3 Free Lead Generation Tools That All Small Businesses Should Be Using

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Becky Lushey

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:

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

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.

Screenshot of HubSpot's homepage

We recommend: Hubspot

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:

  • Reporting dashboards that show which forms, pages, offers and traffic sources are driving the most conversions
  • Mobile-friendly pop-up forms for your website
  • A form collector that automatically captures submissions even if they come from a different tool
  • Kickback emails to help you follow up on form submissions
  • Contact and company insights including job title and social media profiles
  • Integration with external marketing services such as MailChimp, WordPress, Weebly, Drupal, Shopify and Magento

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.

A wise man once said that it’s more important to work smarter, not harder.

Social Media Management Software

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.

Screenshot of Hootsuite's homepage

We recommend: Hootsuite

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:

  • Manage up to three social media profiles from a choice of channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and LinkedIn
  • Schedule up to 30 posts in advance at any point in time
  • Track follower growth, likes and comments
  • Integrate two RSS feeds in order to find and share compelling content
  • Access Hootsuite’s online help center and community forum

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.

Website Tracking Software

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.

Screenshot of Hotjar's homepage

We recommend: Hotjar

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:

  • Click, move, scroll, download and share heatmaps that can also be split by device type
  • Visitor recordings that allow you to replay sessions of real site visitors
  • Conversion funnels that identify on which page and at which step the most visitors are leaving your site
  • Form analysis that can help you to discover which fields take too long to fill, which are left blank and why your visitors abandon your form and page
  • A customizable widget that allows you to create pop-up feedback polls
  • Responsive surveys that can be distributed through web links and emails, or featured your site just before your visitors abandon the page in order to discover what their concerns are
  • The ability to recruit test users in order to get instant feedback on your site

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.

This article 3 Free Lead Generation Tools That All Small Businesses Should Be Using has been reviewed and verified by Becky Lushey - Copywriter & Content Creator on Oct 05, 2021.

Last updated on Oct 05, 2021.