How to Write a LinkedIn Recommendation in 2020 [Quick Tip]

When you get a recommendation from someone you respect and admire, you may feel honored and want to return the favor. But figuring out how to write a LinkedIn recommendation that is specific, honest, succinct, and helpful isn’t easy.

Most people get stuck. You might not know how to start or what to say. But with some simple templates and tips, you’ll be writing stellar testimonials on LinkedIn for your favorite people.

Keep reading to learn how to write a LinkedIn recommendation. Then check out some recommendation examples and a quick recommendation letter template.

You can use these tools to write authentic and useful LinkedIn endorsements that can help move someone’s job search in the right direction. Let’s get started.

1. Explain the nature of your professional relationship.

That sounds really serious, but it’s simply a helpful piece of context that acts as an intro for your recommendation. Whether it’s a coworker you’ve worked closely with for years or a recent agency point of contact, it sets the stage for the reader to learn why you’re writing this recommendation.

For Example:

I’ve worked alongside Lisa for close to two years now.

2. Offer details about the position this person is working toward.

Are you recommending this person for their work in one position? Or are you writing about their work across multiple jobs they’ve held while you worked with them?

Either way, a great next step is to explain some of the notable parts of their job. It may feel strange — kind of like you’re listing out their job description. But this is helpful for anyone reading the recommendation, looking to get a feel for what they did in their job.

Resist the urge to create a laundry list of their job duties. If they’ve really worn that many hats, I recommend contacting them to see if there’s a certain part of their role they’d like emphasized over others.

For Example:

In those two years, I’ve seen her not only excel at the core elements of her job — like copywriting and copyediting — but also learn other tasks that extend well beyond the scope of her role. These include email marketing, event planning, and even championing our company’s internal communications.

3. Explain how they’ve grown at the company.

If this person reports (or once reported) to you, this aspect of a LinkedIn recommendation can go a long way. Explaining how the person you’re recommending has grown — either in their role or from one role to another — can show an ability to adapt as the organization expands.

Just be careful not to overstate any low points in the person’s career that can dilute the value of the growth you’re trying to highlight.

For Example:

Lisa has grown as quickly as our business has, and her willingness to learn and take on these new responsibilities is something sought-after in any professional.

4. Show how their contribution helped grow the team or company.

This could be an explanation of how their performance helped hit hard metrics. You could also talk about contributions like leading their teammates or fostering new initiatives.

For Example:

Lisa’s mastery of both her core role and extra projects have been critical to the company’s growth. In fact, her taking on internal company communication aligned with a sharp increase in employee happiness.

5. Explain what these achievements reveal about that person.

By now, you’ve included some specifics — so let’s explain what those specifics mean for the larger theme of your recommendation. Do the examples you’ve detailed reveal that person is hard-working? Ambitious? Great for team morale? Connect their accomplishments with their attributes.

For Example:

This rare mix of productivity and ambition sets a great example for the rest of the team. It also explains why everyone loves working with Lisa — no matter where they fall on the org chart.

6. End with a note about the personal aspect of working with them.

In this section, hit the message home with a mention of how you felt working with the person, your hopes for their career, or a prediction about their future.

For Example:

Lisa’s work has continued to pay dividends long past her tenure here and I still miss working with her every day. I can’t wait to see what she does with the next step in her career trajectory.

LinkedIn Recommendation Examples

Recommendation From an Employee

According to a 2021 SHRM report, over 40% of employees are looking for a new job. And according to a 2022 Gartner survey, 50% of employees have different employer expectations than they did before the pandemic.

Employee recommendations show that a stakeholder respects the opinions of the people they manage. It also shows how they lead from the bottom up.

In the recommendation below, a person discusses how their supervisor progressed at the company and how this person mentored them so they too could grow as an employee.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This recommendation shows how the relationship between employee and manager evolved over time. Work relationships that shift from peer to manager can be tough. They can sometimes create power struggles, miscommunication, and more. But this LinkedIn recommendation example highlights mutual respect, care, and professional growth.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

Soft skills can be difficult for recruiters and employers to assess. So the recommendation above is valuable because it talks about a manager/employee relationship that was essential to this employee. This gives them a sense of how this manager might engage their new team.

Example 3:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

An authentic recommendation is much more useful than a form letter. The letter above shows how this manager balanced kindness, critique, and composure on his team.

Recommendation from an Employer

Employer recommendations may be a replacement or a complement to the job requirements for many positions. This makes employer recommendations an important LinkedIn addition. Unlike most standard letters of recommendation, LinkedIn letters are usually short and to the point. Instead of a full page, most are short but dense paragraphs like the examples below.

For example, in this recommendation, an employer explains how an employee progressed and executed projects that made a big impact on their company.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This letter jumps immediately into specific job functions, technical skills, and soft skills. A quick scan of this letter can show any employer what this person does best and how those skills can translate to other jobs or employers.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

Connecting actions to outcomes can make it easier for prospective employers to understand the value an employee can bring to their team. This quick letter clearly connects what this new hire did, how she approached changes and the results that came from her actions.

Example 3:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This recommendation letter uses industry-specific terms to show the activities and outcomes this employee was responsible for. This makes it easy for employers to understand how that performance could translate to their business and team.

Recommendation from a Coworker

Over 20% of LinkedIn users are 18-24 years old. This means that many LinkedIn users are recent graduates who might have limited job experience.

Employers are looking to LinkedIn for a sense of your commitment, engagement, and soft skills at work. Coworkers are a great source to highlight these areas. Let’s look at some excellent coworker recommendations from LinkedIn.

Example 1:

Why we like this LinkedIn recommendation:

This letter quickly highlights how long these two have worked together, what they did, and what this candidate’s strongest soft skills are. It stays positive but also showcases how this person responds to pressure.

Example 2:

Why this is a good LinkedIn recommendation:

A recommendation full of job-specific details that emphasize abilities is always useful. At the same time, this letter shows off qualities that may not come into a job interview, depending on the role. By outlining teaching skills and continuing education, this recommendation shows potential employers how this candidate is preparing for the future.

LinkedIn Recommendation Sample (for a Manager)

Now, writing a LinkedIn recommendation can seem easy, but it’s not. What if the employee you’re recommending is your superior? This can make it more difficult to recommend the person — even if you’re saying stellar things about them.

Here’s a sample LinkedIn recommendation — written in full — that a manager would be proud to receive.

I’ve worked for Lisa for two years. During that time I’ve seen her quickly take on new responsibilities while making time to teach these new skills to her employees.

By inheriting tasks like campaign analytics and email A/B testing — both of which extend beyond the scope of our team — she’s made our department much more agile and set me up for promotion last month. Lisa is a great person and manager, and her next employer will be lucky to have her.

Now proofread, and hit send. Remember, the person you’re writing your recommendation for can review and request changes. So, you’ll have a chance to make changes and submit a recommendation that they’ll appreciate.

Write a Recommendation on LinkedIn Today

LinkedIn isn’t just job hunting and your professional reputation. It’s about building relationships. The sooner you start writing recommendations with the steps above, the better your professional relationships can be.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2018 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos & Why They’re Important

YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world, so keyword-optimizing your videos on the platform is just as important as keyword-optimizing your blog posts for Google. One of the best ways to keyword-optimize your videos for YouTube is leveraging tags, but not everyone knows how to add tags to YouTube videos.

Below, we’ve put together a guide that will explain exactly what YouTube tags are, how to add them, why they’re important, and some best practices to follow.

What are tags for YouTube?

How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos

Why are YouTube tags so important?

YouTube Tags Best Practices

Best YouTube Tag Generators

Now you know what tags are, so let’s get into how you can leverage them in your videos.

How to Add Tags to YouTube Videos

Adding tags to your YouTube videos is easy. Just follow these steps:

Sign in to YouTube Studio by clicking on your account’s icon in the top right corner. Then select the tab that says “YouTube Studio.”

2. Upload your video if you haven’t already done so. Do this by clicking the “Create” button and then “Upload Video.”

3. If your video is already uploaded, go to the menu on the left, click “Content,” and select your video.

From there, scroll down until you get to the option to add your tags.

4. If your video is uploading, scroll down and click “Show More,” then add your tags.

Why are YouTube tags so important?

YouTube tags help YouTube grasp your video’s content and context. This way, YouTube can understand your video’s topic and category, and associate it with similar content — which can amplify your video’s reach. The rise of semantic search has made YouTube tags less important over time, but they’re still a strategic element you can use to your advantage.

YouTube tags are especially important in cases where your target keyword is commonly misspelled because you can tag the misspellings without including them in your title and description.

As a secondary benefit, tags even help you organize and find your own content if you do self-reference tagging (e.g. “Ireland trip 2022”).

YouTube Tags Best Practices

To leverage YouTube tags to their fullest potential, check out these tips and tricks.

1. Make your first tag your target keyword and order the rest by importance.

YouTube heavily accounts for your video’s first few tags when ranking content in their search results, especially the first tag. So make sure your first tag is the exact keyword you want to target.

2. For other tags, use some broad keywords that describe the overarching topic your video falls under.

Using broad keywords as other tags helps YouTube understand your video’s context. For example, if you’re creating a video called “How to Hit a Baseball”, you’d want to add “Baseball” as a broad tag to indicate to YouTube that your video’s overarching topic is baseball.

3. Use some specific keywords that describe the topics covered in your video as other tags.

Using specific keywords that describe the topics you cover in your video as other tags will help YouTube understand your video’s content. For instance, in the same “How to Hit a Baseball” video, adding “hitting off a tee” or “hitting batting practice” as specific tags would indicate to YouTube the exact topics your video covers.

4. Keep most of your tags between 2-3 words.

While you should certainly include long-tail keywords and a few broad match variations, YouTube seems to prefer 2-4 word phrases (Briggsby).

5. Do not go overboard with tags.

The point of tags is to help the algorithm understand what your video is about so it can surface it to users that are looking for a video like yours. Using too many keywords can cause confusion for what your video is actually about. Research suggests that the optimal number of tags is between 31 and 40 — when used correctly, of course. More than that dilutes their power.

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6. Get inspiration from videos that are currently ranking.

If you know what you want to rank for, take notes from those who are already ranking on the topic. Their keyword tags might give you a good starting point for research and inspiration.

7. Get inspiration from YouTube auto-suggest.

Auto-suggest is a feature to help users find what they need. YouTube isn’t surfacing these suggestions for no reason. These keywords are suggested likely because they are commonly searched terms for that topic, so don’t be afraid to draw inspiration from auto-suggest.

Best YouTube Tag Generators

To discover the keywords you can tag in your videos and help them rank higher in YouTube’s search results, here are three of the best YouTube Tag Generators to try.


After plugging your target keyword into its YouTube search bar, will provide you with suggested keywords, their search volume, and how they’ve trended over the past 12 months. The tool will also suggest questions, prepositions, and hashtags that include your target keyword.

2. Rapidtags

Entering a seed keyword into Rapidtags and then hitting the button will generate a number of related tags for your YouTube video. Best of all, there’s a copy button for you to easily pull the text without entering it manually.

3. YTube Tool

This tool helps you extract the tags from a competitor’s YouTube video. All you have to do is enter the URL, and the tool will then return your results.

4. Keyword Keg

Using Keyword Keg, you can enter your target keyword into the tool and it’ll serve up its search volume, cost-per-click, competition, on-page difficulty, off-page difficulty, SEO difficulty, CTR scope, keyword power, trends, and suggested keywords. You can also filter your results by country and language.

5. VidIQ

VidIQ will display your target keyword’s related keywords, related score, search volume, search score, competition score, and overall score. The overall score is a combination of a keyword’s related score, search score, and competition score.

Now that you know what YouTube tags are, how to add them, and the tools available to generate them, you’re well on your way to getting your content found on YouTube. Continue optimizing other elements of your videos as well and monitoring your channel’s growth.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

Online lead generation is difficult. There’s no way around it. However, you can give your brand an edge by optimizing lead generation pathways on your site.

This article will cover lead generation software and tools that help you reduce friction and increase the conversion rate of website visitors to leads. This will include both paid and free tools.

We’ve compiled a list of the best lead generation tools on the market, including some free options.

The 21 Best Lead Generation Tools in 2022

HubSpot Marketing Hub
Turnstile by Wistia
ProProfs Quiz Maker
Hello Bar
Gravity Forms

1. HubSpot Marketing Hub

HubSpot Marketing — and specifically its lead capture tool — can be used for free (then upgraded) and has tons of lead generation that make it easy to capture, store, and nurture leads, including:

Popup Forms
Live Chat

… and more. It all plugs naturally into HubSpot’s free CRM, or you can easily integrate with your CRM, email tool, or customer data platform of choice.

Using HubSpot Marketing helps you build an inbound marketing flywheel from start to finish. You create content that allures visitors, capture leads through one of several tools available, and then nurture them through kickback emails.

Eventually, your sales team will have full visibility of the previous touchpoints and can close leads with the full context of their previous touchpoints with your brand. Finally, you can create happy customers with features like free ticketing.

It’s a full suite lead generation machine.


Get started with HubSpot for free or opt for one of our paid tiers ranging from $45 to $3,600 per month depending on the size of your company.

What we like:

HubSpot’s Marketing Hub offers a full suite of tools for free and integrates with HubSpot’s CRM making it a great option for those looking for an affordable, but comprehensive lead generation solution.

2. Intercom

Intercom is another product with many components and use cases. You can use their on-site messaging and chat feature to engage with on-site visitors and collect their information.

Once in the system, you can analyze their on-site or in-app behavior and create message triggers to help with onboarding, support, or retention.

They also have an integrated help desk and knowledge base to provide support for current customers.

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Pricing starts at $74 per month for small businesses.

What we like:

This is another great tool when you want to accomplish marketing, sales, and support features under one roof.

3. Proof

Proof is an early stage SaaS startup based in Austin, Texas. They make software that helps you rev up your website’s conversion rate using social proof, personalization, and A/B testing.

Have you ever tried to book a trip on a site like or Airbnb and seen a message that reminds you, “three people have booked this hotel in the last 24 hours?”

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Proof helps you implement social proof messaging on your own website. Here’s a great example of the product in use by LawnStarter (another great Austin-based startup):

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Pricing starts at $79 per month.

What we like:

Proof offers a variety of settings to choose from for each campaign and also integrates with HubSpot, Webflow, WordPress, and Zapier.

4. Paperform

Paperform is a digital swiss army knife regarding lead generation forms, surveys, and quizzes. Whether you want to design a harry potter quiz to boost engagement or increase newsletter signup with a popup form Paperform doesn’t limit you to one or the other.

The powerful editor is a no-code solution that eliminates clunky side menus in favor of a word document-like structure. You can add your brand assets straight from Adobe’s Cloud libraries into Paperform and tweak the colors, fonts, and images.

While most form builders are either pretty or designed for powerful conditional logic, Paperform combines both. This is perfect for people looking to transform their business with smart forms and reduce busy work. For more in-depth insights, you can add complex calculations and tailored success pages and gain deep insights with their in-house analytics. Paperform’s versatile SaaS platform helps you create fully customizable, powerful solutions tailored to your unique specifications.

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Pricing starts at $24 per month for the Essentials tier up to $159 per month for the agency tier.

What we like:

Paperform is a great option for newbies and small businesses offering customization and professional templates combined with ease of use.

5. MobileMonkey

MobileMonkey chatbots make lead capture, lead qualification, and lead nurturing easier via live chat for your website, SMS text messaging, Messenger for Facebook and Instagram, and other popular chat channels, from one platform.

OmniChat by MobileMonkey is a multi-channel chatbot builder and automation platform that enables you to create chat campaign content once and use it on each of the above channels while unifying customer support chat in one streamlined inbox.

Here are some examples you can get started with to generate leads, sign-ups, and opt-ins using MobileMonkey:

Add MobileMonkey’s Free Facebook Lead Generator product to your Facebook Page and Posts to automatically capture names, emails, and phone numbers of those who “like” your posts and follow your business.
Use proactive live chat to engage prospects and customers on your website.
Setup Facebook and Instagram post autoresponders to capture the contact information of anyone who comments on your content.
Run a giveaway or contest with Messenger chatbots on Facebook or Instagram.

Then, run remarketing campaigns with interactive Facebook and Instagram Messenger ads to turn those leads into sales.

Lastly, connect the opt-ins, signups, and leads generated from your chat messaging channels to your CRM, such as HubSpot, as well as your email service providers, training & webinar platforms, and other business applications.

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Pricing starts at $119 per month for the Startup tier. For the Growth tier, contact for a quote.

What we like:

Mobile Monkey offers a code free option in addition to chat box templates which make getting started quick and easy.

6. Mailshake

Mailshake is one of my favorite solutions for email outreach.Basically, it helps you automate, personalize, and optimize your cold emails.

This is great for many purposes, of course:

Sales development
Content promotion
Link building
Public relations

But it’s also great for lead generation. Mailshake’s AI email writer uses data from thousands of campaigns to help write winning copy.

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Pricing starts at $58 per month per user for the Email Outreach tier and $83 per month per user for the Sales Engagement tier.

What we like:

One of my favorite parts about the tool is that you have tons of ready-made templates. So even if you’re not a world-class copywriter, you can still get responses.

7. Qualaroo

Qualaroo is an on-site polling tool that can not only collect user feedback (that can be used to improve any part of your product and marketing experience), but you can also collect leads using the tool.

In the best case, you can use Qualaroo to do both.

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In this way, your customer feedback tool can double up as a sort of popup form.

Even if you don’t plan on using Qualaroo for lead generation, I’ve found the tool to be invaluable for collecting user experience and conversion optimization insights.

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Pricing starts at $80 for the Essential tier while the Enterprise tier is quote-based.

What we like:

Qualaroo makes it easy to categorize leads and point them in a designated funnel based on what they answer to survey questions.

8. HotJar

HotJar is a customer experience analytics platform with many helpful tools. They’re one of my go-to solutions for conversion optimization research. Some of their features include:

Form analytics
On-site polls
Heat maps
Session replays

Like Qualaroo, their on-site polls can double up as conversion points. Basically, you can use the opportunity to collect feedback as a double opportunity where you can also collect an email address:

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HotJar’s Basic tier is free and starts at $80 per month for its Business tier.

What we like:

In addition to gathering feedback and polling site visitors it pulls double duty as lead generation — allowing you to collect emails.

9. Turnstile by Wistia

Video is a big focus for marketers right now, and I can only see that focus increasing with time. As such, it helps to look at video as a direct lead generation channel in addition to a brand building channel.

Wistia makes a really cool product called Turnstile that allows you to gate videos after a certain time period has elapsed. At this point, the visitor has to enter their email to continue watching.

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While Wistia has a free basic tier, in order to get Turnstile, you’ll need to upgrade to the Plus tier which starts at $19 per month.

What we like:

With Turnstile you can have your form display discreetly on hover or pause the video to get the viewer’s attention. You can also enable viewers to skip the gate altogether and control where the gate is placed within the runtime of the video.

10. Pointerpro

Pointerpro (formerly Survey Anyplace) is an advanced survey tool that has all the features to keep your sales machine running. Forms and surveys are often used to collect information from prospective customers, but they are rarely ever used to return something of value.

This tool allows respondents to walk away with a personalized PDF report based on their answers immediately after completion. This can be a detailed offering, the best service or product based on their answers, or any key information you want the respondent to have. Turning them from a cold prospect to a warmed-up lead in a matter of clicks.

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They integrate smoothly with your existing marketing stack, so you can easily transport leads through to your CRM or email marketing tool and start building nurturing campaigns. Bonus, you can use answers given during quizzes to personalize the follow-up.


Pricing starts at $49 per month for Pointerpro’s Essential tier while you’ll need to contact them for a quote on the Enterprise tier.

What we like:

Pointerpro offers a code free, customizable templates that can be used as is or with your branding.

11. Zuko

Zuko (formerly Formisimo) capture tool, but it helps you optimize your lead generation forms.

They provide form analytics that, in my opinion, are the most robust in the industry. They work with pretty much every form, and their reports include:

Form Overview
Field Drop Off Report
Most Corrected Fields
Real Time Report
Completion Time
Problem Fields Report
Fields Before Submission
Field Times Report

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You can also segment reports based on device, such as desktop, mobile, or table. Additionally, the tool actually gives you ideas and tips for how to improve your forms. You can export and share this data with additional systems so it can be used by other team members.

While they don’t offer a free plan, they have a 7-day trial where you can try out the product.


Pricing is tiered ranging from $140 to $700 per month. Enterprise-level organizations will need to contact them directly for a quote.

What we like:

Zuko’s data is viewable live, allowing users to view data in real-time and export it.

12. ProProfs Quiz Maker

Quiz marketing is an effective way to capture leads through website visitors and social media engagement. ProProfs Quiz Maker lets you leverage these leads with visually engaging and highly-shareable quizzes.

ProProfs provides an entire quiz resources library containing 100+ beautiful quiz templates and a massive question bank with 1 million+ ready-to-use questions.

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While ProProfs does have a free version, you’ll want to upgrade to one of its paid tiers ($20 to $200 per month) to use the advanced features.

What we like:

ProProfs supports integrations with all the leading marketing tools, such as HubSpot, Active Campaign, and more. This allows you to automate and streamline your lead nurturing to create a high-converting lead management funnel.

13. Clearbit

Clearbit has a forms tool, but they have a broader use case for lead generation no matter which form or lead capture tool you use. They help you enrich contact profile data, which means you don’t have to ask for every little piece of information in a mile-long form.

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All you need is an email address or corporate domain, and Clearbit Enrichment fills other important data (like company size and industry) and appends it to your CRM records, in your product, or anywhere else you need them.


For pricing, contact Clearbit directly for a quote.

What we like:

Clearbit’s native integrations with platforms like HubSpot, Salesforce, Marketo, Zapier, and Slack make this tool ready to use out of the box.

14. Datanyze

Datanyze is another data company, though they focus on “technographics.” What does this mean? Basically, Datanyze helps you discover what other software tools your website visitors, prospects, or customers are using.

The lead generation purposes for this are unparalleled if you have a way to personalize your website experience.

Imagine if you knew a website visitor was using a direct competitor. You could change up the copy on a landing page or an offer to reflect that.

Or if you had a WordPress plugin, and if you knew your visitor was using WordPress, you could design a custom CTA to let them know about your plugin.

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Datanyze offers a generous 90-day free trial as well as paid tiers ranging from $21 to $39 per month.

What we like:

Datanyze is California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliant, ensuring users are collecting business data the ethical way.

15. is a customer data platform that helps you collect and centralize all the data you have from different marketing tools. It also helps you push that data out to your marketing tools so you can operationalize it and personalize experiences in real time.

I look at customer data platforms as a core component of a personalization strategy, since you generally need three components to make personalization work:

Good user data
An ability to deliver experiences
Content (the experience itself), and other customer data platforms, help you collect data and deliver experiences.

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Pricing has a tiered pricing model ranging from $950 to $1600 per month based on your business needs.

What we like:

While this is one of the more expensive options on this list, when combined with a tool like Clearbit — which can give you tons of data points to use — you can really ramp up your personalized lead generation campaigns.

16. TypeForm

TypeForm is a survey tool, but it’s got many real world use cases. It’s also got a beautiful user experience. When I take a survey using TypeForm, I actually enjoy the experience.

While I’ve mostly used TypeForm to send customer surveys to get conversion research insights, I’ve also used it in the context of lead generation.

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Tiered plans are available from $25 to $83 per month.

What we like:

As one of the more affordably priced tools on our list, Typeform also scores high for taking a more conversational approach to surveys and forms.

17. Hello Bar

Hello Bar is a CTA and lead capture tool, but it’s got a very specific use case and user experience. Instead of a static web form embedded on a landing page, or an exit intent popup that appears when a visitor is leaving your site, Hello Bar gives you a sticky banner that appears on the top or bottom of the browser.

It looks just like the one on Hello Bar’s home page:

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I find these types of CTAs are great for general campaigns and promotional announcements. Therefore, they’re good for short term lead drives, for things like a webinar coming up shortly or a new product feature announcement.


Hello Bar offers a free plan as well as paid options ranging from $29 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Hello Bar is an all-in-one solution for creating CTAs and tracking metrics. Integrations with WordPress, Mailchimp, Webflow, SquareSpace, and Shopify ensure a seamless fit into your current tech stack.

18. isn’t exactly a lead generation tool, but it helps you find and validate email addresses. If you’re looking to reach a particular person, Hunter is a good way to find their information.

Pricing offers a free plan, but you’ll need to opt for a paid plan to reap the full benefits of what the platform has to offer.

What we like:

It’s not always perfectly accurate, but it’s free to use, and it’s a good tool to have in your toolkit when you need it.

19. Gravity Forms

If using WordPress, Gravity Forms may be the lead generation tool for you. This WordPress plugin offers payment collection, lead capture and workflow automation in one.

You even have the option of capturing partial forms so that you can use the data to create better conversions.

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Gravity Forms offers tiered pricing from $41 to $181 per year.

What we like:

Gravity Forms uses conditional logic so that you can display certain fields, pages, or sections based on user inputs. Additionally the tool offers accessabilty compliant.

20. Jotform

Similar to other options on this list, Jotform is a form builder platform that allows you to collect all kinds of data, including visitor emails.

This tool offers thousands of templates to help you get started quickly in addition to fully customizable survey templates. Jotform integrates with PayPal and Square to help ensure online payments are secure.

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Jotform offers a free base tier with paid plans ranging from $34 to $99 per month.

What we like:

Jotform’s drag-and-drop builder is easy to use and allows teams to collaborate with ease as multiple people can edit a form at the same time.

21. is a lead generation tool that gives you additional information on social media profiles. For that reason, it’s a great complement to other tools on this list, particularly

When you want to learn more about specific prospects, this free Chrome extension can give you a lot of additional details like their connections and other social profiles.

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What we like:

This simple chrome extension is available to anyone, easy to install, and simple to use.

Lead generation software is a big category.

If you want the best lead generation software for your particular business, you may have to try a few of them out.

In my experience, it’s best to have a comprehensive solution like HubSpot to bear the brunt of the workload.

Then you can add in other tools like Pointerpro or Hello Bar to mix things up, and of course, some optimization tools like Clearbit and Formisimo to help you crank up the volume on your results.

This article was originally published in March 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

Remote Work Loneliness: How to Protect Your Mental Health When Working Remotely

Since the start of the pandemic, working from home has become the new normal for many employees and companies. While working outside the office has its benefits — no more long, gas-guzzling commutes, for instance — there is still one downside many employees face: remote work loneliness.

Before the pandemic, it was normal to make friends around the office, crack jokes in the break room, or participate in fun, in-person team-building activities. However, those things aren’t possible when you’re working from home and your coworkers are scattered around the country. So, working from home can feel isolating.

Fortunately, there are strategies you can implement to protect your mental health and feel less lonely as you work from home or remotely.

5 Tips to Avoid Loneliness When Working From Home

I asked fellow HubSpotters and professionals across different industries for tips on avoiding work-from-home loneliness. Here is what they had to say:

1. Schedules ‘get to know you’ calls.

Jen Bergren, Head of Operations at Remotish, says “get to know you” calls are an important part of her team’s onboarding process.

“One of the team’s favorite tasks in our onboarding is for the new team member to schedule a short call with every other person on the team, individually, in their first two weeks for a ‘get to know you’ casual call,” she said. “We also make sure the new team members have at least one real-time human call/connection a day during their first few weeks, which we know is especially important when this may be their first remote job.”

Pro-Tip: Don’t be afraid to schedule regular lunch chats with colleagues you feel have the same interests as you. For example, if you’re on a GTKY call with a coworker and they mention Game of Thrones (your favorite show!), ask if they’d like to schedule a weekly lunch Zoom to talk about the show’s spin-off House of the Dragon. This will give you something fun to look forward to every week, and you’ll feel less alone while working.

2. Start/Join affinity groups.

Jen Spencer, CEO of SmartBug Media, suggests building connections with your teammates by starting or joining affinity groups with your company’s messaging channels.

“Whether it’s our LadyBugs channel, our LGBTQ+ channel, our Parents channel, or even our TheatreBugs — there is a Slack channel/affinity group for everyone at SmartBug,” Spencer said. “No group? Create one! Our Coffee and Tea Lovers group takes ‘Secret Santa’ to new heights by swapping local roaster specialties.

Pro-Tip: Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and join groups about unfamiliar topics that interest you. In doing so, you’ll make connections across the company and will learn something new or develop a new hobby.

3. Work outside your home or with others.

HubSpot Advisor Dan Moyle says working from outside the office doesn’t have to mean only working from home, and it doesn’t have to mean working alone either.

“When I’m feeling cooped up I try to work outside of my office in a café, at a park — somewhere with humans,” he said. “And finally, scheduling time to work together while in a video meeting much like you’d work in a conference room, even if you’re not on the same project, can be helpful to feel more connected.”

Pro-Tip: If you want to work outside your home but still avoid distractions, try going to your local library. You’ll be out of the house and around other people, but you’ll also be in a place that prioritizes peace and quiet.

4. Connect with one friend or family member a day.

Lauren Steiner, President of Grant Plus, says she makes a point to contact at least one person a day — in whatever capacity she can muster at that moment.

“I prefer coffee dates/ lunch or phone calls but sometimes a text is all I can manage,” Steiner said. “But I make it a point to connect with at least one person in my personal life every day. It staves off the loneliness like nothing else!”

Pro-Tip: You can also schedule a virtual co-working space with close friends from outside of work — just make sure you don’t discuss or show anything that is confidential to your company.

5. Dedicate time to community service.

HubSpot Executive Dan Tyre says helping others in need is a great way to keep loneliness at bay while also giving back to your community.

“If people are down, sad, or lonely, I tell them to go provide service to people in need. Do more good for the universe,” he said. “Go to a soup kitchen, pet service dogs, spend time at your local school.”

Pro-Tip: Ask your company if anyone would like to get involved in or sponsor any online charity events. You’ll do good for your community and bond with your coworkers over a good cause.

4 More Ways to Protect Your Mental Health When Working From Home

To explore more options for protecting our mental health, I spoke with Dr. Willard, a psychologist, consultant, and author who specializes in mindfulness and positive psychology.

Let’s dive into Willard’s tips for practicing mindfulness during times of stress, avoiding burnout from too many virtual meetings, and finding moments of gratitude even in difficult circumstances.

1. Practice mindfulness to focus on the present moment and feel calm during times of stress.

If you’re anything like me, meditation is on the back burner at the moment. During times of stress and anxiety, I typically take the “white-knuckle and get through it” approach, focusing on happier future times rather than dwelling on the present moment.

Of course, that often lends itself to more stress and anxiety, not less.

Dr. Willard suggests, “Between calls, give yourself a break by taking five breaths, or looking out the window and noticing a few beautiful things. Sip your coffee with all five senses. Notice five sounds you hear. All of these kinds of things really do settle us down and bring us into the present.”

Additionally, he says, “With more time, take a walk around the neighborhood without your phone in hand, or do your calls standing or walking if possible.” You might also practice mindfulness when you’re lounging on the couch or eating a meal.

Alternatively, Dr. Willard mentioned that when we’re stressed our perception is often distorted. If you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts like “When will this end?” or “Will I get fired?,” try adding the statement, “I’m having the thought that ___.”

This can help you gain some perspective and understand that while your thoughts might be driving you further into anxiety or stress — but they might not be grounded in reality.

Lastly, if you are interested in trying meditation, take a look at apps like Calm or Prezence, which break meditation down into easy-to-digest categories like “5 Minutes for Sleep” or “2 Minutes of Breathing”.

2. Combat virtual meeting fatigue by alternating with phone calls or reading actual books or newspapers.

We all know the feeling of back-to-back Zoom meetings that leave you, within 2-3 hours, absolutely exhausted in a way physical meetings never did.

If you feel alone in your exhaustion toward virtual meetings, you’re not. In fact, Zoom fatigue is common when working from home and there are ways to minimize it.

Dr. Willard suggests a few key points for combating virtual meeting fatigue.

“I think getting out for a bit, or looking away from the computer — for instance, perhaps every 20 minutes, you take 20 seconds to look 20 feet in the distance — can be helpful for alleviating fatigue as a result of virtual meetings,” he said.

Of course, we can’t always take breaks in-between meetings. If you don’t feel like you have much time to get outside or look away, try phone calls to switch things up, as Dr. Willard advises: “Alternatively, instead of all Zoom meetings, perhaps you try phone calls to connect with people, and take a walk as you do.”

He adds, “I’d also suggest reading an actual book or magazine … I got a newspaper yesterday, and I was surprised by how different and better it felt to read it rather than consuming all my news online.”

3. Practice gratitude, and reflect on positive moments with a journal.

If you’re doubtful of the effect of gratitude on happiness levels, I’d suggest giving this TED Talk a watch. Ultimately, practicing gratitude can be critical for maintaining perspective and finding joy in difficult circumstances. Gratitude can be found in minor details and seemingly trivial things, as well. For instance, when was the last time you paused to reflect on how lucky you are to have access to clean water or a warm shower?

As Dr. Willard stresses, “Psychological health, perspective, and happiness can be found through practicing gratitude each day and just reflecting on the few good moments in a journal or with friends or family.”

Additionally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed with a sense of When will this all end?, Dr. Willard says a little consideration for the future isn’t such a bad thing.

“Setting reasonable goals in the morning, and thinking about what you’ll do after this, can help you raise happiness levels,” he said. “Why not plan a vacation? Even if you’re unsure when you’ll take it, research shows it actually boosts your mood.”

4. Reach out to friends and family, limit social media consumption, and set boundaries with people in your life.

Whether you’re working at home for the time being or your full-time job is remote, it’s critical to figure out positive, healthy ways to maintain strong relationships without feeling pressure to over-maintain them.

For instance, while you’re likely craving social interaction, it can become burdensome to feel like you need to be a support system for all your friends and family. If that’s the case, Dr. Willard urges, “Set negative or positive boundaries with roommates, family, partners, parents, or others in your life.”

“Additionally, if you’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with, consider who that is,” he said.

Here are some other tips Dr. Willard suggests for relationships:

Get multiple text threads going, even with old college roommates or colleagues you haven’t spoken to in a while.
Take a walk and call someone.
Try writing postcards or starting a pen-pal relationship with a friend.
Block unhelpful people on social media.
Join online AA groups, support groups, meditation groups, spiritual gatherings, or partake in online yoga.

Finally, if you’re feeling overwhelmed at this moment, Dr. Willard suggests remembering the CALM acronym, which can help ground yourself and relax tension in your body. All you need to do is squeeze and release the muscles in your Chest, Arms, Legs, and Mouth, which are areas where we tend to hold a lot of tension.

Working from home, especially if it’s your first ever remote job, can be a lot to adjust to. However, it’s important to remember that working from home doesn’t have to mean working alone or cooped up in your home. In a digital world, there are many ways to foster connections with your team virtually and be productive while getting some fresh air.

How Apple iOS 15 is Impacting Email Marketers [New Data]

Back in September 2021, the announcement of Apple’s iOS 15 data privacy changes triggered a mass hysteria among email marketers, with some even proclaiming that email marketing as we know it could come to an end. 

Considering that Apple Mail and Apple mobile devices make up over 35% of the global email provider market share, those fears didn’t seem too far-fetched.

But the question remains – were these fears well-founded or were they false alarms? 

Now that enough time has passed to see the impact of data privacy changes, I surveyed 300 email marketers to understand how iOS 15 and GDPR changes have affected their marketing strategies and the steps they took to adapt.

The Impact of Data Privacy Changes

Change can be scary for all of us, but when that change includes reduced visibility into email analytics, it’s no surprise that email marketers were shaking in their boots when iOS15 was announced.

Surprisingly, my survey shows that the changes, while definitely impactful, were not all bad.

While two-thirds of email marketers surveyed report a moderate-to-significant impact on their email marketing strategy, whether the impact was positive, neutral, or negative, is not as clear-cut as you might assume.

For starters, 47% of email marketers say the impact of data privacy changes was neutral on their email marketing strategy. Admittedly, 29% said the changes had a negative impact, but 24% said the contrary, claiming data privacy changes had a positive impact on their marketing strategy.

How is this possible?

To answer this, let’s break down our survey data on the specific ways data privacy changes affected email marketers, and the strategies they took to adapt. 

This will help us understand how some marketers made the most out of the situation and came out on top, while others weren’t able to keep up.

How Are Data Privacy Changes Affecting Email Marketing Strategies?

In the survey, I found that 65% of email marketers say they’ve been impacted by both Apple’s iOS 15 updates and GDPR. 

I also asked them to share how their email marketing strategy has been affected by each, and interestingly enough, the results were very similar.

Email marketers in both camps were most impacted by the same factors, in the same order:

So what can we take away from this?

For one, these changes have a similar impact whether you are affected by Apple iOS15, GDPR, or both. 

More importantly, data privacy changes clearly have a meaningful impact on certain functions that have been core to email marketers’ jobs. 

With location-based targeting, click-through rates, open rates, and A/B testing taking a hit, many email marketers have no choice but to adapt. So let’s explore how exactly they did that.

4 Ways Email Marketers Are Adapting to Data Privacy Changes

After the initial panic, email marketers began finding creative ways to reach their target audience and measure the impact of their marketing efforts. These are the most popular strategies they used:

1. Prioritizing Different KPIs

At #1, 62% of impacted email marketers started prioritizing different KPIs to measure the effectiveness of their marketing efforts. 

To HubSpotters, this isn’t surprising. In fact, it’s one of the first strategies our own email team used when navigating the changes.

So let’s take a closer look at which KPIs became more and less important in a post-iOS15 and GDPR world.

The KPI hit the hardest by iOS 15 is email open rates. With the update, users can prevent email marketers from seeing when and if they opened a marketing email.

But don’t worry, this just means it’s time to turn to other KPIs like clicks, click-through rates, web traffic, click maps, unsubscribe rates, and audience surveys:

Clicks, Click Rate, and Clickthrough Rate

Ultimately, KPIs like clicks and click-through rates can tell you how engaging your content is. And, aside from those metrics, features like click maps, let you see exactly where people are clicking in your email, offering you a glimpse of what portions of your email are most (and least) engaging.

In a previous blog post, Jordan Pritikin, who leads HubSpot’s Email and Growth Marketing teams, similarly explained, “[Focusing on clicks, click rates, and conversions] is the right course of action. Looking at clicks and conversions is much more closely tied to how your database is engaging with your email programs,” 

Website Traffic and Leads

For email marketers, engagement isn’t their only goal. For example, while HubSpot’s acquisition team might send emails with goals of landing page conversion, our Blog team sends emails filled with blog posts to encourage traffic to our blog. 

That’s why website traffic and even conversions from your marketing emails can be tracked when sending through software like HubSpot. High email traffic indicates your email content is succeeding at getting recipients to visit your site. Meanwhile, high lead counts from emails indicate that you’ve successfully nurtured contacts to a landing page. 

Unsubscribe and Spam Rates 

Spiking unsubscribe rates can indicate that the content you are sending, or the frequency, has caused you to lose more of your audience than usual. On the other hand, a low unsubscribe rate means you are retaining your readers.

Similarly, getting one spam report here and there doesn’t necessarily mean everyone dislikes your content – but seeing a rise in spam rates could mean that subscribers suddenly see no value in your content, find it annoying, or aren’t getting what they signed up for. 

Open Rates (with a Grain of Salt)

As Pritikin wrote, “Open rates will not be going away. They will just be — different.” 

And, while you could say, “We will never look at open rates again,” you could still be doing yourself a disservice by ignoring them completely. At this point, you should continue to monitor your average open rate (and how it changes). This way, you can create a new Open Rate benchmark for your team that’s adjusted to meet new tracking standards. 

While an adjusted open rate benchmark won’t be 100% accurate, it will still tell you when you’ve successfully gotten a large chunk of subscribers to open an email, and when your subject line might need work.

HubSpot’s Adjusted Open Rate feature can help you achieve a better estimate of email opens. The features uses the following formula:

Adjusted open rate = Unique reliable opens / (Unique delivered – Unique unreliable opens)

Adjusted open rate can also be used as backup evidence if you’re using all of your KPIs to determine the success of a new strategy or email campaign. 

Surveys or Feedback Forms

Each time the HubSpot Blog tests a major email experiment or a new type of content in our emails, we try to include a feedback survey where readers can let us know what they thought. Meanwhile, The Hustle and other HubSpot emails offer a rating scale where you can rate your email experience and give feedback. 

While this doesn’t always lead to make-or-break data, surveying, polling, or seeking feedback from your audience can also be a great way to understand their interests and what they want to see more or less of in the future.

2. Gaining User Data From Other Sources

The second most popular strategy is leveraging user data from sources unaffected by data privacy changes, used by 52% of impacted email marketers.

An example of this would be analyzing email data coming from non-Apple users, which can still give you a clear idea of an email’s open rate, among other metrics.

3. Expanding on Messaging Channels

Coming in at #3, 37% of impacted email marketers started leveraging channels other than email marketing, like SMS.

Before you scoff at the idea, consider these facts. 3.8 billion people currently carry a cell phone with them everywhere they go and 48 million opted in to receive marketing messages over text in 2020. 

Still not convinced? Here’s the kicker – SMS has a 98% open rate, while our survey shows that only 3% of marketing emails have an open rate above 50%. Furthermore, 65% of marketing emails have an open rate that falls in the 16-35% range, significantly lower than the open rate of SMS correspondences.

If you’re ready to add SMS to your marketing strategy, you can find 30 SMS templates here

But there are plenty of channels marketers can lean on. In our recent media planning survey, we found that while email marketing is the most popular channel marketers leverage, it comes in #3 for ROI, and doesn’t see high engagement.

Paid social media content, however, has the highest ROI and engagement of any marketing channel, followed by organic social media content at #2 for both ROI and engagement. Organic search (SEO) also has comparable ROI and engagement levels when compared to email marketing.

4. Improving Email Deliverability

Lastly, 28% of email marketers responded to privacy changes by focusing on improving email deliverability. 

That means leveraging strategies like maintaining a healthy email list, providing easy unsubscribe options, personalizing emails, using engaging subject lines and preview text, and making sure your emails and mailing list are GDPR compliant.

While this data on how email marketers adapted to privacy changes tells us which strategies are most popular, we also want to know which are most effective. 

Want more tips and tricks for navigating iOS 15? Check out this video: 

The Email Strategy Pivots That Help Most

So let’s compare these strategies by splitting our data by those who say privacy changes had a positive impact on their email marketing strategy vs. those who report a negative impact:

Looking at the data above, we can see that those who say the data privacy changes had a positive impact on their email marketing strategy are:

9% more likely to prioritize different KPIs to measure the effectiveness of email marketing
7% more likely to leverage channels other than email for marketing
21% less likely to focus on improving email deliverability
5% less likely to leverage user data from sources unaffected by data privacy changes.

While the differences between these groups can give you an idea of where to get started, remember that these strategies can all be effective, and every situation is unique. 

For example, if a majority of your customers use Apple mail, it may not be as effective to study email data of the handful of your clients who use Gmail or Outlook. 

Navigating Email Privacy Impacts

All in all, email privacy protection is not even close to “the end of the world” for email marketers. That said, it does and will continue to require some creative pivoting. 

Like any major online marketing strategy, email marketers must learn how to adapt to a changing world that continues to prioritize consumer privacy. And, although privacy features will continue to evolve and pose new challenges for brands, companies that navigate them successfully will still be able to create experiences that feel personalized, memorable, and – importantly – secure for online audiences. 

Ultimately, that’s good for everyone.

Want to learn more about Apple iOS 15’s email privacy protection updates? Get the backstory here, learn how HubSpot’s email team has responded, or this Community thread if you’re a HubSpot user.

Looking to find a tool that offers transparent email data estimates and can help you optimize your messaging for the most engagement possible? Check out HubSpot’s own Email tools