help you decide if Freshmarketer is the best CRM software solution for your business.
Freshmarketer review: Snapshot
Freshmarketer is a marketing CRM tool for commercial businesses. Its core function is to enable users to run various email-focused marketing campaigns on a database of leads. It was also updated recently with a landing page builder tool, which is integrated with the automatic marketing campaign builder.
Freshmarketer’s main competitors are HubSpot’s Marketing Hub and Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud (US-only link), but it is by far the most affordable of the three. It is also the fastest to set up, taking about 15 minutes as opposed to several weeks.
Freshmarketer’s biggest weakness is the limited number of contacts per month. In its standard offering, only 2,000 contacts can be emailed monthly, and in the most expensive tier, the user is still limited to 10,000. HubSpot and Salesforce both offer the user an option to buy up more monthly contacts as needed.
If you are satisfied with the limited number of monthly contacts, Freshmarketer is great marketing CRM software that is especially attractive for the budget-conscious buyer.
Read on for the full review.
|Freshmarketer||HubSpot Marketing Hub||Salesforce Marketing Cloud|
|Pros||– Amazing range of features, especially in lower-end plans – Low cost||– Established CRM with a broad range of features – Robust social media management platform||– Best marketing CRM for mid- to large-sized enterprises – 24/7 customer support – AI-driven insights|
|Cons||– Small number of contacts allowed per month||– Expensive – Difficult to learn||– Very expensive – Basic plan has a very limited range of features considering the cost|
|Verdict||Freshmarketer is a great marketing CRM for the budget-conscious user.||HubSpot Marketing Hub is an established and powerful platform with a steep learning curve and lots of features.||Salesforce Marketing Cloud is an expensive but powerful platform, best suited for large organizations marketing to hundreds of thousands or millions of people.|
|View deals||Visit site||Visit site||Visit site (US link only)|
Freshmarketer’s key features
The main function of Freshmarketer is to facilitate email-based marketing campaigns for users. To do this, Freshmarketer enables users to load their leads into a database, and create automated email campaigns called Journeys. You can also create landing pages with a call to action that secures the sale.
It is possible to enter contacts one by one into Freshmarketer’s database, but this is very time-consuming. If your organization already has a list of leads, you can import them directly from a .csv file. Freshmarketer has an existing template to help you format your data properly before uploading.
The customer database can be further divided into separate contact lists, which can then be used as a source of customer data for Journeys.
Freshmarketer: Key features and highlights
Using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, users can create journeys with premade blocks called “events.”
Events are divided into four types: triggers, actions, conditions, and controls. Trigger events begin the journey. “Added to contact list” is an example of a trigger event; actions are things that Freshmarketer does, such as “send email”; conditions are usually if statements, such as “if submitted form from landing page”; and controls are simply direct instructions such as “time delay: 1 week”.
Although you can build your custom journey from scratch, it can be faster to use Freshmarketer’s built-in library of templates. Before designing a journey from scratch, look at the templates available and see if you can tweak one to suit your needs.
Landing pages are one-page websites designed to elicit a specific action from the client, such as buying a product or signing up to a mailing list. They act as the final step in a cold email campaign.
Freshmarketer features a simple drag-and-drop interface that allows you to create your landing page right inside the CRM, and then publish it on a web hosting service of your choice. Landing pages also come with an extensive library of premade templates to save time and provide design inspiration.
Freshmarketer: What’s new?
The Freshworks team provided several updates to Freshmarketer in the first half of 2021. The most notable feature added to Freshmarketer this year is the ability to create and customize landing pages. As of March 2021, users of the Grow plan and above can create landing pages with a simple drag-and-drop interface, then connect them to a hosting provider of their choice with just a few clicks.
Another related feature, introduced in July, is the landing page journey trigger. Freshmarketer Journeys can now be triggered to begin when the customer submits a landing page form. This links the landing page builder to the rest of Freshmarketer’s automation suite, closing a gap that formed when landing pages were added in March.
Freshmarketer features four tiers of pricing options. Payments can be made monthly or annually, with a 17% discount on annual plans across all pricing tiers. Each pricing tier unlocks additional features, and increases the number of marketing contacts that you can reach out to per month.
Compared to its competitors, Freshmarketer offers highly competitive pricing. This is most noticeable in the highest price tier, Enterprise. This plan costs $3,588 annually, while HubSpot’s highest price tier costs over $38,000. Despite the price difference, Freshmarketer still has many of the same features as its competitors at every price tier, and even outperforms them in some tiers.
|Plan type/feature||Free||Grow*||Pro*||Enterprise*||HubSpot Marketing Hub – Starter||Salesforce Marketing Cloud – Basic|
|Cost per month||$0||$19||$149||$299||$45||$400|
|Cost per year||$0||$228 (17% cheaper)||$1,788 (17% cheaper)||$3,588 (17% cheaper)||$540 (10% cheaper)||$4,800|
|Monthly marketing contacts||100||2,000||5,000||10,000||1,000||Negotiable|
|Drag and drop email campaigns||X||✓||✓||✓||✓||X|
|Dedicated account manager||X||X||X||✓||X||✓**|
*Pricing based on the annual plan
**Available at additional cost
Freshmarketer has a similar product and features to the competition. One of its biggest alleged differentiating factors is setup time, so we decided to test this for ourselves. We also constructed an automated email journey. The Journey feature is unlocked at the first paid tier, so its usefulness can determine whether free plan users should make the upgrade.
How long does it take to set up Freshmarketer?
Setting up our first Freshmarketer campaign was a straightforward process that took about 15 minutes. The first step was to import contacts from a .csv file (editable in Excel). We downloaded a template with all the relevant fields directly from Freshmarketer, and input some names and basic contact info. Afterward, it was a simple matter of clicking “import”, and the contacts were added to the CRM.
It is worth noting that it is also possible to create contacts directly in the CRM one-by-one, but this could be more time-consuming. It is also possible to import a database that doesn’t follow Freshmarketer’s template: Freshmarketer allows you to specify manually which columns in your database correspond to the relevant fields in Freshmarketer.
Afterwards, we proceeded to the contact list section of the program, and grouped our three contacts into a list. Lists are a method of sorting contacts into different groups to run email campaigns—a campaign will email all the contacts on a list, so to run multiple campaigns it is important to organize contacts into lists as needed.
After this point, we were ready to begin our first cold email campaign.
How useful is Freshmarketer’s Journey feature?
The big advantage that Freshmarketer provides with email campaigns is automation. Functions like sending follow-ups on a certain date or after a certain amount of time can be fully automated. Our test campaign, for example, (see screenshot above) pulls the contact list we created in the previous test, waits one week, and then sends a prewritten template email to all the contacts on the list.
Setting up the campaign is simple and intuitive. There is a bank of preset functions, like selecting an email list, waiting for a specified amount of time, and sending an email. These functions are connected visually by arrows to determine the order they will be executed in. The process requires no programming knowledge, and we had no problem putting together our campaign in 10 minutes with no outside assistance.
The usefulness of such a program increases dramatically with scale, so users should ask themselves at which point it is no longer viable to send all their cold emails manually. On the scale allowed by the free plan, 100 emails a month, it is probably not necessary to automate the process.
However, once you are looking at more emails than that, it can become prohibitively difficult to maintain a campaign with zero automation. Considering its ease of use and the $19 a month price point, we believe that the Journey feature is very useful, and well worth an upgrade to the Grow tier.
Alternatives to Freshmarketer
Freshmarketer’s main competitors are HubSpot’s Marketing Hub and Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud (US-only link). Both products have a very similar feature set to Freshmarketer. However, Freshmarketer holds a distinctive advantage over its competition when it comes to pricing.
Freshmarketer’s Enterprise plan (highest price tier) costs less than Salesforce’s basic plan, and has features, like the Journey builder, that are not available to Marketing Cloud’s basic users. HubSpot’s enterprise plan is comparable to Freshmarketer’s in terms of feature scope, but it costs over $38,000 annually compared to Freshmarketer’s $3,588.
Freshmarketer does come with a significant downside: a hard limit on the number of monthly contacts. The free version is limited to just 100 email contacts monthly, and the highest-paid tier is capped at 10,000. HubSpot and Salesforce both use a scalable model, whereby the user can purchase more contacts at any plan tier if they are willing to pay more monthly.
Salesforce, unfortunately, does not disclose its exact pricing for this, but HubSpot is very transparent. At its basic paid tier, users get 1,000 monthly contacts by default, and can pay $45 a month for every additional 1,000 they wish to add up to a maximum of 100,000. Freshmarketer caps its basic paid tier at 2,000 marketing contacts.
For this reason, HubSpot is more suitable than Freshmarketer for a small business that needs many monthly contacts. Salesforce Marketing Cloud is best for mid- to large-sized organizations, as it offers unlimited contacts but costs more than HubSpot. However, if your marketing needs are within its contact limits, Freshmarketer can offer you more features at a better price than the competition.
|Freshmarketer||HubSpot Marketing Hub||Salesforce Marketing Cloud|
|Drag and drop email campaign Builder||Yes||Yes||Yes (with upgrade)|
|Landing page builder tool||Yes||Yes||No|
|Basic plan||$19 a month||$45 a month||$400 a month|
Freshmarketer: Final verdict
Freshmarketer is a powerful marketing CRM program at a competitive price point. It offers advanced features such as automatic marketing journeys and a drag-and-drop landing page builder. This advanced feature set, combined with a price point that is well below that of its two biggest competitors, makes Freshmarketer an attractive option for a budget-sensitive buyer.
It is also intuitive to use and easy to set up, even with no prior tech knowledge. We launched it ourselves in less than 15 minutes. By comparison, Salesforce and HubSpot can take weeks to set up, even with the assistance of their development team.
Freshmarketer’s greatest weakness lies in the hard limit it has on the number of contacts users can reach out to in a month. At its most expensive tier, users can only reach out to 10,000 contacts a month. HubSpot, on the other hand, allows users to “buy up” more monthly contacts as needed, to a maximum of one million contacts a month. Salesforce does not have an upper limit on the number of contacts your company can reach out to, but is also priced the highest of the three.
If you are comfortable with the limits on monthly contacts, Freshmarketer is one of the most competitively priced marketing CRM programs available on the market.
Further reading on CRM software
For more information about CRM software, we recommend checking out our guide to the best CRM software of 2021. Take a look at these alternatives to choose the right email marketing CRM for your business with the best email marketing software and the best CRM for small businesses.