Ecommerce Marketing Qualified Leads Strategy (Hint: 573 MQLs With Crickets)

CRIK Nutrition is a small eCommerce company run by Canadian entrepreneur and bug enthusiast Alex Drysdale. Alex was reading an article one day about the benefits of cricket protein: it's nutrient-dense, ethical, and sustainable. He got so excited about the benefits of eating crickets that he started eating them for lunch.

That’s when he started to think… how do you ingest crickets in a way that’s not going to be gross? Alex looked up cricket protein powders, but no one was making them. That’s when CRIK Nutrition cricket protein powder was born. Alex thought “if we can put a man on the moon, then I’m sure I can make a cricket taste like vanilla.”

Alex built a Shopify store to sell his cricket protein powder and started using Sumo for his store’s lead generation. With Sumo installed, he was ready to implement a lead generator that would:

  • Be low-cost or free

  • Make most visitors happy it popped up

  • Prequalify visitors as real potential customers

So he came up with a “Free Protein” giveaway where he would randomly send out one tub of his cricket protein powder every month to people who entered the giveaway with their email address—a small price to pay (about $35 per tub for the product and shipping) for the number of leads he received.

The “Free Protein” giveaway’s primary purpose is to prequalify leads. Alex knows nearly every person who signs up for the giveaway is at least interested in trying cricket protein powder. There's a much higher chance of these leads becoming paying customers one day if he plays his cards right.

To make sure everyone who visits the CRIK Nutrition website has a chance to sign up for his giveaway, Alex uses three Sumo tools:

  1. Sumo Smart Bar

  2. Screenshot of a landing page with the Sumo smart bar

    This Smart Bar is set up to show at the top of every page on the website (excluding mobile devices).

  3. Sumo Welcome Mat

  4. Screenshot of a sumo welcome mat

    This Welcome Mat is set up to show on a website visitor’s second page view (excluding mobile devices).

  5. Sumo List Builder Popup

  6. Screenshot of a sumo popup

This List Builder Popup is set up to show after one pageview on mobile devices (desktop devices and the cart page are excluded). It is a timed popup that appears after one second if a visitor hasn’t seen a popup in two days. 

Alex set it up to show after the first pageview because he knows about Google’s recent updates being harsher on sites with full-page popups, and anything covering the main site content immediately after loading on mobile. Having the popup show only after the first pageview meant CRIK Nutrition’s website shouldn’t be impacted by Google’s updates.

With these three Sumo lead generation tools working together, Alex generated 573 qualified leads (196 from his Smart Bar, 366 from his List Builder Popup, and 11 from his Welcome Mat).

Screenshot of sumo popup stats

Note: CRIK Nutrition’s Smart Bar and List Builder Popup have been running for one year, while the Welcome Mat has only been running ten days. That’s why the Welcome Mat only has 11 qualified leads. CRIK’s conversion rate on the Welcome Mat, however, is double the 2.5% average we see across Sumo customers, so it will be a great lead generator.

Alex has been slowing growing CRIK Nutrition’s website traffic from 1,000 visitors per month to 5,000 per month over the last year. As his traffic increases, his qualified leads will scale with his traffic.

So far, Alex hasn’t been doing any email marketing to his list of qualified leads, because he’s been getting so many orders from all his organic traffic that he’s running out of product.

But to give you an idea of how well qualified leads convert into sales for Alex’s product, here are the conversion rates from email to purchase Alex has been getting from partnering with influencers:

  • 25% conversion rate from bigger paleo email lists

  • >25% conversion rate from smaller paleo email lists

Alex can expect about the same or higher conversion rate from his own email list, which means he’s projected to generate 143 sales from the 573 qualified leads he got with Sumo. At a minimum order value of $59.99 for one tub of cricket protein powder, Alex is looking at generating a minimum of $8,578 sales. 

Aside from the sales, what’s important to take away from this case study is that it’s possible to generate qualified leads for your eCommerce business no matter how big or small you are, or what you are selling. Just follow these three simple steps:

  1. Come up with a giveaway offer that is the same as your best-selling product or complements your best-selling product, so you are generating qualified leads (CRIK Nutrition’s best seller is cricket protein powder, so they give away a tub of cricket protein powder every month).

  2. Promote your giveaway offer using Sumo Smart Bar, Sumo Welcome Mat, and Sumo List Builder so you have multiple opportunities to capture leads. Click here to sign up for Sumo if you don’t have it yet.

  3. Convert your qualified leads into customers using email marketing automation. This could be as simple as sending one automated email after your giveaway ends to announce the monthly winner of your giveaway, with a discount or free shipping code on your products, like the example below (but with incentives to buy your store’s products).

Screenshot of an email

If you want more inspiration on other email automations you can use, check out our list of first-purchase emails here.

Want help executing this marketing qualified lead giveaway strategy for your own eCommerce business and want to see what other opportunities there are for your business? Click here to get a free site optimization.

If you want to do it while snacking on crickets that have double the protein of beef, more calcium than milk, and nine times more Omegas than wild salmon, then go check out Alex’s cricket protein powder over at CRIK Nutrition.

Grow Your Traffic Like Tony Robbins

Get the same tools Tony Robbins used to grow website leads by 15%

Trusted by some of your favorite companies