What are the limitations of HubSpot’s free CRM?

Neal Venter | August 25 2022

Hubspot is one of the leading CRMs that you can invest in. But for smaller businesses, the cost might be too high to carry. Hubspot offers a free CRM for smaller businesses that do not have the budget to spend on a full-blown CRM but still need to take advantage of the benefits that they would get from one. 

You might be asking: what’s the catch? Well, there are no hidden fees or limited-time offers to worry about with Hubspot's free CRM. While using Hubspot’s free option, you’ll simply be limited in the features that are available to you. 

Unlike other CRMs though, you can choose which areas you want to upgrade to paid versions rather than paying for the full CRM. This allows you to expand and invest in the areas that you need the most rather than paying for features that you don’t need. Keep reading to find out more about the features you can expect to find on Hubspot’s free CRM.

HubSpot's free CRM Tools

Here are the free tools that HubSpot CRM offers:

  • Contact management
  • Contact website activity
  • Companies
  • Deals
  • Tasks & activities
  • Company insights
  • Gmail and Outlook integration
  • HubSpot Connect integrations
  • Custom support from fields
  • Prospects
  • Ticketing
  • Pop-up forms
  • Native forms
  • Ad management
  • Conversations inbox
  • Reporting dashboards
  • Email tracking & notifications
  • Email templates
  • Canned snippets
  • Documents
  • Calling
  • Meeting scheduling

HubSpot free CRM limitations:

  • Number of contacts – 1,000,000
  • Number of API calls – 40,000 per day
  • Form submissions per contact- 1,000
  • Custom properties - 1,000
  • Values per picklist property - 1,000
  • Associated contacts per company - 10,000
  • Associated deals per contact or company - 10,000
  • Associated activities (engagements) per contact, company or deal - 10,000

HubSpot’s free CRM limitations in detail

Third-Party Integrations

Third-party integrations are one of the many strengths that HubSpot offers as a CRM. However, some of the best third-party integrations are only available if you upgrade to the Hubspot Marketing basic plan. 

Limited Custom Reporting

Sales reporting is essential for any business, and with HubSpot, you can create helpful custom reports to analyse your sales reports. Hubspot CRM allows you to filter and save views in contacts, companies, and deals for quick analysis and reporting in segmented lists. 

With the free version, it’s not possible to pin any of these on your dashboard to create custom reports. If you want to create custom reports on HubSpot, looking for custom reports, then you’ll need to upgrade with a paid add-on.

Email integrations

Integrating Hubspot CRM to your business email requires you to use either Gmail or Office 365. If you don’t have either of these, you’ll need to work your way around the limitations of the free CRM.

The way to get around this limitation is to use the BCC function on all emails that you send. When receiving emails, you can forward them using the forward BCC function. However, this is a hassle and it’s easy to forget to use this function every time you send an email

Nevertheless, it’s highly recommended to use Gmail because of its excellent integration functionality with HubSpot and its general affordability for small businesses.

Documentation limits

Another major Hubspot free CRM limitation is concerning the documents. The free Hubspot CRM comes with certain limits on the documents. Documents are the files that Hubspot allows you to send to your prospects via email.

However, the file size limit for documents is 250 MB and Hubspot CRM-only users (free subscription users) can only access up to 5 documents per user. If you need access to more than 5 documents you need to upgrade to the Sales Hub Starter

Automated Workflows

The free version of the HubSpot CRM does not offer any of the automation features that can be used to streamline your business processes. These time-saving features can help to boost the productivity of your team by allowing them to focus on the tasks that matter most.

If you want the advantage of automated workflows, you will need to upgrade to Hubspot sales tools which allow you to add up to five users.

Sales tools are limited

With the free version of HubSpot CRM, you can expect to have some limitations on your sales tools.

Here are some examples of the sales restrictions the free CRM has:

  • Only 15 minutes of calling per user per month.
  • No inbound calling.
  • Hubspot branding on emails.
  • Only 1 sales pipeline.

The free CRM also offers just one shared inbox. If your entire team uses it, the inbox will be filled with different sales requests, support tickets, and marketing email responses. It’s not ideal if you have a small business with several different departments.

Limitations on marketing tools 

One of HubSpot’s strengths is its marketing. As the pioneers of inbound marketing, HubSpot has an excellent reputation for having the best marketing functions of any CRM in the industry.

HubSpot’s free CRM has the following marketing limitations:

  • Hubspot branding across all emails, landing pages, and chatbots
  • Two social media accounts can be connected for ad management
  • Five active email lists
  • 2,000 marketing email sends per month
  • Landing pages are limited to a few simple templates

Slower customer support

Understandably, Hubspot will prioritise its paying customers with the best customer service. If you’re using the free CRM, you can expect slower customer service.

However, you’ll still have access to some excellent features:

  • Hubspot Academy
  • Hubspot Community
  • Knowledge Base

Final Thoughts

Despite the limitations that you might experience using HubSpot’s free CRM, it’s still an excellent platform for small businesses to adopt. Since it’s free to use, there’s no downside to trying out the features that are available for free. From there you can assess which premium features would benefit your business the most and upgrade as needed.

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