What is lead generation?

HubSpot defines lead generation as “the process of attracting and converting strangers and prospects into someone who has indicated interest in your company’s product or service.” The top priority of marketers is to capture more leads.  According to Ascend2, 49% of companies stated that increasing customer acquisition is their primary objective in 2020. I would expect that in 2021 lead generation is going to be a top priority again! 

What is a lead?

A lead is any person who indicates interest in your company’s product or service in some way. For example, a person could indicate interest by completing a “Contact Us” form or requesting a quote. Companies spend millions of dollars annually to get leads.

In order to grow your company, you’ll need more leads and lead generation tools to make the process repeatable.  Below are the 2021 top lead generation tools recommended by the pros at DaBrian Marketing Group:

HubSpot Sales

HubSpot Sales Hub is a complete sales tool for businesses.  It provides a CRM (Customer Relationship Management), live chat, the meeting scheduling, quote creation and generation, email templates, tracking of sales emails and reporting for sales teams. Start with the free version then upgrade as needed. Here at DaBrian Marketing Group, HubSpot is the lynchpin of our inbound marketing and sales efforts. (DaBrian Marketing Group uses and recommends HubSpot Premium).

Hubspot Sales

HubSpot Marketing Hub™

HubSpot Marketing Software is a tool that brings all of your marketing together.  It is a marketing automation software to help you attract the right audience, convert more visitors into customers, and run complete inbound marketing campaigns.  You can blog, handle SEO, post on social media, and manage your paid ads on one platform.  It also works for HubSpot Sales, Services, and Content Management System (CMS).  

HubSpot Marketing Hub 2021 Top Lead Generation Tool


Zapier is a tool that connects your apps and automates your workflows.  For example, you can automatically connect Facebook leads with a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool. You can create 5 automations with 100 tasks per month for FREE! There are 2000 apps and hundreds of templates to help you. DaBrian Marketing Group uses this for our clients as well as our own inbound marketing projects.

Zapier lead generation tool


Calendly is a free online appointment scheduling tool.  It’s a great way to improve your company productivity by avoiding the endless “back and forth” of email.  Add it to your website and include your email signature so prospects can schedule an appointment at their convenience.  It will connect to any CRM, including Salesforce, Zoho CRM, and Pipedrive as well!

Appointment Scheduler


Drift is a cloud-based live chat app that allows visitors to your site to connect with any of your team members with the click of a chat bubble! Drift offers a free account for one user and 100 contacts. Additional features and functionality start at $50/month for one user and 1,000 contacts.

Convert more website visitors


CallRail is traditionally a call tracking platform.  It measures telephone calls received as a direct result of your company’s marketing activities.  For example, you can capture calls from Google Ads or Google My Business. Captured leads may come from calls, forms, or texts.  You can even integrate CallRail with the other tools recommended here including Facebook, HubSpot, Zapier, and more.

CallRail for Lead Generation

We use CallRail when building websites for our clients because it has great features that automatically trigger and respond to make your business scalable.  Full disclosure, DaBrian Marketing Group is a CallRail Agency Partner.


Mailchimp is most notably known for email marketing.  It has recently expanded to become an all-in-one integrated marketing platform for small businesses. Mailchimp can be used to do everything from creating a website to sending postcards.  Mailchimp will even connect to favorite apps you may already be using such as Stripe, Eventbrite, and Canva in order to improve your efficiency.  MailChimp has a free offering for companies with less than 2000 contacts.  Upgrades are available for more contacts, features, and functionality.

2021 Lead Generation with Mailchimp


Zopto is one of the latest LinkedIn Automation Tools.  It can attract hundreds of hot leads by finding and targeting your ideal customers from LinkedIn. It will automate your connection request and put into motion an InMail sequence of emails.  Zopto does require you to create the messaging, the targeting, and replies to potential leads.  You can personalize the message, save time, and track your ability to connect and engage with potential customers.

LinkedIn Automation Tool for lead generation


Unbounce is one of the top Landing Page platforms.  Landing Pages are standalone web pages used for a marketing or advertising campaign. Unbounce simplifies your ability to design beautiful landing pages that in turn convert more customers.  You can also insert popups and sticky bars to help generate more leads. Like other lead generation tools, Zopto will integrate with Zapier, Drift, and Calendly to increase your effectiveness and efficiency.


Reply.io is a “sales engagement platform which automates email search, LinkedIn outreach, personal emails and calls.” All communications can be personalized. Reply.io shoulders the routine work, allowing you to focus on closing deals.  The DaBrian Marketing team used it prior to switching to HubSpot Sales and can tell you it’s a good tool.  They have expanded their offerings to email search, LinkedIn outreach, and calls since then.


LinkedIn Sales Navigator

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is LinkedIn’s tool for finding prospects on this popular professional social network. The tool includes an advanced search filter for finding prospects, displays more detailed information for prospects (including phone numbers and job titles), lead saving, qualified lead recommendations, alerts, and InMail credits. Recently, LinkedIn added “Smart Links” which allows you to share relevant content with your recipients and track viewer engagement.

LinkedIn Sales Navigator
Don’t see your favorite lead generation tools? Tell us, what lead generation tools are you using? Are you considering testing out any of these suggestions?

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