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12 Drupal Marketing Modules to Boost your Site

This is a guest post from John Hannah.

Truth be told, websites are kind of hard, aren't they? I mean, there's the coding, the site building, the content production and then of course, the marketing. If you code for a living, I can almost hear you sighing at the mention of the word. 

But hey, even if marketing isn't your thing, it doesn't have to be that hard. The modules below will help take the edge off a bit. I've even included a few links to additional learning resources to make it very simple to get started with improving the marketing of your Drupal website.

We'll start with one of my favorites.

Easy Social

The thing I love about Easy Social is that it lives up to its name. It's a dead simple way to add social sharing links to your site and the default button set avoids the overkill you get from other solutions.

Easy Share module in action

Project maintainers Leandro Nunes and Alex Weber have kept the admin interface simple and even provided instructions for adding additional services beyond the four defaults you see in the image above. It's also easy to remove any of the services you don't want to participate with.

This is an excellent choice for adding social sharing to your site - something everyone should be doing. I like this one so much I'm including it with my next theme release.

CrazyEgg Integration

Some of you may be asking, "What the hell is a CrazyEgg?" Good question. Basically CrazyEgg is an analytics service with a twist. Instead of raw numbers, it can provide you with detailed information about how people are interacting with the pages on your site. The service is very useful for optimizing your designs and this module simply helps integrate it with your site.

Here's a screenshot of a CrazyEgg heat map of the home page of my site so you can get a better idea of what it offers:

CrazyEgg Heat map

The bright areas of the image above show where users have clicked, providing valuable insight into how visitors are interacting with the page. Also included are scroll maps, confetti displays and a click count overlay. CrazyEgg isn't free, but if you want to maximize your site's potential, the $9 per month is more than worth it. Also, the CrazyEgg blog is one of the best out there.

Wildfire Email Marketing Platform

Email is an important part of any marketing effort and the Wildfire module can help you distribute emails to your users without ever leaving your site. The module uses the Wildfire HQ service to send the emails. You can start with the service for free (500 emails per month) and for those with larger email lists, the pricing is very reasonable.

Here's a demo video if you're interested in learning more:

MailChimp

In a list of Drupal marketing modules, you pretty much have to include the popular MailChimp service and its accompanying module. It's the 800 pound gorilla, or rather chimpanzee, in email marketing. Much like the Wildfire service, they offer a free account that allows you to send up to 2000 emails per month. They already get loads loads of exposure, so I think I'll leave it at that.

Campaign Monitor

OK, last email marketing service, I promise. But I've saved the best for last! Campaign Monitor is the service I personally use and I can attest they have a very easy to use interface and flexible templating that is perfect for designers.

They also offer RSS to email, and with news of the Feedburner service coming to an end, that's something that will come in handy for many of you. Just grab the Drupal integration module and get started moving your email list.

Google Analytics

A lot of folks simply install the Google Analytics module and then mostly forget it. Sure, you might pop by every once in a while to see some of the headline numbers. Maybe check the number of visitors or see which pages on your site are most popular, but digging a bit more deeply with your analytics will be well worth your time and help make sure you understand how well your marketing efforts are performing.

If you want to get up to speed with analytics, Google has a channel on YouTube that has some great resources you can check out. Bonus tip: combine Google Analytics with CrazyEgg data for deeper insight into how your site is performing.

Sharebar

This social sharing module mixes things up a bit by providing a "Mashable" like floating share bar to the side of your content. I'm not a huge fan of these floating widgets, but as you've probably noticed, they're very popular and you really should have some sort of social sharing implemented on your site. This one is definitely worth a look, but be sure to test it out on responsive designs before taking it live.

Hello Bar

How much do you hate pop ups? Probably not more than I do. They are simply the worst. But there's a reason marketer's use them - they help sell things, drive sign ups and all the other stuff most sites want you to do when you visit them.

The Hello Bar is a great alternative to annoying pop ups. You can achieve the same goals, without the intrusive overlay of a pop up. The module integrates the Hello Bar Solo library ($29 for a use anywhere license) to create a subtle colored bar at the top of the page that can be configured to slide in and out of view after set periods of time. Here's a look at a screen shot from the module page - it's the orange bit at the top:

Hello Bar module for Drupal

The reason Hello Bar works so well is that is provides a gentle movement that draws the eye without interfering with what the user was doing. I think it's a really cool module/product that has applications beyond marketing.

Marketo Munchkin

No, this is not a rival to the beloved Smurfs, but rather a module that integrates the Marketo service into a Drupal website Marketo is actually quite an advanced marketing service that helps with marketing automation, lead tracking, social and a lot more. This module, however, focuses on the lead tracking features of their service. Something to look at if you're with a larger firm and collecting sales leads on your site.

Sharethis

Another module you can use to add social sharing links to your site is Sharethis. It's paired with the Sharethis service which allows you to customize which social services you use, as well as the appearance of the buttons. It has some slick features, and it's definitely a popular choice, but I'd still go with Easy Share. I guess I'm a sucker for simplicity.

Eloqua

This module integrates the Eloqua marketing service which is now part of Oracle. I would spell Eloqua phonetically for you if I knew how to pronounce it myself. Regardless, it's definitely geared toward enterprises who are looking to track leads, automate marketing and all those other things big marketing and sales teams spend their time doing.

This module/service won't be for everyone, but it's nice to see Drupal integration for a product aimed at enterprises. I think generally this list shows the breadth of the types of sites using Drupal as their CMS of choice. Pretty awesome, really.

Twitter

This module helps integrate everyone's favorite social media service into their site. OK, maybe Facebook is your favorite, but Twitter is probably a close second.

Twitter module for Drupal

There is a small gotcha with this module and it's related to changes with Twitter's API that takes effect this month. You'll need to also install the OAuth module to get things working. Once you do, you'll be able to display your Twitter feed, send tweets from your site and more.

Feeling Inspired?

Hopefully the list above has given you a few ideas. Marketing doesn't have to be a stressful thing, and don't let enterprise solutions like Marketo and Eloqua overwhelm you. You don't need things like that to be successful. Simply adding some social sharing to your site along with Google Analytics is a great first step

As my father said to me when I nervously first started out in my career, "Have fun, don't freak out and if anything goes wrong, call your mother."

Comments

What is a "gust" post? :)

Hehe, thanks! Corrected.

Nice blog post, I used some of your recommendation on my site as well. But on your own site you used share this module which proved short url within but easy share module doesn't provide this, so any solution for that.

For all your cheapskates (me included) that does not like to pay $9 a month for heatmaps I created a HeatMap module for Drupal that you can install and use without an external service. It's still under development and sandboxed but should be ready to go in a week or so. To read more and check the functionality look at:
http://www.drupaldare.com/drupal-heat-maps-and-user-flows

:( They didn't even put a message to that effect on the library page!

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