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When potential employers or your peers in marketing ask this question, what they mean is: What combination of tools do you use to execute your marketing strategy? How does your email platform work together with your social media scheduler, etc., etc.?
Every marketer has favorite strategies they swear by, and a stash of free marketing tools they couldn’t be effective without (mine is the CoSchedule Headline Analyzer!).
If you work at a large company, some of your marketing stack will be decided for you. Companies invest tens of thousands of dollars per year in email management tools alone. However, there are plenty of free marketing tools out there. If you’re a freelance digital marketer, or you’re working at a small company without a huge budget, you’ll need to be able to build a reliable marketing stack without breaking the bank.
So, how do you choose? Here are our favorite free marketing tools to get you started:
Table of Contents:
- Free Email Marketing Tools
- Free SEO Marketing Tools
- Free Content Marketing Tools
- Free Social Media Marketing Tools
Free Email Marketing Tools
Email marketing is one of the more technical niches in the digital marketing world, which can be exciting if you want to work in a technical role without becoming a developer.
If you work in email marketing at an established company, you’ll likely develop a specialty in a few specific tools. These can be expensive, however.
Here are some free email marketing tools you can keep in your back pocket to boost your email performance.
Free Tools for Sending Emails and Managing a List
With HubSpot‘s email tool you can create professional marketing emails that engage and grow your audience with the easy drag-and-drop email builder. The tool is automatically connected with the HubSpot CRM (also free forever), so you can tailor relevant emails based on any details you have — such as form submissions and website activity. HubSpot Email is free for up to 2,000 email sends per month, with upgrade solutions starting at $50 with Marketing Hub Starter.
TinyLetter is a simple, completely free email marketing tool (owned by MailChimp). It’s great for solo projects and small businesses where you’ll send newsletters, but it may not work if you need to execute more complex email marketing strategies.
Mailchimp is one of the most trusted names in email marketing, and it has a free plan which you can use as long as you have under 2,000 people on your list.
There are (seemingly) hundreds of email marketing platforms. Here are a few of the less well-known players that have robust free plans:
Send up to 12,000 emails per month to a list of 2,000, and integrate with other tools, like SurveyMonkey and WordPress.
Send up to 15,000 emails per month to a list of 2,500, and try features like resending unopened emails and A/B testing.
Send up to 16,000 emails per month with a cap at 200 per day, try the email editor, and view email stats.
Send unlimited emails per month to a list of 1,000, use features like a drag-and-drop builder, and connect with dozens of integrations.
Send up to 14,000 emails per month to a list of 2,000, and try Benchmark’s simple, user-friendly templates.
Free Tools for Optimizing Emails
As an email marketer, you’ll need to do more than just send emails. You need to optimize them, too. Here are some of our favorite tools for boosting your email performance:
A/B testing is marketing speak for when you send a control and a test version (just like in high school science class) of something to your subscribers. Think: two different subject lines or a “15% off sale” email versus a “$200 off sale” email. This tool can help you determine how long you need to run your email test, how big your sample size needs to be, etc., for you to feel confident about your results.
The first rule of emails? You need people to open them. One of the best things you can do to get more people to open your emails is improve your subject lines. Use CoSchedule’s free tool to test and analyze dozens of subject lines before you hit “send.”
11. Kopywriting Kourse Subject Line Generator
Do you have trouble coming up with email subject lines in the first place? Enter a few terms, and this tool from copywriting blogger Neville Medhora generates subject lines to get the ideas flowing.
Sending event invitations? Making it simple for email recipients to add an event to their calendar can boost attendance. Make a button for free with Eventable when you share your email address.
If you’re sending sales emails, a countdown timer can be an effective psychological tool for motivating users to buy before the deadline. Use free tools like these to embed countdown timers into your emails:
13. Motionmail Countdown Timer (up to 20,000 views per month)
14. Sendtric Countdown Timer (unlimited and customizable, with email address signup)
15. Countdown Mail Countdown Timer (up to 100,000 sends per month)
Free SEO Marketing Tools
If you work as an SEO specialist, or in a general digital marketing job, you’ll likely become familiar with popular (and pricey) SEO tools like Ahrefs and Moz—though Moz has an excellent 30-day free trial. The good news is that many of the most effective systems that SEO pros rely on are totally free.
Here are our favorite free SEO marketing tools:
16. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is a free tool designed to track website traffic and audience behavior. It’s free to use, simple to install, and a must-have for SEO marketers.
This free Google tool allows you to track how your site is indexed with the Google search engine and identify any errors that could impact your site performance.
Google Keyword Planner is a totally free tool for researching keywords. Note: it’s tough to bypass Google’s onboarding sequence, which asks you to set up an ad campaign. You don’t have to set up a campaign though. Here’s a good post from Ahrefs on how to bypass that setup and get straight to free keyword research.
BuzzSumo allows you to see what content is being shared the most on social media and find the major online authorities on those topics. It’s great for planning content and researching competitors.
With SEMrush, you can enter a domain and see how well the site is ranking for keywords, plus track backlinks to other sites, and more. You’ll get 10 free searches per month without a paid plan.
This free downloadable tool can help you identify issues like broken links and issues with redirects. It’s a time- and headache-saver if you’re trying to improve your search engine ranking and need to find and solve issues quickly.
SERP Preview can show you what your site will look like when it shows up on a search engine results page (SERP).
This builder can help you add tracking information to your links, like the campaign or content type, so it’s easier for you to analyze your data in Google Analytics.
Looking to do SEO right even if you’re not an expert yet? Yoast is a robust, beginner-friendly WordPress plugin that can help you optimize your site for SEO.
Ahrefs is a popular tool for SEO research and planning. Their free backlink checker can tell you your domain rating, plus give you information about backlinks to your site.
Enter a topic in Answer the Public, and you can get visualizations that show you what questions people ask about the topic when searching online. It’s an intuitive tool for seeing what people want to know about your topic and generating content ideas.
Free Content Marketing Tools
There are dozens of free tools out there designed to make it easier to create content on the Internet. But with so much out there, how do you decide which tools will help you and which ones will just complicate your workflow?
These are some of our favorite free content marketing tools for boosting your productivity and improving your content:
Free Tools for Planning Content
27. Google Drive
With Google Drive, you can collaborate on documents in real-time, organize content plans, keep track of content performance data, and more, all with a free account.
Trello is a project management tool that makes it easy to plan content by dragging tasks between columns. You can create unlimited project boards with a free account.
Asana is another project management tool that is better suited to working on a project with a team. With a free account, you can add up to 15 people to your project.
Need a little more than a spreadsheet to make it all happen? Airtable’s free account allows you to manage projects through their user-friendly databases.
Free Tools for Writing Content
Grammarly has a free browser plugin that edits your grammar, spelling, word choice, and style.
32. Hemingway App
Type or paste your content in this free editor and get a score for readability, catch passive voice and word repetition, and more.
oTranscribe is a free tool with shortcuts that make it faster and easier to transcribe interviews other audio.
Free Tools for Optimizing Content for the Web
With a free CoSchedule account, you can score your headlines based on word choice, emotional language, power words, and positive and negative sentiment.
This free tool gives your headlines an emotional marketing value score, so you can learn if it appeals to readers on an intellectual, empathetic, or spiritual level.
Need to format your text to work in an HTML editor—in WordPress, for example? These free tool converts your styles into HTML, so you can paste it into text editors and publish without hassle.
Free Tools for Adding Visuals to Your Content
With this tool, you can embed images of your product in laptops, smartphones, and other devices—even if you’re not a pro at Photoshop.
Need to add text to an image quickly or design clean graphics for your brand’s Instagram Stories? Canva is easy to use and comes with free premade templates.
It’s easy to find free stock photos, but Unsplash’s great selection of free, open source images are high-quality, and you can save collections that make it quick to find what you need.
40. The Noun Project
The Noun Project has more than a million icons available for download, and you can even use them in Google Docs and Slides.
Free Social Media Marketing Tools
Digital marketing is a fast-changing industry, and, with social platforms evolving or becoming outdated at a pace that’s hard to keep up with, social media marketers are in for the wildest ride. Maybe that’s why there are so many free social media marketing tools designed to help you save time and make the most of platform features.
Here are our favorite free social media marketing tools:
Free Social Media Scheduling Tools
Buffer is a hub for managing social media accounts. With a free plan you can add three accounts (choose from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Plus) and keep up to 10 posts scheduled in your queue per account.
Hootsuite is another social media management tool. Their free plan also gives you three accounts (choose from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube) and 30 scheduled posts at a time.
Later is a social media management tool with a visual planner designed specifically for scheduling Instagram posts, but you can also use it for Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook accounts, and schedule 30 posts at a time per platform (50 for Twitter).
Tweetdeck is a free tool that integrates with Twitter to make it easier for you to quickly manage your account, post Tweets, and engage with other users.
If This Then That (IFTTT), is a handy free tool that allows you to set up cause and effect chains across different apps and platforms. For example, you can use it to detect when you post to Instagram and automatically format and post a related Tweet.
Free Link Builders and More
46. Click to Tweet
Click To Tweet makes it easier for others to share your content to social media. When you add text you want others to share, the tool generates a custom share link you can embed on a blog or in an email, for example.
Long URLs can make your social media posts look clunky. With bit.ly you can shorten them into easy-to-remember custom URLs, plus track clicks to understand user behavior.
This tool is a bit random, since it’s designed for the hospitality industry. But, it’s a quick, free place to generate custom share links for Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and Tumblr.
Like CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer and Email Subject Line Tester, this tool allows you to enter your social media posts and get a score with detailed analysis to help you optimize before posting. It breaks down reports across platforms, so you get a different score (and tips) for each one.
Free Tools for Curating and Aggregating Social Media Content
With Feedly you can easily aggregate content related to specific topics and spend less time searching for it.
Enter a hashtag and Tagboard aggregates social posts from across platforms. It’s a great tool for getting a visual of how people are engaging with your brand.
52. Google Alerts
Want to know when your brand (or a competitor) is trending online? You can set up a free Google Alert to get a notification when keywords are mentioned, so you can stay on top of it.
Free Tools for Designing Graphics and Creating Visuals for Social Media
53. Snapseed App
This free photo editor makes it easy to tweak brand images so they stand out on social media. Snapseed includes advanced functionality—like an airbrush and auto correcting—all right on your smartphone.
This photo editing app comes with a library of free filters and effects you can use to give all your social media images a signature brand look.
55. VSCO App
VSCO is another photo-editing app with robust features and a library of filters. It includes an advanced camera function, plus access to a community of photographers.
56. Unfold App
Instagram Stories and Snapchat videos have become just as important (or more important than) the posts that appear in your feed. Unfold is a free tool that makes it easy to design beautiful custom videos to use in social media stories, adding text, filters, and graphics.
57. Hype-Type App
This free app allows you to quickly add filters and text to your images before sharing on social media. It’s also great for Instagram Stories and Snapchat.
58. Clips App
This free app for iOS makes it easy to cut select clips of videos to use on social media, plus make simple edits.
Typito is a free video editing tool that makes it easy to add text, create transitions, and more. Perfect for creating branded videos without using advanced or complicated software.
What did we miss? Tell us about your favorite free marketing tools in the comments.
Excited about trying out these free marketing tools, but still need some training? Skillcrush can help. We designed the Digital Marketing Career Blueprint to help you learn all the skills and insider knowledge you need to know to get hired in your dream marketing job. Learn more and download a syllabus.