Conversational Marketing: The Ultimate Guide to Sales & Engagement

conversational-marketing-sales

Conversational marketing has grown from a simple hype to a stable trend and, ultimately, to being one of the leading approaches to digital marketing. However, we believe that conversational marketing, while incredibly effective and at times even essential, is just a small part of a bigger picture. Conversations, in order to drive growth and deliver better customer experience, should take place across the entire customer journey.

Sales driven by conversations are likely to have a huge impact on helping sales teams connect with leads in a more personalized, helpful and organic way. Equally, customer support and success teams already demonstrated their potential to benefit from a conversational approach.

Hence, when considering designing a conversational marketing strategy for our businesses, you should think about how it will impact your business as a whole.

To help you approach conversational marketing with the right mindset, in this article, we will take from the basics to actionable steps and examples. But, before anything else, we need to start by answering the question of what is conversational marketing?


1. What is Conversational Marketing?


what-is-conversational-marketingDifferent publications offer different conversational marketing definitions that focus on different parts of the business process. However, they all have one thing in common – the conversation which, in its very essence, is interactive, personal and immediate.

Take NGDATA, for example, their definition strongly focuses on the aspect of listening to your customers:

“Conversational marketing […] is a feedback-oriented approach to marketing used by companies to drive engagement, develop customer loyalty, grow the customer base, and, ultimately, grow revenue. […] is based on the common-sense idea of listening to your customer and potential customer’s needs […] willing to incorporate feedback into your marketing strategy and communicating with the customer on a one-to-one basis” – NGDATA

On the other hand, Drift’s definition shows a much more marketing and sales-driven approach to conversations:

“Conversational marketing is the fastest way to move buyers through your marketing and sales funnels through the power of real-time conversations. It builds relationships and creates authentic experiences with customers and buyers.” – Drift

While the definitions are different, neither of them is wrong. Each simply captures a smaller part of the bigger picture we talked about.

In general, there are two important points to keep in mind when thinking about conversational marketing approach:

  • Conversation is a two-way street
  • Conversation happens to allow the relationship between parties to grow

All in all, conversational marketing makes it easier for people to engage with your business. How? By turning the experience into a natural extension of day-to-day personal communication. Better yet, by being there and helping when and where customers need it.

An easier way to engagement translates into more leads, faster conversion and, ultimately, happier customers and thriving business.


2. Key Components of Conversational Marketing


You might be thinking it’s nothing new. After all, conversations are already part of your business dealings. Indeed, you might be already talking to your potential and existing customers on a variety of channels… Good for you!

Being customer-oriented is the first step.

However, turning the conversation into a successful marketing strategy requires the presence of key components that ensure the best practices.

A. Timing

customer timeIf conversations are to have marketing and sales value, you need to be able to start, continue and finish these conversations when it’s convenient for your lead/customer.

In other words, being able to reply and take action instantly, in real-time, is as important as allowing your customers to finish the conversation at their own pace, whether it takes a few minutes or hours.

B. Location

elements of conversational approach locationConversational marketing is still just marketing albeit with a new point of view. So, its components are nor always new.

Best practices in marketing teach you to minimize the “steps” that stand between you and your customer. The same applies in the realm of conversations. The simpler it is for a customer to reach out or get back to you, the higher chances of success.

Conversations that are meant to drive your marketing and sales should happen on a channel that is most convenient for your target audience.

C. Context

conversational-marketing-elements-contextConsumers want answers as fast as possible with the smallest amount of effort on their part. To be able to provide this, your brand-customer conversation needs to be always set in the circumstantial context. Without it, there is no continuity, no personalization, no convenience.

Having to repeat again and again your request as you move from agent to agent (bot-to-agent) or department to department is one of the most frustrating customer experiences. To be successful, you need to avoid having to ask the same person for the same information over and over.

Conversational context is all about collecting, storing and accessing lead/customer data such as name, email, past orders, complaints, etc. The more data you are able to retrieve and use in real-time conversations, the better the service you can provide.

D. Scalability

conversational-elements-scalabilityThe difficult truth is, customers don’t care how busy you are. To them, you deal with 3 or 3000 conversations at once, makes little to no difference. The experience that counts is theirs.

Therefore, no conversational marketing strategy can possibly succeed without the capacity to scale. In the past, this would have posed a problem for small and medium businesses that simply can’t afford to hire an army of human agents. Today, chatbots and the affordable no-code technologies to build them level the field by allowing businesses to automate without sacrificing humanity.

 


3. Types of Conversational Marketing


Many people associate conversational marketing with Facebook Messenger bots and social networks. However, the scope of the conversational approach is much broader and more colorful.

Live Chat

live chatThe first and the easiest form of conversational marketing to understand is live chat. Its power stems from the combination of immediacy and personal touch and attention of human agents.

The popularity of live chat reflects in conversational marketing statistics. For instance, a survey by eConsultancy showed that 79% of consumers prefer live chat over other options like calling or email for its instantaneity and the ability to multitask during the conversation. Furthermore, 22% claimed they prefer live chat because they simply don’t like talking on the phone – a tendency that is more and more common among younger generations.

Indeed, live chat is a great way to offer pre and post-purchase guidance as well as close deals online. However, it’s labor-exigent and thus too costly for many businesses.

Chatbots

types of conversational marketing chatbotsChatbots represent the technological evolution of live chat. Despite automation, they simulate the personalized conversational scenario of live chat experience thus, enabling businesses to scale without losing “human touch”.

In terms of statistics, live chat is still perceived as the most convenient BUT chatbots win the battle for best 24/7 support and that’s one of their greatest strengths!

chatbots best for 24/7 supportThere are two main types of bots:

  • Rule-based bots: Dialog scheme similar to a decision tree, conversation prompted by choices directly or through logic jumps. Great in instances where more structured UI is necessary.
  • AI bots: Typical for loose dialogue structure, AI bots use natural language processing and machine learning to analyze the intent behind natural user inputs and respond accordingly. They give more control to the user, good for conversational instances of greater complexity.

Bots started off as simple surface-level assistants designed to accomplish the most basic customer service tasks. But, over the years – thanks to the advances in chatbot tech – they made their way into every stage of the customer journey, taking on more complex roles including processing transactions; handling complaints; finding products; customizing service offerings; promoting and advertising; building brand image; data analysis; identifying user sentiments, etc.

Today, their use is growing rapidly with the rise of no-code tools which make bot production faster as well as cheaper.

Voice Assistants

voice assistantsVoice assistants are intelligent chatbots that rely on a spoken word instead of a visual interface.

Although – in recent years – voice UIs have truly exploded in popularity, they are still fairly exclusive to large companies as their development is still quite a complex issue.

Leaders include Siri by Apple, Google Assistant, Alexa by Amazon, and Cortana by Microsoft. While the conversation quality with these assistants is improving with every passing year, there is still a generous room for improvement.

Nonetheless, the trend is growing among consumers and already shows the impact on shopping habits. At the moment, 62% of the US smart speaker owners are using the assistants to make purchases. Big businesses like Domino’s, Starbucks or Kayak are tapping into this area of conversational marketing already. Their voice assistants handle pizza or coffee orders and even flight bookings.

There is no doubt voice assistants have a bright future ahead. But, for the time being, they remain in the VIP lounge of conversational marketing better suited for companies and brands with significant resources.

Email

emailEmail might not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of conversational marketing, yet this good old communication format stays relevant in the conversational landscape.

Naturally, not all email marketing is conversational. Email blasts, for instance, give very little space for conversation. Nevertheless, there are instances when email communication fits right into the conversational space, instances when dialogue takes on the leading role. All it takes is a question and step back from the usual sales jargon.

Conversational email marketing focuses on building relationships and strives to make the communication more human through use of conversational language or by linking the email to a bot or live chat.

Social Media

social mediaSimilarly to email, not all Social media marketing can be called conversational. Sometimes posts are just posts. The conversational aspect surfaces when you create space for interaction and let your followers know you are listening.

Common examples of a conversational approach to social media marketing include:

  • Social commenting (brand encourages and actively engages in the debate in the comment section under posts)
  • Polls (asking for opinions and maybe taking actions based on those opinions)
  • Live streaming (letting consumers participate by letting consumers submit a question in real time and answer them during live streaming session)
  • Private messaging (live or chatbot)

Which Type is the Best?

That is truly hard to tell. As with all things concerning business, the “right” choice is determined by your objectives and resources.

Nevertheless, it’s hard to deny the growing popularity of chatbots. Being conversational by nature, they harness the convenience associated with live chat while giving businesses a chance to partially or fully automate. Automate not just the conversations but also data collection, data updates, transactions, etc. Also, thanks to no-code chatbot platforms they are ever easier and cheaper to produce.

Hence, for the time being, bots are the leaders of conversational marketing.


4. Conversationational Channels


When you are talking about conversational marketing (especially chatbot-driven), you can’t forgo its multichannel capabilities. Its adaptability to a variety of communication channels is one of the main reasons it’s applicable in so many industries as well as business scenarios and use cases.

Here are the top four channels of conversational marketing that shouldn’t stay under your radar.

Websites & Landing Pages

channels_webYou could say the web is where chatbots and live chat widgets are at home. They allow you to offer personalized assistance in real-time when a potential or returning customer lands on your website.

One of the main advantages of this channel is complete control. Hosting a chatbot or live chat on your own website gives you freedom in terms of design and format as well as protects you from the “whims” of 3-rd party platforms.

For instance, your bot can be in the form of a widget or popup, be embedded in various places on your site or function as a stand-alone high-converting landing page.

Furthermore, chatbots, being such good data collectors, are able to remember past website visitors based on IP or user account, allowing for a continual relationship.

Instant Messaging Apps

Conversational_channels_messaging_appsNext on the list of most popular channels for conversational marketing automation are messaging apps the likes of WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Telegram.

Over the past few years, more and more businesses take advantage of these channels offering its customers live chat or chatbot support. There are several key advantages of instant messaging apps marketing:

  • Users are familiar with them and they already form part of their daily habits, hence, they minimize the steps customer has to take to get in touch with your businesses
  • They are largely popular giving you potential access to a huge active user base (WhatsApp 1.6 billion; FB Messenger 1.3 billion, etc)
  • Messaging apps allow you and your customers to get in touch wherever they are.
  • Plus, throughout the entire conversation, customers can reply whenever it’s convenient to them without losing the context of the conversation, enabling an asynchronous relationship based on customer preference.

Branded Apps

channels_branded_appsStaying in the world of apps, another great conversational channel is branded apps. Bots or live chat function (or combination of the two) in your own app enables you to provide personalized service to your most loyal audience.

Conversational marketing inside branding apps is a more focused approach that helps strengthen loyalty, sense of community and invoke the idea of “special” or “VIP” treatment/service for those who are part of that community.

Since building your own app is not exactly cheap or fast, and getting customers to download it is another mountain to climb, this approach is not for everybody. However, if you already have an app with a good deal of active users, getting conversational might be just the ticket.

Email and Social Media

channels_emailLast but not least, we have the good old email and social media (Yup, social media is old now too!). These two channels stay valid and useful in the era or live and automated conversations.

When it comes to email, the content itself can be a conversation starter. However, the more sophisticated way to go with conversational email marketing is by connecting your emails with a bot. So, instead of the CTA taking your customers to a landing page, imagine it taking them to a conversation with a bot that already knows their name, purchase history, etc.

Social media, too, have great potential to drive conversational strategy through debates in the comment section or with the help of bot assistants. Chatbots can give you a helping hand in the private messaging section as well as posts and paid campaigns. Click-to-Messenger, click-to-WhatsApp or click-to-bot campaigns have shown to have a great conversion rate.

Which Channel is the Best?

Every channel has something to offer. As is the case with the types of conversational marketing, choosing the “right” channel depends on your circumstances and, to a great extent, on your audience.Conversational_channels_social

You don’t need to be everywhere, you need to be where your customers are.


5. Benefits of Conversational Marketing


If you are reading this article, you have probably heard about some positive results of conversational marketing initiatives. Indeed chatbots, live chats and the combination of the two had made a good name for themselves across multiple channels thanks to markedly increased conversion rates, improved customer satisfaction and increased sales.

Though, to give you a better idea of what the conversational approach can do for your business, we prepared a list of main benefits associated with this strategy.

I. Conversations are More Natural & Fun

According to last year’s Mobile Economy report, smartphone adoption in the world will grow from 60% in 2018 to 79% in 2025. Still, even today, consumers already spend over two to five hours on their phones every day.benefits of conversational marketing fun

According to AppAnnie, Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp are the two apps with the highest number of monthly active users making chatting via instant messaging apps even more popular than social media.

All this reflects in business as more and more people get used to not only talking but also making purchases via their mobile phones.

So, one of the number one benefits and advantages of conversational marketing is not only that it’s mobile-friendly but also that it represents a natural extension of consumer daily habits. No extra step is necessary. Plus, even web-based bots feel natural on a mobile screen.

II. Conversations Offer Deeper & Qualitative Insights

Classic marketing gets you clicks and conversions. However, more often than not, it leaves you fairly blind to the deeper intentions behind the purchases. You can only guess – or predict based on some factual demographic and personal data – what was the particular pain point; what was it that the customer needed, wanted to learn or change…

qualitative insights and analyticsSimple factual data about someone’s age, profession, company size or industry collected from your lead forms only offer a superficial assessment. However, they desperately lack context. If you get your website or messaging users to talk, you can quite easily find out what brought them there.

One of the greatest benefits of these web-based and messaging app-based AI-driven conversations is the brand’s ability to immediately focus on what customers need – regardless of what words they choose to say it – based on a strong understanding of context.

So, whether on the web or mobile, conversational marketing helps you collect qualitative data at scale. This data and insights can be used to personalize customer experiences in real-time as well as improve your processes, products, services, create more informative and helpful content, etc., in the future. Furthermore, thanks to the context conversations make it easier to identify valid opportunities for cross and upselling.

III. Conversations Build Relationship

Speaking of context… Besides laying down foundations for instant personalization, it allows for continuity. On the web, your bot can recognize customers based on their IP or login information while on messaging apps, even this little hiccup is eliminated as you are directly connected to the user’s profile.

benefits improved customer relationshipsEmail, social media and ultimately messaging apps gave us a way to stay in touch more frequently than ever before. However, compared to the messaging apps – and despite the fact that you can use email and social media to aid your conversational marketing strategy – email or social media provide a rather disjointed experience.

For instance, an email order confirmation, even if it prompts further action, is likely to be the end of the interaction. Web, brand app, messaging app bots make the conversation follow-up simpler, making it easier to communicate pre and post-purchase and so, allowing for a relationship to form.

The more convenient is to get in touch with you and the more personalized your response, the stronger the relationship & loyalty.

IV. Conversations Humanize Online Buying Experiences

The issue with online shopping has always been the lack of human touch. To resolve even the smallest of doubts we would have to spend time searching the website or forums to encounter opinions and advice. Conversational marketing changed that, especially with the rise of chatbots.

humanized shopping experienceLive chat, despite all its great qualities, proved to be unscalable and long waiting times often made things worse. Intelligent bots resolved the issue without giving up on the human aspect either by resolving queries themselves or serving as curators passing only the most urgent or complex queries to the right agents.

Bots started off as assistants and made their way to becoming purchase channels of their own, translating conversational marketing into conversational commerce.

All in all, bots come with the irreplaceable benefit of humanizing online experiences (on the web and mobile). They do it through the simple art of conversation because conversations feel personal, genuine, helpful and not so salesy. But still, they are likely to result in sales.

V. Conversations Convert Better

Perhaps you’ve heard the rumor that chatbot conversations have a better conversion rate. Well, they are not rumors. Although the data and stats about these success stories are still somewhat disorganized and scattered across a variety of use cases, a pattern starts to emerge.

improved conversion rateThe massive improvements can be observed mainly in the case of substituting online forms for bots. Firstly, bots are able to capture partial data, even if users leave before completing the entire conversation allowing you to remarket. Secondly, unlike lengthy forms, they can collect more data without creating a burdensome experience and so resulting in more completion.

For instance, marketing agency Medison MK saw an incredible 38% conversion rate on a first bot campaign built for one of their clients. On the other hand, Clivo, a personal assistant that helps employees and employers assess perceived stress levels, reported an amazing 80% completion rate.

Turning an impersonal process of filling out an online form into an interactive conversation can take you a long way.

VI. Conversations Shorten Your Sales Cycle

How much time do you usually spend on qualifying leads?

How much time do your customers spend searching through your extensive product offering, dragging out the decision-making process?

Another key benefit of a conversational approach to marketing and sales is a shortened sales cycle.

conversational marketing benefits shortened sales cycleUsing bots, rule- or AI-based, can help you not only capture but also qualify the strengths of incoming leads in real time. There is no need for your human employees to spend days scoring the hundreds of leads that clicked on your campaign and lose precious time.

Thanks to the automated conversations, you can share the right type of information corresponding with leads’ personal circumstances and their stage in the customer journey. The hottest leads can be expedited to your human sales reps to close the deal allowing you to streamline.

Alternatively, the bot can serve as a curator, an intelligent product finder who can bring the products with desired specs straight to the customers, instead of letting them scour and search your endless product list.


6. How to Drive Sales with Conversational Marketing


Enough theory for now!

How can chatbots really help in sales? How can they help acquire customers?

Let’s take a look at a few of the actionable ways conversational marketing can help you drive sales and increase revenue.
How_To_Drive_Sales_with-conversational-marketing

Lead Generation

Chatbots can directly increase your lead generation simply because conversing is a much more pleasant experience than filling out an online form. It provides a sense of immediacy.

Most importantly, bots are able to capture every user’s input in real time. Hence, even if someone doesn’t finish the conversation for whatever reason, you’ll probably have enough data to remarket. Online form doesn’t offer such a luxury.

Lead Qualification

Next, chatbots are more than capable of helping you qualify your leads automatically as they capture them, saving hours of work to your sales team and minimizing TTR (time-to-response) for the hottest leads.

With online forms, the more fields there are the lower the likeliness of completion. Chatbot assistants don’t have this problem as answering questions within the conversational context feels natural and unobtrusive. Furthermore, they allow you to treat each lead individually, adding or skipping questions based on user responses.

Personalization

Speaking of adjusting to individual needs… personalization is another route to increased sales.

Today, 80% of consumers are more likely to convert and purchase if given a personalized experience. But don’t be fooled… this personalization is expected to exhibit the speed and convenience of cold automation WITHOUT losing human touch. Easy as pie… or not?

how to drive sales chatbotsThe unintended “burden” of digitalization is ever-increasing consumer expectations. They demand businesses to be personal yet fast as the technology allows it. Thankfully, bots aren’t only able to customize the questions in the qualification process, but also leverage the collected data in real-time. (E.g., by calling the user by their name; past purchases; previous preferences, etc.)

Shopping Assistant & Cashier

Chatbots skills go way beyond collecting data. They are also handy “curators” able to retrieve anything from your vast inventory as well as obliging cashiers that can as easily handle payments and transactions.

If you are worried that people wouldn’t feel comfortable purchase something “inside” a conversation, don’t! The stats show consumers are OK with it. Of those who already use messaging to communicate with businesses, a majority plans on using messaging for the purpose of purchase in the future (Brasil 75%, US 61%).

drive sales with chatbotsInterestingly, a study by Hubspot showed that 47% of consumers said they would buy an item from a chatbot. And, another survey by NewVoiceMedia uncovered that when it came to buying basic items 56% preferred dealing with a chatbot than with a live agent!

To boost your sales, consider creating a product finder or product recommendation assistant. This way your bot can function as a shopping cart and enable in-conversation purchases!

Loyalty Program Manager (News & Updates)

The most valuable customer is the returning one. Or, if you are running a subscription-based business, the active one. Chatbots, especially the ones residing on instant messaging apps, are the perfect tools to keep customers in the loop about your brand, products, loyalty bonuses, etc.

Why not just have a loyalty program?

Well, for one thing, most loyalty programs don’t work. They require people to carry cards or log in to out-of-the-way websites to check their status, points or whatever is the incentive. And so, people forget and lose track. Most reminder emails remain unopened. Capgemini’s study reported that an unbelievable 54% of loyalty programs are completely inactive and almost 1/3 of members quit the programs without ever redeeming any of the benefits. Many don’t even know how many points or advantages they earned!

Since using WhatsApp, PlayKids, a global children’s education platform, reported a 90% decrease in lapsed subscriptions compared to working with phone or email.

WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger are the perfect channels to keep your customers/users up to date with their “earnings” as well as anything your business has to offer. Gentle reminders about expiring offers, collected points, updates and special features via channels that have over 90% open rate, can do the trick. Plus, if the user has any questions, the bot can take care of it.

Crisis Management

No matter how hard you try to predict, you can never be ready for everything. The world’s COVID-19 crisis is the freshest example of unexpected events that can turn markets upside down in a matter of days.

Conversational marketing tools like no-code chatbots are a huge asset to crisis management. They are quick to build and deploy allowing you to manage increased volumes in orders or customer support and avoid losing business. For instance, Landbot’s client, Healthware Ireland, used a chatbot to deal with the huge surge in demand for a prescription when the government started closing businesses in mid-march.

Is This All?

No, not quite. These are just a few actionable use cases to consider. There are many more use cases and actionable ways to leverage conversational marketing in driving your sales. All you need is a good strategy…


7. How to Create a Conversational Marketing Strategy?


OK… conversational marketing sounds good. But how do you go about implementing it?

As it usually goes in business, you need a killer strategy. Here are 10 steps to get you on the right track.

Step I: Map Customer Journey

create-conversational-marketing-strategyBefore you rush to create chatbots or design meaningful conversation and content pieces, you need to know where, at which step of the customer journey, this conversation will take place.

Consider:

  • How will potential buyers consume this content?
  • How is it relevant to their story?
  • At which stage of the buyer’s journey is the customer when they interact with your bot or another type of conversational content?
  • Where will the successful completion of the conversation take them?

 

Step II: Identify the Most Effective Channel

pick-the-right-marketing-channelOnce you are set on the stage or stages of the buyer journey you want to “conversationalize”, think about which channel will feel most natural for your potential customers.

For instance, a web bot might be the best way to go if you are trying to capture visitors in the research stage. Those doing their research are likely to find your website via Google search results. Alternatively, if you know the buying process in your business is a long one, you might want to opt for WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. These channels provide you with long term conversational access. Also, they are a great way to reactivate your social followers – or just make their regular shopping easier.

Step III: Create User Stories

customer-storiesA user story is a short, simple description of a product, service or a specific feature as perceived and told from the perspective of the lead who desires/needs it.

There is no need to over-complicate this. Simply follow simple templates:

As a [lead/customer], I want [goal] because of [reason/pain point].

As a [lead/customer], I need [product/service] so that I can [goal].

This might seem silly, but it’s a handy trick. It helps you shift the focus. Instead of writing about benefits from your perspective, you’ll learn to discuss them in the language of your prospects.

Step IV: Roleplay the Conversation

roleplay-conversations

If you don’t have a platform yet, or simply like to visualize things physically before going digital, you can use a board or sticky notes on the wall to outline the questions and possible answers.

The goal here is to make a somewhat structured map of the conversation. This way, you are able to adjust the language use and phrasing to sound natural within the given context and be true to the user story. It’s your first step in learning the workings of conversational design.

Step V: Identify Different Paths of the Conversations

define-conversation-pathsOnce you have the primary structure of questions and answers outlined, it’s time to determine if it’s necessary or helpful to allow the conversation to branch out.

At some stages, keeping the conversation shorts and straightforward is the way to go. However, other situations may require the shopper to dig deep and let the user take a more inquisitive path.

For instance, will a simple conversation that facilitates the booking be enough for the customer at this stage or are they at the point where they need more questions answered before the booking table place.

Remember, complex bots are powerful but also harder to design, manage and control. Plus, in many cases, a simpler conversation flow with a clear focus can be more efficient.

Step VI: Identify Triggers

identify-path-triggers-strategyOnce you have a clear idea about the main conversation flow as well as possible branches, it’s time to think about the trigger for each question/answer. Analyzing the triggers will also help you identify which kind of bot you need.

So… What does the customer have to do to trigger a particular question or answer?

Is it a keyword, phrase, image or a button that does the job?

The answer depends on several factors:

  • Use case & stage in the customer journey. For example, providing answers to frequently asked questions can easily be triggered by a keyword or a phrase from customer input. However, retrieving information about a specific product may be more easily managed through button/image choice especially if products are very similar.
  • Freedom you want your customers to have within the dialogue. Sometimes letting customers ask whatever they want can backfire as they end up being confused about what the bot can actually answer or do for them. So, in some cases, you may want to control the conversation by letting the bot ask the questions and use response buttons as triggers to activate the next branch.
  • Flexibility of interface. If you are hosting the bot on your website, you are free to design the UI as you please. However, some 3rd-party platforms can be limiting. While Facebook does offer rich responses in forms of carrousels and quick replies, WhatsApp UI relies completely on the text.
  • Your customers. For example, if you are aware that potential clients often have trouble correctly phrasing their needs or the solutions, you might want to help them out. Offer them a conversational button menu instead of giving them a free hand at asking questions with an AI bot.

Think carefully about what triggers work for your bot overall or apply different triggers for different stages of the conversation when necessary.

chatbot-integrations

Step VII: Identify Key Integrations

A truly successful conversational marketing strategy relies on access to a database with customer personal data, communication or purchase history and other necessary information.

Hence, if you are serious about driving sales with conversational marketing, you need a way to store and organize this data to provide the context necessary.

Perhaps you want your bot to connect to one of your Google Sheets, your MailChimp account or a CRM tool like SalesForce? Make sure you are aware of all the integrations you’ll need in order to create frictionless and functional interactions.

Only when you are aware of your needs, it’s time to choose your platform/provider.

Step VIII: Choose a Platform

choose the right platformNow that you’ve gone through the steps above, you have a clear vision of your needs. Hence to pick a conversational marketing platform that can answer them.

Main aspects to consider:

  • Technical difficulty. (Code or no-code, learning curve, etc.)
  • Channel integrations available. (Does the platform offer the channel you need and what other channels are available should you consider expanding your conversational marketing strategy in the future.)
  • 3rd-Party Integrations. (What integration options does the platform offer in terms of relevance to your business as well as variety; is there an API option if your tool is not on the list.)
  • Pricing & Scalability. (Is the pricing affordable, flexible and scalable as you grow your conversational interactions; is a long-term commitment required.)
  • Support & Onboarding. (What type of support is available – phone, live chat, knowledgebase, video tutorials, in-person onboarding, etc.)

Step IX: Build, Publish and Promote

build-publish-promote your chatbotAt last, run for the finish line.

Build your rule-based or AI-based conversational assistant. And, after a bit of testing, let it out into the world.

If you have chosen a no-code platform, all it will take is to design the dialogues and ensuring the integrations are collecting and retrieving data as intended. You can have a new bot in a matter of days or weeks. However, if you decided to go the more traditional way and code from scratch, your developer will need more time.

Either way, don’t just publish the bot. Be sure to spread the word!

Ensure your target audiences take note of it using email or social media posts and paid campaigns to get them to chat to your new virtual employee!

Step X: Track, Analyze & Improve

chatbot-integrationsAfter your bot is out there conversing with your potential customers, don’t just forget about it. Observe the conversations and analyze the patterns.

Are there specific stages of conversation where many people fall off?

Are there ones that convert better than others?

Does the bot manage to fulfill its goal?

There are plenty of chatbot KPIs you can set for yourself based on your desired outcomes. Checking up on the bot’s performance will help you identify areas that still need work and continually improve the quality of your conversations.


8.Examples of Conversational Marketing


Before you go, here are several great examples of conversational marketing in action!

DXB Kids

This Dubai-based company provides learning, sport and fun activities for children in Dubai and its surrounding areas. They organize anything from holiday camps to birthday parties as well as facilitate sports coaching.

DXB Kids decided to conversationalize its customer acquisition process with a WhatsApp chatbot. The assistant not only collects lead data but also can answer questions about all of their services.

This allowed the company to offer support 24/7. Thus, they were also able to collect leads outside of business hours as their clients are usually working parents.

BuddyNutrition

Buddy Nutrition is one of our favorite conversational marketing examples!

The company offers highly personalized wellness and vitamin shots. So, without knowing a whole lot about you and your preferences, they can’t actually sell you anything.

In the old days, they would have you complete an endless questionnaire or have you queueing for live chat. None of these options is particularly prone to growth, so they got creative and built a bot that asks for all the details in a one-on-one conversation.

Furthermore, to inform users of how much they have left, the bot includes:

  • a progress bar on top
  • a virtual shake bottle left of the conversation

The chatbot collects the information and generates a customized product in real time!

Landbot.io

How could we preach conversational marketing if we ourselves weren’t taking advantage of it?

Landbot’s sales team created a powerful bot to generate and qualify leads for our WhatsApp Solution. Our WhatsApp Business pricing is very flexible. It takes into account monthly messaging needs. For smaller businesses, it allows pay-as-you-go scalability. On the other hand, large enterprises can sign up straight for the enterprise plan designed for large messaging volumes.

So, instead of giving interested parties a headache with all the information, our bot asks key questions. Assessing all the necessary factors – sends the lead down a path most suitable to business size, messaging volume and resources available.

Swiss Red Cross

Conversational marketing isn’t useful just in straightforward business situations. Sometimes, the “sales” power is in recruitment.

Swiss Red Cross has been facing the time pressure of the COVID-19 crisis. So, they swiftly created a chatbot assistant that helped them recruit over 500 volunteers in a matter of days and without wasting resources.

Thanks to the quick deployment and simple and user-friendly way to vet and recruit volunteers, the Swiss Red Cross was able to successfully offer help and assistance to the most vulnerable people in Switzerland.

Atletico De Madrid

You know things are serious when even football clubs are getting in on conversational marketing.

The prerogative of Atletico was providing a superior digital experience. They wanter a customer service that is bilingual and easily accessible, anytime and anywhere. Since WhatsApp is the most popular communication tool in Madrid as well as the rest of the world, the club decided for it to become their primary communication channel.

 

Atletico’s WhatsApp virtual chatbot serves as an information center where fans can learn more about players, matches, membership, seasons as well as tickets. The bot responds to queries and interacts using a variety of emojis, videos, images, etc.

Since the service is 24/7, the club was able to answer 35% of queries outside office hours and redirect 36% of them from the conversation to their store and sales platform!


9. Learn More About Conversational Marketing & Chatbots!


conversational marketing resourcesTo see why and how your business can use conversational marketing to improve customer experiences as well as sales, check out the following resources:

Statistics:

Tutorials:

Or, if you feel curious enough… start building today for free.