5 Ways to Engage with Your Customers

This article is written by one of our partners

Engaging with your customers is super important when you run an e-commerce business. You can’t just sit back and expect your customers to come back if you don’t give them a reason to.

The best way to engage with your customers is through email marketing. Email marketing is the most effective of all marketing channels because it establishes a direct line of communication between you and your customers.

However, you need to get their email address before you can add them your email marketing list.

Moreover, you need to engage with your website visitors who haven’t become paying customers yet. This visitor segment holds huge potential to increase your revenue, and ensure future growth.

Don’t just get the email of your customers but try to convert every website visitor into an email lead. Get them to subscribe to your newsletter and you’ll have an email list full of potential customers.

Before you can do any email marketing, you need to collect email addresses. This is best done through onsite engagement tools – you might already know the notorious popup which is a great engagement tool.

However, a popup does not entail visitor engagement unless you familiarize yourself with a few best practices for using them effectively.

Before we get into how you can engage with your visitors and collect email leads, we need to look at the tools that enable you to do it in the first place.

The notorious popup

Popups haven’t always had the best reputation because there are so many people and businesses who don’t know how to use them correctly, and they become an annoyance instead of improving user experience.

Popups block the content of your site and demand your visitors to take an action – sign up or close it down.

Because popups are more “aggressive” than other onsite engagement tools, you need to consider the timing of it.

You popup should never appear the second a visitor enters your site. Give your visitors a chance to get a first hand impression of your site before you try to convert them.

On the other hand, you don’t want to wait too long before you show because then there’s a chance your visitors might not even see it.

We and our customers have experimented a lot with different timers, and found that 7 seconds it the optimal.

This popup from Trollweb, pops up after 7 second of entering their site.

trollweb.no popup
This popup shows up after 7 seconds when visiting trollweb.no

It doesn’t take more than 5 seconds for people to form a first hand impression of something, but waiting 10 seconds might mean your visitors will have left your site without seeing it.

With any onsite engagement form, it’s important that you put a lot of thought into the content and design of your form. You don’t have very long to convince visitors to sign up, so make your copy short and compelling, and give them a reason to sign up.

If you’re not completely sold on the idea of a popup, don’t worry. There are other tools such as the slide-in that has the same function as a popup but is much less “aggressive”.

The slide-in is a box that slides in from the bottom of the screen and sits at the corner until you close it down.

Kapten&Son
Kapten&Son uses a slide-in that doesn’t interrupt the visitors browsing of the page

As you can see in this example from Kapten & Son, the slide-in doesn’t force your visitors to take action as they can continue to browse the page without having to engage with it.

Now that you know the tools, let’s move on to the how.

1. The discount

The most common way to get your visitors to engage and sign up, is to offer them a discount. The discount works because it provides value to your visitors while at the same time encourages them to buy something, which means value for you.

Some websites focus on getting more customers and offer their discounts directly in the form itself.

discount popup
Popup with discount code

I wouldn’t recommend doing this. It might convince a few visitors who were on the fence about buying something to do it, but because it requires people to buy something immediately (or within one day), many of your visitors will just ignore it and not buy something.

If you instead offer the discount in return for an email address, you’ll get a super relevant lead that you can then convert into a repeat customer with your email marketing.

Popup from floyd.no where visitor gets an offer in return for leaving their email
Popup from floyd.no where visitors get an offer in return for leaving their email

Sending the discount by email like Floyd does, gives visitors a chance to save it for later. They might never use it, but because you have a direct line of communication with them now, you have endless of possibilities to get them to buy something another time.

When you offer a discount code in exchange for an email address, you need to send them a welcome email with the discount code in it immediately after they’ve signed up.

This is the moment your leads are most warm, so you want to enable them to use the discount code immediately.

2. The competition

You can also use a competition to convert your visitors into valuable email leads. There is an excitement about competitions that most of us love, which is why they are very effective when it come to lead generation.

Here’s an example from Airtame.

Airtame uses the popup for a competition to convert visitors
Airtame uses the popup for a competition to convert visitors to their email list

They offer their visitors a chance to win a free Airtame which is their main product and also very valuable. It’s super relevant to their business, and the cost of giving it away is nothing compared to the revenue they get from their email marketing.

When you offer a competition (or anything else for that matter), you should always include an image that exemplifies or support the content of the form.

We’ve generally seen a 50-70% increase in conversion rate when you compare two identical forms where one has an image and the other one doesn’t.

Image in popup converts
Image in popup converts 50-70% better than popup without image

In this example from livingshop there’s a 64,5% higher conversion rate on the form with the image than on the one without the image.

3. The survey

You can also use popups and slide-ins to create surveys to get your visitors to engage with you, and provide valuable feedback.

For instance if you have a product you would like their opinion on, you can do like B&O Play has done with one of their speakers.

B&O ask people which color of the product they like in the popup
B&O ask people which color of the product they like in the popup

They ask which color people like best, which they can use in the development of new products.

You should also add a survey form to your receipt page. When a customer has just bought something they are much more likely to respond to your feedback inquiries.

Ask them how they would rate their experience on a scale from one to five, and add a comment field where they can provide a comment about why they gave you that rating.

Don’t ask them ten different questions about their user experience. Your forms should only take a few seconds to fill in. This applies to any type of opt-in form you create. Only ask for the things you really need, such as their email address and maybe their name.

We’ve seen that every time you add an input field to your form, your conversion rate decreases by 50%. So consider that every time you want to ask for more information.

You can also collect email addresses through the survey form. Just create a form where you ask if they would like to rate their experience and offer to send them an email with a few questions.

You can always add that if they answer your questions they’ll enter the competition to win one of your products or something else. That will definitely get you more answers.

4. Re-direct your visitors

Another way of engaging your visitors is to re-direct them to the pages you want them to see. This could for instance be one of your new products, or your best sold products.

B&O Play uses a slide-in to redirect visitors to one of their new televisions.

B&O Play uses a slide-in to redirect visitors to one of their new televisions
B&O Play uses a slide-in to redirect visitors to one of their new televisions

When you create these redirect forms, you need to ensure that the landing page you redirect them to is constructed to convince them to buy the product or in other ways engage with the content of the site, depending on what page you redirect them to.

Redirecting your visitors also work very well with exit-intent. The exit-intent technology triggers a popup the moment a visitor is about to leave your site.

This is your last chance to either convert your visitor into an email lead or get them to re-engage with your site. People are flock animals, and we tend to follow the crowd when making decisions.

Thus, it would be optimal to redirect your abandoning visitors to one of your most popular product pages. Just make sure you write a short but convincing copy in your form.

5. Abandoned cart

Speaking of exit-intent, the last engagement strategy I want to share with you is how to deal with cart abandonment.

The average cart abandonment is around 68%. This means that 68% of your visitors who add items to their cart never complete their purchase. This is a lot of potential revenue going down the drain.

There are a few things you can do to try and lower that rate.

First, you need to catch them before they leave with an exit-intent popup as Cocomi does on their site.

Cocomi's example of exit-intent popup
Cocomi’s example of exit-intent popup

This is a regular exit-intent popup and not an abandoned cart popup, but the concept is the same.

What I would do instead is to change the copy a little bit. I like that they write “Hey! Before you go!” It creates a sense of urgency and catches the abandoning visitor’s attention.

The I would write something like “How about we send you a 15% discount code so you can finish your purchase later today? We’ll save your items for you, so just enter your email below to get the discount and this won’t be the last time you’ll get a great discount on your favorite items.”

Offer them a discount code that they can use immediately or save for later. This way you might convince them to complete their purchase, and get them on your email marketing list for future campaigning.

Conclusion

Engaging your website visitors and your customers doesn’t have to be rocket science. Adding a few popups or slide-ins to your site with the right message will do wonders for your business.

No matter what the message and design of your forms is, it should always be relevant to your business and your product.

You can be as creative as you want with these forms, and only your imagination sets the boundaries for what you can do.
Start exploring the potential popups and slide-ins hold, and watch your conversion rate rise to new heights.