Conversational marketing is nothing new.
In fact, it’s been around for decades as a reaction to invasive advertising and marketing trends. Its current most popular application is in chatbots, but you can use it in other areas of your business—especially marketing, sales, and customer service—to increase your sales.
At its core, conversational marketing is about listening to every customer and personalizing every interaction. People love to be heard and understood. If you can provide that in all your interactions, both with chatbots and humans, you’ll gain more loyal customers.
The most common application of conversational marketing in the last few years is chatbots. The boost in e-commerce after the COVID-19 pandemic has increased interest in providing more personalized experiences for prospects.
However, conversational marketing is not just useful for creating natural, engaging chatbots. There’s plenty we can learn to lead more engaging conversations!
Did you know that 98% of visitors leave a website without buying anything?
Starting a conversation stops them on their way out and engages them. Simple details like greeting your visitor on your website, asking them a straightforward question, or using previous information from your customer to spark new conversations means the difference between an impersonal browse through your store and a new sale.
With conversational marketing, you can nudge your leads into taking action when they’re ready for it without imposing. Making genuine conversation with every customer, even if they know they’re talking to a bot, shows you’re going the extra mile to know more about them as individuals.
Nobody likes to feel like a metric or another number in your sales report. When you acknowledge them as individuals, they’ll be more receptive to your suggested action—sign up for a newsletter or a free trial, check out a few product suggestions, change plans, you name it.
One key concept in marketing is the stages of awareness, coined by advertising expert Eugene Schwartz. The stages refer to how informed your prospect is of the problem you solve and the solution you offer.
The stages are:
A lead will only convert when they’re at their most aware. If you try to make a sale before your customer is ready, they will feel pushed to decide in a hurry. Consequently, they will leave with a poor impression of your brand and you might lose the sale.
With genuine, winning conversations, you can guide your customer through these stages until they’re ready to buy. It won’t always happen in one visit, which means you need to fine-tune your data to pick up where you left and close the sale.
There are several ways to capture information from your customers, including forms, quizzes, and conversations with your support or sales teams.
Until recently, forms were a convenient way to get information about your prospects, but forms have their drawbacks. Captchas keep spam away, but might annoy some customers—who would want to jump through hoops to ask a simple question? Then, sending the completed form is an act of hope.
The prospect doesn’t know if or when they will hear from your team. Then, even if they get a reply, they might need more back-and-forth with an actual person.
While some cases need more attention from your support or sales team, sometimes you need a tool to gather necessary information quickly and make it a positive experience for the user. In those cases, conversational AI is all your business needs.
Sometimes, all a user needs is an answer to a quick question before making a purchase.
What would be easier for your customer if they want to find out if you ship to their country: browse through your FAQs, email customer service, or ask a chatbot?
While impulsive purchases are not a thing of the past, most consumers nowadays spend some time researching their options before making the purchasing decision. Your business’s ability to provide the information the user needs promptly is crucial.
Conversational marketing saves your prospects’ time by using data to give them more information about your products, letting them know about the latest deals, or answering concerns about shipping or return policies. Instead of making your user browse through your website and risk them not finding that information, a quick chat can point them in the right direction.
This is useful to new visitors to your website, who are early in their purchase journey and unaware of the solutions you offer.
It can share that information with your support team if escalation is needed to solve the issue faster.
Chatbots are a fantastic way to overcome time zone and service constraints.
Your user will no longer need to browse through your FAQs to find an answer to their question or wait until business hours to get a reply.
Furthermore, they give more control to your user. Landing pages and forms are too uncertain, and talking to a human may be too much effort or commitment for the customer depending on where they are in their purchase journey. Instead, talking to a bot provides them the information they need, answers their question without feeling the obligation to reciprocate. So, you make the experience—and, by extension, your brand—more positive, making it more likely for them to return.
The more you engage your users, the more you will find out about them. Creating natural, delightful chatbot conversations and training your staff in conversational marketing techniques is crucial to make your brand memorable, but you also need to consider how to process the information you gain from those engagements.
The advantage of conversational marketing is that it paves the way for customers to build up a relationship with your brand over time. You won’t be able to close all sales immediately, so your long-term strategy is just as important.
Conversational marketing can help you understand your customers and collect data to improve your products and services. For example, data can show you what your users’ frequent questions are, what they’re looking for, what issues they have, and what they would like to see next.
Depending on what you’re selling, you can build entire conversations to close a sale in a chatbot conversation, without leaving your homepage. This chatbot application is popular for booking hotel or flight reservations or ordering food, but it can be a shortcut for other purchase journeys.
Your website might be fantastic, but conversational marketing adds a personalized element that will provide value to your customers.
It builds trust, understands your customer’s needs, gives and receives information quickly, and saves your support and sales teams time.
In turn, you’ll generate more sales.