Knowing which lead generation tools you’d like to put to use can often be the first roadblock on your journey towards gaining new business.
There are so many tools out there that it can be incredibly daunting for small businesses to know which tools should be a priority and which are worth paying for.
It’s very easy to get sucked into paying for a collection of lead generation tools that you never end up using, or ones that waste your time with leads that don’t actually have that much potential to turn into business.
A wise man once said that it’s more important to work smarter, not harder.
So instead of pouring all of your time, energy and resources into ineffective lead generation tools, focus in on just the essentials tools needed for lead generation and make sure that those are working to perfection.
Here are the three kinds are lead generation tools that we believe all small businesses should be using:
CRM software is an essential lead generation tool because it enables you to store data about all of your prospects, leads and customers in one place.
Through this centralised hub you can gain a better understanding of where your leads are in their buyer’s journey and how far down the marketing funnel they are.
Track the success of your marketing attempts by using a CRM to review your click-through rate on CTAs (call-to-actions), your engagement on social media and the number of people that have opened your emails.
Full disclosure, we’re Hubspot Inbound certified so maybe we’re a little biased, but Hubspot has some fantastic marketing software that enables small businesses to start capturing, tracking and converting leads all free of charge.
As proponents of Inbound Marketing, HubSpot really do put their money where their mouth is by demonstrating their value to you with a number of free services that are genuinely helpful for your business’s growth.
Their CRM is completely free forever (no need to worry about a dodgy trial period) and can store as many as 1 million of your contacts.
From this CRM you can create email templates, Facebook and Instagram lead ads and even conversational bots for your website.
Additionally, HubSpot’s free Marketing Hub includes:
For those starting from the ground up, it might also be worth checking out HubSpot Academy, where you can find a wide range of free courses and videos on lead generation.
As your business grows, you can start to explore some of HubSpot’s paid-for services such as blog creation tools, calls-to-action and landing pages. But don’t run before you can walk - try out the free version first and see if it works for you.
In order to promote your business and reach consumers that spend an entire 24 hours a week online, you need to make sure that you have a viable social media strategy in place.
By posting unique and interesting content on your social media platforms, and by actively engaging with followers, you can start to turn this into a funnel for generating leads.
In order to stay on top of your social media strategy, it’s important to have some form of social media management software to do some of the heavy lifting. Software such as this is imperative for scheduling, tracking and monitoring social media content.
At its best, social media management software can help you not only plan your content months in advance, but also remain reactive by letting you tune into ongoing news stories or trending topics.
There are a whole bunch of social media management companies out there and all of them offer roughly the same sort of package but Hootsuite is the only one that offers an actually free service (as opposed to just a free trial period).
They do try to hide it on their website though so make sure you follow this link in order to get to the right page.
The free version of this software lets you:
Of course, there’s also a number of paid-for packages that you can buy from Hootsuite that give you access to a great number of services including higher ad spend budgets, automated post scheduling and custom analytics.
But if you’re a small business looking to get started, the free version of the software should be comprehensive enough to allow you to get your social media strategy in motion.
We’ve said before that the secret to a successful lead generation strategy is to keep analysing and refining your methods. Well, website tracking software is the best way to conduct this analysis.
By digging into the analytics of your visitors’ actions, you can start to gain a better picture of why people come to your site, what they want from it, what they dislike about it and how you can improve upon their experience next time.
There are a wide variety of services that can fall into the category of website tracking software, including heatmaps, funnels, user polls, surveys, visitor recordings and more.
Basically, any kind of software that collects data about the ways in which your visitors interact with your site can be considered website tracking software.
Whereas there are a multitude of smaller software companies that focus in on just one website tracking service, Hotjar offers an array of useful tools.
Hotjar tools include:
Hotjar’s free service is able to collect data from 2000 page views a day and will give you access to up to 300 visitor recordings and 3 heatmaps, forms, funnels, polls and surveys. Unlimited users can be added to your account and Hotjar will also store your data for a full year.
While we’d normally recommend free services when possible, it’s probably worth paying for Hotjar’s Plus plan to begin with.
For just under £25 a month you can collect data from 10,000 page views a day and have unlimited services and reports. Plus there’s even a 15-day free trial for you to test out whether you like their software or not.
Lead generation doesn’t have to be an expensive endeavour.
What’s important is that you put real effort into all of your interactions with potential leads - whether that’s through educational and informative blog posts, social media interactions or even just a chat on the phone.
If you believe in your business’ ability to help its customers then all you have to do is let that shine through.
Ultimately, these tools are just there to help you meet potential leads on their level. The rest is up to you.
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