4 Ways to Capture Leads Without Offering an Incentive

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4 Ways to Capture Leads Without Offering an Incentive

Effectively capturing new-to-file leads is one of the most important aspects of growing an ecommerce business. However, while incentive strategies are frequently used to collect leads, they’re not always the most cost-effective way to expand your list. That’s why it’s important to have strategies in place that allow you to capture leads without incentives.

Why is Lead Capture So Important? 

The overall ecommerce conversion rate is only 3%. That means that 97% of users who enter your site will leave without making a purchase. However, through high quality SMS and email remarketing strategies, you can re-engage visitors who abandon and continue the conversation, eventually turning former abandoning shoppers into loyal customers.

Of course, remarketing is impossible without consistently effective lead generation. A well-developed contact list expands your customer base and serves as an incredible asset.

Why Capture Leads Without Incentives?

Many companies start building an email list by offering an incentive to those who sign up for their email newsletter. These engagements usually look something like this:

“Enter Your Email and Receive: 20% Off/Free Shipping/A Mystery Gift/Promotional Toenail Clippers” – etc…

Incentives are a great way to gather leads and begin the process of remarketing. However, it may not be practical to give discounts or offer a free gift to every shopper, especially if you’re using incentives in other stages of the funnel. 

On the bright side, there are other highly effective ways to capture leads without incentives. The key is to reframe your list and find another way of providing value to the user without offering them a financial incentive for signing up.

Reframing Your Email List

A lead capture is essentially a transaction. Users have something of value (their contact information) that you, as a business, want. Incentives are designed to essentially compensate the user for the information they’ve given you.

The truth is, most people won’t give you their contact information unless they see a direct benefit to giving it to you. They need to know they’ll be receiving something of value in exchange for giving you that information.

An incentive creates immediate value for the user and drives them to offer their contact details. However, if we’re not offering an incentive, it’s still vital to find a way to make this feel like a good deal for the user. If we don’t, there’s no reason for them to make this transaction. We should never expect to get something for nothing.

The good news is that monetary incentives aren’t the only way to create value. However, in order for non-incentivized lead capture to work, we have to find interesting ways to provide something of value to the consumer. Let’s take a look at some examples of this. 

4 Ways to Capture Leads Without Offering an Incentive

1. Create a Sense of Exclusivity
2. Send Back-In-Stock Notifications
3. Allow Customers to Save Their Cart For Later
4. Offer to Send Personalized Product Recommendations


1. Create a Sense of Exclusivity

Country clubs. Speakeasy bars. Secret societies. Many establishments trade on exclusivity, thereby creating a mystique and fascination that attracts people to the group. 

One of the simplest ways to capture leads without incentives is to think of your list as a club – not just a string of email addresses. Customers love feeling like they’re part of a small, elite group. Psychologically, most people want to be a part of something “exclusive” and “for members only.” This is your chance to fill that need.

Even if your list has thousands of subscribers, make the user feel special. Terms like “insider” and “in the know” help communicate this feeling, even without promising an incentive. However, while these specific words can help set up a feeling of exclusivity, it’s important to back those claims up with actual exclusive content.

In other words – make sure you can follow through on your promises. Offer “first looks” and “exclusive access” to upcoming products. Tell users they’ll be “the first to know about new lines/collections/updates.” Not only does this help your brand crystalize why users should sign up for the list, it also prevents users from quickly unsubscribing. 

Another great option for adding exclusivity to your list is to offer subscribers early access to sales, deals, and new product lines. In this way, you’re giving your loyal subscribers a tangible benefit to signing up and remaining active on your list. Be sure to seal the deal with a great call to action that emphasizes the benefits of signing up and furthers the sense of exclusivity.

2. Send Back-In-Stock Notifications

In a similar vein to playing on exclusivity, back in stock notifications speak to another common truth: people tend to want what they can’t have. If you help them get something they thought they couldn’t have, they’re far more likely to stick around. 

Back in Stock notifications may seem like a simple concept, but shoppers absolutely love them. There’s nothing worse than having your heart set on an item, only to discover it’s out of stock. Not only does this preclude you from making a sale, it also means you have a disappointed customer on your hands. 

Back in Stock alerts turn a common lose-lose situation into a win-win. Where a sold out product would normally entail a lost conversion, a Back in Stock alert makes it possible to add the user to your remarketing list while giving them a direct benefit – access to an item they’ve shown demonstrated interest in. 

In addition, since you already know what kinds of items the user is interested in, this opens the door to multiple future remarketing opportunities.

3. Allow Customers to Save Their Cart For Later

Cart abandonment has been a problem from the very beginning of ecommerce. Abandonment rates at this stage in the funnel hover around 68%, meaning over ⅔ of users who create a cart will not proceed with their order. On mobile devices, this number is even higher.

While there are a number of factors behind this phenomenon, one of the most commonly cited reasons is a lack of initial purchase intent. 

When a user logs onto an ecommerce site, there could be a number of reasons behind their visit. While it’s possible that they’re looking for something specific, many people use online shopping as a boredom killer.

In other words – many people really are virtual window shoppers. They’re not opposed to buying something – but they haven’t logged on with the explicit intention of buying something either. 

So why do these users create carts? It’s often the case that the user doesn’t actually intend to purchase everything in their cart – many shoppers use their cart as a way to organize products that they’re considering.

While this might seem like a negative, there is a silver lining – because shoppers use their carts to organize, they care about the things in their cart. That’s where a simple cart-saver LC can be a powerful lead capture tool. 

Similarly to availability alerts, Save Your Cart notifications accomplish two things at once. They help recover a conversion while adding to your list. They offer added convenience and personalization to the shopping experience. Plus, they assist your lead capture and conversion efforts.

4. Offer to Send Personalized Product Recommendations

AI-driven product recommendations are one of the most consistently effective ways to drive up Average Order Value and inspire new purchases. However, they can also be a great way to capture leads without incentives. 

Start by launching a modal engagement on selected traffic segments. Ask shoppers if they would like “hand-picked recommendations” from your {{insert industry}} experts. This can be a great way for users to discover new fashions, looks they might have missed, or new technology and products that will appeal specifically to them. 

Next, consider offering the user a short (2-5 question) questionnaire to fill out. While this questionnaire will likely give you some additional information, the point of the questionnaire is really to make the visitor feel like you’re getting to know them and their preferences. It also gets the user involved and engaged, even if they had initially been browsing with low intent. 

At the end of the survey, provide a place for the user to enter their email so that their recommendations can be emailed to them. 

This strategy can be especially useful for helping customers buy gifts. If products on your site are frequently given as gifts, consider making this the first question of the survey – this allows for extra personalization.  Create a questionnaire for customers to input information about a gift recipient’s likes and dislikes. You can then tailor your recommendations to the responses.

In addition to building your list, providing personalized product recommendations allows you to cross-sell and upsell more effectively, all while setting you up for long-term remarketing success. 

Building Your List

Creating effective lead capture strategies doesn’t have to require an incentive. Re-framing your list and offering users something of value helps you personalize the shopping experience and offer better customer service.

By actively engaging customers, you’ll increase intent, build your customer base, and inspire new levels of customer loyalty.

Want to learn more about the strategies in this post? Contact one of UpSellit’s friendly Conversion Specialists at Hello@UpSellit.com.

Looking for More Ways to Increase Your Conversions?

Check out UpSellit’s 27 Attributes of an Effective Email. This in-depth guide covers the ins-and-outs of crafting the perfect remarketing email. It’s a great resource and it’s totally free! Download it today and start writing awesome emails that convert.

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