January, 29, 2013

Killer Marketing Tools

As you may have learned by now, there is no one best way to funnel potential customers and clients to your site. Instead, the best approach is to build a multi-layered strategy that focuses both on offering an inviting and attractive method of attracting visitors and a proven method of managing leads generated once those visitors come your way. Here’s a simple breakdown of three marketing automation systems I recommend:

There are a number of tools available to you such as Highrise (web based contact management), 99designs (logo creation), and pixir.com (graphic creation) but for now let’s concentrate on three tools you must consider.

For startups or entrepreneurs doing $0 to $100k/year…

I recommend the combination of free services… especially if you have a ‘do-it-myself’ mentality.  The combination of Wufoo, Mailchimp, and Highrise is a solid platform for online lead capture, autoresponders/email marketing, and contact management.  Each can be integrated with the others and the combination can be a solid starting point.

For small businesses doing $100k to $20M/year…

For the money and peace-of-mind of having multiple systems combined into one, I highly recommend Infusionsoft.  The system was developed by marketers, for marketers.  It combines the power of web marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, sales force automation (SFA),  shopping cart/billing, affiliate management, and more.  Pricing starts at $199/month and goes up to $499/month.  It’s harmless to start at a low package and upgrade at any point in the future.

For businesses doing over $20M/year…

Most likely, you’re already using SalesForce.com, Oracle, or some other CRM or ERP system to help track your customers, prospects, and sales efforts.  Give your sales and marketing organization(s) a big boost by supplementing with marketing automation software.  There are many out there such as Eloqua, Genius, and Marketo.  However, I strongly recommend LeadMD.  They sell and implement the Marketo platform and are experts not only on the Marketo marketing automation software, but also on many CRM systems, marketing automation concepts/principles, and getting the software implemented, utilized, and maximized.

Here are a handful of other killer marketing tools you should be aware of:

•             Pixlr.com (like Photoshop, but online & free)

•             Odiogo.com (convert blog posts & text to audio files)

•             Trafficgeyser.com (video marketing submission tool)

•             Hootsuite.com (manage all your social media accounts)

•             Weebly.com (simple website builder)

•             99designs.com (post any design project and get 50-100 designers around the world to submit their best work – you only pay the one you like best… but end up with tons of design ideas)

•             Mindmeister.com (free online mindmapping tool – great for mapping out marketing campaigns, workflow, etc.)

Perhaps you’re familiar with or more of these tools but have you tried using any toward your campaign? Consider the possibility of using multiple platforms to really ramp up tracking of prospects, customers and sales.

Posted by Dave Lee