I go through phases with tools. Sometimes I love them and cannot live without them. Other times I get fed up (typically when something isn’t working as it should) and I’m ready to throw out the lot. Right now marketing / project tools and I are having a bit of a romance. I’ve been testing a bunch and I’m looking to test even more (so if you have a MarTech, Sales, or project tool that you want me to check out – feel free to reach out.
My top 13 favorite SaaS tools
Please note that these SaaS tools are not in any particular order.
1. Nudge.ai – Sales tool
Nudge.ai is a sales tool that is like Rapportive on steroids. It’s a Must Have for Hunter & Bard and our post Series A clients that use Google Suite for their email and work tools. It’s better than HubSpot’s inside email Business Intelligence (BI) tool, better than LinkedIn’s tool. Plus it’s the absolute best email BI tool I’ve ever tried, and it’s free. Which means it will probably be bought soon and then ruined or disbanded, so go download it for your Gmail account now and use it while you still can.
2. MixMax – Sales tool
MixMax is an email reminder tool that has replaced Boomerang for me. Which I didn’t expect, because Boomerang has been a favorite of mine for years – and its Respondable product is really cool. However, MixMax has the capabilities of Boomerang (return to Inbox & scheduling emails) with templates, and a calendar addition where you can put the calendar invite inside the email. That calendar addition is a game changer for me. I absolutely hate, loathe, and despise Calend.ly. I find it a rude tool that puts the onus on the receiver and makes them take a lot of time and far too many clicks to get the meeting scheduled. If you’re after me for a meeting and you send me a Calend.ly request, claiming that it’s for my ease of use – I am likely to ignore your email. MixMax is the most polite way to offer someone a meeting. The other things you can use it for (and there are a lot) are just a bonus.
3. WordPress – Marketing tool
If your site is on anything than WordPress, then it better be a seriously complex site. If you have a Drupal site – honestly, why? Just why?! As someone who has used a million CMS’s over the years, nothing beats a good WP backend system and there are so many plugins and things you can do to optimize your SEO, etc. I don’t care if your best friend, developer, or Project Manager likes something else – think about the Marketing Team. They need to update the site without being at the mercy of a developer. They need to make sure that the site is SEO optimized, and they need to be able to do all of that on their own. WordPress provides that. It’s universal. Plus it gives great plugins. Just say Yes to WordPress.
4. Google Webmaster Tools – Marketing tool
Your customer is 60% through their decision making process before they click on Contact Us, which means they have spent time on your site, and on your competitors. This is why you’ve spent so much time and budget on building your site. Google Webmaster Tools helps you be sure that your website works as it should. Not only does it list any and all issues, it gives suggestions on how to fix them.
5. Google Analytics – Marketing tool
Of course. Watch your conversion, set goals, and measure your traffic. Wondering what path your site visitor takes to get information? Google Analytics can tell you that. Where they are from? That’s covered too. It no longer tells you what keywords you rank for, which I could use some strong words about, but there are other tools out there which can help you with that.
6. MailChimp – Marketing tool
Need to send a newsletter? Mailchimp is so easy to use I can set it up without our designer. You can segment your lists, create multiple lists, do drip campaigns and more. The company keeps adding functionality without adding complexity. That’s a wonderful thing.
7. HubSpot / Marketo – Marketing tool
HubSpot is perfect for more companies than any marketer actually wants to admit. It’s straightforward to use for Marketing Automation. Once the templates for email and landing pages are set up – it’s dead simple to create workflows and campaigns. It’s not the most robust tool, but it has a great tutorial system for new users to learn and a CRM that is good enough until you start hiring sales and need to upgrade to Salesforce. If you’re pre-series B, it’s likely you won’t need something else. And even if you are post Series B- you have to have a massive list and be doing a lot of segmentation for the complexity of Marketo to make sense for you. On the other hand, once you have a massive list and need a more robust outbound tool – Marketo wins hands down.
8. Folloze – Marketing tool
For enterprise field marketing you won’t find a better tool for post-sale marketing. Folloze is the best at increasing engagement because you can put all different types of information on a Folloze board and see exactly what each recipient is interested in for focused follow-up. Increase your renewal rate and make your salespeople’s lives considerably easier by setting up success boards. We use Folloze at Hunter & Bard to show off our portfolio of work – you can see our portfolio here.
9. Toggl – Project management tool
Your time is money and not everything you do is worth the time you’re spending on it. If you don’t track your time – how do you know if you’re wasting it? Toggl is a great time-tracking tool with a hilarious blog. We use it in the agency and we used to pay for it. Then I realized that all of the functionality we used could be had for free – so we stopped paying for it. This is why I believe in cheapium and not freemium. On the other hand, yay free!
10. Trello – Project management tool
11. Gmail – Sales tool
I love gmail as long as it’s set up with Tabs. If you haven’t done that yet, go to Settings –> Configure Inbox –> Choose Your Tabs (I recommend adding Updates) and Save. Yes, that means the newsletter we send you will end up in Updates, but you’re less likely to lose an important email. We want you go get those important emails.
12. LinkedIn – Marketing and sales tool
With LinkedIn you can reach prospects, get mentors, and build your network. If you’re looking to be a thought leader, there isn’t a better place to post blog content. All of the posts I do on Hunter & Bard I add to LinkedIn after. You can find almost anyone in business on there. I only reach out to people I’ve met, but I accept anyone who is in my industry that I think could be helpful to my network. If I’m wrong and someone spams me after I accept their invite, I block them. This is the best place to research key people in an account you’re selling to – most people keep their LinkedIn info up to date. I haven’t found much value from Groups, but I love the updates and newsfeed for articles and keeping up with contacts.
13. Salesforce – Sales tool
I’d be lying if I said I loved Salesforce, but it’s what every salesperson I know actually knows – so you give them what they know so they can focus on the job of selling instead of wasting time learning a new tool. Salespeople should use the same tool in every workplace because their time needs to be focused on selling, not on learning new tools. That’s why every business that has a full sales team should have Salesforce. If you’re hiring salespeople with years of experience, this is what they will know. My only advice is keep that data as clean as you can, because it can get ugly fast.
Now that I’ve finished these 13 I have thought of quite a few SaaS tools that should be on the list, like ahrefs, Moz, SimilarWeb, and SEMrush. What else did I miss? Comment on your favorite SaaS tool below.