Briefcase by AppSumo (Review): The Ultimate Business Toolkit for Entrepreneurs — Updated!

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Briefcase by AppSumo (Review): The Ultimate Business Toolkit for Entrepreneurs — Updated!

[Editor’s Note: This AppSumo Briefcase review was first published in November 2017. Since then, AppSumo has added and removed a few products from the curated selection of products under Briefcase. This review takes all that into account and provides an updated analysis of all of the tools.]

Since 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:

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

So when AppSumo announced the launch of Briefcase, a subscription-based service that grants you access to a curated selection of top-tier software and apps for just $49/month, in fall 2017, I was more than excited to join and to try out the curated list of products.

Since then, I’ve been an active subscriber of Briefcase, paying a monthly subscription fee of $49 every month, but saving thousands of dollars as a result. 

As of November 2018, there are 29 tools in Briefcase — these tools 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.

Before we begin, you may want to sign up for a 7-day free trial of Briefcase. This trial will give you full access to all the Briefcase tools for 7 days. Click on the button below to start your Briefcase trial. 

Try Briefcase for Free

What is Briefcase?

Briefcase Review: What is Briefcase by AppSumo?

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 2018, there are 29 tools in Briefcase and AppSumo adds new tools each month. 

These tools fall under the following categories:

  • Lead Generation
  • SEO
  • Social Media Marketing
  • Finance
  • Hiring
  • Design
  • Finance
  • Sales
  • Marketing
  • Customer Insights
  • Productivity

In the next section, we’ll explore the key features of all the tools included in Briefcase. If you’re already familiar with the tools under Briefcase, you can directly jump to the following sections of the article:

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 29 tools after all. Therefore, I’ll briefly describe each tool and present 3-4 best features of each tool, so you know exactly what you can expect from the tools in your Briefcase.

Briefcase: Lead Generation Tools

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

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

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

Get 7-Day Free Trial of Briefcase

Poplink

Poplink - Appsumo Deals in August

Poplink adds eye-catching call-to-action (CTA) pop-ups on any content you share, helping drive people back to your own site for more conversions.

Here’s how Poplink works in three easy steps:

  1. You discover share-worthy content and copy the link
  2. Add that link to a Poplink campaign to generate a new, trackable link
  3. Share the Poplink via your social platforms.

Key Features

  • 30 total promotions you can edit, reuse, and replace
  • Custom colors, positioning, and domain
  • Analytical data (impressions, clicks, conversions)
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Retail Price: $29/month

Briefcase: SEO Tools

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.

Retail Price: $7/month

Website Auditor

Website Auditor Briefcase

WebSite Auditor helps your site climb the SEO charts by providing in-depth on-page analysis and optimization. It uncovers every issue that can affect search engine indexation, rankings, and user experience and gives you step-by-step instructions on how to fix those issues.

Key Features

  • Optimize an unlimited number of websites
  • Measure optimization rates for competitors’ pages
  • Create in-app optimization HTML reports

With Briefcase membership, you also gain unlimited access to Website Auditor training materials, plus an incredible roadmap of future updates.

Retail Price: $49/month

Briefcase: Social Media Marketing Tools

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

Missinglettr

Missinglettr - Social Media Automation Tool

Missinglettr creates strategic, automated social media campaigns that drive traffic for an entire year. Just review their pre-generated social posts and approve the ones you like. Over the next 12 months they’ll drive traffic back to your site and increase engagement.

Key Features

  • Link unlimited sites and 25 social profiles
  • Create up to 10 campaigns a week per site
  • Invite external people to review your campaigns
  • Start a campaign for old content

Retail Price: $65/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

Get 7-Day Free Trial of Briefcase

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

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

Fiskl Prime

Fiskl AppSumo

Fiskl allows you to send invoices the moment your work is done, automate time and mileage tracking, scan expenses, request deposits and manage clients all from whatever device you happen to have with you at the time. Soon, you’ll be able to accept payments from 135+ countries with Fiskl.

Key Features

  • Unlimited invoices, clients, and storage
  • Add up to 10 users
  • Over 150 currencies supported
  • Automated currency conversion

Retail Price: $30/month

Briefcase: Sales Tools 

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

Nusii

Nusii AppSumoNusii lets you build custom proposals using your content and their well-designed proposal templates. Once the proposal is sent, you’ll have visibility into client activity along with tracking and auto-reminders.

Key Features

  • You can send up to 45 active proposals per month
  • Custom branding and custom domain
  • Automatic reminders
  • Proposal tracking notifications

Retail Price: $49/month 

Briefcase: Marketing Tools

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

KingSumo Web Pro

KingSumo Briefcase Plan

With KingSumo, you can grow your email list fast by creating viral giveaways on your site. KingSumo is the software AppSumo used to grow their email list to 750,000+ people.

You can launch your first KingSumo Giveaway with 3 easy steps:

  1. Add in the details and pictures for your giveaway
  2. Share the giveaway through your social media and/or current email list
  3. People who enter the giveaway are incentivized to share to get more entries for themselves.

Key Features

  • Unlimited giveaways
  • Facebook Pixel tracking
  • Custom branding

Retail Price: $19/month

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Briefcase: Customer Insights Tools 

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

Briefcase: Hiring Tools 

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: Productivity 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

CloudApp

CloudApp Briefcase Plan

CloudApp is the best tool for snapping screenshots, recording video walkthroughs, creating GIFs, and communicating with your team and customers. 

CloudApp lets you capture and embed video, GIFs, screencasts and marked up images throughout business workflows (eg. software development, design, customer success, support, sales, marketing).

Key Features

  • Launch CloudApp using the button or link shortcut
  • Snap a screenshot, make a GIF, share screens, or record a video
  • Automatically generate a private cloud link
  • Share with the intended recipient

Retail Price: $8/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

  • Project Management via customized workflows and organizational tools
  • Daily tasks through sorting, prioritizing, adding deadlines and notes
  • Invoice tracking by connecting your Stripe, PayPal or bank account to Plutio

Retail Price: $20/month

FollowUp Personal CRM

FollowUp CRM - AppSumo Deals in December

FollowUp – an intelligent, simple Personal CRM – helps you continue to connect effortlessly. It’s built to live inside Gmail so you can stay on top of your network as you communicate in real time. It’s incredibly intuitive, and most importantly, sustainable.

Key Features

  • Notifications and reminders to follow up with contacts
  • Search conversations, the last time you spoke, and their contact information
  • Schedule events directly from Gmail.

Retail Price: $358/year

Other Briefcase Benefits

In addition to all the aforementioned tools, here are some other benefits of an active Briefcase membership:

  • 10% off AppSumo Promotion: With this special promotion, you can get an additional 10% off on all AppSumo deals. Click here to check out all the latest AppSumo deals.
  • Free AppSumo Tool (Monthly): Every month, you get to choose the next tool added to your Briefcase products. Briefcase Pro members get to choose the next two tools to their Briefcase portfolio.

Briefcase Pricing Plans

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 Pricing 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 Yearly Pricing 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 PixelMe and Grum.

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/month for Briefcase?

In the end, it all boils down to one key question: 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 just 10 of these tools (like I do) in a given month, you’d still be saving up a considerable amount of money.

There are currently 29 tools in Briefcase. To be frank, I use only 10 of them on a regular basis: Brain.fm, Promo Republic, CloudApp, pCloud, Grum, Planable, WebTextTool, Poplink, Rocketium, and FindThatLead.

I’d like to use the rest of the tools more, but I just don’t have the time or bandwidth right now. But it’s nice to know I can access them anytime I want.

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Each 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 some of the best and most unique business tools on 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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