All E-commerce business owners know that for their brand to thrive they need sales. Crucially, they need sales from new customers, but those don’t always come easy. This leaves many trying to answer the essential question: “How do I generate potential E-commerce leads to my website?”

Creating a bullet-proof lead generation machine that fuels business growth by attracting high-value leads, or those consumers most likely to make purchases, comes down to building and executing an E-commerce strategy.

What Is Lead Generation in E-commerce?

A lead is simply a person who’s interested in your brand, products, or services and takes an action to demonstrate that interest. This could involve anything from clicking on your ad campaign to signing up for a free trial. Each lead is a potential customer. Every action a lead takes provides valuable data. You can use this data to convert a lead into a paying customer and inform your overall lead generation strategy.

Who Is Your Ideal Lead?

Having a deep understanding of your ideal lead is the first step in streamlining your marketing efforts and bringing more qualified leads. You may have a general idea about your target customers’ characteristics, behaviors and motivations, but you must develop buyer personas based on data, not assumptions. Start creating a buyer persona using qualitative data from your site analytics, industry reports, and competitor research. Combine this with quantitative research from customer interviews and online discussions around your brand and products.

Having a clear picture of your ideal lead helps you improve the targeting of your marketing campaigns, create more impactful blog content and provide irresistible offers or promotions. You might even discover that you should tweak your product inventory or services to better serve your customers’ needs. After all, if you sell each customer three items instead of one, you’re well on your way to skyrocketing profits without any additional lead gen expenses.

Now, let’s get into how you generate more traffic. Keep in mind that more traffic in and of itself doesn’t equal leads. The goal is to make sure your ideal leads fill your traffic.

Optimize for Search Engines (SEO)

Industry reports state that 75% of users never scroll beyond the first page of search results. Clinching one of those coveted ten spots is the holy grail. E-commerce brands have many digital assets. Optimize those assets with keywords and phrases and you increase your chances of landing on page one. A well-executed SEO strategy peppers search terms across product descriptions, blog content, and metadata, turning each one into a lead magnet.

Many businesses skip out on optimizing their image alt-tags. This is a mistake. Google found that 50% of online shoppers rely on images when deciding what to buy. Now that search results prioritize images, taking the extra time to optimize every product image can pay off with leads that are ready to buy.

Write Valuable Content

Content generates strong leads by piquing a user’s interest. The more content you have, the more likely it is that a consumer will encounter it. The general consensus is that 70% of people prefer to learn about a product from an article over an ad. A recent marketing survey also found that brands using content marketing have six times higher conversion rates than brands that don’t produce content.

Build Your Social Media Followers

According to several reports, there are almost 4.2 billion social media users, and they spend an average of 2 hours and 25 minutes per day on social platforms. This makes social media a goldmine for E-commerce lead generation. Put your efforts towards a few select channels where your buyers spend most of their time.

Use Email Marketing

Email marketing is a relatively inexpensive E-commerce lead-generation technique that delivers an ROI of up to 4400%, or $44 for every $1 spent on a campaign. Consumers have become more protective of their email addresses over the past few years, so they may need some encouragement to hand them over. Entice them with a discount sent straight to their inboxes. You’ll see leads convert to customers and sales roll in.

Optimize Conversion Rates (CRO)

If you’re bringing traffic to your site, but leads aren’t converting to sales, it’s time to revisit your analytics and determine the causes leading to customer drop-offs. You can optimize every element of your site. Once you identify an area for improvement, optimize it. Some changes can be cut and dry, while others need to be tested. Don’t make changes solely based on assumptions. Continue to test one element at a time and check your data before making final decisions.

Take Advantage of Cookies

Cookies collect and store information from a visitor’s session, including the items they clicked on or added to their cart, even if they didn’t check out. Use this cookie data to retarget past visitors and show them personalized ads featuring the products they viewed. You can launch your remarketing campaigns on social media channels or other sites using Google AdWords. To comply with all international laws, include a cookie policy on your website.

Offer Discounts and Deals

You spent time and money bringing E-commerce leads to your site. The fastest way to convert leads into paying customers is to tempt them with deals or discounts. The incentive to buy needn’t be enormous; it can be as simple as 15% off or free shipping. You can also use discounts to increase your average order value with an offer such as, Get $15 off a purchase of $75 or more. It sounds counter-intuitive, but consumers will add extra items to their cart to take advantage of the deal, often exceeding the minimum purchase required.

Optimize for Mobile

A sure-fire way to increase lead generation for E-commerce sites is to provide users with a stellar mobile experience. Optimizing for mobile requires you to test your site on devices of all sizes. Ensure that buttons, menus, search bars, and forms are easy to use, content is the right size, and scrolling is a cinch. There are certain site building and hosting companies, like Linkeo Ltd and their Deliver by Linkeo platform, that build sites that are optimized for all devices as standard.

It’s a challenge to establish brands in the E-commerce industry as it’s a crowded market. To succeed, first you must have a deep understanding of who your ideal customer is. Then implement lead-generation strategies to fill your traffic with high-quality, targeted users. We hope the tips outlined in this article go some way to helping you achieve that goal. Share your views in the comments section below and be sure to check back for new content in the coming weeks.