Offering an effective way to nurture leads, boost sales and even improve customer service, conversation marketing is worth incorporating into your digital strategy. This strategy makes use of tools such as chatbots, for one-on-one communication that puts the human factor back into digital marketing.
As a lead generation strategy, conversational marketing can add plenty of value, enhancing or replacing lead forms and cutting out many of the steps associated in traditional nurturing. The sales cycle is shortened, you get to speak to customers directly and your leads get to ask questions and have them answered instantly. Needless to say, cutting out time-consuming processes such as lead capture forms and lengthy response times can do wonders for your conversion. A smoother system that enables your company to connect to clients in a way that is organic and seamless can also greatly help customer retention, too.
What makes this approach a good way to nurture leads, and what else should you know about getting started with conversational marketing? Let’s take a look.
Why Consider Conversational Marketing for Lead Nurturing?
You have very likely seen conversational marketing in action on any given website you visit. Chatbots are certainly nothing new. These handy tools have been around for a long time, helping customers find answers without having to call or email. While they have been a staple for customer service, it’s only more recently that the humble chatbot has evolved into a powerful lead nurturing tool. Instant chat features focus on the conversation, cutting out all the steps that are involved in an enquiry. Rather than prospective leads having to complete a form, wait for a salesperson to get in touch and then get information, leads can converse directly, in real time.
Some of the biggest advantages of this when it comes to lead nurturing include the following:
Humanised buying experience
One of the biggest challenges of lead nurturing is that it can often start to feel impersonal. Customers today are more aware than ever and many are put off by a lead capture process that feels forced and unnatural. Chatbots and similar tools allow you to humanise the buying experience, welcoming visitors to your website not with a cold lead form but with a friendly greeting and a chance to start a conversation.
Greater insight into customers.
Unless you have a highly complex lead form, chances are good that you will not get a great deal of insight from the very first interaction you have with a new lead. Conversations allow you to learn things that cannot be easily found out with a standard lead form. You could find out why they are visiting your site, what they are looking for and what pain points they may have, just for starters.
Optimised lead nurturing
It can be a lot easier to bring in leads with a conversation compared to standard methods of nurturing such as forms. The easier and faster it is for people to connect to your company, the more likely they will be to become a customer.
Shortened sales cycle
At the same time, your sales cycle is also greatly reduced as a lot of the conversation reduces common barriers to entry. Rather than having to wait for responses, leads get to have their questions answered quickly and simply.
Using Conversational Marketing to Nurture Leads
Now that you have a better of why you should consider conversational marketing, how do you start using this strategy to nurture leads? If you thought that all you need to do is add a pop-up chatbot to your site and then wait for your sales to rise, think again. Generic ‘how can I help you’ chatbots will not get you anywhere. In fact, these can be more off-putting than lead forms. To get more from your conversational marketing efforts and nurture leads effectively, here are some tips to get you started.
Better yet, use triggers instead. Rather than have live chat windows pop up as soon as leads arrive on your site, time them to wait a few seconds. It will be even better if you are able to trigger the chat window according to certain conditions. For instance, you could launch the window if someone returns to your site more than once or when they visit key pages.
Place chat windows carefully
Which pages are best for chatbots? High intent pages are your ideal choice as these are the pages that are most likely to result in conversions. A general home page would not have the same lead score as a pricing page, for instance, or a contact page. Other pages to consider include services page, bottom-of-funnel pages and any other page that is relevant to the buying journey in any way.
Plan your message wisely
Think carefully about the behaviour or action you are aiming to trigger on these high intent pages. Are there common questions often asked about your products or process? Think carefully about how you can get the most from chats that take place on these pages. You can then use your chatbot to ask qualifying questions, then forward the lead to the relevant department.
Personalise your chatbot
The entire point of conversational marketing is to provide a personalised experience. If your chat messages are generic, you will miss out in the value this strategy offers. Offer personalised details and think carefully about natural conversations to see how you can fine-tune your messages and make them more personal.
Don’t forget about context
Just like any conversation, context is everything. Without context, there is far more chance of misunderstandings. You will also battle to connect to leads. This means asking the right question at the right time. For example, if a lead is currently on your travel packages product page, you might ask them if they need help choosing a package to the relevant destination or you could let them know that you have some new packages for the destination they are browsing.
Make use of FAQ
You don’t have to get carried away with your personalisation, however. Standardising common questions and using FAQ will help streamline things. Ideally, you want conversations to be predictable, making use of questions that are often asked. This will ensure a greater level of consistency that will make it easier to automate the process as well.
Remember the human element
It’s also a good idea to remember the human element in conversations. Lead may be trying and failing to find specific information or they may have searched multiple websites before finding yours. Others may not know what they want. Messages that are friendly and empathetic will always do better than those that focus purely on selling without any connection at all.
Keep optimising and improving
Like any other digital strategy, conversation marketing should always adapt and grow. If you set it and forget it, or assume that you don’t need to think beyond the initial implementation phase, you run the risk of stagnating. Take time to get data on questions that are being asked by your customers. Keep improving your support across all channels. Listen to customers, whether they are giving you good feedback or bad feedback. This will help you continue to perfect your conversations, which, in turn, will only ever be good for your lead nurturing efforts.
Offering plenty of value to your and your customers, conversational marketing is a strategy that you certainly won’t want to ignore. Incorporate this approach into your broader digital plan and you will soon see how much it helps you nurture leads holistically.