Our favorite growth hacks for small businesses: tools, services and apps we use and recommend.
Sendy is a self hosted email newsletter application that lets you send trackable emails via Amazon Simple Email Service (SES). This makes it possible for you to send authenticated bulk emails at an insanely low price without sacrificing deliverability.
Caveats: setup requires a developer to set up on your server, has a one time cost of $59.99, your business has to create its’ own templates (these are not built in). But, it’s a great service, will save your business money and reporting functionality is more than adequate.
Trello is a stellar “cloud” based project or CRM application: free and paid versions - enables virtual teams of people to easily collaborate on any size of project. The learning curve is about 20-30 mins, they have great tutorials and Dropbox and/or standalone images are easily shared.
Yoast the Best SEO plugin ever for WordPress: a bit geeky on some of the settings but powerful plugin and must use for all WordPress installs.
We love WishPond’s applications and their customer service is excellent: create great contests on Facebook, build great landing pages and integrate email campaigns and more. Their dashboard user interface is powerful but not too geeky and pricing is high value/low cost.
For any Small Business that wants to understand where and how visitors are engaging with your web site CrazyEgg provides “head map” visualization improving your lead tracking and analysis.
Mixpanel is one of the best “real time” analysis tools (cloud based) that lets you ask real questions about how visitors are engaging with your business. Robust functionally including smartphone analytics.
If your using Gmail to run your business email correspondence then Rapportive is a must use application for any busy biz exec. Giving you rich contact information right inside of Gmail.
KissMetrics connects people with your analytics: it’s a powerful tool for understanding who your customers are and what they are doing. It’s a bit more pricey than the other nine apps/services with $150. per 500K “event’s per month and going up in price from there.
Any WordPress install on a self-hosted site should use JetPack - it’s powerful, comprehensive and has 30-50 build in features that extend the awesomeness of WordPress; it’s free too.
Canva is a great way to create anything graphically (cloud based of course) - powerful yet really easy to use. It’s free and has a list of tens of thousands of templates available.
Save time using Name Chk to know if your brand name or vanity URL is available across all key platforms.
Rival IQ is a great way to stay on top of what your competitors are doing across social networks.
BuzzSumo shows you the most shared links and key influencers for any topic or website. Ideal for content strategy, outreach and competitive research. It’s a great free tool for analyzing content engagement.
The Think Map tool by Visual Thesaurus is one of the best tools for sourcing words and ideas. At under $25. per year, it’s a great value.
Bottlenose builds a real-time cognitive map of every topic, much like the human brain. It’s a powerful tool for brands big and small that want to unearth trends driving your business or market.
We’ve been using IFTTT to automate mundane tasks for several years and it’s functionality is improved on an almost weekly basis. It’s a cool productivity tool.
Every busy exec should take a break and read content published via Medium - it’s a five star example of what great content can be. (we snuck it in)
Newsie is a very cool way to stay in touch with what’s happening with your GMail, Facebook or LinkedIn contacts. It’s relationship curated.
Zemanta is a great publishing and advertising platform. It’s part of the new breed of emerging publishing platforms.
Echo transforms websites, mobile apps and ads into real-time experiences that boost traffic and engagement.
RebelMouse is a cool platform for selecting and publishing content and it looks like it’s morphing to a standalone social platform.
Riffle has great real time analytics, interests and engagement insight for Twitter.
MailCharts moves competitive intelligence into email analysis in a unique and powerful way.
Send In Blue lets you manage marketing campaigns, transactional emails and SMS messages within one platform.
Guides enables creating actionable, helpful and interactive content to connect directly to your readers.
Three Cents has really moved polling forward and on any smartphone: powerful, easy to use and it scales well.
Unfollowers lets you understand who is not connecting with you, or unfollowed, unearth target profiles and schedule Tweets & supports Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
Social Oomph is an all in one general purpose yet powerful tool that automates a great deal of the tactical social media marketing processes.
SpyFu gives you actionable information and intelligence about where and how competitors are advertising: media spend, keywords and ads.
AdBeat enables you to uncover competitor’s online strategy; more advertising focused as opposed to PPC & Keywords like SpyFu.
Ispionage is somewhat similar to SpyFu as well, providing access to and insight about a competitors organic keyword ranking and PPC keywords use for ad spend.
SiteAlerts is another great competitive analysis tools that lets you understand what direct competitors are doing: web site updates, social media activity and more.
- This link will take you to our most recent blog post on leveraging the cloud for your business with 20+ popular cloud platforms listed (linked) and reviewed in brief.
- Every content marketer should be using an Editorial Calendar and this post includes a link to a downloadable sample with no reg required.
- Content Syndication is another defacto marketing process we recommend and this post has a list of content marketing costs and 25+ content marketing platforms.
- Our best practices blog about email marketing reflects fifteen plus years of work.
- These posts will give you a 2.0 deep dive into LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook’s platforms and marketing processes.