To improve your efficiency and accelerate your business growth, you need marketing tools and resources.
Below is my recommended list of essential tools, resources, and books. I will continue to update and expand this list so be sure to check back for updates.
- BlueHost – Bluehost allows you to host unlimited number of websites for less than $7.00/month. Their customer service is excellent and the user interface is very friendly and easy. With bluehost, you can also install a blog easily. Also, when you sign up with Bluehost, they give you a free domain name for life!
- Hostgator – Hostgator is also a good hosting company that offers afforable and reliable hosting.
Domain Names Registration
Website & Logo Design
For small business websites, I highly recommend building your website on the WordPress Content Management System. There are lots of advantages to using WordPress. First of all, it’s a free content management system, which makes it really easy for you to update or make changes to your site. No programming or geeky stuffs required. Additionally, there are lots of plugins available that add lots of cool and useful features and functionalities to you site.
And with the help of a professional wordpress theme, you could produce an attractive and professional looking site within hours.
- Homestead – Homestead offers you an award-winning web design software to create websites in minutes. Web hosting, domain and email included. Homestead is perfect for small business and professionals who want an online presence but do not want to learn programming. Packages start at $9.99 per month.
- Thesis Theme – If you enjoy customizing and producing your own unique designs, the Thesis WordPress theme would be perfect for you. Used by many professional designers and businesses, Thesis has awesome built in typography and powerful SEO features as well as design flexibility.
- Studiopress Theme – Studiopress theme is also another popular wordpress theme that has amazing designs and powerful SEO features. If you just want an attractive and professional looking website without having to do much customization, then the Studiopress would be perfect!
- 99Designs.com – 99Designs is a design marketplace where you can submit your design project and have hundreds of talented designers competing against each other to create a design for you. You can then select the best design and only pay for the design that you choose. The quality of the designs is very high and the cost is very affordable. You can get designs done for a logos, websites, brochures, etc!
- FileZilla – FileZilla is one of the most popular FREE FTP program that you can use to upload your files from your local drive to the web host server.
Website Analytics and Tracking Program
If you want to improve your website performance, you need to be able to monitor visitors actions and behaviors on your website.
Analytics program provides you with valuable data to help you understand your customers and website performance better. Here are some popular analytics program that you
- Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free program, but it is quite powerful. For most users, Google Analytics is sufficient.
- Clicktale – If you want to understand visitors behavior on your site, Clicktale is a fantastic program that you can use. ClickTale tracks every mouse move and click and scroll. It creates playable videos of customers entire browsing sessions as well as powerful visual heatmaps. With this useful and powerful information, you can make necessary modifications to your website to increase useability and conversions.
Email Autoresponder/Marketing Automation
Email autoresponders make it easy for you to collect contact information and send email messages/updates to your list of customers.
Use it to develop relationship with your customers, send them coupons, special promotions, or tips. Below are three of the most popular email marketing and email autoresponder programs.
- Aweber – Aweber is perhaps the most popular and recognized Email Markeing/Email Autoresponder. Easy to setup and very powerful.
- Vertical Response – Vertical Response offers email marketing, surveying, and post card services. Their rate is very affordable and also have the plan for you to pay per email message you sent instead of a monthly subscription service.
- InfusionSoft – Infusionsoft is a powerful marketing automation tool. It combines email marketing, a CRM, and ecommerce into an integrated system. With Infusionsoft, you can nurture leads, generate repeat sales, grow your business, while saving you lots of time. Additionally, you can do advanced things like trigger an email campaign based on your customer’s actions such as completing a purchase checkout or clicking on a link in an email.
Video Hosting Site & Video Production
- Animoto – Animoto allows you to upload your images, photos, short videos and combine them to make a visually exciting video with music and special effects. With Animoto, you don’t need to have a camera or complicated video editing softwares to produce a video.
- Turnhere – If you want to hire a professional videographer, Turnhere is a great service that can produce a professional video for your business, with voice over, music, and
special effects. They will send a professional videographer to your store and work with you to produce your video.
- Camtasia – Camtasia Studio is the best Window’s screen capture and video editing tool. You can use Camtasia to create videos that train, teach, sell, and more! It’s the easiest way to demonstrate a process, product, or idea.
Where to Find Professional Looking Stock Photos
- Efax.com – Allows you to send fax anywhere from your.
- Vistaprints.com – Whether you’re looking for business cards, letterheads, brochures, banners, postcards, etc. for your business, Vistaprints offer the best pricing and it’s a great money saver.
Web Based Survey Tools to Help You Quickly Create Surveys
General Advices For Small Businesses
- Score.org – This is a great place to get free business advices and lessons from volunteer counselors.
- SmallBusiness.com – This is a free wiki resource for small business. Find the knowledge you need to help you start, run and grow your business by using the Category Hub to browse by topic.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links and I will earn a commission if you decide to purchase through the links on my blog. I am only recommending the tools that I believe are high quality and can benefit you in growing your business. Please do your own research and only invest in the tools that will help you achieve your goals.