The last thing you need as a bootstrapping startup is a large outlay on marketing tools and tech.
So here are five essential tools to get you marketing like a pro, for free.
Google Analytics – web analytics
The granddaddy of free web analytics. Google Analytics gives you a complete picture of your audience: how many there are, where they’re coming from, where they’re going when they get to your website, etc.
A must if you want a snapshot of the health of your website.
Hotjar – website optimisation
But Hotjar lets you delve deeper.
Click, move and scroll heatmaps (split by device type), recordings of real visitor behaviour, and the ability to see at which stage visitors are dropping off give you insights into how your leads are actually engaging with each page on your website so you can tinker with and improve them. This is particularly useful for learning how best to structure your blog posts.
Hotjar also allows you to recruit user testers and deploy feedback polls and surveys so you can find out what needs improving straight from the horse’s mouth.
WordPress is the safe bet for blogging. It has the advantage that you can use it to build your entire website, easily create landing pages, as well as benefit from the myriad plug-ins on offer.
Medium is the more left-field choice. It’s more a social network than a marketing tool, but it can be a great place to start your blog if you want an in-built audience and networking tools to share your content.
Both Buffer and Hootsuite allow you to manage your social media accounts and schedule posts ahead of time so you can ensure that you’re publishing content at the right time to the right people, again and again.
MailChimp – email marketing
MailChimp’s homepage says it all: ‘Send better email. Sell more stuff.’ Effective email marketing is vital if you want to nurture your leads and close deals.
MailChimp is easy to use, with free email templates and customisable signup forms, and you can even track your performance with built-in reports.
The free plan allows you to send up to 12,000 emails to 2,000 subscribers every month – perfect for a startup.
Lean marketing for lean startups
Too many startups neglect marketing because they think it's expensive and that it doesn't drive measurable results. In reality, these free tools show how much you can do to improve your marketing strategy without spending a penny.
Done right, marketing is as agile, responsive and data-driven as your business.
Want to dive down into some more great marketing tips? Here's our guide to choosing the best project names.
See also: project names
Related service: Marketing Strategy