Why the chatbot craze?
To sum it up, if done right, it gets more (and better) leads through the door. On top of that, it then pushes a higher percentage of them to the checkout counter (figuratively). On top of that, post-checkout counter, it elevates the customer experience leading to lifts in retention rates. On top of that...actually, I’ll let the numbers speak for themselves…
Reeling in more (and better qualified) leads
“Leads that come in through Drift (chatbot) are 4 to 5 times more likely to convert into sales opportunities compared to our other lead sources.” -- Drift
So, what’s the secret sauce behind chatbots bringing in hot, qualified leads? It’s meeting customers where and WHEN they want to be met. Think about how many ready-to-buy leads may have and will slip through the cracks if that’s your only site conversion points were the traditional form on landing page.
If a live visitor is interested in buying then and there, and if they can’t get to you in that moment, they’re not going to fill out a form and wait for someone to get back to them. They’re heading to a competitor. Remember? Millennials? Immediate gratification? Yeah.
“People in key decision-making roles are often the ones choosing to connect with businesses via real-time messaging. In terms of seniority, 41% of the people having conversations were executives. CEOs made up 7.1%.” – also Drift
This one should need no explanation. Conversational marketing reduces friction for decision makers looking to make contact with your business. HotDamn.
Response time – it makes or breaks a sale
"If you engage with a lead within five minutes of them indicating interest in your offer, you’re 100 times more likely to actually speak with them than if you wait even 30 minutes. The odds of qualifying that lead are also 21 times higher." -- InsideSales
Note that the study was conducted in 2015, and buyers have only gotten more impatient, not less. But hey, not every business has the manpower to respond to every lead within 5 minutes. The beauty of chatbots? You don’t need it.
Of course, having live chat available with a real person should still be your #1 go-to whenever possible, but chatbots can be your second net. It essentially gives live visitors the opportunity to engage with your business 24/7. The possibilities with a chatbot strategy are endless – use it to route them to knowledge articles, learn more about your business, schedule time with a real person. Point is, make sure they’ll have access to what they want without having to wait.
People are fatiguing of traditional channels (but you already knew that)
"The metrics convinced me: 88% open rate and 56% click through rate!" -- Neil Patel, email-marketing evangelist
The Hubspot numbers:
Hubspot saw a 2.5X lift in open rates and 6X increase in number of clicks on Facebook Messenger when compared to email.
The Twilio numbers:
A 2016 study showed that 9 out of 10 consumers would like the option to use messaging to contact a business.
The Facebook numbers:
“Conversations between users and companies inside Messenger have a 30% better return on investment than retargeting ads on the web”
The above all tell the same story, your business can’t be solely reliant on traditional conversion points like emails, or static landing pages with forms. Now don’t get me wrong, those methods still have a time and place, but don’t focus all your resources on optimizing landing pages. Get smart about how you’re spending your time. Meet your customers where and when they want to be met with your kickass conversational marketing strategy.
It’s not just about lead generation or conversion (think FLYWHEEL!)
“65% of consumers feel good about themselves and the company when they can handle an issue without talking to a live person, and 61% think that chatbots allow for faster answers.” – Aspect Software
Conversational marketing extends just beyond getting leads in, it’s also about customer delight. Customers want to feel empowered, and not have to contact a live person every time they run into every little thing. A support chatbot strategy allows for that. Anticipate a customer’s need before they even need it. And when they do, make the experience seamless.
The Bottom Line
"Since implementing conversational marketing, RapidMiner, a leading data science platform, has influenced 25% of their pipeline with conversations—an amount worth well over $1 million to them. " -- Drift
I won't even elaborate on this.
Conversational Marketing Strategy - Get On It
Now I’m not saying your product or service doesn’t matter (because obviously no one’s going to buy a shit product no matter your marketing strategy, or like not many people anyway).
But what I AM saying, is that in a digital time where you’re competing with companies offering similar products and services, it comes down to the experience you offer, ie. how and when you're reaching them. Crafting a killer conversational marketing strategy that supports every stage of the flywheel from lead generation to conversion to customer delight could be just what your business needs to break away from the pack. If it's not already a part of your digital marketing strategy, get on it.
Oh and if you have no idea where to start, we’ve got you. We love geeking out over conversational marketing strategy (and marketing in general if it wasn’t obvious).
Oh and if you had no idea wtf a conversational marketing strategy was this whole time, this should help.