7) What’s the Best Free Contact Manager or CRM?

I know, I know. I’ve mentioned this item before. But the market also continues to evolve. So when things change, we have to talk about it again. I’ve gone on record saying, if you have an I.T. guy (give praise to God), your best bet (besides just giving praise to God) is CiviCRM. Why? Because you will always forever own the data and it will always forever be free to stage the software. But what if you *don’t* have an I.T. guy — but you still need to share the application with someone. For example, say you are a small home office — just 2 or 3 people — but you want to share your contact list and do lightweight CRM (customer relationship management) stuff. What do you do??? Well recently, I tried CRMPro. It was ok. But honestly, I think it’s been a few years and it still looks… soooooo…. 90’s. Plus, after the first year, they take away your free CRM option and you have to start paying the piper big-time. So it’s a one-year ticking time bomb. Then we found ZohoCRM.


Their free edition is absolutely, positively free forever for up to 10 users (just right for the small office; if you have 9 people, your 10th person better be an I.T. guy anyway : ) ). For that price (zero), you get leads, accounts, contacts, feeds, documents, a fantastic mobile app (which, by the way, works offline — even with your data!!! So this is an *incredible* feature for those times you’re overseas, out of connectivity in a rural area, or flying on a plane without Wi-Fi), and more. PLUS — the app let’s you send emails (even email campaigns) from within the app itself, as if you’re writing from your own email address, recording the emails you sent in the communication record of the contact. And guess what — you get 25,000 contacts (data storage) with crazy good filtering and searching capabilities. And you can import up to 1000 contacts at a time. It plays with social networking, handles file versioning and sharing, gives you webforms, and up to 1 gig of file storage for free. You even get a basic workflow package. (Very basic, mind you.) And the iPhone app even lets you do *voice* updates for contacts. See the nice upgrade path (for when you have some money to throw at a monthly user fee) here…


Good luck Zohoing.

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