Best Ethical Marketing Tools

Simon pointing at the words My Best Ethical Marketing Tools

I am often asked if I have a recommended tool for a marketing task, and yes, I often do.

This page collects my best ethical marketing tools in one place, so you can browse through them and find some inspiration for whatever marketing problem you are trying to solve.

I’ve tried a lot of different tools in my time, and some are so good that I still use them years later, others, to be honest, are so bad that I can’t work out how they worked!

The tools on this page are based on my experience of using them. I encourage you to try them out and compare them with others to see what works best for you. After all, what works for me may not work for you.

What makes them ethical? Good question. I make no claims about the ethical credentials of any of these companies. What I am doing is recommending these tools for use as part of your own ethical marketing activities.

Full disclosure: some of these links are affiliate links, which means I get a few pennies if you click through and sign up.

Making your website

Create.net

A build your own website builder that rivals the ‘big boys’ on the market. They are a zero-carbon company and have one of the most robust carbon policies of any company I’ve seen.

The website builder is easy to use and produces great professional websites. Most importantly, their templates are limited so you can’t break them. Unlike Squarepace, which has become a bonfire of ‘user-generated’ templates combined with the most overly complicated system I’ve seen in a long time. Create is a breath of fresh air!

Their team in Brighton are passionate about their work and their customers.

“Use the Create Website Builder to design stunning pages and take your idea or products online. Forget about the coding, all you need to do is create.”

They also have a “done for you” service where they build your website for you – Create Design Services.

Writing tools

DeepL

Originally conceived as an AI-powered translation tool, DeepL is amazing at translating blocks of text using words that native speakers actually use. I use it to translate my rather sloppily written English into, well, English. Select its writing mode to have your text rewritten with better structure, a wider vocabulary and all that grammar stuff stripped away.

It is also really good at rewriting text generated by ChatGPT to make it sound less like AI. Ironic, but hey, this is the world we live in now.

Free to us for up to 2000 characters at a time then about €7 a month if you want to do whole blog posts in one go.

QuillBot

This tool helps you get the the point. It’s an AI-powered Paraphraser.

Give it your “waffle” and it helps distill it down to the core message. There are different styles of writing to choose from. I use it often when I am trying to write an explanation of how to do something and ofetn use too many words and repeat myself a lot.

ChatGPT

This tool needs little introduction. It’s an AI chatbot that’s incredibly powerful. It doesn’t just write text for you, you can ask it analyse images and spreadsheets. You can ask it how to improve a webpage, what the data in a spreadsheet is telling you. You can ask it to rewrite a blog or an email. You can ask it to role play a client and ask questions.

If you have used the free version then you may not be overly impressed. The paid version is much better and incredibly powerful. It’s worth paying for a month and seeing what it can do, I think you’ll be amazed at what it can help you with.

If you are not sure where to start, just ask. Can you help me with …? It will explain if it can and what information it needs to help you.

Graphics, photos and illustrations

Canva

Design anything in your browser. Now with AI tools or Magic Studio as they call it, it will help you add to and even improve a design. You have to see it in action to believe it.

Canva started as a pretty clever in browser design tool. It made graphic design accessible for people who didn’t have Adobe money. Now it helps you design pretty much anything you can think of. It has millions of templates to help you get started and has pre-licenced stock photos, video and music to make you designs really stand out. The interface helps you line stuff up and bring your ideas to life.

Easily the best value subscription you can get for your business.

Making videos & podcasts

Descript

Edit a video and audio like you edit a Word document. Descript makes video editing easy for everyone by transcribing the recording into a document that you edit. As you edit the document, it edits the video/audio. It also removes all your umms and errs in one click.

You can edit a video or a podcast recording in the same way.

It then uses the ‘document’ you’re editing to create subtitles or a transcript for your podcast.

You can then output videos for LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, etc. and automatically upload your podcast episode to Captivate podcast hosting.

It also has lots of graphics and stock video clips you can drop in, as well as some very, very clever AI stuff. But for most people, the main benefit is that it makes the editing process so easy and straightforward. You have to see it to believe it, check out their brilliant explainer video.

Email marketing

MailerLite – Get $20 account credit when you sign up from this link

Much better than MailChimp. Less complicated than ConvertKit.

Sending emails should be simple, a lot of email senders seem to make this process really complicated and a lot more complicated than it needs to be. MailerLite strikes the balance between clever features and complexity really well.

You can send great-looking emails to people very easily without too much setting-up faff. They also have some clever forms that you can add to any webpage which makes growing your list really simple too.

It’s what I use so if you like my emails then thats how I get them to your inbox. If you want to see what my emails are link then become a subscriber below.

It’s free to get started with your fist 1000 subscribers.

Drip

This is a great option if you want to set up workflows that send emails to people based on what they do (or don’t do). Sending individual emails is fine, formatting the emails will drive you to tears, but the emails get sent and the deliverability is really good. It’s a great option if you are selling products or courses, as the workflows are really useful.

Nerd territory: Drip sends from its own domain and uses a ‘via’ attribute to say it came from your email address, which improves deliverability because its servers are trusted senders. It also means that your sending domain’s reputation won’t be affected if (when) people mark your emails as spam. As a result, their deliverability is often very high compared to other providers.

Klaviyo

These folks are the big players in e-commerce email. Their system is designed for e-commerce and only really works for e-commerce. I think this is a really good thing – doing one thing well and being the best at it is a winning formula that many companies forget as they grow and try to please everyone. Anyway, I’ve included it here in case you’re selling products online and want to know who’s best at e-commerce email.

Making podcasts

Captivate

Free tools like Anchor are great, until you see what proper podcast hosting looks like. Captivate is more than just hosting. Private feeds, subscriptions, transcripts, control over advertising, sponsorships, measurable sharing links as well as in-depth listener analytics. – there are a lot of great features that will make your podcast really stand out!

It also integrates directly with Descript and makes the whole workflow super simple. Record, edit in descript and publish your podcast in a few clicks.

You can also host multiple podcasts in one account and even have a private feed for subscribers only.

Riverside

Recording a podcast has never been easier with Riverside. Using Zoom sounds and looks terrible, it’s not made for podcasting, it’s made for meetings.

Riverside is an online podcast & video studio that records in studio quality without the studio. It records your microphone and camera separately in high quality so you can edit them later. Unlike Zoom, it squeezes them all into one file.

Riverside has some very clever transcribing, clipping and editing tools, which means you can do the whole podcast (and video if you want) in Riverside. You can also export the files to Descript if you want to include them in a project.

Engaging clients

VideoAsk

Video is a great way to engage with prospective and current clients.  VideoAsk allows you to record short videos that act as questions for people to respond to. This can be great for sending to people who have booked a discovery call to get them to tell you a bit more about themselves. You can slo use it as part of your work with clients to ask them how they’re getting on or progressing. There are a lot of possibilities.

ScoreApp (30 day free trial)

Getting people curious to learn more is a great way to help them understand where they are now and where they might like to go. You can use ScoreApp to ask a series of questions and deliver tailored responses based on the answers to those questions. This can give people the information they need to help them better understand the work you do and the journey they might like to go on with you. It’s a great way for people to signal to you that they want to learn more and are curious about what lies ahead.

Marketing automation

Zapier

This is one of those tools you didn’t realise you needed until it solves a problem you’ve been trying to fix for ages. Put simply, Zapier links software and apps together and sends information between them. If you have ever thought wouldn’t it be great if I could do this thing when someone does this thing, then Zapier is the tool that will make that happen.

I use it to add a tag to subscribers if they buy a book from me so I can send emails to those people who have purchased the book.

There are millions of ways you can use Zapier from the simple to the mind-bendingly complex. Zapier is easy to use and once you get used to how it flows you’ll find yourself making Zaps between all sorts of things.

Copy.ai

This is an AI content creation tool that can help you create a whole workflow of content. I tried it a while a go and it was ok, kind of like the first try with ChatGPT. It gets the rough point but I found it still needed quote a lot of rewriting. Why include it? It’s gotten better according to a few people I know who use it, and it helps you break up your copy into smaller chunks and psices of content that I find people often struggle to do them selves.

Getting paid

Stripe

Stripe powers most online debit and credit transactions. They have very low fees and a whole suite of tools to help people take card payments online. You can send invoices and payment links, and set up and manage subscriptions, all without needing a website.

They started as a payment provider doing the card processing behind the scenes and have now grown into a huge business offering a huge range of tools to get paid.

GoCardless

Direct Debit has never been easier to set up. Forget going to your bank – they’re useless, slow and expensive. In just a few clicks, you can accept Direct Debit payments in the UK and EU. You can take one-off and recurring payments from customers with much lower fees than card payments.

The great thing about Direct Debit is that you don’t have to chase payments. Once someone agrees to pay, the money is simply debited from their account and added to yours. It saves a lot of time chasing people and having those awkward conversations about chasing payments.

We moved from having a 40% late payment rate to having 0% late payments by switching all our clients to GoCardless.

Wise

Wise creates multi-currency bank accounts so you can accept payments in dollars or euros without paying high conversion fees. Every time you convert currencies, the company doing the conversion takes a commission. So the less you have to convert, the more money you end up with. Your bank will take the highest commission and always have the worst exchange rate. Wise lets you keep your currency in separate accounts so you can convert it all in one go at an amazing rate.

You can also make payments in that currency using the payment card. So if you have a subscription in dollars, you can pay for it in dollars, again saving you a conversion fee.

My list of best ethical marketing tools

I update this list of best ethical marketing tools periodically, and when I do that my subscribers are the first to know. If you’d like to find out when I add a great new tool to this list then become a subscriber below.