Couldn’t we all use something to help lighten the workload?

In this burgeoning age of efficiency, the market is continuously flooded with various marketing tools designed to help you work faster, harder, and smarter. And while there are a lot of gimmicks out there, there are also a lot of tools that do exactly what they’re designed to do: make your life a whole lot easier.

When it comes to inbound marketing specifically, it’s crucial to use whatever you can to keep the flow of leads coming in and ensure you’re staying up with nurture and follow-up. We’re big fans of anything that helps us do more while working less, so with that in mind, here are four tools that our inbound marketing strategy would be lost without.

1. Boomerang

Time is a funny thing, especially in the sales industry. Sometimes you have it, and sometimes you don’t — and sometimes you just don’t know where it went at all.

Boomerang is a productivity tool for email that helps you manipulate time in your favor. Our favorite feature: the ability to write an email when you have the time to focus on it and then schedule a specific time for it to send. This is great when you know you can handle the email itself but not the quick response that’s sure to follow.

Another life-saving Boomerang feature is email reminders. You’ll get an alert when an email hasn’t been followed up with instead of having to track and follow your conversations on your own. We all have those leads that request a follow-up in Q3 or next year, and Boomerang helps ensure you don’t forget about them. It’s all about making your inbox work with you, not against you, and couldn’t we all use that?

2. A Company Blog

While it certainly takes work on the back end to start and maintain, a company blog is one of your best assets for passive lead generation, lead nurturing, and sales enablement. Any work you put into it now has the potential to pay off in big ways, which is a pretty great investment when it’s time that you’re investing in the first place.

The content you create for your blog can be used to assist clients who have questions or need a resource. It can also be used to put together other pieces, such as presentations, guides, or ebooks (a major time saver in itself). Ultimately, having a company blog that covers a wide array of topics will take a lot of the legwork — and the guesswork — out of content creation and usage over time. And so long as you stay consistent with it, it shouldn’t be too hard to build up a valuable inventory of quality content to nurture your inbound prospects.

3. Email Automation

Maybe we’re a bit biased here, but from where we’re sitting, a great email automation tool like Benchmark Email is one of the most useful things out there for streamlining your inbound marketing efforts.

Email marketing automation makes it easy to nurture leads and connect with them in a meaningful and timely manner. Schedule emails and drip campaigns in advance and schedule them to go out when you see fit to stay top of mind with prospects and ensure you’re effectively moving them through the funnel. While you’re at it, segment your contacts with ease for better targeting, and easily track, monitor, and report on data that can drive your future campaigns.

All of this is stuff you’d have to do anyway — an email automation tool just does it for you. The result? Maximum growth, with minimal effort.

4. Social Media Automation

There are many fantastic tools to choose from here, so we won’t specify just one, but finding a social media automation tool that aligns with your needs and budget can make a huge difference in your day-to-day productivity level.

Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer centralize your social media marketing efforts all in one place, so you don’t have to hop around between social platforms to publish your content. They also offer a one-stop-shop for social listening and engaging with your followers. You can publish tons of social content more quickly and more easily, and you can also gain insights into metrics and performance to see what’s bringing visitors to your website (and converting them) and what’s not.

When researching a social media tool for your business, be sure to pay attention to features as much as price. With so much variance out there, you want to select a tool that matches your objectives in terms of channel integration, team collaboration, and interface design.

5. Online Forms

Each new site visitor is a potential new lead if you have the means to make them one. To do that, you need a way to track these visitors and access their contact information so you can add them into your lead nurture campaigns. This is where online forms come in.

They can be pop-up forms, forms included on your landing pages, or a request to sign up for your email newsletter. Either way, you’ll need forms that require people to provide key, qualifying information. Include requests for name, email, company size, marketing budget (or budget related to the service your company offers), industry, or whatever you need to get to know them better and determine if they’d be a fit for your services.

Why Work Harder Than You Have To?

Marketing is only getting more complex, with more digital platforms (and higher customer expectations) driving the need for efficiency wherever you can get it. Use the tools above to get ahead of the game where it really counts, and research other tools as well that can help address your most pressing inbound marketing issues. With the right suite of tools, you’ll be able to focus on big picture strategies instead of the minutiae of putting them into action.