17 Tools for Effective Customer Engagement
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17 Tools for Effective Customer Engagement


The one thing that every business that offers a service has in common is its customers. It doesn’t matter if you are a freelancer with just one client or a small design agency with a few clients, you have to deal with customers on a day to day basis.

Since you are dealing with customers — even if it’s just a few, it is important that you offer them the best possible experience. This is especially important for freelancers and small design agencies with a few clients because they don’t have the luxury of losing clients. In fact, 73% of clients say that having a positive experience is one of the key factors that influence their brand loyalty.

One way to improve your client experience is by having a good customer support/engagement channel. In this article, we’ll list the best tools for customer support/engagement. Let’s get started:

 

Help Desk Software

Help desk software is a centralized system that makes it easy to keep track of customer complaints, user requests, and efficiently deal with customer-care related queries.

Zendesk

Zendesk comes with all the features you would require from a help desk software. The app provides a flexible ticketing system with advanced reporting and analytics.

For design agencies and freelancers with a few clients, Zendesk offers a feature that allows you to host communities and forums where your clients can share and exchange answers.

It also offers over 100 integrations with other business solutions like CRM, cloud storage, and productivity apps. This is very useful for freelancers and small agencies with a limited budget. Instead of running all these applications separately, you can just integrate them into Zendesk.

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Freshdesk

Freshdesk comes with an intuitive and simple UI that makes it easy to work with. It offers different plans to meet the needs of both freelance designers and small design agencies.

For freelancers that work on mobile devices, Freshdesk also comes with a robust mobile app that is available for both Android and iOS users. With the app, you can handle client complaints and take your data anywhere you go.

Freshdesk also allows you to track recurring client complaints. Having a thread of recurring client complaints can be very useful. It is most likely you are doing something wrong since most of your clients are complaining of the same thing. Having this information can help you improve your performance.

freshdesk

Zoho Desk

Zoho Desk is a powerful help desk platform that offers designers multi-channel support capabilities. What this means is that you can engage with your clients on other channels apart from the app itself.

A unique feature that Zoho comes with is a content-aware AI called Zia. This AI provides clients with human-level responses in real-time. If you are not available to handle customer complaints, the AI can assist clients in navigating the right knowledge base for accurate answers and solutions to their queries.

zohodesk

Vision Helpdesk

Vision helpdesk is a robust helpdesk software that centralizes all client communications on one platform.

The platform offers multi-channel support that allows designers to communicate with clients through email, phone and chat, websites, and Facebook.

The platform also allows you to run client satisfaction surveys and reports. If you own a growing design agency, surveys like this are very important. It helps you understand which area of your business to improve.

If you work with a team of designers or freelancers, the software also has its own social media like hub for teams called Blabby.

vision_helpdesk

 

Social Media Support

Most of your clients are on social media and it is important that you have an efficient system to answer queries and complaints. You need a dedicated social media support tool to efficiently deal with customer queries on social media.

Hootsuite

When it comes to social media management, Hootsuite is one of the best tools available. The biggest advantage of this tool is that it allows you to manage all of your social media accounts in one place. Not only can you share posts and schedule updates with this tool, you can connect with your clients and answer all their requests/complaints on more than thirty social media platforms. The tool also offers easy integration with other third-party apps and business solutions.

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Sprout Social

Sprout Social is an all-in-one social media interaction software that helps designers to increase engagement and communicate more efficiently with their clients. Sprout Social comes with three main features that make it essential for design agencies and freelancers: social customer service, social media management, and social media analytics. With this tool, you’re able to collect customer feedback that will help you to serve clients better.

One significant advantage of the tool is the user dashboard. It is well organized into six sections: Messages, Tasks, Feed, Publishing, Discovery, and Reports, that makes it easy to interact with your clients and also share social media posts.

sproutsocial

AgoraPulse

AgoraPulse is a social moderation tool that allows designers to manage all their social media channels in one place. The platform is built to help designers communicate and respond to client queries efficiently across all social media platforms. It also allows designers to monitor mentions of themselves or their brand on popular social media networks like Facebook and LinkedIn.

agora

 

Self-Service Knowledge Base

A self-service knowledge base is a centralized database that contains useful information that clients can go to directly for answers.

Bloomfire

Bloomfire is a powerful knowledge management platform that allows agencies (and freelancers who have the time) to centralize all information and recurring customer queries in an easy-to-use search solution.

The software comes with a QnA module that allows clients to ask and answer the questions that bother them. The best part of the platform is that every information asked or answered on the application is never lost.

bloomfire

Helpjuice

Helpjuice is an all-in-one knowledge base and customer support platform with a great user interface. It comes with tags that can be searched depending on the answer category.

A cool feature the platform comes with is that answers are automatically suggested as a client type in a question.

It also offers advanced analytics to help you see how many times a question was read and if the client found the solution helpful.

helpjuice

Flowlu

Flowlu is a platform that makes it easy for designers to curate data or information into a consolidated knowledge base for easy access by clients. The platform also features an online financial management system, intuitive collaboration tools, third party integration, and online payment integrations (this feature makes it easy for freelancers to collect payment from their clients).

flowlu

 

Real-Time Communication

With real-time communication tools, allows you to respond to client complaints and queries immediately in a live environment.

Zoom

Video is a great way to increase engagement with your clients and this is where Zoom comes into play. Zoom is a video conferencing tool that is used to run virtual meetings and conduct video demonstrations for clients. Another useful feature that Zoom comes with is instant sharing of documents, video files, and photos with clients. It supports a dual-screen system and comes with HD video and audio quality.

zoom

Aircall

Aircall is a modern phone system solution that helps designers to run a call center without the need of physical phone lines. With this tool, you can conduct calls from anywhere in the world and provide services to your clients using its mobile and desktop applications. All you need to do is to install a VoIP system and you can start receiving phone calls from clients right away.

aircall

ConceptShare

ConceptShare is a communication platform specifically created for designers and creatives. With ConceptShare, designers can review and approve any upcoming project. It also offers workflow automation which means that you and a client can communicate with each other on the platform without having to send a hundred emails back and forth. Another useful feature it offers designers is online proofing.

conceptshare

 

Customer Feedback & Satisfaction Surveys

Receiving feedback from clients helps you to serve them better. There are a ton of individuals offering the same services as you. To stand out, you need to give your clients the best user experience possible.

UserVoice

UserVoice is a management software that helps designers to collect feedback from their customers. It comes with iOS and Android SDKs which allow you to use the software directly on your phone. UserVoice aims to help businesses improve customer experience by enhancing customer service.

uservoice

Client Heartbeat

Client Heartbeat is a tool that allows you to analyze customer satisfaction by sending out surveys via email. You can schedule the surveys to go out at different times — like every three to six months. The software makes use of a proprietary algorithm that helps you to determine the best questions to include in your survey depending on your industry.

clientheartbeat

Helio

Helio is one of the easiest ways for designers to receive feedback on their projects. The platform allows designers to get feedback easily during every stage of the design process. Designers can easily upload images, PowerPoint, and PDFs to the platform. From sketches to fully coded pages, or wireframes, Helio allows designers to share notes with clients, receive feedback, and stay organized.

helio

zipBoard

zipBoard is a platform that allows designers and developers to collaborate and share feedback on designs. The platform features a project management solution and a visual feedback tool. zipBoard allows users to leave replies and attach files to feedback comments. The platform also integrates with third-party solutions like Slack.

zipboard



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Working Remotely? Try These 35 Tools for Better Communication, Collaboration & Organization
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Working Remotely? Try These 35 Tools for Better Communication, Collaboration & Organization


Today, you and your team are expected to perform at the same level no matter where you’re working from. 

With the help of internet connection, it’s relatively easy for us to get most our daily work done, whether it’s related to publishing a blog post, sending a follow-up email, conducting a video call with a team member of prospect, or setting up a workflow to nurture prospects and customers in your CRM.

But, when it comes to remote work, we all know internet connection doesn’t solve everything .

Tasks and obstacles are bound to arise that are challenging to manage remotely — when it comes to these complex tasks and cross-team collaboration, communication and productivity can get messy.

Download Now: How to Move Your Company Online

As the need for productive remote work has grown, many companies have discovered and started implementing tools and resources that enable employees to be as productively as possible while working from home.

To help determine which tools are ideal for your remote team, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best tools for you to experiment with.

35 Helpful Remote Work Tools and Software

The following 35 remote work tools are segmented by use case to help you determine the type of resource you and your team would benefit most from.

Let’s get started.

Remote Work Tools For General Collaboration

1. Google Suite

G Suite products for remote or dispersed teams

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Google Suite (G Suite) is a budget-friendly Google platform that allows your teams to collaborate on Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slide, among other easy-to-use Google Drive tools. You can also share a team calendar and create work emails through the GSuite.

2. Microsoft Office Teams

Microsoft Office Teams

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While GSuite can be used entirely online within one platform, Microsoft Office Teams allows you to download apps like Excel, Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint to your computer or mobile device. Like GSuite, you also can use this general suite of tools to manage, share, store, and edit documents in team folders.

Aside from the more specific apps, Microsoft Teams also allows you to communicate with your teammates via video calls, email, and through an internal discussion platform where your colleagues can create posts or ask questions.

Remote Work Tools For Task and Project Management Software

3. Trello

Trello allows you to create a dashboard that highlights large projects or categories and tasks related to them. Each small task, called a “card” can be labeled with a colored tag and text.

For example, if you want to say something is “Urgent” you could create a red card tag that says “Urgent” on it and stick it to the appropriate Trello cards. You can also assign cards and deadlines to members of your team and track each card’s progress through its Activity area.

4. Asana

Asana lets you create and delegate tasks, organize, and check off tasks into shared projects, chat within each task so conversations stay organized, and add attachments from your computer, Dropbox, Box, and Google Drive. It also has calendar features, dashboards for projects, and your very own to-do list.

5. Assembla

Project management for web developers seems to be Assembla’s niche, though it could handle project management for just about any type of freelancing. It tracks tickets and time, produces reports, and simplifies product releases and bug-fixing — plus many say it’s easier to set up than Jira.

6. Basecamp

Basecamp is a simple and easy-to-use project management software that helps you arrange your calendars, set meeting schedules, track assignments, and store documents.

All of your project management occurs on one organized dashboard to give you a digestible birds-eye-view of everything that’s happening.

7. RingCentral and Glip

Glip RingCentral project management and communication app

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Ther’s another great tool by Ring Central and Glip. While RingCentral enables company calls to your business line to be forwarded to a mobile phone when you’re working remotely, Glip helps you manage basic project management and text-based team communication.

For task management, shared calendars, file sharing, annotating images, and real-time group chat, Glip is a strong tool. It also helps ensure all those chats are fully searchable.

Along with group chats and standard project management features, you can activate video chats on the Glip app which allows you to talk to your teammates about ongoing tasks.

8. Github

Web developers will love GitHub because it’s designed to build software with remote teams. The platform allows teams to virtual participate in code review and the management of both open source and private projects.

The GitHub Marketplace offers coders a variety of tools that can help them do their jobs more efficiently, regardless of where they log in.

9. Jira

Jira Hub which displays as backlog of tasks

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Jira is another project management tool primarily for developers, customer support, and IT reps that allows you to assign and track work as well as issues that need to be solved. It also has a handy mobile and desktop interface for project management on the go.

10. Podio

Podio project management platform for teams

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Part project manager, part Facebook for companies, you can use Podio to keep track of what you need to do, and chat while doing it.

With the mobile app and website, you can create “workspaces” for different aspects of your work or projects. These workspaces look similar to a Facebook page as colleagues can comment or share information on them similarly to how they would share a Facebook post.

You can also use the platform to communicate with teammates or manage client contacts privately since it has a wide range of privacy settings.

11. Taskworld

Time tracking feature creating a time log for a task in Taskworld

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The sweet spot for Taskworld is managing projects and keeping track of tasks and subtasks. Its evaluation feature lets you measure and give feedback on job performance, setting it apart from other similar project management programs.

12. Wunderlist

Wonderlist To Do List App

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Marketed more as a personal to-do list for your phone, Wunderlist is also used by some of us to keep track of client work. There’s not much to the app except for a handy to-do list that you can manage and check off as you go.

13. Monday.com

Monday.com is a web task management platform specifically for businesses and agencies. It offers similar features to Asana and Trello in that you can watch the progress of tasks on a dashboard and assign projects to team members.

But, additionally, it also allows marketing teams to plan tasks with their budget in mind.

Remote Work Tools For Scheduling and Hosting Virtual Meetings

14. Zoom

Zoom meeting on mobile and desktop device

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Zoom is an easy-to-use desktop platform and app that allows you to schedule, launch, and record virtual meetings with your team. These meetings can be entered remotely from a computer, smartphone, or voice via a dial in phone.

During Zoom meetings, you can also share your screen with teammates so they can see your work or presentations.

15. Go ToMeeting

GoToMeeting Group meeting on desktop and smartphone app

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GoToMeeting allows you to schedule and launch virtual meetings or webinars where users can log in or call to hear only hosts speak. These meetings can be recorded and sent to participants after they’re completed.

16. Google Hangouts

google hangouts remote work tool

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Google Hangouts is a popular option because Google is usually convenient for those who use Google Calendar to manage your schedule and GMail for emails.

17 Join.me

join.me remote work tool

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Join.me is great for fast and easy screen-share meetings. In addition to being able to schedule and launch quick virtual meetings with screen-share, you can also create a shareable URL to your own personal meeting room that people can log on to when they’d like to meet with you.

18. Skype

skype remote work tool

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At this point, many of us have already used Skype. Along with allowing you to host free small virtual meetings, Skype also enables you to create group chats. If you want to use the paid version of Skype, you can also have meetings with groups or make international voice calls.

19. Uber Conference

Uber Conference call with remote team members

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With Uber Conference, there’s no wondering who joined the call, who said what, or what the heck your meeting PIN number is. It also allows screen sharing and has a mobile app.

You can create video calls in your own name and when someone signs in, you can easily see them on the video calls dashboard. Then, when someone is talking, their video feed will be highlighted so you can easily see what’s happening and stay focused.

20. Google Calendar

Rather than having a full conversation over an instant messaging platform about when to have a meeting, you can use GSuite’s Google Calendar feature.

With the feature, you can share your Google Calendar with your colleagues. Then, when you want to schedule a meeting with them, simply search their names and book a suggested time that works.

When you do this, you can also put notes in the description area such as, “I’d like to book this meeting to discuss the marketing newsletter. Let me know if this time doesn’t work for you.”

Remote Work Tools For Quick Chats With Colleagues

21. Slack

Advanced Search Slack

Slack is great for real-time communication for one-on-one conversations or with everyone on your team. You can also organize chats by subject, and integrate activity from platforms like Github, Trello, and Pingdom.

I like the thought expressed here that Slack is as close to a virtual office as you can get. You can even create one channel for every client, and invite only the people on that project to be on that channel.

(Want to learn more about Slack? Here’s a guide to all the hacks you didn’t yet know you could do with the platform.)

22. WhatsApp

If you have a remote or globally dispersed team, or communicate regularly with international clients or prospects, WhatsApp is a great communication platform that allows you to create group chats with them, send text messages, host multiple-person video calls, or make voice calls for free on a Wi-Fi network.

23. Flowdock

Flowdock Instant messaging app for remote and dispersed teams

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Flowdock is simple and easy-to-use instant messaging app and website similar to Slack. It also integrates with Jira, GitHub, Basecamp, Asana, Assembla, Trello and many other apps.

Remote Work Tools For Asset Management

24. Google Drive

google drive remote work tool

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I love Google Drive, but it does tend to update rather frequently — meaning, just when you’ve figured it out and have all your things organized, things change.

With that said, it’s free, stores and organizes all of your content and information, and you can work on the same document with multiple people at the same time.

25. Dropbox

dropbox business remote work tool

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Sharing large files doesn’t work so well over email, which is where Dropbox and Dropbox Business come in. This is a great tool for organizing freelancer work. Just have the freelancer upload their documents into monthly folders and message you when their work is in.

26. Adobe Creative Cloud

adobe creative cloud remote work tool

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Adobe Creative Cloud programs like Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator allow you to create design files or visual assets that can then be edited or updated by your team.

27. Canva

canva remote work toolSource

Similar to Adobe, but easier to use for design novices, Canva allows you to create team accounts where you can share design templates and assets with your colleagues remotely. This ensures you’re able to access and edit any design files or brand imagery you might need while working from home.

Remote Work Tools For Announcements and Internal Documentation

28. Confluence

Confluence allows you to create an internal blog or wiki for your team. It’s more of a team manager, keeping documents, notes, best practices, product requirements, and plans all in one easily searchable place.

Pro Tip: You can also use the Gliffy integration to do quick wireframes.

29. GitHub Wiki

github wiki remote work tool

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Savvy inbound marketing companies use GitHub Wiki for employee onboarding by organizing helpful resources for new employees.

30. Loom

Realize that speaking out loud is a better way to communicate a team announcement, but don’t have time to book a meeting?

With Loom, you can record a presentation or just your voice to give an announcement or play-by-play to your team. Then, you can get a link to share the recording and easily circulate it across channels like instant messengers or email.

Remote Work Tools For Tracking Team Progress

31. Time Doctor

Live Support from Time Doctor

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Need to keep a close eye on how your team is spending their time, for client billing or productivity purposes? Time Doctor can help you do just that.

With the tool, you and your team and/ or remote freelancers can create projects and start a clock when starting a new task. Then Time Doctor’s dashboard shows a report of how many hours your colleague has worked throughout the day and which projects they’ve spent the most time on.

32. Harvest

Harvest's easy intuitive timer dashboard.

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For keeping track of time and expenses, this is a simple few-frills tool. With Harvest, you simply create projects or to-do list items and start the clock when you start working on each tasks.

Then you can see how much time you’ve spend on different list items, such as writing blog posts, strategizing, or producing marketing emails.

33. iDoneThis

idonethis remote work toolSource

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I can’t remember what I did yesterday. iDoneThis solves that problem for individuals and teams by sending a “digest” of what everyone did.

Remote Work Tools For Team Decision-Making

34. Polly.ai

polly.ai remote work tool

When your team needs to make a decision that doesn’t require a full meeting, Polly.ai enables you to create a survey that you can then send through platforms like Slack. From there, your colleagues can simply vote on an option.

35. Doodle

Need to plan a group meeting? Doodle is a polling platform that allows you to ask quick questions to your team and see how they vote. You can also create a meeting-time poll which enables your team to vote on a meeting time that works best for them so you’re able to accommodate schedules.

Navigate the Remote Work Landscape with Helpful Tools

Today, your employees must have the ability to effectively do their jobs remotely — they need access to the right resources to help them be as productive at home as they are in an office space.

It’s no secret that everyone works a little differently and has a unique set of challenges. But when our problems have to do organization and productivity, try implement one of the tools mentioned above.

To learn more about how to master remote work, check out success tips from HubSpot’s remote workforce.

Editor’s Note: This blog post was originally published in April 2015, but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in April 2020.

remote sales



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16 Tools for Keeping Your Remote Design Team Together (and on Task)
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16 Tools for Keeping Your Remote Design Team Together (and on Task)


Before the COVID-19 outbreak, many small and large companies alike were already moving toward offering remote work. Now, with this pandemic forcing the global workforce to shutter themselves in their homes, there’s no more opportune time to get remote-workability to be a part of the contingency plan for your design team.

One of the biggest perks of a career in Web Design is the potential for working remotely. As long as you have access to Wi-Fi, you can basically work from anywhere, whether it be from home, a co-working space, or even the beach — the world is your proverbial remote oyster.

Whether you’re new to the telecommuting game or a seasoned veteran, working solo comes with its own set of challenges and roadblocks. Design work, in particular, is a collaborative process with project managers, designers, writers, clients, and other stakeholders — each with their own needs and priorities. Fortunately, there are tonnes of fantastic tools out there that help designers and other team members stay on the same page throughout the course of a project. Let’s break down some of the best tools out there and how they can improve collaboration amongst your remote team.

 

Project Management and Collaboration for Design-Focused Work

Design-focused teams have different requirements for their tools than general marketing teams with designers sprinkled in. Whether your design teams’ goal is to do a better job of tracking revisions, streamline project workflows, or get more control over file annotation and review, these collaboration tools for designers will have you covered.

Cage

Cage combines the project and task-level views familiar from broad project management tools and adds awesome features specifically for design teams. No matter the size, design teams will love the ability to annotate media files right in the software to make feedback and requests more specific and save time going back and forth with team members or clients. Another great feature for design teams is the advanced asset management that keeps every necessary file readily accessible for anyone who needs it.

cage

Visme

Visme makes creating easier. As a project management software with built-in media creation capabilities, it’s a unique offering for design teams looking to streamline workflows. Visme offers a variety of gorgeous templates for presentations, infographics, charts, web graphics, and more that give every stakeholder in the project a headstart on design work. It’s a perfect resource for teams who are working on a lot of projects simultaneously to keep assets organised.

visme

 

General Project Management and Collaboration Tools

Larger marketing teams with a wider variety of projects need more robust project management tools than design-only teams. Some features remain necessary, such as assigning tasks to certain project members, retaining documents, and even conversing directly with other teammates, but general project management software is unlikely to have robust features that shine for design teams.

Asana

You’ve heard of Asana, right? Almost everyone has. It’s one of the top work management tools on the market. With a variety of built-in ways to organise and visualise work, Asana keeps every person in a project on the same page. Depending on the size of your team, and how much functionality you want, Asana can run a bit on the expensive side. However, with the Business Plan, there are nearly unlimited ways to customise and automate your workflows to help the whole team reach peak efficiency.

asana

Basecamp

This year, Basecamp hit over 3 million account signups. It’s no wonder though, because Basecamp has everything a project needs to run smoothly — all in one place. Without ever leaving Basecamp, project teams can chat, check-in, organise files, schedule meetings or tasks, and generate to-do lists. Whether managing client projects, or internal projects, Basecamp is a great option for keeping everyone synced up.

basecamp

 

Meeting Tools, Virtual Offices, Communication Hubs

Though some project management platforms and other tools have communication capabilities built right in, teams that are working remotely often need a little extra help to stay in touch. Whether your team currently relies on email, instant messaging, phone calls, or virtual meetings, there’s a tool out there to make collaboration and communication easier.

Slack

Tired of trying to reach the elusive “Inbox Zero”? Slack’s here to help. The great thing about Slack is that teams can organise conversations into channels, and individuals only need to follow those conversations that are important to their work. When done well, Slack can help keep design teams collaborative, but also on task. Slack also integrates with an enormous number of apps that makes it a fantastic place to centralise all your team’s efforts.

slack

Twist

Twist offers a slightly different take on team chats than Slack. Less of an instant messaging service for distributed teams (although, it does that too), Twist combines the traditional structure of an email inbox with the topical, conversation threads of instant messaging.

One of the things we love about Twist is that it doesn’t show whether people are on- or off-line. This sounds daunting at first, and I’m sure you’re thinking, “But what if I need an immediate answer?” However, think of the remote work stress this small detail can alleviate from your team members. Less pressure to be constantly connected, taking more focused time out to dig deep on important projects, and getting back in the loop quickly and easily when needed.

twist

StormBoard

Ready to make your meetings truly collaborative? Stormboard is a digital workspace where teams can have meetings, discuss projects, and collaborate on specific tasks regardless of where they are in the world. This browser based tool combines the ideas of conference calls, collaborative whiteboards and project management into one easy-to-use tool. Collaborators can even edit the board under discussion in real time and display their ideas to the team, rather than trying to explain them without visualisation.

stormboard

 

Design Libraries & Document Organisation

A great design can take hours, days, weeks, even months to get right. Beyond the final asset, streamlined workflows, new templates, creative learnings, and more can come from the completion of one design project. Having a good design library ensures that an entire team can work collaboratively on the most recent version of important internal or external assets.

InVision

InVision’s motto is “Design better. Faster. Together.” and it offers lots of great tools built specifically to empower design teams. One of the best is the Design System Manager, which allows teams to centralise their design assets into one place as visuals as well as in code. As guidelines, assets, and images change over time, the advanced versioning system allows creative iteration without losing previous work and the capability to make notes to keep the entire team on the same page when changes are made.

invision

Abstract

Abstract integrates with tools designers already use like Sketch and Adobe XD, making it easy to import files that are already completed or in progress, but need more collaboration.

Combining the principles of project management and design libraries, Abstract allows collaborators to work from master files to iterate and create new designs without losing the original version, get feedback from other project members, and ultimately land on the best design. When designs are finalised and approved, they can be passed over to the developer without the guesswork, thanks to a Git-inspired workflow that saves time and frustration.

abstract

 

Collaborative Proofing and Editing Tools

For many teams, workflows aren’t simple. Whether you’re an in-house designer, agency, or freelance creative, a typical project will have multiple checkpoints and approvals before being finalised. Having the right proofing and editing tools that allow for pinpoint feedback and annotation create a faster, less hazardous road to project completion.

GoVisually

Whether you’re working as a creative freelancer, with an in-house design team, or as a collaborative agency, project delivery and approval can quickly become a cumbersome process. GoVisually streamlines this process with pinpoint annotations directly on designs to eliminate confusion and misunderstanding. Centralised feedback makes sure every project stakeholder stays up to date with the latest changes and revisions, allowing approvals to happen in real-time.

Bonus feature: it integrates with Slack to make communication and notification even faster.

govisually

RedPen

Version tracking? Check. Live annotations? Check. Unlimited collaborators? Check. Created by designers, for designers, RedPen knows what design teams need for maximum efficiency. With the click of a mouse, any project member can give feedback that easily turns into a collaborative discussion about the best next steps for each design. The best thing about RedPen is that it’s simple, effective, and impressively easy to use. You don’t even have to create an account to get started.

redpen

Figma

Figma takes everything you love about any design software you’ve ever used and mashes it all together in one responsive, interactive, collaborative tool. Teams can design and prototype with a single tool, with no coding required. Figma brings the intention of your designs to life, making it easy to test the effectiveness of your work before bringing in the development team. Collaboration has never been easier. Invite who you want, when you want, and project members can view or edit designs at the same time — all while never losing control over the version history of the task. If your design team is looking for more ways to work together while staying fast and focused, Figma is the best of the best.

figma

Bugherd

If you’re a web designer, or working on a team that’s responsible for a website, Bugherd is a must-have tool. The software acts as a layer on top of your website allowing project members (even those with minimal tech-savvy) to report bugs or issues without a long chain of back-and-forth emails. When an issue is identified, team members simply click on the element to report an issue to developers. With one click, developers can identify the pertinent what, where, and why of the bug and get down to solving the problem faster.

Bonus: it integrates with other apps you likely already use like Slack and Basecamp so your team can maintain their normal workflows, but with superpowers.

bugherd

 

Tools For Your Own Personal Sanity

I know from experience that remote work can be tough. With teams spread out all across the globe, it’s easy to feel isolated — there are a million distractions no matter where your “office” is. Luckily, as remote work becomes more common, so do tools that can help us stay focused, remain on task, and ultimately have a better work-from-anywhere experience.

Serene

Distractions abound, no matter where you’re working from. Serene lets you set predefined goals, helping you break your day into achievable sections. On top of helping you break down your big goals into smaller tasks, Serene helps remote workers focus by blocking distracting and wasting websites. The app will even play soothing music meant for focus, if that’s your thing.

serene

Figure It Out Chrome Extension

As a remote entrepreneur, I can’t count on two hands and both feet the number of times I’ve had to Google something like, “time difference from Zurich to California.” At least, until I found the Figure It Out Chrome Extension. Using the extension or the web-version I can input all my team members locations and see, at a glance, what time it is for them when we need to schedule a meeting or find time to collaborate.

figure-it-out

Take a Break, Please

Last but not least, remote work can be really hard to disconnect from. You start working on a task or project, and before you know it, four hours have gone by without a break. For your own sanity and personal health, it’s important to remember to get up, stretch, take a walk, something to get away from the screen for just a few minutes. This simple act can reduce task, project, or even job-level burnout. I recommend all remote workers download this app and take a break, please.

take-a-break

 

The Bottom Line on Remote Design Team Collaboration

Design is rarely a task that lives in a vacuum, and we need the knowledge, feedback, support, and sometimes approval of others — this all requires a collaborative effort.

No matter what type of team you work with, how big or how small, there is a tool (or a stack of tools) that will help improve workflows, productivity, and collaboration. Many of these tools offer free trials so that you can get a sense of the operational improvements, or roadblocks, adopting each software might introduce.

Give some of them a try and see how you can level up your remote design team’s collaboration with small additions that make a big impact during this trying time.



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website visitor tracking software
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14 Best Website Visitor Tracking Software Tools (By Category)


website visitor tracking software

The term website visitor tracking can mean several different things. Specifically:

  • It can mean tracking visitor behavior on the site: Where people click, how long they spend on certain pages, and how that behavior differs by user type, demographic, referring source, and other user attributes.
  • It can mean understanding visitor identity: Most tools can’t identify individuals, but they can identify companies, regions, and other vital information about website visitors that helps B2B companies market better to their prospects.
  • It can mean measuring website analytics: This includes traditional website analytics tools and more advanced ones that can track the behavior of user cohorts, funnel analytics, and more.

These are very different use cases and they require entirely different visitor tracking software stacks. So, instead of listing a bunch of tools in one long list (like many other articles do), we thought it would be more useful to break our list down into these 3 buckets—so you can find the tool you need for your specific use case.

If you want to understand the behavior of users on individual web pages, look at the first section.

If you’re a B2B company interested in tracking repeat visits from specific companies or target accounts, check out the second section.

If you want to track stats and KPIs on your site (similar to Google Analytics) or take a more advanced look at those metrics through the lens of funnels and cohorts, jump down to the third section.

Note: Want to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your website? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to visitor behavior tracking software that’s built to help you optimize your site.

Website Visitor Behavior Tracking Software

Purpose: When you want to know what visitors are doing on your website.

In order to optimize your website for KPIs like user experience (UX) and conversions, you need to understand how visitors behave on your site — and how changes to your website affect that behavior. The tools below help you understand anonymous website visitor behavior from a few different angles.

1. Crazy Egg

Website visitor tracking software: Crazy Egg

  • Price: Starts at $24/month
  • G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5

We started Crazy Egg in 2006 with the goal of helping companies understand and track the behavior of their website visitors. We’ve been focused on this exact use case for 15 years, and we’ve spent that time building detailed features to help marketers better understand website behavior.

Our tool includes five different kinds of Snapshots (that’s what we call heatmaps and clickmaps) that help you dig into and better understand the visitor behavior that drives other website metrics.

Crazy Egg Heat Maps

Our five different visitor tracking reports include:

  • Heatmaps: show you where, and at what frequency, visitors are clicking on a given web page.
  • Scrollmaps: show you how far down the page users typically scroll before they leave the page.
  • Confetti Report: enables you to dig into your click data, showing how it varies across up to 22 different visitor characteristics.
  • Overlay Report: shows that same breakdown of user behavior across 22 dimensions (including custom dimensions) for each clickable element on a given page.
  • List Reports: emphasizes numbers over visuals — you’ll see a breakdown of how many website visitors click on a given page element (including pop-ups and other moving elements).

Taken together or individually, each of our Snapshots gives marketers access to valuable visitor tracking information you can use to optimize your website for UX and conversions.

  • You can identify whether or not website visitors are tracking with your ideal website or customer journey.
  • You’ll know which elements on a given web page your website visitors interact with, plus how that changes across different segments of visitors.
  • You can tease out how engaged visitors to a particular page are and learn key details about where they came from and which visitor characteristics they share.
Crazy Egg Confetti Report
Here’s an example of the Confetti Report, filtered by referring source.

Note: Want to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your website? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to visitor behavior tracking software that’s built to help you optimize your site.

2. Mixpanel

Website visitor tracking software: Mixpanel

  • Price: Free plan; paid plans start at $89/month
  • G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5

Mixpanel is a full-featured user behavior tracking tool that helps marketing and product teams better understand their users. It includes features to help you gauge the success of new feature launches and quickly visualize key data. Plus, with their User Profiles feature, you can get in-depth information on users — including who they are, and where they may be hitting roadblocks with your product.

3. VWO Insights

Website visitor tracking software: VWO Insights

  • Price: Starts at $169/month
  • G2 rating: 4.2 out of 5

VWO is the enterprise solution for tracking visitor behavior and optimizing your website. The VWO Insights product includes features like conversion funnels, on-page surveys, and session recordings that can help you get to the heart of visitor behavior and the why behind it. Plus, you can use Insights together with VWO’s other products for an end-to-end experience optimization tool.

4. UserTesting

Website visitor tracking software: UserTesting

  • Price: Contact UserTesting for pricing details
  • G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5

UserTesting is one of the tools we recommend when marketers are looking for more qualitative website visitor tracking. With UserTesting, you can connect with your actual audience and get complete session recordings as they navigate your website and perform specific tasks — meaning you can get at more of the why behind visitor behavior.

5. FullStory

Website visitor tracking software: FullStory

  • Price: Free plan; contact FullStory for paid pricing details
  • G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5

FullStory is one of the best visitor behavior tracking tools for support and product teams. The software automatically detects areas where your customers are struggling inside your product or app. Then it helps you identify high-impact areas that have a larger effect on your revenue and retention — so you can pinpoint and prioritize the most impactful changes.

Website Visitor Identification Tools

Purpose: When you want to understand who your website visitors are.

For B2B companies in particular, figuring out who is visiting your website is just as important as knowing how they behave on your site. The tools below help marketers and salespeople alike identify the companies that are visiting their website (usually by IP address) and get access to key visitor information. Plus, they help you tie behavior (such as pages visited, number of visits and page views, and time spent) to each company.

6. Leadfeeder

Website visitor tracking software: Leadfeeder

  • Price: Free plan; paid plan starts at $55/month
  • G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5

Leadfeeder’s identification and visitor tracking software helps marketing and sales teams identify and convert more leads. With account-level visitor identification, every visit from an employee is tied back to the company name. Plus, with integrations for popular CRMs (such as HubSpot, Salesforce, and Pipedrive) and LinkedIn Sales Navigator, sales reps can add identified website visitors right into their outreach process.

7. Act-On

Website visitor tracking software: Act-On

  • Price: Starts at $900/month
  • G2 rating: 4.1 out of 5

Act-On includes tons of features that make it a full and capable marketing automation tool. Within that, their account-based marketing (ABM) features help salespeople with prospecting by identifying website visits from key target accounts. Plus, with Activity Roll-up, reps can get a full picture of how an account is interacting with the website, other marketing campaigns, and sales outreach.

8. Lead Forensics

Website visitor tracking software: Lead Forensics

  • Price: Contact Lead Forensics for pricing details
  • G2 rating: 3.6 out of 5

With Lead Forensics, B2B companies can identify new sales leads in real time as they visit your website — you can even get access to key details such as company size, contact information (such as phone numbers and social media), and search behavior. Lead Forensics also includes automatic lead scoring based on multiple criteria that triggers instant notifications to flag your ideal customers.

9. Leady

Website visitor tracking software: Leady

  • Price: Starts at $39/month
  • G2 rating: 4.8 out of 5

Leady takes the visitor identification game to a different level than the rest by identifying company and individual visitors, too. They’re also one of the few web visitor tracking tools that provide support for B2B lead generation and in-app product behavior. So you can track visitors as they become users and beyond — from end to end.

10. netFactor VisitorTrack

Website visitor tracking software: netFactor VisitorTrack

  • Price: Contact netFactor for pricing details
  • G2 rating: 4.7 out of 5

netFactor’s VisitorTrack software brings in more buyer intent details from across the web than any of the other identification and visitor tracking software on our list. Their Company Surge feature tracks your website visitors across the web — so you can pinpoint those with the highest buying intent and reach out with the right message at the right time.

Website Analytics Tools

Purpose: When you want to zoom out and get an aggregate view of your website’s performance.

When it comes to visitor and website traffic tracking, there’s actually a lot you can learn from traditional website analytics tools — if you choose the right software and know how to use it. The tools below offer a broad range of website analytics with some visitor tracking features thrown in.

11. Google Analytics

Website visitor tracking software: Google Analytics

  • Price: Free
  • G2 rating: 4.5 out of 5

The free version of Google Analytics offers key audience and behavior website metrics as well as segments such as audience demographics, devices used, and new versus returning visitors. With more advanced features such as the Behavior Flow report, you can actually learn a lot more about who your website visitors are and how they behave on your site, which many Google Analytics users may not realize.

12. Kissmetrics

Website visitor tracking software: Kissmetrics

  • Price: Contact Kissmetrics for pricing details
  • Capterra rating: 4.3 out of 5

Kissmetrics offers more advanced cohort analytics, built specifically for ecommerce and SaaS businesses. The tool enables marketers and product teams to tie all website behavior to a real person and see their entire journey, even across devices. Plus, with cohort analysis, you can use the behavior of real users to identify and target your most valuable customers and quality leads.

13. Woopra

Website visitor tracking software: Woopra

  • Price: Free plan; paid plans start at $999/month
  • G2 rating: 4.4 out of 5

With features for optimizing your web, mobile, and product experiences, Woopra is one of the most comprehensive web analytics and visitor tracking tools on our list. Their People Profiles enable you to take a closer look at real users and website visitors and get to know them on a deeper, more qualitative level.

14. SimilarWeb

Website visitor tracking software: SimilarWeb

  • Price: Free plan; contact SimilarWeb for paid pricing details
  • G2 rating: 4.1 out of 5

SimilarWeb approached website visitor tracking from a different angle than the rest of the solutions we’ve mentioned so far — by looking at your competitor’s website. With SimilarWeb’s Research solution, you can benchmark the makeup of your customer base and website visitors against competitive websites. Plus, you can identify the content and websites your visitors (and your competitors’ visitors) find most engaging across the web.

The Right Website Visitor Tracking Software for You

When it comes to website visitor tracking, the software tools that work best for you will very likely be different than the visitor tracking stack any other company uses — because they should be tailored to your unique needs and the gaps in your existing stack.

Whatever those needs are, the tools above can help you better understand who your website visitors are and how they behave across your site and the rest of the web. Then, you can get to optimizing your website and marketing to boost conversions and create a better experience for visitors.

Note: Ready to better understand your website visitors and their behavior on your website? Sign up and try Crazy Egg free for 30 days to get access to visitor behavior tracking software that’s built to help you optimize your site.

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Top 5 Tools To Use For Faster Organic Social Media Growth In 2020
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Top 5 Tools To Use For Faster Organic Social Media Growth In 2020



Want to know the BEST tools for social media growth? Watch this.

If you want to get the best tools to get more followers on instagram, best tools to grow faster on instagram, or best free tools for social media in general, this is a must see video. In this video I share with you the BEST tools to grow faster on instagram organically so that you can get organic instagram growth 2019. I also teach you how to use instagram analytics! I also teach you awesome tools to grow on youtube such as how to use tubebuddy, and just how to use these tools for faster organic social media growth. These tools to grow on instagram and tools to grow on youtube will be essential – especially any instagram growth hacks 2019-2020

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15 Tools to Tune Remote Work
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15 Tools to Tune Remote Work


Remote work is no longer a whim, but an established reality for many people. It was previously associated with a nice picture of a laptop-on-the-beach remote work grind, but you probably found out that it’s all a harsh lie. Here, I’m going to share the tools that help my team speed up our internal processes and stay productive.



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16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane
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16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane




16 Apps and Tools to Keep You Productive and Sane









































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Your Email Testing Playbook for 2020 (& the Tools You'll Need)
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Your Email Testing Playbook for 2020 (& the Tools You’ll Need)


A/B testing is one of those techniques that, if you have enough volume to give you significant results, is pretty much guaranteed to generate better results from your marketing.

Email marketers have known this for ages, but what drives me nuts is that they waste their time on tiny little tests — instead of tackling some of the bigger, more exciting tests that yield real insights and improvements.

Download Now: Email Marketing Planning Template 

In fact, MarketingSherpa’s email survey found that subject lines are still the most commonly tested element in email marketing. Meaning that those few words that get your subscribers to open your emails and see your wonderful offers are what marketers focus on most in their attempts to optimize their email marketing.

While I’m sure this strategy can end up getting you the most tested, optimized subject line that will ever reach an inbox, the impact of these tests are minimal compared to all the other things an email marketer could be testing.

marketing sherpa email survey chart2 resized 600

So … are you ready to run some big, exciting tests? In this blog post, we’ll highlight what you should be experimenting with and which tools can help you. But, first, we’ll explain the importance of A/B testing. 

 

A/B testing is a great way to test two different newsletter formats that promote the same content or two newsletters with slightly different design elements, such as different images or types of CTAs.

 

Rather than testing one template repeatedly for a few weeks, followed by another email format test, this testing phase quickly allows you to test two styles and pick a winning template on a limited schedule.

 

As you consider A/B testing or other email experimentation, here are a few vital things you’ll want to test when building out your email marketing strategy.

Email Testing

1. Test different types of offers in your messages.

Possibly the biggest lever you have in your email marketing is not the few words you use to describe your offer, but rather, the offer itself.

Whether you’re testing two ebooks against each other, or an ebook versus a webinar, this test is bound to get you better results overall. The reason this is particularly important is, while you may think your offer is the best thing since the iPod, you may also be wrong.

We started doing this sort of testing religiously back in the summer of 2010 and saw dramatic results. Instead of taking our email list and sending them all our latest ebook, we would take a smaller portion of the list, split it in half, send them each two different offers, and then send the better performing offer to the (larger) remainder of the list. This testing alone increased our monthly email leads 4-8x instantly.

Email leads increase

Here are some more specific offer elements you can consider testing:

  • Topic: Do certain offer topics resonate better with your audience? For example, we might test one of our ebooks on Facebook against one of our ebooks on Twitter.
  • Format: Which offer format does your list prefer? Do they love webinars? How does that compare to their interest in ebooks, kits, free trials, etc.?
  • Length/Size: Does your audience prefer smaller, bite-sized offers like tip sheets, or are they hungry for more, like an 80-page ebook? Try testing longer forms of content vs. shorter offers, or one offer vs. a set of offers.
  • Name of Offer: Sometimes the way you position your offer can make a difference with your audience. Think ebook vs. guide vs. whitepaper, or factbook vs. slideshow vs. download.

2. Analyze the landing page you’ll be linking to.

The goal of your email is not just to get someone to open or click through; it’s also to take some action. For example, to download your offer. So don’t think of your email in a vacuum. Think of it in the context of driving that particular action, which means optimizing where the action takes place: the landing page.

After all, if you create this great email that drives lots of clicks to your website but then you lose those potential leads at the last stage, it’s like you’ve run the first leg of a marathon but then decided to drop out of the race during the very last mile.

Here are some important landing page elements to test:

  • Description of Offer: The way you position your offer may have an impact. Calling out that a consultation is free, or referencing testimonials of people who have downloaded that offer, for example, can be interesting variables to test.
  • Length of Description: Do you go on and on about your offer, providing testimonials and screenshots, or do you keep things short and sweet in bullet point form?
  • Image/Preview of Offer: Using a supporting image is great, but what do you show? An image of the ebook cover, a sample page of the ebook so people can see what’s inside, or a preview of the first few pages?
  • Form Placement: Do you put the form on the left? The right? Below a block of text? Best practices say make it visible on immediate page load (above the fold), but feel free to play around with the placement.
  • Number of Form Fields: What data do you really need from your prospects? Fewer form fields usually leads to a higher conversion rate, but you should always test asking the bare minimum versus asking for every personal detail — and somewhere in between. We’ve also published some great advice about this debate here.
  • Which Form Questions to Ask: In addition to the number of form fields, which questions you ask on your form can have a big impact. Asking for Social Security Numbers or visitors’ first born child’s name is very different from asking for size of company or industry.
  • Form “Submit” Button Text: Do you use a straightforward, action-oriented phrase like “Download Ebook Now,” a fun option like “Let’s Go!” or a standard “Download” button? Test out the text of the button you know each lead is clicking on.

3. Leverage audience segmentation tests.

The success of your email is not just dependent on what you’re emailing or how you’re emailing it, but also *who* you’re emailing.

For HubSpot, an offer called, Agency Kit: How to Create Effective Ebooks for your Clients may get a great response from marketing agency owners, but it’d probably get a terrible response from the nonprofit marketers interested in our content.

The simple act of segmenting your email list to narrow your audience down to one that would find your content more relevant can have an amazing impact on your results.

Here are some audience segmentation tests you can run:

  • Interest: Has someone downloaded an ebook on this topic before? Do you know they have a particular challenge based on their website browsing history? Target the offers around those interests for a boost in response rate.
  • Persona: Identify your main business personas, and target your content to each one. At HubSpot, this means we send different content to small business owners than what we send to nonprofit marketers, for example.
  • Recency or Level of Engagement: Did this subscriber come to your site recently, or has it been a few months? Did they download a dozen ebooks, or just one?
  • Other Demographics: Try segmenting on other demographics collected by marketing or sales – things like industry or role or company size.
  • Lifecycle Stage: Where is this person in the sales and marketing funnel? Did they just start engaging with you, or are they in the last stages of the sales process? This article provides suggestions on what to send at each stage of the funnel.

Check out this blog post for even more examples of how you can slice and dice your email list for better segmentation.

4. Test different newsletter formats.

Changing up the format of your email can also have a surprising effect on your response rate. This could mean everything from the length of the email, to including a lot of images, to creating a simple, plain text email. Keep in mind that your results may differ depending on the type of offer.

For example, our new ebooks perform best when sent in a nicely formatted html email, while our free consultation offers perform better when sent as a simple, plain text email.

Here are some formatting elements you can test in your email marketing:

  • Plain Text vs. HTML: Simply try changing your pretty HTML email into a plain, personal-looking email to see how that changes your response rates. You might be surprised at the results!
  • Content in Text Only vs. Text and Images: At HubSpot, for example, we tend not to rely too much on images because many subscribers don’t enable or download images in their emails. That being said, some companies have had great success with using visuals to tell stories that you simply can’t convey through words alone.
  • Number of Calls-to-Action: Do you go with a newsletter style with a lot of calls-to-action, or zone in on one single offer?
  • Length of Email: Do you go short and sweet, include meaty content, or go on and on about the value of the offer?

If you have a number of different email templates or design tweaks you want to test in a limited amount of time, you could consider A/B testing. 

5. Send newsletters at different times and frequencies.

Timing is one of the most popular things marketers try to optimize. But it seems like there’s more talk about the best time to send in general, and not enough testing going on to determine the best time to send email to your own subscribers — or even a specific segment of your subscribers.

Even within HubSpot, we have segments of subscribers who respond more to emails on Mondays, Saturdays, mornings, afternoons — on top of that, all in their own timezones.

Instead of sending email at every marketer’s favorite time (Tuesdays at 10 a.m.), break away from the pack and see what works specifically for your audience in order to optimize for your particular business — and to have a better chance of breaking through the clutter of other businesses’ emails.

Consider conducting the following timing/frequency tests in your email marketing:

  • Day of the Week: If you always email on Tuesdays, try mixing it up and sending on a Monday or Saturday.
  • Time of Day: Do you always send emails in the mornings on the East Coast? Try an afternoon send — or even go for after work hours.
  • Triggered by Specific Behavior: It’s not just about when you want to send an email, it’s about when your subscriber has taken some interesting action. Try targeting your follow-up around when they take an action using marketing automation.
  • Timing Around Trigger Event: How soon after the triggering event should you send that email? Immediately? An hour later? A day later? Longer?
  • Frequency: How much should you email someone, and how much time should you leave in between? Once a month, once a week, once a day? Check out this article to help you determine your optimal email frequency.

6. Determine if your sender name or address impacts your email numbers.

If you haven’t tested a different sender name or address yet, definitely add this to your list. While best practices still apply (in other words, using a name that recipients will recognize as well as a real email address that your prospects can respond to), you can always try out different names to see how it affects your open and clickthrough rates.

Here are some sender name tests to try out:

  • Consistency vs. Change: Should you use the same name for consistency, or try changing it up email to email to garner more attention?
  • Personal vs. Company: Should you use an individual’s name, your company name, or some combination? (e.g. ‘Ellie Mirman,’ ‘HubSpot,’ or ‘Ellie Mirman, HubSpot’)
  • Category-Related Name: If you have a subscriber in a particular segment of your business, you can try sending an email from the name of that segment (e.g. ‘Small Business Team’). If your subscriber signed up for a particular type of content, try using a name related to that specific content type (e.g. ‘HubSpot Webinars)’.

HubSpot’s Free Email Software

HubSpot’s free email tool allows you to create email campaigns that can be ent to email subscribers or contacts in your CRM.

hubspot-marketing-email-drag and drop layout

Aside from providing an easy-to-use drag-and-drop software, HubSpot also allows you to test email designs through an A/B test feature. The software also provides tips related to length in the subject line and preview text area which can help you write captions and instantly verify that they won’t get cut off.

On top of all these features, HubSpot’s software will notify you if it can’t find a link in your email. It will also warn you when inboxes like Gmail will trim your message. 

Litmus

Ever wonder if your email will look aesthetically pleasing on different devices and in different email provider inboxes? With Litmus, you can sign up for free and send them the email you want to test. From there, Litmus will automatically review the email and send you screenshots showing what your message will look like to readers using different email providers. 

Litmus email design testing software

Mail-Tester

Worried you’re using phrases or wording that could trigger spam filters to burry your email? With Mail-Tester, you can log in and get a special email address to send your test email to. After you send it, Mail-Tester will send you a report that notes any of the spammy trigger words that were in your message so you can correct your language before sending to your full list.

Mail-tester email testing tool

Sender Score

Sometimes, if your IP address is associated with sending many different email newsletters, email providers might move your email to spam. If you suspect that your IP address could be negatively impacting your email numbers, you can use SenderScore to find out if your IP address is considered “spammy.”

Sender Score IP address tester

SubjectLine

If you need help with writing subject lines, you can test a few before sending your email with SubjectLine.com. When you go to the website, you simply type in a subject line and click the submit button. Then, you’ll receive a grade out of 100 points as well as pointers for improvement. 

SubjectLine.com subject line scorecard

Reminder: Test only one thing at a time. 

The key with any of these tests is to test just one element at a time so you can isolate your variables and thus tie the difference in results is to that particular change. And if you crank through this list of BIG email tests, here are some great ideas for quick, smaller tests to; always be optimizing.

Happy testing!

Editor’s note: This blog post was originally published in 2012 but was updated for comprehensiveness and freshness in March 2020. 

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How to grow your YouTube rankings with the right SEO tools
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How to grow your YouTube rankings with the right SEO tools


We’re all aware that YouTube’s video consumption grows every year, so it’s kind of obvious that YouTube search engine is huge, possibly being outdone only by Google. 

There is also a simple fact: YouTube video content will always have lower competition compared to text.

Still, to rank high, SEO matters. Optimizing for YouTube includes many tasks, and doing them right requires some tools.

From writing the perfect description to looking up what your competition did right, there is SEO software for all aspects of YouTube optimization.

In this list, those tools are organized first by functionality: keyword research, channel audit and competition research — and second by the tools’ complexity.

YouTube SEO tools to choose the perfect keywords and topic

Tool highlights: YouTube Autocomplete, Google Keyword Planner, Rank Tracker, Keywordtool.io, Kparser, Keywords Everywhere.

The topics for your YouTube videos need to be carefully optimized. What you need to do is communicate to the search engine that out of all the videos targeting a particular keyword you are the best one. This is done by filling out your title, description, and tags.

For beginners

If we’re talking about just getting suggestions for this one YouTube video, we don’t need to go beyond the free tools.

SEO is not always about advanced, expensive software packs. Here, we’ll use what YouTube gives to us by default.

Go right on YouTube and type into the search bar the beginning of the topic you may have vaguely in mind. YouTube will then present you with a list of options, showing what people mostly search for connected to that.

YouTube rankings

Simply go through a bunch of letters of the alphabet. You’ll get plenty of video ideas that you can then further research and find out if this is your topic.

So while this is free, which is always a bonus, and it doesn’t require you to go anywhere from YouTube, there are still some drawbacks. Like you can only look up one word at a time, and there’s zero info on your results, and so on.

Sure, if all you’re after is creating one video a month, that method could suit you fine.

But if you’re looking to implement YouTube into your marketing strategy fully, it won’t be enough. You’ll need a more convenient SEO tool covering YouTube optimization.

For a full-on video campaign

To go a little more in-depth, turn to Google Keyword Planner. There, you’ll have an easier time putting in a bunch of possible topics and getting some good results in return.

YouTube rankings

Now, not to be blasphemous. But I was never a fan of Keyword Planner. For example from the screenshot: I searched for “Turkish rap” and the data on searches it gives is “10K to 100K”? There’s a 90K difference in there that really matters.

On top of that, you can only search 10 keywords at a time. And if you’re serious about YouTube SEO, you’ll be looking up dozens of them.

So if what you’re looking for is seriously comprehensive data, turn to Rank Tracker (full disclosure: it’s my project). Since it’s a holistic tool, you’ll get a bunch of things there, but for now, we’re interested in Autocomplete Tools.

There, choose YouTube Autocomplete, and get extended results.

YouTube rankings

As this is the full-on YouTube rank checker and keyword research solution, suitable for SEO in general also, you will get a whole bunch of info.

A useful feature, among other things, is that you can sort your keywords by their length — this helps you better target those amazing long-tail keywords, which usually bring your videos a lot of clicks.

That said, this is a desktop-based tool, and as such, it takes a download and an installation to actually start using its full functionality.

If you can’t spare the time, Keywordtool.io and Kparser work perfectly for this aspect of YouTube marketing.

The catch with them is just that they are actually freemium-based. You can use them for free, but their functionality then is severely limited.

Both these tools give a good number of keyword suggestions specifically for YouTube. That said, they don’t give any additional information about them. They also aren’t free, and require you to cough up some dough to access their full functionality.

That said, as paid software, it fits a digital marketer working with a campaign of pretty much any volume.

If you’re dead tired of using additional tools in general, look into using a nice free tool, Keywords Everywhere. It functions as a nice and light extension to your browser.

You’ll get a slew of SEO information right in your browser, and will be able to do parts of your research “on the fly”.

What’s important is that you implement your keyword research, not just by adding keywords to your title, but to your description and tags, as well.

Tools for SEO audit of your YouTube channel

Tool highlights: YouTube Analytics, Social Blade, Quintly, TubeBuddy, vidIQ, Tubics.

For any kind of business, an audit is paramount. Running a YouTube channel is no different. You need to keep your hand on the pulse of what does and doesn’t work. You’ll be able to use those insights further on when building your YouTube strategy.

For beginners

Turn to the very useful YouTube Analytics (YouTube’s native tool) first. You’ll get a bird’s eye view of what’s happening with your channel.

And for a lot of us, YouTube Analytics is actually quite enough.

You get the info about your viewership, and what they prefer watching overall. You get a neat graph with the history of your viewership all laid out.

It’s not super comprehensive, but it gets the job done if all you want is a little statistics.

A good supplementary tool would be Social Blade. Simply enter your channel’s name and get some numbers on your channel.

There’s also a very fun Future Predictions feature available, which will show you how much your videos are projected to grow.

And although quintly is not a specifically YouTube-oriented feature, it works pretty nicely. In addition to data on subscribers, engagement, watch time of your videos, and so on, it provides a convenient reporting feature, useful for anybody managing a larger team.

For a full-on video campaign

Of course, if you want to go deeper, you should look into a tool like TubeBuddy. It is one of the best supplementary tools to YouTube Analytics, and, really, it deserves the hype.

There is an abundance of features presented here:


You can analyze your channel’s stats, get data on your videos, and perform competition research. You also can edit the thumbnails, annotations, and descriptions of your YouTube content.

From suggesting you tags (which, by the way, doesn’t seem to influence your actual SEO rankings much), to translating your video’s title and description, TubeBuddy is one of the best suites on the market right now, and it comes at an affordable price.

From $9/mo to $49/mo, you’ll get varied functionality. That said, even the free version is good enough to vastly improve your SEO.

Or, maybe you’d like to try something like vidIQ, which is also an all-in-one YouTube SEO solution.

It’ll give you tips on best publishing times, suggest your niche’s influencers to connect with, and so on. A handy browser extension lets you research competitors in the same way.

It also has the bulk editing of end cards for your videos. A small thing, but it’s such a time saver. That’s really the advantage that only those of us working with large-volume video marketing campaigns could appreciate.

Tubics is a similar tool. You get, in the same Swiss army-knife package, instruments for keyword research, and channel audit.

And if you need to check your videos’ and channel’s rankings, you could use a rank tracking tool. The tool can get pricey for a smaller channel, but the trial is free, and if you don’t feel like you’re getting enough out of it, you can just cancel any time.

Research your YouTube competition

Tool highlights: Rival IQ, NoxInfluencer, Socialinsider, Vaizle.

In the exact same way as with more traditional SEO for Google, YouTube SEO includes competition research.

Keeping an eye on what makes your competition’s YouTube content rank is one of the best things you can do for your own SEO.

Here the market leader is definitely a tool called Rival IQ.

With it, you will get a panoramic view of your YouTube competitors and their SEO rankings. Take a close look at what’s been working exceptionally well for their YouTube videos. From the kind of tags they use to title formats, try and learn what the best-ranking people in your niche are doing.

I also found NoxInfluencer to be suitable for competition research. For pretty much any niche or location you’ll see exactly what your biggest competitors’ YouTube profiles are.

There’s also YouTube Competitors Analysis Tool by Socialinsider and Vaizle. They provide a breakdown and comparison of your channel and videos to those of your competition, comparing the frequency of posting, videos’ stats, and more.

Conclusion

In 2020 SEO, businesses and agencies that pursue a holistic YouTube strategy will always be three steps ahead of everyone else. We need to determine every opportunity to create videos that will engage our potential clients.

Creating YouTube videos as part of your marketing campaign is tapping into a huge well of billions upon billions of searches for video content that was previously unavailable to us.

And that’s a well we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand.

Aleh is the Founder and CMO at SEO PowerSuite and Awario. He can be found on Twitter at .

Related reading

Searching for CX: The impact of search in the age of customer experience
Four tips to help your brand thrive despite Google's notification changes
Six key SEO recommendations that matter in 2020
Six great ways to get more out of your digital marketing campaigns in 2020



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