Lead generation – it’s the buzzword of digital marketing in 2022 and it’s a term that’s thrown around by the marketing teams of businesses across the globe. In fact, we bet you’ve even used it yourself. But how much do you really know about lead generation? Do you know why you need lead generation? Or most importantly, do you have a strategy to generate leads in place?

If any of the above questions have left you scratching your head, you’ve come to the right place! As a leading lead delivery and management tool for businesses across the globe, we’ve got plenty of experience, know-how and industry insights that will help you build a marketing plan that taps into both active and passive leads. Today, we’re going to share it all with you so that you can build up your own knowledge and learn how to generate leads quickly and easily.

What is a lead?

To start with the basics, a lead is anyone that expresses interest in a company’s product in any way, shape or form. Some companies define leads as someone that has already been determined a prospective customer, while others consider leads to be any sales contact. But what remains consistent across both definitions is that a lead will potentially become a future client.

Leads typically hear about a business after engaging with some type of communication, rather than through a random cold call from a representative of the organization. With this in mind, we can divide lead generation into two broad groups – active leads and passive leads.

Active leads

Active leads are those people that are actively searching for your business or the products and services that you offer. These prospects come from a variety of sources, such as Google AdWords or typing your URL directly into the address bar.

Active leads are often much warmer than passive prospects as they’re already searching for what you offer and if you can provide them with exactly what they’re looking for, you stand a good chance of converting.

Passive leads

A passive lead is someone who’s presented with your material and is then compelled to engage with your business. Facebook or Instagram paid ads are a great example of how you can reach passive leads.

While passive leads may not be actively seeking your business, product or services, if your offering is compelling enough, you still stand a chance of converting. However, it’s important to note that these people may not be able to make a purchase immediately so should be treated differently than active leads.

Why do we need active and passive lead generation?

When a stranger initiates a conversation with you by showing an interest in your business and offering, the transition to becoming a customer is much easier and more natural. Occurring after you’ve attracted an audience and you’re ready to convert visitors into leads, reduces the effort required from your sales team to secure successful conversions.

Targeting active and passive leads is also far more cost-effective than reaching out to new audiences, as the end-user will already be familiar with the brand and will likely already have a sense of the business’ offerings, values and approach. This ensures more effort can be focused on the personalization of content, expression of specific product features or roll-out of individual campaigns – which will all deepen the audience’s connection to a brand.

How to generate active and passive leads

Small business marketing plan

Like many elements of sales, generating active and passive leads is a game of trial and review. The best way to generate leads is different for every business, so it’s important to test different approaches before creating a strategy.

But no matter where you are on your business journey, a lead generation strategy is fundamental. For new businesses, it’ll help you boost market share by turning strangers into paying customers. For more established organizations, it’s a mechanism to ensure you maintain momentum and continually fuel sales.

If you’re looking to build your strategy or revise an existing one, you can get started with these ideas:

1. Build your social media presence

More than half of the world’s population uses social media, with the average person spending 2 hours and 27 minutes a day on these networks. But people aren’t just scrolling aimlessly! In fact, social media is second only after search engines as the most popular source of information for researching brands.

With people already actively looking for brands on social networks, it’s important that you’re showing up! You can connect with your audience through these channels in a variety of different ways, including organic content, paid advertisements, and collaborations with other brands. A well-executed social strategy will allow you to tap into both passive and active buyers, while also continually expanding your reach into new audiences.

2. Ask for referrals

Happy customers are often happy to give referrals, which is a great way to let your audience do the talking and empower them to generate more leads for your brand on your behalf. Given 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know personally, a referral system is likely to achieve great results with both active and passive leads.

For active leads, word-of-mouth may back up their perceived opinion of your brand and be the final encouragement they need to make a purchase. On the other hand, passive leads may not have been seeking your products or services initially, but could be convinced by the glowing recommendation of someone they trust – which reduces the need for you to do all the heavy lifting!

3. Email newsletters

While generating new leads is important to increasing market share and boosting brand awareness, it’s essential not to forget about your existing customers – the ones that have already purchased your products or services. Implementing strategies to connect with previous buyers is what we call lead nurturing and is a great way to encourage repeat purchases.

The beauty of a content marketing plan that builds a pipeline of repeat purchases is that these leads will already have a connection with your brand and consequently spend 67% more than new customers. By increasing the quality of purchases rather than just the quantity, you can effectively boost the turnover of your business, without exponentially increasing the workload behind the scenes.

With technology evolving, customer trends changing, and expectations increasing faster than ever before, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by your lead generation strategy. The key to staying on top of everything is to streamline all your efforts into one simple and easy-to-manage place. As a CRM built for busy people, Lead Owl easily integrates with your website or sales funnel in seconds, provides real-time notifications every time you get a new lead, and sends personalized introductions to passive and active leads – all without you having to lift a finger.

To learn more about how Lead Owl can help you close more deals, reach out to our team today!