40 Must-Have Inbound Marketing Tools for 2021

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Inbound Marketing Tools to Attract New Customers to You

Inbound marketing is a non-obtrusive, non-cheesy, non-spammy way to attract customers. Aside from keeping your brand dignity, it’s also a great way to have your content do the heavy lifting. Instead of cold-calling or mass emailing, you’ll reach your target audience by creating content that appeals to their unique goals, wants, and pain points. But writing and marketing great content isn’t always easy, especially if you need to do it at scale.

The good news is that there are tons of free and paid inbound marketing tools to help you attract, engage, and delight your target audience. With these tools, you can create high-value content, market it across platforms, and attract new leads all while saving time and money.

Read on for our top picks for the best inbound marketing tools for 2021.

Attract and Engage Customers with Inbound Marketing Tools

Inbound marketing has many moving pieces and having effective tools to create, deploy, and measure your inbound campaigns can end up saving you hours.

We have categorized the best inbound marketing tools by whether they are used to Attract, Engage, or Delight your audience. These categories all make up what we call The Inbound Marketing Flywheel.

The Inbound Marketing Flywheel

The Inbound Marketing Flywheel is a core concept of inbound and is at the heart of all our recommended tools.

inbound marketing flywheel

Modern customer acquisition involves a cycle of marketing, customer service, and sales, with each one reinforcing a customer’s positive experience of a brand. Each touchpoint is an opportunity to give customers a great experience, thus building your pipeline through referrals from delighted customers. Our stack includes the best tools for each stage of the flywheel.

40 Best Inbound Marketing Tools

1. HubSpot

Hubspot’s founders, Brian Halligan and Dharmesh Shah, could be considered the “founding fathers” of inbound marketing. Their marketing platform is still the gold standard for marketers looking to attract customers into meaningful conversations. They offer different tiers of pricing for their premium tool, but they also offer tons of free inbound marketing tools, such as a light CRM and persona creator, that make Hubspot your first stop for all things inbound.

2. Zapier

Zapier is the one tool that rules them all. Automate much of the backend workload of managing your inbound marketing by translating all of your processes into simplified workflows. Just create a “Zap” to automate nearly any step in your system.

3. Slack

Ever have an email chain that went on for 20 emails with multiple team members? Confusing, right? Fortunately, Slack is an online collaboration tool that streamlines communications for all of your teams. Channels organize all messages, files, and links for each project in one place so everyone is on the same page when it comes to your inbound marketing campaigns.

4. PieSync

Inbound marketing increasingly relies on personalization. PieSync syncs customer data across cloud tools so you can personalize your campaigns to suit your audience.

5. Ahrefs

One of the OG search engine optimization (SEO) tools, Ahrefs offers keyword research, backlink research, and website audit capabilities to help you optimize your website for organic search engine traffic.

6. SurveyMonkey

Use SurveyMonkey to create engaging survey-based content for your audience, including infographics, quizzes, and blog posts. This tool has recently released more templates so creating surveys is easier than ever.

7. Typeform

Ditch the boring contact forms and entice users to take action on your website with interactive forms from Typeform. They’re simple, engaging, and guaranteed to capture those inbound leads.

8. Airtable

Airtable allows you to capture leads from your website and add them to an organized database, all on autopilot. Plus, you can set up notifications so you can follow up as soon as someone fills out a form on your website.

9. Flexiquiz

Quizzes are a great way to engage new audiences and build your email list. This tool offers multiple templates to help you create click-worthy blog content.

10. Active Campaign

Active Campaign is a fan favorite when it comes to email marketing and automation tools. Grow your email list, follow up with new leads in seconds, and get more customers from your list.

11. Google Analytics

Google Analytics is a traffic tracking tool that lets you monitor where your website traffic is coming from, what keywords users are searching for to land there, and the demographics of who is visiting your website.

12. Feedly

Use Feedly to monitor trending topics in your industry and create content your audience is already searching for.

13. Hotjar

Hotjar’s behavioral measurement tools give you outstanding user data based on how people are interacting with your website. Track traffic, assess your conversion rate, and more.

14. Moz

Are you a local business? If so, you can use Moz to improve your local SEO and attract more local customers to your business. Moz includes a keyword research tool,  citation builder, and a backlink checking tool.

15. Facebook Groups

Facebook Groups provide more personalized connections with your audience versus just posting messages on a business page. Interact with your target audience to build trust and gain more customers.

16. Beaver Builder

Inbound marketing starts with a great-looking website. This low-cost tool gives you the design power to build a professional website in minutes.

17. Unbounce

Building and testing landing pages is made simple with this tool. With multivariate testing, A/B tests, and multiple offers, you have all the landing page tools you need in one place

18. CoSchedule

CoSchedule lets you schedule out your entire content calendar, track tasks, assign roles to team members, and plan out future content with ease. Use this tool to ramp up your content marketing.

19. BuzzSumo

Do all of your content marketing research, planning, and tracking with BuzzSumo – a handy tool for monitoring the trending content in your niche.

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20. LinkedIn

LinkedIn is more than just an “online resume”. Use LinkedIn to gather data on competitors, publish articles, attract inbound leads, and build community through the Groups feature.

21. Wistia

Wistia is a video hosting and editing tool with advanced analytics. It’s a must-have if you want to reach more customers with your video content.

22. Vidyard

Need a video hosting tool that connects with your sales pipeline. Vidyard offers that closed-loop marketing effect you want, all for free.

23. Buffer

This popular social media scheduling tool comes in an affordable version that gives you a slew of capabilities, including direct message scheduling, analytics, and inbound content creation.

24. Hootsuite

A longtime social media scheduling tool, Hootsuite continues to be useful in managing all your social media, tracking messages, scheduling posts, and seeing which posts resonate the most.

25. Pinterest

If you think Pinterest is only for B2C content marketing, think again. This free tool is a platform that allows you to circulate your content and generate new leads organically.

26. SpyFu

Find out your competitors’ top keywords for both paid and organic search. Spy on the ads they’re running and reverse-engineer their inbound marketing strategy.

27. Quora

Quora is a platform where users ask questions and other people (such as business owners like you) can respond to their questions, possibly directing traffic and leads to your website.

28. Majestic

Need backlinks? Use Majestic to check existing links, acquire new ones, and track your SEO progress.

29. Google My Business

For local search, Google My Business is the best way to grab attention. Be sure your free listing is complete with reviews, photos, and business information to attract organic traffic to your website.

30. SEMrush

The most versatile of all search engine marketing tools, SEMrush offers SEO analysis, PR tools, social media data, advertising analysis and can help with your content marketing strategy.

31. Surfer

Surfer SEO offers a treasure trove of content optimization tools to help you attract more organic traffic with your blog articles and web pages.

32. ClickMeeting

ClickMeeting is an affordable video chat and webinar tool that allows you to attract new leads through value-focused video content. Consider hosting a webinar to attract more clients or customers online.

33. Leadfeeder

B2B business can track what companies visit their site, record their data, and follow up with them as a possible lead. If you’re marketing to a niche with known target organizations, Leadfeeder streamlines the prospecting process.

34. Visitor Queue

Similar to Leadfeeder, Visitor Queue tracks companies that come to your website, adding new leads to your pipeline automatically.

35. Drift

Ok – you’ve used the prior two tools to identify your site visitors, now engage them with conversational marketing that goes way beyond chatbots with this free tool.

36. Google Ads

Use Google Ads to target people who are already searching for businesses like yours. Set your budget, identify your keywords, write compelling ad copy, and see the inbound leads roll in.

37. Rebrandly

Once you start marketing your content on social media, you’ll want a way to track conversions. Use Rebrandly to create short, branded URLs to monitor who is clicking through to your website or landing page.

38. Canva

This free graphic design tool makes it easy to create your own engaging, on-brand designs. Their professional templates make for stunning infographics, social media posts, and ebook covers, too!

39. ClickToTweet

Embed ClickToTweet in your website to get more social shares, pre-scripted by you for better control of your message. This is a great way to gain more traction on social media.

40. Basecamp

Every inbound marketing pro needs a central hub to control, track, and manage all their inbound marketing efforts. This project management tool allows you to monitor all your projects in one place, as well as track the success of your inbound marketing campaigns.

More Inbound Marketing Tools

While our “top 40” list highlights our favorite inbound marketing tools, we want to include some honorable mentions just in case you are looking for something a little different.

inbound marketing tools

All of these tools come highly recommended and will be great additions to your inbound marketing tool stack:

  • Facebook Ads– Launch targeted ads to generate leads on the web’s most highly trafficked social media platform
  • Instagram Ads – Use paid ads to widen your reach on Instagram
  • LinkedIn Ads – Generate B2B leads with engaging LinkedIn ads
  • Adroll – AI-driven marketing software to help you attract more inbound leads online
  • Lucky Orange – An all-in-one conversion optimization tool to turn traffic into leads
  • LeadPages – A landing page design software to help you increase conversions from your campaigns
  • ClickFunnels – Move leads down your sales funnel with ready-to-use funnel templates
  • Agorapulse – Social media management solutions for inbound marketing pros
  • YouTube – Gain organic traffic with an industry-leading video channel
  • Pitchbox – A link building platform to improve your website SEO
  • Sales Talk – Improve your conversion rates with AI-enabled customer conversations

Get Started with Inbound Marketing

Inbound marketing doesn’t have to be stressful, confusing, or expensive. With the right inbound marketing tools in your arsenal, you can attract traffic and customers on autopilot – all without chasing down leads.

See any tools that should be added to this list? Have questions on the ones we’ve listed here? Send us a message and we’d be happy to chat about what inbound marketing can do for your business!

Download the Inbound Marketing Guide