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7 Lead Magnet Ideas For eCommerce Websites

A man holding a phone with an eCommerce magnet drawn on it.

If you run an ecommerce store, you’ll agree that nurturing relationships with potential customers should be a priority.

You can send them updates and juicy details about your eCommerce products until they become paying customers. 

But for you to be able to send these messages, you need their contact details first. This is why lead magnets are essential.

Lead magnets can help you gather the contact information you need to nurture relationships with potential customers. The good news is, there are many lead magnet ideas for eCommerce websites. I’ll share some with you in this article. But first:

What is a Lead Magnet?

A lead magnet is a valuable incentive offered to your website visitors or customers in exchange for their contact details—mostly email addresses. This incentive can be an email newsletter or gated content like an ebook, a whitepaper, a webinar, and other useful resources.

For instance, J.Crew offers early style updates to visitors who sign up for email campaigns: 

An eCommerce sign up page for jcrew.

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Apart from these, for an eCommerce store, the lead magnet may be a discount code, gift card, or a free gift voucher. 

Ultimately, using a lead magnet is a win-win strategy. Your audience receives something that’s relevant to them and, you, in turn, can build an email list that allows you to nurture leads. 

You can promote your lead magnets in several ways. Because of how they appear spontaneously, pop ups on your own eCommerce website are quite effective for this purpose. You can capture your site visitor’s attention at the right time. 

Since people create an eCommerce marketplace specifically for multiple independent vendors, it’s possible they won’t allow an individual seller to use pop-up features to promote their own store. So, if you sell your products on such a platform, you can promote your lead magnets through social media posts or targeted ads instead.  

As a final tip, use an email lookup tool as part of your marketing efforts. It will help ensure you’re collecting accurate and non-duplicated contact information for your mailing list. After all, customers may sometimes provide incorrect or wrong email addresses to access your lead magnets. 

7 Lead Magnet Ideas 

According to WPforms,  50% of marketers agree that using lead magnets has helped them achieve higher conversion rates. 

Now, you, too, can enjoy bigger conversions by using the effective lead magnet ideas for eCommerce that we’ll be discussing below.

1. Exclusive discounts

Purchase discounts can be strong lead magnets for your ecommerce store. RetailMeNot discovered that 81% of Americans want to find a great discount throughout their entire purchase journey. So, why not take advantage of this to gather prospects that you can nurture? A sultry discount lead magnet will not only entice customers to input their data. It will also ensure they do it then and there when the offer is time-bound. 

If you’re using this lead magnet, make sure the copy that accompanies the discount will get your potential customer’s attention. See how Girlfriend Collective does it. It asks the website visitor if they “want to receive” something. That’s excellent copy because we all know what the answer to that question typically is: Yes. So, they’ll likely click on the “Yes, please” button:

A woman is wearing a pair of leggings and a t-shirt while browsing eCommerce websites.

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Once they do, the company asks for the website visitor’s email address where it can send the discount code:

A screenshot of the girlfriend collective eCommerce website featuring their lead magnet.

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With discounts, you also want to know how much is feasible. A 5% to 10% percent is a decent discount offer— especially if you’re just starting to grow your business. When your ecommerce revenue increases and you have a bigger customer base, you can start to offer higher discounts. 

You can also specify a small condition for the visitor to avail of the discount. For instance, Girlfriend Collective says the discount applies to the first order of $150 and above. That means before the visitor can avail of the discount, they should have bought at least $150 worth of items from the store. That’s sales for the company, too.

 2. Free shipping

RetailMeNot did a survey of about 5,400 consumers and discovered that 82% of customers would love to see a free shipping option along their customer journey. BayMard Institute also found that extra shipping costs were one of the reasons shoppers abandoned their carts in ecommerce stores. 

A bar chart with the words returns for abandonments during checkout on eCommerce websites.

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In other words, if you offer free shipping in exchange for your site visitors’ email addresses, you’re likely to get people to sign up. 

Free shipping can be a great incentive for customers to leave their contact details with you, but it's advisable to set a minimum order amount to avoid misuse. For example, “KOHL'S” offers free shipping on orders of $49 or more. This way, customers are less likely to place multiple small orders in order to take advantage of the free shipping offer.

A screen shot of an eCommerce website featuring Koh's lead magnet.Source

Adding a limit to your free shipping incentive may also encourage customers to purchase more items from your store. 

To make your free shipping offer appealing and get your site visitors to sign up, you can also offer an accompanying discount, like Yes Style did below:

Get a Yesstyle coupon code for free shipping and save on your online purchases from this popular eCommerce website. Boost your SEO with this valuable lead magnet.

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You can also highlight savings to make the offer more appealing. So, instead of simply saying “Get free shipping”, you could say “Save $10 on shipping” to emphasize the benefits.

3. Provide free samples

A free sample also serves as a compelling lead magnet. It’s important for website visitors to  assess the quality and value you provide before making a major purchase. If the product doesn’t fit them or doesn’t meet their standards, they’ll return it. For instance, a study by Tessuti found that clothing was often returned by shoppers because they did not fit.

Since consumers want to avoid all the hassle of returning items, you can be assured they’ll willingly give their contact details in exchange for the opportunity to try your products before buying.

Plus, these are free samples. Who doesn’t want free items?

To drum up interest in your free sample and get people to sign up for your mailing list, you can highlight the specific problem your product can solve. 

An eCommerce ad promoting a Wella hair care product.

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See how Wella Store emphasizes that the free sample can “repair damaged hair.” You can just copy-paste parts of your product descriptions onto the ad, social media post or pop-up promoting your lead magnet. If you don’t have those product descriptions just yet, use AI templates like Writer’s. All you need to do is plug in your product specs and Writer will do the rest.

4. Offer a series of email courses 

Email course series can be an effective lead magnet to have on your store. More than 83% of consumers want a brand to provide educational content. So, if you offer email courses as a lead magnet, they’re likely to sign up. 

But you should, of course, promote the course based on what will interest your customers. For instance, Keto Collective offers email subscribers a free guide to start their Keto journey:

Keto collective - free lead magnet for eCommerce websites on starting your keto journey.

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If you’re a decor store, you could offer some tips and tricks about apartment styling first. Or, offer a course about the basics of skincare if you sell makeup products. 

Once they do sign up, make sure you deliver as promised and give them something that’s worthwhile. Your email courses should be thoughtfully structured. Aim for bite-sized lessons, each building on the previous one. 

Also, use interactive content like videos to improve engagement.

An eCommerce mobile app with a person's profile on it, serving as a lead magnet for websites.

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Furthermore, your email course content should provide actionable insights and solutions, so that the email recipients can put them to good use and get results.  Design your email courses keeping these points in mind. 

There are a few email best practices you need to keep in mind while delivering your email course content:

  1. A clear, unambiguous subject line
  2. Email copy should reflect the value add that the course will offer to the recipient.
  3. Pay attention to the email closing. An email signature adds a professional look to your email campaign so be sure to include it.

You can use an e-business card in your email signature for a clutter-free look so that it does not take away from the lead magnet you are offering. Personalize this with links to exclusive product-linked content or FAQ pages along with your contact details. That way potential customers can reach out to you if they have some queries or need additional information related to the product.

5. Give subscribers exclusive access 

Exclusive access is one of the best lead magnet ideas there is. Why? You basically harp on human desire to have something other people also want but can’t have. This is what researchers call mimetic dominance-seeking behavior. So, when you offer potential customers access to upcoming sales, new products, or even events in exchange for just their contact details, they’ll more than willingly give them to you. Check out how Glossy Box promises exclusive offers, access to their limited edition boxes, and the latest beauty tips to newsletter subscribers:

Glossbox's homepage showcasing a picture of a woman.

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Be as concise as possible with your exclusive offers and shun the technical jargon. Your goal is to make potential subscribers think they’ll be like a VIP if they sign up for your email list. You can’t make them feel that way if they can’t even understand what you’re offering in the first place.

6. Develop interactive quizzes or assessments

Interactive quizzes and assessments bring fun and interactivity to your marketing efforts. These quizzes and assessments can be designed to entertain, educate, or both— drawing people in with the promise of insights into their own preferences, behaviors, or knowledge. More than 96% who start Buzzfeed website quizzes finish them. That should give you an idea of how effective quizzes and assessments are as lead magnet ideas.

See how Warby Parker uses an interactive quiz as a lead magnet in the example below.

Warby Parker offers a stylish and diverse collection of women's eyeglasses. With their innovative designs and high-quality materials, they have become a leading choice for fashion-forward individuals. Whether you

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But that’s not all. The data you collect from the quizzes and assessments can help you understand your audience’s preferences and pain points. With this knowledge, you can better customize your lead-nurturing content.

You can use quiz responses to segment your subscribers into groups and create personalized content for each segment. For instance, Warby Parker can segment its audience based on the various face widths or shape preferences based on the quiz questions below:

Are you curious to explore how your face impacts the success of eCommerce websites? Discover valuable insights and strategies through our exclusive Lead Magnet program.

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Just make sure you formulate your quiz and assessment questions in such a way they will generate valuable insights you can use in the first place. 

7. Offer a loyalty program

Loyalty programs foster customer retention and help with the development of committed brand advocates. Well-implemented loyalty programs can also give your sales a significant boost. For instance, Macy’s loyalty program in 2021 accounted for over 70% of the store’s transactions. 

That’s not all, though. Loyalty programs are also a great lead magnet idea for eCommerce websites. Users can sign up for benefits reserved for loyal customers in exchange for their contact details. So, in a way, you’re again harping on that idea of exclusivity humans want. This can, in turn, help ensure sign-ups.  

Here are some types of loyalty programs you can work with:

  • Point-based systems – where customers earn points with each purchase or referral. The customers can then redeem these points for rewards.
  • Tiered memberships – here, customers begin at a basic level and can move up as they make more purchases or refer more friends. Higher tiers may allow customers to enjoy exclusive benefits like dedicated customer support.

Elf’s loyalty program, Beauty Squad, uses a tiered model. Customers and prospects who join the program are awarded points for buying Elf products and using Elf’s website or mobile app. For each level, there are special benefits like early access to products, birthday gifts, and free shipping. See the screenshot below:

A table displaying the prices of Eli's products, optimized for SEO on eCommerce websites as a lead magnet.

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  • Discounts or freebies – some loyalty programs also allow customers to enjoy some of the ideas we already mentioned above like special discounts or free products for a specific period. These customers may be given special shopping vouchers that allow them to enjoy these benefits for, say, six months.

Once you have their contact details, you can continue to keep leads engaged by sending information about promotions, special sales, or other notable offers on your eCommerce store.

Just remember that when creating a loyalty program, choose rewards that are relevant to your business and provide value to your target audience. Also, design a landing page that provides more information about how the loyalty program works along with an enticing signup form or call to action.

In Closing

Ecommerce lead magnets are essential tools for luring prospects and customers further into your sales funnel. You offer something of value in exchange for their contact information, making it easy for you to build a robust mailing list.

We looked at seven lead magnet ideas for ecommerce stores that you can adopt. They include exclusive discounts, free shipping, free samples, or engaging email courses. You can also entice customers by giving them exclusive access to certain features or products on your eCommerce store. 

Interactive quizzes or assessments provide a dynamic and fun way to get your customer data and segment your audience. Finally, offering a loyalty program can also help you maintain a loyal customer base and generate valuable leads at the same time.

Remember, the key is to offer something valuable and build trust with your audience. As you implement these tips, ensure that you keep testing and refining to see what works best for the type of ecommerce business you run. Do this, and you’ll be well on your way to attracting quality leads with your lead magnet ideas for ecommerce. Good luck!

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