Live chat, cold outreach, social media, pop-up forms... there are so many lead generation tools and strategies that your marketing team can follow. But there’s no single script for success and it can get overwhelming.
In fact, 65% of businesses say that generating traffic and leads is their biggest marketing challenge.
To develop the best lead generation strategy for your business and avoid empty pipeline worries, there are several things you can do.
First, check the basics. It's no good implementing new lead gen apps if you have a leaky funnel or unoptimized strategy. Next, adopt top lead generation tools to support your strategy. Finally, integrate your apps to sync your new leads with your other sales and marketing apps.
Best practices for lead gen
Before adding new lead gen apps to your stack, check that you're already following these best practices that top marketers have in common:
- Understand your business's key personas and pinpoint the goals, pain points and common attributes of your most valuable contacts.
- Identify the channels, content type and delivery that appeal to these personas and focus your lead gen efforts on what brings real results.
- Have good analytics and automated dashboards in place to show what is working.
Once you have ticked these boxes, you will be in the best position to work on the next powerful step: building a connected ecosystem of lead generation tools to keep a consistent stream of quality leads flowing into your CRM.
Different types of marketing apps for lead gen
- Live chat
- Website forms
- Pop-ups and opt-ins
- Facebook Ads
- Marketing automation
- Email lookup
- Content marketing lead collection
- Email followup
- Video lead gen
- Lead data collection
- Landing page creation
- Calendar scheduling
10 top lead generation tools for marketers
Here are some of the best apps for lead gen, which you can integrate together and with your other sales and marketing apps.
Use it for: live chat, calendar scheduling, landing pages
Drift isn’t just a live chat tool. Their team is leading the “conversational marketing” movement: a term they coined that is redefining the modern marketing playbook.
By installing Drift on your website, you benefit from a live chat tool that’s supercharged with intelligent calendar scheduling, bot features, account-based marketing, and even conversational landing pages.
Drift Video also enables you to create and share videos that start conversations.
Although they have a free plan with basic functionality that’s designed for individual users, Drift usually doesn’t come cheap. Their Pro plan for teams is $400/month and access to advanced automation features will set you back $1500/month. However, you can think of the tool as a 24/7 SDR, working behind the scenes to fill up your lead pipeline.
Use it for: email lookup, email follow-up
Prospect.io is designed for sales teams, but a lot of marketers love it as a B2B lead gen tool. The automation platform provides a handy way to find and verify email addresses, job titles, location and other contact information.
You can then reach out to these prospects via cold emails and drip campaigns and integrate new contacts with your existing tools as they move down the funnel.
Use it for: marketing automation, calendar scheduling, live chat, website forms, pop-ups and opt-ins, content marketing lead collection, email follow-up, landing page creation
HubSpot is one of the most powerful all-in-one software choices out there. The HubSpot CRM is free, but their Marketing, Sales, and Service Hubs are paid. However, as a growing team with enough budget, HubSpot enables you to tick a lot of boxes with the one tool.
To boost your leads, you can use HubSpot as automated lead generation software to open up various contact collection channels on your website, including website forms, live chat, pop-ups and banners and calendar scheduling.
One of the top advantages of HubSpot is its automation features, especially once a new lead enters your funnel. Marketers say that the biggest benefits of automation are saving time, increased customer engagement, more timely communications and increased opportunities including up-selling. HubSpot is one of the best tools for accessing these results.
Use it for: sales engagement, including sales dialer, sequences, email and tracking, and intelligence features
Are you using account-based sales in your lead gen and nurturing strategy? With an account-based sales strategy, you identify your target audience and get crystal-clear on your personas before creating a list of target companies and prospects to reach out to and nurture. This can be especially effective for enterprise sales.
Use it for: website forms, pop-ups and opt-ins
Mailchimp is known first and foremost as a popular email marketing platform. But it’s also a powerful lead generation tool. With Mailchimp, you can get more leads in your funnel by:
- Embedding sign-up forms on your website, such as in your blog sidebar or website footer.
- Using pop-ups to convert website visitors to contacts with compelling content after they scroll a certain % or move their mouse to leave (exit intent).
- Creating a shareable URL link to your newsletter, allowing you and your subscribers to share your latest campaign on social media.
Use it for: website forms, pop-ups and opt-ins
If you look at top-converting websites that generate leads while their marketers are asleep, you’ll probably notice they have something in common: they use slide-ins, pop-ups or opt-ins.
These take a bit of tact to get right, as you don’t want to bombard your website visitor with intrusive pop-ups and push up your bounce rate. A tool like OptinMonster helps you to set up your lead magnets and adjust the settings to be valuable instead of irritating to visitors.
Use it for: managing your leads as a real estate company
As a real estate professional, Follow Up Boss can radically streamline your work and help you close more deals with less effort. The CRM and lead management tool enables you to automatically import and distribute leads from 200+ sources. You can also sync Follow Up Boss with your other real estate apps using PieSync.
Use it for: identifying who’s browsing your website
Collecting website visitor data isn’t always easy. More often than not, it’s challenging. If you’re just looking at the information in Google Analytics and your CRM, you’re probably missing the full picture. You might wonder, who is actually looking at my website?
Leadfeeder is one tool that’s designed to help you get around these issues. The B2B lead generation software identifies the companies and decision-makers visiting your website, how they found you, and what they’re interested in. You can then send these new leads to your team by automatically updating your CRM.
Use it for: live chat, email followup
Intercom is a powerful all-round solution with a great reputation for both B2B and B2C companies. It enables many types of conversations with your leads and customers and makes it easy to incorporate helpful knowledge bases and qualification forms.
Intercom has been putting a lot of effort into developing their automation features in recent years, so customers can quickly capture the right information and immediately respond to frequently asked questions using custom bots.
Use it for: landing page creation, pop-ups and opt-ins
Lead generation and high-converting landing pages go hand-in-hand… but how do you create a landing page that converts? Unbounce is designed to make that easier. With their page builder, you can easily create custom landing pages that convert more visitors than other solutions.
It’s also simple to use Unbounce with your other tools, including direct publishing to WordPress, so you can avoid clunky plugins and get the results you want faster.
Sync your apps for the strongest lead gen strategy
With the tools available to you, lead generation doesn’t have to be a headache. The lead gen apps in this post fill up your funnel even when you're out of the office and keep your sales team busy with new prospects.
For the best results, use PieSync to keep your contacts in sync two ways across all platforms. The best part is that when you sync your apps, you enrich your data everywhere.
That means better segmentation and personalization to get more leads to sales. And when sales picks up a new lead, they have a 360-degree view of all the marketing data you've collected for a higher chance of conversion.