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AI lead generation: Benefits, use cases, and popular tools

AI lead generation: Benefits, use cases, and popular tools

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As you've probably noticed, artificial intelligence (AI) is everywhere. Many businesses, if not most businesses, are quickly discovering the benefits of using AI and incorporating it more into their operations — especially for lead generation.

AI lead generation is the process of finding contacts that are interested in your business using artificial intelligence. For a real estate agent, leads are people who want to buy houses. If you're a charity, your leads may be deep-pocketed people looking to donate.

How does lead generation typically work?

The ability to generate high-quality leads is the lifeblood of every business, but the process varies depending on the industry and each organization's goals. However, the endgame is always to gather information — think contact information, needs, and basic demographics — about a person who's likely to convert and become a customer.

There are two ways leads come in the door: inbound or outbound. Inbound lead generation happens when leads come to you and give you their information in exchange for something, such as a product demo or white paper download.

Popular strategies that make inbound lead generation easier include:

  • Using search engine optimization (SEO) to get visitors to your site
  • Producing high-quality content that positions your brand as a thought leader
  • Distributing that high-quality content on your website, social media, and other platforms
  • Sponsoring a booth at a trade show or expo with the hope of leads approaching you
  • Creating YouTube videos or webinars

Outbound lead generation, on the other hand, looks like actively seeking out new leads rather than waiting for them to come to you. These are often lower-quality leads, but they're much easier to generate in bulk.

Common outbound lead generation strategies include:

  • Paid advertising, such as on Facebook or Google
  • Cold calling
  • Cold emailing
  • Sending DMs on social media, especially LinkedIn

Using AI in Lead Generation

Regardless of whether you focus on inbound or outbound at your company, know that AI lead generation software simplifies some of the most complicated and resource-intensive aspects of lead generation. AI can process and calculate massive amounts of data in milliseconds. Tasks that might've required a dedicated employee or two with advanced degrees in the past now can be handled with the right AI models.

For example, AI can help predict which leads are most likely to become customers and which products they're most likely to buy. With the correct tools, you can dump in almost unlimited amounts of data that a human couldn't possibly sort through, and get coherent, actionable insights on the other side.

Anyone in marketing should be blown away by these capabilities since even small companies now have access to analytics that used to be reserved for Fortune 500 companies spending millions per year.

In short, the best AI lead generation tools can make your process more accurate, automated, and effective.

9 ways to use AI in your lead generation process

Here are the most common ways marketers are using AI so far to improve their lead generation strategies.

1. Target audience identification

Before effective lead generation can happen, you need to know exactly who's most likely to buy from you. Many companies create Ideal Customer Personas (ICPs) to understand who they're marketing to.

Certain AI tools can scan public databases and platforms to assemble an initial buyer persona. Then, over time, you'll have internal data that can act as input data for your AI model, helping it improve. This will almost always be more accurate than what a human can put together.

Even a relatively simple tool like ChatGPT can help. For example, if you sell software designed to keep suburban real estate agents organized, start with a prompt like, "What's the most common demographic profile of a real estate agent in the suburbs?"

2. Content optimization

For true thought leadership content, AI isn't at the point where you can generate a long-form piece of content and publish it immediately.

However, it can provide you with an outline, give you ideas for a title, correct mistakes, improve your writing, and create a solid introduction after you've fed it some basic information. For example, you could prompt your AI tool with something like this: "Identify all instances of the passive voice and suggest alternatives."

Grammarly is a popular AI-powered tool that doesn't require prompts and automatically analyzes writing for areas of improvement.

Grammarly Keyboard for Mobile | Grammarly


3. Lead scoring

Lead scoring means assigning a number to a lead based on their demographics or behavior. It's a way for marketing departments to ensure that only quality leads are sent to the sales team.

While there are many ways to score leads, the process can be extremely complicated and often requires some guesswork. However, an AI tool can provide predictive lead scoring. It can take data points from past leads who have and have not bought and determine which actions most often lead to a sale.

The AI will create a lead scoring system from scratch and continuously update it over time as new data is added.

4. Predictive analytics

This means that AI can take a large dataset, analyze it, and use machine learning to predict outcomes based on the data. This reduces the manual workload of a sales leader immensely, as companies spend tons of resources recording and analyzing data with the hopes of creating an accurate forecast.

AI will do all of this automatically and can handle massive datasets that might be unwieldy for a person to attempt to manage and decipher alone.

5. Personalization and communication

AI can help you create personalized content for different users in your database. The right tool can segment your database and tailor your content for different audiences. Your messages can vary based on products purchased, the demographics of the user, or pages they've visited on your site. Your lead conversion will almost certainly see a boost from this kind of custom experience.

6. Chatbots

This might be the AI lead generation tool that you're most familiar with! Companies have used AI for years to answer chats, even though these messages can sometimes frustrate users.

An AI-driven chatbot will have access to your knowledge base and can use that information to answer simple questions. Of course, its effectiveness will be based on how thorough the documented information is.

7. Email marketing

Email marketing is all about sending the right message at the right time to the right people. We've discussed how AI can segment lead lists based on demographic or behavioral information, and advanced tools can even customize your email to make sense for specific people.

In addition, you can use AI to discover the best time of the day to send your messages and have different segments receive messages at different times of the day.

8. Customer insights and analytics

You can learn more about your future leads by giving your AI tool access to your customers' data and activities. In addition to creating buyer personas and setting up effective lead scoring, AI can help you know which product a lead would be most likely to buy. Certain tools can also help your sales team understand what a specific lead may or may not want to hear based on common pain points.

9. Sales outreach

Advanced AI technology can actually provide real-time scripts for sales reps to use during phone calls with prospects or customers. This helps tremendously with cold outreach and bolsters the overall effectiveness of sales teams. AI also improves email sales pitches based on customer data and common pain points.

5 effective AI lead generation tools

There are more AI tools out there that are designed to improve lead generation than you may think. Here are five popular options that can improve your marketing in incredible ways:

1. Kartra

Kartra Reviews 2024 by CRM Experts & Users - Best Reviews


Kartra focuses on helping teams create the most effective, engaging, and personalized content possible through AI. After generating leads, you can send the right messages at the right time based on AI-driven recommendations.

Benefits include:

  • Lead capture pages and websites that display tailored content based on the visitor
  • Lead scoring and tagging
  • Dynamic webinar and video content
  • Custom visitor interactions based on their behavior

Kartra starts at $199/month and then scales up to $549/month for large teams looking for advanced features.

2. Seamless

Seamless.AI - Best AI Sales Software & Business Leads Platform


Seamless.AI makes it easy to gather information about leads so that you can contact them knowledgeably. It gathers information from across the web, especially social media, to help you connect with your ICP.

Benefits include:

  • Analysis and segmentation of gathered lead information
  • Predictive messaging
  • Social media marketing assistance, especially in writing posts and monitoring campaigns
  • AI-written copy designed to convert

Seamless.AI offers a forever-free version to help you get started and a free trial of its basic package.

3. 6sense

Upgrade to the Best Revenue Intelligence Platform | 6sense


6sense focuses on providing more information about leads during every step of their buying lifecycle, including insight into what to say and when to reach out. In other words, they use AI to give you all the right information to make smarter marketing and sales decisions.

Benefits include:

  • Connecting anonymous visitors' behavior to accounts in your CRM
  • Understanding changes at a prospect's company that may lead to better outreach
  • Predictive intelligence about when to reach out and what to say
  • Automatic data enrichment for every lead

Their lowest package starts at $495/month, with their most expensive Professional package starting at $2,495/month.

4. Outreach

Outreach on LinkedIn: Why Outreach? The Sales Execution Platform


Outreach uses AI algorithms to improve sales conversations and follow-up with leads. Your sales team can better understand when to reach out and what to say.

Benefits include:

  • Customized content based on search intent
  • Identification of leads engaged in buying behavior, triggering automated workflows or notifications to the sales team
  • A stage-by-stage pipeline risk assessment for each lead
  • Recommended actions for the sales team to close the lead

To get pricing on Outreach, you must contact their sales team.

5. useArtemis

Best LinkedIn Automation Tool & Lead Generation Software 2022


useArtemis is an automated LinkedIn messaging tool that locates ideal leads and crafts irresistible messages to send to them. It can also handle critical messaging steps, like following up and booking meetings.

Benefits include:

  • Fully customized messages based on the contact's profile
  • A scraper tool to find LinkedIn leads in bulk
  • Automated nurturing with timed messaging
  • A combined inbox for every LinkedIn account

Pricing starts at $69/month and increases to their highest package at $399/month.

Use Streak's AI-powered CRM for better lead management

Although not a lead generation tool, we'd be remiss not to mention our AI-powered lead tracking tool, Streak.

With Streak, the CRM co-pilot for teams in Gmail, you can manage and market to leads from right inside your inbox; our tool directly integrates with Google. Using AI, Streak creates custom profiles for each of your leads that include any information they've shared with you via email, plus publicly available information about them on the web.

In other words, Streak auto-fills data for leads based on conversations you've had in the past and even allows you to query your conversation history to get quick answers.

Ready to improve your marketing and sales efforts with an AI tool like Streak? Get started in 30 seconds for free!

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