Both chatbots and emails are powerful marketing channels. We’ll show you how to use chatbot email marketing to provide a better customer experience.
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Are you wondering whether to use chatbots or email to engage potential customers? The answer is both!
So combining their powers will provide maximum engagement.
Additionally, providing both chatbots and email provides a better customer experience as customers can choose their preferred platform to communicate.
How chatbots and emails can work together
Here are a few ways to combine chatbots and emails to improve engagement and elevate the customer experience.
1. Qualify leads
If you have lots of low-quality leads, your sales team will waste time. It uses resources that could be better allocated toward current customers and quality leads.
Therefore, set up a chatbot that qualifies leads for you. The marketing agency Six and Flow has a great example of this.
When you enter their website, they ask about your biggest pain point. From there, they offer to share how they’ve helped solve those same problems for other companies. If you want to see how they’ve solved those problems for other companies, you can click “absolutely.”
The chatbot then follows up with a qualifying question to find out how many people are on your team.
Before they’ve even captured an email address, they know:
- If you have a pain point relevant to their solutions
- The approximate size of your team (which will indicate your budget)
Armed with this information, the chatbot can segment leads by quality before collecting an email address for a team member to close the deal.
Regardless of what path the user selects, all of them end with an email collection.
For example, if you click “give me a human,” it will redirect you to a live person or ask you to leave an email address until someone returns to the office.
If you click “just the guides for now,” it will redirect you to either a marketing tool or their blog and ultimately collect your email address.
In fact, even if you click on the tool, the tool’s landing page also has a bot that asks to collect your email address:
2. Drive email subscribers from your website
If your goal is to drive more email subscribers, there are plenty of ways you can accomplish this with a chatbot.
Most people are hesitant to give their email address, though they will do so if you’re offering something of substantial value that they want.
For example, if you’re an SEO agency, you might discover that your audience has a pain point around link building. Therefore, your chatbot can redirect them to a gated piece of content that will collect their email address and make them an email subscriber.
The agency Hype and Dexter has a bot like this that provides several resource options and then sends them to your email address.
You can also do this by setting up a chatbot quiz and then sending the results to the person via email. As a user has already invested some time into answering the quiz questions, they are much more likely to want the results and therefore hand over their email address.
Here’s a similar example that takes their visitors through a quiz:
And then offers to send a free analysis sheet via email at the end of it.
IMPORTANT: Make sure you notify the chatbot users that they will receive marketing emails from you to be compliant with GDPR or any other privacy regulations.
3. Drive email subscribers from Facebook
While chatbots effectively turn website visitors into email subscribers, they can also turn Facebook fans into email subscribers.
If you’re running ads on Facebook, it’s essential to reengage anyone mildly interested in your ads. To do that, you can set up a campaign that automatically messages anyone who comments on your Facebook post.
Once they start engaging with your sequence, you can offer a lead magnet and deliver it to their email.
Here’s an example of a very successful chat sequence that generated a 98.9% open rate out of the 94.9% delivered and offered a lead magnet (a collection of successful cold email templates).
It ultimately converted 86% of openers into email subscribers.
4. Improve support
Finally, chatbots and email can work together to provide the best support possible for your visitors. While some people prefer the personalized experience of a chatbot, others still prefer email.
Rather than choosing one or the other, consider how you can use them together to improve the customer experience.
For example, the Foundation for Student Housing in the Helsinki Region uses a chatbot to improve customer support. Their chatbot now handles approximately 59% of total customer queries and can connect those that need more help with a live agent.
However, chatbots can also help improve support by redirecting people to email support if your team is away.
Morey Creative Agency has a good example of this:
4 steps to building a strong marketing agency bot
Now that you’ve seen a few ways to use a chatbot, how can you actually create one? Here are a few steps to help you create a high-converting marketing agency chatbot.
Step 1. Define where to host your chatbot
The first step is to decide where your chatbot will live. For example, if you’re designing a campaign that targets Facebook commenters, you might build your chatbot directly in Messenger. However, most marketing agencies also have chatbots on their websites.
We recommend having a Messenger bot directly on your Facebook page and one on your website for maximum results.
Step 2. Define the goals for your chatbots
Once you’ve decided where you will host your chatbot, the next step is to define your goals. Here is a quick checklist of questions to ask yourself:
- Am I trying to improve conversions for a particular page?
- Am I trying to increase lead volume?
- Am I trying to help move people down the funnel faster?
For most agencies, all of the above are goals that their chatbot will need to fulfill. For example, the marketing agency Six and Flag built their chatbot to shorten the sales cycle, increase conversions, and increase the overall lead volume.
In a recent blog post, they revealed that in a six-month period, their chatbot achieved these goals and more with a 10% faster sales cycle, a 45% lead-to-customer conversion, and a lead volume increase of 13.06%.
In fact, their chatbot produced a 16% increase in sales compared to the static submission form.
Step 3. Create your conversation
Now that you have some goals, the next step is to create your conversation. The execution of this stage depends largely on the platform you choose, as some chatbot builders offer basic FAQ templates while others offer more advanced AI features.
FAQ bots are useful for some customer support questions, though they have limited capabilities. For example, if a customer asks a question beyond the basic FAQs you have written, the bot won’t be able to answer the conversation.
However, an AI chatbot can (almost) fully automate your customer support. This is because AI chatbots can understand question intent and interpret what the user is asking, while an FAQ bot needs the user to use one of a limited set of terms for a word question. By answering a wider variety of questions more accurately, an AI chatbot can increase conversions.
Fortunately, building an AI chat conversation is relatively easy. You simply enter key phrases for each response, and the chatbot will learn to interpret what the user is asking. Here’s an example of how easy it is to set up:
As you can see, the AI chatbot can answer more complex questions like “is there salad on the menu?” as it can learn the user intent. However, the FAQ bot would only be able to answer a question like “see menu.”
Once you’ve chosen a bot platform, the next step is to create questions and program responses.
The first bot you’ll create is for your homepage. This chatbot figures out where the visitor is in their journey and directs them to the right stage of that funnel.
This is a great example of a marketing agency that separates each visitor by top, middle, and bottom of the funnel on the homepage and then directs them to the appropriate stage of the funnel.
However, if the visitor is already on a key bottom-of-funnel landing page and you ask them if they want to learn more “information about marketing and sales,” you’re probably losing conversions.
Instead, showing them a dedicated bot that answers more advanced questions relevant to that page (such as contract lengths, pricing, etc.), you’ll likely see much higher conversions.
Therefore, to improve your conversions, you may want to create specific chatbots for specific pages.
For example, say you drive email subscribers to a dedicated landing page for a webinar sign-up or course offerings. You can use the chatbot to answer general support questions like “how long is the webinar?,” or it can also answer more complex questions like “how much personal help will I receive with the course?”
To create these custom bots, you can use triggers in your chatbot’s platform.
A trigger is a key action a user takes within the chat sequence that can put them in a different segment, such as “lead” or “SEO prospect” (for example, if you’re a digital marketing agency, you don’t want to send PPC content to someone interested in SEO).
Depending on the platform you choose, you may also be able to set up lead tracking. Therefore, you can send automatic follow-up reminders to previously engaged prospects who bounced and pick up where they left off.
Step 4. Analyze engagement data
The next step is to analyze engagement data to understand how to optimize your chatbot better. From there, you can run A/B tests (if your chatbot platform permits) and improve your KPIs. Here are a few key things to look at when analyzing your chatbot’s analytics dashboard:
- Total leads generated
- Goal completion rate
- Retention rate
- Fallback rate
- Qualitative user feedback
Let’s break down each of these metrics.
Total leads generated
This is how many people booked a sales call through your chatbot (regardless of whether they became a client).
If you notice you have few leads generated, it may be that people are calling or emailing to set up a consultation, so if you don’t have a high score for this metric, don’t worry too much.
Goal completion rate
Goal completion rate means the user found what they needed from your business.
For example, if they were looking for your agency’s pricing, it should redirect them to your pricing or state it directly in the bot. Or if your goal completion was collecting a lead, it might be the number of email addresses collected.
Similarly, if they are looking for a guide on chatbot analytics, it should send them to a relevant piece of content.
If your goal completion rate is low, look at common questions people are asking that are often misdirected and where people drop off in your funnel.
For example, if many people ask for testimonials or case studies and you don’t have any, this is good content to add to your website. If you do have case studies or testimonials, be sure that the chatbot can find them.
Otherwise, you’ll create a poor customer experience with your chatbot.
Retention rate is how many people return to use your chatbot. For example, if ten people start using your chatbot and only about five of them return to use it, your retention rate is 50%.
Ideally, you want a high retention rate as it means that they had enough success with your bot during the first experience that they want to use it again.
Another key metric to evaluate is your fallback rate. Your chatbot won’t be perfect right out of the gate, and when it doesn’t understand a user query, it will send a message redirecting them either to a live agent or a resource page.
Therefore, your fallback rate is the percentage of user conversations that end with a redirection instead of an answer.
By tracking your fallback rate, you can understand where users became lost and how you can better optimize your chatbot to help the user.
Qualitative user feedback
Finally, ask your users what they thought of the experience. To do this, you can include a survey at the end of the chat.
Most conversations end with the question, “did you find what you were looking for?.” However, this doesn’t allow the user to share detailed insight into how they felt about the chatbot.
Instead, consider questions like, “Do you have any feedback to improve this bot?” or “Is there any way we could better assist you with this chat?”
This will provide much more valuable qualitative feedback.
Make chatbot email marketing part of your strategy
Rather than thinking about whether you should use chatbots or email, ask yourself how you can use them together. As both are mostly automated, you won’t have to deploy extra resources, and it will allow your brand to meet customers on their desired platform.
While you don’t have to implement all of the tactics in this piece immediately, consider trying one or two and then build your automation machine. Once you’ve passed the learning curve, you’ll find that chatbots and email together can significantly impact your support team’s success, customer satisfaction, and overall conversions.