How to use inbound marketing in your e commerce to attract more clients (with real examples)

I bet you know something about the notion of “inbound marketing”.

You know it’s a strategy that’s based on attracting users, instilling an interest for your products in them, and turning them into customers.

That said, the theory is of little use if you don’t know how to put it into practice.

For example, it could be that:

  • You’re still not totally sure about what content to publish in your e-commerce’s blog.
  • Those who subscribe to your mailing list never become customers.
  • Despite generating some sales, your loyal customer rate remains low.

Long story short, you don’t really know how to use inbound marketing in your e‑commerce.

Worry not, because we’re going to put an end to that right now.

And to do so, we’re going to give you practical examples of various companies that are using inbound marketing as part of their sales strategies.

We know these examples will give you a few ideas for your store, so grab a pen and paper – and let’s get to it!

👉 First of all, why should you use inbound marketing in your e‑commerce?

Let’s start with the definition (if you already know it, you can skip this part and head straight to the examples):

Inbound marketing is a methodology that uses non‑intrusive marketing techniques to attract potential customers and lead them down the path to a purchase.

A complete inbound marketing strategy consists of four parts:

  1. Attract: getting users to visit your website.
  2. Nurture: the moment anonymous users become subscribers or leads.
  3. Sell: once they become subscribers, you need to guide users through the sales funnel until they decide to buy.
  4. Foster loyalty: lastly, you turn customers into loyal repeat buyers.

In conclusion, this strategy covers all stages of the customer journey.

 “Why should I be interested in this if I own an online store?”

For quite a few of reasons, actually. 😉

We’ve already told you about this methodology and all the benefits it brings to your e‑commerce in another post, but here’s a brief reminder:

But how do you apply all this theory?

That’s precisely what we’re about to cover.

👉 7 examples of companies applying inbound marketing (and what you can learn from them)

Now it’s time to go over the examples we promised you.

✅ 1. We Are Knitters: video tutorials that teach you to use their products

You may now be thinking…

This whole inbound thing is pretty cool, but the products I sell are too simple to create content out around them”.

Sure about that? We might be able to change your mind after telling you about We Are Knitters. 😉

We Are Knitters is an online store that only sells two things: wool balls and sewing needles. But this fairly simple catalog hasn’t stopped them from building an audience of almost 40,000 YouTube subscribers.

Their strategy relies on tutorials that teach different sewing techniques, patterns, etc.

Here’s one of their videos.

✅ 2. GoPro: customer-generated content

At GoPro they’ve also relied on video marketing to attract potential customers, albeit with a slightly different approach.

Instead of creating content themselves, they post videos made by their own clients to their YouTube channel (after applying a few editing improvements). Here’s an example:

These kinds of videos keep their community engaged and serve as social proof to show that their products work.

You could easily adjust this strategy to your e‑commerce by encouraging your followers to share photos or videos using your products.

As a matter of fact, people have been using this user-made content technique for quite a while in certain sectors, such as fashion.

✅ 3. Mr. Wonderful: fun posts that connect people

Mr. Wonderful is a Spanish startup created in 2013 that’s been on a nonstop growth trajectory.

In part, this can be attributed to their unmistakable brand image, but their content strategy on social media has also played a role. 😉

Mr. Wonderful realized that social media is a place where people seek entertainment.

And that’s why there’s no intent to sell in half of their posts. Instead, they mainly consist of motivational quotes and fun illustrations, many of which go viral.

The end result?

Not only have they managed to create a strong bond with their followers but they have also expanded internationally, establishing selling points all over the world.

✅ 4. Lucky Brand: lead magnets with a discount

Lead magnets are little “presents” you give your site visitors in exchange for their email (meaning they become your subscribers).

Most of the time, lead magnets are e‑books or educational content of some sort.

However, lots of online stores have adopted a more direct strategy of offering small discounts.

This is what they’ve done at the clothes shop Lucky Brand.

As soon as you land on their site, a pop‑up offers you a 10% discount if you sign up for their newsletter.

Not only do they get you to subscribe, but you’re also more likely to end up buying something in order to use that voucher.

✅ 5. Bespoke Post: segmenting subscribers from the very first email

What happens when someone subscribes to your mail list?

Well, that means it’s time to segment them. 😉

Lead scoring (or segmentation of potential customers) is one of the pillars of inbound marketing. Its goal is for each of your subscribers to receive their favorite kind of content so they advance through your sales funnel.

And that’s what they do at Bespoke Post, a website that sends you a surprise box every month.

Once you’re subscribed, you get an email asking you to configure your preferences.

You can implement the same system into your online store and allow your followers to specify the kinds of products they’d like to receive offers and content for.

✅ 6. Sephora: tips to look better (and that create the ultimate urge to buy)

Many stores have become experts in the laws of attraction.

They publish high-quality content and offer their users irresistible lead magnets to get them to subscribe to their mailing lists.

But that’s where they get stuck.

The list of potential customer grows, but they never complete a single order.

In many cases, that’s because they focus solely on selling and forget about a crucial step: lead nurturing or qualifying potential customers.

In other words, offering your subscribers useful content to gain their trust and make them more willing to purchase your products.

Sephora’s newsletters are a good example of this:

While they don’t neglect sales in their emails, the main message consists of a make‑up tutorial that they give their subscribers for free.

✅ 7. Starbucks Rewards: fostering loyalty with extra coffee

Remember: selling is not the endgame of an inbound marketing strategy.

Once you gain new clients, you need to try and make sure they’ll choose you over and over again.

That is, you need to foster loyalty among them.

And loyalty programs are a proven strategy for this.

For example, think of Starbucks Rewards, the point-based system for the world’s most famous brand of cafés.

Once they’ve signed up, users accumulate points every time they order or take part in games and contests on the brand’s social media or mobile app (which is, in turn, a good example of an omnichannel strategy).

Every now and then, users get an email telling them how many points they’ve accumulated:

At the end of the day, it’s the same point-based system that is used in physical stores, but it works like a charm to foster loyalty among your clients.

👉 One last note about using inbound marketing

The examples we’ve seen cover the main stages of an inbound marketing strategy.

However, there’s another key component to every marketing strategy that we haven’t mentioned yet – user experience.

Remember that the exact moment when a sale occurs, which is the most delicate time in the process, takes place on your own site.

So something as simple as bad navigability can mean all your efforts go to waste, and the same happens if your users can’t find the product they’re after.

And it’s just the opposite when they can find those products. 😉

Some websites that were seeing subpar results have seen their sales skyrocket after implementing an improved internal search engine.

You don’t believe it? Then here’s the deal:

>> Click here for a free 30-day trial of Doofinder for your website<<.

See for yourself what a difference it makes to have a smart search engine instead of the default option.

If it’s not what you expected, just uninstall it.

But if it does work for you, you’d better be ready to sell. 😉