Creating a well-rounded communication strategy can be quite expensive. With so many communication platforms now considered essential to the success of a business, it’s hard to carry out an impactful strategy without including all of them in some form. Email, website, social media, text messaging and video are all needed to effectively communicate with audiences, which means finding inexpensive tools for business for each category can be a savior to your marketing budget.
Depending on your needs, low-cost tools might not be the right way to go since they don’t tend to offer all the bells and whistles your business could be looking for. However, if money is tight or you just want a lower-priced option before graduating to a more expensive plan or tool, we think the following six are a great start to boost customer or client engagement. Bonus: Your team will be satisfied with the easy-to-use interfaces and features of each tool.
The following communication and marketing tools for business have either free plans or start at under $40.
Video Meetings – Zoom
Price: Free for Basic plan, $14.99 a month for Pro plan
High-Impact: Develop stronger relationships with long-distance or remote clients using video conferencing tools for business.
The Zipwhip team uses Zoom every day, and we can’t recommend it enough. From its crystal-clear audio to simultaneous screenshare feature (even from your smartphone!), our team loves having the option of face-to-face time with customers or business partners when we can’t meet in person. We also enjoy having the flexibility to include remote employees in meetings so no one is left out. When using Zoom, you have the option for audio-only meetings, and with features like Join By Telephone Call-in or one-click joining, your invitees don’t have to be a registered member to use Zoom. Having video as an option to chat also creates a natural, conversational environment, which is one of the easiest ways to humanize your communication with customers or clients.
Design – Canva
Price: Free for Basic plan, $12.95 per person a month for next plan ($9.95 a month when paid for the year)
High-Impact: 40 percent of people respond better to visual information than text.
OK, this isn’t ground-breaking news, but we’d be remiss to not mention it: having the right images for your content matters. Whether it’s a graphic to accompany a social media post or a photo included in an email to your subscribers, you can’t ignore the influence visuals have on consumer engagement. For non-designers or beginners (but great for all levels), we recommend Canva for its drag and drop, user-friendly interface. You can create professional-level graphics and images with editing features and a library of photos, illustrations and templates all for a low monthly price. Companies like Amazon, Netflix and Salesforce are Canva users, so it’s worth checking out if it could fit on your list of tools for business.
Video Editing – Adobe Premiere CC
Price: $33.99 a month
High-Impact: Having video on a landing page increases conversion by 80 percent.
Do a quick Google search, and you’ll find plenty of articles that explain why video is an absolute must for any business today. You don’t need fancy equipment to start recording videos – a smartphone will do just fine. But if you want a tool that offers more editing options than trimming, our team’s videographer recommends Adobe Premiere CC. It offers high-end, professional features but with a more approachable interface than other programs. If you’re new to video editing, Premiere Pro has plenty of tutorials to get you started, from the very basics, like graphics and titles, to the extras, like animation, color adjustment and audio mixing.
Email Platform – Mailchimp
Price: Free plan available or $10 a month and up
High-Impact: Global automated email marketing alone is expected to account for $2.7 billion by 2025.
Under the right circumstances, email is still a top tool for consumer engagement. But one of the most powerful ways to reach consumers in their inbox is to take advantage of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with automated marketing. This means sending automated, targeted emails to your audience based on their behavior throughout the customer journey. This includes emails for welcome series, abandoned carts, order notifications and more. At a low price point, we recommend Mailchimp for its ease of use and abundance of resources that can guide your business on the path of email marketing greatness. Get inspired with these customer success stories from Mailchimp’s website.
Social Media Managing Platform– Hootsuite
Price: $29 a month for 10 social profiles and unlimited scheduling
High-Impact: 87 percent of marketers consider that social media helped them grow their exposure
If you’re still managing all your social media channels individually, you can save hours a week by using a social media managing platform. This is the tool you need to help monitor your accounts, reply to customers and create new posts, all from one location. We think Hootsuite is a great platform to use for the price. The convenience of scheduling posts in advance is worth the price alone but features like high-level data analysis and plug-in options make this a well-rounded platform to adopt for a business of any size.
Text Messaging Platform – Zipwhip
Price: $35 a month for Economy plan
High-Impact: 89 percent of consumers prefer texting over emails or phone calls
The best way to communicate with your audience is by reaching them on their preferred platform, and survey after survey tells us that the platform is texting. Customers actually want businesses to text them more, so take advantage of the opportunity and incorporate a texting-for-business tool into your communication strategy. Zipwhip’s tools for business let your business strengthen customer relationships with conversational texting, scheduled messages, keyword-triggered responses, photo sharing and more. Our platform simplifies team workflow, too: Zipwhip’s multi-user platform allows for easy collaboration between large teams, making it possible to get more done in less time.
Get started with Zipwhip today. Our free 14-day trial is ready when you are.