In May of last year, one of my B2B SaaS clients kicked their landing page forms to the curb and implemented chat-bot only conversions. At the time, there seemed to be a dearth of information about chatbot marketing. This ended up being a boon as I was able to get creative with tactics to lure prospects in and get them to hand over their precious data. Being on the vanguard of a new(er) style of customer engagement opens up a wide variety of opportunities and tests that can be run. The rest of this post relays a handful of the learnings I’ve uncovered over the past 10 months.
Your Chat Flow Should Match Your Landing Page
This one is simple enough. The messages generated by your chat-bot should relate to where a customer is on your website. An obvious example is if they’re looking at pricing options, your bot should pop-up and offer to generate a personalized quote. If they’re looking at your resources page, offer them access to the latest and greatest content. Follow your user with relevant messaging wherever they end up on your site.
Chat opened or closed?
I ran a very simple experiment that tested landing on the website with the bot already open vs. landing on the site with the bot closed and relying on a potential customer to click on a CTA button on the site. To the surprise of no-one, having it open right away improved conversion rates by 11% and dropped CPLs by 15%. Some website bots, I’m most familiar with Drift, allow you to append your URL with #name of bot that will automatically open the chat upon arrival to the website. This creates a very clear path to your user and they don’t have to fumble around the site searching for the right CTA.
I’ve been tracking 3 specific actions in this account: when a user starts a chat, when a user submits their email, and when a user books a meeting with a sales-person directly using the calendar feature of the website bot. If a user starts a chat and doesn’t submit a lead, they become a prime re-marketing audience. Over the past 10 months, 73% of the prospects who started a chat also submitted their email to become a lead. Of those leads, 45% go on to book a time with a sales rep for a demo or a free trial. These are tremendously high rates of cooperation for online users. The client was blown away by how efficient this process became and how much time their sales team saved by no longer having to chase a person from a lead form down to schedule a demo. Getting bookings directly from their bot positively impacted their bottom line but cutting down their overhead.
Another fun experiment I ran was an ad variation test to see if using CTAs that call out interacting with the bot would help improve conversion rates by giving prospects clear information about what to expect once they clicked the ad. These did have positive returns, but not by large margins. Conversion rates for ads that specifically called-out interacting with the bot were 3% higher than other CTA ads and CPLs were 6% lower.
As of late, there’s been a lot of buzz in the industry regarding bots. Larry Kim started an entire business to help people better connect with audiences through the use of chatbots. This tells you something about the direction conversational marketing is heading. Larry and my colleague, Kelly Pollock discuss more of the power of chatbots in the webinar Drive Insane Traffic To Your Chatbot with PPC if you’re interested in diving deeper into how to create supreme bots. Chatbots are a wholly un-discovered frontier for marketers to traverse while un-covering insights about how users are willing to behave and comply when bots are in-charge.