Unless you’re Google or Apple, you likely have slogans floating around your office (readily promulgated by your CEO) such as “do more with less” and “we’re a lean machine.” In other words, be more effective without paying for any tools…produce 200% more at 50% the cost. Sigh.
Chin up! It’s the era of quickly evolving web tools and applications. There are hundreds of free tools online that can dramatically improve your marketing and sales efforts. We wanted to share our Top 14 free web applications and tools, good for marketing, business ops, and staying sane while tightening the belt. Some of these you have undoubtedly heard of, others are lesser known. Either way, these are like bread and water to us and we live on them every day.
1. MailChimp.com: MailChimp provides “easy email newsletters.” They are a free service for managing emails lists, sending newsletters with lots of free email templates, and creating leading nurturing autoresponders. MailChimp also has a large library of email marketing tutorial e-booklets to learn more about the art.
2. SurveyMonkey.com: The second primate on the list… with SurveyMonkey you can send surveys to your customers and contacts. Gather customer intelligence, conduct marketing research, plan events, use as a training tool: there’s tons you can do with a good survey platform.
3. Google Analytics: Any business that has a website can and should track their traffic with Google Analytics. From simply viewing campaign or referral sources to great tools like conversion tracking, Google Analytics is the must-have of the must-haves for marketers today.
4. Join.me: Ever thought or said this? “Ugh! I wish I could just show you my screen and I could explain this so much easier!” Boom, done. Instantly share your screen with a customer. Show off your product, literally.
5. iSpionage.com: You secretly want to be a spy, or not so secretly told your friends you wish you were Jason Borne. Gather intel on your competitors’ SEO and PPC keywords and strategies by spying on what they’re doing, and then unleash.
6. Grooveshark.com: Get your groove on at work. Our favorite music site. We love Spotify, but we’re a little tired of the ads. And Pandora is great, but Grooveshark lets you create playlists and play your favorite song on-demand without intrusive ads.
7. ABG Antivirus: #1 on CNET and Download.com for years. One of the first things we install on any new computer.
8. LogMyCalls.com: That’s right baby, shamelessly plugging our own product. LogMyCalls is smarter call tracking to measure your marketing ROI. Our customers save thousands by knowing which ads produce phone calls. See the phone numbers in this email and the number on our site? Yup…tracking numbers. We eat our own dog food. And LogMyCalls is the ONLY call tracking service with a free account. Free for life, as long as you use it. Click here to see pricing or go here to get your gratis local or toll-free number.
9. Dropbox.com: Online secure file storage. Share your docs online and collaborate with multiple users.
10. Google Keyword Tool: The Google Keyword Tool shows you the search traffic for the keywords you enter. Use this to write relevant online content, SEO your website, and create ads with text and concepts that people are searching for online.
11. Google URL Builder: I know I know, Google is taking over the world, but I couldn’t resist adding one more tool from Google. The URL Builder lets you easily add parameters to your links so when you do online marketing you can go back to your web analytics tool (like Google Analytics) and know exactly which campaign brought your web traffic.
12. Google Chrome Web Store: Uh, yes, another link from Google. Like these free web apps? There are hundreds of them here.
13. Hootsuite.com: Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that lets you manage and measure your social networks. Write and schedule messages and tweets to go out to all your social media venues from one place—Hootsuite.
14. MarketingProfs.com: To finish up the list, here’s one of our favorite marketing education sites. A great spot for blog posts, articles, and webinars to learn more about tactics and trends in marketing.
How about you? Have a favorite free web tool? Tell us about it in the comments!