How to Automate Lead Generation: Winning Tools and Practices

Want to make more sales without spending all of your precious time on lead generation? This guide to how to automate lead generation is here to help! 😎

👉 In this article, we’ll explore:

By the time you’re finished reading, you’ll have all the tools you need to start 🎬 automatically collecting leads so you can focus on more creative aspects of your business.

What is automated lead generation?

To understand automated lead generation, we first need to define lead generation as a whole.

Put simply, lead generation is the process of finding potential customers and building relationships with them. The process happens in six steps:

  1. Attracting potential leads to your website through social media, ads, and SEO.
  2. Identifying leads based on how they interact with your site or other criteria.
  3. Capturing leads through a newsletter signup form or similar information-gathering tools.
  4. Nurturing leads with excellent communication, free content, and other strategies for customer relationship management (CRM).
  5. Converting leads into customers by using your established trust to demonstrate the quality of your products or services.
  6. Delight your customers and encourage them to share your business with their friends, thus attracting new leads.

Automated lead generation uses pre-programmed content to walk prospective customers through some or all of this process at any time of day or night. All you need to do is create the content and set some scheduling parameters.

Now that you understand what automated lead generation is, let’s take a look at our first way to set it up:

How to automate lead generation with a chatbot

Chatbots are automated tools designed to bring your website visitors into conversation with your company. There are a few different ways you can use chatbots:

  • To answer visitor questions. Chatbots can easily be programmed to answer common visitor questions and provide links to your documentation or customer support.
  • To generate leads. Chatbots can encourage people to sign up for your newsletter or share other contact information with your company.
  • To understand your audience. Chatbots can collect information about new leads to help you create personalized marketing campaigns.

Most of all, chatbots ensure that people get the information they need right away, rather than having to wait for a person to respond. This is probably why 65% of users actually prefer asking questions to a chatbot [1].

Let’s take a look at how two popular chatbots work:

1. Livechat

How to automate lead generation: LiveChat homepage

LiveChat is a customer service platform known for its easy-to-use chatbot program. There are specialized plugins for installing LiveChat on WordPress, WooCommerce, Shopify, and several other website builders. You can also use pre-built chat structures for Lead Generation and Out of Office communications.

Along with the option to create automated chats, LiveChat lets you set up Agent accounts for your customer service reps. These accounts allow them to monitor chats and step in for additional customer service when necessary.

You can also use LiveChat to automate other forms of marketing, including email and SMS marketing. This can help you better manage your interactions with customers across all platforms, saving you even more time.

Notethe chatbot functionality is technically available via the developer’s ChatBot service, but ChatBot and LiveChat are built to work well together.💡

💵 Pricing

What you’ll pay depends on whether you want just chatbots or you want to integrate chatbots alongside live agents.

LiveChat starts at $20 per agent, per month, billed annually, which covers the human agent part. Then, the ChatBot service starts at $52 per month, billed annually, for one active chatbot and 1,000 valid chats per month.

2. Tidio

Tidio homepage

Tidio offers a combination live chat and chatbot tool that seamlessly integrates with WordPress, Shopify, and several other website building tools. The visual drag-and-drop builder makes it easy to create unique conversation pathways for potential leads to take. There are also over 35 ecommerce chat templates you can use to make automating your customer service even easier.

Tidio isn’t limited to your website either. You can connect the Tidio chatbot to email, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger. And you can integrate Tidio with the sales and customer relationship management (CRM) tools you’re already using to help you seamlessly turn leads into customers.

Another great thing about Tidio is the Ticketing system, which allows customers to create support tickets. You can then use Tidio’s tools to organize, track, and respond to these support tickets.

💵 Pricing

Like the LiveChat/ChatBot service above, Tidio divides its pricing based on whether you want to have human agents or chatbots (or both).

Tidio offers a free plan with up to 50 Livechats and 100 Chatbot conversations. Paid plans start at $15.83 per operator, per month, for chats with real people, and $32.50 per month for chats using chatbots.

Prospect analytics tools work very similarly to the analytics tools you’re already using: you put a piece of code on your website and it tracks the IP addresses of users who visit you.

These tools take it a step further, though, tracking the pages each specific user visits, their engagement, and more. Some can even use existing data to find the names and contact information of business owners that visit your site, making these tools invaluable for B2B companies.

Many prospect analytics tools also offer predictive analysis, using past activity to predict how likely someone is to buy your products or services. This can help you automate marketing in a couple of ways:

  • Automatically send the best leads to your marketing team. They can use this information to reach out to people who are already interested in your products or services.
  • Personalize your automated marketing messages. You can use data about how users engage with your site to create personalized lead generation forms, chatbot conversations, and other automated marketing campaigns.

Let’s take a look at two popular prospect analytics tools:

1. Lead Forensics

How to automate lead generation: Lead Forensics

Designed specifically for B2B companies, Lead Forensics is one of the most powerful tools you can access when learning how to automate lead generation.

This tool tracks the IP addresses of visitors to your site and compares them to the 1.4 billion B2B IP addresses stored in the Lead Forensics database. It then uses this information to send you the names and contact information of the person or business associated with that IP address.

Lead Forensics can also be integrated with a variety of popular tools, like Salesforce, Outlook, and Slack, to make managing the data you collect even easier.

💵 Pricing

The cost of Lead Forensics is based on the amount of traffic your site receives. To determine the specific pricing for your site, request a free demo.

2. HubSpot Prospects

HubSpot Prospects homepage

HubSpot offers free tools for tracking prospects, turning them into leads, and taking them through the whole customer journey. In other words, if you want an all-in-one marketing solution, HubSpot is the place to turn.

The HubSpot Prospects tool helps you track the businesses visiting your site, understand the content they’re engaging with, and predict the users most likely to buy your products or services. You can then set up automated daily digest emails to notify your sales team about high-quality leads.

💵 Pricing

HubSpot offers its Prospects tool, along with many other marketing and customer relationships tools, to business owners for free. Companies with more advanced needs can sign up for premium plans starting at $45 per month, billed annually.

Final thoughts on how to automate lead generation

Setting up automated lead generation tools 🧰 can require a significant time investment upfront, but it will save you and your team countless hours in the long run.

It can also improve your customers’ experiences by giving them answers and directing them to the tools they need in real time, removing the need to wait for an email or even for a person’s response in live chat.

There are two main strategies to learn in how to automate lead generation:

  • Using a chatbot. Chatbot tools like LiveChat and Tidio make it easy to turn visitors into leads and answer customer questions 24/7.
  • Using prospect analytics. Prospect analytics tools like Lead Forensics and HubSpot Prospects make it easy to identify and qualify leads so that your marketing team only focuses on the website visitors most likely to become customers.

Want to learn more about automation? 🤔 Check out our guide to the best automation platforms!

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