Automating Lead Generation & E-commerce Sales

Automating Lead Generation & E-commerce Sales

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Generating revenue is the primary focus of any business. The only way you can generate revenue is through customers who buy the products you sell. 

Your business can generate revenue by converting people into customers with lead generation tools.

And using automation to streamline lead generation tasks helps you attract more leads without putting in much effort. This means your team can spend more time nurturing leads rather than finding prospects.

In this guide, we’ll cover all things lead generation- what is a lead, why is eCommerce lead generation different, and effective lead generation strategies to help you generate revenue in a streamlined and productive manner. 

What is lead generation in eCommerce?

In the eCommerce business industry, lead generation is inviting visitors to your site and encouraging them to share their information with you to know more about your business. 

Essentially, it is a way of enticing a particular kind of audience for the purpose of selling products. 

For instance, you manufacture badminton kits for people who play the sport. And once you finish creating the products, you would want to tell these people that you have created this product for them and it is up for sale. 

So, how do you do this? 

You will start by creating awareness through sharing banners on social media and updating the display on your online store. Then, follow it up with advertisements on different channels. 

And through these efforts, people who are looking to purchase a badminton kit will come to your site. After reading through the information about your product and your site, they’ll want to sign up for it and process the buying process. 

This means they’ve generated interest in your product and are likely to purchase it in the future. 

There you have it- you have successfully generated a lead via the awareness you created. This entire process is called lead generation. And people working in the eCommerce business industry implement strategies to generate leads effectively. 

What is a Lead?

A lead, in eCommerce, is someone interested in the products you sell and conveys that by the actions they take on your site. 

For instance, website leads might:

  • Show interest in your lead magnet
  • Sign up for your email list
  • Take on the offer that is targeted to potential leads
  • Sign up for a free trial or view your demo

As with all marketing efforts, eCommerce lead generation strategies rely on knowledge about your audience and where you can target them.

Automating Lead Generation & E-commerce Sales

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Who Are Your Leads?

To understand who your leads are, there are two steps. 

First, you need to figure out who you want to attract as customers and define the customer characteristics or buyer personas to attribute to them.

These characteristics will include:

  • Age 
  • Gender
  • Education 
  • Income
  • Challenges and pain points
  • Information sources 

And second, you need to figure out where your ideal customers will be present online. This will help you target your marketing efforts.

If your present website traffic is converting well, you can check where they are coming from by using Google Analytics. 

Log in to your Google Analytics and go to Acquisition and then overview. You will see a chart that depicts the top ways the visitors find your site.

You can also check the different traffic sources and their links. You can analyze them in more detail. 

Why is eCommerce lead generation different?

Lead generation is different in an eCommerce setting because the motivation, browsing patterns, buying habits, and objections of a customer are different when they visit your site. 

And this is the reason why you should focus on creating and implementing lead generation tactics that will help you target your specific eCommerce audience. 

Once you implement effective strategies, you will see a hike in your lead generation numbers.

Why Do You Need to Generate Leads for Your Ecommerce Website?

Depending on what you sell, every buyer’s journey will be different. 

There might be buyer journeys that will be shorter than others. There could be various reasons for it- pricing of the product, their need for the product, availability of the product, etc. 

Understanding the buyer’s journey can help you generate more traffic and leads. When you identify the points in their journey, you can better target the lead generation strategies. You will know what attracts them to your site and will convince them to purchase items from you. 

You cannot wait for the customers to find you and come to you. You need to go where they are and convince them to visit your store. 

So your lead generation efforts should focus on doing exactly that-  branching out to find customers and entice them to visit your store. 

Just remember to have great products, attractive sales copy, and a smooth checkout process, you will be generating good leads to help boost your revenue. 

Effective eCommerce lead generation strategies

A visitor can convert into a customer quickly if your lead generation strategies are effective. 

Here are a few ideas that are effective and help you with lead generation:

Conversion rate optimization

You will need to optimize your website to convert your visitors into leads. And this can be achieved through conversion rate optimization. 

It will highlight how your eCommerce website content is performing. It tells how many visitors are taking an interest in your store. You can even learn the details they enter to fetch more information about your business. They can be serious visitors who want to convert into your customers immediately. 

And conversion rate optimization will analyze the elements in your site that can help generate more leads. Its analysis will underline the pages that generate leads and which ones don’t. 

Therefore, you should focus on content like online sales, ads, emails, product pages, a newsletter, an informative blog, etc. These will help optimize your site and generate leads.

Make an attractive homepage

Your website’s homepage is the first introduction of your business to the visitors. 

It is the first page they land on before they decide to become your leads. 

Therefore, in addition, to be impressive, it needs to be organized properly to generate leads quickly. 

Some of the best practices for an effective homepage (for lead generation purposes) is having a slide of banner images or videos. It helps the visitor understand the company and its standards through a visual representation. It will highlight what the website consists of. 

You should display the categories of the items you sell. For instance, if you sell apparel, you can present categories like men, women, and for kids. This will help them understand and decide which they should be navigating your store.
You can also present a list or carousel of your top-selling products which can be attractive to your customers. 

Present some social proof like displaying reviews or customer testimonials that focus on your brand as a whole. 

Include a chatbot for leads, to help solve their queries immediately. 

All of these practices on your homepage will help you build trust in the minds of your visitors. 

Optimizing your website for search engines

For a minute, put yourself in the shoes of your future leaders and think about what they’d type in the Google search box when looking for a product. 

Let’s say they want to purchase a brand-new phone. They are likely to type “best mobiles 2022”. Now, will your eCommerce website come up at the top on the first page? 

If your site has the right ranking keywords, it will appear on the first page of Google. 

These keywords will help bring leads to your site. Therefore, optimize your website for ranking at the top of search results. 

Outbrain states that search is the number one driver of traffic. A lot of traffic means getting new leads. So, optimize your site and you can use these tips for the same-

  • Understand the thought processes of your leads:

    You need to analyze and understand the intention of your target users when they search on google.
  • Long-tail keywords:

    They are longer and more specific keyword phrases that visitors use when they are close to the point of purchase. Since they are specific, they are not common keywords that can be used by your competitors. By using long-tail keywords, you can drive traffic to your site because they attract the kind of traffic that is committed to needing your service.
  • Optimize your webpage:

    Including keywords in the content of the pages of your website can help you generate leads easily because these keywords will help your search ranking and will drive traffic to your site. 

Develop your reach on social media

Social media platforms are crucial for lead generation in eCommerce since the number of people who use social media has increased exponentially and is only expected to grow- in 2020 alone, users reach up to 3.81 billion.

This growth promises a large number of leads on your social media page. All you need to have is an attractive page for your business. Regularly update it with discounts, plan giveaways, conduct campaigns for new product launches by uploading videos and pleasing images, and share blog posts- here, ideas are limitless. 

Use these platforms to advertise as well. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram are designed to organize paid ads based on information like gender, age, location, etc. Their algorithms target the audience using this information. Again, it provides endless opportunities. 

Organize giveaways on social media

As we mentioned, use your social media pages to host giveaways. It is the best way to cater to the interest of people who are constantly searching for getting something for free (or at a low price). Thus, giveaways can help generate leads. 

When you are giving away some product from your brand where winners do have to pay from their pockets, you have a chance of impressing them and enticing them to shop with you in the future. This is a huge crowd pleaser and the page reach will ensure more new leads. 

You can simply ask people to tag their friends, comment on the posts, and share them with their followers and page. This will help spread the word about the giveaway and have other people join as well. Thus, increasing the reach and generating new leads. 

Here are a few tips you can use when planning your giveaway-

  • Determine your target audience.
  • Prepare a questionnaire asking people about their interests.
  • According to their response, keep a relevant prize.
  • Display the prize you will offer on the giveaway poster.
  • Indicate an email address bar for interested participants to enter their email addresses.

Use cookies to generate leads

Cookies are one of the best tools to be used for generating leads. 

Essentially, your leads are looking to understand a product of their interest. They will land on your site and collect that information. And when they are done browsing and close it, you can target them again by making it appear on another site they are currently browsing through. 

This is retargeting- in case they forget to purchase or are just browsing through another site for comparative reasons, you can grab their attention by popping up in certain places. 

The entire process is done through cookies. It simply tracks the visitors viewing your site and their activities. By recognizing them, cookies get saved onto the browsers of your visitors. And those cookies help your site to appear on other channels. 

By definition, a cookie is just a small text file stored in the memory of web browsers. And when leads view your website, it simply saves those details. It is extremely useful. Through cookies, you can analyze the interests of your leads and modify your targeting efforts accordingly.

They help users to redirect to your site by clicking on ads created by you. These ads will appear on the other sites they visit, helping them reaffirm their interest in your product. 

Alert your leads with push notifications

Sending alerts to your visitors about your brand and product is a great way to generate leads. This could be done through emails, SMS, or push notifications. 

Push notifications are more effective than other mediums because they do not take even a second to grab the attention of the visitors. 

Most eCommerce websites seek permission from first-timers to send them to push notifications. Depending on their choice, they’ll receive or not receive the notifications. 

Visitors do not turn leads unless they sign-up for your website. Therefore, you should be sending them flashy notifications that are relevant to their interests and enticing them to visit your site. 

Push notifications should be compatible with all devices like desktops, mobile phones, and even smartwatches. Simply having browser push notifications is not enough; they are important but you should be able to catch their attention outside their browser experience. 

Notifications can consist of the latest products, discounts, seasonal offers, and call-to-actions. 

But ensure not to spam them with notifications, so that you do not annoy them and disturb them.

Let leads perform an action using CTA

Call-to-action or CTA is essential for converting visitors into leads. With CTA, you provide them with an option to take any action if they find you interesting and good for them. CTA examples include ‘learn more’, ‘sign up’ or ‘enter your email address’ to have your visitors become leads. 

There are different CTAs for different site pages- on the product pages, the CTA should focus on visitors buying your products; on the homepage, it should focus on lead generation. Therefore, whenever you create a CTA, it should match the environment of that webpage and serve that exact purpose. 

Set Up An Email List

Setting up an email list is great for eCommerce lead generation because email marketing is one of the most effective ways to communicate with the leads and nurture them.

Contrary to the popular belief, email marketing is still a great tool. The statistics highlight that people still read emails and like getting emails from the businesses they connect with. So you can connect with your prospects a few times a week to keep the leads coming in. 

Reach out with updates regarding the products they are interested in, any promotional offers, sales and discounts, etc. 

Design an opt-in for your email list

Now that we’ve understood how email marketing is important, you should use to mail list to target and get the results by showing the right message to the right person at the right time.

You can use templates to match the company branding, maintain uniformity and attract customers with your design.

Invest in a single software that can do all of this for you like Mailchimp

Create lead magnet

A simple email sign-up campaign is great, but a campaign where there is a payoff for your customer is more effective. 

What we mean by a payoff is a lead magnet. It is a valuable freebie that you can give your customers in exchange for an email address. A lead magnet could be a guide, checklist, or ebook that can show the customer how to get more from what you offer. 

The best lead magnets are easy and simple to understand, to help solve a problem for the reader. In addition to that, they give the subscribers something to come back to you. 

Use exit intent®

Exit-intent® technology is behavioral technology that monitors and tracks the movements of visitors and detects when they are going to leave your site without making any purchase or leaving their information. 

It is designed to reduce cart abandonment and capture more leads. 

It detects visitor behavior and gives you a chance to show them a popup with a targeted marketing message, just before they’ll exit to never return. 

You can convert visitors into email subscribers and thereafter into paying customers through retargeting efforts using Exit-intent® technology.

Offer a discount

It is no one’s surprise that online customers love discounts and coupons. 71% of people say that they’ll decide to buy based on a coupon. 

So you need to offer one as an incentive for subscribing to your list to get more people interested. 

Make a time-sensitive offer

When a lead generation offer is about to run out, it gets more appealing. And this is contributed to the feeling of FOMO i.e Fear of Missing Out. 

You can use this urgency as an eCommerce lead generation strategy because it is guaranteed to pay off. Using urgency and FOMO can have people come to your site, sign up, and convert into customers because that is the way people are wired. 

Offer a free trial

If you are selling a SaaS product, a great tip is to offer a free trial. 

Totango highlights how 62% of the companies get 10% of their businesses or more from free trials. And 16% of the companies get 50% of their business or more. This proves that free trial marketing definitely works. 

You can generate leads with free trail marketing using these tips:

  • Focus on marketing to 20% of signup who are interested in your service
  • Ensure that your landing page is inviting and trustworthy. 
  • Make the signup process simple and reduce the amount of information you ask for.

Use gated content

Remember when we mentioned FOMO, it makes the visitors want more. Therefore, you need a gated content strategy for effective eCommerce lead generation efforts. 

But what does it mean- gated content? 

It is simply making the content less accessible until the visitors opt in. And it works great for educational videos, reports, webinars, and cheat sheets. 

It is so effective that Photowebo boosted conversions by 3806% using this strategy.

Show different campaigns to returning visitors

A lot of visitors will come to your site a couple of times before they grab onto the bait that is your lead magnet. But that will only happen if you change your offers, you need to offer something fresh whenever people visit. 

You can do this through cookies. You can target campaigns to logged-in users based on what they were looking at. 

Nurture e-commerce leads with live chat

When visitors are wavering about lead generation offers, you can use live chat to help them decide. 

Live chat is also a powerful tool for winning sales. Studies highlight a 38% increase in conversions for a company using live chat. 

By using live chat software you can figure out what information visitors want. And accordingly, you can tweak your copy to make it more appealing and convert visitors into leads. 

Optimize your site for mobile conversions

Many of the tips we’ve listed out will help you improve your conversions but one thing you need to pay extra attention to utilizing mobile devices to their fullest potential. 

More people are using mobile devices to research products, services, and your business- precisely at the time when they are most likely to become leads. 

This research by Google shows a 35% increase in mobile searches for product reviews. There is also an 80% increase in mobile searches for “best” as a keyword when searching for products and services. This indicates that people are thinking about buying when they are on their mobile devices. 

Generate leads with guest blogging

Gated content and lead magnets are content marketing techniques that can help with lead generation. Another effective technique is guest blogging. 

Guest blogging can give you access to a new audience, where you can showcase your business, and your expertise and build inbound links from qualified leads. 

For an effective guest blogging strategy, you need to: 

  • Create exceptional and informative content
  • Find sites that your target audience to visit
  • Use a CTA in your author bio
  • Follow through on the information you are providing them when they come to your site

Why is automated lead generation important?

Automation tools save time. This research highlights how when sales teams automate repetitive tasks and increase their time to nurture leads, their productivity improves by 20%.

Automation doesn’t require much involvement from the sales and marketing teams to generate leads. So, they can focus on high ROI tasks like creating marketing campaigns and implementing effective sales strategies.

How can you automate lead generation?

Here are some ways you can use to generate more leads with automated lead generation tools:

Chatbot

Venture Beat highlights that over 50% of consumers prefer businesses to be available 24/7. 

Chatbots are a great tool, used by many eCommerce stores as a lead generation tool. It can be integrated into your website and can be active during and after business hours. 

A chatbot will help end-users with questions, thus offering great customer service. But it can also collect important user information efficiently and convert leads- all without a human needing to operate. 

This tool can also be integrated with your CRM (Customer Relationship Management system), automatically saving information that is collected. 

Forms

Forms can be used to collect user information. It can be used 24/7 and is a great way to connect with the users at their convenience. Remember, the aim here is to naturally convert leads into customers. 

You can also use a CRM web form to collect information since it will help automatically store the information in the same system, making the data easy to access. 

Email Marketing

This study highlights that 48% of marketers believe email marketing to be the most effective strategy to generate leads online. Email marketing automation allows your team to send targeted content via split testing, lead scoring, etc. 

Again, email marketing automation can also be integrated with your CRM. This will effectively store and automate mail workflows. And workflows allow your team to send targeted information when specific actions are triggered on the site or by interacting with your email. 

Pay-per-click (PPC)

Pay-per-click automation can help your team with staying on track with the goals of the campaign. They will also help manage your PPC bids on long-term campaigns. 

Using automation to determine your key paid media efforts can save time and effort. Moreover, it can help with reporting and data collection too. 

Lead Generation Tools

There are a wide variety of options out there as lead generation tools. But here, we’ll focus on the best automation tools for lead generation. 

Email marketing automation platforms

We’d highly recommend you dabble with email marketing automation platforms. 

According to this study, automated emails generate 320% more revenue than non-automated emails. When you use email automation for lead generation, it allows your team to craft campaigns that are easy to use, extremely customized, and personalized. 

An example of this tool would be ActiveCampaign– it is a drag-and-drop email builder with a variety of options for auto-responses, triggered content, and scheduling. 

Email finders

This tool is great for discovering new leads within your target market. 

Email finders will help you find the leads you are searching for. It is an automation tool that will scrape web data for emails within company domains. 

It is often that email finders operate as extensions or software. And it is a great tool for researching targeted cold outreach that doesn’t require much human effort. 

We’d recommend checking out something like Snov.io. It is an affordable and robust software that helps your team to collect data and information through domains, social channels, and company profiles. In addition to giving you access to relevant leads, it seamlessly exports the data for you. 

Prospect Discovery

Many may wonder- how can an automation tool create a personalized outreach experience. 

We can look at it through the example of Growbots. It strategically collects valuable information about current and new leads for outreach. It will give your team access to over 100 million contacts across fields, helping them to focus on who they’re targeting. 

CRM automation tools

CRM automation tools are powerful as they have the ability to automate experience from the beginning to the end of the marketing and sales funnel. 

These platforms can organize, track and nurture leads- all in one place. Thus, this becomes an essential tool when it comes to lead generation strategies. 

And as it allows you to store this information in one place, the sales and marketing team has access to the same real-time information about the users and helps build a cohesive experience across all channels. 

Sales enablement tools

Using automation tools can help the sales team deliver quality customer service and achieve their sales goals. After all, sales depend on lead generation. 

HubSpot sales offer a wide variety of tools and templates for managing contacts, call tracking and template for emails- all in one place. 

Automated chatbot tools

As we mentioned, chatbots are one of the greatest tools to have for lead generation. 

And you can use them to make meaningful connections with leads through automated chatbots and live chat options. 

For this, you can check out something like Intercom. It offers different aspects of 24/7 online chat options that can help save the time of your customer service team, and create a personable and accessible experience for the visitors. 

These bots can connect with the users, store data about them, and schedule appointments, all automatically. Thus, providing your team with a lot of time to focus on meaningful tasks. 

Advertising tools

We’d recommend Google Ads as it is one of the best-automated advertising tools. 

It is great for understanding how your target audience searches for your brand and engages with your content. And it also allows you to automate your PPC campaign, so it ensures that your goals are achieved consistently. 

This solution uses machine learning and analyzes millions of signals in real time to present the right communication to the right customer at the right time. 

Now, you can spend your time focusing on other meaningful and important tasks, instead of manually optimizing your ads effort- thanks to capable automated solutions like Google Ads.

Conclusion

Effective eCommerce lead generation strategies are essential to every eCommerce business. They drive traffic to the store and help generate revenue. 

You need to optimize your website to attract your target audience and provide them with a good user experience so that they engage with your site. Optimizing your website for leads will convert visitors into customers. 

In any sales or marketing strategy, lead generation will be one of the main components. And automation will make that process easy for you and your team. 

We hope that this guide has helped you understand what is lead generation and why it is important for an eCommerce business. You can also implement some of the lead generation strategies. And don’t forget to use automated tools for a stress-free experience. 

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