Updated: Jul 28, 2022
When you are at a startup, resources are limited. Spending money wisely and staying scrappy is crucial, especially in the early stages of your company. Staying scrappy is definitely a principle that applies when building out your marketing stack.
It is much needed to take advantage of discounts, free plans and inexpensive tools. That said, just because these tools are inexpensive or free doesn't mean they don’t serve its purpose and produce tremendous ROI. Many are in fact, some of the best tools on the market.
Below, we are going to give you some of the best tools for specifically managing marketing campaigns that are not going to break the bank. We really encourage you to try these out!
Probably the best tool out there for startups. HubSpot covers a wide range of things startups can use, from its main CRM, to social, to email marketing and conversations. When talking about campaigns specifically, campaigns are a segment on its own, and HubSpot provides all the tools to manage assets, performance and attribution.
Keep in mind that HubSpot has different products (Hubs) and each one of them has different features. For example, the campaigns tool lives under Marketing Hub.
Pricing: HubSpot Starter begins at $45 per month, for 2 users, and includes a bundle of all Hubs with limited features.
However, we do recommend that you apply for HubSpot’s Startup Program, where you can save between 30% and 90% for the first year and will provide you with the Pro Plan for both Marketing and Sales Hub.
EmailOctopus is a cost-efficient tool for your email marketing campaigns. It allows you to craft beautiful emails to send to your audience using its simple editor. Additionally, it has email templates ready for you to use. If you’re looking to begin sending out bulk-email campaigns EmailOctopus is definitely a tool to consider.
Pricing: Free plan up to 2500 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Paid plans begin at $24 per month, depending on the number of subscribers.
Hive is an all-in-one project and campaign management tool. Its main key features are flexible project views, such as Gantt charts, Kanban boards and Calendar views. It also provides things such as Hive chat, Hive email and Action Cards, which users love.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial. Hive Team plan starts at $12/month per user.
If you’re in charge of social media at a startup, you’ve probably heard of Buffer. This amazing tool lets you manage and publish content on your startup’s social media accounts with its intuitive platform. Buffer is a go-to for startups because of how easy it is to use, its analytics, and best of all, its affordable for all the capabilities it has.
Pricing: Free plan available for up to three social channels.
Drip is a marketing automation platform that allows marketers to keep track of all interactions with leads, trial users, and customers. Drip provides the capability of sending custom marketing emails and SMS based upon user behavior, as well as other criteria.
It was specially designed for eCommerce, and user reviews are quite positive, especially because of its extensive customization capabilities and pre-built workflows.
Pricing: Free 14-day trial available, and paid plans start at $19.
Okay, you’ve probably heard about this one. Google Analytics is a must-have of any marketing person at a startup. Absolutely crucial for anybody that has a digital presence.
Connecting your website to Google Analytics is quite easy, and once you’ve done that you’ll be able to capture insights on user behavior, as well as identify the different sources your visitors are coming from.
When talking about campaigns specifically, Google Analytics is a great way to measure their performance, by using the custom dashboards. You can even set individual views of each campaign to track success in an organized manner.
Social Pilot, like Buffer, is another social media management tool. It allows marketers to automate their social media campaigns, by having the ability to schedule, queue and measure the success of content.
Social Pilot has a wide range of integrations, and its clean and easy to use interface puts it for many on top of its competitors. In terms of features, it focuses a lot on the automation of social content, which for anyone at a startup is huge. Time is your most valuable resource.
Pricing: Plans start at $42.50 for 3 users.
Anyone who has googled “project management tool” at some point has probably heard of Trello. As a startup with a small marketing team, it is definitely one to keep in mind when thinking about managing a campaign, and all the different projects that have to be completed.
Trello allows teams to collaborate on its Kanban based board, which is quite intuitive, allowing teams to get started with it quickly. When it comes to the pricing, Trello is a no-brainer. Even on its paid plans, pricing is on the lower-end of the spectrum compared to its competitors.
Pricing: Free plan available with limited features.Paid plans begin at $5/month per user
When thinking about email marketing campaigns at a startup, Mailchimp is one of the fist tools that comes to mind. Their email building drag-and-drop editor is preferred by many users, due to its ease of use. In addition, Mailchimp has additional features marketing teams care a lot about, such as A/B testing and device optimization. Templates are also available
In regards to their pricing, Mailchimp is affordable compared to other tools, such as HubSpot. By the time a paid plan is needed, you’ve probably achieved some really good ROI from the platform.
Pricing: Free until 2000 subscribers. Paid plans start a $11 per month
Airtable has become one of the most useful No-Code tools in the startup ecosystem due to its many capabilities. We all know Airtable as a substitute for excel, and its uses as a database, which are quite awesome. That said, when it comes to marketing campaigns, it can be of great use too.
Airtable allows you to collaborate with your team and automate workflows, such as creating creative requests, trigger notifications, and post on social media. It is also a great collaboration tool where you can manage your deliverables through every stage of your campaign.
Price: Free plan available with limited features. Paid plans start at $10/month per seat.
Let us know which other tools you would recommend!
There are many tools to choose from, and new campaign management tools are created each day. We’re sure that we missed some!
We really appreciate your input, and we’re sure that your fellow startup founders and employees do too! Feel free to let us know what you use to bootstrap your marketing campaign efforts right here.