Our unbiased review of marketing and software tools we have used and recommend to our clients.
I want tools that are:
Primary Industry Focus:
- Email Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Page Builders
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Lead Generation
IFTTT (If This Then That) is an application linking platform that lets you connect your favorite mobile applications to each other for automatic data synchronization and personalized knowledge feeds. The free-to-use software is available on desktop and mobile applications and all data is automatically synchronized across all your channels.
IFTTT will let you create and tailor all your information on the go, they also provide feedback and support via social media and their blog.
- Channels: The various application integrations available on IFTTT
- Triggers: 'The prompt' or call to action
- Actions: The operation or 'what's going to happen next'
- Ingredients: The data from the Triggers - subject, body, attachment, received date etc.
- Recipes: Your personalized Trigger and Action combinations
- On/Off: Switching on and off your recipes
It doesn't offer as much as Zapier does, but people on a budget will be able to find some value in this tool as well.
Wordstream.com is mainly an Adwords centric business that provides several free tools and resources for learning and managing everything PPC related. Naturally, their tools and education overlap into the SEO industry.
I'd recommend their "Free Keywords Tool" to find unique keywords to use for your SEO strategy.
Google is the leading search engine on the web - This tool is among the most important and likely the only required tool to use when first learning.
The BounceX software is tracking all the cursor movements of every visitor in real-time.
Breaking The Browser Plane:
We detect the precise millisecond that a visitor abandons your site.
Cleanly Overlays Your Site Upon Abandonment:
An elegant lightbox appears after a visitor leaves your site.
Creates New “Real Estate”:
Our technology is essentially granting you an extra pageview to retain that visitor
OptimizePress lets you create a number of different page types such as landing pages, sales pages, and product launch funnels, as well as sites such as membership portals and blogs. You can build these marketing pages and sites using a live editor that shows you the changes you make to content in real-time. You can also choose from over 30 pre-built templates that can be edited to meet your needs. All pages and sites created in OptimizePress are mobile responsive.
To further customize your pages OptimizePress lets you choose from over 40 custom elements, from arrows, buttons and feature boxes, to images, videos, audio players, testimonials and Facebook comments. OptimizePress integrates with a number of email marketing, analytics and membership management apps such as MailChimp, iMember360 and Google Analytics. It also integrates fully with WordPress and lets you plug in your shopping cart to membership sites.
Their tool is great for creating and analyzing your content marketing efforts on your website. It ties into several publishing platforms and provides analytics that truly track how you are doing and what you can do to improve over time.
"Our powerful enterprise software is a complete solution for creating, distributing, and optimizing content..." - Read more from their website.
The Atomic Reach platform is a suite of tools centered around content readability and performance from your content. Their real-time apps will help you know what you're doing right and wrong when writing your posts.
"$0.25 of every dollar spent on content marketing in the average mid-to-large B2B firm is wasted on inefficient content operations."
Because of the price, this tool is best for a company or business that utilizes a team of writers and to have insights on readability and actual engagement of the items as they are writing.
The Yoast SEO plugin is a great alternative as long as you're site is using a compatible CMS. It has a lot of the same readability checks and even more practical features for maximizing your sites' SEO.
LeadPages™ offers a range of features to create all kinds of landing pages and optimize them for performance. You can create landing pages using any of the 70 plus customizable templates and deploy them on any platform, WordPress, Facebook or your own website. You can also use the app to build your own template which you can submit to LeadPages™ to test against their own templates. You can do your own testing with the A/B split-test feature and conversion rate stats and analytics.
LeadPages™ offers additional features to optimize engagement with your landing pages such as pre-populating form fields, adding "buy now" buttons, 2-step opt-in processes, and exit pop-ups to capture leads who are about to leave your page. You can also use LeadPages™ to turn 404 pages into lead generation pages and to set up webinar registration pages through a GoToWebinar integration. All LeadPages™ templates are optimized for Facebook, mobiles and SEO.
Calendly is a scheduling software for organizing meetings and appointments between individuals and their colleagues, and between businesses and their clients or customers.
Calendly enables users to set their availability preferences, and then send out their own personalized invitation link to arrange meetings or appointments. The invitee is presented with a selection of available times and dates based around the user’s availability, and can make their choice from these. Calendly includes suggested meeting lengths of 15, 30, and 60 minutes, but users can create an unlimited number of different event types to suit their needs, set buffer time between appointments, and enforce a minimum scheduling notice period to prevent the last-minute booking of meetings.
Calendly allows users to set up and send out different invite types, giving invitees the opportunity to select the meeting format, which team member they wish to speak to, or both. Meetings can also be auto-assigned to any staff member available at the time an invitee chooses for their appointment. After invitees respond, they can be directed from the event confirmation page to the user’s site, or a custom ‘thank you’ page.
Calendly automatically sends out custom confirmation emails and event reminders to invitees, and notifies all meeting participants via email if an attendee reschedules. Integrations with Google and Office 365 calendars enable users’ calendars to be automatically updated, with Calendly checking for any booking conflicts before adding events.
Acuity acts like a superhero for your schedule--with way better taste in capes. (For the record, ours is teal.) Acuity helps business owners, freelancers, consultants and entrepreneurs get back in control of their businesses, their time, and their calendars--without breaking a sweat or their back.
With automated appointment scheduling, Acuity’s super powers relieve you of the grunt-work that is back-and-forth-emailing-to-figure-out-a-time-that-works-for-everybody
and lets your clients see your real-time availability, pick the date and time that works best for them, pay in advance (in-full, via deposit or not until time of service) and book themselves.
End result? All you have to do is smile when you get the appointment notification, knowing your business is running smoothly...instead of running you ragged.
With customizeable everything, Acuity makes sure it’s not just another tool you have to deal with, manage or remember to use, but rather, one that works seamlessly in the background of your business, helping you up the ante in the professional department--and get business results that up the ante, too. You can get as picky--or nonchalant--as you want with the level of flexibility you need. Have different offices that operate on different schedules? Got you covered. Want different staff members to have different calendars? No problem. Need everything to match, almost as if you built the software yourself? You got it! After all, everyone knows that a true superhero doesn’t take the credit. :)
Whether you’re booking hourly appointments, doing phone consults, selling classes that students need to sign up for, or anything else that involves you selling your time, don’t put yourself at the mercy of hundreds of clients constantly badgering your inbox or your telephone--
—Let Acuity handle the grunt work for you... so you can handle business.
Get Gmail, Docs, Drive, and Calendar for business.
All you need to do your best work, together in one package that works seamlessly from your computer, phone or tablet.
Google is a leader in the space and pretty much always has been. The custom domain email is enough reason for the switch.
Zapier provides an integration platform that allows you to automate daily tasks that involve using two or more applications. By creating a "Zap", you can define an action and set it up to be repeated when certain triggers happen. An example of a "trigger" that you could set up in Zapier might be receiving an email in Gmail from a certain address, an "action" might include receiving an SMS notification. The Zap is therefore to receive an SMS notification every time you receive an email from a certain client in your Gmail account.
You can use Zapier to create connections, or zaps, between over 300 applications. Once you have created a zap, Zapier will continue to run it automatically. Through the control dashboard you can turn zaps on and off as you wish. You can also manage multiple accounts from one dashboard. Along with creating your own zaps, you can choose among a range of zaps created by the community of Zapier users.
When this product launched it seemed more like another internet marketing launch versus a tool to like.
Fast forward a few years and this tool is rock solid and always improving.
Kajabi is a content marketing system that offers individuals and SMBs a single and centralized platform from which to sell, market and deliver product content. Incorporating customizable themes, a landing page builder and video hosting as well as integrated payments and an interactive in-course message board, Kajabi aims to provide users with a comprehensive yet user-friendly content marketing solution.
With Kajabi, users can create digital products such as online courses, membership sites and training portals efficiently and effectively. In order to build engaging and aesthetic product content, users can produce customizable themes, add file downloads, stream videos and upload images and audio. Users can also bring all of their products together onto one website using one login, a custom URL and an integrated blog to help acquire subscribers.
Further to digital content creation, Kajabi facilitates sales, marketing and customer engagement. Since Kajabi integrates with Stripe, users can receive straightforward electronic payments. To simplify marketing strategies, Kajabi enables users to build custom forms and landing pages easily. Users can also can send email broadcasts and then track their performance with Kajabi’s email analytics. Kajabi supports a number of built-in integrations with applications such as MailChimp, Infusionsoft and Google Analytics, enabling users to manage their online products and share their digital content seamlessly.
ClickFunnels is a cloud-based website hosting solution for entrepreneurs and small businesses looking for an online selling platform. The solution is suitable for users looking for a ready platform to host their website without the hassle of designing and hosting. The solution provides interactive tools for designing websites and marketing funnels which businesses can use to engage with their audience and drive sales.
ClickFunnels offer a number of ready-to-use funnel templates to suit different business needs. These templates can be customized to create multiple web pages using interactive drag and drop editor tools. Designers can add multiple types of contents such as images, videos, headlines and dynamic lists to their web pages for enhancing the 'look and feel' of their marketing websites. The solution automatically converts web pages into dynamic mobile responsive pages so that it can be accessed across multiple mobile devices and can support different screen resolutions.
With ClickFunnels's Actionetics tool, businesses can track their visitors' activities on websites and generate various insights that can help in improving client engagement. Businesses can promote and share their campaigns with customers via email, text message, and direct mail. Users can also integrate other business applications including CRM, ERP, email auto responder, and online shopping carts using their integration API.
ClickFunnels is a scalable cloud-based service hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform and is backed up by CloudFlare Security to ensure availability of customers data at all times. ClickFunnels offer a 14-day free trial for prospective users to evaluate the product's features and benefits.
Grow Your Business with the Easiest, Simplest, and Most Powerful Shopping Cart and Affiliate Management Software
Webinar Ninja was a pretty bad tool when we first started using it.They launched a Version 5.0 in early 2018 and things are so good now.
"The Most Powerful Webinar Software on The Planet" is on their features page and we would agree.
If we run a webinar, we use Webinar Ninja.
Instapage is the most powerful landing page platform for marketing teams and agencies. Instapage is on a mission to maximize the ROI on AdWords, Facebook Ads, and other advertising programs by enabling businesses to offer personalized experiences for every promotion.
With over a million landing pages at an average conversion rate above 22%, Instapage is helping more than 12,000 customers across 100 countries increase margins and revenue.
The Instapage platform has five tools that provide and end-to-end solution: landing page builder, integrations ecosystem, publishing tools, optimization/analytics system, and a team/client collaboration layer.
Buffer makes it easy to share great pictures, videos and links with your friends and followers across your social networks. Buffer lets you quickly share content to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and App.net on your computer or mobile phone.
Buffer is a new and smarter way to share what you want to share on Social Media. People have called it great names before, like your Social Media Assistant or the Siri of Social Media.
What it does is simple. You add updates to your Buffer queue and it will be posted for you well spaced out over the day - and at the best times.
It’s like your magic box you can use anytime to fill with great Tweets, Facebook stories or LinkedIn updates. Just drop them in and you don’t have to ever worry about when it will be posted, it’s all taken care of by Buffer for you.
Oktopost is a social media management platform that enables B2B marketers to manage presence on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
Marketers love Oktopost because it is the only social media marketing platform designed with the unique needs of B2B in mind; tracking from social post to lead conversion. All the unique social activity data that are collected by Oktopost can easily be synced with the most popular marketing automation platforms, including; Marketo, Act-On, Salesfusion, Net-Results, Pardot and Hubspot.
Oktopost is also the only social media platform that has a built-in employee advocacy board, enabling the marketer to share social content across the organization with zero overhead. When employees share social content, everything is automatically tracked and measured, so just like conventional marketing channels, ROI can also be established for all social programs.
CoSchedule is a social media and editorial calendar designed for bloggers, editors and marketing teams. With CoSchedule, you can schedule all of your social media and blog posts at the same time using a simple drag and drop interface.
Inter-connectivity with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Tumblr, means that all content can be organised on one, consolidated editorial calendar.
This SMM (social media marketing) tool enables you to review your social media analytics and know how every post performs. CoSchedule helps you to learn what works and what doesn’t as well as promote and re-share previously popular posts. Create task templates and coordinate team workflow with complete control over user permissions. An FAQ section on the CoSchedule website is backed up by a full-time email customer support service.
Adobe Marketing Cloud
Adobe Marketing Cloud is a comprehensive and integrated marketing solution that enables marketers to measure, personalize, and optimize marketing campaigns and digital experiences for optimal marketing performance. With its complete set of solutions, including Adobe Analytics, Adobe Target, Adobe Social, Adobe Experience Manager, Adobe Media Optimizer, and Adobe Campaign, as well as real-time dashboards and a collaborative interface, you are able to combine data, insights and digital content to deliver the optimal brand experience to their customers.
With Adobe Marketing Cloud, you can: Combine data across solutions and third-party data sources, such as CRM, POS, email, and survey, to create a single view of the customer. Deliver personalized customer experiences across all channels and on any device. Use predictive analytics to stay a step ahead of customer’s wants and needs. Access all Adobe Marketing Cloud solutions from one centralized platform and visualize, socialize, and collaborate across teams with the interface. Accurately forecast and continually optimize your paid digital marketing mix. Manage, deploy, track, and monetize social programs. Store, assemble, and distribute digital assets to deliver high-quality brand, campaign, and content experiences. Integrate with more than 200 partners in 20+ countries, covering the entire marketing ecosystem. Easily add, alter, and deploy marketing tags on your website, resulting in consistent page performance and accurate data collection.
Sumo is a suite of widget-like apps free to install on any HTML or popular CMS-based website. Designed to grow traffic and maximize content engagement, users can install tools including List Builder, Heat Maps and Share from a single SumoMe plugin. Fully customizable and expandable via the integrated ‘Sumo Store’, pricing plans apply to access subsequent apps.
Grow your daily email signups with List Builder’s mobile optimized pop-ups and single-click integration with leading email-marketing services. Heat Maps offers illustrated, real-time feedback on where website visitors are clicking, while Share connects to over 16 social services to help spread the word on great content. Subsequent apps such as Discover raises traffic freely via sister SumoMe sites, while Contact Form, Google Analytics and Image Sharer solutions can also be added.
Already trusted by several commercial sites, SumoMe promises to keep integration and deployment hassle-free. Installation is made easy across HTML, Wordpress.org, Shopify, Squarespace, Tumblr, Blogger/Blogspot, Weebly and more, while a one-click, drag and drop approach ensures app tools are simple to use.
BuzzSumo is a social media analytics and curation tool for content marketers. It searches the web for content based on search queries and reports back to the enquirer on its success, based upon its social likes & shares.
BuzzSumo lets you analyze the best performing content in any market niche. Its advanced social search engine identifies the most shared content for a topic, author or domain, giving you an understanding of what content is resonating well with your audience. Use this knowledge to guide your own content creation and then gain valuable insight into the resultant success of your content on social media networks.
Keep track of competitors' social content success and identify key influencers within your field. Analyze, follow and connect with key influencers to grow your own audience.
STRATEGY: Operate your content marketing within a strategic framework
ORGANIZATION: Coordinate your content marketing operation
WORKFLOW: Streamline your content process
ALL-IN-ONE: Manage all your content types in one central location
DISTRIBUTION: Publish your content to all your channels from Kapost
ANALYTICS: Understand what is working, what isn’t across your content operation
Drip is one of our favorite marketing automation tools and we recommend them for anyone just starting out or with an enterprise level list.
They have all of the needed features and more.
LeadPages bought them in 2016 and introduced a free plan(limited subscribers) which means you have no reason to not try them out.
SEMRush goes one step further than most keywords tools, SEMRush works by showing you your competitor’s top keywords. So rather than grinding away in the Google Keyword Planner, just pop a competitor URL into SEMRush and you’ll see every single keyword that they rank for.
Key reasons to choose SEMrush
- See competitors’ best keywords
- Discover new organic competitors
- Observe position changes of domains
- SEO news and tweak suggestions based on industry updates
- Track backlinks like a pro
- Many more features...
Their user interface is one of the best and easiest to use.
Their site auditor(freemium version available) is arguably the easiest to use and the results are extremely accurate
Screaming Frog Spider
It does a great job of scanning your page, much like Google would. Scans for page errors and helps out in the content audit phase. Their free version(as of Sept. 2016) is good for sites up to 500 pages.
This comes at a premium cost, but take a look at their feature site. More for on-going SEO strategists and Agencies providing white-labeled reports to their clients every month.
Yoast SEO Plugin
Yoast is one of the most downloaded WP plugins and it is for good reason. It does a lot of heavy lifting for WP based sites' SEO and does a lot without any configuration. They are working on versions for other CMS's. Currently available for WordPress and Drupal.
Free Plugin Features
- Focus keyword and content analysis
- Post titles and meta descriptions
- Robots meta configuration
- Readability check
- Primary category
- Permalink cleanup
- XML sitemaps
- RSS enhancements
Getting the premium or paid version delivers some great features:
- A redirect manager
- Multiple focus keywords
- Social previews
- Internal linking
- Premium support
We highly recommend the purchase of the premium version, in fact – It is included in every website we develop. The social previews and redirect manager alone will save you the time to cover the cost.
Educational: The tool itself is great and a standard for a good portion of the web, however, you can benefit from their work even if you're not on WP. Their educational resources are second to none.
This tool is our go-to for email outreach of any kind. It's cheap, it works directly with Gmail account(aliases too) and it is simple to setup sequences, conditions and automatic follow-ups.
Don't let the name fool you: No mail is actually shaken in their app, just delivered and tracked in a dead simple UI.
Sure, there are features that are missing, but this app is new, inexpensive, and always improving.
As Brian from Backlinko.com would say "Buzzstream makes the messy job of email outreach and link building streamlined and organized. Make sure to check out their new prospecting and email-finding features."
My opinion is that their UI is beautifully crafted with beginners in mind by housing the essentials and have a ton more features as you learn with their awesome community.
Not necessary, but could be helpful in building connections and finding the right people to share your content or to guest post on their respective sites,etc.