Bonus material: Get access to the exact marketing plan Noah Kagan used to launch Mint — and copy it for your business launch.
Setting up a business today has never been easier when compared to just one to two decades ago.
With the abundance of technology and digital tools, entrepreneurs can start, run, and scale businesses anywhere anytime — quickly.
But finding the right digital marketing tools for your business can be mind-numbing as there are so many of them out there. And new ones get conjured up all the time. Therefore, to help you choose the right tools quickly, I have made a list of the best below.
- Email Marketing Tools
- Lead Generation Tools
- Content Marketing Tools
- Social Media Marketing Tools
- Video Creation Tools
- Design Tools
- Advertising Tools
- Analytics Tools
- Search Engine Optimization tools
- Outreach Tools
Email Marketing Tools
There are several email automation tools out there. It can be hard to search and find the right one quickly. Here are four popular ones.
You have probably already heard of Hubspot. They have one of the most popular marketing blogs. They also have a very popular email marketing software. Actually, it is much more than an email marketing software. You can use it for everything from setting up a website and blog, to generating leads to managing your social media to organizing your sales process. There are so many more features.
The email marketing features include both email automation and lead generation forms. You can use it to set up popup forms and landing pages and then send automated emails and broadcasts to everyone who signs up. It also has some advanced automation features for segmenting your list and retargeting subscribers with ads.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and goes up to $3,200/month.
Does Hubspot offer a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
The problem with Hubspot is that even though they have a free plan and an affordable starter plan, their features are limited. To get the most, you need to upgrade to the professional plan, at least. It costs $800 per month. That’s out of budget for most businesses.
If you are looking for a better alternative that offers more features at more affordable rates, you should look into Mailchimp. For only a fraction of the price, you get access to features such as landing pages, shoppable landing pages, survey forms, email templates, popup forms, ad retargeting, segmentation, and more.
If you have already set up your site with a platform like WordPress, this might be an option for you. It also has a very generous free plan. If you have already tried Mailchimp and would prefer an alternative, you might want to check out these Mailchimp alternatives.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and increases as your number of contacts increases.
Does Mailchimp offer a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Are you a blogger or a YouTuber? Are you just starting and don’t want to spend on expensive email automation software? Then SendFox might be a better alternative for you.
It starts with a free plan, and their paid plan costs just $49 for life. Yes, I did say life! You can send up to 50,000 emails per month with it. That is more than enough for someone who is just starting. It might not be as advanced as email automation software such as Hubspot, Mailchimp, Aweber, or ConvertKit, but it will get the job done.
You can use it to set up branded smart pages and landing pages for generating leads. After that, you can set up beautiful automated emails that go out every time someone subscribes. It has templates that simplify this process.
You can also schedule broadcasts. It has features like Smart Campaigns and RSS content updates that make this easy.
And like most email automation software, you have access to analytics to track data to improve your emails.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan. The next plan is the $49 for life paid plan. It lets you send 50,000 emails per month to 5,000 subscribers. To send emails to more subscribers, you will need to upgrade to the bigger plans. The highest is tier 3. It costs $245 for life.
Does SendFox offer a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
The above tools are best suited for bloggers, influencers, and small businesses. If you are running an e-commerce store, a better tool would be Omnisend. It combines email marketing, push notifications, messenger, and SMS marketing.
It has several built-in workflows for e-commerce stores. These include welcome emails, upsell emails, cross-sell emails, abandoned cart emails, etc. These can help you get maximum sales from all the leads you generate.
And It integrates with popular e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magneto, and WooCommerce.
It also has most of the features that regular email automation software possesses. These can help you with generating leads, designing emails, segmenting lists, and tracking performance.
Pricing: The pricing structure begins with a free basic plan. The paid plans start at $16 per month and go up as the number of subscribers increases. It also has a custom enterprise plan.
Does Omnisend offer a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Lead Generation Tools
You can set up lead generation and opt-in forms such as landing pages and popups with the above tools, but they are very basic. To create custom forms with more advanced targeting settings, you should try out the ones listed below.
Sumo is one of the most popular lead generation tools. It lets you create various types of opt-in forms such as welcome mats, popups (list builder), content upgrades, and slider forms. You can also use it to create smart bars and add share buttons to your blog posts and pages.
You can easily install it on any website with a simple code. But It also has plugins for WordPress and Shopify.
It integrates with several email automation tools, but you can use Sumo itself to set up the emails.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan. You will need to upgrade to the $49 per month plan to remove branding and access features such as A/B testing and advanced analytics.
Does Sumo offer a free trial? Yes, a free trial is available.
Giveaways are one of the fastest ways to grow your email list. People love signing up for free prizes. But KingSumo helps you take it to the next level.
Using KingSumo, you can not only set up a contest landing page, but you can also use it to incentivize sharing and to grow your social following.
After people sign up for a giveaway via KingSumo’s landing page, they get redirected to a special thank you page. Here you can inform people about the extra points they can acquire. They can gain extra points by sharing the giveaway on social media, by following you, subscribing to your podcast, etc.
The extra points increase their chances of winning. So, more people end up taking action.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan. The paid plan costs $19 per month. But you can get a lifetime deal for a one-time payment of $49 on AppSumo. There’s also a separate WordPress plugin. Pricing for this starts at $198 for life.
Does KingSumo have a free trial available? Yes, a free plan is available.
If you want to take your lead generation to the next level through personalization and survey funnels, you should check out RightMessage. It’s one of the most advanced lead generation tools I have come across.
It can identify whether a visitor is a new or repeat visitor and present them with the right offer to get them to convert. It also uses survey funnels to understand the visitor’s interest before presenting them with a lead magnet that will interest them most.
It helps you segment your subscribers before you even send them the welcome email.
Pricing: Starts at $79 per month for up to 10,000 visitors. Pricing increases as the number of visitors increases.
Does RightMessage have a free trial? Yes, a 14-day free trial available.
Leadpages is the tool I use to set up landing pages for my website and my clients’ websites. It has templates for quickly setting up squeeze pages, sales pages, webinar landing pages, conversion-optimized homepages, and more.
It has a drag and drop builder. The builder can help you create a landing page from scratch or to customize the existing templates.
You can also set up other kinds of custom opt-in forms, such as popups and alert bars with Leadpages. It integrates with most of the email automation software.
Pricing: Starts at $37 per month and goes up to $321 per month.
Does Leadpages have a free trial? Yes, a 14-day free trial is available.
Content Marketing Tools
There are several content marketing tools out there for researching and creating top content. Here are a couple of the top ones.
BuzzSumo is one of the most popular content marketing tools. You can use it for content research and promotion.
The content research tools let you see which content attracts the most shares and links. It can even help you check keyword search volumes. There’s also a Facebook analyzer feature that lets you see which content is trending on Facebook.
The content promotion features help you find influencers on networks like Facebook and Twitter. All this data makes it easy to create content that generates more traffic and leads.
Pricing: Starts at $99 per month and goes up to $499+ per month.
Does BuzzSumo have a free trial? Yes, a 7-day free trial is available.
Optimizing every piece of content for SEO can be a lot of work. You need to audit your site and come up with keywords for your content calendar. You should then create content containing the primary keyword and several secondary keywords. And then, you need to constantly update content every few months or once a year, at least, with the latest keywords.
All these tasks can take up a lot of time. But the effort and time can be cut short with a tool like Clearscope. All you need to do is search the keywords you want your content to rank for, and it will show you the primary and secondary keywords you need to include. It will also suggest the keyword density and placements. And to make it even simpler it includes Google docs and WordPress (plugin) integrations.
Pricing: Starts at $350 per month and goes up to custom plans.
Does Clearscope have a free trial? No.
Social Media Marketing Tools
There are tons of social media management tools out there. Here are the three most popular ones.
Buffer rose in popularity quickly because it was the first social media scheduling tool to come up with the timeslots feature. This is where you set timeslots ahead and then add social media posts to them.
Since then, it has added various other features such as team members/collaboration, calendar view, advanced analytics, etc. that make it easy to schedule posts quickly.
You can use Buffer to schedule to social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, and even Pinterest. Buffer also offers an image creation platform known as Pablo.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and goes up to $99 per month.
Does Buffer have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Hootsuite is arguably the most popular social media management platform, with over 18 million users. Like Buffer, you can use it to schedule to popular social networks such as Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, and more, but you can also use it to do a lot of other things.
These include managing ads, social listening, engaging back with your audience, etc.
I have used both the free and paid plans on both Buffer and Hootsuite, and what I found was that Hootsuite is better for monitoring your presence and engaging back with your audience. Buffer is better for scheduling.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and goes up to a custom plan. It has several affordable plans in the middle.
Does Hootsuite have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer let you schedule to Instagram, but their features for Instagram aren’t very pronounced. Instagram features are limited Hootsuite and Buffer mainly started as Facebook and Twitter scheduling tools and then added Instagram and other networks.
But with Later, it is the other way round. It’s the reason why it has better Instagram scheduling features. These include Instagram feed preview, stories scheduling, first comment scheduling (if you want to add the hashtags as a comment), etc.
Another exciting feature is ‘saved captions.’ It lets you create hashtag lists and save them so that you can quickly add relevant hashtags to captions.
It also has some handy Pinterest features. But if you are looking for a tool with better Pinterest scheduling features, you should check out Tailwind. It has got several advanced Instagram management features too.
Pricing: Starts with a generous free plan and goes up to $49 per month.
Does Later have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Video Creation Tools
Video has become an essential part of marketing these days as there are several tools like the below two that make it easy to design highly shareable videos from scratch.
Animoto is an online video maker that makes it easy for anyone to create professional-quality videos from scratch. You start by picking a template and then modify it by using their drag and drop editor. You can either modify the elements that are already in there or add new ones.
It integrates with Getty Images to make it easy for you to import images from there.
If you prefer to, you can also create videos with it from scratch.
Pricing: Starts at $0 per month and goes up to $94 per month.
Does Animoto have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Another popular online video editor that is similar to Animoto, but with an emphasis on social media video is InVideo. It has templates for almost all top networks such as Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.
You get started by picking a template. It then opens up in the drag-and-drop editor, and you can begin modifying the content that’s already in there or add in your footage and overlays. It also has a library full of videos, images, and audio tracks that you can use in your videos.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan, then there’s a $20 per month, and the largest plan is $60 per month. But you can get a lifetime deal for a one-time payment of $49 on AppSumo today.
Does InVideo have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Just like with video, a lot of design tools have sprung up. You don’t need to be a Photoshop wizard to create professional-looking designs anymore.
Canva has quickly become one of the most popular image design tools out there, with over 15 million users. Its rise in popularity is because of two reasons. One is that it is easy to use, and the other is that it has a very generous free plan.
Most people use it to create images with the templates. But it can be used to design many more things such as PDFs, slides, logos, posters, business cards, and websites.
It provides access to 60,000+ templates and 60+ million stock images, photos, videos, and icons.
Canva is a great tool, but it isn’t for everyone. If you are looking for something different, you might want to check out these Canva alternatives.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and goes up to an enterprise plan that costs $30 per user/month.
Does Canva have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Crello is the perfect alternative to Canva. You can do almost everything with it that you can do on Canva. This includes designing social media images, email headers, logos, business cards, ad visuals, resumes, and more.
Just like with Canva, you get started here with templates. It has over 30,000 of them. After that, you can customize and optimize them with a drag and drop editor, depending on your requirements.
You can also create visuals from scratch. It provides access to over 140 million images and videos to make things easy.
Pricing: The have two plans – a free one and a paid one that costs $9.99 per month. But you can get a lifetime deal with a one-time payment of $49 on AppSumo.
Does Crello have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Are you looking for a design tool that is less time consuming than Canva and Crello? Then RelayThat might be a better alternative for you.
On RelayThat, all you need to do is add your website URL. It will then pull images, color palettes, logos, etc. from your website. You can then get it to use all this visual data and its inbuilt templates to create beautiful images automatically.
It is the perfect solution for small businesses with lean marketing teams and agencies that manage social media for multiple businesses.
Pricing: Starts at $25 per month and goes up to custom pricing. But you can get a lifetime deal for a one-time payment of $49 on AppSumo.
Does RelayThat have a free trial? No.
Here are some useful advertising tools.
Creating successful ads requires a lot of work. You need to research your audience and then your competitors to see what is working. After that, you need to launch various versions of the ads and test them out till you find a winner. It can take up a lot of time!
But you can cut short this time several-fold by using a spy tool like Adbeat. It lets you see what types of ads your competitors are running and the landing pages they are using. You can also see how much they are spending.
It removes the guesswork out of the equation and helps you quickly create and scale ads that work.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan and goes up to an enterprise plan.
Does Adbeat have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Video ads generate 7.5X more clicks than still ads. But the problem with video ads is that they can take longer to create, especially if you need to create several versions and test them out.
If you want to cut short this time you should check out Vidyou. All you need to do is add your e-commerce store’s website feed URL. It will pull images from your catalog and use them to automatically create video ads along with other elements such as pricing and logo.
You can also modify the videos before you download them.
Pricing: Starts at $99 per month and goes up to $999 per month. But you can get a lifetime deal for a one-time payment of only $49 on AppSumo.
Does Adbeat have a free trial? No.
There are so many kinds of marketing analytics tools for analyzing various data points. Here are some useful ones.
21. Google Analytics
Source: Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the best free tools for tracking and monitoring your real-time and historical website traffic. You can use it to see the number of website visits, number of page views, and the number of leads and sales you generated (with goals).
You can dive deeper to find other metrics such as the location of the visitors, time spent on site, bounce rate, traffic sources, etc.
It’s a very sophisticated tool you can use to increase your traffic and conversion rate. Make sure you track your website traffic and conversion rate with it. And try to combine it with some of Google’s other popular free tools such as the Search Console and Optimize.
Pricing: It starts with a free plan and goes up to paid plans. The paid plans start at $150,000 per year.
Does Google Analytics have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Hotjar helps you check how people are interacting with your website through heatmaps.
You can get even more specific information through recordings. It will show you exactly what your customers see when they visit your website and how they interact with it.
Hotjar can also be used to track funnel performance and to create forms to survey your website visitors.
You can use all this information to come up with a high converting website.
Pricing: Start with a free plan with limited usage. For unlimited reporting, you need to upgrade to a paid plan.
Does Hotjar have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
ClickMagick is a very advanced analytics tool with a lot of features.
Some of them include tracking an entire funnel, cross-device tracking, phone sales tracking, bot filter, split testing, geo-targeting, advanced retargeting, etc.
There are a ton of other features. All of them make it easy to track both organic and paid traffic and then use the data to make modifications to your funnel to increase conversions. You can also use ClickMagick to check if a certain marketing tactic or traffic source you are using is worth it or a waste of time.
Pricing: Starts at $27 per month and goes up to $97 per month.
Does ClickMagick have a free trial? Yes, a 14-day free trial is available.
BrandMentions is a social listening tool. It is very different from social monitoring tools. Social monitoring tools only track handle mentions and tags. In contrast, a social listening tool tracks keywords. The keywords can include brand names, product names, competitors’ names, etc.
You get alerted every time someone mentions these keywords online. You can then get back to them quickly and offer the best customer support. The data you obtain can also help you create better content.
BrandMentions can also help you find and track hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other networks. You can even discover influencers with it.
Pricing: $49 per month to $299 per month.
Does BrandMentions have a free trial? Yes, a 7-day free trial is available.
Search Engine Optimization Tools
Here are a few tools you can use to generate maximum traffic through SEO.
Ahrefs is one of the best SEO tools. It’s the one they use at Sumo and AppSumo. You can use it for auditing your website, analyzing your competitors’ website, finding keywords your audience is searching, and for finding backlink opportunities. You can then put this all together to optimize your website with the right keywords.
Ahrefs can also be used to track the performance of your website and landing pages to see if your efforts are coming to fruition.
Ahrefs also has a feature known as Content Explorer that is very similar to Buzzsumo.
Pricing: Starts at $99 per month and goes up to $999 per month.
Does Ahrefs have a free trial? Yes, a 7-day free trial is available.
SEMrush is the tool that I use for SEO. It’s very similar to Ahrefs. You can use it for auditing your website, analyzing competitors, finding keywords, finding backlinks, and tracking performance.
It can even be used for advertising research to see what sort of paid keywords your competitors are using and how much they are spending. You can also use it to monitor ad copy and landing pages.
There isn’t much difference between SEMrush and Ahrefs. Either should be fine. However, some people argue that Ahrefs is better for link building, and SEMrush is better for keyword research.
Another great alternative to both of them is Moz.
Pricing: Starts at $99.95 per month and goes up to enterprise plans.
Does SEMrush have a free trial? Yes, a 7-day free trial is available.
27. Google Keyword Planner
Source: Google Keyword Planner
Ahrefs and SEMrush are both great tools for digital marketers. But not everyone is ready to spend $97+ a month on an SEO tool. If you are looking for a free alternative, you should check out the Google Keyword Planner.
It doesn’t have all the features the above two offer, but you can use it for basic keyword research to see which keywords are searched the most and then optimize your website with these keywords. You can also use it to find keywords for your Google Adwords PPC campaigns.
If you are looking for a complete SEO tool at an affordable price, you might want to sign up for AppSumo. They have had deals for top tools such as Serpstat and AccuRanker and are always adding new deals.
Fingers crossed; you might find the tool your perfect SEO tool at an affordable price.
Outreach plays a vital role in finding influencers, sales, and links. Here are some top outreach tools.
FindThatLead is an excellent tool for finding leads for cold email outreach. There are multiple ways you can use it to find email addresses of prospects. You can do this by searching an entire domain and finding email addresses of all the people who work there.
Or by searching for names and website together. There’s also a handy Chrome browser extension that lets you look for leads when you come across someone’s Twitter or LinkedIn account.
You can even send email campaigns with it.
Pricing: Starts with a free plan. The first paid plan costs $49 per month, and the biggest one is $150 per month. But you can get a lifetime account with a one-time payment of $49 on AppSumo.
Does FindThatLead have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Respona is an outreach tool made for digital marketers. I use it to discover influencers who will share my content, build backlinks, and find guest posting opportunities.
You can use it to look through the latest articles related to your niche, find the authors who wrote the articles, and email them directly from the dashboard. It even integrates with HARO and can find more opportunities from there.
You can also use it to find email addresses.
For finding link building opportunities, you can just search for a keyword on the platform to find the most linked articles on the topic. You can then reach out to the editors of the blogs that linked to the article with personalized email templates.
Pricing: Starts at $145 per month and goes up to custom.
Does Respona have a free trial? No.
Both FindThatLead and Respona are very useful tools, but the problem with them is that you can only use them directly from their dashboards. They can’t be integrated with Gmail to track the performance of your daily email activity.
For that, you can use RightInbox. You can use it to set reminders, schedule emails to go out later, create sequences, and track performance. It tracks both opens and clicks.
The data can help you create and send better emails in the future.
Pricing: Starts at $0 and goes up to $7.95 per month.
Does RightInbox have a free trial? Yes, a free plan is available.
Get Some of These Digital Marketing Tools
These are some of the best digital marketing tools out there. They can help you with everything from design to SEO to social media management to ads to outreach. You don’t have to use all of them. You can just pick the ones that suit you best. Most of them offer trials or free plans, so you can always test them out before upgrading.
If you want to find more digital marketing tools, you should check out AppSumo. I only listed a handful of deals here. Browse around now to discover many more marketing tools.