TLDR; Use the best tool for the job, even if it isn’t free, and don’t lock yourself into a limited proprietary system unless the benefits outweighs the cost.
The field of proprietary tools is a tricky one, and we hope to provide as much information in here as possible to allow you to make an educated decision about using a company that locks you into their ecosystem.
When a marketing company offers something for free when marketing with them (like a free website, CRM, email platform, etc) but requires that you use their proprietary platform for these, it’s virtually always to lock you into using them in some capacity in the future. This isn’t intrinsically bad, but make sure it’s as good as what you may be using elsewhere because many of those tools are absolutely foundational to the success of your business online, and it’s never worth saving a few bucks now, only to slow the growth of your business in coming months or years.
Our personal favorite platforms are below:
Favorite Website platform: WordPress + Beaver Builder
Alternatives: WordPress + WP Bakery or even just straight WordPress
Favorite CRM: Salesforce
Great alternatives: Insightly or Hubspot CRM
Favorite Email Platform: Mailchimp
Great Alternatives: Campaign Monitor or Constant Contact
Favorite Analytics Platform: Google Analytics
At this time we don’t know of any solid alternative for Google Analytics