Are you looking for low-cost, full-featured CRM software to help you reach a wider audience? Check out our comprehensive guide to the five best CRMs for life coaches. In this article, we discuss the pros, cons, and pricing plans of each software. We also examine the features that could raise the bar for your life coaching business.
As most of you reading already know, the bulk of your life coaching business revolves around your customers. Involving more than just maximizing the time spent in a session, you need to develop deep and lasting client relationships. A CRM is just the right tool to help you achieve this goal, raising your profile and increasing the success of your coaching business.
CRMs are extremely helpful in managing and tracking client progress. They’re excellent appointment scheduling tools, serving as digital personal assistants. Furthermore, CRMs can help you impress new leads, gain clients and grow your business. All things considered, a CRM is an indispensable tool for business coaches.
What is Important to Look for in a CRM for Life Coaches?
Few businesses require as deep a client relationship as life coaching. Because of this, a CRM for coaches should revolve around client interactions and communication. Your budget should also be a top priority if you want to increase profits. Here are the top factors to consider when choosing a CRM.
- Low cost
As a life coach, you’re often a solo enterprise with modest capital. Consequently, you must manage your budget carefully and choose CRMs that wouldn’t break the bank. Therefore, we recommend looking for CRMs with free or low-cost entry plans.
- Full feature set
Low-cost software is often of poor quality and contains few features. However, this doesn’t have to be the case when choosing a CRM for your coaching services. Most CRMs on this list provide a full feature set for little to no cost. Many of them only require a subscription plan as your business grows. As such, you should look for fully featured software that meets all of your specific needs.
- Easy to use
The best CRM for Life Coaches must be easy to use without external help. To avoid tech overwhelm, It should have adequate customer support and tutorials on how to use its features, along with a highly responsive user interface that is easy to navigate.
- Plenty of integrations
As a life coach, you use several other software to run your business. For example, Zoom can be used to teach an online class or Calendly to book appointments. Any CRM you choose must provide seamless integration support for top tools. This would help you save on hiring developers to provide these functionalities.
Examples of How Life Coaches Use CRM
The success of any life coaching business comes from the number and caliber of clients you can help achieve their personal and professional goals. As a result, life coaches look for CRMs to help nurture leads and manage their clients effectively. These two concepts may seem simple, but they’re much more nuanced and involve several activities. Some of these activities include:
- Lead Nurturing
Life coaches use CRMs to follow up on prospective clients and develop lasting relationships with them. These leads will ultimately become clients through constant communications, customer service, and targeted marketing campaigns.
- Email Marketing
CRMs can help boost sales through the sales pipeline and digital marketing tools they provide. These features are not limited to the sale of physical products. Rather, life coaches can adapt them to advertise and sell their courses or one-on-one sessions.
- Building Forms and Landing Pages
Life coaches use CRMs to build web forms and landing pages they can embed in their websites and emails. They use landing pages for advertising their services and forms to collect sign-ups. Life coaches can also use these tools to create and send periodic newsletters to their clients.
- Integrations With Course Creation Platforms
CRMs provide integrations with many different software, including teaching software like Thinkfic, and Teachable. As such, life coaches can create personalized course content for their clients based on the customer data collected in CRM tools.
Quick Comparison for CRMs for Life Coaches
|ActiveCampaign||$19||Category-defining customer experience automation platform|
|EngageBay||$12||Most comprehensive software solution for coaches|
|Zoho CRM||$11||Affordability makes it perfect for coaches on a budget|
|Apptivo||$8||User-friendly and versatile CRM for coaches|
|Gist||Free||Great value for bundles of features|
|HubSpot||$45||Comprehensive client management software for coaches|
|Paperbell||$40||affordable all-in-one solution||Delenta||$19||personalized branded coaching platform|
The Top 5 Best CRM Software For Life Coaches Are:
HQ: Chicago, Illinois, United States
|Key info|| Free Trial: 14 days
Support: 24/7 (phone + email)
|Best for||Coaches who want a low-cost, all-in-one solution|
|Pros||+ Easy for segmentation and tracking customers behavior
+ Great for email sign-ups and pop-up windows
+ Built-in marketing email templates and email campaign tools
|Cons||- Some terminology may be confusing to new users
- You have to wait about 5-10 minutes to send an email after creating a new email list
- Image management for email campaigns could use some work
|Integrations||Salesforce, Accounting Suite, Xero, Quickbooks, and 870+ more|
|Pricing model*|| Plus: $19/mo
Enterprise: On quotation
Topping our list is ActiveCampaign, which is arguably the best all-in-one CRM solution of 2023. It’s very popular among small-scale businesses due to its affordable starting price of just $9. Using an automated customer engagement pipeline, ActiveCampaign helps you forge deeper relationships with your clients and grow your life coaching business.
ActiveCampaign’s selling point is its smart automation system, the most advanced automated pipeline of CRM on this list. This tool allows you to create complex flow graphs that send email campaigns, track customer behavior, and automatically nurture your leads. According to an online training platform, Smart Gets Paid, ActiveCampaign’s sales automation has halved the time spent on administrative tasks. As a result, they have grown their contact list by more than 2700 percent.
While ActiveCampaign may not have a free plan, the sheer number of features in the starter plan is an adequate compromise. The Lite plan provides integrations with more than 850 apps, so you can be sure that your favorite teaching software is properly supported. You can also send unlimited emails, subscription forms, and newsletters to your clients. What’s more, ActiveCampaign’s webhooks, API, and developer tools are available within this plan, giving tech-savvy customers total control over the software.
Another of ActiveCampaign’s features is the landing page builder that helps convert prospects to full clients. This drag-and-drop tool is very easy to use and customize. It also provides several templates to customize and create branded forms and landing pages. Before you commit to this software, you should know that ActiveCampaign requires you to be on the Plus plan or higher to access the landing page builder. Nevertheless, in light of the additional features in this plan, the upgrade is worth its price.
ActiveCampaign has consistently topped any comparison list it’s found on, and for a good reason. While it may not offer the most amount of features, the ones on display are, more often than not, more advanced than competing products. With nearly two decades of experience providing SaaS products, it's safe to say that ActiveCampaign is the gold standard of CRMs.
HQ: Wilmington, Delaware, United States
Free Trial: Unlimited with free plan
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Health coaches looking for an affordable CRM system|
|Pros||+ Great CRM to use for Marketing, Sales, and Lead Generation
+ Excellent funnel builder
+ Automatic data entry
|Cons||- Very few drag-and-drop options in templates
- No SMS Function
- The workflow editor can be simpler and easier to understand
|Integrations||DocuSign, Zapier, QuickBooks, Xero, Shopify||Pricing model*|| Basic: $12/mo
EngageBay is an upcoming, general-purpose CRM software currently giving HubSpot a run for its money. It offers the Marketing, CRM & Sales Bay, and Service Bay software packages which you can get individually or as an all-in-one bundle. EngageBay also offers a free plan that allows you to manage up to 500 clients. This is one of the reasons why EngageBay has cultivated a loyal customer base of 29,500 users in just a few years.
EngageBay allows you to create responsive landing pages that promote your services. This feature ships with the free version of this software and is extremely easy to use. Using an intuitive drag-and-drop designer, you can develop engaging content within minutes. Furthermore, the landing page builder is flexible and customizable, allowing you to choose your own fonts, colors, and elements. Also, EngageBay provides several blog posts and tutorials on how to use this feature.
As a health coach, much of your coaching business involves one-on-one sessions with your clients. To that end, EngageBay provides appointment scheduling software that helps you manage online meetings. This system includes an integrated calendar, automated scheduling, and an interface allowing your clients to book appointments directly. What’s more, it syncs to your Office 365 or Google calendar and sends reminders and notifications to all parties participating in the meeting.
EngageBay provides many more features that are useful to larger coaching businesses. For example, the 360-degree customer view tracks customer behavior and preferences. It also pulls data from their social media profiles, giving you an insight into their perception of your company. All customer data is stored in a central location, so all your employees and team members have easy access to them. Its employee management tools include access management, auto assignment of tasks and collaboration features.
EngageBay’s free plan and cheap starter plan contain features that address most of your coaching business’s needs. However, if you need advanced features like integrations with teaching software and sales automation, or you simply need to increase your contact limit, you have to switch to higher subscription tiers. EngageBay’s most expensive CRM plan is under $50, so this upgrade shouldn’t break the bank.
HQ: Austin, Texas, United States; Chennai India
|Key info|| Free Plan: yes
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Beginners in CRM and CRM software|
|Pros||+ Beginner-friendly for CRM first timers
+ Easy deployment
+ Point and click automation and workflows
+ The reporting system is very good
|Cons||- Getting custom coding and Blueprint is a little difficult
- Limitation integrations with other software
- Bad experience with customer support
|Integrations||Salesforce, SugarCRM, OneDrive, and many more||Pricing model*|| Standard: $12/mo
Zoho has a long-standing legacy as a SaaS provider for small businesses. Over 25 years, it has gathered more than 80 million paying customers that use the 50 applications in its software packages. Zoho CRM offers most of the free plan, allowing you to enjoy this fully-featured software without breaking the bank. In fact, you only need to upgrade to Zoho CRM’s paid subscriptions as your business grows.
Zoho CRM’s Omnichannel is a tool every life coach should aim to get their hands on. It’s a real-time communication suite that hosts multiple channels under a single platform. To begin with, Omnichannel integrates your email inbox within the app. Additionally, the Phonebridge integration connects you with over 50 telephony companies, so you can make calls, log calls, and receive notifications all within Zoho. The Omnichannel also connects your social media profiles so that you can track conversations about your business on the internet.
Zoho CRM allows you to embed Omnichannel’s live chat service and web forms within your website. Using these features, you can instantly capture leads that visit your web pages and convert them into life-long customers. Moreover, it provides a self-service portal to create, edit, and comment on their information.
Each client has different needs, so you must adopt a unique approach when dealing with them. Using Zoho CRM’s marketing automation tool, you can segment customers based on various parameters and send them personalized messages. This feature is especially helpful with lead nurturing, ensuring you remain up-to-date with potential clients and developing deeper relationships with them. In addition, the marketing automation tool allows you to scan business cards and import them into the app, so you never lose another lead’s contact.
Most of the features a coach office needs from Zoho CRM are available in the free plan. As such, you only need to upgrade to the paid plans if you need advanced features like AI insights, data encryption, and customer segmentation. The mobile app is free to use and retains all the functionality of the web-based app. Furthermore, the paid subscription plans are very affordable, unlocking all of Zoho CRM’s features for a $45 monthly fee.
Zoho CRM’s ratings are average compared to other software on this list. This is largely due to limited integration support, outdated UI, and subpar customer service. Nevertheless, you should note that Zoho CRM still scores highly on ease of use and setup. It has a loyal customer base and is a perfect CRM tool for small businesses.
HQ: Fremont, California, United States
|Key info|| Free plan: Yes
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Life coaches with a specific set of CRM requirements|
|Pros||+ Customizable fields
+ Apptivo CRM is very flexible and user friendly
+ Good customer Service
|Cons||- Some of the templates are hard to customize
- Reporting needs improvement
- Creating email templates is confusing
|Integrations||Paypal, Quickbooks, Xero, and Slack|
|Pricing model*|| Lite: $8/mo |
Enterprise: On quotation
Apptivo’s collection of marketing tools, HRMs, CRMs, and other applications make it the most modular platform on this list. With Apptivo, you only pay for what you use, allowing for an affordable and highly customizable experience. The number and categories of apps you can install on Apptivo depend on your subscription tier. For instance, you can get the entire CRM and marketing suite for just $20 on the Ultimate plan.
If you’re budget-conscious and looking to save money, you can try Apptivo’s free plan, which offers useful features like appointment scheduling meetings, call logging, and task creation. However, this plan can only handle a fraction of your business activities with just eight free apps. You’d have to upgrade to higher subscription plans to get more powerful features like third-party integrations, email tracking, and marketing campaigns.
Appttivo’s My Agenda tool is an excellent appointment-scheduling application for many coaches. It provides a calendar view of all events, tasks, and follow-ups, allowing you to identify and complete them quickly. In addition, the task system provides powerful sorting and filtering functionalities that you can use to view pending tasks by status, priority, CRM role, and user-defined tags. The event system is quite similar but with the added functionality of assigning attendees.
Apptivo has high ratings on G2, with its highest-rated features being customer support, flexibility, and task management. Despite some criticisms of UI and email templates, many customers praise its versatility and customization options. This software is very intuitive to use, and several tutorials on the website guide you on how to use its features. A satisfied customer states that what they like best about Apptivo is that:
“I am always able to get an agent through the embedded chat widget. It is like having a teacher or assistant sitting beside me all the time.”
HQ: Newark, Delaware, United States
|Key info|| Free plan: Yes
Support: Phone, email, & chat
|Best for||Sales support for business organizations|
|Pros||+ Real-time chat and communication with customers
+ Multiple filter options to create different customer segments<
|Cons||- Gist may falsely label some emails as spam
- Inability to embed video/GIF in the broadcast emails
|Integrations||Zapier, PieSync, Google Analytics, and many more|
|Pricing model*|| Professional: $48/mo (up to five users)|
Premium $128 /mo (unlimited users)
Gist is a general-purpose CRM software that scales small, medium, and large-scale businesses. It is popular for the advanced marketing and automation tools that make client onboarding a smooth experience. Gist has earned its place on this list, offering an easy-to-understand user interface and email automation.
Gist’s most appealing feature is the free plan it offers. This plan provides a live chat and bot, team inbox, web forms, and mobile app integration, making it a perfect fit for life coaches looking to improve customer relationships. The 100 percent money-back guarantee Gist offers on their paid subscriptions is even more appealing. What's more, if your company has less than ten members, you can apply for a discount that saves you up to 93 percent on the $99 premium plan.
Gist’s impressive range of features promises to replace several apps in your toolkit. It combines live chat, calendar scheduling, lead generation, and market automation under a single platform, saving you the cost of subscribing to multiple software services.
Gist follows a three-step approach to increasing your customer count and boosting productivity. It provides a simple but powerful drag-and-drop form builder for targeted customer engagement. In addition, the chatbot software allows you to program engaging bots that automatically respond to customers and alter their behavior to match each customer. Lastly, the appointment scheduling software serves as a personal assistant, helping you to schedule meetings and manage your bookings. All of these features are automated so that you can focus on other aspects of your business.
Another of Gist's outstanding features is the marketing automation system that provides multiple ways of sending email campaigns. You can use the Visual Workflow Tool, an intuitive flow graph that allows you to define triggers, decisions, and parallel paths in executable blocks. On the other hand, the simpler Automation Rules offer a more linear and easily understood format. These tools can help you save time and money when running your company.
Despite its young age, Gist has converted many customers from top CRM platforms. Many customers on G2 state that they have abandoned their old CRM solutions in favor of Gist, with one customer urging prospects to:
“Make the switch - you’ll get the Gist of it quickly.”
Gist’s free plan has played a major role in facilitating this switch. Nevertheless, customers are willing to pay for more features, urging the development team to improve this software. With more than 10,000 paying customers in just two years, Gist is a strong contender for the best CRM for coaches.
HQ: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
|Key info|| Free plan: No
Support: Live chat, phone & help center
|Best for||Businesses looking for a CRM with an extensive feature list such as omnichannel marketing and content management systems|
|Pros||+ Very good for SEO
+ Easy Integrations
+ Great for integrating social media, email marketing campaigns, and marketing automation
|Cons||- Requires developers and integrations consultants for setup in some cases
- It can get very expensive
- It can be challenging to use for beginners as there are many features
|Integrations||Zapier, Xero, Quickbooks, QuarterOne, and many more|
|Pricing model|| Starter: $45/month (One user)|
Professional: $1600 /month
Enterprise: $5000 per user/month
HubSpot's appeal lies in its modularity; it offers hundreds of features in software packages called hubs. The Marketing, CMS, and Service hubs are particularly important for coaches. Most of HubSpot's features are available in the free plan, making it one of the most affordable software on this list.
The Marketing hub offers email marketing, landing pages, contract management, live chat, and several other features needed to put your group coaching programs on the map. You can automate email marketing for just $45 per month, giving you enough time to manage other aspects of your business. This tool also offers a knowledge base where you can publish blogs and videos that educate prospects about your business. It also provides marketing analytics and performance reports.
HubSpot helps deepen customer relations through its client portal, omnichannel messaging, and VoIP calling. These features allow you to have voice calls with prospects and clients from within the app. HubSpot can record these calls and automatically generate text transcripts. The omnichannel is a unified platform for all text messaging media. It allows you to switch seamlessly between multiple messaging channels and keeps a single inbox for all correspondence from each unique client.
HubSpot’s content management system is built for marketers, developers, and IT teams. This software features a drag-and-drop website builder with hundreds of pre-built content and templates. HubSpot's websites contain a fully-featured CRM for client tracking and personalization. This allows you to use your websites as a growth engine for your business. Interestingly, HubSpot provides an API that empowers tech-savvy developers with advanced tools like serverless functions and code alerts.
Few software can match the sheer number of HubSpot’s features, earning it a reputation as one of the Big Three of CRMs. However, its pricing model leaves a lot to be desired. HubSpot entices new users with a free and cheap starter plan, but the cost increases drastically for more advanced features. Nevertheless, most professional coaching businesses will remain fully satisfied with HubSpot’s starter plans.
HQ: Brighton, East Sussex, United Kingdom
|Key info|| Free plan: Yes
Support: Email & Knowledgebase
|Best for||Life coaches looking for an affordable all-in-one solution such as client management dashboard and e-document support|
|Pros||+ Can be completely configured to suit business needs with no need for workarounds
+ Streamlines the invoicing, scheduling, and client management process into a one-stop solution
+ New features are regularly added, and feature requests are addressed
|Cons||- No SEO to drive traffic to site
- No mobile app
- Lacks payment options
|Integrations||Google Calendar, Outlook|
|Pricing model||Professional: $40/month/user (billed yearly)|
Paperbell was built from the ground up to help coaches schedule and sell their businesses. Designed specifically for coaches that work online, this software offers a fully-featured free plan with zero hidden charges.
Paperbell offers seven major features that are indispensable for coaching businesses. First, the scheduling software eliminates the need for third-party tools like Calendly or Doodle. It also offers self-service to your clients, allowing them to set up their own appointments. This smart CRM allows you to announce your availability, limit last-minute bookings, and create buffers between appointments. In addition, the scheduling software provides integrations with digital calendars like Google Calendars and iCal.
The client management dashboard helps you keep a complete and organized profile of every client in your system. It shows a complete history of all client transactions, including purchase history, total spending, and survey answers. The dashboard also lists all upcoming appointments, showing which appointments are left in each client package. Paperbell offers built-in client questionnaires and intake forms, allowing you to collect relevant information before each session. Moreover, thanks to the built-in digital notepad, you can create private client notes to track client progress.
If you’re looking for centralized coaching CRM software to sell your coaching business online, look no further than Paperbell. Its billing software allows you to sell single or multi-session packages while listing your payment plans. You can also integrate coupon codes and discount services which Paperbell takes care of invoice management. Many customers report that this feature has significantly improved their bookkeeping workflow. Paperbell offers several payments to your clients, including Paypal and online credit cards. It also supports multi-currency payments.
At first glance, Paperbell’s e-document support seems just as good as any other CRM for coaches. However, it integrates with HelloSign for full legal protection at no additional cost. You can upload custom contracts and store them for future reference. Likewise, additional documents are stored in each client’s custom portal for easy downloads. Paperbell supports a wide range of document formats, such as PDFs, spreadsheets, and even audio files. It also stores templates for landing pages, email campaigns, and many more.
As a young software company with less than two years of operation, Paperbell has a relatively small customer base. Yet, it is quickly gaining traction and has nearly caught up to older software like Active Campaign and HubSpot. Unsurprisingly, it has excellent reviews on G2 and Capterra, with hardly any complaints. Aside from some lacking email functionalities, Paperbell is a great all-in-one CRM for coaches.
HQ: Newark, Delaware, United States
|Key info|| Free plan: No
Support: Email, live chat, & knowledgebase
|Best for||Life coaches looking to create personalized branded content for automated lead generation and client nurturing|
|Pros||+ Saves hours of tedious admin tasks like invoicing, lead management, and client management
+ Delenta dashboard tracks business performance and gives company insights
+ Attractive & professional interface
|Cons||- No custom domain, caps on usage except for premium and enterprise plans
- Mobile app lacks key features like calendar
|Integrations||Zoom, Stripe, Mailchimp, Outlook|
|Pricing model|| Starter: $19/month|
Pro: $39 /month
Premium: $59 /month
Delenta was created to address the disconnect between coaches and their clients. Designed for tech novices and “reluctants,” this CRM is very intuitive and features a simple user interface. It boasts a one-hour startup time from registering your account to launching your business.
Delenta’s customer relationship management system helps to improve customer and affiliate relations and increase workplace efficiency. It offers automated lead generation and client nurturing to convert prospects into clients. The CMS keeps all client interaction in one place and provides a dashboard for quickly tracking the progress of each client. Moreover, it offers an automated email marketing tool that helps you send personalized campaigns to each prospect. You can also sell coaching packages using the built-in payment portals.
Another of Delenta’s powerful features is Whitelabel, which you can use to create custom branding for your business. It allows you to add personalized messages, company logos and colors, emails, and other templates that welcome new clients to your coaching service. In addition, Whitelabel helps you create onboarding videos and personalize each customer’s private portal. You can preview all custom content in your email using the Send to Myself button.
Scheduling appointments and booking meetings has never been easier than with Delenta's self-booking solution. This personalized client appointment system handles all the complexities of managing your schedule, freeing you to improve your clients' lives. This tool includes a live analytics dashboard which you can use to track appointments and other coaching statistics like course completion rates. Additionally, the appointments system automatically converts timezones for every client, ensuring that you, or they, never miss any meetings.
Delenta offers several other features and functionalities that earn it perfect scores on G2, Capterra, and Trustpilot. It provides integrated calendars and bookings, custom landing pages, and a course creation and selling platform. These features, coupled with affordable pricing plans and excellent customer support, make Delenta a top contender for the best CRM for coaches.
How To Pick the Right CRM for your Life Coaching Business
Choosing the right CRM tool is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so for you. As a life coach, your CRM needs are unambiguous, so making the right choice often boils down to preference. Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a tie-breaker, you should consider their offering of customer engagement tools and integrations with teaching software.
We have extensively researched each software on this list and tried them out for ourselves. Yet, as a final note of caution, it would be best to corroborate our claims with trusted review sites. You can also try out the free plans and free trials of these CRMs and choose the one you’re most comfortable with.
Our Pick - Active Campaign
Active Campaign’s ease of use, advanced automation system, great value for money, and extensive integrations make it Toksta's top CRM software for life coaches in 2023.
Meet the author
Sam Cassman is a seasoned growth marketer with over 10 years of experience as a growth marketer for startups and small businesses. He is the founder of Toksta, a research technology company that helps businesses find and purchase the best software and SaaS. Sam has also run his own growth marketing consultancy Honest Growth, where he helped numerous clients to grow their businesses, including Eventcube, Baluu, Obby, and NBM Group.