I doubt a day goes by where you don't get at least 5 emails promoting the latest must have tools.
I am here to tell you today you don't need 99.9% of them.
Digital Marketing or Online Marketing isn't about tools it's about the offer you have and engaging with your audience.
Digital Marketing Tools tend to fall into 2 categories:
1) Tools You Need
2) Tool's it's nice to have
The first category is very small, the second considerably larger. In this article I am going to focus on the first group.
It's all to easy to spend money on the second category thinking that they are actually tools you need.
They usually aren't.
So it's important that you pause before buying any tools and ask yourself some questions
The key questions to ask yourself about any digital marketing tool is:
Will it enhance my marketing?
Will it give me a competitive advantage?
Do I really need it?
Remember every dollar you spend is another dollar you need to make to get a profit.
Tools You Need
I consider the following 3 tools to be the ones you need to generate an income.
- An Email Service Provider
- A way To Collect Email Addresses
- A Way To Collect Money
All but one of those can be done for free, Lets look at them individually and consider some options.
Email Service Providers.
Rule Number 1: Get the best Email Service Provider you can afford.
ESP's come in all shapes and sizes some just send emails others send emails, allow you to segment your audience have an inbuilt CRM and connect to places like facebook to create custom audiences.
Your ESP is what will make you money in the long run so it deserves an investment. Personally I have tried pretty much every ESP going apart from Infusionsoft in the past 13 years and I always return to Activecampaign
I find the automations and segmentations make it a must have tool for my business.
In all reality you could start by just using a gmail account and I know people who do this but it's very hands on and personally I prefer automating as much as possible.
You can get a Free Trial to ActiveCampaign Here
Collecting Email Addresses
Now that you have your Email Service Provider you can use their forms to collect your audience's email addresses. In most cases they will be pretty basic but they will work.
I would recommend doing this until you start getting regular traffic.
Once you have traffic then it's time to drive forward your lead collection.
You can use bar's at the top of the page , pop ups, welcome mats and exit pop ups along with in content options such as links and content upgrades. (examples below)
DO NOT under any circumstances offer access to your newsletter.. give your readers added value. Create checklists , mini courses or guides.
There is no reason why you need to stick with a 1% or 2 % optin rate.
Strive for 30%+ unfortunately you'll probably only manage this with 3rd party tools like :
Leadpages (monthly cost)
Thrive Leads (one time payment but confusing as hell! Also not related to thrivecart)
Or the new kid on the block Convertbox – Currently a one time payment whilst in Beta. (It's very quick to set up and it's what I am using on this page ..click below to see it in action)
Getting paid.. it's the reason you are into Online Marketing isn't it? In that case you need to be able to take payments.
Starting off stick to Paypal. It's easy, and people are used to it. In their tools section you can create buttons and links.
Depending on what type of business you have you may want to go with Shopify, Thrivecart, Samcart or a plugin like woocommerce.
Cull Your Digital Marketing Tools
Last year I did an audit of all my digital marketing tools, At the end of I had cancelled lot's of them and saved myself over $10,000 a year.
Most top marketers I know have very few tools that they use. Most focus on mastering the techniques that are important. If you want to master the key techniques grab a copy of my free Techniques Not Tools Report
I like to look for tools that i feel will help by business in the longterm. To that end I buy lots of tools that are still in development. This means that I'll usually get a lifetime price rather than paying monthly.
Over the years this has paid of on lots of occasions. For example I paid $147 for Thrivecart it's currently $597 but soon it's going to $97 per month. I recently grabbed Convertbox for $297 instead of the monthly price which will be something like $69 . (Both are still available at one time prices.)
If you take this route you need to ensure that the developers have a good track record.