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Freemium software is a having a moment. Many companies offer completely free software solutions like online contact management software and CRM o help you save money and satisfy a need.

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But do the savings justify the means?

Freemium software can be an excellent choice in many cases, but there’s another side to the story that’s worth exploring. In many cases, paying for something that you can get for free makes more sense because of the value it brings to your organization.

Here’s a closer look at both sides of the coin so you make an informed decision for your company:

Freemium Software Has an Obvious Advantage

The biggest attraction with free online software is the “free” factor. In some cases, companies will offer a free version of their paid software, giving you access to its most basic features. All you have to do in return is put up with ads and limited functionality.

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Other companies will offer a completely free version, no strings attached — at least, not yet. Companies do this  to grow a loyal user base before rolling out pay-for products. This helps them to reduce marketing costs and hiring a sales team, since most people won’t hesitate to use a free software product that fills a need.

It’s a model that’s worked well for many companies, including MailChimp, Zapier, and Dropbox. But as you might have noticed, each of these companies now offer additional services that you can pay for. They know that once you try them out and start using them in your business, you’ll be less inclined to switch to something else.

Why Pay for Something You Could Get for Free?

Some businesses can get away with using the free version of a software product like MailChimp or Dropbox and never need to upgrade. They have limited needs, and a product may fill those needs well enough that paying for more just doesn’t make financial sense.

But for the rest of us, a growing business also means growing requirements.

Businesses that skip the freemium product and head for a paid version do so because of the following:

It’s Faster

There are tons of free business software products on the market, and finding the one you need can be time-draining. You might have to do quite a bit of research before you find the one that best aligns with your goals, and even then you may still have to make compromises.

It’s More Convenient

Nothing is technically free. In exchange for a freemium product, you will likely have to jump through hoops like signing up for an email list, suffer from constant pop-up ads, or watch commercials.

Paying for a product removes these and other distractions so you can get straight to the good stuff. Everything is available to you when you need it so you can carry on with business.

It’s Higher Quality

Most people operate under the belief that you get what you pay for, and that’s often the case with software. When you pay good money for something, you expect the value of the product to at least be worth the cost.

There are a LOT of free software products that are as high in quality as ones you pay for. And then there are LOT of other free software products that are just about worthless. While you may find a real gem, you’ll likely have to sort through lots of junk products to find it.

It’s Complete

Many free software products are one-trick ponies. They’re designed to do a specific task, and if you want more you’ll have to pay for it. Many companies know that having a complete product is actually more cost-effective than piecing together a bunch of free ones. You get a seamless integration and experience without having to compromise.

Bottom Line: Free Software Carries a Hefty Cost

Whether you’re looking for an online contact management software or a CRM, free software can come at a major cost. You’re sacrificing time and effort, not to mention productivity because of an incomplete system.

LeadSquared gives you the best of both worlds by offering comprehensive sales and marketing software that can qualify, score, and track leads, manage contacts, automate your marketing, and more.

Want to see LeadSquared in action?