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Building a predictable lead generation machine is challenging. Once you crack this challenge, though, it’s extremely rewarding as you can scale up faster, and afford to be more selective with who you work with.

When I launched Venture Harbour eight years ago, I experimented with everything from creating infographics and sponsoring events, to optimising our lead capture forms to boost our leads. It took about two years of experimentation before we reached a point of having ‘too many’ leads – at which point we had to put new systems in place to deal with larger volumes of leads.

In this article, I share some of the best tools and tactics we’ve used over the years for capturing and converting more leads.

What makes a good lead generation tool?

A great lead generation tool is essentially a piece of software that makes it easy to capture qualified leads without doing a whole bunch of coding yourself. So usability is always important and you also need to look out for integration where you need to share data between different tools (eg: exporting landing page data to Google Analytics).

Above all, though, need to make sure a lead generation tool is going to help you achieve goals that you couldn’t without them – or, at least, help you achieve them faster, in greater volume or more cost-effectively.

Pricing is always important, of course, and you want to make sure you’re getting the features you need for the minimal investment. Keep in mind that software providers often limit features or usage at different price points. So it will often cost you more to use a tool for 100,000 leads than 10,000 and more for five team members than one, for example.

So make sure you understand how pricing works and calculate what your future expenses will be as your business grows.

What kind of lead generation tools are we looking at in this article?

Modern businesses need to generate leads from more channels than ever, which means there’s a plethora of tools in different categories – eg: inbound, outbound, email marketing, etc. Which is why I’m breaking this article down into the following categories:

  • On-page lead generation tools:  To help you capture leads on your website.
  • Inbound lead generation tools: To help you bring more leads to your website and other channels.
  • Outbound lead generation tools: To help you identify leads and send messages via outbound channels (email, calls, etc.)
  • CRO tools to maximise leads: So you can increase the percentage of users who convert into more valuable leads.
  • Email marketing tools: To help you generate and nurture leads along the customer journey.
  • Search marketing tools: To increase traffic from organic and paid search and generate more on-site leads.
  • Marketing management tools: To measure performance, maximise lead generation and improve the quality of leads.

In each of these categories, I’ll be recommending the best lead generation tools we’ve used over the years and explaining why they’re worth trying out. All of the tools in this list have helped us scale our own lead generation strategy and, while none of them are perfect, they can all make things happen if you know how to use them.

On-page lead generation tools

In this first section, we’re looking at tools that you can use to generate leads from visitors who are currently on your website. You’ve already invested in bringing these visitors to your site and these are the tools that are going to convert them into genuine leads.

These are the tools we’re going to talk about:

  • Leadformly
  • Optinmonster
  • Unbounce
  • Intercom
  • Turnstile
  • Qualaroo
  • Hello Bar

So let’s start by looking at Leadformly, the web form design and optimisation tool that transformed the way we generate leads here at Venture Harbour.

1. Leadformly

Prices start from $30/month

Your form is what separates your leads from non-leads.

Because of this, small improvements to your lead capture form can have significant impacts on your overall conversion rate and marketing performance. At Venture Harbour, we’ve seen numerous 200%+ increases in leads from form optimisation alone.

form-customiser

Leadformly is a tool built by our team at Venture Harbour that makes it easy to build high-converting lead generation forms.

The problem we found was that the forms provided by our email marketing services and CRMs were very basic and were negatively impacting our conversion rates. We looked into various form builder tools and plugins, but none of them offered a good solution for providing conversion-optimised forms.

So we built our own tool for building them.

Leadformly sweats the little things so that you don’t have to. From displaying optimal progress bar indicators, to using conditional logic to segment your leads, we’ve spent a lot of time experimenting with forms to identify what actually increases form conversions. In addition, Leadformly has built-in analytics and audience insights to help you understand your leads and how your forms are performing.

form-analytics2

To learn more about Leadformly, checkout out Leadformly.com

2. Optinmonster

Prices start from $19/month

Popups are always a contentious issue in online marketing and design, but they can make a positive impact when done well. We sometimes implement exit-intent popups that only trigger when a user shows signs of leaving the page. The idea is that they’re less intrusive than regular popups and they give you one last shot at converting a visitor into a lead.

When we decide popups are the way to go, Optinmonster is the tool we use. It makes them easy to implement on any page and you can create A/B tests to improve performance.

3. Unbounce

Prices start from $79/month

Unbounce is probably the first name that comes to mind with landing page builders. Featuring one of the best drag-and-drop builders in the game, Unbounce may not be a beginner’s tool but it is one of the most advanced builders you’ll find.

Unbounce is about more than simply building pretty landing pages. It puts all the emphasis on landing pages that convert – the whole point of creating them in the first place. With support for A/B testing, AdWords integration, and visitor stats, Unbounce is probably the best all-around builder around.

4. Intercom

Prices start from $87/month

Intercom enables you to communicate directly with leads who are visiting your website. You can set up rules to display messages to visitors when certain conditions are met. For example, if a user spends more than 60 seconds on your pricing page and is on their second visit you could display a message like this:

An operator on your team can then speak directly with website visitors, or even jump on video chat directly from the live chat window. The potential for Intercom is incredibly powerful – from gathering product feedback and understanding objections, to collecting leads who are searching around on your website.

It’s difficult to do Intercom justice in words. I’d highly recommend checking them out even if only to understand the potential of what they offer.

5. Turnstile

Free version available, paid versions start from $99/month

Turnstile is a simple feature offered by Wistia, one of the most popular video hosting companies for B2B brands.

Turnstile’s main goal is to collect the names and email addresses of potential customers for you and your business after someone has finished watching a video. By offering an email collector at the beginning, middle or end of your video you can turn this engaged visitors into valuable leads.

6. Qualaroo

Prices start from $199/month

Qualaroo is often thought of as a customer research tool. If you’re unfamiliar with their product, they provide unobtrusive mini customer surveys that enable you to communicate with visitors on your website.

One underused tactic is to use Qualaroo for lead generation. In short, you can ask your visitors a series of questions such as ‘What can we do for you today?’ and by step 2/3 of the survey it may make sense to arrange a call or ask for an email.

7. Hello Bar

Free version available, paid versions start from $99/month

Hellobar is a powerful free widget that appears at the top of every page on your website once installed. You can customise the message and call to action, as well as A/B testing different messages to optimise your conversion rate.

For driving mailing list subscribers this is a great opportunity to attract attention with an incentive such as a free eBook or entry to win a prize in return for an email address.

Inbound lead generation tools

Now that you have the tools needed to generate leads from website visitors, it’s time to increase traffic volumes so you can maximise the impact of your on-page lead generation strategies.

In this section, we’ve got another five tools that are going to help you do precisely this:

  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator
  • Everwebinar
  • Quora
  • Hootsuite
  • SlideShare

Given that we’re in the B2B arena, these tool choices reflect the kind of lead generation strategies we implement and the type of leads we’re looking to attract – so you might need to look elsewhere if you’re more geared towards B2C lead generation.

8. LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Prices start from $64.99/month

If you’re in B2B sales, LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator is a great tool for capturing leads. Alongside receiving lead recommendations and seeing who’s viewed your profile, the Sales Navigator enables you to save leads into your CRM directly from LinkedIn.

9. Everwebinar

One-off $497 fee

Everebinar is a powerful webinar automation tool that aims to help you build email marketing lists with a purpose. With EverWebinar, you can schedule and automate your webinar footage to play at set intervals and the software aims to recreate the live experience for users.

The goal is to increase engagement and attendance by telling users the next webinar is about to begin, even if you choose to replay it a dozen times per day.

10. Quora

Free

Quora has become a de-facto destination for asking and answering questions online. If you search on Quora for topics relating to your business you’ll likely find tens or hundreds of people asking questions that you could provide well-informed answers to.

These answers can subtly convey your company’s expertise, which may drive potential leads to contact you.

11. Hootsuite

Prices start from $25/ month

Managing one social media account is time-consuming enough, let alone having to manage multiple. Hootsuite allows you to manage all of them from one place, get insights for your entire social marketing strategy and – most importantly – schedule and automate your posts.

12. SlideShare

Free

Since joining forces with LinkedIn in 2012, Slideshare has become one of the most effective lead generation tools for reaching a B2B audience. From my experience, the key with Slideshare is to ensure that your slides are well-designed and make sense without any explanation.

When you get these two areas right, there’s a high likelihood that Slideshare will feature your presentation on their homepage for a day or two, driving thousands of views. Following this, your slides should rank well when people search for the topic of your presentation on the platform – putting you in front of targeted leads.

Outbound lead generation tools

Outbound marketing doesn’t get much love these days and, in some ways, this is understandable. Strategies like cold emails are generally frowned upon and, while we’re not going to complain about this, we can say from experience that these strategies can still be highly effective when done right.

To do things right, you’re first going to need the right tools and here’s what we’re looking at in this section:

  • Datanyze
  • SendBlaster
  • Growbots
  • Hunter
  • BuzzBuilder

First up, we’ve got Datanyze, which will help you save time prospecting new leads.

13. Datanyze

Prices start from $600/ month

Datanyze is an outbound sales tool designed to help software and tech companies save time prospecting. The main benefit of Datanyze is that it shows you the technology used by your prospects – and even helps you find new prospects based on what technology they use.

14. SendBlaster

One-off $150 fee

SendBlaster is a straightforward bulk email sender that allows you to create mails by editing templates from its library and then send them out to an unlimited number of contacts.

This is the key selling point of SendBlaster: you pay a one-off fee and you can send unlimited emails to an unlimited number of contacts. SendBlaster is also one of the only bulk senders in this category that has a strong reputation and avoids the spam algorithms of ISPs and major inbox platforms.

15. Growbots

Priced on application

About a week ago I received one of the best cold emails I’ve seen in a long time.

This email, I believe, was 100% automated and sent using Growbots. Growbots dubs itself as an ‘AI for sales’ and uses clever rules and a huge database of contacts to do clever outbound lead generation. While I haven’t personally used their service, I’ve heard great things about Growbots from numerous friends in the SaaS community.

16. Hunter

Prices start from $49/month

Hunter is an outbound email tool that lets you type in any web domain and find the email addresses associated with it. It gives you the manual control to pick and choose your ideal email targets and access the email addresses you need without scouring every website, one by one.

What a timesaver.

One of the most important features of Hunter is that it comes with an email validation tool to help you ensure that more of your emails are going to the right places. You can also run email campaigns directly from Hunter although we use other tools for this ourselves.

17. BuzzBuilder

Prices start from $250/month

Buzzbuilder is a complete outbound email marketing platform designed to get more of your messages opened and read while maximising the number of respondents who take action. The thing with cold emailing si that you’re always fighting an uphill battle in terms of engagement and staying on the right side of junk folders and ISPs.

Buzzbuilder has a solid reputation with ISPs, which means more of your emails will reach their intended targets and the platform’s personalisation features mean you should be able to engage more of your prospects.

CRO tools for maximizing leads

With your lead generation strategies working in full motion, there’s still more you can do to maximise results. No matter how much traffic you’re bringing in, you’re only ever going to be able to convert a certain percentage of those visitors into genuine leads.

The trick is maximising that percentage so you can turn as many of those visitors you’ve worked so hard to get into real sales opportunities – and these are the tools we use to make this happen:

  • Leadformly
  • Leadforensics
  • Pingdom
  • Mixpanel
  • Hotjar
  • VWO

Now, we’ve already looked at Leadformly as an on-page lead generation tool but it also serves another important function as a CRO tool to help you optimise your forms for conversions.

18. Leadformly

Prices start from $30/month

As a conversion optimisation tool, Leadformly helps you maximise conversions where they matter most – on your web forms. While there are plenty of form builder tools on the market, few of them provide the form analytics tools you need to measure performance and optimise your forms.

Those that do generally fall too short on providing the data insights you need to truly optimise form conversions.

Leadformly is different because it provides details form analytics on the user actions that really matter. For example, it shows you the last form field users were filling out before they quit the session. It also shows you how long it takes users to fill out your entire form and individual fields so you can highlight the problematic parts of your forms and put fixes in place.

Instead of simply providing form completion rates and metrics that tell you how poorly your form is doing, Leadformly gives you the tools you need to diagnose problems and either remove them or fix them.

19. Lead Forensics

Pricing based on web traffic volumes

There are many potential leads on your website, yet only a handful fill out your enquiry forms.

lead-forensics

While you can significantly increase the percentage of visitors filling out your forms using a tool like LeadFormly, there will always be a few leads slipping through the cracks.

LeadForensics solves this by using the visitor’s IP address to tell you which companies are viewing your website (even if they don’t fill out your enquiry form). One of my clients recently installed this and found that many large brands were visiting their contact page but not filling out our form.

Their sales team could then go to LinkedIn, find the marketing director’s name, and call the company asking to speak to this person. As you can imagine, this not only increased the number of targeted leads their business received, but it also had a great conversion rate as the leads were already familiar with the business.

20. Pingdom

Prices start from $50/month

The best tool you can have on your side for speed optimisation is a quality developer who knows how to put code together with performance in mind. However, if your site is already live and lagging behind, you need to diagnose what the problem is.

Pingdom goes further than any of the free options you’ll find, such as Google’s page speed tools (which are fine for free options). However, Pingdom constantly monitors the speed of your site, looking out for issues and helps you diagnose the root cause rather than treating the symptoms.

21. Mixpanel

Prices start from $89/month

If Google Analytics tells you what’s happening on your website, Mixpanel makes it easier to see who did what. It also gives you a second data channel for you to compare against Google’s data – because it never makes sense to put all of your faith into one tool.

22. Hotjar

Prices start from $29/month

Hotjar is a conversion optimisation tool that makes a real difference to your landing page performance. With heatmaps, you can see what users are clicking on, scroll maps show you what users are seeing and its user feedback features are excellent as well.

23. VWO

Prices start from $99/month

VWO (or Visual Website Optimizer, as it used to be known) is our go-to tool for split-testing. We use it across all of our active ventures to ensure that all key pages in our user journeys are continually improving their conversion rates.

Thanks to VWO, we’ve been able to get more leads and conversions out of every marketing dollar we spend and scientifically optimise our marketing funnels.

Email marketing tools to generate & nurture leads

Capturing leads is a marketing priority for every business but what are you going to do after those people sign up for your email lists or try out your demo. Are you just going to hope they find their way along the buying process themselves and finally make the purchase?

No, of course not.

You’re going to nurture these leads across the buying process yourself with targeted messages and email marketing is the most important channel for achieving this. Which means having the right set of email marketing tools on your side is crucial and these are the tools we recommend:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • SendinBlue
  • Prospect.io
  • Really Good Emails
  • Canva

Now, ActiveCampaign is much more thana n email marketing platform (we’ll look at this in more detail later) but its combined automation and CRM features make it one of the most effective all-in-one systems on the market.

24. ActiveCampaign

Prices start from $9/month

Your ability to capture and convert leads is largely dependent on your email marketing and CRM solution. After all, if you can’t properly segment and use rule-based follow-up with leads, you’ll have a harder job qualifying and converting those leads.

Having tested many email marketing tools and small business CRMs, ActiveCampaign is without a doubt the best solution I’ve come across.

As you can see, ActiveCampaign allows you track every interaction a lead has with your website – and then use these as triggers for your email marketing campaigns.

ActiveCampaign

This means you can notify your sales team as soon as a lead visits a certain page on your website. You could also automatically follow up with cold leads every few months, or build email campaigns to nurture them back into warm leads.

25. SendinBlue

Free version available, paid versions start from $50/month

SendinBlue is a great email marketing platform and we use it here at Venture Harbour for sending transactional emails. It doesn’t provide the automation features we need and it lacks a little on the integration side of things for us, but SendinBlue is a highly capable piece of software all the same.

With its white-label offering you can customise URLs to match your domain, add your agency logo to the interface and create custom reports for different clients. Overall, it’s not the most customisable white label option but you do get multi-language support, which could be crucial if you’re dealing with clients in foreign-speaking markets.

26. Prospect.io

Prices start from $79/month

Prospect is an email automation platform that puts a heavy emphasis on outbound marketing strategies. It provides an email finder tool to help you create lists for cold email campaigns and a separate verification tool to refine your lists.

You can then create and automate drip campaigns by either creating your emails from scratch or using the platform’s library of templates. You also get solid reporting and analytics to measure campaign performance. I wouldn’t call this a complete email marketing platform by any means but it is the closest thing I’ve seen to a complete outbound email marketing platform.

27. Really Good Emails

Free

Templates are a good source of inspiration for email designs but you have to filter through a lot of not-so-great templates in the process. So it helps to have a collection of really great designs at hand and this is where Really Good Emails is a great resource.

You can browse emails by category – industry, engagement, cart abandonment, etc. – and get a list of quality email designs to draw inspiration from.

28. Canva

Free version available, paid versions start from $30/month

With Canva you can quickly create simple graphics and visuals for blog posts and social media. It’s not a replacement for Adobe Illustrator or pro software but it’s a great platform for creating unique images, fast. It’s also free, unless you actually want to pay for any of the awful stock images (you really don’t need to).

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Search marketing tools for lead generation

Organic and paid search are the two most important channels in terms of bringing new visitors to your website but they’re also two of the most competitive. You need every advantage you can get when it comes to search marketing and these tools can give you the edge you need:

  • SEMrush
  • Ahrefs
  • Yoast SEO plugin
  • Twilio
  • Google Analytics
  • Google Ads Scripts

Best of all, a lot of the tools in this section are completely free to use so you don’t need to break the bank in order to maximise your search presence.

29. SEMrush

Prices start from $99.95/month

SEMrush is our team’s favourite SEO tool for on-site auditing and running a health check on our websites’ technical SEO. While SEMrush is better-known for its keyword research capabilities, we actually prefer the Site Audit functionality, which provides us with a thorough checklist of all of our site’s technical SEO opportunities.

SEMrush is also particularly great at enabling junior staff members or those who are less experienced in technical SEO to reach the same conclusions as our more senior SEO staff members, which is pretty brilliant for less than $100/month.

30. Ahrefs

Prices start from $99/month

While Ahrefs is a general-purpose SEO tool, there’s one function we use it for in particular. The backlink checker tool in Ahrefs is unrivalled, making this an indispensable tool for link building.

Also, its website reports are more detailed than any of the other tools we tested, providing a wealth of technical SEO information about your site. This helps you pinpoint problems faster and get them fixed before they hurt your search ranking.

31. Yoast SEO plugin

Free version available, paid version $49.93/month

If you’re running a website on WordPress, then Yoast’s SEO plugin is one of the few you should add on day one. This plugin isn’t going to solve all of your SEO problems but it will ensure you cover the basic essentials for every page/post you add.

This is especially important if you’re not too clued up on SEO yourself or you have contributors publishing content that may not have the SEO knowledge you need to optimise titles, headings, keywords and other on-page essentials.

The plugin will even analyse the content on every page and offer suggestions on how you can improve it for SEO and readability.

32. Twilio

Pricing upon application

Twilio is an advanced communications system that allows you to integrate SMS and voice calls into any application. For search marketers, though, one of its most important features is its call tracking capabilities so that phone calls don’t fall through the gaps of your data collection efforts.

You can also use Twilio to attribute calls and track users along the consumer journey, create SMS marketing campaigns and communicate with customers.

33. Google Analytics

Free

Google Analytics isn’t perfect (more on that point in a moment) but it’s still the most powerful tool of its kind. Sync GA with AdWords and you’ve got yourself one hell of a system for tracking landing page performance and setting up remarketing lists to bring leads back to your site after they leave.

To get the best out of Google Analytics you’ll probably need a developer to set up things like events tracking and custom metrics but it’s a worthy investment. With detailed insights into where your visitors are coming from and what they do on your site, you’re not only in a position to optimise your landing pages but also your advertising strategy and other parts of your site for better performance.

34. Google Ads scripts

Free

Google Ad scripts give you the freedom to automate all kinds of features and functions. For example, you can add your own bidding rules, detect low-performing keywords, track Quality Scores across all of your campaigns and generate custom reports.

Marketing management tools for lead generation & nurturing

As mentioned in the article, modern marketing is all about generating and managing leads from multiple channels and this means you need a solid set of marketing management tools to bring all of these channels together and unify your marketing strategies.

These are the tools we’re going to look at in this section:

  • ActiveCampaign
  • HubSpot
  • Hull.io
  • Hoovers
  • Buzzsumo

We looked at ActiveCampaign as an email marketing platform earlier in this article but also explained that it’s much more than an email tool. In fact, it’s a full suite of marketing management tools that has become pivotal, to everything we do here at Venture Harbour.

35. ActiveCampaign

Prices start from $9/month

ActiveCampaign is an all-in-one CRM, email marketing and marketing automation suite. This isn’t a Jack-of-all-trades piece of software, though. ActiveCampaign is one of the best providers in all three categories and its automation features, in particular, are hard to beat.

We can use ActiveCampaign as the hub of our sales and marketing campaigns, bringing these two crucial strategies together. It allows us to break our sales funnel into multiple stages and create campaigns designed to guide leads across the buying process.

With its lead scoring features, we’re also able to pinpoint the leads that are most valuable to our business and prioritise these with our follow-up campaigns. Best of all, we’re able to automate the majority of our sales and marketing processes which means our sales team is no longer limited by the number of leads they can handle.

36. HubSpot

Free tools available, paid versions get pricey quickly

HubSpot is an incredible collection of integrated software tools, some of which you can even use for free (eg: its capable CRM platform and form builder). In terms of usability, you probably won’t find a better all-in-one solution and the quality across HubSpot’s tools is consistently high.

The problem with HubSpot is that pricing quickly ramps up once you start dealing with a higher volume of leads. So, if your business scales (which is kind of the whole idea with this type of software) you’re going to end up with some hefty monthly bills.

If business is going well, the monthly expenses may be worth it but, for us, ActiveCampaign provided 90% of what HubSpot on a more reasonable pricing plan.

37. Hull.io

Prices start from $450/month

Hull brings all of your campaign data into a single place, allowing you to get a truly comprehensive overview of how performance is working collectively. It does the same thing with customer data, too, so your sales reps can access all of the relevant information about each customer when they need it.

As your list of sales and marketing software tools increases, fragmented data can become a problem -especially if your favourite tools don’t integrate too well. Hull.io aims to solve that problem by bringing all of the data you need into a single dashboard.

38. Hoovers

Hoovers pride themselves on being the ‘largest single source of business information’ anywhere. This means that if it is personalised leads that you require for your business, then Hoovers is a great place to look.

39. Buzzsumo

Prices start from $99/month

Buzzsumo helps you discover the most shared content across social media and get detailed reports on the best-performing content from around the web. You can also use it to find top influencers for any topic and get alerts for new content that includes your target keywords.

Which lead generation tools are for you?

All of the tools we’ve looked at in this article are leading class in their field so you don’t need to worry about usability or features – they all deliver on these aspects. What you need to do now is determine which tools are going to help you achieve your business/marketing goals and whether the price tags are justified. So, in this section, we’ve got a table for each group of tools listing the entry prices and top-tier prices for each tool, plus the key reason you might want to buy into them.

On-page lead generation tools

First, we have our list of on-page lead generation tools that will turn the most important pages of your website into lead magnets.

  Entry price Top price Reason to buy
Leadformly $30 $149 Create high-converting forms
Optinmonster $19 $99 Capture leads that are about to leave
Unbounce $79 $399 Create/test quality landing pages
Intercom £87 $159 Deliver real-time messages to visitors
Turnstile Free $99 Collect leads from videos
Qualaroo $299 $499 Get user feedback
Hello Bar Free $99 Capture leads without intrusive popups

In terms of getting the most for your money, Leadformly is the clear winner here, helping you maximise conversions across all of your forms. You can’t capture leads without high-converting forms so this is the tool to start with and you’ll find Leadformly actually makes a number of these other tools even more effective, once your forms are at peak performance.

Inbound lead generation tools

For inbound leads, it really comes down to which strategies you’re implementing. Pretty much every business needs a good piece of social media management software which almost makes Hootsuite a marketing essential.

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

Sales Navigator

$64.99

$103.33

Capturing leads from LinkedIn

Everwebinar

$497*

 

Automated webinar strategies

Quora

Free

 

Capture leads, find user questions

Hootsuite

$25

$520

Manage multiple social media accounts

SlideShare

Free

 

Generate leads from LinkedIn, Google Search

*One-off fee

For B2B brands, LinkedIn is also close to obligatory and it only makes sense to leverage SlideShare as a part of this strategy. Although, the tool on this list that has made the biggest impact on our marketing efforts here at Venture Harbour has actually been Everwebinar, so don’t let that one-off fee deter you.

It quickly becomes a cheap option compared to monthly fees and the returns of an automated webinar strategy for B2B businesses can he huge.

Outbound lead generation tools

Now, we come to the unpopular list of outbound marketing tools that have become taboo in the age of inbound.

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

Datanyze

$600

$1200

Discover prospects for outbound strategies

SendBlaster

$150*

 

Run blast email campaigns

Growbots

Automate cold email campaigns

Hunter

$49

$399

Discover and verify email addresses

BuzzBuilder

$250

$1,650

Prospecting and campaigns made easy

*One-off fee

There’s no real winner in this category – it all comes down to how you use these tools to find relevant prospects and manage your campaigns (automation is crucial). Growbots is a great tool but its pricing policy isn’t very transparent and that bugs me.

CRO tools to maximise leads

Now, let’s take a quick look at the CRO tools we covered in this article.

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

Leadformly

$30

$149

Optimise your webforms for conversions

Lead Forensics*

Identify website visitors

Pingdom

$50

$170

Speed up your website

Mixpanel

$89

Custom

Advanced analytics

Hotjar

$29

$589

See what visitors are doing on your site

*Pricing based on usage

Again, the place to start here is Leadformly because there’s not much point in optimising for conversions if your most important conversion tools (forms) aren’t up to scratch. Next, I would say Pingdom and Hotjar belong in any business’ tech stack and, from there, you can decide whether Lead Forensics and Mixpanel have anything to offer.

Sadly, Lead Forensics is another provider that doesn’t disclose its pricing so I can’t provide that info. I can say we’ve had great success with it here, though.

Email marketing tools to generate & nurture leads

Email marketing used to be a messy, time-consuming strategy but we’re lucky to have so many tools available these days to help automate campaigns and handle all of the repetitive stuff for us.

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

ActiveCampaign

$9

$479+

Nurture leads and automate campaigns

SendinBlue

Free

$50

Transactional emails

Prospect.io*

$79

$129

Automated outbound campaigns & lead nurturing

Really Good Emails

Free

 

Email inspiration

Canva

Free

$30

Quick, easy visuals for email designs

*Additional fees for credits

I can’t really say enough good things about ActiveCampaign as it’s been central to most of our growth and marketing strategies here at Venture Harbour, since we started using it eight years ago. Aside from the creative design and strategic aspects of email marketing, modern businesses need to automate everything they can and ActiveCampaign is one of the few tools that deliver this level of automation and integrates with both sales and marketing.

As far as I’m aware, it’s the only tool that does it at this price point.

Search marketing tools for lead generation

Search marketing is a tricky essential for every business with a digital presence but which tools are you going to use to maximise traffic?

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

SEMrush

$99.95

$399

Class-leading SEO tools & insights

Ahrefs

$99

$999

The SEMrush alternative for freelancers, single businesses

Yoast SEO plugin

Free

$49.93

Basic on-page SEO for WordPress websites

Twilio*

Call tracking & commons

Google Analytics

Free

 

The essential analytics tool

Google Ads Scripts

Free

 

Custom PPC automations

*Fees based on usage

The only real head-to-head here is SEMrush vs Ahrefs and you’ll really have to try them both out to get an idea of which one is best for you. Google Analytics and Google Ads scripts are pretty much essentials and anyone with a WordPress site should at least be using the free version of Yoast’s SEO plugin.

Then we have Twilio, which offers some great features (especially call tracking) with a transparent but confusing price structure.

Marketing management tools for lead generation & nurturing

Finally, we’ve got the marketing management tools that will help you bring everything together and ActiveCampaign gets another mention here for its all-in-one CRM and marketing solution.

 

Entry price

Top price

Reason to buy

ActiveCampaign

$9

$479+

All-in-one CRM & marketing automation

HubSpot

Free

?

Free CRM and form builder

Hull.io

$450

$2400

All your data in one place

Hoovers

Prospecting & sales intelligence

Buzzsumo

$99

$499+

Content strategy & research

If you’re looking to try a free CRM then HubSpot is a good way to get a feel for this type of software and the company also offers a number of other free tools. Its paid software is top-quality, too, but you have to be prepared to pay for it and it you’re getting most of this from ActiveCampaign for a fraction of the price.

Time to choose your tools

Whichever marketing tool you decide will suit you and your business best, I hope this extensive list is useful – and if you’re aware of any other good lead generation tools that I’ve missed, feel free to share them in the comments below.

You’ll also find more tool recommendations and growth strategies on our blog page – so be sure to check that out – and you can also follow us on social media to keep up with our latest posts.

Marcus Taylor

Marcus Taylor

Marcus Taylor is the Founder & CEO of Venture Harbour. Marcus is also an early-stage tech investor & the youngest Patron of The Prince's Trust.

3 Comments

  • Valerie says:

    Wow, I wasn’t expecting that I could see here some unfamiliar tools. But I don’t see here my tool. Are you going to update your article? Can we have a talk?

  • aisha sharma says:

    Wasn’t expecting Hoovers to be there :) Haven’t used them since a long time, may be data.com can be a better alternative.

    Shout out to tools like AeroLeads too which can work well with Sales Navigator.

    Also just wondering, do slideshare offers their lead gen form for free accounts ? I think it is only for PRO users.

  • Martin says:

    Great list! As far as lead generation is concerned I would recommend checking out Survicate instead of Qualaroo – they provide better lead forms, lead alerts upon submission and integration with CRMs