How do you find new Beta Apps?
Short answer: Lots of research, outreach, and links.
If you don't want to spend hours everyday searching, there are some great sites that aggregate and accept submissions for beta software to help make your job easier.
Using an app that's "In Beta"
There are more startups now than you can know what to do with (let alone decide on) and it's incredibly difficult to know if the time commitment to learning, setting up, and testing out a potentially volatile solution is worth it.
Researching for solutions that solve your problems is hard enough; it's nearly impossible to find the less popular (and potentially better) startups that haven't received as much exposure. Example: Google search for OneClickMeet (#1 below) and try to find them in the SERPs.
That's why we've created the BetaFeed; to help separate the wheat from the chaff in the growing field of business startups and beta applications.
Here are 10 awesome apps and solutions that are currently in beta that we have highlighted in our BetaFeed over the past 2 weeks.
You might find something you've always been looking for; but even if you don't, hopefully these solutions spark some ideas and inspiration for your business.
OneClickMeet is a 3rd-party, hosted audio / video / chat solution for your website.
They offer 2 different types of plan:
- User to User - where you would have members of the site interacting with one another
- Customer Support - where users would call in and meet with one of your support staff
Setup for User to User calling is a bit more complicated than having your site communicate directly with OneClickMeet. It’s set up by first adding and setting up an authentication protocol to your site (oauth2) and then linking your site with OneClickMeet. After this, you have to paste the widget code wherever an authorized user would have access to it.
In the Customer Support setup, you only need to link your website with OneClickMeet and then place the widget code anywhere on the site where you would want a user to be able to make support calls.
The applications for OneClickMeet are really pretty boundless. You could start a dating site, add a “get a consultation” page, or (and probably the most typical application) add support to your site.
They have plans to integrate file sharing, video conferencing, and the ability to monetize the calls and handle billing in the coming months.
Trialfire takes traditional behavioral analytics setup and makes it accessible to a wider range of technical experience levels. They offer the ability to click through your website, in the same fashion that a user would, to establish which elements to track for clicks.
Some things you can do:
- Set priority levels on each pin to help create groupings that can represent a flow.
- Get real-time updates of interactions with your site.
- Set up tracking in 5 minutes and integrate it with your reporting tool (Google Analytics, Mixpanel, and KISSmetrics for now with more coming)
The setup requires a code on your site (as most services do) but after that you need only to integrate with the reporting tool of your choice and you can view the event tracking in that program. After that, just launch the “Pin Mode” (which is an overlay and widget that popup on your site) to set up your new tracking pins.
I can see some seriously cool possibilities coming from these guys with regards to funnels, conversions, and other, more complex metric setup. The premise is great: set up your tracking easily and intuitively, see what your users see, and make changes based on the data you gather.
Mondovo is an All-in-One campaign and site monitoring tool. Campaigns are setup based on a name and associated URL, after which you can add any number of social accounts, google analytics profiles, and perform link analysis and competitor research.
The Dashboard is a neat drag-and-drop setup that allows you to view your Google Analytics data, Facebook Insights, and any number of RSS news feeds in a tiled grid. There is also a quick launch widget that can take you to any facet of the service.
One of the most interesting aspects of Mondovo is their pricing and usage fee setup. You are allotted a certain number of “Credits” and can run / perform / monitor as many things as you’d like within your credit limit. Example: Twitter feed monitoring is 100 credits / month while running a report or analysis (through their own outsourced & subscribed services) costs a base credit price + each competitor link / subdomain / aspect. Everything has a price.
Definitely a neat way to integrate your monitoring and competitor research into one place. Mondovo has the potential to grow into an even more complete analytics / competitor research suite in the future.
In the business of making connections, Hookify acts as a re-router for your services’ outbound messages. Arrange complex workflows and send data from one app to another where they otherwise may not have communicated.
Hookify really emphasizes their ability to connect ANYTHING:
“If you can do it via the Web, Hookify can do it for you - without custom code!’
They currently allow a lot of inbound and outbound connections and have Email as well as Instant messaging inbound connections coming soon. Here’s what you can do:
If you can’t think of at least ONE potential use for a service like this I’d be amazed. Think of all of the things you can do with IFTTT or Zapier. Anywhere you’ve seen an “Integrations” or “3rd-party apps” section in a web app, you can be sure that their service is capable of being used as a trigger with Hookify. Many, many potential uses for this beta app!
Remindabill takes the sometimes unpleasant task of asking for your (hard-earned) receivables and making it as smooth as possible. Not only do they aim to get you your money, The service works to retain your clients by helping you to avoid sending their account into collections. They do this through a series of escalating, automated reminders (that gradually increase in frequency and intensity) to nudge your accounts towards payment.
This isn’t all it does; Remindabill also boasts:
- Custom-branded one-time or recurring invoicing
- “Set and forget” communications scheduling service
- Integrations with Peachtree and Intuit products
- Tracking of communications (phone, email, and physical visits)
- Everything is setup through the simple, web-based dashboard
If you perform, manage, or represent contract workers and accounts receivable, Remindabill is a polished solution that is launching soon. Get in on the ground-level while you can, and help to shape this powerful solution so that it caters (even more) to your unique needs.
ReClaimHub is the first embeddable small-business-oriented lost property management solution that I have seen.
Typically (and if you do some research for these software) the available solutions are:
- Geared towards enterprises and large chains
- Their own service and portal
- Downright ugly, unusable by the small business end-user
ReClaimHub has the potential to define “Lost-and-found as a Service” with their automated alerts system, web-based “found item” entry and tagging system, and embeddable widget that lets your customers report lost items without ever interacting with a representative.
This service can be especially useful when contact information is vague, hours are variable, and the staff are constantly shifting. As it stands, it’s quite easy for an employee to find an item, leave it somewhere, write a note to another employee (or you the supervisor), and for it to be lost or forgotten. ReClaimHub would eliminate the lack of communication over found items.
The lost property management dilemma is just all-around in need of a solution like ReClaimHub. By allowing self-reporting, The customer (who lost the item) gets at least a sense that their concern over their property was recorded and that there was an outlet for it. In addition, found items will never be forgotten as they will always be input into the system and tagged.
It will be interesting to see how the automated identification system handles parsing a customer’s description of their product with the “finder’s” description of the product but ReClaimHub claims that the system will automatically alert you when someone reports an item that matches your description in the system. I can see some neat integrations to go along with this service. Who knows, maybe soon you will be able to ask Siri to find your lost item and she will be submitting requests through ReClaimHub.
Hexsee homepage and mantra offers us a stinging reminder that we haven’t quite arrived at the prophetic “Social Web” quite yet. While we are surely more social online than before, as Hexsee’s feature list made me acutely aware, browsing web pages is still an incredibly isolated affair.
Hexsee can enrich any web experience by merging chat and browsing. You can:
- Seeing where friends are and being able to jump to their same page
- Support multiple chat threads next to the content you’re discussing
- Joining multiple group “expeditions” at the same time
- Keep a visual history of your browsing and chat (creates a timeline of events, pages, and chats)
- Lists all resources visited and who went there and chats are linked to locations for easy recall
In case you freaked out when you first read those like I did, there is a nice big section on privacy as well. Hexsee allows you to set privacy filters, expeditions are on separate layers, and the Hexsee layer itself is secure, private, and only visible to the group.
While Hexsee bills itself as a social solution, I find it to be an addendum to and compliment to current chat and collaboration tools for business teams. Hope on an expedition to discuss design revisions to the site, research competitors together, and add the interactivity with the content that is always lacking in screen-sharing and conference calls.
Springboard is a content personalization service that allows you to serve different content blocks to specifically targeted user segments. Users can be targeted based on Environment (location, language, device, and history), Interests (built by their site navigation), and behaviors (how they interact with the site).
Say you cater to clients across the U.S. over a variety of demographics and interests, if a user is on the West Coast, they can be targeted with different content than someone on the East Coast. This can all be set up through their dashboard, where you will select each individual targeting metric and then define the specific content to include in that content block.
The result? Completely customized content that you can then show to the audience that it will hopefully resonate with. You can have unlimited content blocks, variations, and targeting rules and will only pay for page views where the script appears.
While it’s unclear if you can read profiles of users before they land on your site (demographics info from google and the likes) this type of adaptive, responsive site customization makes for an excellent user experience and can aid in conversions if used correctly.
OpenSoon is soon to be the “go to” research tool for those selling anything to restaurants and distributors. Whether you sell cutlery, cleaning services, restaurant software, or marketing services, having a list of unestablished, restaurateurs who are hungry to establish their logistics could be a gold mine for your business.
OpenSoon gets you a seat at the table during the key decision-making time for these restaurants. And best of all: you don’t need to do any of the work. They send you notifications when new listings match your criteria.
Two words: Lead Generation
The listings are exclusively pre-opening establishments. This is the prime time to make contact with these new business owners. This is a win for both sides of this equation. For a restaurant owner, they are granted more choice and the services are essentially presented to them, granting them a position of power. But by the same token, you may never have reached out to these companies otherwise and would have heard of them only after they had established vendor relations and were up and running.
Knowing about OpenSoon could be one of the best tools you will ever find to generate leads for your your restaurant supply or service business.
Primeloop is going to change the way you think about link shortening. If you use bit.ly or any other service that shortens your links, you know that you can get analytics on clicks and timeframes. If you happen to only use it to shorten URLs for Tweets (and to generally clean up long, ugly URLS) then Primeloop may actually explode your mind through its sheer potential.
Essentially, what Primeloop does is to take any shortened link (be it to your content or another’s content) and to tie that with a retargeting campaign in Google Adwords.
The steps look like this:
- Sign up for Primeloop
- Connect a Google Analytics account with retargeting campaigns in it
- Download the Chrome extension
- Find a link, use the extension, and select a campaign to tie it with
- You are presented with a link to use for whatever content you selected.
What happens now is that anytime someone clicks on that shortened link, they are added to your retargeting campaign.
If you’re using your own content and want to re-market a particular promotion or product that happened to be in that content, you can now tie retargeting campaigns to particular URLs.
Alternatively, lets say that you are looking to target users who visit content and pages on another site or who are in a certain demographic that you want to market to. You are now able to share a link (that has more pull than your own content) and then when those users click the shortened link, even though they didn’t go to your site, they are then added to the list of users to be presented with your retargeting campaign.
Plus, you get all the regular click and link stats that you would have gotten anyway from other services. It’s got amazing potential and there is only room for expansion into other functionality.
What do you think of these Beta Apps?
Do you have an app that you’d like to list in the BetaFeed? Let us know in the comments section below and don't forget to check out all of our beta apps in the BetaFeed.