Once in a while, you’re going to need to make some investments in your marketing. While free software is always appreciated, they often have limited use in your business due to restrictions. Marketing is the life-blood of any business, helping to bring in new customers and revenue. That’s why buying software that makes your campaigns more efficient and effective will always be worthwhile. But with so much software on the market, it’s easy to go wrong and end up wasting your money. In general, what you want in marketing software is for it to do one of the following: Make essential research easier Provide inspiration for content Automate manual tasks Manage your team’s workflow Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best marketing software for small businesses, so you don’t need to waste time and money trialling different packages yourself. Hubspot (and other CRMs) The primary purpose of CRMs (customer relationship management platforms) is to make campaigns significantly easier to manage and execute. By automating manual management tasks, such as task designation, and team activity tracking, HubSpot and other CRMs will remove the need for menial tasks, saving you time to work on actions that matter. Ultimately, this is a great investment for teams that often find themselves dragged away from meaningful, income-generating tasks by menial admin. Other than time saving features, CRMs can also help you gather important data that will help with campaign planning. Hubspot, for example, can help you track user behaviour and gather relevant insights about your target audience that will allow you to better target them and communicate more persuasively with material relevant to the data you’ve gathered. The efficiency and effectiveness that CRMs give your team massively outweigh the financial costs of the software. LinkedIn Sales Navigator Linkedin Sales Navigator – this additional LinkedIn feature allows you to find social media users who fit your target market to a tee. This makes finding and connecting with prospects as easy as possible. The ROI comes from the fact that over time you can build a network of your prospects, so that when you post content it gets more, and better targeted, exposure. It also helps you discover prospects that you might have otherwise never found. Mailchimp While Mailchimp offers you a free version, the professional upgrade is a worthy investment. Although rather costly, MailChimp allows you to segment your mailing list, and do multivariate analysis to find out which emails are getting the most pickup. This will help you to sharpen your email marketing and copywriting to the point where every email is an opportunity for upsells, downsells and cross-sells. It must be said that HubSpot also allows similar functionality, which is why it’s our preferred software at Clarity. Zingle Zingle helps you keep a conversation going with your audience, even when they’re not on social media or email! This cloud-based messaging platform was designed just for small businesses like yours, letting you schedule SMS texts, automate responses and send promotions. This is a great investment as it allows you to speed up your customer’s journey by giving them multiple touchpoints. In general, when it comes to investing in marketing software, you’re looking for time savings or functionality that you can’t for free. Something that adds a bit of oomph for your marketing campaigns. Something that helps you work smarter, not harder. For more expert advice, check out our guide to Marketing Quick Wins for Small Businesses.