The Best Email Lead Generation Tools in 2021

Find out which applications and tools to use to improve your email lead conversion rates in 2021.

by Jason Bagley

Cold Email Lead Generation | Lead Generation

| 8 min

At the beginning of every robust and healthy sales pipeline — and more importantly, extended business growth — is an effective lead generation strategy. Brand awareness, customer-to-business relationships, and an efficient sales cycle all relate to your ability to generate leads.

Businesses that nurture potential leads report a 20% increase in sales opportunities, not to mention a combined 50% jump in total sales. With consumers moving towards online and digital channels, lead marketing tools are critical for your success no matter how you approach it. 

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But email lead generation is more than just a quick email blast to your clients…

With the wealth of customer relationship tools now at your service, you are capable of developing priority customers at all levels of your sales pipeline. Still, 61% of marketers report having difficulty generating high-quality leads. Why is that? 

Even though your ability to reach your target markets is better than ever, there is still a large amount of user friction that can hamper any outbound marketing approach.

Email lead generation is waylaid by spam protectors or incorrect data storage issues that can sideline even the best of your cold email campaigns. You might build the perfect cold email tag, but if it routes to your prospect’s spam folder, you have lost what might be a lifelong customer. Considering that email leads are up to 40% more effective than social media and that close to 80% of marketers use them, we can get a better ROI than the current standard. 

Luckily, several intelligent software platforms can help both your lead generation effectiveness and your overall email strategy. Below, we outline what and how these applications can help your email lead conversion rates, and then list some of the best email lead generation software platforms available to you in 2021. 

What tools do you need for email generation?

To improve the quality of your email leads, you need a full suite of software tools, each handling a different aspect of your lead generation strategy. These include integration, prospecting, email warming, and automation tools.

Prospecting tools 

Prospect software does the initial lead location work for you, helping automate the entire cold lead search process. You can save hours of manual labor by letting these tools search digital channels for possible sales prospects.

For example, Email Hunter will hunt for potential email addresses through public business directories. LinkedIn Sales Navigator parses through LinkedIn accounts for leads according to preset target filters. Aeroleads will even prepopulate persona fields such as company type, title, and location to aid sales teams. That kind of time management is invaluable, and reducing non-selling activities like these can increase revenue by 42%. If you want detailed information about leveraging prospect tools to your advantage, check out our guide here

Email warm-up tools

Email deliverability is a big problem for cold email campaigns as more than 20 percent of your initial emails will not even reach the inbox of the intended prospect.

Email service providers also have send limits, but you can decrease those restrictions with a proper warm-up. Mailwarm and Lemlist are examples of software tools that automate email warming, and they use intelligent algorithms to increase engagement and avoid spam rejections. Our full post on how to warm an email address can be read here.

Campaign automation tools

Sending well-crafted emails is a time-consuming process, and manually sending a campaign to several thousand emails is far too labor-intensive. The good news is that, with email marketing automation, you can build, schedule, and track the performance of an entire lead generation campaign.

Take advantage of professional design and templates, schedule different emails based on customer interactions, and make adjustments to your customer email list with ease. It’s like having a continuous and well-oiled email lead generation machine working round the clock for you.

Campaign tools give you a nice boost in conversions too. Automated birthday offers, for example, increase conversions by 60% compared to non-timed emails, and an automated welcome series instead of a single cold email increases revenue by 13%. Improve business efficiency, time management, and sales conversion with email campaign automation tools. 

Integration tools

Integration tools are a must-have if you plan to scale your email lead generation and outbound marketing strategy to grow your business. As you take advantage of more email software programs that streamline your email marketing, you’ll need integration tools that communicate and organize each separate application for you.

Integration apps make sure the workflow between platforms is seamless. For example, when your prospect tool locates a new lead, your integration software triggers a preset campaign that begins a timed welcome campaign, and it could notify your personal email of a new sales generation, all with no additional input by you. Zapier is a good example of a popular integration tool that can connect and create workflows between 3000 workplace efficiency apps. It can tell one app what to do or what to send to another app, with no additional coding required.

What is the best email lead generation software for cold email campaigns?

With each lead generation tool you need outlined in detail above, here are five of the best software tools of 2021 we believe can supercharge your cold email campaigns: 


Mailshake helps you warm up cold leads and new prospects. Whether it is follow-up emails or drip campaigns, Mailshake controls your lead generation. It can monitor customer reactions from email opens to ad clicks, and analytics will help you customize each of the campaigns you design. Most users report that Mailshake has a clean and intuitive interface, works well for email scrubbing, and comes with top-notch customer service. 

What integrations does it have? 

Mailshake natively connects with several major applications such as Calendly, Salesforce, LinkedIn, Hubspot, and Zoho. Plus, the program can integrate with thousands of different third-party applications, giving you a level of customization with each added lead generation tool.


Lemlist combines several email generation tools into a single application. It’s primarily a cold outreach platform, but it can also build and automate personalized email campaigns to clients located anywhere in your sales pipeline, even high-priority long-term customers. Lemlist has one of the best algorithms for cold emails to ensure that your campaigns convert, which will lower spam folder rejections. Lemlist is economical in its format, so most users tend to use it for outreach and domain warming. 

What integrations does it have? 

Lemlist connects with the main CRM’s (Pipedrive, Hubspot, Salesforce, Axonaut), lead generation tools such as Drop Contact, and growth tools like Phantombuster. 


Klenty is a sales engagement platform with a primary focus on prospect searching, retention, and outreach. It uses several tools like email throttling, domain tracking, and randomized send intervals to ensure that each email campaign you mail to prospects is delivered. Klenty also offers data insights that help you focus on priority prospects. In addition, you can execute campaigns in batches. Users comment about Klenty’s functionality and ability to scale. 

What integrations does it have? 

Klenty is a little more limited in its integration capability, but you can use Zapier to connect with over 300 potential software apps. That said, it does integrate directly with four major CRMs: Pipedrive, Hubspot, Salesforce, and Zoho.


SendinBlue is known for its trigger-based and transactional email lead generation, making it perfect for simple email or newsletter campaign automation. It has a well-built workflow feature that can save you time. SendinBlue also expands its sales engagement beyond just email, utilizing SMS marketing and chat function and standard outbound marketing tools. Users report that SendinBlue might not have all the bells and whistles but is simple to use and quite effective. 

What integrations does it have? 

Most useful is their featured integration with WordPress, meaning you can grow your email list without the need for a plugin added to your website. SendinBlue does not have all of the major CRM’s at its disposal, but it connects with several e-commerce apps such as Bigcommerce or Shopify. 


Reply is an AI-powered outreach and email prospecting tool. It combines several outbound channels such as email, LinkedIn, and Whatsapp and automates each outreach task to increase opt-ins from prospective clients. Tailor your email messaging and use deep analytics to tag changes within your CRM. Customers note how well the drip campaigns and A/B testing work, and how many manual hours of labor are resolved with the platform’s automation capabilities.

  • What integrations does it have? 

Reply natively integrates with several different lead generation platforms (Salesforce, Zendesk, etc.). For any other customized needs you might have, the program has good flexibility and can connect with plenty of no-code and third-party applications.


Apollo completes several lead generation tasks, having interfaces for prospecting, campaign builds, and email sequence generation. Apollo is designed for customer sales teams, so it has a bit more enterprise quality. The purpose of the platform is to empower sales reps more than simply directing customer lead generation. Most reviewers note that the biggest advantage to Apollo is how complete and well-rounded the tool is, ideal for those who want expansive email campaigns.

  • What integrations does it have? 

Apollo has native integrations with several large email providers, CRMs, and some e-commerce logistics platforms. You also gain access to Apollo’s own email database and tech stack along with the standard third-party integrations.

Lead generation is a critical aspect of your sales pipeline, but locating potential customers and turning prospects into longer-term customers can be tricky, even with the right software tools. If you need help building a customized and effective lead generation email campaign to populate your CRM list, get in touch. We make sure your name and brand make it to your ideal clients, and we can guide you through all the proper tools and processes that can maximize sales

For a detailed list of how our email lead generation services can optimize your outbound marketing strategy, click here

Contact SiteCare

Jason Bagley | Vice President, Digital Strategy

Jason Bagley is the VP of Digital Strategy at SiteCare. For more than 12 years, Jason built and ran a highly successful lead generation agency, which SiteCare acquired in 2020.

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