Fellow marketers, small business owners, entrepreneurs… Our professional lives are defined by the constant search for the ultimate lead gen strategy. Yet, this strategy remains nothing more than a legend. The new-age Sorcerer’s Stone, if you will. That’s why, today, we’ll talk about chatbots for lead generation strategies and why they might be the closest to the real thing.
But before we start, let’s address…
I know you did it!
You googled “lead generation trends” or “best lead gen strategies for year XY.”
I don’t blame you. Every marketer or business owner has his or her guilty pleasure keyword they like to stalk on search engines now and then.
We all do it.
We all do it even though we know we will be greeted by a list of 6, 15, 21 or 62 mind-numbingly vague strategies (if you can even call it that). They are all littered with empty terms like: get personal; learn SEO; utilize content marketing strategy; build a modern website; leverage email marketing. And, if any of the terms get too old to mention, they just enrich them with words like “sophisticated” or “personalized” or throw in AI into the mix.
The only thing these blog posts have in common is that none of them actually contain any usable strategy. It’s like buying a diamond necklace and being delivered a massive boulder to cut it out yourself!
Anyway, most blog posts oversell and fail to deliver. The phenomenon is so common that we don’t even think it’s weird that the top 10 results on the search page are next to useless.
That is unless we have made it to the top with this one 😄…
I promise to tell you why you should start paying attention to using chatbots for lead generation. I promise to be specific. And, I promise you will come out of this article with information you can actually use and apply.
The conversion process on many B2B websites is the same. Typically, there’s a generic-looking form asking for the visitor’s personal information and maybe a handful of other details.
It’s no secret forms aren’t exactly exciting — and (let’s face it) neither is the process of filling them out.
Generic conversion experiences aren’t just boring, they’re also ineffective. In fact, brands that fail to give a human touch to their virtual presence or provide any kind of memorable experience are very likely to drive people away from their websites. We have all been there…
But Conversational Interfaces can prevent this. For real.
When you land on our website, you are welcomed by a full-page chatbot. Having somebody waiting for you to answer is surprisingly compelling. Without even knowing how, users find themselves slipping down the conversion funnel, learning just the information they need without having to look for them. Instead, they are served on a silver platter of a simple interactive conversation.
How precisely does this beat other prospect generation techniques?
Well, when a visitor on our website indicates that they’re interested in trying our product, our chatbot greets them and asks for their name.
So simple. SO effective.
Then, after they provide it, our bot addresses them by their name throughout the process which makes it all the more fun.
As the visitor progresses, each piece of information they provide is saved as a variable. For example, when a user enters their name; phone number; email address; address, or birthday, each of these details is saved in our system.
Furthermore, if a visitor leaves our site and comes back later, our chatbot leverages the cached information from the past conversations and tailors the experience right from the start.
Chatbot gives us the luxury of being confident that each prospective user is getting a site experience that’s personalized to them — with no risk of a generic form driving them away.
PRO TIP: if you have no previous experience with writing chatbot conversations, you should study up on how to build chatbot conversation that sounds natural.
One of the most challenging parts of turning a site visitor into a viable prospect is keeping them engaged with your brand. That is, engaged long enough to show them why you’re the right choice for their needs.
This is no easy deed in today’s bleak attention economy!
Decorating your lead generation website or landing page with long walls of text are not the best way to accomplish this. They can be helpful, sure. But most people find information-based pages on a brand’s website a little overwhelming — and maybe a bit off-putting.
So, no matter how well-written and helpful these pages might be, it’s tough to make them interesting for visitors.
CI bots can transform this experience.
Instead of expecting them to read paragraph upon paragraph of text, skimming to find the details that are relevant to them, conversational bots shift the process of providing information into a two-way conversation.
For example, just take a look at this exchange with Disverse’s chatbot:
First, the chatbot introduces itself and clarifies to the user that it is, in fact, a bot, and not a human. Then, after telling the user that Disverse is creating a distributed video network, they ask for clarification.
Linking to a separate page or complex resource and expecting this user to continue the customer journey on their own is unnecessary. The bot offers a straightforward explanation (along with a GIF, just to keep things interesting).
This lets the user learn about the company and their platform in a conversational way that’s far more engaging than a wall of text.
Any brand can replicate this experience.
All you need to do is equip your chatbot to explain your product or service to visitors. Let it explain what sets you apart from the other options the visitor might be considering. As in a written marketing text, you are providing compelling reasons for them to convert – BUT – in a way that feels more like a conversation than a sales pitch or a brochure.
With this approach, you can transform researching your brand from a tedious task to an enjoyable experience — one that your targeted audiences are likely to remember.
The most important types of conversion for most B2B websites are static information capture forms. The information you collect in these forms is what turns casual visitors into prospects for your team.
Unfortunately, generating potential leads or any kind of conversion can be challenging. In fact, the average website conversion rate is just 2.35%.
That’s not great news, especially for businesses looking to use their websites as a key part of their marketing campaigns and sales strategies.
But just because the average is low doesn’t mean that your site’s conversion rates have to be as well. Replacing standard forms with bots can be the perfect solution.
Distractions from the main call-to-action on your site serve as the biggest obstacles to more conversions. But when you center your landing page on a chatbot, you can eliminate those distractions and get users to focus solely on engaging with that bot.
In fact, we saw one of our most significant jumps in conversion rate (from 3% to 9.6%) by accidentally launching a chatbot that took up our entire homepage, and prevented visitors from accessing other content.
Of course, this isn’t to say that you should replace your entire website with a single chatbot.
But it does go to show that minimizing other elements and making the conversion process the most compelling part of your site can have a massive impact on your ability to earn new prospective clients.
And, as your chatbot collects data from your customers in the form of simple, straightforward questions, all of that information can be sent directly to your CRM or sales platform. You can take the next step in turning them from a lead to a customer!
There are many factors at play in any B2B or B2C purchasing decision. Your potential clients want to know what you have to offer; how much it’s going to cost them; what they can expect in return, and how you stack up to your competitors.
And, in most cases, your website will only be one stop along the way as they research and evaluate all of their options.
So, if you want them to ultimately determine that your company is the right choice, you need to make sure they listen & stick around long enough to get the information they need to come to that conclusion.
And that’s often easier said than done.
In fact, the average user only visits 1.7 pages on a website as they browse.
This means that if your site is like most, the majority of visitors aren’t even making it through two entire pages before leaving!
Conversational bots can change this by initiating conversation and giving users a reason to stay. Fancy Rhino, for example, displays their chatbot in a pop-up window in the lower right corner of a visitor’s browser.
Instead of expecting their visitors to browse through page upon page of information, their chatbot gives them four basic options to choose from.
This doesn’t only keep the visitor on the site longer but directs them to a resource that moves them closer to converting.
Most B2B (as well as B2C) evaluate countless companies and products before deciding which answers their needs best. And when you consider the impact these decisions can make, this makes perfect sense.
If you’re confident about the quality of your product or services, catching someone’s attention might seem like a non-issue. However, not many young or even veteran businesses have this luxury. Most of us are surrounded by competitors offering similar products, services, and plans stealing the attention of our prospective customers.
Friendly CI bots are very well-suited to this challenge!
Healthcare platform FemFuturist, for example, used a chatbot to guide visitors through a simple health evaluation right off the bat.
The conversational tone and ease of use made this a simple, engaging process; One that most healthcare brands are far from replicating.
Most brands aren’t yet using chatbots at all. Let alone as part of the lead generation model!
So, when you use a chatbot to engage your visitors as they land on your site, dazzle them with personalized content and help them find the information they need, you’re setting your brand apart from the rest.
When you’re up against tough competitors, this can be the differentiating factor it takes to make your brand the final choice.
Contrary to popular belief, chatbots are not here to replace us, human employees, completely. To be honest, they are most effective acting as a touchpoint in the process. A process that ultimately helps sales and support teams get in touch with customers who need their help.
For example, conversation bots that are to replace lead generation forms are excellent at asking basic questions. Such questions help qualify leads as well as saving user data for a sales team to later reference.
Nonetheless, they are rarely capable if answering users’ more complex questions or to complete the final steps in the sales process.
Fortunately, you can program lead generation bots to determine when a human member of your team needs to step in. For example, when a bot receives a question it doesn’t know the answer to, it can automatically pass that question (and the user’s contact information) to a human employee.
So first, use the chatbot to identify what the user actually wants and needs. Then, use it to connect it with the relevant person. This system markedly lowers customer frustration from being passed on from one person to another having to explain the situation over and over.
Some cool chatbot platforms (like Landbot 🙈) let you set up an internal Slack notification to fire each time someone needs help. That way, you’ll minimize the downtime and get the right people to respond as quickly as possible.
7. Chatbots are not hard to build
Last but not least, conversation bots are a great lead generation tool because (despite their bad rep) they are not that complicated or hard to build.
Naturally, it depends on a chatbot platform.
However, building a cool, natural sounding bot without code or need for NLP is absolutely possible. So, forget about an IT team and the demands of implementing machine learning strategies and turn your attention to platforms that provide interactive user interfaces without all that techy hassle.
Landbot, for instance, allows you to make a chatbot for your website in less than half an hour.
Check out this article on How to create a chatbot for your website in under 25 minutes and see for yourself.
Chatbots are becoming more and more popular tools to handle company interactions with their current and potential customers. Yet, for some reason, the use of lead generation chatbots is lagging behind.
But great – for you. This means you can get a head start on your competitors!
Employing one of the possible conversational UI lead generation tactics can give the needed boost to your conversation rate. Essentially, all you need to do is turn a chatbot into a member of your sales team. A good bot helps site visitors get the information they need in a comfortable and entertaining manner.
So, to sum it up, a chatbot:
- Will personalize user interactions of the bet
- Keep visitors engaged long enough to learn about you or take action
- Simplify lead generation forms
- Deliver information effectively and in a find way
- Give you an edge against your competitors
- Connect qualified leads with the right member of your team
So if you’re not yet using chatbots as part of your lead generation strategies, above are 7 reasons why you should start right now.
Or… if you want to experience the thrill of bot conversation for yourself, chat below and see how this works: