So, you have a product or service you want to market, and you read a ton of blogs out there that tell you to buy their software to stuff your marketing funnel and automate your campaigns. The problem is that software is slightly expensive and doesn’t allow too much customization for your unique situation. You’re also an overachiever and don’t mind learning new tools; especially if they’re going to provide long-term, sustainable value for you.

Here are the top 5 pieces of software (they’re either super cheap or free) that you need in order to effectively create a lead-generating marketing campaign.

Google Sheets: a cloud spreadsheet you can use as a database for your contacts


Here’s your fake CRM. You’ll use it to build your initial list and then to grow it! Simple as that. Just be sure to clearly label column headers with important information you may need later such as name, email, title, company, industry, city, state and more … it’s super easy to learn and feels like excel, but better.

Webflow: build a proper, scalable website

$15 a month

Webflow is by far, the best website building platform on the internet, if you are serious about creating a beautiful site that is responsive across all devices, compliant with Google, clean code, super fast and want to learn design and development principles. I’ve seen Webflow virtually eliminate the front end developer position and turn 20-hour coding projects into 1-hour breezes. Note, Webflow isn’t like Squarespace or Wix or any of those subpar builders that produce poor code and bloated designs. It turns designers into developers and developers into designers. You’ll be able to whip up landing pages in minutes by sticking to one of many beautiful predesigned templates that work gorgeously across all devices. If you take the webflow education videos seriously, you can probably even tweak the templates if you’re feeling ambitious.

GMass: mass email and auto follow up chrome extension

Free (for up to 50 emails a day)

If you’re getting started in marketing and lead gen, you don’t need an expensive mass email tool like Mailchimp or Hubspot. All you need is this nifty chrome extension that lets you easily send personalized mass email pulled from lists your Google doc and auto follow up with them if they haven’t opened. Make sure you stay compliant with your Gmail limits and make sure your message adds value to the user so that it doesn’t get marked as spam.

Google Analytics: analyze your website data


Once traffic starts to hit your site from your email campaign, you’re going to want to know where they’re coming from, what they are clicking on and where they are leaving. Most importantly, you’ll want to build a funnel and start tweaking/optimizing your site design and copy so that you can increase the continue rates throughout your funnel.

Inspectlet: replay your visitor’s website sessions


Here’s one you’re probably not using that will change everything for you. So now that you’ve built your lists, built your site, emailed your list and set up the data to track your funnel … your next step is to make changes to your website copy, design and layout in order to try and increase your conversion rate. What better way to discover what to change on your site than to replay your visitor’s sessions. Inspectlet lets you segment by device, pages visits, region, IP address and so much more. It’s super user-friendly, takes 30 seconds to install (slap a snippet on your site) and you’ll be able to start watching your visitors in just a few minutes. Seems creepy, but you’re doing it for the greater good … to help your users convert!