Highrise CRM Review – and the Best Highrise Alternatives

highrise crm review

By Aimee Bradshaw | Writer and researcher

What is Highrise, where did it go, and who should you look to instead?

Highrise CRM logo

Highrise CRM interface


  • Excellent contact management features
  • Reasonable pricing, with several plans to choose from
  • Handy mobile app
  • Completely cloud-based

X Cons:

  • It’s no longer available for new signups
  • The user experience (UX) is a little clunky

At a glance: Highrise is finished, but there are still plenty of intuitive, intelligent CRM software providers out there – and they’re changing the game for small US businesses.

Highrise is a Customer Relationship Management system founded in Chicago in 2007. Built by global tech company Basecamp, Highrise lets you manage your deals, leads, and contacts with ease, while streamlining and simplifying your marketing efforts.

Highrise quickly rose to prominence, accruing over 10,000 small business customers around the world, in just over a decade of trading.

That’s a lot of businesses. But is Highrise right for yours?

Sadly, we’ll never know – Highrise stopped accepting new customers in 2018. It’s sticking around, though – and if you were a customer before then, you’ll still benefit from the full scope of Highrise’s features.

And if you weren’t a customer before then? Don’t stress – there are still plenty of slick, simple CRM systems out there, ready to give your business a boost.

So what happened to this horizon-hogging software, and what are the best Highrise CRM alternatives? Read on for the lowdown on Highrise CRM.

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What is Highrise, and what does it do?

Highrise is cloud-based CRM software designed to help you manage your customer relationships. It stores all of your contacts, leads, and deals in one place, and lets you keep records of all email and telephone conversations with your clients.

Like most other CRM software, Highrise is also great for email marketing. It provides templates to let you tailor eye-catching emails to your target audience, then send them in bulk.

Highrise’s analytical tools also provide crucial insights into the health and progress of your business. You’ll know exactly where your biggest profits are coming from, and be able to use that information to drive more sales, and grow your business.

Highrise Pricing Plans

$12 per user, per month$24 per user, per month$49 per user, per month

Highrise comes (or, you could say, came) in three pricing tiers, from the cheap-and-cheerful Personal plan, to the punchier Plus plan.

How do these prices compare to the other CRM software on the market for US businesses? Click here to find out, or read on as we give you the inside scoop on…

What happened to Highrise?

“We explored all sorts of ideas for the product, but ultimately came to the conclusion that neither continuing to develop the existing application, or relaunching it anew, was something we as an organization could get to HELL YEAH! on.”

  • Jason Fried, Basecamp CEO

On August 20th, 2018, Highrise’s CEO Jason Fried announced the end. While Highrise would still be available (in the company’s words, “until the end of the internet”) it would no longer be possible for new users to sign up.

So, what happened?

Well, Highrise was created (and is still owned) by CRM giant Basecamp. After several years of success, Highrise was spun off into its own headquarters in 2014. Yet it still remained wholly owned by Basecamp, and in early 2018 moved back in with its big brother.

A few months later, it was decided that Highrise would no longer be actively developed, and that was pretty much that. Highrise is sticking around for its old users, but, as Fried eloquently put it:

“The way Highrise works today, will be the way it works tomorrow, a year from now, five years from now, 10 years from now, etc. Today's version of Highrise is the forever version of Highrise.”

Highrise is frozen in time, until the end of the internet – but that doesn’t mean your business needs to be. If you’re looking to expand and scale, you’ll need a CRM system that’ll keep you on top of your workload, and your business up with the times.

So put away the tissues, scroll down, and read on for our top 3 Highrise CRM alternatives.

Top 3 Highrise CRM alternatives

Whether you’re looking to widen your customer base, re-engage lapsed clients, or just want a simpler way of managing your pipeline, there’s a whole range of CRM providers you can turn to. Here are our favourites.

Highrise CRM alternatives

All these Highrise CRM alternatives are still accepting new customers, and they’re all being actively improved and developed. Better still, they all bring something to the table that Highrise doesn’t. Whether it’s better sales analytics, customer support, or ease of use, read on to find out what these Highrise alternatives can offer your business.

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What Salesforce can offer than Highrise can’t: superior sales analytics

Salesforce logo

For the most intelligent and scalable CRM system on the market, you can’t look past Salesforce. Sure, it’s expensive. But get the hang of its superpowered sales forecasting and analytical tools, and you’ll find this savvy software pays for itself. Plus, Salesforce integrates with just about every application known to man, so it’ll slot straight into the systems and tools your business uses every day. Highrise might be slightly easier to hit the ground running with, true. But, for all the features that matter, it’s still Salesforce that dominates the view.

Salesforce Pricing Plans

Salesforce EssentialsLightning ProfessionalLightning EnterpriseLightning Unlimited
Sales Cloud$25 per user, per monthFrom $75 per user, per monthFrom $150 per user, per monthFrom $300 to $170 per user, per month
Sales and Service Cloud$100 per user, per monthN/A$175 per user, per month$325 per user, per month


  • Highly customizable
  • Basic package offers impressive value for money
  • Award-winning and industry-leading
  • Provides CRM for more than 88% of Fortune 100 companies

X Cons:

  • Can be pretty tricky to get to grips with its more advanced features
  • The pricing plans get steep quickly, and may outprice small businesses

▶ Read more: The Best CRM Systems for Small Businesses

Zendesk Sell

What Zendesk Sell can offer than Highrise can’t: ease of use

Zendesk Sell logo

Zendesk Sell offers a sleek, simple, and affordable option for small businesses. With immaculate UX and intuitive, drag-and-drop dashboards, Zendesk Sell is a pleasure to look at, and a cinch to use. But don’t think that it’s all style and no substance – Zendesk Sell more than rivals Highrise for features. Its sales performance reporting tools are some of the best you’ll find, as are its personalized marketing functions. Better still, Zendesk’s lead and deal scoring capabilities will make your life easier – not to mention helping you to sell, sell, sell!

Zendesk Sell Pricing Plans

Billed annually$19 per user, per month$49 per user, per month$99 per user, per month$199 per user, per month
Billed monthly$25 per user, per month$59 per user, per month$125 per user, per month$249 per user, per month


  • Free trial available across all plans
  • Range of pricing tiers offers flexibility
  • Extensive online customer support resources

X Cons:

  • Unless you select annual billing, it’s expensive
  • Cheaper plans impose heavy limits on data and contact storage

▶ Read more: The Best CRM for Sales Teams


What SugarCRM can offer than Highrise can’t: great customer support

SugarCRM logo

SugarCRM recently went through a big rebrand, shaking up its logo and prices. Its software, though, remains much the same – slick, scalable, and simple to use. Offering a detailed view into your business’ sales and marketing efforts, SugarCRM allows you to get granular with your data. Sugar’s smart software provides insights about your reps, customers, and sales figures. This helps you identify opportunities to improve how you do things, and grow your sales volume and reach. Better still, all of SugarCRM’s plans come with phone support, plus a wide range of online ‘how-to’ guides if you get stuck.

SugarCRM Pricing Plans

Sugar 5-Seat EditionSugar SellSugar ServeSugar Market
Billed annually$45 per user, per month$80 per user, per month$80 per user, per month$1,000 per month


  • Free trial available
  • Each plan comes with a large amount of storage
  • Pricing plans offer transparency, and it’s easy to see what features you’ll be getting
  • Good online customer reviews

X Cons:

  • Its most basic plan imposes a five user limit
  • No option for monthly billing

▶ Read more: Compare CRM Software Prices

Next Steps

So, what now?

Well, it doesn’t matter whether you’re currently using Highrise, or if it’s your first foray into the exciting arena of CRM. Either way, your next step should end with the same result. Here’s what to do if:

1. Highrise isn’t your current CRM

Excellent. That means the world is your oyster, and you can start from scratch with the CRM software that’s the best fit for your business. Try starting off with the Salesforce Essentials plan for value, or the Zendesk Sell Team plan for a quick inroad into simple CRM.

Alternatively, plump for a free plan from a provider like Zoho, Cloze, or Insightly. The features will be more limited, but hey – they’re free!

▶ Read more: The Best Free CRM Software – Tested, Rated, and Ranked

2. Highrise is your current CRM:

Sure, there is the argument that goes “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” And if you enjoy using Highrise to manage your contacts and deals, then you don’t necessarily have to change…

Just yet.

But remember – Highrise isn’t being actively developed anymore. That means no new features, no optimizations, and no tweaks to those annoying bugs. It means no improvements to the software or the mobile app. At some point, your business will have to upgrade, or face being left in the past. So why not sooner, rather than later?

That’s where we can help. Simply fill out our free quote-finding form with a few details about your business. You’ll then receive CRM software quotes tailored to the unique needs of your SMB, so you can compare the best options for you. Easy! It takes about a minute, and the skyline’s the limit.

Aimee profile image
Aimee Bradshaw Writer and researcher

Aimee is Expert Market’s resident telephone systems, point of sale, and field service software go-to. If she’s not writing about business products, you’ll find her daydreaming about Dorset beaches.

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