6 Free and essential marketing tools for startups & small businesses
You’ve just started your online business.
You’re perfectly aware there’s software that can help your business, but you don’t want to commit to premium ones just yet. You realize there are some functions that you’ll have to pay for, like email marketing software platforms and landing page builders because no one offers these services free of charge, and both are essential if you plan to get serious about marketing.
You would prefer to use as many free tools as possible, so that you can afford the ones you absolutely have to pay for.
The tools in the following list are all free, and have proven to be a great help to startups in the beginning phases of their marketing activities. They are all easy to use.
LogoMakr: Logo Design for Amateurs
There are tons of free logo creators available but what is particularly painful about using them, is that you often go to the trouble of creating it on the platform, but when it’s time to download the logo, you are forced to pay. So essentially, although you can create the logo for free, you can’t download it for free. Grr.
That’s what makes LogoMakr the choice of logo design makers in this article: it allows you to create a logo and download it for free. The other helpful element is the ability to copy and paste the logo URL so that if you need to, you can always return to edit it.
However, the downside is that their designs need some modernizing, so you may want to check out other free online logo makers, there’s something for everyone today!
Canva: For Professional Design by Un-Designers
Canva allows marketers to create designs that look professional, even if they’re not graphic designers, or particularly creative.
This image for Twitter was created on Canva.
Canva provides templates for all sorts of designs, and even comes with set dimensions, so if you need to create a post for Twitter or Facebook for instance, they’ve already put the template into the right size so that you don’t have to.
Within minutes you can have a customized image that looks as if was created by a pro.
Trello: Simple Project Management
Although there are a variety of project management tools available, Trello has to be one of the easiest to use because of how it’s been designed.
On Trello, arrange boards which contain cards and within the cards, set due dates, labels, checklists and attachments. The cards can be moved around and arranged where you want them.
It is easy to collaborate on Trello, and members can be assigned to boards or cards.
Google Forms: Create Online Forms Fast
Google Forms allows the development of surveys, quizzes and forms so that people can fill them in online via a link or your website.
Use forms to collect registrations, for staff to apply for leave, to collect feedback, and even for signups to get digital downloads.
What makes Google Forms invaluable is that you can integrate it with some of the more popular email software platforms, so when people give their email address, it’s automatically sent to your email marketing platform. This functionality makes Google Forms the best option for a free landing page builder if you’re on a budget. It won’t make the most visually appealing pages, but it will serve the purpose.
Example of a Google Form used as a time off work request
Embed the form on your website if you like, and get the responses in a spreadsheet so it’s easy to analyze or to view data.
Capsule CRM: Robust Customer Relationship Management
Every business needs to keep a record of contacts and leads.
Additionally, alongside marketing initiatives, every business that aims to grow needs to incorporate direct selling methodologies. The best way to keep track of everything is with CRM software.
The problem with most free CRM’s is limited functionality when it comes to the good stuff like sales sequences and leads, and in order to get the most out of the software, you are forced to start paying.
But with Capsule CRM, you get all the functionality, but are limited to 2 users. Of course, this is fine if you’re a lone wolf. When you can afford to pay a salary to a third body in your business, you will also be able to upgrade because you can afford to pay for the service.
Coschedule Headline Analyzer: Compile Better Headlines
Coschedule Headline Analyzer is a nifty gadget that helps improve headlines to get more attention.
Simply type in the proposed headline and the tool gives you an overall score. Even better, is that it provides suggestions based on length of the headline, and the words used, i.e. common words, uncommon words, emotion and power words.
The focus is on developing a headline that will attract more shares, reads, search results and higher traffic.
Summary of Free Marketing Tools
- LogoMakr for wannabee logo designers
- Canva allows amateurs to create customized images
- Trello helps keep projects organized so you save time
- Google Forms is a free way to collect feedback and information online
- Capsule CRM provides a way to keep a record of contacts, customers, leads and opportunities
- Coschedule Headline Analyzer improves headlines so you get better results