For many years, email marketing has cemented its position as one of the most potent ways to reach out to and engage customers. With chatbots entering the scene, marketers can now personalize their campaigns to an even greater extent. That's why we put together this guide to top email marketing tips for chatbot users to leverage in 2021!
Before we get into how the combination of chatbots and email marketing boosts sales, let us take a brief overview of chatbots.
What are Chatbots and How Do They Work?
In a nutshell, chatbots are software applications capable of interacting with humans in a conversational manner. They are either based around a simpler choose-your-own-adventure structure or use Natural Language Processing (NLP). They are widely used to generate leads, collect data or solve customer problems by providing relevant information in real-time. Chatbots have empowered businesses in real ways by helping them minimize labor resources and maximize customer support.
But, a picture is worth a thousand words! Check out this image that explains the workings of a rule-based chatbot:
And this one, outlining the process behind an NLP-based chatbot:
The next question that often comes in due course when understanding the efficacy of combining chatbots with email marketing is...
Do Customers Find Chatbots Useful?
Of course, they do! In fact, a recent survey by Mailup made it amply clear that 69% of customers prefer chatbots as they instantly interact with them. Undoubtedly, chatbots have gained immense popularity in recent years. But, these versatile AI applications work best when combined with email marketing.
Today, chatbot email marketing is making the best of both tools to acquire and retain customers. How?
Email Marketing Tips: How to Boost Sales by Combining Email and Chatbots?
So, here are two winning strategies – chatbots and email marketing. Why pit them against one another when you can join forces to exploit their potential to the hilt. Keep reading to find out how.
1. Gather Qualified Email Addresses
Nothing is more critical than a qualified email list for the success of your marketing campaign. Such a list must comprise individuals who are willing to receive email communication from you. Guess what? One of the most effective ways to gather qualified emails is through a chatbot.
As opposed to using a pop-up or a lead form, remember that people respond better to chatbots due to their conversational nature.
Therefore, when it comes to gathering emails, program the chatbot to approach the practice casually and not the minute visitors land on your website.
Additionally, assign your chatbot to engage with the customer based on their activity on your website. For example, if a visitor is checking out your blog, let the bot ask them if they would be interested in subscribing to your email newsletter. If the visitor says yes, the chatbot’s interface can allow them to type-in their email address.
Remember, a poorly timed ask will always be detrimental to your brand. Ideally, you must collect a user’s email id when you are convinced the user is genuinely engaged with your offering. Otherwise, it will be near impossible to convert such a lead in the future.
2. Intelligently Segment Your Email Lists
Next on our list of chatbot-powered email marketing tips is segmentation. If you think chatbots can only collect email ids without an agenda, you are wrong. You can configure your chatbot to gather specific information and responses that you can use to qualify and segment prospects.
Begin by building a conversational flow chart; you want your bot to follow. While doing this, you must visualize different chat scenarios. Once you get the customized information relevant to your offerings, create personalized email marketing campaigns to boost user engagement and sales.
It is no secret that a segmented email list ensures you deliver the right email to the right person at the right time. A recent study revealed that marketers who used segmented customer lists witnessed a 760% jump in revenue from email marketing.
You can segment your email lists based on demography, geography, previous buying behavior, stages in the sales funnel, etc.To understand what we mean, check out the Chatbot at Max Life Insurance, which asks specific questions to segment visitors on the other side of the window.
3. Follow Up with Warm Leads
Since Chatbots are always online and can strike a conversation with visitors any time across all regions, they mostly offer you warm leads. What is that? A warm lead is a visitor who has subscribed to your newsletter, has shown interest in learning more about your product or service, or has followed you on any of the social media platforms.
Warm leads form the backbone of any successful business as they have the highest propensity to purchase. And, chatbots can assimilate them for you. Once you have your warm leads, you can specially design email marketing campaigns using some of the top email marketing software, for them to boost conversions.
These email campaigns can encourage warm leads to book expert consultation with your sales team. You can also offer them discounts, free courses, referral incentives, etc., to bring them and their network of friends into your brand’s fold.
Check out an onboarding email sample by Thinkful to their warm leads.
Image Source: Really Good Email
The best part? No-code chatbot platforms like Landbot, allow you to trigger these emails directly from the conversations or push the trigger to your email marketing tools!
4. Provide Unbeatable Customer Service
Gone are the days when you could put your customers on hold for several minutes or provide them a resolution in a couple of days, maybe more. 66% of your buyers today expect real-time solutions because they know it’s possible in several cases, thanks to chatbots.
Firstly, chatbots offer a one-on-one conversation that instantly puts customers at ease. These AI applications also provide a way to connect or escalate a matter to a human executive. Besides, given their round the clock availability, visitors can approach chatbots whenever they want.
These bots also flag and auto-escalate issues requiring human intervention that can later be dealt with by exchanging emails. Also, with a chatbot in action, customers don't have to wait in any queue.
Enough talk, let us look at a success story that makes the case of chatbots even stronger.
Amtrak recorded a 50% increase in customer communication and engagement after deploying a chatbot on their web portal. They also ended up saving a whopping US$ 1 million on customer care services.
Image Source: Overthink Group
If you already have a chatbot equipped for instant customer service on your website, let your buyers know via email. You should also use chatbots to collect feedback on just about everything from your brand offerings to after-sales services.
5. Remind Customers About Unopened Emails
Say you have a flash sale on your website, or perhaps you want to remind your customers about their abandoned shopping carts – chatbots can come to the rescue. You can leverage chatbots to remind your customers of unopened emails sent by your brand.
Doing this can significantly enhance your email marketing campaigns' efficacy and boost your click-through and open rates. Retargeting customers with automated chatbots is straightforward, and it ensures high customer engagement at the end of the day.
6. Offer Customers Preferred Channel of Communication
Rather than targeting all your customers over emails, you can ask them about their preferred mode of interaction with your brand with the help of chatbots. A section of your client base might go for email communication, while others may want to engage only through chatbots or social media.
Why bombard a customer segment with emails when they would instead communicate through other channels? Chatbots can help figure out the buyer segment that prefers email communication. Automating emails for such customers will let you witness a high open-rate and response rate.
Program your chatbot to ask visitors their preferred mode of communication. Doing this will ensure that your emails don't end up in the bin or, worse, in spam. Further, when you quiz your customers about the kind of messages they want to receive and how you let them have autonomy over their decisions.
Check out how Auto Trader invited customers to update their choices.
Image Source: Really Good Emails
Bringing Together Email Marketing and Chatbots: Key Takeaways
Here is a quick recap of top email marketing tips for your chatbot strategy to show you how both these tactics work in tandem:
- Chatbots collect warm leads, and then well-crafted email communication helps convert them.
- Chatbots can gather data using pre-programmed parameters like age, occupation, geography, etc., allowing you to segment email lists and send personalized messages intelligently.
- Chatbots offer exceptional customer service and escalate issues that can later be dealt with through email exchanges between the brand and the customer.
- Chatbots can remind customers about unopened emails.
So, as you can see, the combination of chatbots and email marketing gives you better access to your customer base and keeps them coming back to your website. Needless to say, when you automate them together, you can boost sales and take your business to a whole new level.