Email Marketing & Automation
Infusionsoft – Infusionsoft is the “Ferrari” of marketing automation tools. It handles CRM, email scheduling & delivery, payment processing, affiliate programs, analytics, lead scoring, and much more! We recommend Infusionsoft for small businesses looking to experience some explosive growth – but it isn’t necessarily right for every business, which is why we created a comprehensive guide to determine if it’s right for your business. Click here to check out the guide.
Mailchimp – For businesses that aren’t quite ready for Infusionsoft, Mailchimp is a fantastic starting point. You can get the basics of email marketing down with Mailchimp, then upgrade to Infusionsoft later on when you’re ready for the explosive growth.
Aweber – A good alternative to Mailchimp is Aweber. It’s slightly more expensive for a basic plan (starting at $20/month vs free), but it does offer some ease-of-use benefits for the extra cost.
CustomerHub – CustomerHub is the easiest way to set up a membership site for your Infusionsoft account. You can easily add videos, images, audio, files that are protected members only. Use member groups to run multiple programs out of a single CustomerHub application to have different levels (such as Gold, Silver, Bronze, etc. which features different content.
Jigsaw Box – Jigsaw Box is a really cool membership tool designed specifically for coaches and experts. It doesn’t (yet) contain as many of the fancy automation features as iMember360 or CustomerHub, but it is very simple and straightforward to set up for “non-techy” business owners and covers the basics very nicely, as well as some special features designed to make running a coaching business much more simple.
Easy Website / Landing / Squeeze / Sales Pages
OptimizePress – OptimizePress is one of our favorite WordPress tools. We use it for quickly building beautiful landing pages, squeeze pages, sales pages, and much more. It can help you easily build pages that would ordinarily require that you hire a web designer to build.
LeadPages – LeadPages is an awesome tool that helps you create opt-in pages to grow you email list. It features page designs that are already optimized to convert for you, and even includes simple A/B testing so you can tweak your pages to get the best response. Our favorite feature is the “LeadBoxes” function which lets you create simple opt-in buttons that pop up a lead capture form on any page you’d like.
Easy Website Optimization
Optimizely – Optimizely is an amazing tool that makes running split testing on websites incredibly easy. Use it to test text on sign up buttons, headlines, images, and more to easily improve your website effectiveness.
LiveChat – LiveChat is simply amazing. You can use this tool to chat with visitors on your website and close a sale, learn about your customers, and much more. LiveChat let’s you initiate a chat with any visitor on your site or wait for them to engage you with a question. If you’re offline, it gives you the ability to collect messages and turn them into customer support tickets. Super easy to install, and incredibly useful. It pays for itself many times over!
Pingdom – Pingdom is a service that can analyze your site loading speed. This has become a big issue for optimizing your SEO efforts recently. Our favorite feature is that it can monitor site downtime and give you an alert if the site is down for more than a couple minutes so you can be pro-active and contact your web server instead of re-active when clients are frustrated with your site.
TeamworkPM – Our favorite project management software is TeamworkPM. It combines some of the best features of Asana and Basecamp including the standard stuff like to-do lists and files, but also includes Gantt charts, Project milestones, and the ability to assign multiple to-do’s to multiple team members.
Shopify – Shopify is a super easy to use e-commerce website builder that provides all of the basics of getting your products selling online. We have set up entire e-commerce sites on shopify in a matter of days due to it’s ease of use. It also has many built in tools and reporting functions to help you make sense on how your store is performing. If you’re interested in getting set up with an e-commerce store, Shopify is a great tool.
FoundersCard – FoundersCard is an invite-only member program for Entrepreneurs. It provides amazing discounts on hotels, airfare, and business software. We recouped the cost of the program within the first month of savings. The best part is members only VIP networking parties where you can connect and mastermind with brilliant entrepreneurs many times per year.
Rewardli – Rewardli is another great service for finding discounts on software apps for your business. It’s free and full of awesome deals!
Bench.co – Bench.co is an awesome new service that simplifies your bookkeeping and accounting. It provides a super clean and easy to use accounting software that comes WITH a bookkeeper to manage your records. We switched from QuickBooks (which we found to be confusing and clunky) to Bench and have been thrilled with their product and service.
Equitable Payments – Our favorite merchant provider is Darrah at Equitable Payments. Darrah helped us to save over $1000+ per year on merchant fees alone. We currently use them as our primary merchant account provider for clients and have been thrilled with their service. Contact Darrah here
Dwolla – Dwolla lets you send payments for super cheap rates. Use this to pay your affiliate or contractors at just $0.25 per transaction!
Affiliate ManagementOSI Affiliate Software is the best referral marketing platform. Using OSI Affiliate Software, you can create and manage a referral program for your business. Whether you are working with affiliates, influencers, bloggers, and any other partners, OSI Affiliate will track and reward referral sales. Referral marketing is one of the most trusted advertising channels. With a referral program, you will grow and double your business. OSI Affiliate Software.
HostGator – We’ve been using HostGator for years with our basic sites. It’s a fantastic company with very reasonable hosting plans, great support, and a clean interface. As long as you aren’t generating a huge amount of traffic you should be fine running your site on HostGator.
FuseDesk – If your business is running Infusionsoft, and you have more than 50 customers, FuseDesk is a MUST HAVE. Customer service is one of the most critical components of scaling a business. If you don’t have a good system in place, your business will not be able to keep up with the flux of new customer quality issues. FuseDesk is a ticketing system that tightly integrates with Infusionsoft so that customer support emails never fall through the tracks, and cases are easy to find over time because they are tied to each individual contact record. Used properly, FuseDesk will pay for itself many times over.
ZenDesk – If you business isn’t running Infusionsoft, ZenDesk is the next best option to FuseDesk. ZenDesk offers a pretty comprehensive customer service solution, including some handy integrations with alternative CRM platforms.
TextMate – One of the absolutely most frustrating parts of building an auto-responder sequence in any email marketing tool is getting your emails to format correctly. No one wants to have emails going out to customers that look copy-and-pasted together with mismatched formatting. We use TextMate first to remove all formatting, then copy the contents from TextMate into whatever graphical email builder we happen to be using (Infusionsoft, Aweber, Mailchimp, etc.) so that it inherits the formatting of the other text in the email that we’re pasting into.
Why TextMate instead of a built in program like Notepad or TextEdit? If you do any HTML/CSS/programming work, TextMate does a fantastic job of color-coding your important words so that you can easily identify elements of a program. Editing CSS without TextMate is a pain in the rear after you’ve been spoiled by it’s color coding awesomeness!
TextMate is Mac OS only. If you’re running Windows, or never have to touch any code… Notepad should work just fine for this instead.
LastPass – We’re big on password security, and you should be too if you’ve read any accounts of the big hacking that’s been happening lately. However remembering 1000 unique passwords makes my head spin. LastPass securely stores your passwords in an online vault, and allows you to generate secure random passwords easily. For $1/month you can get the premium version that allows you to use LastPass on your mobile devices and tablets as well.
Chains.cc – Jerry Seinfeld has a very cool productivity hack that he shared a few years ago. When trying to form a new habit, you mark an “X” on the calendar for each day that you accomplished your goal. After a few successful days, these days form a “chain” of accomplished goals. After several days, the goal is to simply “not break the chain” which makes it much easier to stick with new habits and make them part of your routine. Chains.cc offers a digital version of this concept, which is totally free! :)
*Note: Some of the links above are affiliate links that help support the website costs by bringing in a few bucks. However, we promise to only recommend products that we have personally tested and vouch for as being excellent and beneficial.