Free vs Paid Tools: Which Is Best for Finding Quality Prospects?


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It will do your business good if you discover early the importance of investing in the right tools. For instance, it is a must in finding quality prospects. And if you think about it, this part is only the beginning. Leveraging free services isn’t necessarily bad. But it does have its limits. At some point, you will have to calculate the ROI of using freeware. Can they really equip you with the things you need to succeed in generating leads? The other option is to start building a stack of trustworthy tools. What will you choose?

Here are several tool comparisons to help you get started:

Email Address Lookup

Email providers cannot place addresses in a directory according to the internet law. Because of the issue of privacy protection, you’re left to do things manually or automatically.

Often, the manual method is free of charge. For instance, you don’t have to pay direct fees to search for an email address on social networks. Some people publicize their contact information, including this detail, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can also look it up on LinkedIn if you’re targeting someone who’s already in your network. However, this approach takes time, effort, and patience.

What if you’re working for a firm that needs to generate thousands of leads to hit its multimillion-dollar revenue goals every day? Even if you’re only starting out, manual email lookup will just add to your long list of daily to-dos.

Here is where an email finder tool comes in. Voila Norbert is a favorite among those who are reaching out to influencers. You can do minimal to heavy (bulk) searches and expect to get real corporate email addresses in the results. It’s the less expensive alternative to LinkedIn Premium, starting at $0.10 per lead. For now, it can integrate only with CRMs supported by Zapier. Runners-up are Email Hunter (beaten because Norbert is simpler) and Anymail Finder.

Content Marketing/Webinar Software

Modern marketers need to offer value before they can take potential customers to the belly of the funnel. Content marketing fills that need during lead generation. Among the most important marketing tactics for B2B companies used in 2015, webinars and webcasts ranked second. They were next only to in-person events and went ahead of case studies, white papers, and videos.

If you’re looking at hosting your own webinar, or want to do it again, you should embrace the ease that comes with having a go-to platform. Sure, you can set up a live stream via Google+ Hangouts or Skype Video Call. These apps are made by popular and reliable companies. However, if you want to impress an audience or appear more sophisticated, you can try to using premium software.

ClickMeeting is a good example. It comprises tools that assist you before, during, and after the webinar. You get to customize your registration page and invites, prepare a waiting room for participants, share speaker profiles during the planning stage. Control interaction, enrich your content, and maximize your resources when you go live. Finally, record your session, derive trends and predictions from your webinar statistics, and thank your audience after the webinar ends. Rinse and repeat.

Customer Outreach 

When you have tons of leads but don’t know what to do with them, you may be tempted to outsource your email marketing campaigns. Agencies can be expensive. Experienced email marketers command competitive salaries. But who wouldn’t want to hire for results? It’s just that this is also not the best course of action when you’re starting out. Your other option is to send a cold email via Gmail (not that reliable) or MailChimp (takes time).

Solutions like Mailshake come to the rescue. Mailshake lets you create personalized campaigns through its templates. The program will use your answers to its questions as the foundation of the customized messages. You can use it to write guest posts, lead gen content, and PR pitches. You can also promote content and send link-building requests with this one.

Using link click triggers, Mailshake enables you to schedule follow-ups and emails. It can detect replies and unsubscribes. It rolls out charts and stats, so you can manage and monitor how your messages are doing. Capturing high-quality leads does not have to cost much either. This solution charges only $9 per user per month.

Vikas Agrawal
Vikas Agrawal is a start-up Investor and co-founder of the Infographic design agency, He is a highly influential research analyst and strategic marketing consultant.Vikas advises and plans the visual marketing campaigns of Medium to Large companies. Vikas has worked globally across multiple industries including retail, financial services, logistics, manufacturing, telecoms and pharmaceuticals deploying effective strategic marketing plans and methodologies. A renowned blogger on the subject of Technology, Marketing and Entrepreneurship.


  1. Nice article! Developing a platform is first step further finding prospect and lead is one of the hardest thing for any business growth, As you have mention tools above and tool which I have use AeroLeads, Rapportive it’s really save our back and help us to increase our reach


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