Fresh leads are the lifeblood of every business.
And yet, 61% of marketers cite lead generation as their top challenge.
Nowadays, customers have an abundance of different options to choose from. You have to do your very best in order to attract and keep them.
That’s why you have to update your marketing and lead generation approach, if you want to keep pace with the latest trends.
You can’t rely on traditional, outbound methods that are now considered pushy and aggressive.
Instead, modern lead generation practices revolve around conversational marketing, which is a much more subtle strategy.
What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational Marketing relies on having direct, one-on-one conversations with your audience across different channels of communication.
In other words, it’s a real-time tactic that allows you to develop meaningful relationships with your potential customers and build loyalty, all of which will result in more sales.
Conversational marketing can significantly accelerate the lead generation process, mainly because of its immediate nature.
In the past, companies have used somewhat complex and clunky methods to generate leads.
First of all, traditional outbound marketing has fallen out of customers’ good grace.
Outbound involves using tactics such as cold calling, emails, ads, and lengthy website forms to generate new leads. The entire cycle could last days, or even weeks.
With conversational marketing, you can help website visitors immediately. Customer service reps can quickly address questions and issues, and move the prospect or client further through the sales funnel.
What happens if your agents are busy or unavailable, maybe because it’s the middle of the night or a national holiday?
Enter conversational chatbots. These bots are available 24/7 and can handle multiple customers at one time.
Features of Conversational Marketing
David Gerhardt, CEO at Drift, was the first person to coin the term “Conversational Marketing.” He provided a list of distinctive characteristics that fall under this Marketing umbrella, as follows:
With Conversational marketing, everything happens in real-time. This eliminates the need for forms and speeds up the lead generation process.
Chatbot marketing is efficient. These tools have “smart algorithms” that can handle a number of potential leads at the same time.
In other words, even small companies with just a few employees can have one-on-one conversations with their prospects and generate leads at all times, on all days.
Focused on Engagement
Conversational chatbots are a great solution for striking up engaging conversations with prospects.
Regular chatbots can produce only predefined, canned sentences. Alternatively, their AI-powered conversational counterparts are much more flexible and capable of learning on their own.
New chatbots are equipped with features for collecting information about your leads.
With this information, these bots can engage with prospects in a highly personalized manner, tailored to the recipient’s specific interests.
This results in an exceptional user customer experience.
Given that two-thirds of US customers are willing to share their personal information in exchange for a better customer experience, it’s clear why this feature of conversational marketing is highly effective in capturing new leads.
Has a Built-In Feedback Loop
Conversational chatbots provide you with the best and most accurate insights into your potential customers’ needs, problems, and interests.
Benefits of Conversational Marketing
Conversational chatbots allow you to have two-way conversations with your prospects.
They’re the next best thing to talking to your audience face-to-face.
With an effective chatbot strategy, you can expect an increase in high-quality leads that will be easier to nurture and convert.
More Effective in Generating Leads
People usually don’t like to fill out forms, especially if there are too many fields. That’s why static landing pages are less effective than conversion vehicles featuring a chatbot.
Besides, some prospects want additional information before they provide their email address and other personal information.
Instead of making prospects wait for someone to contact them, implement conversational chatbots that will engage your visitors and capture their contact information proactively.
Obtain Better Leads
Since chatbots can be trained to pre-qualify leads, your sales reps won’t have to waste time trying to convert prospects who are a poor fit for your offering.
This way, you’ll save your reps a lot of time that they can use to focus on better business opportunities.
Improve Customer Satisfaction
Customers don’t like being put on hold. Stats say that they will wait 11 minutes on average before hanging up.
Don’t risk losing business opportunities. You can boost customer satisfaction with conversational chatbots.
Besides, if the bots can’t answer a certain query, they will transfer the call to a human support agent.
Prospects will be much more likely to convert if they get immediate attention for their question or problem.
Shorten the Sales Cycle
Hot leads should be captured as soon as possible. Unfortunately, traditional lead collection methods sometimes take days to move the needle.
This is why conversational chatbots are effective. They obtain the prospect information instantly, and then add it to your mailing list.
This, in turn, means that the prospect’s interaction with your brand will start immediately. As a result, you can start nurturing them sooner.
Reduce Friction in the Sales Process
Once new leads have been generated, they won’t have to click back and forth on your website for information about your products and services.
Chatbots can offer them curated and tailored content that answers all of their potential questions.
These smart algorithms can offer real-time assistance and help your hot leads complete their purchase.
Apart from reducing friction, chatbots can also show product recommendations based on multiple factors, such as the individual prospect’s browsing activity, previously viewed items, and other parameters.
In this way, chatbots can effectively upsell, cross-sell, and boost your overall sales.
Conversational marketing can be used for different purposes, but one of its most important roles is that of boosting your lead generation efforts.
When used properly, conversational marketing and chatbots can directly impact your revenue and bottom line, and ultimately, help your company thrive.
All Images provided by the author under his or her own license.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions stated in this post are that of the author, and Return On Now may or may not agree with any or all of the commentary.
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