8 Best Lead Nurturing Software for Sales & Marketing 2022

Learn about the best lead nurturing software options, as well as their primary use cases, in our independent editorial review.

Lead nurturing software are typically CRMs or marketing automation software that help sales and marketers attract, qualify, and engage leads to turn them into customers. The top software offer features like contact management, pipeline management, automated follow-ups, and drip marketing campaigns to guide prospects through the sales funnel and optimize conversion rates. To help you choose the right one for you, we’ve evaluated the best lead nurturing software.

Here are the eight best lead nurturing software:

  • Zoho CRM: Best software for omnichannel lead nurturing (free starting price)
  • HubSpot CRM: Best free nurturing option with upgrades (free starting price)
  • Freshsales: Best lead nurturing workflow automation for salespeople (free starting price)
  • Pipedrive: Best for an easy-to-use, visual sales pipeline (14-day free trial)
  • Salesforce Essentials: Best sales nurturing option for advanced reporting (14-day free trial)
  • EngageBay: Most affordable premium sales & marketing nurturing features (free starting price)
  • ActiveCampaign: Best for automated email nurturing campaigns ($9.00 starting price)
  • Insightly: Best lead nurturing CRM for project management (free starting price)

How We Evaluated the Best Lead Nurturing Software

In our evaluation, we first identified the top six weighted categories important to lead nurturing software and assigned each category key subcriteria. From there, we used the subcriteria to give each category a score out of five, and summed them all together to give each option an overall score out of five, including the identification of primary use-cases. Take a look at our specific evaluation criteria below:

Evaluation Criteria

We first looked at each option’s cost and core features such as pipeline management, marketing automation, and reporting. Next, we reviewed ease of use, integrations, and customization. Customer support rounded out our scoring to ensure users have the information and help they need.

Cost:
25%
Core Features:
25%
Ease of Use:
20%
Integrations:
15%
Customization:
10%
Customer Support:
5%

Note: All per-user prices are with a one-year commitment unless noted.

All software we evaluated are good options for businesses looking to capture leads and convert customers. However, Zoho CRM emerged as the best lead nurturing software, which also tied for core CRM features and came out on the top spot for integrations. Read on to see how each CRM performed in each category.

Zoho CRM: Best for Omnichannel Nurturing

Helps capture leads from multiple sources, from email campaigns to websites, and nurture them to close.

Price Range: Free to $52 per user, per month (15- to 30-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Excels at lead generation
  • Easy and intuitive to use
  • Free and flexible pricing

Cons:

  • Setup process can be difficult
  • Limited customer services
  • Tutorials can be improved

Zoho CRM is sales software known for its multichannel marketing features that help generate and nurture leads. Its robust marketing integrations notify you when a lead engages with your social media, emails, or website, enabling you to respond immediately. Its Zia AI tool reveals the leads most likely to convert so you can build a relationship on their preferred platform, making Zoho CRM ideal for businesses that connect with leads via various online channels.

Zoho CRM Pricing

  • Free Plan: Support for 3 users
  • Standard: $14 per user, per month
  • Professional: $23 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $40 per user, per month
  • Ultimate: $52 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 15 to 30 days

Zoho CRM Key Features

  • Omnichannel Marketing Automation: Automatically capture leads and create campaigns from all channels.
  • Qualify and Convert Leads: Identify the right leads and then nurture them through the sales funnel.
  • A/B Testing for Newsletters: Discover which emails resonate with leads, then use those emails in future campaigns.
  • Lead Scoring: Qualify leads based on specific email actions taken and assign numerical scores to leads based on your ideal customer profile fit.

Zoho CRM - Lead Nurturing Software

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HubSpot CRM: Best Free Option With Upgrades

One of the most effective platforms for generating and qualifying inbound leads, and nurturing them into customers.

Price Range: Free to $1,200 per month (Sales Hub)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Marketing and sales in one place
  • Powerful automation
  • Easy lead generation

Cons:

  • Limited reporting options
  • Harder option to customize
  • Premium tiers can be pricing

HubSpot CRM is free marketing and sales software that includes robust contact management features. Users can qualify leads through calls, emails, and live chat, and also set up chatbots to automatically ask website visitors questions and qualify them accordingly. The Professional and Enterprise levels take these features a step further with robust premium tiers. HubSpot CRM is therefore a great option for those needing a free platform that can grow with them.

HubSpot CRM Pricing

  • Free Plan: Support for unlimited users, up to 1 million non-marketing contacts
  • Sales Hub Starter: $45 for 2 paid users, per month
  • Sales Hub Professional: $450 for 5 paid users, per month
  • Sales Hub Enterprise: $1,200 for 10 paid users, per month

HubSpot CRM Key Features

  • Sales Qualified Leads: HubSpot CRM helps ensure that leads who have engaged with marketing and sales outreach are qualified before moving to the sales pipeline.
  • Pinpoint Lead Tracking: Adequately track leads in real-time by properly identifying the most engaged prospects.
  • Lead Targeted Campaigns: Design campaigns that target your prospective customer’s pain points and show how your business can address these problems.
  • Email Marketing: Send bulk and optimized emails that have been tested for different platforms and devices.

hubspot pipeline example

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Freshsales: Best for Workflow Automation

Helps businesses to engage, attract, nurture, and close leads using automation.

Price Range: Free to $69 per user, per month (21-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Very simple interface
  • Allows multiple pipelines
  • Low price points

Cons:

  • Lacks robust custom reporting
  • Limited dashboard customization
  • No 24/7 support

Freshsales is a contact management platform that helps improve lead nurturing by tracking and engaging leads throughout the sales pipeline. It allows companies to use automated workflows to create and send targeted lead outreach — these automated tasks, emails, call reminders, and notes make Freshsales a great option for salespeople and teams that want to consistently nurture their leads without having to manually reach out.

Freshsales Pricing

  • Free Version: Support for unlimited users
  • Growth: $15 per user, per month
  • Pro: $39 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 21 days

Freshsales Key Features

  • Automation-Driven Lead Capture: Eliminate clunky, manual lead nurturing sequences with automated processes to scale your efforts.
  • Sales Sequences: Automatically run a sequence of sales actions, choosing the target audience and specific days of execution.
  • Auto-Profile Enrichment: Freshsales automatically enriches contacts and leads with social and publicly listed information.
  • Auto-Assigning Leads: Ensure the right leads are sent to the right sales rep and don’t fall through the cracks.
  • Smartforms: Freshsales allows you to capture leads directly into the system once they complete a web form.

Freshworks CRM - Lead Nurturing Software

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Pipedrive: Best for a Highly Visual Pipeline

A lead nurturing platform to easily create visual customer journeys and move deals through stages in the sales pipeline.

Price Range: $14.90 to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Intuitive, visual workflows
  • Easy to track leads
  • Pipeline with drag and drop features

Cons:

  • Lacks A/B testing feature
  • No lead behavioral tracking
  • Limited social media integration

Pipedrive is a CRM that allows teams to see their sales process in a highly visual way. With little training, salespeople can nurture their leads, then drag and drop them along the pipeline to close. The appealing pipeline shows all contacts and their activities and conversations so the sales team can nurture each lead in the most effective way. Pipedrive is a good fit for businesses wanting to equip their salespeople with a clear, visual view of their leads.

Pipedrive Pricing

  • Essential: $14.90 per user, per month
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user, per month
  • Professional: $49.90 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Pipedrive Key Features

  • Customer Journey Triggers: Pipedrive makes implementing triggers as easy as utilizing the drag and drop feature on its editor.
  • LeadBooster: A Pipedrive add-on that provides more control over the prospecting and the lead generation process.
  • Chatbot: Provides lead qualification through preset criteria, schedules calls, and automatically assigns leads to the right sales rep.
  • Website AI: Automate lead generation using landing pages, and engage leads using live chat and fully customizable web forms.

Pipedrive - Lead Nurturing Software

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Salesforce Essentials: Best for Advanced Reporting

The small business option from Salesforce essential built for robust B2B lead nurturing and reporting.

Price Range: $25 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Mobile CRM for field sales
  • Robust pipeline reporting
  • Built in dialer & call log

Cons:

  • Lacks many marketing features
  • Upgrading to Sales Cloud is costly
  • Sometimes difficult to use

Salesforce Essentials is the small business product that's part of the larger Salesforce Sales Cloud suite of products. Its single-tier pricing and 14-day trial provides a good entry-point into the Salesforce CRM platform known for its robust features for B2B sellers or businesses with longer sales cycles requiring a lot of manual relationship-building. One standout features is its robust pipeline reporting, as well as its phone dialer and call log to nurture relationships.

Salesforce Essentials Pricing

  • Single Tier: $25 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Salesforce Sales Cloud Upgrade Pricing

  • Professional: $75 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $150 per user, per month
  • Unlimited: $300 per user, per month

Salesforce Essentials Key Features

  • Advanced Reporting: Use preset reporting templates as well as custom reports for pipeline analysis.
  • Built-in Telephony: A built-in dialer helps to nurture leads via phone calls and includes call notes.
  • Separate Lead & Opportunity Pipelines: Manage leads and opportunities separately for better management.
  • Lead Management Features: Distribute leads automatically and upgrade for lead scoring.

Salesforce essentials dashboard example

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EngageBay: Affordable Premium Features

A sales and marketing CRM that offers sales, marketing, and service features for a reasonable price.

Price Range: Free to $79 per user, per month

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-full star-fullstar-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full

Pros:

  • Robust free tier
  • Affordable premium tiers
  • Robust sales and marketing features

Cons:

  • UI can be clunky
  • 2-year commitment for lowest price
  • Not all tiers include phone support

EngageBay is a rising star in the CRM space offering robust sales, marketing, and service features for a reasonable price. While they offer individual products, the best lead nurturing features come with their all-in-one package that offers functionality for both inbound lead generation and nurturing as well as sales prospecting. With their all-in-one, you get the sales pipeline features you need as well as marketing features like landing pages and text marketing.

EngageBay Pricing

  • Free: Unlimited users
  • Basic: $11.99 per user, per month
  • Growth: $39.99 per user, per month
  • Pro: $79.99 per user, per month

Note: Pricing is for all-in-one with a two-year commitment

EngageBay Key Features

  • Free Sales, Marketing & Service Tier: Solid free tier for CRM, service, and email marketing.
  • Pop Ups & Form Builders: Create email capture forms for inbound lead generation.
  • Marketing Automation: Automated text message and email marketing for nurturing.
  • Sales Pipeline Features: Advanced sales functionality like call records and reporting.

Engagebay dashboard

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ActiveCampaign: Best for Email Nurturing

Top of the line email marketing software great for automated email nurturing campaigns and sequences.

Price Range: $9.00 to $259 for 500 to 2,500 contacts (additional contacts can be purchased)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • CRM plus marketing automation
  • Powerful drip campaign easily setup
  • Email analytics

Cons:

  • Limited custom reporting
  • Can become pricey with more contacts
  • Limited template designs

ActiveCampaign is a lead nurturing email marketing software with marketing automation in one interface. Businesses can run highly-effective, targeted email campaigns using templates and segmentation, which trigger automated, personalized emails to nurture leads. The platform also comes with built-in A/B testing so users can see what’s working in their campaigns, so ActiveCampaign is great for companies that nurture their leads largely through email.

ActiveCampaign Pricing

  • Lite: $9.00 per month for 500 contacts
  • Plus: $49 per month for 1,000 contacts
  • Professional: $149 for 2,500 contacts
  • Enterprise: $259 for 2,500 contacts

Note: Additional contacts can be purchased for a higher monthly subscription

ActiveCampaign Key Features

  • Drag-and-Drop Email Builder: Create targeted content from an extensive library of functional, flexible email templates as well as a custom email builder.
  • Landing Page & Form Creation: Create email capture forms with custom or pre-designed landing page templates and forms.
  • Email Marketing Automation: Create and send targeted email nurturing campaigns to segmented lists.
  • Custom Email Marketing Reporting: Optimize your email nurturing efforts with insights from custom reporting.

activecampaign dashboard example

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Insightly: Best for Project Management

A SaaS-based CRM that combines project management with lead management software to nurture leads.

Price Range: $25 to $99 per user, per month (14-day free trial)

Overall Rating star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Cost star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Key Features star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Ease of Use star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Integrations star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full Customization star-fullstar-fullstar-full star-full Customer Support star-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-fullstar-full

Pros:

  • Easy to use and learn
  • Project management capabilities
  • In-depth functionality

Cons:

  • Difficult to scale with business growth
  • Support is an often-cited problem
  • Sales functions lack variety

Insightly is a cloud-based CRM that helps users nurture leads through project management. The platform tracks all activity throughout the sales process using real-time dashboards so the sales team can see engagement with each lead thus far and when to follow up. It also integrates with over 250 popular third-party apps like Google Workspace, Mailchimp, and Slack to make nurturing leads and staying on top of tasks even easier for busy sales teams.

Insightly Pricing

  • Free Forever: Up to two users
  • Plus: $29 per user, per month
  • Professional: $49 per user, per month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user, per month
  • Free Trial: 14 days

Insightly Key Features

  • Lead Management: Lead routing with workflow automation to implement business logic and manage more new leads.
  • Relationship Linking: Link emails and other types of records to build better engagement processes and relationships with leads.
  • Design Dashboards and Track Important Metrics: Insightly allows teams to maximize their lead generation ROI with custom dashboards and report metrics.
  • Build Trust By Delivering on Promises: Insightly allows you seamlessly convert won opportunities to projects.

Insightly Lead - Nurturing Software

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Bottom Line: Best Lead Nurturing Software

Lead nurturing is essentially customer relationship management, but businesses can’t afford to waste time focusing on the wrong leads. Lead nurturing software zero-in on the right leads, then enables teams to engage their audience at every step of the way with unique, tailored lead-to-customer journeys from the first touchpoint. The top eight lead nurturing software assist businesses to drive potential customers through the sales funnel.

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