a glimpse of the Insightly dashbord
While not big on looks, Insightly offers the features and price point which makes it appealing to small businesses

If you’re thinking about getting a CRM to manage your client data and lifecycles, you aren’t the only one.

Studies have shown that CRM applications can increase revenue by 41 percent per salesperson, drive lead conversion rates to improve over 300 percent, and decrease sales and marketing costs by 23 percent.

Insightly is one of the CRM solutions gaining popularity in the SMB space, so I decided to take it for a test drive. 

First Impressions 

Insightly describes itself in three words, “Easy. Powerful. Affordable.”

insightly website and slogan

SaaS product vendors tend to use those terms by default to lure potential customers, but Insightly goes one step further by providing an impressive statistic to back up its claim:

“Sixty-seven percent of customers saw a return on their investment in Insightly CRM in 1-3 months.”

There’s no link to the survey, but it’s an impressive stat nonetheless. 

Getting Started with Insightly CRM

After signing up for free, I headed to the Insightly dashboard. 

insightly dashboard

As you can see, it’s not the prettiest CRM solution in the world, but there were no glaring design issues either. On a side note, the color scheme reminded me of Gmail.

Insightly greeted me with some tasks and a video to help orient me to the platform. The dashboard also presented me with a list of recent activity, demonstrating that I’d be able to keep tabs on my team's movements as soon as I signed in. For more granular updates, the activities can be filtered by activity type and user. 

Core Features

Here are the key areas of Insightly, which are pretty self-explanatory:

  • Tasks
  • Contacts
  • Organizations
  • Leads
  • Opportunities
  • Projects
  • Emails
  • Reports 
  • Calendar

As I explored each area of the platform, I discovered how well rounded it is in terms of functionality.

For instance, Insightly integrates with a healthy range of applications, including Google Calendar, Gmail and Docs, Outlook, MailChimp, Evernote, Box, Dropbox and QuickBooks.

Setting, editing and completing tasks was the first item on my agenda. Everything went smoothly.

insightly tasks

Adding contacts with Insightly is also nice and easy. You can fill each profile with information like names, addresses, important dates and social profiles. Another nice feature is the ability to specify permissions for each profile, in case you don’t want certain members of your team to see or access it. 

insightly add contacts

Adding leads, organizations and opportunities was equally easy. However, I’m not sure that the Opportunities section needs to have its own page. As potential leads, those entries could be housed somewhere within the Leads section.

Insightly also allows you to send emails without leaving the CRM through its integration with Gmail, Outlook, Office365 and other email clients. What’s more, once you’re connected, you can send emails with custom templates, or simply by writing them out yourself as you normally would. You can also schedule emails to be sent out at later times.

insightly compose new email

Although I enjoyed poking around the platform, I did run into one design snag. When it came to editing existing contacts, the dropdown menu that popped up was mostly hidden. I could only see two options at a time, so was forced to scroll awkwardly to find the option I was looking for. 

insightly contact editing snag

Pricing

Insightly CRM offers a free plan, and then starts its premium plans at $12 per user per month.

The free plan supports two user accounts and many of the platform’s best features. The biggest downside is that you can only send ten emails per day with a free plan.

Here’s how the plans stack up at a glance:

  • Free
  • Basic: $12 per user per month
  • Plus: $29 per user per month
  • Professional: $49 per user per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user per month

Insightly says it can accommodate CRM newbies, journeymen and experts — and its pricing plans reflect that. The five plans are all very well priced, and they give solopreneurs, startups, SMBs and enterprise-grade companies each a distinct entry point.  

The Verdict

Insightly CRM isn’t the sleekest platform in terms of aesthetics but it feels extremely well rounded in terms of functionality. 

With two user accounts for free, Insightly is a great option for solopreneurs, startups and SMBs. The premium plans are fairly priced, too.

Pros:

  • Insightly serves up a healthy range of features that all work well
  • Plenty of integration options
  • The free plan comes with two user accounts
  • Premium plans are priced fairly

Cons:

  • The platform itself could use a facelift

The Bottom Line 

Insightly is an excellent CRM solution with plenty of features. Because the free version allows up to two users, Insightly could be a vital tool for startups and SMBs looking to experiment with a CRM tool before they invest any money.

The platform could do with a cosmetic overhaul, but other than that, Insightly gets a big thumbs up from me.