Top Tools of 2016

Add some muscle to the marketing stack.

I polled our team on their favorite tool this year. This list is the result. Each of these tools were game-changers to our marketing stack. We’re excited to share them. Next year we hope a Talklaunch product will be on the list. We’re iterating a slick piece of software right now that, with a little blood, sweat, and tears – we’ll launch around April. I hope your holiday is merry and bright! 

  1. Google Tag Manager

Google tag manager is a free app that centralizes your tags, triggers, and remarketing pixels to track conversions. So instead of editing your Facebook, Adword, Twitter, Email, Youtube, (etc.) tags on each page (can you say time suck?), you edit thim from the GTM dashboard. Retargeting is crucial – there is no better way to extend the customer journey, convert, and close prospects. Expect to see more relevant audience segmentation and customization tools moving into 2017. It’s only getting better.

  1. Asana

Asana is a free task list app for Google Chrome and iOS. I use it to organize links, voice memos, ideas, notes – basically anything I want to come back to later. Having the tasks sync between browser and phone is super handy. 

  • Tip: Use Asana for little snippets of info that wouldn’t otherwise have a home.
  1. Trello

We implement the Kanban work-flow philosophy wherever we can. Prioritizing and completing tasks is what Kanban is all about. Trello’s vertical lists and boards lend itself to this style magnificently. If you are new to Trello, think of them as digital post-it notes on steroids.

  • Pros: Free!
  • Cons: Spend some time on YouTube checking out how folks are using Trello. You will want to have a general workflow and naming convention to begin with or you might spend a lot of time retooling your boards.
  1. Canva

Sketch, Photoshop, and Illustrator are powerful tools. But sometimes less is more. Canva is a lightweight design tool you can access for free from your browser. If you need to drop text on an image, add a quick photo filter, or brainstorm some new logo / branding ideas, canva is a perfect solution. Their stock templates are beautifully designed and fully customizable. Also, standardized sizes for email headers, Facebook ads, and posters save at least one or two Google searches.

  1. Opentest

Opentest is an app for chrome that allows you to quickly create and share screen-share videos. Opentest hosts the videos and provides a link to share. Chances are you’ve seen a few of these from me. Opentest is a natural fit when you need to share reports, updates, outline an agenda,  or ask questions with visual reference.

  • Pros: Huge productivity boost.
  • Cons: Lame social integration needed to unlock their best features.
  • Tip: Use the mClick extension in chrome to highlight your cursor.
  1. Zapier

Zapier connects apps and automates workflows. For example, when you run a Facebook ad with email conversion, you have to manually go to Facebook to download the emails and send followups. No more. With Zapier the email converted from Facebook automatically will trigger your email service provider to deliver the product or follow-up sequence. That’s just the beginning. In this case Zapier could also use the Facebook email conversion to trigger a New Customer board in Trello and add a to-do in Asana. Zapier is for people serious about minimizing touchpoints and repetitive tasks.

  • Tip: As automation gets better and better we should all be asking ourselves, can a bot do this better?
  1. Active Campaign

Speaking of email service providers. In 2016 we worked in AWebber, MailChimp, Infusionsoft, Drip, Convert Kit, and Active Campaign. Active Campaign was our favorite. We love the price-point, the support staff, and the elegance of the tool itself.

  • Tip: If you’re new to marketing automation begin with research. Poll your clients and prospects alike to discover what exactly they love about your product and what their communication expectation is.
  1. Stripe

Stipe is a lean merchant service tool for websites. With Stripe your transactions stay on-page and look particularly beautiful on mobile. We bypassed an expensive eCommerce build-out for Stripe integration this year. You can manage subscription services, recurring payments, and multiple price-points with their tool. Best of all, they integrate with damn-near everybody providing a sales experience that is faster and easier than Paypal.

  • Pros: Very pretty UI.
  • Cons: Not very user friendly on the backend. Register for a tutorial prior to purchase.
  1. Zoom

Zoom is a video conference call tool. We’ve used Zoom this year to record customer research, podcasts, proposal presentations, and conference calls. I love the live annotation tool and the cursor highlighter. Most importantly, the platform has iron-like stability. With only a couple exceptions, Zoom performed spectacularly well.


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Listen to “Top Tools of 2016” on Spreaker.

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