How to capture high-quality leads throughout the customer journey - Yieldify | Customer Journey Tools

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How to capture high-quality leads throughout the customer journey

We discuss smart and simple ways to generate an abundance of high-quality e-commerce leads for your email database during every stage of the customer journey.

The marketing world’s full of terribly clichéd phrases. And if there’s one that stands head and shoulders above the rest it’s got to be ‘the money’s in the list’. It’s a phrase every marketer, whether new to the game or a seasoned vet, loves to spout at every opportunity. However, there’s a resounding problem for many who utter this phrase.

Knowing a large, high-quality list of leads enables you to nurture potential customers and boost sales is one thing. Knowing how to build a large high-quality email list is quite another, and it seems to be something most marketers don’t fully understand.

Whilst there’s a plethora of advice and tactics out there to help you build your email database, most are too general. If you’ve ever read an article that extols the value of “using well optimised opt-in forms” you’ll know what I mean.

It’s good advice, but not practical or detailed enough and it often overlooks one key tenet necessary for gathering high-quality leads.

I am of course talking about personalisation, and in this case, appealing to visitors at different stages of the customer journey. You can’t roll out one generic message, at the same point in the user journey and expect it to gather new sign-ups across the board!

To see a significant increase in your email database, you need to cater your lead generation efforts for visitors at every stage of awareness.

What are the different stages of awareness?

Below is an illustration of the five levels of awareness outlined by the legendary copywriter Eugene Schwartz.

Five levels of awareness

Customers that visit your site prepped and ready to buy are in the minority. The rest are progressing through the above stages of awareness. They’re taking baby steps with their research until settling on the business and product they deem most suited to their needs.

If you want to grow your list with quality leads you need to know how to appeal to this 96% and their current stage of awareness. Once you’ve got leads onto a list you can work on creating an autoresponder or content campaign that ushers them along and towards a sale.

But the whole process hinges on your ability to generate leads. To appeal to users and the pain points, queries and questions they’re having at that particular stage. One of the best methods to achieve this is through dynamic overlays. A dynamic overlay presents a personalised message to users based on their past and current behaviours. When properly optimised it directly appeals to the needs of each individual user.

Here are a few tips we’ve discovered from implementing dynamic campaigns to generate huge, high-quality lists. In short, it’s all about delivering the right message to the right person at the right time.

 How to appeal to the unaware & problem aware

This group primarily consists of first-time visitors. Prospects who are in the research stage of their journey. They’re often experiencing a problem and checking different sites and suppliers to see what solutions are available and at what price.

Which behaviours to track

Problem and unaware users exhibit unique behaviour. Generally speaking, we’ve found those unaware users:

  • Come from search engines and use general search terms. They’re searching for a solution but don’t yet know what it so uses Google as a research tool
  • Have no previous purchase history or an existing account
  • Spend less time on site and view fewer pages

The overlays that bring the best results

Identifying the unaware prospects is only half the battle. Once you’ve identified them you need to appeal to their individual needs. You then need to deliver the right message at the right time.


Unaware users are researching. They’re jumping from site to site to see what immediately jumps out at them within the first 8 seconds. Those first 8 seconds are crucial to capturing attention and keeping your prospect on the page.

Entry triggered overlays are a great way to quickly get your message in front of fickle users before they decide to take their search elsewhere.


As well as the timing, the message is extremely important. You’ll need to address user anxieties or grab their attention to have the best chance of collecting their email address. The best method is to offer some form of benefit that’s directly related to their primary anxiety. It’s why you see so many headlines and search engine result pages offering ‘5 quick tips to [solve the problem]’.

Placing relevant content or incentives behind an email gate is a simple way to generate more leads. Here’s an overlay example from our Domino’s campaign that was displayed to first-time visitors.

Domino's overlay

These new visitors were presented with a small incentive to provide their email address and continue on with their purchase.

Appealing to the Solution Aware

This group knows they have a problem and are aware of the solution. So, let’s say your customer is on the hunt for a new dress for spring. That’s the problem. The solution is buying the dress – you just need to supply her with the product, or at least some information that can help her find what she’s after.

What Behaviours to Track

Solution aware users spend more time on site researching individual products. They’re looking to discover their perfect product and will be checking your claims and the proof of those claims.

As such, solution aware users tend to exhibit:

  • Longer times on product pages
  • Switching between similar products within a category
  • Longer cursor hover time as they read
  • Increased scrolling (both up and down)

The Overlays that Bring the Best Results

The above behaviours exhibit a stronger interest in individual products and an intent to purchase. This gives you more information about your visitor, making it simpler for you to personalise your incentive and increasing the likelihood you’ll get your lead.


All the behaviours listed in the above section can be used as overlay triggers. You just need to test what message resonates with customers best at that point in the customer journey and for different behaviours.


You’ve got to ensure that your messaging here resonates with the goals of the user. They know the problem, they understand the solution. All they need to do is understand the product.

Our spring dress shopper won’t respond well to a free magazine detailing ‘this year’s top 10 running shoes’. However, a guide to ‘This spring’s hottest dresses’ should grasp her attention and help her solve her problem. This makes it more likely she’ll part with her email address and give you further opportunities to build a relationship and make sales in the future.

Personalising overlay content to on-site behaviour is a smart way to generate leads by giving your consumer the information, or product, they’re after.

Yieldify example

Appealing to Product or Fully Aware Users

These are your ideal prospects. They know who you are, what you do and the products you provide. They’ve often even zeroed in on a handful of products that are going to compare and contrast them before making their final decision.

What Behaviours to Track

These users are one step away from pressing the purchase button. Fortunately for you, they’re also pretty easy to spot at a distance.

Often, product and fully aware users:

  • Are direct visitors. They’ve bookmarked the product page they like and so land directly on it
  • Come from product specific search engine results (“Buy Adidas Sambas” as opposed to “Great Adidas Shoes”
  • Perhaps add an item to their cart

The Overlays that Bring the Best Results

As I’ve said these prospects are pretty much at the point of purchase. They just need a slight push.

One argument is to leave them to it, and there’s a lot of merit in that argument. If they purchase you’ve a good chance they’ll sign up to your list as part of the checkout procedure.

But nothing’s ever guaranteed. The continually high levels of cart abandonment show us that more than half of consumers with the strongest purchase intent still abandon their carts.

You’ll want a safety net in place, one that’s specifically there to capture and re-engage users who change their mind at the last minute.


You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot here. The best option is to leave those who are very interested to go about their business.

That is of course unless they exhibit signs of leaving the site before completing that purchase.

That’s the best time to trigger an overlay for product aware customers.


As for the message it’s all about overcoming that final bit of resistance. The little voice in the back of the customer’s mind that asks if they really need the product now and whether they can afford to spend the cash.

At this stage, the most straightforward solution is to offer some form of financial incentive. Something like a voucher for 10% off if they complete the purchase now. However, whilst this might secure you sales that you would otherwise have lost, you’re still down 10% each time the offer is taken up.

To really get the most out of your exit intent campaigns we recommend the following which have proved successful in our own campaigns:

  1. Use the overlay to offer a money off voucher IF basket value is increased. We used this to achieve a 9% increase in AOV for our Domino’s Campaign.
  2. Request an email address for the delivery of your incentive. This tactic captured thousands of new email addresses during our Marks and Spencer campaign.
  3. Emphasise urgency, for example with a countdown clock, or amplify existing onsite offers such as free delivery.
  4. By collecting an email address, even if the customer doesn’t complete their purchase on the spot, you’re able to get opt-in to follow up with an email remarketing campaign – giving you a second chance to entice your user to purchase.

Of course, you can also use the email address for traditional email marketing or trust building drip campaigns.

e-commerce lead generation example

User expectation needs to be one of your top priorities

The success of your lead generation campaign depends heavily on your ability to cater to user expectations. If you’re sending the wrong message, at the the wrong time, to the wrong users, they’re not going to hand over their email address. You need to consider everything from where they are in the purchase journey to their on site behaviour and even the device they favour.

Understand your user’s intent and expectations and you can create a far more personalised and optimised experience for them which is the first step in increasing your conversions.