CRM · Email Marketing

Recommendations for a *simple* CRM system

Rahul Singh Founder & CEO at Distelli

April 19th, 2013


I just launched my startup in private beta and have a small number of early signups. I'm looking for a *simple* CRM that has the following features:

  1. Maintain a list of the people in the pipeline along with the stage they're at (eg: pitched, signedup, trial, active user etc)
  2. Send email to the entire list or to select people on the list. Ideally the email should be addressed by their name 
  3. Track when was the last time I contacted them
  4. Track how many emails have been sent to each person
  5. Track the current state of the customer
Most importantly, I need something simple without too much complexity! I've tried mailchimp and it doesn't do what I need.

Any recommendations are welcome! I really don't want to use an excel spreadsheet!


Leah Weinberger CoFounder & CBDO of Edgen Films, LLC. Digital Media Experienced interested in VR, AI and Haptic Tech

January 2nd, 2018

Hi Rahul,

The simplest idea is to use Google Sheets with an notification/Calendar app added in. I know..a step above excel but still it is the easiest, plus you can custom design to your specific needs.

Maria Brandt

January 5th, 2018

I am using streak. Works with gmail merge. Best technique is to see Youtube tutorials fro streak.

Barbora Lisecova Executive Head @smartsearchconsulting and CEO @mamydoprace

January 7th, 2018

I can highly recommend Pipedrive CRM. Very intuitive, easy (with a mobile app and call logs), email integration, super price!


Ryan Buckley Co-founder and Partnerships at

January 14th, 2017

My vote is now firmly in favor of HubSpot CRM. Beautiful, reliable, simple, and FREE until you want to use some of their sales tools. Then it's $50/user/month.

I'm a big fan and respect that it's hard for a big public company like them to enter a new market and execute on it so well. Their CRM is a very nice product.

Nav Krishna Rousing Designs

January 2nd, 2018

Hey Rahul,

I have found hubspot to be a wonderful system primarily aimed at the needs of a startup. I use it extensively, helps me keep track of all that you mentioned, just doesn't send mails. You may wanna check them out as well.

Hanna Zahorodnia Marketing Content Strategist

July 17th, 2018

In my opinion, Mailchimp works pretty good for email marketing campaigns. As a CRM, Pipedrive seems to be more user-friendly

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June 22nd, 2021

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Charles Oppenheimer

April 19th, 2013

I've got a good recommendation here: Try it! Basically exactly what you described.   I do consulting, so that is an unbiased recommendation.  Although I do know the founders, great guys.

Another one I really like the looks of but haven't used is:


Aurelie Otto

April 19th, 2013

I also tried MailChimp as well, but I opted for Campaign monitor. It's easier to use and has a lot of different functionalities. Best, Lilie


Justin Williams Digital Marketer and Data Analyst

April 20th, 2013

SalesForce is great... If you have an experienced person showing you how to setup it up and manage it. You can very quickly mess up your information by misusing that system. The ask was for a simple system. That's definitely not SalesForce.