6 Easy Ways To Generate E-commerce Leads


You spend a lot of time, money, and effort to bring traffic to your e-commerce website through ads, marketing campaigns, and social media. So why are you letting that traffic come and go on your site as they please? Why are you letting your paid traffic leave without a return?


It’s time to capture that traffic so you can turn those visitors into viable leads. You don’t want to wait for customers to come back to you. You have to pull them back. The goal of lead generation is to collect your visitors’ information, so you can “keep” them as prospects for the future. You then have the ability to build impressions, engage them with your brand, and pull them towards conversions.


So how do you generate leads for your e-commerce store? There are a lot of lead generation methods out there, but we’ve narrowed it down to the most interactive methods that show serious success for e-commerce stores large and small.


What is a Target Lead?

A “lead” is:

  • An individual who has shown interest in your business,
  • Whose information you’ve collected for list building or sales


Typically, you’ll want to grab your lead’s contact information, like their email or another communication channel. Once you have their information, you can control their impressions of your brand, hit them with consistent touch-points, and effectively lead them through your buyer journey.


But not every site visitor is a lead. You want to focus on target leads — aka people who will actually buy from you. If you try to collect everyone’s email address, you end up creating a random list of individuals that may or may not convert. You want your lead list to be filled only with individuals who actually have the potential to make a purchase.


So the goal of lead generation isn’t to grab everyone who comes on your site. It’s to grab qualified prospects who you’ll want to cultivate as you pull them through your sales funnel.


Pro-tip: Before you even start thinking about lead generation strategies, you should define your target lead. Which audience members are you hoping to attract? Which kind of lead tools will engage this specific type of target lead? You need to know your target before you start throwing darts.


So, let’s get to it. What are the most effective methods to generate qualified target leads for your e-commerce site?


girl put something in box


1. First-time discounts

There’s a good chance you’ve come across this lead generation strategy anytime you’ve tried to buy something online. You go to a website, and you see a pop-up screen that says first-time buyers get a certain percentage off if you input your email.


This is one of the most effective ways to grab customer emails with very little effort. These pop-up discounts instill a sense of urgency. The visitor doesn’t want to lose that discount if they end up buying your product. So even a visitor who knows nothing about your brand has a high chance of inputting their email address to receive the discount for a certain percentage off or free shipping.


So you have that lead before they even start looking at your site or products. They’ve already made an investment in your brand by giving you their email address, and they’ve also gotten excited about the discount— so they already have a level of engagement that can lead to a conversion.


There’s only one concern with discount lead generation when someone lands on your site. A new visitor might input their email address so they don’t lose out on the sale… but then they do more research and discover your brand isn’t for them, so they don’t buy anything. Now, you have their email on your lead list—but they’re an unqualified lead and not interested in purchasing from you. You can try to sell them again in the future, but you might be fighting a losing battle. In this case, you’ll want to keep updated with your email drip campaign to weed out unqualified leads.


2. Unavailable Items

Let’s say you have a product that’s currently unavailable. Maybe it’s being launched in two weeks or it’s sold out (completely or certain sizes). Don’t let that customer’s interest in that product fall into the abyss. Grab their info and sell to them in the future! Apologize that the item is unavailable, and tell them to insert their email information to be alerted when that product becomes available again.


This doesn’t just collect their email address. You’re demonstrating the exclusivity and demand of your products. You’re essentially creating a waiting list for your product, which makes customers want that product even more. That means they’ll be even more likely to input their email address because they want that exclusive product when it’s available again.


"It’s time to capture that traffic so you can turn those visitors into viable  leads."  -Click to Tweet-


3. Free Samples

Offer free samples in exchange for their information. For example, you’re a coffee company. Offer to send them a one-cup trial size of your coffee. This lets you collect their information, and you can request additional info along with their email address like their delivery address and their interests.


You will incur some cost to this, but you’ll be generating highly qualified leads who will fall in love with your coffee—and who will likely come back to purchase from you after trying it. Free samples are a great way to qualify your leads, gather a lot of information, and get more people to try out your products. (But don’t forget to budget for it!)


4. Contests

Hosting a social media contest is a great way to spread brand awareness and boost your word of mouth marketing while collecting leads. It gets people interacting with your brand, and the winners especially feel gratitude and loyalty towards your brand.


You just offer some sort of “grand prize,” like a bundle of your products or a gift card to your store. The prize could even be an experience, like a winery tour if you sell wine goods.


You’ll want to encourage people to enter the contest with clear directions and actions. It could be as simple as entering their email address to get their name in the running. Or you could require them to submit user-generated content, like posting a picture on social media of them using your product and tagging your brand. This helps spread awareness about your brand while also getting the contestants more invested in your brand (and investment encourages conversion). Plus, you then have a library of user-generated content you can repurpose for future marketing.


5. Cookies

“Cookies” are put on a user’s computer by the web browser to understand how the customer is interacting with a given site (and other sites on the web). People used to fear cookies, but now they’re more aware of their use and overall harmlessness on their computer.


So, you can use cookies on your website to track how customers are interacting with your pages. These cookies can also “tag” customers so you can retarget them with ads that are related to products at which they’ve looked already.


Tip: Make sure you let visitors know you’re using cookies. This can protect you legally and will actually establish a sense of transparency and trust with your customer.


transforming knowledge to idea through funnel


6. Thank you page

This isn’t a method for generating leads, but it’s an easy way to enhance the efficacy of your lead list tenfold. Use a “thank you” page after someone gives you their email or opts in. So a visitor has just entered their email for a discount, an unavailable item, a free sample, or a contest. After they click “submit,” they’re brought to a thank you page.


First of all, thanking them is a great way to keep them engaged and show that you appreciate them. It also gives you the opportunity to direct them to other resources or product pages to keep them engaged on your site.


But the thank you page also does something else. You can track the Google Analytics data of this page to understand your audience’s demographics more in-depth. Everyone who has landed on that thank you page is a lead whose email you have. So now you can use Google to retrieve comprehensive data about that target lead audience.


Now you’re not just getting their email address. You’re collecting a treasure trove of information about the qualified leads who are interested in your business, so you can better strategize and target these leads moving forward.



Generating leads is the best way to capture your traffic, get multiple impressions, build a potential customer list, and ultimately drive conversions for your e-commerce store.


Remember that generating leads isn’t the endgame though. Leads are just the start of the conversion process. After grabbing leads, you want to make sure you’re running a comprehensive marketing campaign, including an email drip campaign, to pull them through your funnel.


Start building your marketing campaign from traffic source through lead generation to follow-up, conversion, and repeat purchases… with Seller’s Choice! Contact us to start a conversation about a marketing strategy for your e-commerce store.

e-commerce tech stack ebook



Gain access to our exclusive list of top rated events for e-commerce sellers


Get E-Commerce News Right To Your FB Inbox!