We find that people who find us through Google AdWords have a very high intention of committing to a purchase.
We love AdEspresso for Facebook ads. They have a clear and intuitive interface so you can always see what you’re spending on ads. And you don’t have to be tech-savvy with the Facebook ad platform to be able to use it well.
Slack has helped cut down on the clutter in our inboxes. And our “Random” channel has been good for cutting down on random chatter that was crowding our Slack conversations. I would highly recommend having a “Random” channel if you’re using Slack.
We have a bot in Slack called Howdy that schedules internal meetings for us. All we have to type into Slack is something like, “Howdy, schedule a meeting with Ethan and Diana, and message them and get them all together”, and then Howdy schedules everything for you!
Our site is hosted on WP Engine. We like WP Engine because it’s a more robust solution, and we believe in the security of the site. We also like that we’re given staging and live environments, so we can see what’s been done before we push it live.
We use WordPress for our site and microsites, and it’s good. We used Tumblr when we started, which was great, but WordPress has allowed us to build out the site more, with the customizations that we want. It’s also generally easier to find WordPress developers to work on the site.
We have a sales team that answers customer questions, but Ruby, our virtual receptionist, triages the calls first, and saves everyone time by filtering and answering calls. They always get calls routed to the correct person, and we get feedback from our customers all the time about how polite and fun the Ruby receptionists are to talk to.
Campaign Monitor is good for adding opt-in boxes on our website. It’s easy to customize the sending of auto responses, and it’s been easy connecting Campaign Monitor to other software to follow up with leads.
We use MailChimp because it’s fairly intuitive, so it’s easy to get contractors up to speed on it. With MailChimp, I can get someone up to speed in about 30 minutes and get them going on creating campaigns, lists, etc. We know there is more robust software out there, but a much higher learning curve comes along with them.
We use Justworks for payment processing and benefits, and we love them! As we’ve grown to operate in different states, we haven’t had to worry about the different laws in all of the different states; Justworks takes care of everything for us. They make sure employees get paid on time, and it’s easy for employees to track their paystubs and get tax documents at the end of the year.
Know Your Company allows me to send out a question to staff each week. They alternate between fun/casual (e.g. “What was your favorite book you read last year?”) and business/feedback questions (e.g. “Is there anything we said is important to us as a business, but haven’t put into practice?”). It has been an integral part of building a solid team and company culture.
We love Upwork. It has really let us grow our business in the last year. We needed someone to build a website, but not full-time, and we found a great person for the job on Upwork. We also found someone to help us with email marketing. But we really love Upwork because the people we have found there are not just technically skilled, but also genuinely good people.
We advertise all of our available job listings via Jazz. We love it because it has given us a central database for all applicants. We used to get hundreds of emails for each job application, and each one had a PDF or a Word doc attached, and it got to be very messy, and hard to manage. But now we have everything in one place, and in one format. Jazz makes it really easy for all of us to share and collaborate on rating people we want to move to the next level of the process. They also have a great feature that’s a bit like Tinder, where you can quickly move through applicants.
Zerve is a great ticketing platform for selling event tickets. They have fantastic phone support, for us, and for our guests. Sometimes our guests will call them about tour availability, and what happens on a tour, and they know our business well enough to answer those questions!
Meetup is great for hosting events. We’ve been using Meetup as part of our new, low-key, growth effort. We’ve found that we get higher engagement through Meetup than Twitter and Facebook.
We use Inboundable for link-building campaigns. They might help us with links to bachelorette parties or team building, for example. They’ve always been very pleasant, and very responsive.
We use LastPass for our password manager.
On TripAdvisor, we’re #12 in New York, and top 10 in DC, for most popular tours. And we just launched in San Francisco, and rising quickly in the rankings. TripAdvisor has been good for attracting new people to our public tours.
Journalists will post on Help A Reporter that they’re working on a story. For example, someone might post, “I’m writing an article about businesses that offer experiences instead of products. What is your #1 tip?”, and we’ll write to them and get included in their article. It’s great exposure for us, and journalists can easily find sources for their stories.
Most of the team uses Trello. It’s been a really useful way to keep track of new initiatives. We’re constantly tracking new projects, new marketing efforts, and new growth areas, and Trello gives us one simple, central, place to keep track of all of that. And it allows us to set everything as high and low priority each week.
We like Buffer because it lets us collaborate better on what we’re posting. One team member will get the information ready to post, and another team member who might be more involved, can give feedback before anything goes live.