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Marketing 14 min read February 17, 2022

Top E-Commerce Lead Generation Strategies

Top eCommerce Lead Generation Strategies
How many people convert after landing on your e-commerce site for the first time? 92% of first-time website visitors aren't going to buy from you. But it doesn't mean you should just let them go.

Before they're ready to purchase, your prospective customers take a long journey that includes topic research, social proof review, and product comparison.

You need to find a way to connect with those consumers during this journey and stay on top of their minds. You need a strong lead generation strategy – and it's not built overnight.

Luckily, we've gathered top lead generation strategies for you to follow.

The Essence Of Lead Generation For E-Commerce

Often, lead generation is mistaken for demand generation marketing and is defined as "a way to generate interest in products". However, lead generation goes far beyond awareness and interest.

Lead generation is the process of capturing potential customers' contact information with the purpose of reaching them with personalized marketing messages.

When you have your prospects' emails on your mailing list, you can gently guide their purchase decisions with the help of targeted email campaigns.

It's crucial to outline your lead nurturing strategy before you start generating leads, and for good reason. Capturing a thousand email addresses is by no means your final goal, is it? To avoid wasting a budget on attracting irrelevant audiences, you need to revisit your buyer personas and map out campaigns you'll be sending their way.

When you have a plan, you have a better understanding of what kind of people you need in your email list. This knowledge will help you define topics your leads-to-be might be interested in and channels they browse most often.

E-Commerce Lead Generation Challenges

In e-commerce, generating leads isn't much easier than selling products. What can you offer to your prospects to make them share their contact information with you?

You need a lead magnet – a valuable asset that you can give away in exchange for visitor's contact details.

In business, the key to successful relationships between sides is a win-win approach. Both sides, i.e. your brand and your customers, should be able to benefit from every interaction. And when we talk about encouraging consumers to leave their email addresses on your site, a win-win situation is only possible when there's a real value behind the lead magnet.

Furthermore, up to 57% of users submit fake or disposable email addresses, imposing another challenge for your future campaigns. It means that 57% of your future emails will bounce back and never reach your leads' inboxes.

Say, you've managed to identify an incentive for people to give away their private information. How do you make sure they won't use fake data?

The problem is partially solved by delivering a lead magnet by email instead of granting access to it immediately after a lead capture form is filled out.

All things considered, lead generation for e-commerce isn't an easy task. The good news is that with the ideas below, you'll save your time and build a successful lead generation process without costly trial and error.

9 Ideas To Boost Your E-Commerce Lead Generation Strategy

Lead generation is a process that might involve various techniques, tools, and channels. There's no one-size-fits-all approach that every e-commerce marketer can apply to succeed. However, the following techniques are the perfect starting point for developing a process that meets your specific goals.

Set up a lead capturing process

Have you already thought about how you'll capture data and keep track of your leads?

Are you planning to go for a free setup, e.g. using a simple form builder that will send the data to Google Sheets? Or do you want to use an all-in-one platform that facilitates the whole lead generation process?

Mind that even though you might think you don't need a complex (and more expensive) solution for collecting and nurturing leads, it's likely that you'll face certain limitations as you scale lead generation. For instance, in a few months, you'll realize you need more advanced data on the performance of your nurturing emails than your improvized (but free) setup allows for – it'll be painful and time-consuming doing research again and transferring all the data across platforms.

With that in mind, you'd better outline where you want to be in 6-12 months. Are you going to run paid campaigns to scale the process? Choose quality all-in-one lead generation tool from the first day. Do you want to build a close-knit community of loyal customers? Then you might be able to automate lead management with the help of free solutions.

Fine-tune your lead capture forms

Lead capture forms allow you to collect consumer data in the most effective way. E-commerce lead capture forms are most often used within popup banners, landing pages, and checkout pages.
Checkout page
Checkout page (Source)
It's common to use lead capture forms not only to capture contact information but also to collect data that will help marketers qualify those leads. However, this approach has certain pitfalls. When you request too much information from a prospect, you're at high risk of scaring them away.

The longer it takes to complete your lead capture form, the fewer people will be interested in filling it out.
Lead capture form
Lead capture form (Source)
Therefore, you’ll need to determine when you can afford to ask for additional information (e.g. at checkout) and when it’s excessive (e.g. within popup banners). Ideally, you’d go for progressive profiling.
Progressive profiling is a method of using dynamic forms where the fields are updated based on what kind of data has already been recorded about a prospect. Every time an existing lead fills out a new form on your site, they're requested to specify the information that they haven't shared yet. You can enable progressive fields inside your CRM platform.

If you want to send out personalized lead nurturing campaigns, progressive profiling will allow you to collect the necessary information without putting your first-time visitors in front of a long list of questions.

For those who only start with lead generation, requesting an email address within a lead capture form should be enough.

Whether you decide to go for progressive profiling or not, the following tips will help you increase conversion rates of your online forms:

  • Embed your forms into landing pages. You don’t want to lose potential leads by making them take extra actions, like clicking on a CTA and waiting for a new page to download, do you?
  • Shorter forms = more effective forms. Do you really need your lead’s surname and phone number? Remove any fields that create unnecessary friction.
  • Use interactive forms when you need to collect more information than just contact details. Multi-step forms boost user engagement and, surprise surprise, convert 86% better than single-step forms.

Encourage customers to create personal accounts

The easiest way to collect leads’ information is by encouraging site visitors to create their personal accounts on your site. To incentivize them, you might offer personalized product recommendations, an opportunity to create wish lists or bookmark favorite products, etc.
Personal account
Personal account (Source)

Use presell landing pages

Say, you decided to promote specific products with paid social campaigns. When you display your ads within Facebook or Instagram feeds, you reach audiences that aren't actively looking to buy something – they just want engaging content. To engage these people, you'd better add an extra step and use content that appeals to their interests rather than display a product landing page right away.

A presell landing page enables you to make your content more engaging for cold audiences and increase conversion rates of your lead generation campaigns. Presell pages come in the form of:
  • Quizzes
  • Video tutorials
  • How-to articles
  • Gamified content
Presell page
Presell page
By using a mix of a presell page and an actual product page, you can generate leads first and then gently drive them to the purchase decision within one campaign.

Collect emails with live chat

Do you have a live chat on your e-commerce site? By making a few adjustments, you can start using it more effectively.

To collect emails with live chat, you don't even need to enable the chatbot function. Simply add a welcome message that asks visitors for their email before they start a chat.

Alternatively, you can include promo offers in your welcome messages for visitors who reach the cart page.
Live chat
Live chat (Source)
Using a live chat for lead generation will boost your site's conversions by over 100%.

Offer discounts within popup banners

This is probably the first idea that comes to your mind when you think of lead generation. Using popup banners to invite people to join your mailing list is a practice you can't afford to ignore.

The only difference between an ineffective, intrusive popup and a popup that works is that the latter always communicates the value proposition. Most often, e-commerce brands offer discounts to encourage site visitors to sign up for their newsletters.
Popup banner for lead generation
Popup banner

Create quizzes with personalized recommendations

This is our favorite strategy for lead generation. Quizzes address the major challenges lead generation experts typically face:
  • People love quizzes. 81% of respondents agree that interactive quizzes grab attention more effectively than static content. With a lead generation quiz, attracting cold audiences won't be a problem.
  • Lead qualification is easier when you use an engaging multi-step quiz.
  • Quizzes allow you to provide better personalization. Your leads won’t have issues with choosing the right product when they receive personalized recommendations.

Run a giveaway or contest

Hosting a giveaway helps to collect any type of information about leads and move them down the sales funnel [almost] effortlessly.

How do you attract the right leads with a giveaway?

First of all – as obvious as it seems – choose a prize from your product line. No Starbucks gift cards, iPhones (unless you sell them), or Amazon vouchers. The idea is that giveaway participants should be willing to buy your products even if they don’t win.

Next, consider seasonality. Instead of giving away a specific product sometime around Christmas, you allow winners to choose the prize they want themselves. Such a twist will boost engagement and conversions.
Giveaway for lead generation

Pick cost-effective promotion channels

To generate leads at scale, you'll need to invest in paid promotion. Running paid ads on Google and Facebook is the least risky approach for newbies.

If you decide to use Google Ads, start with keyword research. Find keywords that you can afford to bid on, but make sure they attract searchers that fit your buyer personas. It's a good idea to get more creative and bid on less competitive long-tail keywords. These keywords will cost less but catch people who know what they want. One of the great tools for collecting keywords based on useful metrics is Serpstat's Keyword Research tool.
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Want to go away from the Facebook-Google duopoly? Over the last few years, a lot of alternatives to Google Ads and Facebook Ads have emerged. These days, e-commerce brands are actively exploring Pinterest Ads and TikTok Ads.

The Takeaway

Before you build lead capture forms and pick promotion channels, sit down and think of what might incentivize your site visitors to share their contact information with you. With the right lead magnet, you’ll address major lead generation challenges, like lead qualification, nurturing, and turning qualified leads into sales.
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The opinion of the guest post authors may not coincide with the opinion of the Serpstat editorial staff and specialists.

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