6 Lead-Generation Tools for Small Businesses

Small businesses need a constant flow of new customers if they want to succeed, and yet finding those customers and generating new leads has become a struggle for the 32% of merchants who say their current marketing strategies aren’t generating as many sales leads as they’d like.

Hyperlocal platforms aimed at fulfilling consumer service requests are becoming increasingly attractive to these small business owners, since these platforms generally involve a minimal investment of time or money on the part of the local merchant. Rather than paying upfront for advertisements that may or may not generate actual leads, business owners can sit back and wait for leads to come to them.

Here are six lead-generation tools that small businesses can use to attract new customers in their local areas.

1. Zaarly
Zaarly is a free tool that consumers can use to find products and services they want, at prices they’re willing to pay. Each time a consumer posts a request on Zaarly, the platform sends texts, push notifications, and emails to merchants who’ve signed up to provide services for that category or keyword. Merchants can then respond to consumers through the messaging system with price quotes and availability information. Zaarly works with merchants in a wide array of industries, from childcare and catering, to construction and graphic design. Zaarly is completely free for both merchants and consumers, however the platform does take a transaction fee when merchants opt to accept payments online.

2. Localmind
Localmind is a hyperlocal service that businesses can use to connect with potential customers already in the nearby vicinity. Localmind users post their questions on the mobile app—generally things like, “Can you recommend a bar downtown?” or “Any recommendations for a good café with late night hours?” Tech savvy business owners can then respond to these queries with information about their own establishments, allowing them to target nearby customers in real-time and bring in people who might not otherwise know they exist. Localmind is free for both consumers and businesses to use.

3. Thumbtack
Thumbtack is a local marketplace that lets people find and book professional services online. Service professionals in virtually every industry—from hairstyling to housecleaning—can create free listings on Thumbtack, which consumers come across when they search for specific services they need. If a consumer is interested in booking the service, he or she contacts the professional directly to schedule an appointment. Merchants that pay an additional subscription fee of $8 to $50 per month can use Thumbtack’s opt-in leads program, which sends leads directly to their inbox each time a consumer makes a service request on the site.

4. Redbeacon
Professionals in the home services industry can use Redbeacon to generate leads from motivated consumers in their local areas. The platform invites consumers to post their service requests online, and then sends those requests to its roster of “RB Pros.” Professionals who are interested in taking on the job can submit a price quote online or request to see the jobsite in person, and the consumer can schedule an appointment with the pro that he or she has chosen through Redbeacon’s online scheduling system. Professionals pay a 25% commission on the price they’ve quoted as soon as the job is scheduled, or a flat fee of $14.99 or $24.99 for each on-site estimate.

5. TaskRabbit
Although TaskRabbit is typically thought of as an errand service, the site also provides a number of useful tools for small businesses in certain industries—like carpentry and catering—that are willing to take a cut off the prices they usually charge. TaskRabbit users post the tasks they need to get done, and service professionals bid on how much they’re willing to do the jobs for. The lowest offer typically gets the job, and professionals are paid through TaskRabbit online. TaskRabbit charges businesses nothing to bid on projects and tasks, and adds a 15% service fee to the price of most offers, as opposed to subtracting that fee from the merchant’s final check.

6. Urgnt.ly
Urgnt.ly is a tool that service professionals can use to snag last-minute jobs that need to be done in a hurry. Individuals in need of immediate assistance—typically because they’ve burst a pipe or gotten a flat tire on the side of the road—log on to Urgnt.ly’s website or mobile app to find professionals who are currently available in the nearby vicinity. The closest provider who’s checked-in with Urgnt.ly—signaling his or her availability—will be notified via text, phone call, or email with information about the Urgnt.ly user in need of assistance. Urgnt.ly is free for consumers. Providers are charged a “small fee” each time they respond to a request made through the service.

Know of other platforms that businesses can use to generate leads online? Leave a description in the comments.

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  1. Lally R
    April 23, 2012

    Very nice site. It is mentioned 6 Lead generation tools but I wonder if one of them allow us to find Buyers, Sellers, and social media leads (like Twitter) and how to find URLs. Thank You.  God bless you. 

  2. lally2301
    April 29, 2012

    Hi. From those “Six lead-generation tools” for small business. Which tool do you think help us to get a lot of  LEADS ?

  3. lally2301
    May 1, 2012

    OK. You mentioned 6 different tools for LEAD GENERATION. Could you tell me in your experience, which one is the most effective? Also, do you know something HOW  I can get leads from  social media. Do you have your own strategy or an special  software?  Thank You. 

  4. lally2301
    May 7, 2012

    Hi Stephanie. Talking about these “6  lead generation tools”  I agree with your statement that “Any small business need constantly new leads and keeping most of them”. You mentioned 6 tools, some of them free, and the rest for a monthly fee. I really do no know which one is more effective but I would like to see HUGE RESULTS. 

    I’d like to find a great tool that help us to post, reply, answer, comment, or recommend any of our products or services on “highly trafficked websites”; so in this way, we can take control of the best search engines like Google, Yahoo, Bing and get access to potentially millions every day. 

    It sounds like a BIG DREAM but I like it. Have a nice day.

  5. lally2301
    May 11, 2012

    Hi Stephanie. The title of your website is very appealing “6 lead generation tools for small business” and it sounds very good. I will find which one works for me or maybe find a better one. I truly believe that lead generation tools are crucial for any business.  These tools will help anybody generate more LEADS, because LEADS means SALES. 
    But I think, 1) If we can find a tool that help us to get a lot of leads, not only from social media, 2) Get emails (LEADS) from different websites; and additionally 3) Get highly trafficked websites to post our products or services; we can accomplish more, because MORE LEADS,  and MORE SALES. I am working on this kind of tool and I will get. I think if I can get this kind of  “cool tool”, it will SAVE TIME and MONEY. I hope to be lucky. 

  6. August 2, 2012

    Can I share something with you? YOU CAN GET MORE LEADS with Prometheus. You can continuously select leads of what you want and how many you want; find hot targeted leads who are already asking for the product/service you are selling; and emailing them all with a touch a button. GET TRAFFIC LEADS EXPOSURE HERE

  7. August 10, 2012

    HOW CAN YOU GET MORE LEADS? With Prometheus.
    This is a great tool. You can continuously select leads of what you want and how many you want; find hot targeted leads who are already asking for the product/service you are selling; and emailing them all with a touch a button. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AXiWmEkfP1o&feature=relmfu

    You can learn How to Get More Leads and Web Traffic

  8. John
    September 13, 2013

    One more I can think of is on demand cloud based prospecting tool http://www.salesnucleus.com

  9. EDDIE
    November 18, 2013

    Redbeacon – are you kidding! 25% off the top! who would be naïve enough to accept that? That seems to be an absolute rip-off. The only way to make it up is overcharge the customer by 25% or make hardly any money on the job! Its ridiculous!

  10. mjklanac
    April 6, 2015

    A great free tool to collect Customer Feedback, Generate Leads, and Manage your Social Care presence is GripeO. The business claim takes just a few seconds: https://www.gripeo.com/businesses

  11. Anthony Porter
    August 21, 2016

    I’m going to say this now… Thumbtack is a pure scheme company. Plus they are nothing close to $8 bucks. You will back a mere $25.00 for 10 credits and half the darn leads are cheapskates, and generated “leads” to help you waste quotes, the other 40% is window shoppers looking for the best deal and the other 10% is a hit and miss. I called them out on it on there facebook page and now they got around trolling there posts and deleting it(Thankfully I have a copy paste file 😉 ) Redbeacon is powered by home depot? That link leads to something different so they got bought out apparently.

    Looks to me this redbeacon bought out company is a spin off of thumbtack. Might be in the same boat with cheapskates wasting your quote money.

    1. March 19, 2017

      I thought Thumbtack was a scam at first, but for me, it was about sticking to points that customers want and giving them discounted rates. Then they become repeat customers. But I would say, it took 3 months to get the hang of but now I use it as my main source of income. So far I’ve managed to generate close to 20k in the last 2 months. Just like with any skill it takes practice. It’s not good for beginners as I was struggling. But after that a certain point, you’ll get used to it and start getting more customers.

      I agree, this article has the pricing wayyy off. I spend about $200 a month on thumbtack.

  12. Vedh J
    October 26, 2016

    Great list Stephanie! I would love for you to include AeroLeads https://aeroleads.com/ in this list.
    AeroLeads is a web based prospect and lead generation tool that helps find contact details of companies and people. Using this tool, you can find email IDs, phone numbers, addresses and more along with personal LikedIn profiles.
    You can automate your lead generation efforts by opting for AeroLeads Lead Generation Service. All you need to do is to furnish details such as industry size, job title, loaction etc and you will have your verified list of leads within 48 hours as per your requirements.

  13. Elizabeth Taylor
    April 12, 2017

    I personally use http://1000leads.co/?utm_source=BuzzBundle&utm_medium=link&utm_campaign=BuzzBundle%20campaign as a tool of lead generation

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