Having a website is not enough to get you noticed in today’s crowded Internet marketplace. Even search engine rankings are insufficient if your website fails to convert visitors into customers who buy your products and services.

A carpenter needs to invest in top quality tools when he is starting out; they represent a massive and unavoidable investment in his future. Startups must invest in tools to increase customer conversions and to maximize income from each customer. In both cases failing to invest will lead to lack of success.

There is a plethora of online tools out there and selecting the best is very difficult. These five tools will pay for themselves in terms of lower costs in the long-term and increased profits for any new business.

Here are the 5 tools you should use:

Oktopost

Oktopost is a social media management platform marketed as a B2B service, but it is a wonderful B2C service as well. One of the big problems that any business has using social media is the sheer amount of noise. The clutter makes it almost impossible to make any sense of the million and one conversations that are happening at any one time.

Oktopost enables a business to filter out the social media messages that are important. It lets users create streams that are filtered by user-selected keywords and phrases allowing anyone to monitor brand mentions and to work to counteract any adverse comments that arise.

The platform allows a user to monitor many social media channels all from the same place and to use multiple profiles which will increase efficiency, save time and reduce the chance of overlooking something important. Oktopost also integrates with marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Act-on, and CRM platforms such as SalesForce.

GetResponse

You might agree with me that any B2C company needs a world-class email automation system. GetResponse is a great email marketing software in terms value and features.

Any business needs a system to communicate with customers around the world. Emails work infinitely better than social media conversations to convert contacts into buyers which is why they are the universally preferred option for B2C communications.

Email is read on tablets, phones and computer screens of all sizes so any emails need to look good on every device. GetResponse has hundreds of pre-designed email templates that are all responsive and look good every time they are opened. The service also includes a landing page creator and an A/B testing tool to help optimize emails to get maximum conversions.

WiseStamp

Email is always going to be the prime method of communication between a business and its customers. WiseStamp is an innovative email app which stamps any company email with a message.

Wisestamp is much more than a bog-standard email signature though. It is possible to include links, images and embedding social platforms as these signature examples shows.

Including an image is particularly important to build rapport with the people on a B2C email list. People stay on a mailing list through choice and are only ever one click away from unsubscribing. Anything that a business can do to keep people on their list is worthwhile and personalization of email is part of the answer. Check WiseStamp’s signature for professionals to browse through various ready to use templates that can kick-fire your signature.

Trendemon

Any startup has limited resources, so it is vital to use time and financial resources where they will have the greatest impact on the bottom line. Trendemon is another SaaS service that is essential to any e-commerce site.

There are hundreds of decision points in any website and millions of possible paths that visitors can follow through the site. A few of these possible paths will be very profitable; many will generate no income at all. Trendemon helps companies to generate more income from the visitors they already have by showing personalized offers to users based on the route they are taking through a site. Watch Trendemon’s video tutorials to get the gist of this useful tool in your efforts to optimize your blog and increase your website’s traffic.

Incapsula

If your business website is insecure then hackers can break in, damage your website and reputation. More importantly they can steal customers’ confidential data which will result in the company being in the press for all the wrong reasons. Incapsula provides a suite of web application delivery services that will secure and speed up a company website. On the security front Incapsula’s provides its client with a PCI compliant WAF (Web Application Firewall) and an award winning DDoS protection solutions, which can also be used to protect non-Web assets (e.g., your FTP servers). On top of that, Incapsula also provides load balancing and failover services that leverage its application layer presence to overcome the limitations of old-school DNS-based technologies. Finally, the service is is deployed on top of a robust Content Delivery Network (CDN) that improves response times which also using proprietary caching technology to speed ups all content delivery.

However, for all its performance enhancing and high availability features, security is Incapsula’s first priority and it should be yours as well. Today, more than ever, company websites are prime targets for hackers who are usually trying to steal customer credit card details to sell on to other criminals.

Any business that fails to take precautions against criminals accessing its site will not be around for long: Reputation is everything and once lost is never recovered. Incapsula can be seen as an insurance policy that prevents damage to a company reputation.

Investing in Tools

Every one of these Software as a Service (SaaS) tools is part of the toolbox you need to improve conversions.

Startups have few staff, so investing in these tools means that staff can work on revenue generating tasks rather than donkey work. They allow a two-person startup partnership to look as professional as a long-established business that employs scores of people.

Your Thoughts?

How useful would these tools be to your business? Are there any others you would include? Plesae share your thinking using the comments box below.