SaaS Startups Should Be Using These Top Digital Marketing Tools

Marketing Tools Used by the Pros
“What marketing tools should I be using to make life easier?”


I get this question a lot from friends and clients, so I decided to share a go-to list of the most valuable saas startup digital marketing tools. The same tools I personally use in my startup & V.C. partnerships.
Before You Build, Lay the Foundation.

Automation is the foundation and one of the first strategies I bring to new startups with venture capital. It should be the basis of your digital marketing infrastructure and is key to reducing financial and opportunity costs. Here are the top saas startup digital marketing tools you need to put in place to start automating and tracking your digital marketing efforts.

#1 Invest in a good CRM (customer relationship management) tool.

This software stores data on your customer base for marketing activities.

Top Three Recommendations:
PipeDrive – Built by salespeople for salespeople. For companies that require personnel to manage small to medium-sized sales activities, process leads and organize information. Priced according to the size of your business.

PRICE: $12/Month/User

PROS: Easy to learn & use interface, low cost, has a Mobile App (that’s pretty dang good)

CONS: Limited Functionality, requires connecting other tools to provide a dynamic option.

Salesforce – An extremely agile CRM that allows heavy customization and integration with virtually an endless number of tools via Salesforce API and Salesforce Marketing Products. Ideal for companies processing an enterprise level of leads from many different sources and channels.

PRICE: $25-$300/Month/User

PROS: High-level customization

CONS: Developer needed to take full advantage of capabilities ($$$), Not the easiest to learn, some may need to hire a SalesForce expert.

InfusionSoft – An all-in-one CRM that includes lead management, sources, payments & email automation. Ability to build forms for email opt-in and create automated responses with timers and triggers. Best for companies with a long sales cycle. InfusionSoft also has a marketplace that allows you to integrate many other apps (without coding) but some “plugins” can be expensive.

PRICE: $150-$350/Month

PROS: All-in-one option, training for your staff, removes the need to integrate multiple types of marketing software.

CONS: There is a Learning Curve, some expert knowledge needed depending on campaign objectives.

#2 Put A Good Data Collection Process in Place

Data makes the difference. All digital marketing activities can and should be tracked; but without proper data tracking, ROI becomes nearly impossible to read.

Here is what I recommend:

Facebook – Install the Facebook pixel tracking code on your website. This allows you to re-target anyone on Facebook that has visited your site in the last 1 to 180 days. As a result, you can track conversions such as purchases & email opt-ins and gain a clearer picture regarding the return on Ad spend.

Running Facebook Ads should be one of the first activities for your startup (ideally before you receive working capital). Facebook’s targeting capabilities allow you reach almost anyone imaginable.

More importantly though is data collected through this process. You will have access to full reports on your site traffic such as demographics, buying habits, interests, ethnicity, political affiliations, age, net worth, homeowner/renter, and much more… Sounds invasive, but we openly share almost everything with Facebook.

Campaigns should be built in advance and rotated. Once a campaign is turned on, visitors will click through to your website and automatically start seeing your retargeted ads.


Google Analytics – Not going to spend much time on this topic. You already know about this tool (rather, you should know about it) but the next step is to invest in a developer that can create custom conversion tracking.

Custom conversion tracking will show you which channels performed well for your buyers and lead opt-ins. It’s important to keep this data “clean” and have everything linked together (meaning: define your key performance metrics and create conversion codes to track said metrics).


Google Remarketing – This is similar to Facebook in that it allows you to “retarget” or deliver ads specifically to users who have recently visited your website. You will need to hire a developer to write the code but it’s well worth the investment. Note: Google requires you first obtain 1,000 visitors to start retargeting ads. Image ads will need to be created to display on the Adsense network.


Localytics – Tracking user data within your App. Allows retargeting based on Mobile Advertising ID number.


HotJar – This software records visits on your website. You can use this tool to evaluate your user experience and better understand the interaction users have with your website. This data is collected and stored for analysis.

Hotjar also allows you to survey your website visitors with a timed pop-up to get real-time feedback.. I will say, if you are creative and ask simple questions people do respond. This isn’t so much about automation as it is data collection, but it’s an extremely powerful tool.

#3 Invest in the Proper Email Automation Tool

There are two different types of email services: Marketing & Transaction Emails. It’s important you know the difference, otherwise, your email may never make the inbox.

Marketing emails are for promotion purposes, Transaction emails are for things like receipts, package delivery tracking, etc. Transactional emails almost always reach the inbox while more often marketing emails go straight to the spam folder. You can use transactional emails to proceed a customer “action” such as opt-in on your webpage.

It’s also important that your email service has tools that allow you to conduct spam-analysis and blacklist checks before sending emails.

Here is what I recommend:
  • SendGrid – Transaction & Marketing email platform with detailed reporting, design templates and spam-checks. It’s 100% free for up to 1200 email subscribers.
  • Mailchimp – Marketing email and automation platform allows users to to create triggers and timers. Also includes spam-check and a easy to use drag and drop design tool. Pricing varies from free (limited options to $25 per month + $200 subscription).
  • InfusionSoft – CRM, Email Marketing & Automation. Good for long term follow up and creative, intricate campaigns containing a vast amount of options regarding automated flow of triggers and timers. Limited design capabilities and spam-check. Price $150-$350 per month.
#4 Invest in a Centralized Automation Platform

Link actions between multiple tools. Connect your bookkeeping, email auto-responder, CRM and more. Essentially these tools write API’s to connect software. This will save you a pretty penny vs. paying a developer to “connect” your entire platform.

These Automation Tools allow you to create triggers (if one program does this, the next program does that).

Here is what I recommend:

All these tools have the capabilities you need, but you’ll need to evaluate which software they support that aligns with your business needs.

These are not all of the saas startup digital marketing tools your business is going to need but this is a good starting point to build a solid foundation for your digital marketing strategies regarding your startup or venture capital project.

Leave a comment