Businesses of all shapes, sizes, scope, and industries are trying to turbocharge their lead generation efforts. Generating more leads might just require a few changes to your current sales and marketing strategy, however, generating quality leads and at scale is quite another challenge.
As a result, many businesses invest in and adopt lead generation platforms. In fact, 79 percent of top-performing businesses leverage automated lead generation tools.
In 2020 and for the foreseeable future, having good lead generation software in place to capitalize on great content will still be an important strategy for marketers. However, with the wealth of lead generation tools out there, how do marketers know which tools are worth adding to their already-full tech stacks?
What is a lead generation tool?
A lead generation tool is a tool or software that makes it easy to capture qualified leads without doing a ton of manual outreach, follow-ups, and nurturing.
When marketers think of a “lead generation tool,” they likely think of some of the popular, full-suite sales and marketing tools today, such as Salesforce, HubSpot, and Marketo.
However, lead generation tools can take many forms, which include the following:
- Inbound lead generation tools
- Outbound lead generation tools
- Email marketing tools
- Search marketing tools
- Conversational and messaging tools
- SEO or on-page lead generation tools
So, what makes a good lead generation tool? Here are some of the criterion we used when reviewing each lead generation tool:
- Available features: Does the tool have the features you need, or are they all “fluff”? A good lead generation tool provides you with valuable features rather than “pretty” features.
- Usability or level of user-friendliness: Businesses and marketers are already pressed for time. So, a lead generation tool that is easy to set up, use, and navigate — without the need for intervention from an IT department or software developer — is ideal.
- Platform integrations: Because marketers’ tech stacks are full, using a lead generation tool that integrates or connects to other tools to help streamline your sales and marketing processes are a must-have today.
- Cost: Of course, because many businesses and agencies are bootstrapping or lack sufficient resources, cost is an obvious factor we want to consider.
The top 20 lead generation tools
In this list, we have included a mix of different lead generation tools and types. Here is our comprehensive list of the top 20 lead generation tools today:
Many marketers claim that OptinMonster is one of the best lead generation tools available today for startups and small businesses, agencies, bloggers, and even e-commerce businesses. They offer a wide range of features and functionalities designed to help businesses generate quality leads.
- Available features: OptinMonster is well known for its robust features and functionalities designed to help users grow email lists, boost website conversions, build forms, and even set up and run campaigns.
- User-friendliness: After reviewing a handful of user reviews, OptinMonster is fairly straightforward and easy to use, and requires little setup time.
- Platform integration: OptinMonster plays nice with many other favorite tools and applications, including MailChimp, HubSpot, Drift, Campaign Monitor, and many more. Check out their complete list of integrations here.
- Cost: One might think that with all the features and functionalities you get with OptinMonster that it might come with a high price tag. However, you can set up a basic plan for as little as $9 per month (billed annually).
For larger businesses that require more functionality, business plans are available for $49 per month (billed annually). As a result, OptinMonster rates high on the affordability list.
From managing a full contact database to publishing a blog, HubSpot provides sales and marketing teams with everything they need to generate leads and function as a well-oiled machine.
- Available features: The platform provides the necessary features and functionalities that should be in every marketer’s toolbox, including data analytics and reporting, social media, email marketing, lead flows, landing pages, and more.
- User-friendliness: It’s relatively easy to set up and use. However, depending on how you want the tool to work, some of the features can be somewhat complex. In some cases, it might be helpful to have an IT person around for assistance. HubSpot does also offer live chat and phone support if you get stuck.
- Platform integrations: Like OptinMonster, HubSpot integrates with a whole host of tools and applications, including LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Google Suite, Zoom, Databox, and many more, including ClearVoice.
- Cost: Although users love HubSpot, one of the biggest downsides to using the tool is the cost. Although the marketing dashboard starts at only $50 per month, most users need more functionality and only see benefits from subscribing to both the Marketing and Sales hub platforms. This can cost businesses upwards of $800 per month, which is way out of budget for many businesses. However, the businesses that do pay the high cost claim it is well worth it.
Unbounce is a dedicated landing page builder that helps marketers convert more visitors and leads into buyers and sales. In fact, more landing pages (like those used in paid search campaigns) than websites convert leads into loyal customers.
- Available features: Although Unbounce is a dedicated landing page builder with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop feature, it also offers A/B testing, analytics, form creation, SEO management, and more.
- User-friendliness: Although it is designed with their self-proclaimed “easy drag-and-drop builder”, some users claim it can take up to 30 minutes to figure out how the tool works.
- Platform integrations: Unbounce offers a number of in-app integrations, including Aweber, Campaign Monitor, Close.io, Constant Contact, and more. See the complete list of applications here.
- Cost: Unbounce monthly plans start at $79 per month. There is also a discounted annual billing option. They also offer a free trial.
Instapage is another popular landing page builder used by many marketers to generate and convert more leads.
- Available features: Instapage is designed with many features, including drag-and-drop content blocks, CTAs, forms, visuals, A/B testing, and so on.
- User-friendliness: The platform has a very clean, organized, and modern user interface, which makes it super easy to set up and use.
- Platform integrations: Instapage boasts their available integrations with over 100 different tools, including Facebook Ads, Google Ads, Rollworks, and more. See their complete list of platform integrations.
- Cost: Instapage and its many features can cost users $99 to $199 per month.
Optimizely is a tool that helps users build high-performing landing pages designed to convert and also build experiences.
- Available features: Optimizely also offers users a number of tools and features to perform and run tests and experiments across websites and mobile apps. This allows marketing teams to understand how landing pages are performing and what they can do to further “optimize” them to drive more conversions.
- User-friendliness: After reading a handful of customer reviews, users believe that Optimizely is easy to use. It’s highly-intuitive and clean interface provides for a great user experience.
- Platform integrations: Optimizely does offer various platform integrations, however, some applications require an enterprise plan. Learn more here.
- Cost: Optimizely offers multiple plans for businesses of different sizes and needs. Interested users must contact one of their reps for a quote.
Marketo is another complete marketing dashboard that provides marketers and users with everything they need for lead generation, lead management, marketing automation, and even account-based marketing (ABM) for both B2C and B2B businesses.
- Available features: With a focus on data and analytics, Marketo offers lead scoring, analytics and ROI tracking, landing pages and forms, segmentation, and more.
- User-friendliness: Although Marketo is rated “best-in-class software” by many users, it isn’t necessarily the easiest tool to use. Many users claim that sufficient training is required to be able to use the tool effectively.
- Platform integrations: Marketo offers a number of CRM integrations and other tools, including Drift, Vidyard, Zoom, RingLead, and more. Learn more here.
- Cost: In terms of cost, Marketo is up there… Plans start at $895 per month. Marketo doesn’t offer a free plan, but does offer a free trial.
Keap, formerly known as InfusionSoft, is a powerful lead generation tool and CRM that allows users to build and manage leads lists, segment emails, and shopping carts.
- Available features: There are a lot of reasons to love Keap, and one of those reasons is the number of available features. Keap allows users to import or add new contacts, schedule appointments, and send email follow-ups or automated SMS messages.
- User-friendliness: The Keap dashboard is simple to understand and easy to navigate. It only takes a few minutes of exploring the tool to see how it works.
- Platform integrations: Like the best of the best lead generation tools, Keap also offers a wide variety of integrations, including Gmail, Instapage, OptinMonster, Shopify, and many more.
- Cost: You can try Keap for 14 days at zero cost or risk by signing up here.
If your leads lists are disorganized or mismanaged, and segmenting audiences is a giant pain, then ZoomInfo is the answer. ZoomInfo is a cloud-based, AI-enabled lead generation tool that triggers users when a lead, prospect, or customer fills out a form, downloads a gated asset, or completes the onboarding process.
- Available features: ZoomInfo provides a wide range of features, including customer and list segmentation; filters, triggers, and parameters; lead workflows, and contact management.
- User-friendliness: The platform hasn’t always been easy to use, however, after a recent round of product updates, the UI is now easier to navigate.
- Platform integrations: ZoomInfo can also easily be integrated with other third-party tools and CRMs, such as Salesforce, Marketo, Zoho, HubSpot, Pipedrive, and more.
- Cost: Pricing isn’t readily available for ZoomInfo, however, they do offer a free version.
Pardot is another B2B lead generation platform (owned by Salesforce) that allows users and marketers to streamline marketing automation and email marketing.
- Available features: What makes Pardot different is its focus on business intelligence insights, reporting, and maximizing ROI. It offers a wide range of reporting related to measuring website traffic and conversion rates.
- User-friendliness: Overall Pardot is easy to use, however, the positioning of some of the features isn’t very intuitive and be confusing at times.
- Platform integrations: Pardot does integrate with a number of tools, including Salesforce, Instagram, Unbounce, and several others.
- Cost: In terms of pricing, Pardot is a bit more expensive and is designed for more medium-sized businesses to enterprises. It costs upwards of $1,250 per month, per user. Therefore, it may not be the best tool for startups or small businesses that are on shoestring budgets.
Hootsuite is one of the top social media management tools out there with over 16 million users! Many of those users also leverage Hootsuite for lead generation purposes.
- Available features: Hootsuite offers a great deal of functionality, including contact management, task management, scheduling and calendar management, and content management.
- User-friendliness: Its navigation has come a long way, making it clear and easy for users to create and schedule new social posts.
- Platform integrations: Hootsuite is powerful and has added considerable functionality, including integrations with other third-party apps.
- Cost: They do continue to offer their free plan with limited functionality. However, most users see the most value from the tool with a paid version. The paid version starts at $29/month, which includes up to 10 social media profiles, unlimited scheduling, and one user.
For larger teams, Hootsuite costs $129/month, which includes everything in the Professional plan, 20 social media profiles, unlimited scheduling, and up to three users.
11. LinkedIn Sales Navigator
The opportunities and possibilities with using Linkedin today are endless. With a solid sales and nurturing strategy, LinkedIn Sales Navigator can become your primary lead gen source.
- Available features: With LinkedIn Sales Navigator, you can use the Search feature to build lead lists for your sales teams, add those lists into a CRM, and perform sales outreach. Also, at the beginning of March 2020, Linkedin announced some new product updates, which include new CRM integrations, better reporting and InMail activity tracking, and SmartLinks.
- User-friendliness: After exploring the tool for a brief amount of time, users can easily figure out how to use Sales Navigator.
- Platform integrations: Although there aren’t a ton of platform integrations available for Linkedin Sales Navigator for the time being, the list is steadily growing. Some popular integrations include ZoomInfo and HubSpot.
- Cost: Linkedin Sales Navigator starts at $65 per month, per user.
Many small businesses and enterprises use Salesforce as their primary CRM, sales and marketing dashboard, reporting and analytics, and much more. Salesforce also functions as a great lead generation tool, allowing sales teams to attract, grow, and manage customer relationships easier and faster.
- Available features: Salesforce is designed with a wide range of lead generation features, including lead scoring, email marketing, list segmentation, quotes and proposals, and more.
- User-friendliness: After reading a number of customer reviews, many users claim Salesforce is easy to set up, use, and scale with their businesses.
- Platform integrations: Salesforce allows users to integrate their accounts with other lead generation and business applications.
- Cost: Believe it or not, Salesforce is one of the more affordable lead generation tools available. Pricing starts at $25 per user, per month. Salesforce does not offer a free plan, but they do offer a free trial.
SharpSpring offers robust, powerful, and affordable marketing automation and lead generation for small businesses, startups, and marketing agencies.
- Available features: SharpSpring is rich with available features, and it is also one of the most flexible applications available on the market. It comes with behavior-based email marketing, CRM integration, social media management tools, landing page and blog builders, lead scoring, drip campaigns, and much more.
- User-friendliness: After reading a number of customer reviews, many users claim SharpSpring is easy to set up, use, and scale with their businesses.
- Platform integrations: Like other programs in this list, SharpSpring also integrates with hundreds of other third-party tools and apps, and also boasts universal CRM connectivity.
- Cost: One of the reasons why users and marketers love SharpSpring is because it offers the same robust and powerful functionality for a third of the cost of many other competing programs. To access the full SharpSpring system and all its features, it only costs users a one-time setup fee of $1,800 and then $400 per month from thereafter. Additional users are free.
Drift is one of the first online conversational marketing platforms. Drift essentially replaces form fill-outs, cold-calling, and endless follow-up emails, and completely revolutionalizes the modern buying experience for potential customers. Drift allows users to improve the buying experience for customers, generate qualified leads, and accelerate the sales cycle.
- Available features: Drift is designed with bots and artificial intelligence to help businesses connect website visitors in real-time. Drift also allows users to create and build customized chat experiences for website visitors and leads. This particular lead generation tool is very different from the others on this list.
- User-friendliness: Although many users might read “bots and artificial intelligence” and immediately think that Drift requires advanced technology or knowledge to set it up. However, it is relatively easy to set up, use, and navigate — without the need for an IT team or software developer.
- Platform integrations: Drift can integrate with other tools and applications, including Slack, Salesforce, Marketo, HubSpot, LinkedIn, Google Analytics, and more. See the complete list of integrations here.
- Cost: Drift starts at $50 per month. Drift also offers a free version, but with limited functionality. There is also a free trial available.
Intercom is rated as the number one business messenger available today. Intercom allows businesses and marketers to build better customer relationships with scalable messaging and more personalized experiences, allowing them to optimize the lead generation process for better conversion results.
- Available features: Intercom provides all the features and functionalities that users need, including email management, live chat, appointment management, surveys and feedback, and performance metrics.
- User-friendliness: Although setting up Intercom is relatively easy, the UI/UX slightly lacks when comparing this tool with other tools. Some of the features can also be a little clunky. Overall, the experience is positive.
- Platform integrations: Intercom offers a wide variety of integrations, including Salesforce, Slack, Stripe, Google Analytics, Keap, and more. See the complete list of integrations here.
- Cost: Intercom subscriptions begin at $39 per month.
16. Facebook Messenger
Of course, we’ve all heard of Facebook Messenger, but did you know that it is one of the top lead generation tools available today? Many consumers — particularly millennial buyers — use Facebook Messenger as a method for getting in touch with businesses. Therefore, businesses, marketers, and agencies can leverage Facebook Messenger in their lead generation processes.
- Available features: Although Facebook Messenger began as a basic messaging tool, the number of available features has grown significantly over the last several years. For example, users can now set up video calls, receive payments, set up chatbots, and even share content relevant to users’ or buyers’ interests.
- User-friendliness: Overall, Facebook Messenger is relatively easy to set up and use, however, navigating the features and settings isn’t very intuitive.
- Platform integrations: Facebook Messenger offers some plug-in features for the chatbot, but setup can be quite complicated for the average user. Many users end up working with their IT team for setup. However, Zapier, which is a third-party integration tool, can seamlessly connect Facebook Messenger and set up automation with hundreds of other tools.
- Cost: Free
Prospect.io is another popular lead generation platform available, though it takes a sales optimization approach. It allows you to turbocharge your lead generation efforts by building email lists, setting up and running campaigns, measuring results, and more. Prospecting and sales outreach has never been easier.
- Available features: Prospect.io is designed with many useful features, including lead management, proposal management, and contact management. There is also a Chrome extension available that allows users to find email addresses or import email addresses. Prospect.io also provides a high-powered analytics interface for easy reporting.
- User-friendliness: Many user reviews claim Prospect.io is super easy to use and makes users’ jobs easier.
- Platform integrations: Prospect.io offers a number of third-party platform integrations, including Zapier, PieSync, PipeDrive, and more.
- Cost: Prospect.io starts at $39 per month.
Sumo is a lead generation tool specific for e-commerce businesses. Sumo allows users to grow their email lists, boost conversions, and generate more sales. More than 37,000 e-commerce businesses use Sumo for purchases and delighting customers.
- Available features: Sumo is designed with “Sumo Shortcuts”, which allow e-commerce businesses and users to build, set up, and implement marketing campaigns and strategies in just a few minutes.
- User-friendliness: Sumo does require a little setup time, and some of the features can lag. However, according to communications regarding product updates, Sumo is working on making improvements to many of its functionalities.
- Platform integrations: Sumo integrates seamlessly with Shopify, Mailchimp, Campaign Monitor, and most of the top email marketing tools out there.
- Cost: Sumo paid plans start at $39 per month, but there is also a free plan available. Sumo does also offer free trials.
ClickFunnels is a cloud-based lead generation platform that allows users, small businesses (including e-commerce businesses), and agencies to attract leads and generate sales.
- Available features: ClickFunnels is also designed with numerous features, including A/B testing, SEO management, form creation, available templates, and more.
- User-friendliness: The main ClickFunnels dashboard is super easy to use and navigate. There are also a number of training courses, resources, and tools available to help users fully understand the tool works, how to use it, and how to make the most of it.
- Platform integrations: ClickFunnels also offers a number of platform integrations, including GoToWebinar, Stripe, PayPal, WordPress, Twilio, and more. Learn more about this app’s integrations here.
- Cost: ClickFunnels is a bit pricey, starting at $97 per month.
20. Yoast SEO
Although Yoast is primarily an SEO tool, SEO plays a crucial role in lead generation efforts. And because the majority of businesses and e-commerce businesses use WordPress as their primary CMS, including Yoast on this list made sense. In fact, Yoast SEO is the world’s number-one SEO tool.
- Available features: Yoast SEO analyzes the overall SEO score of your website, pages, blog posts, and so on and will tell you where SEO and readability improvements are necessary. There are also different Yoast plugins available depending on your needs. For example, there is a Yoast video plugin, a Yoast WooCommerce plugin, Local SEO plugin, News SEO plugin, and more.
- User-friendliness: Yoast SEO can be installed to the back end of WordPress in minutes.
- Platform integrations: Although there aren’t any platform integrations available for Yoast SEO itself, there are a number of WordPress integrations available that users can leverage.
- Cost: Yoast SEO costs $89 per year for one website. This yearly subscription also comes with free updates and support.
Lead generation tools to try in 2020
We get it: Lead generation isn’t always easy, but with the right tools in your martech stack, and with the right strategy, it can be. By checking out these lead generation tools, you are on the way to streamlining your sales and marketing efforts and operations, optimizing your lead generation efforts, and closing more deals.