Best Online Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

The image shows some of the best online marketing tools like canva, hubspot, slack and buffer
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    One of the best things about online marketing is that it doesn’t segregate small businesses from bigger ones. If your business has a good product or service, you have a lot of free and affordable online marketing tools to use in reaching your target audiences. 

    In the past, you would need to invest a lot of money in marketing before you can go ahead of your competitors. Now, online marketing offers you an opportunity to outsource affordable marketing firms or invest your time and resources to market your brand.

    In this article, we will discuss several online marketing tools that help small businesses to thrive even when they don’t have the money to outsource a marketing firm or host an in-house marketing team.

    Key Takeaways

    • There are many online marketing tools today that can help you get a large ROI for your time invested and the resources you spend on marketing.
    • Many online marketing tools come in both free and paid plans, so small businesses that can’t afford to pay can still find them useful.
    • Google Analytics is one of the best free online marketing tools you must use as a small business. It provides useful insights into how people visit your website and can help you with your SEO strategy.

    Top 10+ Online Free & Paid Marketing Tools for Small Businesses

    The following are some of the best online marketing tools for small businesses:

    • MailChimp
    • ActiveCampaign
    • Drip
    • Buffer
    • Hootsuite
    • Squarespace
    • Smarter Contact
    • Trello
    • CrazyEgg
    • Jotform
    • Hubspot
    • Zoho
    • Google Analytics
    • Canva
    • Calendly
    • Slack
    • Grammarly
    • Yoast
    • Buzzsumo


    Regardless of the size of your business, having an online email marketing strategy is always very important. When a lead signs up to your newsletter list, they invite you to their email inbox. Email marketing has been shown to have high ROI than other marketing strategies. 

    MailChimp is one of the most popular and effective email marketing tools in the world today. With over 12 million customers, this tool has remained a favorite among many businesses. MailChimp offers both free and paid plans, with the free plan allowing 2000 subscribers and 12,000 emails monthly. As a small business, it is unlikely that you exceed this quota. MailChimp’s free plan is very accommodating, making it a cheap and effective email marketing tool for small businesses.


    This is an easy email marketing tool that is designed to improve customer experience and drive growth to businesses. This platform offers different products based on your small business model i.e. (Business-to-business, business-to-customers, and e-commerce). ActiveCampaign comes with over 870 integrations, so you will likely find all the marketing tools you need for your small business.

    Some of the key features of ActiveCampaign include; an AI algorithm that helps you to make better marketing decisions, several tools and templates that help you automate anything, and inbox extensions that improve customer experiences. 


    This is another email automation tool that small businesses need to check out, especially small e-commerce stores. Drip can help small e-commerce owners to increase their ROI by building personalized email marketing campaigns with the help of their customizable email templates and visual editor.

    Another important feature in Drip is pop-ups and forms that help you grow your contact list. Even with little to no coding skills, you can make beautiful email marketing campaigns.


    Buffer is another important online marketing tool you need to check out. This software allows you to schedule posts, and check your engagements and analytics. It also comes with a landing page builder and image editing software

    It comes with a free plan you can use as a small business. There are several key features in the software that you will love. They include:

    • An image editor
    • Hashtag generator
    • Scheduler 
    • Landing page builder


    Like Buffer, Hootsuite is an effective social media management tool that helps you schedule, manage and grow your social media presence. Hootsuite comes with several features that make content creation and social media management easy. Some of the key features of Hootsuite include:

    • A content calendar
    • A content library
    • An analytics reporting tool
    • Helpful recommendations for the best time to post


    This is a website builder that you need to check out. It is ideal for small businesses and startups. It comes with easy-to-customize templates that are arranged based on their industries and you can use any to display your products or work. If you decide to start a blog, Squarespace offers powerful blogging tools 

    Smarter Contact

    Although social media is taking all the waves today, there is still relevance for text marketing. In fact, people are more likely to open their text messages than read their emails today. Many customers are more comfortable using text messages to communicate with small businesses than emails.

    One effective tool that can help you leverage text marketing is Smarter Contact. This SMS marketing tool provides custom marketing campaigns and you can use its pre-built SMS campaigns to follow up on your leads and improve your marketing efforts.


    Trello is a project management tool that allows you to collaborate and share ideas with different individuals in your business. It can work as a content planner and scheduler. You can make notecards on different topics for your team to focus on. On each card, your team can write notes, update the project status, and re-assign tasks to other people.

    Crazy Egg

    This data collection tool helps you gain insights into what your customers want through testing. The tool comes with different services, such as:

    • A/B testing tools
    • Heat maps
    • Click reports
    • Scroll maps

    All these services help you understand how your customers use your website, what they look into, and for how long. This information can help you improve your website usability and increase conversions.


    Jotform is an effective tool that small businesses can use to collect customer data and feedback to improve marketing initiatives. Some features of Jotform are:

    • Easy Integrations 

    You can easily integrate your preferred marketing automation, CRM, and project management tools.

    • Improved data collection 

    You can effectively collect data with its flexible form-builder

    • Comprehensive reporting 

    Small business owners can analyze their customer data with customized reports and valuable insights.


    If you have multi-campaigns within different marketing platforms, it can pose a challenge to manage them all at once. You would need to give each the necessary attention and make improvements where necessary. With HubSpot, you can manage all your marketing campaigns with one channel. 

    HubSpot is a software that gives you access to tools that assist in

    This software solution provides you with optimized themes that are great for building landing pages. It also provides features like Call To Action (CTA) and live chat that help to convert more prospects into customers. With all your marketing needs in one place, HubSpot should be your go-to marketing tool as a small business owner.


    Zoho is an all-in-one marketing solution tool that offers different products. This includes legal, sales, analytics, and other automation tools. Zoho also comes with different integrations like Canva, LinkedIn lead ads, and Zoho CRM.

    Some of the key features of Zoho are:

    • Social media management 

    It helps you to schedule social posts and analyze your social media performance.

    • Website creation 

    With its custom templates, you can build different websites

    • Landing pages 

    You can optimize and design sales landing pages

    • Surveys 

    You can create interactive surveys and analyze the results

    Google Analytics

    This is totally free software that offers important insights into who visits your website and how they engage it. Google Analytics is best used when paired with the Google Search Console which is a free online marketing tool that assists you in optimizing your website’s traffic.

    Some of the important data information provided by Google Analytics includes:

    • The number of visitors to the website per day, week, and month (you can filter the search results with these metrics)
    • Where your visitors come from (referrals, ads, organic search, direct, etc.)
    • Keywords they use to discover your website
    • Their demographics and interest
    • How long do they spend when they visit and which page has the most visitors

    You can use this information to understand how to improve your website and get more visitors. For instance, through Google Analytics, you can discover the keyword that brings more traffic to your website or blog. You could start writing more articles for that keyword and increase the website traffic. 


    One way to market your small business online is to keep your target audience engaged. For instance, you will need to post quality pictures, graphics, infographics, and videos that educate and entertain your audience. Now, which tool can you use to create beautiful and original content with ease? The answer is Canva!

    Canva keeps evolving. Every month, the design platform offers new templates and tools that will help you design anything! Some things you can design on Canva include:

    • Infographics
    • Social media graphic posts
    • Business cards
    • Logos
    • Videos
    • Marketing posters
    • eBooks, and a lot more

    What makes this design tool effective is that you do not need to have experience in graphic design to use it. It comes with a free and paid plan, with the free plan having most of what you would need as a small business.  


    Calendly is an online meeting scheduling software that assists you in scheduling appointments with employees, team members, and customers. This is one of the best online tools for small businesses you must try out. You could embed the software solution on your website so customers can directly schedule demo sessions with you. This improves customer experience.

    Several features of Calendly include:

    • Auto reminders
    • Confirmation text
    • Meeting polls
    • Follow up links


    Communication remains the foundation of any good business relationship. If you own a small business with other people, it is wise to invest in an easy-to-use communication tool that provides you and your team with the best form of interaction. This tool is Slack. Slack allows you to collaborate with others easily. This tool can integrate all major online business tools like sales, project management, and productivity tools, making your online marketing efforts easy.


    Whether you need to write emails to your prospects or an ad copy, you need to create content that is of quality standard. Even if you know how to write, using an online grammar software is beneficial. This tool is especially useful if you are a freelance writer or want your business to focus on making blogs.

    Important features of Grammarly include:

    • Writing suggestions
    • Grammar, punctuation, and spelling checking
    • Plagiarism detector


    If you want help with SEO, then you will love Yoast. Yoast is one of the best SEO tools because it helps small business owners get traffic from search engines. Yoast helps you to know where to place your keywords, how to improve your blog readability, and more importantly, what you are doing wrong and how you can improve.

    Some of the key features you will enjoy from using Yoast include:

    • Internal linking tools
    • Page speed optimization, etc.


    BuzzSumo is important for small business owners who would like to know more about their niche market. Before you launch a new enterprise, it is important that you know about your niche market and your competitors. If you do research on these, you will find enough data to use in your marketing and branding strategies.

    BuzzSumo is highly functional. You could use it to browse the latest trends and topics in your industry and understand how you can use this information to reach your target audience. Some of the important features BuzzSumo provides are:

    • Competitor analysis
    • Keyword generation
    • Backlink tracking
    • Brand monitoring, etc.


    To compete in today’s online marketing landscape, you need to be persistent, internet savvy, and intuitive. Apart from learning about different marketing tips, you need to know how to use different online marketing tools to market your small business effectively. Whether you are working on an SEO strategy or creating designs for your content marketing strategy, these tools will assist you in working efficiently.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the best online marketing tools?

    Google Analytics, Canva, MailChimp, and Calendly are one of the best affordable online marketing tools.

    What are the best online marketing tools for SEO?

    Google Analytics, Yoast, and Buzzsumo are some of the best online tools for SEO. They help you with the necessary information that you can use to improve your website’s SEO efforts.