If you’re looking to drive massive growth to your web-based business, a fantastic product will get you far. Add built-in virality, a unique brand and a support service people rave about, and you will go even further. But except for a few consumer apps that hit the viral jackpot, you’ll need to add smart and hard-working marketing and communication into the mix. Without the right marketing and the tools to power it, you will have a hard time achieving the hockey-stick growth everyone is longing for.
Here’s a list of the tools that we’ve been using at Podio and how they can help your marketing team (updated June 2014)
1. Campaign Monitor: Before we switched to Marketo, we enjoyed the way you can design beautiful emails with Campaign Monitor and see great reports with breakdowns by browser, mobile, country, etc. Given the ever-growing number of people reading emails on mobile, this is really a must-have insight. Also, A/B tests are super easy to set up. Recently, with ‘Canvas’ they even added a superbly easy way to pick from responsive design templates and modify them drag&drop style.
Fan of free monkeys? You probably already heard of Mailchimp and Freddie. If you’re looking for the free option, check them out.
2. Marketo: Probably the most powerful and useable marketing platform at the moment. We did a custom integration with Podio that provides extremely valuable insights on key user behavior, allows in-product messages, builds behavior-based nurturing flows and enables those of us in marketing to pull certain analyses without a MySQL wizard. If you’re in the B2B market, setting up email (nurturing) campaigns and landing pages without the need for developers makes turnaround time for campaigns really fast.
Have a smaller budget and want to use the trend of in-product messages? Check out Intercom – and at least follow their blog if you’re into product design and strategy.
3. Litmus: Of course, all your lovingly crafted emails need some testing. There are just too many different combinations of browser, email client and device to leave it up to chance. Litmus makes testing how your emails will display on those different clients and browsers really easy.
Social Media Marketing
4. HootSuite: HootSuite is probably the most advanced, business-targeted social media dashboard and management tool. It comes with a range of features across all the major social networks. New: there is now also a Hootsuite – Podio integration available!
5. TweetDeck: Although acquired by Twitter, TweetDeck is still a very simple, straight-forward dashboard. You can keep track of different twitter conversations and also schedule tweets.
6. Buffer: Buffer is seriously the simplest tool for “buffering up” content and having it automatically scheduled and shared across Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Their growth story is super impressive, and they have one of the best blogs around productivity-related topics.
7. Bit.ly: A classic. Use it together with Google’s or HubSpot’s URL builder to make sure you track all your campaigns properly. It would be a shame if you couldn’t tell whether your social campaigns result in traffic and conversions or not.
8. Sysomos: This tool gives an aggregated and detailed overview of what’s going on around our brand, showing us how we stack up against competitors in terms of mentions, engagement and sentiment. The UI is not up to the latest standard, but it’s relatively easy to find your way around. Back when we decided on Sysomos, their pricing was ahead of Radian6, but I’ve heard things have changed…
Insights & Analytics
9. Olark: It’s true what people say about this customer support chat tool: it’s incredibly fast to implement. It also helps us finish certain key conversion flows and, at the same time, gives us great insights on how to improve those flows.
10. Qualaroo (formerly KISSinsights): If you’re looking to know more about your visitors or users and what they’re looking for, then this tool gives you a dead-simple way to do so. Want to know what keeps them from performing your desired actions? Is it missing pricing information, alarming security signs, unclear value proposition or some lack of proof? How about just asking? You add a snippet of code to your website once, pick the questions you want to ask and wait for the answers to start rolling in.
11. Crazy Egg: Sixty minutes from decision to the first live results – that’s a fast implementation! We love the advanced insights from heat maps and scroll maps of how people interact with our website that Google Analytics cannot give us. If you’re looking to increase conversion rates, this is probably a good investment.
12. Google Analytics: It has its letdowns, but given that it’s free, it’s still an incredibly good tool. The devil is in the details when it comes to subdomain tracking, event-based conversion tracking, filters and custom variables. There’s a lot of outdated information out there on the web, so pay attention when you’re searching for some of the more complex issues.
Oh, and there is one more thing…
What do we use for campaign planning, managing our editorial calendar, tracking competitors, meeting management, team collaboration, agency collaboration and simply getting all our stuff done?
If you read this far and you’re still getting all your work done in tedious spreadsheets, email threads and unstructured meetings, give Podio a try. It’s free for a team of five. You can also read more about how we use our own product for running marketing.
This list has grown quite a lot over the last two years, and as much as marketing is constantly changing and evolving, so are the tools.
I’d love to hear from you. What are the essential marketing tools you’re using? What are the good, the bad and the ugly?