Tired of Dubsado? Confused by Dubsado? Just not sure which CRM platform is best for your business? You’ve come to the right place. We’re going to chat about Dubsado and Dubsado Alternatives today.
I have been using Dubsado for 4+ years now in my business, and lately I’ve been looking at other options. It’s not to say Dubsado sucks, but it’s good to stay informed to make sure you’re still in the right place.
So who is Dubsado best for? Or what about some of the best Dubsado alternatives – who are they best for? I’ll explore the 3 biggest players in the CRM game today, which are Dubsado, Honeybook, and 17Hats.
Full disclosure, I am an affiliate for all 3 systems and have provided some affiliate links, in addition to my honest and unbiased opinions.
First thing’s first, what’s a CRM platform? If you’re new here, CRM stands for Client Relationship Management, and these platforms do that in a ton of different ways. They keep track of your information (clients, leads, calendar, projects, etc.). They provide analytics (accounting, lead generation, etc.).
These three also all have a client portal to aid in interaction with your clients, as well as some automated workflow functionalities. You heard that right – Dubsado, 17Hats, and Honeybook can all literally take work off of your plate and do it for you.
Plus, all of these CRM platforms also accept payments and contract signatures which means they help you get PAID! That’s really the best part!
Here’s a great overview of what Honeybook can do for you (you’ll find similar features in all 3 of these platforms, so this will help if you’re new to CRMs!)
Let’s go ahead and get this out of the way!
Here’s the current Dubsado pricing:
It’s simple – $35/mo or $350/ year (this link will get you 20% off).
Here’s the current Honeybook Pricing:
A couple options here, but I like that you can start at $9/mo (and with this link you can get 50% off that – start for less than $5/mo!). It’s a good plan for beginners to start out, and once you hit $10k in sales, your pricing will go up to slightly more than Dubsado’s plan pricing (unless you have my discount!).
…and of course, here’s the current 17Hats Pricing:
It’s a bit more than either of the other options, but with my discount, you’ll get 50% off that pricing (really, no matter what you do, make sure you use a discount code for the best CRM deal!).
Honestly, when it comes down to it, you’re paying close to the same amount for all of them. The discounts are better with Honeybook and 17Hats, but it’s not a make-or-break amount. I think that you should decide which CRM is right for your business by exploring the features for each platform.
Definitely take advantage of the CRM free trials! Both Dubsado alternatives provide a 7 day free trial, but actually Dubsado itself gives you an untimed free trial – it’s 3 total projects, no matter how long that takes you to get through. I love this option as it gives you time to set up your workflows, templates, questionnaires, etc. in the best way without rushing. So slight win to Dubsado here, but again, not make-or-break compared to other features.
This one is make-or-break in my opinion. Money is important! Honeybook is its own payment processor, so that is technically the simplest answer. You wouldn’t need to set up another account to accept Honeybook payments. Honeybook also has an option on invoices for clients to select automatic payments for the remainder of their project. It’s really helpful, and ensures you’re going to get paid. The choice is the client’s though whether or not they want to use that features. The cost to use Honeybook payments is a flat 3% fee.
Dubsado accepts payments through Stripe, Square, and PayPal, which all have similar but varying fees. 17Hats payments are processed through Stripe, Square, PayPal, or Authorize.net as a fourth option.
If payment processing simplicity is important – Honeybook is your winner. If options are important – go with Dubsado or 17Hats.
There are of course some slight differences in features between Dubsado, Honeybook, and 17Hats. But the vast majority of features are found among all 3 CRM platforms.
Dubsado is “known” as more feature-rich than the two Dubsado alternatives we’re discussing today. The team at Dubsado is constantly coming up with new integrations and features for you to use!
So why are we even discussing Dubsado alternatives then, Laney? Great question! There are a few things that annoy me about Dubsado, and some differences you might enjoy elsewhere. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what’s right for your business.
What are some negatives to Dubsado?
This last one sounds silly, but it hearkens back to the first one. Dubsado does a lot. A. LOT. I’ve heard many creatives say that they don’t use nearly all the features (I know I don’t), or that it’s too confusing/time-consuming to set up everything.
I personally view this as a positive thing – it’s completely okay to not use all the features. You’ll still get your money’s worth and more. The part that’s tough for me is when they spend a lot more time creating new integrations and features instead of working on some of the annoying little things about their core platform.
For instance, sometimes my email becomes disconnected randomly, and I have to first learn about it from discovering a missed email (bad) and then reconnect it. It’s not a decision-making factor for me, but I like a platform that invests in its core working well in addition to building new growth.
This link is for 20% off (or code DESIGNBYLANEY)
Let’s talk about some alternatives, shall we?
For the record, I have another long post comparing specifically Dubsado vs. Honeybook. Read that post here!
Here’s a video on that Chrome Extension (frankly it can be life-changing if you use GMail)
The big items of note here are that if you want an app, or use Gmail, you may want to look at Honeybook. The Chrome Extension is phenomenal, and a fully-functioning app is something none of these other CRM platforms have.
A big difference you’ll see with 17Hats is that it’s not directly marketed toward creative businesses, whereas Dubsado and Honeybook are (and it shows). 17Hats is more of an all-around platform for any entrepreneur.
Use this link for 50% off (or code ztvhstgsvs)
Honestly, nothing too upsetting to me about 17Hats. I like it, but it could feel a little stiff or overwhelming at first, if you really want your forms to be design-heavy. It might be better for less creative businesses, but that’s not to say that it’s not still beautiful.
Is it Dubsado? Is it a Dubsado Alternative?
I often hear people searching for other CRM options based on Dubsado pricing. If that’s your deciding factor, go with Honeybook to start. Honeybook pricing is legit with that new $9/mo plan. However, you’re going to end up only saving a little in the long run (since you’re going to get that $10k point FAST if I have anything to do with it!).
The setup is what’s tough on these platforms too, as well as just learning a new platform. So don’t get distracted by the concept of saving $30 over the next 4-6 months and get your business ingrained in a platform that doesn’t actually work for you.
The bottom line: you’re going to save HOURS of work a week, spend less time searching for things, look more professional, and mess up a lot less if you have any of these platforms. It’s worth the $30-40 – so choose based on features, not on price.
Here are my discount links again, just in case you need them! Feel free to ask additional questions in the comments and I’d be happy to help.
Here’s my course on how I use Dubsado as a Stationery Designer! You can dive into all my forms and see how this benefits my business every day (many, many times a day).
Hi, I'm Laney!
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I make wedding invitations and I teach artists how to work smarter, make money, and run a business that works for you.
Helping stationery designers start, grow, and scale their businesses
Wedding invitations to tell your story, and business education to help you write your own.