Some say that starting a business online is fairly easy because the hardest and most challenging part is trying to keep your online store up and running. In this circumstance, lead generation is one of the most important and effective tools businesses can do.

But,  what is a lead exactly? and how do businesses generate them? In this article, we’ll discuss what lead generation is, how it works, and its importance to online businesses. Aside from that, we’ll go over some of the most popular and proven strategies to generate high-quality leads online. 


Leads In Ecommerce

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Before we jump into the different methods of generating leads for online businesses, it is important to understand the concept of leads and how it works. 

A lead is a term used to describe an individual or entity that showed interest in your brand, digital products, goods, or services. They can be someone who’s visited your ecommerce website, clicked on your social media ads, or even someone who’s added an item to their shopping cart but didn’t proceed to checkout. 

Leads are used to sort website visitors and identify the most likely to commit a desired action, typically a purchase. Online businesses utilize leads to differentiate general audiences and people who are showing particular interest in what they have to offer. 

Business leads are also used to determine particular individuals who would be fit for inbound marketing strategies, such as personalized email marketing campaigns and targeted advertising. Doing this allows digital marketers to come off as less intrusive in comparison to other methods, such as cold calling. 

In addition, leveraging leads makes marketing tactics more effective and efficient as it is designed for people who already paid your brand, product, or service attention. All they need is some push or incentive to complete a transaction. 

However, there are different types of leads in the ecommerce industry. Leads are categorized depending on their position in the journey of their guided transition from a website visitor into a successful customer.


Marketing Qualified Lead

This type of ecommerce lead is those who have interacted or engaged with a brand’s marketing campaigns but are not yet ready to proceed to purchase. Marketing qualified leads (MQLs) have voluntarily expressed their interest through actions such as signing up for product updates, adding products to their shopping cart, and the like. 

Experts look at marketing qualified leads as highly promising potential customers who are going to be the most receptive to marketing ads and sales pitches. Digital marketers have the green light to engage and interact with MQLs at this stage. 


Sales Qualified Lead

Sales qualified leads (SQLs) in ecommerce categorize those who have explicitly shown interest in a beautiful product and are likely to turn into paying customers. Digital marketers and sales teams conduct background checks and research on MQLs to determine which ones could be sent to the next stage of the whole lead generation process.

SQLs are identified based on their activities and actions. Prospective SQLs have demonstrated significant interest by doing things like spending a long time browsing through product catalogs or filling out a form to submit a question or inquiry.  These help brands from differentiating SQLs from customers with just a passing interest in the business’s products or services. 


Product Qualified Lead

Lead generation campaigns do not stop once a band meets or exceeds their goal. To continue the sales pipeline, digital marketers identify product-qualified leads from the business’s leads of customers.

Product-qualified leads (PQLs) are those who have shown significant interest and performed actions such as signing up for a free product trial or using a free product version that can be upgraded. 

So, why is lead generation important? One of the primary objectives of lead generation campaigns in ecommerce is to bring a continuous stream of paying customers into the business. By identifying quality leads and nurturing them through their journey, businesses can ensure that sales come through and the business continues generating revenue.Aside from that, lead generation also helps businesses create the perfect buyer persona for their customers. Using data gathered from site analytics, market research, as well as qualitative data directly from customer feedback and reviews, online businesses can build the ideal type of customer and target this specific audience in future marketing campaigns. 



Top Lead Generation Strategies For Ecommerce Businesses

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Now that you have a better understanding of what leads are and their importance to ecommerce businesses, let’s get into the different ways that online stores can drive traffic and identify qualified leads. 


Creating Content

Content is one of the most powerful marketing tools in the ecommerce industry. People consume tons of content online, whether it’s text, video, or audio. It is a popular way to engage people, even those mindlessly scrolling through.

In the realm of ecommerce, creating content is key, as people typically want to do research before purchasing anything. They use the internet as a primary source of information, and anything they find relevant is something considered valuable. 

Considering this, ecommerce websites strive to provide high-quality content to potential customers. Writing blogs, creating video product demonstrations, and starting a podcast with industry experts are some ways to offer information to anyone interested. 

With your content, customers can make informed buying decisions. And because of this, you also help your brand build a reputation as a trustworthy and reliable resource. 


Optimizing For Search Engines

Google, the largest search engine, is the most visited website online. It is the most common research tool used by people worldwide. Despite this, research shows that a majority of 75% don’t scroll past the first page of search engine results. 

Search engine optimization is a critical strategy to increase online visibility and, thus, boost website traffic. Website optimization is not limited to content only. Other assets and elements in an ecommerce website can be further optimized for SEO. This includes metadata, product descriptions, image alt-tags, and the like.

Search engine optimization aims to show search engines that your website consists of valuable content that web users can find helpful. However, another critical aspect of SEO is that content should be relevant to what users are searching for. Using SEO tools for keyword research can help ensure that your website consistently comes up with in-demand and trending content. 


Building A Social Media Presence

Social media is a dominating presence in today’s highly digital age. Most web users utilize social media to stay updated with the latest news and trends. The latest reports put the number of social media users worldwide at a whopping 4.2 billion, with an average use of roughly 85 minutes per day. 

Therefore, social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube offer online businesses access to billions of web users. Considering this, having and building a social media presence is an effective strategy to engage and interact with both general and specific audiences. 

Social media is a powerful tool for lead generation as it is a highly accessible channel for web users to build social networks. Social media platforms also come with a follow or subscribe feature that allows users to keep track and stay updated with online brands or personalities. 

Brands can post various content to entertain, engage, and interact with their followers and subscribers. It can also be used as a sales and marketing tool to build brand identity and promote products. Some social media platforms, like Instagram, even come with integrated ecommerce features that make online shopping within the site a seamless experience. 


Leveraging Pay-Per-Click Advertising

While organic traffic through SEO is still the most sustainable marketing strategy for ecommerce businesses, paid advertising campaigns can also bring wonders, especially for lead generation. Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising is an effective marketing tactic used to boost online visibility.

It is also a cost-efficient method, as PPC campaigns are rated based on the number of clicks a particular ad gets. Therefore, a paid click would automatically correspond to a valuable lead that has shown interest in your brand, digital products, goods, or services.


Using Email For Marketing

Despite the numerous innovations in technology and communication, email is still one of the most used communication channels worldwide. Millions of people use their emails to connect and contact one another. Email has also become a primary communication tool where brands can send direct messages and conduct targeted marketing campaigns. 

In most cases, qualified leads are willing to leave their email addresses in exchange for a future discount, promo, and the like. This doesn’t only give brands a lengthy list of people’s email addresses, but it also shows the complete set of leads that has their interest.

Using email for sales and marketing campaigns is also considered a more personal approach, as it caters directly to what the lead wants or needs. Campaigns are typically based on the user’s previous interaction with the website. 

If they are browsing for shoes, digital marketers can send an email regarding a shoe promo, such as an upcoming sale, a massive discount, a new and improved variant, and the like. Email campaigns are great not only for lead generation but for converting leads into successful customers.



Online retail is a competitive industry. Considering that online businesses compete with millions of others, it is important for them to come up with ways to draw traffic and convert them into customers. More than that, it is essential for them to set up a sustainable strategy that will consistently bring in and nurture customers.

Lead generation is an essential sales and marketing strategy designed to increase website traffic and identify people who have shown particular interest. From there, lead generation campaigns aim to guide general audiences, turn them into potential customers, and lead them to complete purchases. 


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