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These Four Marketing Automation Tools Will Boost Your Site Growth

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Marketing Automation Tools will Boost Your Site Growth


There’s no denying a fact that most of marketing tasks we get to perform cannot (or should not) be automated. You cannot automate content creation and link acquisition. You’d better stay away from automating most of relationship building tasks. You cannot fully automate customer service, loyalty building and community nurturing.

However automation can reinforce your marketing efforts and a few powerful automation tools should definitely be on your marketing agenda (especially if you value your time and mind your budget).

1. Automate Your Email Marketing with GetResponse

GetResponse is the prime example of how automation not only saves your time but also discovers new marketing opportunities letting you engage customers exactly when they are ready to act.

It has the most advanced marketing automation features I am aware of allowing you to automate your emails using advanced workflows you can build using a powerful editor:

GetResponse

Automate your emails using advanced workflows you can build using a powerful editor

Here’s how you build the workflows using the visual editor:

GetResponse

That being said, you can send a customized and personalized email to someone who clicked a specific link, skipped your specific email, opted in on a specific date or using a specific landing page.

On top of that, there are more great online marketing features GetResponse offers:

I haven’t had a chance to play with those yet but it would be amazing if those two spoke to their email marketing automation settings too!

In short, it looks like Getresponse is turning into an all-in-one online marketing platform with powerful marketing automation features.

2. Automate Your Social Media Sharing with Viral Content Buzz

ViralContentBuzz.com offers you the most non-intrusive way to bring your content in front of the social media influencers and generate shares: You don’t have to beg for shares, you just add your project for those looking for interesting content to discover and share it.

VCB RSS sharing feature lets you save time on adding projects: You add your RSS feed and whenever you have a new article going live, it will be automatically added to VCB.

This means, as soon as you publish an article, it gets shared by someone outside your immediate following which gives it an immediate social media boost.

Mind that ALL VCB projects go through moderation before appearing on the public dashboards which means two things:

  • Automation in no way affects the quality of projects available for sharing
  • RSS projects are not immediately added (it takes up to 6 hours to go through the premium review)

3. Automate Your Social Media Updates with DrumUp

There are quite a few tools that allow you somehow automate your own social media sharing. I like and use a few. In this article I am sharing my most recent find which I ended up using more often than the others.

DrumUp has two features I use (which are probably not unique but I like how they are set up):

  • RSS to social media: Once you publish a new article, the update goes to your social media streams automatically. I wouldn’t rely too much on this feature though: It’s always best to share a new article manually (So you can make sure your post thumbnail looks nice or you can tag tools and people you mentioned in the article or you can immediately respond to the comments, etc. RSS to social media feature makes perfect sense when:
    • You share to branded accounts (Those that do nothing else but broadcast your site updates)
    • You plan a long trip and have a bunch of blog posts scheduled and want them to get shared on your social media accounts for more exposure.
  • Recurring tweets: Here’s one thing about Tweets you couldn’t help but notice: Their life span is extremely short. An hour after your tweet goes live, no one will ever see it in most cases. You’ve probably seen only a couple of your tweets that lived for a day or two thanks to continuous retweets but that’s extremely rare. That’s why recurring tweets come so in handy. You can automate your tweet to go live a few more times throughout upcoming days and weeks for more of your followers to be able to see it.

DrumUp

A powerful alternative to DrumUp is Mavsocial which I am using quite often as well, especially for scheduling to multiple Facebook brand pages. Here are more lead generation tips for Twitter.

4. Automate Your On-Site Advertising Campaigns with Finteza

Finteza is one of the most advanced and independent web analytics suites that comes with a powerful on-site ad management feature. Finteza allows you to create ads, calculate click-through, detect click fraud and even personalize your ads towards specific segments.

Powerful automation features:

  • An ability to target your ads to certain demographics (location, device, gender, etc.)
  • An ability to schedule ads to avoid having to manually remove them when the pre-paid period is over

finteza

Bonus: Automate More with Zapie

Another recent discovery of mine, Zapie offers much more automation opportunities than you could imagine. It works by making any two online apps work together. Some examples of automation opportunities using Zapie:

  • Automatically follow new Twitter users that mention search terms
  • Automatically create Trello cards from new (starred / labeled) Gmail emails
  • Automatically tweet posts from a Facebook page
  • Automatically add new Facebook posts to an RSS feed
  • Auto-share newsletter campaigns on your LinkedIn profile
  • More!

A powerful alternative to Zapie is IFTTT (which I know is awesome but I haven’t had a chance to play with it enough).

More marketing automation tools and trends to keep an eye on:

  • Automate your customer support with Nextiva’s Auto Attendant
  • Automate your social media customer support with Socialbakers
  • Automate your social media content creation with Lately

What do you automate in your marketing? What other powerful tools are you aware of? Please share!

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I am the owner of this blog as well as Brand and Community Manager at Internet Marketing Ninjas and Founder of MyBlogGuest, MyBlogU and ViralContentBee.com

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Google Be Colorful Sign from Peter The Greeter

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Google Be Colorful Backdrop


Here is a photo from Peter the Greeter at the GooglePlex in front of a “Be Colorful” sign that is super colorful with a lot of fun scenery around it. I assume this was for the Pride celebrations at the Google office.

He shared this on Instagram.

This post is part of our daily Search Photo of the Day column, where we find fun and interesting photos related to the search industry and share them with our readers.





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Google Automatically Selecting Background Colors For Search Result Snippet Images

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Google Automatically Selecting Background Colors For Search Result Snippet Images


Over the past few months Google has been auto-selecting background colors not just for image search results and not just for shading Google Shopping Ads but also for images added to the search result snippets in Google Search.

Punit spotted this a few months ago and he shared a couple examples on Twitter that shows how Google is taking an image with maybe a light gray background and then replacing it with a green background. He has more examples but here is the bigger one.

On the left is an image of a heel on a dark green background in the Google Search result image snippet:

But if you looked at the web page, that image as on a light gray background:

Here are more examples:

Pretty cool for Google to do this but I do wonder if the publishers won’t like Google changing the image backgrounds like this?

Forum discussion at Twitter.





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Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers

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Top 6 Free Survey Maker Tools For Marketers


The number of online surveys has risen dramatically in the past decade, according to the Pew Research Center.

From short social media polls to lengthy feedback forms, it’s never been easier to survey your target audience and find out what exactly they’re thinking.

When it comes to free survey makers, you have plenty of options to choose from.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is you have to wade through your options to figure out the best survey tool for you.

In this article, I’ve done that dirty work for you.

Below I outline the top six free survey makers, with a simple bulleted list of their pros and cons, so you can quickly select the best one for your needs.

But first up, the caveats.

What You’re Missing With Free Survey Makers

When something’s free, there’s usually a catch. The same goes for free survey makers.

Free survey tools, or the free plan offered by a paid survey tool, often come with the following limitations:

  • Limited export options. You may not be able to export your survey data for review in Excel or Google Sheets. There may be a PDF-only export option or no export ability at all.
  • Limited analytics. Free survey tools often skimp on the analytics. You may be left to your own pivot tables and Excel expertise if you want to create anything fancy from your survey data.
  • Limited survey functionality. This runs the gamut, from a limit on how many respondents or questions you can have per survey, to only allowing so many question types (e.g., multiple-choice, long-form, etc.).
  • Limited extra perks. By perks, I mean those other features that make software from good to great. With survey makers, that might mean easy-to-access support, the ability to embed surveys in email or webpages, multiple user accounts, or integration with other email marketing or CRM software.
  • No branding. Free survey makers give you their tools for free. In return, you provide them with free brand awareness. Don’t expect to be able to swap out their logo for your own. You’ll probably be stuck with their branding, along with a prominent link to their site throughout the survey or on the thank you page (or both).

If any of the above is a dealbreaker for you, you should plan to drop a little dough on a paid survey tool. That’s why I’ve also included the starting price for all six of the tools featured below.

In case you end up having to upgrade later, it’s easier to do so from a tool you’re already familiar with.

Top 6 Free Survey Tools

Without further ado, I present the best free survey makers you’ll find today. These are listed in no particular order.

1. Google Forms

Screenshot by author, June 2022

Do you live and die by your Google Drive?

Great news: Google also offers free survey software via Google Forms.

Alright, I know I just said these were presented in no particular order, but I’ll openly admit Google Forms is my personal favorite. Just look at all of the features they include in their free plan!

All you need is a free Google account to get started.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Export to Google Sheets.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Ability to embed images and YouTube videos.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website and share to social media.
  • Survey analytics, updated in real-time.
  • Integration with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides.
  • Unlimited collaborators.
  • Customizable survey templates.
  • Free branding.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Enhanced security and collaboration options.
  • Integration with your existing Google Workplace account.

Price: Completely free. Google Workplace pricing starts at $6 per user per month.

Best for: Anyone and everyone, for business or casual use.

2. SurveyMonkey

surveymonkeyScreenshot by author, June 2022

SurveyMonkey is the online survey tool. Established in 1999, it’s still the most well-known online survey software.

Despite the limitations of its free plans, SurveyMonkey continues to be popular thanks to its intuitive interface and brand recognition. Notable clients include Allbirds, Tweezerman, and Adobe.

One nice perk is that you can test out any of the paid features with your free plan. (You just won’t be able to actually use it in your live survey until you pay up.)

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions.
  • 15 question types.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Over 250 customizable survey templates.
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Mobile app.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions, question types, and responses.
  • Data exports – this is a biggie!
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Advanced security (single sign-on, HIPAA compliance).
  • A/B testing.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $16 per month for individuals, $25 for teams.

Best for: Those who want a tried-and-true survey maker with all the features you could ask for.

3. Typeform

typeformScreenshot by author, June 2022

Many online survey tools are designed for the general public.

Readers of Search Engine Journal will be happy to hear that there’s a survey tool created just for us. Typeform was built specifically with marketers, UX researchers, and business owners like us in mind.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 10 responses per month.
  • Basic question types.
  • Basic reporting and analytics
  • Ability to embed the survey on your website.
  • Integrations with MailChimp, HubSpot, Trello, Google Sheets, Zapier, and more.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Custom thank you screen.
  • Custom branding.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Team collaboration.
  • Ability to accept payment.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Integration with Facebook pixel and Google Tag Manager.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users, UX researchers, and marketers hoping to track customer behavior.

4. Zoho Survey

zoho surveyScreenshot by author, June 2022

Zoho Survey is part of the same Zoho suite of apps that caters to sales, HR, IT, finance, and virtually any kind of business user you can think of.

Given their tenure creating SaaS software for business, their survey tool is just as robust as you might expect. Customers include big names like Netflix, Amazon, Facebook, and Change.org.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • 10 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website, or share to social media.
  • Export to PDF.
  • 250 survey templates.
  • Password protection and HTTPS encryption.
  • One user.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Ability to export to XLS or CSV.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Team collaboration.
  • Real-time responses.
  • Multilingual surveys.
  • Integration with Google Sheets, Tableau, Shopify, Zendesk, Eventbrite, and others.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $25 per month.

Best for: Zoho users, or anyone who needs an extra level of security for their surveys.

5. Alchemer

alchemer survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

Alchemer is an advanced survey maker developed for the enterprise client.

Paid features include custom coding so you can customize every single element of your survey, from the survey URL to the form logic.

They stand out among free survey makers for being one of the few (besides Google Forms) to offer unlimited questions and Excel exports in their free plan. Clients include Disney, Salesforce, Verizon, and The Home Depot.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Three surveys at a time.
  • Unlimited questions.
  • 100 responses.
  • 10 question types.
  • Export to Excel.
  • Customizable templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited responses.
  • Unlimited question types.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • Ability to embed surveys in websites.
  • Export to PDF, PowerPoint, or Word.
  • Ability for survey respondents to upload files.
  • Survey analytics and reporting.
  • Ability to accept payment.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $49 per month.

Best for: Enterprise users needing to create long surveys with advanced logic and question types.

6. Jotform

jotform survey makerScreenshot by author, June 2022

With over 10,000 templates, Jotform takes the cake as the survey maker with the most form templates on our list.

Jotform also stands out for letting you accept payments with the free plan (although you’re limited to 10).

This popular survey maker includes clients as wide-ranging as AMC and Nickelodeon to Redfin and the American Medical Association.

Here’s what’s included in the free plan:

  • Five surveys.
  • 100 questions per survey.
  • 100 responses per survey.
  • Ability to embed surveys in email or website.
  • Export to PDF or Excel.
  • 10,000 survey templates.

What’s missing from the free plan:

  • Unlimited surveys.
  • Unlimited questions and responses.
  • Survey logic (ability to skip or trigger questions).
  • Custom branding.
  • HIPAA compliance.

Price: Freemium. Paid plans start at $29 per month.

Best for: Users who want a template for every kind of survey possible.

Which Survey Tool Will You Use?

There truly is a survey maker for everybody.

The above options are all solid choices. Which one works for you may depend on your organization’s needs and your personal preferences.

Take advantage of the free trials and see which one you like best.

More Resources:


Featured Image: Prostock-studio/Shutterstock





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