20 Top SaaS Vendors to Accelerate Your Business
As someone who is already running an online business, or at least entertaining the idea of purchasing one, it’s important to understand what tools are available to you so you can better run (or even improve) the efficiency of your endeavor.
We’ve collated some of the top 20 SaaS Vendors that are relevant to you, if you are running an online business, and put them in this handy list.
Let’s begin with Email Marketing…
Email Marketing and Autoresponders
1. MailChimp Email Marketing
Mailchimp is one of the first and most popular autoresponders on the market. If you are just starting out, MailChimp has a free forever account, and then paid plans starting at around $10 a month. Because it’s been around so long, it integrates with a ton of other apps, making it a flexible option for budding entrepreneurs. It also offers a wide range of email templates, and provides analytics so you can track your click-through rates (CTR) and see which campaigns are performing better than others. However, if you are an advanced user, you may find MailChimp’s offering limiting and want to upgrade to a different platform before long.
Infusionsoft is another popular autoresponder for small businesses, with more robust marketing automation features than MailChimp’s offering. Infusionsoft is more of an all-in-one solution for your email marketing, including detailed reports and analytics, the ability to track customer behavior, and much more. However, the learning curve with Infusionsoft is steep, and it takes a long time for many users to get up to speed. It’s also the most expensive option in this lineup, coming in at $99 a month for the basic package.
GetResponse is a marketing automation suite that provides great value for your money while still maintaining top-of-the-class functionality. It incorporates a ton of features, like email workflows, landing pages, opt-in forms, a Client/Customer Relationship Management (CRM), and even webinars, making it a true all-in-one tool — for a fraction of the price of Infusionsoft. Starting at $15 a month for the basic email functionality, it’s a great middle of the road option if you are looking for a robust email marketing solution.
Graphic Design and Image Manipulation
4. Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe’s Creative Cloud (CC) is the industry standard software for designers, photographers, illustrators, and videographers around the world. It has a long history of producing quality software since 1988. Their complete list of software can be found here, and includes favorites like Photoshop for image manipulation, Illustrator for creating vector drawings, Premiere for video production, and Lightroom for photographers. It costs $49.99 a month and is essential for anybody involved in design.
Canva is a cheaper alternative to Adobe CC. If you are looking to just create images for your Facebook advertising campaigns or some cool images for your social media, then Canva may be all you need. It has a ton of templates which makes it easy to get inspired. Best of all, it offers a free account so you can play with most of its features at no cost. If you need the extra features, such as resizing ability and access to more stock photos, you can pay $12.95 per month for the work account.
If you are familiar with a Kanban board, you may already use Trello. Trello is a project management platform which uses boards, rather than lists, to manage tasks. You create cards with information on them, and then assign tasks to other members of your team. The free version can do most of what you need to manage a project, but if you need more than one additional or specialized function (Trello calls these “Power-Ups”), you will need to pay for the pro version, which comes in at $9.95 a month if paid annually. Overall, Trello is a very lean, clean, and fast project management tool.
Asana has a ton of features to manage your projects and any team members you may have involved. While at its core Asana is a “list based” project management and collaboration tool, with its addition of boards, it’s essentially Trello on steroids. It’s free for up to 15 team members and offers enough functionality for a majority of small businesses. If you need some of the advanced functionality, or you need to add more than 15 team members, you can add a paid plan starting at $9.99 per member per month paid annually.
Skype is the default app when it comes to video calling around the world. You can easily conference with multiple callers, and best of all, it’s completely free. You can also purchase a Skype number, which allows people to call you as if you had a traditional office with a landline without the need for the Skype app to be installed on their phones. If you are running a business and need a landline, Skype makes it easy to get a phone number online and for you to answer it anywhere in the world from either your computer or your smartphone.
Voice over IP (VoIP) solutions have typically been available for large corporations only, requiring expensive equipment and technicians to install the system. However, Grasshopper gives you VoIP phone service anywhere in the world as well as all the features you’d expect from a enterprise grade phone system, such as call routing, faxing, and voicemail. Its mobile app allows you to take calls anywhere and route calls to other members of your team as if you were sitting in a real office. Grasshopper starts at $24 a month, and gives you one phone number and three extensions in the cheapest plan.
Slack is a chat-based communications tool which was designed to allow remote teams to communicate throughout the day. It uses a system of channels which are basically chat rooms. Users can create both public and private channels where they can share files, have a voice call or video chat, or even have a laugh by sharing emojis or GIFs. A big reason why many people use Slack is because it has many native integrations with other collaboration and project management apps, such as Asana and Trello. Slack has a free forever account or a paid per user account at $6.67 a month.
11. Shopify ECommerce
Shopify is by far the most popular online ecommerce platform. Shopify’s ease of use and quick setup makes it the go-to for first time ecommerce entrepreneurs as well as more experienced Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) sellers. That’s because it requires very little technological expertise to set up, you can try it for free for 30 days, and it provides a ton of free templates and tools that will make setting up your online storefront easy. We recently talked about how to setup your own Shopify store on our blog.
Social Media Marketing
12. Sprout Social
Sprout Social has one of the best social media analytics tools available, regardless of your company’s size. It offers a simple and clean interface which makes visualizing and understanding your analytics data easy. It offers multiple pricing tiers, starting at $99 per month, and a 30-day trial where you can try all three tiers for free before you decide which one suits you.
Hootsuite helps you manage your social media from a centralized dashboard, making it easy to see how your campaigns are doing at a glance. Hootsuite lets you scale as you grow by buying add-on apps as you need them, plus you can upgrade to higher plan levels which cover more social media accounts. It has a free version, and paid plans start at $19 a month.
Finance and Accounting
14. Intuit QuickBooks
Intuit Quickbooks is one of many accounting apps for small businesses. What makes it particularly attractive is a wide range of plans available, with pricing as low as $10 a month for freelancers to $50 for businesses that manage up to 1099 contractors. With its simple and intuitive user interface, affordable pricing, and great features, it’s a popular choice for many small business owners, particularly those in the U.S. and Canada.
Xero is Quickbooks’ closest competitor. While they haven’t quite got the U.S. and Canadian market share, Xero is popular in Australia, New Zealand, and the U.K. It has similar pricing and feature sets to Quickbooks; however, it does offer a cleaner looking interface and dashboard. Ultimately, choosing one or the other really comes down to personal preference and the platform your accountant uses.
Business Data and Document Management
16. Microsoft Office 365
Another industry standard player, Microsoft Office 365 is the most widely used online office suite. At $99.95 a year, Office 365 provides email, databasing, spreadsheets, presentation software, and word processing as part of their suite of products. It also comes with 1tb of storage via Microsoft’s Onedrive Cloud storage solution.
17. Google G Suite
G-Suite is Google’s answer to Microsoft’s domination of the business word processing and spreadsheet space. Although G-Suite is not as fully featured as Office 365, if you have a Gmail account, you can get access to all the apps for free. G-suite is also cloud native, which means it 100 percent resides and operates on Google’s servers — so you never have to worry about forgetting to save your data, as it is constantly saving your work — as long as you have internet access. Its collaboration functionality is second to none, allowing multiple users to access and modify a document at the same time and in real-time without causing versioning issues. This feature is great if you work with a distributed team and can’t afford to pay for your whole team to have a copy of Office 365. It also comes with free 15gb of Google drive storage.
If you have ever needed any of the above-mentioned apps to talk to each other, then Zapier is a tool you should check out. It’s designed to connect different apps so you can run automations (or “Zaps”) without having to write any code. Zapier has a free tier that lets you run simple automations. If you need more than single step automations, then plans start from $20 per month.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
19. Moz Pro
While there are more specialized SEO tools like Ahrefs and SEMrush, Moz Pro is popular among many small business owners who want to do keyword research and optimize the SEO on their site. Moz Pro Medium ($119 if paid yearly) offers enough features for most regular small businesses. Higher-tiered plans might be overkill, but if you need to scale your SEO needs, Moz can grow with you.
Employee Time-Tracking and Monitoring
Hubstaff is a solid employee monitoring and time-tracking tool that lets you take snapshots of your employees’ screens, monitor their web and app usage, and even track movements via the mobile app GPS. If you need this level of control in your business, then Hubstaff may be the answer you are looking for.
Tools of the Trade…
Well there you have it, 20 SaaS applications that can help you run your online business.
Of course, there are plenty more than what we have listed here, but we’ve tried to narrow it down to the ones most relevant for our readers.
Do you use any of the tools listed above? Or did we miss one you think should’ve been on the list?
Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Photo credit: nd3000