Do you run an E-commerce store?
If so, then probably ~97.5% of your traffic never buys from you. The average conversion rate for E-commerce stores around the world stands at just a shade above 2.5% (Smart Insights).
That means that more than 9.7/10 of the visitors you work hard to bring to your site never actually bring your business money. Sure, they might hop on your site, have a quick look around, and maybe even check out a few product pages. But they’ll never convert and become real customers you can count on for revenue.
So what’s the solution? How do you turn these missed opportunities into high-value conversions?
Two words: lead magnet. A lead magnet will get you contact information about your traffic, thereby allowing you to nurture all of those missed opportunities into likely customers via email, SMS, or your channel of choice.
In this post, you’ll learn about seven of the best, conversion-inducing lead magnets for E-commerce businesses (you’ll also see real-life examples of nearly all of these lead magnets in action).
What is a Lead Magnet?
Before we get started on our seven lead magnet ideas, we should first define exactly what a lead magnet is.
Here’s an awesome definition from Digital Marketer (hat tip to Ryan Deiss).
Lead Magnet – noun – an irresistible bribe offering a specific chunk of value to a prospect in exchange for their contact information.
In essence, a lead magnet is a gated chunk of value. To unlock the “gate” and gain access to the valuable lead magnet, visitors must first hand over their contact information (e.g. email, phone number, location, etc.)
You can use a lead magnet to work wonders for your conversion rate in three incredibly simple steps:
- Promote the lead magnet to get a higher, more targeted percentage of your traffic onto your email list.
- Once you have these new subscribers, market your products to them as appropriate.
So what sort of lead magnet should you create for your E-commerce store?
I’m glad you asked.
1. Coupon (Purchase Discount)
The coupon is one of the greatest lead magnets ever. Why? Because your visitors can assign a specific dollar amount (or whatever currency you sell in) to its value.
For instance: visitors to your E-commerce store can get a 20% discount on their next purchase of a $50 T-shirt you sell, if they sign up to your mailing list.
A visitor quickly does the math ($50 x 20% = $10) and discovers that the coupon value is $10. Then they think:
Ten bucks just for my email address? That’s a no-brainer!
And before you know it, they’ve signed up to your mailing list, bought the T-shirt, and applied the coupon. So not only has your conversion rate been given an instant boost, but you’ve also have a brand-new loyal customer who thinks your E-commerce store is the greatest.
Here’s an example of the clothing e-store Lucky Brand using this exact strategy to get more email sign ups.
2. Discounted or Free Shipping
Another high-value lead magnet idea similar to the coupon is discounted/free shipping.
If there’s one thing that online shoppers dislike universally, it’s shipping costs. Yes, we understand it as the necessary evil that accompanies the convenience of Internet shopping, but that doesn’t mean we need to like it.
Here’s how Blissoma, a digital store that sells skincare and related products, leverages their customers’ universal dislike of free shipping to entice new email subscribers.
Note that Blissoma requires that your retail order value be >$50 US or >$100 Canadian in order for the free shipping to apply. This sort of restriction is a good way to avoid abuse of your lead magnet (you don’t want to end up spending $10 to ship a $5 product to your customer).
3. Guide to Shopping for [Insert Product]
There’s another drawback to e-shopping and that’s choice. Lots and lots and lots of choice.
When you’re shopping online, there’s literally an endless number of products to choose from. All this choice makes it rather hard to find (much less decide upon) the right product that fits suits your needs and your budget.
You can solve this pain point for customers in your niche by creating an “ultimate guide to shopping for [insert your product here]”. Not only will this entice new subscribers to your mailing list, but you also have an opportunity to promote your own products in the guide.
4. Daily Promotions/Sales
PlanetX, a digital store for all things biking (cycles, clothes, accessories, etc.), runs a promotion every day on at least one of the goods it has for sale.
How do they attract interested traffic (read: conversions) to these promotions? They have a subscriber program where people can enter in their email address to get a daily update on the newest promotions.
A daily deal like this makes for a terrific lead magnet; if you have the margins to run similar promotions on your e-store, then you should definitely consider it.
5. Free Gift(s)
Another top lead magnet is a totally free, no-strings-attached gift (or better yet) a collection of gifts.
You can see it in action at the website of Grace to You, a Christian organization. They send you free resources like CDs, DVDs, and pamphlets when you hand over your contact info.
A giveaway is like a free gift in that you’ll be giving away something totally free of charge, but it’s also unlike a free gift in that only a percentage of people who try to get the product actually end up with it.
So when you enter a giveaway, you might get the product … or you might not. You don’t know for sure (and that’s what makes a giveaway so viral-friendly).
Here’s an example of a Call of Duty giveaway on Amazon from Free Tech Gear. To enter the giveaway, you first have to sign up to Amazon, and then follow the @FreeTechGear Twitter account.
Even if you don’t win the giveaway, Amazon also redirects you to a page where you can easily share the giveaway on social media.
So not only do these giveaways incentivize signups to Amazon, but they also goes a long way towards building social buzz.
You can find a second example at Zappos (shoes, bags, and accessories store) where you can enter to win a weekly $100 Zappos gift card giveaway.
Zappos does an excellent job of leveraging regularity to boost popularity of their giveaway. Because the giveaway happens every week, users are highly incentivized to stay subscribed to Zappos’s updates, enabling the store to market to potential customers for a longer period of time.
A contest is different from a giveaway in three main regards:
- Entrants have to complete an action to be eligible to win the prize (not just sign up).
- Entrants (sometimes) have to pay a small sum to be eligible.
- The prizes are typically of much higher value.
Here’s an example of a contest in action from Contest Zone, hosted by Airtel (an India-based ISP).
As we discussed above, entrants first have to complete an action (in this case, a survey) to be eligible to win. Additionally, they also have to pay five rupees per day (works out to about $0.08/day) to get the SMS alerts.
However, for some entrants those restrictions are well worth it, because the prizes include a house, car, and motorcycle, amongst others.
Lead magnets will skyrocket your conversion rates by giving you access to a potential customer’s personal inbox, where you can continue to market to them, until they’re ready to buy.
If you don’t already have a lead magnet in operation on your Internet store, then you’re missing out! Review the seven magnet ideas above, decide on one, and start implementing it in your marketing campaigns.