Let’s admit it. We live in the digital era and every entrepreneur, freelancer and small business owner should embrace technology in order to survive and grow. Today there is an abundance of tools, both free and paid, to assist you for almost everything your business might need. Efficiently marketing your business is paramount to your success but it can be hard and time consuming for small businesses, freelancers and solopreneurs. Luckily enough there are several tools that can make this task easier for you. Bellow we will introduce you to three of what we consider to be the best marketing tools for businesses of any size. Needless to say we also use those tools ourselves for our day-to-day operations and can assist you with any questions you might have.

1. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot is a CRM software platform that helps you manage relationships with past, present or potential customers. It is a marketing, sales and service platform that allows you to maximize and simplify your inbound marketing efforts in order to attract visitors, convert leads and close customers. It is considered to be among the best software platforms available to businesses today and serves over 10000 companies in 65 different countries.

Inbound marketing has proved to be the most effective option within the marketing world and HubSpot allows you to centralize all of your current software, services and systems in one place. And then some. It comes in both a free and paid versions, allowing you to start small and scale up as your business needs grow.

With HubSpot you can create and optimize your content, nurture leads, monitor your contacts as they become customers and keep close track of your marketing progress. It is very easy to integrate with other platforms such as WordPress, Magento, Shopify, Google Analytics and Slack, or you can use it as a stand-alone tool. Featuring a simple layout it is simple to use but also offers an extensive online training program through courses, projects and certifications if you need to go the extra step.

With HubSpot you can monitor the entire client’s journey from lead to customer and it cleverly uses automation to make the whole process much easier for you and your team. Standard and custom reports help you analyze metrics and it can also patch into your email, with features such as tracking and templates boosting your productivity and efficiency. One of the things we love about HubSpot, besides offering lots of functionality in its free version for unlimited users, is that it’s constantly evolving to better suit your business needs.

2. Mailchimp

In 2020 email is still the king of marketing, generating a ROI of $38 for every $1 spent, and for email the king is still Mailchimp. According to their website Mailchimp is an All-In-One integrated marketing platform for small businesses. At its core Mailchimp is a software platform that gives you the ability to create and manage mailing lists, newsletters and automated marketing campaigns. Millions of people and businesses use the platform to send over a billion emails daily and for good reason. Like HubSpot it offers a free and paid tiers, it is easy to use, it is reliable and offers lots of features. The free version allows for 2000 contacts and 10000 monthly email sends while paid tiers come with additional features and higher allowances for contacts and the number of monthly email sends.

To get you started in gathering emails for your list Mailchimp comes with a signup form builder you can customize and embed in your website, integrate with ease in other services or use as a stand-alone form through a link. Once you have an email list you can start creating your campaign. Mailchimp offers four different types of campaigns, Regular, Automated, Plain-text and A/B testing. You can send out campaigns immediately or schedule for a later time.

To reach a wider audience and grow your email list Mailchimp offers a Facebook Ad Campaign feature. You can purchase ad space and promote your email list through Facebook and Instagram ads without leaving the Mailchimp platform. This is specially good for freelancers and smaller businesses that want to expand their audience without all the hustle that comes with managing a Facebook advertising account.

With Mailchimp you can select from a list of pre-designed HTML email layouts that you can customize to suit your needs, use one of their themes where you only have to add your content or create your own email from scratch which allows you for greater flexibility. If that’s not enough for you Mailchimp offers an intuitive drag-and-drop email builder to design campaigns on the fly.

As far as automation goes, Mailchimps offers the ability to setup autoresponders for new subscribers and automated messages for things like birthdays of greetings for holiday seasons. Where it stands out from the competition is with its ability to automatically create Google remarketing ads for subscribers and recover abandoned carts from e-commerce websites. For e-commerce brands there is also the ability to automate feedback from customers after they make a purchase and to recommend products based on a customer’s purchase history.

3. Rebrandly

You are probably aware of Google Analytics, the current leading platform to track metrics for your website. But how can you keep track of metrics if you don’t own a website (you should definitely own one but that’s for another post) or monitor user engagement from your emails, social post and campaigns, all while promoting your brand awareness? This is where URL shorteners come into play.

URL shorteners first appeared in the early 2000s but became a necessity with the rise of Twitter and its 140 characters limit, expanded to 280 characters in 2017. A URL shortener can make a long link like “https://example.com/category/subcategory_A/subcategory_B/foo” substantially shorter by translating it to “https://example.com/foo” and redirecting the later to the former.

Today URL shorteners are becoming really useful for marketing purposes. Besides the obvious use of shortening and beautifying long and complex URLs, they can gather click data and mask and rewrite URLs for content curators while allowing them to promote their brand by using custom domains.

Enter Rebrandly. Rebrandly is a URL shortener which comes with some very valuable marketing features built into the product. It also comes in free and premium versions but the free version offers enough functionality to make it worth your consideration. It features tracking, optimization and scaling tools and allows you to use your own custom domain or sub-domain. A custom domain leads to increased link trust, brand awareness and click-through rate, not to mention that it looks more professional to your audience.

Rebrandly links are SEO friendly and have the ability forward parameters to the destination URL. It has a built-in UTM parameters builder, it allows for custom URL slug (the part of the link after the domain) and allows to change the destination URL of your links at any time after creation. You can integrate it with any process, workflow or tool you already use and profit from its tracking ability to understand how your marketing campaigns are affecting your business.

We are here to help. If you believe any of the tools mentioned in this article are a good fit for your business we can help you integrate them in your workflow and train you and your team on how to use them. If you are uncertain or need more information, you can contact us for a free consultation.