Conversational Marketing

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Conversational Marketing

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational Marketing is an interactive and real-time marketing approach focusing on conversing with website visitors. It's all about engaging people in authentic and meaningful dialogues, moving them swiftly through the buying process.

How is conversational marketing revolutionizing the way customers make purchases?

The traditional methods of marketing and selling no longer match how buyers prefer to make decisions. Nowadays, most conversations happen through messaging because it's quick, easy, and feels like a genuine interaction. In 2021, popular communication channels included online live chat, phone and video calls, and email.

However, many businesses still make customers undergo tedious processes before they can converse. This outdated approach frustrates buyers and customers, leading to declining email usage and growing demand for immediacy.

The solution lies in adopting conversational marketing, which focuses on creating personal and authentic customer experiences. By building relationships through genuine conversations, businesses can make the buying process more enjoyable and meaningful for everyone involved.

Why is a conversational marketing strategy important?

In today's marketing landscape, social media has become a dominant force. People spend a lot of time online, and even if they aren't actively looking to buy something, using a chatbot can increase their chances of showing interest in your product.

Chatbots are more than just customer service tools; they are the first interaction point with potential buyers. Chatbots can impress and delight customers effectively, while a poor experience may turn them away.

The power of AI technology in conversational marketing lies in transforming traditional, mundane question-and-answer interactions into engaging conversations. Businesses can gather valuable data to enhance future customer engagement by leveraging this technology.

How to create an effective conversational marketing strategy:

  • Define your business goals and identify the problems you want to solve for your customers.
  • Choose the appropriate communication channels, whether it's for answering frequently asked questions, guiding the buying process, or offering more information about your products.
  • Personalize conversations to provide tailored content that matches each customer's stage in their journey. This personalized approach builds authentic connections.
  • Gather customer feedback to identify improvement areas and continually refine your strategy.

A conversational marketing strategy leverages chatbots and AI technology to engage potential customers effectively, solve their problems, and build authentic connections that drive sales and customer satisfaction.

How do you do conversational marketing?

Introducing Conversational Marketing doesn't mean you must overhaul everything and start over.

Instead, consider adding a new lead generation channel that works alongside your current marketing strategies. We've simplified it into a straightforward framework called the Conversational Framework, which involves three steps:

  • Engage
  • Understand
  • Recommend

This framework isn't about creating a completely new marketing and sales process. It's all about having valuable conversations, building relationships, and smoothly guiding people through your existing funnel. It's like an extension that enhances your marketing efforts, making them even more effective.

Let's go through each step:

Step 1: Engage More Leads with Chat Instead of Forms

You'll see positive outcomes when you offer visitors the option to start instant conversations on your website instead of filling out forms. Conversational Marketing leads to higher conversion rates, more opportunities, and a more personalized customer experience.

With Conversational Marketing, when a visitor takes action like clicking "download," "contact sales," or "book a demo," you can immediately start a conversation. This means you can move people through your funnel right away, without making them wait for a follow-up email, as long as that's what they prefer.

To ensure you're available 24/7, we've designed intelligent chatbots that make Conversational Marketing work for your business. Now, you can engage with people on your website whenever they want to connect with you.

You can also proactively reach out to visitors who seem likely to buy instead of waiting for them to initiate the conversation. Whether you want to assist those browsing your pricing page or check in on repeat visitors, you can reach out to serious potential customers.

Step 2: Understand Leads and Their Needs Instantly

In the traditional qualification process, it takes days to qualify a lead. However, research shows that responding within five minutes of initial contact gives you the best chance of qualifying a lead. Waiting longer reduces the odds by 400%.

With Conversational Marketing, bots keep you available 24/7 to instantly engage with new leads. Chatbot platforms can quickly understand who these visitors are and what they need by qualifying them in real time.

By building your bot with questions similar to the ones you ask on forms or qualifying calls, it can have a conversation with the lead, understand them better, and recommend the best next step. This speeds up response times, ensuring your sales team connects with the right people at the right time.

Bots can also identify those who might not be ready for a sales conversation and disqualify them, saving your reps valuable time. Chatbots can provide resources and support for unqualified visitors, allowing your sales reps to focus on more promising leads.

Step 3: Recommend the Right Next Step to Move Leads Through Your Funnel

While bots are excellent at engaging and understanding leads, human-to-human interaction is invaluable for closing sales. That's why bots use intelligent routing to connect leads to your sales team and even book meetings automatically, allowing your reps to concentrate on selling.

With intelligent routing, bots ensure the right leads are assigned to the right reps. If you have multiple reps covering the same area, leads can be distributed on a rotational basis.

Once your sales reps sync their calendars, bots can directly book meetings with qualified leads right from the chat. This streamlines the process and ensures your sales team starts their day with high-quality appointments.

The bot can offer resources to answer questions or suggest personalized solutions for those who still need to get ready for a meeting. Additionally, the bot can continue nurturing leads by further qualifying them and delivering relevant content. 

This is one of the key differences between Conversational Marketing and traditional inbound marketing:

Types of Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing aims to engage customers, address their queries, and provide personalized experiences, ultimately leading to better customer engagement and conversions. 

Here are some types of conversational marketing:

  • ​​Live Chat: Live chat involves real-time text-based conversations between customers and representatives on a website or mobile app. It allows businesses to assist visitors instantly, answer their questions, and guide them through the sales process.
  • Chatbots: Chatbots are automated conversational agents that use artificial intelligence to interact with customers. They can handle frequently asked questions, provide basic information, and offer personalized recommendations.
  • Social Media Messaging: Brands use social media platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or Twitter DMs to engage with customers through messaging. Customers can reach out to businesses, and the support team can respond promptly.
  • Voice Assistants: With the growing popularity of voice-activated devices like Amazon Echo (Alexa), Google Home, or Apple's Siri, businesses are leveraging voice-based conversational marketing to interact with customers using natural language.
  • Email Marketing Automation: While traditional email marketing is not strictly conversational, automated email campaigns that personalize content based on customer behaviour and preferences can create a conversational experience.
  • Video Chat: Some businesses offer video chat support, allowing customers to interact face-to-face with representatives for more complex queries or personalized assistance.
  • In-App Messaging: Mobile apps often integrate in-app messaging to facilitate conversations between users and customer support. This enables a seamless experience without requiring users to switch to other channels.
  • SMS Marketing: Businesses use SMS to send personalized messages, offers, or order updates, providing a more intimate and immediate form of communication.
  • Interactive Content: Interactive content, such as quizzes, surveys, or polls, encourages users to engage with brands and discuss specific topics or products.
  • Webinars and Live Events: Hosting webinars or live events allows brands to engage with their audience in real time, addressing their queries and fostering meaningful discussions.

Each type of conversational marketing offers unique advantages and can be tailored to suit specific business needs and target audiences. By adopting these conversational approaches, businesses can build stronger customer relationships, drive engagement, and ultimately boost conversions.

The Key Elements of Conversational Marketing

You may think, "conversational marketing sounds much like my current marketing strategy. I'm on multiple channels. I'm having conversations with my audience."

If you're a customer-focused marketer, chances are you're almost there. Here are the four key components of conversational marketing and how to best refine your strategy.

Conversations in Customer Time:

Conversational marketing embraces asynchronous communication, allowing conversations to occur at the customer's convenience. Whether real-time interaction or a later engagement after their schedule clears up, businesses should adapt to the customer's preferred pace. Flexibility is key, from starting a conversation over coffee at 7 a.m. to concluding it after putting the kids to bed at 9 p.m.

Scalable Conversations:

Scaling conversations while maintaining personalized attention is crucial. Customers don't concern themselves with how many others a business assists; they simply want their issues resolved. To achieve 24/7 support, chatbots play a vital role by offering quick answers based on existing data. Human interaction should not be sacrificed for scale; rather, chatbots provide instant information while retaining the option for human assistance.

Conversations with Context:

Context is the foundation of effective conversations. Customers expect businesses to recall previous interactions and comprehend their needs better over time. Conversations become more convenient with context, sparing customers from repetitive questions and enhancing their experience. Utilizing a CRM in conversational marketing ensures easy access to customer data, enabling businesses to deliver more helpful and personalized responses based on past orders, visits, and other relevant information.

Meeting Customers Where They Are:

Conversational marketing aligns with Inbound Marketing's ethos of delivering value and meeting customers on their preferred channels. Embracing various messaging platforms and tools enables businesses to interact with customers where they feel most comfortable. Whether through a phone call or Facebook Messenger, with the assistance of a human or a bot, the goal is to make it easy and accessible for customers to engage and find the information they seek.

5 Benefits of Conversational Marketing

You’ve already read about some of the positive results many different businesses have been able to achieve through Conversational Marketing. But those aren’t the only benefits you can expect.

Here are the five biggest benefits of using conversations to capture and qualify leads:

  1. Create a Human Buying Experience: Conversational Marketing makes your website more engaging and interactive. Visitors can start a conversation at their convenience, building trust and increasing the likelihood of them choosing your business when purchasing.
  1. Gain Valuable Customer Insights: Conversations provide context and valuable information about your buyers and customers. You can understand their pain points, preferences, and needs, making tailoring your offerings to meet their requirements easier.
  1. Boost Lead Conversion: Conversational Marketing helps engage potential customers who may not fill out lead forms. Chatbots lets you interact with more visitors, leading to higher lead conversions. Proofpoint saw significant increases in email submissions and chat-sourced opportunities.
  1. Deliver Personalized Recommendations: Conversational experiences allow you to offer personalized recommendations and resources to site visitors. You can improve customer satisfaction and uncover cross-selling and upselling opportunities by nurturing leads and tailoring the buying journey.
  1. Efficiently Close More Deals: Chatbots are available 24/7, engaging with potential and existing customers. Intelligent routing ensures your sales team can jump into conversations at the right time, leading to increased deal closures. SAP Concur achieved over $10M in the attributed pipeline through conversational interactions.

Conversational Marketing examples

Now that you know what Conversational Marketing is, how it works, and its benefits, you're probably wondering what it looks like in practice. While Conversational Marketing isn't limited to live chat and chatbots, we want to show you what a conversational approach looks like at every stage of the buying journey.

Here are three examples from our collection of really good chatbots:

1. Domino's Pizza

Domino's recent Domino's AnyWare initiative allows customers to order pizza from, well, literally anywhere. This includes conversational channels like Slack, Facebook Messenger, Twitter, and text messages — by simply texting the pizza emoji.

Customers must first enable text ordering and set up an "Easy Order" on their Domino's profile, which they'll order when texting 🍕. Beyond that, however, ordering a pizza doesn't get much simpler.

2. London & Company

London & Company walks prospective mortgage customers through their Mortgage Finder form. But instead of a lengthy form with multiple fields, London & Company displays a chatbot/ messenger format with one question at a time.

london and company conversational marketing example

This conversational format is user-friendly and easy to navigate, which likely helps London & Company collect information from and convert potential new leads.

3. Sephora

Sephora used Kik messenger to learn more about their target market by asking them if they wanted to participate in a quick, social-like quiz about their beauty habits. Once users accepted, they answered questions about their age, makeup preferences, and favourite products. From there, the app delivered relevant content, such as how-to videos and product reviews, based on the individual’s answers.

A chatbot makes it easier for customers to find and purchase products they like and frees up human employees for other tasks.

sephora conversational marketing messenger example

4.  Skippi Ice Pops

Skippi Ice Pops from India operates as an Ice Popsicle brand that produces high-quality products which are clean, green and healthy. Due to the high volume of website traffic, they wanted to integrate WhatsApp as a channel to handle multiple inquiries and generate revenue effectively.

Using Engati, they were able to get a green tick for their WhatsApp account with ease. Additionally, they utilized the Broadcast feature to run their marketing campaigns effectively.

This integration helped them increase their conversion rate within a span of 2 days.

5. HDFC Capital

With the help of Engati, HDC Capital enabled customers to conveniently calculate property valuation, EMIs, and other related calculations in one place on WhatsApp.

The bot also assisted in conducting the KYC process by collecting user documents securely via the bot interface and notifying users of the completion of KYC and account creation.

Conversational marketing tools/platforms?

  1. Engati: Engati is a popular conversational marketing platform that offers a user-friendly interface to build and deploy chatbots and virtual assistants across various channels. It supports AI-driven interactions and can handle text and voice-based conversations, making it a versatile choice for businesses.
  1. Drift: Drift is a leading conversational marketing platform specialising in live chat and chatbot solutions. It enables businesses to engage website visitors in real-time, capture leads, and guide prospects through the sales funnel. Drift focuses on creating personalized and human-like interactions to enhance customer experience.
  1. Intercom: Intercom provides a comprehensive conversational marketing platform that combines live chat, chatbots, and email marketing. It helps businesses connect with customers at different stages of their journey, enabling personalized conversations and targeted messaging for improved engagement and conversion rates.
  1. Chatfuel: Chatfuel is a popular platform for building chatbots on Facebook Messenger and other platforms. It offers a visual chatbot builder, making it easy for businesses to create interactive and automated conversations without coding knowledge.
  1. ManyChat: ManyChat is another robust conversational marketing platform tailored for Facebook Messenger marketing. It allows businesses to build chatbots and automate customer interactions on the platform, offering a range of features to nurture leads and drive sales.

Why is conversational marketing the future?

We've come a long way from letters and telegrams. For the first time, people are having meaningful conversations with businesses on a massive scale thanks to automation with bots, a CRM, and new channels. 

Conversational marketing is changing how companies talk with customers by making interactions seamless and faster. Your customers are having conversations. Why not join in?

The most important things to focus on are the channel, the conversation, and how the strategy fits in with your overall inbound marketing strategy. 

Channels should be simple for businesses and consumers to use, conversations should follow a clear process and serve a purpose, and your inbound marketing strategy should inform your conversational marketing strategy.

Remember, humans have been having conversations since the beginning of time. Technology only makes connecting easier and more productive for businesses and their customers. 

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