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Our recommended free online tools for understanding your customers, competitors and campaign, and how you should use them - across 8 marketing analysis activities

I find that when running training courses, the tools I recommend to help marketers are always popular, especially free tools... I originally created this list in 2012, but keep it updated as new tools are released and some tools become paid! If you're relooking at your marketing strategy/budget, why not consider implementing some of these tools? There's a diverse mix of free tools available, one of the enjoyable aspects of working in digital marketing today. I’ll start with the most widely used. Please let us know about the “essential free tools” you use in the comments. For the full comprehensive list - check out our free guide to digital marketing tools. We've structured it around the RACE Framework of reach, act, convert, and engage - covering…

Selecting the best revenue model options for your digital business

A good revenue model is a proven technique used by digital businesses globally, from startups to global corporations, to generate income from traffic on their website, mobile apps, and via digital channels. The 10 digital revenue model options explained in this include both ad revenue models and charging for access to a digital service including freemium revenue models where limited free access is provided with fees charged for the full service. I created this post originally in 2010 to support a revenue model spreadsheet for site owners to forecast their revenue generation. The main parameters you need to set are the variables for each Ad Unit or Container Type (blue fields) and it works out the revenue earning (orange fields) for you!

The site ad revenue model

If you 'plug-in' some average figures for pay-for-performance-based advertising options like cost per click or cost per action…

Website personalization, product, offer and content recommendation services to help retailers and other businesses personalize their proposition to nurture prospects and increase your conversions

The website personalization tools we recommend in this article enable you to segment visitors and then deliver personalized messages of the 'next best product' or 'next best content' within containers on your website as with the classic Amazon personalized recommendations (read their published methodology from this fascinating whitepaper from back in 2003). I originally wrote this post in 2010 when there were fewer personalization options. I have updated it annually since with recommendations provided via social media - do get in touch if you have a suggestion. The latest update includes the new Google AI Recommendations framework that was introduced in January 2021. A serious new competitor has entered the market to disrupt competition and perhaps reduce fees for retailers. [si_monthly_campaign_blog_cta_banner id=156146] This is…

Use a selection of these tools to boost the quality of the content you write

Writing relevant and user-friendly content is harder than it seems. You need to ensure that your text reads clearly and with no mistakes in order to maximize the impact of your message. It’s a real balancing act, which is why a range of content writing tools have been developed to ease your writing journey. Here are 29 of the best online content writing tools to help with all manner of different writing challenges, such as grammar, spelling, writing for SEO and copy editing.

1. Hemingway App

Hemingway App is a very practical application which assesses the readability of your writing by analyzing things like grammar, vocabulary, punctuation and sentence structure. The clever software points out any weaknesses in the text and offers appropriate corrections to enhance it.

2. Readability Test Tool

This readability tool allows you to test a variety…

The updated report elaborates the why, what and how of selecting social media listening and engagement platforms

Social media has been evolving rapidly and presenting a wide range of new challenges and opportunities for businesses to capture the attention of customers. A series of developments, ranging from major acquisitions and closures, new privacy regulations, increasing adoption of AI; a rise of messaging apps and "dark social", the decline of social sharing and organic reach, to name a few, have been disrupting and shaping the industry. In order to stay competitive and make more informed strategic decisions, continuous learning and new approaches are required to master new social technologies and developments. In order to enable companies and individuals to understand the market and make effective decisions about the selection and use of social media monitoring tools and services, this November’s Social Media Monitoring (SMM) Tools and Services Report 2018 by …

6 types of user experience and online audience surveying tools to help create a more customer-centred website and brand

Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics are used by nearly every company since they provide valuable quantitative data on site visitor behaviour. No surprise there. But web analytics systems don't give direct qualitative feedback from site visitors and customers and the surprise to me, is that relatively few companies use these, although their popularity is increasing rapidly. They can be used to support UX improvement projects both on the live site and when getting structured feedback during website redesign. We believe that qualitative website feedback tools are also essential to take the pulse of your website and improve your UX, but surprisingly they are less widely used despite paid services such as Opinion Labs being available for many years and some incredible free tools.

April 2018 update to tools

Thanks for your suggestions in previous…

Use these testing tools to help structure your experiments and boost your conversion rate

A/B tests allow you to run one or more different versions of a page which may include one or more of different features such as a call to action, a hero banner or other page elements compared to a control version. Multivariate testing enables you to test multiple elements at the same time. This requires more traffic and more time spent on set up, but gives the benefit of being able to isolate the impact of each element on conversion and average order value. Improving leads or sales through driving more users down the conversion funnel is the primary goal of these tools. They simplify the process of running these tests, allowing control over the test variables (e.g. how much traffic is sent to the various test versions), provides…

A detailed list of the best digital marketing tools we recommend to help you reach, act, engage and convert your target customers

Having the right set of software tools to manage data insights, content and digital marketing is essential! Without the right ones, you won't be able to create a strategy which reaches target customers and follower them through the customer journey - giving you insights into customer journeys, personas, conversion rate optimization and many more digital metrics essential to staying ahead of competitors. The digital tools we recommend will be categorized into our essential toolkits: Search Engine Optimization: Organic search Paid Search: AdWords Analytics Social Media Marketing (PR and influencer) Email Marketing / Marketing Automation Content Marketing The aim is to provide you with a list of the multitude of different tools available and a comparison of features for various industries, products or services. If used correctly, they can help streamline your…

The 5 best tools for collecting and showcasing customer reviews

Reviews have become essential to buying and selling online with customers trusting customer reviews over 10 times more than descriptions or claims made by the brand itself. Reviews can also benefit a brands’ search marketing efforts, as often they will feature highly in SERPS, particularly for local results. They enable marketers to collect and request product and customer service reviews. Some tools also curate conversations happening on social media for brands to use as social proof on their websites. Customer review and ratings tools enable marketers to collect and request product and customer service reviews. Some tools also curate conversations happening on social media for brands to use as social proof on their websites. We've researched five of the best customer review and ratings tools so you can decide which is best for your business. These tools have been selected to be particularly useful…

5 tools for assessing your online competitors

Site audience comparison tools provide marketers with industry and competitor intelligence to help inform decisions (e.g. new markets, new content strategies). Some of these tools also provide powerful segmentation capabilities. Typically, they do this either by aggregating Internet Service Provider data, panel data or a mixture of the two. Whether you’re launching a new product, entering a new market or wishing to understand what’s driving competitor growth, these tools can provide the relevant information to help inform key decisions. They’re often used to support business cases, helping to identify opportunities and threats in the competitor landscape. So if you are looking to map your competition, build a case for a new product line or more investment in your website, these tools can be extremely useful.

Key things to consider before purchasing and when using these tools: