User acquisition is one of the biggest struggles growing SaaS and app companies face. The right product marketing tech stack will push the number of new and active users up and decrease customer acquisition costs at the same time – the perfect recipe for a growing product. But marketing tools cost money, and growing businesses have tight budgets to keep. Use these tools to build a killer product marketing strategy at a total cost of less than $100 per month.
Website Domains and Hosting
Any solid brand needs a website to introduce itself and build a relationship with users. That means you need a domain name and a place to host it. Thankfully there are hundreds of companies that provide web services that are easy to use and relatively low-cost (as long as your domain name isn’t too popular already).
Most web service providers provide similar packages – domains, hosting plans, and various tools to manage things like email, file transfers, SSL certificates, and DNS settings. A speedy site is a huge part of a good user experience (and a ranking factor for SEO), so consider upgrading your hosting plan if your site is slow, especially if you plan on using WordPress.
Since many plans offer a combination of discounted promotional pricing for first-time buyers and yearly contracts, prices mentioned in this post are per-month, non-discounted prices.
As an added cost-saving measure, you can host your website in the same place as your web app if server resources permit.
Name.com sells yearly registrations to .com domains for $12.99 per month. Additional WHOIS privacy features can be tacked on for $4.99 per year to protect your personal information.
Hosting plans on name.com start at $9.99 per month, and you can purchase a basic SSL certificate for $9.99 per year. WordPress-specific hosting is available, but SSL certificates can’t be added for sites hosted with it.
Price: ~$25 per month
GoDaddy is a giant in the web services space. Domains with .com TLDs start at $17.99 per month. Their hosting plans start at $8.99 per month and additional WHOIS protection costs $9.99 per year. SSL certificates from GoDaddy start at $79.99 per year.
Price: ~$35 per month
WordPress.com (along with its parent, Automattic) is a highly trusted organization that provides web services and one of the most widely-used CMS’s in the world. Domain names start at $18 per year (with free WHOIS privacy), and hosting plans start at $4 per month. SSL certificates are pre-installed for free on WordPress-hosted websites.
Keep in mind that the smallest plans from WordPress are suited for very small projects, and the bandwidth provided by the cheapest plans may not be enough to run a site fast enough for your needs.
Price: ~$5-$25 per month
Based on price and ease-of-use, I recommend G Suite for business email needs. It’s $6 per user per month (with no annual contracts), full of powerful tools, familiar to people, and cheaper and easier to configure than most other business email services.
Price: $6 per month per user
For a small price, these companies bring your product to life online. And many of them offer promotional pricing for first-time buyers as well as discounted yearly plans. Some hosting plans even come with a free domain and free SSL certificate, so pay extra attention to the details. A marketing website is the first thing to check off your product marketing tech stack.
Site Builders and Content Management Systems (CMS)
Modern site builders and content management systems take the difficulty out of building a beautiful website. Even if you don’t know web development, these tools will help you create the website your product deserves. If you want to include a blog on your site, you’ll need a CMS as well.
WordPress is the most popular CMS in existence for a reason: it’s free, easy to learn and use, and lightning fast to set up. That said, it can be a little heavy on server resources, leading to a slow site if the proper infrastructure isn’t in place.
Webflow is a no-code visual site builder that allows you to build a website and seamlessly publish it if you host your site with them. Basic sites start at $15 per month, and CMS plans start at $20 per month. Webflow’s hosting plans start at $15 per month.
Price: ~$15 – $35 per month
For the more technically inclined, Gatsby.js provides a fast, reliable framework for building various types of websites. It offers plugins similarly to WordPress, which add features and capabilities as needed. Unlike WordPress, you can pull data from almost anywhere, so a database isn’t a necessity.
These tools make it easy to build and update your website quickly and easily, so your website can adapt alongside your product. Your website is the first place many people will go to learn about the product, so keep it crisp, up-to-date, and informative.
Email and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Email marketing has the highest ROI of almost any other marketing channel – and for a good reason. People who sign up for your product or mailing list are guaranteed to be interested in what you’re offering. Keep them engaged and informed with new feature announcements, user success tips, and important notices.
Mailchimp offers many of their basic email features free for lists under 2,000 contacts – this includes managing a list, segments, and designing and sending emails. There are also integrations for other marketing channels like paid ads, landing pages, and social media. The next plan up is just $10 per month.
ConvertKit offers a suite of marketing services as well, including email marketing, landing page and form builders, and tons of integrations. Their free plan doesn’t include email, but their Complete plan starts at $29 per month for lists under 1,000 subscribers.
Price: $29 per month
HubSpot offers a free CRM, and it’s a great place to start for growing B2B sales and marketing teams. You can send up to 2,000 emails per month with the free CRM, and after that, marketing plans start at $50 per month.
Email is another hugely important piece of a good marketing tech stack. While these plans are low-cost (or no-cost), email marketing starts to get pricier after your list grows larger than 1,000 – 2,000 people. The good news is that once you’re successfully managing a list that big, the ROI will make the cost worthwhile.
Analytics tools show us how people engage with our content and products. These tools answer questions like “How do people find our product?”, “What feature are people most interested in?”, and “Are users getting stuck in our onboarding process?”
Google Analytics is a completely free tool that provides a ton of information about your website and how people find and interact with it. Installation is as simple as adding the tracking code to the header of your website – many site builders and CMSs make the process even simpler.
Hotjar is similar to Google Analytics, but it brings an added dimension to analytics with things like heat maps, recordings, and user polls and surveys. Their free plan supports up to 2,000 daily pageviews, and their first paid plan is ~$35 per month.
Amplitude provides advanced analytics for user behavior, flows, and segments. Pricing is based on events, and the free plan tracks up to 10 million events per month. Amplitude offers unlimited data retention, meaning the data you get will be accessible indefinitely.
Mixpanel is similar to Amplitude in that it provides a deeper look at user behavior within the product. Many of their core features are free for under 1,000 monthly users, including data on behavior, retention, and conversions.
Analytics and reporting give you a deeper look at how people are interacting with your site and product, both before and after they sign up. These kinds of tools provide key insights into what drives user acquisition and success, which make them a star player in a good marketing tech stack.
This list isn’t exhaustive, and new tools are coming out every day, so keep an eye out for new useful tech to add to your stack. The MarTech tools listed here will provide the basics of almost any good marketing strategy, and it’s easy to build on top of them as your product and audience grow.
When you’re just getting started, making the most of your budget can make or break the success of a product. User acquisition is the most important part of any product’s revenue model, and the right product marketing tech stack will bring lower acquisition costs and faster growth.
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