10 productivity apps for small business owners and why we love them (Part II)

Kat Lu

This week, we continue to unveil CozyCal’s favorite productivity apps. Sit back and read on!

Email Marketing

6) MailChimp

Most of you are probably familiar with MailChimp. It’s the go-to tool for handling email campaigns for business of all sizes. With new marketing strategies arising constantly, email campaigns are proven to remain the best marketing tool nowadays.

Mailchimp helps small business owners send customized email marketing campaigns to connect with their clients. We use MailChimp to communicate with our users, share updates on CozyCal and generate new leads. Automating email campaigns is a big time saver. In addition, MailChimp’s templates, lists and reports allow you to design customized emails, target segmented customers and track analytics, all of which enable you to run email marketing efficiently.

Since CozyCal has a growing list of over 1000 email subscribers, we chose MailChimp’s “Growing Business” plan to automate sending unlimited emails and track analytics. This saves us tons of time. However, if you are just starting your business or have a small, growing pool of subscribers, MailChimp also offers a free plan that gets the job done just as well.

Revenue Analytics

7) Profitwell

Using analytics to track your business growth is important. Growth metrics can help you assess the effectiveness of your business decisions with real-time data. We keep our fingers on the pulse of CozyCal through ProfitWell, a free tool that tracks all of your subscription and financial metrics in one platform. What’s great about ProfitWell is that you can customize metrics, set growth goals, and monitor your cashflow in real-time. More importantly, it integrates with major payment platforms such as Stripe, Braintree, and Zuora, so you can easily see the trends in new customers, existing customers, upgrades, downgrades and churn. Whenever ProfitWell notifies us of downgrades and churn, we reach out to these customers to seek feedback to further improve CozyCal.

If you want to get more into tracking your business’s growth data, ProfitWell is a good starting point. You can also use it with Google Analytics for a more comprehensive understanding of your business’s data.

Customer Support

8) Zendesk

Zendesk is one of the top customer service platforms on the market. Though some argue that Zendesk is too complex or expensive for small businesses, we find Zendesk to be fairly small business friendly. It’s easy to set up, integrate, customize and use. Starting out, we first had a helpdesk integrated with CozyCal’s website. But, as we added more features to CozyCal based on your feedback, we opted to move our helpdesk to Zendesk, which has been working well so far.

About half of the requests that CozyCal receives are via ZenDesk, while the other half comes directly through email. The main benefit of Zendesk to small business owners is that it helps you to maintain a centralized knowledge base and community forum, which frees up your time to focus on other important tasks.

CozyCal is on ZenDesk’s Essential plan costing $5 monthly, which we think is worth the price for most small businesses. As your team expands, you can upgrade to more comprehensive services and plans .

Building customer surveys

9) Typeform

Getting feedback from users is key in fostering business growth. Customer surveys are an invaluable resource to build your brand and get concrete data points on what your users think. We bumped into Typeform not too long ago, and have been experimenting with its functions and features. Whether you are experienced with building customer surveys or new to the marketing arena, Typeform simplifies the process every step of the way. Besides customer surveys, depending on the needs of your business, you can also create registration forms, submission forms, and maintenance request forms through Typeform.

We plan to send out a customer survey through Typeform soon. We would love to hear your feedback as we continue to improve CozyCal. Buckle down and stay tuned!

Workflow Integration

10) Zapier

The last app on our list is the “glue” that integrates many of the aforementioned apps that we’ve recommended. When the number of apps you use becomes too great, the effect could be counterproductive. To avoid drowning in an ocean of apps, it is time for a solution that connects all these apps. Zapier is what you’re looking for.

Zapier links different web apps (over 800 apps) in business, social media and customer service to create automated processes, enhance productivity, and bypass tedious tasks.

What’s useful about Zapier is that it gives you the freedom to cross-pollinate apps by “zapping” or linking the apps together based on your needs. For example, at CozyCal, we zapped Trello to Google Calendar. Whenever we create a Trello task card with a deadline, it triggers an action that automatically generates an event on Google Calendar. By linking the two apps, we are able to see how our tasks spread across a timeline. This allows us to stay on top of our schedule for CozyCal tasks. Check out over 300 zaps that Zapier has concocted to automate workflows.

Zapier has a freemium plan that CozyCal is currently on. If you want to connect more apps and automate more complex work streams, you can upgrade to their paid plan starting from $20 per month. Time to zap and level up your productivity!

We hope our recommended productivity apps will help you to stay productive and save time. These apps have definitely helped us to streamline our workflows and build a system that best meets our needs and schedule. With greater productivity, we are able to focus on improving CozyCal and making sure that you have high-quality booking experiences for your business.

Kat Lu
Co-founder of CozyCal. Wanderlust at heart. Love books and films.