4 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools

Inbound marketing is an all encompassing methodology. Heavily creative in nature and involving persuasive words and stunning imagery and video, it also relies heavily upon tools and technology used to support the program.

Fortunately, access to this technology is cheaper and more available than ever. The creation of a myriad start-up companies has led to powerful marketing technology that was previously only available to the elite few being readily accessible to every company with ambitions for growth.

But this has led to a new problem – choice. With so many technologies now existing to greater enable inbound marketing, which ones do you choose?

While it’s a nice problem to have, it can lead to a lot of confusion and a lot of money wasted on systems that weren’t right to start with.

Applications

So what might you need technology for in an inbound marketing campaign?

Stuff you might need includes:

  • Marketing automation
  • Email marketing
  • Landing pages
  • Lead scoring and tracking
  • CRM system
  • Blog
  • Social media scheduling tools
  • Paid search marketing tools
  • System integration tools

So – quite a lot to consider. So what should you choose?

Here are some tools that we’ve found effective to cover a range of budgets.

Note: This is aimed at marketers that might be new to inbound marketing and considering which direction to take. It’s intended to be a top level overview to present the options for different budgets – for a more in-depth appraisal please feel free to give us a call and we’d be happy to advise!

Unbounce

For low budgets, this tool has a staggering amount of power to drive an inbound campaign. Principally built for landing page creation and split testing, it’s host of integrations mean that it can sit as the cornerstone of any B2B campaign.

Look for integrations with tools such as Mailchimp and Salesforce to drive email campaigns and manage your CRM input.

http://unbounce.com  

Mailchimp

Speaking of Mailchimp, this cheap and cheerful tool can be exactly what you need for a low budget campaign. It can manage basic marketing automation campaigns for lead nurturing as well as regular email campaigns to promote content and offers.

While it doesn’t have all of the bells and whistles offered by its pricier counterparts, it offers a great place to start for smaller organisations with a tight budget.

http://mailchimp.com

Active Campaign

This tool offers remarkable value and a host of features that are great for a small to medium size business looking to run a full inbound campaign.

Among its many features are advanced marketing automations, lead scoring capability and a CRM to allow you to manage leads and deals between your team.

You get get going with most of the functionality from $49, making this a really affordable option with great value features.

www.activecampaign.com

Hubspot

For many this tool epitomises inbound marketing and its ever increasing range of tools ensures that it leads the pack for SME inbound marketing. It offers all inbound features under one roof which makes it highly practical if you’re looking to consolidate a number of tools.

To get full value for the fee, it’s worth making sure you’re using all of the features, otherwise other tools could offer a more affordable option.

www.hubspot.com

What Else is Out There?

At the top end of the market, tools such as Marketo and Eloqua offer advanced features designed to enable bigger teams to get more from lead scoring, marketing automation and sales enablement, take a look at these options if you’re looking for a solution for a larger marketing and sales team.

So What Do I Need?

You need to shape your own requirement based on what you would like to achieve for your business. The inbound marketing process is ideal for lead generation and tools like the ones above remove the need for complex IT projects, they can be run by marketers.

This opens up a world of opportunity for marketing teams in businesses of all sizes to take advantage of technology that would previously be out of reach and capitalise on the online potential to launch targeted, effective lead generation programs.

Build out your own lead generation process and use the tools required to enable this to work and reduce manual tasks – the tools you use should support your strategy and not drive it, so ensure you have a strong plan behind your inbound campaign before picking up the phone to the sales guys.

Takeaways

  • A wave of suppliers has opened up powerful technology for all budgets without the need for IT
  • Depending on your budget, there will be a bespoke solution available to you
  • Let your strategy drive the tools you use, don’t be led by the technology
  • Affordable inbound campaigns can be driven by tools such as Unbounce and Mailchimp
  • Tools such as Active Campaign and Hubspot can perform many functions under one roof and are great for unifying all inbound requirements
  • Premium tools such as Marketo and Eloqua are built for bigger teams with higher numbers of contacts to run advanced marketing automation campaigns

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