e-commerce

Lead generation is an important part of directing customers towards your business. However, it can be difficult to do well. A report from Hubspot found that 61% of marketers believe lead and traffic generation to be their greatest challenge. One important thing for startups to learn is that not every lead is a good lead. Many e-commerce startups utilize lead generation methods that end up as a poor use of time and resources.

When thinking of how to gain leads for your business it is vital to avoid the following mistakes, especially as a startup.

1) Buying Leads

It may seem like a good idea to buy potential customers. However, adding unsuspecting consumers to email lists and sending promotions can have an adverse effect on business growth.

As a startup, it is likely that many people have not heard of your business. Sending unknowing customers promotions will simply force them to mark you as spam. In some countries, it’s also illegal to do this without the individual’s permission.

A bigger reach does not equal more revenue. Instead, a startup should develop a relationship with its customers to generate reliable leads.

2) Using the wrong lead generation tools

Without the use of automation, it is certain your business is not maximising their lead generation. Data tracking systems can help a startup understand which leads will contribute to their business.

Using the correct lead generation technology alongside other tech advances such as an order management software will help streamline your startup. Efficiently managing who the business targets and how it handles their orders can lead to a much higher percentage of leads converting into sales.

These technologies are especially beneficial to startups. This is because all orders will come through one site, and the connection between warehouse and office are particularly tight.

3) Uneven content along the purchase journey

As an e-commerce startup, you should assume that not everyone visiting your website is ready to buy your product or service. Many will be seeing the site for the first time.

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It is important to avoid simply telling customers to buy your products. Instead, possible leads need to be enticed with quality content from the beginning of the sales process.

Video content is the most consumed content, with 61% of videos given full attention rather than being skimmed. This is much higher than the 27% of blog posts. A good starting place when generating leads is to create video content designed to entice viewers into wanting to know more.

4) Spreading too thin

A key issue for many startups is when they realise the business has been spread too thin.

Focusing your budget into one channel is one way to avoid this problem. Rather than barely impacing a lot of different platforms, focusing on developing leads through one channel can have greater results. As you scale, you can target new channels as your budget increases.

This also helps automated inventory management work much more efficiently. Orders will come through a single source, be managed by automated technology, and fulfilled quickly. This efficiency will help improve your reputation – and more leads will appear.

5) Poor social media management

Although focusing on one channel is a beneficial tactic in the early phases of a startup, soon your business will have to expand.

Implementing omnichannel retail software will ensure potential leads have the same experience when accessing your business on any platform.  Generating leads means meeting consumer expectations at every point of contact. To not deliver on one platform is a mistake any e-commerce startup should avoid – and omnichannel software can help you avoid this.

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6) Bad forms/emails

The key to generating leads is to capture the customer. Sending poor sign up forms and emails will automatically turn the lead away.

Post-purchase emails are essential for returning leads. Methods as simple as sending a thank you message or offering a promotion can result in continuing customs for your leads. Many startups make the mistake of pursuing new leads at the expense of  nurturing existing ones.

You should spend as much time – if not more – on quality emails for repeat customers, rather than focusing entirely on new leads.

7) Misunderstanding your leads

Not knowing the characteristics of your leads is a huge mistake. This problem is easily solved by tracking your leads and acting upon their traits. Once you know the traits of your best customers, you can tailor your marketing methods to them.

There is no point offering unnecessary promotions to sections of potential leads that do not want them. Instead, try to figure out what will make your leads want to use  and reuse your e-commerce platform. One method is to build customer personas based on the data gathered, and to use them in your decision making.

8) Using a generic lead strategy

The chances are as an e-commerce startup you are selling niche products. Your lead generation strategy needs to feed upon the individuality of your products. Any generic methods will struggle to stand out from the crowd and not make any impact on your leads.

Letting a standard lead generation strategy get in the way of a niche and valuable product is a genuine mistake made by many startups.

Nick Shaw is the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) of Brightpearl, a leading provider of inventory, warehouse and warehouse management system. He is responsible for Global Marketing, Sales and Alliances for the leading retail inventory management software provider. Nick has written for sites such as Invoice Berry and Hubspot. Here is Nick Shaw’s LinkedIn.

Lead generation stock photo by Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock