Special Offers and Free Tools for Small Business due to Covid-19 Pandemic

Updated: May 16


The topic of nearly every conversation right now is centred around COVID-19, and rightfully so. The recently announced coronavirus pandemic is already changing life as we know it, and for many people, life will take an even stranger turn over the next few weeks, months and maybe even years. Small businesses, including owners and marketing teams, are already facing difficulty to cope up with these tough times. These organizations already operate on a thin profit margin, and most new businesses aren’t even profitable yet.


For such organizations, marketing tech suppliers and digital companies are offering their services for free or discount to small businesses to help them get through the coronavirus Covid-19 shutdown. Here’s the list of offers


Social Media Tools


SEMrush


SEMrush looks forward to helping marketers to get through this tough period and recover quickly when it is over. With this in mind, during this challenging period, SEMrush is opening free access to our social media and lead generation products.

Social media is becoming the core communication channel in these times of social distancing. This is why SEMrush has decided to open free access to the full functionality of its Social Media Toolkit


Hootsuite


Twitter management tool Hootsuite is offering free access to its Hootsuite Professional Plan for small businesses impacted by Covid-19 crisis.


Now businesses can use Hootsuite for free to engage with customers, create content, manage crisis communications and access a library of social media courses free of charge.

Click here to access Hootsuite professional plan.


Youtube


YouTube launches a free, DIY tool for businesses in need of short video ads. This new tool aims at small businesses that need a simple, low-cost way to create videos, but may not have the creative experience or technical know-how required to do so. The YouTube Video Builder, as the new tool is simply called, has been in testing with a small group of customers for months but has been rushed to launch more publicly in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, where in-person video shoots are no longer an option, and many small businesses are strapped for cash.



Web Platforms


GoDaddy


Website builder GoDaddy is giving away access to its email marketing tools to help small business owners keep their employees and customers informed.


The platform has also launched the #OpenWeStand microsite to help small business owners connect with each other and find resources to assist them during this very difficult time. The site is made up of a community forum, articles, videos and examples of entrepreneurs adapting their businesses to stay open.


Shopify

The company introduced an updated point-of-sale (POS) system that integrates offline and online sales capabilities, orders and payments into “one unified customer experience.” The new POS seems full of useful features, designed to enable merchants to serve online, in-store or curbside customers in a flexible way.


Shopify said that “merchants who connected their online and in-store sales with Shopify POS saw revenue increase by 30% year over year.” It added that the company has recently seen a “10-fold increase in retail stores on Shopify adapting to social-distance selling by offering local delivery or buy-online-pickup-in-store.”


Unbounce


Unbounce has come up with Small Businesses Care Package where you get curated resources to help you navigate the new normal and thrive online. From tech discounts to government subsidies, to marketing tips.


If you are healthcare, education, nonprofit, or government—Unbounce will give you essential plan for free.


Collaboration Tools


Microsoft


A free 6-month Office 365 E1 Trial, including Microsoft Teams, is now available. Microsoft is making this special E1 Trial license available in response to the increased need for employees to work from home (WFH) in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.


To learn what's available with an E1 license, read Office 365 E1.


Hiver


COVID-19 has caused unprecedented challenges for teams all over the world. Staying connected with your team during these challenging times is critical. If you're a small business with less than 50 employees that are helping contain the spread of COVID-19 or providing relief to those impacted, Hiver is offering free package till June 30, 2020.


Atlassian

Atlassian is providing free collaboration tools and guides to help remote teams connect and be more productive. Most effective to most small teams who achieve to dream big. The suite of cloud products empowers small teams to accomplish more at no cost.


Trello


Trello will start to roll out an expansion of free team members’ permissions. As a result, all members of free teams will soon have admin permissions, giving them a lot more control within the platform without having to upgrade to a paid tier.


As permissions are expanded, anyone in a free team will be able to add or remove team members, which means that there won’t be any more admin bottlenecks to worry about. Also, any team member can now change team-level privacy settings to make it easier to control information-sharing.


Box


Free secure file sharing and collaboration platform for 3 months. The offer is for the Business plan and includes unlimited storage, mobile access, and advanced user and security reporting.


Chatbot Tools


Chatfuel


Free access to all Pro plan features for nonprofits and qualified individuals who are offering emergency aid and information as a public service. Plus, free weekly onboarding and live office hours for anyone who needs help setting up their Messenger bot.


EBI.AI :


Artificial intelligence lab EBI.AI is offering its AI-powered customer service chatbot for free to small businesses for four months. The CoronaBot is designed to help companies manage the increased and fluctuating number of customer calls caused by the current emergency.


CoronaBot is pre-trained to answer the most commonly asked questions being asked to take the pressure off companies with growing contact volumes and shrinking customer service teams such as, “Are you operating normally?”, “Do you provide a delivery service?”, “Is there a click and collect service?”, “Is it safe to get products delivered?” and “How do I contact you?”.



CRM Tools


Zoho


Zoho Corporation, the business software apps provider, has launched its Small Business Emergency Subscription Assistance Program (ESAP) to help small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.


Keap


Free access to trial with full features of CRM, email marketing, getting paid, appointments and more.


Infusionsoft helps you get your daily work done, and CRM is just one piece of the puzzle. Infusionsoft also offers automation to eliminate daily, administrative tasks, a drag-and-drop campaign builder for assets like landing pages, promotional emails, and nurture campaigns, invoicing and payments, and more. Start a free trial to see for yourself.


What’s included in the Free Trial? All the features of a paid Infusionsoft plan are included in the here, allowing you to truly see the tool in action.


Hatchbuck


Free trial of the company’s all-in-one sales and marketing platform combines email marketing, CRM and marketing automation to turn emails into conversations, website visitors into handshakes, and customers into raving fans. It also provides marketing agencies with an alternative solution for their small business clients.


SEM Tools


Adzooma


Adzooma, the social media marketing platform, has gone free, offering full free access until 1st June.


Anyone who is using Google, Facebook, or Microsoft ads to promote their business or services, will be able to benefit from the time and cost efficiencies which Adzooma offers at no cost. This includes all existing clients, whose billing will be suspended during this time.

The company is currently in talks with Microsoft to create a support system that will deliver advice, tips, and support through tools such as webinars. The company plans to roll out a similar education and training platform on Facebook and Google.


Adroll


Adroll announced a new suite of marketing tools for direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands. The company continues to grow beyond its ad tech heritage, expanding its growth marketing platform with enhanced marketing capabilities across email, AI-driven product recommendations, and cross-channel measurement. The platform is now available for all customers through new software-as-a-service subscription pricing, including the company’s first free marketing offering.


Video Conferencing Tools


Google Meet


Google Meet is now available for free. The video conferencing tool, initially built for the enterprise, is now accessible to anyone at meet.google.com or on iOS or Android.


Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Google has seen a surge of interest in its video conferencing tools. In March, the company made Meet's advanced features free for G Suite users and since then has seen daily usage grow by 30X, adding about 3 million new users a day last month. In addition to expanding access to the tool, Google has sought to capitalize on the current situation by ramping up support for Meet, adding new features and making it directly accessible from Gmail.


Windstream Enterprise


As you shift your workforce to a remote model during these challenging times, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice secure communications. Connect your teams with our audio and video collaboration solutions that come with built-in security. Try OfficeSuite UC® and HD Meeting® free for 90 days.

Intermedia


In light of the COVID-19 pandemic that is affecting communities and businesses worldwide, we at Intermedia are committed to decreasing the risk and prioritizing the well-being of our community of stakeholders. To help businesses and organizations that need to support remote workers with effective communications and productivity tools, Intermedia is now offering AnyMeeting® video conferencing and webinar service at no cost through December 31, 2020.


Zoom


Zoom is the leader in modern enterprise video communications, with an easy, reliable cloud platform for video and audio conferencing, chat, and webinars across mobile, desktop, and room systems. This time they plan to help you most effectively use Zoom as we all navigate the coronavirus pandemic by providing the collection of resources.


Affiliate Network


Awin


Awin is waiving monthly fees for its affiliate programme for startups – Awin Access – for the first three months for businesses looking to launch, allowing them to try out the platform and a risk-free marketing strategy.


Awin Access opens up affiliate marketing to emerging digital businesses, enabling them to use Awin’s intuitive platform to build direct partnerships with over 200,000 vetted affiliates. With no setup costs or lengthy contract terms, Awin Access removes barriers traditionally preventing SMEs and small businesses from affiliate marketing.


Integration is simplified with a selection of plugins for common e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, meaning a programme can be created within a day if a quick launch were to be required.


Email Marketing Tools


Mailchimp


Mailchimp announced that they are giving $10 million in service to their small business customers who want to continue using Mailchimp’s platform but need some financial support during the COVID-19 crisis. Current customers who have 25 or fewer employees in categories including restaurants and hospitality; brick and mortar retail; travel and leisure; entertainment; health, beauty, and wellness; and other select Main Street businesses are eligible for up to three months of free Mailchimp service.


Corporate Training Tools


Skillsoft


Skillsoft is offering a 60-Day free trial of its online learning resources via Percipio to help people upskill, re-skill, or learn new skills that may support them through this collective crisis. This free trial is for those experiencing unemployment, and those who have shifted out of the office to working from home.



Small Business Online Resources


Salesforce


Salesforce announces Work.com to Help Businesses and Communities Safely Reopen. Work.com includes new solutions, ranging from contact tracing and emergency response management to employee wellness assessment and shift management, for accelerating private and public sector response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Work.com Command Center is a single hub for leaders to get a 360-degree view of return-to-work readiness across locations, employees and visitors, and make data-driven decisions.


Shutterstock


Image library Shutterstock has created a resource hub with creative assets to connect with customers. It includes:

  • Free images, videos, and music for those who might be expanding their business online

  • Curated collections for addressing the pandemic

  • Free virtual background packs to make your home office look professional


HelpingSmallBiz


This is a voluntary site run by digital marketers helping small businesses get online during the coronavirus pandemic, answering their questions about website building and e-commerce.


Others


Move Marketing


From now until the end of May, award-winning agency Move Marketing will be offering 20 small businesses the chance to get their business online free of charge through its Digiboost package.


Normally worth £1,000, the Digiboost package comprises the following key elements to help digitise your small business:


30-minute audit call

• 1-page bespoke digital roadmap explaining the key steps needed to move your business online

• 1-page website with the domain, email address, enquiry form, live-chat functionality and 1 year’s hosting

• Email design and send out to a maximum of 500 contacts

• Set up of 2 social media channels with guidance on content

• Set up of analytics platforms

• Advice on how you can track the progress of your Digiboost package


Stampede


Stampede, a start-up offering digital growth services for the hospitality sector, has launched a free managed gift-card service for businesses impacted by Covid-19 to help them recover lost income quickly and create a continuous new revenue stream.


Stampede gift cards is a fully managed service, which means that a traditional pub or small local café with no eCommerce functionality can launch a website, create and issue gift cards to their customer database and start accepting payments immediately.



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