Briefcase Review: The Ultimate Business Growth Package by AppSumo

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Briefcase Review: The Ultimate Business Growth Package by AppSumoSince its inception in 2010, AppSumo has been offering entrepreneurs, freelancers, and bloggers astounding discounts on popular business products. I owe a BIG thanks to Noah Kagan and team at AppSumo for helping me secure lifetime access to a plethora of tools that have been instrumental in growing my business and blog.

Here are some of my favorite “lifetime access” deals I’ve been able to acquire over the past couple of years:

  • Ninja Outreach
  • Beacon
  • CallPage
  • Landingi
  • Hello Tars Chat Bot
  • Book Like a Boss
  • Scrivener

And of course, many more, but the above tools are the ones I find the most useful.

Recently, AppSumo launched Briefcase – a service that grants you access to a curated selection of top-tier software for just $49/month. The software is specifically chosen for entrepreneurs with growing businesses.

Currently, there are 35+ tools in Briefcase – tools that can help you optimize SEO, quickly design graphics and ebooks, manage your accounting, find sales leads, auto-generate content and so much more.

In this article, we’ll examine the various tools that are being offered under the Briefcase portfolio and help you decide whether it’s worth investing $49 a month or $500 a year on AppSumo’s Briefcase.

What is Briefcase?

Briefcase Review

Briefcase is a membership-based service that grants you access to a curated selection of top-tier software for just $49/month. The curated tools are specifically chosen for entrepreneurs and small business owners.

What Tools Are Included in Briefcase?

As of November 2017, there are 35+ tools in Briefcase and AppSumo promises to add several more tools in the coming months. These tools fall under ten broad categories:

  • Sales
  • Data Analytics
  • SEO
  • Marketing
  • Content
  • Ecommerce
  • Data Management
  • Design
  • Finance
  • Others

In the next section, we’ll explore the key features of all the tools included in Briefcase.

Briefcase Tools: A Detailed Analysis of All the Tools

While all these tools are worthy of their own reviews, as you’d imagine, it’s not possible to contain all the pros and cons of each of them in this blog post. We are dealing with over 35 tools after all. Therefore, I’ll briefly describe each tool and present 3 of the best features of each tool, so you know exactly what you can expect from the tools in your Briefcase.

Briefcase: Sales Tools 

Book Like a Boss

Book Like A Boss - Recommended Tools for Bloggers

Book Like A Boss is an all-in-one solution for entrepreneurs looking to create a booking page that sells products/services, takes appointments, and collects payments.

You can design your page using custom header, footer, video, photo gallery, social media links, profile pic, FAQs, testimonials and more!

I’m huge fan of Book Like a Boss. I’ve been using it for over 6 months now, and it’s simplified my life to a large extent and has definitely made me more organized. You can check out my page here to get a fair idea what a complete Book Like a Boss page looks like.

Key Features

  • Manage your business from an easy-to-use dashboard.
  • Integrates with Stripe and/or Paypal or get paid in cash. Sell services, digital, and physical products.
  • The Book Like a Boss calendar integrates with your Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendar, so you’re never double booked.

Retail Price: $25/month

CallPage

CallPage - AppSumo

CallPage puts you on the phone with potential customers in less than 28 seconds. CallPage’s widgets and CTAs engage website visitors and give them an opportunity to chat immediately with your company’s representatives.

As a result, CallPage drastically increases the number of calls you receive from website visitors.

I’ve integrated CallPage with my agency website and I get at least 30 call requests a month, many of them super relevant.

Key Features

  • 50 calls per months on unlimited domains.
  • Fully customizable widget (including texts and custom colors).
  • Custom SMS notifications to thank customers and give them the contact info of the company representative they were just talking to.

Retail Price: $59/month

Crank Wheel

CrankWheel AppSumo

CrankWheel is a tool that’ll help you generate more leads and increase conversion rates by providing customers instant demos of your products.

So, there’s no waiting around, no software downloads, and no customer setup. Just a clean and simple one-click demo right on your website.

Key Features

  • Instant demos – Add a Demo button to your website to get notified and present your software instantly at the moment your customer requests it.
  • Screen sharing – Various forms of remote meetings, conferences, sales presentations and the addition of visual communication to existing phone calls.
  • Ready in seconds – Viewers don’t need to download or install any software, even on their mobile. Send users a text message, give them your public link, or just e-mail them to start screen sharing.

Retail Price: $75/month

FindThatLead

FindthatLead AppSumo

FindThatLead (FTL) serves up people’s email with just one click, saving you hours of time, frustration, and missed messaging.

There are 5 different tools within FTL:

  • Prospector tool: This is for finding potential leads in specific categories.
  • Email verifier: This will ensure the validity of the email you just found.
  • Domain search: Just type in a domain (Ex: Google.com) and FTL will show you all the emails they have verified under that domain.
  • Lead search: You type in name & site (Ex: Bill Gates / Microsoft) and FTL will either give you the correct email address or provide you with a guess.
  • Whois Lookup: This is an integration where FTL will show you who is the registered owner of a website, if public.

Key Features

  • 1,500 credits per month (a credit is a search or verification).
  • A Google Chrome extension that can be used on social networks.
  • Ability to add bulk emails by importing a CSV and a Google spreadsheet add-on.

Retail Price: $39/month

SalesFlare

Salesflare AppSumo Deal

Salesflare is an intelligent, intuitive CRM software that’ll minimize the time you spend inputting data, so you can focus on what matters most to your business and spend more time maximizing sales.

Key Features

  • Documents and other files organized automatically – Finding those files you sent to customers has never been this easy.
  • In-depth customer knowledge – Track what customers are tweeting, if they’ve opened your emails, which links they clicked, and more.
  • Integrate your sales toolset – Salesflare seamlessly plugs in with your other tools and systems, giving a true boost to your productivity.

Retail Price: $35/month

Briefcase: Data Analytics Tools

Social Insider

Social Insider - AppSumo Deals in August

Social Insider is a tool for Facebook Analytics that helps you understand what your competitors do on Facebook and how people react to their digital strategy.

For instance, you can learn:

  • Who your competitors’ top fans are
  • How people react to their posts (and sort them by their reaction)
  • What makes their audience angry, sad, or excited
  • What they’re sharing with their friends

Key Features

  • Unlimited reports for an unlimited number of Facebook pages.
  • Unlimited save time for data.
  • Downloadable data (in PDF and CSV).

Retail Price: $60/month

SEO

SE Ranking

SE Ranking - Keyword Research Tool

SE Ranking is a cloud-based SEO software that contains most standard SEO tools plus lots of special features.

Key Features

  • Accurate Keyword Tracking – In real-time, find the positions of your website’s keywords in major search engines and how they’re doing by country, region, or city as frequently as you want.
  • Backlink Monitoring – Track your existing links, get 15 SEO parameters to each of them, use noindex and nofollow filters.
  • Website Audit – Don’t risk site errors reducing your visibility. Get full website audits and actionable recommendations to help boost SEO.
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Retail Price: $7/month

Briefcase: Marketing Tools

EpicBeat

EpicBeat AppSumo

EpicBeat brings you actionable trends, relevant content, and influencers that are important to you and to the growth of your business. It does this by helping you do two very important things:

  1. Find awesome content to share with your audience.
  2. Find influencers that want to share your content.

Key Features

  • Unlimited daily searches, 10 alerts of competition mentions.
  • Unlimited curation to three WordPress sites.
  • 20 saved searches.

Retail Price: $49/month

Grum

Grum AppSumo Deal

Grum lets you manage Instagram for your clients, business, or for your own personal account from your desktop.

Key Features

  • The first comment feature – This allows you to hide hashtags in your first comment so your posts look cleaner.
  • Unlimited photo & video scheduling so you can set it and forget it.
  • Unlimited editors so you can share your business account with team members.

Retail Price: $9.95/month

PixelMe

PixelMe AppSumo Deal

PixelMe’s URL shortener and retargeting pixel will help you increase clickthroughs, improve ROI, and decrease ad acquisition costs. This simple piece of code helps you target and track people who click on your links.

You can also share your PixelMe URL with social influencers, allowing you to retarget their audience long after the initial promotion ends.

Key Features

  • 5 retargeting pixels – Each pixel is reserved for one platform. So, with 5 pixels, you can use one pixel to retarget people on Facebook, one pixel to retarget people on Twitter, so on and so forth.
  • Your own custom domain.
  • Up to 1,000 shortened URL links per month.

Retail Price: $29/month

Publicfast

Publicfast AppSumo

Publicfast is a two-sided marketplace for brands and influencers to collaborate on marketing campaign. With help from the influencers, you’ll be able to execute successful campaigns on 5 major social networks – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and VKontakte (VK).

Key Features

  • Lifetime access to Publicfast’s constantly growing influencer base of 55,000.
  • Commission cut from 25% to 5%.
  • Review Campaigns – Give digital or physical products to influencers in exchange for honest reviews, without any fees.

Retail Price: $149/month

Reveal

AppSumo Reveal Deal

Reveal lets you automate your Facebook ads and track your marketing results.

Reveal was created to take ad automation to the next level. You no longer need to spend hours tracking ads, creating reports, or managing campaigns. Reveal does these things for you so you focus your energy on more important things.

Key Features

  • Unlimited Slack/Email alerts and reports.
  • Unlimited Facebook Ads automation rules.
  • Integration with Google Adwords, YouTube, and Instagram.

Retail Price: $149/month

Viral Loops

Viral Loops on AppSumo

Viral Loops is a template-based viral and referral marketing platform that helps businesses acquire more customers through word-of-mouth sales.

Key Features

  • Pre-launch campaigns with the “waitlist” model. The “waitlist” model is simple: the more friends people refer, the higher they move up on the waitlist and the quicker they get access.
  • Launch a traditional trackable eCommerce referral program where your company provides customers with a shareable link.
  • Create and manage viral sweepstakes and competitions to engage customers and maximize social reach.

Retail Price: $199/month

Briefcase: Content Tools

Missinglettr

Missinglettr - AppSumo Deal

Missinglettr creates strategic, automatic social media campaigns for your content that’ll drive traffic for an entire year. Missinglettr’s social media posts come pre-filled with quotes, hashtags, images, and more.

Key Features

  • Link up to 25 social profiles.
  • Create up to 10 campaigns a week per site (remember, sites are unlimited).
  • Campaigns for past blogs – Have some oldies that are goldies? Start a campaign for them.

Retail Price: $69/month

PromoRepublic

PromoRepublic - AppSumo Deals

PromoRepublic is a tool small businesses and marketers use to create awesome posts with handcrafted templates and images. PromoRepublic has ready-to-publish content for 20+ industries.

I find PromoRepublic highly useful to find relevant, trending content for my clients and also use the easy-to-use scheduler to queue posts automatically.

Key Features

  • Post Ideas Library – 6,000+ templates, handcrafted by a team of professional designers and copywriters.
  • Integrated Photostock – PromoRepublic includes over 100,000 stock images, so you don’t have to search for images elsewhere.
  • Scheduling Tool – Choose date and time and schedule your posts in advance, with just a few clicks. Use “Add to queue” feature to publish posts automatically.

Retail Price: $29/month

Slideshop

AppSumo Deals in Sept 2017 - Slideshop

Slideshop offers a library of 16,000+ stunning presentation deck templates to help you get your message across with clarity, personality, and precision.

Key Features

  • Full access to 16,000+ presentation templates + new slides added every week
  • Easy editing
  • Free support

Retail Price: $49/month

StepShot Guides

StepShot Guides - AppSumo

StepShot is a software documentation tool used for creating tutorials, workflow walk throughs, and step-by-step guides.

Key Features

  • Screenshot your workflow automatically.
  • Annotate visuals with StepShot’s practical toolkit.
  • Export your technical instructions as a PDF or easily publish your training materials to a website or blog on WordPress.

Retail Price: $24/month

Briefcase: Ecommerce Tools

Invanto

Invanto AppSumo Deal

Invanto is a small business platform of pre-integrated smart apps that allow you to build your website and create, market, and launch your products. The Briefcase Invanto plan includes these 3 apps:

  • MemberFactory: Build profit-pulling membership sites in minutes.
  • CoachRack: Build professional, social, and interactive online schools.
  • RewardBurst: Everything you need to motivate and retain customers (e.g. points, badges).

Key Features

  • Video & Content Hosting
  • Custom Domains
  • Connect Invanto apps to MailChimp, Stripe, Infusionsoft, and more.

Retail Price: $297/month

Linklay

Linklay AppSumo

Linklay is a visual commerce tool that allows you to create shoppable images through clever image-mapping technology.

Key Features

  • Create unlimited unbranded images on up to two domains.
  • Linklay also uses Google Analytics, backs up to Amazon Cloud and integrates with Shopify, WooCommerce, and BigCommerce.
  • Easy-to-use interface.

Retail Price: $34/month

Omnify

Omnify - AppSumo Deal

Omnify is an all-in-one cloud-based scheduling and business management software. Omnify’s single dashboard gives you the tools you need to set up an online service store, take bookings, and collect payments.

Key Features

  • Unlimited clients and bookings.
  • Integrations with Stripe, PayPal, Zapier, and MailChimp.
  • Personalized, automated, segmented reminders and promotions emails.

Retail Price: $49/month

Briefcase: Finance Tools

Billy

Billy AppSumo

Billy is the simplest way for small business owners and entrepreneurs to get quotes approved, invoice clients, track expenses, and access financial reports.

With Billy, you can:

  • Easily build and send client quotes and proposals
  • Create professional, customized invoices
  • Monitor unpaid invoices and prod customers with friendly reminders
  • Store unlimited customer contact information
  • Accept payments via stripe
  • Track expenses by importing receipts and bank transactions
  • Generate customizable financial reports including tax data.

Key Features

  • Create professional-looking invoices and get paid faster – Easily create a quote, attach a proposal,and send it to your client for approval.
  • Track your expenses automatically and have all your numbers in one place – Link your bank account or credit card, and Billy will import all your expenses automatically.
  • See the whole picture – Billy brings all your financials together. No more spreadsheets with expenses, Word invoices, bank statements and paper receipts all over the place. Have all your numbers in one place so you can see the whole picture of your business.

Retail Price: $19/month

DryRun

Dryrun - AppSumo Deals in September

DryRun is a software used to forecast budget and cash flow along with projecting sales. It’s a CFO-vetted tool that allows you to build, compare, and change multiple what-if scenarios to stress test business decisions, avoid risks, protect income, and grow your operations.

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Key Features

  • Cash Flow Forecasts – Identify shortfalls before they hit so that you have time to react, can make a plan, and take control of your circumstances.
  • Import to Save Time – Enter numbers yourself or import key data from Xero and Quickbooks Online. Customize import settings in each scenario.
  • Everyone in the Loop – Share time-sensitive forecasts with your leadership team, colleagues and advisors, with DryRun’s powerful collaboration features.

Retail Price: $49/month

Startups.co

Startups.co on AppSumo

Startups.co has created an incredible resource with over 600 master classes featuring world-renowned experts from the greatest companies and startups.

Startup.co is your direct line to founders, venture capitalists, and influencers in the startup space. Their hours of content and highly developed tools are the resources you need to launch and grow successfully.

Key Features

  • 600 in-depth videos featuring ultra-successful startup and business experts.
  • Join live mentorship sessions where you can learn how to do content marketing like Neil Patel, or get inside the mind of Mark Cuban.
  • Access to 3 world-class software tools: BizPlan, Launchrock, and Fundable.

Retail Price: $29/month

Briefcase: Data Management Tools

Fieldbook

Fieldbook AppSumo Deal

Fieldbook lets you create a custom list-tracking database without the limitations of excel or a database expert.

Key Features

  • Track, view, or manage a workflow or pipeline from one place.
  • Integrate Fieldbook with almost any app or service via Zapier.
  • Add as much data as needed in each field.

Retail Price: $25/month

Paperform

Paperform AppSumo

Paperform allows you to easily create and share web forms that embody your project or business. Making a form is as easy as writing a doc.

Key Features

  • Unlimited number of forms
  • 1k submissions and 10k views per month
  • Embedding – Place your form where ever you like.

Retail Price: $15/month

Plutio Studio

Plutio AppSumo Deal

Plutio is a business and productivity platform that allows freelancers to manage their business from one place.

Key Features

  • Unlimited projects
  • Unlimited tasks
  • Unlimited invoices

Retail Price: $20/month

Vervoe

Vervoe AppSumo

Vervoe is an online tool that gives businesses the ability to interview, evaluate, and hire candidates all through one portal.

Key Features

  • 3 active jobs
  • Unlimited interviews
  • Unlimited candidates

Retail Price: $199/month

Briefcase: Design Tools

Beacon

Beacon AppSumo

Beacon is an app that creates beautiful looking eBooks in seconds with their professionally-designed templates, helping you generate leads and make more sales.

Key Features

  • Supercharge existing content – Get more value from existing content by recycling it into a new format.
  • Turn visitors into leads – Downloadable incentives can increase opt-in rates by up to 785%.
  • Save time and resources – Produce professional materials without hiring a creative team.

Retail Price: $29/month

DesignBold

DesignBold - AppSumoIf you’re creating presentations, webinars, flyers or resumes, DesignBold is the cleanest, simplest, and fastest online design tool for non-designers.

Key Features

  • Simple way to create graphics – Create sophisticated graphics without any need for technical expertise.
  • Photo-editing with ease – With DesignBold, you can easily edit your photos using preset filters or get advanced with professional photo-editing tools like brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.
  • High-resolution download – Easily download your design in glorious high definition for large print or web-use in JPEG, PNG or PDF.

Retail Price: $19/month

Stencil

Stencil AppSumo

With Stencil, you can create ads, YouTube thumbnails, Facebook headers, Twitter images, Instagram posts from your browser. Quickly mock up gorgeous graphic design assets in this easy and intuitive tool.

Key Features

  • 50,000+ quotes library to find the perfect quote or add any text you want.
  • 680,000+ royalty free images.
  • Pre-determined dimensions for your 34 most common projects.

Retail Price: $18/month

Briefcase: Other Tools

Brain.fm

Brain.fm - AppSumo Deal

Brain.fm combines science and music to help you enhance productivity, relaxation, meditation, and sleep, in just 15 minutes of use.

Key Features

  • Focus – Get hours of work done without distractions.
  • Meditate – Calm your mind’s chatter.
  • Sleep – Stop tossing and turning. Get restful sleep.

Retail Price: $6.95/month

In addition to all the aforementioned tools, you also get a $20 AppSumo credit to buy stuff that’s not available in Briefcase.

Briefcase Pricing

You can either opt for monthly subscription or save more money with annual subscription.

If you opt for monthly subscription, these are the plans and pricing options available to you:

  • Briefcase – $49/month
  • Briefcase Pro – $99/month
  • Briefcase Enterprise – Custom Pricing

Briefcase Monthly Plans

And, if you go for annual subscription of Briefcase, this is what you’ll be paying:

  • Briefcase – $500/month (save 15%)
  • Briefcase Pro – $900/month
  • Briefcase Enterprise – Custom Pricing

Briefcase Pricing - Annual Plans

The flagship Briefcase plan, which we’ve discussed in detail above, is the ideal plan for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and small businesses.

For medium-sized businesses, Briefcase Pro would be ideal as you get access to agency plans for tools such as Plutio and Invanto.

If you’re a large business with massive requirements and a bigger budget, then Briefcase Enterprise would be the most optimal plan for you.

For more details on all the features, click here.

Is it Worth Paying $49 a month for Briefcase?

The short answer is yes. If you were to subscribe to each of these tools, majority of which follow a subscription-based model, you’d easily be paying over thousand dollars a month.

In the end, it’s all about saving cost and getting the maximum efficiency out of some of the best business tools available in the market.

Even if you were to use, say 10 of these aforementioned tools in a given month, you’d still be saving up a considerable amount of money. If you think you’re at risk of losing some of the unused tools by the end of the month, AppSumo has a solution for that. You just need to activate the tool from the Briefcase dashboard before the month ends. That way you’ll make sure you always have access to the tool even if Briefcase discontinues the tool in the future.

On the flip side, Briefcase is yet to include any outreach tool in its package. Inclusion of Ninja Outreach or Mailshake will really make it the complete package. It’s a very small nitpick, something I’m sure the team at AppSumo will address in the near future.

As mentioned before, subscribing to monthly plans of the above tools would be downright expensive.  Most of the tools individually cost at least $50/month on their own. So the smartest move would be to get the entire selection of Briefcase tools for $49/month or $500/year.

Conclusion

I’ve tried to describe the features and benefits of all the tools currently offered by AppSumo in Briefcase. But the best way to evaluate these tools would be to sign up for a free trial. Currently, AppSumo is offering a free 7-day trial of the platform, where you can unlock some of the tools and test out the features. Click here to sign up for a free trial.

Every tool in Briefcase has been carefully selected and vetted by the AppSumo team. Rather than spending $25-50/month on one tool, you can pay $49/month through Briefcase and enjoy lifetime access to the best business tools in the market.

Click here to unlock your Briefcase

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Sandeep Mallya is the Founder/CEO of Startup Cafe, a Bangalore-based digital marketing agency. He is an active member of the startup community, having worked with several early-stage startups and accelerators. 99signals is Sandeep’s inbound marketing blog. Here you can find tips and insights to grow your site’s traffic.

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