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Designing human-centered chatbots Ft. Yiz Segall (Inbound Success, Ep. 195)

Yiz Segall shares how he was able to 6x website conversions using human-centered chatbots.

Designing human-centered chatbots Ft. Yiz Segall (Inbound Success, Ep. 195) Blog Feature

May 17th, 2021 min read

A poorly designed chatbot can create major friction for website visitors. But get it right, and the impact on the user experience and conversions can be massive.

Yiz SegallThis week on The Inbound Success Podcast, Yiz Segall gets into the nitty-gritty details of how to build chatbots.

From what his best-performing opening line is, to who should man the chat and how to use chat logs to optimize your landing pages, he provides step-by-step instructions for creating effective chatbots.

Yiz knows what he's talking about, having designed hundreds of bots for clients. And he has the results to show for it, with data showing that website visitor-to-lead conversions increase between 6 and 15% once his chatbots are implemented.  

Check out the full episode, or read the transcript below, to hear Yiz's advice for designing human-centered chatbots.

Resources from this episode:

 

Yiz Segall and Kathleen Booth
Yiz and Kathleen recording this episode

Transcript

Kathleen (00:01): Welcome back to the Inbound Success Podcast. I'm your host, Kathleen Booth and today I'm joined by Yiz Segall who is the senior marketing manager at Group 8A. Welcome to the podcast Yiz.

Yiz (00:26): Thanks for having me.

Kathleen (00:27): Yeah, you're coming from, from far away. You're based in Israel, correct?

Yiz (00:31): Yeah, I'm based in Israel.

Kathleen (00:34): It's 7:30 AM my time. What time is it where you are?

Yiz (00:39): 3:30 PM.

Kathleen (00:40): Nice. All right. Well, I love, I love that we're going global and I'm particularly excited about our topic today, which is about creating human-centered chatbots. Before we jump into that though, maybe you could tell my audience a little bit about yourself and your background and what you're doing today at Group 8A.

Yiz (00:59): So my background is kind of split into a number of different things. I started off in, mostly in my paid acquisition. I started sort of direct figuring things out myself. I was just going along and then I realized that marketing automation had a lot of like power to it. That there's a lot we could do with that, it to make it more efficient.

So I started working with that and as I grew that I realized that I needed to develop more content in order to make it work. So I got more into content strategy as well, and I've sort of been keeping my horizons, always open, sort of looking at new things that can not just not so problems per se, but allow me to do the things that I want to do better.

And that's sort of also how I got into chatbots as well. And I only really use the technologies that I know that can actually help me at Group 8A, mostly run paid acquisition, but I also do help the sales team with sales automations and with chatbots. And and I help a little bit also with content.

Kathleen (02:09): So I have a question and we didn't talk about this before we got on, but I'm going to spring it on you anyway. Do you see there being a connection between paid acquisition and chatbots and explain to me if the answer is yes. Like how you see those two working together?

Yiz (02:26): So yeah, I think there is a little bit of a connection between them. And in any case, anytime that you are, that you bring traffic to a website, especially if it's like intent-based.

So if you're using Google, less so with Facebook, more so with LinkedIn, that's easier to gauge about the intent of the person coming in. And so you can, once you can measure that intent, if that page isn't, isn't really satisfying the intent completely, that's when chatbots can come in and support that.

So if they need more information or then that page can provide, or if it's not, or, or if it doesn't really answer their questions, as much as they want it to that, they're covering for a little bit more, a chatbot could definitely come in and really like supplement that and the additional touch to it.

And it seems like more conversational is a lot more easier if it's done correctly, it's it feels a lot more like it feels smooth and it feels like a little bit more natural than just reading through a page does. And so it can really help with acquisition as well.

Kathleen (03:36): Yeah, it's interesting because I've observed we, so we, in my company you know, I came on as the first head of marketing about six months ago and we started doing paid acquisition campaigns a couple of months back.

And I noticed that when we turned them on our bounce rate went up, which didn't surprise me because all of a sudden we're bringing in a completely different type of traffic. You know, and so, and I had a theory that if I turned on a chatbot and, and made it more about helping people quickly find the content they were looking for, that we could decrease that.

And I'm still sort of in the middle of that experiment. So I'm wondering if you've ever like, tracked that, do you know, like, can it help with bounce rates? Have you ever tested that?

Yiz (04:23): Yeah, actually one of the cases that I ran, one of the experiments I ran recently was just for a campaign for actually, for a YouTube campaign that we were running, it sent about, in a bit of like two weeks, it sent, it sent around 67,000 people to the website and all of that segment, about 30% of those ended up using the chatbot, which is, which, which in my experience is really hard.

Usually it's between depending on what they want. It can be between like five to 15% like chat, right? Like chat initiation rate. But this was a particularly high engagement rate. And like out of that, we had like 16% ended up closing.

Kathleen (05:08): That's awesome. That's a really high conversion rates.

Yiz (05:11): Yeah. So it, it was because it was because I knew exactly. I, I started off very simple with my chatbots. And then as I saw things move along as I saw more people ask different questions. I didn't, I didn't make it like you see in a lot of bots where you have like specific answers they can click on.

And I wanted to do a little bit more exploration. So I allowed a little bit more free writing. And with that, I was able to build up and then use, based on those questions, built out multiple chatbots, a little bit more branches and that's, and then ask different questions, as well as my like trigger message, allow me to build up like a much higher engagement by engagement. And that also did get brought down bounce rate quite a bit. So let's

Kathleen (05:58): Back up for a minute because I think when, if people are listening, I'm sure they've heard of chatbots.

Some of them might have chatbots, they might have experience with it, but there's definitely different flavors of chatbot, you know, I think of it like, there's the, there's the fully automated ones, like you said, with the answers already kind of like filled in there's chatbots that are slightly automated and have a lot of human intervention, like do some table setting for me.

I would love to hear your perspective on, when do you think a brand should have a chatbot? Like, is it something every website should have, are there certain conditions that you need to have in place to put a chatbot there? And then how do you know what type of chatbot is right for you?

Yiz (06:43): Okay. So my starting point is, and I think I've audited something like 50 to 60 different companies that use chatbots. And one of the main mistakes that I see and is that companies see chatbots and like they focus on either having a chatbot and the type of chatbot rather than what a chatbot actually provides.

A chatbot is just a tool that is used, but what a chatbot actually is, it's marketing automation in real-time. And if you think of it, it just happens to have that high context and that real-time context of being on the website, but it is marketing automation in real-time.

And if you think about it like that, and you say, okay, somebody is on my website now, how, how do I get them from point A to point B or let's say, I have a landing page, and I want them to fill out a form, but in this case, it's not the form.

Yiz (07:39): It's how do I initiate that chatbot and what I want them to do with that? Or what could I get them? What could I possibly get them to do with this chatbot? Well, and I think of it in terms of, as if it was marketing automation, then the actual type of chatbot doesn't really make a difference.

It's just, what would I do in a situation of marketing automation, but sped up a lot. So, so different things, different types of chatbots require different situations. So for example, if it is processing or for something more sensitive, or if something's a bit more complicated than you do want to get a person you don't want to get a person online, also support questions.

Chatbots do tend to have, probably around a quarter of them, tend to be a bit more support based questions as well.

Yiz (08:30): My actual first foray into chatbots was to use it primarily as a support tool. And we only branched out afterward when we saw it when I saw that was actually quite a powerful sales tool as well. And then and then moving forward to show that I used it to sort of accelerating people's like actual research journey as they were going through it.

And it sort of went in those stages. So it depends of on the type of page that you're on. So if you're on a pricing page and the pricing page is complicated. So then, well, first of all, you have a problem with your pricing page the second, but while you're still fixing that up, having somebody to explain it in human terms and understand like, sort of more of the nuances of what they're really confused about is a lot more appropriate than if you're on like a lead form page and they still, and they still have a question about something, or they're not on the homepage or of their own, a piece of content.

Kathleen (09:28): So do you typically have a different chatbot for every page? Or how do you think about like tailoring that experience based on where somebody is on the site?

Yiz (09:38): Okay. So I started off, I developed my chatbots in three different sprints and it really depends. It really depends on manageability, like, like the size of the website, the structure of the website and sort of what you really want to be dealing with. Like, I guess that's part of manageability, so you don't want to be managing like 50,000 different chatbots. So I always start off with three to five different chatbots. I create a catch-all across the entire site, and then I create specific ones on important pages.

Then I start moving onto channel-specific chatbots where I basically say, okay, we have different channels. I can kind of understand what they, the, why they're coming in and what they coming in, why they come to this page and I'll have something specific that I'll also split between people I know, who are already in the system and people who aren't already in the system. And then I'll move to much more content specific context, content-specific chatbots, which is more about like either the category.

Yiz (10:51): And this is where it becomes a little bit more advanced and complicated when you develop content. Oh, I guess when, when I did, this should be when somebody should develop content. They, it should fit into a certain place in the funnel or into at least it should fit into an understanding of what your, like your target persona about them and it, where they should, what, what they, what is trying to, what's it trying to answer.

And you should know from that piece of content, a what they could possibly be confused about and where they should go, where they could go next. So if you want to, once you get, once you've passed the basic stages, you can create either on a content by content piece or on a sort of like group of content piece.

And that's generally where as complicated as I think is necessary, where you move on and you and you have like a grouping of content where, you know, answer specific questions, and then you use that bot to accelerate the process to say, okay, either ask a question about that content or move into the next point.

Kathleen (12:00): Yeah, we did something like this, and we have a very simple chatbot, cause we've only just sort of started this process, but you know, we follow the pillar content, topic cluster approach for SEO.

And then we have what I would, we kind of internally jokingly refer to as Uber pillars, which is like category research resource pages on our website, essentially. So we, once we have a piece of pillar content created, then we have a lot of articles in the cluster. We might have some case studies that are related.

We'll build a page that literally links off to all of it in one place. So like if somebody comes to our website, for example, and they're interested in e-commerce all of our best content on e-commerce is in one place. And it's not really like a classic resource center.

It's more like it's more like the definitive, the definitive page for everything on that topic, if you will. And I found that to be a really handy thing to have when building chatbots, because especially if you have a site where, where you deal with different topics that are very, that are very distinct from each other, it's helpful to be able to say, what are you interested in?

And then point somebody immediately in the direction of like a one-stop-shop for that thing that they're interested in. So I'm curious, like what kind of content in your experience is important to have developed in order to be able to build a robust chatbot?

Yiz (13:27): I mean, it's a good question. So your chatbot works around your normal content strategy. So, so long as you have so long as you're working in an intentional framework where you built the content with a purpose to answer a question, and they could go in different directions from that point. So then a chatbot is relevant in the case of your new case of your pillar.

So you could send, so that's a really long page. So the pillar content pieces, they're massive, especially if the, if the actual page, if the actual topic is complex. And so you could use the chatbot to sort of say, okay, go to this point, but you could also use the chatbot at the same time to, not to point into a point on that page, but to send them to like a segment that you've developed into a separate blog post.

Yiz (14:23): So it actually seems like to your actual audience that they're now progressing to a different point. And it also makes it seem like that it's a new topic, so it's not like they've skimmed through and they didn't see it. It seems like, okay, I didn't know this before it wasn't on that page.

It also helps simplify it by focusing the actual content piece where they're actually looking at. But I've also found that the difference between it, from what I, of successful chatbots and non-successful chatbots, basically comes down to three different things. The first one is your actual opening message.

So if your opening message is "hi, how can I help you?" So, so if they need, it's not an engaging message and it's very easily ignoring something. So you want really, you want increase your, your engagement rates a lot, because, because only if they have a problem, but they're not on your page to solve it.

Yiz (15:30): Like they, they haven't read through the content yet. And they don't know if they have any further questions. So, so they don't know if they, if they actually need help, because they're not actually in a, in a, like a crisis mode yet.

The second point is, I guess it lends to the first one, is timing. I see a lot of chatbots that as soon as they, the, the webpage opens, they have that opening message. And the problem with that is especially if the messages and engaging is that it becomes now something you ignore.

So you sort of, you sort of acknowledge it in the corner of your eye, but it comes one of those elements that you just ignore from the page. And so even if a chatbot could be good for that situation, it won't be because I've ignored that feature of your website they've know that, that message that either closed it and they've gotten frustrated like they would, if there was a popup or they let it be, and they've ignored it.

Yiz (16:23): And I found that that timing is everything. The timing on the actual message is everything with how you actually, when you actually implemented the chatbot itself, when you pop up that message. I found it depends on the page.

So I found that the length of the page, it's usually between three to seven seconds or scroll certain specific scroll depth, scroll depth, depending on what platform you use and it's sort of capabilities. I have found generally if you give it enough time, and then you have a really engaging message.

The one that I usually, the one that I usually go with, I actually took from Drift. They have some great examples. And then it's just, "can I ask you a quick question?"

Kathleen (17:07): I like that. That's, it's interesting that you bring this up because I have definitely noticed that what you open with is key. And it's not just what you say. It's like how short you keep it, right?

Because a lot of these chatbots like, one of the biggest mistakes that I see rookie people make when they first build chatbots is they try to pack too much into one little message and chatbots. It's like, it's like the people who are perfect chatbot, creators and operators are really young because they've grown up communicating by text and they know like you shouldn't write a paragraph for a text.

It should be like a snippet of a thought because you want the person you're communicating with. Doesn't want to wait and look at the three dots while you're typing. Right. They want to see your message.

And so several years back when I was running a marketing team and, and we built the first chatbot at the company I was at, at the time, our first chatbot operator didn't do that.

Kathleen (18:06): She was writing like paragraph answers and it was terrible. And then we had somebody new come in who was a little younger, who was sort of from a generation that texting is their first kind of, their first choice of a way to communicate.

And she just instinctively knew to chunk it out and like break it up into little tiny bits. And so there are so many nuances like that, that I think are easy to miss. And your opening statement or question is, I would totally agree. It's like, it's like the equivalent of the email subject line, right?

Like you could have a great email, but if nobody opens your email, it really doesn't matter. Like it's all about the subject line. And it's the same thought. That first message that somebody sees before they click on it and open it up. That's the most important thing, because if nobody's going to click on it, it doesn't matter what, what comes after.

Yiz (18:53): I, I, I would even go further and say that that opening message is like your creative or, or copy on a programmatic ad because then like because then when you're on an email, you're looking for an email to open when you're on somebody else's website, you're not looking for that.

You have to be distracted by the quality of that ad creative and copy in order to then not only pay attention to it, but then actually click and engage with it. And you're doing the same thing with your chatbot on your own website.

And then, so then you have like, then you have like a third thing, which I think is where also a lot of companies miss. So you actually mentioned something that is part of it, is that sort of the way that you structure, like it has to be short sentences.

Yiz (19:45): And one of the, one of the things that I actually found is that I guess kind of like a myth is that you only can ask the limited amount of questions and the truth is that it doesn't make a difference so long as your questions are relevant to them. And it's not just gathering information.

One of the actual things that I found is when I put, when I put like asking name or email, like even like, sort of like, just in case, like we get cut off, like, what's like, what's your email, try to like, make it more natural and introduction to like, for I'm, whatever. This is my name. I'm like, I'm YizBot.

And like, what's your name and stuff like that. When I put that earlier on, I had zero follow through. People didn't want to go through. But when I established that later, like five or six questions, I tend to get people answering those questions a lot more, which led to going from about capturing like five emails to catching about 600 emails in the span of like two weeks.

Yiz (20:48): So it all depends on, you don't have to have, doesn't have to be such a short, sort of a short, like small chat. It can be as long as so long as it's engaging so long as you ask like, questions.

And that's where sort of like the human side gets to it a lot is because what I did with the chatbot is that I knew why they would come to that website. So I showed empathy straight away. So for example, on, for an example this is a B2C example.

It was, it was a medical product and I said, are you, I said, all right, can I ask you a quick question? I asked the question, are you suffering from you? Are you suffering from this? And usually they say yes. And then I also try to add in like a humorous answer as well, to the options that I gave.

Yiz (21:40): And then I was like, has it really, has it really stopped you from living your life properly? Like what had, and then what has stopped you from doing right? So I try to sort of like empathize with the empathize with the fact that I knew what that problem was, but also that it's impacted their lives before I went further.

And actually sort of, are you looking for a way to be able to do that again? Are you looking for a solution? What have you tried? And some of that I cut out. I tried different things throughout the process. When I asked for like, have you tried for this particular one? Have you tried surgery?

I realized that was a wasted question and I didn't actually need it. And I actually got much better engagement when I, when I cut it out, but I had like seven or eight different steps in my process.

Yiz (22:26): And the length didn't make a difference because it wasn't just gathering information. Or from that perspective, I was empathizing with them while I was presenting a solution at the same time. So when I actually presented that solution, when I, which that solution doesn't have to be a sale, that's the way she just needs to be getting to then next desired outcome.

And when I was doing that, I ended up not only getting more leads, but I ended up also getting higher intent sales. Like I said, out of, out of the 600 people I got emails from, I got around about 400 of those were high intent, right? And over that period of two weeks, we closed around 30 to 40 sales. And we closed another 6% later on. So, so it wasn't about the length.

It's about like, understanding that problem and understanding why they're there. And that's when having multiple chatbots and understanding, let's say going back to paid acquisition if you know, why there's ads, you know, why they're on that page and why they came to that page, then you can build out a really human chatbot.

That is, that is time correctly has a really great opening message. And you have short questions that show that you care, and then you can answer that, then you can provide your solution or that next step

Kathleen (23:53): You mentioned the, the topic of a human-centered chatbot. And that's obviously the topic of, of what we're discussing. And I hear people complain about this a lot where they're like, people go on rants on LinkedIn and on Twitter saying, chatbots are the worst.

Why do I want to interact with a robot? And this and that. Beyond kind of showing empathy and really understanding somebody's problem, are there other aspects to this that can make a chatbot more human-centered, less annoying, less robotic.

Yiz (24:27): So those complaints come down to a few different things. First of all, if the chatbot is really rigid and is, has no branches, if it doesn't have the ability to understand what that person is saying. So if they write something in and it's still very inflexible, then they don't like it. I have chatbots are sort of pretending to be a human and it's really a chatbot then that's really annoying.

And the other thing is when it is so certain situations call for human intervention. So if you're somebody who's really confused about, let's say your pricing for your product, you, what you should always have, especially during trade hours, you should always have an option to allow us human, to intervene and to actually join the chat if need be, and you should give them the option to request that or to, or to book a time on somebody's calendar.

Yiz (25:25): If it is, if it is if it is something that's confusing, confusing, or complex, and that's where people also get where they also ranted, one of the reasons why they also rant against chatbots, but ultimately, so as long as it's done, right you have a little bit, your mail, you make it seem conversational.

It's not like sort of to, it's not promotional in the sense it's not like way too salesy or even really that tells you at all. It's supposed to feel like a conversation. You acknowledge the fact that you are a chatbot.

Like I will have, for example, if somebody puts in a message and, and I have no idea, and the chatbot doesn't understand what's going on. So a lot of times I'll implement a chatbot on HubSpot's free, on the service. So service free or whatever it's called, right?

Yiz (26:19): So they're a free chatbot and they can't do any branches. And I have no idea what's going on, but I'll say if I find email or whatever it is, they put something in. And I, and it's not what I'm looking for. I'll say, look, I'm a simple chatbot, icon, understand anything? I don't know what you're saying.

I and I can only look at, I can only read things in a certain format. And so you acknowledge that. You use a little humor, a little bit of empathy, and you know, you're not trying to be salesy, and you'll be fine.

Kathleen (26:50): I want to talk about chatbot operators, because you mentioned like, in a perfect world, you'd be somebody who would be able to have a handoff to a real person, right. During the chatbot experience. If they have a complex question or the bot can't answer it.

I have a lot of opinions on this, but I'm not gonna say them. I'm curious to know what you think in terms of, what do you look for in the person who's going to man, your chatbot? What, what sort of skills experience, et cetera, do you need?

Yiz (27:25): Are you talking about the, now the person that, that is now handed off to live chat? I've seen different companies do different things. Hubspot has a sort of like hybrid sales support kind of idea.

I think somewhere in between you need, like, it should probably be like, you can have like a branch that sort of splits and say, like, use what, they're, what they're actually looking for to decide if it should go to sales or to support, or you have some, or if you can't do that, get somebody in support who's also trained in sales.

Kathleen (28:16): Yeah. That makes sense. And I've always thought again people who are, who really are comfortable, like, like I said earlier, with texting as a format who understand, like, keep your answers short, be quick, send little snippets. And then, and then people who just have incredibly sunny dispositions, bright outlooks, who are, who are, because some of the stuff that comes in through chatbots is not nice.

Let's be honest. People come a lot of times they're there because they've encountered an issue with the product or they're frustrated with something. And so having somebody who is able to like roll with the punches is a really, really good thing.

Yiz (28:55): So that's where support comes in. That's why they're the ideal person to run the chat over sales for a number of reasons. Number one, they are, they do have to deal with like the worst part of client's humanity.

Quite often, they have to deal with the punches and they have to know it, that they have to take the punch. A lot of the time, they also know the product cold and they're also not motivated to make everything a sale.

They're motivated to help. So while they should have some sales training, they, it should, they are, they have like more of a human element to them than like a sales person, which makes them like then the ideal person for it.

Kathleen (29:48): That makes sense. So, any other particular tricks that you've found work really well with chatbots? Like you talked about your opening line that that's worked really well. Do you have anything else along those lines that, that you've discovered through trial and error works well?

Yiz (30:04): So my, what I generally do is that I started, like I said, I work in three sprints, right. I keep it basic and then I get complicated going on, but that's also in terms of the chat itself, I allow for a lot more free writing in the beginning, especially in the beginning to get more so, and then I go through the chat.

I go through like the chat statistics in terms of like progression, see where the choke points are, the breaking points are. And then I get rid of them or change them. But I also run through a lot where I run through like, I basically go through every single chat.

And one case, it was talking about going through like 2000 different chats within like a very small period. And I go through them and I looked through what exactly they were writing about, what they asking.

Yiz (30:57): And then I will then take that information and I will create new chatbots based off it. I will create new branches. So I wouldn't start by making five or six different branches in any sort of chat. It makes it too complicated. You don't need all of that in the beginning. Just create a few simple ones.

Allow more free writing. And then and then adapt. And the other thing is, put energy as much energy, as you can into what you're writing. So unless it's like support, like somebody who's like angry is crazy, but you have to convey passion for what you're doing.

And, and add more human elements, like humor as well. And if it, if it's done properly, they'll feel that as well. And then they get excited to progress further. It's like, think of it as like a normal human conversation, right?

Yiz (31:55): Let's say you're talking to somebody else. I'm coming up. I want to talk to you about a given topic. I'm not trying to sell you anything. I want to talk to you about your experience in inbound marketing, but you're having a chat with somebody else, or you're reading a book.

I come up to you, my opening line has to be genuine and it has to get your attention. So you stop what you're doing and you start talking to me, but then I have to keep your interest throughout that time, weigh the questions, understanding on the topic that I brought. I understand where you're coming from.

And I understand what I'm talking about as well in a way that I can help you while I'm still learning from you what exactly I want to learn from it as well. But I have to also put energy into that. If it's like a dull conversation that's in monotone, then you lose interest and that conversation ends.

Kathleen (32:42): So, okay. That's interesting. And I agree with you, but I think that's one of those things that like, unless you see examples of it, it can be really hard to understand. So I'm wondering, and I'm gonna put you on the spot here. Are there any companies that you think do this really well, any chat, particular chatbot experiences that you've seen that that are great examples of this?

Yiz (33:08): So there are a few, there are a few that, so there's one that has like some sarcasm in it. It sort of disarms, they put it in their opening message, which I don't like.

And I don't know the statistics of it if they put that in later, but basically it's a marketing agency and the marketing agency says, it starts off by saying, "I guess you're here to solve a marketing problem, but if you're just here to browse, we don't judge." That's Marketing Envy.

Kathleen (33:41): I'm going to Google them right now as we're, as we're talking.

Yiz (33:42): So I, I actually really enjoyed that because it it's very, I found it very funny that they sort of had a bit of sarcasm. They weren't afraid to sort of say something a little bit, like.

Kathleen (33:58): It says, "Okay, unless you're hobby is checking out random marketing agencies, weird, but no judgment. I'm betting you have a marketing problem you're looking to solve."

Yiz (34:06): Yeah. So I don't really like that as an opening message. It's way too long. But it's sort of perfect in the way that it sort of feels human. That it has like an energy. It feels like a normal person would say that or write that.

Kathleen (34:25): Well, and I suppose that, and I'm going through their bot right now as we're talking. I suppose that it also naturally attracts sort of the right culture fit client, because if somebody was annoyed by that, it's probably not going to be the right fit for the agency. If that, if that chatbot is really representative of that agency's personality, it is one way to sort of screen out non-good fits.

Now I will agree with you though, like their next, so I clicked something in their bot and then their next thing that popped up, it's like, it's like five different sentences. So I would say, I don't want to do like a chatbot tear down on them so much, but like, it's interesting when you start to look at these things in the wild, you begin to realize like they had so much in their next thing, that it wasn't all available in one, like without scrolling in the chatbot, which I would say is not great.

Yiz (35:17): So, yeah.

Kathleen (35:19): Yeah. Interesting. So I'm curious then all of this is, is so spot on, but at the end of the day, I'm sure what everybody's wondering is like, so what, right. Like, does it lead to any results? So you've worked on a ton of different chatbots. What kinds of have you seen them produce?

Yiz (35:41): So I've worked, like I said, about like about 50 to 60 companies with chatbots and that could span, like each company could have like between 20 to 30 at least like different chatbots.

And it depends on the funnel, but I've seen like what the, if it's on a content piece, if it's a pricing page by page, or if it's I've also seen in used chatbots to weed, to like weed out spam, like there's annoying there's annoying sort of contact like emails. You get, somebody submitted a form, but they want to guest post, or they want to, they had not had an SEO agency or something like that.

So I've used chatbots. So you have a lot more, a lot less spam in your email. You can also use it to for demo requests to basically just book a meeting straight away. And so I've seen higher conversion rates on that as well.

We got a lot more meetings based off that what I tend to see, in general is that the not, I've never seen a conversion rate go less than 10% of people that use chatbots. Your main problem is engagement. So usually your, your rate will be about six to 15, between 6% to about 15% you're doing.

Kathleen (37:08): Six to 15% of the people who come to your website?

Yiz (37:11): Yeah.

Kathleen (37:11): That's actually really good because in my experience, the benchmark for like visitor to lead conversion on a typical website is like one to 2%. And if you're getting six to 15% of people engaging with a chatbot, that's pretty massive.

Yiz (37:27): Yeah. It's because you're essentially in it. It might seem a little bit too good to be true. But if you think about it, it actually makes a lot of sense because you're getting the person while they're in that, like I said, it's real time marketing automation.

So you're getting somebody while they're in the zone looking for something right now, and you're accelerating that process. You're giving them exactly what they need to know now and what they need to know next. Right. So while they're in that mode, then not what let's say, 20, 30 minutes.

So however long they're spending on your website, they have the ability to get everything they need to know in one session or two or three sessions, how are doing so you're accelerating the entire process.

So you do see, you do see a lot shorter sales times as well. So right from first contact to actual to a lead being generated or to an actual, depending on your actual like sales funnel itself.

Yiz (38:22): But you do see shorter time like sales times and, and you do, and it also qualifies them so that if you do it right, so you're getting them, you're getting them not only informed that you're also getting them passionate.

They're conversing with you right now in a non salesy way about something that they're interested right now, not something that they spoke about two days ago or a day ago, even like six hours ago before they get their first marketing automation, email the sequence. So you get them while they're fully energized for that research. And so you accelerate it and you get higher intent.

Kathleen (38:58): I think one of the, my favorite things that you've said is about what you can learn from the chatbot, because I was really just interested to hear your approach that early on you let people do more free typing and, and there's so much rich information in there about what they're really interested in.

Cause I think that's, I feel like what a lot of people struggle with when they build a chatbot it's you kind of have to assume, you know, what somebody wants, right. If you're going to try to supply all the answers and build all the branches and not allow any free typing, there's a lot of assumptions that go into that. But if you're able to do the free typing thing, then it seems like an amazing source for audience research.

Yiz (39:36): Yeah. It's incredible what you can understand and how you can then use that information to, to also tailor your landing pages, because they're asking you, they're telling you exactly what they're looking for.

So you get enough qualitative data without actually having to really survey them in a way that feels like surveying them. They're giving you that information and then you can go back and also tailor your landing pages. So your chatbot process can actually help your entire content strategy and your landing page strategy.

Kathleen (40:07): That's a great point. So you've mentioned two different platforms for chatbots. You mentioned Drift. You mentioned HubSpot. Do you have any favorite platforms or are there certain favorites for certain use cases?

Yiz (40:24): So I haven't had extensive use of Drift, but it is my favorite nonetheless. First of all, it integrates nicely with HubSpot itself. So you get that in there, but also they have an an AI add-on that allows you to get like really good like interpretations from like the semantics of what people are writing.

So you can actually, even as you develop, you can allow a lot more free writing and still being able to create a lot of sophisticated branches based off that. And then they also have like Drift video and they have like their system tied into that. You can end up sending them back like an actual personalized video afterwards as well.

So I do enjoy them a lot more. They are in terms of just shot that definitely. Definitely my favorite. I like HubSpot just because it's one, it's like one interface that I have to deal with. I don't like using multiple programs when I can use one.

Kathleen (41:30): A free tool HubSpot is pretty good. Yeah.

Yiz (41:34): Even the free Drift doesn't give you like a chatbot, like, but HubSpot does. So it is very good for free chat. And it's just that if you want to get, like, I think you need Service Hub or Professional.

Kathleen (41:53): I think Marketing Free has it too.

Yiz (41:53): All of the Free's have it. I think you need, to get the branches, you need either Professional or Enterprise. And it comes out to be more expensive than you would get for paying for Drift, but you do also get a lot more.

Kathleen (42:07): Yeah, yeah. Yeah. So I guess it depends. I always say to people like what marketing automation are you using? Because if you already have HubSpot professional, start out with it. So with that chatbot, you know, get your feet wet, see, you know, and play around with it.

And then when you feel like you're comfortable, when you start to bump up into limitations, then look at Drift because it definitely does have more functionality. But yeah, there's, there's so many tools now available.

Yiz (42:35): Yeah. The one thing that I do like about Drift, which I also saw on Intercom. I, I've never really used, I've only been like I've only been on the chatting end of Intercom, but is that from the user side, you can see your past chats and you can continue them to that extent on HubSpot and Intercom, which means that if you do get cut off, you can just restart where you're up to.

And then whoever takes over from that chat, they can just read the chat, going back instead of having to restart your conversation over and over again for support requests, for sure. Even for, even for other requests, like if I'm on HubSpot and then I need to get off the computer for awhile. And so I leave and I come back in an hour, I have to then re-explain to another, to another rep, what I'm looking for, what my question is and and go through the entire process again.

Whereas with Drift, I can just click that conversation that I left off with and just basically restart saying, I want to continue this again or ask another question to restart, ask the person to just read the previous chat, to get, to get context. And then you continue from where you left off. And that's an incredible user expense.

Kathleen (43:55): That's a very good point. Well, I think we can talk about this forever, but we do not have forever. So I'm gonna shift gears and ask you the two questions. I always ask my guests. The first one being, we talk a lot about inbound marketing and this podcast. Is there a particular company or individual that you think is really knocking it out of the park when it comes to how they're doing inbound marketing?

Yiz (44:15): So I have a few people that I think so that, that are doing inbound really well. They're actually on LinkedIn. I don't know if they do other things outside of LinkedIn, but the main company is thinking one of them is a guy named Alex Sheridan. So what I like about what he does is that he solves your problems while showcasing exactly what he offers.

So he, his whole offering is based around the creativity that he can give you and your business on LinkedIn or in video in general. And what he does is that he has different formulas for a lot of the different videos.

So you can see that he's not repeating the same formula. So what he does, he actually educate you about how to use the platform. And he also educates you with his content on video different, different things that you shouldn't shouldn't be doing.

Yiz (45:15): So he uses that, but he also does it in a way that's really creative. So you not just get the information that you need, but you also then see while he's doing that exactly that he can actually fulfill his promise, which is being creative in video in an incredibly intense fashion.

He, when you watch his videos, there is an emotion behind the doc. I always use, I, I leave every single one of his videos, thoroughly entertained and really informed. And so, and I, so I, he does also, I'm also subscribed to his email and that was because I really enjoyed his he's actual his, his videos.

And I get a lot of information from that as well. So I don't, I don't know what his success is, but I think he has basically put his entire solution throughout his process. So all his, what he offers is throughout his entire, like, is that from the beginning stage, from track, all the way to close, you can see in an action as you're researching what you're looking for.

And it also has a bit of demand generation there as well, because he's also talking to people who aren't necessarily looking for his product right now. And you can sort of when you watch his video or a few of his videos, you get this belief that he can do the same thing for you.

Kathleen (46:38): Yeah, that's cool. All right. I'll have to check him out. And you mentioned you might have a few others as well.

Yiz (46:44): So another one is that I really like is a content writer by the name of James Lorraine. I don't know how to pronounce it. So what he does as well is that he rewrites, he has a whole section on LinkedIn called LinkedIn ad rewrites. And what he does is that he takes a piece of copy. That's predominantly boring, and he writes it in a way that's engaging.

And again, it's very entertaining. You see his craft, he explains what he's doing, and you can see his craft in action. And you can know, like while you're looking at what he's doing, you know, he can do the same thing for you if you gave him the chance. That sounds great. I love it.

So I liked that sort of combination of showcase, not just informing people, but entertaining and inspiring them, and also seeing it as much as an action in time throughout the entire process, which means that connect to what he's doing even while you're in the earliest stages. Yeah.

Kathleen (47:49): That makes a ton of sense. So one of the other questions I'd like to ask is, you know, the world of digital marketing changes really quickly, and it can be very hard to keep up. So how do you personally stay educated? And on top of all of the many changes that are happening.

Yiz (48:05): That is a really good question. So I wish I could say I listened to tons of podcasts. I do not. I don't have so much time in my day for that. A lot of it is I read I, I follow like Search Engine Journal, Search Engine Marketing. So I read a lot of that. I listen, I follow a few key influences as well.

And I tend to like look at some of my industry industry sort of like articles, like I said, like just search engine marketing, stuff like that. I listened to some podcasts. I like the ones with interviews a lot more because they tend to sort of have multiple different opinions and you can see where they agree that it's where they agree on a single point.

You can see that, that it actually, that it's not just one person's opinion. You can see that it's actually spreading a little bit more. So I get a lot of benefit from that and I experiment with different things.

Kathleen (49:06): Yeah. Learning by doing that's the best way to do it, I think, but not everybody learns that way. We all learn differently. So that's great. Well, this has been super interesting. If somebody wants to ask you a question, reach out, learn more, what's the best way for them to connect with you online?

Yiz (49:24): Just message me on LinkedIn is really the best way. I'm there every day. I spend a few hours on it and I'm always happy to answer questions.

Kathleen (49:32): Great. And I'll put the, the link to your LinkedIn profile in the show notes. So head there if you want to check that out. And if you're listening and you enjoyed this episode, you learned something new, I would love it if you would head to Apple podcasts or the platform of your choice and leave the podcast a review.

And in the meantime, if you know somebody else doing amazing inbound marketing work, send me a tweet at @workmommywork, and I would love to make that person my next guest. That's it for this week. Thank you so much for joining me Yiz. This was a lot of fun.

Yiz (50:04): Thanks for having me. It was a blast.

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