Running a Digital Marketing Agency?
You probably are aware of how haphazard things can get when you tend to manage everything by yourself and don’t delegate it. As your agency grows, relying on agency software & tools to help you get things done, is the smart way to do it. Managing different types of clients and delivering value at the best is essential for the agency’s growth.
Table of Contents
- List of Best Marketing Agency Software & Tools
- Proposal Software
- Marketing Campaign Reporting Tools
- Accounting & Invoicing Software
- Integration & Workflow Automation
- Marketing Agency Tools
- Project Planning & Management Apps
- Client Communication Apps
- Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Agency Tools
List of Best Marketing Agency Software & Tools
With a plethora of agency tools coming up each day to make work easier and better, it’s tough to choose what works the best for you. This article will help you understand what are the different types of tasks and services that require additional help from external tools.
From managing projects internally & client communication, sending out a client proposal, ad creatives or managing client’s social media accounts, we’ve got you covered with these tools. Mix and match the right set of tools & software for your agency and be the rockstar for your client.
What is a Proposal Software & why does your Agency need one?
In the arena of throat-cutting pricing offered by other marketing agencies, if you want to stand out, you need to send out proposals that convey your value proposition in a neat & crisp format – so you stand out! They let you close deals faster and acquire clients within no time.
Creating them from simple word software or a Google Doc can make it painful to add all the visual elements and make it look appealing. Choosing a Proposal software lets you create intuitive & interactive proposals within no time that also look damn professional to present to your prospects.
Agencies love Better Proposals because they make it easier than ever to get new clients! Unlike traditional proposals, Better Proposals has a large number of proposal templates, so that you spend less time writing. Just pick your favorite template, edit a few client and pricing details and you’re ready to send.
The second most important aspect is that all proposals sent through the app are web-based. That means that they are opened as web pages and not email attachments. The proposals are responsive and optimized for mobile. It also means that you can track what the client does as they read the proposal – how much of the proposal they’ve read, the time they spent, when they’ve signed, etc.
These are just some of the many reasons why proposal software wins over traditional proposals. The entire process is faster, more convenient and it lets agencies handle proposals within 15 minutes per proposal, instead of wasting hours.
Pricing: Free Trial available. Paid Plans start from $19/mo/user (up to 10 proposals).
PandaDoc helps small to enterprise teams create, track & sign sales documents, proposals, and quotes that convert!
Features like custom white-labeling of documents, heavy customization and engaged proposals available like adding videos, etc., make creative marketing agencies love it!
Best Features & why agencies love it the most?
Sean Dudayev, Founder of Frootful Marketing, says – “Our favorite tool for proposals is Panda Doc. They come with templates for legalese and allow for easy e-signature of those documents. They also have a ton of tools that allow for design and modification. We usually combine it with Canva to develop professional and aesthetically pleasing proposals.”
Lindsay Kirsch, says – My favorite proposal tool is PandaDoc. PandaDoc allows you to create reusable proposal templates, update key fields, and then send and sign so that you can get your contracts signed right away. PandaDoc has multiple other software integrations that allow you to seamlessly integrate it with your marketing automation.
Pricing: Free Trial available. Paid Plans start from $9/mo/user (up to 5 proposals)
Proposify is a proposal software for sales teams to create, send & track proposals. It’s helpful for marketing agencies to send out proposals & contracts to clients.
Best Features & why agencies love it the most?
When it comes to choosing a great proposal software, it’s necessary to have a simple & intuitive design editor. Proposify beats its competitors in this & it also has native integration with Unsplash too for creating beautiful proposals. It has a wide range of proposal templates like Facebook Marketing Proposal, Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, PPC, SEO, etc. for the agencies
This proposal software is client-focused, eases the process of sending out proposals & hence agencies love them!
Pricing: Free Trial available. Paid Plans start from $19/mo/user (up to 5 proposals).
Marketing Campaign Reporting Tools
Reporting for multiple clients across multiple campaigns can be painful when you’re doing it manually. Setup automated reports for clients & save yourself from hours of manual work!
Google DataStudio is free software that lets you connect your data sources and create simple reports based on your requirements. You can also schedule these reports.
Marketers can connect all their SEO & CRO reporting tools with Google Data Studio to create a single go-to dashboard to track the website traffic and conversions. If you use Google Analytics for tracking website traffic and conversion goals, you can create a dashboard that shows the week-on-week trend of traffic, segmented by individual source and app signups coming from each channel.
You can easily plot all your tracking metrics in line-graph or bar-graph in GDS. And the best part is sharing functionality. You can limit the edit access and only give the view only access if you’re reporting to your clients.
Jordan Eller, Digital Marketing Manager of Forma Life Science Marketing, says, – “Data Studio changed my life. Before I began using Data Studio, my marketing reports were comprised of screenshots and spreadsheets. But Data Studio pulls your data directly from Google Analytics and arranges it in a clean and dynamic manner, and it’s all totally automated. Now when I need to present a monthly report, all I need to do is change the date range of the report and the new data automatically populates. It’s perfect for Google Analytics reporting, SEO reporting, and any other digital marketing-related reporting you need.”
Reporting can be a huge time suck for agency marketers. Instead of manually copy/pasting data into client reports, automate client reporting with Supermetrics. Spend more time analyzing data, making recommendations, and getting better results for your clients.
Your marketing data is scattered on different platforms. With Supermetrics you can gather it in one place for every client, whether it’s a spreadsheet, a data visualization tool, or a data warehouse.
Improve client satisfaction and retention: Make better decisions using all your data. That means improved results, client satisfaction, and retention rates for your agency.
“We found that since using Supermetrics, we’ve saved around 53% of reporting hours during Q3.” – Maricarmen Vargas, Digital Account Manager, Vuelo6 (Read the full case study)
Databox is an all-in-one business analytics platform for online startups and SMBs. You can track all your KPI’s by creating intuitive dashboards in Databox.
It connects with over 70 apps like HubSpot, Google Ads, Shopify, Mixpanel, Google Analytics, etc. This is one of the recommended tools for digital marketing agencies, as it allows you to monitor and share the reports with your clients in one place. So, authorize your app with Databox, create dashboards and visualize your data!
Pro Tip: Use the Databox Slack app, and get daily metrics like website traffic, number of signups, number of paid customers, etc. as Slack notifications!
Accounting & Invoicing Software
QuickBooks Online is by far the most popular Accounting app for solopreneurs, freelancers, and small to big businesses. You can create estimates, send out invoices, track payments, create business reports and much more.
For Agencies, QuickBooks has processes & Quickbooks Projects, that help with proper vendor management, client expense tracking, and monitor time & money spent on each project.
Pro Tip: Integrate your QuickBooks with your project management app and say goodbye to duplicate data entry & expenses.
Pricing: Plans start at $12/mo
FreshBooks is an all-in-one small business accounting and invoicing solution that makes running a business fun. On top of that, its powerful features such as integrations, time-tracking, insightful reporting let you spend less time on grunt work and more time being productive.
FreshBooks works in the cloud so you can run your business from anywhere, be it your desktop or phone or tablet. Since it runs in the cloud, you can easily collaborate with your team members no matter where they are located. And if you need help, Freshbooks’s award-winning customer support is just a click away.
Jeremy Harrison, Founder of Hustle Life, says – “For my business, I like to use Freshbooks for all my accounting needs. It has everything you need from invoicing to payments, to the preparation of financial statements, and even has a mobile app. The best part of this is the interface is easy to use. Anyone would look like a pro when using FreshBooks. I also love the fact that the phone app makes it easy to store receipts and can easily integrate with my bookkeeper.”
Wave is a free accounting and invoicing platform that enables small businesses to manage everything using a single platform – from payroll, payments to invoicing. It comes power-packed with advanced features like recurring billing, automatic payments, and invoice templates.
Agencies love it and here’s what Aleksandar Ratkovic from Neparno 10 has to say, – “Since our agency has a lot of clients who pay us monthly, Wave is very convenient. It reminds us when to send the invoice, is someone is late and has great graph reporting features where we can see agency progress in earnings and profitability.”
Integration & Workflow Automation
At your agency managing multiple clients is itself a big task, so why spend time manually syncing data between the apps?
Making all your apps talk to each other helps to reduce manual work, duplicate data entry and ultimately save time! Be it the leads you’ve generated for your clients or for yourself via contact forms, push these to your CRM automatically with Automate.io.
Automate.io lets you create automated workflows that’ll help you automate sales, marketing and other business processes of your agency. Agencies love Automate.io for it helps them save nearly 40+hours/mo!
If you’ve not set up automation at your agency yet, get started with integrating your apps via Automate.io.
Pricing: Forever free plan available. Paid plans start from $49/mo.
Marketing Agency Tools
PPC & Ad Management: If you’re into paid advertising – managing heavy budgets, organizing your campaigns, sorting out keywords can be quite a task! And all the more, when you’re managing multiple clients too. Below are a few tools to help you manage your ad campaigns efficiently & improve conversion rates.
Google Keyword Planner
Google Keyword Planner comes along with your Google Ads Account. It is tied to your ad campaigns and all you have to do is sign-in to your ad account and paste the keywords you wish to target. It helps to understand the CPC, competition and search volume of your keywords. You can also research for other relevant keywords that could have a high potential for conversion.
Here’s a complete guide on using the Google Keyword Planner to make the most out of your ad campaigns.
AdEspresso started off with Facebook Ad Campaign Management and now supports Instagram & Google Ads too. AdEspresso lets you do the following:
- Create & Manage advertising campaigns across multiple channels under one platform rather than switching between different platforms.
- Analyze & get actionable insights on your campaign performance.
Agencies love AdEspresso for it allows them to create & manage ad campaigns across different client accounts under one platform. AdEspresso’s Onboarding Requests tool & Campaign Approval Flow can help clients provide access to their pages & ad accounts & approve ad campaigns! Not just that, it also has the option to connect to the client’s CRM to push the leads.
Reporting is necessary after all the campaign creation. AdEspresso supports tailored client reports with custom-branding to help clients understand the performance of their ad campaigns.
Pricing: 14-Day Free Trial. Paid Plan starts from $58 paid yearly for an ad-spend of up to $3,000/mo.
SEO & Analytics: To track your client’s website performance, regularly conduct SEO audits, track the keyword performance and report the website metrics, below are a set of tools to help you with that:
Ahrefs is a popular SEO suite of tools that let you monitor your search traffic, perform a complete site audit, track your keyword rankings, spy on your competitor backlinks, and analyze content.
Reports from Ahrefs lets agencies draw a strong SEO strategy for their clients by analyzing their website. Not just the tool, Ahrefs has a huge repository of Tutorials on their YouTube channel and guides on their blog, which help a lot of SEOs to enhance their skills.
Pro Tip: Agencies can send out sample site audit reports to their clients as a part of their proposal too. Pointing out fixes can help you convert the client faster.
Pricing: Starts from $99/mo for 1 user and up to 5 projects (np.of websites you can track).
MOZ is an all-in-one SEO tool with a great database. It gives the search volume of the keyword and also suggests the related keywords around that topic. It also predicts the keyword difficulty which helps us to know if it’s easy to rank for that keyword or not!
Moz Pro features like On-page Grader and Rank Checker help reduce the mundane SEO tasks like observing the On-page SEO issues and tracking the keyword rankings etc.
Moz Tip: Download the MozBar Chrome extension and use it to check the DA and PA of the browsed website without even going to the Moz account!
Pricing: Starts from $99/mo for up to 5 campaigns (each campaign can track 1 website with 3 other competitors).
Screaming Frog is a complete suite of software for technical SEO. Screaming Frog is the go-to SEO tool when it comes to website crawling and checking the technical SEO issues like redirection fixes, verifying no- index and no-follow meta tags, etc.
It also helps to crawl the title and meta tags of the respective pages and download them in a CSV file. It allows you to create an XML sitemap of the website. And, you can easily audit the hreflang attributes if the website is in multiple languages.
Pro Tip: Crawl your competitor’s website using Screaming Frog and check their website and internal linking structure in Crawl Diagram under the Visualisation tab.
Learn more about using this tool for your client’s website in this Guide to Screaming Frog by Seer Interactive agency.
Google Analytics is the most popular & basic tool to understand your website analytics. For any marketer, Google Analytics is the go-to for marketing analytics & performance metrics. You can analyze your website data, create reports, and also get insights into unusual rise or dip in website metrics.
And, the best part? It’s FREE! All you have to do is set up the GA code on your website and you can get started.
Content: Are you a content-heavy agency? Is content your bread & butter? Then here are a set of tools that’ll help you create compelling content at ease and vow your clients. Use these alongside other SEO tools and skyrocket your client’s blog traffic in no time.
Are you writing too many emails or just any content? Tired of checking if your content is legit & error-free? Install Grammarly extension and keep yourself away from errors in your writing. It also helps in detecting plagiarism and makes your copy stand out.
It’s a must-have tool in any writer’s pocket.
Pricing: Free extension. Paid plans start from $11.66/mo.
For all the content marketers out there, are you creating content each day and running out of ideas? BuzzSumo lets you discover trending and most shared content to help you finalize your next topic.
It can browse 5 billion articles, scan through forums, send real-time updates and alerts of brand mentions. Marketers also use this tool to identify top influencers in a particular niche & the most shared content by them.
Following the success of their Facebook Analyzer and reflecting the fact that content marketing is diversifying in format, they’ve also recently released YouTube Analyzer. This is a really impactful new feature for modern marketers who are looking to develop their YouTube strategy.
Pricing: Free trial available. Paid plans start from $99/mo.
CoSchedule is a family of agile marketing products that will help you stay focused, deliver projects on time, and make your team happy. Publish more content, deliver work on time and prove your team’s value.
CoSchedule has visual templates to get started for Content Teams to plan and execute their content calendar. They have a targeted product – Content Organizer for content-focused teams. It also has an in-built headline analyzer to come up with high-converting headlines.
Pricing: Content Organizer starts from $60/mo
Email Marketing: Handling email marketing for your clients or just require a simple tool to manage your internal agency-email marketing? Check out our best email marketing apps list to decide which one will suit your requirements the best!
Creative & Design: Be it a creative agency or a simple marketing agency, creative tools are needed to create stand-out imagery for blog posts, ad copies, social posts, and website infographics. Below is the list of your go-to design tools:
Canva is a web-based graphic design product that offers a simple drag & drop designer. It supports hundreds of design layouts to get started with designing collaterals.
Canva is your tool if you’re new to designing and would like to get started creating simple marketing collaterals & designs. Agencies can use Canva to the fullest by creating different brand kits for each of their clients.
Canva Pro has collaboration features wherein the client/ designer relationship is made simple & comments can be made on each design in real-time. This makes it the best tool for creative agencies to use for their clients.
Pricing: Free-forever plan available. The paid plan starts from $12.95/mo.
Venngage is an infographic maker first, but it also helps marketers & agencies design everything from pitch decks, business proposals, social media visuals and even marketing collaterals like posters, brochures, etc.
Here are some notable features Venngage offers:
- A one-stop-shop for agencies to create visual content online, with 1000+ professionally designed templates for all occasions.A robust drag-and-drop editor that’s incredibly intuitive to ease. Create gorgeous visuals effortlessly, no designer needed.
Managing multiple clients requires proper organization of brand kits. Venngage’s My BrandKit allows businesses to import their logos, colors, and fonts to stick to their’ clients brand guidelines like 1-2-3.
It’s the perfect infographic & design-maker for larger creative agencies!
Pricing: Free plan available. Paid plans start from $49/mo.
Piktochart is a web-based infographic designer tool that helps users create intricate to simple infographics, presentations & visuals using templates.
It can be of the best use to marketing teams to create engaging & compelling presentations to win clients. Like any design tool, it has a creative collaboration feature to bring your team members on the same page. Picktochart for Teams, you can share your visuals, brand assets and receive feedback instantly.
Pricing: Starts from $29/mo.
Project Planning & Management Apps
Managing multiple clients, across different locations, and different nature of projects can become overwhelming to manage if you don’t use project management software. Irrespective of your niche, whether you’re a creative & design, marketing or a branding agency, having smooth project planning helps to deliver excellent results.
A project planning & management software will help you set up clear goals & tasks of the projects, collaborate with the client, assign tasks to individual account managers, and have a bird-eye view of what’s moving & timelines of each project. Select the one that suits your agency the best, and see your projects moving at a breeze!
Teamwork is a full suite of tools for project planning, client collaboration, and internal agency collaboration!
Interesting features like “Recurring Tasks” make it easy for marketing teams at agencies to setup repeated tasks at custom time intervals. For example, after every blog is published, you need to go through a content promotion cycle. That can be set up as a recurring task in Teamwork Projects.
Why do agencies love Teamwork?
Erin Sparks, Founder & CEO of Site Strategics, says – “Client collaboration on a project is essential, but communication needs to be controlled with a level of governorship. Basecamp is certainly a great tool for the job, but agencies prefer Teamwork due to the depth of functionality, notebook utilities, and group messaging toolsets.”
Teamwork is also a preferred project management app if you’d like to separate out multiple projects, for multiple clients easily & without any clutter. Here is the complete story of how the Solamar Agency chose Teamwork Projects for their project management.
Created especially for agencies and creative teams, Workamajig is the go-to project management software for creative marketing agencies.
Why do digital agencies prefer Workamajig?
It is a full suite of apps that any creative team would love to access. Key features include opportunity tracking (right from you sending out proposals), setting up tasks, resource planning, time tracking, & client collaboration. Workamagic has experts that help you set up your project management software for your agency across all the locations too!
Asana is a simple & easy-to-use project management app to help teams organize, collaborate and manage projects easily.
Why do agencies love Asana?
While choosing a tool, agencies make it a point to check if their clients would adjust to that if it requires collaboration! Asana has an interesting UI & agencies love it!
As we discussed before, any agency would love a project management app where their clients can keep track as well!
Elizabeth McCumber, a Content Strategist at Wpromote, says – Asana works like a breeze for us! It’s best for keeping deliverables for both clients and internal projects on track. For agencies offering integrated digital marketing services, collaboration and communication are paramount to client success. Asana enables them to deliver through streamlined feedback, transparent timelines, and clear accountability.
Client Communication Apps
Communication is the key to maintaining a good client relationship. Being in an agency, you would know how crucial it is to keep your client informed at all times – be it the low conversion of the PPC campaigns or when you’ve hit the targets in no time.
Not just with clients, internally as well, these tools help you send out files easily, share an interesting stat that you’ve come across on your morning commute, or just a cute cat GIF to keep up the team spirit!
Zoom is a cloud-based product for companies & individuals for their video & audio conferencing needs, chat, and webinars.
It’s an easy-to-use app to get started with your online meetings, share your screen and also record meeting sessions for further reference. As they say, Zoom is built for modern teams with awesome features like HD Video & Audio, built-in collaboration tools, end-end encryption for all meetings, recording & transcripts.
It’s available for iPhone and Android users to sign-in Zoom easily via their mobile devices on the go.
Agencies can reduce the cost spent on video conferencing apps, improve efficiency and collaborate better internally and clients. It has a forever free plan for easy 1-1 meetings that can last up to 40 minutes and host up to 100 participants. So, if you’re looking for a simple solution for your agency’s internal & client collaboration, Zoom can be the best option for you with their forever free plan.
Pricing: Forever free plan available. Paid Plans start from $14.99/mo/host.
Over the years, Slack has established itself as the go-to solution for small to enterprise teams for instant messaging & file sharing. It is also the best option when you just can’t wait for hours for approval via email and get it instantly on chat via Slack!
Agencies find it very useful wherein they can add their clients in a shared channel with their respective account managers and work together!
On the similar lines, Quentin Aisbett, Founder of OnQ Marketing, says – “Slack is the other tool we are using more and more often for ongoing retainers that require less collaboration but where it makes sense to take the communication away from email.”
Tired of back & forth emailing? Calendly lets you generate a link for your schedule so that you can book meetings with ease and also allow others to set up meetings with you.
With an option of a wide range of integrations, you can always sync your Calendly meetings Google Calendar, send notifications on Slack for new events coming up and do more. It’s a simple tool and just does what it’s supposed to do.
Pricing: Free plan for Basics. The paid plans start from $8 user/month.
While choosing the right tools and software, agencies do have a budget in mind and then go ahead choosing what suits their needs the best. For small agencies with limited clients & those agencies that are conscious of their budget, G-Suite (free tools) is the best option for Agency-Client collaboration as well as internal communication. Google Hangouts is the most feasible communication app if the agency relies heavily on GSuite. You don’t have to spend extra cents on other applications.
Lindsay Kirsch, Founder & CEO of Lindsay Kirsch LLC, also an expert in workflow management & digital marketing strategy, says – “GSuite is an amazing collaboration tool. Whether you are reviewing copy, proofs, or storyboards, GSuite allows you to easily share, comment and create documents.”
Pricing: Starts from $5 user/month
Final Thoughts on Choosing the Best Agency Tools
While picking the right set of tools, managing your agency’s budget and satisfying the client too, is very crucial! We’ve done the grunt work and come up with this list of best digital marketing tools & software for your agency.
Choose the tool that suits your role the best, implement it at your agency and wow your clients with your work!