Best way to manage CRM contacts without impacting license count

New Contributor

We are a paying customer for HubSpot sales and Marketing.  We want to use the CRM to store contact information collected at conferences, however, we are impacted by license limits on count because Sales and Marketing share the contacts.  If we used the free version of CRM, we would not be impacted by the limit.  


The suggestion to us was to use 2 versions, 1 free and 1 paid, which seems quite silly - after all a CRM is supposed to be a central source.  


Is there a way to have contacts only for use in CRM?  Or have others found a different approach?


Many Thanks

5 Replies 5
Community Manager

Hi @bbar2002 ,


My suggestion would be the same. Because your portal counts all contacts within your portal, there is no way to segment the contacts into "paid vs free". You could use the free CRM to keep unqualified leads, and once you are ready to market to them, import them into your paid portal. 


@Yeti_Mike and @Kapil_Arora  do you have any tips for @bbar2002 ? 



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New Contributor

Thanks Jenny.  Using the Free CRM in a different instance in clunky at best.  It means my users have to go to 2 systems to search for potential contacts. 


I appreciate you taking the time out to respond though.


Did anyone in the chain consider a front end linking to 2 versions (paid and unpaid) through an API?  Something that could provide a single interface for non-marketing users (sales, customer service, etc)

Regular Contributor | Diamond Partner

Hi @bbar2002 and thank you for the shout out @jennysowyrda!


I understand your frustration with the contact limits being imposed by your paid version of HubSpot Marketing. Unfortunately there's no way to parse the contacts that I'm aware of and all contacts in the database count toward that limit.


In the short term though, you may want to take on a contact clean-up project to remove all hard bouncebacks and unsubscribes from your database to free up some space.  The following article provides a step-by-step guide on how to do so:


I hope this helps a bit.


Best regards,




Head of Marketing & Operations | Measured Results Marketing



New Contributor
Thanks for your response Mike. We have done clean up as part of our migration from our CRM, but often collect 500+ contacts at conferences, which is going to get expensive quickly. Maybe I need to add an enhancement request for contacts to be available for marketing only as a data element, so you can maximize use of CRM, protect the licensing, and have one common list.
Regular Contributor | Platinum Partner | Certified Trainer

Thanks, @jennysowyrda .


Hi @bbar2002 ,

As far as I understood the problem from all the comments above, I could think below possible ways to solve your problem:


  1. We can integrate your Free CRM using API with your paid instance. To manage the data we can create a couple of custom fields to tag them based on the uses perspective.  Now as soon as you update those fields, API which is running on your local server will remove/add those contacts into your paid instances. In this case, any of point of time all the contacts will be available in free CRM but paid instance will only have required contacts will be there. Marketing can go into CRM to pull contacts back into the paid instance and the non-marketing team doesn't need to see other contacts.

  2. Other solution could be as you have suggested in your message that we can have an external interface created and using API the data can be shown there for all the users. But this is a long process and will cost you a little high. 

Sorry, to say no other straight solution is available for this problem. We need to find a trick to manage this. Let me know if you would like to speak over the call to understand this better. 


Kapil Arora