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Some Useful Marketing Tools for Your Small Business
This list is compiled to help small and medium sized businesses find marketing tools that they may find useful.
Some are very well known and others may not be. I’m going to update the list when I discover new tools so bookmark the page and check it every so often. If you want, you can also download it as a pdf using the print button on this page. So here you go…enjoy.
MailChimp is a simple, easy to use email marketing service that is free if you have under 1,000 subscribers which is ideal for new businesses. The system is easy to use and manages the subscription process for you. This is a great service for new businesses just starting out in email marketing. It’s professional and best of all free when you are starting out.
Aweber (aff link) (US$19 per month)
My preferred choice in email marketing programs and the one we use at MarketingHQ. Cost is around US$19 per month or you can get it cheaper if you pay the 12 months up front for under 500 subscribers. The cost increases the more subscribers you have. The best thing about Aweber is the ability to set up a series of emails so you can automates your email sales funnel. You just set it up, add the content and off it goes automatically. You just need to tell it what to send and when to send it. It’s also very easy to use and provides good statistics on your campaigns.
Survey Monkey (AUD$250 for 12 months)
Manage your own market research through this internet based research tool. We are Pro subscribers of this service which costs around AUD$250 for 12 months. You can create your own web based market research questionnaires and collate all of the data online.
Google Analytics (free)
Googles free analytics tool to analyse traffic to your website. Install the code on your website and see when and where your website traffic is coming from. It’s also free.
Google Alerts (free)
The easiest way to monitor if your name is being mentioned anywhere on the internet. Every business should have these set up for their business name and important staff members.
Internet Marketing & Keyword Research
Market Samurai (aff link) (US$149)
Market Samurai will help improve your website search engine optimisation by helping you research keywords and your on-line competition. Cost is $149 for the full software but you can get a free trial through the affiliate link above. It will help you target the right keywords and help you get ranked on the front page of Google in your market niche.
iSpy Analytics (free)
It syncronises with your Google Analytics so you can check this on the go. It just provides a basic overview but enough to give you the picture.
The most useful note taking tool I’ve seen. It syncronises with your laptop so you can take notes when you are out and about and have them ready to go when you open your computer. Very handy for remembering ideas whenever and wherever they come to you.
This app syncronises with your Google reader account so you can read posts that you subscribe to by RSS on your iPhone. You can then share anything you find interesting on your Twitter account or a range of other platforms. This app has effectively made reading Google reader on your PC a thing of the past.
The Challenge – Internet Marketing (free training. Some small costs for web hosting)
If you’re new to internet marketing and don’t understand search engine optimisation and keyword selection, you should do The Challenge. The Challenge is free to join and takes you through 30 days of internet marketing training by internet marketing guru Ed Dale (no relation). It will teach you how to identify a market niche and start an on-line business. You will need to set aside 10-15 minutes a day but the training goes for 30 days in total with 7 days on and 7 days off which allows you to catch up if you fall behind. Do it, it is well worth it.
Sydney Writers Centre – Writing Training (most courses are $395 and delivered person and on-line)
Ok, so this is Sydney based but they do offer online courses as well. If you do a lot of writing for your business and want to improve, they offer a large range of courses for beginners to experienced writers. I’ve personally attended the writing for business course and it was well worth it. From my perspective, the courses are very reasonably priced and the content provides real value to small business people.
Receive daily alerts when journalists are looking for sources for stories. It’s a great way to get some free publicity for your business without the need to send press releases and follow up. Just respond to call outs that are relevant to your business and where you can provide some value. It costs nothing to register to receive the call outs.
Jing (free or Pro version is US$14.95 per year)
Jing is a very handy tool. It allows you to capture images or video from your computer screen and add audio. It’s a great (and cheap) tool if you want to create your own how-to videos using a presentation from your computer. You just hit record, record your audio and play your presentation. It’s really simple. We also use it to communicate changes to design briefs when it would take too long to write an email.
Mockingbird is a very handy design tool if you are planning on building a website. It allows you to create a mockup (wireframe) of your proposed website. Very handy if you want to brief a website designer or want to build a website but are not sure of your layout. You can decide what you want to build before you go out and spend any money to build it.
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