Having the right growth marketing tools at your disposal transforms the speed and effectiveness of your marketing. Here's a list of the top 10 tools we recommend marketers incorporate into their growth strategies. We’ve split the list into Acquisition and Retention tools as these are two core areas marketers are always trying to improve. Understanding how each of these tools can help you acquire more users, and drive your retention strategy can help you transform your business.

Customer Acquisition Growth Tools

1. HelloBar

As growth marketers, one of the biggest tasks (and challenges!) we face is lead generation. Acquiring traffic from PPC or social media is one thing, but getting anonymous visitors to sign up to your product - often trading their personal data in the process - can be a tricky feat. HelloBar enables you to create slick and simple pop-up modals which have proven to convert website visitors. The tool allows you to create everything, and launch within minutes thanks to their easy to navigate UI. Plus, it’s easy to install on your website either directly in the source code or via Google Tag Manager.

The best thing is it’s completely free for under 5,000 views per month. To avoid going past the 5,000 views, we suggest only implementing the HelloBar tag on your high value or most relevant pages. This ensures the best conversion rates and avoid impacting your website bounce rates by having pop-ups running across your whole site, which likely annoys users visiting pages such as ‘FAQs’, ‘About’ or ‘Terms and conditions’ - or even your homepage. Chances are these users aren’t as likely to respond as well to a pop-up as a user that clicked through from a tailored advert around a relevant topic or product.

You can also A/B test your modals, which gives you the ability to work out which messaging, imagery, call to action, and landing page delivers the best results.

Convert visitors into customers to support marketing growth

2. Sumo

Sumo is a fantastic e-commerce tool, designed to turn visitors into customers. Sumo’s platform is particularly excellent for helping with the following issues:

  • Customer cart abandonment: In 2018 SalesCycle reported a 75.60% abandonment rate from their customers. With Sumo, you can set up real-time interventions that help move customers along the buyer journey - for example, adding a pop-up to your check-out page offering a discount can reduce abandons and increase revenue.

  • Growing your email lists: Marketers are always trying to find ways to grow their ‘owned’ marketing channels. Sumo enables you to create well-crafted and targeted pop-ups to turn unknown site users into known subscribers/leads. On top of this, Sumo is great at connecting new contacts directly to most major email service providers, with their easy to use integrations.

Connect your ESP to Sumo to improve lead management

  • Increase Average Order Values: Sumo’s increase AOV shortcut is an inventive way to encourage customers to make bigger transactions. Being able to increase the value of online transactions for the same marketing spend seems like a no-brainer to us.

We recommend the increase average order value shortcut for growth marketers

3. Hotjar

Hotjar is an effective user journey visualisation tool that connects all the dots with one powerful solution. The ability to understand how your potential customers are interacting with your website is a valuable insight that can help you to optimise your site’s user experience, identify ‘leaky pages’ and parts of your conversion funnel, as well as gather user feedback.

The user heatmaps give you a really clear understanding of what elements (buttons, images, links etc.) are most engaging. Hotjar also has the ability to give you more data on how users scroll and move on your key pages and you can break it down by devices - which in the age of mobile traffic is definitely something we recommend focusing on. 

Hotjar visitor heatmaps tools helps you understand customer interactions

4. Unbounce

Unbounce is an excellent support tool for marketers who are looking for easy ways to implement landing pages and forms for their campaigns without needing a developer. On top of this you can A/B test landing pages to help make data-driven optimisation decisions. As a growth marketing agency, we often use Unbounce Landing pages across our PPC campaigns as they give us the ability to quickly set up and test impactful landing pages, ultimately improving the performance of our client's marketing campaigns.

Key products to consider if looks to improve your data capture methods or tracking (AdWord, Google Analytics etc.): Landing Pages, Pop-Ups and Sticky Bars.

Unbounce landing page builder proven to increase conversion rates

You can get started for as little as $79/month (including a 30-day free trial) for their Essential plan

5. Optimizely

To ensure your website is working as hard as it possibly can to drive customers, you might want to consider using the hugely popular Optimizely. The tool is designed to improve user experience and customer acquisition through experimentation. Plugging Optimizely into your website can allow you to A/B test anything from call to action button messaging / links, imagery/landing page designs as well as the forms you serve to people - without needing to code! The ability to quickly learn what works best from an acquisition standpoint is invaluable for improving website conversion rates.

See the full list of current plans here

Customer Retention Tools

6. HubSpot

Although HubSpot’s tools also support acquisition, the product is centered around a powerful CRM tool, which focuses on enabling business growth. On top of the completely free CRM system, you can add HubSpot’s marketing, sales and customer service hubs to drive better performance across key business areas:

  • Marketing Hub: Helps you grow traffic, convert leads and track your entire funnel. With this hub, you can work on everything from technical website updates (without tech support), publish blog content, develop SEO strategies, create custom landing page templates for paid channels, A/B test and run marketing automation campaigns to help turn leads into actual customers

  • Sales Hub: Popular features include email automation to help nurture your sales leads, track the impact of automation (revenue, AOV (Average Order Value) etc.). HubSpot also has a fantastic automated meeting scheduling tool which can be super powerful for connecting potential customers to sales at the right time in the buying process

  • Service Hub: Useful for businesses that want to regularly gather feedback or queries from customers. This includes ticketing systems, customer feedback and building knowledge bases to really make it easy to answer customer questions. A business that can actually support their customers - and not just sell to them - is one that will benefit from long term brand loyalty.

For further information around pricing for each of the Hubs, see the official HubSpot pricing page

7. Marketo

Marketo is one of the leading marketing automation tools and is powered by its extremely robust database system which includes a single customer view. Marketo’s system puts your known users/customers right at the centre of your marketing efforts and gives you the ability to track every web or email interaction. These types of insights can then be applied to your marketing automation efforts, whether you’re a subscription business that needs to send regular automated messages to subscribers or an e-commerce business that needs to target users at every stage of the buyer funnel.

Marketo has an easy to use email builder and you can use smart complex segments for your email marketing lists based on previous behaviour or demographic data you may hold. As a bonus, Marketo also provides clean and concise email marketing dashboards.

Prove the ROI of your email marketing.

Marketo is powerful lead management and reporting tool that can be used to pass leads to most CRM systems. For marketing teams that pass leads on to sales, this makes it easy to track lead progress through the entire sales funnel. Moreover by connecting marketing efforts to actual sales data in your CRM you’ll start to be able to report on, and improve overall lead quality as you continue to collect data insights.

8. MailChimp

MailChimp is an email service provider that works particularly well for small businesses and start-ups due to its pricing model and ease of use. The key reason we like the tool is because it allows you to create effective, well designed emails without any coding knowledge and for those of you with email lists with less than 2,000 contacts you can send up to 12,000 emails for each, every month. That means that you can implement and test your email marketing strategy for no cost until you’re ready to invest more.

MailChimp’s drag and drop email builder is simple to use, and the system comes with some great out-the-box templates that you could use for inspiration. MailChimp also does some great work prevent your emails hitting spam filters, ensuring you don’t get blacklisted which hurts your brand perception.

There’s also the ability to automate emails, enabling you to create simple multi-stage email campaigns to engage your customers.

9. LiveChat

LiveChat’s software enables growth marketers to connect with their website visitors. In practical terms, customers are given the ability to speak with you (or a member of your sales team) in real-time, to solve any issues that they are having. 

So if a customer is on your site, and can’t find what they are looking for, they can use the LiveChat widget (usually in the bottom right corner) and let you know that they are stuck. This gives marketing or sales the chance to turn what would typically be ‘bounce’ or ‘cart abandonment’ into a transaction. The tool also gives you the ability to survey the users at the  end of the chat, allowing you to accumulate actionable insights for optimisation.

The software is really easy to implement, you can install the Javascript tag directly onto your website (again, we recommend Google Tag Manager) and then simply create and launch your LiveChat modal. 

Here’s an example of the LiveChat modal appearing on a website:

LiveChat modal is able to connect marketers with website visitors in real-time

Pricing for LiveChat starts at $16/per month (with a 30-day free trial).

10. Customer.io

This is an automated messaging tool that you can connect directly to your marketing databases (Salesforce, HubSpot, Marketo etc.) to send emails, push notifications and SMS messages to your leads or customers. Messaging can be set up in an automated fashion to save marketers time manually building and running campaigns. You’re also able to segment customer campaigns, so depending on the data you have available you can deliver the most impactful messages to the most relevant people. All data is provided in real-time to give you the best chance of spotting key trends and implementing the best growth marketing strategies.

Having a marketing automation tool that you can rely on to perfectly execute against your marketing goals is essential for growth marketing teams. Automation - and by this we mean, sending the right automated messages to the right people at the right time - can transform the way organisations communicate with customers and Customer.io is an exciting tool that can be ideal for a lot of businesses, particularly those in the consumer marketing, education, marketplace and app spaces.

The Basic package ($150 / per month) allows you have up to 12,000 profiles in the Customer.io system, send unlimited emails, SMS, push notifications. There is also a Slack integration which could help galvanise internal sales teams by actually seeing the impact of your marketing in real-time.