For years, email marketing has effortlessly defended its position as one of the most effective marketing strategies in the digital realm. When chatbots entered the race, many thought their personalized nature will push emails off their pedestal. To be honest, I am not a fan of black-and-white, either-or theories. And so, here is a little insight into how to make the best of both digital phenomena using chatbot email marketing.
Chatbot Email Marketing: The Best of Both Worlds
First of all, the rumors that it’s on the decline are not exactly true. Impressive 293.6 billion emails were sent and received per day in 2019 alone! That’s far from negligible. Plus, Statista predicts that by 2020, this number will increase to 347.3 billion.
You can see that email is not gonna become an old and obsolete strategy of digital marketing. The opposite actually. Growth is in the picture.
Furthermore, email marketing is generating a massive return on investment. According to Data Marketing Association (2019), for every $1 invested in your email marketing, one can expect a return of $42 on average. A smartly implemented email marketing strategy can make a decent profit.
While there are many other email marketing benefits, this one is by far the most convincing.
Whichever way you look at it, email marketing already survived the social media boom and it’ll very likely survive chatbots, too.
Why waste your time making two winning strategies compete?
Let’ see how their differences, when combined, can help you use their potential to the maximum!
1. Collect Emails & Generate Signups
Emailed newsletter, sale promo or product update only works if you have a qualified email address database to send it to.
Getting people to give up their addresses is not that simple and forms aren’t exactly the most popular among the general public.
Chatbots can help you both streamline and personalize your sign-up experience much more than a CTA button without negatively affecting user experience like online forms.
Whether the bot will chat with leads via a messaging app like WhatsApp, be embedded on your website or acting as a chatbot landing page in its own right, the interaction will not only improve engagement but also give an unexpected structure to the process.
As your chatbot interacts with prospects, besides entertaining or providing useful info, they can easily collect valuable data such as user preferences and interests, giving you the material you need for successful segmentation.
While chatbot does the job forms were supposed to do quite effortlessly, you can get busy preparing more customized content and offers for future email promotions and notifications.
2. Segment Emails in Real-Time
In today’s overcrowded and noisy marketing landscape, generic emails won’t cut it. Customers want to feel seen and valued. They expect relevant experiences, not time-wasters.
eConsultancy reported that 74% of marketers said that targeted personalization increases customer engagement. And Campaign Monitor survey showed that segmented campaigns produce a 760% increase in revenue.
Now, there’re plenty of ways you can segment your mailing list to customize UX. You can segment by signup source, demographics, preferences, purchase history, etc.However, with a bot, you won’t have to be the one doing the actual segmenting.
A simple friendly and engaging conversation between the bot and the user is enough to send all the data to Mailchimp or other email marketing platforms automatically. Not just to your account but to a specific mailing list!If you are working with a rule-based bot, you can setup a Mailchimp integration for each segment of your audience:
You can configure each Mailchimp integration block to:
- collect specific data;
- send the user to a specific audience group;
- send the user to a specific category within that audience group.
On the other hand, if working with artificial intelligence and NLP via Dialogflow integration, you can use conditions to send collected leads to the right list:
3. Qualify Leads Before Segmentation
OK, you've just seen how easy it's to segment your audience with a little help from your virtual assistant.
However, there is more you can do besides simply segmenting your leads based on demographics or interests.
You can use chatbots to qualify them and assess their stage in the customer journey.
The advantage of bots is that unlike online forms, they don’t elicit negative emotions if they ask you to answer more than one question.
Since instant messaging is inherent to our daily routine, chatting with a bot seems like a natural extension of existing habits. And the great things about habits? They don't feel forced nor bothersome.
Hence, if you are after a hyper-personalized strategy that leaves very little space for failure using a lead qualification bot to empower your email marketing campaign is the way to go.
Especially if you are working B2B and the customer journey is a long process!
Using the information, you can then tailor your email marketing sequence to the customer’s state of mind. You'll be there to say the right thing, whether they're still just looking around or ready to buy.
Don’t underestimate chatbots in email marketing!
4. Send Email Notification from Your Bot Directly
Another way chatbot email marketing might just as well be the best combo in the digital realm?
The possibility to send notifications emails directly from the conversational flow!In other words, certain events such as signups, help requests or online purchases can trigger an email notification. Better yet, the notification can go to the user OR members of your team.
Using Landbot chatbot builder, all it takes is setting up a “Send an Email” block in the moment of the flow in which you wish the email to be sent out.
5. Personalize Email UX with Hidden Fields
Last but not least proof of how chatbot and emails can boost each other’s effectiveness is creating an email campaign chatbot.
Thanks to hidden fields your chatbot can communicate with the Mailchimp’s database. So, when your customer or subscriber clicks on a button inside the email, instead of a classic page it lands on a full-scale chatbot landing page where the bot already knows their name, location, content preferences, etc.
By defining hidden fields you store user data in a URL. So, when your subscriber clicks on the button in your latest email campaign the bot pulls the info you have about this person in your email database and uses it to personalize the conversation.
With Landbot, the process is very simple.
You define the hidden fields (variables) you want the bot to know.
Then, all you need to do is adjust the auto-generation URL by including the variables. To add a sequence of variables to it you need to start with the question mark sign.
However, each platform has its own way to tag categories. Hence, you need to make sure that Mailchimp understands the request. If you are not sure how Mailchimp or any other email marketing platform tags their variables, simply google it or check out their help docs. Mailchimp calls them MERGE TAGS and uses a format with capital letters: *|SAMEPLEFORMAT|*
To merge your landbot variables with Mailchimp, all you need to do is ad an equal sign so the system knows these categories are the same.In practice, the extended URL would look like this:
Define it when creating your campaign on Mailchimp (or another platform):
So, when a user clicks on this URL, the bot will ll pull this info from MailChimp making personalization a piece of cake.
See this webinar sign up form below! When the user accesses the bot from their email, the data appears in the URL. And so, the bot registers the user for the webinar without requesting any further info:
Are You Ready to Combine Your Chatbot Marketing with Email Campaigns?
Combining email with conversational marketing is for anyone who wants to make creating personalized experiences faster, easier and more controllable.
Whether you are looking for smarter, accessible solutions for your business or your clients’ businesses, combining the new power of chatbots with the strength and stability of email is a fail-proof strategy you should try in 2020.
👇 Start building your chatbot email marketing strategy today with Landbot!👇