5 Marketing Tools We Can’t Live Without

There are a ton of marketing tools out there. Some of the most widely used tools are well worth the investment, but there are a few that we wouldn’t touch even if they were free. We have two pieces of advice. Try before you buy, and be open to trying newer tools that don’t yet have the reputation of their more expensive, established counterparts.

Just make sure they have the features and functionality you need…

And checking customer reviews wouldn’t hurt either.

Here are five marketing tools we can’t live without at Metacake.

1) Mailchimp

Mailchimp is an email newsletter platform, but it allows you to do so much more. We use it to manage all of our different newsletters and subscription lists for clients who aren’t already using something else.

We love Mailchimp for a few reasons:

It has a free level. For companies that are just launching a newsletter or email marketing campaign, it allows you to get your feet wet and learn various features while you build your list. Once you need more robust features such as sending autoresponders and batch delivering emails you’ll need to up your subscription level, but the free version is perfect if you are just starting out or just have basic email marketing needs.

Mailchimp is very progressive and cutting edge. A lot of newsletter platforms force you to use their forms. And sometimes most of the time they’re ugly. Mailchimp’s whole presentation is very fresh, modern and easy to follow. It also allows for a large level of customization if you hae some development expertise.

The best thing about Mailchimp is probably the robust API (application programming interface). It allows you to build a lot of creative, innovative things on top of it’s out-of-the-box functionality and plug in some really creative apps.

2) Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics is an advanced analytics platform that typically requires an engineer, developer and strategist to take full advantage of it. It’s not free, but you get what you pay for and then some.

Kissmetrics makes it possible to analyze any action on any piece of technology – desktop or mobile – and tie that action back to an actual person. This is incredibly valuable because it shows a full history of interactions so you can deeply profile an individual’s activities.

Talk about getting to know your customers!

Suppose you’re doing a PPC and newsletter campaign. Someone clicks on an ad, goes to your store, browses a bit and leaves. Two months later, they get a newsletter, click through and revisit your store. Now you know their email address.

Kissmetrics attaches a history and profile to that email, enabling you to follow up with personalized messages. For example, “We notice you’ve visited our store twice. Here’s a coupon for your next visit…”

Just don’t be creepy about it… It’s nice to let your customers know you care, but probably best not to let them know just how much you know. This can be a definite turn off.

3) Optimizely

Optimizely is an optimization and testing platform. With Optimizely, it’s easy to deploy A/B and multivariate tests and measure the results. Then, you can systematically increase conversion rates based on the metric that matters most to you. Optimizely goes hand-in-hand with an analytics platform, so we often use it with Kissmetrics, which makes a killer combo.

Let’s say your PPC and newsletter campaign brings users to your site and you want to figure out what call-to-action works best. Where should the call-to-action button be placed on the page? What color should it be? Optimizely automatically splits the traffic according to your defined settings, conducts a statistical analysis, and tells you which approach performed best.

4) Base CRM

You need a solid CRM (customer relationship management) system to organize, track and follow up with sales leads. Unfortunately, some of the most popular CRMs are ugly and not very user friendly. They’re also pretty expensive.

Base CRM is a relatively new platform with a beautiful, easy-to-use interface. It also provides tutorials and best practices so you can pretty much dive in and hit the ground running. Base CRM Analytics reveal your most profitable sources of business, and an extension mechanism through its API allows Base CRM to be integrated into your website.

Base CRM bills itself as the CRM you’ll actually want to use. We agree.

5) Unbounce

With any marketing activity, you want to send users to a landing page that’s customized for that particular campaign, not your generic home page.

Unbounce lets business owners, marketers and other non-developers quickly and easily design and launch landing pages for their marketing activities. It also provides analytics and simple A/B testing to help you evaluate the performance of your landing pages.

Of course, you can’t just assemble an all-star team of marketing tools and expect everything to go smoothly. Tools have to play nicely together. We can tell you based on our own experience that these marketing tools – Mailchimp, Kissmetrics, Optimizely, Base CRM and Unbounce – work well together and help us do our job better.

We can’t live without them, nor would we want to.

They make our lives easy so that we can focus on what is important – coming up with creative product ideas and marketing campaigns for our clients.


Want help making the most out of these tools?

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