63 of the Best Online Sales and Marketing Tools for Startups

63 of the Best Online Sales and Marketing Tools for Startups (2)

We know what it’s like – you’re running your startup, doing it all on minimum resources, and a mountain of stress bearing down on you while you do it. You also know that for your startup to survive and grow you have to keep marketing your product and generating sales, and that takes up a lot of your time.

So we came up with a list of amazing online tools to help you save time and rev up your sales and marketing game.

 

Email Marketing

There are more than a hundred different marketing strategies and styles that you can choose from to help you grow your business, but email marketing still remains one of the most effective.
According to a report from Monetate, email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel, including search and social.

So make sure to have the best tools on hand to help you create successful email marketing campaigns.

  1. TinyLetter –  Keep in touch with your customers and email connections anytime and anywhere with TinyLetter. This tool makes it super easy to create and send out newsletters right from your mobile device!
  2. WiseStamp – Turn the valuable real-estate at the bottom of your email into a sales and marketing channel, with a professional email signature for your entire team. With central management, you can promote an event, a webinar or a sale on everyone’s email!
  3. Email Hunter – Find all email addresses related to a particular website, or verify an email address with a single click on Email Hunter.
  4. GetresponseCreate powerful email marketing campaigns, auto-emails and even landing pages, with this reasonably priced email marketing software.
  1. MailchimpWith Mailchimp you can quickly and easily create newsletters, choosing from various features and templates, as well as automate your email campaigns and track the results. Mailchimp’s ease-of-use makes it one of the most popular email marketing solutions.
  1. Boomerang –  Write your emails now and have them go out later. This is a particularly handy tool for anyone who regularly sends out emails to people in different time zones, as it allows you to schedule your emails to be received when your recipients are most likely to be online.
  2. Cloze – This CRM solution keeps track of all your contacts and your interactions right from your inbox. Cloze gathers Information about your email contacts from all of your social accounts and ranks them based on their importance to you. Your messages are then prioritized based on your relationships with your contacts. Quickly view your history of exchanges with each contact by clicking on their name.
  3. Rapportive – Click on an email address in your inbox and that person’s contact details and social connections will appear in the sidebar. This is a very handy tool for verifying (or guessing) email addresses. If the person’s contact information shows up then you know you’ve got the right email.
  4. SaneBox – Instead of spending your valuable time sifting through emails and deleting irrelevant notifications, let this tool do if for you. SaneBox uses filters to organize your inbox, learning your preferences over time.
  5. Streak – Manage your contacts, projects and messages right from your inbox with this free CRM tool. Streak also allows you to schedule emails for a later time and informs you when an email that you sent is opened and read.
  6. Unroll.me – Clean up your inbox by unsubscribing from all the email lists that you never read, with a single click. Unroll.me then combines all of the subscriptions that you do read into a single daily email.

 

Content Marketing

According to DemandMetric, Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing and generates about 3 times as many leads.

Here are some tools to help you produce fantastic content to increase your lead generation.

SEO Keyword Tools

In order to connect with your customers you need to find out what terms, or keywords,  they are searching for on Google when they look for your products. You will then use those keywords in your website and blog posts to help potential customers find you.

These tools will help you identify the best keywords for your business or brand:

  1. Google Keyword Planner Research the best keywords to use for SEO with this keyword planning tool from Google.
  2. Keyword Trends – Another helpful keyword tool from Google that lets you see how well particular keywords are performing. Can’t decide which keywords to choose for your article? Input them both and Keywords Trends will show you which keywords is performing best.  
  3. Yoast SEO – A must-have plug-in for anyone using WordPress. With the help of Yoast you can ensure that your website and content are optimized for SEO.
  4. SEMrush – Find out what keywords your competitors are ranking for and consider targeting those same keywords yourself.
  5. Answer the public – This is a really cool keyword search tool that helps you get a deeper insight into what people are searching for by providing questions, sentences and alphabetical lists related to your keyword.
  6. Ubersuggest – This tool offers to take your keyword search to the next level by finding new keywords not available in the Google Keyword Planner. It can also be installed as a Chrome or Firefox extension.

Content Writing

There are few things worse than spending hours working on a blog post that no one wants to read.

Was it the title? The topic? Not enough images?

Use these tools the next time you have an article or blog post to write and you won’t have any of these problems again.

  1. CoSchedule headline analyzer – Before you settle on a headline for your blog post, type it into the CoSchedule headline analyzer to see how likely it is to succeed in bringing in social shares and traffic.
  2. Portent – Need an idea for a blog post? Just type in a subject and Portent will provide you with a topic to write about. If you don’t love the first suggestion offered just keep refreshing and you’re bound to get something good soon.
  3. Hubspot Blog Topic Generator – Get a whole week’s worth of blog topics with the HubSpot Topic Generator. Input three nouns and get five great topics to write about.
  4. Grammarly – Afraid of sending out an email or publishing content with an embarrassing grammatical error? The Grammarly grammar checking tool, which functions as a Chrome extension or desktop application, checks for errors in your emails and documents while explaining the reasoning behind each correction.
  5. QuotesCover – Turn inspirational quotes into beautiful images that can be shared in your blog posts or with your social media followers. QuotesCover offers a choice of fonts and styles for you to choose from.
  6. imgflip – Mix up your content marketing by creating fun or thought-provoking memes that your audience will enjoy and share.
  7. Piktochart – Infographics are a great way to share information about your company, product or brand in a visually compelling way. With Piktochart anyone can easily create their own beautiful,information-rich infographics.

Design

Creating images for blog posts and social media is a big part of my job so I spend a lot of time testing out tools for creating great images quickly and easily (without requiring any design skills).

Here are some of my favorite tools for design:

  1.  Canva –  Canva has become one of the most popular free design tools of digital marketers because it makes it so easy to create beautiful, eye-catching image, with their wide variety of fonts, templates, and design elements.
  2. Desygner – This is a new design tool that’s similar to Canva but offers some additional options, such as the ability to resize a single image for different social media sites (a feature that’s only available with Canva’s paid plan). It also offers a nice variety of templates and the ability to search for usable photos from within the tool.
  3. Pablo – If you need to design an image quickly then Pablo is the tool for you. It’s particularly handy for whipping up a shareable quote. Just pick a background image, insert your text, choose an effect and you’re good to go.
  4. Death to the Stock Photo – Finding great photos to go with your articles or marketing materials is a real challenge, especially if you don’t have a lot to spend on stock photos. Death to the Stock Photo offers a solution to this problem by providing subscribers with high-quality photos every month, sent directly to their inbox.
  5. UnSplash – This is my go-to site when I need a photo for an image that I’m designing. The site is full of beautiful photographs contributed by talented artists, all available for free.
  6. PixaBay – A huge range of searchable free stock images.
  7. Imcreator – Searchable free images, plus lots of great ideas of how to use them.
  8. MorgeFiles – One of our favorite places to source high-quality social media images.
  9. Hubspot’s free images – The folks at Hubspot have created a wonderful resource for free images for your blog and social needs.
  10. Eye Dropper – Identify any color in your browser using the Chrome Eye Dropper. I use this one all of the time when creating images for blog posts.
  11. Pixlr editor – Edit your images online with Pixlr, which provides editing, cropping, and design tools, as well as an express option that makes editing images particularly simple for beginner designers.
  12. Quozio – Quote images are one of the most sharable type of social media pictures. You can make yours look great with Quozio.

 

Social media marketing

According to Social Media Examiner’s marketing report, 80% of marketers say that social media has increased website traffic for their businesses. It has also resulted in an increase in leads and fan loyalty.

Clearly social media has become an integral part of any good marketing campaign. Managed effectively, social media can help you amplify your marketing message, connect with new leads and build meaningful relationships with your current customers.

Having the right tools will make a big difference in how efficiently you work and how successful your results are, and we have all of the tools that you need for running your social media right here.

Content Curation

  1. Feedly – This popular RSS reader allows you to read articles from your favorite blogs and websites in one place, for easy reading and content curation.
  2. Feedspot – This RSS feed reader not only allows you to add your favorite websites but it also makes it easy to discover new content by topic. For example, you can choose to subscribe to Entrepreneur or Leadership blogs and you will view the RSS feeds for relevant blogs in these categories. It also has an option to add RSS feeds for individual Reddit subreddits.
  3. Nuzzel – When searching for great content to share, the best place to start is with your friends. Nuzzel collects for you all of the best news stories that are being shared by your your friends on Facebook and Twitter, and which you might have overlooked. You can even see those articles that are being shared by your friends’ friends.
  4. Buzzsumo –  Get a list of popular articles written about any topic with a quick search on Buzzsumo. With Buzzsumo you can also see how well each article did on different social platforms as well as and which articles and topics are currently trending. This is a great tool for generating ideas for blog posts.
  5. Scoop.it – Visit Scoop.it to discover which articles are being shared and “scooped,” and search within relevant categories for interesting content to share with your social followers.  
  6. AllTop – Get a quick view of the trending articles on a selection of popular websites.Search by website or topic and you’ll find get a list of trending articles that you can share with your own social media followers.

Social Media Management 

  1. Buffer – I love Buffer for scheduling my Twitter posts. Using their suggested optimal times, I just pick how many times a day I want to tweet and then fill in those slots. Buffer can also be used to schedule your posts to Pinterest, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. Though the analytics for the free plan are very basic.
  2. Hootsuite – With the Hootsuite Dashboard you can track all of your activities on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Linkedin and Instagram (choose 3 for a free account), as well as monitor any conversations that take place about your business or brand. Hootsuite can also be used to schedule posts to social media but it’s the monitoring tools that I find particularly helpful.
  3. Crowdfire – Crowdfire helps you manage your Twitter and Instagram accounts by clearly displaying lists of your fans (followers), friends (mutual followers), non-followers and recent unfollows. There is also an option to view all of the people you are following who are inactive so that you can decide if you want to unfollow them.
  4. RiteTag.com – Find out which Twitter hashtags are trending at any given time and view the analytics for each one. This information will help you decide if you should participate in the conversation, and what type of post you should create. RiteTag also provides suggestions for related hashtags that you might want to use and which hashtags you should avoid.
  5. Tweepi – This is another tool that allows you to view your Twitter connections but what I like about it is that you can use it to view all of the people that are being followed by any individual Twitter user. So if there is someone that you look up to and you want to follow everyone that they are following on Twitter, Tweepi makes this easy to do
  6. Latergram – This tool will help you schedule posts to Instagram from your PC or mobile device. Upload your image and text to Latergram and at the scheduled time you will receive a notification that your image is ready to be shared.
  7. Contest Capture – For running Facebook contests and keeping track of entries via Likes and comments.
  8. Quuu – A new social media tool which schedules a selection of hand-picked tweets for you to share each day  (two, if you’re in the free plan), based on your selected preferences.
  9. Bitly –  This well-known link management tool not only allows you to shorten overly-long or messy links but you can also use it to create branded URLs and track the statistics of all your links to see how they are doing over time.
  10. HARO (Help a Reporter Out) – This is an online service intended to help put journalists in touch with people that have expertise or experience relevant to their interests. Business owners and marketers can also use this service to get media coverage, by signing up for the daily emails of source requests.
  11.  Click To Tweet – Make your blog posts more shareable by generating tweetable links from your content. Pick a quote or an informative statement and make it tweetable with Click to Tweet.
  12. How Many Shares – Found out how many social shares any blog post or article has received by pasting in the URL.
  13. Start a Fire –  Add a  personalized badge to every piece of content that you share that includes a call to action, a link to your recent blog post or even a link to your Twitter account. Similar to Sniply, but completely free.
  14. Sumo – Grow your website traffic with SumoMe’s social sharing buttons and email opt-in forms.

Traffic and Brand Monitoring

As a marketer, it’s vital to regularly track the results of your marketing activities, so that you can know what’s working and what needs to be tweaked.  You also need to be aware of what’s being said about you and your brand online so that you can manage your reputation. These are the tools that will help you get this all done.

  1. Google Analytics – Analyze your website traffic and get a full understanding of who your visitors are, where they are coming from and what their needs are.
  2. StatCounter – This was actually the first analytics tool I ever used, back in my day as a blogger. It’s still around and has a couple of advantages over Google analytics, such as automatic tracking of links that are clicked on within a post, the ability to track IP addresses in real-time  and a lot of other activity data. StatCounter’s simplicity might also appeal to those who find Google Analytics a little overwhelming.
  3. SimilarWeb – Compare your website traffic with those of other websites.. See any website’s traffic sources & uncover their online marketing strategies.
  4. Google Alerts – Monitor the Internet for mentions of your business, product or brand by choosing keywords that you want to be alerted about. You will then receive a notification when those keywords are mentioned. Though recent changes to Google Alert have led to fewer alerts being received.
  5. Mention – A more robust monitoring tool than Google Alerts, Mention will notify you every time your selected keywords are mentioned anywhere on the Internet, including in forums, blog comments or open Facebook pages. Their free plan will allow you 1 keyword alert and 250 mentions.
  6. Talkwalker – Another branding tool that will send you notifications when your keywords are mentioned on the web. While I receive fewer notifications from Talkwalker than I do from Mention, I do sometimes get notified of conversations that Mention has not caught.
  7. BrandYourself – You want to ensure that a Google search of your name or brand  will only bring up positive results. BrandYourself helps you make this happen. With a free account, you can submit 3 links of your choice that will receive help in getting boosted to the front pages of Google.

 

Do you have a favorite marketing or sales tool that you think should be on this list?

Tell us about it in the comments.