There’s one thing that brings revenue to any company and this is clients. Obviously, the more paying clients you have, the higher the income you get. And here’s the main question: how to find clients for e-commerce in 2020? The issue is the main problem: you cannot find clients, you need to find leads and guide them through the sales funnel of awareness, consideration, and decision stages.
And a few more questions can arise: who are leads? how can you generate leads? what is the lead generation process? Let’s assume I’ve generated leads, what’s next?
Let me answer these and a few more questions one by one to help you find clients with ease in 2020.
Who are the leads?
A lead is a person who may potentially become a paying client. Another definition says that a lead is the contact information of a person who may become your client soon. Whichever definition you like, the sense remains the same: a lead is not your customer yet.
There are two types of leads:
- The ones who have shown their interest in your business (aka as warm leads or inbound leads)
- The ones to whom you want to reach out to (called cold or outbound leads)
According to another categorization of leads, we can split them into two groups:
- Non-enriched leads are those leads about whom you have the basic information: an email address or a phone number to connect and the lead’s name to address a person
- Enriched leads are the ones with a bunch of personal information that allows you to release a truly personalized approach and convert leads easier
Lead generation types
In marketing and sales, lead generation means the process of attracting potential clients, people who may be interested in your service or product, and, in perspective, become your paying clients. The purpose of lead generation is as easy as ABC: the more leads you generate, the more potential clients you have, thus, the more clients you will have.
There are two main ways you can generate leads and you can call and approach them in two different ways: finding and attracting, generating warm and cold leads, inbound and outbound. Surely, both have their particular approaches and I’ll lead you through their basics to help you find clients for e-commerce correctly.
Inbound lead generation is basically the process of content creation with the aim of attracting leads and their further conversion into clients and paying customers. To put it simply, inbound leads are the ones who express their interest in your product and initiate a conversation with a sales rep.
This process includes three main types: content marketing, SEO, and targeted ads.
- Content marketing. The first and the most popular way of attracting leads is through content. Content is the creation, publishing, and distributing information in different forms for the audience: blog posts, videos, researches, infographics, podcasts, etc.
Whichever type of content you specialize in (or even in all its types altogether), the content is to be relevant, valuable, and useful. Moreover, your content needs to be well-ranked on SERPs, so you need to optimize your content for SEO as this will give you an opportunity to find more clients for e-commerce.
- SEO. The abbreviation SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the process of enhancing the quality and quantity of website traffic by means of enhancing the website content and improving visibility in the search engines. The process is simple: you just need to choose an SEO friendly e-commerce platform. Or you can do everything on your own: analyze the market, get the most ranked keywords, fill the content with the keywords (be patient, too much of a good thing is good for nothing), your landing page appears in the highest positions on the search engine results pages, more and more people see and visit it, the traffic grows. Voila!
- Targeted ads. Targeted ads are a rather costly way of inbound lead generation. The essence of targeted ads is simple: this type of ad is displayed to a target audience, those who are most likely to become your potential customers. There are a few options: social media, search engine, and behavioral ad.
Outbound lead generation is the process of generating leads in which a sales rep or a marketer initiates communication and makes the first step towards the conversation. The two brightest examples of outbound lead generation are cold emails and cold calls.
However, the question remains: how can you find clients for e-commerce by means of outbound lead generation? You can do this in a few ways:
- Paid databases are a rather expensive way of outbound lead generation as well as risky. Unfortunately, you cannot be 100% sure that the list of email addresses you get will be clean and target.
- At seminars, conferences, trade shows, you can meet lots of people, present your product, and get their contact details. They are your leads and you can get in touch with them right after the conference with the help of drip emails.
- Searching for emails on your own is a far cheaper and more reliable way of lead generation. Firstly, you can start the process at any moment you need it. Secondly, the price of lead generation is much lower compared to the first method. And finally, you are 100-% sure in the quality of the list of potential clients.
Inbound or outbound? It’s all up to you and your budget as both of them are profitable.
The lead generation process
Whichever lead generation type you choose, there are three main steps you need to take before you start finding clients for e-commerce.
Step 1. Analyze your audience and create a buyer persona image
Firstly, you need to define what your audience is (if you still don’t know). After that, create a buyer persona, a generalized character of your typical client.
To draw this image, you need as much information as you can find about your current e-commerce clients. Here’s a shortlist of what data you need to know about your best clients:
- Geographic data
- Demographic data
- Psychographic data
- The clients’ behavior
- Understanding how your best clients are generated
- The type of content that attracts your best clients most
- The type of products mostly purchased
Step 2. Define the type of lead generation
Define which of the lead generation strategies will be more profitable to you and which one is worth your time and effort. I wish I could tell you which tactic is the best one! Unfortunately, I cannot do this as everything depends on your particular business, needs, wants, and preferences.
Surely, the best option is the whole shebang, both inbound and outbound. However, it may be too costly and you may need a lot of people doing them both. Still, this option is the most profitable as more people will see your brand, thus more leads you will generate and the more clients you will find.
Step 3. Choose the tools
Let’s see. If you choose outbound, you will need a set of tools (or an all-in-one tool) that will help you generate leads and their contact details, let’s say, email addresses. For this, you will need an email finder that will search for email addresses on websites, social networks, companies’ websites, and search engine results pages.
If you come to the conclusion that you need to do inbound marketing, you will need:
- A copywriter to create content
- An editor to proofread and polish the content
- An SEO specialist to analyze the search engines output
- A social media marketer who will share the content all over the web
- WordPress or its analog to publish the content
- GoogleAnalytics or its analog
- ContentWatch or a similar tool to check if the content 100% original, etc
With small mathematical calculations, we come to the conclusion that outbound lead generation is cheaper compared to inbound tactics. Though, it’s still your decision which strategy to try.
6 strategies for e-commerce lead generation
Now that you know how you can find clients for e-commerce, let me give you a few tips on how to do it more efficiently.
Social media activity
Do not forget that social media is probably the most visited place on the web. Millions of people spend hours there so you can generate leads to your needs. Find the specific groups in your niche and be active there: ask questions, react to posts, answer questions, promote your product. Just don’t be too salesy.
To make your social media marketing strategy more efficient, choose one of the social media marketing tools. They will help you build calendars, monitor keywords, analyze performance, schedule your posts, and so much more!
Email marketing is not only the most wide-spread but also the most effective lead generation tactic.
Source: Neil Patel
You can generate the whole list of email subscribers, then use it for lead nurturing, learning who is more likely to become your customer, nurturing them, and moving them through the sales funnel.
Here’s a pattern that will help you generate leads:
- Create a lead magnet
- Select an email marketing tool and design sign-up forms
- Build an onboarding email drip campaign
- Personalize the emails and write well-performing subject lines
Another way is to use social media and websites to generate leads. Just find a person or people that may potentially be interested in becoming your clients. Then, you need to use an email finder that will search for the email addresses. Voila!
Be it email marketing or cold calls, social media outreach or video creation, you have to make your strategy personal and breathe life into it. This is easy when you use personalization techniques: every person loves to be addressed by name. Surely, if you create an onboarding video, you cannot address every viewer in person, but still, there are options: Hi my dear subscriber, here’s what you can do with our platform, we are waiting for you particularly, etc.
Emotional marketing is something that has been on for quite a while already. This type of marketing addresses the person’s ago and appeals to their feelings and the inner world making people feel special, smarter, and better than others. For this type of marketing, you need to use the right conversion words and in the right context. There are so many of them, from classic selling words to calming ones, from the ones that make you feel special to those that burn a feeling of fear. Pick the words wisely and do not allow them to spoil your business.
People keep hold of their mobiles so the best way to reach out to them is to find a way to their mobile. This includes email optimization, landing page optimization, and so on. So everything that is viewed on mobiles should be well-displayed. Firstly, you need to test all the details out to be sure everything is displayed correctly, and make some changes if necessary.
Content is not only about your content marketing strategy that helps you find clients for e-commerce with an inbound tactic. Content is also directly about your communication. Let’s say when you write your cold email, follow these short but actionable tips:
- Be to-the-point
- Be relevant
- Be useful
- Be actionable
- Be catchy
- Be professional
How to move leads through the sales funnel
Sales funnel is a series of steps a person takes that leads them from the stranger phase to the client stage. The funnel is called this because out of all the people who get into it, only a few converts and get the shopping done.
According to numerous resources, the sales funnel includes from 3 to 11 stages. Conveniently, let’s stick to the five-stage process:
- At the awareness stage, you need to get your brand out there: invest time and money into both inbound and outbound strategies, make your brand visible and let people see it.
- During the interest phase, your aim is to pique the leads’ interest and make them come to the conclusion “This is what I need”.
- The consideration step is all about collecting information about your solution and your competitors by your leads, and it leads to the next stage, the decision-making.
- The decision step is about approaching your goal, making a choice by leads in your favor. This is the stage where you can and should do your best to win them over to your side.
- The purchase step is the last one in the sales funnel where you reap the fruits, you’ve got this long-expected conversion! The point here is in the following: once a lead converts and buys from you, do not leave them alone, keep in touch with them, nurture them, and encourage them to buy again and again.
Wrap it up
Now that we’re done with how to find clients for e-commerce, you can generate leads like a pro! Analyze the market, choose the strategy that suits you most, build your own database of leads, move them through the sales funnel, and convert into paying clients.