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Best Inbound Marketing Tools Shortlist

Here’s the shortlist of the best inbound marketing tools covered in this article:

  1. SEMrush - Best for content strategy and SEO
  2. Hootsuite - Best social media management tool
  3. Buzzsumo - Best for sparking original and trending content ideas
  4. Unbounce - Best landing page builder
  5. Typeform - Best for creating lead capture forms
  6. Optinmonster - Best opt-in form builder
  7. MailChimp - Best email builder for targeted campaigns
  8. HubSpot Marketing - Best all-in-one CRM platform
  9. SurveyMonkey - Best for gaining customer insights with surveys
  10. Brand24 - Best social listening tool for businesses of all sizes
  11. Brandwatch - Best for enterprise brand management
  12. Campaigner - Best email and SMS marketing package

Inbound marketing is one of the best ways to appeal to modern consumers. And when you’re equipped with the best inbound marketing tools, your ideal customers will come to you.

In this guide, I've looked at all of the tools for inbound marketing and selected the best ones for each phase of the customer’s journey. I’ll tell you why they’re great, how they can help you, and highlight their best features, so you can choose the ones that fit your needs.

What is inbound marketing?

Inbound marketing is a marketing strategy designed to draw in customers and build lasting relationships with them. You can achieve this by sharing valuable resources, creating content tailored to your audience, and guiding customers through the buyer journey.

Overview of the 12 Best Inbound Marketing Tools

Like I mentioned above, I’ve organized the tools into the four stages of inbound marketing: attract, convert, close, and delight. For each tool I’ve reviewed, I’ve included the noteworthy features that make it stand out, listed the pros and cons of each, and included images to help you understand whether each tool is right for your organization.

1. SEMrush - Best for content strategy and SEO

SEMrush organic research competitors
SEMrush organic research helps you find out who your top competitors are.

Semrush is a comprehensive tool for inbound marketers that want to leverage organic search traffic in their favor and fine-tune their content marketing strategy.

Why I picked SEMrush: SEMrush is one of the most popular inbound marketing tools for a reason — it has over 55 features that help businesses of all sizes create and optimize their content for search engines and social media. Its large suite of tools can help you plan and execute your content marketing strategy and improve your SEO performance.

One of the most impressive ones, the Keyword Magic Tool, is a powerful keyword research feature that helps you find high-value keywords to target in your SEO efforts. SEMrush has a database of more than 20 billion keywords and 808 millions domains crawled.

SEMrush Standout Features and Integrations

Features include finding the best keywords through keyword research, on-page and local SEO to attract more organic traffic, competitor analysis to improve your content performance, and personalized recommendations to optimize your content.

Integrations include AIOSEO, databox, Google Analytics, Hubspot CRM,, Respona, Surfer, WordPress, Wix, and Yoast.

Price: Starting from $119.95/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: 7-day free trial and a free subscription with limited features.


  • Topic research tool helps users create new content strategies
  • Provides accurate SEO score information when auditing websites
  • Visually appealing, easy-to-navigate interface


  • May be too pricey for some businesses
  • Long learning curve

2. Hootsuite - Best social media management tool

Hootsuite streams analytics
Hootsuite Streams shows you key metrics from Hootsuite Analytics, such as audience engagement.

Hootsuite allows you to effectively create, publish, and manage social media content in a unified social inbox.

Why I picked Hootsuite: Hootsuite helps you manage your brand’s social media presence in a single dashboard, making it easy to post and engage with customers across different platforms. By tracking and managing all your messages and mentions in a single tab, you save time and keep customers happy with quick responses.

If you need some inspiration, its AI-powered hashtag generator tool and content inspiration tool help you create content that your target audience will see and engage with. Hootsuite also has analytics software that tracks social media metrics and gives you valuable insights—like the best time to post on Twitter for maximum engagement.

Hootsuite Standout Features and Integrations

Features include AI-powered hashtag generator, social media scheduler, Canva templates, Grammarly spell check, best time to post, analytics to measure social media performance and engagement, and social listening tools.

Integrations include Canva, Facebook, Hubspot, Instagram, LinkedIn, MailChimp, Pinterest, Twitter, and Youtube.

Price: Starting at $99/month when billed annually

Free Trial: Choose between a free 30-day trial or 20% off your subscription if you skip the free trial.


  • Detailed analytics to track engagement and other metrics
  • Multiple team members can collaborate on social media content
  • Countless integrations make it a versatile tool for businesses


  • Pricey for businesses that require multiple users
  • Customer support for problem solving can be improved
BuzzSumo content analysis metrics
BuzzSumo makes it easy to track and analyze how well your competitors’ content is performing and compare it to your own.

Producing a constant stream of engaging content tailored to your target market can be challenging for any marketer. A tool like BuzzSumo is great at finding new topics and keywords, helping you overcome writer’s block.

Why I picked BuzzSumo: With an index of 8 billion articles to inspire your content, BuzzSumo is a powerful tool for content marketers and PR professionals. Two of BuzzSumo’s key areas — content discovery and content research — help you discover trending, evergreen, content ideas and filter what resonates with your audience so you never run out of inspiration.

The platform can also monitor your brand mentions, competitors, and industry updates, ensuring you alway stay on top of your competition. For example, you can enter a competitor’s domain to find their most shared content and use that information to inform your own strategy.

BuzzSumo also connects you to influencers and journalists with genuine authority on social media, who can promote your content and get you in front of a larger audience.

BuzzSumo Standout Features and Integrations

Features include content discovery, content research, identifying influencers, monitoring mentions, trends, and updates, BuzzSumo Chrome Extension, and

Integrations include Adverity, Buffer, Facebook, Hootsuite, Klipfolio, LinkedIn, Majestic, Reddit, Slack, and Twitter. BuzzSumo’s API also provides you with a wealth of resources ideal for things like building internal reporting tools or tracking your content’s performance.

Price: Starting at $119/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: 30-day free trial


  • In-depth competitor analysis
  • Connects you with influencers and journalists
  • Powerful content discovery toolkit


  • Content analysis doesn't include popular platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram
  • No content creation features with basic version

4. Unbounce - Best landing page builder

Unbounce smart traffic tool insights
The Smart Traffic feature uses AI to send visitors to the pages where they’re most likely to convert.

Unbounce is a great tool for building sleek, high-converting landing pages that reflect your brand.

Why I picked Unbounce: Unbounce lets you create, test, and optimize landing pages without any coding skills. It has a collection of over 100 high-converting landing page templates you can choose from and edit to fit your campaign goals. The tool also has a Smart Copy feature that helps you come up with engaging copy for your landing pages. Smart Copy uses AI to write persuasive landing page copy for you in seconds, so you save time and focus on other tasks.

Unbounce also sends your website visitors to the page that’s most likely to convert them. The Smart Traffic feature is better than traditional A/B testing because it uses AI to automatically optimize landing pages for you, letting you create as many variants as you need for each type of visitor.

Unbounce Standout Features and Integrations

Features include landing page builders designed for both new users or pros with coding experts, 100+ landing page templates, AI-generated copywriting for pages, ads, emails, popups and sticky bars.

Integrations and apps include Active Campaign, Calendly, Google Analytics, Hotjar, Hubspot, Jotform, MailChimp, Marketo, PayPal, Shopify, Typeform, and Zapier.

Price: Starting at $99/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: Unbounce offers a 14-day free trial for new customers


  • Easy to use — no coding skills needed (unless you want to)
  • AI optimization that sends visitors to their best-match landing page
  • Landing pages optimized for mobile devices


  • Limited design options
  • No free plan available

5. Typeform - Best for creating lead capture forms

Typeform question selection
Typeform helps you choose the type of question you want to ask your audience.

Typeform is a software that helps you build and customize interactive forms that can capture more inbound leads and improve user experience.

Why I picked Typeform: Typeform has a sleek and modern interface that provides a user-friendly experience for you as well as your customers. It lets you create dynamic forms, surveys, quizzes, and without needing to write any code. Questions appear one at a time as respondents move through the survey, which according to users, helps engage customers and increases completion rates.

Typeform also has a wide range of templates to choose from, from lead collection forms to customer satisfaction surveys. The best part? You can personalize them to fit your unique branding.

Typeform Standout Features and Integrations

Features include form templates, a VideoAsk tool, and a no-code chatbot builder.

Integrations include Asana, Canva, Calendly, Excel Online, Google Analytics, HubSpot, Klaviyo,, and Slack.

Price: Starting at $29/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: Free plan with basic features


  • No coding knowledge required
  • Integrates with virtually every tool you need
  • Easy to use interface


  • Not enough in-depth analysis and reporting options
  • The range of question types is limited for more complex quizzes and surveys

6. OptinMonster - Best opt-in form builder

Optinmonster design view screen
OptinMonster’s design view was built with ease of use and customization in mind.

OptinMonster creates pop-ups that turn your visitors into customers and email subscribers.

Why I picked OptinMonster: OptinMonster is a versatile conversion tool that offers a variety of popup formats, including slide-ins, full-screen mats, and lightboxes. You can use these pop-ups on your website to get more email subscribers, convince customers to continue the checkout process, or increase pageviews.

When you sign-up, you get a sophisticated and high-quality tool for your money. OptinMonster gives you access to hundreds of opt-in form templates, making it easy to find the ones that fit your brand and marketing goals. It also integrates with many email marketing and CRM platforms, allowing you to easily capture and nurture leads.

OptinMonster Standout Features and Integrations

Features include a drag and drop builder, campaign types, campaign triggers, targeted campaigns, and actionable insights.

Integrations include ActiveCampaign, Campaign Monitor, Drip, HubSpot, MailChimp, Salesforce Pardot, Shopify, WordPress, and Zapier.

Price: Starting at $16/month when billed annually

Free Trial: Unconditional 14-day money back guarantee on all plans


  • Fully customizable, pre-designed campaigns
  • Built-in conversion analytics
  • User-friendly interface


  • Many websites use this tool so your popups may be similar to theirs
  • Some of its best features are only included in higher pricing plans

7. MailChimp - Best email builder for targeted campaigns

Mailchimp email campaign preview and test
MailChimp’s email building capabilities help you create, customize, and send email campaigns to build a relationship with your customers.

During the nurturing stage of your inbound marketing strategy, email marketing is one of the effective ways to win over new customers. MailChimp makes email marketing easy, helping you create and send targeted and engaging email campaigns.

Why I picked MailChimp: MailChimp is a powerful email marketing tool, perfect for SMBs who want to nurture customer relationships and grow their business. With a wide range of customizable templates available, anyone can create visually appealing marketing campaigns without needing design skills.

MailChimp makes writing emails simple by suggesting ways to improve your email copy and offering over 100 pre-designed email templates. It even tells you which customers are more likely to become repeat buyers and helps you target them.

If you’re a solopreneur or a small business, take advantage of MailChimp’s generous free plan. And if you love it, you can upgrade to a paid plan as your business grows.

MailChimp Standout Features and Integrations

Features include audience management, content studio, subject line helper, email templates, marketing automation, and insights and analytics.

Integrations include Adobe Photoshop, Canva, Chargebee, Facebook, QuickBooks Online, SurveyMonkey, Typeform, WordPress, and Zendesk Activity.

Price: Starting at $13/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: First month is free for the Standard and Essentials plans, and a free version is also available.


  • Simple and intuitive interface
  • Detailed analytics on email campaign performance
  • Automation of welcome and follow-up emails


  • Audience segmentation feature could be more advanced
  • Room for improvement on customization options for advanced users

8. HubSpot Marketing - Best all-in-one CRM platform

Hubspot lead generation insights
HubSpot can translate data into valuable insights that drive your inbound marketing strategy decisions.

Hubspot is a marketing CRM that helps you attract the right audience, convert more visitors into customers, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns at scale — all on one powerful, easy-to-use platform.

Why I picked HubSpot Marketing: Hubspot has everything you need to run successful marketing campaigns. It comes with a wide range of features that help you optimize your lead generation, create highly efficient workflows, and view in-depth insights on leads’ engagement with your business. The software also stands out for its excellent customer support team, which is very responsive and helpful.

Hubspot can help businesses of all sizes implement a successful inbound marketing strategy. It has many inbound marketing capabilities depending on your needs, including content marketing or lead tracking.

HubSpot Marketing Standout Features and Integrations

Features include marketing automation, lead management, calls-to-action, CRM integration, website SEO, video, live chat, blog.

Integrations include Census, Crossbeam, Databox, Fivetran, Gmail, Google Calendar, HubSpot for WordPress, Jotform, MailChimp, and Zapier.

Price: The CRM suite starts at $50/month

Free Trial: Free basic plan


  • Affordable plan for individuals and small teams, and advanced package for enterprises
  • No technical knowledge required
  • Automates repetitive marketing tasks


  • Advanced package price is steep
  • Steeper learning curve for some

9. SurveyMonkey - Best for gaining customer insights with surveys

SurveyMonkey template library
Let SurveyMonkey’s large template library inspire your next survey.

Thoughtful surveys that gather customer feedback are a great way to understand your customers and ensure they’re happy, satisfied, and supported. With over 17 million active customers and counting, SurveyMonkey is a global leader in survey software, helping you create, send, and analyze surveys.

Why I picked SurveyMonkey: With over 260 expert-written surveys, it helps you create the ideal survey for any occasion and customize them to your brand. It even helps you ask your customers the right questions using AI-powered guidance, and helps you interpret their answers using analytics tools.

If you opt for their specialized products, like SurveyMonkey Audience, you get access to an audience of 175M+ people, so you can conduct market research and get targeted responses in minutes.

SurveyMonkey Standout Features and Integrations

Features include over 260 expert-written templates, response analysis and built-in reports and dashboards, AI-powered guidance, and a SurveyMonkey Audience tool for collecting valuable market insights.

Integrations include BoldBI, Freshteams, Google Drive, HubSpot, MailChimp, Marketo, Microsoft Teams, Oracle, Salesforce, and Zapier.

Price: Starting at $25/month when billed annually

Free Trial: Free basic plan


  • Templates make creating surveys easy
  • You can reach a large audience
  • Analytics help you interpret survey results


  • Advanced features require a paid subscription
  • Some users may want more advanced question types

10. Brand24 - Best social listening tool for businesses of all sizes

Brand24 social monitoring analysis
Brand24’s social monitoring software helps you track your online presence and reputation.

Brand24 is a social media monitoring tool that helps you tap into the global social conversation and learn what people are saying about your brand.

Why I picked Brand24: It gives you instant access to mentions across social media, news, blogs, videos, forums, podcasts, reviews, and more. You can check mentions of your brand, relevant keywords, and direct feedback through tags and DMs. Using natural language processing, Brand24 determines whether these mentions are positive, negative, or neutral.

This social monitoring tool also provides data on the demographics and geographic locations of your online audience, so you can tailor your messaging and content to their interests. It also has a simple user interface that enables you to find any information you’re looking for with ease.

Brand24 Standout Features and Integrations

Features include mention analytics, influence score, sentiment analysis, data exporting, discussion volume chart, alerts, and filtering results.

Integrations include Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Reddit, Slack, Spotify, TikTok, TripAdvisor, Twitter, and YouTube.

Price: Starting at $59/month when billed monthly

Free Trial: Free 14-day trial, and up to 2 months free with a yearly plan


  • Real-time alerts let you respond to mentions quickly
  • Affordable pricing makes for businesses of all sizes
  • Strong competitor analysis


  • Could use more integrations
  • Only supports a limited number of languages

I’ve included some bonus software below:

11. Brandwatch - Best for enterprise brand management

Brandwatch customer satisfaction insights
Brandwatch’s customizable dashboards help you measure your performance across social networks.

Brandwatch is an industry-leading social media analytics tool and a strong choice for larger businesses and enterprises.

Why I picked Brandwatch: While it comes with a hefty price tag, Brandwatch is a tool used by many leading enterprise brands to analyze online conversations and extract meaningful insights. This popular platform provides insights into consumer opinions, sentiment analysis, influencer identification, and other data. These valuable insights can guide your inbound marketing efforts in the right direction.

Brandwatch empowers team collaboration, with features such as an integrated content calendar and approval flows. This makes it a valuable tool for enterprises with a big marketing team that want to work cohesively.

Brandwatch Standout Features and Integrations

Features include instant reporting, AI-powered search, AI Analyst, image analysis, auto segmentation, social listening, and influencer identification.

Integrations include BuzzSumo, Hootsuite, Kinetiq, LinkedIn, Meta, Neurons, Reddit, TikTok, Tumblr, and Twitter.

Price: Pricing upon request

Free Trial: None listed


  • Strong analytics features
  • Large set of integrations
  • Easy and intuitive interface


  • High price point for SMBs
  • Sentiment analysis feature could be more accurate

12. Campaigner - Best email and SMS marketing package

Campaigner dashboard overview
Campaigner’s sleek dashboard gives you an overview of the campaigns you’re working on.

Campaigner is an email marketing tool that allows you to create, send, and track targeted email and SMS campaigns.

Why I picked Campaigner: Campaigner is used by businesses big and small to create engaging email and SMS marketing campaigns. When you sign up, you get access to 60+ email marketing features including templates, automation, and analytics that help you create targeted email and SMS campaigns and strengthen customer relationships.

These basic and advanced features come with a lower price tag than other competitors, making it accessible to businesses with lower marketing budgets. Campaigner is easy to use and is known for its always-on customer support.

Campaigner Standout Features and Integrations

Features include email automation workflows, email templates, conversion tracking, A/B split testing, purchase behavior, geotargeting, and customer segmentation.

Integrations include Eventbrite, Google Analytics, Google Sheets, HubSpot, JotForm, Salesforce, Shopify, SurveyMonkey, and Typeform.

Price: Starting at 59$/month when billed annually

Free Trial: 30-day free trial


  • Accessible, 24/7 customer support
  • Easy onboarding
  • User-friendly UI


  • Limited email templates
  • Migrating from other tools is clunky

Other Inbound Marketing Tools

Here are more options you should check out that didn’t make the best inbound marketing tools list:

  1. Ahrefs - Best for SEO-driven content marketing
  2. Grammarly - Best writing assistant for better content — correct grammar, spelling, and readability
  3. Feedly - Best for keeping tabs on trending content
  4. Canva - Best for creating professional designs for your content and social media efforts
  5. Vidyard - Best for creating and sharing videos on your website
  6. Hotjar - Best for heatmaps that visualize website visitor behavior
  7. Rebrandly - Best link management platform
  8. Buffer - Best for scheduling content
  9. Intercom - Best chat tool to continuously engage with website visitors

How I Selected the Best Inbound Marketing Tools

I created this top 12 list with the inbound marketing journey in mind — attract, convert, close, and delight.

Inbound Marketing Stages

After evaluating and comparing a wide range of tools, I carefully selected two to three tools for each stage of your customer’s journey. Each one has a range of features and functionalities, including SEO tools, social media analytics, and email marketing.

I’ve also used the selection criteria below to narrow down my list and see how each tool measured up against the next one.

Selection criteria

Here’s a short summary of the main selection and evaluation criteria I used to create my list of the best inbound marketing tools for this article:


Most tools on this list have a pricing structure that makes them affordable not just to large enterprises, but to small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) as well. The plans range from $16/user/month to $119/user/month.

Most also offer free trials, so you have the chance to test them out and make sure they’re the right fit for you before you commit.

Software integration

I’ve evaluated each tool’s ability to integrate with other inbound marketing tools on the list to give you a complete view of the customer along their journey. I’ve picked the ones that easily connect to multiple third-party tools including CRM, analytics, and email marketing tools.

Key Features

Here’s a list of the most important features you can find within the best inbound marketing tools:

  • Insights and analytics: Powerful insights and analytics are at the core of every good inbound marketing tool. Insights such as social media engagement or survey response analysis help you measure the success of your marketing campaigns and make better, data-driven decisions.
  • Workflow automation: Automation features like drag-and-drop when creating a landing page automate repetitive tasks, increasing your efficiency and productivity.
  • Customized templates: Easily customizable templates save you time and resources, making it easy to create anything from an email campaign to high-converting opt-in forms.
  • Content creation and management: Content is at the heart of the inbound marketing journey.I looked for software that included content creation features—this really depends on the type of tool, and it can range from email creation features to social, video, form, and blog creation features.

People Also Ask

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers that people often ask about inbound marketing.

Other Marketing Tool Reviews

Marketing tools come in all shapes and sizes, from social media platform management to website and product reporting. You'll probably need several tools to cover the whole gambit of needs. Here are some other tool review lists that I recommend checking out:

Marketing Tool Reviews

Brand Management Software Reviews


Take a look at your existing inbound marketing process and determine which areas you need to improve for your optimal marketing strategy. Maybe you’re successfully attracting visitors to your website but struggling to convert them. In that case, you may need a conversion tool that can help you create better landing pages or opt-in forms.

Understanding your needs will help you figure out which tools are right for you. And don’t be afraid to test out tools before you find the one that fits your needs and budget (that’s what the free trial is for!).

If you want to browse more helpful marketing tools, check out our other list of best marketing software.

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By Stephanie Hood

Stephanie Hood is an experienced marketing professional and Editor of The CMO. With nearly a decade spent as Marketing Manager at Discover Holidays and Executive Editor at VIVA Lifestyle & Travel, she built her career leading editorial and marketing teams and strategies that turn six-figure budgets into seven-figure profits. She now enjoys connecting with the world's top executives to learn their secrets to business success, and shares those insights right here with her community of like-minded professionals. Curious what she’s uncovered? Be sure to sign up for The CMO newsletter.