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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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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14 Digital Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

14 Digital Marketing Tools For Small Businesses

What are digital marketing tools?

Digital marketing tools are resources that use online or offline components like software, applications, and platforms to develop strategies for promoting products and services.

Companies and individuals can take advantage of these and build strategies to reach their objective audiences using marketing tools to attract customers.

Main categories of digital marketing tools are email marketing, websites and landing page creators, content creation (articles, podcasts, and videos) , analytical and search engine, social media. optimization tools, paid ads, interactive marketing tools, design tools (banners, images, infographics), ecommerce platforms (for online stores)

If you have a web-based business, an online store, a physical store or service business looking to grow sales through online presence you will need some digital marketing tools to plan and manage your strategy.

Here we’ve compiled the more important and best brand digital marketing tools for small business, so let’s take a look:

1-Google Analytics:

Almost all your digital marketing efforts will be tracked by Google Analytics (GA). This is a platform that processes your website traffic to deliver powerful insights and statistics about how your website is performing.

GA is the market leader in analytics, and can integrate non-Google traffic source data, such as Yahoo, Bing, and Facebook.

GA tracks everything about traffic origin (organic, paid search, referral, social media), geos (that is where you got your traffic from including countries and cities) and user data (gender, age, and interests).

For this to work, you must insert some lines of code into your site. When a visitor comes to your page the code records this action, along with data such as gender, geo, and interests. Once the user exits your site the script sends this information to Google Analytics servers for processing.

The quantity of info that GA gathers may be overwhelming, but to understand  consumer behavior it is a must to understand Google Analytics. And don’t worry, there are lots of tutorial out there.

Google Analytics Pricing: Free.

 

2-Buzzsumo:

Within this platform is simple to find what content perform best and what content doesn’t engage your audience. This makes creating content a simple task because there is no need to go after complicated metrics to find your next topic.

Buzzsumo has four key features:

Discovery: to explore high performing content to get more like and shares.

Research: Analyze data points to sharpen your marketing strategies.

Influencers: Identify influential people to power up your brand or marketing campaign.

Monitoring: Track comments and trends so you can respond quickly and capture opportunities

All these modules give detailed and simple to read info about competitors, backlinks, geos, and keywords that help to build your content strategy.

Buzzsumo Pricing: Starting at $99/month.

 

3-Hotjar:

Hotjar is an excellent solution to understand user’s behavior on your website. Unlike other analytical tools that show lots of numerical data, this resource provides a graphical map (heatmaps) to understand what areas of the website have been visited and where the visitors have clicked on.

Another feature of this software is recording. You can playback user sessions to see how the visitor scrolled the page, how much time he spent and where he clicked on.

You can even collect visitor’s feedback about your site with friendly and non-intrusive po ups and short surveys.

So, if visitors are coming to your website but you are not getting clicks, Hotjar is a must-have. Setting it up is an automated process through Google Tag Manager which takes only a minute.

Hotjar Pricing: Free plan up to 2,000 pageviews/day, then $39/month up to 10,000 visits/day.

 

 

4-Google Search Console:

Google Search Console is a service to check, maintain and troubleshoot your site’s presence in Google search results.

With this tool you can monitor if your site is indexed, fix spam, check your mobile site performance and  know your referring domains (who is linking to your page)

Search Console is the starting point of any digital marketing strategy, because will help to fine tune your site according to Google´s rules. And that is the first step to appear in search results and get visitors to your site.

Google doesn’t crawl your site every day, and if you have just added some new content you can send them a request via Search Console so your updated content is ready to be seen on search results.

This platform keeps track of how many impressions your pages have in a certain time frame (how many times were shown) according to search results, and how many clicks you got.

Google Search Console Pricing: Free.

 

5-Outgrow:

Outgrow is an interactive marketing tool that focuses on customer engagement through quizzes, giveaways, polls, forms, surveys and chatbots.

There’s plenty of evidence about how interactive marketing helps to increase customer engagement. Building these types of assets improves user’s experience and boosts relationship  adding real value to the customer.

This software takes marketing to the next level, providing SEO and analytic data for full customer insights. All the platform works with a visual drag-and-drop editor and there is no need of technical knowledge to build any type of content.

When your survey or quiz is ready, you can publish it on your website simply embedding it or also get a link to make an email marketing campaign.

Check here   7 tips for building calculators with Outgrow

Outgrow Pricing: From $14/month with limited functions, then paid plans up to $95/month.

 

6-Crowdfire:

Crowdfire is a social media management tool to discover and schedule content, acting as a hub to manage all your social accounts from one place.

You can determine your topics of interest and this app delivers relevant articles and images, so you do not have to search for them, saving a lot of time. This curated content can be set from blogs, articles, YouTube, Twitch, Vimeo, Shopify and Etsy shops.

With Crowdfire it’s easy to schedule and publish content on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.  All posts are tailored for each social network with preview before posting. A powerful feature is that it can recommend best time to publish content ( based on trending topics rank for example)

In higher plans you get analytics with competitor analysis and key metrics data.

Crowdfire Pricing: Free plan with basic capabilities and plans starting at $7.48 /month.

 

7-Google Ads:

Google Ads is the major online advertising platform for paid ads worldwide. Here the advertisers bid to display ads of their products and services. Depending on this bid the announcement ranks in the search page to be displayed.

Google Ads performance is outstanding; you can segment your audience by country, age, gender, interests and also  by type of device (mobile, PC or tablet).

Based on your product or service offer, you must choose keywords that will fire the ad depending on what the customer searches. Then if the viewer clicks on the ad, he/she will be redirected to the page you set on your website and Google then charges your account.

Results coming from paid ads are almost immediate, and only 24 hours after setting up your campaign the visits to your website will begin to increase. Of course, this traffic will depend on your budget, the quality of the chosen keywords and the overall campaign setting but is for sure the quickest way to get visitors to your website.

Google Ads Pricing: Depending on your budget.

 

8-Microsoft Advertising:

Microsoft Advertising is an ad platform (like Google Ads) but with a narrower audience. This means that 66 million of US customers use Bing on an exclusive basis.

Also, Bing power searches and results from Alexa, Cortana, Yahoo, AOL, ClassifiedAds.com and DuckDuckGo with this resulting in a 20% US market share.

That said, Microsoft Ads functionality is like Google Ads and in some cases CPC (cost per click) may be lower.

Many people use both search engines, and in markets that require a longer research to purchase like travel, real estate and automotive Microsoft is a strong player. Since its audience is somehow a little older, in the healthcare industry takes 50% of all paid clicks.

Microsoft Advertising Pricing: Depending on your budget.

 

 

9-Ahrefs:

If you need to check keywords for SEO positioning, plan your content strategy and look at your competitor’s situation, Ahrefs is the right tool.

With more than 5 billion pages crawled, Ahrefs provides a clear and understandable view of the keyword panorama. This includes competitor analysis and site audits, so you can take the necessary actions to grow your online ranks.

Ahrefs includes Google, Bing, Amazon, YouTube keyword tools, SERP checker and content explorer. All this information is provided in detailed reports about keywords ranking, backlinks and search results.

Beginning with this tool is not easy, although their website has plenty of tutorials and training, and if you are new to SEO and website positioning don’t expect to have a soft learning curve. With some practice you will be learning the ropes and starting to have a clear spot of your actual situation.

Ahrefs Pricing: $7 for a 7-day trial and then $99/month.

 

10-Google keyword planner:

Google’s Keyword Planner is a proprietary tool to find the keywords you need to start ranking for. It is included in Google Ads platform and can be used to find keywords volume and competition.

Keyword planner helps to find relevant keywords for your business and shows an estimate of keyword’s search volume. It’s easy to make a project projects (which later may turn into paid campaigns) setting up keywords and budgets.

Although this tool is easy to use, you must have a Google Ads account (free) with a credit card set as a payment method.

Contrary to what you may think, Google Keyword Planner won’t give you all the detailed data they have. But is a good and free starting point for your SEO an PPC (paid campaigns) projects.

Google Keyword Planner Pricing: Free.

 

11-Grammarly:

Grammarly is a must if your business requires content creation on a regular basis.

This tool will track your writing and suggest better grammatical and spelling forms to make your text clearer and easy to read. This is done checking your writing against more than 200 grammar rules using AI.

You can use Grammarly from the app or with a browser extension to check for readability score, spell checking, grammar checking, writing style, punctuation, and plagiarism.

This program allows to set goals before writing; Intent (Inform, describe, convince, tell a story), audience (general, knowledgeable, expert) style (formal, informal), emotion (mid, strong),

If you are not a professional writer Grammarly will improve your writing and your articles will look polished and clear. You will find some incongruencies from time to time when the suggestion tool works, but nothing that you cannot live with.

Grammarly Pricing: Free for basic functionality, then starting at $11/month.

 

12-Snappa:

Snappa is an online tool for building professional-looking graphics. These include logos, banners, infographics, social media ads and covers, social media posts, eBook’s covers, and custom templates.

 

Snappa has a drag-and-drop editor and building a catching-eye looking design is easy. The learning curve is smooth, and you’ll be making good designs in a few minutes.

To begin you must select a pre-sized design depending on the type of image (Twitter header, Facebook post, blog post image, LinkedIn ad, etc.) Then you choose a premade template which is fully customizable with typos, photos, backgrounds, and patterns.

There are 3,000,000+ high resolution royalty-free images and 100,000+ graphics to choose from. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to dig here and there looking for free images.

But if you don’t find what you are looking for inside their library, there is the possibility to upload graphics, photos and even fonts.

Snappa Pricing: Free up to 3 downloads per month, then $10/month for unlimited downloads.

 

13-GetResponse:

GetResponse is a top platform for email marketing, landing page creation and digital marketing automation.

This software also includes webinar marketing, email autoresponder, social media marketing, CRM, lead generation and e-commerce features

GetResponse is a simple but powerful suite to build an email list, with the possibility to create detailed segment lists with tags and labels to manage your leads. Their email creation tool has hundreds of built in templates that you can customize to your liking.

You can set up automated email flows according to clicking links, previous opened emails, and website pages visited. This is interesting since users receive messages according to their behavior and not in a bulk fashion.

This platform also includes a drag-and-drop landing page builder with built-in templates. You can get their own subdomain hosting for free or use your own domain.

GetResponse Pricing: Starting at $10.50/month for the basic plan.

 

14-Shopify:

If you need to sell online with an e-commerce website, Shopify provides a powerful platform to maintain large amounts of products, categories, and everything you need in a full-featured online store.

This software manages unlimited products, coupons, discounts and gift cards, payments, shipping, social selling (Facebook, Instagram, Amazon, Messenger, Buy Buttons) Shopify has  almost everything to build and grow a professional ecommerce website.

To run this platform, you don’t need technical background, and the whole interface is easy to navigate. Hosting is also included in every plan and this cuts off the need of any external app or service to run your online store. Unless other similar software, their customer service is available 24/7

Shopify Pricing: starting at $29/month.

Conclusion:

These online marketing tools will help a lot to plan and work your marketing strategy. Most of them have free trials available, and it’s a good idea to try and work with them to see which is the best choice for your business.

 

 

 

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Why you should boost your marketing with chatbots

Why you should boost your marketing with chatbots

In this post we'll learn how you can improve your marketing with chatbots.

Traditional marketing is a one-way communication channel where companies provide information to customers, but this has two major drawbacks:

1-From the company side you do not know if the information you provide is useful to the customer and measuring this takes a lot of time and money.
2-The customer receives the information, but if it does not fit perfectly what he needs or some doubt arises, then he must contact the company by phone or mail.

But a few years ago, social media changed everything, and today customers demand quick answers and the scope of interaction has dramatically changed.
Now traditional marketing has developed into conversational marketing, a neologism that defines a fresh approach to customer needs through real time interactions and personal level. This includes Email marketing, customer success, customer support and chatbots.

Today half of consumers seek customer support through social media, and 70% prefer chatbots quick answers.

Conversational marketing puts the consumer right in front of you while he is looking for an answer related to a product or service, and then you can generate leads and engagement based on first-hand data.
On the other hand, consumer times have turned short and usually there is no opportunity for a second chance.

And here is where chatbots come; since they are interactive marketing tools that can improve the customer experience, generate leads, provide those unresolved issues to the right support department, reduce costs, provide membership courses and webinars registrations, get user feedback, and many more benefits.

What is a chatbot?

Basically, it is a piece of software that can have conversations with humans.
A chatbot is easily integrated into your website through a little program or a third part application and on messaging apps like Facebook, Telegram and Whatsapp

There are three types of chatbots:
1-Live chat:
These are mainly used for support to answer simple questions in real time.
2-Rules based chatbots:
Rules based chatbots follow predesigned rules built around some kind of decision tree, here the user has fixed option to choose from and these will determine the conversational flow. Mainly used for customer support and basic conversation.
3-AI chatbots:
AI based chatbots are the more advanced ones, have the possibility to understand the user intent and take the conversation to the next level, providing relevant answers and improving their conversational process as time goes by.

Why chatbots improve your marketing efforts:

1-Chatbots provide instant answers:
We all have been hanging on the phone for countless minutes waiting for a customer service agent to get our call, and that experience is far from good. When you finally hear “Hello, my name is xx how can I help you?” You are really upset, and the conversation does not start in the best manner.
(Also think of the above approach with an email instead)
A quick and proper answer improves your business image and brand awareness. If the consumer could solve the issue, you have for sure a returning visitor.

2-Chatbots can engage and qualify leads:
With the right process, lead engagement is a key task for chatbots. According to your sales funnel, you can drive any lead accordingly. There is always the option to pass the data to the right department for later follow-up of those leads that need further clarification about some product or service to close the sale.
If the conversation takes place with an existing customer, you can make a tailored offer based on previous activity and purchase records available in your database.

3-Chatbots cut down costs:
A chatbot service is a monthly fixed cost that works 24/7.
Unlike a human being, its performance is always the same and not depending on any external or internal factor.
And regarding costs, the cost benefit relation is excellent.

4-Chatbots provide a vast amount of data:
Since the chatbot interacts directly with an actual person, you can get a vast amount of real data from your website visitors. Keep in mind that people are not keen to answer questions or complete surveys, but since they are into a natural conversation, they will provide first-hand real-time answers to your inquiries.
This interactive approach is invaluable because a website visitor is someone that has a certain interest in your product or service and is there to get information and - if the conversation is sales related - to be guided through your sales funnel.

5-Chatbots boost your presence on social media:
Chatbots allow you to connect customers on WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram and more. The ability to provide answers 24/7 also helps to strengthen brand awareness.

How to start:

1-First of all, you must set up a strategy and begin with a few questions:
Where do you plan to use chatbots, customer service, social media, marketing, or sales?
What kind of leads are you interested in?
What do you want those leads to do?
What specific data do you need to collect?
What customer service issues are you going to deal with?

The best approach is to begin with customer support and once the system is up and running move into another instance.

As with any strategy, you must provide goals and see how those goals are met and make corrections to the initial plan.
This is not a onetime setting; you must test and rework your strategy to build a good system.

2-Put the chatbot in the right pages:
Notice that is useless to put a chatbot on a landing page because you are just trying to qualify a lead there.
Also it is not good to try to start a conversation with everybody, you only want to chat with people showing some minimum interest in your products or services, and a prospect that is lurking the pricing page is a firm candidate for this.
A well-planned strategy will reveal which site pages are best suited for chatbots.

3-Information management:
Do not overload the customer with information that is not valuable to its actual need, you face the risk to overwhelm the user and make the process useless.

4-Do not forget to ask for user feedback, this is crucial to improve your chatbot behavior.
Always remember you have a potential buyer in front of you and would not be wise to let him go without his opinion.

Some chatbot service providers you can try:

There are plenty of chat platforms out there and you should choose one that does not require technical background.
Today all these services are billed in a SaaS manner (Software as a service) . They are cloud-based and billed on a monthly basis. This means that if you stop paying, your chatbot service goes down.

1.Sendpulse.com
A multi-channel marketing platform. They have a free plan that includes 10.000 messages/mo. and up to three bots.
2.Outgrow.co:
An all in all interactive marketing software. You get chatbots and quizzes, forms and calculators builder. 7-day free trial and then prices start from $14/mo.
3.Mobilemonkey.com:
A huge platform about chatbots. They offer a free plan only to qualified small businesses.
4.Chatbot.com
An excellent option with plans starting at $50/mo.
5.Revechat.com:
A complete customer connected platform with prices starting at $13/mo.
6.Surveysparrow.com
A multi-channel platform offering a 14-day trial without a credit card.
7.Manychat.com
A chat only focused platform. They offer a free basic plan to start.
8.Freshchat.com
This is a product of Freshworks, a multi-product platform. Offer tons of integrations and a free plan to try.

Final thoughts:

Interactive marketing is the key to gain a customer that is avid to get quick answers about sales, services and more. Chatbots are an excellent option and a small budget can provide an enormous boost to your business wherever the chatbot system is based on a good strategy and properly maintained and tuned.
A free option is perhaps the best choice to start with and then make changes as your strategy grows.
And do not forget that those improvements you do not make, will be done by your competition.






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9 reasons to choose IDrive Cloud Backup in 2020

9 reasons to choose IDrive Cloud Backup in 2020

In this post, we will show you 9 reasons to choose IDrive Cloud Backup in 2020 to keep your business data safe.
Data loss is a genuine possibility, and the best way to secure your digital files is with an automated and secure backup.

Idrive has been in the field for over 25 years and has gained a solid reputation with a premium and affordable service.
Since we are focused on individuals and small businesses, we won’t discuss enterprise and advanced IDrive options.

 

IDrive overview:

Idrive backups your data from your computers, servers, and mobile devices and stores it on the cloud securely, so in the event a data loss occurs (lost your notebook, your mobile is stolen, a virus attack)  the whole data set can be recovered and restored.

To begin, you have to install the IDrive client on your Windows or Mac computer. Then you can select which files to back up and also have the option to exclude certain files from the backup set. The amount of customization IDrive offers here is amazing, you can select files, folders or even a complete hard drive.

 

 

IDrive features:

1-Scheduler and notifications:

Setting the scheduler allows you to fine-tune days and hours to launch the backup process. There is a lot of customization here, you can set email notifications and also receive desktop notifications on your browser.

2-IDrive Sync:

With IDrive Sync you can synchronize folders across devices in real time, and this doesn’t count against your storage quota. Synchronized folders need not be in a backup set, note that this feature can be used as an alternative to GDrive or OneDrive.

3-Continuous Data Protection:

As soon as you modify a file, IDrive recognizes it and backs it up.

4-Disk Image Backup:

Backup hard drives and OS drives too keeping the data structures.

5-True Archiving:

Data uploaded to IDrive servers can’t be deleted unless you make it manually. When you delete a file on your device, it remains on IDrive servers
There is also a “CleanUp” option that tracks files that are no more on your PC and ask if you wish to wipe them out.

6-Security and Privacy:

As your data is stored on the cloud, security and privacy are two powerful features to consider. IDrive transfers and stores data with 256-bit AES encryption using a key (here is the option to use a keyword provided by IDrive or by the user) that is not stored on their servers.
This key is private and you are the only person who knows it therefore if you ever lose this key, access to your data will be locked forever, so keep it in a secure place.

7-IDrive Express:

If you want to use IDrive and have a huge amount of data, they send a physical storage device to copy your data and then return it to IDrive where they promise to have the data backed up within a week.
This service is free for personal accounts for the first time in the USA and also return shipping costs are free.

8-IDrive Snapshots:

Snapshots are recovery points that you can use if a computer or other device has been infected by some kind of ransomware, you can select a previous date before the infection and restore it.

9-Incremental Backup:

IDrive only uploads blocks of files that have changed and not the entire file, this speeds up the process and saves up internet bandwidth. This is the fundamental feature to look for in a cloud backup application not available in every provider.

Pricing:

There is a large pricing option here, but all of their plans have according prices related to storage capacity offered. For tiny needs, the free option may be adequate, but most users will need a higher plan.

 

Keep in mind that all the plans consider unlimited devices(with a single plan you can backup several computers, tablets, iPads and/or mobiles), and this is a killer feature that puts IDrive far away from similar services that charge with an extra cost each additional device that is added to the account.

Conclusion:

After several years using IDrive I only can recommend it as excellent service. I have left my old calendar system that helped me remind about Google Drive backups and now the whole task is taken by IDrive running in the background.
When some problems arose, and I needed my files back, they were always OK and ready to be immediately restored to my PC.

http://www.idrive.com

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7 tips for building calculators with Outgrow

7 tips for building calculators with Outgrow

As you may know,  Outgrow is an outstanding platform to engage customers through interactive content, and one of its strongest features is creating quizzes and calculators.

Learn more about interactive content here.

Today I will give you some ideas about building interactive calculators to get more leads and customers. But first, let's take a quick look at the building process:

First, you need to select a pre-made template or build your own from scratch:

See also this pic, in the right sidebar there are a lot of customization options:

Once you are satisfied with your calculator design, you can narrow your target audience, for example selecting some countries or blacklisting IPs.

You can embed this calculator in your website, email, and social media posts as well.

Then the calculator is ready to publish and Outgrow tracks the calculator performance with a detailed analytics and SEO panel:

As you can see, the whole process is very intuitive, but if you even get lost there are several built-in tutorials inside the dashboard.

Now, let's see ideas about building calculators:

1-Cost calculators:

Customers often ask themselves “how much this is going to cost me ?” so helping them in this area will create great engagement.

For example : 

What is the real cost of renting a house? How much will it cost to build my app?

 

2-Saving calculators:

Customers LOVE savings, so showing them how your product or service can save is a strong trigger for purchase.

For example: 

Calculate savings when purchasing a used car. Calculate savings for buying a promotional plan.

 

3-Time calculators: 

Time always causes stress and anxiety, and you can help customers showing proper time limits.

For example:

Is it the right time to buy a car? When should I start to build a house?

 

4-Risk calculators:

Consumers are extremely risk averse. Making them aware of the risks can build trust and pave the way to a final purchase.

For example: 

What is the risk of flooding in the neighborhood where I intend to move? What is the risk of traveling to a certain country and not getting medical attention?

 

5-Competition calculators:

Customers always compare different options before making a purchase. So helping them with the numbers about your product or service will surely put your item into the final leap.

For example:

Find out how much you can save on your insurance switching to a new company. Calculate car fuel consumption versus other models' performance.

 

6-ROI Calculators: 

In organizations, ROI calculations are made before any purchase. Helping your customer with ROI calculations can shorten the sales cycle.

For example: 

What is the ROI of buying a certain heavy truck? What is the ROI of investing in a new office?

 

7-Alternate choice calculators: 

Customers often have to make difficult decisions, help them to see your product's advantages.

For example: 

Should I buy a car or a Van? Should we open an office in the USA or in Europe?

See this for an interesting example:

These are only a few but for sure you can think of others that properly suit your business needs. The main point here is the Outgrow approach to customer engagement; no mails, no brochures, no etc., and solving a customer need in the right moment with a different and intelligent tool.

You can try Outgrow for free, learn more at  www.outgrow.co

Have you used Outgrow before?






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