3 Great Tech Tools – No Monkey Business
The Sprocket Report
2016 is the Year of the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, so it seems like a good time to do a review of three online tools with monkey names that are great assets to the managers of small businesses and organizations: SurveyMonkey, PicMonkey and MailChimp.
Need to collect some information from a client or want to get consensus on a project? SurveyMonkey helps you build a slick-looking document, gives you several ways to collect responses and then presents you with nice reports.
With 200 customizable templates available, SurveyMonkey provides plenty of question options including multiple choice, rating and fill-in-the-blank. You also have a choice of themes and colors to customize the look as well as the content.
Once you have created your survey, you can email it, post a link to it or embed it on a web page so that the right people see it. Regardless of how folks get to it, their responses are recorded back at your SurveyMonkey account for you to view.
With both free and paid plans, SurveyMonkey can be used by all kinds of groups. The bells and whistles of the paid plans are impressive, but the free version lets you create ten question surveys with up to 100 responses which can be plenty useful.
If you’re blogging or creating other content that requires images, PicMonkey provides the same cool photo editing tools as an expensive graphics program in an online tool that’s way cheaper. Some of the basic functions are free and if you want to play with the more advance filters and fonts, it’s only a few dollars a month.
Just upload an image from your computer and quickly clean it up by cropping, resizing and adjusting exposure or color before saving back in your own files for later use. When a picture is worth a thousand words, PicMonkey helps you create unique images for marketing or personal needs.
While there are many flavors of email programs and champions of each, MailChimp provides a lot in their free plan for cash-strapped entrepreneurs or not-for-profits. Newsletter, sales flyer and other templates are available or you can create your own from scratch and there are sign-up forms and automated response forms as well.
MailChimp is free to use if you have fewer than 2,000 subscribers and send no more than 12,000 emails a month. More than that, and you’ll need a paid plan. Paid plans also give you access to more sophisticated tools for targeted marketing such as automated responses to customer behavior.
One of our favorite MailChimp features is that it integrates nicely with the blog platform used on the websites we build. You can automatically initiate sending a fresh newsletter the same time you publish a new blog post, saving yourself a step.
Why simians are cool these days is anybody’s guess, but regardless of their names, these three tools are a barrel full of monkeys you’ll be glad to know. While you’re busy using these tools, keep us in mind for website updating or social media services. We’re always happy to help!