Getting traffic to your website is half the battle. The other half is monetizing it with lead generation software.
Once you get a steady stream of visitors you'll need to entice them to become leads, and there are no better tools to do that than landing page and opt-in builders.
These lead generation tools allow you to present visitors with landing pages or opt-in popups that entice them with the offer of a free lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
What's a lead magnet? It could be anything that's low cost and high value, from a free eBook, a white paper, a valuable checklist, and so on.
Once visitors request your lead magnet, they’ll be entered into a campaign in your bulk email service or marketing automation platform as a new lead. Your job then will be to send them regular emails with more valuable free information in order to build a relationship of trust.
Once your leads get to know you, like you and trust you, they’ll be ready to buy from you as well, and you’ll be ready to move on to your monetization strategies.
Disclosure: Although I receive affiliate compensation for some of the links below at no additional cost to you that compensation in no way influences my recommendations, which are strictly informed by my years of digital marketing experience working with clients large and small. My aim is to always recommend tools that will offer you the best return on investment.
There are many lead generation tools on the market but not all of them will have what you need to succeed as an online solopreneur.
What you need to look out for is a tool that is:
- Easy of use
- Highly customizable
- Easy to integrate with bulk email services or marketing automation platforms
- Has good customer support in case you get stuck
- Has a lot of professional-quality landing page and opt-in templates to choose from
Below you’ll find the best in class tools for all budgets.
Leadpages is the #1 page builder for online marketers. It boasts over 150 high-quality templates, it’s affordable, it integrates with the most popular mass email platforms and it works equally well with content management systems like WordPress and popular website builders, like Squarespace.
One of the best features of Leadpages compared to the competition is that they don’t impose usage quotas—you can create unlimited opt-ins and landing pages, run unlimited traffic through either and convert unlimited leads.
This is definitely a welcome feature as many of its competitors force you through a path of upgrades as you top various caps during your growth.
Also, all of their templates are mobile responsive plus they offer a handy wizard to get you going fast if you’re a beginner and feel a bit lost with so much choice.
They even include a file delivery system to send lead magnets to your subscribers directly from inside Leadpages, reducing the load on your server, as well as a checkout feature to collect payments via Stripe.
Leadpages Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Ease of use
- Over 150 templates and over 40 integrations with third-party tools
- A/B testing of opt-in forms and landing pages built into the platform
- Unlimited opt-ins, pages, traffic and leads in all plans
- Works with both popular content management systems as well as website builders
- In-dashboard analytics so you can track clicks and conversions
- Phone, live chat and email support
Now the Cons...
- A/B testing not available on entry-level plan (only on higher plans)
- Limited customization of templates as it uses a rigid layout for editing
Find Out More About Leadpages Here.
Best Budget Lead Generation Software: Thrive Leads
Thrive Leads is a plugin that only works within WordPress, but it’s very powerful for it’s low one-time cost. As a plus, it offers best-in-class A/B testing of opt-ins.
It doesn't have nearly as many templates as Leadpages (not even close), however, it has much more flexible customization if you use the Thrive Architect page builder (purchased separately at a one-time cost).
They also offer detailed analytics reports so that you can see how many visitors are clicking on your pages and how many of them are converting into leads.
Their A/B testing approach, although limited to WordPress sites, has some very powerful features, like the ability to A/B test different styles of opt-ins to see which one has better conversions (e.g. lightbox vs. screen filler popups or slide-in vs. popup).
It also has a very good number of trigger options, like time-based, scroll based (percentage and fixed) and exit intent.
Thrive Leads Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- A/B testing included out of the box
- 35+ integrations with the most popular bulk email systems and marketing automation platforms
- Detailed analytics reports
- Multiple styles of forms available (lightbox, ribbon, in-content, slide-in, screen filler, scroll mat, widget)
- Asset delivery, which allows you to deliver a file with your lead magnet to your subscribers from within the plugin
- 2-step opt-in forms that require email confirmation
Now the Cons...
- No advanced targeting or personalization (e.g. based on WordPress user roles)
- Slow support (it takes up to 24 hours to get an email response back)
- Only works with WordPress
Find Out More About Thrive Leads Here.
Best Runner-up: Unbounce
Although Unbounce has a similar feature set as Leadpages, it’s the runner up because it’s more expensive. One justification they use for the extra expense is that they claim that they have a higher focus on security features (e.g. SSL included in all plans).
They also offer unlimited A/B testing in all plans, including in their entry level one, which Leadpages doesn’t offer.
Unbounce Features that Stand Out for Online Earners
- Easy to use
- Highly customizable editor
- Mobile response opt-ins and landing pages
- Automatic SSL encryption
- 2 Factor Authentication
- A/B testing for all plans
- 30-day free trial
- GDPR compliance
- Phone and live chat support
Now the Cons...
- It has traffic and conversion usage caps in all plans
- It's expensive compared to its competitors
Find Out More About Unbounce Here.
Best Free Lead Generation Software: Hustle
If you’re looking for a free lead generation tool, this WordPress plugin definitely punches above its weight. Although not nearly as sophisticated and feature-rich as its paid cousins, it’s good enough for simple opt-in conversion applications.
The choice of templates is minimal, but you can still create useful opt-ins that integrate with many popular email marketing platforms (although not all—for example, Drip is missing from the list).
You can also add advanced triggers, like time-based, scroll-based and even exit intent. But where it falls short is in the area of customization. The editor is useful but very limited in comparison with the other solutions.
Yet, it’ll definitely get the job done, with one important caveat, you’re limited to 3 popup opt-ins, 3 slide-ins and 3 shortcode forms with the free-plan.
However, this should be sufficient to generate online income from a simple implementation.
Hustle Features that Stand Out for Online Earners (Free Tier)
- Opt-in forms can be popups, slide-ins and shortcodes embedded in your content
- Triggers include time delays, scroll percentages, clicks and exit intent actions
- It integrates with many popular email marketing services (but not as many as its competitors)
- It’s free (provided you don’t need more than 3 popup opt-ins, 3 slide-ins and 3 shortcode forms)
Now the Cons...
- Tiny amount of pre-built templates
- Form customization is very limited
- Works with WordPress only
- Limited number of third-party integrations compared to its competitors
- Limited to 3 popup opt-ins, 3 slide-ins and 3 shortcode forms
Find Out More About Hustle Here.
What to Do Next
Now it' time to begin developing a lead pipeline for your online business. In order to create an email list of subscribers who know you, like you and trust you, you'll need to add a powerful lead generation tool to your arsenal.