Which tools will bring the most value to digital marketing agencies in 2023? Here's a list of sixteen digital marketing agency tools – from task management, backlinks, and search engine optimization, to data analytics, social media management and reporting – that can help your agency gain a competitive advantage and win more clients.
Every minute counts for digital agencies. According to a recent study, the second biggest challenge agency owners face is managing time, and that’s second only to “getting new clients.” If you’re at a digital marketing agency, none of this is news. You know how closely clients monitor and judge your productivity.
And while the time pressure is there, the quality pressure is there, too.
To stay on the safe side of that calculation, you have to work smart. Part of working smart is to use the right tools. A few good tools used in strategic ways can save hours – maybe even days – worth of time. They’ll let you deliver better-quality work, too.
But agencies have one other criterion for the tools they use. Because agencies manage so many accounts and agency branding matters, it’s important to have tools that let you deliver a customized, white-label experience to your clients.
All the tools listed below can do all that and more. Use them to speed up your work, keep clients informed, and manage your workflow in efficient ways. And while 16 might seem like a lean list, it’s actually just above average. A Winterberry Group survey found that the average number of tools marketers use is 12.4.
Use this reporting tool for in-depth data analyses and agency reporting.
It's all about results that clients care about. And so, while you might be getting lots of work done, if you can’t demonstrate and document your results, your clients may still be unhappy. That’s why a good marketing agency reporting software is essential.
Whatagraph reporting software was built by marketers for agencies. Meaning it knows what your clients want to see from a marketing perspective (all the most important metrics and KPIs for all their marketing channels), but also adapts to the specific agency workflows, such as:
managing multiple client accounts at the same time;
managing multiple marketing channels for the same client;
scheduling reports for automated delivery;
easily sharing reports via email or screen,
adding custom branding, and so on.
For most agencies, Whatagraph can save anywhere from 1 to 5 hours per week, per client.
With a wide list of integrations, Whatagraph serves all types of digital marketing agencies, from PPC advertising to social media, SEO & SEM, email marketing tools, and so on. Whatagraph supports a wide range of social media platforms. measure the impact of your social media posts and match it against Google analytics insights. The simplicity of their drag-and-drop editor and the ability to build cross-channel reports and even merge data across channels makes Whatagraph one of the best agency reporting software out there.
Use this tool for sending marketing reports to your clients' inboxes without PDFs. Metrics Watch lets you combine data from your favorite marketing channels to create comprehensive reports, delivered automatically by email. Bring data to life with graphs and charts which are displayed in the body of the email itself for a frictionless reporting experience.
Agencies can use white-label features to customize the branding of reports, add PPC markup, and annotate reports with personal insight before reports are delivered to clients using the preview feature.
Metrics Watch offers a 14-day risk-free trial (no credit card required).
If you're a startup looking for an affordable yet super-effective email & SMS marketing tool — Sender is what you need. With Sender's smart automation, you'll upgrade your marketing and increase sales without the hassle. Collect leads with popups & forms and send the most beautiful personalized emails to your prospects without any design or HTML knowledge — Sender's easy-to-use drag & drop email builder with pre-made free templates will ease your work while providing better results.
Oh, and don't forget to leverage SMS along with email — the duo will surprise you with the efficiency. A great alternative to MailChimp.
With the free forever plan, you can send up to 15000 emails/month to 2500 subscribers. If you're growing your fan base fast or already have quite a party, check their plans starting at only $8.
Use this project management tool, whether you’re a freelancer or a marketing agency. Five hundred dollars says you already know Slack. But its competitor Asana also gets a lot of accolades. Many people actually prefer Asana to Slack when it comes to team, task, and project management, and so being able to work in both might help you attract or keep a valued client.
Asana even has some agency collaboration templates that might help get eCommerce teams up to speed. Alternatively, if you’ve already tried both Asana and Slack and found them lacking, check out FunctionFox, which has rave reviews from agency pros in Capterra’s ranking for ad agency project management software.
Use this tool for marketing calendar management. So you want to manage a blog, a social media marketing calendar, reshare posts and stay on top of your editorial calendar. For 50 clients. Oh, and you’d like it to work seamlessly in WordPress? No problem. All you need is CoSchedule.
CoSchedule will let you develop unique, branded editorial calendars for all your clients. It will also make collaboration, planning, and content approvals, and production a snap to manage. The company offers a 14-day trial, so there's no harm in trying it.
Use this tool to automate your SEO processes. SE Ranking offers a variety of online marketing tools all on one platform that cover SERP position tracking, keyword and competitive research, backlink analyzing, website auditing, and even well-optimized competitive content creation from scratch. Rank Tracker is considered to be the most accurate among similar tools. You can also connect Google Search Console and Google Analytics, so all the needed data for your work will be close at hand. And don’t worry about the mess – the platform is easy-to-navigate, with well-structured dashboards and informative graphs.
Agencies will especially appreciate the ability to manage several projects at once and add other users to work in the team. White-label opportunity is also to your advantage.
And last but not least is SE Ranking’s pricing, starting from $39/month. With such an offer, you get a really convenient all-in-one platform with extensive functionality and at a cheaper price compared to the competitors.
Use this user-friendly tool for designing, prototyping, collaboration & handoff. Looking to design + collaborate with your team on a website or mobile application? How about collaborating remotely, and making adaptations according to your market research results? All you need is Mockplus.
Mockplus is a web-based collaboration & handoff tool for product design, marketing teams and enterprises. The software works unanimously with popular design tools including Adobe Xd, Photoshop, Sketch, Figma developer handoff, and Axure.
Users can export designs to Mockplus for collaborating with sales team members: comment on designs, make custom specifications for pages, components, or layers, add interactions for designs and make them live, control versions, and ultimately hand off designs to developers with assets & ready-to-use CSS code snippets.
Without importing designs from other tools, like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Shopify, and LinkedIn, Mockplus also offers a built-in online interactive prototyping tool, which allows users to use a simple drag-and-drop feature to build functional web or mobile app prototypes in minutes.
Use this tool for building chatbots. Chatbots are automated conversational robots programmed to respond to messages inside web apps & mobile applications. They’re mostly used to help agencies manage customer support tickets & inquiries.
However, the use-cases for chatbots don’t end there. Juniper Research estimated that chatbots will save businesses up to $8 Billion USD annually by 2023. This statistic comes as no surprise to those who use chatbot software.
Chatbots are the first line of support for customer management teams, instead of customers waiting hours to get simple issues resolved, chatbots provide instant support during emergencies or outside business hours.
Chatbots can process refunds, cancellations, answer repetitive questions, navigate and entertain visitors, collect customer feedback, send promotional emails, updates, alerts, and notifications. Artificial intelligence through conversational marketing is able to personalize recommendations, analyze user behavior, collect emails, drip marketing campaigns, generate leads, and onboard customers.
MobileMonkey provides a variety of free/paid chatbot tools & support automation options for all types of individuals & marketing professionals.
Use this tool for collecting customer feedback. Have you ever wanted to receive direct feedback from your customers whilst they’re using your website or application but never had the tools to do so? If so, Usersnap is the best option for customer feedback.
Whilst most agencies are stuck with surveys for gathering feedback, Usersnap provides an entire stack of tools for customers to communicate with product managers, designers, software developers, and CS managers. Some include feedback buttons & menus, visual tickets, qualitative & quantitative surveys triggered by on-page events, in-app forms, public boards, drawings, screen recording apps, and live chat. Users can easily communicate in-app or on-site about crucial errors & report bugs in real-time visually through all of these methods.
Usersnap’s pricing is very reasonable, as the Basic plan starts at $19/month (or $9/month for annual plans) with 2 team members per project & unlimited reporters (reporters are the people who send feedback). Usersnap’s calling card is an easy-to-use and easy-to-install tool that gets you off the ground quickly, collecting customer feedback to grow your business. The best part: Usersnap offers a 2-weeks free trial for all signups, so you can try before you buy.
Use this tool to create powerful business content. Xtensio is a strategy and communications platform where anyone can easily create, manage, share, and present professional business collateral.
Teams collaborate on documents, presentations, proposals, reports, sales sheets, and other strategic exercises in real-time. Start with a template or create your own. The editor works like a web builder, so it's easy to add images, videos, tables, and other interactive modules. Drag and drop, resize, change backgrounds, and specify colors and fonts to match your brand.
The best part is that the deliverables created on Xtensio are living documents (folios). Share the public link with colleagues and clients, so everyone is always up-to-date, without the email attachments.
Present a digital slideshow or export a PDF/PNG. All your work is organized on a private, branded team dashboard so you can keep the work flowing from anywhere.
Use this tool to create landing pages. Landing pages are a proven way to increase conversions dramatically. Increase conversions, and you increase revenue. Increase revenue and your clients will be getting the results they were hoping for when they hired you.
And here’s the thing: Many marketers (and agencies) don’t use nearly enough landing pages because they can be hard to build and hard to manage. Landing pages are just outside their comfort zone to use… which is exactly where your agency comes in!
With a little expertise and the right tool, you can easily step in and be the hero who increases your clients’ conversion rates – and their revenue. While you’re at it, you can increase your agency’s revenue, too. More than half of agencies surveyed by WordStream said they charge extra for creating landing pages than for any other add-on service.
There are dozens of landing page tools available, of course. Still, Unbounce is recognized across the marketing world for being the go-to tool for developing, testing, and managing landing pages. Getting proficient with it is a fabulous way to provide a high-value service to your clients for minimal cost and time. Your clients will get better results. You’ll have a profitable new income stream – it’s a win-win for everyone.
Use this tool for user testing. Remember that fateful Peloton ad from the 2019 holiday ad season? That’s an example of what can happen when you launch campaigns inside an echo chamber without getting feedback from your audience.
To make sure you never spin out as Peloton did, get actual opinions of your actual ads, product, or website before you launch. That’s what Userbrain (or its competitor, UserTesting) can do. It makes user testing a snap.
It won’t break your budget, either. The cost for Userbrain is $29 per user test for a one-time test. They recommend testing with 5-8 participants. So for $145 to $232, you’re buying yourself an awful lot of marketing insurance.
Use this tool for designing and prototyping UX. So your client wants a new website…
Use this tool for designing and prototyping UX. So your client wants a new website… and you want to show them how awesome it could be… but you don’t want to invest days of work to show them.
Adobe XD is a widely-used wireframe tool that can build functional, gorgeous web pages and apps. Those wireframes can then be shared, and they’ll work on both desktops and mobile devices. Your clients and agency teammates will be able to leave comments and feedback from anywhere.
Use this analytics tool to manage profitable marketing funnels. If you truly want your clients to be successful, you need to think beyond one-off assignments and isolated tasks. You’ll need to think holistically and make all the parts of their marketing funnel work as one.
Funnelytics (and other marketing funnel-simulator tools) make this possible. It will help you understand where the gaps are in your client’s marketing and will let you be the hero that fixes those gaps in their marketing strategy and deliveries the boost in revenue.
This is exactly the kind of big-picture thinking clients want from agencies, and having a funnel-visualization tool like this can put you way ahead of any inbound marketing agency that isn’t using something like this.
Funnelytics also has a free-forever mapping tool that allows agency owners to easily plan and design funnels for their target audience and conduct A/B testing for their campaigns. This tool is a great way to get started with Funnelytics before deciding to move to a flagship product called Funnelytics Performance.
The headline sounds vague, we know, but Zapier actually does exactly that: it helps you create links between various apps, thus automating the process of data collection and exchange.
For example, whenever your client emails you an attachment with Zapier, you can make it automatically upload to Dropbox. Or, imagine your client wants to get notified every time you post something on Instagram. You can do that and so much more with Zapier's 1,500 integrations.
+ 7 Bonus Tools
Use this tool for client referrals. Both of these tools are referral marketing software. Both Influitive and Ambassador are highly-rated in their categories and as specifically built to manage B2B referrals (though both can also handle B2C business models).
Before you ask, “why do I need referral marketing software,” consider this: The #1 channel for getting new clients is referrals. It beats out any other client acquisition channel for digital agencies. And by a lot, as you can see from the chart below.
Use this tool for all things SEO and content marketing. We picked SEMRush instead of its competitors Moz and Ahrefs because it’s slightly more of a well-rounded tool. However, all three marketing automation tools are excellent, and as an ad agency, you should probably have access to all three. You might want to throw in SpyFu and ScreamingFrog for good measure.
But if we can only pick one tool, SEMRush wins to do competitive analysis, content and SEO audits, keyword research, content optimization, PPC optimization, social listening, and more. It is $99 per month, but if you’ve got even three clients, it’ll probably pay for itself in spades every month.
Use this tool for email hunting and outreach. If you do any link-building, content promotion work, or influencer marketing, Hunter.io is an essential tool to streamline your ops. It makes finding contacts from across the web and managing hundreds (even thousands) of outreach emails about 100x easier than using a spreadsheet. With its free Chrome extension, you can start building a contact list in seconds.
Background remover by Icons8 is an AI-based online tool that enables you to remove the background from any photo. Unlike other similar products, it’s absolutely free. It won’t ask you to pay for the full-scale result. It will save you time with the bulk upload functionality, which is also free. Background Remover is as simple as a rock and as accurate as a scalpel. Exceptional quality. API for developers.
The creative requirement is the biggest hurdle of agencies. Designhill studio is a one-stop place to solve last-minute creative requirements. Whether you need social media banners or design a presentation, Designhill studio helps you get all graphic designs within minutes. Designhill has an array of designing and small business tools such as email signature, business card maker tool, and best of all, AI-powered Designhill's logo maker tool. This tool helps agencies and small businesses to get quality logo designs within minutes and without spending much.
Rebrandly URL Shortener is the perfect tool for managing your clients’ links at scale. From a single dashboard, you can create custom short URLs with tracking capabilities, share custom reports on link analytics with clients, build out their retargeting lists, and more.
Some of the more advanced features the platform offers include traffic routing, which allows you to route users to specific destinations based on their behavior; open graph control, which is used to edit the preview windows associated with your links for social sharing; and finally, mobile deep linking, which enables you to direct users from a web link directly to a mobile app.
With Kontentino, you can manage hundreds of social media accounts, saving your agency time and money. It makes it possible for you to automate post scheduling, generate reports for your team members and clients, analyze content performance daily, exchange comments, discuss changes and issues, gather inspiration and content in content calendars, and do much, much more. Prices start from 54€ per month, so it's affordable even for small organizations.
Collaboration between your agency and your clients becomes smooth and easy - you can get approvals on the content you create in no time. You can forget about spreadsheets, Google Docs comments, and suggestions.
Marketers seem to love tools, but who can blame us? They save time, make work easier, and let us deliver better results. Agencies, especially, are so time-pressed that spending a little bit of money on a good tool is usually a smart move.
However, “a fool with a tool is still a fool,” as the old saying goes. Tools can’t fix a terrible strategy. They can’t fix deep-seated client-agency conflicts. For that, we still need people with expertise… like you.
Published on Dec 15, 2022
WRITTEN BYPam Neely
Pam is a devoted freelance content writer and THE expert in the SAAS industry.
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