Finding the right mix of marketing software is essential to keep your work efficient and on the mark, and there are many very useful options available out there, in fact there are so many it can be a bit daunting sorting through the seamlessly endless can’t live without tools.
Marketing software is often created by marketing people, which is a good thing since they know what they are talking about, but good grief they talk! (said the marketing person who is now talking….) The thing about all this well written and professional talk is that it sounds pretty convincing, well at least a lot of it does, and so you are left with a gazillion must have choices and pulling your hair trying to figure out which you should actually use.
Where I work, price is a rather large deciding factor, we are a small software start-up and so we have to penny-pinch a bit, we do not have the luxury of buying fancy software that covers all bases, and so we have had to try and test our way through a bunch of different tools available – that’s why I loooove free trials!
I can’t say what will work for you, but here are 5 tools that I find very useful
Zoominfo is a prospect database, here you can always source the most up-to-date contact information for targeting and lead generation. They offer a number of paid packages that are quite pricey, but I use their community edition which is free and still gives you access to an impressive amount of contact info. You can search by company name, person’s name, title or a combination and find phone numbers, email addresses and company info. Very useful in those cases where you really want to establish contact with someone and they haven’t reached out to you yet.
Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that allows you to monitor multiple accounts from one place; Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn are just some of social media platform choices. The free edition allows you to monitor 5 accounts. Very useful if you are responsible for posting updates on several platforms, and the ability to schedule tweets and updates is immensely handy. It is also good for monitoring specific keywords or phrases as you can build streams that only show tweets containing the words you are interested in. Since Google doesn’t index much of what is said on social media, Hootsuite can help you not miss a beat.
3- Google Alerts
Talking about not missing a beat – Google Alerts are super nifty. No more endless searching to keep up-to-date on what is going on, whether it is keywords, industry news or competitors, you can create a Google Alert and receive notification direct to your inbox when any of it is mentioned online. There really is not a simpler way to stay informed.
If you ever wonder what happens to your emails after you have clicked the send button and it frustrates you not to know who opened and who clicked, then Tout is for you. Tout not only lets you see who opens and who clicks on links in your mails, it will also take you through to your website and let your track the actions taken on your site, with the Live feed you can actually see all of it happening in real-time. When you Tout your emails you have more control over the effectiveness of your email communications, and so you are better equipped to refine and enhance your writing. Tout works by adding a small trackable pixel to your emails, this means that in order to work the recipient has to allow images from you. Since it is possible to read your emails without allowing images to show, the numbers aren’t 100% reliable, but at a cost of as little as $1 a day it is a very useful tool.
If you, like me, love HubSpot but can’t afford it, then look at Unbounce to get that HubSpot feeling for you landing pages. Unbounce lets you create professional and conversion optimized landing pages with easy drag and drop; so now you can build, publish and A/B test your landing pages without involving IT – sweet. Unbounce offers a huge collection of landing page templates, so even if you are creatively challenged you can build awesome looking pages. In addition Unbounce is (like HubSpot) a source of great information and links to other fantastic resources and tools, here I simply have to mention Copy Hackers which must be the most informative, creative and funny site for learning how to write copy that converts.
There are so many other great tools available, if you have discovered some hidden marketing gem, please share I would love to hear about it.