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Six Lead Generation Tips for E-Commerce SMBs

Yado Team – Social Media Marketing
28 November .  6 min read

Many e-commerce companies still struggle with lead generation. Although 70-80% of consumers conduct an online search before making their mind of the brand to buy from, many brands are experiencing difficulties convincing these searchers to choose their products.

According to reports from various sources, including HubSpot and Crazy Egg, these challenges range from keeping up with technological advances (30%), building brand awareness (48%), and driving sales campaigns (53%). Search Engine Optimization (SEO), measurement & analytics, and continually changing customer behaviors are also issues.

You can start addressing the challenges today. Even though lead generation can never be a smooth sailing process, you can tackle some of the apparent roadblocks to getting more customers through your doors. We’ll show you how shortly, but first, it’s essential to understand the meaning of sales leads.

What is a Sales Lead?

A sales lead is a person or business (in the case of B2Bs) that has shown interest in your brand or the products (goods or services) you sell. Lead Squared gives an even better definition, also clarifying that a lead may or may not buy from you eventually.

“A sales lead is any individual or entity that has come in contact with your business with (or without) the intention to buy from you,” the experts explain. “They may not immediately be open to making a purchase, but almost always need the product or service you offer.”

Be careful not to confuse sales leads for prospects, however. Although all leads are prospects, not all prospects are leads. One can be a prospective buyer, but until they show interest in your brand or products, they don’t qualify as a lead. They could be prospects who only have an interest in buying from your competition. To determine if a prospect is a lead, you need to examine and qualify the individual’s intent and interests.

Qualifying Sales Leads

Another vital element when discussing sales leads is quality. Not all leads are the same. As already mentioned, some of those people might never even buy from you. As you embark on a lead generation campaign, it is critical that you place an even greater focus on this aspect of leads.

Lead qualification involves two things. First, it requires that you determine whether the individual/business entity qualifies as a lead. Do they meet the threshold of a lead? Or is it just a random individual browsing through the internet for pleasure?

Secondly, lead qualification also involves answering the question – how qualified is the lead – in a bid to categorize your leads by quality level. Companies tend to approach this phase of qualification differently. Some of the larger companies, for example, have marketing departments that use pre-identified criteria to determine Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs).
Some also require the sales department to identify Sales Accepted Leads (SALs) and then point out Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs).

It depends on your budget and what you want. In general, though, marketing qualification always happens before sales qualification.

 

6 Tips to Generate More Leads

 

Once you’ve determined the quality level you want, it’s time to generate the leads. Again, there are several approaches you can take. The following seven are some of the most effective and widely used.

1. Use great content to lure internet users

Content marketing is currently one of the best ways to generate more leads. If you can invest in great content that people love to read, you’re guaranteed to grab the attention of people looking around on search engines, social media, forums, and other online platforms.

We have to stress the need for value, though. Many e-commerce SMBs already do content marketing. But very few offer valuable content. Valuable content is content that adds something positive to the reader’s life. It is content that helps them solve a problem or two.

Valuable content not only grabs attention but also helps to build trust between you and the readers. When someone knows that they can always turn to your blog or YouTube channel for advice on a particular topic, they will develop trust for your brand.

2. Use SEO to reach target customers

As you create the content, one vital element to pay attention to is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO has three main benefits in a lead generation campaign.

First, SEO helps you rank
better on search engines such as Google and Bing. Why do you need a better ranking? Because 60% of Google users never go past the first page results. Less than 10% go past the second page.

Secondly, SEO is critical in building brand awareness. More than three billion people use Google daily. Think about how many of these people would see your brand name if you can appear in the top search result pages!

Finally, SEO will help you build authority. When people search for items on Google, often they want to get it from the best. Very few people trust companies that don’t have a solid reputation. Consistently appearing alongside industry giants on the first page of Google gives you authority.

3. Create search ads

According to Social Media Today, more than 7 million advertisers invested in search ads last year. In total, the advertisers spent $10.1 billion on ads. The majority of the ads were published on search engines, especially Google and Bing, while others went to social media networks,
including Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter.

These ads can significantly increase your chances of getting more leads. Google reports that search ads boost brand awareness by as much as 80%, making consumers more likely to remember and interact with your brand. It’s worth noting that Google ads alone reach over 2 billion people worldwide.

Even though you have to pay, a return on investment is almost always guaranteed. Word Stream recently found that at least 65% of clicks made by users who intend to make a purchase go to paid ads. The same report also shows that PPC visitors are 50% more likely to purchase organic visitors.

4. Offer a coupon or discount

You’ll be surprised how effective discounts and promotions can be in e-commerce. According to a BazaarVoice and CMO Council report, it is the #1 factor that influences users’ purchase decisions in the US. In the survey, 71% of respondents said coupons and discounts first and foremost influenced them.

There are several approaches you can use to offer discounts and coupons. A great method use by some of the successful brands is offering an incentive for signing up to your email list. Tell your visitors that whoever signs up for your emails gets a coupon or a discount.

Alternatively, you can also lure customers by offering discounts and coupons on the first purchase. It’s essential to send this information to as many people as possible. So, ensure to publish the message on all your digital platforms, including your website, blog, and social media channels.

5. Offer a trial

This especially applies to entrepreneurs launching a new product. Perhaps you’re launching a new software for accounting or hosting services for bloggers. To reel people in, you should consider offering a free trial.

Reports show that SaaS companies that offer trials real big. According to Totango, 62% of companies get 10% of their businesses from trials. About 16% of companies, meanwhile, get up to 50% of their businesses from free trials. These stats show that free trials not only work but
could also help you generate lots of quality leads.

Optin-Monster recommends a few wise tips when using free trials. First, focus your marketing on 20% of signups who are really interested in the product. You should be able to tell the level of interest by time spent on the page, among other factors.

Secondly, make the signup process
simple. No one wants to fill a two-page form. Above all, ensure that your landing page is trustworthy.

6. Turn your social followers into leads

Finally, you can also generate leads from your social networks. Of course, this doesn’t mean that everyone who follows you on Facebook or Instagram would make a great lead. No. In fact, there are people who just follow everyone and every brand on social media. Also, there are those who may just love your brand but not your products.

But, within the lot, there are certainly those who are both interested and, in a capacity, to purchase your products. These are the people you want to target.

How? There are several approaches to consider, starting with linking your website to your social media accounts. Always leave a link to your website/blog in your social media bio. Secondly, use social media analytics tools to discover people who are ready to get to the next step in the
buying cycle. These may be fans who’ve repeatedly viewed a product gallery or watched a product video. You can then personally reach out to these people. Also, don’t forget about social media ads.

Quality Over Quantity

The points above are just a few examples of steps you can take to amplify your lead generation campaign. If you can implement the six tips, rest assured of a significant increase in your sales leads.

What we must stress again is the need to focus on quality. It is much better to generate 100 leads of whom 50 go on to purchase 1,000 leads of whom only ten go on to make a purchase.

So, set up your lead qualification funnel and make sure only the right quality of leads pass through.

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