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How to convert Pinterest traffic into sales

How to convert Pinterest traffic into sales Kevin Bobowski

Pinterest is a powerhouse when it comes to driving online sales. It's responsible for 23 percent of all social commerce. And Pinterest users are bigger spenders on follow-through purchases than users of any other social network -- giving marketers a big incentive to optimize their Pinterest strategies.

To make Pinterest an e-commerce weapon, marketers should consider the following tactics:

Use products to your advantage

Get people so excited about your products that they go straight to your website to purchase with one click. Here's how:

  • Build demand by giving your followers a sneak peek of upcoming collections or anticipated product launches. Make several pieces of content exclusive to Pinterest and tout it on other channels. Drive the viewers back to a page on the website where they can sign up to receive exclusive announcements and easily be directed to shopping opportunities.

  • Pin products as soon as they are listed for sale on your site for a sales boost during launch week.

  • Keep the momentum going with boards of your best selling items, gift guides, and sales.

For the 2013 holiday season, Pinterest launched its own effort to give online shoppers gift ideas, and their creative boards give almost any niche marketer an idea of targeting their audience. Guest pinner Andrew Zimmerman featured several items straight from Food 52's website, an awesome driver of traffic with one goal in mind: the purchase.

Run Pinterest contests that generate revenue

Consider running a contest that encourages fans to submit pins to your Pinterest brand page for the chance to win branded prizes. Prompt them to explore your website for items to submit; it's a great way to drive traffic and discovery. Just don't limit participants' choices too much!

Forever 21 ran a contest that asked participants to create their own branded board and pin items directly from the Forever 21 website for their chance to win a $1,000 gift card. Getting participants to spend time on the website while directly interacting with items for sale was a great way to show off products and encourage purchase follow-through -- because some tank tops you just cannot live without once you see. 


Ask for email opt-ins

When pinners enter contests, ask them to provide an email and opt-in to email offers. This way you can create targeted email lists and use them to entice individuals back to your website and make purchases. It's just another way to increase online sales.

Bonnie Plants is currently running a Pinterest contest that pulls together several of these elements, but the email opt-in is key. The brand knows that those participating will be interested in its products in the future because the contest is geared toward gardeners.

When contestants go to submit a pin, they are given the option to opt-in to the email list. It's not required, but if they get this far in interacting with your brand, you can bet a few individuals will want to receive special offers and company news.


Get more revenue by measuring results

  • Use the free Pinterest analytics tool to analyze the performance of what's popular with pinners and what content is driving traffic back to your site, and use it for future planning.

  • Use your website's analytic tools to track conversions and look for style trends that may have contributed to the content's success and work on replicating it.

  • Want insight into what's resulting in revenue? Create pins with unique, trackable links back to items on your site, and track conversions via your website's analytics tools. 

All of these insights will help you make smarter choices about what items you pin in the future. With insights into Pinterest-driven commerce, you can adapt strategies to maximize conversions. Knowing what items perform well on Pinterest will help determine what you feature in ads, on your site, and in email marketing campaigns.

You could even use the knowledge for merchandising and product development. After all, Pinterest is a burgeoning force in the world of social commerce. By tapping into its power, you can see big results in 2014.

Kevin Bobowski is the VP of marketing for Offerpop.

On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet. Follow Bobowski at @bobowski.

Kevin Bobowski (@bobowski) is the vp of marketing for Offerpop, a New York-based social marketing software company that powered the first use of a hashtag in a Super Bowl commercial in 2011, in the '#ProgressIs' campaign by auto manufacturer client...

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