100 Startup Tools of the Week

100 Startup Tools of the Week

Today marks issue #100 of the Startup Resources newsletter, and it seemed like a good idea to do something in the theme of 100. Behold, this blog post! For most of those 100 newsletters we’ve had a tool of the week selected (and for those few where we didn’t, I chose my favorite of the mentioned tools from that newsletter). Here is the list of all 100 super-useful tools of the week, in the same order they were featured in the newsletters. Enjoy!

 

#1: Privy: Tool for growing email list and online sales with gorgeous, targeted exit intent popups, banners, bars, flyouts, embedded forms, landing pages. We use it on StartupResources.io!

 

#2: Revue: A platform that can be used to create email digest effortlessly. It's what we use for the StartupResources.io newsletter!

 

#3: Quuu Promote: Quuu Promote promotes your quality content via real people. These people have signed up for content suggestions from Quuu.co and receive and share your content every day.

 

#4: MailShake: A cold email outreach tool, with templates, open detection, and lots more. Getting more powerful day by day, it's what I use at CrankWheel.

 

#5: Refind: Discover, read, and save the most relevant stories on the web.

 

#6: Follow Up Then: FollowUpThen is a service that works through email account to send reminders to inbox. For example, just forward an email you need to be reminded of to an email address like [email protected] and it'll be sent back to you 3 days later.

 

#7: CrankWheel: Specialized screen sharing for sales teams. Mid phone call, you can say something like "I can show you" and get your prospect connected to your screen share within 5 seconds, as it works on every browser without download or registration - even on mobile devices. This is my own startup!

 

#8: Unroll.me: Shows a list of all your subscription emails so it's easy to filter them out, or have them rolled up into a digest.

 

#9: Petreon: Patreon is a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to get paid.

 

#10: DrumUp: DrumUp discovers and helps to share content to social media accounts.

 

#11: Slaask: This is a customer service app that integrates with Slack, so if your company runs on Slack you might want to take a look.

 

#12: Brain.fm: Music designed for the brain to enhance focus, relaxation, meditation, naps and help you sleep.

 

#13: Survicate: Survicate is a complex of tools for getting customers' feedback. Surveys are one of the lead generation approaches that are still working well. Integrates with Intercom.

 

#14: LeadFuze: Automated pales prospecting and engagement software. This is similar to Mailshake (see above) but in addition lets you do prospecting, i.e. search for potential customers in LeadFuze's database.

 

#15: Signpost: Signpost is a clever solution that helps small businesses get and keep customers through online reviews and referrals. Only ask users who show positive emotion towards your product to write a review.

 

#16: Responster: This is a tool primarily to design and run surveys for on-site feedback, either online or in stores or at trade shows via iPad kiosks.

 

#17: xTab: A Chrome extension that helps to limit maximum number of open tabs.

 

#18: Growthority: Growth marketing as a service for startups in North America and Europe.

 

#19: Rocket Lawyer: Create legal documents and legal forms instantly with safe & secure storage, e-signatures and lawyer review.

 

#20: HopperHQ: A tool for scheduling Instagram posts. Includes image editing and a bulk upload tool.

 

#21: Focus List: FocusList is a daily planner & focus app based on the Pomodoro technique, where you work intensely on one subject for 25 minutes, then take a break of 5 minutes, then repeat for the same or a new task.

 

#22: PureChat: Pure Chat is a live chat solution for small to mid-sized teams. Free for up to 15 chats per month.

 

#23: SEcockpit: Keyword research tool and SEO management software. Great because you can enter a phrase like "custom screen printing" and see hundreds of related searches to find the most relevant ones with the best volume compared to difficulty to rank.

 

#24: Digital Ocean: A reliable, easy-to-use cloud computing platform of virtual servers, object storage, and more.

 

#25: Active Campaign: Integrated email marketing, marketing automation, and small business CRM.

 

#26: StartupLister: Startuplister manually submits your startup to a curated list of websites, directories, communities, and review sites.

 

#27: MailerLite: Email marketing software, services and newsletters, can do autoresponder, exit-intent popups and more. Free if you've got less than 1,000 subscribers.

 

#28: Palettable: Palletable helps you generate beautiful color schemes even if you have no prior design knowledge.

 

#29: Couponler: A tool that helps to create, print and share good looking business coupons. They have discount codes for the StartupResources.io audience: StartupBasic - 3 month trial of Basic plan. StartupPro - 3 month trial of Pro plan. StartupFranchise - 3 month trial of Franchise plan.

 

#30: Get Worm: Discover new startups and get exclusive early bird offers for joining as a beta tester.

 

#31: Lead Dyno: Affiliate tracking software that's affordable, very easy to set up, has a great dashboard, good support, and their own affiliate network to promote your program.

 

#32: Positionly: Inbound marketing software to track and improve SEO.

 

#33: Glasshat: Tool that delivers simple automated SEO actions to improve your website's performance.

 

#34: TrackDuck: Visual feedback and bug tracking software. Lets your website visitors annotate your site to give you visual feedback.

 

#35: UserBob: Fast and affordable remote usability testing tool. Get videos of real users trying out your website while they share their unbiased opinions.

 

#36: SEO PowerSuite: SEO software tools for results-driven site owners. There's a pretty powerful free version.

 

#37: Bubble: A point-and-click programming tool, entirely without code for building web applications. This is visual programming that's actually really impressive, possibly good enough to build a real MVP without having to hire a developer.

 

#38: The Email Game: Why it's awesome: Turns getting to Inbox Zero into a game.

 

#39: Optimocha: A speed optimization service for websites powered by WordPress.

 

#40: LaunchPass: Lets you easily create a paid private community on Slack.

 

#41: Upscribe: Newsletter signup forms that embed on Medium, Squarespace, and other platforms. Just paste a URL into your blog article and it expands into a pretty form letting you capture leads.

 

#42: ProfitWell: Why’s it awesome: Free metrics and analytics for SaaS. Track churn, LTV, etc.

 

#43: OptiMonk: Why’s it awesome: Entice someone who is leaving to instead stay on your site with a coupon or other redirection, in order to increase revenue and capture those customers you’re about to lose.

 

#44: QuickPages: A tool for creating, publishing and analyzing landing pages without any technical knowledge. It's free!

 

#45: Compass (now defunct?): Compass makes it easy and affordable to create websites by working 1-on-1 with a vetted freelancer. Flat price for a site.

 

#46: Context.IO: Tool for creating simple email webhooks and code against a free, RESTful, IMAP API.

 

#47: Followed (now defunct?): (Previously FanHarvest.) Why’s it awesome: Automate your Instagram marketing by auto likes and unlikes, auto follow and unfollow, auto comments, auto DM and even 100% auto post scheduling.

 

#48: Canva: Drag-and-drop feature and layouts to design, share and print business cards, logos, presentations and more.

 

#49: Hipstersound: Ambient noise generator to create a positive, hipsterlike work environment.

 

#50: Logojoy: Artificial intelligence to instantly generate beautiful, unique logo ideas for business.

 

#51: getterms.io: Generate a simple Terms of Service and Privacy Policy statement for your website. Free!

 

#52: Tend: The simplest way to see what marketing tactics drive customers.

 

#53: Lucidchart: Online diagram and flowchart maker for any platform.

 

#54: EmailOctopus: Manage and email your subscribers for far cheaper by connecting your Amazon SES account. If you have a very large mailing list, this option is a lot cheaper than MailChimp or similar alternatives.

 

#55: Yet Another Mail Merge: A simple spreadsheet-based mail merge tool for creating email campaigns with Gmail and Google Sheets.

 

#56: SwagUp: Branded swag packs for for customers and employees.

 

#57: Balsamiq: Balsamiq is a rapid wireframing tool that helps you work faster and smarter. I use this and it's great.

 

#58: Lob: A tool for seamlessly printing and mailing documents, postcards, checks, and more via an API.

 

#59: Brandpa: Brandpa helps to find new names for business, product or service. They invent great .com domains so you don't have to.

 

#60: Habitica: A free habit and productivity app that treats your real life like a game.

 

#61: RecurPost: Recycle social media posts for more customer engagement. If you like this, you may also want to check out Missinglettr.

 

#62: Syrup: App giveaways and deals on tools for startups.

 

#63: PaySimple: Someone in the StartupResources.io Slack community was trying to find an easy way for his company to take ACH payments, and this was what he found. 60 cents per transaction with a monthly subscription cost.

 

#64: Serposcope Serphacker: A free and open-source rank tracker to monitor websites ranking in Google and improve your SEO performances.

 

#65: Smartlook: Free session replay tool with web, mobile and app recordings.

 

#66: Raindrop.io: Raindrop makes bookmarks more vivid and functional. It’s easy to add to your browser, and is an elegant solution for bookmarking and saving what you find.

 

#67: HTTrack Website Copier: HTTrack is a free and easy-to-use utility for copying websites to a static offline archive. I've used it in the past to take WordPress websites and change them into static websites for hosting on Netlify (sometimes with an added step after extraction of converting the site into a Jekyll-generated static site).

 

#68: Clearbit: One of the things my startup CrankWheel does when helping you to capture leads is to automatically enrich the lead data based on email address (and IP address on some plans). One of the data sources we use is Clearbit, and it is pretty cool. You may not know, but you can play around with their APIs for free, and it’s fun to check what they know about your email, your company’s IP address, and more.

 

#69: Netlify: I can hardly say enough good things about Netlify as a way to deploy static websites, and I use it myself for both StartupResources.io and crankwheel.com. Their free plan is very generous, and you can easily deploy static websites either by just dragging and dropping a folder, or connect to your git repo (e.g. on GitHub or GitLab) for continuous deployment.

 

#70: Parse Emails by Zapier: This is a fairly limited but completely free alternative to MailParser and Parseur that were both featured in the newsletter at some point. It can’t do nearly all the magic MailParser can, but for some basic needs it can work great.

 

#71: Beeminder: I absolutely love Beeminder, and have been a user for several years. It’s a tool to make a contract with yourself (a contract involving money!!) to do more or less of certain (quantifiable) things, or achieve quantifiable goals, such as for tracking weight loss, reading a number of pages per day, blogging a number of hours per day, biting your nails fewer than one day a week, following diet guidelines. It’s especially great for tracking progress towards goals that aren’t all-or-nothing: For example, I used it to stay on track to follow, on average, 3 out of my 5 diet guidelines. Most days I’d follow them all, some days none, and so forth. I lost a lot of weight, and it was a lot easier than an all-or-nothing type of diet. These days I use it to make sure I spend the time I intend on writing blog posts for StartupResources.io, going to the gym X number of times per week on average, etc. I strongly recommend it!

 

#72: Vivaldi: I know some of the folks who work on this, as the team is based partly in Iceland, as well as in Norway and Cambridge, MA. The company is founded by Jon Stephenson von Tetzchner, who was one of the founders of Opera back in the day, and who wanted to go back to the vision of a browser for power users. It’s based on Chromium, but has a ton of customizable features that you might just love.

 

#73: Hunter TechLookup: This is similar to BuiltWith except in reverse. Can be great for prospecting. Say for example you have a new plug-in for WordPress users whose sites are in Japanese, Hunter TechLookup would let you derive a list of these websites, you can even filter for popularity or search for an intersection of multiple technologies.

 

#74: Loom: Loom is an easy-to-use tool to record walkthrough videos, quick explainers for customer support, and more. They also have a pretty neat set of growth hacks in place, you can unlock features by getting your friends on board and it integrates well in context with tools such as Gmail.

 

#75: Verloop: Verloop lets you build a FAQ bot and chatbot, for automated customer engagement. Looks pretty cool, and for now while they’re doing a betalist, you get not only their smallest plan (25K messages/month) for free, but their next plan above that (100K messages/month) is free for 3 months.

 

#76: Content Snare: Looks really useful for web designers and agencies. A way to get content from your clients in a structured format, that also handles chasing your clients to get the content.

 

#77: Slidely: Now that Facebook allows you to have a video as your Facebook page cover, I figured this free set of videos suited for that would be great for a lot of folks.

 

#78: Seamless.AI: I tried this out for a while. It’s similar to Hunter but (a) Hunter has removed their LinkedIn integration as they probably got a cease-and-desist letter from LinkedIn, and (b) Seamless.ai does more - tries to find shared connections and various other things. Their paid plans are quite expensive but the free version gives you 50 credits per month.

 

#79: AnswerThePublic.com: This is a free keyword research tool based on what people are searching for, which I’ve found very useful to generate ideas for content, keywords for SEO, etc.

 

#80: Roadmap: This makes it quite simple to create a roadmap of stuff that’s in progress vs. starting soon vs. future, and also to show a release history of things we’ve already launched. The tool is free for one roadmap with up to 500 users interacting with it.

 

#81: ContentUpgrade.me: I cross-post the StartupResources.io newsletters to Medium, but have not seen a great conversion to new subscribers from there, likely because it’s a couple of clicks to sign up if you’re reading on Medium. With ContentUpgrade.me, I now have an embeddable sign-up form that I can use in Medium stories (here’s an example). They also do lead magnet forms (with an auto-download) and CTAs (i.e. just a big button that . Free for one form, but as soon as you want more forms or an integration (like Zapier) to automatically get leads into your system of choice, it’s $9/month.

 

#82: Lumen5: This is a pretty nifty tool to mostly-automagically turn a blog post into a video. It’s free to use as long as you’re OK with giving them credits at the end of the video. Pay to remove those and also to get higher video quality.

 

#83: Slackin: Provides a way for folks to self-invite to public Slack communities, like the StartupResources.io one. Anybody running a public Slack community should check it out. This tool is perhaps a little technical to set up, but no coding skills are required if you want to deploy it on Azure, just fill in some API keys and things you need to gather from Slack and Google reCAPTCHA.

 

#84: FindThatLead: FindThatLead has been gaining a lot of traction in a SaaS founder community I’m in, so I decided to give it a go. It can do all the same things Hunter does, and also has a built-in tool called Prospector which is essentially a list generator similar to what you could do on a LinkedIn Sales Navigator account, except instead of having to send InMail you can just have FindThatLead give you their email address. Free for up to 300 credits per month (a credit is a search with up to 10 results).

 

#85: Dux-Soup: Dux Soup is a very nice tool at a very nice price point, $15/month, and you can use some of the features for free. I’ve been using it for a couple of months now and am seeing greatly increased interest via LinkedIn. Fundamentally, it is a tool that will visit profiles on LinkedIn for you, based on a LinkedIn search, a LinkedIn group’s member list, a custom list of profiles you already have, or a Google search. You may want to just have it visit (to get folks to view your profile back) or you can set it to automatically follow, automatically invite to connect (with a custom message if you like), or for existing contacts you can send a message or endorse skills. It’s a Chrome extension and you need to remember to run it daily or keep a tab open for it, but other than that is mostly automatic.

 

#86: Zencastr: I've used this several times for the CrankWheel podcast. The sound quality it achieves by recording both sides individually and then doing post-processing is quite good, and miles better than simply recording a phone call or Skype conversation. I think it’s especially good considering that neither I nor my interviewees have had any kind of special microphone or audio setup. Very reasonable pay-as-you-go scheme for post-production, or you can get a free trial of their monthly plan that includes additional features and plenty of post-production.

 

#87: Daily: Similar to Appear.in but seems nicer for teams and businesses since you get your own domain, two people can screen share at once, you can create locked rooms as well as public rooms, and maybe most importantly, folks can dial in to a meeting using their phone in case they’re not at their computer. Completely free, you just need a modern browser like Chrome or Firefox.

 

#88: Timing: Timing is a beautiful Mac app that automatically tracks your time, including the apps you use, websites you visit, and documents you open. It also lets you account for time away from the computer. Use it either for tracking productivity (as I’ve been doing) or for tracking billable projects, it has really nice features for that as well, automatically tagging certain keywords (e.g. in documents) to certain projects and suggesting stuff to group together on a given task or project.

 

#89: Web Scraper: This is a tool for scraping data off of any website, for example for lead generation. The usability isn's that great, but just watch a couple of the tutorial videos on their website and you should be able to figure it out. I spent about 45 minutes with the tool recently and that was all the time it took to scrape a list of several thousand potential digital agencies, all completely for free. I’m pretty sure that list could have easily cost a couple of thousand dollars elsewhere.

 

#90: Fleeq: This is an interesting alternative to doing actual screen captures using something like Loom. You take screenshots (optionally using the Fleeq Chrome extension) and then you arrange them in a sequence, mark them up with highlights and pointers or zooming, and add narration, which can be either text-to-speech or your own custom upload. You can also localize the narration to different languages, which makes “Fleeqs” a potentially neat alternative to videos when you’re using them for customer support and have a multi-lingual audience.

 

#91: Unbounce: This is a lead magnet for Unbounce (excellent service BTW - check their startup package) that I’ve tested on several of our landing pages for CrankWheel and it has delivered actionable advice on how to improve each one of them. I’d highly recommend giving it a try, it’s completely free.

 

#92: Reply: This is a more powerful email automation tool than Mailshake, which I’ve been using, as it lets you do A/B testing, creates suggestions for tasks such as calling a contact who has opened an email several times but not responded, and allows you to make phone calls right from the Reply system. Importantly for many folks out there, it works not just with Gmail but also with Outlook or Exchange. Finally, for Gmail users, there’s an extension that lets you do things like add a contact to a follow-up campaign just as you’re writing an email to them.

 

#93: LambdaTest: This service is similar to BrowserStack (which I use and have recommended in the past) but at about 50% lower price point, plus these folks have a free plan for limited monthly testing. Lets you test live (within your browser) on 1400+ browser versions, and also do screenshot tests and responsive tests across multiple browsers simultaneously.

 

#94: Franz: Franz is a free messaging app to run Slack, Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and many more communication tools all in one window. I used to run 2-3 different messaging apps most of the time on my Mac, as well as keeping various browser tabs open for messaging, and now I just run Franz. It works very well and has a free version.

 

#95: Demio: This is a really, really slick webinar platform (I'm a subscriber, for CrankWheel webinars). Uses WebRTC, lets you do both live and evergreen (“as if live”) webinars, takes care of registrations, basically everything you need. Not free, but a money-back guarantee and a pretty reasonable price (starts at $57/month for up to 100 participants).

 

#96: Station: Station unifies all your work tools in one neat and productive interface. It's a Windows and Mac app that’s kind of similar to Franz (listed above), as it is a place to put all the different web-based apps you use all the time, except where Franz is focused around communication apps only, with Station you can also add a ton of other types of apps (think Google Drive, GitHub, etc.). It’s newer than Franz and seems like it’s maybe not quite as robust, but it looks really sweet, and has tons of ready integrations.

 

#97: Find & Replace Extension for Text Editing: An extension for Chrome or Firefox that adds search & replace tool for input fields and editable text content in your browser, including advanced functionality such as regular expressions. Very neat, and more and more useful now as everything moves online. It’s free but donations to the solo author are encouraged.

 

#98: Gridbox: This is a cool editor for mocking up and previewing a website based on either Bootstrap or Foundation components, and in the end downloading the design you’ve created. The result is just like hand-coded HTML. Seems to be completely free.

 

#99: Be Live: Who wants a podcast when you can do live TV… right? This looks very neat, you can do a solo, or interview style, or “talk show” style video with all attendees remote, all streaming live on Facebook. Starts at $15/month.

 

#100: Yodel: A phone number that notifies to your Slack channel (with possible fallback to a regular phone number). $25/month including any amount of inbound calls for any number of agents responding to calls