Free apps and software an international digital agency should use

When it comes to running an international digital agency, it is not just the people that are important, but what tools and software you use matters too. No surprise, running a business means that you often must shell out a lot front when it comes to using up-to-date and professional tools and software. This can be costly for startups and small to medium-sized businesses, which can lead to less growth in the long run. If an agency wants to try a program before committing to it, it doesn’t make sense for them to pay for the software in full (especially if they have never used this software before).

Fortunately, here are a few free or free-to-use apps and software that will not break your budget. Even if you’re a small agency that is just starting out, these tools work just as well as any professional paid software. We’ve listed them down below.


Often cited as the first online project management tool, this is a web-based list-making application. Trello’s free version features a simple Kanban-board-style view. Even non-tech-savvy people who may balk at the learning curve of most project management tools (and some learning curves can be very steep), will find that Trello is simple and easy to use. Their user interface makes sure you can set up a workboard and invite your staff (or clients) on in a few clicks. You can then create ‘cards’ which you can write in, upload attachments, label, as well as set the due date. Columns are used to indicate tasks status, such as ‘to do’, ‘in progress’, or ‘done.’ One of Trello’s great points is that its Kanban-style layout allows everyone to see all the stages of a particular work process– whether something has been completed or is still in the layout or drafting stages. Once you are ready to move a card onto the next stage in your process, you just need to drag and drop – no need for complicated coding or movements. Meaning that it is incredibly easy to get the hang of.

Unfortunately, the free version of the app only allows you to view your system in the Kanban board style. Furthermore, you can only have up to 10 boards per workspace. However, you can use an unlimited number of cards and columns – which is more than enough for most companies to start with.


If you want to get involved with email marketing (which you should, considering email marketing has some of the highest ROI) then Mailchimp is right there for you. There is absolutely no need for any knowledge of coding (although a little bit would be a bonus) because the platform already has ready-made templates for you to use. These templates also drag and drop, so it is simple to get the hang of them. You can use these templates to make sure that your EDMs and newsletters look on-brand and visually stunning every time.

Mailchimp’s forever free plan remains absolutely free – for up to 2,000 subscribers and up to 12,000 emails. While the free plan does not have as many services as the paid plan, it still includes multichannel tools to promote your business, as well as content and design tools, a marketing calendar, and surveys for you to use. Not bad for something free! So, if your business is just starting out, or if you want to try before you buy, then this is a fantastic email marketing tool to get you started.

Survey Monkey

One way to do market research is to ask your target audience directly! This can be in the form of interviews, or more conveniently, online surveys. Fortunately, this is exactly what Survey Monkey provides! You can use this app to gain feedback from potential customers so that you get the chance to view things from their perspective. The web-based platform provides you with templates for almost every potential opportunity, so you do not have to spend time building something from scratch. Their core features for the free plan include asking a limited number of questions per survey in addition to collecting a limited number of responses. Much like most freemium models, the free version does not offer as much as the paid one, but it still provides a wealth of information to marketers for no cost.


Most businesses need a social media profile, and most agencies need to manage their clients’ social media presence. That being said, it can be very time-consuming to produce, schedule, and upload content to social media on a regular basis. This is even more notable if a business uses more than one social media platform (as they should) as they need to juggle social media marketing alongside running the business. This is where social media management apps come in, like Buffer.

Buffer allows you to schedule and publish social media posts on different platforms, meaning you can do it in one go and then not have to worry about it – the software will take care of it itself. It also features an analytics suite, where marketers can directly see how their social media posts are performing. Instead of directly trawling through each and every social media app, they can just have everything consolidated into one location. This saves marketers time and effort they could spend on doing something else.


Some digital marketing agencies may also include graphic design services when it comes to creating ads, banners, and social media posts online. However, despite it being the professional standard, it can be incredibly costly to subscribe to the Adobe Suite. Most small businesses may have trouble justifying the cost, especially if they do not use every adobe software in their subscription package.

Fortunately, there is a free version of Photoshop out there, called GIMP! Unlike Photoshop and other freemium programs, GIMP is completely free to download and is open-source as well. The raster graphics editor is used primarily to manipulate images, as well as raster-based graphic design. In fact, it has been developed so well that it has nearly every single function that Photoshop has (down to the layer masks and filters too!)

GIMP can be used on Windows, macOS, and Linux, meaning it doesn’t matter what operating system you use. Photoshop/PSD files can also be opened using GIMP, so it does allow for some slight transferability between the two programs. Not bad for something that is completely free to use!

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