Digital communication is ever-changing.
When it comes to digital marketing, email has long been known as the channel that generates the most ROI. In fact, because studies show that email marketing ROI is $44 for every $1 spent, it has traditionally been the best area for marketers to focus on.
Facebook, too, is changing. Once an ally of digital publishers, recent changes to its News Feed algorithm prioritized posts from family and friends over brands.
These are just some of the many reasons why chatbots, or chat apps that use artificial intelligence to receive and respond to messages, are rising in popularity.
With high engagement (the typical outreach CTR of a chatbot ranges from 15-60%) and dynamic communication sequences, bots can be the first customer touch, qualify sales leads, provide support 24/7, and service multiple people at a time.
In fact, the digital marketing chief at Interscope says, “A Facebook Messenger inbox is what an email inbox used to be…”
And Facebook Messenger bots aren’t the only ones out there — marketers can place bots on their website, landing pages, Slack, Skype, within their apps, and more.
In this piece, I analyze how nine renowned brands are successfully using chatbots to reach their customers and share some tools you can use to start implementing chatbots in your own marketing funnel.
Hipmunk is a platform that allows people to search for travel deals and many of its users turn to it to book flights, hotels, rental cars, or packages.
To help people search and reserve more easily, Hipmunk created its “Hello chatbots” that you can easily integrate with Facebook, Slack, or Skype.
The example below is from the Hipmunk Facebook Messenger Bot.
The bot uses the visitor’s location to determine where they’re traveling from and then sends them great travel deals from that location.
This simple, but handy chatbot takes the busy-work out of hunting for information on multiple sites, and makes it more convenient by placing it right in the Messenger app.
Imagine how much easier it is to plan a trip with your friends when you’re chatting with them in one window and looking up flights on the other.
Furthermore, the Hipmunk Facebook Messenger Bot uses friendly, conversational language creating a personalized, informal experience that mimics how you might speak to a human travel agent or even a friend.
Internet users are used to chatting online with their friends — whether that be on Slack, Facebook Messenger, Gchat, or other channels.
Chat has come to be associated with casual language, emojis, and GIFs. (Just look at how Slack transcends the traditional inbox with fun emojis, reactions, and easy to create gifs!)
By using casual language and mimicking a human experience, Hipmunk successfully translates established chat mores into engagement funnels.
Hipmunk’s chatbot also shares maps, allowing users to ensure the bot has determined the right location, while the ‘HipTips’ use waiting time to offer new deals and show users new and optimized ways to use the app.
Overall, this is a great example of a bot that is both cool and effective. According to Hipmunk’s CEO, the average user runs about 20 searches when planning a trip.
By condensing the search process into one conversation and proactively reaching out to site visitors, the chatbot easily bypasses travel sites which put the onus on the user to search out deals themselves.
TechCrunch uses chatbots to send you the content you want, when you want.
The chatbot allows you to pick the number of times you’d like to receive new content, as well as the type of content (hot stories, specific authors, etc.).
What really makes it stand out, however, is that the news you get is personalized. The TechCrunch bot keeps track of the types of articles you read and then serves you the type of content you’d like.
You can also ask the chatbot about specific types of news that you’re interested in.
With way too much content online for any one person to read, TechCrunch customizes what you receive by allowing you to dictate subjects and sending frequency, andsuggesting new content.
Only sending content the reader enjoys creates a positive brand association with TechCrunch and drives more engaged traffic to their site.
3. Whole Foods
Now, it may not be Einstein, but Whole Foods’ Facebook Messenger Bot is just as exciting, connecting with users by providing recipes, products, and cooking inspiration.
Presenting filters and options for different types of food, including international cuisines with each message, Whole Foods makes it easy for users to narrow in on the kind of recipe they’re looking for.
Once enough filters have been selected, the bot presents a link to a specific recipe that directs users to the company’s website.
Rather than rely on direct visitors, Whole Foods’ chatbot drives traffic to their site from a platform where people spend — on average — 50 minutes a day.
In addition, with 60 million emojis are used on Facebook per day, the Whole Foods’ bot replicates a typical (human-to-human) messenger conversation by allowing users to shortcut their way to specific recipes using emojis.
For example, if sent a pizza emoji, the bot returns a pizza recipe. Fun, right?
Whole Foods plans to add more advanced features in the near future, such as letting users browse and find products, deals, recipes according to specific diet plans and more, but in the meantime, we’re already impressed.
MongoDB is an open-sourced, cloud-hosted database program.
To increase lead generation and qualify leads more efficiently, the company installed the messaging tool, Drift on its site. The chatbot answers prospects’ questions and drives the most qualified visitors to a sales call.
The bot starts by asking site visitors if they have any questions about pricing or sales.
If a visitor does engage, the bot is programmed to answer and determine if the user is a qualified lead based on their questions and responses. Qualified leads are invited to book a sales call with a rep. A calendaring integration makes it easy to reserve a spot, and a CRM integration means qualified leads are automatically routed to the right salesperson.
This bot primarily helped increased conversions for MongoDB because of its efficiency.
In addition to being more strategic about sales workload, leads are incredibly time-sensitive and the bot immediately responds 24/7.
Research shows that 35–50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first, and the odds of making a successful contact with a lead are 100 times greater when a contact attempt occurs within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.
Automated qualification and immediate response time increased new leads by 70% and new opportunities by 170% in three months.
In this example, LeadPages, an industry leader in drag-and-drop landing page creation, started using Drift messaging and chatbots to convert site visitors from casual browser to a middle of funnel product comparison page.
The experiment started small, with the bot popping up with a welcome message.
And this minor change worked.
Before the welcome message, LeadPages had 310 conversations in a month. The next month, they implemented the welcome message and had 1168 conversations with site visitors.
LeadPages then used Drift to set up an automated campaign that targeted users based on the page they were currently visiting. The automated messages directed visitors, dependent on their needs to a product comparison page, often the last step before purchase.
Targeted messages from LeadPages’ proactive chatbots had an open rate of 30% and a 21% click-through rate to the product comparison page. Compared to email’s 21.5% open rate and 2% click-through rate, the LeadPages chatbot won out over of the traditional medium.
It provided an immediate and targeted response which navigated visitors — gently — from browsing to content that could help them evaluate LeadPages as a potential solution.
Getting Started with Chatbots
Now that we’ve talked about how other brands are using chatbots, you’re probably wondering where you can start. Well, that really depends on which platform is best for your business, or where your audience hangs out online.
Commonly, chatbots are found on:
- Facebook Messenger
- Website / Landing pages (such as LeadPages, ClickFunnels, or any other page on your site)
Most of the platforms we’ve mentioned provide guides, resources, and documentation on developing your very own chatbot. This, of course, can be a bit more complicated and time-consuming.
If you don’t have the time or the man-power consider these out-of-the-box options:
ZoConvert is an online tool that lets you create Facebook messenger bot in a matter of minutes. It’s an easy-to-deal-with marketing tool that marketers can use to capture business, retain leads, build an audience, personalize updates and automate the messenger marketing process.
Digital marketers can create their own chatbot and add it to their messenger so that their Facebook messenger audience can reach them directly and quickly. ZoConvert is an extremely effective tool to engage with the audience and resolve most of their query without any human interaction.
ActiveChat is the one of the best chatbot platform in 2019.
What makes ActiveChat unique is its deep integrations with Google’s Natural Language Processor, Dialogflow and shop engines such as Shopify and WooCommerce. But, like a new-born, it still has things to learn and develop.
ActiveChat.ai to create chatbots for automated customer support, marketing, and businesses. Multiple communication channels (Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Twilio, and Viber). Lots of business and e-commerce integrations.
Chatbots Are Changing Online Communication – Be One of the First to Benefit
Chatbots can help improve just about every part of your marketing funnel from initial questions sales to customer support. Research shows that while only 15% of people reported interacting with a business’s chatbot this year, that number will only rise.
While only 27% of consumers say they expect an instant response to an email, 75% of consumers expect an immediate response from a chatbot.
Consumers also preferred chatbots over other many other marketing channels to answer questions, get 24/7 service, and receive expert advice.
Successful digital marketing requires constant evolution. Implementing a chatbot, much like these nine brands did, could be how you stay one step ahead of the competition.