The day has finally arrived – you have your online store up and running. That’s great!
With an estimated 95 percent of purchases to be made online by 2040, you’ve made a pretty good choice of deciding to conquer the online world with your goods.
Bad news though?
Your competition is in the race, too. And they are growing faster than ever. We can expect almost 600.000 eCommerce businesses (or more) to open by 2024. Many of which will compete with yours.
As such, bringing the right crowd to your website is more important than ever. Mastering the art of lead generation is what can make or break your eCommerce business and now is the time to take action.
In this article, we will explore the best lead generation techniques for your eCommerce business. We will also show you tips and tricks on how to stay ahead of your competition and win big.
Here is what we’ll cover:
A. How to bring traffic to your website (eCommerce business)
- Content marketing
- Paid traffic
- Social media and influencer marketing
B. Six ways to generate qualified leads for your eCommerce business
- Use gamification
- Offer a discount
- Install a pop-up
- Invest in paid advertising
- Implement referral programs
- Leverage the power of social media
How to bring traffic to your website (eCommerce business)
Before you start thinking of ways to generate leads, you have to first find ways to bring traffic to your online store. Once people start landing on your website, you can use your charm (or lead generation techniques) to convince them to leave you their contact data.
So how exactly can you help people find your store online?
A. Content marketing
1. Start a company blog
Blogs are great for SEO purposes because they help you to climb the Google rankings. You need to cover topics that interest your readers the most, and you should aim to cover them better than your competitors.
If you run a beauty online store, perhaps you can write about the best skincare tips.
When you start a blog, you create yet another touchpoint through which your customers-to-be can learn more about you. Below are the steps you should take to write a killer company blog (and bring more leads as a result).
2. Conduct keyword research.
You can use tools like SE Ranking or Ahrefs to help you find the keywords your prospects are using. Keyword research will also help you understand user intent, and it will help you come up with more topic ideas for your blog.
Let’s say you are selling organic skin products that do not contain mineral oils. After doing some research using Ahrefs, you can see that the phrase “what is mineral oil” is quite popular (search volume: 4.4k) and not highly competitive (keyword difficulty: 19)
Image source: Ahrefs
This means that you might want to write a blog post explaining what mineral oil is and why people should avoid it in their cosmetics.
3. Competitors research
Another good way to check what kind of content you can be producing on your blog is to do competitor analysis.
Your competitors might be one step ahead of you. But that’s okay – you can steal their content ideas and make your content even better. You can use tools like BuzzSumo to generate ideas before spotting any weaknesses in their content (missing data, lack of case studies, etc) and using it to your advantage.
For example, let’s say you own an online store selling CBD oil and you’d like to write educational content on its benefits to get more traffic to your shop. To find out the most popular content around this topic, you just have to type “CBD oil benefits” in BuzzSumo. Here’s how it looks:
Image source: BuzzSumo
From that, you can see what content got the most engagement and via which channels. BuzzSumo also allows you to check top-performing pieces by your competitors so that you can get new ideas for your blog.
4. Write about your products
Writing about your own products can be a great way to generate more leads. For example, BestSelf is an eCommerce company which uses their blog to educate prospects about their products and encourage them to buy it (in a non-salesy way).
They do this via helpful articles and product guides that, among other things, show people how to use their products:
Image source: BestSelf
This is key because one of the reasons some customers don’t buy what you’re selling is because they’re not 100% sure how to use it. If they can’t figure out how to use something, they won’t buy it. Showing them how to get to grips with your products, then, breaks down the barriers to conversion.
Remember, the more helpful you are, and the more useful, educational information you share with your prospects, the more they will trust you.
B. Organic traffic (SEO)
In order to bring the right people to your online store who are already looking for the products you are offering, you have to level up your eCommerce SEO game.
There are several ways to make this happen and you need to take into consideration both on-page SEO and off-page SEO.
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO refers to your page content, as well as the HTML source code. All these things can be optimized. Such as:
- Metadata – Your meta description should contain your main keyword, it should be catchy and it should concisely explain what it is your page is all about. In other words, it needs to entice the reader so that they go ahead and pay you a visit.
- Title tags – Title tags tell both Google and your prospects what your page is all about. To generate more leads, it doesn’t do any harm to use commercial modifiers, such as ‘Free’ and ‘Discount’.
- Page content – You need to optimize your content for SEO purposes, and this includes adding keywords, headers, images, and even videos. You should also make your content readable by keeping your paragraphs nice and short and adding bullet points.
- Internal links – Linking from one of your pages to another of your pages is standard SEO practice. It helps Google to understand your site structure/hierarchy and helps to pass some link juice around
2. Off-page SEO
Once you’ve taken care of your website, it is time to focus on the off-page SEO. In contrast to on-page SEO, off-page SEO is the work you do away from your web pages.
Primarily, this means building links. When other, authoritative websites link out to you, Google starts to trust your site more. As such, it ranks it higher. You could, for example, launch a guest blogging campaign that’s aimed at generating high-quality links. These links will boost your ranking and your PageRank.
Social media marketing plays a key role in off-page SEO, too. More social shares you have to increase your number of backlink opportunities. Thus, your page will start to rank higher because Google can see that your web pages are offering value.
C. Paid traffic
That is right. Good old Facebook and Google ads are still powerful ways to bring targeted audiences to your website (eCommerce business).
Once your keyword research is done, you can use it to prepare ads targeting the right audiences.
For example, Google Shopping and Search Network campaigns will place your ad at the top of the search result. This might not guarantee a load of clicks (you will need to optimize your title tags and meta descriptions to entice clicks) but it will guarantee more visibility.
95.8 percent of social media managers, meanwhile, say that Facebook ads give them amazing ROI. With Facebook ads, you can choose audience segments, and you can also utilize a variety of ad types, such as images, text, and video.
You can also do Facebook remarketing campaigns to bring leads back into the game who showed a bit of initial interest and, who now need to be reminded of your offer
D. Social media and influencer marketing
Influencers are hot on social media – and it is about time you leveraged them for your own gain. How can influencers help your eCommerce business lead generation efforts?
Look at it like this: A few people might have heard of you but a tiny percentage of the internet currently trusts you.
A much larger portion trusts influencers. And when you partner up with an influencer who promotes your products on their social media page, their audience starts to trust you more.
An influencer doesn’t have to be a mega-star. In fact, working with micro-influencers (those who have around 10,000 followers) can pay off because they are easier to access. What is more important is that you work with an influencer whose audience lies in your target demographic, shares your values, and who is interested in your products.
If you sell shoes, it is a good idea to seek out a fashion influencer, for example. And if you want to reach the Gen Z crowd, you may seek one from a platform like TikTok.
Then, you need to identify a few influences before reaching out to them with your idea. They might have a few ideas of their own, and since they understand their audience better than you, it is worth listening to them.
Together, you can then come up with a marketing campaign. Typically, if you are using a platform like Instagram, the influencer will create an image post with hashtags or an Instagram story that shows them experiencing your product.
Their audience then sees them using your product, sees the link in the comments – and hopefully clicks. Your brand awareness is thus boosted.
6 ways to generate high quality leads for your eCommerce business
We are not going to lie – lead generation can be a complex, time-consuming process that requires a finely tuned strategy and a lot of effort on your part. Like with anything in digital marketing, however, there are tools to help you out.
As well as employing the strategies outlined before, make sure to learn more about various lead generation tools that will enhance your efforts, saving you time and boosting your numbers.
1. Use gamification
Who doesn’t love a bit of fun? And fun is essentially what gamification is.
See, the last thing a prospect will do is hand over their data if they feel as though you are pressuring them into it. If instead, you use things like quizzes and points, the prospect will be more engaged and more likely to comply.
Why does gamification work so well?
Because when you put a quiz in front of the user before requesting any data from them, you are giving them a chance to make a connection with your brand. By the time they’ve filled out the fun quiz, they might feel as though they can now trust you enough to hand over their email address.
2. Offer a discount
Nothing works better than tempting someone to leave their email address in exchange for a juicy discount. Who wouldn’t want to save a few bucks?!
A discount is a powerful incentive that many customers can’t say No to. Moreover, you as an eCommerce business store owner win as well because a discount piques the interest of people who are genuinely interested in your products.
Using a free chatbot platform could be useful here.
For example, a chatbot could offer a discount to anyone who has just abandoned their cart. This is a great way to keep your customers ‘in the game’ while persuading them to hand over their details.
Here is an example of using chatbots for giving away the discount and collecting email addresses at the same time:
Image source: Tidio
Do people pay attention to chatbots? Absolutely. In fact, HubSpot ran a few tests and learned that 71 percent of customers are willing to engage with them.
3. Install a pop-up
Pop-ups can be really annoying, that is true. In fact, studies show that 73 percent of internet users disapprove of pop-ups, and yet they still prove to be extremely powerful in generating new leads.
Here is what Michal Leszczynski, Content Marketing Manager at GetResponse said about experimenting with different kinds of pop-ups on their page.
In the past, we used to show the same pop-up to everyone who viewed the content published on the GetResponse blog. The results weren’t spectacular – roughly around 1 percent of our readers signed up for our newsletter updates.
Since then, we started to target some of our pop-ups. We’ve got several variations going on right now. They feature the article’s author and refer to the topic the reader’s currently viewing. Results? We get up to 7 percent conversion rates, and we haven’t even made changes to our newsletter. Still plenty of space for improvement, but we see that this is the right direction.
Image source: GetResponse
Pop-ups can be great for your online store if you put some thought into both – their design and their placement. You can also test various kinds of pop-ups to see which one is the best fit.
4. Invest in paid advertising
Earlier, we touched on the usefulness of paid advertising when it comes to bringing the traffic. Paid ads put your page at the top of the search results so that more people see it. But while reigning in that traffic is important, converting it is even more important.
As such, to make your paid ads count, you really need to focus on what pages are converting the most at the moment. What offers are working for you right now? Which ones should you double down on in the form of paid ads?
Then, you need to optimize your meta description so that your offer is clear and entices your leads to click. For example, it is well worth adding a CTA in your meta description that persuades people to visit your page – before possibly grabbing your offer.
One other way to make your paid ads effective is to use testimonials of your clients when designing your ad. Here is a good example of this in practice:
Image source: ConvertKit
5. Implement referral and affiliate programs
A referral program motivates your customers to generate leads for you. If you dangle a juicy reward, your customers will want to participate – and they will look for the 2 or 3 people in their network who can most likely benefit from your brand.
In this way, they do the qualifying and the pitch themselves. Something we’ve seen also in the last few years is the increasing number of so-called brand advocacy. It means that loyal customers are sharing content related to their favorite brands more broadly with their own networks.
With referral marketing, you can take advantage of this trend and reward your customers for doing that. They will bring you new traffic and new leads. Then, it is up to you to convert them to long-term customers.
It is not only about eCommerce business.
In fact, many SaaS companies have generated leads via effective referral programs or affiliate marketing. It is a true win-win for both sides and can yield awesome results.
6. Leverage the power of social media for eCommerce business
Social media channels are powerful ways to bring more people into your online store. Literally everyone is on social media these days. You just need to make sure you choose the right platforms and then double down on your social media marketing efforts.
Pinterest in particular is worth exploring, with stats showing that it has an average sales order of $50. It works for lead gen because it is so simple for the end-user. All they need to do is scroll through search results to find a particular product that catches their eye.
Social media channels are still awesome for bringing people to your online store and eCommerce business.
Here are some ways you can use social media to generate more leads for your store:
- Share ‘behind the scenes’ footage of your business on Instagram
- Share visual content, such as infographics, on Pinterest
- Share punchy video content to Facebook, Youtube, and TikTok, as well as links to your blog posts
- Post-eye-catching stats related to your niche to Twitter
And, look, we get it – managing multiple social media accounts can be draining. That is why there are a variety of social media tools that you can use to help you manage your time and posts better.
Conclusion: Get qualified leads for eCommerce business
Phew – that was a lot to take in, right?
The good thing is that you should now be in a much better position to generate more leads for your eCommerce business. Once you are up and running with your lead gen strategies, things will get much easier for your eCommerce business.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Invest in content marketing and SEO
- Use PPC to bring traffic
- Leverage the power of social media and influencer marketing
- Implement referral and affiliate marketing
- Use gamification
- Offer discounts and promotions
- Experiment with pop-ups and chatbots
All in all, just make sure to keep monitoring your results and fine-tuning your strategy so that your numbers keep growing. There is an abundance of web analytics tools you can use to help you stay up-to-date with the results. Good luck in your eCommerce business!
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Head of Growth at Tidio. Pawel has 10+ years of experience in marketing and sales in the IT industry and enjoys sharing his knowledge with others.