There is a host of tools available online that you can use to improve the quality of your inbound marketing campaigns.
The axiom you get what you pay for does NOT apply here. That is, these tools are free yet at the same time fantastically useful.
Below are three free tools I always come back to. They speak to each stage of an inbound marketing campaign.
The buyer persona template described below is a tool for the pre-launch stage of your campaign. The visual tools come in when you are actively attracting leads. The email marketing software will help you stay engaged with leads and clients over the long term.
1. Buyer persona templates
The more you know and understand about your target market, the better you can prepare content that will be relevant and valuable to it. That’s why buyer personas are an essential first step to an inbound marketing campaign.
Buyer personas put you in the shoes of your customers, and a template walks you through the process of creating a thorough and complete picture of your buyer or buyers.
Hubspot’s buyer persona template is free, and you can create a persona for each type of customer your business serves. It then allows you to segment your personas into different stages within the buyer’s journey; prospects, leads, and customers.
Attaching a buyer persona to each of your contacts helps you understand who your current and potential customers are so that you can tailor your marketing content to their needs.
For a more concise buyer persona template, this offer is available as well.
2. Visual enhancers
Inbound marketing content works best when it’s a combination of valuable information AND eye-catching imagery. When you are publishing, especially on social media, it’s the image that will likely be the initial hook.
The following sites are chock full of fabulous free imagery:
- Unsplash - “Gifted by the world’s most generous community of photographers.”
- Pexels - “Best free stock photos in one place.”
- Pixabay - “Free images and videos you can use anywhere.”
Yes please, and thank you!
Well-chosen words tie the image and blog post together and allow the image to be more useful as a standalone element that can get reposted around the web.
3. Email marketing software
Constant Contact was the first well-known email marketing platform, but several players have come into the market with a combination of free and paid subscription plans. If you’re not sure what you need or what you may need to pay for, PC Magazine offers this useful comparison chart.
We are partial to MailChimp for its free starter plans, intuitive email building tools, robust segmenting options, and lighthearted branding.
Email software picks up where your blogs, calls-to-action, and landing pages leave off. It helps you categorize the leads your content marketing efforts have attracted and continue to enlighten and nurture them. It also keeps you engaged post sale when you want to turn your customers into repeat customers and referral sources.
Segmenting your email contacts is the key to successful email marketing. Messages tailored to each type of contact are more effective than sending the same message to your entire contact list. This is a good time to refer back to your buyer personas to see who should be receiving what email and when!
Your contacts are at different stages of their buyer’s journey and have different types of relationships with your company, and the emails they receive should reflect that.
Use MailChimp’s rundown of the different ways to segment your email list to start thinking ahead about how segmenting would work for your company.
With these free and low-cost tools for inbound marketing, you can launch and sustain a professional inbound campaign and not break the budget doing it.
Thanks for stopping by,
Breezy Hill Marketing is a Vermont web design company based in Richmond, VT. We use our expertise in inbound marketing to help clients create effective marketing strategies. Social media marketing, digital advertising, and web design are also some of our specialties.