What's the best e-mail or sms lead capture tool? 

Lead capture tools collect customer information such as an e-mail or phone number, usually in return for a coupon or discount. Most commonly lead capture widgets are Pop Ups or Top Bars or Newsletter Subscription boxes. The best lead capture tools are much much more than a simple form; they allow you to target visitors with personalized messages at the right time with the right design, maximized to convert a sale or collect an email or phone number to continue the customer journey. 

There’s a wide range of email or sms lead capture tools out there and deciding what features and benefits are important for your business can be overwhelming. I‘ve compiled the best / top lead capture tools based on my experiences in the hope that you can make the best decision on what tools to test first to save you time.

The Top Lead Capture Tools

Privy

Privy helps your capture and collect more emails in a way that you can more easily convert first-time visitors. And is FREE for up to 5000 page views a month. Privy is heavy on integrations and supports most modern e-commerce and marketing stacks (especially Shopify). The builder is makes it easy to have a well designed lead capture widget. Its our favorite pick for ecom on Shopify.

Privy
Best E-Commerce
$ 20+ Monthly or Annual
  • Integrated Shopify
  • Great Conversions
  • Easy To Customize
#1 Ecommerce

HelloBar

HelloBar allows you to do one simple thing: it adds a slim banner to the top of any page on your website.  It can be used to collect email addresses or links to another page on your website. HelloBar was created by well-known Internet marketer Neil Patel.

HelloBar
Easy & Affordable
$ 29
99+
Monthly or Annual
  • Free Plan & Trial
  • Easy Smart Logic
  • Easy To Customize
Featured

OptinMonster

OptinMonster does all of the lead capture tool functions as others on this list, but it offers more advanced tools like onsite and geolocation retargeting, as well as integrations with chatbots like ManyChat. OptinMonster the go to solution for experienced marketers.

OptinMonster
Advanced Features
$ 9
99+
Monthly or Annual
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Easy Segmentation
  • Unique Widgets

SleekNote

Sleeknote is a powerful lead capture tool for any e-commerce website.  It builds highly customizable “sleekboxes” that get rid of annoying pop-ups that are commonly used with other lead capture tools. All of its plans include unlimited sleekboxes and all of its features, and they instead build based on your website traffic.

SleekNote
Personalization & Journeys
$ 55
+
Monthly or Annual
  • Valuable Post Lead
  • Personalization Features
  • E-Commerce & B2B

Unbounce

Unbounce is both a landing page tool and a lead capture tool.  The beauty of using the same service for both landing pages and lead capture is working within a single dashboard. Lead capture features from Unbounce are competitive with everyone else on this list.

Unbounce
Lead Capture & LP's
$ 79
99+
Monthly or Annual
  • Landing Page Integration
  • Easily Customizable
  • Lots Of Templates

ConvertFlow

ConvertFlow is an all-in-one lead capture tool for existing websites.  It allows you to add pop-ups, surveys, sticky bars, quizzes, and personalization to your site.  Their most expensive plan gives you multivariate split-testing and real-time SMTP email validation.

ConvertFlow
Advanced & Beginners
$ 39
99+
Monthly or Annual
  • Free Plan & Trial
  • All Capture Widgets
  • Powerful A/B Testing

How to pick the right service

When I decide what lead capture tool to use for a business I go through a short checklist even before deciding what platform to try or test. This helps you narrow down from comparing all of the options to only the ones that meet the most important criteria.

  • Integrates with your E-Mail Service Provider / CRM
    • If it does not (or a bonus) connects with Zapier
  • Easy to deploy many widget types.
    • Must Pop-Up, Top-Bar, Embedded Forms
  • Builder / Edit Features for widgets to customize
    • Not behind a sales representative
  • A/B Testing Functionality
  • Self serve to test and cost effective with scale.
  • Responsive support at all levels of service. 

Why Not Use Your ESP?

Most email service providers will include a simple way to add a lead capture widget to your website.  This is usually done by adding HTML code or a plugin to your website editor. Some will also offer a way to create a basic lead capture landing page.

The problem with the default lead capture options is they have limited features for performance marketing. Often have basic customization, lack a/b testing features, offer a variety of widgets and no smart targeting / logic.

If your landing page or site gets a lot of traffic, not having these features is like holes in a bucket. Even if you do not plan to use pop-ups or top bars, and just want to build e-mail subscribers you can A/B test to improve conversion rates regardless. For advanced marketers, these are the important reasons why you shouldn’t use the built-in lead capture widgets available in your ESP (email service provider).

How does lead cap work?

Lead capture tools let you opt customers in to marketing with their email address or phone number. Usually in the form of pop-up, a top bar, or embedded widgets within content. 

Lead capture tools integrate with most email service providers natively inside their dashboard. This means your leads will automatically populate into what ever tool you use to send emails. Depending on the lead capture tool or service you select they work slightly different; but when a visitor or user is prompted with lead form, often a phone number or e-mail field. 

The form is accompanied with a message that clearly provides the benefit to the user for submitting such as an exclusive sales price. Once a user submits a lead it’s sent to a variety of places, often more than one. Typically your sales or e-commerce platform as well as your e-mail or sms management service. If your ESP is not supported by the lead cap tool you select, you can often use Zapier to connect them. The major down-side here is you are far less likely to pass the parameters along with an e-mail address, such as location/referral source.

Whats the role of lead capture in CRM marketing?

Lead capture plays the most important role in your CRM strategy as the main source of personal information on your customers and leads. Many people start with a lead capture strategy and expand into traditional CRM communication; thanks to the advancements in third party plugins and tools its getting easier to consider how e-mail, sms, print mail, pop ups, notifications and more all play into your customer communication strategy.

You should consider early how you plan to organize and leverage your customer information. Many E-Mail platforms provide some basic CRM functionality to get you off the ground. Things you want to look for:

  • Seamlessly import and export contacts.
  • Stores location / browser / device information.
  • Tracking user behavior (page visits, or JS event tracked behavior)
  • Can push for communication (SMS, Email, Print Mail)
  • Integrates with customer support solutions.

These are just a few of the main areas I consider when lead capture becomes a part of your CRM strategy. Choosing the right tool above for your business and stage of business is key to build the foundation in your future marketing. 

I think the most important factor in your lead capture and CRM solutions is the exportability of data and information. Some of my favorite solutions early are All-In-One because for the right cost (and lack of complexity) you can provide your customers a 360 communication strategy for SaaS, E-Commerce and Mobile apps.