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Larry Alton

8 Free Digital Marketing Tools Every Startup Needs in Their Tool Box

Larry Alton
8 Free Digital Marketing Tools Every Startup Needs in Their Tool Box

Startups are all about getting the most bang for their buck, particularly when it comes to digital marketing. It can be expensive to promote your brand and build a digital reputation, but if you do your research, you can find effective tools to facilitate the process that won’t cost you a dime. Here are just a few:

1. Rocket Ranking SEO

Savvy startups know that one of the first investments they need to make is in a quality, but affordable SEO company that can help them get the recognition they need online. Sadly, only 21 percent of marketers include SEO in their budget, which can significantly hurt their digital marketing efforts. There’s not much point in engaging in digital marketing if nobody is going to see it. Rocket Ranking is an online company that offers free SEO tools including an on-page SEO optimizer, keyword profit calculator, SEO backlink builder and a social media like and follow tool. 

2. Evernote

When it comes to digital marketing, you need to have every aspect of your business brainstorming totally organized. Evernote can do just that. When you have too many ideas, Evernote can take those and organize them into something you can use. It also syncs across all of your devices so you don’t have to worry about backtracking just to find the notes from your last meeting.

3. Hootsuite

Hootsuite is almost necessary for businesses in this day and age. This social dashboard makes it easy to navigate all of your social platforms in one place. You won’t need to move between tabs and browsers to access all of your social accounts, which means saved time and energy for you. With their free package, you can sync up to 3 social profiles at a time, but if you need more as your business expands, you can pay a small monthly fee for the business package.

4. Boomerang

When you get tired of rifling through your emails, Boomerang, a plugin for Gmail, will be your savior. Not only can you schedule outgoing emails to hit consumer inboxes at an optimum time, but you can also set up the “boomerang” effect to have an outgoing email sent back to you when you haven’t gotten a reply from the original recipient. It’s an effective reminder to follow up on important emails.

5. Square

Point of sale (POS) software can be very expensive and take up a lot of much needed space, but it’s necessary if you don’t want your digital marketing efforts to be in vain. Instead of going with a bulky, traditional POS system, download Square – a free, highly secure tool for running transactions from an iPhone, iPad, or other device. The best part is that it processes the deposit within two business days and doesn’t charge you a monthly fee.

6. Mailchimp

This program offers total email management, making a marketer’s life that much easier. The free package for startups, called “Entrepreneur,” includes more than 40 features including designer templates for professional-looking emails, personalized contact forms, social sharing buttons, and most of the email marketing analytic tools you’ll need. Besides that, you can send 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers absolutely free. When it’s time to expand, businesses can upgrade for a monthly fee.

7. Dashlane

Most successful marketers have more passwords than they can remember, which makes programs like Dashlane a necessity. This software offers full protection and organization for your passwords. It uses military standard protection, which is the best in the business, so you don’t have to worry about your passwords being stolen.

8. ActiveCampaign

As another highly rated email marketing tool, ActiveCampaign makes it easy to both send emails and organize your efforts. The interface is easy to navigate and you can schedule automated emails to be sent to up to 2,500 customers for free. When it comes time to upgrade, the price is fair and gets better based on the more subscribers you have.

Have you had success with any of these tools? Which are your favorites...and which did I miss? Let us know in the comments.

Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

Comments

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Steve Faber
Steve Faber
Larry,

Nice post, thanks.
"Sadly, only 21 percent of marketers include SEO in their budget" That's a shocking statistic. Perhaps they're not digital marketers, but then, what other kind are there now? Seriously, if a marketing firm or exec isn't committed to being found for the searches qualified buyers are using when looking for what their clients or organization offers, how can they call themselves marketers?

I don't know what they teach in marketing classes these days, being a couple of decades removed from them. I'd hope it's how to determine who your audience is, and how to be found when prospective buyers go looking for you. Maybe they just think that's free, so no budget's needed.....

Just my .23c, thanks!
Ryan Shelley
Ryan Shelley
Steve Faber
I was blown away by that stat as well! I think there is a huge misunderstanding in the digital marekting world when it comes to SEO. There is a huge emphasis on content, but without good SEO, it's nearly impossible to capture traffic.
Larry Alton
Steve Faber
I agree that ignoring SEO is irresponsible on the part of digital marketers. It's such an important aspect that I don't know how they can just ignore it! Hopefully that number will start rising here in the next few years =)
Kathleen Burns
Ryan Shelley
I think come 2016 that statistic will change. More digital marketers are coming to realize that they need to learn the basics of SEO and use tools to help them -especially in blogging.
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