What are the best startup marketing tools to help a company grow from a handful of customers to 100, 1,000, or 10,000 paying customers (or more)?
Below, we’ve compiled a list of the best tools we could find to help you grow your startup. For each one, we’ve included a summary of the tool, pricing, and possible alternatives (when available).
We’ve organized the list as follows:
- Lead Generation
- Conference Calls
- Content Marketing
- Email Marketing
- Landing Page Optimization
- Live Chat
- Search Engine Optimization
- Social Media
(Note: Want to see who’s visiting your website—even if they don’t fill out a form? Try Leadfeeder for free.)
Lead Generation Tools for Startups
Leadfeeder is a website visitor tracking tool that tells you which businesses are visiting your website, even if the visitor does not fill out a form or download a resource.
Using a website visitor tracking tool (which is similar to analytics, but with the ability to identify which individual companies visit your website) is an effective method of lead capture.
By identifying the businesses visiting your site and monitoring the pages they visit and the content they read, you can develop outreach and engagement opportunities based on their actual site engagement.
Free 14-day trial; paid plans start at $59 per month.
2. Product Hunt
Product Hunt is now the go-to launch platform for startups and enterprises putting a new product into the market. It has a pre-existing community of testers and early adopters willing to try new products.
Adding a product is free, but the Product Hunt team also offers the Ship product, an all-in-one launch package that includes a landing page, email subscription tools, email messaging tools, analytics, A/B testing, and webhooks for lead captures.
Free; Ship pricing starts at $80 per month.
Sumo is a multi-app toolkit built to increase the ROI of your website. It offers a variety of pop-up tools designed to drive lead captures on every page of your website, including newsletter sign-up, special offers and lower cart abandonment rates through timely pop-up reminders during checkout. Sumo integrates with most email service providers to ensure your leads go straight to your lists.
Free 14-day trial; paid plans start at $24 per month.
Fomo is an application that lets you leverage the power of social proof to increase conversions. While customers and prospects are browsing your website, Fomo displays small notifications alerting your prospects about other visitors on the site as well as some of the purchases those other visitors have made.
By showing prospects what other customers are doing and purchasing, you instantly give your website and business credibility through social proof.
Plans start at $39 per month.
5. Hello Bar
Hello Bar is a simple WordPress plugin that does one thing really well—website pop-ups that drive conversions. Whether triggered by exit intent or page and content interaction, Hello Bar can be setup to ensure you engage site visitors effectively and drive lead captures on your site.
Plans start at $4.95 per 100 click throughs.
Add a call to action on every link you share. Even if you are sharing a non-branded website, Snip.ly lets you display a branded call to action on non-brand websites, meaning you can engage customers and prospects with every piece of content you share with them.
Plans start at $29 per month.
Analytics Tools for Startups
Segment lets you collect data points from every platform, aggregate into Segment, and then send that data to hundreds of tools for marketing, analytics, and data warehousing.
With over 200 source and destination integrations, Segment makes it possible for your business to coordinate and draw insights across multiple business units and teams.
Free, up to 1,000 Monthly Tracked Users (MTUs); paid plans start at $120 per month for 10,000 MTUs.
Mixpanel is a granular data collection tool that allows you to analyze each customer interaction across the entire user journey.
By capturing each user interaction, you can start to build touchpoints and customer journeys based on actual customer interaction history, leading to more personalized customer experience and increased conversion rates.
Free, up to 5 million data points per month with limited features; paid plans start at $99 per month for 10 million data points per month with full features.
Bitly lets you create short links that track every click, tap or swipe as they make their way across the internet. Branded links allow you to make sure campaign links have brand consistency, and you can integrate Bitly with most social media and campaign management tools to ensure all of your messaging is effectively tracked.
Free; enterprise plans also available.
A simple application that lets you see where your site’s URLs have been shared online, SharedCount calculates the number of shares for a given URL across Facebook, Pinterest, and StumbleUpon.
Free, up to 10,000 daily queries; paid plans start at $40 per month.
Automation Tools for Startups
Autopilot captures new leads from your website, app, or blog and then nurtures them with personalized messages. You can also use it to automate repetitive sales funnel tasks, such as lead assignation, appointment setting, and customer onboarding programs.
Free 30-day trial; plans start at $1 per month for up to 500 contacts, with purchasable upgrades for premium support.
Zapier is an automation tool that allows you to move data between your web applications, meaning lead generation flows and alert notifications can be seamlessly automated between your marketing tools.
Send form data to Mailchimp or HubSpot, and while on the way in, use Zapier to trigger automated email alerts with Sendgrid, validate visitor data using Full Contact or Clearbit, and trigger an alert to your sales team in Slack — all using Zapier. You can even connect Leadfeeder to Zapier.
Free; paid plans start at $20 per month for more complex automation paths.
Conference Calls for Startups
UberConference by Dialpad is the simplest way to set up dial-in conferencing for your sales calls. No pins; no software downloads; just send your prospects or clients to your reserved UberConference URL or dial-in number. They have everything you need to run non-disruptive, effective sales calls.
Free; business plans start at $15 per user per month.
Content Marketing Tools for Startups
While Medium does not have the customizable design abilities of Wordpress, it has a slick CMS user interface and has a strong built-in community, meaning any content you create on Medium can tap into pre-existing networks and communities.
Most importantly, you can have your own hosted blog, but also import that content into Medium: They use the rel=canonical tag, which passes the authority of the content to your hosted blog.
Free; membership fees are for readers, not writers.
CRMs for Startups
For a free CRM tool, HubSpot provides a lot of value for startups and SMEs looking to effectively manage their sales pipeline. HubSpot also integrates with most lead generation and email marketing platforms, so your lead generation efforts can be amplified through serious automation and easy actioning.
HubSpot’s free CRM platform is also the foundation for their Marketing, Sales, and Service hub product sets, providing an end-to-end platform for lead generation, sales funnel management, and retention.
Free for HubSpot CRM; paid plans for their product suite start at $50 per month per product.
Design Tools for Startups
Canva provides a simple online interface to generate images to accompany marketing campaigns. Whether you’re creating images for social media, printed brochures, websites, product mockups, business cards, or online display ads, Canva is a tool anyone can use for marketing images.
Free; paid plans start at $12.95 per month per user.
Email Marketing Tools for Startups
Mailchimp is an email marketing and automation platform that allows you to effectively grow and manage your newsletter and product subscribers.
Free, up to 2,000 contacts with limited advanced features; plans start at $10 per month up to 500 contacts for advanced features.
Litmus is a third-party email testing and analytics platform. Litmus helps validate the delivery of your email campaigns, ensuring your design and formatting choices are consistent across multiple browsers and platforms, while making sure there is little chance of campaign emails ending up in the spam folder.
Free 7-day trial; paid plans start at $99 per month.
19. Verify Email
Verify Email is a simple service that verifies your email marketing lists. It connects to the email server and checks if the email exists or not, which is useful if you are re-engaging old leads or contacts.
Plans start at $14 per 50,000 email addresses tested.
Bananatag is a third-party email tracking platform for sales teams. It allows you to easily track all of your sales email campaigns to learn more about which leads are interacting with your campaign emails, which links they are clicking, and which leads are worth following up with. This includes Gmail and Outlook integrations, so it’s suitable for most sales teams and businesses.
Plans start at $12.50 per month.
21. Good Email Copy
A simple tool from the team at Front, Good Email Copy does exactly what it says on the label — provides a repository for time-tested, effective email copy for campaign inspiration.
You can view email copy used for acquisition and onboarding campaigns from some of the most successful SaaS businesses in the world, so you know the examples have been instrumental in creating customer value and business success.
Landing Page Optimization Tools for Startups
Unbounce is an easy way to build high-conversion landing pages for campaigns and events. Using a simple drag and drop editor, you can easily build landing pages optimized for data capture and lead generation. You can also run AB tests to test out landing page copy and layout to ensure your pages are always optimized for lead capture.
Free 30-day trial; paid plans start at $99 per month.
23. Google Optimize
Optimize is a part of the Google Marketing Platform and is a comprehensive website testing tool that allows you to run tests on your website copy, layout, and call-to-actions so you can make sure your site runs at its best for each and every visitor.
Optimize natively integrates with Google Analytics, so you can immediately start to draw insights about your website and run A/B, multivariate, and redirect tests to learn what works best for your site visitors.
Free for Optimize; Optimize 360 pricing is custom.
Live Chat Tools for Startups
Olark is one of the most popular live chat applications for businesses. If offers a no-fuss approach to live chat software, and has improved its design and offering over the past couple of years.
Olark also offers an extensive integration portfolio to ensure chat leads captured on your site are sent to the right tools in your marketing stack.
Free 2-week trial, paid plans start at $17 per month.
Intercom is a multi-product toolset that is all about lead generation and customer satisfaction. Its products span multiple categories, including Messages (for targeting in-app messaging and email campaigns), Inbox (for teams to manage chat, email and social), and Articles (for knowledge base and Wiki publishing). All of these products are built on their core Intercom CRM platform.
Intercom CRM is free, pricing for all apps starts at $136 per month.
Search Engine Optimization Tools for Startups
26. Keyword Tool
Keyword Tool lets you find complementary keywords using Google’s autocomplete engine. Use as an alternative to Google keyword research — capable of building 750+ long-tail keyword combinations with the free version.
Free; pro plans start at $88 per month for advanced features and granular data.
Ahrefs is a comprehensive backlink checker. While SEO and link-building strategies have changed significantly, it’s still a very important component of organic growth.
It’s crucial to understand where your audience is online, and knowing who links to the most heavily-trafficked sites in your industry is a means for building your own quality links.
Ahrefs uses crawling software to recreate how a search engine sees websites, allowing you to to see networks of incoming links and how you can tap into that traffic through better link management.
7-day trial for $7; paid plans start at $99 per month.
An “all-in-one digital marketing tool”, SEMRUSH is a comprehensive workflow tool for SEO. The platform allows you to audit your SEO performance, track position for keywords, generate ideas for gaining traffic, as well as monitor competitors. SEMRUSH also offers analytics for paid online campaigns and social media, however their strongest offering is the organic analytics component.
Plans start at $100 per month.
Social Media Tools for Startups
Coordinated social media marketing is one of the most effective marketing tools available to companies of any size. Social media management platforms allow you to automate and batch the entire social media marketing process.
Plan and curate your content calendar, compose and schedule your messages and then spread them out over the course of a day or week.
Buffer’s free plan allows you to have one profile from three networks (Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest) and schedule up to 10 posts ahead of time for each network. The Buffer team also maintain an excellent blog, providing ideas for acquisition strategies and advanced social media marketing tips.
Free (with paid plans for additional features).
Livestorm is a webinar platform that is “GDPR ready and delivers a HIPPA compliant streaming technology.” All features are included in Livestorm’s pricing model. The only variable is the number of people who can attend your webinar.
The starter plan includes 100 attendees. Higher-level plans enable webinars of up to 250 and 500 attendees.
Pricing starts at $99 per month.
We hope this list has given you some new ideas for tools that can help your startup grow.
We encourage you to check out our other resources that you might find helpful for startups, including articles on building a marketing automation stack for less than $300, how to gain more visibility into your web traffic, or a much expanded list of lead generation tools to grow your customer base.
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Leadfeeder is a Google Analytics tool that shows you companies that visit your website. Leadfeeder generates new leads, offers insight on your customers and can help you increase your marketing ROI.
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