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Pinning images to Pinterest can be tiresome.

Adding a cute kitten or a favorite recipe on its own is manageable.

But when you start to use Pinterest as a marketing tool to drive traffic to your blog, then you need help.

In this article, you’ll learn how Tailwind can help you to discover and publish relevant content, maximize your reach, and measure your Pinterest performance.

What is Tailwind?

Tailwind is probably best-known as a scheduling tool for Pinterest, but it’s more of an all-in-one marketing toolkit.

Using Tailwind, you can:

  • Upload images quickly
  • Schedule your pins at the optimal time
  • Measure and analyze how your pins are performing
  • Reach new audiences via Tailwind Tribes

Let’s get started.

Note: Although Tailwind now includes Instagram scheduling and publishing, the majority of features are geared towards Pinterest, and that’s the network we’ll focus on for this review and tutorial.

Get Tailwind

Scheduling and publishing

The scheduling and publishing features in Tailwind are a great time-saver. Instead of pinning one pin at a time, you can upload all your content in bulk and then use the Tailwind scheduler to spread your posts.

Uploading images

The first step is to upload your content into Tailwind. Using the handy web browser extension, you can save images from anywhere on the web. For instance, if you were reading a blog post and wanted to share the post on Pinterest, instead of pinning the image directly to Pinterest you could save the image to Tailwind.

So where’s the time-saving?

Well, when you share an image on Pinterest, you’ll probably post it to a few boards, including group boards, so you have to repeat the pinning process several times. On the other hand, when you post to Tailwind, then you can do it once.

You could save it to your drafts folder and come back to it later. Or you could post it straight to several boards immediately. Or you could schedule it to post to several boards over several days.

Let’s look at a scenario:

I’m reading a post on Blogging Wizard – 5 Effective Backup Plugins For WordPress: Keep Your Data Safe – and I want to share to share the post on Pinterest.

But I have several Pinterest boards where this would fit including Backup, Technology, WordPress, Blogging, and Content Marketing.

In total, I could share it on 15 boards. (And that’s without mentioning Tribes, which we’ll come to later).

Now let’s compare our two options:

Option A – Social sharing button

I can use the standard social sharing button, and share it on Pinterest:

Standard Sharing

But if I wanted to share it on all 15 boards that’s a minimum of 45 clicks. As there’s no scheduling involved, the image would be shared 15 times in quick succession. And that might come across as a little spammy.

Option B – Tailwind

I can use the Tailwind web browser extension, and save the image to Tailwind:

Schedule Now Later

If I select the ‘Save for Later’ option, Tailwind saves the image in my Drafts folder. This is another useful time-saver because you can then have a ‘dedicated Pinterest scheduling session’ when you decide what and when you will be pinning for the next week.

If I select the ‘Schedule Now’ option, then I can choose which boards I want to publish on:

Schedule Boards

The Schedule Now option also lets me specify a minimum time interval – ranging from 10 minutes to 90 days – between each post:

Schedule Time Interval

The web browser extension is just one method of uploading images into Tailwind. You can also bulk upload images directly into Tailwind from your computer, or automatically create pins from Dropbox, or schedule repins straight from Pinterest.

Defining your schedule

The next step after uploading and saving your images to Tailwind is to work on your publishing schedule.

At the heart of Tailwind is the Smart Scheduler where you specify the days and times your pins will be published. You can have as many time-slots each day as you wish:

Weekly Pinning Schedule

To start with, Tailwind suggests the optimal publishing times, based on their analysis of when people are most active on Pinterest.

The dotted time-slots are smart suggestions from Tailwind. These recommendations are a tremendous help when you’re getting started, as you probably don’t know what times will work best.

When you accept a suggested time-slot, it turns green. You can also add your own time slots, and these are colored gray.

You can change your schedule whenever you wish, increasing or decreasing the frequency of your content posting. Over time, you can regenerate a new smart schedule based on your Tailwind data.

Viewing your scheduled pins

In our scenario above, we either added an image to the schedule or saved it as a draft. At the top of the screen you can see there’s 1 Draft Pin and 205 Scheduled Pins:

Publisher 1

Underneath the header is a list of the Scheduled Pins. Each row shows a snapshot of the image and the Pinterest board that it will be published on. The padlock symbol indicates the Pin is locked-in to that time-slot. But you can unlock it and move it you wish.

Publisher 2

Over on the right-hand side, there’s a consolidated calendar view of your schedule. If you want to reorder the schedule, you can unlock the padlock and then drag-and-drop the pin to a new time-slot.

Publisher 3

Board Lists

A Board List is a group of boards in the same category; e.g. blogging, that you schedule the same pin to with one click. In the scenario above I didn’t have to select eight separate blogging boards. Using my Blogging List, I scheduled the pin to eight ‘blogging related’ boards in one click:

Board Lists

Analytics and reporting

Using the official Pinterest API, Tailwind has built powerful Pinterest analytics into its dashboard so you can measure and analyze your performance. You can track trends at the profile, board, and individual pin level.

Profile performance

At the top level you can see weekly totals for Followers, Pins, Repins, and Comments:

Profile Performance 1

Underneath you can analyze Virality and Engagement levels over time to ensure your Pins are resonating. These results show your current scores, your 30-day average, and your 30-day high:

Profile Performance 2

Board Insights

The Board Insights tab brings you similar details at Pinterest board level. There are filters to choose between individual, group, and private boards. You can see the Total and Last 7 days insights for Pins, Followers, and Repins or Comments, followed by the Virality and Engagement scores:

Board Insights 1

You also have the option to sort the data by each column. For example, sorting by the most Pins puts the group board Blogging Pros Group Board at the top:

Board Insights 2

But sorting by Engagement places the regular board Cloud Storage and Backup at the top:

Board Insights 3

From each board you have the option to see the board on Pinterest or Find Similar Content:

Suggested Content

Pin Inspector

The Pin Inspector lets you drill down into the performance of individual pins. Like the Board Insights, the data is displayed in table format.

The table holds everything you’ve ever pinned:

Pin Inspector 1

You can click on any of the columns – Board, Pin, Repins, Comments, and Date Pinned – to sort your pins as you wish:

Pin Inspector 2

You can search for any pin from the thousands stored in the table using the search bar at the top:

Pin Inspector 3

There’s also a set of filters to help narrow your search by category, board, or your website:

Pin Inspector 4

Plus there’s a filter by date period, too, which is most helpful as the table includes all your pins since you started using Pinterest:

Pin Inspector 5

The right-hand column of the table gives you three possible actions for each pin:

  • Reschedule the pin – using the Tailwind scheduler
  • Add the pin to one of your Tribes – see below
  • Find similar content – as above with the Board Insights

Pin Inspector 6

Weekly email reports

In addition to the Tailwind dashboard, you also get a free high-level performance summary delivered to your inbox every week:

Email Summary

Tailwind’s analytics and reporting functionality make it so much easier to understand how your Pinterest content is performing. Plus you have the opportunity to take immediate action by adding more of the same content or repinning your best performing content.

Pinterest monitoring

Connecting Google Analytics to your Tailwind account allows you to monitor your domain so you can track how your content performs organically on Pinterest.

Insights

The Insights tab shows the daily average of Pins and Pinners from the past 7 days. (The Potential Impressions data is available as an Enterprise feature):

Insights Tab

Organic activity

The Organic report shows the performance of your latest pins. The Repin and Comment buttons take you straight to Pinterest:

Organic Activity

Also useful is the Word Cloud, which identifies common keywords and topics used with your content and helps you with your Pinterest optimization:

Word Cloud

Referral Traffic

The Referral Traffic report shows the daily average of Visits, Visitors, Pageviews, and Revenue:

Referral Traffic

Tailwind Tribes

The idea behind Tailwind Tribes is to encourage a friendly, collaborative, and spam-free community where like-minded people share each other’s content.

With over 4,000 Tailwind Tribes to choose from, it’s easy to meet new influencers and work together to activate your community.

Tailwind Tribes solves two key challenges that bloggers and marketers face every day:

  • Finding a steady supply of high-quality content to share, and
  • Getting your content seen by the right people

Finding a Tribe

Finding great Tribes for everything you create content about is the key to succeeding with Tailwind Tribes. The Find a Tribe tab allows you to search for Tailwind Tribes by keyword, category, or tag:

Find A Tribe 1

For example, enter the term ‘blogging‘, and you have 297 tribes to choose from:

Find A Tribe 2

Before you request to join a Tribe, you can check if it’s a good match by previewing:

  • The content of the Tribe
  • The total number of Tribemates
  • The Tribe rules
  • The number of re-shares on content added to the Tribe

Find A Tribe 3

Pro Tip: Alisa Meredith, Tailwind’s Content Marketing Manager, recommends that “you should aim to join at least one strong Tribe for every topic you regularly create content about.” This will help you find content, build relationships, and reach new and receptive audiences in your niches.

You can also create your own Tribe on any topic that’s important to you:

Create Tribe

Inside a Tribe

Once you’re accepted into a Tribe, you can view the Tribe members and the pins they’ve shared:

Inside Tribe

Adding content to Tribes

As we saw earlier, the Tailwind Browser Extension makes it easy to schedule Pins from the web. But you can also use it to add the same content to your Tribes:

Tribe Content 1

If the pin has already been added to one of your tribes, then you’ll see a warning symbol:

Tribe Content 2

Weekly Tribe Report

Each week, Tailwind sends you a Tribes Weekly Digest, which gives you a performance overview of you and your tribes. Here’s a snapshot of the information inside:

Tribes Report 1

Even if you only share 1 Pin to a Tribe, you can reach a large audience:

Tribes Report 2

Pricing

Tailwind is available for Bloggers and Small Business (up to 100 employees) starting at $9.99/month for each account. The price includes all the features above, plus access to five Tailwind tribes, and 30 monthly tribe submissions, with the option to buy more if required.

Note: Each account includes one Pinterest profile OR one Instagram profile. So, if you plan to use both Pinterest and Instagram, then you’ll need two accounts at $19.98/month.

If you’re running a larger brand or agency, then you can get a custom plan.

Start with a free trial where you can schedule up to 100 pins on Pinterest. And there’s no time limit on the free trial which is great.

Conclusion

Not only has Tailwind taken the pain out of posting regular content to Pinterest, but they’ve also created a complete toolkit that helps bloggers and marketers drive relevant traffic to their site.

The insights pulled from Pinterest into Tailwind give you a full picture of how your visual content is performing. And with the addition of Tailwind Tribes, there’s no excuse for not reaching even more people with your content.

Get Tailwind

 

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

The post Tailwind Review & Tutorial: How Useful Is This Pinterest Marketing Tool? appeared first on Blogging Wizard.

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Companies are known to invest a lot of money in designing their brand logos and for a good reason. That’s because a logo is the face of a business. It is the graphical representation of a company. It anchors the brand and is the most visible indicator of a business in the market.

A logo represents the values and beliefs of a company. However, with only colors, shapes and typefaces to work with, it is imperative that designers make their choices carefully to elicit the desired emotions from the target audience of the brand. Logo designers are aware that each visual cue carries a message that can evoke a particular reaction from its consumer.

When people look at different colors and shapes, it affects their subconscious minds in varied ways. By choosing the shapes and colors that draw the desired response, logo designers can influence the way the target audience of a business feel about a design and how they view the brand.

impact-of-shapes-on-logos

People understand a logo the way they comprehend words. What makes a great logo is a harmony between the shapes and colors that create it. A powerful logo may appear simple, but a lot of thought has gone behind the shape and color used.

Impact of shapes on logos

Shapes have a psychological impact on the viewers. An accident has not chosen the shapes of famous logos, they involve the psychology of the human brain. They have been chosen after careful thought.

custom-logo-design

Here are some tips on how to use shape psychology in your logo designs.

Curves for compassion and affection

Curves generate a comforting response. They can denote love, care, friendship, support, affection and tenderness. Curves convey a sense of movement and are, at times, used to resemble a smile to signify happiness. The curved shape also conveys a cyclical nature that represents movement. Also, a sense of growth and transformation is conveyed with the shape.

Circular shapes to create harmony

Circular shapes are feminine, smooth and project positive energy. They also represent unity and partnerships. A circle is inclusive. There is no beginning and an end and it is all-encompassing and welcoming. Culturally too, circles represent community, marriage and friendship. The Olympic rings are a great example of overlapping circles denoting unity between different countries.

olympic-rings

Triangular shapes are for power

The sharp angles in a triangle come across as powerful, strong, masculine and are often used by legal, religious and scientific institutions in their logo designs. Triangles also connote a sense of movement.

Convey a sense of stability through square shapes

Squares and rectangles are thought of as gender-neutral shapes that connote a sense of order, trustworthiness, strength and stability. Businesses that want to convey conservatism and solidity should think of using these shapes in their image. They also create a sense of precision and balance.

Squares convey efficiency, but they may also appear unimaginative and uninspiring. Filling them up with different colors can make them more interesting. Take, for instance, the Microsoft logo.

microsoft-logo

 

Vertical lines denote strength

Vertical lines convey a sense of balance and professionalism, but with a sharper edge. They are usually employed in corporate logos in competitive businesses and connote efficiency and reliability. Designers, however, ought to be careful while using the shape, as the lines can also come across as aggressive, cold and domineering.

Horizontal shapes for calmness

Horizontal lines in a design can be tranquil and calming. IBM’s brand has a calming effect, especially when combined with blue color. Horizontal lines appear more trustworthy and composed and it can be a safe choice for designers.

IBM-logo

Diagonal lines for dynamism

Diagonal lines have a significant impact on the subconscious mind and designs that have a lot of diagonal lines often convey a sense of vibrancy and liveliness. However, one must be careful to not overuse the shape, as then, the brand might come across as untrustworthy.

The psychology of shapes also extends to the typography that you employ in your design. Examine your chosen typeface and see if it resonates with the message you want to convey. Rounded, soft letters would create the same impression as curves, while jagged typefaces would give out the same message as diagonals.

The shape you employ in your logo design will play a major role in shaping the message that the consumer will receive about the nature of the business. It is imperative that the logo designers are aware of the subconscious signs that their image is sending out.

Different shapes can be combined together too to create a powerful visual message. For example, the Nike swoosh combines a smooth curve with a diagonal line to create a sense of joy and movement.

LDT 0011

It is crucial that you work with a professional designer when it comes to creating the perfect shape for your business. Before creating a design, a professional designer will make a list of attributes that the image should convey. All the necessary information is noted and the designers will match the aspects into a combination of colors, shapes and typefaces.

Get the right logo

If you are looking for a great design for your brand, The Logo Design Team is the right stop for you. We have more than ten years of experience in designing logos and have delivered over 1 million logos to clients worldwide over the years.

With 120+ expert designers on board, you can be assured of getting a logo that leaves a lasting impact on your business. Not to forget, you can get a 100% refund, if you are not satisfied with our services!

The post A Designer’s Guide to The Psychology of Logo Shapes appeared first on Logo Design Team.

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This era is all about being updated and to always inject the best-in-class features to your business, from the recent technologies, is the key to success. ReactJS and AngularJS are two big names as the front-end technologies to give out the best to your business in terms of the app development environment. Angular is a structural web application framework while React is an open-source JavaScript library.

AngularJS can be termed advantageous as being shareable and with less code writing, whereas ReactJS can handle all the UI updates automatically and use JavaScript to create components with easy implementation of JSX.

 » Read more about: A Quick Competitive Analysis of ReactJS and AngularJS  »

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We have compiled data on Europe’s B2B tech scene and the top European Companies involved. The list includes all of the top-rated products on G2 Crowd which have parent companies headquartered in their respective states. Our list is ranked by user satisfaction of a company’s top-rated product.

To qualify, a product was required to have at least 10 verified user reviews. For each qualifying product, we created a company profile outlining their satisfaction score, star rating and review total. The data relies on G2 Crowd’s more than 300,000 B2B software and services reviews.

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Coutry   Product Sat Score Stars Review Total Main Category
Austria onepoint Projects 74 4.5 12 Project
Management
Belarus JoomlaLMS 79 4.8 12 Learning
Management
System (LMS)
Belgium PieSync 90 4.5 135 iPaaS
Bulgaria Fiddler 89 4.5 59 Application
Security
Croatia Mediatoolkit 88 4.8 34 Social
Media
Monitoring
Czech
Republic
IntelliJ IDEA 98 4.6 458 Integrated
Development
Environment (IDE)
Denmark Falcon.io 90 4.4 177 Social
Media
Suites
Estonia Toggl 97 4.3 247 Time
Tracking
Finland Leadfeeder 85 4.8 21 Visitor
Identification
France SOLIDWORKS 96 4.4 207 Product
and Machine
Design
Germany Concur 98 4.0 2438 Expense
Management
Greece Thea Render 74 4.7 24 3D Rendering
Hungary Prezi 97 4.2 3922 Presentation
Iceland LS Nav 60 4.4 58 Retail
Management
System
Ireland Rubberstamp 95 4.8 13 Purchasing
Italy Apparound 78 4.8 10 CPQ
Latvia Infogram 85 4.7 28 Data
Visualization
Lithuania MailerLite 56 3.7 34 Email
Marketing
Luxembourg Talkwalker 73 4.5 60 Social
Media
Monitoring
Malta Hotjar 89 4.4 88 Heat Maps
Netherlands Sketch 96 4.6 553 Diagramming
Norway Kahoot! 94 4.7 128 Classroom
Management
Poland Brand24 87 4.6 129 Social
Media
Monitoring
Portugal Eventfuel.io 38 4.5 12 Mobile
Event Apps
Romania Paymo 97 4.6 325 Project
Management
Serbia Semaphore 90 4.5 24 Continuous
Integration
Slovakia LiveAgent 95 4.5 495 Help
Desk
Spain TravelPerk 97 4.8 64 Travel
Management
Sweden Salesbox 85 4.9 11 CRM
Switzerland Doodle 97 4.6 93 Online
Appointment
Scheduling
Ukraine Serpstat 98 4.7 120 SEO
United
Kingdom
Coveragebook.com 99 4.6 86 PR
Analytics

For any questions about the methodology or data included in this piece, please reach out to Editorial Team Lead Jakub Rudnik at jrudnik@g2crowd.com.

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The post The State of B2B Tech: European Companies appeared first on G2 Crowd.

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“What makes a cybersecurity company the best?” is not an easy question to answer. It’s tough to identify the top cybersecurity companies when they aren’t going around telling consumers how many infections they missed or advertising how many breaches they allowed.

There are dozens of lists floating around the web titled “Top 10 Antivirus Tools” and “Five Must-Have Cybersecurity Tools for Your Company.” But most of them cite anecdotal experiences or provide little information to support their arguments.  

Cybersecurity Ventures probably has the most extensive resources available. They’re continually updating their Top Cybersecurity 500 list, but the criteria is cloudy at best and only recognizes innovation, rather than results.

Here, I’ve outlined some objective leaders in their respective markets and identified innovative products making way in emerging fields. The top companies lists are based solely on G2 Crowd user satisfaction score, sourced from thousands of validated cybersecurity product reviews. And the trending tools are based off a combination of our focus trends along with venture capital funding and review data.


System Security

System security categories on G2 Crowd include application security, data security, mobile data security, network security and web security, along with their respective subcategories. This type of software is used to protect applications, websites, data and networks from malicious files and dangerous parties.

This is the broadest security category we’re ranking here. It includes solutions ranging from endpoint protection to secure web gateway tools. Many are aimed at protecting end users from dangerous web content.

Companies are concerned about end-user behavior because one in four breaches is caused by internal users. With these software tools, companies aim to filter content, control access to potentially dangerous sites and protect their sensitive information. The solutions also provide some peace of mind for end users so they can browse without constantly thinking about how their actions put the company at risk.

Top System Security Companies

1. Malwarebytes

malwarebytes logo

Vendor: Malwarebytes
Location: Santa Clara, CA
Main Category: Endpoint Antivirus
Reviews: 102
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Malwarebytes has the highest satisfaction of any system security tool, likely because it’s so easy to use. It’s an anti-malware solution geared specifically toward Mac users, but supports Windows and Android operating systems as well.

Both individuals and enterprise users can schedule or run impromptu malware scans, diagnose issues and centralize security operations. Malwarebytes offers a range of business products to serve these purposes and manage services for those without dedicated cybersecurity personnel.

2. Webroot Endpoint Protection

webroot logo

Vendor: Webroot
Location: Broomfield, CO
Main Category: Endpoint Detection & Response (EDR)
Reviews: 64
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Webroot is a well-known and established provider of cybersecurity solutions and has been for some time. The company itself offers endpoint protection, threat intelligence and security awareness training solutions, but its endpoint protection solution is by far its most popular offering.

The platform utilizes machine learning to facilitate smart web filtering and real-time visibility, as well as protect against a wide range of threats. It’s used mostly by small- and medium-sized businesses and performs very well. Only two of its 64 reviews gave the product fewer than a four- or five-star rating.

3. NeoCertified Secure Email

NeoCertified logo

Vendor: NeoCertified
Location: Centennial, CO
Main Category: Secure Email Gateway
Reviews: 40
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5

NeoCertified Secure Email provides a portal to centralize and secure email communication. Its tool works across device types, offering HIPAA-compliant messaging, Outlook integration and email encryption capabilities.

It offers industry-specific solutions along with personal or business plans. Users from mostly small and medium businesses have been clear in their lauding of the tool. Only one of NeoCertified’s 40 reviews gave the product a four-star rating, while all others gave it five.

4. Paubox Encrypted Email

Paubox logo

Vendor: Paubox
Location: San Francisco, CA
Main Category: Secure Email Gateway
Reviews: 23
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5

Paubox Encrypted Email  is fairly similar to NeoCertified in that they both offer HIPAA-compliant email services; however, Paubox also offers storage and encryption features for enhanced data security. The encrypted email solution is not too complex. It’s simply a centralized communication console that supports Microsoft Exchange, Office 365 and G Suite integrations.

Like NeoCertified, Paubox only has review below five stars, but it has 17 fewer total reviews. It appears to be targeted toward small-business users, as 88 percent of its reviews came from users at companies with 50 or fewer employees.

5. Druva inSync

Druva logo

Vendor: Druva
Location: San Francisco, CA
Main Category: Endpoint Management
Reviews: 77
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5

2018 marks Druva’s 10th anniversary as a security software provider. Its product has become an established endpoint protection solution and a perennial Leader in G2 Crowd reports. Its cloud platform is gaining ground, but inSync has proven itself capable to provide endpoint management, backup and reporting capabilities.

inSync offers mobile device management (MDM) integration with MobileIron, AirWatch and Mass360 along with Active Directory integration for identity management. Its 77 reviews are all four- or five-star reviews and span across all company sizes.


Security Risk Assessment

Risk assessment companies provide security solutions that fall under G2 Crowd’s incident response, security information and event management (SIEM), threat intelligence and vulnerability management software categories.

While many system security products are geared toward a wider range of users, risk assessment solutions are utilized specifically by security teams and IT administrators. They help users evaluate vulnerabilities, respond to attacks and manage security operations.

Compared to other security tools, security risk assessment platforms are robust and their capabilities are vast. These tools are the foundation for the security operations center.

Top Security Risk Assessment Companies

1. Secdo

Secdo logo

Vendor: SECDO
Location: New York, NY
Main Category: Incident Response
Reviews: 26
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.7 out of 5

Secdo is an incident response platform that came on to the scene in 2014. Since then, its offerings have helped users increase endpoint visibility, alert investigation teams and facilitate remediation processes.

Adding to its $10 million from 2016, the company had a Series A funding round in 2017, but the amount was undisclosed. Review-wise, only one reviewer gave the product fewer than five stars; the product is used evenly evenly across small-, medium- and enterprise-sized companies.

2. Logz.io

logz.io logo

Vendor: Logz.io
Location: Tel Aviv, Israel
Main Category: Security Information and Event Management (SIEM)
Reviews: 28
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5

Logz.io sits at at No. 2 overall in our SIEM category, behind only AlienVault USM, but has a higher satisfaction score. It’s an open-source tool geared toward securing systems running Elasticsearch, Logstash and Kibana programs. The tool documents activity, archives analytics and alerts administrators of abnormalities.

In 2017, the company received $23 million in Series C funding, bringing its total funding amount to $46.9 million. The tool has 25 five-star reviews and one four-star, three-star, and one-star review, respectively. It’s used primarily by small- and medium-sized businesses.

3. AlienVault USM

AlienVault logo

Vendor: AlienVault
Location: San Mateo, CA
Main Category: Cloud Security
Reviews: 49
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

AlienVault USM is a complete security operations platform with features to tackle threat detection, incident response and vulnerability management. It can monitor cloud and on-premise infrastructure, deliver continuous threat intelligence and centralize administrative control.

The company itself has grown significantly in popularity since launching in 2007, accumulating $118.4 million in funding. AlienVault USM’s market presence puts it above Logz.io in overall G2 Crowd rating, but satisfaction is still strong. All of its 49 reviews are four- or five-star ratings.

4. DERDACK Enterprise Alert

Derdack logo

Vendor: Derdack
Location: Potsdam, Germany
Main Category: Incident Management
Reviews: 22
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

DERDACK has been providing security solutions since 1999, with Enterprise Alert as its flagship offering. The German company’s incident response solution provides security notification capabilities, scalable for enterprise.

The product helps users build workflows for incident response and security operations processes. And apparently it works well, garnering 16 5-star reviews from mostly employees of enterprise-sized companies.

5. SpyBot

SpyBot logo

Vendor: Safer-Networking
Location: Wicklow, Ireland
Main Category: Vulnerability Management
Reviews: 22
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5

SpyBot is a vulnerability management and malware removal tool from the Irish company Safer-Networking. It provides a set of security tools to help clean and secure IT systems.

All of its 22 ratings are three or more stars, and come from employees in a wide range of company sizes. Users describe SpyBot as a simple, straightforward tool that can help immunize endpoints and defend from malicious software.


Identity Security

Identity security categories on G2 Crowd include cloud identity and access management (CIAM), multi-factor authentication (MFA), password manager, risk-based authentication, single sign on (SSO) and user provisioning software categories. Identity security and management tools range from enterprise-sized user provisioning and governance tools to password managers for individuals.

They’re used by IT and HR professionals alike to unify security and database operations. Larger-scale tools can sync with directories and help manage access permissions or create SSO portals for simplified application access. Personal tools can be used for simple password storage and multi-factor authentication practices.

For businesses, controlling access can improve the security of their data and allow users the freedom to worry less about Wi-Fi security or password strength. Added benefits include activity monitoring, intelligent access capabilities and unified cloud access.

Top Identity Security Companies

1. 1Password

1Password logo

Vendor: AgileBits Inc.
Location: Ontario, Canada
Main Category: Password Manager
Reviews: 246
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.6 out of 5

1Password is an incredibly popular password manager for both individuals and businesses. It sits at at No. 2 overall in our password manager category, behind only LastPass, but has a higher satisfaction score.

The product offers solutions for individuals, families, teams and businesses. It’s used mostly by individuals and small businesses, but has 89 reviews from users at companies with more than 50 employees. The tool’s highest-rated features are password generation, its browser extension and login speed.

2. Keeper

Keeper logo

Vendor: Keeper Security
Location: Chicago, IL
Main Category: Password Manager
Reviews: 119
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Keeper is another password management solution hailing from G2 Crowd’s home city of Chicago. It has the third-highest satisfaction from any Chicago-based company. The tool received a Leader badge in the Fall 2017 Password Manager Grid® Report.

It’s the fourth-highest overall rated product in our password management company, but has 111 five-star reviews. The product also provides individual, family and business options with varied pricing, but its reviews are fairly evenly distributed across business size. Its highest-rated features include its digital wallet, two-factor authentication and mobile app usability.

3. LastPass

LastPass logo

Vendor: LogMeIn
Location: Boston, MA
Main Category: Password Manager
Reviews: 357
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Again, LastPass is a password manager; these tools are widely applicable and apparently very satisfying to users. It’s our highest-rated and most-popular product in the password manager category and a perennial Leader in the category.

The company was purchased by LogMeIn in 2015 for $110 million. LastPass reviews are fairly evenly distributed between small- and medium-sized businesses, but still has more than 50 reviews from users at enterprise-sized companies.

4. Okta

Okta logo

Vendor: Okta
Location: San Francisco, CA
Main Category: Cloud Identity and Access Management
Reviews: 144
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Okta, finally, does a bit more than password management, placing it in our CIAM category, as well as SSO, password manager, and user provisioning categories. The widely used tool provides a centralized portal for users to access multiple business applications. It also has administrative features for user lifecycle and API management.

It’s the highest-overall rated and most-popular tool in the CIAM software category, and used mostly by employees at medium- to enterprise-sized businesses. Some of its highest-rated features include support for required authentication systems, local access and support for bring-your-own-device (BYOD) users.

5. Duo Security

Okta logo

Vendor: Duo Security
Location: Ontario, Canada
Main Category: Cloud Security
Reviews: 37
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Duo Security provides a cloud-based access platform to securely connect users to common SaaS applications. The company received $70 million in Series D funding in 2017 and $121.5 million in total funding since launching in 2010.

Duo lives in both our cloud security and MFA categories, leading both in satisfaction and overall G2 Scores. We’ve only compiled enough data to evaluate one feature, but 91 percent of user reviews rated it highly.


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Trending Cybersecurity Technologies for 2018

This section is a bit more subjective, but still based mostly on our data and the trends we have identified as components of cybersecurity technology that serve as the framework of our ongoing analysis. Intelligent security and risk-based authentication are two components we believe will have significant impact on the cybersecurity aspect of business modernization.

The tools I have outlined are some of the first few venturing into these emerging markets. They’re either implementing artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning or securing new endpoints from the internet of things (IoT).

The products are broken down into a few broad fields that seem to be the first ones implementing AI. Those categories include threat intelligence, risk-based authentication (RBA), remediation and IoT security.


Threat Intelligence

Intelligent security systems combine traditional cybersecurity software characteristics with artificial intelligence and machine learning. Most of them utilize threat intelligence networks to continually update their knowledge base.

The threat network provides massive amounts of data from sources like malware libraries, hash databases and honeynets. Intelligent security systems translate the raw information into actionable intelligence. They will distribute update alerts, patches, automate detection and perform threat forensics assessments.

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Trending Threat Intelligence Products 2018:

Sqrrl

Sqrrl logo

Year Founded: 2012
2017 Funding: $12,300,000
Total Funding: $26,500,000
Reviews: 2
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5

Sqrrl is a self-described “threat-hunting-as-a-service” solution that launched in 2012. The company has led the way in integrating enterprise threat intelligence with traditional security operations center (SOC) activity. It has been recognized for its innovative technology by reputable agencies including CRN, CSO and the Cyber Security Excellence Awards

CylancePROTECT

Cylance logo

Year Founded: 2012
2017 Funding: $O
Total Funding: $177,000,000
Reviews: 8
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

CylancePROTECT’s product line combines features of threat intelligence with next-generation endpoint protection to provide a wide range of security features powered by intelligent threat detection. This year, CylancePROTECT’s founder Stuart McClure won Info Security Products Guide’s “CEO of the Year” award. The company was also named a top-10 Fastest Growing Company in North America on Deloitte’s 2017 Technology Fast 500.

LogRhythm

LogRhythm logo

Year Founded: 2003
2017 Funding: $O
Total Funding: $126,250,948
Reviews: 3
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.8 out of 5

LogRythm combines aspects of network monitoring, event logging and threat intelligence to provide an end-to-end threat management platform. An interesting product add-on the company offers is LogRhythm CloudAI, which provides advanced threat detection and AI-powered insights. LogRythm has won awards from SC Media, Gartner and Forrester.


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Identity Management

These tools are innovators in the risk-based authentication (RBA) space, outlined as a trend to watch in 2018. They are using big data and/or machine learning to improve data security and automate user provisioning processes.

RBA tools analyze a wide range of behavioral and technical factors to manage access to applications, databases and directories. The program will analyze metrics ranging from IP address and endpoint details to historical use trends and behavioral metrics.

Parties that surpass a threshold are restricted from accessing information, while potentially risky parties are prompted to validate their identity through some form of two-factor authentication.  

We chose this as a trend because RBA appears to be a priority for both established and emerging identity solution providers. In addition, identity management has grown in importance with the expanding popularity of software as a service (SaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and infrastructure as service (IaaS) applications.  

Trending Identity Management Products 2018:

Duo Security

Duo logo

Year Founded: 2010
2017 Funding: $70,000,000
Total Funding: $121,500,000
Reviews: 31
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5

As mentioned above, Duo provides cloud-based authentication portals for SSO access to a range of cloud applications. It certifies connections, devices, users and applications for comprehensive authorization processes. This year it was featured in LinkedIn’s Top 50 Startups list, gained recognition from Crain’s and was called Facebook’s security chief’s favorite security tool.

Armor Anywhere

Armor logo

Year Founded: 2009
2017 Funding: $89,000,000
Total Funding: $149,100,000
Reviews: n/a
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a

The company offers both managed security services and Armor Anywhere, a scalable cloud-security offering. It provides OS-level virtual machines to abstract cloud applications and provides increased security visibility. In 2017, the company gained recognition from SC Magazine, Forbes and Dark Reading.

CloudPassage

CloudPassage logo

Year Founded: 2010
2017 Funding: $O
Total Funding: $88,900,000
Reviews: n/a
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a

The CloudPassage platform provides a number of security features for vulnerability management, application control and configuration management, among other things. The platform is geared toward DevOps teams building and working within cloud-based applications. This year the company gained recognition from The Village Voice, CSO and Help Net Security.


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Remediation

Remediation tools here typically fall under the umbrellas of endpoint detection and response (EDR) and incident response (IR). Like many of the products in the risk assessment category above, these tools make up for much of the security operations center.

These tools, though, are evolving the space by implementing intelligent security capabilities through machine learning. AI can improve a platforms capabilities to adapt to new forms of malware, continuously monitor for vulnerabilities and better understand user behavior.

Trending Remediation Products 2018:

Bromium

Bromium logo

Year Founded: 2010
2017 Funding: $0
Total Funding: $115,800,000
Reviews: 1
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5 out of 5

Bromium’s platform is virtualization-based and designed for enterprise-level companies. Its remediation features are powered by adaptive intelligence to remove threats like ransomware, unauthorized file transfers and targeted attacks. In 2017, the company received press from The Independent, SC Magazine and IDG.

Falcon Host

CrowdStrike logo

Year Founded: 2011
2017 Funding: $89,000,000
Total Funding: $281,000,000
Reviews: 4
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5

Falcon Host (Crowdstrike) — Crowdstrike’s Falcon line of security products cover antivirus, EDR, IT hygiene and threat intelligence. Crowdstrike’s threat intelligence feed provides insight to the EDR offering for real-time visibility and automated attack indicators. Falcon Host was named one of CNBC’s 2017 Disruptor 50 companies and was named to multiple SC Awards Finalists 2017 lists.

SentinelOne

CloudPassage logo

Year Founded: 2013
2017 Funding: $70,000,000
Total Funding: $109,520,000
Reviews: 4
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5

The SentinelOne Platform uses machine learning to detect advanced attacks and disconnect compromised devices from the network. It can learn from past events and immunize endpoints to prevent repeated infections and patch exploits. The company received press from Dark Reading and SC Magazine, and it was noted as one of four AI cybersecurity startups using predictive analytics by Nanalyze.


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IoT Security

The IoT has brought a lot of the same threats posed by BYOD policies, but with added risk. New types of endpoints ranging from smart-appliances to vehicle fleets. IoT security requires a great deal of big data processing and stream analytics.

These tools are utilizing AI and machine learning to improve those monitoring and analytics capabilities. They’re important because we don’t want another Dyn attack or a botnet composed of truck fleets. And they’re leaders because they’re jumping into the space first.   

Trending IoT Security Products 2018:

HYPR

HYPR logo

Year Founded: 2014
2017 Funding: $10,000,000
Total Funding: $13,800,000
Reviews: n/a
G2 Crowd Star Rating: n/a

HYPR offers an omni-channel authentication platform for IoT systems. It incorporates biometric access controls for cars, locks and homes. It decentralizes credential storage to reduce loss if a system were compromised. This year it received funding and press coverage in TechCrunch, Huffington Post and PYMNTS.

Trustwave

Trustwave logo

Year Founded: 2007
2017 Funding: Acquired for $770,000,000
Total Funding: $10,000,000 (Before Acquisition)
Reviews: 7
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 3.8 out of 5

Trustwave integrates existing IoT endpoints with TrustWave’s platform, and offers managed IoT deployment, security testing and incident response services. Along with Check Point, Symantec and Gemalto, Trustwave is expected to make big gains in the IoT security market next year. It was a finalist for multiple SC awards 2017 and noted by analyst firms IDC and Gartner.

Cyber adAPT

Cyber adAPT logo

Year Founded: 2014
2017 Funding: $0
Total Funding: $15,000,000
Reviews: 1
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 5.0 out of 5

Cyber adAPT’s skwiid offering includes an IoT solution for device monitoring, real-time analytics and encrypted data transfers. It’s specifically geared toward IoT with a lightweight architecture for things like security cameras and energy sensors.  It was named a “Cool Vendor” by Gartner this year and received coverage from Dark Reading, Financial times and CSO.


So there we have it. Some of these products are proven leaders in their respective markets, others are just skimming the surface of emerging industries. Either way, they’ve proven something to someone, be it real users or venture capitalists.

It’s always risky to jump in on untested products, but sometimes it’s unavoidable. Still, it’s important to know your options and stay up to date on the latest security tools. Security knowledge will have you better equipped to combat the ever-evolving digital threat landscape.


Cybersecurity resources

Explore cybersecurity resources including experts, events, jobs and education.

Cybersecurity resources

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The post Security Trends 2018: The Top Cybersecurity Companies appeared first on G2 Crowd.

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top free marketing automation tools

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To help small businesses, we have created our list of the 4 Best Free Marketing Automation Tools. Using reviews from real users, our list of free marketing automation products is ordered by highest user satisfaction as of November 29, 2017.



Running a successful marketing campaign is difficult for businesses of all sizes. For startups and small businesses, however, the challenge is unique. Trying to enter a market and build a brand takes time, money and effort, with the first two typically being in short supply. This is where free marketing automation software comes to the rescue!

As your business grows, keeping eyes on leads, nurturing prospects and keeping messaging on brand becomes increasingly difficult if done manually. Marketing automation tools give overworked marketers a unified system, especially when linked with CRM software, that can help vastly improve marketing efforts while saving time and money.

That being said, small businesses and startups may still be asking: Why do you need a marketing automation platform and how does it help your business?  

Free automation tools will help bolster your marketing department without an initial investment, but will also provide a litany of benefits as your sales and workforce begins to rise. (Source)


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1. Free marketing automation software saves time

Growth hacking influencer and startup coach Ehsan Jahandarpour, along with Brian Downard of BD Ventures, published an incredibly useful infographic on how much automation software can save your marketing department serious amounts of time and money (especially if it’s free).

How marketing automation saves time and money
  • On average, you save more than six hours per week on social media management when you automate your social posts and ads. This also helps with SEO best practices by keeping you content fresh and relevant.
  • You can increase your reply rate by 250 percent by automating your outreach and follow-up efforts, which can lead to an increase in sales and generate more traffic to your site.
  • Sixty-eight percent of B2B marketers use marketing automation platforms to segment prospect lists and use lead scoring features to help identify sales-ready leads. You can also save 80 percent more time by arranging client appointments or meetings with automation technology.

Following up on the last bullet point, the four free marketing automation platforms mentioned in this article have been rated by real users on G2 Crowd specifically on Lead Scoring and Grading features (data as of Dec. 3, 2017).

Marketing automation products based on lead scoring and grading

Vbout.com (based on 20 reviews)
99%
HubSpot (based on 856 reviews)
85%
Drip (based on 12 reviews)
84%
MailChimp (based on 70 reviews)
80%

While the list generated above is based on overall satisfaction, Vbout.com is rated the highest in terms of Lead Scoring and Grading, according to Vbout.com reviews on G2 Crowd. With nearly 70 percent using this type of functionality, it is an important factor to consider when shopping for free marketing automation tools.

If you are not currently using free marketing automation software, or the paid version, every morning likely consists of scheduling out social media posts for the day or sending multiple outreach or follow-up emails manually.

Thanks to free marketing automation, you can plan out and personalize everything you need ahead of time without paying for it. This should allow your talented team of marketers to work on more advanced marketing strategies without being bogged down by tedious tasks.

All of the free marketing automation tools included in our list will also save you time toggling between a confusing software stack, also known as all the software you use for business purposes. Constantly switching between tabs when trying to launch a thoughtful marketing campaign is more time consuming than you would think, which is why linking marketing software to a CRM can be so beneficial.

READ MORE: How Marketing Automation Helps Marketers


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2. Free CRM and free marketing automation integrate well

CRM tools, or customer relationship management platforms, and marketing automation work well together, as long as the two systems are compatible and are implemented correctly. Let me tell you, there are few things that can crush your excitement over the wonders of automation than having it not sync properly with your CRM.

So we’re all on the same page, a CRM system is typically managed more by the sales side of things, though lead-generation marketers are heavily involved through transactional emails and other client management tasks.

Just to add a little more context into what users think about the free marketing automation tools included in this article and how CRMs can help manage leads, below is chart of based on Vbout.com reviews, HubSpot reviews and MailChimp reviews from real users on G2 Crowd to the CRM Lead Integration feature question. Drip was not included due to lack of user responses to this specific question (data as of Dec. 3, 2017).

Marketing automation products based on CRM lead integration

Vbout.com (based on 12 reviews)
97%
HubSpot (based on 829 reviews)
86%
MailChimp (based on 65 reviews)
80%

Overall, a customer relationship management system saves contact information such as names, addresses, phone numbers, and customer and prospect behavior –– all of this information is essential to maintaining an organized and successful sales department, but it is equally as important to your marketing efforts.

In addition to saving crucial contact information through access to a CRM, marketing automation tools give you visibility into where your contacts sit in the marketing funnel, what resources they’ve downloaded and what web pages they’ve engaged with.

This information is gold in the hands of a talented digital marketer, allowing them to hyper-personalize messaging toward customers through fields built-in to free marketing automation platforms and other types of marketing software.

As you can see, while free marketing automation tools and free CRM software are helpful individually, these systems thrive when working together. Housing all contact information in a central location gives you full-company visibility into your sales and marketing efforts.


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3. Marketing analytics help track and target

Figuring out how much to spend on marketing efforts is always a challenge for small businesses, as nobody wants to end up wasting time and money on the wrong marketing channel or by means of an unproven campaign.

Marketing analytics help track and determine the best paths to increase ROI and ensure the success of your business. Luckily, marketing automation platforms give you access to your critical marketing KPIs, or key performance indicators, in one central location. This eliminates the unnecessary time it takes to switch between platforms and yields much more accurate insight into the metrics you care about.

Here are what G2 Crowd users rated the four free marketing automation software tools in this article in response to the Basic Reporting feature question (data as of Dec. 3, 2017).

Marketing automation products based on basic reporting

Vbout.com (based on 29 reviews)
94%
MailChimp (based on 100 reviews)
88%
HubSpot (based on 922 reviews)
86%
Drip (based on 12 reviews)
79%

A free marketing automation platform like those listed above can provide you with features to tag all of marketing activities associated with a campaign. From there, you can filter down to see comprehensive analytics of your traffic, conversion rates, social activity, landing page performance and so on. The best part? It’s all stored in one place. Thank you, marketing automation.

It also allows you to access reports and see how specific campaigns are performing in real time, which is often helped by integrating it with digital analytics software like Google Analytics and a CRM system.

By consolidating all of your marketing efforts into a connected platform designed to track how your marketing campaigns affect sales and other important metrics, you have full visibility into what is working and what isn’t.

From there, it’s up to you and your talented employees to keep what works and pivot strategies when necessary.


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4. Automation assists with brand consistency

Brand consistency is something every marketing knows is incredibly important. Creating a successful brand and image for your company, however, is not an easy task. It takes more than just creativity and messaging, but years of giving your customers something they both like and have come to expect.

A big roadblock in the way of creating a recognizable brand is inconsistent design elements and messaging. Marketing automation alleviates some of the stress surrounding these inconsistencies by keeping everything in one place. This allows you to ensure that the online audience you are targeting will receive the same, consistent experience depending on how they interact with your message.

The chart below is based on HubSpot reviews and MailChimp reviews from real users on G2 Crowd in response to the Program Management feature question. Vbout.com and Drip were not included due to lack of user responses to this specific question (data as of Dec. 3, 2017).

Marketing automation products based on program management

MailChimp (based on 79 reviews)
88%
HubSpot (based on 758 reviews)
86%

Having useful features to manage your marketing campaigns and maintain consistent messaging is incredibly helpful, especially when you have programs running across multiple channels, such as mobile and video platforms, and even virtual environments.

To give a real-world example, if you get a new subscriber to your blog, you easily can set up a workflow that triggers a welcome email with content relevant to that individual that could even include a related offer. As already mentioned above, the more you can lean on your CRM data to help personalize your messaging, the better results you will most likely achieve.

Because this process is not done manually, thanks again to your marketing automation tool, it’s much easier to keep your brand consistent. This ensures that no matter when a user jumps into your marketing funnel, they’ll always receive the optimized messaging you’ve crafted.


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Benefits of paid and free marketing automation tools

Similar to CRMs, some marketing automation systems can be be expensive and difficult to set up. That’s why we’ve have compiled a list of the 4 best free marketing automation tools! The ranking is based on user satisfaction ratings from real users on G2 Crowd.

On top of that, we have also included a list of benefits provided by the wonders of marketing automation technology. So, after you find a free marketing automation tool that suits your needs, read on to find the best ways to use marketing automation to take your marketing to the next level! Enjoy!


[/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][cs_element_row _id=”92″][cs_element_column _id=”93″]HubSpot Free Marketing Automation

Product Name: HubSpot
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Zapier, SurveyMonkey, GoToWebinar, Eventbrite, Wistia, Unbounce and more


Overview:

HubSpot has over 1,700 user reviews, with over 1,100 of those reviews coming from small-business users, and is the most popular (most-reviewed) product in the Marketing Automation category on G2 Crowd . Of the overall review count, nearly 1,400 are 5 out of 5 stars with a majority reporting they work in the advertising and marketing industry.

Highest-rated features:
  • Automated email responses — 91 percent
  • Sending outbound emails — 91 percent
  • Content authoring — 91 percent
What users say:

“Hubspot is the only tool you need for all your marketing efforts. It has blogs, emails, marketing automation, social, and many more features. What I like the most is the visitor tracking, which gives you ALL the info of what your leads do on your website (which pages did they visit, which links where clicked, which source did he/she came from).” — A small-business HubSpot review from Félix A.

Features included in free option:
  • Dashboard for lead analytics
  • Lead workflows
  • Collected forms
  • Contact activity for up to seven days
  • Contact management features
  • Insights into company and contacts
Paid option:
  • Starter — $50/month: This option is still a great, cost-effective option for small businesses and startups alike. In addition to the features included in the free edition, it allows your business to customize your own forms and includes phone and email support for any questions or issues that may arise.
  • Basic — Starting at $200/month: This option is billed annually, and it is more ideal for small and expanding marketing teams. This version is really where you start to see more robust analytics features, including campaign dashboards and SEO and content strategy tools. It also lets you optimize your marketing content across devices and channels.
  • Professional — Starting at $800/month: The professional version of this software provides advanced marketing automation features, such as “smart content” tools designed to give your campaigns a boost, and even offers a Salesforce integration.
  • Enterprise — Starting at $2,400/month: As the most expensive and full-featured package, the Enterprise option gives you the entire host of HubSpot functionality. From predictive lead scoring to event-based segmentation, this version offers a level of sophistication for all levels of marketers.

[/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][cs_element_row _id=”106″][cs_element_column _id=”107″]Vbout.com Free Marketing Automation

Product Name: Vbout.com
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.9 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Zapier and Salesforce, with YouTube and Segment coming soon!


Overview:

Vbout.com may only have 45 total reviews, but customers rave about this product. This all-in-one free marketing tool boasts an average star rating of 4.9 out of 5, and users notice its intuitive nature and easy-to-use interface.

Highest-rated features:
  • Sending outbound emails — 100 percent
  • Building and personalizing emails — 99 percent
  • Lead scoring and grading — 99 percent
What users say:

“Building Automations is easy and intuitive and you have a lot of options to choose from to tailor your service to your customers’ needs and engage into a new “conversation” with potential ones. The comprehensive analytics help to get the “Bigger picture” and at the same time shed light on each customer, so I have the needed insights / behavior & interests/ and visibility to successfully adjust our tactics in real-time. Excellent support. Can’t stress this enough. They care and they really listen and you know that things will be done.” — A small-business Vbout.com review from Stela N.

Features included in free option:
  • Unlimited contacts
  • Up to two social media management profiles
  • Up to two landing page options
  • Up to two customer journeys
  • Powerful marketing automation and analytics
  • Up to 1,000 emails per month
Paid option:
  • Lite — $99.95/month: For small businesses ready to grow out of the free marketing automation world, this is an attractive option. This version basically ups the ante on the free edition, allowing for 10 social media profiles, 10 customer journeys, 10 landing pages and 10,000 emails per month, while still providing marketing analytics and unlimited contacts.
  • Pro — $299.95/month: According to Vbout.com, this is its most popular version — it is still a good option for small businesses poised to scale, again expanding on more of the same good stuff in the free version. It provides you with 30 social media profiles, unlimited customer journeys, unlimited landing pages and 100,000 emails per month. And of course, unlimited contacts.
  • Ultimate — $499.95/month: The Ultimate option offers the same features listed above but with a limit of 200,000 emails per month. This is a more advanced system for larger marketing teams and agencies.

[/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][cs_element_row _id=”120″][cs_element_column _id=”121″]MailChimp Free Marketing Automation

Product Name: MailChimp
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Salesforce, SugarCRM, ProsperWorks, Pipedrive, Insightly and OnePageCRM


Overview:

The email marketing software giant also offers a great free marketing automation option for the small business looking for a familiar face. Out of its 149 reviews, 92 users gave it a 5 out of 5 star-rating with the majority of the reviews coming in from the marketing and advertising industry. Over 110 MailChimp reviews also came from small-business users, meaning almost 75 percent of reviews for this product came from the small business segment.

Highest-rated features:
  • Sending outbound emails — 92 percent
  • Performance and reliability — 91 percent
  • Manage email deliverability — 90 percent
What users say:

“Love that they have eliminated the necessary double opt in and have made the autoresponders so much easier to set up. Love the drag and drop functionality and having the ability to code a design directly on the platform. Setting up our lists is easy. Their support section is easy to use and simple to follow. They really lay out their content that can be useful for a novice or expert.” — A small-business MailChimp review from Marli E.

Features included in free option:
  • Up to 2,000 subscribers
  • 12,000 emails per month
  • Automatic email and ad triggers
  • Built-in signup forms
  • Newsletter templates
  • Performance reporting and analytics
  • No expiring trial, contract, or payment information required
Paid option:
  • Growing business — Starting at $10/month: This easily scalable option lets your marketing automation grow with you, starting at $10 a month for unlimited email sends and up to 500 subscribers. This version also allows for CRM integrations into systems such as Salesforce and SugarCRM to help put your data in action. It also has more advanced segmentation options and more robust campaign reporting and tracking.
  • Pro marketer — Additional $199/month: This is essentially an add-on to the Growing Business option, giving users more integrations, including access to Mailchimp’s API, allowing for further customization. Additionally, this subscription gives you the most advanced testing and analytics MailChimp has to offer.

[/cs_element_column][/cs_element_row][cs_element_row _id=”134″][cs_element_column _id=”135″]Drip Free Marketing Automation

Product Name: Drip
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Salesforce, Close.io, Insighly, Pipedrive and GoSquared


Overview:

Although Drip has the lowest review count compared to the other products on the free marketing automation software list, it still gets plenty of love from users. Twenty-five out of the 26 Drip reviews are from small-business users, and 17 of those reviewers gave the product a star rating of 5 out of 5. It has a smaller subscriber list than other products, but users note Drip’s ability to scale and free options as big advantages to this tool.

Features:
  • Segmentation — 95 percent
  • Marketing lead database — 94 percent
  • CRM lead integration — 91 percent
What users say:

“Drip is that rare tool that genuinely works well for both small as well as huge businesses. Super intuitive user interface means there’s almost no learning curve, but powerful features are just around the corner when you’re ready for them. I’m also a huge fan of the team. They’re very candid about what’s going on and there’s a degree of transparency and humility that is rare with Saas businesses. Engaging with them, you have the sense that they genuinely want your business to succeed. Support team, especially, is extremely helpful. Finally, there’s a super active and supportive Facebook group associated Drip where lots of people share ideas about making the most of the product. I’ve introduced multiple clients to Drip and they marvel at what they can do with it. It’s literally the beating heart of my digital marketing efforts — the rest of my stack hooks into it in one way or another — and it’s pretty much where I’m planting my flag for the long term. I can’t see myself looking for an alternative for a long, long time.” — A small-business Drip review from Emmanuel Q.

Features included in free option:
  • Up to 100 subscribers
  • Unlimited email sends
  • Unlimited users
  • Opt-in widgets for email
  • Access to its API
  • Automated email marketing
  • Third-party integrations
  • Lead scoring features
Paid option:
  • Basic — $41/month: This affordable option gives you the same features as the free package, but bumps the the number subscribers allowed to 2,500. All paid options also allow you to remove Drip branding and customize to your heart’s desire.
  • Pro — Additional $83/month: The Pro edition gives you the same features as the free and basic versions, but the number subscribers allowed moves up to 5,000.
  • High volume — Contact sales: The mysterious High Volume edition gives you an unlimited amount of users and email sends, but if you want to find out more, you’re going to have to contact them!

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There are so many benefits of paid versions and free marketing automation software. If you are interested in finding out more about the feature ratings, buyer’s guides and additional benefits of marketing automation platforms, please visit our Marketing Automation category page or speak to a Buying Advisor!

Beyond free marketing automation tools

An important feature of many marketing automation tools is the ability to integrate with your CRM. Check out the top 10 free CRM tools here.

* Please note: Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.

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The post 4 Best Free Marketing Automation Tools and Their Benefits appeared first on G2 Crowd.

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Succeeding in education requires pushing yourself to get ahead, and with these seven free study tools for students and teachers, that push comes at no cost to you. There is a lot of behind-the-scenes work to ensure children at your school receive the best education possible. As technology continues to seep into the world of education, keeping track of students and operations on paper just doesn’t cut it anymore. You need a tool that can do it all. And that is where student information system software comes in.

If you want to remain organized and efficiently run your school, a student information system (SIS) is absolutely the way to go. A SIS tracks all student information and allows teachers, parents and students to all communicate with each other.

As my colleague Tom Hardin wrote in his blog, “One of the most important features of implementing SIS in schools is the ability to share an open line of communication with parents.” These platforms can erase any parent/teacher communication issues your school may be facing.

Anyone in the education field knows that students, especially younger ones, need structure and routine to excel in the classroom. Student information systems are designed to help teachers — particularly when it comes to organizing vital information and tracking student behavior. An organized teacher is one that can create a structured classroom for their students.

As teachers and administrators already work around the clock, the least we can do is provide a list of student information systems that are available free of cost. Some of the products below are either completely free or offer free plans with limited features. Others offer 30-day free trials.

Let’s start things off with the free school management tools.


School Time Free School Management Software

Product Name: School Time
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Integrations: QuickBooks, Flickr, Google Classroom
Select it for: Efficient communication


This free school management tool allows users to communicate easily with multiple students and/or teachers right within the platform. You can send bulk emails with School Time and notify the concerned recipients with auto-triggered email alerts on things like invoice payments, assignments, circulars and more.

Multiple G2 Crowd users praised the ease of communication that comes with this free SIS tool. One School Time review said, “It’s a smart communication tool for schools, parents and students with a real time update of activities/happenings/reports from within the class and school campus.” Another School Time review said, “It has been easy to set exam times and to communicate with students.”

Features included with the free plan
  • Notification settings
  • Task statistics
  • Student leaderboard
  • 50 students
  • Attendance trends
  • Student attendance
  • Finance
  • Document manager
Additional features included in the paid plan
  • Self-service template design
  • Student demographics visualization
  • Audit report
  • Grade book
  • CRM
  • IB Curriculum Pack

OpenSIS Free School Management Software

Product Name: openSIS
G2 Crowd Star Rating: Be the first to write a review!
Integrations: Moodle LMS and Moodlerooms
Select it for: Customizability


The Community edition of openSIS is completely free to users. It was developed by volunteers. This free school management solution contains core functions that are enough to run a school. This is an open source tool that is continuously evolving.

You can easily download and implement this free school management platform on your own. The download comes with source code so that you can customize it on your own. openSIS allows you to submit any feature you develop with the community so that other instructors can benefit.

Features included with the free plan
  • Student demographics
  • Enrollment information
  • Address and contact information
  • Medical records
  • Goals and progress
  • Report cards
Additional features included in the paid plan
  • Behavior and discipline management
  • Student billing and fees management
  • State reporting
  • LDAP/active directory integration
  • Moodle integration

SchoolTool Free School Management Software

Product Name: SchoolTool
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Moodle LMS
Select it for: Plentiful features for no cost


SchoolTool is an-open source and completely free school management tool designed for a single school. Many SIS solutions offer both paid and free plans, with the free plans providing limited functions. SchoolTool offers all its features for free.

Features are grouped into categories such as personal data, skill and outcome-based assessments, school-wide assessment data and multiple technical features. One G2 Crowd user praised some of these features in their SchoolTool review. They wrote about the features they like best saying, “I am able to easily contact parents by finding all contact info in one place and I am able to see student progress by looking at other teachers’ grades.”

Features included with the free plan
  • Customizable student and teacher demographics
  • Contact management for teachers and students
  • Teacher gradebooks
  • Report card generation
  • Class attendance
  • Calendars
  • Tracking and management of student interventions

RosarioSIS Free School Management Software

Product Name: RosarioSIS
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Moodle LMS
Select it for: Intuitive user interface


This free school management tool comes with WPadmin theme icon sets. This means you can adjust the user face to whatever works best for you. Additional plug-ins are also available to add various functionalities that will make this free SIS as user-friendly as possible. The design is compatible with iphones and tablets. One RosarioSIS review said their favorite part of this tool is, “responsive design for teacher use in implementing and teaching.”

Features included with the free plan
  • Discipline, accounting & student billing modules
  • Supports French, Spanish, Arabic and German
  • PDF documents generation
  • Colorful statistical charts
  • Online registration

Student Data System Free School Management Software

Product Name: Student Data System
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Contact Student Data System with integration inquiries
Select it for: Vast customizable features


This free school management platform is referred to as a “no setting” system. That means that the school administrator can create and manage their school using this platform with only a web-browser and internet connection. Once you have created an account for your school using this free school management solution, you can customize a number of features to fit your school’s specific needs. Such features include achievement grading, report cards, assessment weight and language.

Features included with the free plan
  • Attendance tracking
  • Event calendar
  • Admin portal
  • Transcripts
  • Email support
  • Student file sharing
Additional features included in the paid plan
  • Assisted data transfer
  • Yearly data retention
  • State reporting

feKara Free School Management Software

Product Name: feKara
G2 Crowd Star Rating: Be the first to write a review!
Integrations: Contact feKara with integration inquiries
Select it for: Accessibility


feKara is hosted on cloud servers, which means it’s easy to access. To set up this free school management tool, you just need a computer (or handheld device) with an internet connection; no complicated implementations. Once your tool is fully set up, you can still easily access it remotely. feKara is completely reliable and secure, even if you need to login off school premises.

Features included with the free plan
  • Courses and batches
  • Student attendance
  • School event calendar
  • Email integration
  • Mobile app
  • Basic reports
  • Finance
Additional features included in the paid plan
  • Human resources
  • Timetable
  • Examination
  • Multiple dashboards
  • SMS alerts
  • Advanced reporting

QuickSchools Inc Free School Management Software

Product Name: QuickSchools Inc.
G2 Crowd Star Rating: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Integrations: Schoology
Select it for: Usability


The folks at QuickSchools want to make sure their product is easy to use. That’s why all teachers, administrators and parents have unlimited access to training materials. Guided walkthroughs are integrated right into the system to ensure users completely understand the platform.

One QuickSchools review said, “I find QuickSchools easy to use. Since I had no instruction in using this product prior to completing grading for my library classes, I was very happy to find this product user friendly.”

Features included with the free plan
  • Student tracking
  • Teacher tracking
  • Parent messaging
  • Lesson plans
  • Transcripts
  • Report creator
  • Admissions

QuickSchools offers three different paid plans and each of those plans has a 30-day free trial available.


Utilizing a SIS is a great way to keep your school running efficiently and teachers happy. It’s important to choose a high-quality tool that will allow you to take advantage of the beneficial features included in a SIS. But before you settle on a solution, spend some time reading the product reviews. They are written by real, verified users in the education field just like you. Reading these G2 Crowd user reviews will help you to make a more informed decision.

Explore further: education software

Free school management software tools are extremely beneficial, but here’s how education software benefits the world at large.

* Please note: Data as of 12/10/17. Reviews have been edited for spelling and grammar.

The post Top 7 Free Student Information Systems for School Administrators appeared first on G2 Crowd.

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The Kansas-Kansas State rivalry is called the Sunflower Showdown and it hasn’t been much of a rivalry in recent years as the No. 5 Jayhawks have dominated their little brother. Oddsmakers expect something similar on Monday with KU a solid NCAA Basketball odds favorite.

How to Bet Kansas at Kansas State NCAA Basketball Odds & Game Info

When: Monday, 9 PM ET
Where: Bramlage Coliseum, Manhattan
TV: ESPN
Stream: WatchESPN
Radio: Jayhawk IMG Radio Network (Kansas) / 610 AM (Kansas State)
Opening NCAA Basketball Odds: Kansas -2

First Meeting

On Jan. 13, Kansas beat visiting Kansas Sate 73-72. It took 23 points from Devonte Graham and two go-ahead free throws from Malik Newman with 15 seconds left. Udoka Azubuike added 18 points and eight rebounds for the Jayhawks, who beat their Interstate 70 rival for the sixth straight time and 12th in a row at Allen Fieldhouse. KSU’s Barry Brown missed a 3-pointer as time expired. Dean Wade had 22 points to lead the Wildcats. Cartier Diarra added a career-high 18, though he was also whistled for a crucial technical foul, while Brown had 12 points, six assists and five rebounds. KSU was without one of its better players in guard Kamau Stokes due to injury. He’s still not back.

Kansas has won six straight against Kansas State and leads the overall series 194-93. The Jayhawks have won 55 of the last 60 meeting dating back to 1994.

Latest NCAA Basketball Odds Trends

  • Kansas is 2-4 ATS in the last 6 games
  • Kansas is 6-1 SU in the last 7 games
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of Kansas’s last 5 games
  • Kansas State is 5-1 ATS in the last 6 games
  • Kansas State is 5-1 SU in he last 6 games
  • The total went UNDER in 4 of Kansas State’s last 5 games

Why Bet on Kansas?

KU (17-4, 6-2 Big 12) is leading the Big 12 by a game over a handful of teams, KSU among them. The Jayhawks are off a 79-68 win over Texas A&M on Saturday in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. Svi Mykhailiuk had 24 points, Malik Newman added 15 and Lagerald Vick added 10 points. The Jayhawks built a 45-27 halftime advantage and were never challenged.

Graham leads KU with a 17.3 scoring average, which is fifth in the Big 12. Graham leads KU and is second in the Big 12 in assists (7.3), fifth in free throw percentage (83.8), second in assist-to-turnover ratio (2.7), tied for fourth in 3-point field goals made (3.0) and fifth in steals (1.9) He is the only player in NCAA Division I averaging 17.0-plus points, 7.0-plus assists, 1.8-plus steals and fewer than 3.0 turnovers per game. Azubuike leads the NCAA in field goal percentage at 76.1 percent. He is one of only two players to have a 70 percent or better field goal percentage with a minimum of five made shots per game (Nick Ward, Michigan State at 70.1).

Redshirt sophomore guard Malik Newman is averaging 19.7 points in his last three games and has boosted his season average to 11.9 ppg. Kansas and William & Mary are the only two schools in NCAA Division I to have five players averaging 11.9 points or better this season.

Since the inception of the Big 12 in 1996-97, Kansas is 62-20 all-time on ESPN Big Monday (35-1 at home, 27-19 on the road), including 43-12 under head coach Bill Self (24-0 at home, 19-12 on the road).

Why Bet on Kansas State?

K-State (16-5, 5-3 Big 12) won its Big 12/SEC Challenge game on Saturday, 56-51 over visiting Georgia. Wade scored a game-high 20 points and hit two important runners in the final minutes, but no one else contributed much on the offensive end. Brown managed just nine points, and K-State’s bench went scoreless.

Wade has now notched 20 or more points in five consecutive games and has seven 20-point outings this season. Redshirt freshman guard Diarra added 12 points and led the Wildcats with 5 assists in his sixth career start. K-State held Georgia to their lowest scoring effort of the season (51 points), while holding them to just 37.0 percent (20-of-54) from the field, including 11.1 percent (2-of-18) from beyond the arc in the game. The Wildcats have now held 17 opponents this season to under their scoring average.

Is Kansas State a safe bet in the NCAA Basketball odds?

K‐State is now 363‐114 all‐time at Bramlage Coliseum since its opening during the 1988‐89 season. The 363 victories are the second‐most at a home venue. The Wildcats are 162‐34 at home over the last 12 seasons, including 69‐29 in Big 12 play. Head coach Bruce Weber is now 78‐18 at Bramlage Coliseum since taking over at K‐State in 2012‐13.

Brown leads Kansas State in scoring at 17.3 points per game, which is tied for third in the Big 12 with West Virginia’s Jevon Carter. He also leads the Wildcats with 43 steals and his 2.0 per game average is third in the league. Brown has made 29 3-pointers this season. Wade is second scoring 16.2 ppg, which is eighth in the Big 12. Wade’s team-best 6.5 rebound average is ninth in the conference and he is second on the team with 16 blocked shots. Sophomore F Xavier Sneed has made a team-high 36 3-pointers this season and he averages 11.0 points and 4.4 rebounds per contest and is third in the Big 12 in free throw percentage at 86.5.

Kansas won 25 straight games between 1983 and 2007 on the Wildcats’ home floor. But K-State has won four of the last 10 games in Manhattan.

Expert NCAAB Betting Prediction

Take the points in the NCAA Basketball odds – KSU probably wins straight up. The past three in this series have been very close.

The post How to Bet Kansas at Kansas State NCAA Basketball Odds & Game Info appeared first on Mybookie Sportsbook.

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Online business trends keep changing at a very rapid pace. The introduction of eCommerce websites has kept the entire market scenario on a different track. This has made the process of online purchase and sales keep running 24*7. According to the survey by US department of eCommerce, around 53% of global consumers use eCommerce websites for shopping. This number is soon to rise in the coming years without any doubt. So, you need to take the right decision of opting the right CMS, when it comes to starting an eCommerce business.

 » Read more about: What Makes Magento The Right Fit For Small eCommerce Businesses  »