40 essential small business marketing tools

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You have finally started that business you always dreamt of and are ready to show the world what you’ve got, but you have one problem; how?

Marketing tools are your best shot at success. Luckily, there are a lot in the market that you can choose for your small business. You just need to figure out your marketing strategy and pick the software that will best suit your plan.

We compiled 40 essential small business marketing tools that are easy to use, reliable, and scale well. Best of all, several of these tools work well across multiple categories, which will help you run your small business smoothly and continue to serve you well as your business expands.

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Must-have small business marketing tools

In this article, you will learn the seven most important small business marketing tools that will help you to manage your marketing in all areas including email marketing, social media platforms, SEO, and paid advertising. They include;

  • Email marketing tools
  • CRM tools
  • Social media marketing tools
  • Search engine optimization tools
  • Content marketing tools
  • Project management tools
  • Analytics tools

Factors to consider when choosing small business marketing tools

It's important to consider several factors to ensure that you choose the right tools for your business's needs.

First, identify your business goals. What do you want to achieve through marketing? Do you want to increase sales, generate leads, or build brand awareness? Once you have a clear understanding of your goals, you can choose tools that align with those goals.

Marketing tools range from free to very expensive, so it's important to consider your budget before making any decisions. Determine how much you can afford and are willing to spend on the tools and look for options that fit within your budget.

Look for tools that offer good customer support, especially if you're not experienced in marketing. Ensure they have multiple channels of support, such as email, phone, and live chat.

Finally, consider the features offered by each marketing tool and whether they align with your business needs.

Email marketing

Email marketing still stands to be one of the most effective forms of marketing with high ROIs (return on investments). It involves sending promotional messages or commercial advertisements to a group of people via email.

The goal of email marketing is to engage with current or potential customers, build brand loyalty, and ultimately drive sales. It may be in form of newsletters, promotional offers, event invitations, customer surveys, and more.

For a successful email marketing campaign, you typically require a well-crafted message that resonates with the target audience, a targeted email list, and a strategy for segmenting and personalizing messages to increase relevance and engagement.

You will need marketing software to manage your email campaigns, track metrics, and analyze the effectiveness of their messages. Here are the best email marketing tools.

1.   Mailchimp

Website screenshot for Mailchimp

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Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing tools on the market. It offers a range of features including email templates, automation, segmentation, and analytics. It is also easy to use and has a free plan for up to 2,000 subscribers.

Mailchimp is great for small businesses that want to use email marketing because it allows for minimal upfront risk. By having a free tier to explore, you can decide whether Mailchimp is right for you.

The paid subscription packages are also quite affordable. You can go for the essentials package for $13 per month, the standard package for $20 per month, or go premium for $350 per month. The higher your subscription, the more premium features you get.

2.   Constant Contact

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Constant Contact is another popular email marketing tool that offers multiple features for your email campaigns. It is easy to use, offers great customer service, and is affordable for small businesses.

Constant Contact is a great pick for small businesses looking for a great email marketing tool that has great customer service, and solid features at a competitive price.

As a new user, you get up to 60 days of a free trial, after which you can upgrade to any of their premium packages. They offer subscriptions including the core plan starting at $9.99/ month and the plus plan starting at $45/ month.

3. Sendinblue

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Sendinblue is a powerful tool for both small businesses and startups and medium enterprises. It comes with a free version you can get started with, offering up to 300 email sends per day.

Sendinblue is a phenomenal email marketing platform specifically for fast-paced, high-growth small businesses because it can handle the volume of emails required to sustain rapid growth and keep projections positive.

As your business grows, you can go pro with their starter plan starting at $25 per month, the business plan starting at $65 per month, or get a custom price for the enterprise plan.

4. ConvertKit

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ConvertKit is specifically designed for bloggers and creators. It offers a range of essential features for email marketing campaigns and comes with a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers.

ConvertKit is best for small businesses that specialize in content creation. With essential features like email design templates and a sponsor network, small businesses that use ConvertKit will be at an advantage in the content creation space.

The tool has an intuitive user interface, easy navigation, and great customer service, giving users an excellent experience. Their paid subscriptions start at $9 per month for the creator plan and $25 per month for the creator pro plan.

5. Aweber

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Aweber is another popular email marketing tool. It offers multiple features that allow you easily create, send, track, and analyze marketing campaigns for your subscribers. The automation tools and integration features make it even easier for your business.

Aweber is best for small businesses trying to limit their spending on email marketing, but still looking for high returns in the form of lead generation and sales. Because of its tiered pricing structure, small businesses can manage their email marketing budget with ease.

You can sign up and start completely free, sending emails to up to 500 subscribers, or subscribing to their paid plans, starting at $16.15 per month (prices depend on the number of subscribers and monthly emails you send).

CRM tools

CRM is short for ‘Customer Relationship Management’. This refers to a set of practices, strategies, and technologies that companies use to manage and analyze customer interactions and data throughout the customer lifecycle.

The goal of CRM is to improve customer retention and drive sales growth. CRM tools typically include tools for managing customer interactions across various channels, such as email, phone, social media, and in-person interactions.

They provide features for tracking customer behavior, analyzing customer data, and automating various aspects of the sales and marketing process. The main goal of CRM is to build better customer relationships by providing a more personalized and responsive experience to customers, which helps to increase customer loyalty and drive revenue growth.

Many CRM tools are available in the market, and choosing the right one for your small business can be overwhelming. Here are some CRM tools that are specifically designed for small businesses.

6. HubSpot CRM

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It connects everything your business needs to deliver top-notch experience all in one place. Pricing is tailored to users’ specific needs. You can get started for free, or choose one from their variety of subscription plans depending on your business requirements

HubSpot CRM is a cloud-based CRM tool that offers multiple features and integrations with other platforms and software that you need for your marketing, contact management, and customer service.

7. Zoho CRM

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Zoho CRM offers a range of features and integrations with other Zoho tools like Zoho Books and Zoho Campaigns. It offers automation features, personalized solutions, and comprehensive analytics to help you provide a great customer experience to your clients.

You can subscribe to their standard plan for $12 a month, professional plan for $20 a month, enterprise plan for $35 a month, or ultimate plan for $45 a month.

8. Salesforce Essentials

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Salesforce Essentials was designed for small businesses. It offers features like contact management, lead management, and sales forecasting, as well as integrations with other Salesforce products.

You get sales and customer service tools all in one place, a complete sales solution for your team, customized sales CRM, and great scalability for growth. Pricing starts at $25 per month, billed annually.

9. Pipedrive

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If you are looking for a sales-focused CRM tool then Pipedrive is definitely a great option. The tool offers features like CRM management, deal tracking, and email integration. It also offers a mobile app for on-the-go access.

Prices are affordable even for small businesses. It starts at $9.90 for the essentials plan, $19.90 for the advanced plan, $39.90 for the professional plan, and $59.90 for the enterprise plan.

10. Freshsales

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Freshsales is a one-stop shop for all your CRM needs. It is fast and easy to use and offers clear instructions. It helps improve customer experience by giving you a complete view of your customer interactions, automation to improve seller effectiveness and makes your work easier by providing a solution that is easier to use and implement.

Prices start at $15 per month for the growth plan, $39 per month for the pro plan, and $69 per month for the enterprise plan.

Social media marketing tools

Social media marketing is simply the practice of promoting products, services, or brands on social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and others. It involves creating and sharing content, images, and videos, as well as engaging with users, with the aim of building brand awareness, driving traffic to a website, and ultimately increasing sales.

It can be done through various tactics such as paid advertising, influencer marketing, contests, giveaways, and other creative strategies. The key to successful social media marketing is understanding your audience and tailoring your message to their interests and needs, which are how it is going to help your small business grow.

11. Hootsuite

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Hootsuite is an all-in-one social media management tool. It connects and integrates well with a range of social media platforms and provides all the essential features needed for successful social media marketing.

This includes content creation features, scheduling, content planning, content curation, content monitoring, and analytics. You can choose your subscription and try Hootsuite for 30 days. Pricing starts at $99/ month.

12. Buffer

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Buffer is another popular social media management tool that allows you to schedule social media posts, collaborate with team members, and analyze your social media performance.

Buffer is best for small businesses that focus their time on non-marketing operations. It’s software helps you build an audience and grow your pages without using too much energy and time.

If you only need the basics, you can sign up for the free version of Buffer, which allows up to 3 channels. If you want to scale up, you can choose any of their subscription packages starting at $6 for the essentials plan, $12 for the teams plan, and $120 for the agency plan.

13. Canva

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Social media marketing largely relies on content creation for success, and that is where Canva comes in. You may know Canva as a graphic design tool but it is more than just that.

The app allows you to create eye-pleasing designs and graphics for your social media content as well as offers other features such as video editing, presentations, animations, whiteboards, and more. The free version comes with numerous templates and features that let you create everything you want.

However, to access their premium templates, you need a paid subscription, which starts at $12.99 per month for the individual plan and $14.99 a month for a team of up to 5 people.

14. Sprout Social

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Sprout Social is a social media management tool that allows you to manage all your social media accounts in one place, monitor your brand mentions, and track your social media analytics.

You can sign up and enjoy the 30-day free trial as a new user, after which you will be charged for the subscription you choose. Pricing starts at $249/ month.

15. BuzzSumo

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BuzzSumo comes in handy when you want to find and create popular content in your industry. It helps you analyze your social media performance and your competitors’ social media.

This in turn helps you build a following and loyal audience that you can easily convert to customers. Pricing starts at $119/ month.

Search engine optimization tools

For your small business website to rank on the first pages of search engines like Google and Binge, you must improve the quality of your content and the quantity of your traffic. You can do this through keyword research, link building, frequent content creation/content marketing, site structure optimization, on-page optimization, and using other proven strategies.

This process of optimizing a website to increase visibility and organic traffic is called search engine optimization (SEO). Here are some top tools to help you with SEO.

16. Google Analytics

As the name suggests, the Google Analytics tool analyzes your website traffic and gives you insights into what keywords are ranking and what type of content you should focus on.

It collects data from your website on user behavior, which takes the form of how long they stay on your pages, what content has the most traction, and how they interact with your content. You can then use this data to improve your rankings.

The best thing is that this tool is free for all businesses, making it the perfect choice for your small business if you don’t have the budget.

17. Google Search Console

Google Search Console is another completely free tool that helps you monitor your website's performance in search results, identify and fix technical issues, and optimize your site for search.

It is best for small businesses that have a website that is integral to their operations because it allows webmasters to check indexing status, crawling errors, and search queries to optimize SEO.

18. Moz Pro

Moz Pro is an all-in-one suite for all your SEO tools. It offers SEO auditing, SEO monitoring, SEO alerting, Link building, keyword research, competitor analysis, rank tracking, and more. You can categorize, compare, and prioritize your website content to improve rankings.

 They offer a range of subscriptions depending on your business level and requirements. Pricing range from $14 per month to $599.

19. SEMrush

SEMrush is an overall comprehensive digital marketing toolkit designed for businesses of all sizes to enhance their online presence. It offers keyword research features that help discover profitable keywords, site audits to identify and fix technical SEO issues on your website, backlink analysis, and competitor analysis. 

You can get started with the SEMrush free trial that stretches up to 30 days, after which you pay for the subscription of your choice. Pricing starts at $119 a month.

20. Ahrefs

The hype around Ahrefs is definitely a fantastic pick. The tool is on the pricier side but worth the cost if you want to take your business to the next level with SEO. You can use it to analyze website traffic, backlinks, and keyword rankings, and use the data provided to improve organic traffic to your site. The pricing starts at $99 a month.

21. Yoast SEO

A free plugin for WordPress sites, Yoast SEO helps you optimize your website for search engines by providing guidance on keyword usage and content readability.

It has both free and premium versions, with the premium version offering additional features such as internal linking suggestions, redirect manager, and multiple focus keywords. Pricing starts at $99 per year.

22. Screaming Frog

Screaming Frog is a website crawler that allows users to crawl websites and analyze various on-page SEO factors such as broken links, duplicate content, missing meta descriptions, and more. You can also use it for competitor analysis, generating XML sitemaps, and finding redirect chains.

There’s a free version that you can use to crawl up to 500 URLs. If you want to analyze unlimited URLs, you can upgrade to their premium version at $259 per year.

23. Serpstat

If you are looking to put your effort into both SEO and paid advertising, Serpstat is a great tool to improve your organic traffic and get better results with PPC advertising (pay-per-click). You can use it for keyword research, competitor analysis, site audit, backlink analysis, and more.

The tool provides insights into organic and paid search data, allowing users to optimize their campaigns and improve their online visibility. As of the time of writing this, they are running a discount and pricing starts at $55 per month. However, you will normally get this plan at $69 per month.

24. Raven Tools

Raven Tools offer a suite of tools to help businesses improve SEO analysis, social media monitoring, and PPC advertising management. This includes tools for keyword research, On-page optimization, PPC tools, customizable reporting and analytics, and social media management tools. You can get started with the tool for $39 a month.

Content marketing tools

Content marketing is a marketing strategy that involves creating and sharing valuable content consistently to attract and retain a specific audience. It could be in form of blog posts, articles, videos, podcasts, infographics, whitepapers, and more.

The goal is to create content that resonates with your audience and provide them with something of value that they can't easily find elsewhere, in order to drive profitable customer action.

Because several of the aforementioned tools are fantastic within the category they were mentioned in previously and work great as content marketing tools, the best of both worlds have been presented below.

25. WordPress

WordPress is a free and open-source content management system (CMS) that allows users to create and manage websites and blogs. It allows you to easily create and publish content, manage your website's design and functionality through themes and plugins, and engage with your audience through comments and social media integration.

The platform is free making it friendly for small businesses. All you need to do is buy your domain and hosting, and build your business online on the WordPress platform.

26. Content marketing with graphic design tools

Graphic design tools are a must-have for content marketing. This help creates appealing content that captivates and retains your audience’s attention. Luckily, there are many graphic design tools in the market. Most of them are free, and even the premium ones are mostly affordable. Some of the best ones for content marketing  include Adobe, Canva, Sketch, and Figma because of their wide array of features and affordability.

27. Content marketing with SEO tools

Whether you have a business website, are running a blog, an e-commerce store, or even business social media pages, SEO tools are inevitable. They help you rank your platforms, be highly visible, and gain more traffic and leads for your business. Some of the best SEO tools for content marketing include Google Analytics, Moz Pro, Ahrefs, and SEMrush because of their wide data capturing capabilities and collection tools to help your small business track consumer behavior to improve.

28. Content marketing with project management tools

If you have a team of employees helping you out in different sectors of your business, you need project management tools for easy task management and efficiency. Trello, Asana, and Smartsheet are just but some of the best. Read more about them below.

Project management tools

These are tools designed to help teams and individuals manage and organize tasks, resources, and timelines involved in a project. They can range from simple to complex, and their functionalities can vary depending on the specific needs of the project.

When picking a project management tool for your business, look out for features such as task management, scheduling, resource allocation, collaboration, document sharing, and reporting.

These tools can help project managers and team members stay on top of deadlines, track progress, communicate effectively, and deliver successful projects.

29. Trello

Website screenshot for Trello

(Image credit: Trello)

Trello is a web-based project management tool, based on the concept of boards, which represent projects or tasks. Each board created on Trello can contain multiple lists, which represent stages or steps in the project. Within each list, users can create cards, which represent individual tasks or items to be completed.

If you are just getting started, you can choose the free plan. It comes with all the basic features needed for a small team that needs it for simple tasks like project organization. Their paid plans are also affordable, starting at $5 per month.

30. Asana

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Asana is a versatile project management tool suitable for small businesses looking to manage projects, tasks, and team communication in one place. It offers a wide range of features such as assignments, deadlines, calendars, and more.

The free version allows a team of up to 15 people. If you have more than that or wish to upgrade to premium features you can go pro with their paid plans starting at $10.99 a month.

31. Basecamp

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Basecamp may not be as popular as Asana or Trello but works just as great. It has a great interface that allows you to manage your tasks and communications seamlessly. Some features it offers include to-do lists, file sharing, calendars, and messaging. Their premium subscription starts at $15 per user per month.

32. Monday.com

A highly customizable tool that enables small businesses to manage projects smoothly, Monday.com is definitely worth a try. Some of its remarkable features are custom workflows, automation, and integrations that help improve productivity and make work fast and easy.

The tool comes with a lifetime free plan for independent professionals. However, if you would like to invite your team and access premium features, you can easily subscribe to their premium plans starting at $8 a month.

33. Smartsheet

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(Image credit: Smartsheet)

Smartsheet combines the ease of use of a spreadsheet with the functionality of a project management tool. Features like task management, resource allocation, and project tracking make it the perfect option for all businesses with a small team.

Their subscription plans come with a 30-day free trial. They also have a free plan that offers some basic features suitable for light tasks. To access their premium features, you can subscribe to any of their two plans at $7 and $25 per month.

34. Jira

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(Image credit: Jira)

Jira is a suitable tool if you are running a small business with complex projects. It offers powerful tools and features like issue tracking, project management, and agile workflows, to easily manage your tasks.

The free version offers basic features and allows up to 10 users. They have three other plans that go for $7.75, $15.25, and custom pricing for the enterprise plan, respectively.

Analytics tools

35. Google Analytics

As previously mentioned, Google Analytics helps businesses track website traffic, user behavior, and conversion rates. It tracks a wide range of data such as the number of visitors, pages they visit, duration of stay on the website, their location, and source of traffic. Google Analytics works great as both an analytics tool and an SEO tool by harvesting and presenting data about your customers that you can use to improve sales and revenue for your small business.

36. Hootsuite

Hootsuite, as mentioned before, is a social media management tool that connects most, if not all of your social media platforms in the same place. It enables businesses to monitor social media channels, engage with customers, and analyze social media performance.

Hootsuite is a great pick for data analysis and social media marketing for small businesses because you can use the data acquired by Hootsuite to better target your audience to generate new leads and acquire more customers through advertising on the platform of your choice.

37. QuickBooks

QuickBooks is the most suitable for small businesses looking for accounting software that will keep their finances on track. It helps track your expenses and generate financial reports that you can use to make better financial decisions in the business. This saves you time to focus on growing your small business and focusing on where work needs to be done.

The tool offers a 30-day free trial on all their subscription levels, priced at $8, $13, and $18 per month for their simple start, essentials, and plus plans, respectively.

38. Mailchimp

In addition to being great for email marketing, Mailchimp is a great choice for data analysis for your small business because there is no upfront risk required. By starting with a free plan, you can test the waters and see if Mailchimp will be best for you. Furthermore, by tracking the emails you send on your advertising campaign, you can use the analytics tools in Mailchimp to target your niche and increase lead generation.

You can get started with their free plan, to get a feel of it and how it works. If need be, you can subscribe to their premium memberships starting at $13 a month.

39. SEMrush

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(Image credit: SEMrush)

SEMrush helps in researching keywords, tracking your rankings, and analyzing your competitors' SEO strategies. This is a great analytic tool to improve your SEO and increase website visibility for your small business, while also giving you an edge against your competitors in improving your website’s ranking.

Their premium subscriptions start at $119 a month with a 30-day free trial period for all new users.

40. SurveyMonkey

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SurveyMonkey is an online data collection tool that allows users to create and distribute surveys, collect responses, and analyze data in real time. The platform offers a variety of survey templates and question types, as well as customization options to fit the needs of individual users.

By being optimized for individual users and providing methods for sifting through data in real-time, SurveyMonkey is a great analytical tool for your small business. The main goal of using this tool is to research and gather insights and feedback on a range of topics. Prices start at $25 per user per month.

Ray is a Staff Writer for TechRadar, having previously contributed numerous pieces to other technology websites such as Makeuseof and Thesweetbits. He has been writing about a multitude of topics within the tech industry for years, and now lends his experience to variable content on TechRadar. In his free time, you'll likely find Ray riding trails in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on his mountain bike.