If you want to drive customers to your brick-and-mortar business, start online. Digital marketing strategies that generate leads online are an effective way to bring back existing customers and keep your store filled with new consumers.

Let’s look at how you can generate leads online to drive customers to your physical storefront. 

1. Start list building.

List building is a term tossed around in digital marketing quite frequently. Businesses that sell online products typically focus most of their marketing goals around building an engaged email list that they can then sell their products to. 

But this strategy isn’t exclusive to digital businesses. It works for physical storefronts, like retailers, restaurants, spas, and service-based businesses as well.  

To start generating leads online to drive customers to your store, begin by setting up an email marketing or customer relationship manager tool to start list building. Then, start adding people to your list. 

2. Create an online lead magnet. 

To get people to join your list, create a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a benefit or asset that drives consumers to join your list. It’s the thing that customers get in exchange for signing up for your email list. To receive the lead magnet, customers must provide their phone number or email address. 

Customers will be more likely to join your list if they are excited about what they get in return. So create a lead magnet that is attractive to your target audience. Here are a few examples of lead magnets that work for brick-and-mortar businesses.

Coupons & Discounts 

Coupons that customers can use to save on their purchase are ideal lead magnets. Not only does discount marketing give customers something valuable, but it also targets customers near the bottom of the purchase funnel. Customers who want coupons are ready to buy, so they are an ideal audience to add to your list. 

For example, a retail store could offer 25% off a purchase, while a quick-service restaurant may offer a coupon for a free combo upgrade during the customer’s next visit. 

Gated Online Resources

Your business may be brick-and-mortar, but that doesn’t mean your customers don’t go online to research before they buy from you in person. Many customers go online to learn about products and services before they decide to make a purchase. Leverage this demand for education by creating valuable, gated resources that require customers to enter their contact information to access.

For example, an auto business may conduct an online webinar or create an ebook about annual car maintenance. This online education generates leads while attracting and helping potential customers and showcasing the brand’s products and services. 

Customer Referral Program 

Generate leads online by asking your customers to help you. If your brand already has loyal fans, have them help drive new business your way. Set up a customer referral program that rewards existing customers for introducing new customers to your brand. Make it easy for customers to participate by setting up a program online where customers create an account and submit referral email addresses and phone numbers. 

For example, a salon and spa may create a customer referral program where their current customers can submit the name and email address of someone who may also enjoy your services. Then, if that customer makes a purchase, both the new and existing customer receive a coupon for their next purchase. 

3. Promote your lead magnet on your website. 

Once you decide on a lead magnet, you need to make it easy for customers to see it and sign up for it.  You want customers to notice your lead magnet when they go to your website to research your business before they visit. So prominently promote your lead magnet on your brand website

You may choose to promote the lead magnet:

  • On the homepage
  • In the sidebar
  • In the footer 
  • On a pop-up  
  • In a hello bar that sits at the top of your site

4. Promote your lead magnet through social media channels. 

Customers may connect with your brand on social media instead of going right to your website. So set up your social profiles to highlight and promote your lead magnet. 

Make it easy for your followers to see your lead magnet.

  • Create graphics that promote your lead magnet and use them as header photos on your profiles.
  • Link to your lead magnet in social profile URL fields. 
  • Regularly post about your offer.
  • Use paid social ads to target ideal customers and drive them to your lead magnet. 

5. Drive leads to your business (and get them to buy).

Once you go through these steps, you will start to generate online leads. Then you need to use lead nurturing to guide those interested prospects into coming into your store.

To turn your list into in-store shoppers:

  • Create a newsletter that is released on a consistent timeline. Don’t send an email whenever you feel like it. Create an editorial calendar for your newsletter and stick to it.
  • Share promotions and events. Drive interested audiences to your store by highlighting sales, in-store events, and other timely promotions that customers can only get in your store. 
  • Use personalization. Gather information about your leads (by collecting customer data when they join your list or interact with your brand), and use what you know about them to personalize emails. Add offers and content that you know will be most relevant to them. 

As you can see, digital marketing isn’t just for digital businesses. You can generate leads online to drive customers to your physical storefront. Use these strategies to keep a steady flow of new customers coming to your business and to keep existing customers coming back again and again. 

Then, make sure you have in-store marketing strategies that reach customers when they arrive. Get tips for making sure you can sell and connect with customers once they make it to your store with our free ebook The Ultimate Guide to In-Store Marketing: How to Create In-Store Experiences by Engaging and Educating Customers