ChatBots: the Not-So-Secret Lead Generation Weapon

Americans download zero apps per month. That’s not to say that they aren’t spending 57% of their time online in mobile apps, it just means that audiences are spending all that time in a few apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or one of the dozens other apps that have revolutionized messaging. But if audiences are keeping to themselves in private messaging apps, does that mean those customers are lost to marketers? That’s where chatbot lead generation comes into play.

It seems like the word chatbot is everywhere these days,- the term chatbot refers to anything artificial intelligence (AI) designed to communicate with humans in a way that mimics human conversation. Siri is chatbot, sure, but so are most of those little windows we click that say, “What can I help you with today?”

If you’re thinking of diving into the world of AI chatbots, Facebook Messenger is the best place to start. At over one billion users and climbing, Facebook is really the one messaging app where savvy marketers need to be, lest they miss out on important conversations with highly qualified leads. And the “Click to Message” feature of the Facebook app is your entry point for connecting with those leads.

chatbot-cellphone-image

According to the SMSS blog, one of the best parts of utilizing Click to Message is the ability to ask leads qualifying questions before the chat process even begins and throughout the entirety of the conversation. And after identifying qualified leads, AI chatbots provide ample opportunity for nurturing those leads. Offering ebooks, discount codes, or even a free trial are all excellent ways to move leads down the funnel. And finally, take a cue from Sephora and design your chatbot to get customers in the store by making it easy to book appoints with the sales team.

Website/landing page

You’ve probably noticed that more and more websites and landing pages are including chatbots, and the move toward chatbots as a website standard makes sense. When customers click a link, they’re probably looking for information, and chatbots provide a deeper dive than text on a webpage.

Recently Fran Conejos, co-founder & CMO of @Landbot_io, was looking to investigate the ways his company’s live chat solution could drive lead gen. However, a bug in the system actually forced its chat feature into fullscreen mode every time a new user entered. Surprisingly, the team quickly found out that forcing users to chat actually led to four times higher user conversion than providing a small chatbot window in the corner of the screen.

While you may not be interested in forcing your customers to chat, the happy accident goes to show that chatbot lead generation works and chatty customers are generally happy customers. If you’re looking to add a chat feature to your website or even create a chatbot-centric landing page, one of the most important elements, according to de Vivo, is a plan.

“The very nature of chatbots is to gain more information over time, so keep that in mind when developing one of your very own,” de Vivo writes. “The insights about your customers can help you with segmented marketing campaigns, recommend products and services, and upsell, to name a few benefits.”

Key questions include zip codes for location-based offers, product preferences, and reviews of past purchases.

From there, make sure to anticipate customer queries, and make sure to keep conversations light. Humans still aren’t crazy about talking to robots, even if they find them 35% more helpful than human customer service associates, and normal, easy conversation is crucial for nurturing leads using AI chatbots.

Does it work?

All signs point to yes. A recent survey conducted by Facebook found that customers are 50% more likely to buy from a brand after chatting, and it didn’t seem to matter whether the person on the other end of the chat was man or machine.

Of course, the technology may not have quite caught up with the enthusiasm for AI chatbots just yet. Who can forget Tay, Microsoft’s experiment meant to test AI chatbot capacity for learning by having a thinking chatbot mimic the speech patterns of a teenage girl? The technology quickly turned on its creators, releasing a series of violent, racist comments in a matter of hours, and forcing Microsoft to take Tay offline.

But most brands aren’t looking to create a fully-human sales rep in their chatbots. Instead, a fairly simple chatbot can provide 24-hour customer service, and use data from that customer service to generate and nurture qualified leads. So if you’re not feeling chatty just yet, you could soon be left behind.

There are a few chatbot builders that can make designing your Facebook chatbot a bit simpler. Let me know if you find any providers out there worth mentioning?

Cheers to your success.

Article via clickz.com author Emily Alford

 

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