Building and maintaining an effective lead generation strategy is no easy task.
However, it is also an incredibly rewarding endeavor that will pay off handsomely if you are able to execute your plans with precision and efficiency.
To help accelerate your journey and decrease your “time to target”, I have compiled a list of the best lead generation tools in the industry.
Whether you are looking for a way to find new prospects, capture new leads, improve your CRM, or simply manage existing leads, I have found the best tools for the job.
So, if you are ready to take your lead generation to the next level, then let’s get to it.
Buying Leads From Lead Generation Companies
Before I dive into the top tools and software platforms that you can use to quickly grow a list of prospects, we need to address the elephant in the corner.
Why in the world would you invest in prospecting tools and software when you could just buy a mailing list of prospects?
After all, isn’t that the easy way to do things?
But it is also wildly inefficient, unreliable, and unnecessary.
Lead generation companies that claim to have a targeted list of buyers often provide misinformation to beef up their sales pitch.
Also, they will sell the same list to other professionals in your niche resulting in loads of competition for you, and a plethora of unwanted emails for prospects.
The best lead generation companies will work with your company to create a long-term strategy that perpetually generates qualified leads.
I urge you to adopt list building or lead generation as a vital part of your marketing strategy. It will last longer and you’ll have valuable insights on your leads with absolute certainty.
The tools I am about to share with you are going to help you execute your strategies with minimal effort.
Not only will you never need to purchase a prospect list again, but the lists you will be able to build will have a higher conversion rate and generate a higher ROI than any purchased list ever could.
Prospecting isn’t just for B2B leads. Analyzing data, collecting emails, and driving traffic to key pages are all a part of the prospecting phase.
Whether you’re looking to contact the VP of marketing, reach new audiences on different mediums, or connect with a fellow blogger, then you need data and these prospecting tools will save you both time and money.
If you run a technology or software company, then Datanyze might just be the most important prospecting tool that you can use.
Datanyze equips you with visitor analytics tools so that you can see exactly which companies are browsing your website so that you can reach out to them later.
It also provides you with data enrichment tools so you can add technographics to your CRM and even provides you with prospecting tools to quickly hunt down new leads.
However, the main draw of Datanyze is its technology tracking software that allows you to hunt down new prospects based on the technology they use.
I know what you’re thinking…
Another rant about Quora. It’s like someone telling you to go to Facebook or LinkedIn for leads.
While it might seem like write-off of a tool, Quora is different.
Quora is quickly growing into one of the biggest online discussion boards where members can quickly find answers to burning questions online.
Regardless of your niche, if you can find a few threads or topics related to your industry, you will inevitably encounter hundreds of people asking questions that you have the expertise to answer.
And once you have proven your merit and authority by providing high-quality answers that solve the audience’s problems, you will be able to easily attract a number of leads who are interested in your products or services.
One of my niche sites has gotten over 3,500 leads from Quora in the last 2.5 months, according to my Google Analytics reports.
More on this tactic in a future post…you should probably subscribe 😉
3. Broadlook Capture
Broadlook is a Google Chrome extension that allows you to capture contact information from a variety of sources and mediums including social networks, websites, search results, and archived documents.
It will then create a comprehensive appendix of the captured information so you have the most accurate and easy to use database available.
This is a great tool for any B2B marketer looking to quickly increase prospects without wasting hundreds of hours sifting through websites and social media profiles to source prospect emails.
Here’s a video on how Capture works.
Data.com gives you immediate access to all of the prospecting data you could need.
Through Data.com’s behemoth database that contains the contact and D&B information for millions of listings, you will have all of the prospecting power you need to accelerate your lead generating capacity and business growth.
5. Sidekick for Business
Sidekick for Business is a set of tools that works with Hubspot and SalesForce. You can create your own database of templates, track email opens, clicks, and synchronize data with your CRM.
This tool also has data on over 16 million companies, which shows a person’s job title, company, social accounts, and previous email conversations.
This is a must have tool for anyone who sends emails.
Download their Chrome extension, create a free account, and you’re all set to go with 150 free lookups.
If you need more than 150 lookups per month, then their premium packages start at $49/month with the added feature of CSV exports.
CRM or customer relationship management is an integral part of successfully scaling any small business or startup.
At its simplest, a solid CRM platform (specifically as it pertains to lead generation) is meant to give business owners a centralized hub where they can access all of their prospect, lead, and client information with the click of a button.
While a CRM isn’t exactly the sexiest part of lead generation, all great businesses are built upon the foundation of strong relationships. A robust CRM program allows you to streamline and simplify finding, establishing, and nurturing those relationships.
Close.io is a CRM powerhouse and comes equipped with more bells and whistles than nearly any other software.
However, the highlights of Close.io’s services are their workflow management system and touchpoint tracking.
Their workflow management services allow you to easily keep yourself and your team on track to achieve all of your lead generation goals by providing comprehensive reports and management software to ensure that no task is left incomplete.
In addition to the workflow management, Close.io also offers an outstanding touchpoint tracking system that allows you to track every point of contact that your company has had with prospects and leads.
This allows you to easily determine what activities are having the greatest impact on prospects and leads and allows you to analyze what aspects of your lead generation funnel need tweaking.
Salesforce is your one-stop shop for all things CRM.
And while most of you probably think ‘big business’ and corporations whenever you hear of the company Salesforce, they also offer a range of products and services that are perfect for smaller businesses.
It’s cloud-based CRM platform offers a number of robust CRM solutions ranging from lead generation, contact and opportunity management, sales forecasting, workflow management and automation and a whole lot more.
This is one of the most comprehensive CRM softwares and services on the market and doesn’t come cheap, but if you have established your company within your industry and have a serious CRM team set up, then Salesforce Small Business is the perfect solution.
9. Ring.io (From SalesForce & Zoho)
Despite the growing prevalence of email and social media marketing, every great company knows the importance of getting on the phone and calling up prospects on a daily basis.
And Ring.io gives you everything you need to take your phone prospecting and sales to a whole new level.
If your company relies on over the phone sales and support but the complete Salesforce package is outside of your budget or simply unnecessary, then Ring.io is a fantastic alternative.
Some of their more remarkable features include the ability to instantly dial out to Salesforce with Native Click-to-Call, leave pre-recorded voicemails for leads, and an automated local area caller ID.
10. Lead Master
Coming in at only $150 a month for the small business package, Lead Master is simultaneously one of the most effective and cost-effective CRM solutions available.
Just like Close.io and Salesforce, Lead Master comes with an abundance of different tools and solutions to fit your business’s needs.
From sales, lead and opportunity management to workflow automation to automated outbound calling, Lead Master has everything you need to absolutely dominate your company’s CRM.
If your business is just starting out and you want to start developing your CRM program but don’t want all of the superfluous features or hefty price tags that come with some of the alternatives, then Insightly has got your covered.
They offer a simple but powerful CRM solution that gives you access to all the tools and software that you need and none of the ones that you don’t.
Ranging from $12 – $100 a month, Insightly allows you to get the biggest bang for your buck by only selecting the solutions that are needed for your business.
12. Hubspot CRM (free and paid)
Hubspot CRM has two options. Free and paid.
Hubspot’s CRM integrates with Gmail and Outlook, allowing you to send emails as you normally would, while simultaneously uploading the conversations directly into your CRM.
You’ll get valuable insights like email opens, click tracking data, templates, and scheduling.
The main differences between the free and paid version of Hubspot CRM are call features, sequences, prospecting, and meetings.
Despite the rise of social media and alternative marketing practices, email marketing still remains one of the most powerful lead generation strategies around.
However, successfully starting, growing, and nurturing a list of leads through email marketing is no easy task.
It requires an incredible amount of split testing, automation, and tracking to successfully execute a lead generation campaign via email marketing and that is exactly what the following tools will help you accomplish.
13. Convert Kit
I am currently using ConvertKit and love its simplicity. It’s the perfect combination of MailChimp’s easy to use interface, paired with InfusionSoft’s powerful automation features.
ConvertKit organizes email contacts by form, tags, and segments. This allows you to create hyper-targeted segments and offer relevant products and content to the right people.
Another way that I’ve used ConvertKit is to segment interest based opt-ins through my content upgrades.
For example, you’ll see that my interest based segment on essential oils is significantly larger than those who are interested in beginner blogging tips.
ConvertKit is perfect for bloggers who need a simple way to create advanced segments without the hassle.
14. Active Campaign
I have tested a lot of email marketing tools in my day and I can say without a doubt that Active Campaign is the most effective all-in-one solution on the marketplace for launching, growing, and managing a successful mailing list.
Recently, I started using Active Campaign for a niche site and boy is it robust!
Active Campaign comes equipped with a vast host of email marketing and CRM tools that allow you to segment and customize your methods to ensure the highest possible conversion rates.
It even offers advanced lead tracking to view how your subscribers interact with your website. It’s similar to the way Facebook retargeting ads allow you to send ads to people who have already visited your website. The difference is that you don’t have to pay anything to send your content or offers to your subscribers.
The true power of Active Campaign is found in the automations.
You can create virtually any automation to make smart marketing and sales decisions.
For example, if you find that people who opt in for offer A and visit pages X and Y are more likely to buy than those who opt-in for offer B, you can create an automated workflow to funnel your B-level subscribers to the A-level funnel.
Here’s what your automation might look like.
And of course, after they’ve joined your A funnel, you can send nurture content like pages X and Y that happen to be your magic pieces of content that trigger buying behavior.
Active Campaign is seriously undervalued right now and I’m considering making the shift there which will save me hundreds of dollars each month in software.
While Active Campaign might be the king of email marketing on a broad scale, Mailchimp is the undisputed champion of ecommerce email marketing.
MailChimp is specifically designed with ecommerce in mind and offers integrations with all of the biggest names in the industry including Woocommerce, Shopify, and Magento.
It also includes comprehensive analytics, intuitive design features, and a whole range of other tools to help you generate and connect with leads like never before.
And as an added bonus, MailChimp’s services are completely free for companies with mailing lists under 2,000 subscribers and more advanced plans start at only $10/month. This is an ideal email marketing platform for those that are just starting out.
Growbots is unlike any other email marketing solution on this list.
Their unique software provides automated outbound lead generation, performance tracking, CRM integration, and even prospecting tools.
With a database containing over 200 million contacts, Growbots is really more like an all-in-one lead generation and management package.
However, all of this automation and usability come at a price.
With the cheapest options costing over $500 a month, Growbots is no small investment and it requires you to have already built a substantial infrastructure (or revenue stream) prior to offering any real value.
If you are a business minded freak like me, when you hear the phrase “The one that got away”, you likely think of leads you failed to capture and not romantic partners who you failed to woo.
And the simple fact is, without an intelligent lead capture solution integrated into your business, you are going to be hearing that phrase a lot more than you would like.
However, by using the following tools, you will be able to capture and convert leads with much greater success than you have ever experienced before.
When it comes to lead capture, there’s nothing easier and more effective than LeadPages. LeadPages is a drag-and-drop/click and edit landing page builder.
There are 3 distinct features that you should know about.
- Create landing pages in minutes.
- Create two step opt-ins in minutes (Leadboxes).
- Create text message opt-ins in seconds (Leaddigits).
Leadpages landing page builder is as simple as choosing a template > click and edit.
Leadboxes let’s you create a two step opt-in. Leadpages found that two step opt-ins produced about a 30% increase in conversions.
The first step of the opt-in is in the form of a link. You can choose a hyperlink, button, or image.
Once a user clicks on the link, a popup appears like this:
Last but not least are Leaddigits. This feature lets you take your lead generation offline by allowing people to send a text to subscribe. For example, if you text “MONEYJOURNAL” to 44222, then you’ll subscribe to my blog.
This strategy is extremely effective for podcasters and on television.
I’ve been a Leadpages customer for a year and change and consider it to be one of my favorite lead gen tools.
Once a prospect leaves your site, there is no guarantee that they’ll ever come back. And that’s where Optinmonster works its magic.
Optinmonster has a slew of features that help website owners convert their visitors into subscribers. A few of their best-known features include:
- Timed popups
- Exit intent popups
- Fullscreen welcome gate.
- Floating optin bars.
- and the list goes on..
You might think that popups are annoying, but the truth is that they are extremely effective.
For one of my health blogs, we used a timed popup for mobile and desktop users. Here are the conversion rates over the past 3 weeks.
Optinmonster makes it a cinche to set these up with a simple click and edit interface.
19. Lead Formly
Developed by the team over at Venture Harbor, Lead Formly is a tool designed to help you create fully optimized lead generation forms quicker, easier, and more pain-free than ever before.
Based on years of research, and testing within the realm of conversion optimized lead generation forms, Lead Formly takes away all of the confusion and provides you with a chest full of simple but powerful tools that will allow you to quickly generate more leads.
One of the features that separates Lead Formly from the aforementioned lead capture softwares, is its ability to track lead quality.
This feature shows you which forms are generating the highest ROI, allowing you to optimize each campaign to its maximum potential.
20. Turnstile by Wistia
If your company has integrated video marketing into your overall content plan, then Turnstile is a fantastic way to easily utilize your videos to capture leads.
Typically, whenever your audience views one of your videos the only way that you can prompt them to subscribe is to use annotations or put a link in the description.
However, with Turnstile, an app developed by Wistia, you can now prompt your audience to subscribe by including an opt-in form at any point during the video (beginning, middle, end).
This is a great way to ensure that you can quickly convert engaged audience members into leads.
If you are wanting to implement no-nonsense A/B testing into your lead capture plan (and you should be), then Unbounce provides a great platform allowing you to do just that.
Unbounce provides a comprehensive and straightforward way to quickly create fully optimized landing pages that convert.
By utilizing their easy to use testing software and in-depth analytics, your landing pages will be converting like crazy in no time.
22. Hello Bar
Hello Bar is one of the latest evolutions in lead capture software that enables website owners to place an elegant and simple opt-in bar across the top of their website so that they can capture leads without resorting to pop-ups or other, less tactful methods.
With a simple WordPress plugin or line of code, any entrepreneur or website manager can quickly install Hello Bar onto their site.
While the unobtrusive design provides a constant reminder for audience members to subscribe to your mailing list, it is so well integrated into the layout and design of your site that you never have to worry about putting users off with overly conspicuous forms.
And to put the icing on the cake, Hello Bar is free for any website owner looking to take advantage of its basic features.
For a few dollars extra a month, you can upgrade to a premium account which removes the Hello Bar logo and allows RSS integration.
23. Scroll Triggered Pop-up
Popups are a fantastic marketing and lead generation tool when they are used correctly.
However, the trick is that they need to be targeted to audience members who are already engaged and interested in your company and not to viewers who are precariously close to leaving your website.
Scroll-Triggered Popup allows you to customize your popups to ensure that they are only shown to visitors that you feel are engaged and likely to convert.
This tool gives you the power to customize when your popups are shown (for example after a reader has scrolled halfway through a page) and with its wide array of other options, ensures that you can optimize your popups for some of the best results possible.
24. LinkedIn Sales Navigator (LSN)
For any of you who run or market for a B2B business, LinkedIn Sales Navigator is a phenomenal tool for rapidly capturing leads and growing your company.
LSN not only sends you lead recommendations and enables you to see exactly who has viewed your profile, but it also allows you to save new leads into your company’s CRM straight from LinkedIn.
I have said it many times before on this website and will say it many times again.
The final component of an effective lead generation strategy actually has nothing to do with generating leads per se, but rather retaining them.
Once you have used the above tools to capture new leads who are interested in your product or service, it is essential that you maintain their interest and know which leads to follow up with to ensure that your sales team can easily convert them.
25. Intercom Acquire
Intercom Acquire is an exciting new lead management tool that equips you with the power to communicate with leads based upon the action they take on your website.
For example, if you notice that a potential lead has spent 30 seconds on a product, information, or pricing page, you can send them an automated message like the one below that will connect them with a sales representative.
This is a great way to engage with leads and prevent the loss of revenue that is so commonly associated with product or pricing confusion.
26. Lead Forensics
Lead Forensics is a new tool that allows you to track down and contact otherwise ‘lost’ leads who have visited your website but did not fill out a contact form.
For B2B businesses, this is an absolute game changer.
Lead Forensics uses business’s IP addresses to let you know which companies are viewing your product or service pages so that you can follow up, capture the lead, and close the sale.
Once you know which company viewed your website and left, you can then track them down through LinkedIn, Data.com, or something similar and discuss your solutions directly.
While Qualaroo is commonly seen as a customer research tool, it can also be used to great effect to retain and convert leads.
Instead of using Qualaroo for customer surveys, you can use their software to ask your audience members a series of questions that ultimately result in a follow-up call or email.
For example, by simply asking the question “What can we help you with today,” you can use the questionnaire format to direct your audience to the most relevant products and set up a consultation call.
Regardless of your lead generation goals, it is essential that you have the right tools to accomplish the job.
More importantly, you need to create a cohesive system that’s right for your business. If you want a full behind the scenes case study on how I created a lead generation system that increased goal completions by 1,818.42% and resulted in a 1,500% increase in sales, then click the image below to get free access.
And whichever tool(s) that you choose from the above list, I hope that this article has provided you with some insightful recommendations that you can utilize to accelerate the growth and success of your lead generation campaigns.
Are there any tools that I missed? Any of the above that you have used before to great effect? Let me know in the comments below!