Ecommerce Growth

18 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce (2024 Update)

eCommerce lead generation strategies can be tricky to implement. Here are 18 proven lead-generation tips to enable on your store and convert those browsers into customers.

18 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce (2024 Update)

‘How do we generate more leads?’ 

‘What are some unique eCommerce lead generation tips?’

‘How do we implement eCommerce lead generation strategies to get significant results?’ 

These are questions many eCommerce store owners ask us.

You created the perfect lead magnet. For some time, it brought in new leads every day. 

Then suddenly the number of leads dwindles.  

After all, your audience is evolving with the trends. 

Google implements newer features to offer everyone a better experience

That’s why, we’re here to help.   

Here are 18 easy-to-implement eCommerce lead generation tips which will help you turn casual browsers into leads.  

1. Get leads from blogs 

As an eCommerce brand, you might have started a blogging platform to help search engine rankings, drive organic traffic, and build brand awareness and loyalty.

Do read: Convert Organic Traffic Into Customers: 16 Ideas for eCommerce Stores

To encourage sign-ups on the blog page, you need to write valuable content

“Today’s searchers search to solve problems, to accomplish tasks, and to ‘do’ something.” - Search Engine Journal contributor Ryan Jones

According to research

  • 84% of consumers bought products based on how they were described in blogs.
  • 1 in 4 consumers bought something each month based on blog content they read.
  • 46% of consumers said they read blogs to do initial product investigations.

As a lead generation strategy, blogging can be a powerful platform. 

If your content “answers” what shoppers are searching for via blogging, then you are in. 

Talk to your sales teams, customer service, and in-store sales teams because they know your customers more personally than anyone else. Get their insights to make valuable blog content. 

Just make sure you are not hard selling right in the blog.

Then you can offer them a downloadable ebook or a guide relevant to the blog topic or search result. 

If your visitors have scrolled at least halfway through the blog, then it’s safe to say they found the answer they are looking for. 

This means they are happy or at least trust your knowledge.

At this point, display an opt-in form for a newsletter. 

Emphasize that you won’t spam their inbox to reassure them. You can also reward visitors with a minimum discount.   

2. Let them sign up through social media 

Recently in a conversation with eCommerce brands, they analyzed that many shoppers didn’t checkout because of account creation. 

So they enabled guest checkout to encourage lead generation. 

However, this meant the brand didn’t get a chance to capture any customer details.    

Instead of guest checkout, enable social account signup options like Google and Facebook. 

This way shoppers don’t have to fill out any forms or create any passwords and still get genuine information. 

Furthermore, customers will find it easy to return as registered customers because they don’t have to remember any passwords. They simply have to sign in with one click.

Read more: Guest checkout: Still a good choice? (+16 way BETTER alternatives)

3. Display varied CTAs

CTAs are often overlooked while implementing eCommerce lead generation strategies. 

If you have an ‘add to cart’ CTA, the chances are high that shoppers will add something to the cart and bounce off later.  

Instead experiment with CTAs that capture email IDs.  

Here are some CTAs (optimized for eCommerce lead generation) to try:

On the homepage:

  • join our newsletter community (helps to build an email list
  • create your registry (target a different shopping demographic)

On the product page:

  • pre-order or reserve-the-product CTA (helps to build an email list before the product releases)
  • in-store pick-up or reserve in-store CTA (get customer details such as email ID and location)
  • a quiz to find the perfect product match (helps customer to make informed decisions)

On the checkout page:

  • download a product care guide (get email IDs and shows the brand’s consciousness)
  • join the loyalty program (improve a customer’s lifetime value)
  • log in to get a discount (keep an average order value threshold)
  • get alerts on future discounts (have an early access plan)

4. Personalize and then get details  

Signing up is one of the most common reasons shoppers bounce off eCommerce stores.  

Therefore, personalizing your lead generation strategy and then collecting details from leads can be an effective strategy to increase conversions. 

You will also be able to build long-lasting relationships with potential customers. 

See how Lancome has a 3-step survey to find the right product to encourage lead generation and capture email IDs and customer details. 

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

Once a shopper has filled in the details, the brand offers relevant recommendations.

Lancome offers the option to save the recommendations by sending them to the shopper’s email ID.  

5. Offer to save the cart

Shoppers often add products to the cart and bounce off. 

In this scenario, you can implement eCommerce lead generation strategies by creating urgency by letting your customers know that the items left in their cart or wishlist will be cleared out after a couple of hours or days.

This will motivate shoppers to immediately purchase the item or create an account (capturing email ID) so they can save it to their wish list.

Offer an option to let shoppers save products they like and access better pricing and limited-time deals.

Further reading: Order Wishlist Page: 9 Ways to boost conversions (and lessons from Amazon)

6. Be clever with exit-intent pop-ups 

You’ve done it. 

Bought shoppers to the online store. 

However, now they are ready to bounce off before you can implement any lead generation strategy such as capturing email IDs or any other details.

One of the most common reasons exit-intent pop-ups fail is poor targeting. 

If you’ve advertised a deal but it’s only relevant to half the people seeing it, it won’t work. 

Target shoppers by device, time, frequency, and other elements that determine which page a visitor is on, how many times they’ve visited a page, or their history on your site.

See how to capture email IDs the way Negative does it through an exit in-tent pop-up:

Take note of how the brand offers early access to new products and gives a personalized touch. 

Furthermore, it requests only an email ID so shoppers just have to add one detail to get an exclusive offer.   

Read more: Exit-Intent Pop-Ups: overcoming common mistakes + 20 brilliant examples

7. Show different campaigns to returning visitors 

Cookies are very useful while implementing eCommerce lead generation strategies including retargeting. Cookies can help online brands track details about who’s searching for certain products, and their geographic location. 

Here’s how cookies can encourage lead generation:

For instance, you are a beauty products brand and past visitors are searching for ‘sunscreen under 50$’.  

When visitors return to your online store, it can be a great idea to show them exactly what they have been looking for. 

In this scenario, recommend a sign-up discount on sunscreens or makeup products with SPF. 

This way, they’ll be more willing to sign up and make a purchase.  

8. Talk to shoppers in real-time

For some, shopping can be stressful. 

If online brands sell a large variety of products, then potential customers can get easily frustrated while trying to find products or order the right product.

Also, during the pandemic, shoppers were suddenly cut off from real-life shopping.   

The consequence of it created a high demand for personalized help from brands.   

eCommerce brands can implement lead generation strategies through live chats with shopping assistants to help visitors shop better

Shoppers are also less hesitant to give their email IDs and other details to a person rather than a bot. 

See how Lululemon enabled virtual shopping where customers can book appointments by adding basic information including email ID: 

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

9. Build a community 

When your brand reflects a shopper’s interest, there are more chances of boosting lead generation strategies. 

Also, reward customers with a discount when they sign up and refer their friends. 

For instance, if you’re a sports brand and target athletes and sports enthusiasts, then see how Nike offers members-only exclusive shops that let them personalize their shopping experience.

By joining the Nike membership, buyers can customize their shoes and be part of a driven community that includes chats with real athletes for expert guidance, training, product recommendation and personalized training plans, and priority access to Nike events. 

Create an online forum or discussion board where shoppers can ask questions and share their experiences. 

As part of the community, let shoppers sign up to access information from experts and the brand itself. 

Read more: 14 eCommerce Loyalty Programs Backed By Science (Examples)

10. Host an event to widen your target audience 

Live shopping is fast becoming a popular eCommerce lead generation strategy. 

In live shopping, an online host or influencer presents and demonstrates products.

Viewers can ask questions and make purchases directly from the live stream with a time-limited discount code.  

The urgency of the time-limited discount during the live can urge shoppers to sign up and purchase right away. 

Furthermore, promote the live weeks before to build an exhaustive email list. 

See how Nordstrom has a dedicated live shopping channel. It lets shoppers RSVP with their details including email IDs for any upcoming lives:

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

Read more: 25 Persuasion Techniques for eCommerce (with real examples)

11. Give shoppers “other” options   

Costco took advantage of free samples decades ago as a lead generation strategy. 

Product categories such as beauty, food, and fashion (e.g. sunglasses) have different variations. Shoppers are not always sure a particular product will suit them and hesitate before making a purchase. 

Let shoppers select from different options and try the products in real through free samples. They just have to sign up. 

Furthermore, some shoppers don’t know what to buy as gifts. 

Gift cards can be a great way to capture a shopper’s email ID. See how River Island does it through a short and interactive form:

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

12. Enable stock alert notifications

Stock alerts are one of the best ways to capture customer email IDs. 

Shoppers want the product and there’s demand for it. The obstacle is not having enough stock. 

Offer multiple shipping times and delivery dates so that customers understand that the product is not genuinely out-of-stock and get it if they sign up now.     

You can also offer shoppers the option to click and collect or reserve the product in-store. 

Also, don’t let it sound negative. Instead, tag the product as exclusive and ask shoppers to join a waitlist. Back-in-stock emails have an open rate of 65.32% and a conversion rate nearing 14%.

See how Goop encourages lead generation by capturing email IDs and other customer details:

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce
Read more: Making “out of stock” products a conversion driver

13. Support a cause

Gen-Z expects brands it supports to take a stand on everything from the environment to mental health.

Here are some quick facts:  

64% will pay more for environmentally-friendly products

73% of Gen Z only buy from brands they believe in

71% stay loyal to brands they trust, even if they make a mistake and then acknowledge it

See how Love your melon positions its support for the fight against pediatric cancer to get more sign-ups: 

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

14. Ask for website feedback 

Shoppers browse many many many online stores. 

A bad shopping experience will be more memorable than a good one. According to a recent study, 75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s UX design. 

If you see a lot of drop-offs after actions such as filtering or browsing sessions, then it’s time to evaluate your website performance. 

See how Lulumelons asks for website feedback and then captures email IDs: 

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

Shoppers might not like to fill in too many open-ended questions so use clickable elements such as star rating, number rating, and multiple-choice options in the survey.

Furthermore, you can ask shoppers to sign up to test new products or features as well.  

Read more: ​​Low form conversions? Making any of these 10 mistakes?

15. Start early with your campaigns 

If you’re running any specific campaigns, then make sure to hype it up as early as possible. A good build-up should include CTAs signing up for campaign news. You can reward early birds' access to the pre-sale. 

See how David Jones has a dedicated landing page for Black Friday, which is eight months away. 

The landing page has a clear sign-up CTA, and detailed FAQs so shoppers can resolve queries.  

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

If you already know which products will be listed for the sale, then you can ask shoppers to pre-order or reserve the product in-store when it’s released. 

If you have past data, then label the products accordingly as bestsellers.

You can also show the price difference between the sale and no-sale periods. 

16. Offer a text sign-up 

In 2022 alone, 333.2 billion emails were expected to have been sent and received each day. 

This means every shopper receives too many promotional emails every day. Your email has a high chance of getting upstaged by others and mass deleted.   

Try SMS or Whatsapp marketing to send promotions to customers via messages with clear CTAs. 

See how Westside sends personalized messages:

16 Timeless Lead Generation Strategies for eCommerce

Now that you have read through these eCommerce lead generation tips and strategies, it’s time for you to implement them on your store and get results.    

17. Pass the buck to referrals 

It’s no longer surprising that 82% of Americans seek recommendations from friends and family before making a purchase. This gives you a compelling reason to try referral email marketing for eCommerce lead generation. 

And behold, referral marketing generates 3-5x higher revenue than other channels. Send referral emails to your recent customers asking them to refer their friends and family in exchange for an incentive. 

Cometeer sends a referral email to their customers that’s thought provoking. 

eCommerce lead generation strategy: Referral marketing email

The copy gets to the point—$50 for you, $50 for them and tells customers that they need to qualify for the incentive. 

Here are some tips you can follow: 

  • Write a captivating subject line—for instance, Refer your friends | Sharing = EXTRA savings
  • Offer an attractive incentive—earn $15 when you refer a friend 
  • Use a persuasive image—for instance, in the example above, the image is a visual cue pointing towards the CTA 
  • Use an actionable CTA—Use numbers to outline the tangible value 

18. Generate interest through a product recommendation quiz 

Your shoppers may not always know what to buy. Featuring a product recommendation quiz on your homepage helps you educate shoppers helping them decide if a product is a right fit for them. 

Plus, on average the conversion rate for quizzes stands around 40-60%

Brooks Running uses a shoe finder quiz that qualifies buyers down the funnel. 

Lead generation for eCommerce: Product recommendation quiz

In the end, it becomes an email lead magnet. 

eCommerce Lead generation strategy: Product recommendation quiz

Check out these tips to help create better quizzes: 

  • Ask open-ended questions and give them relevant options 
  • Help customers with relevant images to help them find accurate answers 
  • Offer an incentive—discount, exclusive access, or a free gift 

How we can help you: 

98% of visitors who visit an eCommerce site—drop off without buying anything. 

Why: user experience issues that cause friction for visitors. 

And this is the problem ConvertCart solves. 

We've helped 500+ eCommerce stores (in the US) improve user experience—and 2X their conversions. 

Our conversion experts can audit your site—identify UX issues, and suggest changes to improve conversions. 

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