eCommerce lead generation is the bedrock of building a successful online store. For any online store to become successful, it is mandatory to have a steady flow of highly converting leads who’ll eventually become customers.
Typically lead generation is a term associated with B2B businesses, however building a list of high purchase intent prospects is important no matter what type of businesses you run.
But building a collection of leads for your ecom store isn’t always easy. According to a report from Hubspot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge.
So, in this article, I’m going to share 12 must-have lead generation techniques that are easy to get started with. By the end you’ll be ready to launch your own eCommerce lead generation campaigns and go laughing all the way to the bank.
What Is eCommerce Lead Generation?
Put simply, a lead in e-commerce is a person who shows interest in your product or services by taking some kind of action. eCommerce lead generation is therefore the process of getting customers to take action and hand over contact details such as their email address or phone number.
Think of eCommerce lead generation as any action that ‘warms-up’ prospective customers for the sale. Whoever is reaching out to your sales team, subscribing to your newsletter, clicking your ads, or adding your products in their online shopping cart can be considered as eCommerce leads.
How to Identify The Best eCommerce Leads?
Shooting in the dark is never useful. If you want to get the maximum on your marketing and ad spend, you should know what your target audience is like. And you should not stop there, it is imperative for you to create a buyer persona.
Buyer Persona is a semi-realistic profile of a potential customer, including his or her personal details, hobbies, needs, interests, income sources, geographical, behavioural, and psychological demographics. Your buyer persona should give you a clear idea of how your average customer would be.
Marketers can create a buyer persona by taking insights from every team from operations to customer-facing teams.
Here is an example of a buyer persona:
You can create more than one buyer personas based on the number of segments you make of your target audience. When you market to specific personas, your campaigns perform better and produce more conversions. You’ll attract more customers and you will eventually notice profit on your accounting software without additional expenses.
💡Pro Tip: Use Hubspot’s free buyer persona tool to build an accurate picture of your ideal buyer
12 Tried & Tested eCommerce Lead Generation Tactics
Ok with the idea of a buyer persona under our belt, let’s truck on and discover the best eCommerce lead generation tactics you can implement today:
1. Rank On Search Engines
Ok ok, this one seems a little bit obvious. But it’s earned it’s place on this list because it’s so powerful for eCommerce lead generation.
Seriously, think about the last time you wanted to buy something. Where did you go first? Chances are it was to your trust old friend Google, right?
Search engine optimization allows you to show up in the search results when potential customers look for products or services like yours. This means these eCommerce leads are super high quality – they’re putting their hand up and saying ‘I’m interested in buying theses products’.
The scope of a full eCommerce SEO strategy is a little beyond this post. However, this amazing guide from ReConvert’s co-founder Eric will show you everything you need to know in just about 10 minutes.
2. Create Personalized Experiences
According to Instapage, 74% of customers get frustrated when website content is not personalized. What do I mean by personalized experience? Well, check out how Trade Coffee uses a short quiz to match visitors to their ideal coffee subscription:
The core takeaway here is that your customers do not all want the same things, which means that it is not wise that you reach them all with the same marketing messages. With personalized marketing, you can tailor your ads, retargeting emails, notifications, and offers to be as relevant as possible to different customers.
It is also strongly advised to have a sophisticated recommendation engine in the eCommerce website. This helps visitors with better and faster shopping experiences; they will also most likely spend more.
3. Boomerang One-Time Visitors Back
Use the power of remarketing to bring bounced-off visitors. According to ReadyCloud, retargeting campaigns earn almost 77% more clicks than other ads. Moreover, retargeted visitors have a 70% chance of converting into customers. Now, to implement retargeting campaigns on your online store, you need cookies on your site.
Cookies collect and store bite-sized information from a visitor’s session, especially for marketing purposes. This includes the items they clicked on or added to their cart. This cookie data is used for retargeting visitors and showing them personalized ads featuring the products they viewed.
For example, here’s a retargeting ad that Allbirds are running – I got served this ad after visiting their website:
Bu you can do lots more interesting things with remarketing ads, like offering discounts or showing customer testimonials to prospective customers who’ve already been on your store.
💡Pro Tip: Check out Facebook’s dynamic retargeting feature to learn more about tempting shoppers to return to your store and buy.
4. Run PPC Ads
Even though SEO is the best long-term strategy for eCommerce lead generation, paid ads are also a lead-generating powerhouse you don’t want to miss. Running PPC ad campaigns on platforms like Google Ads is a potent way to gain a massive reach to your target audience.
PPC helps you when your main keywords have clear purchase intent but are highly dominated by your competition; you can run ads with your main keywords in the copy or CTA to attract prospects.
For instance, if you sell sports clothing, you could display an ad in the search results for “men’s running jackets” if this keyword has high competition.
However, here you will have to set bids based on how much you wish to pay for every click to your eCommerce website. This is cost-effective as you only pay that amount when your ad is clicked.
In order to land more leads with PPC campaigns, make sure ensure that your campaign has the following:
- A unique ad copy with a USP and CTA.
- Insert targeted keywords
- Do add your business’s and the product’s name
- Use negative keywords for effective big and
💡Pro Tip: Check out Google Skillshop to learn how to run PPC campaigns for free
5. Write Long-Form Inbound Marketing Content
Long-form inbound marketing campaigns like blogs help an eCommerce business generate leads in three ways.
First, customers can gain to be gain detailed information about your eCommerce store and its listed products. The better your offer information about your products on blogs, and catalogues the more likely people will visit your website.
Second, these blogs are your best marketing collateral. You can break them up and repurpose them into social media posts for twitter and Instagram. These blogs can also open up guest-posting opportunities, wherein you can place links of other businesses in exchange for yours, thereby getting wider visibility on the web.
Third, the most important benefit is that these blogs will only help you rank better in search engines.
Use tools like Buzzsumo to refigure and search what content could be relevant for your audience. Use Keyword.io and Google Trends to find out keywords to insert in the content.
Here are a few tips that will help you in solidifying your inbound content marketing strategy:
- Produce a buyers guide on different categories of products that you offer.
- Create a free course that helps your customer’s achieve their goals
- Use a pop-up or lead magnet on your blog to snag visitor emails
💡Pro Tip: Check out ReConvert’s guide to blogging for eCommerce. It’ll show you how to write powerful blog posts that make a positive impact on your revenue.
6. Deploy Lead Magnets
Besides blogs, several other formats of written content can help your eCommerce business with lead generation, which can be called lead magnets.
They are valuable resources like whitepapers, ebooks, guides, templates, etc. However, these are gated resources; readers need to enter their personally identifiable information like email and phone number to gain access to the content.
People are very cautious while giving their contact details to a business, so make sure that your lead magnet resource offers adequate actionable value for the reader.
Here are some more examples of lead magnets:
- Checklist of tools or resources
- Market Reports
- Discount coupons or free trials
- Series of videos
💡Pro Tip: An effective lead magnet should:
- Solve a real problem
- Address customer pain points
- Have actionable insights
- Easy to read – such as a PDF checklist
7. Social Media
Your social channels are a potent marketing tool, more so for B2C eCommerce businesses. Social media is the best channel for interacting with customers one-to-one and showing you what your brand is all about.
Moreover, some social media platforms also offer effective advertising options. For example, on Facebook, you can run ads designed to drive traffic to a specific webpage on your site. You can also use their highly particular targeting options to reach the kind of audience you want.
These filters range from basic demographic information like age, sex, and location to more advanced options like interests, hobbies, career, education, and their past actions on the app. When you use these targeting options, your ads bring the exact audience you want to your site.
💡Pro Tip: Running a social media giveaway can be an effective way to generate new interest and leads for your business.
8. Email marketing
Not all of your website visitors will be sold to buy on their first visit, and so you have to try many times again. However, many visitors are willing to provide their email addresses in return for a discount or some other incentive.
Through email marketing, you can stay in touch with these leads and encourage them to make a purchase – giving discounts is just one example. In addition, you can alert subscribers about new products first, notify them of upcoming sales, and share any other information they might find worthy of reading.
You can also run hyper-personalized campaigns to send particular messages to your subscribers based on the purchase behavior on your website or their personal details (see above!).
For instance, you can send them an email with a link to return and complete the transaction or discount coupons when a customer abandons their shopping cart.
9. Use Pop-ups
Pop ups are an awesome way to generate new leads from website visitors. A well timed pop-up can deliver a discount code that nudges visitors to become email leads (and often customers too!) Check out this pop up from Bliss:
Notice how they offer browsers 20% of their first Bliss purchase. This is a really tempting offer if you’re thinking about buying. Think about how you can add an incentive that’ll encourage your shoppers to buy now.
While pop-ups typically only convert at a rather low percentage (about 3%), they also only take a couple of minutes to set up. That means for every 100 visitors you drive to your store, you’ll pick up three qualified leads. Not a bad return for less than an hours work right?
💡Pro Tip: Some customer segments are getting sick of invasive pop-ups. To avoid cheesing people off, design you pop-ups so they cover only part of the screen and are easy to close.
10. Provide a 24/7 customer service
People do not shop during official working hours, do they? They rather shop more during their free time. And if you are able to provide customer support when they are shopping, then your lead generation will go off the charts.
But how do you do this? Certainly, not by having a workforce available round-the-clock.
You can use technology to suffice this need. For instance, tools like AI-driven conversational chatbots and knowledge resources can help you offer automated assistance to your visitors 24/7.
With these tools, customers can get answers to frequently asked questions and get insights into your products, services, and offers. In other words, these tools make your presence felt even when you are not around, making your lead generation 2X quite literally.
💡Pro Tip: Convert leads on the spot with a live chat widget on your eCommerce store. Instantly answer questions, provide advice and close sales in real time with an app like EasyCall.
11. Get your presence felt on YouTube
As an eCommerce business, especially if you are a D2C the having a Youtube channel will pay massive returns. Know that Youtube’s algorithm requires you to post consistent content for a longer duration to get a wider reach, however, there are also SEO techniques that you can use to get more views.
For example, consider BeardBrand, a men’s grooming brand who’ve amassed 1.8 million subscribers by putting out great content on YouTube.
In the long run, Youtube can act as a massive lead-generating machine for your online store.
Some Youtube marketing techniques you can use for your online store are:
- Collaborate with influencers and make content on your channel or on theirs.
- Sponsor influencers try out your products and make that into video
- Share behind-the-scenes stories of your business and how it started.
12. Offer discounts and deals
This is the best and most effective way to generate leads and boost sales since time immemorial. It always works. And I’m not only talking about the basic anchoring effect. Offers and discounts can be very elaborate and thus rewarding.
Here are some interesting ways to offer discounts and deals:
- Offer incentives on purchases for next purchases in the form of cashback.
- Give special offers on first purchase.
- Give referral bonus.
- Have offers in place for special days like festivals.
💡Pro Tip: Be careful not to over-do it with discounts and offers. They’re amazing short-term revenue boosters. However, use them too often and customer’s may start to perceive your brand as cheap or hold off on buying anything at full price.
Get Started With eCommerce Lead Generation Today
eCommerce lead generation is something every merchant needs to think about. Get started with the above tactics and see which ones work best for you. As with most things in eCommerce, the only true way to figure out the best approach is to jump in and get your hands dirty! Experiment and test various lead generation methods. Over time you’ll find the best tactics that fill your pipeline and pump-up your profits.
Narayani Pandya is an enthusiastic digital marketing professional, having work experience in sales and customer experience in the past. She enjoys having a cup of tea and walking on the grass when not working.