marketing | 6 MIN READ
Conversations have always been at the center of sales, and the transition to the digital space hasn’t changed that. Chatbots are at the forefront of facilitating these conversations on the online front. According to stats, 55% of businesses that use chatbots generate more high-quality leads, and chatbots increase sales by 67%.
So now you know. Chatbots aren’t just a gimmick or any other tool to add to your tech stack. But instead, here to drive your conversations and demand generation. However, many businesses struggle with the ‘how’ aspect of it.
Buying a tool integrating them using chatbot templates is easy. But to be able to drive conversions and generate sales-qualified leads/appointment bookings requires a lot of research and creative content writing skills.
Not to worry, though. In this article, we’ll guide you through the learning we’ve gathered over the past four years working on thousands of chatbot projects.
The whole idea of chatbot marketing relies on chatbots helping visitors push through the marketing funnel from prospects to leads, and there are various ways to do that. Listed below are proven ways through which you can ace your chatbot marketing game.
1. Encourage Proactive Engagement with Visitors
No matter how hard you try to build an interactive website, you can only create an inclusive experience if you allow the visitors to speak. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it?
Very few visitors will initiate a conversation with your chatbot on their own. Some may not even know there is a bot, as it is a tiny chat bubble floating around, usually at the bottom right corner of your browser window.
Your chatbot needs to be the one starting a conversation with them instead. A chatbot that can open its chat window automatically with a mere hello, or a greeting along with a sound effect, or a popup with a quirky message can grab eyeballs, make them aware of your bot, and motivate engagement from their end.
Better bot experiences with more engaged audiences can generate response rates as high as 80-90%. It also improves the reputation of your brand as being responsive.
For example, when visitors land on WotNot’s website, they’re alerted with a one-liner popup message via an intuitive sound tone to notify them of the bot. The message is crisp and summarizes the challenges a business would want to solve with WotNot.
On average, we’ve seen chatbots with this feature turned on experience a 60% increase in conversations and a 40% increase in potential leads being generated.
Chatbot Marketing doesn’t just encourage proactive engagement on websites. They are also an essential part of your social media channels. Let’s say you’ve run an ad campaign on Facebook. Instead of directing your prospects away from their preferred platform, your chatbot can have a conversation with them right there. It can help them navigate your store through conversations and complete purchases right from the social media chat that can boost your sales.
In a world that seeks instant gratification, you need to be on your toes when it comes to responding to consumers. When a visitor performs certain actions on a website, you want to reach out to them right away. You shouldn’t face limitations in terms of lack of agents or irregular timings. Chatbots make it possible for you to have an around-the-clock presence. Your prospects can reach out to you regardless of the time and place and enjoy a seamless experience on all your platforms without having a full-time team working towards the same.
2. Provide Personalized Product Recommendations
Conversational Commerce has been doing the rounds for a while now because it is the closest online retailers have come to replicating a brick-and-mortar experience online. Chatbots have what it takes to make the online shopping experience truly a tailor-made one.
Instead of fruitlessly navigating through product pages, your chatbot can showcase your products/services as carousels on the chat window. It can recommend products within a few clicks and allow users to place orders quickly.
For example, printing giant Domino Printers leverages its website chatbot to provide product recommendations to its site visitors. They have implemented it in two approaches,
First, you can choose the category and sub-category of the product you are looking for, and the bot would show you the list.
Second, like most people if you are buying that product for the first time, you most likely do not know the category details. Here the bot would ask you some questions like which industry you belong to, what material you would be printing on etc. to understand the use-case of their product, and then the bot would smartly show a list of products matching their need in carousels.
Domino Printing had more than 50 products to showcase on the bot, and they made use of an Airtable integration to store the product catalog details and make flow design easier within WotNot.
AI chatbots take it a notch higher by providing product/service recommendations based on your profile, history, or picture.
For example, Madison Reed, the American brand of hair care and hair color products, has a text-based chatbot that aids users find the best shade for their hair. The catch? You first need to upload a selfie, and the bot will provide a color recommendation based on your face structure and hairstyle.
Considering that your chatbots assist buyers throughout their customer journey, you need to leverage this opportunity to upsell and cross-sell. Each time a visitor checks out a product on your chatbot, you can showcase a list of complementary and similar products to push your sales.
Stats say that 47% of users are open to purchasing via a bot. So if the customers are willing to buy, you need to be ready to sell. Guide them through your website, personalize their experiences, and offer 24×7 support, and you’re one step closer to your sales benchmark.
3. Automate Scheduling of Meetings
If we speak about B2B sales, booking meetings and demos are crucial to taking the sales process forward. It is a significant indication of the genuineness of the prospect and shows a high desire to purchase.
However, scheduling meetings is also an administrative task that requires numerous back and forth emails and multiple phone calls. Research says that sales reps generate one appointment from every 209 calls. The window of opportunity here is very small, and you cannot afford to miss it because of, say, a manual error or a delayed response.
To automate this process, companies leverage appointment scheduling tools like Calendly and Chillipiper that allow businesses to define their availability and fields to be captured, such as name, email, phone, and embed it on your website or share it as a URL. Using it, visitors/customers will quickly see the available time slots to book a meeting.
You can entirely replicate this process on chatbots by integrating tools like Calendly, or Google Calendar where your prospects can pick a time from your availability and quickly schedule a meeting while conversing. You can also set reminders and notifications without any human involvement. This helps you generate Sales Qualified Leads without you having to spend hours to do so.
4. Ask Sales-Oriented Questions to Qualify Leads
Lead quality is probably one of the topmost reasons for a constant war between marketing and sales. Marketing makes considerable efforts to generate leads through ads, content, and social media, but determining how many are genuine and have an actual interest in buying your product requires intense efforts from the sales team. Sales teams need answers to four main parameters to qualify a lead: Budget, Authority, Need, and Timeline or BANT as it’s popularly called.
Getting this information is not as straightforward as you might think. It requires creating a rapport with the prospect and getting answers in the flow of a conversation. While you can do this via a phone call, chatbots help you speed up and scale the process. Customers are also more comfortable revealing these details over a chat as compared to an agent.
Some of the top questions you can include in your screening process on your chatbot are:
What brings you here today?
How heavily will price factor into your decision?
What is the budget you have in mind?
What is the value of the outcome the bot generates?
Who will be involved in the decision-making process?
When are you looking to get started with this project?
These questions don’t need to be very upfront. Imagine conversing with a person. Every time the visitor answers, acknowledge their answers and subtly move forward with the next question. It also becomes easy for the visitor to answer since the bot would suggest the possible answers in the form of buttons. It keeps the conversational feel intact and helps you narrow down your prospects.
Protip: You can integrate your chatbot with B2B contact database apps like Zoominfo or Clearbit that give you a comprehensive look at your prospects - from their company name, role, location, and contact information. So that you only need to ask the most important questions (Like the BANT ones) and leave the rest of the information to be automatically derived from these tools.
5. Always Strive for Personalization
Personalization is a key aspect of chatbot marketing. Just because you are having conversations with a bot does not mean they have to sound bland. There’s something very warm about addressing someone by their name, and you can very much leverage this tactic and retain the friendly vibe of a chat. There’s a difference between making the bot sound like a human and making it sound humane. Our goal is to achieve the latter.
Research says that 77% of B2B sales and marketing professionals believe personalized marketing experiences improve customer relationships. To get an overview of the prospect profile, you can again use database profiles like Zoominfo and Clearbit to create personalized messages based on prospect background.
Multi-lingual chatbots are another gem in offering personalized conversational experiences to visitors. For a company with a global presence, you think having a bot in English would be enough. But, according to Forbes, 60% of consumers rarely or never make purchases from English-only sites, and 75% want to make purchases in their language.
Personalization means you go the extra mile and understand your customers’ needs. Chatbots are the simplest and fastest way to address these localization challenges.
For example, Eat Easy, a food delivery company in the Middle East, built multi-lingual bots in English and Arabic to cater to their target market and make it convenient for customers to place orders via their app chatbot.
You have to take personalization up a notch by making it proactive, i.e., depending on which location a person is speaking with the bot, the bot could talk with the visitor in that region’s language. We have seen a lot of local companies in India, like Lava Mobiles, do this as their target audience is sparsely populated in rural areas.
WotNot allows you to build multilingual AI chatbots on top of NLP (Natural Language Processing) engines like IBM Watson and Dialogflow by Google that help you cater to international markets and bridge language gaps with potential customers.
6. Reach Out to Prospects with an Outbound Approach
Outbound leads are often called ‘cold leads’ as they haven’t voluntarily opted to communicate with you. To this day, the age-old practice of email and SMS marketing is still thriving as it allows businesses without any inbound traffic to be able to reach a broader audience with a respective CTA.
Not just outbound marketing, you may also already have a huge list of closed lost leads (Leads that did not become customers) that haven’t been contacted again for the same or another product/service. They may have become lost for reasons like no budget; a project is delayed, they found a competitor, etc.
But this doesn’t mean that they still do not need your service two months or six months down the line. It is always a good sales practice to nudge these lost prospects at least once in a while to keep engaged and learn more about their current state of business.
And chatbots are becoming the hottest way of scaling this outbound outreach to closed customers and reaching out to new audiences through cold conversations.
On WotNot, you can build an outbound campaign cadence structure to send messages to cold leads on WhatsApp and SMS. As per your cadence structure, the bot will keep reaching out to the contacts that you defined (Could be old leads, new audiences, subscribers, etc.) with a message that is creatively drafted with the sole aim of making them respond to that message - either positively or negatively.
And obviously, once someone does respond to the initial message, you will have your usual inbound bots to process these messages and take the prospect down the funnel.
This way, you are not just spraying and praying for a lead to come through. Instead, you’re interacting with them and understanding more about their needs before you make them schedule a call with your team.
Whether you opt for one of these chatbot marketing techniques or all, you need to remember that, at the end of the day, no matter your use case or your industry, a chatbot is a marketing tool. It can perform numerous functions; at its core, its motive should always be business growth via higher engagement. And our job as marketers should constantly be iterating on the conversation flow for better conversions. Because higher conversions mean more leads, and more leads mean more revenue.
Co-founder of WotNot. His leadership, pioneering vision, and relentless drive to innovate and disrupt has made WotNot a major player in the industry.