Free 14 Marketing Software Tools for Small Businesses in 2024

Marketing your products and services is an integral part of any business model.

However, many small businesses face budget restrictions that can limit marketing activity and reach.

Here, we’ll look at some of the best free marketing software solutions to help you scale your marketing efforts on a budget.

Key takeaways

  • You don’t need to break the bank to secure the perfect solution.
  • Automation enables staff to move from repetitive tasks to more critical ones.
  • Free trials help you identify the best solutions and features for your needs.

What is software for marketing?

The ultimate aim of software for marketing is to give you the tools you need to increase reach and sales figures.

How it achieves this, and the tasks it undertakes can vary greatly.

Some of these solutions may be fully automated, taking over repetitive tasks from staff, who can then focus on other work.

Free or budget marketing software, such as PandaDoc, can be particularly beneficial for startups or smaller businesses that may not have a budget for large marketing teams or external agencies.

For a company to be successful – and ultimately grow – it needs to attract new customers, retain existing ones, and improve efforts in marketing and sales.

Various tasks and processes must be done along the way to achieve this.

These can range from data collection and email marketing to campaign management and nurturing qualified leads through your sales funnels.

Marketing software can be your trusted sidekick for handling all of these tasks.

Best marketing software: The features to look for

Once you’ve decided that marketing software is an essential part of your plans, a quick look at the market will reveal countless options — it can be overwhelming, to say the least.

A good starting point is to know what you want to get out of the software. Here are some key features to look out for:

User-friendly UI

You may need your marketing software to be accessible by any team member.

That means the interface should be intuitive and user-friendly so anyone can carry out tasks without having to undergo time-consuming onboarding or training.

Data analytics

As your small business grows, the amount of data you collect is likely to increase, too.

You’ll need ways of understanding what that data is saying.

After all, it will help you make decisions for future campaigns.

Your chosen solution should be able to analyze patterns and behavior and present you with easily understandable reports.

Campaign management

You may be running multi-channel marketing campaigns across email, SMS, or social media.

Your ideal software should be able to create, manage, and track campaigns on these different channels.

CRM integration

Your CRM (customer relationship management) system is where you store all relevant data about existing customers.

With a solution that integrates with your CRM, monitoring interactions, optimizing targeted campaigns, and improving overall customer service will be significantly easier. 

See also

CRM vs. marketing automation: Why they’re a match made in heaven

Integrations

As well as CRM, software should integrate with other tools and systems you use, such as email management systems and social media platforms.

This helps create a streamlined marketing workflow and manage data efficiently.

Automation

There are repetitive tasks in any size of business.

In marketing, these tasks can include cycles like welcome emails for new customers or cart abandonment emails as part of your retargeting strategy.

Good automation capabilities free staff from those manual tasks, allowing them to focus on other critical business work.

PandaDoc’s automated marketing system improves performance in three major areas: document creation time, time to close, and document analytics.

Content management

Great content can be one of the most effective marketing tactics.

But you may want that content disseminated on multiple platforms.

The right software can help you plan and manage content over any platform.

SEO

A significant amount of traffic will come from organic searches — and without good SEO, that traffic would be less.

Good marketing software should manage your SEO tactics and may also be able to analyze competitors to see what works.

Social media

Many small businesses focus their marketing efforts on social media.

An efficient solution can help you plan and schedule social media content and can also analyze how that content performs.

Personalization

Personalization now plays a significant role in business marketing.

Good marketing software can tailor your efforts to identified segments or buyer personas when integrated with your CRM.

As we’ve mentioned, small businesses often work with limited budgets.

However, that doesn’t mean result-driven solutions are out of reach — even the most basic free tools will give you access to great features.

From marketing automation software that reduces manual tasks and improves productivity to social media software that offers excellent insights into campaign analytics, there’s something for everyone.

Let’s explore some of the best free marketing software available, their built-in features, and benefits. Want to try before you buy?

We’ll also look at which ones offer free trials before committing to a plan.

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Free marketing automation software

1. Hubspot

HubSpot

Hubspot offers advanced automation capabilities that can make a real difference to your marketing efforts.

The all-in-one platform brings everything together, making campaigns easier to manage and helping you grow traffic, sales, and conversions.

The platform also allows you to easily design and tweak websites with drop-and-drag functionality so that you can optimize landing pages.

Hubspot’s free trial allows you to play around with the different features before you decide on a plan that suits your business needs and budget.

2. Zapier

Zapier

Zapier uses automated workflows known as Zaps.

These can help you streamline different marketing funnels and tools, such as your social media platforms, email marketing, and campaign management.

It can help reduce the need for manual input when it comes to things like your email subscriber list.

With Zapier, you can integrate with your CRM and let the software do (most of) the rest.

Zapier can link that essential CRM system with other marketing tools as well as its own capabilities.

So, rather than having staff clean up your email subscription list or send out regular marketing emails, Zapier does it for you.

See also

The 6 Best Zapier integrations to automate your business

3. Amplitude

Amplitude

We’ve already mentioned the importance of data and good analytics.

Amplitude is a powerful solution that helps you understand customer behavior better and can identify patterns in data.

It gives you real insights when it comes to what’s engaging customers, what helps make them loyal, and what’s generating revenue.

As is crucial with any handling of data, Amplitude helps secure your data and also ensures its trustworthiness.

This means you have reliable insights into what is happening with your business, and why it’s happening, and can help you make informed decisions as to what to do next.

4. Charlie

Charlie

GoCharlie is an ‘AI-based’ solution that can help businesses achieve their marketing goals.

Its main role is to create content that engages with your existing and potential customers in a way that will boost conversions and sales.

The system analyzes historical and current data and trends to produce optimal content.

For example, if you want to improve customer relationships over social media, then Charlie would generate content that it thinks would achieve that goal.

It would look at what sort of content has worked in the past – and what hasn’t – and produce content to help you.

5. Buffer

Buffer

If you have a small marketing team – or even none at all – then covering all the relevant social media channels can be very time-consuming.

When you think that you may have to post on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (sorry, Elon, X), and LinkedIn, you can see how work quickly mounts up, especially when you have to tailor content to each platform.

Buffer allows you to schedule that content across multiple platforms.

Perhaps more importantly, it has integrated analytics that can track and analyze how each post has performed.

6. Hootsuite

Hootsuite

Hootsuite is a widely used tool that helps you manage your social media efforts.

Like Buffer, it allows teams to schedule and post content across different social media platforms you use. Its free version can be very useful for startups or those just beginning on the social media marketing journey.

One of the great things about Hootsuite is that it offers real-time analytics.

That means you can quickly see the effectiveness of different posts.

In turn, that capability allows you to boost content that is performing well and remove content that’s not working at all.

7. Mailchimp

Mailchimp

As the name suggests, this solution can help with marketing emails.

It goes further than that, though, as it can help businesses in several areas, including automation, marketing, content, and analytics.

It can be extremely beneficial for businesses that are looking to grow their organization quickly.

For example, you may decide you want to run an email drip campaign.

Mailchimp can help you create, launch, and organize this.

As the whole process is automated, it can do all the required tasks while also providing you with reports on how effective each stage is.

8. Sender

Sender

Sender is another solution that focuses on your marketing email efforts.

It offers enterprise-level opportunities without the enterprise-level price tag.

It automates critical tasks such as sending follow-up emails when a customer abandons their cart during the checkout process.

As with other tools, Sender provides useful analytical insights so you can see where results are coming from.

It’s also easy to segment your demographic targets and offer them personalized emails.

9. Sumo

Sumo

If you’re looking for a solution that will capture emails from your website or other platforms that you use, then Sumo is the ideal tool — not to mention it’s 100% free for life.

It’s perfect if one of your aims is to build and maintain a useful subscription list.

However, Sumo goes beyond capturing and using emails.

You can customize Sumo so that it creates pop-up campaigns when a customer is browsing.

This allows you to show customers relevant discounts or special offers that are applicable to the landing page they’re on.

10. Google Analytics

Google Analytics

Perhaps one of the best-known free marketing tools, Google Analytics (GA) is perfect for startups still finding their way when it comes to their website.

GA monitors your website traffic in real-time and allows you to see which landing pages are performing well and which are gathering dust.

It’s extremely easy to use and lets staff identify content that visitors like and where some changes may need to be made.

You can also use it to track the performance of individual products and identify any pain points or technical issues with your sales funnels.

11. Trello

Trello

If your team has multiple projects on the go, then Trello may be a great solution.

Easy to use, Trello uses a drag-and-drop Kanban board system so your team can manage multiple tasks. Meanwhile, the handy visualization tools make it simple to see progress on individual tasks or overall projects.

An advantage with Trello is that it can be used by teams other than marketing, clearly showing colleagues which tasks have been assigned to them.

It can also help prevent blockages caused by emails and notifications, streamline your workflows, and boost productivity.

12. Hotjar

Hotjar

Hotjart’s user-friendly dashboard is extremely accessible, displaying everything from heatmaps to visitor behavior and funnel management options.

You can easily create polls and surveys, a great way of finding out what your visitors want as well as what they think of your brand.

By managing existing funnels and creating new ones, Hotjar can help you modify landing pages where needed.

Heatmaps are also a fantastic tool when it comes to understanding visitor behavior and testing different parameters for your marketing and/or advertising campaigns.

13. Portent Idea Generator

Portent Idea Generator

Ever had one of those days when you’ve stared at your screen, waiting for a lightbulb moment? If so, Porten may be what you need.

It can help your marketing team identify content ideas based on entering a simple keyword.

That can then lead to your team producing some great content based on Portent’s suggestions.

It doesn’t matter whether your marketers are creating a blog post, social media content, or ad.

With Portent, you get suggestions as to what direction to go in.

14. Yoast

Yoast

If you’re using WordPress to power your website, the Yoast plugin can help your team with its SEO efforts. Whether you are a website owner or content creator, Yoast helps optimize your landing pages and posts so that they rank highly in search engine results.

It looks at your website (or content) and analyzes it for SEO keywords, readability, and even metadata, so you know it’s optimized as much as possible. It will give you feedback on what you have now and make suggestions as to how to improve it.

Give your small business a big advantage with the right marketing software

Budgets can be a significant hurdle, especially if you’re a small business or startup.

You want the best solutions you can afford, but you also want to be sure they meet your needs.

Today, business owners and marketers are spoilt for choices, with a range of free marketing software that can benefit your team in numerous ways.

Whether you want to create automated workflows that encourage inter-departmental collaboration, improve lead generation, or analyze the performance of social media campaigns – you name it, there’s a solution for it.
PandaDoc Marketing Automation software is guaranteed to improve your business efficiency and streamline document operations with user-friendly tools, content locking, and detailed analytics aimed at improving the performance of your company.

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About the Author: Rayne Chancer