Whenever it is your first time to set up your online business or you are continually developing it, you must realize that it is not as easy as you think – just focus on creating the content that you are confident and good at – but there are many other areas that are influential and cannot be ignored.

Just like my previous post, Content is King, Then, How it’s Presented is its Queen, demonstrates how Content and Presentation are equally important.

Things like website management, user interface optimization, image and graphic design, marketing budget and launching plan, social media posts, SEO, leads generation, email nurturing, video creation and publication… for each of this area, choosing the suitable platform for your online business could be a huge headache for you.

There are so many of them with different pricing models but similar features which are almost the same except their brand names.

I know how frustrating and overwhelming it could be, because I’ve been there before (and still struggling when I explore something new from time to time).


My Struggles Building Up My Online Business (Probably Yours Too!)

I still remember clearly, when I took the first essential step to build my online empire – choosing a WordPress theme for my first business website (which is this one you are visiting), it took me almost a week to get it done!

I had to do my own research from scratch, reading endless reviews from different websites to enable my shortlist and comparing the pros and cons, installing themes over themes to test the user interface and functionality, before I was able to make a final informed decision.

But now, if you ask me the same question, “Which WordPress theme should I use?”, I could answer almost straight away with the right choice, based on your type of online business and how you are going to manage it, without a second of hesitation.

I know how much we wish to have an expert sit next to us whenever we need to make a new decision like this, to give us specific consultation, thus saving us time and making us confident of our choice.

But we know it will be costly.

What if we could at least know the secret resources that successful entrepreneurs use to grow and scale their online business efficiently and so profitably?

I wish I could have that secret weapon but there’s no such integrated list when I got started, so I began to compile up a top list of the essential online tools and resources for my own reference during my online business journey and it became so convenient when I served my clients.

Month after month, the list accumulated and the content became so rich and abundant, to the point that I thought it could be something useful if I were to share this valuable information with others too.

So, that’s how I decided to create this post.


How To Read And Fully Utilize This List Of Recommended Resources?

In this post, you can find different categories of resources, each one of them include my best handpicked recommendations which are either based on my own personal experience as a first-hand user or through my thorough research.

Each item comes with a brief introduction, you can click on the name to go to their official website directly.

I also mark down any updated discounts or special offers if they appear, such as Black Friday offers, Christmas and New Year sales, Flash Discounts and so on, so that you won’t miss their best offers to minimise your running cost.

I also put my review link if I have a review post for any one of them, so that you can get my in-depth insights for the pros and cons, the reason why I recommend it. And I will constantly add more reviews.

Bookmark this post to your favorites, come back and check for any new updates. 

My goal is for you to easily find what you are looking for, have a full picture when it comes to decision making, at the right time. So that you can save your energy from all clueless but countless sign up, avoid the trouble of having your inbox filled up.

These recommendations help many successful online entrepreneurs to optimize their time and money wisely, working efficiently and gaining more profit, every day. You can do the same too.

Without further ado, here’s the list ! Time to re-envisage the list of must-have tools and resources to develop and scale your online businesses now!

 

 

Beginner-Friendly Responsive Website Builders with Hosting Service

Let’s see the Wikipedia’s definition for Website Builders:

Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without manual code editing.

What that means is, it allows you to build a website without any coding experience, just by using the pre-built themes and the drag and drop function, then you can easily input your own content and images. It is the most beginner friendly and fastest way to build a website that looks like it was designed by a professional.

There are 2 main types of website builders, they are online and offline.

The offline website builder is like a “website design software” that is often used by website designers for managing more than one client and hosting platform.

While the online website builders usually come with hosting services as a package, it is a relatively cheap and easy way to build websites because you can do it all yourself for a low monthly subscription fee. Thus, it is a very popular option for online entrepreneurs to run their business websites and blogs.

Before I jump into my recommendations, let me clarify the confusion some of you may have related to WordPress.

  • WordPress is NOT a website builder.
  • WordPress is a Content Management System (as known as CMS).

The big difference is a CMS provides more flexibility but has a learning curve, while website builders are less flexible but easier to use. For WordPress theme recommendations, please check the next category.

Okay, here is my hand-picked list of several top online website builders with hosting services:

 

Recent Offers: Stringingly Black Friday Offer 2020

Recent Offers: N/A

Free website builder for everyone, regardless of website development experience, no coding or design skills are needed. It claims that users can build a beautiful and responsive website in under 30 minutes.

All Strikingly sites include a fully-managed, high performance cloud hosting.

Strikingly Website Builder Features

It comes with full e-commerce functionality such as coupons, shipping, digital goods and so on.

Free members can publish unlimited websites under a “Strikingly.com” domain, including 500MB storage, 5GB monthly bandwidth and 24/7 support.

The cool thing here is the free plan allows you to sell one product for each website, with basic eComm functions such as adding product variations, payment gateways, shipping fees, pre-orders, and more without charging you any transaction fees.

And of course the paid plan comes with more advanced level features and more dedicated functions. ☺

Over 30 templates ready to transform for different types of websites, e.g. Business, Company, Service, Store, Startup, Portfolio, Organization, Personal, Fun, Event, Blog and Products. Click here to see how these 30 templates transformed into different purpose sites.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free – $0 forever
  • Limited – monthly, yearly and 2 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: $12/ month
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $8/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $7/ month
  • VIP – yearly, 2, 3 and 5 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: Not Available
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $49/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $43/ month\3 Years Plan billed every 3 years, $39/ month
    • 5 Years Plan billed every 5 years, $34.4/ month
  • Pro – monthly, yearly, 2, 3 and 5 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: $20/ month
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $16/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $14/ month
    • 3 Years Plan billed every 3 years, $12/ month
    • 5 Years Plan billed every 5 years, $11.2/ month

WIX

Recent Offers: N/A

A cloud-based website builder that allows you to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites via drag and drop tools. It is beginner friendly but also designed for advanced web developers.

All websites are fully responsive, with SEO optimization, SSL Certified, over 100 fonts or you can upload your own to use.

Other awesome features include: membership management, eComm stores, Online booking with payment, auto-email reminders functions and more. Check here to see WIX full features.

A total of 790+ designer-made templates for over 70 types of business are ready to use and edit, click here to discover.

Plan and Pricing

  • Free – $0 forever with WIX ads, 100s of templates, unlimited pages & top grade hosting
  • Website – Connect Domain, Combo, Unlimited and VIP
    • Connect Domain – Most Basic: €4.5/ month (with WIX brand ads)
    • Combo – for personal use: €8.5/ month
    • Unlimited – for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers use: €12.5/ month
    • VIP – First Priority Support: €24.5/ month
  • Business & eCommerce – Business Basic, Business Unlimited, Business VIP
    • Business Basic: €17/ month
    • Business Unlimited: €25 month
    • Business VIP: €35/ month

Performance-oriented WordPress Themes

First, what is WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS) that is used to build blogs and dynamic websites.

How popular is it?

  • WordPress has 61.8%* of the CMS market share — more than all other CMS systems combined (such as Shopify, Drupal, Joomla).
  • It has been downloaded over 57 Million times* since its first launch in 2003 and the number is still growing every second.
  • WordPress is available in over 100 languages and …
  • Approximately 15% of the top 100 websites in the world are using WordPress CMS, such as TED, NBC, CNN… and many Fortune 500 companies* too.

Ok, if I continue to show the facts of how popular WordPress is, the list will never end… so, let’s go back to the big data which is more relevant to you.

There are thousands of themes and over 58k plugins are available in the market.

Almost all of the WordPress Themes are very beginner and user friendly, compatible with drag-and-drop function to create the website content. Together with thousands of plugin options for the different types of service you need, it becomes the most loved website building tool and is now leading the market.

There are thousands of free and premium themes in the market ready for you to create your own website. Below are a couple of the top choices in the market that I am using and highly recommend.

Generate Press

Recent Offers: Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offers

  • Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offers Details – Save up to$40!
  • Starts:  24th November 2020
  • Ends: 2nd December 2020
  • Save Up To $40!
    • Yearly Plan:  $59 $39 /year
    • Lifetime Plan: $249 $209 /One-time payment
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 day money-back guarantee
  • Click here to get Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offer Now

One of the highest rated themes available on WordPress. It focuses on speed, security and usability, well-known for its super lightweight and SEO optimized characteristics. It claims on their homepage that their “default GeneratePress install adds less than 10kb to your page size.”

Though no demo for a free version, it includes a set of customization features and modules, allowing you to control over the colors, fonts, and the layout of your website through WordPress Customizer.

It supports the most popular page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder, working with almost any WordPress plugins, ready for over 20 translations including RTL languages, hooks and filters.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free
  • Premium
    • Yearly Plan: $59/ year, unlimited websites, 40% renewal discount every year
    • Lifetime Plan: $249 One-time Payment

OceanWP

Recent Offers: OceanWP Black Friday 2020

  • OceanWP Black Friday 2020 Offers Details – Up to 40% OFF on all packages
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: November 30th, 11:59 PM EST
  • 40% OFF for ALL Plans
    • Personal
      • Yearly License – $39 $27/ year for 1 site
        Lifetime License – $159 $111 for 1 site
    • Business
      • Yearly License – $79 $47/ year for 3 sites
      • Lifetime License – $319 $191 for 3 sites
    • Agency
      • Yearly License – $129 $77/ year for 25 sites
      • Lifetime License – $519 $311 for 25 sites
  • Apply this code on the checkout page: BFCM2020
  • Click here to get OceanWP Black Friday 2020 Offer Now

A multi-purpose WordPress theme, which is very famous for its high value free version. The free version offers the most generous number of features and demos you might usually expect to pay for.

A great variety of niche demos, with 13 demos on the Free plan, and an additional 60 demos for premium users.

One can create any website including business, blog and portfolio websites. It is highly compatible with WooCommerce meaning it is ready for eCommerce.

It works perfectly with many popular page builders, for example Elementor, Brizy, Visual Composer and Beaver Builder to give you the most flexibility.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free
  • Personal
    • Yearly License – $39/ year for 1 site
      Lifetime License – $159 for 1 site
  • Business
    • Yearly License – $79/ year for 3 sites
    • Lifetime License – $319 for 3 sites
  • Agency
    • Yearly License – $129/ year for 25 sites
    • Lifetime License – $519 for 25 sites

WordPress Basic Plugins

Some basic WordPress plugins I tested and am using now for my online business, including this website. They are very common and the most basic plugins that every WordPress site owner should have.

Elementor – WordPress Website Builder

Recent Offers: Elementor Black Friday 2020

  • Elementor Black Friday 2020 Offer Details:
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: December 2nd, 11:59 PM EST
  • 25% discount on new ‘Expert’ plans and 10% off of ‘Plus’ plans
    • Expert / For 1,000 websites 25% OFF: $199 $149/ year 
    • Plus / For 3 websites 10% OFF:  $99 $89/year
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Click here to get Elementor Black Friday Offer 2020

Elementor Black Friday 2020

The Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress Website Builders with over 5 million active installs. And it is one of my favorite recommended plugins to use for my online business website as well. I am going to tell you why briefly now but stay tuned for my comprehensive full review in the near future. ☺

Elementor is suitable for all levels of WordPress site owners, there’s no steep learning curve for beginners nor does it have unchangeable code for experts who wish to customize. It allows WordPress users to create and edit websites by using an intuitive drag and drop editor, while it also comes with advanced design features and a full open-source approach. It works perfectly with or without Gutenberg as well.

First-hand Pro users comments – why I love it?

Since I am an Elementor Pro user, I have over 100 full web page templates, over 300+ pre-designed section Blocks templates and over 90 widgets to use which definitely speed up my creation process and fit in my customization needs.

I can also create and reuse my own designed templates either for the whole page or for individual ones, e.g. the content table for each of my review posts.

One of my favorites is the built-in responsive mode which enables me to check how my content looks for different devices and to make specific individual adjustments for each device easily. Especially useful for adjusting different font size, image size, padding and margin per device, to reverse column ordering…etc.

As I mentioned before, Content is King, but how it is presented is its Queen. So, to provide a smooth browsing and navigating experience in all types of device is my basic requirement for all my website content and Elementor is my best partner to achieve this essential goal.

Another powerful feature for me is the pop-up builder, I can create almost any type of pop up with full control of when to trigger it, under what conditions and what rules.

Even an email subscription form can be created through this pop-up builder and it integrates with 12 popular marketing tools, including Mailchimp, Aweber, ConvertKit andGetResponse. Which means any form of content you received from an Elementor popup form can then directly transfer the information to your email marketing tool seamlessly.

If you are considering having a multi-language website, Elementor is your choice too, as it supports over 56 languages translation and also a Right To Left language display.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free with amazing features. Check here.
  • Personal for 1 site: $49/ year
  • Plus for 3 sites: $99 $89/year
  • Expert for 1,000 websites: $199 $149/ year 

All In One SEO Pack

Recent Offers: All In One SEO Pack AIOSEO Black Friday Offer 2020 – 60% Off

Another must have WordPress plugin is an SEO plugin, and my choice is All In One SEO Pack, if I have to choose among it and other popular options in the market.

It is the first SEO plugin for WordPress, downloaded more than 65 million times since 2007. It is one of the most popular and high reputation WordPress plugins that everyone should have, for the purpose of naturally increasing your search engine ranking.

It helps users deal with all sorts of SEO settings in a simple and centralized way, aiming to take the pain out of optimizing your website for search engines. Below are some feature highlights that are extremely helpful for me:

  • add and manage all kinds of tracking code in one single place, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Management, Social meta setting;
  • manage and update your XML Sitemap automatically whenever you have new content published, and all changes are automatically submitted to search engines;
  • manage meta tags for home page and individual post and page easily, by editing the meta title, meta description, meta keywords and social  settings in one place.

All In One SEO has not just saved me tons of time from implementing all different kinds of tracking code and adding all the necessary meta tags and social settings, but also prevents me from making mistakes by editing in html code manually.

There are many other valuable features which I will cover in my coming full review soon, or you can check back here.

Plan and Pricing:

AIOSEO Black Friday Offer 2020 Offer All In One SEO Pack Plan and Pricing


Leads Nurturing, Email Marketing And Automation Tools

I’m not sure if the data surprises you, but according to recent research, email marketing is still the number one effective way to get sales, and it is a continually growing marketing tool.

In 2019, global email users amounted to 3.9 billion users and it is expected to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023*.
That’s more than half of the world’s population.

This statistic clearly shows that email marketing is an opportunity that you shouldn’t be missing out on.

To make sure your email marketing strategy works, you need the right tools that are suitable for your specific needs, and whatever you choose, automation functionality is one of the key elements for success.

The fact is, since it is a must have function now and thanks to it getting more and more competitive among service providers, we have lots of attractive choices.

Almost all big names in the market are able to cover very similar key functions that you are looking for, including automation, pop-up form creation, landing page creation and hosting, e-commerce function, segmentation, tagging, A/B testing, responsive design, GDPR compliant …etc. The only bad thing is, this makes it more and more difficult to come to a decision.

To simplify your decision process, you should focus on considering how you are going to use it, the price and what functions you really need.

Don’t buy it just because it is at a good price that has everything. Believe me, you don’t need everything to do your email marketing, you just need what works best for you.

So, below are the brands that I highly recommended for different key reasons.

ConvertKit 

– for content creators, especially course creator and bloggers, works for any niche

Recent Offers: N/A

If your online business is one of the above types, I would recommend ConvertKit to you without a second thought.

From the beginning, they already position themselves to serve creators, and so all the features, functionality and supports are aiming to fulfill all the needs that creators are looking for. Here is what they claim in their website,

“We help creators like you earn a living online by building tools that help you grow your audience, connect with your true fans, and earn a living by selling digital products and services online.”

Unlike email marketing for eCommerce purposes, where attractive images with price tags, promotions, offers are a key to drive sales, creators use email differently.

They are keen to use more communicative and intimate approaches, and they want to use the least amount of time on marketing automation steps creation, rather focusing on what they are good at – creating conversational text content.

Check out how ConvertKit features help creators to turn their audience into subscribers and customers

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free with amazing features. Check here.
  • Creator Plan:
    • up to 1,000 subscribers $29/ month or $25/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 3,000 subscribers $49/ month or $41/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 5,000 subscribers $79/ month or $66/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 8,000 subscribers $99/ month or $83/month when you pay yearly
    • …and more, click here for the details
  • Creator Pro Plan:
    • up to 1,000 subscribers $59/ month or $50/month if pay yearly
    • up to 3,000 subscribers $59/ month or $50/month if pay yearly
    • up to 5,000 subscribers $111/ month or $93/month if pay yearly
    • up to 8,000 subscribers $139/ month or $116/month if pay yearly
    • …and more, click here for the details

GetResponse 

– doesn’t just provide typical email automation functions but gives you integrated solutions with the most comprehensive all-in-one marketing features

Recent Offers: GetResponse Black Friday 2020 Offer – Save up to 40% off for any Plan!

 
  • GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020 Details: Get up to 40% OFF any plan!
  • There will only be 2,020 accounts offered with this discount.
  • Starts: 24th November 2020
  • Ends: 30th November 2020 Monday
  • Up to 40% discount for all plans
    • Basic Yearly Plan – Email marketing Autoresponders Unlimited landing pages
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $11 $9/ month
    • Plus Yearly Plan – Everything in Basic and Automation builder Webinars (max 100 attendees)
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $49 $34/ month
    • Professional Yearly Plan – Everything in Plus and Web push notifications NEW Unlimited automation
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $99 $69/ month
  • For more subscribers and payment plans, click here
  • Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
  • Click here to get GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020

It is famous for its comprehensive solutions for all types of marketer needs – such as online marketers, entrepreneurs, marketing managers or accompanies of all sizes.

They also have the most cross-over marketing features: email marketing with transaction functions, sales and lead magnet conversion funnels setup, sign-up form hosting, marketing automation, webinars, social content and ad management and more.

One thing I love is their strongly visualized and integrated marketing automation design functions, it is not just limited to the actions that are tracked within the delivered emails, but also among the website and social media engagement. Automation by tag assignation, link clicking, event triggering, webpage visiting, purchase behavior, abandoned shopping cart all are possible to do.

Advancingly, GetResponse can become a bridge between social media and your online business, attract Facebook and Instagram users organically or even by retargeting ads to bring them back to your website, expand your audience size and reach.

But these are not the biggest reasons I love it so much. The key is in its very special function (which seems to be the only one in the market!) – email delivery time setting based on subscriber time zone and behavior. It won’t be a matter to you and you won’t even know the pain if your target audience is local or in one same time zone.

But if you are like me, your target audience is global, this is a very powerful and unique feature that will definitely win your heart at once.

Why?

Almost all marketers know that when to send out your email is crucial to affect the open rate. Not just weekday or weekend, but morning, lunch time, afternoon time or evening, they all matter. And if you dive in deeper, you would realize that different cultures have their own habits too.

I was quite disappointed and surprised that all of the email service providers that I asked lack this function.

The solution they typically give me is that you can use segmentation or tagging function to MANUALLY combine all same time zone users into one group so that you are able to set the exact delivery time. Yes, I can do it, but it would be very time consuming as my email list is growing every day.

So, when I found GetResponse had this function, tears almost came out from joy (not kidding!)

I didn’t choose it previously just because I don’t think I needed so many advanced and interactive marketing features as it offers, but as my business grows and together with this new discovery, this is now becoming my number one favorite choice.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Basic Yearly Plan – Email marketing Autoresponders Unlimited landing pages
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $11 $9/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • Plus Yearly Plan – Everything in Basic and Automation builder Webinars (max 100 attendees)
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $49 $34/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • Professional Yearly Plan – Everything in Plus and Web push notifications NEW Unlimited automation
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $99 $69/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • For more subscribers and payment plans, click here
  • Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial

Click here to get GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020


Aweber 

– the longest brand in the industry (since 1998), high reputation, loved by affiliate marketers

Recent Offers: N/A

Aweber positions itself as a powerfully simple email marketing tool, for small to medium online businesses.

Its simpler automation function is great if you just need a simple follow-up sequence set up; basic open and link-click-tagging.

That is why it is an all-time favorite for affiliate marketers. It simply fulfills the ultimate goal of sending traffic to the recommended product or service sales page through affiliate links, without any money transactions involved.

But don’t get me wrong, as the market demand keeps evolving, even though it is the oldest history email marketing brand, their features also catch the trends, such as eCommerce email marketing funnels set up, integrated with hundreds of online tools and platforms which maximize its possibility and functionality.

The thing I love about Aweber the most is their outstanding in-house support service – Simple, Direct, Effective.

It provides many different ways to ensure you get the support you need in your most comfortable way. Live chat, email, phone call, 24/7 throughout the year. My personal experience is very positive, they respond fast, precisely understand your issue and are able to solve the problem fast.

Especially if you are new in email marketing, Aweber is your best choice for its simplicity and their dedicated in-house support.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free – 0-500 subscribers. No credit card and no payment and no time restrictions.
  • Pro Monthly Plan 
    • 0-500 subscribers $19/ month
    • 501-2,500 subscribers $29/ month
    • 2,501-5,000 subscribers $49/ month
    • 5,001-10,000 subscribers $69/ month
    • 10k-25k subscribers $149/ month
  • Pro Annual Plan *Save 14.9%*
    • 0-500 subscribers $193.8/year ($16.15/ month billed annually)
    • 501-2,500 subscribers $313.8/year ($26.15/ month billed annually)
    • 2,501-5,000 subscribers $553.8/year ($46.15/ month billed annually)
    • 5,001-10,000 subscribers $793.8/ year ($66.15/ month billed annually)
    • 10k-25k subscribers $1,753.8/year ($146.15/ month billed annually)
  • Pro Quarterly Plan also available. For more subscribers and payment plans, click here

Email Leads Generation Tools

Since I just mentioned how important a role email is still playing in online business in the above section, getting leads and email subscribers are the number one goals that need to be achieved before you can start doing your awesome email marketing.

Especially since this year the pandemic started, with zero to very limited amount of in person events and trade shows available, getting leads online is in the peak of its demand and it will only continue to grow infinitely.

How to get more online leads has become a crucial matter of survival to many offline and online businesses now. The most common way to get free leads is by transforming your website or social media visitors into your email subscribers.

OptinMonster

Recent Offers: OptinMonster Black Friday 2020 – up to 60% off

One of the best lead generators WordPress Plugin, used by over 1,000,000 websites.

It converts visitors into subscribers by utilizing dynamic marketing tools, it helps in creating stunning optin forms which are proven to boost conversions.

It claims itself as a

“Powerful lead generation software that converts abandoning visitors into subscribers with our dynamic marketing tools and Exit Intent® technology.”

They have the most types of email subscription form formats compared to their competitors. Besides the usual inline forms, sidebar forms, floating bar, lightbox popup, fullscreen welcome mat, slide-in scroll box, they also have special countdown timers, content lockers, and the most fun and unique one – coupon wheels.

The forms can be triggered by the largest variety or targeting options and conditions, which are:

  • Exit-Intent® technology for eCommerce and Content marketing
  • Scroll Trigger
  • MonsterLinks™ 2-Step Opt-ins which convert any links into a double opt-in form
  • InactivitySensor™ – enable to activate disengaged visitors to turn them into subscribers
  • Timed Display Control
  • Campaign Scheduling – allows you to set a specific date and time to show the form
  • Triggered by Visits at your desired web page or section, based on visitors’ interaction, showing different forms to new and returning visitors, by geo, device, and even by the visitor’s incoming source

Click here to see OptinMonster’s full features.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Basic $14 $5.85/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!
  • Plus $30 $12.35/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!
  • Pro $47 $18.85 /month (billed annually)with Black Friday Offer!
  • Growth $80 $31.85/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!

Click here to get OptinMonster Black Friday 2020 Offer, the discount will be automatically applied to your purchase!


MailOptin

Recent Offers: MailOpin Black Friday 2020

MailOptin Black Friday 2020 / MailOptinCyber Monday 2020

If you are looking for a relatively simple option form with basic email automation features, I would suggest to go for MailOptin.

MailOptin comes with the most popular optin form designs to capture leads, and you can set email broadcasting or schedule regular posts update newsletter directly inside WordPress Admin panel.

For this website, I am using MailOptin, because I don’t have the need to use so many of the fancy features that OptinMonster provides.

It comes with an A/B testing function, and several advanced form trigger and condition settings that fit my needs with an affordable price, so it becomes my final choice after comparing all different aspects.

My comments?

So far it works very well without any bugs, and does the job as it says. No complaints at all.

Click here to see MailOtpin’s full features.

It is compatible with Elementor, and also easy to integrate with ConvertKit, Aweber, GetResponse and many other popular email automation tools in the market, and even Facebook custom audience, Google Analytics, CRM and more.

Click here to see the full list of integrations.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Standard – For 1 Site: $79/ year
  • Pro – For 3 Sites: $199/ year
  • Agency – Unlimited Sites: $299/ year

Online Business Lead Machine 

– Trusted by Over 10,000 Online Business Owners to Generate Highly Relevant Organic Leads

Recent Offers: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Week 

  • Starts:  27th November 2020
  • Ends: 6th December 2020
  • Online Business Lead Machine Black Friday 2020 Offer Detail:
    • Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint – $7 $5 (one-time payment)
    • Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass – $197 $147 (one-time payment)
  • Click here to get Online Business Lead Machine Black Friday 2020 Offer Now

This is an evergreen strategy for transforming your social media profile or page, to become a lead generation machine – capture leads and sales organically. This strategy works in the long run regardless of the newest change to Facebook ads algorithm.

There are 2 level of products –

First: Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint

It is a detailed blueprint in pdf format, to show you the mechanism and all the steps you have to capture and grow free leads and sales in social media. It is a very comprehensive but well-organized blueprint that you can follow easily, one step at a time, to set up this strategy at your own pace. Even if you are not an active social media user, you still can learn how to do it on your own.

Second: Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass

It is a masterclass with a total of 30 lessons in online training video format.

It shows you all the detailed set-up steps, and with access to all the tools, downloadable raw materials and templates you need to implement the strategy, without any extra cost.

The Masterclass gives you a clearer and faster way to start getting free leads and sales every single day, it is a shortcut to achieve the same goal that the blueprint teaches you.

Once you pay for either only the blueprint, or together with the masterclass, they are all yours. You have the access forever, whenever you want. NO OTHER EXTRA COST.

You no longer need to depend on only the non-stop money investment ever again of paying for ads to get leads. It frees your mind from the worry about any new ad rules changes and the struggle with Facebook to resume your Facebook ad account again just because you violated their new ad policy.

This is why over 10,000 online business owners and marketers love the Online Business Lead Machine so much.

So, if you have the budget, (especially if you are spending social media ads regularly), I would recommend getting the Masterclass.

But otherwise, just get the blueprint for its affordable price first (only $7). Even just with this product itself, you will get all the knowledge, information, and steps you have to do and where to get the resources on your own.

Plan and Pricing:

  • First product: Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint – $7
  • Second Product: Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass (forever membership access, one-time payment) – $197

Online English Grammar and Writing Assistant

An English grammar and writing assistant that helps you to correct your English writing mistakes (grammar, typos, sentence structure), to improve both accuracy and efficiency with your English writing tasks, making your text more readable. You can increase conciseness and confidence levels automatically, making you sound more professional in your online copy.

Grammarly  Grammarly Logo

Grammarly correcting instant grammar checker

Recent Offers: N/A

Grammarly automatically detects over 250 types of grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, tone and style mistakes in writing. It gives you customized writing and correction suggestions based on your goals and audience set up at the beginning, and you can always apply the suggestion with just one simple click.

Grammarly supports both Mac and PC as a desktop editor; iOS and Android as a mobile app. It is available as a web editor for browser extensions such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. It integrates with your social media platforms, MS Office and Outlook.

List of supported platforms: Gmail, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, Yahoo, Slack, Google Docs, Jira, Salesforce, Medium, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

Grammarly list of supported platforms

It comes with many handy features, such as the fact you can simply drag a file you would like to proofread into Grammarly, or download and use the Grammarly Keyboard apps for your phone.

Plagiarism detection function to check the writing against over 16 billion web pages.

Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Plan and Pricing: 3 subscriptions types

  • Free – Basic writing suggestions. Try it now
  • Premium – Style, tone, and clarity improvements for writing at work and school.
    • Price:
      • Annual Plan: $139.95 per year (=$11.66/ month)
      • Quarterly Plan: $59.95 per quarter (=$19.98 / month)
      • Monthly Plan: $29.95/ month
  • Business – Professional and clear communication for teams of 3 to 149.
    • Price: $12.50/ member / month for up to 149 members

Grammarly Plan and Pricing


Ginger Software  Ginger Software logo

Recent Offers: Ginger Software Black Friday 2020

  • Ginger Software Black Friday 2020 Offer Details: 70% OFF for ALL Plans
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: December 2nd, 11:59 PM EST
  • 70% OFF for ALL Plans
    • Monthly Plan:  $29.96 $8.98 /month
    • Annual Plan: $12.48 $3.74 /month (Billed as one payment of $44.88)
    • Two years Plan: $9.99 $2.99 /month (Billed as one payment of $71.76)
  • Click here to get Ginger Software Black Friday 2020 Offer Now

Ginger software targets native English speakers and users of English as a Second Language (ESL).

It is not just a grammar checker, but also a contextual-based writing correction tool, meaning it does not only analyze the text at the level of the word, but also the sentence as a whole.

It comes with complementary writing tools like translation for over 50 different languages, definition, contextual synonyms and sentence rephraser.

Furthermore, it has a very unique learning feature: English Personal Trainer. It is a personalized English learning program with engaging English lessons and quizzes based on the user’s very own mistakes.

Some other special features include,

“Text Reader”, which listens to your written text and then reads it back to you, to give you a refreshed perspective of your overall writing by listening.

“Emoji selection” – hundreds of emojis are available to add in your writing using Ginger Software easily.

 “Ginger Define”, is a built-in Dictionary feature which gives you the full definition of a word and finds synonyms for it.

It supports Desktop, Microsoft Office®, Windows, Mac, Chrome, Safari, Android and iOS.

Compatible with: Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Whatsapp, Twitter, Slack, WordPress, Microsoft Office®, Outlook, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack.

Ginger Integration list

Plan and Pricing: 3 subscriptions types

  • Free
  • Premium
    • Price:
      • Two Years Plan: $239.76 for 2 years (=$9.99/ month)
      • Annual Plan: $149.76 per year (=$12.48/ month)
      • Monthly Plan: $29.96/ month
  • Ginger for Business – Minimum of 3 to a maximum of 100.
    • Price:
      • $9.99/member /month for up to 100 members
  • Money-back guarantee: A 7-day 100% refund of your purchase price! On all plans for first time purchasers.

Ginger Software Features - openup-opportunities.com


Final Thought – How Do I Scale My Business to the Next Level Now?

That is the end of the list – at the moment.

As I mentioned earlier, to fully utilize this list of recommended resources,

“Bookmark this post to your favorite, come back anytime and check for any new updates. Or sign up here to get notification whenever there’s a new update.”

With proper use of these tools, you can amplify and enhance your online business with better control over brand, content and presentation. Most importantly, to do it more time-and-cost efficiently without sacrificing the quality.

But one thing you need to pay attention is, there’s always a learning curve when you start to use something new.

So, when you are not able to know how to use them all at once, don’t get frustrated and confused, it is completely normal.

Every successful online entrepreneur has been through the same struggles to a different extent.

Just like me, I’ve been working in the online industry for over 10 years, serving all sizes of customers and companies to develop their online business every day. But still, once in a while, there are new trends and tools that pop up on the market. I still need to take time to learn, to use and to master them.

There’s always something new to learn.

One thing may surprise you.

Most of the successful online business owners, even if they are good at all of the tools they have to use, they won’t do it all on their own.

Because they know the truth that maintaining a low running cost is important, but productivity level is also another influential factor to determine how much profit they gain and how fast they can earn it.

Time and money are not necessarily in conflict with each other, the key is how to find a balance wisely by figuring out your own successful formula:

when, where and how to invest time and money to shorten the production time and maximize the profit.

So, what is the secret weapon for these successful business owners?

Outsourcing.

It is not necessary to outsource all of the work to become successful online (of course you can if you wish and able to afford it!), the key here is to outsource wisely.

I am going to write a post to share the wisdom of outsourcing to become successful online.

By the end of the post, you will be able to work out your very own formula,

  • when and what tasks you should do on your own or outsource,
  • where and how to find the right people to work with you as long-term partners.

So, stay tuned with me, and come back later to see if my post is ready.

Whenever it is your first time to set up your online business or you are continually developing it, you must realize that it is not as easy as you think – just focus on creating the content that you are confident and good at – but there are many other areas that are influential and cannot be ignored. Just like my previous post, Content is King, Then, How it’s Presented is its Queen, demonstrates how Content and Presentation are equally important. Things like website management, user interface optimization, image and graphic design, marketing budget and launching plan, social media posts, SEO, leads generation, email nurturing, video creation and publication… for each of this area, choosing the suitable platform for your online business could be a huge headache for you. There are so many of them with different pricing models but similar features which are almost the same except their brand names. I know how frustrating and overwhelming it could be, because I’ve been there before (and still struggling when I explore something new from time to time).

My Struggles Building Up My Online Business (Probably Yours Too!)

I still remember clearly, when I took the first essential step to build my online empire – choosing a WordPress theme for my first business website (which is this one you are visiting), it took me almost a week to get it done! I had to do my own research from scratch, reading endless reviews from different websites to enable my shortlist and comparing the pros and cons, installing themes over themes to test the user interface and functionality, before I was able to make a final informed decision. But now, if you ask me the same question, “Which WordPress theme should I use?”, I could answer almost straight away with the right choice, based on your type of online business and how you are going to manage it, without a second of hesitation. I know how much we wish to have an expert sit next to us whenever we need to make a new decision like this, to give us specific consultation, thus saving us time and making us confident of our choice. But we know it will be costly. What if we could at least know the secret resources that successful entrepreneurs use to grow and scale their online business efficiently and so profitably? I wish I could have that secret weapon but there’s no such integrated list when I got started, so I began to compile up a top list of the essential online tools and resources for my own reference during my online business journey and it became so convenient when I served my clients. Month after month, the list accumulated and the content became so rich and abundant, to the point that I thought it could be something useful if I were to share this valuable information with others too. So, that’s how I decided to create this post.

How To Read And Fully Utilize This List Of Recommended Resources?

In this post, you can find different categories of resources, each one of them include my best handpicked recommendations which are either based on my own personal experience as a first-hand user or through my thorough research. Each item comes with a brief introduction, you can click on the name to go to their official website directly. I also mark down any updated discounts or special offers if they appear, such as Black Friday offers, Christmas and New Year sales, Flash Discounts and so on, so that you won’t miss their best offers to minimise your running cost. I also put my review link if I have a review post for any one of them, so that you can get my in-depth insights for the pros and cons, the reason why I recommend it. And I will constantly add more reviews. Bookmark this post to your favorites, come back and check for any new updates.  My goal is for you to easily find what you are looking for, have a full picture when it comes to decision making, at the right time. So that you can save your energy from all clueless but countless sign up, avoid the trouble of having your inbox filled up. These recommendations help many successful online entrepreneurs to optimize their time and money wisely, working efficiently and gaining more profit, every day. You can do the same too. Without further ado, here’s the list ! Time to re-envisage the list of must-have tools and resources to develop and scale your online businesses now!

Table of Content – Tools and Resources Category


Beginner-Friendly Responsive Website Builders with Hosting Service

Let’s see the Wikipedia’s definition for Website Builders:
Website builders are tools that typically allow the construction of websites without manual code editing.
What that means is, it allows you to build a website without any coding experience, just by using the pre-built themes and the drag and drop function, then you can easily input your own content and images. It is the most beginner friendly and fastest way to build a website that looks like it was designed by a professional. There are 2 main types of website builders, they are online and offline. The offline website builder is like a “website design software” that is often used by website designers for managing more than one client and hosting platform. While the online website builders usually come with hosting services as a package, it is a relatively cheap and easy way to build websites because you can do it all yourself for a low monthly subscription fee. Thus, it is a very popular option for online entrepreneurs to run their business websites and blogs. Before I jump into my recommendations, let me clarify the confusion some of you may have related to WordPress.
  • WordPress is NOT a website builder.
  • WordPress is a Content Management System (as known as CMS).
The big difference is a CMS provides more flexibility but has a learning curve, while website builders are less flexible but easier to use. For WordPress theme recommendations, please check the next category. Okay, here is my hand-picked list of several top online website builders with hosting services:

Strikingly

Recent Offers: Stringingly Black Friday Offer 2020

Free website builder for everyone, regardless of website development experience, no coding or design skills are needed. It claims that users can build a beautiful and responsive website in under 30 minutes. All Strikingly sites include a fully-managed, high performance cloud hosting. Strikingly Website Builder Features It comes with full e-commerce functionality such as coupons, shipping, digital goods and so on. Free members can publish unlimited websites under a “Strikingly.com” domain, including 500MB storage, 5GB monthly bandwidth and 24/7 support. The cool thing here is the free plan allows you to sell one product for each website, with basic eComm functions such as adding product variations, payment gateways, shipping fees, pre-orders, and more without charging you any transaction fees. And of course the paid plan comes with more advanced level features and more dedicated functions. ☺ Over 30 templates ready to transform for different types of websites, e.g. Business, Company, Service, Store, Startup, Portfolio, Organization, Personal, Fun, Event, Blog and Products. Click here to see how these 30 templates transformed into different purpose sites.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free – $0 forever
  • Limited – monthly, yearly and 2 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: $12/ month
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $8/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $7/ month
  • VIP – yearly, 2, 3 and 5 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: Not Available
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $49/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $43/ month\3 Years Plan billed every 3 years, $39/ month
    • 5 Years Plan billed every 5 years, $34.4/ month
  • Pro – monthly, yearly, 2, 3 and 5 years plan
    • Monthly Plan: $20/ month
    • Yearly Plan billed yearly $16/ month
    • 2 Years Plan billed every 2 years, $14/ month
    • 3 Years Plan billed every 3 years, $12/ month
    • 5 Years Plan billed every 5 years, $11.2/ month

WIX

Recent Offers: N/A

A cloud-based website builder that allows you to create HTML5 websites and mobile sites via drag and drop tools. It is beginner friendly but also designed for advanced web developers. All websites are fully responsive, with SEO optimization, SSL Certified, over 100 fonts or you can upload your own to use. Other awesome features include: membership management, eComm stores, Online booking with payment, auto-email reminders functions and more. Check here to see WIX full features. A total of 790+ designer-made templates for over 70 types of business are ready to use and edit, click here to discover.

Plan and Pricing

  • Free – $0 forever with WIX ads, 100s of templates, unlimited pages & top grade hosting
  • Website – Connect Domain, Combo, Unlimited and VIP
    • Connect Domain – Most Basic: €4.5/ month (with WIX brand ads)
    • Combo – for personal use: €8.5/ month
    • Unlimited – for Entrepreneurs & Freelancers use: €12.5/ month
    • VIP – First Priority Support: €24.5/ month
  • Business & eCommerce – Business Basic, Business Unlimited, Business VIP
    • Business Basic: €17/ month
    • Business Unlimited: €25 month
    • Business VIP: €35/ month

Performance-oriented WordPress Themes

First, what is WordPress?

WordPress is the most popular open source Content Management System (CMS) that is used to build blogs and dynamic websites.

How popular is it?

  • WordPress has 61.8%* of the CMS market share — more than all other CMS systems combined (such as Shopify, Drupal, Joomla).
  • It has been downloaded over 57 Million times* since its first launch in 2003 and the number is still growing every second.
  • WordPress is available in over 100 languages and …
  • Approximately 15% of the top 100 websites in the world are using WordPress CMS, such as TED, NBC, CNN… and many Fortune 500 companies* too.
Ok, if I continue to show the facts of how popular WordPress is, the list will never end… so, let’s go back to the big data which is more relevant to you.

There are thousands of themes and over 58k plugins are available in the market.

Almost all of the WordPress Themes are very beginner and user friendly, compatible with drag-and-drop function to create the website content. Together with thousands of plugin options for the different types of service you need, it becomes the most loved website building tool and is now leading the market. There are thousands of free and premium themes in the market ready for you to create your own website. Below are a couple of the top choices in the market that I am using and highly recommend.

Generate Press

Recent Offers: Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offers

  • Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offers Details – Save up to$40!
  • Starts:  24th November 2020
  • Ends: 2nd December 2020
  • Save Up To $40!
    • Yearly Plan:  $59 $39 /year
    • Lifetime Plan: $249 $209 /One-time payment
  • Money-back guarantee: 30 day money-back guarantee
  • Click here to get Generate Press Black Friday 2020 Offer Now
  One of the highest rated themes available on WordPress. It focuses on speed, security and usability, well-known for its super lightweight and SEO optimized characteristics. It claims on their homepage that their “default GeneratePress install adds less than 10kb to your page size.” Though no demo for a free version, it includes a set of customization features and modules, allowing you to control over the colors, fonts, and the layout of your website through WordPress Customizer. It supports the most popular page builders such as Elementor and Beaver Builder, working with almost any WordPress plugins, ready for over 20 translations including RTL languages, hooks and filters.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free
  • Premium
    • Yearly Plan: $59/ year, unlimited websites, 40% renewal discount every year
    • Lifetime Plan: $249 One-time Payment

OceanWP

Recent Offers: OceanWP Black Friday 2020

  • OceanWP Black Friday 2020 Offers Details – Up to 40% OFF on all packages
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: November 30th, 11:59 PM EST
  • 40% OFF for ALL Plans
    • Personal
      • Yearly License – $39 $27/ year for 1 site Lifetime License – $159 $111 for 1 site
    • Business
      • Yearly License – $79 $47/ year for 3 sites
      • Lifetime License – $319 $191 for 3 sites
    • Agency
      • Yearly License – $129 $77/ year for 25 sites
      • Lifetime License – $519 $311 for 25 sites
  • Apply this code on the checkout page: BFCM2020
  • Click here to get OceanWP Black Friday 2020 Offer Now
  A multi-purpose WordPress theme, which is very famous for its high value free version. The free version offers the most generous number of features and demos you might usually expect to pay for. A great variety of niche demos, with 13 demos on the Free plan, and an additional 60 demos for premium users. One can create any website including business, blog and portfolio websites. It is highly compatible with WooCommerce meaning it is ready for eCommerce. It works perfectly with many popular page builders, for example Elementor, Brizy, Visual Composer and Beaver Builder to give you the most flexibility.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free
  • Personal
    • Yearly License – $39/ year for 1 site Lifetime License – $159 for 1 site
  • Business
    • Yearly License – $79/ year for 3 sites
    • Lifetime License – $319 for 3 sites
  • Agency
    • Yearly License – $129/ year for 25 sites
    • Lifetime License – $519 for 25 sites

WordPress Basic Plugins

Some basic WordPress plugins I tested and am using now for my online business, including this website. They are very common and the most basic plugins that every WordPress site owner should have.

Elementor – WordPress Website Builder

Recent Offers: Elementor Black Friday 2020

  • Elementor Black Friday 2020 Offer Details:
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: December 2nd, 11:59 PM EST
  • 25% discount on new ‘Expert’ plans and 10% off of ‘Plus’ plans
    • Expert / For 1,000 websites 25% OFF: $199 $149/ year 
    • Plus / For 3 websites 10% OFF:  $99 $89/year
  • Money-Back Guarantee: 30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
  • Click here to get Elementor Black Friday Offer 2020
Elementor Black Friday 2020 The Elementor is one of the most popular WordPress Website Builders with over 5 million active installs. And it is one of my favorite recommended plugins to use for my online business website as well. I am going to tell you why briefly now but stay tuned for my comprehensive full review in the near future. ☺ Elementor is suitable for all levels of WordPress site owners, there’s no steep learning curve for beginners nor does it have unchangeable code for experts who wish to customize. It allows WordPress users to create and edit websites by using an intuitive drag and drop editor, while it also comes with advanced design features and a full open-source approach. It works perfectly with or without Gutenberg as well.

First-hand Pro users comments – why I love it?

Since I am an Elementor Pro user, I have over 100 full web page templates, over 300+ pre-designed section Blocks templates and over 90 widgets to use which definitely speed up my creation process and fit in my customization needs. I can also create and reuse my own designed templates either for the whole page or for individual ones, e.g. the content table for each of my review posts. One of my favorites is the built-in responsive mode which enables me to check how my content looks for different devices and to make specific individual adjustments for each device easily. Especially useful for adjusting different font size, image size, padding and margin per device, to reverse column ordering…etc. As I mentioned before, Content is King, but how it is presented is its Queen. So, to provide a smooth browsing and navigating experience in all types of device is my basic requirement for all my website content and Elementor is my best partner to achieve this essential goal. Another powerful feature for me is the pop-up builder, I can create almost any type of pop up with full control of when to trigger it, under what conditions and what rules. Even an email subscription form can be created through this pop-up builder and it integrates with 12 popular marketing tools, including Mailchimp, Aweber, ConvertKit andGetResponse. Which means any form of content you received from an Elementor popup form can then directly transfer the information to your email marketing tool seamlessly. If you are considering having a multi-language website, Elementor is your choice too, as it supports over 56 languages translation and also a Right To Left language display.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free with amazing features. Check here.
  • Personal for 1 site: $49/ year
  • Plus for 3 sites: $99 $89/year
  • Expert for 1,000 websites: $199 $149/ year 

All In One SEO Pack

Recent Offers: All In One SEO Pack AIOSEO Black Friday Offer 2020 – 60% Off

Another must have WordPress plugin is an SEO plugin, and my choice is All In One SEO Pack, if I have to choose among it and other popular options in the market. It is the first SEO plugin for WordPress, downloaded more than 65 million times since 2007. It is one of the most popular and high reputation WordPress plugins that everyone should have, for the purpose of naturally increasing your search engine ranking. It helps users deal with all sorts of SEO settings in a simple and centralized way, aiming to take the pain out of optimizing your website for search engines. Below are some feature highlights that are extremely helpful for me:
  • add and manage all kinds of tracking code in one single place, such as Google Analytics, Google Search Console, Google Tag Management, Social meta setting;
  • manage and update your XML Sitemap automatically whenever you have new content published, and all changes are automatically submitted to search engines;
  • manage meta tags for home page and individual post and page easily, by editing the meta title, meta description, meta keywords and social  settings in one place.
All In One SEO has not just saved me tons of time from implementing all different kinds of tracking code and adding all the necessary meta tags and social settings, but also prevents me from making mistakes by editing in html code manually. There are many other valuable features which I will cover in my coming full review soon, or you can check back here.

Plan and Pricing:

AIOSEO Black Friday Offer 2020 Offer All In One SEO Pack Plan and Pricing

Leads Nurturing, Email Marketing And Automation Tools

I’m not sure if the data surprises you, but according to recent research, email marketing is still the number one effective way to get sales, and it is a continually growing marketing tool. In 2019, global email users amounted to 3.9 billion users and it is expected to grow to 4.3 billion users in 2023*. That’s more than half of the world’s population. This statistic clearly shows that email marketing is an opportunity that you shouldn’t be missing out on. To make sure your email marketing strategy works, you need the right tools that are suitable for your specific needs, and whatever you choose, automation functionality is one of the key elements for success. The fact is, since it is a must have function now and thanks to it getting more and more competitive among service providers, we have lots of attractive choices. Almost all big names in the market are able to cover very similar key functions that you are looking for, including automation, pop-up form creation, landing page creation and hosting, e-commerce function, segmentation, tagging, A/B testing, responsive design, GDPR compliant …etc. The only bad thing is, this makes it more and more difficult to come to a decision. To simplify your decision process, you should focus on considering how you are going to use it, the price and what functions you really need. Don’t buy it just because it is at a good price that has everything. Believe me, you don’t need everything to do your email marketing, you just need what works best for you. So, below are the brands that I highly recommended for different key reasons.

ConvertKit 

– for content creators, especially course creator and bloggers, works for any niche

Recent Offers: N/A

If your online business is one of the above types, I would recommend ConvertKit to you without a second thought. From the beginning, they already position themselves to serve creators, and so all the features, functionality and supports are aiming to fulfill all the needs that creators are looking for. Here is what they claim in their website, “We help creators like you earn a living online by building tools that help you grow your audience, connect with your true fans, and earn a living by selling digital products and services online.” Unlike email marketing for eCommerce purposes, where attractive images with price tags, promotions, offers are a key to drive sales, creators use email differently. They are keen to use more communicative and intimate approaches, and they want to use the least amount of time on marketing automation steps creation, rather focusing on what they are good at – creating conversational text content. Check out how ConvertKit features help creators to turn their audience into subscribers and customers

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free with amazing features. Check here.
  • Creator Plan:
    • up to 1,000 subscribers $29/ month or $25/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 3,000 subscribers $49/ month or $41/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 5,000 subscribers $79/ month or $66/month when you pay yearly
    • up to 8,000 subscribers $99/ month or $83/month when you pay yearly
    • …and more, click here for the details
  • Creator Pro Plan:
    • up to 1,000 subscribers $59/ month or $50/month if pay yearly
    • up to 3,000 subscribers $59/ month or $50/month if pay yearly
    • up to 5,000 subscribers $111/ month or $93/month if pay yearly
    • up to 8,000 subscribers $139/ month or $116/month if pay yearly
    • …and more, click here for the details

GetResponse 

– doesn’t just provide typical email automation functions but gives you integrated solutions with the most comprehensive all-in-one marketing features

Recent Offers: GetResponse Black Friday 2020 Offer – Save up to 40% off for any Plan!

  • GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020 Details: Get up to 40% OFF any plan!
  • There will only be 2,020 accounts offered with this discount.
  • Starts: 24th November 2020
  • Ends: 30th November 2020 Monday
  • Up to 40% discount for all plans
    • Basic Yearly Plan – Email marketing Autoresponders Unlimited landing pages
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $11 $9/ month
    • Plus Yearly Plan – Everything in Basic and Automation builder Webinars (max 100 attendees)
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $49 $34/ month
    • Professional Yearly Plan – Everything in Plus and Web push notifications NEW Unlimited automation
      • Up to 1,000 subscribers $99 $69/ month
  • For more subscribers and payment plans, click here
  • Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
  • Click here to get GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020
It is famous for its comprehensive solutions for all types of marketer needs – such as online marketers, entrepreneurs, marketing managers or accompanies of all sizes. They also have the most cross-over marketing features: email marketing with transaction functions, sales and lead magnet conversion funnels setup, sign-up form hosting, marketing automation, webinars, social content and ad management and more. One thing I love is their strongly visualized and integrated marketing automation design functions, it is not just limited to the actions that are tracked within the delivered emails, but also among the website and social media engagement. Automation by tag assignation, link clicking, event triggering, webpage visiting, purchase behavior, abandoned shopping cart all are possible to do. Advancingly, GetResponse can become a bridge between social media and your online business, attract Facebook and Instagram users organically or even by retargeting ads to bring them back to your website, expand your audience size and reach. But these are not the biggest reasons I love it so much. The key is in its very special function (which seems to be the only one in the market!) – email delivery time setting based on subscriber time zone and behavior. It won’t be a matter to you and you won’t even know the pain if your target audience is local or in one same time zone. But if you are like me, your target audience is global, this is a very powerful and unique feature that will definitely win your heart at once. Why? Almost all marketers know that when to send out your email is crucial to affect the open rate. Not just weekday or weekend, but morning, lunch time, afternoon time or evening, they all matter. And if you dive in deeper, you would realize that different cultures have their own habits too. I was quite disappointed and surprised that all of the email service providers that I asked lack this function. The solution they typically give me is that you can use segmentation or tagging function to MANUALLY combine all same time zone users into one group so that you are able to set the exact delivery time. Yes, I can do it, but it would be very time consuming as my email list is growing every day. So, when I found GetResponse had this function, tears almost came out from joy (not kidding!) I didn’t choose it previously just because I don’t think I needed so many advanced and interactive marketing features as it offers, but as my business grows and together with this new discovery, this is now becoming my number one favorite choice.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Basic Yearly Plan – Email marketing Autoresponders Unlimited landing pages
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $11 $9/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • Plus Yearly Plan – Everything in Basic and Automation builder Webinars (max 100 attendees)
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $49 $34/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • Professional Yearly Plan – Everything in Plus and Web push notifications NEW Unlimited automation
    • Up to 1,000 subscribers $99 $69/ month with Black Friday Offer!
  • For more subscribers and payment plans, click here
  • Free Trial: 30-Day Free Trial
Click here to get GetResponse Black Friday Offer 2020

Aweber 

– the longest brand in the industry (since 1998), high reputation, loved by affiliate marketers

Recent Offers: N/A

Aweber positions itself as a powerfully simple email marketing tool, for small to medium online businesses. Its simpler automation function is great if you just need a simple follow-up sequence set up; basic open and link-click-tagging. That is why it is an all-time favorite for affiliate marketers. It simply fulfills the ultimate goal of sending traffic to the recommended product or service sales page through affiliate links, without any money transactions involved. But don’t get me wrong, as the market demand keeps evolving, even though it is the oldest history email marketing brand, their features also catch the trends, such as eCommerce email marketing funnels set up, integrated with hundreds of online tools and platforms which maximize its possibility and functionality. The thing I love about Aweber the most is their outstanding in-house support service – Simple, Direct, Effective. It provides many different ways to ensure you get the support you need in your most comfortable way. Live chat, email, phone call, 24/7 throughout the year. My personal experience is very positive, they respond fast, precisely understand your issue and are able to solve the problem fast. Especially if you are new in email marketing, Aweber is your best choice for its simplicity and their dedicated in-house support.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Free – 0-500 subscribers. No credit card and no payment and no time restrictions.
  • Pro Monthly Plan 
    • 0-500 subscribers $19/ month
    • 501-2,500 subscribers $29/ month
    • 2,501-5,000 subscribers $49/ month
    • 5,001-10,000 subscribers $69/ month
    • 10k-25k subscribers $149/ month
  • Pro Annual Plan *Save 14.9%*
    • 0-500 subscribers $193.8/year ($16.15/ month billed annually)
    • 501-2,500 subscribers $313.8/year ($26.15/ month billed annually)
    • 2,501-5,000 subscribers $553.8/year ($46.15/ month billed annually)
    • 5,001-10,000 subscribers $793.8/ year ($66.15/ month billed annually)
    • 10k-25k subscribers $1,753.8/year ($146.15/ month billed annually)
  • Pro Quarterly Plan also available. For more subscribers and payment plans, click here

Email Leads Generation Tools

Since I just mentioned how important a role email is still playing in online business in the above section, getting leads and email subscribers are the number one goals that need to be achieved before you can start doing your awesome email marketing. Especially since this year the pandemic started, with zero to very limited amount of in person events and trade shows available, getting leads online is in the peak of its demand and it will only continue to grow infinitely. How to get more online leads has become a crucial matter of survival to many offline and online businesses now. The most common way to get free leads is by transforming your website or social media visitors into your email subscribers.

OptinMonster

Recent Offers: OptinMonster Black Friday 2020 – up to 60% off

One of the best lead generators WordPress Plugin, used by over 1,000,000 websites. It converts visitors into subscribers by utilizing dynamic marketing tools, it helps in creating stunning optin forms which are proven to boost conversions. It claims itself as a
“Powerful lead generation software that converts abandoning visitors into subscribers with our dynamic marketing tools and Exit Intent® technology.”
They have the most types of email subscription form formats compared to their competitors. Besides the usual inline forms, sidebar forms, floating bar, lightbox popup, fullscreen welcome mat, slide-in scroll box, they also have special countdown timers, content lockers, and the most fun and unique one – coupon wheels. The forms can be triggered by the largest variety or targeting options and conditions, which are:
  • Exit-Intent® technology for eCommerce and Content marketing
  • Scroll Trigger
  • MonsterLinks™ 2-Step Opt-ins which convert any links into a double opt-in form
  • InactivitySensor™ – enable to activate disengaged visitors to turn them into subscribers
  • Timed Display Control
  • Campaign Scheduling – allows you to set a specific date and time to show the form
  • Triggered by Visits at your desired web page or section, based on visitors’ interaction, showing different forms to new and returning visitors, by geo, device, and even by the visitor’s incoming source
Click here to see OptinMonster’s full features.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Basic $14 $5.85/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!
  • Plus $30 $12.35/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!
  • Pro $47 $18.85 /month (billed annually)with Black Friday Offer!
  • Growth $80 $31.85/month (billed annually) with Black Friday Offer!
Click here to get OptinMonster Black Friday 2020 Offer, the discount will be automatically applied to your purchase!

MailOptin

Recent Offers: MailOpin Black Friday 2020

MailOptin Black Friday 2020 / MailOptinCyber Monday 2020 If you are looking for a relatively simple option form with basic email automation features, I would suggest to go for MailOptin. MailOptin comes with the most popular optin form designs to capture leads, and you can set email broadcasting or schedule regular posts update newsletter directly inside WordPress Admin panel. For this website, I am using MailOptin, because I don’t have the need to use so many of the fancy features that OptinMonster provides. It comes with an A/B testing function, and several advanced form trigger and condition settings that fit my needs with an affordable price, so it becomes my final choice after comparing all different aspects. My comments? So far it works very well without any bugs, and does the job as it says. No complaints at all. Click here to see MailOtpin’s full features. It is compatible with Elementor, and also easy to integrate with ConvertKit, Aweber, GetResponse and many other popular email automation tools in the market, and even Facebook custom audience, Google Analytics, CRM and more. Click here to see the full list of integrations.

Plan and Pricing:

  • Standard – For 1 Site: $79/ year
  • Pro – For 3 Sites: $199/ year
  • Agency – Unlimited Sites: $299/ year

Online Business Lead Machine 

– Trusted by Over 10,000 Online Business Owners to Generate Highly Relevant Organic Leads

Recent Offers: Black Friday and Cyber Monday Week 

  • Starts:  27th November 2020
  • Ends: 6th December 2020
  • Online Business Lead Machine Black Friday 2020 Offer Detail:
    • Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint – $7 $5 (one-time payment)
    • Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass – $197 $147 (one-time payment)
  • Click here to get Online Business Lead Machine Black Friday 2020 Offer Now
This is an evergreen strategy for transforming your social media profile or page, to become a lead generation machine – capture leads and sales organically. This strategy works in the long run regardless of the newest change to Facebook ads algorithm. There are 2 level of products – First: Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint It is a detailed blueprint in pdf format, to show you the mechanism and all the steps you have to capture and grow free leads and sales in social media. It is a very comprehensive but well-organized blueprint that you can follow easily, one step at a time, to set up this strategy at your own pace. Even if you are not an active social media user, you still can learn how to do it on your own. Second: Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass It is a masterclass with a total of 30 lessons in online training video format. It shows you all the detailed set-up steps, and with access to all the tools, downloadable raw materials and templates you need to implement the strategy, without any extra cost. The Masterclass gives you a clearer and faster way to start getting free leads and sales every single day, it is a shortcut to achieve the same goal that the blueprint teaches you. Once you pay for either only the blueprint, or together with the masterclass, they are all yours. You have the access forever, whenever you want. NO OTHER EXTRA COST. You no longer need to depend on only the non-stop money investment ever again of paying for ads to get leads. It frees your mind from the worry about any new ad rules changes and the struggle with Facebook to resume your Facebook ad account again just because you violated their new ad policy. This is why over 10,000 online business owners and marketers love the Online Business Lead Machine so much. So, if you have the budget, (especially if you are spending social media ads regularly), I would recommend getting the Masterclass. But otherwise, just get the blueprint for its affordable price first (only $7). Even just with this product itself, you will get all the knowledge, information, and steps you have to do and where to get the resources on your own.

Plan and Pricing:

  • First product: Online Business Lead Machine Blueprint – $7
  • Second Product: Online Business Lead Machine Masterclass (forever membership access, one-time payment) – $197

Online English Grammar and Writing Assistant

An English grammar and writing assistant that helps you to correct your English writing mistakes (grammar, typos, sentence structure), to improve both accuracy and efficiency with your English writing tasks, making your text more readable. You can increase conciseness and confidence levels automatically, making you sound more professional in your online copy.

Grammarly  Grammarly Logo

Grammarly correcting instant grammar checker

Recent Offers: N/A

Grammarly automatically detects over 250 types of grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, tone and style mistakes in writing. It gives you customized writing and correction suggestions based on your goals and audience set up at the beginning, and you can always apply the suggestion with just one simple click. Grammarly supports both Mac and PC as a desktop editor; iOS and Android as a mobile app. It is available as a web editor for browser extensions such as Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Edge. It integrates with your social media platforms, MS Office and Outlook. List of supported platforms: Gmail, Outlook, Facebook Messenger, Yahoo, Slack, Google Docs, Jira, Salesforce, Medium, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Grammarly list of supported platforms It comes with many handy features, such as the fact you can simply drag a file you would like to proofread into Grammarly, or download and use the Grammarly Keyboard apps for your phone. Plagiarism detection function to check the writing against over 16 billion web pages. Grammarly Plagiarism Checker

Plan and Pricing: 3 subscriptions types

  • Free – Basic writing suggestions. Try it now
  • Premium – Style, tone, and clarity improvements for writing at work and school.
    • Price:
      • Annual Plan: $139.95 per year (=$11.66/ month)
      • Quarterly Plan: $59.95 per quarter (=$19.98 / month)
      • Monthly Plan: $29.95/ month
  • Business – Professional and clear communication for teams of 3 to 149.
    • Price: $12.50/ member / month for up to 149 members
Grammarly Plan and Pricing

Ginger Software  Ginger Software logo

Recent Offers: Ginger Software Black Friday 2020

  • Ginger Software Black Friday 2020 Offer Details: 70% OFF for ALL Plans
  • Starts: November 24th, 07:00 AM EST
  • Ends: December 2nd, 11:59 PM EST
  • 70% OFF for ALL Plans
    • Monthly Plan:  $29.96 $8.98 /month
    • Annual Plan: $12.48 $3.74 /month (Billed as one payment of $44.88)
    • Two years Plan: $9.99 $2.99 /month (Billed as one payment of $71.76)
  • Click here to get Ginger Software Black Friday 2020 Offer Now
Ginger software targets native English speakers and users of English as a Second Language (ESL). It is not just a grammar checker, but also a contextual-based writing correction tool, meaning it does not only analyze the text at the level of the word, but also the sentence as a whole. It comes with complementary writing tools like translation for over 50 different languages, definition, contextual synonyms and sentence rephraser. Furthermore, it has a very unique learning feature: English Personal Trainer. It is a personalized English learning program with engaging English lessons and quizzes based on the user’s very own mistakes. Some other special features include, “Text Reader”, which listens to your written text and then reads it back to you, to give you a refreshed perspective of your overall writing by listening. “Emoji selection” – hundreds of emojis are available to add in your writing using Ginger Software easily.  “Ginger Define”, is a built-in Dictionary feature which gives you the full definition of a word and finds synonyms for it. It supports Desktop, Microsoft Office®, Windows, Mac, Chrome, Safari, Android and iOS. Compatible with: Facebook, LinkedIn, Gmail, Whatsapp, Twitter, Slack, WordPress, Microsoft Office®, Outlook, Salesforce, Zendesk, Slack. Ginger Integration list

Plan and Pricing: 3 subscriptions types

  • Free
  • Premium
    • Price:
      • Two Years Plan: $239.76 for 2 years (=$9.99/ month)
      • Annual Plan: $149.76 per year (=$12.48/ month)
      • Monthly Plan: $29.96/ month
  • Ginger for Business – Minimum of 3 to a maximum of 100.
    • Price:
      • $9.99/member /month for up to 100 members
  • Money-back guarantee: A 7-day 100% refund of your purchase price! On all plans for first time purchasers.
Ginger Software Features - openup-opportunities.com

Final Thought – How Do I Scale My Business to the Next Level Now?

That is the end of the list – at the moment. As I mentioned earlier, to fully utilize this list of recommended resources, “Bookmark this post to your favorite, come back anytime and check for any new updates. Or sign up here to get notification whenever there’s a new update.” With proper use of these tools, you can amplify and enhance your online business with better control over brand, content and presentation. Most importantly, to do it more time-and-cost efficiently without sacrificing the quality. But one thing you need to pay attention is, there’s always a learning curve when you start to use something new. So, when you are not able to know how to use them all at once, don’t get frustrated and confused, it is completely normal. Every successful online entrepreneur has been through the same struggles to a different extent. Just like me, I’ve been working in the online industry for over 10 years, serving all sizes of customers and companies to develop their online business every day. But still, once in a while, there are new trends and tools that pop up on the market. I still need to take time to learn, to use and to master them. There’s always something new to learn. One thing may surprise you. Most of the successful online business owners, even if they are good at all of the tools they have to use, they won’t do it all on their own. Because they know the truth that maintaining a low running cost is important, but productivity level is also another influential factor to determine how much profit they gain and how fast they can earn it. Time and money are not necessarily in conflict with each other, the key is how to find a balance wisely by figuring out your own successful formula: when, where and how to invest time and money to shorten the production time and maximize the profit. So, what is the secret weapon for these successful business owners? Outsourcing. It is not necessary to outsource all of the work to become successful online (of course you can if you wish and able to afford it!), the key here is to outsource wisely. I am going to write a post to share the wisdom of outsourcing to become successful online. By the end of the post, you will be able to work out your very own formula,
  • when and what tasks you should do on your own or outsource,
  • where and how to find the right people to work with you as long-term partners.
So, stay tuned with me, and come back later to see if my post is ready.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Nelson david

    Hello there,  Thanks for sharing this awesome article I must you really did a great job in putting this one together and I know it would be of great help to the public as it has been of help to me… I would apply this tips toy business and I hope to see drastic changes.

  2. Babakes

    I just feel this article is actually talking to me. I can see all my problemsright on my screen and the solutions.  It is really overwhelming to do this without help.  And I am so glad I came in contact with this article. I also like the advise you gave on bookmarking it and later coming back to check for new updates. That’s really wonderful.  

    1. Carmen

      Thank you so much. It is so encouraging to read your comments, I finally really able to feel my decision to create this such a looooooong post is worth. I spent over 1 month to get this first version done! 

      I have many items on my list and schedule to update them. But you can let me know what type of resources or tools you want me to highlight, I can definitely to jump in that in my next update first. 🙂

      Carmen

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