I remember thinking, “Is conversational just hype? We’re not seeing results.” A tad self-righteous, I know.
So, Is Conversational Just Hype?
Let’s get down to the brass tacks: Conversational is all about enhancing your user's experience. The keyword here: Enhancing.
Our shiny new chatbots weren’t doing that.
We had to fail a bit to realize this, but we were so caught up in the tools and capabilities of chatbots that we lost touch of what they were really about.
I can best equate this to the experience that artists describe when first using a tool like Photoshop. Photoshop is so feature rich, it’s easy to get lost in all of its functionality, losing the vision you set out to create in the first place.
Know that old saying “can’t see the forest for the trees?” It applies well here. The idea is that the trees and all their detail (chatbots) can obscure your visibility of the forest (conversational marketing and sales).
So, after diagnosing our own mis-usage of chatbots, we realized something: We had to learn how to communicate with conversational marketing and the only way to do that was to start small and focus on the basics. In short, we had to go back to the basics.
Fast-forward a few weeks and I’m happy to report our metrics have shot up. We’re having 6x the number of conversations as before.
If you’re curious about how that makes me feel, here’s a gif:
When I spoke to the team at Drift about what happened to us, it turned out it’s pretty common.
“We've found that when people purchase Drift, they want to try everything, everywhere -- they're excited! But based on our experience, it's simply not best practice. Starting with one or two playbooks and understanding how your site traffic will interact with Drift is key! You'll be able to build more playbooks in a much smarter way once you know what your site traffic is looking for.”
- Michele Albanese, Drift
So, let’s assume you’re just getting started with conversational marketing. How do you know where to start? What bots are going to provide the most value to your users and subsequently, you?
The Best Pages Put Chatbots On:
Let’s take a look at each in detail.
High-intent pages are those which are indicative that your visitors may have the intent of working with you. Examples of these pages include pricing pages, services pages, or bottom-of-the-funnel landing pages. A good rule of thumb is if you’d add it to your lead scoring model, it’s probably high-intent.
High-intent pages are the best for conversational marketing because, at this point in a visitor’s buyer’s journey, they often have very specific and personal questions like:
“Which price or service is best for me?”
“I have X problem. Can you solve it?”
This is a great opportunity to deploy a chatbot to start that personalized conversation.
Using a bot in this instance, you can ask some qualifying questions then route the conversation to someone on your team so they can build a genuine relationship with them.
It’s designed to help answer the questions people typically ask while on that page and help them get connected with someone from the IMPACT team.
Remember how we mentioned before that we had to learn how to communicate differently with conversational marketing? Well, it’s really hard to learn if no one is chatting with you.
This is, in part, why putting a chatbot on your highest trafficked pages can be a great first step.
Not only do you have the opportunity to focus on providing value to as many people as possible, but you can also gain valuable feedback on what is and what isn’t working.
Highly trafficked pages come in a myriad of types depending on the business. Homepages, blogs, and articles are quite common, just to name a few, so it’s hard to say exactly how to design for these examples.
However, to illustrate, let’s assume your homepage is one of them.
On your homepage, your chatbot can help people understand who you are, how you can help them, and what they can do next. It can also help you simplify the conversion path for people who want to speak to someone from your team right then and there.
All-in-all, high-traffic pages give you a great opportunity to test and tune your bot while delivering the most return on investment for you.
Be careful designing bots on low-traffic & low-intent pages:
If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make any noise?
Author’s Note: All this forest wisdom are quite satisfactory… or should I say, satisfac-tree.
Now, this is an interesting one.
We spoke about high-intent pages above, but what about when the intent is negative like on an email unsubscribe page.
Your visitors are there because something is wrong. Conversational marketing through a chatbot is your opportunity to help turn things around.
A chatbot would allow you to not only understand why people want to unsubscribe, but also give you an opportunity to let people voice their frustrations.
I think we can all agree to some amount that marketing automation has gotten out of hand.
I don’t know about you, but my inbox is FULL of marketers treating me like a metric.
Sometimes, I get frustrated with that, and the result is me cleaning house in the form of mass email unsubscribes.
I, in that moment, someone was to treat me more like a human and less like just an email in a list, I’d probably reconsider unsubscribing. Heck, I think just being able to give feedback would be enough to prevent me from leaving for good.
A bot is a great way to let people know you are there, you are listening, and you want them to know they, as an individual, are valued.
This is a blog article. Mind-blowing stuff, right?
There’s so much value that we can provide as marketers to build upon the content in an article.
For example, if you had a question about something in this article and could ask me in real-time. Would you?
When it comes to putting bots on educational content, it’s all about enabling people to learn better and understand more. The result will be a visitor that trusts you more!
How Do You Choose Where to Start?
Michelle’s advice from above is really solid.
I’ve laid out four types of pages that are great places to start with conversational marketing, but start with one or two bot (or Playbooks in Drift lingo).
Which two are best for you?
You know I can’t answer that! In the end, it comes down to this: build the bots which will drive the most value for you and your users. At the intersection of those two things is the success in conversational marketing.
Start with your user's experience in mind, start small and test often!