So any tool which makes running your business easier and more effective AND is free is like winning the lottery…while on vacation…after having already won the lottery.
Since that’s the case, we decided to put together a HUGE list of free tools just for you!
There are tools here to help you with many different aspects of your business, so get ready for an all you can eat free tool buffet.
General Business Operations
To get things started we’re going to take a look at a few tools that will help you in the overall running of your business.
Wave provides an impressive amounts of free services to online businesses. With Wave you will have a free accounting tool, invoice services, receipt management, and a general financial tracker!
2. Hello Sign
Running a business you end up signing all kinds of documents and forms. With Hello Sign you can speed up that process, and make it all digital!
This tool brags fast, secure, and legally binding eSignatures for business. Plus, it integrates with your Google business applications.
Hello Sign is free for the first three signatures per month.
I know what you’re thinking just based off of the title, what if I don’t have Shopify? No problem! These tools are offered to everyone, for free of course.
So, what tools are there?
There are 15 different services from a QR code generator to a business loan calculator that you can utilize to complete all sorts of tasks in the day to day operation of your business.
I highly recommend checking it out.
(Here’s a QR code I made!)
I’d be willing to bet that you have at least ten passwords that you have to remember. You have your email password, PayPal, CRM…basically every online tool that you use has a password.
Wouldn’t it be great if there was an easy way to manage all of these passwords securely in one place?
Then KeePass is the tool for you!
Does it ever feel like you spend all of your time looking at your email, sending out emails, and creating newsletters? These next few tools will help you with your email management, and make your email a much more powerful system.
If you feel like your inbox is just a little too cluttered then you should certainly consider using Unroll.Me. This tool is the perfect inbox manager.
The way it works is simple. You sign up and connect your email to the system, it then scans through your email in order to discover all of the email lists that you have registered for and gives you the option to unsubscribe, or to add them to your Roll Up.
What is a Roll Up?
It is a single email that you will get once a day containing all of the emails that you decided to add. That means no more getting thousands of emails per day that you need to sort through.
Get one email, look at everything in one place, and see how good it feels to have an uncluttered inbox!
This nifty little tool for Gmail helps you to get a more complete picture of the people that you correspond with via email. It shows you information like name, job title, location, social networks, and past correspondences.
7. Banana Tag
Obviously you can track emails sent from email marketing platforms, but have you ever wished you could do the same from your regular emails? With Banana Tag you can do just that!
Track the opens and click-throughs of email sent from Gmail and Outlook.
Track five emails per day for free.
Boomerang is a free tool that enables you to schedule when your emails will be sent! That means that you can write your emails whenever you want and have them send out at the best time.
For example, if you write an email up on Sunday, but don’t want it sent over the weekend you can just schedule it to send later!
Email Providers (and one bonus tool)
Obviously all email marketing providers will charge you money for their services, but did you know that a lot of them actually offer free plans to start out with? So if you’re email list isn’t that big, here are a few great options for you!
(If you have over 2000 emails in your list then you can skip to the next section).
On MailChimp’s free plan you can send 12,000 emails per month to up to 2,000 subscribers. Choose from pre-designed templates, or design your own template and you’re good to go!
Klaviyo is an email service that specializes in personalized eCommerce email marketing. On the free plan you can send up to 500 emails to 250 contacts.
This email service is all about personalization and automation. Send emails to people who have looked at products, new sign ups, and more!
In the free plan you can send up to 1000 emails per month to an unlimited number of customers
Soundest prides itself on being “Super easy email marketing for eCommerce.” You can use it to quickly and easily segment your customers and send out amazing eCommerce newsletters.
The best part is that the free plan lets you send 15,000 emails per month!
Here’s the bonus! Before sending out your next email marketing blast, how’d you like to know that you’ve done everything you can to reduce its “spam rate”?
With the Lyris checker all you need to do is add in your sender name and address, subject line, and email text and Lyris will give you a full spam analysis, telling you how “spammy” your email is, and what you can do to fix it.
Keep in mind, you should add in the relevant HTML for the email as well.
Crowdsourced Research Tools
Want to get information from the masses? Want info from your customers themselves? These next tools will help you get crowdsourced answers your company’s biggest questions!
Quora is an amazing resource to gain knowledge on just about anything. It is a social network that enables you (and everyone else) to ask questions related to any topic. These questions are then answered by members of the Quora community.
Thinking about a new product? Wondering if people will like a certain color? Need advice on something?
You can ask on Quora!
15. Three Cents
This tool is actually a mobile app (only available for Iphones unfortunately) which lets you quickly and easily create polls.
You can use this similarly to Quora, but rather than getting answers you will simply get a vote on which option is best!
16. Survey Monkey
Want to find out what your customers themselves think? Survey Monkey comes with all sorts of premade surveys that you can use to find out what your customers think of your business, or your ideas!
With Survey Monkey’s free service you can ask up to 10 questions and receive up to 100 responses.
UserReport makes it super simple to create on page surveys. If there are questions that you have for your customers that are relevant to a specific page, then all you need to do is create the survey and add in a small block of code to the relevant page and you’re good to go!
In addition to finding out information from your customers, it’s important to gather information from your competitors as well!
18. Alexa Toolbar
This free toolbar gets added directly to your browser as a plugin. With the Alexa Toolbar you can see all kinds of things about sites that you visit.
Obviously you can see the Alexa traffic rank, but you can also see search analytics which will show the top keywords driving traffic to the site, and even how a website has looked over the years (so you can figure out how your competitors have tried to optimize their sites)!
19. MOZ Bar
The MOZ Bar is another plugin that you can use to analyze competitor’s websites. This toolbar is more SEO focused as it shows things like Page Rank, Domain Rank, inbound links, and more!
SEM Rush is the ultimate competitor research tool!
From this site you can find out which keywords your competitors are using to get traffic, which keywords they are targeting for their PPC ads, how their traffic has grown, and just about anything else you could think of.
When it comes to content research, BuzzSumo is king! Using this social search engine you can discover the most shared content regarding a certain topic, the most shared content from a specific company, or even your own most shared content!
22. Similar Web
Want to find out where your competitors get their traffic from, which social channels are most effective for them, which websites send them traffic, and more?
Then you should check out Similar Web’s amazing (and, of course, free) platform!
Every eCommerce site needs forms, be it contact forms, complaint forms, order forms, or anything else. Here are a few free tools for adding forms to your site!
If you’ve never thought of contact forms as a lead generating tactic until now, then now is the time for you to make that switch!
StoreYa’s Contact Form tool enables you to add a contact form to your site, or to even pop up the contact form to your site visitors!
You can create unlimited contact forms for free.
Wuffo is a popular form creator that boasts a simple interface, easy customization, and powerful reporting.
On the free plan you can create three forms, and collect 100 submissions per month.
123ContactForms is another great form creator. With the free plan you can create five forms and collect 100 submissions per month.
Everyone knows that customer support is crucial to the success of any business. These next tools will help you manage your customer support!
If you have any kind of sales team, or if you frequently set up phone meetings with customers (be it for sales or support) then Appointlet will definitely help your operations more efficient!
This tool enables you to accept appointments from your website 24/7 without needing to manage a thing. Here’s how it works. Appointlet syncs with your Google Calendar (so it can read all of your events and see when you are busy), so all you need to do is set your working hours, and Appointlet will display the available times to your customers. Of course, when a new appointment is set it will be automatically added to your Google Calendar.
27. Zopim Live Chat
Nothing makes your site more trustworthy, easy to use, and useful than having a live chat option. It gives customers a tremendous amount of confidence knowing that they can ask a representative a question on the spot should something come up.
There are many different live chat options out there, but Zopim is a great choice with a good free plan.
Running a business comes with all sorts of challenges, and one of the biggest of them is keeping organized and on top of all of your tasks. These productivity tools will help you beat the challenge!
28. Google Calendar
What could be better than having a calendar that you can sync with your email? That is exactly what Google Calendar provides for you!
Easily add events, appointments, and tasks to your Google Calendar manually, or directly from emails. Plus you will always have your calendar with you as it syncs across devices!
29. Sunrise Calendar
If you find Google Calendar to be just a bit lacking, then it is definitely worth your while to check out Sunrise Calendar!
This calendar app syncs with your Google Calendar, AND with many other tools (like Trello, Asana, Evernote, and much more!)
30. Cold Turkey
Have trouble actually getting work done when you’re sitting in front of the computer? Cold Turkey will be your self-control for you!
This tool will block out other applications and functions on your computer so you can be sure that you will actually do what you need to.
I’m sure you’ve heard at least one person talk about Evernote over the course of the past year, and that is for good reason!
This tool enables you to gather together ridiculous amounts of information into one place. You can keep track of your research, check off your to-do lists, and even write up full documents straight from the application!
Google’s version of the personal planner and note keeper called Keep is actually quite good. It doesn’t have many flashy features, but it does everything that you need it to do (jot down notes, create lists, organize) and, most importantly, it syncs with your Google account, which makes collaboration super easy.
If you work with a team then you know that effective collaboration is crucial to the success of the group. These tools will make you into a collaborating master!
This tool is all about making work related conversations simpler. It integrates with many other tools (like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) so that all of your information can be in one place, and can be easily referenced in a message.
Trello is an absolutely awesome collaboration, workflow planning, to-do list managing tool. With Trello you can share ideas, schedule and assign tasks, create workflows, and just about anything else you would need to plan in your business.
MindMeister makes mind mapping easy, fun, presentable, and shareable! With this tool you can brainstorm with your co-workers, and even present your mind map to a group when your done.
With the free version, you can create three mind maps.
Got a lot of documents? Store ‘em in the cloud!
Dropbox is probably the first name that comes to mind when you think of cloud storage. It is simple to use, and very powerful. Plus, it automatically syncs across all your devices, so you can look at your files on the go!
37. Google Drive
Google Drive is a great place to store documents, especially if you’re collaborating with co-workers on them. With its many different features including Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more, Google Drive has essentially become an online version of Microsoft Office.
Hive is a less known cloud storage platform, but it has an advantage over the other options – it provides unlimited storage!
So if you’re one of those people that is always going back and deleting files from Dropbox in order to create space for new files, then Hive is perfect for you.
This tool makes it ridiculously easy to share files, links, screenshots, or eve recordings by providing you with a shareable link.
On the free plan you can share up to 10 files.
Who doesn’t want to optimize their website? And who doesn’t want to do it for free?
If you need a tool to reduce the file size of your images while maintaining high quality then Compressor.io is for you! This tool will help make your site faster which will help with SEO and of course customer satisfaction.
If you want a quick and powerful speed analysis for your site then GTmetrix is the place to go. This tool will help you to determine which aspects of your site are slowing down its performance, so you can optimize your site!
Discover how your users interact with your website with Heatmap.me! By using this heatmap tool you can discover where your users focus their attention, which aspects of your site give them problems, and much more.
Ever wonder what your users actually think when they browse your site? If they find everything? If they like your homepage?
With Peek you can submit your site for review, and receive a five minute video (audio and visual) of someone using your site.
We all know how important SEO is, so why not get some free help with it!
I’m sure you’ve already heard of the Keyword Planner (but if you haven’t then you should definitely check it out). This tool is the starting point for any SEO keyword research – it shows search volumes for search terms, and also the relative competition for the specific term.
45. SEO Site Checkup
With this tool you can run a very detailed SEO check of your website. Not only will you get a report of how your site is faring, but also how you can improve your site!
Want to learn more about your site and about your customers? These free analytics tools will help you do just that!
46. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the most popular analytics system available today. It gives you a comprehensive look at your site’s performance including things like pageviews, unique visits, and even goal completions (like sales, or newsletter registrations).
One of the most powerful things you can do with Google Analytics is track where your customers are actually coming from (social media, search, ads, etc.).
If plain old Google Analytics isn’t enough, then you can easily boost its effectiveness by creating your own custom trackable links with the URL builder!
This tool enables you to create unique links for your campaigns that will let you see in Google analytics exactly how effective your campaigns are.
For example, you could add a tracking link to an email to see how many people click on the link, and how many of those people become customers.
While Intercom is a paid service, it does offer a fairly powerful user analytics tool for free. The Observe package enables you to see who your customers are. You can see things like, signed up today, made a purchase today, etc. You can also even create segments to drill down into your customers’ usage even further.
Seeing as social media is one of the fastest growing marketing channels out there, it only makes sense to be fully equipped to market on it efficiently!
There are countless social media management tools out there, but from my experience Buffer and Hootsuite are two of the best.
With these management tools you can schedule social posts to just about any of your social networks (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn) and view analytics on the performance of the links that you include.
Buffer also offers a really cool suggestion engine which suggests possible articles to share on your social networks.
50. Facebook Shop
Do you have a Facebook page? Do your customers interact with you there?
Then why not sell your products on Facebook as well! With a StoreYa Facebook shop you can actually import your eCommerce store directly to your Facebook fan page.
Plus, the shop comes with marketing tools that you can use to promote your products to your fans!
Need to keep track of your social accounts (and more)? Want to do it in one place?
Cyfe is the answer for you! With this tool you can easily monitor things like the growth of your social communities, the reach of your Facebook page, the number of clicks you’ve gotten on links, and more.
While I mentioned this in regard to social media, you can actually monitor many other aspects of your business from here as well (sales, customer acquisition, IT, etc.)
Dlvr.It makes social sharing super easy. If you have a blog with an RSS feed then you can just hook it up to Dlvr.It and just like that as soon as you publish something new, it will be sent out to all of your different social networks!
Content marketing goes hand and hand with social media as one of the most popular buzzwords in marketing these days. These tools will help you grow your content marketing strategy!
Feedly is an awesome tool that will help you to gather ALL of your favorite news sources and blogs together into one, easy to read place. This is so good because, first it will help you save time, and second, it makes finding new content to share on your social networks a breeze!
Feedly is great for content that you know about, but what about new things that you stumble upon? For that, there’s Pocket!
Pocket lets you save content and tag it (into a category) so you can read it later. You can even read it off line!
Named for the famous American author, this tool helps you edit your work to see if it’s all professional and ready to be published.
Even if you’re not a professional designer, you’re going to come across design tasks in your business owning career, so it’s good to be prepared to crank out some good designs with some equally good (and free) tools!
Pixlr is an amazingly good online photo editor that has both a heavier (and more complicated) photo editing tool, and a simpler express editing tool.
Both are great, and both are free!
BeFunky is another photo editing tool. It is easy to use, and is a great alternative to Pixlr. In addition to the regular editing options, as the name implies, it also has some features that can really add some flare to your editing.
59. Type Genius
For those of us that aren’t professional designers, figuring out which texts match together is no simple task – until now!
Type Genius lets you enter the main text that you’d like to use, and tells you exactly which text you should use with it as the subtext font.
Canva is the one-stop-shop for creating graphics, Facebook cover photos, posters, and more! It has simple editing options, a wide selection of icons, and some really cool features.
Even if your business is online, it doesn’t mean there’s no networking involved! Here are a few tools you can use to grow your network.
LinkedIn, as you already know, is the largest professional network in the world. But you don’t have to use it just as a profile for yourself. You can join groups, post frequently, and be an active member of the network. This way you will meet new and relevant people online who can help you to grow your business.
MeetUp is more of a service than a tool. It lets you sign up for topics that are relevant to you, and will then notify you of all events and meetups in your area related to your interests.
So if you sell craft supplies for example, you can sign up to find out about all of the crafting conferences nearby.
Free Tools Galore!
I hope you found some new tools in this list that will help you grow your business.
If you have any tools that you use that I didn’t mention, please share them with the StoreYa community in the comments below!Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community