No budget? No worries. These free tools will make marketing your small business faster, better and smarter at a cost that won’t disturb the moths in your wallet. Just think of the return on investment!
1 & 2. Free blog post title generators
No more writer’s block. Just enter your keywords and these tools from Portent and HubSpot will supply a list of headlines that will inspire or least crack you up. “5 Ways to Become the MacGyver of Auto Detailing.” OK! “How Nostradamus Predicted Auto Detailing.” Maybe not.
3. Free inbound links spy
See who links to your competitors’ websites on Ahrefs, a paid tool that gives you a limited look at its data for free. Then ask those linking sites (the high quality ones, anyway) to link to your site and boost your Google ranking.
4. Free testing for websites or email campaigns
Don’t change your website or send out a new email campaign before you test it on real people for free at UsabilityHub, where members earn karma points by testing other members’ designs to qualify for their own free tests.
5. Free customer lifetime value calculator
If you’re trying to figure out how much to bid on search ads, this spreadsheet from the Harvard Business School will give you a number based on purchases the customer is likely to make in the future. And you’ll feel smarter just for downloading something from Harvard!
6. Free live chat for customer service
You’ve seen the little boxes that pop up on websites offering live chat with an agent. You can add that service to your website (for one employee as the chatter) for free with ClickDesk.
7. Free online appointment scheduling
Your clients can book their own appointments online, with no limit for you on number of appointments or number of bookable staff persons, with the free version of Appointy.
8. Free publicity generator
News reporters use Help a Reporter Out (HARO) to find quotable sources for their stories. That could be you, if you register to receive HARO’s three daily email alerts with source requests.
And now for some free self-promotion: Dex Media also offers a customer relationship management platform, DexLnk, with appointment scheduling, contacts database, phone message management, email and text messaging, for a starting price of zero dollars per month.