15 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools Startups and Small Businesses Need

startup inbound marketing tools

15 Essential Inbound Marketing Tools Startups and Small Businesses Need

A successful startup needs a killer strategy to break boundaries and reach a new height. But when you don’t have the right plan in place, no tool or technology can save your sinking ship. However, with the right strategy already in place, powerful inbound marketing tools can be like a gust of wind in your sail, and your ship will move forward.

When you have a startup in the making, inbound marketing plays a huge role. But getting success from inbound marketing is not an easy-peasy job. But what if you get some inbound marketing tools to help you? This is exactly what this post is all about.

Read on, as in this blog post; I will be listing 15 essential inbound marketing tools that can fan the flame for any startup. These tools are not selected randomly or out of any whim but based on their functionality and what they can add to your startup business. Being a premium digital marketing agency, we recommend and use these tools to boost the growth of our clients’ businesses.

So without much ado, let’s take a look at them one by one.



Contact forms are the silent weapons when it comes to inbound marketing. Be it a sales query, customer support request, or some free document download; forms are used everywhere.

Jotform can do that for you. This is a free form builder that is very easy to use, structures and designs different kinds of functional forms. Apart from this, they are perfect for NPS surveys as well.

An alternative tool for this can be Contact Form 7.



This is one of the most well-known marketing automation tools that exist in the market. As a matter of fact, inbound marketing owes a fair share of its popularity to Hubspot.

It is, in fact, the best inbound marketing automation tool out there. Here, you will have a one-stop destination to create, optimize and promote your content. Not just that, you can also create lead-generation funnels, nurture leads and prepare reports about them as well.

Alternative tools are ActiveCampaign, GetResponse, Zoho CRM, etc.


Gather Content

This is a top-notch content management tool, and we all know how important content can be for inbound marketing. From podcasts to blog posts, from social media posts to website copy, content prevails everywhere.

But sometimes, organizing all these different types of content can be very difficult. As you will upgrade your business and explore new channels, you will need a tool that can manage this mess more efficiently.

This is where GatherContent can come to your aid. It will streamline the process, organize everything, give you visual workflows and make your campaign run smoothly.

An alternative to this tool can be Trello.

Hubspot CRM

Hubspot CRM

Just like the name suggests, this is a relationship management tool. Much like any other CRM, it allows you to have a healthy ongoing relationship with all your visitors, new leads, and prospective customers. You can also document every single interaction you had with them.

Generating the leads is not enough; you need to understand them, and this is where tools like Hubspot CRM can help you. It will tell you a lot about your customers, what they like and what they don’t, and it will also help you get a better ROI.

Some other similar tools can be Pipedrive, Salesforce.



Now we are coming to the designing tools. As mentioned earlier, we are going to cover all the aspects. Maybe you don’t have a team yet, which can design industry-grade content like social media templates, infographics, website banners, but with the right tool by your side, you can save the day.

This is exactly what you will get with Canva. This is a comprehensive online designing tool that has dedicated and powerful features. Here, you will get already installed layouts, imagery, and typography. With just a few clicks, you can easily import content and start designing your professional creatives even if you have no such designing expertise.

A few similar applications can be PicMonkey, Design Wizard, Visme, etc..



This is one of the most well-known tools on the list and in the domain of digital marketing, thanks to its stupendous email marketing features. If you want a tool that can take care of all email marketing needs all by itself, then MailChimp is the tool.

This tool revolutionized email marketing forever, and you can indeed put your faith in it. With this, you can easily test and develop new email templates and manage all the important lists like sign-up lists, segment subscribers, and organize every other small aspect of your marketing campaign.

An alternative tool can be SendInBlue, ActiveCampaign, ConvertKit, etc.



Do we need to discuss the importance of social media again? Well, frankly, social media is the perfect place to generate leads and get fresh traffic towards your channel.

But when you have a tool like Buffer with you, it will not only make the entire thing seamless but will save a lot of time as well. This allows you to have a great combination of personalization and automation.

Now, you can schedule your posts, repost your top-performing ones, import stuff from your blogs, and what not! With this one there, the sky is the limit for your inbound marketing.

A similar tool like this can be Hootsuite.

Hubspot Sales

Hubspot Sales

Want to check the productivity of your email marketing? Well, why waste precious time when you have a dedicated tool for this. Just use Hubspot sales, and everything will be simple as daylight.

This tool allows you to personalize your emails and track when your contacts are opening the emails or the attachments you have sent them. This way, you can quickly identify your prospective customers.

A similar tool like this is Outreach.



When it comes to social media strategies, content curation is imperative. Wondering which tool can give you the best benefits of content curation? Well, just take Flipboard and see the magic.

This is the only tool that will directly benefit your brand from content curation. It can add all your recommended content to every single third-party link you wish to share but in a helpful way.

A similar app like this will be Klout.

Uber Conference


Meeting and conference is also an essential part of your inbound marketing. Uber Conference can be the perfect tool for this. It’s fast, easy to use, and you can immediately start a video call with your customer anywhere, anytime.

Plus, unlike other marketing tools, it has great marketing features and allows you to record call and transcript messages. Moreover, the hold music will literally keep your customers hooked to the world.

A similar app can be GoToMeeting.



This is a great tool to make your landing pages even more attuned with your inbound marketing. After all, this is the place where simple visitors become leads.

Unbounce has all the features to build, optimize and track your landing pages. Plus, it has some ready-made templates as well, which you can use to make compelling landing pages without any designing skills.

A few good similar tools are Leadpages, Instapage, etc.



Sometimes contact forms don’t really perform as you expect them to do. This is where Live Chat can come to your aid. Drift is one such tool that can give you the best possible benefits of using machine learning, chatbots, and an AI host to answer all the common queries of your visitors.

Rethink customer service with Drift!

Some alternatives to Drift are Zendesk, Facebook Chat App, Olark, etc.



If you have been looking for one such tool that can complement your landing page and at the same time use the effectiveness of pop-ups, scroll boxes, and other forms, then Sumo is the one for you.

This tool can work wonders for any site built on WordPress, and it can perform content upgrades as well.

Some similar tools like this can be HubSpot, OptinMonster, Unbounce, etc.



Video marketing is the booming new strategy to boost your brand. If you wish to make the most of this trend, then Wistia is the tool you need. One of the best video hosting platforms comes with a ton of features for clever inbound marketing.

If you wish to use video to boost your content in the most data-driven, customer-focused way, then this is it.

Another similar tool can be Vidyard.



There can be no doubt that push notifications can make real-time conversation easier. OneSignal can notify your subscribers every time you publish a new blog. Now, what better way to improve your visibility and engagement!

Another similar tool can be Urban Airship.

Final Words on Startup Inbound Marketing Tools

There can be no doubt that inbound marketing is the most effective and valuable way to increase your lead generation, sales conversion, everything. It’s a known fact that you will always be a little short on money when you are starting up.

This is why you need these tools. They will help you bridge the gap between budget and success. With the proper use of these tools, you can take care of almost all the aspects of your startup’s inbound marketing.

Of course, you need to know how to use these inbound marketing tools most efficiently, and here an experienced digital marketing company can come to your aid.

So, what are your views on these tools? Have you used any of them before? If you have, please let us know about your experience, and it will help thousands of readers and startup founders out there. I am sure your first-hand experience will be of great value to them.


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