20 Best Electronic Signature Apps

20 Best Electronic Signature Apps

What is an electronic signature?

An electronic signature is a replacement for a handwritten signature.

With an electronic signature app you can sign, send and store documents like contracts, proposals, invoices, and more.

And the best part is you don’t need to travel to be physically in a destination to sign a contract. You can do it in minutes  with a signature app.

If the document requires several signers, you can also set up a workflow of users to sign it in the right order. A step ahead to go paperless and save time and money.

 

What types of documents can be signed electronically?

All types of documents can be signed electronically, although Word and PDF are the most popular.

 

Are electronic signatures legally binding?

Electronic signatures are legally binding in all the states of the US, in more than 30 European countries, and many countries around the world.

You should check with local authorities what are the requirements and type of documents accepted. Also, check the website provider for compliance and security.

Check this article for more info:   HelloSign international eSignature legality guide

 

What is the difference between an electronic signature and a digital signature?

Although these terms are often used interchangeably, an electronic signature is different from a digital signature. Let’s see:

The digital signature is used to secure sensitive data and documents. It needs a digital certificate from certification authorities. When a digital signature is applied to a document, a digital certificate is bound to the data that you sign and encrypts the document.

This proves the authenticity of the document and its source and makes sure the document has not been tempered.

On the other hand, the electronic signature is used to verify a document, showing intent to sign it. The electronic signature can be scanned and cannot be verified. For example, you can draw a signature in MS Word and stamp it, or type it on a document using some electronic signature app.

We have reviewed 20 electronic signature apps for you. Many of these systems provide both electronic and digital signatures capabilities.

 

Best electronic signature apps:

DocuSign

 

 

DocuSign is the most popular electronic signature app in the market. The software is easy to use and intuitive. From the side dashboard, you can manage drafts, track document status, and check completed and deferred documents.

DocuSign is a must if you are looking for an electronic signature app with powerful integration capability.

Key features:

1-Supports 43 languages.

2-Mobile apps available to sign up from anywhere.

3-Strong security with US, EU, and global security standards.

4-350+ integrations and leading APIs

5-Lawful and court-admissible: DocuSign complies with US ESIGN and UETA standards.

DocuSign pricing:

Starting at $10/month billed annually for Personal plan, single user, 5 documents per month, basic fields, and mobile app.

 

DigiSigner 

 

 

DigiSigner is a digital signature tool to manage and sign documents. With this software, you can sign PDFs, Excel files, Microsoft word files, and JPGs.

DigiSigner provides on their webpage a free digital signature service that supports many types of files. Like many other similar apps, this software features audit trail and data encryption.

Key features:

1-Integrations only through proprietary API.

2-Customizable templates and document analytics.

3-Multiple signing and auto reminders.

4-Audit trail.

5-Mobile signature available.

DigiSigner pricing:

Free plan allows up to 3 documents per month, multiple signers, and only 1 sender.

 

HelloSign 

 

 

HelloSign is one strong player in the electronic signature business. Here the process is quite simple: upload the document from your computer or cloud storage to your HelloSign account and drag-and-drop the fields you want to be signed. Then add the signer’s email address and click send for signature.

The signer receives a notification and a link to sign the document on any device. After the signer completed this step the signed document will be available in your account immediately.

Key features:

1-Customer data and documents are encrypted and stored in European or US data servers (you can choose it)

2-Integrations with Microsoft, Salesforce, Dropbox, Google, Zapier, and many more.

3-22 languages available.

4-Customized templates.

5-Mobile apps are available but not the best.

HelloSign pricing:

Free plan for 1 sender, 3 signature requests per month, Google Drive integration, notifications, and audit trail.

Next plan $15/month

 

 

KeepSolid

 

 

KeepSolid is an electronic signature app that allows you to sign documents on any device. This platform offers native apps for major platforms, and you can access, manage and work with your documents offline. When you go online, all data is synced again.

Although KeepSolid website claims unmatched security, the site doesn’t provide exact detail about compliance and/or protocols.

Key features:

1-Offline document management.

2-Reminders, signing order, and document templates.

3-Team management and workflows.

KeepSolid pricing:

$34.99/month billed annually for a team of 5 users, unlimited templates, offline mode, multiplatform and unlimited documents.

Free 14-day trial available.

 

Yousign

 

 

Yousign is an electronic signature software with a focus on repetitive approval workflows. This is a great feature if you send regularly a set of documents to the same users or work with the same documents.

You can design a set of steps with certain signers and notifications. All of this data can be customized according to your internal needs.

Key Features:

1-GDPR-compliance and eIDAS certified software.

2-Mobile apps are available to sign documents on the go.

3-Easy to use with PDSs, Microsoft Word, Excel, and Google documents.

4-4 languages available: English, German, French and Spanish.

Yousign pricing:

Starting at $9/month/user including 10 signatures, 1 user, 1 signature interface, timestamped field, secure and encrypted storage. Free trial available.

 

Cocosign  

 

 

Cocosign is an electronic signature app you can use to collect and embed digital signatures in documents on the go. With a huge library of templates customized for many US states this platform makes a difference.

But if you are in the need of mobile apps, proprietary API or more than basic integrations, you will have to look elsewhere.

Key features:

1-Strong security features with HIPAA, GDPR, CFR-FDA and PCI Dss compliance.

2-Parallel and sequential signing.

3-Offline signing capability.

4-Easy document editing.

5-Microsoft and Google integration.

Cocosign pricing:

Free plan for 1 sender, 3 downloads per month, 1 template and reminders and notifications.

Free 14-day trial available.

 

Zoho Sign

 

 

Zoho Sign is a great signature app from this popular company in the software business. Featuring workflows, secure data encryption, and a straightforward dashboard, this is a must-try if you run other software products from Zoho.

Zoho takes security at a higher level than competitors featuring Blockchain timestamping. For each document signed a public Ethereum transaction fires in the background containing the hash of the signed document. Then the transaction is appended to the blockchain along with the timestamp.

Key features:

1-Good customization for signature and document settings.

2-Integrations with all Zoho apps, Google, Microsoft, Dropbox, Box, Formstack, Integromat, and Zapier.

3-API availability for easy integration. Documents signed with Zoho Sign API are legally binding and admissible in a court of law.

4-Blockchain timestamp.

Zoho Sign pricing:

Free for a single user, 5 documents per month, signing workflows, reminders, major integrations, mobile apps.

 

Eversign  

 

 

Eversign is an electronic signature app bundled into a complete solution for document management.

A key point of this software is multiple business management, each with its team members, contacts, and documents.

Each of these businesses comes with branding and customization options, a definitive advantage for a customer personalized experience.

The contact management feature allows you to fill out and keep contact profiles for frequent signers, so you can add them further with a pair of clicks to the signing process.

Key features:

1-Integration with Dropbox, Evernote, OneDrive, Google Drive, and more.

2-Multiple document management.

3-No mobile app available, only web-based.

4-Powerful and easy document editor.

Eversign pricing:

Free for 5 documents per month, 3 API documents, and no templates.

 

DocVerify 

 

 

DocVerify provides an easy sign system that allows signers to instantly sign documents directly from your website. Although this requires a minimum technical background to implement, you can even change the look and feel of the app.

This electronic signature app features an Electronic Notary Platform that works in every US state that allows e-notarizations. Individuals or businesses can directly contact notaries in the DocVerify system to have documents electronically signed for them. And since DocVerify is a member of the Notary Trust Register, these signs are legally binding.

Key features:

1-Provides an Electronic Notary solution.

2-Integration with Salesforce, Oracle, and Wufoo.

3-Easy Sign System widget to embed electronic signatures into your site.

DocVerify pricing:

Starting at $24/month with up to 10 licenses, unlimited recipients, e-sign platform only.

 

Contract Book

 

 

Contract Book is a complete solution to create, sign and organize contracts and documents. This software is aimed at small and mid-sized businesses with human resources, operations and legal teams that need to improve their signing process.

Key features:

1-Contract templates with advanced editing capabilities.

2-Integration through Zapier with 2,000+ software solutions.

ContractBook pricing:

Starting at $97/month.

 

RightSignature 

 

 

RightSignature is a solid signature platform that works on any device. All major document formats are supported, and you only need a single click to set up your document with automatic field detection.

This electronic signature app also allows you to add your branding with your logo, colors, or even a photo. RightSignature provides strong security and document management options. You can set a password for a document, set an expiration date, or delete sign requests.

Key features:

1-Hand-written signatures for more authentic-looking contracts.

2-Mobile apps are available to sign from anywhere.

3-Set signing order when you send the document to multiple signers.

4-API available for developers.

5-Task progress tracking and analytics.

Right Signature pricing:

Starting at $12/month, hand-drawn signatures, integrations, and document sending. Free 2 weeks or 5 documents free trial available.

 

Signable

 

 

Signable is an electronic signature app from the UK. With a clean and easy interface, this app is unique with its pay-as-you-go pricing model, as little as £1 per document.

Signable complies or exceeds all signature laws set by the UK and the European Union.

Key features:

1-Six languages are available: Spanish, English, German, French, Dutch and Portuguese.

2-Full document tracking and control.

3-Integration with Dropbox, Google Drive, CapsuleCRM, and more.

4-Password protection option and fully customizable fields.

Signable pricing:

The lower plan is “pay as you go” £1 per envelope with unlimited templates and unlimited users.

Monthly plans available.

 

Adobe Sign 

 

 

Adobe Sign provides PDF and electronic signature in one app. A big player in the document business, Adobe delivers a powerful system for small businesses as well as enterprises, featuring APIs for better system integration.

Adobe Sign supports both electronic and digital signatures. The whole process is easy as to upload your document, set the signer’s email address, and hit send. The signer can click a link and sign it from a browser or any mobile device with no downloads or sign-ups needed.

Key features:

1-Powerful tracking process of signatures, reminders, and detailed audit trails for any transaction.

2-Integration with Microsoft365, Box, Dropbox, Salesforce, and more.

3-Mobile apps are available for Android and iOS devices.

4-Workflow settings for quick management with a clear and easy to use dashboard.

5-A document can be set to be signed by multiple signers.

Adobe Sign pricing:

Starting at $9.99/month billed annually, sign PDFs and documents, integration with Google Drive, Microsoft 365, Box, and Dropbox.

Free-trial available.

 

Formstack 

 

 

FormStack is an electronic signature app solution that lets you gather and sign documents on any device. A full-featured survey builder and data collection platform that integrates electronic signature management as well.

Key features:

1-Intuitive drag-and-drop functionality.

2-Easy to create templates for frequent documents.

3-HIPAA Compliant electronic signatures.

4-Allows to create signing workflows.

5-Lots of integrations available.

Formstack pricing:

Starting at $16/month billed annually with unlimited signatures and templates.

 

SignRequest

 

 

SignRequest claims to be the most affordable and complete signature solution. With 256-AES and ISO 27001 certification, you can rest assured that security and privacy are top class. Secure audit trail and single sign-On are also available (this feature depends on the plan you choose).

SignRequest offers a  generous free plan, for sure a good choice for anyone with low monthly requirements. But keep in mind that this app doesn’t provide mobile apps to sign documents on the go.

SignRequest goes a step beyond with personalization. After signing you can lead your contacts to a thank you page, a nice personal touch.

Key features:

1-Integration with Google Workspace, Salesforce, and 2,000+ apps through Zapier.

2-Customized branding and landing pages.

3-Text message verification for confidential documents.

4-Send multiple documents in one sign-request.

5-Bulk send through API, this is a must if there are many people in the signing workflow.

SignRequest pricing:

Free plan up to 10 documents per month, sign and send on any device, Google integrations, secure audit trail, and 17 languages.

 

PandaDoc

 

 

In PandaDoc, the electronic signature tool is part of their document management system. This is a fully-featured platform for document and contract management with automation, e-signature, audit trails, and forms integration.

PandaDoc is a well-known brand in the document management business. And their free plan is an excellent fit for a small company.

Key features:

1-Integration with Hubspot, Pipedrive, Zoho, Salesforce, and more.

2-Top security with HIPPA compliance, SOC 2, GDPR, and more.

3-Full workflow management.

4-Compliance tracking.

PandaDoc pricing:

Free plan for unlimited signatures, unlimited document uploads, and mobile apps.

READ MORE ABOUT PandaDoc here

 

Docsketch

 

 

Docsketch is an intuitive electronic signature app that avoids printing and scanning documents. This platform tracks and maintains an audit trail of all the activity related to your documents. Every document signed meets or exceeds US and international e-signature laws requirements. An easy to use software that will get your document signed in less than a minute.

Key features:

1-Get signatures from multiple persons in your documents, also with a specified order.

2-Get instant notifications to know when your contracts are opened.

3-Zapier integration gives access to 2,000+ web services.

4-Only available in the English language, no HIPPA compliance, no mobile app.

Docsketch pricing:

Free plan for 1 sender, 1 template,3 documents per month, reminders, and notifications.

 

 

SignNow

 

 

 

SignNow is a secure and easy to use electronic signature app. With a simple drag-and-drop interface, you can sign in PDFs, DOCx templates, web forms, invoices, quotes, and contracts. This platform features several built-in templates ready to customize according to your needs.

Key features:

1-Begin e-signature workflows from CRMs, cloud apps, or local databases.

2-Advanced analytics and payment processing.

3-Full security compliance: FDA, HIPPA, CCPA, GDPR, and more.

4-Plenty of integrations with Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, Oracle, and more.

5-Full functional mobile apps.

SignNow pricing:

Starting at $8/user/month with basic fields, mobile app, and unlimited templates. Free trial available.

 

 

SignEasy  

 

 

SignEasy claims you can sign any document through any device from any place. And making honor to its name, this is one of the simplest electronic signature apps you will find.

You can sign a contract yourself, get an agreement signed in-person or remotely. All templates are customizable and SignEasy supports many formats, like PDF, Word, and more.

Key features:

1-Send documents to multiple people in a pre-determined frequency.

2-Easy reminders setting by email and push notifications.

3-Sign documents within Google Drive, Box, Evernote, Zoho CRM, and more.

4-ESIGN Act and eIDAS compliance, SSL encryption, and digital audit trail.

5-Offline signing and multiple signatures option. Available in 24+ languages.

SignEasy pricing:

Starting at $8/month for 1 user, unlimited documents, digital audit trail, mobile apps, request up to 5 signatures from others. Free 14-day  trial available.

 

 

SnapSign   

 

 

 

SnapSign is a simple and secure electronic signature platform. You can create templates for repetitive documents, although this option is not available in the lower plan. The dashboard is simple and clean, and the overall signing process is intuitive and easy.

Key features:

1-Powerful workflow can be quickly configured according to how the document moves through your system.

2-API library to build your own custom solutions.

3-Integration with Oracle Netsuite and full integration with Hubspot.

4-Strong security with US ESIGN and UETA compliance.

SnapSign pricing:

Starting at $9.99/month for 1 user, unlimited documents, 5 templates. Free 30-day trial available.

 

Conclusion:

An electronic signature app help to save time, money and work. Integrating these systems into your workflow will have a positive impact on your business and your customers.

You will get more control over your documents, more peace of mind about security, and a better overall workflow.

Before going for a certain system, keep an eye on the following:

1-Integrations:

Are integrations available to add this app to your current systems?

2-Mobile support:

Are there mobile native apps available to sign documents on the go?

3-Security:

Do you have any particular security need (HIPAA for example) that the app must meet?

4-Number of signers:

If you need multiple signers, check for this feature.

5-Pricing:

What is the pricing structure? Is it flexible enough if your business grows in the future?

 

Most of the above apps offer free plans or even free trials for paid plans. Choose the one you think meets your needs and go ahead.

 

 

 

11 Best Screen Sharing Software

11 Best Screen Sharing Software (Paid & Free)

What is screen sharing software?

This term implies sharing access to your computer screen to another person. Screen sharing allows remote users to see your screen and watch it in real-time.

Screen sharing software help to communicate with clients and colleagues remotely. It’s used for business, educational and personal purposes for meetings, webinars, and every other instance a somebody needs to share insights.

These tools improve communication among team members. And are also useful to deliver a better customer experience when it comes to support and customer service.

Let’s say  you are developing a sales project. You can show your client what you are working on and discuss it in real-time. This is a significant advantage to your sales pitch.

Users can collaborate on projects, voice calls, video calls, share screens from desktop and mobile devices, record meetings, and more. But some screen sharing software add extra features as they allow to remotely control other computers too.

 

How to select screen sharing software?

When selecting a screen sharing system, you should consider the following:

1-User interface:

How friendly is the dashboard? How easy is it to set up a meeting?

2-Usability:

The best software works through web access and doesn’t require installation.

3-Collaboration:

Is collaboration editing available?

Can participants make notes on the screen?

4-Screen recording:

Can meetings be recorded and shared?

Is cloud storage available for recordings?

5-Integrations:

Is it possible to integrate the system with your current software?

Are there any pre-made integrations?

6-Participants and time limits:

How many participants does the system support?

What is the time limit per meeting and/or per day?

7-Connectivity:

Does the system support connection from mobile devices?

8-Support:

Is support available by chat, mail, or phone?

9-Budget:

What is the cost of the system for the total amount of users and features you need?

 

What is the best screen-sharing software?

This is our list of the 11 best screen sharing software available:

 

GoToMeeting: 

 

 

GoToMeeting is a platform for screen sharing calls, meetings, and messaging.

This software allows sharing desktop, smartphone, or tablet screens quickly and securely from anywhere.

Video conferencing features HD quality and conference calling work with integrated voice-over IP. A participant can join from a mobile device and the automatic bandwidth adjustment will set voice quality at its best.

You can record meetings (locally or in the cloud), take notes, mark action items, and even share them after the meeting. And don’t worry if you are not in an appropriate place, “custom backgrounds” is a handy feature to make your environment appropriate.

GoToMeeting integrates with Microsoft365, Microsoft Teams, Salesforce, Calendly, Slack, Zoho CRM, and more. All powerful integrations to save time when you need to schedule or manage calls and meetings.

GoToMeeting pricing:

Professional plan $9.62/month for 150 participants, HD video, screen sharing, no meeting time limits, Toll-Free numbers and Call Me Pay as you go. GotoWebinar $20/month

Business plan: $12.82/month for 250 participants, adds transcription, note-taking, drawing tools, and keyboard and mouse sharing.

Free 14-day trial available.

 

 

Screenleap: 

        

 

Screenleap is a screen-sharing platform that runs without installing any software. You only need a mobile app (Android or iOS) or a browser extension for quick and easy sharing.

This is a basic platform that provides you with a unique URL to share with users who need to join your meeting. You can also share your session with a six-digit code that the user can input on the Screenleap webpage.

Meetings can be recorded and shared later with other users. The system uploads recordings to the cloud automatically so there is no need to do it manually.

Screenleap is a basic software for quick and easy screen sharing that simply does its job with no bells and whistles. Since Screenleap doesn’t support video conferencing and annotation, this is not the best tool for team collaboration.

Although this is one of the few apps that provide an API for developers to incorporate screen sharing into a web application, it’s overall limited.

Screenleap pricing:

Free for up to 8 viewers, 40 minutes/day, 2 scheduled meetings, and computer audio.

Basic plan: $15/month up to 30 viewers, 8 hours/day, unlimited meetings, dial-in audio, and control sharing.

 

Windows Quick Assist:

 

 

Windows Quick Assist is a Windows 10 application that enables two people to share a device over a remote connection. Allowing a trusted person to access your computer, you can troubleshoot and diagnose technological issues.

You can connect to another computer and control it or share control of your keyboard and mouse. This product doesn’t provide audio or video connectivity so you will need to communicate via phone or other means.

Windows Quick Assist is not a typical screen-sharing software. It is intended for a quick connection with other devices for remote support. There is no need to download anything to start, only share a six-digit pin with the other user to start the session.

Windows Quick Assist pricing: Free, bundled with Windows 10.

 

Apache OpenMeetings:     

 

      

Apache Open Meetings is a free and open-source web-conferencing tool. This software provides video conferencing, screen sharing, instant messaging, whiteboard, collaborative document editing, and other groupware features.

This free platform was developed to be self-hosted, and that means that to run this software the company users must have a technological background. Since this is an open-source project, you can develop your integrations. But if IT is not your business, you should go for a different alternative.

Audio and video quality are good and document collaboration is easy to manage even with the number of participants is high.

OpenMeetings allows users to create and record meeting rooms, where they can share screens and use whiteboards.

Apache OpenMeetings Pricing: Free.

 

 CrankWheel:

 

 

CrankWheel is a screen-sharing system made for sales teams that need to connect with prospects.

CrankWheel claims that works over bad connection networks and even old browsers. This software only needs a browser to work and there is no need for installs, a definitive advantage for former prospects contact.

With this software, you can show your product to your customers in real-time, answer their questions and doubts. Customers can join by sharing a link, emailing them, or sending an SMS.

You can select to share only the content of a browser tab, program window, or entire screen.

The CrankWheel Demo Request Button allows a visitor browsing your site to connect with a sales representative and get a live share demo of your product. This is helpful because provides instant visual communication with the prospect avoiding friction and providing a quick answer to the prospect’s needs.

CrankWheel pricing:

Free for unlimited users, 15 meetings per month, screen sharing, remote controls, instant demos, and public link.

Starter Team: $75/month same that free but with 100 meetings/month.

Higher plans are available.

 

 

Slack:

 

 

Slack is a platform created for communication with groups and in personal one-to-one discussions in organizations.

This is a calling and messaging service that features screen sharing during meetings. Users can share their screen, draw on it, make notes and also allow other members to add notes as well.

Slack offers 2,200+ integrations, like Google Drive, Twitter, Zapier, Asana, and more. This is a major advantage to integrate it into your current workflow.

With  HIPAA compliance and many security certifications, Slack assures your data in every moment with the highest standards.

Slack pricing:

Free for small teams, with access to 10,000 of your team’s more recent messages, 10 integrations, 1:1 voice and video calls between teammates.

The next plan at $6.67/month/user adds full message history, unlimited integrations, and face-to-face communications up to 15 people.

 

TeamViewer:

 

 

TeamViewer is a remote desktop sharing platform that allows to access other devices remotely. You can control, monitor, and manage computers, mobile devices, network machines, and more from anywhere.

This software is intended for those who need screen sharing along with remote desktop capabilities. TeamViewer is a classic tool among computer repair businesses and help desk teams.

Connections are secured with 256-bit AES Encryption and two-factor authentication is available too.

Being a long-time player in this business, TeamViewer takes security as a serious matter following HIPAA and SOC2 regulations.

TeamViewer supports Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Raspberry Pi, Android, and iOS. With this variety of supported operating systems, you are sure to get connections no matter what platform your customer has.

And to help drive your business this product has many integrations with Microsoft, Salesforce, Zendesk, and more.

TeamViewer pricing:

Free for personal use.

The next plan starts at $23.90/month for remote access, remote printing or Mac and windows in any printer, file sharing, up to 200 managed devices, and up to 5 meeting participants.

If you need integrations, user access reporting, and more advanced features the next plan is 47.90/month. (Prices are billed annually)

 

Microsoft Teams:    

 

 

Microsoft Teams is the right choice for screen-sharing software if you are under Microsoft’s ecosystem. Although this is a powerful platform for real-time messaging, users can share documents and collaborate within the app. For sure a clear advantage of this software over other apps since it features full Microsoft365 integration.

This app keeps information secure with data encryption in their own data centers, and also requires multi-factor authentication to protect users from unauthorized account access.

The software provides screen sharing, call recording, live captions, and chat capabilities. Users can schedule a video or audio meeting with a single person or a team, and external guests can join meetings from their browser without downloading the application.

Microsoft Teams is available as a desktop app and as a mobile app. Supports all major operating systems like Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android. This is a great benefit since users can join calls from everywhere.

Microsoft Teams pricing:

Free for up to 100 participants, integrations, up to 10 GB of cloud storage, unlimited chats, 60-minute meetings, whiteboard, screen sharing, and more. This is a very generous plan for free and one of the best available.

The next plan is $5/month/user adds 24-hour meetings and meeting recordings.

 

 

Zoom:    

 

 

Zoom is a video and web conferencing screen sharing software. This platform became a known player in the video conferencing business when Covid-19 started in March 2020.

Zoom offers free solutions to host online meetings and connect with users from anywhere. It’s easy to set up meetings and schedule them within any calendar app, like Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCal.

With HD video and audio, recording and transcripts, collaboration tools to co-annotate screens, reactions, hand raising, team chats, and integrated file sharing, this is one of the best video meeting systems available. And supports up to 1000 video participants per meeting.

This software has plenty of integrations available: LinkedIn, Mailchimp, Slack, Google Drive, and more. The Zoom Developer Platform allows developers to build applications and integrations for their individual needs.

Android and iPhone apps allow users away from the office to join meetings and share their screens. This is a remarkable feature for full team communication.

Zoom pricing:

Free for up to 100 participants, group meetings for up to 40 minutes, and unlimited 1:1 meeting.

Then next plan $149.90/year/license up to 100 participants, group meetings for up to 30 hours, social media streaming, and 1 GB cloud recording.

 

Google Meet:

 

Google Meet is a video meeting solution from Google that includes video conferencing and collaboration. This product comes as a part of the G Workspace (formerly Google G Suite) offer and has full integration with other Google products. So, if you are an actual Google Workspace user this may be the right choice.

Google Meet offers different video layouts to choose from, and you can see up to 16 participants if you choose the tiled layout.

You can schedule and record meetings, share your screen to present documents or spreadsheets, share videos, and invite up to 250 internal or external participants.

This software offers real-time captioning during video meetings, an interesting feature for accessibility. This feature is also available later if you wish to watch a recorded session.

If you are a Google Workspace customer, all the information from the calendar and other apps is synced with Google Meet.

Meet video conferences are encrypted in transit with the same compliance Google uses for other products.

As with other screen-sharing software, you can join a meeting without installing any program. And if you are on the go, the mobile app for Android or the App Store lets you connect with good functionality.

Google Meet pricing:

Free plan for 1:1 meeting length of 24 hours, group meeting length 1 hour, 100 participants maximum, and live closed captions.

The next plan is $6/month/user for 100 participant video meetings, 30GB cloud storage per user, and security and management controls.

 

AnyDesk:

 

 

AnyDesk is a remote desktop platform for screen sharing, suitable for IT professionals and individuals alike. A powerful software that offers cloud solutions as well as on-premises solutions for those users with individual security policies.

This software provides remote printing, file transfer to exchange text, screenshots, and more between remote and local devices. You can whitelist users with unattended access, a feature that allows anyone with a given password to access the screen at any moment.

Using the whiteboard allows to draw instructions, and the chat feature accomplishes the communication. You can also record sessions for future revision.

AnyDesk works on many devices: Windows, macOS, Android, iOS, Linux, Raspberry Pi, and Chrome OS. This is not a browser-based system; it’s necessary to download an app to connect between devices.

This software uses military-grade TLS technology to ensure your devices are protected from unauthorized access. Also provides powerful control for hosts to grant or deny specific permissions like mouse and keyboard control.

AnyDesk pricing:

Lite: $10.99/month billed annually, remote printing, whiteboard, file transfer.

Professional: $20.99/month billed annually adds session logging, custom client, and unlimited devices.

Free 14-day trial available.

RELATED: Working from home and in need of some order? check the  Best Pomodoro Apps in 2021

Conclusion:

When you need to decide which screen sharing software to get, you must consider both, features and pricing.

All providers offer free plans to try, and this is a good starting point. But you should look for additional features like integrations, video recording, and mobile apps to get the best value for your money.

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10 Best Email List Management Software

10 Best Email List Management Software

What is email list management?

Email list management is about managing contacts in lists to ensure you are targeting the right contacts with the right personalized content.

To succeed, you need a strategy for managing tags, segments, and contacts of your list. This will allow you to personalize emails according to each subscriber to create a personalized experience, and therefore more engagement and feedback with your customers.

 

Why email list management is important?

The contacts you have in your email lists have subscribed to your newsletter because they think your site has something interesting and valuable for them. Maybe they are interested in offers, special discount coupons, news about a product launch or updates, or any other topics.

You can store your contacts in an Excel or Google Sheet file with multiple columns and high detail. But when it comes to sending an email to certain contacts from your list, pasting and copying data isn’t the best approach.

With the proper email list management software you can keep your list ordered and clean. These apps keep data organized and classified according to certain criteria and offer an easy way to manage email marketing campaigns.

And as these tools always provide some kind of automation and integrations, you will save a lot of time and effort planning your email campaigns.

 

 

What are the best practices for email list management?

A valid email database is an important asset for your business since it contains a list of prospects interested in your products, services, or articles.

For optimal results, you should consider the following:

Segmentation:

Segmentation is a strong word in classic marketing, and even more relevant in digital marketing.

In email marketing, segmentation refers to the process of splitting a list of prospects into smaller and more defined categories.

Thus, grouping subscribers that have common attributes allows you to know them better and identify the best way to meet their needs with your product or service.

You can filter contacts by age, gender, geo-location, or any other contact information useful to your business. Creating filters will allow you to send personalized emails to your contacts based on these filters.

And the big advantage of filters is that you don’t need to keep separate lists for every segment. You always work with one list and pick the contacts according to the email marketing campaign requirements.

Contact tags:

Contact tags add an extra layer of detail to your segments. A tag can be about geolocation, a file downloaded by the contact, or products that the contact purchased before.

Tagging a contact helps to refine the contact’s interests and to provide value with personalized emails.

Suppose you sell dog food, and you want to set up a campaign about a new product launch. You have three customer segments based on dogs’ size: small, medium, and big.

And each segment will have personalized messages according to their different needs. But you want to send a different email to those dog owners who have bought a dietary supplement before. So, you set up a “contact tag” for those customers that have bought the supplement before.

You will end up with 6 emails, one for each segment (small, medium, and big) who has bought the supplement and one for the segment that hasn’t.

A/B Testing:

With A/B testing you can test how emails perform. You send two versions of the email with minor changes to a small group of contacts in your list, and the email that gets the best results is sent to the remaining contacts of the list.

There are lots of options to test, but the more common are subject lines, send times, design, call-to-actions, and more. For a proper result, you must consider only one change between the two templates, because if the difference is big you won’t know why the results are different.

Email metrics:

You must keep an eye on 5 important metrics of your email campaign:

1-Open rates: This metric tells you if your contacts open your emails. You must consider several factors such as sender address, subject lines, and send times to get a high open-rate.

2-Conversion rate: The percentage of people that clicked on a link and completed the desired action, for example purchasing a product.

3-Clickthrough rate: The percentage of email recipients that clicked on an email versus the number of delivered emails.

4-Bounce rate: The percentage of total emails sent that couldn’t reach the recipient’s inbox.

5-Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of email recipients that unsubscribe from your list.

There are many more metrics to consider depending on your campaign objective, although the listed above are the most relevant.

RELATED : Interactive Marketing Tools for Small Business

We have compiled the best email list management software below, so you can compare and choose the best solution for your business.

Best email list management tools:

Campaign Monitor:   

 

 

Campaign Monitor is an email management solution for creative professionals. While it features the most common features an email marketing software has, with this platform you can manage different clients from one single account.

With hundreds of professional templates, a drag-and-drop editor allows you to customize your preferred template to match your branding. Marketing automation lets you set customer’s journey according to their interests and behaviors.

Campaign Monitor Pricing:  Starting at $9/month for 500 contacts, up to 2,500 emails, core email marketing features, analytics, link review, and marketing automation. The next plan $29/month with unlimited emails, time zone sending, unlimited spam testing, and countdown timer (add urgency for limited-time offers)

 

 

Sendinblue:  

 

 

Sendinblue is a complete marketing platform. This includes email list management, CRM (Customer Relationship Manager), automation, and all the features you need to build a successful email marketing campaign.

With lots of pre-built templates, an easy to use drag-and-drop editor allows creating an email in a few minutes. These templates are fully responsive, and you can preview the final design on any screen size so you are sure the message is legible on any device.

Marketing automation allows sending emails based on specific triggers depending on customer’s behavior. For example, if a visitor clicked on a link on your website you can send an email with more information, or detect abandoned carts and send an email to recover that sale.

With A/B testing and email heat map, you can test your campaign and find the best way to reach your audience.

This platform offers social media marketing too, with a separate module for creating Facebook ads.

An excellent report module helps to track results in real-time, open rates and CTR reports as well as email heat maps.

Sendinblue Pricing: Free plan with daily 300 email limit and unlimited contacts. This is a good choice if you are just starting to build your list. The next plan $25/month.

 

Mailer Lite:  

 

 

Mailer Lite offers many advanced tools for email management, including landing pages, pops ups and automation. This platform features a rich-text editor and a built-in photo editor to create professional-looking emails.

This tool comes with many pre-made templates to choose from, and all of them are responsive. This helps to increase the chances of conversions on every device. If you add a powerful website builder, a landing page builder, pop-ups management, and forms, the result is an excellent platform for email marketing.

Campaign tracking is another point where Mailer Lite stands out. You get full campaign reports, click maps (a sort of heat maps to know how your visitors interacted with your website), and open by location reports.

Segmentation, tagging, A/B reports, integrations, developer API (an uncommon feature in this kind of tool), and dedicated IP availability complete the suite.

Mailer Lite Pricing: A very generous free plan for 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. This plan includes a rich-text editor and photo editor, email automation, segmentation, tagging, and A/B testing. The next plan $10/month for 1,000 subscribers and unlimited emails per month.

 

Active Campaign:   

 

 

Active Campaign is one of the best email marketing tools available. A powerful email creation wizard helps to set-up email campaigns from start to finish in an easy way. This tool allows creating emails, segment lists, and track results.

With 25+ professional email templates, all you need to do is change words and images to match your business. All templates are mobile-optimized so you can target your prospects no matter with device they use.

Active Campaign is a good choice when it comes to deliverability, landing your emails in the inbox of free providers like Gmail, Yahoo, and the like.

For email list management, you can use tags to segment and target your audience. Tags can be added by the system automatically when visitors are browsing your site according to their behavior. Therefore, you don’t have to work harder and waste time if you are managing a large list.

Active Campaign Pricing: From $9/month for 500 contacts, marketing automation, segmentation, and 300+ integrations. The next plan $49/month adds landing pages, mobile CRM app, Salesforce integration, SMS, and task reporting.

 

 

OptinMonster:

 

Optin Monster is an email list management tool that offers solutions to grow your email list, reduce cart abandonment and increase sales conversions.

OptinMonster generates more subscribers, leads, and sales from your traffic using the right tools to classify your contacts.

There are 75+ pre-made templates to choose from. All are mobile-friendly and customizable through an easy to use drag-and-drop builder.

There are multiple form types; popups, floating bars, full-screen overlays, or even slide-ins. You can also track user’s behavior to maximize conversions and sales.

OptinMonster provides A/B testing and Onsite retargeting and personalization. These are essential features to customize offers depending on new visitors, recurring visitors, or actual customers.

OptinMonster Pricing: From $9/month (billed annually) with essential tools to get more leads for one site and 3,500 pageviews. This is a good plan to start if your site is just growing. Next plan $19/month for 2 sites includes A/B testing, full reporting, content locking, 15,000 pageviews.

 

 

Moosend:

 

Moosend is an email management software with advanced segmentation features. This platform offers email marketing management, marketing automation, landing pages, subscription forms, personalization, advanced tracking, analytics, and integrations.

Moosend claims a sender score of  98% to deliver your messages to the recipients’ inbox and not to the spam folder.

This tool allows you to design email campaigns based on your subscribers’ behavior. Add this to advanced segmentation and you end up with excellent software to manage your lists.

Moosend Pricing: A generous free plan with unlimited emails, sign-ups, and subscription forms plus reporting and analytics. The next plan starts at $8/month with landing pages an SMTP server.

 

Constant Contact:   

 

 

Constant Contact is a simple and powerful tool for email list management. Featuring email marketing, customizable templates, A/B testing, tracking, reporting, logo maker, Facebook and Instagram ads, integrations, eCommerce, mobile-responsive website with custom domain and analytics. You have a bunch of tools to manage your email campaigns as well as some others marketing actions.

Constant Contact Pricing: From $20/month with basic functions, then $45/month with automated email, surveys, polls, coupons.

 

Omnisend:  

 

 

Omnisend is a complete marketing platform for eCommerce, email marketing, SMS, and automation. This software provides an omnichannel customer experience by combining email, SMS, web push notifications, Google retargeting, and Facebook retargeting.

With a robust drag-and-drop editor, you can create custom campaigns within minutes using a big library of pre-made templates. And if you own an eCommerce site, Omnisend provides dynamic content blocks designed specifically for this type of websites.

This platform also provides email automation, A/B testing, tagging, and advanced reporting for campaigns to measure how your marketing efforts are going.

Omnisend is an excellent choice if you run an eCommerce website. With features like Product Picker (to choose which products to include in an email), discount coupon codes, gift box, scratch card, you have plenty of tools for proper email campaign management.

Omnisend Pricing: Free plan with 15,000 emails/month, sign-up forms, boxes and pop-ups, email campaigns, basic segmentation, and reports. The next plan $16/month with email automation, SMS campaigns, and audience segmentation. Free 14-day trial available.

 

Hubspot: 

 

 

Hubspot offers an email marketing tool included in their Professional CRM.

This platform allows sending emails to existing leads that you can also manage from the CRM module.

With a simple to use drag-and-drop editor, you can customize an available template or start a new one from scratch. If you need to send emails for a campaign the free Hubspot version may be the right choice.

You can customize every email to target subscribers at different funnel stages, and also add A/B testing and analytics.

Hubspot Pricing: Free plan for email marketing and basic functionality. Then $45/month for 1,000 contacts, landing pages, ad management, forms, and conversational bots. Since Hubspot is a full marketing platform, check their page for detailed pricing and options.

 

Mailchimp:

 

 

Mailchimp is a strong player in the email management business. With a simple interface, it’s easy to learn and set up a campaign with no experience.

If you have up to 2,000 subscribers, the free plan provides many options if you are on a budget. You can use pre-made templates, email automation, auto-responders, A/B testing, analytics, and more.

Regarding email list management, Mailchimp offers segmentation options that allow to combine up to five conditional relationships. And the ability to get insights to find audience patterns for more segmented messages.

This software provides a complete system to get your business online with a plethora of marketing tools, like creative tools and powerful insights and analytics. Their website also hosts lots of resources and tutorials to launch, monitor, and grow an email marketing campaign.

Mailchimp Pricing: Free plan up to 2,000 contacts, creative assistant, website builder, Mailchimp domain, and landing pages. Next plan $9.99/month up to 50,000 contacts, custom branding, A/B testing, and all email templates.

 

Conclusion:

An email list is an important marketing asset for every business. These platforms help to organize contacts and send targeted emails to a specific audience. And also allow you to monitor whether your investment and efforts are delivering the right results.

Most of these tools offer powerful features even on free plans and are a good fit if you are just starting to build your lists and email campaigns. Once your business grows, paid plans are affordable and provide an excellent cost-benefit rate.

 

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11 Best Telemarketing Software

11 Best Telemarketing Software (Free and Paid)

What is telemarketing software?

Telemarketing software automates customer outreach functions for sales, marketing and customer service call centers.

These platforms offer several features that go beyond phone calls. Automatic dialing, CRM integrations, virtual phone numbers, text messaging, analytics and reporting, email management, and more.

All these systems are cloud-based, so you don’t need any physical infrastructure or installation. Add the possibility for operators to work remotely (from a PC or mobile app) and you end up with a powerful system with excellent cost-benefit relation.

 

What are the benefits of telemarketing software?

1-Provides an automated system to reach prospects and customers. The only data you need is a telephone number, and you can change your pitch on the go.

2-Offers an integral communication system containing phone calls, SMS, emails, voicemail, and video calls.

3-Allows to work from anywhere. An agent with an internet connection and a desktop or mobile device can deliver results.

4-Using local numbers for calling increases the chance for lead generation.

5-Generates mensurable reports and insights to track your prospects, leads, and agent’s performance.

 

8 core features to consider when choosing telemarketing software:

1-Pricing per user and free-trial:

Check pricing schema and make sure there are no hidden costs. You will usually pay a monthly fee per agent plus usage per minute tariffs.

2-CRM (Customer Relationship Integration):

A CRM allows to track and maintain customer details, contact information, and history. This information helps you to manage sales and marketing activity, your sales pipeline, and leads. A good telemarketing solution must have a CRM or the possibility to integrate an external one.

3-Dialing mode:

There are three main dialer systems:

Predictive dialer: The system dials from a list of telephone numbers and predicts when agents will be free to take the next call.

Progressive dialer: The system waits for an agent to finish their current call before it dials the next number on the list, and only dials one number per agent.

Power dialer: The system uses a configurable calls-to-agent ratio and when an agent is available the system automatically dials the next contact record based on that ratio.

4-Analytics, historic and real-time reports:

Valuable to track agents’ calls-per-hour, call duration, and overall system performance.

5-CTI (Computer Telephony Integration):

This is important to integrate your actual system into the telemarketing software. Otherwise, the agent must be doing additional workload between calls to connect both systems manually.

6-Usability:

Implementing and adapting telemarketing software is not easy, and it requires time and full support from the vendor. Make sure he can assist you and this doesn’t mean additional or hidden costs.

7-Virtual phone numbers:

Check availability of local numbers from the software provider in the countries you intend to work in.

8-Omnichannel support and Integrations:

If you are running a sales or  marketing solution, integrating your telemarketing software into your current system will improve your workflow.

On the other hand, omnichannel allows connecting with prospects using different channels, like email, SMS, video chat, and more.

 

11 best telemarketing software:

CallPro CRM:

 

 

CallPro CRM is a telemarketing software designed for outbound calling such as telemarketing, telesales, inside sales, and lead generation.

This is a full-featured telemarketing solution, with customer relationship management, telephone integration, email marketing, telesales, lead management, remote working, and outbound calling.

Key features:

1-Outbound calling: Preview dialing (also known as click-to-dial) to open a record. Click to dial avoiding pressing telephone buttons. Progressive dialing: the system automatically dials when you open a record and also hangs-up automatically when the call finishes.

2-Telephone integrations with numerous telephony providers, including Avaya and VoIP suppliers.

3-Unlimited data storage and multiple CRM databases within one system. Also, databases can be configured independently. Each record can store as much information as you need since this is a hybrid between a call center and a CRM system.

4-CallPro CRM provides an API to input data into the system automatically, an interesting feature for powerful automation.

5-Create email campaigns where each email content can be different and dependent on actions in a previous step. Create personalized emails and follow up emails.

6-Full call-back management in manual or automated mode.

CallPro CRM pricing: not available on their site, you must contact them for price request.

 

Cloudtalk:

 

Cloudtalk is a call center software for sales and customer service teams. You can make and receive calls from your desktop or mobile device from anywhere in the world.

Cloudtalk can set up a virtual call center in minutes. Also offers competitive pricing and a full set of features for call center management.

With no requirement about a minimum number of users, number porting, and call flow designer from the basic plan, this platform has an interesting pricing format for small companies that are just starting.

Key features:

1-Integrations: Pipedrive, Hubspot, Salesforce, Zendesk, Intercom and 30+

2-Call queueing, call recording, call back, internal calls and extensions, voice mail, power, and predictive dialers.

3-Number porting (you can use your existing phone numbers), Toll-free numbers, international numbers from 140+ countries, short numbers.

4-IVR, agent skills-based routing, customized call-flow designer.

5-Powerful analytics with call statistics, call monitoring, agent reports, emotion and sentiment analytics, and custom reporting.

Cloudtalk pricing:

Starter plan: $20/user/month with unlimited inbound and outbound calls, click to call, automated call distribution, mobile app, international numbers, unlimited call queuing.

Essential plan: $25/user/month, all the above plus advanced analytics, real-time dashboard, open API, integrations, SMS, and workflow automation.

Expert plan: $40/user/month, all of the above plus Salesforce integration, power dialer, smart dialer, call monitoring, dedicated account manager, sentiment score.

30-day free trial and custom plans available.

 

GOautodial:

 

 

 

GOautodial is an open source omnichannel suite. Since Goautodial is HIPPAA compliant, it offers 99.99% uptime. Also comes with strong firewall protection to prevent web attacks.

Key features:

1-Call recording, call logs, call transfers, automatic call distribution, and IVR.

2-CRM integrated and real-time dashboard.

3-Full call recording or on-demand. Option to stores recordings on your server.

4-Customer lists lead filtering, leads time-zone restrictions, lead recycle.

5-Supervisor and remote team management.

Goautodial pricing:

Gocloud starter: $19/month per agent (5 agents minimum) with personal and team voicemail, scheduled callbacks, outbound calls(manual, preview and predictive), 3-way conference and call transfers. Lead and supervisor management.

Gocloud premium: $24/month per agent (starts with 6 agents) Same that above plus reports and analytics, IVR, blended calls, automatic call distribution.

Free 30-day trial available.

 

RingCentral:

 

 

RingCentral is a telemarketing software providing solutions for businesses and customer service teams. A well-known provider in the industry, with options that range from simple inbound calls management to full omnichannel solutions.

Key features:

1-Integrated video messaging and phone calls on any device.

2-Full team communication including files and documents.

3-Cloud phone system with 50+ features available including local numbers.

4-Integrations: Microsoft365, G Suite, Oracle, Zendesk, Zapier and 50+

RingCentral pricing:

Essential: $19.99/user/month up to 20 users, business phone or toll-free numbers, unlimited SMS, voicemail to text, and team messaging.

Standard: $24.99/user/month. Above plan plus video communication, unlimited users, phone numbers in 100+ countries, reports, integrations.

Premium: $34.99/user/month. Above plan plus open API, automatic call recording, advanced call handling, CRM integrations, and real-time analytics.

Ultimate: $49.99/user/month with unlimited storage and device status reports and alerts.

 

 

AVOXI:

 

 

AVOXI is a cloud communication platform with a focus on contact center and virtual phone numbers. This software provides two-way synchronization with your CRM or helpdesk platform.

With AVOXI you can easily handle inbound and outbound calls, manage remote teams and agent’s performance.

Key features:

1-Call recording, call forwarding, unlimited concurrent calls, international calling.

2-Virtual numbers in 170+ countries, Toll-Free numbers, and DID numbers.

3-SMS forwarding and unlimited calls to the US and Canada.

4-Advanced analytics, call tagging and call scoring.

5-Integrations: Hubspot, Zendesk, Salesforce, Zoho, and 50+.

AVOXI pricing:

AVOXI contact plan: $19.99/user/month.

AVOXI Enterprise plan: $39.99/user/month includes advanced analytics, CRM integrations, advanced call monitoring, and helpdesk integrations.

3 licenses minimum required. Free 30-day trial available.

 

Bitrix24:

 

Bitrix24 is a telemarketing software solution, available both in the cloud and on-premise (self-hosted). Supports multiple languages including English, German, Spanish, Ukrainian, and Russian.

Key features:

1-Inbound and outbound telemarketing tools. Bitrix comes with a free PBX including voicemail, call queue, call recording, call waiting, call transfer, and call forwarding to mobile devices.

2-Built in CRM, one-click calls, automatic lead distribution, and telemarketing agent management.

3-Rent local phone numbers in the US and UK, rent 1-800 numbers in the US, and set relay phone numbers worldwide for free. Works worldwide supports work from home agents.

4-Tasks and projects, real-time communication, file sharing and storage, time management and calendars, CRM, website builder, and more.

5-Internal communications through intranet, chat, and video chat.

Bitrix24 pricing:

Free: Basic functionality with CRM, tasks, communications, chats, and video chats.

Start+: $19/month with 2 users and 10 GB storage.

CRM+: $55/month for 6 users and 50GB storage.

Project+: $55/month for 24 users and 50 GB storage

Professional: $159/month for unlimited users and 1024 GB storage.

Bitrix pricing is not quite clear at a glance, so check their page carefully before sign-in.

 

PhoneBurner:

 

PhoneBurner is a full telemarketing software solution. This cloud-based platform includes outbound calls, lead generation, power dialer, lead distribution, CRM, and workflow automation.

Key features:

1-Power Dialer connects using any phone or VOIP phone. You can dial up to 80 leads per hour, and the platform streamlines time-consuming tasks so agents can spend more time on the phone closing business deals.

2-CRM for detailed data records, call recordings, and text exchanges. Email sending and tracking.

3-Automatic lead distribution to feed the right leads to the right reps.

4-PhoneBurner integrates with Zapier, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho CRM, Zoom, and 100+ apps so you can add dialing and workflow automation to your existing sales process.

5-Local Caller ID to match your prospect’s location. PhoneBurner claims this feature helps to get 56% more live conversations.

6-Call tracking, call recording, text messaging, email sending.

PhoneBurner pricing: Only one plan at $149/user/month. Admin accounts are free. Free-trial available.

 

Freshcaller:

 

 

Freshcaller is a cloud-based call center software provided by Freshworks, a long-time player in the business software industry. You can choose a phone system or omnichannel platform.

One unique feature of Freshcaller is Voicebot (only available on the higher plan). This is an AI-powered feature that understands customer language and provides pre-established automatic responses to customer queries.

Key features:

1-Easy number management, you can port your current numbers or buy numbers from 90+ countries.

2-Powerful reporting; pre-built reports that can be customized and scheduled to your inbox.

3-Advanced inbound routing during business hours or outside working hours.

4-Click to call, agent extensions, callback, call tagging.

5-Real-time supervision dashboard, live calls monitoring, performance report, and service level tracking.

6-Integrations: Hubspot, Shopify, Freshdesk, Magento 2, Salesforce, and more.

Freshcaller pricing:

Keep in mind that Freshcaller adds to their monthly plans a pay-per-minute fee.

Sprout: Free, unlimited agents, buy local and toll-free numbers, inbound caller-ID, custom greetings, call metrics.

Blossom: $19/month/user all in previous plan plus free 1000 min/month, number porting, wait queues, voicemail, call recording, and pre-built reports.

Garden: $39/month/user all in previous plan plus free 2000 min/month, call monitoring, IVR, custom reports, call conferencing, advanced call queues, own carrier, agent extensions, call tagging.

Estate: $45/month/user all in previous plan plus free 3000 min/month, holiday routing, advanced call metrics, call barging, call recording opt-out, queue callback, routing automation, and agent availability report.

Forest: $69/month/user all in previous plan plus free 5000 min/month, omnichannel routing, IVR, Voicebot, abandoned call metrics and service level monitoring.

Prices based on annual billing, free 21-day trial available.

 

 

Five9:

 

 

Five9 is a complete telemarketing software solution and a fully customizable platform according to the business you are running. Five9 claims that you will get +300% talk time per hour using their system.

This software includes omnichannel, inbound and outbound calls, workflow automation, analytics, integrations, and more.

Key features:

1-Omnichannel routing to deliver each interaction to the right resource at the right time.

2-Many communication channels: chat, video chat, email, social media.

3-Full analytics reports to track your agent’s efforts. Real-time performance for agents, supervisors, and the whole system.

4-Dashboard 100% browser-based, so agents can work from anywhere.

5-Predictive dialer, power dialer dials at a fixed number of calls per agent but only when agents are available to take the call. Progressive dialer for a variable call-to-agent ratio. TCPA compliance.

6-Integration with CRM solutions like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Oracle Cloud, Zendesk, and more.

Five9 pricing: This company offers flexible pricing based on what you need. You have to fill a form on their website for pricing information.

 

VICIdial:

 

VICIdial is an open-source telemarketing software that you can get  for free. The company reports 14,000+ registered installations in 100+ countries around the world. But CRM and call recording are paid features and setting up this system may require a technical background.

This software is available in 16 languages, with the option to create your custom translation as well. This is a flexible system that can handle from 5 to 500 agents with ease.

Key features:

1-Blended, inbound, and outbound calls with predictive and manual dialing modes.

2-CRM integration (this is a paid feature)

3-Call scheduling, call tracking, unlimited voice mailboxes, built-in IVR, and call queuing.

4-Mobile iOS and Android apps.

5-Agents can log from anywhere with just a phone and a web browser.

VICIdial pricing: Free, some features require additional payment.

 

 

Calltools:

 

 

Calltools is a telemarketing software platform that aims to maximize performance while minimizing costs. A cloud-based system that is easy to use and set up. Once you upload your contacts and customize settings, you can start dialing in a matter of minutes.

Key features:

1-Built-in web phone and CRM.

2-Integrates with Salesforce, Zoho, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar CRM. Also, Hubspot, Infusionsoft, Oracle, Podio, Google Maps, Sendlane, LeadMailBox.

3-List management with dialing compliance.

4-Real-time reporting and analytics

5-Predictive dialer using an algorithm to increase agent’s efficiency. Also preview dialer, IVR, and power dialer.

6-Email templates and SMS management.

Calltools pricing: Only personalized quoting. You must fill a form with some data to get a quote.

 

Some interesting tips about telemarketing:

92% of all customer interactions happen over the phone.

It takes around 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect. 

Thursday is the best day to prospect. Wednesday is the second-best day. Tuesday is the worst day. 

85% of customers remain dissatisfied with their phone call experience.

The best time to make cold calls is 4.00-5.00 PM.

80% of calls go to voicemail.   

RELATED: How to use SMS marketing to grow your sales

Conclusion:

If telemarketing plays a key role in your business, there are many options available. We have compiled the best platforms paid and free.

Read carefully and check which is the right for your business.

Several providers offer a free trial, and it is important to check them out before signing-in for a paid plan.

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Best Pomodoro Apps in 2021

10 Best Pomodoro Apps in 2021

What is the Pomodoro Technique?

The Pomodoro Technique is a simple  system that helps to get your work done.

This method implies breaking work periods into 25-minute intervals followed by a 5-minute break. After 4 work periods (or Pomodoros) you can take a longer 15-minute break. Then you start the whole cycle again.

These breaks help to keep your mind focused and away from procrastination. And forcing you to stick to a structured framework also improves your productivity.

The Pomodoro Technique was developed in the late 1980s by Francesco Cirillo. He realized that he was getting distracted and needed to find a way to study efficiently.

He took a tomato-shaped kitchen timer, set it to a 25-minute lapse, and forced himself to study during that time without distracting and doing anything else. Then he started a 5-minute pause and began studying again.

This method worked for him, and he learned to work with time and not against it.

Those small 5-minute rewarding breaks refreshed his mind and helped him to get better results with his studies.

A simple idea turned into a simple method to resolve a not-so-simple problem.

This technique divides a task into smaller ones and puts regular breaks into your timeline. Each 25-minute block is called a “Pomodoro.”

As you may already guessed, the name of the technique comes from “Pomodoro” that in Italian means tomato.

 

Which are the steps of the Pomodoro Technique?:

The Pomodoro Technique consists of 6 steps:

1-Choose a task you want to get done.

No matter what kind of task it is. It only has to be something that deserves your full attention.

2-Set the Pomodoro for 25 minutes.

Promise yourself you won`t be doing anything else in the next 25 minutes. Make sure you will only engage with this task in the next 25 minutes. No phone answers, no social media checking…

3-Work on the task until the Pomodoro rings.

Don’t miss the focus. If you realize you need to do something else, write it down on paper and keep working on the present task.

4-When the Pomodoro rings put a checkmark on a paper.

Congratulate yourself after having completed a small achievement.

5-Take a short break.

In the Pomodoro break, you can do anything. Go for a coffee, take a walk, or whatever you want. But always something non-task related.

6-Every 4 Pomodoros take a longer break.

Once you are done with 4 Pomodoros, take a 20- or 30-minutes break. Rest your brain and recharge your energy before the next round of Pomodoros.

 

What are the benefits of the Pomodoro Technique?:

The Pomodoro Technique has many benefits, and most of them come from the breaks that help to stay focused and keep your mind fresh:

  • You are more engaged during certain periods of time, and this boosts the overall quality of your work.
  • Is a good way to learn to manage expectations about the quantity of work you can deliver in a certain period of time.
  • You work better because you are not multi-tasking and accepting interruptions.
  • Your concentration gets better and improved since you focus on a short period of work time.
  • Taking small breaks between tasks helps to recharge your energy and keep your mood in good shape for the next Pomodoro session.
  • The Pomodoro Technique allows you to calculate and know how valuable your time is.
  • Minimize health issues. You can use the breaks to get off your chair and take a walk or make some minor exercise.
  • Boosts motivation and keep it constant.
  • Transform time from being an enemy to being an ally to achieve your goals.
  • Get psychological gratification when you feel you have done your work.

Since this is a very simple (and effective) method, all you need is a timer, a piece of paper and a pen to track your Pomodoros. But you can always use Pomodoro Apps (free or paid) to automate this technique and customize timers, sounds, and more.

Below you will find the best Pomodoro Apps. Some are quite basic (but good) while others offer lots of features and integrations.

 

Best Pomodoro Apps in 2021:

KanbanFlow:

PC, Android, iOS

 

KanbanFlow is the right tool if you use Kanban diagrams regularly. This Pomodoro App is a Kanban board with a Pomodoro timer included, so you have here the possibility to add task management to your boards.

The dashboard is clean and user-friendly. You only need to hit the start button and choose to click a Pomodoro or a timer.

This Pomodoro App has a powerful task management system. If you are facing complex tasks, you can add sub-tasks for easier progress following. You can also add relations between tasks to indicate that they relate to or depend on each other.

Analytics and reports include a burnout chart to show tasks that remain to be done and track progress over time. This complements with a calendar, forecasting overview, time estimating, task count, and task history.

This software integrates with Zapier, so you can create a KanbanFlow directly from your Google Calendar or send a Slack message when a task has changed its state.

KanbanFlow price: Free for unlimited boards and tasks. Then $5/user/month for the Premium Plan to use file attachments, integrations, and priority support. The difference of features between free and paid plans is big, so if you like this app you should go for the paid plan.

 

Toggl:

Pc, Android, iOS, Chrome.

With Toggl  you can track time with one click using the Pomodoro Technique. But this Pomodoro App goes further adding some project management features.

The project management dashboard shows project estimates and helps to determine how much time a project can take.

This app integrates with iCal, Asana, FreshBooks, Basecamp, GitHub, and Teamweek, making it easy to adopt Toggl into your current workflow.

Toggl price: Free plan with lots of features, next plan $10/month/user.

 

Focus To-Do:

Pc, Mac, Android, iOS, Chrome.

Focus To-Do is an all-in-all Pomodoro Timer and to-do list.

You may create projects to set priorities for your tasks. This app complements the Pomodoro Technique with an interesting project feature.

It’ also easy to also generate reports to track tasks and projects progress and add sub-tasks for detailed task management.

With the possibility to add notes, due dates, and reminders, this is a complete solution for task management and one of the best Pomodoro Apps available. With fully customizable sounds, project color coding, and synchronization across devices.

A “forest” feature empowers your motivation and helps to stick to the Pomodoro Technique. You contribute with your actions at growing a plant, but if you don’t complete your daily challenges the plant dies 🙁

Focus To-Do price: Free for basic functionality, next plan $0.99/month.

 

Focus Booster:

Pc, Mac, Android, iOS

 

Focus Booster is a Pomodoro app that allows setting Pomodoros for different clients. If you are a freelancer, this may be the right fit to track your work.

You can set up Focus Booster in a matter of minutes because this app has a clear and simple dashboard.

Sessions are logged in a timesheet area, but you can add manual entries too. And if you need to invoice, it’s easy to export them in CSV format for easy data management.

Focus Booster price: Free with only 20 sessions and next plan $2.99 per month. Free 30-day trial available.

 

Marinara Timer:

PC

 

Marinara Timer is a web-based application. It has a simple approach, and you don’t even need to register to use it.

There are three different options to choose from: Pomodoro, Kitchen, and Custom.

The Pomodoro timer is the default option with 25- and 5-minute timers. In Custom mode, you can customize timer lengths to suit your needs, and Kitchen mode is for setting a time limit and letting the timer count backward.

Where this application stands out is with the unique feature of timer sharing. You get a single URL for each time that you can share with others. Interesting if you are working with someone else or a team.

You can also set an administrator link, and the person with that link has the permission to start or stop the timer. But the app also provides a viewer link, a useful feature to avoid stopping other timers by accident.

Marinara Timer price: Free

 

PomoDone:

Pc, iOS, Android.

 

PomoDone tracks time using the Pomodoro Technique, but with a unique integration style.

This Pomodoro app integrates with popular task management tools like Trello, Basecamp, Todoist, Paymo, and more. It’s easy to connect your task management service and start using the app in just 3 minutes. Also features Zapier integration so you can add Google Tasks and more.

But tasks can be added directly into the app if you are not using a task management tool.

You can change the standard 25-minute and 5-minute intervals to the best depending on your situation. A useful browser extension allows for quick access and even block certain websites for a certain time.

PomoDone price: Free plan with 5 projects and up to 2 integrations. Lite Plan $2.29/month with 3 integrations. Unlimited Plan $4.00/month with unlimited integrations and unlimited log access.

 

FocusList:

iOS

 

FocusList is a daily planner and focus app based on the Pomodoro Technique. It helps you plan your day, stay focused and track your time.

With a minimalist and simple approach, FocusList helps to get your work done with no bells and whistles.

This may look kind of a basic app but is quick and easy to add items to your list of the day. You cannot set up FocusList for multiple days, so you will have to spend a while every morning ordering your things.

If you are looking for an easy to use and simple productivity task app, this is for sure the right one.

FocusList price: $4.99

Pomotodo:

Pc, iOS, Android.

 

Pomotodo is a full workflow management platform. It combines Pomodoro timers with To-Do lists and you can use it as a timer, like a to-do list or both.

This app is based on the Getting Things Done +LINK technique, which considers that a timer is not the only thing you need to complete your tasks.

Within the app, you can set up a series of to-dos for each day and add tags to categorize them or simply drop them into priority order. Once that’s done, you can activate the Pomodoro timer, which will monitor your focus sessions and breaks. It works well as an in-between solution for two core productivity techniques. You don’t have to use both at once either: you can always use it just as a timer or just as a to-do list.

Pomotodo Price: Free plan with a To-Do list and Pomodoro timer. Then $3.9/month including advanced task management, goals setting, calendar, work report, and additional sounds.

 

Pomodoro Tracker:

Pc.

 

Pomodoro Tracker is one of the simplest Pomodoro Apps that does a good job. It’s so simple you don’t even need to install or register.

A big 25-minute red window on the website with start/stop buttons is all you need to start tracking your progress with Pomodoro Tracker.

Timers are fully customizable, as well as ticking and alarms sounds and volume. You can also change theme color, language, time format, and time zone for a  personalized experience.

Pomodoro Tracking price: $2.99 from Apple Store or Microsoft Store.

 

Tomato Timer:

Pc.

 

Tomato Timer is a web-based app with a clean and crisp interface.

This app features audio and desktop notifications, custom timer intervals, and the ability to pause or reset the timer intervals.

Don’t expect more. An app that just does the job right using the Pomodoro Technique.

Tomato Timer price: Free

 

Does the Pomodoro Technique work?

If you have difficulty focusing on one single task and tend to go forth and back chasing several tasks, then you should consider trying some of these Pomodoro Apps.

There is a good chance this technique increases your productivity and help to deliver better results.

The Pomodoro Technique is best suited for developers, writers, students, copywriters, and creatives. Those who work on an individual-based schema are the best candidates for these Pomodoro Apps.

Adapting yourself to a fixed time scheme will help to focus on one single task and avoid distractions.

But it’s difficult to use this technique if you work in a fast-paced environment. And if your work involves heavy team collaboration this is not the best choice.

The Pomodoro Technique focuses on time, but not on task planning. You should go for other tools if your work requires lots of planning in advance.

Conclusion:

If you are trying to adopt the Pomodoro Technique for the first time, maybe some friction comes with your current workflow. But it all depends on your personality and the nature of your work.

The idea behind Pomodoro Apps is to build a sustainable and natural way to do your job. It isn’t going to be your best choice if you feel yourself forced and working against time.

But if you need to improve your daily job workflow, pick a free one and give it a try. Perhaps a better task management is easier than you think.

Pomodoro Technique® and Pomodoro® are registered trademarks of Francesco Cirillo

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14 Social Media Calendar Tools

14 Social Media Calendar Tools

Social media calendar tools help to publish the right content at the right time. And also help to schedule your upcoming social media posts. If you own a small business and are trying to run many social media accounts at once, you need a social media calendar tool to plan in advance and schedule content.

You don’t have to be an expert to manage your social media accounts.

And you can get more leads, sales and revenue from social media using a calendar to plan your content.

All these social media calendar tools have different features that we will cover in this article. Some of them are only content planners while the most advanced (and pricey) enable for content curation, social listening, and team collaboration.

 

What are the benefits of using social media calendar tools?

A calendar helps to get organized and plan in advance for days or weeks your posts. This is important to save time and review your posts.

A social media content tool is a key asset to customize posts according to each platform. Your online presence needs to sound different if you post on Instagram or Snapchat the same content. And you can publish across many platforms with a single click.

It also helps to plan posts according to holidays and special events. Check this calendar from Sendible

You stay organized and get an overview of all your social posts at a glance. This is important for tracking if your social strategy needs some adjustment.

And if you are using interactive marketing , a calendar tool will round up your overall strategy.

Check some ideas for a social media calendar here.

 

Social media calendar tools:

 

Sproutsocial:

 

Sproutsocial helps to understand and reach your audience, engage your community, and measure performance. With advanced publishing tools and scheduling features, this is a solid platform for creating a great social media presence.

This software has listening, publishing, engagement, and analytics modules.

A visual calendar allows to manage your posts for many profiles and social networks, while giving oversight from a central hub. Sproutsocial helps to find the best time to post, according to hashtags and social media activities.

Sproutsocial offers high-level analytics reports. Core reports include profile performance, tag, post performance reports, competitor, paid performance and team and tasks reports. And in case you need to go deeper, there is a Premium Analytics report feature available.

Sproutsocial integrations: All major social networks. Business integrations include Salesforce, Google Drive, Google analytics, Glassdoor, Bitly, Feedly, Zendesk, HubSpot, Slack and Dropbox.

Sproutsocial pricing: From $99/month with 5 profiles and essential tools for getting started. Free 30-day trial available.

 

Crowdfire:

 

Crowdfire is a powerful social media tool for individuals, agencies, and businesses. Works with Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, WordPress, Etsy, Shopify, Medium, Vimeo and more.

This software helps to discover and schedule content to manage all your social accounts from one place.

Crowdfire recommends articles based on your topics of interest so you can share them with your audience. You can also schedule all of your content at the best times or at those chosen by you.

With this tool you can tailor your posts for every social network to make sure to reach the right audience with the right message.

Analytics reports are fully customizable, so you can only highlight and focus on the data you need.

You can share your favorite content from the web with the Chrome extension in a pair of clicks. This helps to keep your audience engaged with no effort.

Crowdfire integrations: Zapier.

Crowdfire pricing: Free plan with basic features, content curation, image curation and only 10 scheduled posts per account.

 

Google Calendar:

 

 

With Google Calendar you can organize and schedule social content. If you have a Gmail account, you already have the whole Google set of products for free.

This is not a native social media tool, but you can use it to organize posts and track results.

Since Google has several collaborative features, you can assign tasks, make comments, and keep a decent workflow for content creation and scheduling.

Google Drive can store your media library, and you can access it whenever you need.

Google calendar integrations: Hundreds of integrations with several software tools and Zapier.

Google Calendar pricing: Free.

 

StoryChief:

 

This is a complete marketing solution to organize, structure and distribute your content. You can create content campaigns tailored to each channel, publish articles, and promote content through newsletters.

This tool features an interesting in-app editor to check how your content ranks on search engines. Also offers readability tips and videos or images from a free database.

StoryChief provides powerful analytics and reporting to check what type of content impacts on your audience.

There’s a  collaborative workspace providing real-time editing and approval workflow. A marketing calendar allows to see the big picture and schedule your content marketing ahead of time.

And as a big plus, this platform synchronizes with Apple calendar, Google calendar and Outlook.

StoryChief integrations: 1,000+ integrations available.

StoryChief pricing: Starting at $90/month billed annually with 4 users included, unlimited stories and unlimited campaigns. Free 14-day trial available.

 

Buffer:

 

Buffer is a social media tool to build your audience and grow your brand on social media. A well-known company in the social media management business featuring a solid planning and schedule schema.

This software allows to plan and publish your content on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn from one dashboard.

Buffer integrates team collaboration to create posts, get feedback and refine content. An approval workflow allows to review posts for quality and branding before you post them.

An intuitive analytics dashboard  helps to measure and analyze the performance of your content. Most reports are fully customizable, so you can know if you are reaching the right audience.

Buffer integrations: 60+ third-party integrations.

Buffer pricing: Starting at $15/month for 8 social channels, 1 user and 100 scheduled posts. Free 14-day trial available.

 

SocialPilot:

 

 

SocialPilot is a powerful and friendly option for social media posting. The calendar allows to see posts classified by social media platform. You can filter your calendar view according to each account to have a more detailed view of the schedule.

An interesting drag-and-drop feature allows to re-schedule your post on the calendar. The social inbox allows to reply comments, messages and posts on multiple accounts and filter those that really matters.

With team collaboration and full approval workflow, SocialPilot is an excellent option to consider.

You can share web content through Firefox and Chrome extensions. SocialPilot makes it easy to discover content and schedule it directly to your account for content curation and content suggestions.

To keep track of your campaigns, a powerful analytics tool shows how good your efforts are doing.

SocialPilot integrations: Canva, Bitly, Rebrandly, Box, Feedly and Zapier.

SocialPilot pricing: Starting at $25.50/month with annual billing, 200 posts per day, 25 social media accounts, 3 team members, bulk scheduling, and content curation.

 

Agorapulse:

 

Agorapulse is an easy-to-use social media management tool featuring a content calendar and advanced publishing tools. This platform is intended to engage, publish, listen and collaborate on social media.

Agorapulse allows scheduling, bulk uploading, and queuing posts. These are accessible from the calendar that allows an overview of all your planned content. This includes posts pending approval, published posts and which posts are planned for a future.

The social inbox feature allows to find, filter, and manage your comments and important messages. You can customize and schedule analytics reports to suit your needs, and know how your followers are engaged with your content.

Agorapulse integrations: Most of the major networks but no Zapier integration.

Agorapulse pricing: Starting at $79/month billed annually with 10 social profiles, 2 users and full functionality. Higher plans only add more social profiles and users. Free 28-day trial available.

 

Sendible:

 

 

Sendible is a social media management tool with excellent scheduling and calendar options. This software supports all major social media networks.

You can customize and preview posts in each platform before posting to get a better engagement from your audience.

If you work with a team; Sendible allows to approve social media posts before they are scheduled and limit access to certain users. Collaborate with your team setting up approval workflows and keep your posts on-brand.

A content suggestion feature helps to publish content to generate engagement, and with the browser extension you can share content in a snap.

Sendible analytics shows the best performing posts, who are your most engaged followers and how much referral traffic you are getting.

An interesting keyword monitor search notifies when your product or business get a mention. You can also monitor how your competitors are doing and how their customers engage with them.

Sendible integrations: Blogspot, WordPress, Tumblr, Medium, Canva, Google Analytics, Dropbox, Slack and Google Drive.

Sendible pricing: From $29/month billed monthly for 1 user, 12 social profiles and 8 quick reports. Free 14-day trial available.

 

ContentCal:

 

 

This social media calendar tool has a unique visual approach. If your business is highly dependent on images, this can be the right choice.

ContentCal is intended to plan and publish your content using simple visual tools. With an intuitive and simple layout, you can start using this tool in a matter of minutes.

Team members can be involved into approval workflow to check content before publishing.

An web clipper extension sends online resources into your content library with a pair of clicks. A simple but powerful analytics dashboard shows performance reports to track your posts across platforms.

ContentCal integrations: Available through Zapier only.

ContentCal pricing: From $17/month for 1 user, 1 calendar, 4 social profiles and 150 scheduled posts per month.

 

Hootsuite:

 

 

Hootsuite is a great player in the social media tool market with advanced features to manage your social media networks.

An interactive visual planner allows to overview your social media calendar and posts. You can create and schedule posts to multiple social networks with a pair of clicks, saving thus a lot of time.

A solid collaboration workflow is available to manage approvals and posts schedules to keep the team aligned behind the same objectives.

Hootsuite provides a browser extension to automatically add content to your calendar and save it for posting ahead.

Hootsuite integrations: 20+ social networks. Also, Trello, Slack, Google My Business and more.

Hootsuite pricing: Starting at $19/month for 10 social profiles, 1 user and unlimited scheduling.

Free 30-day trial available.

 

Loomly:

 

This is a social media tool to create, plan, and execute social media campaigns (paid and free)

Loomly promotes itself as a brand and content management platform for marketing teams. With robust collaboration tools for approvals, comments and logs, this software is a full featured suite for social media management.

You can plan content ahead of time for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Google My Business. At present there is no Instagram direct sharing. This tool also works with automated pushing for Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.

Loomly can suggest ideas and inspiration for posts ideas for more engagement based on trending topics, events and holidays, and RSS feds.

This platform includes powerful analytics about posts, account, and URL metrics.

Loomly integrations: Integrates with Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and most social networks. Plus, Slack, Microsoft Teams, Unplash, Giphy and Zapier.

Loomy pricing: From $25/month billed yearly, 2 users, 10 social accounts, and unlimited content. A fairly basic plan, but if you need analytics, integrations, and custom branding you’ll have to go for the Standard Plan $57/month. 15-day free trial available.

 

Trello:

 

 

Trello is a popular team management tool. This is not a dedicated social media calendar tool, but you can use it to handle your social media accounts.

With Trello you can manage projects, campaigns, task lists, and more. Trello’s boards, lists and cards enable teams to organize projects and manage a content calendar.

All boards are easy to customize, and you can use this feature to plan a campaign and schedule posts.

Once you’ve organized all your content on your Trello board you can go to the calendar, which gives a comprehensive view on which post is scheduled to go out when.

But keep in mind that this is a software for organizing, assigning, and tracking work for a group of people. This means that if you want a full functional social media management tool you will need to integrate Trello with a third-party app.

Trello integrations: Tons of integrations with Gmail, Hubstaff, Paperform, SurveyMonkey, and Zapier. Trello also features browser extensions for Chrome and Firefox.

Trello pricing: Free plan with basic functions, but if you need calendar view, integrations, and more functions you will have to move up to the Business Class Plan for $9,99/user/month.

 

Airtable:

 

 

Airtable is a cloud collaboration platform to create relational databases. Think of it as a kind of Excel that can handle content, checkboxes, and links to records on other tables with powerful filtering options.

Airtable has hundreds of pre-made templates to choose from, and all of them are highly customizable. You can plan and schedule your content and create different views for different clients and social media networks.

With the recent launch of Airtable Automations, you can configure custom-trigger actions workflow directly within your Airtable base. This allows to create Twitter posts and certain Facebook post actions. Like Trello, this is not a tool only intended for social management but may be a good free starting point.

Airtable integrations: Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and more. You can connect hundreds of apps with Zapier, Integromat, Workato or Automate.

Airtable pricing: Free plan up to 1,200 records and basic functions. Next plan is $10/month, but you will have to pay $20/month/user to get the better Airtable features.

 

HopperHQ

 

 

HopperHQ is a social media planning tool that works only with Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Focused mainly on Instagram, this platform claims to have every feature you need to master Instagram marketing.

An interesting feature of HopperHQ is the image editor, that allows for some basic image editing.

HopperHQ includes a “phone preview” option, to see how your posts and feed will look to your followers on mobile devices.

You can manage multiple accounts from a single HopperHQ login and upload up to 50 posts in one click. A drag-and-drop calendar planner makes it easy to arrange your posts to better meet your audience.

HopperHQ integrations: Only through Zapier.

HopperHQ pricing: From $19/month for 1 Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn account. Free 14-day trial available

 

Conclusion:

Social media calendar tools help to organize your content and schedule it ahead of time. From simple planning tools to more advanced with content curation and social listening, we have covered 14 options to consider.

It’s hard to say which is the best social media calendar tool, since each of these have different features, pricing and functionality. But most of them have free trial available for you to check and consider.

And no matter which you choose, they are an essential requirement if you are doing social media marketing.

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Interactive Marketing Tools for Small Business

Interactive Marketing Tools for Small Business

In this post we will talk about interactive marketing tools for small businesses. And will also discuss interactive content benefits and which platforms you must use to create and publish your own content.

In traditional marketing, advertising and promotional activities flow in only one direction. The usual approach is to design an ad, publish it and wait for the results. This is a one-way message towards to the consumers that they can accept or reject.

But with the advent of internet, there are many tools that small businesses can use to ask for feedback, track customers, and tailor product offers to the consumer’s interest.

 

What is interactive marketing?

Interactive marketing is a marketing practice that centers on customer actions. These actions trigger certain marketing initiatives from the business’ side and is opposite to a passive consumption of your messages from the customer.

The key fact about interactive marketing is the ability to offer the customer certain options and then build strategies based on those actions. When a customer provides feedback or gives personal information about precise situations, marketers can collect that information and use it to channel their advertising efforts.

This implies a two-way communication between the consumer and the brand. And both the customer and the company will get better results in the end.

 

What are interactive marketing benefits?

1-Interactive content adds value to the customer. As nowadays consumers are exposed to a big number of online ads and promotions, it gets difficult to grab their attention.

2-Interactive content increases engagement through surveys, calculators, chatbots, quizzes and email. This type of content makes a close relation between the prospect and the brand.

3-This marketing strategy also helps to bring more traffic to your website or social media account. This is because this type of content is usually shared on social media by the prospect.

4-Interactive content helps to generate leads. If the prospect filled a quiz and he is eager to know the results, there is a high chance that he gives an email address in return.

5-Interactive content reduces bouncing rates, taking the consumer a step ahead to a closer and trusted relationship with your brand.

 

Interactive marketing examples:

Contests and Giveaways:

This form of engagement is a well-known way to grab your target audience’s attention. Giveaways and contests are an intelligent approach to the human need to go for free things.

Contests are an effective interactive marketing experience and can provide valuable information about your prospects. As contest always have some kind of fun content, people Is keen to participate.

People also find it fun to take part in contests. There is often the possibility to win something and this is a magnet for every person.

Quizzes:

Quizzes are a very effective form of interactive marketing because always have some dosage of fun and provide high level of engagement. Customers make their way through a set of questions and see their progress and results. As quizzes show a personalized result in the end, you can include there a form to capture user information. You can collect emails and specific info.

To get an idea about what quizzes and how you can use them for getting leads, take a look at this Interactive Product Survey Template (typeform.com)

In this quiz the prospect answers 11 short questions about overall product quality, how innovative the product is, what is his purchase intent and more. You can then process the collected info to fine tune your strategy.

Polls:

Polls engage customers providing immediate feedback in the form of results. People like to complete a poll to compare their own results against other answers and justify their own answers against other people.

Polls help to collect valuable information about customer satisfaction, brand awareness and more.

A poll is quicker to complete than a quiz or a contest because users don’t have to go through several steps to get an outcome.

Calculators:

Calculators are a useful tool to provide value to your customers. If you can show your prospects how much money they can save with your product or service, you will surely increase your sales and conversion rates.

With calculators you can give personalized responses, with the chance to generate more leads. Calculators help to segment customers thus helping the sales team to close deals.

Calculators collect the information that the customer inputs and using this data can be helpful to plan your next steps nurturing leads. This is an excellent method for lead qualifying.

Here’s an excellent example about calculators from Outgrow Interactive, Business Calculators | Outgrow

 

With this calculator, the prospect can see how much will save by purchasing a Tesla electric car. After answering some questions, the results are shown in an interactive graphic and the system asks for an email address to send the results. This is a win-win; you are adding real value to the customer, and you are getting a valuable lead too.

Chatbots:

With chatbots you can communicate in a friendly and seamless way.

Chatbots are available 24×7 and can capture visitor’s data for further following by a salesperson.

Chatbots can get info about customer feedback, product requirements, order tracking and more.

See this example about Outgrow Chatbots | Outgrow in real estate

 

RELATED:     Why you should boost your marketing with chatbots

Email:

Email autoresponders are great tools to promote interactive content. Surveys, polls, and calculators can be sent to the prospect and reply with the right content depending on the prospect previous actions.

Email is not a superstar interactive marketing tool, but a perfect complement for your interactive content.

Learn how popular brands are using interactive marketing here

Interactive marketing stats:

If you are wondering if interactive content is important for your business, here are some stats from proven sources.

Check them carefully to understand why interactive marketing is the key to engage customers, provide value and grow your sales records.

80% of consumers are more likely to buy a product or service from a company that provides a personalized experience: New Epsilon research indicates 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase when brands offer personalized experiences

91% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands providing relevant recommendations and offers Personalization Pulse Check | Accenture

Interactive content gains two times more engagement than static content.2019 State Of Interactive Content Marketing (demandgenreport.com)

89% of digital companies are investing in personalization Transform Your Personalization Strategy At Forrester’s Consumer Marketing Forum

72% of customers engage only with marketing messages that are customized to meet their individual interests Privacy and Personalization Report | SmarterHQ

77% of marketers agree that interactive content has “reusable” value, resulting in repeat visitors and multiple exposures Interactive Content Fuels Customer Experiences [Research] (contentmarketinginstitute.com)

In a HubSpot poll, 15% of consumers preferred to tap through Instagram Stories with quiz or poll features. This interactive content type was the third most popular Story format Which Instagram Story Formats Really Engage Viewers [New Research] (hubspot.com)

10 Statistics That Prove Interactive Content is the Future of Digital Marketing 10 Statistics That Prove Interactive Content Is the Future (outgrow.co)

 

 

Interactive marketing software tools:

Now that we have covered what interactive marketing is, let’s take a look at some of the best software platforms to create and publish interactive content:

Outgrow:

This is a full featured platform for building quizzes, calculators, forms, assessments, chatbots, giveaways, and surveys.

Using Outgrow you can increase lead conversion rates, qualify leads while adding value to your customer, and boost your content marketing.

Content generated with this tool can be embedded on your web page, as a popup, in chatbot, or exit intent. This software has 1,000+ integrations to manage your lead traffic with your preferred app.

Outgrow provides full analytics reports for a detailed tracking of your content.

Outgrow pricing: Free plan with basic functionality. Next plan $14/month with 3 content types. Free 14-day trial available

Interact:

Interact is a well-known player in the quiz market from 2013. This is a tool for creating online quizzes to generate leads, segment your audience and drive traffic to your website.

With Interact you can create 3 types of quizzes:

Personality quizzes, scored quizzes and assessment quizzes (also called multiple choice quizzes) With 800+ templates to choose from, a drag-and-drop builder lets you change logo, fonts and images. More than 80 integrations are available to insert Interact into your current application workflow.

Interact pricing: Free plan with limited features but a good starting point. Next plan $17/month with integrations and email collection.

QuestionPro:

QuestionPro allows to design a survey, add multiple question types and logic. With 250+ templates for marketing research, customer satisfaction, community-based surveys and more. This is a solid and complete product with many features, but perhaps not the best if you are just starting due to the various options.

This platform provides unique features not available in similar software. 100+ languages to choose from (only on paid plans), heatmaps and sentiment analysis. A solid logic allows for almost any type of content.

QuestionPro pricing: Free plan with unlimited questions and answers, color and logo customization, 24/7 email support and 25+ question types. Next plan costs $85/month with full set of features and own subdomain.

Paperform:

This is an online form builder and form creator. With a simple editor, you can create online forms quickly and without technical knowledge. You can define your own logic rules and control your customer`s experience depending on how they answer the form.

This software includes a 300+ professional template library. No matter what your business is about, you will find templates from church forms to poll, onboarding and report forms.

With 1000+ integrations, you can easily import captured information into the systems you currently use.

Paperform pricing: From $12.50/month (annual billing) featuring unlimited forms, 10,000 form views per month and 1,000 submissions per month. Free trial available.

Jotform:

Jotform is an easy-to use online form builder. You can create and publish forms, get an email for each response and collect all related data.

You can design and customize professional looking forms with advanced options to match your branding. A simple drag-an-drop editor makes it easy to create forms, and a solid collaboration feature allows forms to be created by many users. With 1,000+ integrations, Jotform makes it easy to simplify and automate your workflow.

Jotform pricing: Free plan with 5 forms limit and 100 monthly submissions and 1,000 monthly form views. Next plan start at $24/month and allows you to set up your own branding.

Typeform:

Typeform is a leader platform for building forms, surveys, and quizzes. With a built-in photo and video library you can make professional-looking surveys that boost your lead generation.

This tool uses conditional logic to make surveys fell like conversations and not interrogations, so you can grab the prospect attention and get valuable data. Integration with Zapier make it easy to use your actual platforms to integrate data captured in Typeform.

Typeform pricing: Free plan with 3 typeforms and 10 questions per form, reports and metrics. Next plan $35/month (monthly plan) with 1,000 responses per month and 3 logic jumps per typeform.

 Leadquizzes:

This tool allows to easily create quizzes to share on your website, paid advertising, email list or social media platforms. This platform offers quiz takers a personalized experience by showing specific questions and results based on their previous answers.

With over 75 templates to choose from you can create text or image-based questions and open-ended answers. You can also add your own images, fonts and colors to fit your branding.

Leadquizzes provides a strong reporting feature, so you can analyze leads and make smart marketing decisions to grow your business.

Leadquizzes pricing: From $37/month billed annually. This includes one website and 5,000 visitors per month, templates, different quiz and survey types, logic branching, URL redirect, and full analytics.

Free 14-day trial available.

SurveySparrow:

SurveySparrow is a complete set of tools that offers many solutions working as an omni-channel solution.

This software provides tools to identify what determine purchase actions from the customer and collect feedback. You can create online surveys and distribute them through email, social media, and many channels.

SurveySparrow pricing: Free plan with 100 responses per month, 10 questions per survey and advanced integrations.  Then basic plan at $29/month for 10,000 responses per month, multilingual surveys, unlimited display, and skip logics.

 

Conclusion:

Today small business can take advantage of interactive marketing to grow sales and revenue.

Interactive content is engaging and provides a lot of value to the customer.  The above tools will help you to build a solid strategy with no technical expertise. Calculators, polls, quizzes and contests are powerful marketing tools with affordable cost an excellent cost-benefit rate.

To use the tools listed above you don’t need to be tech-savvy because all of them are easy to use. You can plan and execute a solid strategy with no technical expertise. All these tools provide easy drag and drop editors to create and publish a form or a quiz in minutes.

Regardless of your niche, using interactive content will help your business to increase lead generation, segment and qualify leads, build a stronger relationship with your customers, and grow your sales.

In need of some ideas to start? Check this page for idea generation.

 

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Video marketing for small business

Video Marketing for Small Business

In this article, we’ll talk about video marketing for small business, what are the benefits, video marketing ideas and strategy. We will also know some video software platforms to make, edit and publish videos.

Did you know that 75% of video traffic is on mobile devices ?

If you’ve been thinking about adding videos to your marketing strategy, read on. You will know and understand why this marketing strategy is being adopted by more and more companies each year.

Today we can consider video marketing as one of the top content strategies, as more consumers show preference for video over reading.

And if you are on a budget, there are plenty of affordable apps to build a visually attractive video in minutes. We will discuss some of them later on.

 

What is video marketing?

Video marketing is using videos into your marketing strategy, just simple like that.

This strategy can help to create brand awareness, build trust, promote products and services, boost your online presence, and generate revenue.

The goal is to engage the consumer and grab their attention. Today the mix of social media and mobile devices makes it possible for a video to go viral, and this can help your product or service.

And if your video goes viral or gets a lot of views, further comments, shares and likes will contribute to build trust from your social followers. These reactions may amplify your reach because when we get information from someone we know; we are likely to interact with it.

 

What are the benefits of video marketing for small business?

The benefits of video marketing for small business are huge. If you add video into email marketing, social media, website, blogs, you will notice an increase in consumer engagement. In the end, this will reflect in more sales and better customer engagement.

 

But numbers rule the world, just take a look at this amazing stats that show how videomarketing can help your business:

Videos attach 300% more traffic and nurture leads. ( Marketing Sherpa  )

A website is 53 times more likely to reach the front page of Google if it includes video. (Insivia)

Including a video on your landing page can boost your conversion rate by up to 80%. ( Unbounce )

Nearly 50% of internet users look for videos related to a product or service before visiting a store. ( Hubspot )

Video increases organic search traffic on a website by 157%. (Conversion XL)

25% of companies publish videos every week. (Buffer)

85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands. (HubSpot)

97% of marketers say video has helped users gain a better understanding of their products and services. (Hubspot)

52% of marketers say video is the type of content with the best ROI. (HubSpot)

Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%. (  Hubspot )

50% of viewers aged 18-34 said they would stop what they were doing to watch a video from their favorite creator. (Google)

People spend 2.6x more time on pages with video than without. (  Wistia  )

 

Video marketing can help your small business to:

Increase online presence:

Today every business needs to be online. With the right content videos can boost your online presence making your content more engaging.

Videos can also encourage viewers to perform certain actions, like subscribing to a news list, or download a giveaway content.

Increase brand awareness:

Video is a key factor to connect with people, and if the viewer likes your content will share it and spread your brand among their connections.

Boost social media engagement

If you post a good video on social media, a lot of reactions and engagement will follow. This will grow your followers and/or subscribers and more and more people will be attentive to your posts and updates.

Build trust:

Most of your marketing efforts must be towards building trust. People is open to buy from businesses and brands they trust.

Generate sales

A good marketing strategy ends up generating sales and growing revenue. If you can increase your online presence, level up brand awareness, boost your social media engagement and build trust; be sure that your sales will increase consistently.

 

 

How can you promote your business video?

You can promote your business video publishing it on social media sites, email campaigns, and of course on your own website.

Facebook video marketing:

Video is one cornerstone of Facebook. With 8 billion daily views and more than 100 million hours of video watched every month this is a proven marketing strategy that gets results.

To begin with, you can add a video in the video tab of your page and upload a Facebook video cover to increase visitor engagement.

Posting organically on Facebook is an intelligent way to engage your audience and grow relationship with your customers. Think about sharing news about product launches, promotions, and general updates about your business with short Facebook videos.

You can also start a campaign with Facebook video ads.  Facebook allows to segmenting audiences into age, demographics, and personal interests.  Running targeted video ads will put your brand just in front of your target audience with a low budget. And this combination will end up boosting your sales.

Instagram video marketing:

If publishing videos on Facebook is important, publishing on Instagram is a must.

Instagram stories provide an interesting opportunity for business. They are a way to grab consumer’s attention about news and updates.

For Instagram stories consider product updates, sharing promotional offers, or creating content with a behind the scenes video.

Twitter video marketing:

Tweets with video are six times more likely to be retweeted that tweets with photos. This amazing difference about viewer behavior is a major advantage you can use in your marketing strategy.

With the right hashtag, video tweets may get a lot of views and get viral in no time.

LinkedIn video marketing:

This social network is focused on B2B (Business to Business) relations. You can promote your product or service with your own post or even running an ad campaign. Unlike Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads are more expensive, and this is due to the customer they are targeting.

According to LinkedIn, videos get 20X more views than any other type of content.

YouTube video marketing:

YouTube is the second search engine, only behind Google Search. Today YouTube is the place where people look for answer to almost any question, from repairing a car to improving their relationship.

This is a special platform to post content videos about your brand and business. These may include product updates, how-to videos, tips, and tricks videos and more.

Snapchat video marketing:

With 249 million active users, Snapchat is the preferred social media network for teen-agers. According Visualcapitalist.com , it ranks #1 among U.S. teens.

If your product of service is focused on this demographic segment, this is the social media network where your brand must publish.

Website video marketing:

Videos can complement your website articles, product descriptions and blogs. Including short videos on your website can increase CTR by 34%.

Google has recently launched Web Stories, a webmaster tool to include videos on websites. Easy to share and connect, this feature aims to boost web visitor engagement.

Email video marketing:

You can increase your email marketing campaigns open rates by adding video content.

Also, the mere fact of including the word “video” in the subject line can reduce unsubscribes by 28%.

Almost every mail you send to your customer can be enhanced with video content.

 

Video marketing ideas for small business:

You can use video marketing in several ways, just to name a few:

Product video:

A product video is intended to highlight product’s benefits. If a prospect is thinking about buying a product but is not yet sure, providing with the right content value can turn a prospect into a customer. A product video can complement a product page and will engage the viewer, since you can show the product up and running.

Always focus on benefits rather than characteristics ++

Educational video:

An educational video is intended to teach the audience about something related to the company history, how it began and who were the founders. This kind of videos help to forge confidence and trust.

Customer testimonial video:

This kind of videos help to build trust because people always tend to rely on real person experiences and stories from people with similar needs.

To make a customer testimonial video, you should ideally find a real customer using his own words to deliver a credible and effective testimonial.

Another option is to show on video positive reviews that consumers have left on your website.

Instructional video:

Also known as how-to videos, tutorials or do It Yourself (DIY) The goal is to assist your audience about how to use your product. Instructional videos are more important for products rather than services. But a good video about how to use a service can also be useful (how to use a software platform or how to book an appointment for example)

Almost 70% of YouTube users watch YouTube to learn about something they are interested in, and this is an excellent platform to publish instructional videos.

Learn more about YouTube marketing LINK GUIDE YOUTUBE MKT

Tips and tricks video:

Providing tips and tricks is a unique way to build trust. With this kind of videos, you build authority in your field and become a reference for your customer.

Video marketing platforms to create and publish videos:

We are listing below 8 platforms which we consider the bests an easier to start with. Although the universe of video marketing platforms is endless, these are beginner friendly and most of them are packed with powerful and professional features.

Wavevideo

Wavevideo is a user-friendly platform and professional online video editor. With Wave you can create videos in any format and for any platform.

This platform also includes a video hosting service that makes it simple to publish, embed and share videos as soon as you upload them.

A distinctive feature of Wave is the social calendar, to help you come up with engaging ideas and curated suggestions.

Wavevideo pricing: Free for basic editing, featuring 2,000,000+ royalty free video clips and images with watermark, 600+ templates, audio library of 300,000+ free audio tracks and more. To remove watermark, you must move to the Creator plan at $20/month.

Filmora:

Filmora is a well-known brand in the video arena. With a friendly dashboard Filmora offers tons of filters, stock photos and videos, overlays, green screen and more.

Despite its learning curve, there are hundreds of tutorials available and the good part is that you will always end up with a polished and professional video.

Filmora pricing: Free to try with watermark. Then you have the option to pay $39.99 per year or make a single payment of $69.99 for a perpetual plan.

Vidyard :

Vidyard is an online video platform for business. This software offers a full featured tool for creation, hosting, personalization, and analytics.

Vidyard pricing: Free plan with unlimited videos, unlimited uploads and email and social sharing. This plan also includes basic analytics. For more features plans start at $15/month

Biteable :

Biteable is an online video maker for social videos, ads and more. This is an excellent product, and their web page claims that you can create content in minutes.

Biteable pricing: Free plan available with watermark. Plus plan starting at $19/month removes watermark, 1080p resolution and gives commercial usage rights.

Animoto:

A solid platform for creating and sharing videos with a drag-and-drop interface. Animoto lets you create powerful professional videos with no video editing experience needed.

Animoto has partnered with Getty Images to offer over one million stock photos and videos (this feature is available on Professional and Business Plan only)

Animoto pricing: Free with watermark for unlimited videos. To remove branding and add you own logo you’ll have to pay $15 per month, a low price for a full featured suite like this.

WeVideo:

An online video editor for creating professional videos in a snap. WeVideo allows to make and publish videos in any format for any social media platform. Also features 1,000,000+ images, videos, and music clips for commercially licensed purposes.

WeVideo pricing: Free plan with 420p resolution and basic features. With the Power plan at $4.99/month you can publish up to 30 minutes per month with a resolution of 720p. For more advanced features move to Unlimited plan for $7.99/month

Glitterly:

Currently on beta, this app allows to create videos with animations and effects in just a few clicks. This video software integrates with Unsplash, Giphy, Pexels, Pixabay and more platforms for a full packed media library with tons of HD photos and videos.

Glitterly features a unique tweet-to-story mode, where you can turn a tweet into a movie jus with a pair of clicks.

Glitterly pricing: Currently free.

 Storycreator:

This social media editor provides several templates and an easy dashboard to edit and make videos in a pair of minutes.

This app features automatic subtitles, animated text, and premium content from Unsplash and Pexels.

Storycreator pricing: Free with watermark, 1GB storage and 5 videos per month. The next plan is $15/month and allows to remove watermark, HD videos, 20 videos per month and 5GB storage.

 

What are video marketing best practices?

Using video to empower your marketing strategy is an excellent option. However, there are some tips to keep in mind before making your video ads:

Videos under two minutes long get the most engagement. (Wistia)

Make sure your video can play without sound; people watch 85% of Facebook videos without sound, while 60% of Instagram Stories are watched with the sound on. (Instagram)

Avoid making videos longer than one minute; 33% of viewers will stop watching a video after 30 seconds, 45% by one minute, and 60% by two minutes. (Ad Age)

Don’t be too salesly; 65% of viewers skip online video ads as soon as possible. (CNBC)

Conclusion:

Video marketing allows you to tell a story in a different and unique way. Before you start. it is important to think about your customers, what are their needs and how you can fulfill them.

So think about:

Which is your audience?

What kind of video is relevant for them?

What should you communicate?

What channels could be the best to publish your videos?

The answers to these questions will be the starting point of your video strategy. Go ahead!

 

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How to use SMS marketing to grow your sales

How to use SMS Marketing to grow your sales

In this article, we will learn how to use SMS marketing to grow your sales.

Text message marketing is an excellent option for small businesses looking to attract and retain customers. With this strategy you can create a direct line between your brand and the consumer.

Did you know that 15.2 million text messages are sent every minute worldwide?

Today, almost everyone has access to a mobile phone.  People pick up their phone on average 55 times a day.  Americans are leading these statistics checking their phones 96 times a day.

People is conditioned naturally to respond to notifications and alerts, and with text messages you don’t have to wait until they are in front of a PC to take action.

Text messages are short and easy to consume, with short sentences and immediate delivery.

That’s why SMS marketing provides a valuable channel to reach your customer.

 

What is SMS marketing?

SMS marketing is a strategy that uses text messages to engage customers and increase sales.

SMS stands for “short message service” and is a communication protocol to send and receive text messages over cellular networks.

The first SMS was sent back in 1992.. The term SMS also refers to MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service) , which are multimedia SMS with the capability to send audio, video, files and phone contacts. MMS have a maximum length of 1600 characters, versus 160 characters of SMS.

 

How SMS marketing can help businesses?

SMS marketing can engage and acquire new customers for your business. Since text messages create a direct path between you and your customer, it’s easy to create brand awareness and forge a stable relationship to generate sales.

There are plenty of reasons to send text messages. For example:

1-To send updates and notifications about products.

2-To collect customer feedback.

3-To promote sales.

4-To offer coupons and special discounts.

5-To follow-up email campaigns.

6-To send updates about order status and shipping.

SMS marketing can help small businesses, restaurants, real estate agents, contractors, ecommerce platforms, financial services, gyms, retail, non-profits, schools, hotels, retail, and almost every business.

As usual, the key is to add value to the customer. This is the main point to consider when you start any marketing effort, and SMS marketing must follow the same idea.

 

Is SMS marketing effective?

In order to answer this question, just consider::

1-SMS has 98% open rates  compared to 20% open rates of email.

This is because notification remains on until the message is read and is likely to be opened by the customer. People always have cell phones with them, and this is an advantage that contributes to the high open rates.

2-SMS is fast, inexpensive and more than 90% of messages are read in the first 3 minutes.

3-SMS is a low-cost method to reach your customer, specially for small business.

4-SMS has high engagement rate, and 70% of customers say that SMS grabs their attention.

5-SMS don’t need of internet connection to work, and this is a great advantage over other messaging apps and email.

6-More than 50% of consumers prefer text messaging over phone call for consumer support.

7-Almost 50% of millennials favor SMS texts over emails.

8-Consumers prefer SMS because they don’t have to download a brand’s app.

How to start with SMS marketing?

To start a SMS marketing campaign, follow these steps:

1-Use a SMS marketing platform. There are plenty of platforms and we’ve listed the best below.

2-You need explicit permission from you customer to send SMS. This is especially important to comply with federal regulations.

3-Always add value to your customer. This is an immutable law of marketing applicable to any action.

4-Keep your messages short and do not send lots of messages. Only send important texts so the consumers know that when they get a text from you it is worthwhile to read.

5-Personalize your campaign. This will lead to higher engagement.

6-Only send messages during business hours. Avoid annoying customers any hour and consider time zones where your customer is located in.

 

Is text message marketing legal?

Many countries have specific rules about SMS, and you should know them before starting an SMS marketing campaign.

The main word about email and SMS marketing campaigns is “consent”. In U.S FCC rules say that consent for commercial text messaging must be written.

A proof of consent may be collected from your contacts through email, website forms, text message and many more options.

Primary regulations of the TCPA(Telephone Consumer Protection Act)  from 1991 are:

Prior Express Written Consent – A consumer’s written* consent  is required prior to sending any text messages for commercial or marketing purposes and must sufficiently show that the consumer (1) received “clear and conspicuous disclosure” of what messages they’ll be receiving; and (2) agrees unambiguously to receive such calls at the phone number given.*Consent obtained in compliance with the E-SIGN Act, such as permission obtained via an email, website form, text message, telephone keypress, voice recording, etc., satisfies this requirement. **Tax-exempt nonprofit organizations are not required to comply with the do-not-call provisions of the TCPA

Auto Opt-Out Mechanism – Recipients must be able to opt-out by replying directly to the text message.

Text Message Content – According to the TCPA, text messages must include (1) the identity of the entity sending the text and (2) opt-out instructions (the CTIA clarifies that messages must include opt-out instructions at least monthly).

Appropriate Texting Times – Text messages for marketing purposes can only be sent between the hours of 8 am and 9 pm (local time of the receiver). In short, the TCPA prohibits text messages sent to a mobile phone from an auto-dialer (including text message marketing) unless (1) you previously gave consent to receive the message or (2) the message is sent for emergency purposes.

References for the FCC Regulations discussed above, and for additional regulations not mentioned above, include:

1-A description of the program.

2-The short code or phone number you will be sending from.

3-The phrase “Msg & Data rates apply.”

4-A number of messages participants will receive.

5-Instructions to opt-out.

6-A link to your terms and conditions or privacy policy.

7-Contact and support information.

 

SMS marketing vs Email marketing:

Email is a popular channel for marketers and the preferred digital channel for marketing campaigns.

That’s why 300 billion email are sent per day worldwide, although nearly 50% of these are spam.

Inboxes are getting thousands of unsolicited emails, and people deletes many mails without reading them.

But consumer’s behavior about text messaging is different.  When someone receives a message the phone alert grabs their attention, and the notification gets on until the user reads the message. So, chances to open text messages are remarkably high.

SMS is best for:

B2C (Business to consumer) marketing.

Deals and coupons.

Personal alerts.

Quick information delivery.

To inform customer that don’t access websites.

Younger people.

 

Email marketing is best for:

In depth information.

Service and product promotions.

Building and establishing a community.

Meaningful and detailed content.

B2B (Business to Business) and B2C (Business to Consumer) marketing.

Deals and coupons.

Don’t think as email marketing excluding SMS marketing or vice-versa.

When you combine email marketing and SMS marketing you can increase engagement and retention of your customers.

Both mediums are good, but always think what your audience needs and how you can provide it. You need to ask your customers, get feedback, and learn what they expect from you.

Segmentation is particularly important. Text messages don’t have the same usage in every country, and you should consider this when you start a campaign. Also, younger generations are more likely to use text messages than adults, and this also depends on your product or service.

What is an SMS marketing platform?

To send SMS, you need to subscribe to a SMS platform.

This is a tool to create and send text messages to a specific list of phone numbers. Some platforms allow to send SMS worldwide and others focus on specific countries or zones.

Most of these platforms allow to send automatic text messages that are triggered based on an user’s action, such as signing up for alerts or requesting more information about a product or service.

 

Which is the best text message marketing service?

There are plenty of text marketing solutions out there. Some of the best text message marketing platforms are:

ClickSend:

ClickSend is a cloud-based gateway service for your business that lets you send bulk SMS, email, fax & letters worldwide

Features: No monthly fees, dedicated number option, lots of integrations, global coverage.

Pricing: Starting at 6 cents per message

 

Klaviyo:

A full platform for sending mails and SMS, only US numbers.

Features: automatic consent management, email and SMS signup forms, advanced segmentation, MMS at no additional cost. Focused on Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce and WooCommerce,

Pricing: First 50 messages for free, then two cents per message.

 

TextMagic:

A solid player in the business from 2001. Send notifications, alerts, reminders, confirmations and -sms marketing campaigns.

Various free interesting tools available.

Features: Send texts, email to SMS, reporting and analytics, two-way SMS chat, iOS & Android apps, integrations.

Pricing: starting at 4 cents, only pay for texts you send. Free full-featured 14-day trial without credit card.

 

EZTexting:

With more than 16 years in the SMS market, EZTexting is a known and solid player with flexible pricing plans.

Features: Automated event notifications, mobile keywords, lead generation, safe opt-out compliance, group messaging, toll-free numbers, MMS messaging, text to landline messages, contacts segmentation, analytics, reporting and more.

Pricing: Starting at $39/moth per 1000 credits. Free-trial available.

 

Textedly:

Textedly is one of the best text message marketing software for small businesses.

Features: custom keywords and free incoming text messages, two-way SMS, text to landline, text keyword, built-in link shortening, drip campaigns, voice services, email capture, Zapier integration and more.

Pricing: Starting at $29/month with 1200 messages included. Free 14-day trial.

 

SimpleTexting:

SimpleTexting has multiple plans to choose from and great variety of tools.

Features: 2-way messaging, scheduled texts, multi-number, link tracking, MMS messaging, automation tools, message templates, Mailchimp and Zapier integrations.

Pricing: Plans start at $25 per month for 500 credits to send 500 messages. Free 14-day trial.

 

What to look for in a text marketing platform?

Text message marketing services are full-scale marketing solutions that help you engage with your audience, track results, and improve your customer service. All these services offer many options and features. We suggest you look for:

Scheduling: Useful to schedule text messages in advance to go out at any date or time.

Analytics, tracking and reports: You will need helpful reports on your campaigns, contacts, and keywords that you can use to improve future campaigns.

Automation: Automation tools to send out the same text message on a regular basis, such as recurring reminders.

Contact management: Accurate, up-to-date contact lists are vital to successful text message marketing campaigns. Since consumers often change their numbers, it is important to check that your contact list is up to date. Otherwise your customers won’t receive your messages and your campaigns will fail. The best text message marketing solutions make it easy to add contacts, import existing lists and crawl lists to ensure only active numbers are on it.

Customization: The best text message campaigns are personalized. Some solutions capture customer data, such as the person’s full name, and personal data.

Free incoming text messages: Most text message marketing companies don’t charge you for the texts you receive from customers.

Drip campaigns: With this feature, you can set up actions triggered based on conditions you set. For example, a welcome text goes out when a customer subscribes. Then they can get a thank-you message when they make their first purchase, with other triggered texts to follow.

Integrations: Some text message companies integrate with other platforms, such as email marketing tools like Mailchimp and SendinBlue.

Message templates: If you send the same text message frequently, look for a solution that lets you create and save templates so you can send messages faster.

Multimedia messaging: Almost any service allow you to send pictures, videos and audio clips. These are also known as MMS messages.

Mobile keywords: Several SMS platforms allow you to choose custom keywords and track the use of these keywords in your campaign.

Text-to-landline: This feature lets you send and receive text messages through your business landline phone number with no changes to your voice service.

Demographics: Important to check if the SMS platform can deliver messages to the countries you want to target.

What to expect for SMS marketing next years?

In 2023 3.5 trillion SMS business messages will be sent, from 2.5 trillion in 2019  ( Hurekatek)

By 2021 Rich Communication Services (RCS) will combine SMS with other chat apps to reach a projected $75 billion market.   ( ClickSend)

Chatbot platforms will go on reaching customers via SMS, increasing the business size. Also read:  Why you should boost your marketing with chatbots 

Demand for personalized SMS will rise (Textedly)

 

Conclusion:

SMS is one of the best mediums to engage with your customers in a personalized way, but it is important to use it according to the customer’s needs. Every SMS you send must have a purpose and a goal and must add value to your subscribers.

If you are using email marketing, adding SMS marketing is for sure a good idea. The overall cost is low and considering its amazing open rates, you will straighten your sales in the short term.

Many SMS marketing platforms offer a free-trial, and this is another reason to try this marketing strategy.

 

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12 Best Invoicing Software for Small Businesses

12 Best Invoicing Software for Small businesses

In this post we will discuss the best invoicing software for small business.

What is invoicing software?

Online invoicing software is a tool that generates a bill for products or services provided to a client. The software creates an invoice that you can deliver by mail or other method.

These apps often include billing integration, so you can get paid faster as your client gets the proper tools to make payments within the system.

Although you can create a simple invoice template in Excel or Microsoft Word, an invoice system will automate the whole process and will save you a lot of time (and money)

Choosing the best invoicing software for your small business can be one of the most important decisions you make, as it can make running your business easier and more efficient. The right invoicing software for you depends greatly on what your business needs today and will need in the future as your business grows.

In this article we’ll know the 12 best invoicing software platforms for small businesses, mid-sized businesses, freelancers, contractors, consultants, accountants, and enterprise that we consider the best.

We’ll only focus on the invoicing and billing process since some platforms are a complete accounting software.

 

 

Wave:

Wave invoicing is a 100% free platform with no limits and no hidden fees. This software includes invoicing, accounting (with fully functional double entry system) and receipt scanning.

All your invoicing and payment information automatically syncs with the free accounting system included in your account.

Wave is easy to set up with a clear and friendly interface. Invoice templates look professional and clean, and you can customize them for free with drag-and-drop line items.

A free mobile app for receipt scanning works even if you are offline, and then incorporate receipts into the accounting reports.

You can run many businesses with one account and invoice in any currency. It’s easy to set up automatic payments for recurring invoices, the system will email an automatic remainder for payments. In our opinion, Wave is one of the best invoicing software for small businesses.

Wave reports are somehow basic, and if you require custom recurring billing may be difficult ( if not impossible) to set up.

If you are wondering how they make money, Wave charges 1% per bank payment transaction and 2.9% + $0.030 per credit card transaction.

Best for: Small businesses, freelancers, and solo entrepreneurs.

 

PayPal Invoicing:

PayPal is a giant worldwide payment processor with 346M+ users, andclaims that you can create and send an invoice in minutes, from nearly any device.

You can send the invoice via email or using a shared link.

Customer doesn’t need to have a PayPal account; he can pay with credit and debit cards. And with PayPal credit the client gets financing for 6 months on purchases of $99 or more. This works on 200+ countries around the globe and is a decisive advantage if you work with customers from other countries.

This platform provides 10+ pre-made templates that you can customize with your logo, contact information and custom fields. It is also possible to track payments and set reminders. Full mobile support allows to send invoices from your mobile on the go.

PayPal argues that their invoicing software can help to get paid faster, and that 78% of payments are made within one day the invoice is sent.

There’s no set up or monthly fee for online invoicing because the only cost associated is a 2.9% + $0.30 fee per transaction. This is a good solution for anyone to keep costs under control.

Best for: Freelancers and small businesses.

 

And.Co: 

This is a platform focused on freelancers and independent contractors. Useful time tracking, proposals, task management, expense tracking and invoicing. A simple and robust system that manages invoicing for an extremely low price or even for free.

They offer a full free plan for only one active client, but you must pay $18/month for unlimited clients and to remove And.Co branding.

When a client views and pays an invoice you’ll get a notification, so you are up to date with your payment flow. But when an invoice is overdue, there is no notification of a payment reminder, and you must set it manually.

Invoicing and contract customization are not very functional, but overall this app does its job.

The mobile app is functional and intuitive. Allows to track time, create, and send invoices, accept payments, and see reports.

And.Co supports multiple currencies and manages payments through PayPal and Stripe. A client can sign and approve your proposal, and then you can accept payments straight from the document.

And.Co enables integration with several platforms, such as Slack, Shopify, G-Suite and Zapier.

Best for: Freelancers, entrepreneurs.

 

Invoicely:

This is a solid online solution that provides tools to manage invoicing billing and accounting.

The whole process is easy through a very functional dashboard.

Invoicely supports many countries and currencies and provides an easy way to add several taxes. If you work with overseas clients, this is a cool feature.

Their free plan allows up to 5 invoices per month and 3 saved clients, with basic features and only PayPal integration, but still may be a good fit for freelancers.

If you need unlimited invoices and customers will have to move to a higher plan (starting at $9.99/month) that also allows to track time and expenses and make estimates. In these plans you can remove branding and add team members.

The client can receive a PDF file or a link with a payment option and send payments through PayPal, Stripe and ACH.

With the mobile apps you can create and send invoices and estimates, track time, expenses, and mileages. According to users, mobile apps are not the best, so you may be ending opening your browser on your mobile to work on the field.

With only 3 integrations ( PayPal, Stripe, and Authorize.net) it’s hard to find where Invoicely stands out because you will need to use more than one software app to run your business.

Best for: Small businesses and freelancers.

 

Invoice2go:

Invoice2go is easy to use, solid and with full functional mobile support. This software does a good job on expense and time tracking, estimates, reports, and online payments.

With the mobile app you can create and send invoices and estimates on the go, receive payments, and get notifications.

The app is outstanding, and you can manage almost every feature of the platform. So, if you spend most of your working day away from the office, this is a key point to consider.

Invoice2go provides several templates that you can customize with your own business logo for a full branded design. You can create an estimate and the client then can view, comment, accept or reject it on the platform.

You can send the invoice by email, WhatsApp, SMS and even Facebook Messenger.

To manage payments this platform integrates with Stripe and PayPal. Invoices include a payment button so your client can pay with a single click and you get paid faster. The system also updates invoices payment information after payments.

The lower plan ($19/month) allows up to 50 invoices and 5 clients, a good fit for many freelancers and small contractors. But in this plan, you cannot generate estimates, time tracking, and payment receipts.

This pricing structure is not the best compared with other similar apps, like Zoho or PayPal.

Invoice2go offers few integrations and doesn’t support live bank feeds, a feature almost many accounting  software offer.

Best for: Small businesses, solo entrepreneurs, freelancers, and small contractors.

 

Zoho Invoice:

If you are under Zoho’s ecosystem, this is a good option to consider.

This software features invoices, payments, estimates, expense tracking and time tracking. And it’s simple to set up and easy to use.

Zoho invoicing software allows to create and send professional invoices. You can easily send automatic payment reminders and accept payments online.

With real-time invoice reports you can know how your sales are going, track expenses, payments, and taxes.

With Zoho it’s easy to get paid, you can set automatic payments reminders, so you don´t have to manage payment dates elsewhere.

You can create professional-looking estimates, so your customer knows prices and scope of work. These estimates can turn into invoices later, but also make any necessary change before creating the invoice.

Zoho provides a wide arrangement of templates fully customizable and multilingual support, and tax management in certain countries.

The client portal is a key feature of this platform, here the client can access estimates and invoices and you can choose to share other useful information. You can collaborate and get feedback with the client through this portal, avoiding thus the need of emailing.

In Zoho free plan you can bill up to 5 customers, and a distinctive characteristic from most competitors is that the free plan has almost  same characteristic of higher plans, differing only in the number of customers you can invoice.

Zoho has integrations with G-Suite, CRMs, and other apps, but users often complaint the integrations are difficult to use.

Best for: Small businesses, non-profit and freelancers.

 

Hiveage:

Hiveage claims to be “easy online invoicing loved worldwide”. This is a simple and robust online invoicing and billing software that helps with invoicing, time tracking, expense tracking and quoting.

You can create manual invoices, automatic and auto-billing recurring invoices. With Hiveage you can prepare estimates and get acceptance from customers online, and easily generate invoices from quotations.

This platform allows to log the hours you worked on clients by tracking them in real time and set rates according to different type of tasks. From these tasks is easy to generate estimates and invoices.

Within the mileage tracking section, you can create categories for the most common expense types and add expenses entries based on them.

Hiveage is a strong player when it comes to payment integrations. Supports multiple currencies and more than a dozen payment gateways including Stripe, PayPal, WePay, Coinbase and more.

Payment options are added straight into invoices, making it clear and easy for your clients to complete their payments.

Free plan up to 5 clients and unlimited invoices, for financial reports upgrade to $16/month

Mobile support is good but somehow limited because not every feature of the desktop software is available on mobile.

Best for: Freelancers and small business owners.

 

Invoicera:

Invoicera is a complete suite for online invoicing, project management, client and staff tracking, subscription billing and task management.

With Invoicera you can customize invoice templates with your logo and brand colors.

It takes a pair of minutes to create an estimate with Invoicera, and you can convert estimates to invoices. The client portal is where clients can pay, accept, reject, and comment on estimates.

Regarding mobile support,  users have reported a good usability of the mobile app with all features of the core product

Invoicera has no live bank feeds, a useful feature that have almost any invoicing system nowadays. So, if you need to know in real time how money is flowing, you will have to track it manually.

This platform offers a free basic plan that allows up to 3 clients with basic capabilities. If you have only 3 clients this plan may be fine, but also lacks API access and password PDF protection. Next plan for $15/month up to 100 clients may suit a small business and offers good value for the money.

Invoicera provides multi-currency support and multi-language support. This software stands out integrating with 31 payment gateways, but it is difficult to explain why there are only 4 third-party integrations.

Best for: Freelancers, small businesses, and mid-sized businesses.

 

Invoice Ocean:

Invoice Ocean is a cloud-based platform based on  simplicity and ease of use.

Invoice Ocean supports 25 languages and all world currencies. You can define tax rates for specific countries.

Recurring invoices are issued automatically at a chosen date and time, and you and your client receive an email notification

A payment widget allows clients to make quick payments with the payment button within the invoice form.

With the Mobile app it’s easy to capture documents and file them as expenses, also generate and send invoices

You can  email invoice documents directly to your clients from the app, and the recipient can view the invoice online or download it as PDF.

Free plan up to 3 invoices per month and unlimited products and clients.

Best for: Freelancers and small businesses.

 

Invoice Ninja:

Invoice Ninja was built to provide freelancers and business owners with a complete suite of invoicing and payment tools.

This is an open source platform offering invoicing and payments, proposals creation, expenses and vendors tracking, time tracking and projects.

You can set a custom branded invoice design, set up recurring invoicing and payment notifications.

Invoice Ninja has 40+ payment gateways, which provide full flexibility also with bitcoin, ACH, and partial payments. They also offer integration with 1000+ apps like Slack, Gmail, and more.

Invoice Ninja claims that mobile support is fully functional, and that creating and sending an invoice from a mobile device only takes a pair of minutes.

The basic plan is free, providing you work with 100 clients and unlimited invoices and quotes plus a bunch of features that are rarely seen in this type of platforms. This is a great choice for businesses with few clients but still need a solid invoicing system

This software features 30+ language support and several currencies.

Best for: Freelancers and business owners.

 

FreshBooks:

Featuring invoices, expenses, time tracking, accounting, projects, estimates, payments, and reports FreshBooks is a well-known player in the accounting business. For sure one of the best invoicing software available.

FreshBooks offers mobile apps easy to use, but they don’t resemble the full functionality of the platform.

Templates are fully customizable and look professional, a key feature not available in every invoicing software.

FreshBooks features estimates and proposals. A proposal is a more detailed estimate and can be signed and accepted by the client. Both estimates and proposals can be turned into invoices.

FreshBooks plans start at $10/month, up to 5 billable clients and unlimited invoices, sales tracking, and reports.

Best for: Freelancers, small businesses, mid-sized businesses  and entrepreneurs.

 

Xero:

Xero is a solid player in the accounting business. designed for small business and accountants. This cloud-based platform automates your accounting tasks and related processes.

This is a complete suite and not only an invoicing system. Xero offers a double entry system, fixed assets and inventory management, purchase orders, projects, quotes, bank reconciliation, bank connections, time tracking, multi-currency accounting, and expense tracking.

With a polished and customizable dashboard this software is easy to use but you’ll need some time to explore and learn all the features.

Surprisingly, Xero offers a single invoice template and the same template for quotes. You can create your own templates and customize them, but any invoicing system in the market today has a minimum set of templates to choose from.

You can create quotes quickly using the contact, inventory, and pricing information. Then you can turn quotes into invoices and receive updates when they are opened, accepted, or rejected.

Xero features full mobile support and mobile apps are fully functional.

If you use an online payment service, Xero adds a pay button with your invoices allowing your client to pay online instantly.

Thanks to the multi-currency support, you can get paid in 160+ currencies. All foreign transactions are converted into your local currency in real time, but you can also enter the exchange rate manually.

The Xero Marketplace provides 700+ integrations, including financial services, CRM, inventory, reporting, payroll HR and more. This is a huge advantage of Xero in terms of business process management.

The starter plan costs $20/month and allows to send 20 invoices and quotes, but you must pay extra for projects, expenses and additional users.

Best for: small and medium-sized business.

 

How to choose the right Invoicing Software?

With an overcrowded market and lots of options, finding the best invoicing system can be though. But follow these simple steps to fine tune your options:

1-Number of clients: Think about how many clients you have today and how this number could increase in the near future.

2-Number of invoices: How many invoices you create per month will determine the plan you have to choose,

3-Business growth: Note that with certain platforms you can shift plans as your business growths.

4-Automation: Important for recurring billing, payment reminders and late fees.

5-Payment collection: A key point to consider; an invoicing platform must have a billing solution integrated and many payment gateways available.

6-Mobile support: Not essential but important if you spend most of the day out of the office.

7-Languages and currencies: If you work with overseas clients, this is a non-negotiable item.

8-Integrations: When you need some advanced features, you probably have to integrate the invoicing software with your CRM or accounting system.

 

Conclusion:

Invoicing is a core process of your business. There are full accounting solutions which include invoicing (FreshBooks, Xero, Wave ) and invoice and billing solutions( PayPal, Zoho)

Since not every business needs a complete solution, you must choose what is the right system for you, and we’ve written this guide to help you choose the best.

If you also need to evaluate proposal software, check this post 12 Proposal Software Tools (Paid and Free) + Free Templates

Most of these offer free trials, so the only cost you have is investing some time until you find he best for your business.

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