25 Best Startup Software Tools
Starting a startup isn’t easy. Fortunately, there are a lot of startup software tools out there that can help you grow on a budget. Investing in tools early on is a great way to build a solid foundation for your startup. With the correct tools, you can save a lot of time, so that you can focus on the other aspects of your business that matters. Here’s a list of tools that all startups should be using in the beginning.
Intercom is a customer platform with a suite of products for live chat, marketing, feedback, and support. Intercom shows you who your customers are and what they do with your product. You can also communicate with them through real-time in-app and email messages. If you ever visit a company’s website and notice that little chat widget on the bottom right, chances are that the company is using Intercom.
The most powerful thing about Intercom is the fact that you can leverage its features to speak with your customers real-time and send them drip emails. This is important for user onboarding. You want to engage and be in communication with all your customers at all times and Intercom makes it easy. If you’re running a SaaS product that offers a free trial, then Intercom is a must for engaging with your customers during their trial phase.
Users convert from a trial user to a paying user at a much higher rate when you are engaged with them.
Here’s a post we previously wrote on how you can engage more with your users using Intercom – https://blog.yesinsights.com/email-survey-hack-how-you-can-get-consistently-more-customer-feedback/
YesInsights is the simplest way for you to receive customer feedback across all platforms. This can be through email, blog, and anywhere else where you could communicate with your customers. Acquiring users is hard, but keeping users engaged is even harder. One of the best ways to do this is by understanding your customers and listening to their concerns. That way you can discover the loopholes in your funnel and fix it. With YesInsights, you never have to guess what your customers want. You can simply ask them by sending one-click surveys.
Customer feedback allows you to make better business decisions, retain users, and build a stronger product roadmap based on their feedback. With YesInsights you can easily embed a native one-click survey that blends in with any platform including email and blog. You can track who responded to your survey. Most of the users receive 75%+ response rate on their surveys due to the native embed that blends in with any email/platform. This is a much higher response rate compared to traditional surveys.
What’s even more awesome is that you can set up an NPS survey to learn more about your users. A great, simple way to understand your customers’ level of loyalty is to send out a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey example to your customers. The NPS system seeks to measure not just customer satisfaction, but it gauges whether customers like your company so much that they’d tell their friends about it.
We use Stripe to manage our payments. People will choose a payment gateway for a variety of reasons including transaction fees, ease of setup, cards/payment methods accepted, support, and many more. Without a doubt, the most popular in the tech scene right now is Stripe. The good thing about Stripe is that it is easy to set up. Simply, go to Stripe.com and create an account. Enter your personal and bank information and you’re good to go.
A startup software stack isn’t complete without a way to accept payments. Stripe is free to use but it does come with a transaction fee. The fee is 2.9% + 30 cents per card charge. It is without a doubt the easiest way to collect payments. What’s even better is that Stripe integrates with hundreds of other apps to make your life easier. This includes invoice, analytics, web forms and much more. It’s definitely a better alternative to Paypal.
We all know that content is king. Having a blog for your startup is a great way to boost your brand awareness and get your startup’s name out there. It’s an excellent way to show your expertise and the value of your product.
There are a lot of blogging platforms out there that you can use to set up a blog. Those include Ghost, but we decided to add WordPress to this list because it is easy to set up and it’s free to use. There are also a lot of themes out there to make your blog look nice. Another awesome thing about WordPress is the fact that you can add plugins that will save you time. As a founder, you don’t have time to set up everything like SEO. But WordPress makes it easy with plugins like Yoast SEO. Our blog is built on top of WordPress. We use WPEngine to host our blog.
Knowing your audience and what they want is an important success factor for any website. The best way to know your audience is through your traffic stats and this is exactly what Google Analytics provide for FREE. There are plenty of analytic software programs and plugins, but we believe that Google Analytics is a must have for every startup.
You can go with more advanced options such as MixPanel, but Google Analytics is easy to set up and it’s free. With Google Analytics you can see:
Who visits your website – user’s geographical location, which browser they used, what is their screen resolution, which language they speak, etc.
What they do when they are on your website – you can see how long users stay on your website, what pages they are visiting the most, which page is causing the users to leave most often, how many pages an average user is viewing etc.
How users interact with your site’s content – You can see how many users clicked on a specific link.
Cohort Analysis – Know exactly what your users are doing on your site over time. This helps you find loopholes in the funnel and where your users are dropping off.
Tracking Pixels/Goals – You can set goals within Google Analytics to see how many of your users are converting and much more.
Use this data to improve your startup.
One of the first things that most entrepreneurs do when starting a startup is setting up their social media accounts. You set up Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and try to make a few postings. There’s nothing wrong with that and that’s a great way to start, but social media takes up too much time! As a founder, you have to focus on other things, so why not automate this process some more?
This is where Buffer kicks in. Buffer shares your content at the best possible times throughout the day so that your followers and fans see your updates more often. That way you can get the most out of each post. As you add content, you can easily select which of your social accounts you want to post to. Post the same message to all accounts or add context by customizing each.
This allows you to connect all your social media account and schedule postings across all your social media platforms.
Trello is an awesome project management tool that makes collaboration easy and, very fun. We use Trello at YesInsights for all our project, software, and content planning.
A Trello board is basically a web page containing lists laid out horizontally on the page so you can get a bird’s eye view of your project. Items within the lists, called cards, can be dragged and dropped onto other lists or reordered within lists.
Individual cards themselves can contain checklists, images, attachments, deadline dates, colored labels, and discussion notes from others who share the board. And you can have as many boards as you want.
I used to use Trello for tracking everything. And I still use it today personally for creating my to-do list. But I used it more in the beginning for keeping track of my sales leads back when I was running a B2B lead generation company. It’s a great tool and must have for all startups 🙂
You have a nice blog a very well designed site, but you need a way to capture your audience. This is where a mail service provider kicks in. Mailchimp or Aweber is my go-to source for collecting emails, but there are a lot of them out there. More advanced ones include Drip, ConvertKit, Constant Contact and many more.
It doesn’t matter which one you choose to go with. Just make sure you pick one and start collecting emails from the very beginning. Set up the early foundation and you won’t have to worry about it again!
When you’re starting off and you’re on a budget, then paid acquisition might not be an option, but retargeting is a must. Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a form of online advertising that can help you keep your brand in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For most websites, only 2% of web traffic convert on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98% of users who don’t convert right away.
Retargeting is simple to set up and it’s highly effective. Getting users to your site is one thing, but most people don’t buy on the first visit. Reminding them again that your company exists will help you drive users back to your site.
Other options include Adroll and Google’s native remarketing option.
Mention is a great way for you to keep tracking of your mentions across the web. You can use Mention to see where people are talking about you over the web. With Mention, you can respond to them immediately and boost sales.
Another great thing about Mention is that you can also track your competitors, so you can always keep up or stay a step ahead of them. In addition to that, you can use Mention to track certain keywords within your industry.
With Mention’s ability to monitor billions of sources in over 40 languages, you won’t miss anything important. And since mentions are in real time, you’ll be able to reply right away within Mention.
Stripe is a great way to receive payments as mentioned above, but Stripe doesn’t provide enough data for you to analyze your current financial situation. Baremetrics integrates with Stripe, Braintree, and Recurly so you can start monitoring your revenue’s growth and status.
With Baremetrics, you can track all the key metrics for your startup. This includes MRR, ARR, Net Revenue, User Churn, Refunds, Upgrades, and much more. Baremetrics also comes with a very well designed dashboard for you to see everything all in one place.
Navigating between different apps can be a hassle. Use Geckoboard to build clear, effective data dashboards for your business that keep teams informed, motivated and aligned around your KPIs.
Geckoboard integrates with hundreds of different apps including Twitter, Facebook, Facebook ads, Stripe and many more. You can add “widgets” to your dashboard and visualize your entire startup in one dashboard. Another great thing about Geckoboard is that you can connect it to a monitor/TV and display everything in front of your team. It’s a great way for you to keep track of all your KPIs in one place.
Zapier lets you easily connect the web apps you use, making it easy to automate tedious tasks. You can wait for third-party app developers to offer the SaaS integrations you need. You can hire expensive freelance programmers to build custom software for you. Or you can simply do it yourself with Zapier, and then get back to the work that matters most to your business.
The great thing about Zapier is that it integrates with most of the apps that you can think of. Need to automate your Twitter? Zapier can handle that. It makes your life a lot easier as a founder. And Zapier comes with a free tier.
There are a lot of good project management tools out there, but Asana is one of the best ones and it’s free. Asana is a handy project management tool that helps you keep your team and your projects organized in one place. The important feature here is that it takes place outside of your email, as to avoid clutter and time wasting.
It helps to improve a team’s efficiency by putting all the ideas, plans, conversations, files and tasks in one easy to access platform that everyone can see and contribute to.
It also allows you to create multiple projects, assign team members to them and assign them tasks (that they can also easily check off as complete – keeping everyone up to date with what stage of the project they’re on).
Moz builds tools that make inbound marketing easy. Moz is the most robust and all in one system for anything SEO related. Need to do competitor research? Need to see what’s wrong with your SEO? Moz has a tool for it. You can boost your online visibility and keep ahead of competitors with Moz Pro.
Moz also has a free-ish tool called Followerwonk that allows you to look through a list of influencer and reach out to the top influencers in your field.
Hubstaff is awesome. Hubstaff runs as an application on the desktop making it easy to track time. Once the time is tracked you can invoice clients, pay employees, see in-depth reporting and much more.
We used Hubstaff in the early stages of production to track our overseas developers. It works really well and I highly recommend it. If you’re building a new startup, you might not have the budget to hire an in-house developer since they are so pricey nowadays. The hardest thing about hiring an outside developer is keeping track of their progress since you’re not next to them. Hubstaff makes this process easy. You can also integrate with payment systems and pay them directly through there.
Bookkeeping is the last thing you want to be worrying about. With Bench, you can count on your books being up-to-date and finished on time, every time. As a busy founder myself, I hate dealing with anything finance related and tend to push it aside, but it is necessary for all business.
Bench makes it easy. Bench will assign you to a personal bookkeeper that will help you keep track of all your expenses and revenue. That way when it comes to tax time, you don’t have to worry and have everything all in one place. A life saver!
Growth and content marketing is hard. You always want to write and grow your business, but you don’t know what your audience wants to read. That is one reason why we created YesInsights so that you don’t have to keep guessing and can actually ask your audience what they want.
Another thing you can do is use Buzzsumo to do your research. With Buzzsumo you can analyze what content performs best for any topic or competitor. BuzzSumo can be used for gathering valuable insights into the success of your content on social media channels. Simply type in a keyword and it’ll show you a list of articles that people are sharing related to that topic. You can also find influencers within the results and reach out to them about your new article.
Slack is used for everything nowadays. Prior to Slack, we were using email and Hipchat for communication. Slack is the go-to option for team communication as well as community building. Slack brings all your communication together in one place. It’s real-time messaging, archiving and search for modern teams.
There are so many things you can do with Slack that it’s insane. You can integrate all your apps within Slack so you can receive instant notification from all your third party apps. You can use it to track your development progress. And you can have fun on it by using /giphy!!
20. Streak CRM
I come from the B2B sales space and I’ve tried most of the top CRMs out there. I still go back to Streak every time I create a new project. It’s the easiest CRM that integrates directly within your Gmail. In the beginning, you can use a spreadsheet or Trello to keep track of everything, but when you’re looking for a more robust solution then Streak is the way to go.
With Streak, you can create different stages and pipelines to automate your sales process. They even have Mailmerge built in within it so you can mass email. Though, I don’t recommend doing that. Streak also keeps track of all the email open and responses for you.
Unbounce lets marketers build, publish and test landing pages without IT or software. A/B testing and lead gen make it a powerful marketing tool. Coding a landing page could take up a lot of time, but Unbounce makes it easy. It comes with a drag and drop builder that allows you to easily create landing pages in minutes.
Unbounce comes with a library of templates that you can work with in the beginning. If you’re launching an eBook, there’s no need to code up a custom page anymore, just use Unbounce and you’re set.
Wistia provides professional video hosting with amazing viewer analytics, HD video delivery, and marketing tools to help understand your visitors. You can post videos directly to Youtube, but Wistia gives you analytics and tools that you cannot find in any other video hosting provider.
With Wistia, you can set up lead magnets within the video to capture your audience’s emails. What’s even better is that you can see exactly which part of the video your audience is watching. That is huge!
GoToWebinar is one of the best ways to convert users. There are a lot of different software options you can use for webinar, but GoToWebinar is the go-to standard for hosting webinars. GoToWebinar will allow you to host webinars and send a custom link for people to join.
With GoToWebinar, you can create custom email invitations, confirmations, and reminders – or let GoToWebinar handle it with their automated email templates. You can also record webinars for future replays. Other options include WebinarJam.
When you’re running a company, you’re going to be sending out documents. It doesn’t matter if you’re hiring contractors or sending out formal annual contracts. You need a way to get things signed and HelloSign makes it simple.
HelloSign is a cloud-based electronic signature tool that enables users to sign, fill out, send, retrieve, and save documents paperlessly.
HelloSign users may fill out and sign documents on a computer, tablet, or mobile phone. Users may also upload and prepare documents to be signed and filled out by another party or parties, otherwise known as a “signature request.” Recipients receive the signature request via e-mail, in which they click the “Review & Sign” button to begin the signature process. The document will display, and signers are guided through the document with arrows indicating where they need to sign, fill in the text, or select a checkbox, as indicated by the originator of the document. At the end, the signer clicks “I Agree,” and a copy of the signed document is e-mailed to the signer and returned to the requester. Users may also create and save editable templates for documents they send repeatedly. Users may add co-workers to their “team” and share templates with team members as well.
Segment allows you to collect user data with one API and send it to hundreds of tools or a data warehouse. Instead of going through custom integrations and bothering your developers for data, you can use Segment to connect everything all in one place.
With Segment, you can track events in your web and mobile apps using their libraries. They’ll normalize the data and send it to integrations and warehouses.
There you have it!! A huge list of startup software tools. We hope this list helps 🙂