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Best Practices to Generate Leads for Your Ecommerce Business with 9 Different Ways

July 18, 2019

10 Min Read
ecommerce lead generation
Reading Time: 10 minutes

Probably the biggest pain point for every online shop is ecommerce lead generation and finding potential customers. In this article, we will see how to generate leads in eight different and unique ways.

According to Statista, on average, just 2.86% of website visits are converted into purchases. It can seem that this number is very low, but actually, it isn’t.

Take an example: you’re generating around 10.000 unique visits per month – that’s more than 286 customers at least (if you own a very narrow niche ecommerce store, I can bet that this conversion rate would be even higher!).

According to a survey by  KPMG, over 30% of consumers said that they will buy from the same site multiple times (if their experience was  great). That means, that once a person becomes your customer, he will purchase from you multiple times.

But all of these statistics mean nothing if you actually don’t know how to bring those 10.000 or even more website visitors.

Whether you are a small business, trying to reach a global market, huge wholesaler or even a dropshipper, generating relevant leads for your business is probably overwhelming.

To help you generate more leads, we have listed eight best ways to generate leads for your ecommerce business in 2019! 

1. Ecommerce lead generation with unique content

Do your research!

Find out what they love; what interests them and for what they’re craving about.

In this overcrowded market like ecommerce, every new store should focus on some unique niche. We  will follow an example of ecommerce lead generation, for let’s say, specialized Dalmatian Dog shop!

You can find out numerous shops about pugs, French bulldogs and other dogs, but Dalmatians? No. Maybe a few of them.

They were quite popular in the ’90s when Disney released “101 Dalmatian”. But very soon, they were  forgotten. Everyone loves them, but there are only a few of them who would actually own them.
And those who own Dalmatians are very passionate about them – mostly from a reason that you can hardly find some specialized products and shops for them.

So, it seems that people who are owning Dalmatians are a great target audience.
Now the question is, how can you reach out to them? How to generate leads?

Creating, preparing and distributing unique content for your target audience is crucial in order to:

  • get their attention
  • to intrigue them
  • improve your popularity
  • create good relationships with them

When I mention content, a lot of people are thinking only about the blog posts. A BIG NO! 

Content is much more. It includes, but is not limited to: :

  • Videos
  • Pictures
  • Infographics
  • Blog posts and guest blog posts
  • ebooks
  • How to’s, Quizzes, etc.

Sometimes, it’s not just important to write or create content, it’s also important to know how to distribute it!

Content example

Here are some content distribution techniques:

  • Posting on all your Social Media and other channels
  • Answering Quora questions
  • Actively writing on other platforms like Medium, Reddit etc.
  • Re-purposing  your one piece of content into several others

If we take the example of Dalmatian shop, some examples of crafting great content could be:

  • Writing an extensive e-book on everything you need to know about Dalmatians (training, diet, obedience, etc).
  • Creating educative videos (examples of training)
  • Creating infographics with some interesting facts
  • Creating funny posts and Dalmatian memes.

2. How to generate leads through online communities

There is nothing better than owning an online community of your loyal and potential customers.

You can build different communities on different platforms. Probably the most common are Facebook Groups, but you can also think about Telegram, Medium, Reddit, LinkedIn and other platforms based on where are your target customers gathering.

Building online communities is hard and exhausting. It takes a lot of time to actually see some results from them. But once you have it, you are unstoppable! Just take a look at these:

FB community

This pug group has more than 45.000 people. Perfect piece of a cake for your eCommerce lead generation.

When building your online community, do remember that you should be 100% value-focused (at least at the beginning), and not promotional at all. Give that honour to your loyal customers. They will do it for you, plus it’s much better ad when someone organically says nice words about you, instead of actually paying for the promotions.

Building online communities is a huge subject, but here are some tips on how to do it fast:

  • Promote your Facebook Group with ads
  • Ask Influencers to speak about your group
  • Pay close attention to the group name – naming your community with some focused keywords will help you to bring organic group members
  • Offer as much value as you can
  • Actively participate in the conversations

3. Focus on Micro Influencers

In 2019, results coming from a general and big influencers are usually very disappointing. That’s the reason why we should focus more on micro influencers.

When I say Micro Influencers, I particularly mean the people who have less than 3000 to 5000 followers on social media.

You will be probably asking yourself right now: “Why would I paying someone with approximately reach of 1000 people, instead of someone with a reach of 10.000 people?”

There are numerous reasons for this, and some of them are:

  • Micro Influencers are usually your Ideal buyer persona
  • Their close friends and followers are more likely to listen to them instead of someone else.
  • They are in your micro niche, and a lot of their followers are too.

Depending on the industry where you are, and micro influencers you have chosen, perhaps you don’t need to pay them (just send them a lot of free products), or they will be too expensive. But usually, those who are requesting a lot of money from you, may possess  much greater and more loyal audience.

4. Kickass your Social Media

Of course, in today’s online world, you can’t actually do anything without active Social Media presence.

How can people actually even learn about you if you don’t have a social media channel (except if you have a killing SEO and you are already generating thousands of visits per month)?

Growing and maintaining your social media networks is a broad subject, but here are some things you should always keep your focus on:

  • Post consistently  – posting everyday is a must, and if you can, it would be good to post twice a day. But be careful and avoid being too spammy.
  • Post the content your target audience love – Distribute your website content (blog posts, infographics, videos ) – create cutting edge designs and inform your target audience about newest trends, tips and tricks!
  • Pay attention to the time when you are posting. This can be very difficult, especially if you are targeting globally (I will not recommend you this)  – but posting at 02:00 am will not give you any results!
  • Always reply on comments and messages, whether they are positive or negative – you will not get too big interaction, engagement and more leads if your social media profiles aren’t “socialized”.

Social Media channels, especially Facebook and Instagram, are great for retargeting people who already visited your shop. You can do this with Facebook pixel. Here’s how RedBalloon took advantage of both retargeting and social media:

Retargetting example

5. How to generate leads with outreach

Sometimes, everything based on sales. In order to create and effectively execute your outreach campaigns, first, you must exactly know who is your ideal buying persona.

Here is a “broad” example of an ideal buyer persona for Dalmatian Shop (You should be more detailed, of course):

Name: Susan

Sex: Female

Age: 25 – 45

Location: United States of America

Interests: Dalmatians, dog training, puppies, dalmatian breaders, animal care

Life events: In Relationship/Married, Full-time job or Freelancer

Habits: Active – likes jogging and swimming, have morning routines, etc. 

So, again, this is just an example, and you should be much more detailed.

After you know who are your ideal buyer personas, it’s time to actually find them on the internet!

Based on who your potential customers are, you can use different platforms. For example, if they are business people, the best tool for ecommerce lead generation would probably be LinkedIn.

You can also find them in different communities, or even on Instagram.

For Dalmatian example, I would try to find some relevant Facebook groups, and I would search and scrape everyone with some particular hashtags, like #dalmatian, #dalmatianworld, #dalmatianpuppies, #dalmatianlovers, etc.

When you locate them on the internet, it’s time to outreach! 🙂

Now, you can outreach in various ways – you can send an  email, or even contact your buyers over social media websites like LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram.

The main goal of your cold outreach is to build brand awareness, and offer value. Don’t be promotional at all!

Here is one example:

Hi Maria,

We saw you are a huge dal lover! Your dal Arya is so cute and funny! 🙂
A few weeks ago, we had conducted research with over 1000 dalmatian owners and found out that more than 60% of them have problems with their dals’ obedience. 

Here is an extensive guide on “How to improve your Dalmatian obedience”!

Spread some love if you like it!”

 

So, what are the key segments from the message above?

  • Try to personalize every message as much as you can
  • Try to be funny and speak their language (for example, a lot of dalmatian owners are calling the bread “dal”)
  • Focus on pain points first, and then provide solution

6. Build your backlinks and become a SEO wizard

I realized that a lot of ecommerce business owners don’t have any idea what is backlinking all about. In short:

Backlinking is when some big and reputational website links back to you, and ultimately, improve SEO.

There are a few reasons why is this so important:

  • It will improve your SEO rankings on some particular keywords
  • You will get a lot of traffic
  • You will have a chance to present your content for a more broader audience

The number of backlinks will result in improving your DA (Domain Authority) and help you to improve your rankings. The more backlinks you have, the better your rankings will be:

Referring domains

Of course, you can’t just go on your local news website(s) and ask them to link back to you. You will need to consider several factors before you outreach to some websites:

  • Check their traffic (You can use Alexa or SimilarWeb for this)
  • Check their Domain Authority, Trust Factor, Citation Flow and Spam Score (You don’t want spammy websites to link back to you, right?)

There are numerous ways as to how can you get your backlinks, and just a few of them are:

  • Writing guest blog posts on relevant industry sites
  • If you found out a website that has  already mentioned some of your competitors, you can ask them to mention your ecommerce business too, in exchange for some discounts or free products.
  • You can build partnerships and exchange links

It doesn’t matter which way you choose, the only thing that matters is that you’re building several links per month, and your ecommerce SEO, organic traffic and number of leads will skyrocket!

7. Ecommerce lead generation with paid campaigns has always been a great option

If you have a website that converts, but you just don’t have any website visitors, you can always try with Pay Per Click (PPC) and AdWords campaigns:

Ad copy ppc

Just remember: based on the keywords you are targeting, this can be either very cheap or expensive. If you are targeting some words where there is a huge competition, then expect that you will pay $2 to $15 per click, or even more if you are looking for conversions.

Before you even start doing your PPC campaigns, you must do your keyword research very well! Focus on the keywords with huge searching volume and with less competition.

8. Ecommerce lead generation with competitor’s unhappy customers

Dissatisfied competitor’s customers are everywhere, especially if your competitors are big companies. You should learn to take advantage of it.

There are two different ways how can you approach to the unhappy competitor’s customers:

  • Through outreach
  • By pointing out to your advantages over your competitors

If you’re choosing the outreach, first, you must know where to outreach to. Capterra or other review platforms are a great way to find out who is unhappy with competitor’s services or products.

Make a list of them, and craft an amazing outreach email.

If you’re going for the second option, landing pages that feature competitor comparisons or articles are the best way to do that.

Find out the high-density keyword, and write an landing page or blog post article on that keyword.

For example, Userpilot did a great job with their Appcues alternatives article.

Userpilot example

If you take a better look at this, this was a great move because “Appcues alternatives” keyword has more than 200 unique searches per month:

Keyword volume

That means, that your landing page/blog post can be seen by more than 200 unsatisfied competitor’s customers. Not a bad thing, right?

9. You will not be a King if you don’t know how to beat your competitors

I left probably one of the most important sections for the end of the article. Why I did this? Because people who already came down are the ones who are truly deserving to know and read this!

“But, what if I don’t have any competitors?” – some of you would probably like to ask me this right now.

and I would respond to you:

 “Chances that you don’t have any competitor are 0,0001%”

Yeah, it’s true!

If nothing, you would at least have one – maybe not direct, but you will have an indirect competitor, for sure.

Sometimes, knowing how to beat your competitors and how to create converting competitive advantage seems like rocket science. But here is the secret I recently found out:

“It’s not just enough to conduct your competitors’ research. You also need to always be one step ahead of them.”

If you want to know what steps are your competitors’ planning to take, you will need to always keep an eye on them.

You must monitor your competitors’:

  • Social Media
  • Ecommerce website
  • Newsletter and new deals
  • PPC campaigns, SEO and keywords rankings

Managing all of this can be very hard and time-consuming, but believe me, it’s worth it! Knowing what your competitors are doing, and having clear insights into their marketing strategies, will help you to craft better competitive advantage and recapture their leads.

After all, ecommerce lead generation isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you want to survive, evolve and scale. I hope these eight ways will help you to kickass your ecommerce lead generation and grow to new heights of success 🙂


Disclaimer: This is a guest post by Ugljesa Djuric, Content Marketing Manager at Competitors.app. The opinions and ideas expressed herein are author’s own, and in no way reflect Cloudways position.

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Arsalan Sajid

Arsalan, a Digital Marketer by profession, works as a Startup Community Manager at Cloudways. He loves all things entrepreneurial and wakes up every day with the desire to enable the dreams of aspiring entrepreneurs through his work!

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