Startup founders who have interviewed with Stacklist have shared reviews on 1200+ tools they consider critical to running their business. A handful of tools have considerable market share and appear in upwards of 30% of stacklists. You know them. They're the Slacks, Zendesks, and Hubspots of the word.
Hats off to those leaders but this article is about the tools that are the hidden gems. They are promising and powerful tools that founders rave about - but, as yet, appear in very few Stacklists. That’s often because either the tool is serving a niche need or that tool is just entering the market and has only been embraced by the earliest of us early adopters.
Here at Stacklist the team put together some a few of our favorite gems that you could – and should! – be using.
create beautiful, next generation online forms
“Typeform is a surveying platform, and is an amazingly powerful web-based survey tool. It takes seconds to construct a sophisticated web-based form and leverage Zapier for enhanced functionality and integrations.”
-Shanon Marks, President of MU/DAI
Typeform is a great service that lets you customize the forms and surveys sent out to gather customer and industry data. Knowledge is power. And with Typeform you’ll have plenty of it. Typeform makes surveys incredibly customizable and engaging.
Unlike more traditional survey makers, Typeform’s layouts and formats make for a better customer experience, meaning higher return and completion rates. The more “fun” your survey feels, the more likely it is to gather the most results. Instead of checking boxes, user can select images that best describe their answers. You can even rate a product using hearts.
Pricing: Basic is free, and Pro costs $35/month
the best way to plan your marketing
“We use CoSchedule for scheduling content and managing our writing theme. It’s been really useful for us.”
-Andrew Josuweit, Co-founder and CEO of Student Loan Hero
CoSchedule allows you to centralize your marketing efforts into one easy to use platform, saving 30 minutes for each piece of content created. With marketing, everyone needs to be on the same page to affect the most efficient strategy. CoSchedule brings all your marketing efforts into one calendar anyone can access and add to.
CoSchedule also functions as a social media content calendar. In addition, it creates a marketing workflow to make sure all your projects are finished in a timely manner. CoSchedule has many integrations, such as Google Docs and Evernote, so you can continue to use your favorite apps to create your content.
Pricing: Team Marketing costs $60/month, and Team Automation costs $120/month
engage the world together
“We love Front! We didn’t compare it against lots of other choices, but the ability to have a custom CRM integration, as well as setup autoresponders, were huge factors in choosing to go with them.”
-Judd Schoenholtz, Co-founder and CEO of Open Listings
Front is a shared inbox for your team. Founders on Stacklist are using it to "turbocharge" their support inbox and power through tickets and requests. Front allows you to assign emails, automate responses and collaborate with your team members to make sure no email goes unanswered (or the same one is responded to twice).
Front is a dynamic tool, with use-cases for productivity, customer service, and sales. It allows you to build your own plugins or use a variety of third-party integrations so all the information you need is readily available.
Pricing: Team is $12/user/month, and Premium is $24/user/month
message your customers in real time
“I don’t understand why, but Tawk is completely free, allows unlimited agents and sites, and has everything we need.”
-Tom Fang, Founder and CEO of iPyxel Creations
Tawk.to changes the way you talk to your customers. Instead of a boring, plain chat box, Tawk allows you to customize and make exciting your customer interaction. This will keep your customers happy and engaged. Tawk begins by creating a custom chat widget on your site to your specifications.
Tawk saves your chat history, so you can go back and check when customers return or ask for more service. There are automatic triggers which send messages out when certain conditions are met, saving you time and effort. You can even add an unlimited number of agents to your account due to Tawk’s agent-centric approach.
let’s reinvent messaging together
“We use Smooch, and it’s pretty awesome. With it, we have a concierge component. Smooch powers our concierge platform.”
-John Rushworth, Co-founder and CEO of BottlesTonight
Smooch changes the way you send messages to your customers. One of its most useful features is that you can message your customers on almost any platform: SMS, messaging apps, web. Smooch positions itself as being a richer chat function that offers more in-depth reaction from your customer service agents and allows for visually attractive messages.
With Smooch, you can add pictures and links right into your chat. This allows your customer to get a better sense of what they are purchasing, making them more likely to move through your conversion funnel. All of this happens in real time, so you are up to date.
Pricing: Free is $0/month, and Startup costs $99/month.