How do you make a home without a drill, hammer, saw and nails? You can’t! In addition to needing the right materials to build a home, every good construction worker also needs the right tools.
The same goes for marketing. You can try to increase your traffic, boost your conversions and double your sales, but without the right tools at your fingertips, it’s going to be hard.
So, before you go out there and try to accomplish your marketing goals, make sure you check to see if you have the right tools to help you get there. Here are 10 mission critical tools you ought to use:
Mission critical tool #1: IFTTT
What if you could…
- Automatically push out your latest blog post to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest without even visiting any of those sites.
- Get emailed every time you get a sale.
- Get a text message when your competitor posts something new.
- Automatically add your Instagram photos to Dropbox without ever going to Dropbox.
IFTTT can do all of that plus more. The best part about it is that you don’t have to be an engineer to do any of the things I mentioned above.
IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement:
If this, then that.
The “this” is a trigger, and the “that” is an action. An example of a trigger would be “publishing a blog postâ€, and an example of an action would be “post it on Facebook and Twitter”.
In the scenario above, if you published a blog post, then it would automatically get posted on Facebook and Twitter. That’s how IFTTT works.
Mission critical tool #2: KISSmetrics
Wouldn’t you love to get double the number of visitors to your website? Well, it sounds great and all, but if those visitors don’t convert into customers, what’s the point?
KISSmetrics takes a different approach to analytics. Instead of focusing on vanity metrics, it focuses on actionable metrics.
In case you aren’t familiar with vanity metrics, they are: bounce rates, pageviews, time on site… etc. All of those metrics don’t really impact your bottom line (unless you are an ad driven site). Just because you improve your bounce rate, it doesn’t mean you will make more money.
KISSmetrics first and foremost tracks people. This way you can see who is doing what on your website. Secondly, it tracks metrics like conversion rates, lifetime value of a customer, churn, average revenue per user and marketing attribution. Plus, it shows you what factors cause them to go up and down.
By showing you actionable metrics, KISSmetrics helps you focus your efforts on things that will boost your revenue instead of things that won’t.
Mission critical tool #3: Hootsuite
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Google+ are just a few examples of popular social media sites. We all know it is important to be on all of them, but it is a pain in the butt to manage them all.
With Hootsuite, you can easily manage all of your social profiles in one place. Plus, you can use it to schedule your posts, which will save you time. For example, you know that tweeting early in the morning or late at night may not be as effective as tweeting in the middle of the day.
If you only have time during the early morning or late night, you can schedule tweets in advance on Hootsuite. It will automatically tweet things for you or post on your social profiles during the ideal time so your messages will get the most visibility.
If you want to manage your social profiles from one place, track brand mentions, analyze social traffic and schedule messages, you have to check out Hootsuite.
Mission critical tool#4: Qualaroo
Do you think analytics can tell you everything you need to know about your website vsitiors? No. Analytics only provide quantitative data, e.g, how many sales you got in the last 30 days.
What analytics won’t show you is why some people weren’t willing to buy from your website. To get that information, you have to gather qualitative data. Qualitative data will answer a lot of your “why”-based questions, such as:
- Why aren’t people buying?
- Why did someone leave the checkout page?
- Why are people abandoning my shopping cart?
- Why are my refund rates so high?
Through Qaularoo, you can easily survey your customers to find out answers to all of the questions above, plus more. Once you have your answers, you can then adjust your website so that you can maximize your conversions.
Mission critical tool #5: Crazy Egg
Analytics can be very data-oriented, and sometimes it’s hard to figure out what that data means.
Crazy Egg is a visual analytics tool that helps you determine how users are engaging with your website. It provides a heatmap that shows you hot spots where people interact and cold spots where they don’t. You can then take the visual data from Crazy Egg and adjust your web design to help you boost your conversions.
It’s not just about having a pretty website, it’s all about having a pretty website that is usable and converts well. Crazy Egg helps you accomplish this by showing you where people click on your website.
Mission critical tool #6: SEOmoz
Search engines drive a ton of traffic. If you don’t believe me, think of it this way… Google is the most popular website in the world.
The best part about traffic from Google is that when people do searches, they have an intent to buy. For example, if someone searches “blue men’s wallet”, they are typically looking to purchase a blue men’s wallet.
To rank high on the search engines, you have to optimize your site for it, which is also known as SEO.
There are hundreds of factors that go into a search engine’s algorithm, and it can be tough to figure out what they are and how to leverage them. SEOmoz takes the guesswork out of all of that. It helps you track and manage your SEO campaigns, and, more importantly, it gives you actionable steps that you need to take to boost your rankings.
Mission critical tool #7: MIXRANK
No matter what business you are in, you have competition. And if you don’t right now, you will soon enough.
Whether your competition is bigger and better than you are or not, you can always learn something from them. But there is only one issue… your competition isn’t going to open up to you and tell you what is working for them…especially from a marketing perspective.
Through MIXRANK, you can find out where your competition is advertising and where their traffic is coming from. This will help give you ideas on where you should be advertising.
Keep in mind that if your competition is advertising somewhere, it doesn’t mean that you will get a positive ROI if you also advertise on that same site. MIXRANK should just be used to give you ideas on places to test advertising campaigns.
Mission critical tool #8: Unbounce
Sending targeted traffic to your homepage is typically a bad idea. “Why?” you may ask. Well, it won’t convert as well as sending targeted traffic to a landing page.
But there is one big issue… it takes design and development skills to create a landing page, right? It used to be that way, but with Unbounce, you no longer need developers or designers. They make it really simple for you to create landing pages on the fly so you can send targeted traffic to it.
Unbounce helps you create, publish and optimize landing pages without your IT department.
Mission critical tool #9: Hellobar
Do you want to direct traffic from the homepage of your website to a special offer? Or do you want to promote your social profiles with ease? Or better yet do you want to do all of that without having to bug your tech team?
Through Hellobar, you can direct your visitors and promote your most important content or offers. Hellobar adds a little bar to the top of your webpage that stands out, yet looks pretty. And within that bar, you can add any message or call to action you want.
Within the Hellobar interface you can also A/B test your offers and track which ones are doing the best to maximize your revenue.
Mission critical tool #10: SendGrid
One thing that almost everyone has, other than a Facebook account, is an email account. It may not be sexy, but everyone has it.
As a marketer, you have no choice but to leverage it as it can be used to drive new sales, encourage upsells and even turn old customers into repeat buyers. But if you go out there and start to email people, especially thousands of people, there is a good chance that your messages are going to appear in people’s spam boxes.
With SendGrid, not only will you maximize your chances of your emails hitting peoples’ inboxes, but you will also be able to send emails based on triggers. For example, if someone signs up for your newsletter, you can add them to a 30-day email drip system that promotes your products or services.
The beautiful part about SendGrid is that they simplify the email marketing process through their easy to use interface. You don’t have to be a technical person to use it, and once it is set up, you’ll never need your IT department to help you send out emails again.
Once you send out your emails, you will also be able to see deliverability stats, analyze who clicked what and track your conversions.
If you’re a marketer, don’t start your day without the mission critical tools above, or else you’ll be wasting your time and spinning your wheels. It’s all about maximizing your time and getting the best results for your company.
If you don’t have the right tools to tell you what’s working and what’s not, you may end up going in the wrong direction.
Do you know of any other mission critical tools that marketers ought to use?