12 best marketing tools for startups in 2023

Startup marketing can feel like a never-ending item on your to-do list. There are new strategies to pursue, tactics to try, channels to join, and audiences to engage—and even enterprises with massive teams and budgets don’t always get it right.

Fortunately, you’re not alone. Whether “marketing” is one of your many hats or you’re building out a small team, you can find plenty of low-cost (and free) marketing tools to help scale your startup. Below, we’ll walk you through the best marketing tools for startups in 2023 and how each can help grow your business.

How to choose the right marketing tools for your startup

With so many marketing tools to choose from, finding the right one can feel like looking for a polar bear in a snowstorm. Use the following criteria to narrow down your selection and accelerate your decision-making process:

  • Price: It doesn’t matter how brilliant or effective a marketing tool is if you don’t have the budget to afford it. Stick to budget-friendly options that scale their pricing with your growth and usage.
  • Solution: Don’t just invest in a marketing tool because it offers a shiny toy—ensure the software provides a solution. What problem will it help you solve? Is it worth it?
  • Speed: Some marketing tools offer novel solutions to help you overcome unique challenges, while others simply help you get the job done faster—each is equally valuable for your startup (especially when time is money).
  • Scale: Find a marketing tool you can use now and five5 years down the road. Sticking with a single tool will enable you to master it and get the job done more efficiently.

Best marketing tools for startups

Marketing is an expansive field. It entails everything from outreach to branding to communications to design to automation—and more. Below, we’ve identified the most powerful, low-cost tools to help you with just about every aspect of your marketing function.

1. Twilio

Twilio helps power your conversations with customers across email, SMS, voice, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and chat. It provides scalable pricing that grows with your business, keeping itself affordable at every stage of your startup’s progression. Create a free account to unlock thousands of hours of contact center access, hundreds of monthly emails, and thousands of upfront notification requests.

2. Buffer

Buffer is a social media management tool that helps you consolidate and manage all your channels from a single dashboard and calendar. It streamlines planning your content calendar and engaging with your audience. Buffer’s free plan lets you manage up to 3 channels with basic publishing tools and integrations.

3. Canva

Canva is an easy-to-use design platform that provides you with drag-and-drop tools, templates, and graphics to create everything from social media posts to presentations to downloadable PDFs. The tool is free to use, and you might never find a reason to upgrade to a premium account.

4. Grammarly

Whether you’re a seasoned wordsmith or a reluctant writer, Grammarly can help catch typos and mistakes and improve your overall sentence and paragraph structure. It’s a must-have for any marketing team, especially if you don’t have a full-time editor.

5. Unsplash

Find non-stocky stock images for free with Unsplash. You’ll find it loaded with thousands of high-resolution photos that don’t require attribution or royalties. Use these images to spice up your branding and give your website pages a splash of life and color.


IFTTT (short for If This Then That) is a free-to-use no-code tool that helps automate your programs and devices. Want to post to social media whenever you publish a new article? It can help make it happen. Want to automatically save Gmail attachments to Dropbox? IFTTT can get the job done.

7. Slack

Slack is a peer-to-peer and group instant workplace messaging platform. It’s become the golden standard for easy-to-use communications and requires little-to-no setup time or learning curve. Many businesses use this communication tool, helping you connect with partners, clients, and your team from a single platform. Slack’s free plan limits your conversation history to 90 days, but it’s the perfect solution for startups and businesses at scale.

8. Asana

Keep you and your team organized and on track with this project management software application. Manage your projects, tasks, and to-do lists using Asana’s simple user interface. Asana’s free plan lets you collaborate with up to 15 team members and gives you access to all the basic tools you need to start working together.

9. Dropbox

Store documents, organize files, and start sharing with your team using a free Dropbox account. You’ll get up to 2 GB of storage from the get-go with scalable pricing as you exceed that capacity. Dropbox has a beautiful user interface that’s easy to learn and navigate.

10. Google Analytics

Track user engagement, customer acquisition, time on page, and more by enabling Google Analytics on your website. Google Analytics is robust, free, and popular enough to have extensive documentation for building out whatever reports you need to track business growth.

11. Segment

Segment is a customer data platform that lets you connect your applications to Segment to collect, clean, and use your data. It gives you a complete, up-to-date view of your customers, empowering you with better targeting and personalization. Free Segment users get data on 1,000 visitors per month with up to 2 sources.

12. Toggl

Track your time to become more efficient, document projects, and monitor workloads with Toggl. Toggl’s free plan lets you track unlimited time, projects, clients, and tags with up to 5 users.

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