Small business typically equates to tight budgets, which means hiring agencies with all their fancy marketing bells and whistles is out of the question. But what if we told you that you could have all the tools you needed to make a significant improvement to your wedding business marketing, without the agency-sized invoice? Here are 5 free marketing tools every business should have to ensure they’re making the most of their digital presence:
1. MailChimp: for sending emails
If you’re not sending emails to your database, you’re leaving sales on the table. With MailChimp’s free version, businesses can use an easy drag-and-drop newsletter builder to create email templates that fit their brand’s personality and email purpose. If you need copyright-free images to make your newsletters even more beautiful, check out these 10 places to get images for your website and newsletter that are free – and legal!
With less than 2,000 subscribers you can send up to 12,000 emails every single month for absolutely nothing. There’s no time-limited trial, no contracts and no credit card details required. When you’ve grown your list to more than 2,000 subscribers (with the help of MailChimp’s forms for collecting subscribers on platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and WordPress), you can upgrade for as little as $10/mth to enjoy additional features like automation and delivery by time zone.
2. Sumome: for building your email list
The team at Sumome spent four years trying to build their own email list. They became so frustrated with the overpriced and non-existent solutions available to do this, they went and created their own.
They now offer a suite of website plugins to businesses like yours absolutely free of charge to help you achieve the same success growing your lists for landing more eyeballs on your email marketing. Their premium apps of course come at a price and boast more advanced features, but beginners will find everything they need on the free plan to get started.
Now for today’s challenge: if you have 37 seconds and know how to copy and paste, you can setup Sumome on your website, regardless of which platform you’re using. Watch the video to find out how.
3. Yoast: for improving your SEO
Yoast claims to offer the most complete WordPress SEO plugin that exists today for users of WordPress.org. SEO (search engine optimisation) for those struggling with the concept, is the process of generating traffic from unpaid or organic search results on search engines like Google.
So in short, if your website doesn’t appear on the front page of search results when you search for your product or service in your locale, you might like some additional help from Yoast SEO, which offers real time page analysis to help you optimise your page content, image titles and meta descriptions.
If that’s all too overwhelming, you can enrol in Yoast’s Basic SEO training for $249USD, granting you access to the secret Yoast SEO training videos; the first of which you can view below.
4. Hootsuite: for scheduling social media
Just when you think there couldn’t possibly be another social media platform through which to market your wedding business, another one pops up. Never fear, Hootsuite FREE is here! Though there’s just one catch: the free version only allows up to three social profiles, so if you’re hoping to automate posts for your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram AND YouTube, you’re going to need to upgrade to Pro for $10.99/mo on an annual plan.
If three platforms is all you can realistically manage, the free version allows you to schedule posts from one convenient central dashboard, visually track your followers’ growth, and make educated guesses about which content resonates most with your audience based on analytics.
5. Google Analytics: for measuring
Ever wondered how people end up on your website? Do they find it through a Google search? Or maybe they clicked the link to your website on your Facebook page. All these secrets and more can be revealed through installing free Google Analytics on your website, which monitor not only the source of the traffic (ads, videos, social tools, websites, tablets and smartphones), but also the actions people take when they arrive on your site.
If visitors are repeatedly bouncing (the point at which they decide they’re no longer interested and exit the site), after only 3-5 seconds, perhaps it’s time to refresh your website and look at making it more visually appealing, user-friendly and instantly relevant to your target audience.
Have you stumbled across a free marketing tool for small businesses that makes your life easier, saves you time and helps generate more sales? Let us know in the comments so we can check it out and add it to our list!