How to Use Chatbot Marketing to Skyrocket Your Business Success (With Proven Examples)
As chatbots become more competent in handling various functions, they’ve become an essential tool for businesses everywhere. In fact, by 2027, chatbots are predicted to be the primary customer service channel for nearly 25% of businesses, according to Garner, Inc.
However, chatbots, once known primarily for customer service, are now used for a wide array of marketing purposes. From lead generation to even sales, chatbots are revolutionising how businesses interact with their target audience.
What is ChatBot Marketing?
Chatbot marketing uses automation and artificial intelligence (A.I.) to communicate with customers and prospects. It involves using chatbots or computer programs designed to simulate conversation with human users. These bots can be integrated into messaging platforms like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or a company's website.
These chatbots can also engage with customers on every step of their buyer's journey - from initial contact to post-purchase support. For example, a chatbot can greet customers, answer queries, and even recommend products or services based on their preferences. This more personalised experience is like what you’d expect from a salesperson in a physical store, making it an effective marketing tool.
Why is Chatbot Marketing Important?
With more and more businesses incorporating digital strategies into their marketing plans, chatbots have become an indispensable tool in the modern marketing toolkit.
- 24/7 Availability: Unlike human customer service representatives, chatbots are available 24/7 to answer customer queries and provide support.
- Cost-Effective: Paying a monthly or annual fee for a chatbot is more cost-effective than hiring and training full-time employees.
- Interactive Engagement: Instead of navigating complex websites to find what customers need, Chatbots can guide them through their buying journey.
- Personalized Experience: Chatbots can provide personalized recommendations using predictive analytics and consumer data. This leads to a more tailored shopping experience for consumers.
- Data Collection: Chatbots are equipped to collect data on customer preferences, buying habits, and frequently asked questions. This information can be used to inform future marketing decisions.
- They're accessible: Chatbots are more available than ever, with many platforms offering chatbot builder tools and integration capabilities.
- Always Learning: A.I powered Chatbots can continue to learn and improve their responses to customer queries. As they gather more data and interact with more customers, chatbots become more efficient at handling customer inquiries.
- They nurture and upsell users: Chatbots can be programmed to provide helpful information and suggest related products or upsell services. This can increase sales and improve customer satisfaction.
- Multi-tasking: Chatbots can handle multiple customer inquiries simultaneously with ease. This allows businesses to improve response times without sacrificing quality.
- Tracking capabilities: Chatbots can track orders, reservations, and other customer interactions, allowing businesses to better understand customer behaviours and preferences.
- They act as newsfeeds: Chatbots can easily communicate updates or promotions to customers. This means your visitors will always be up-to-date with the latest company news or offers without actively seeking out information. Additionally, with platforms like TikTok became immensely popular, it's essential to understand how to utilise their features for marketing. Learn more about how to use the TikTok Creative Center to boost your content strategy.
How Can You Use Chatbots in Marketing?
As mentioned, chatbots can be leveraged to support various marketing goals. Regardless of what you want to achieve i.e more sales or lead generation; your chatbot can help you achieve them.
Let’s see how chatbots can be effectively integrated into your marketing strategy:
When website visitors or social media followers interact with your business, chatbots can gather their contact information and preferences. For example, a chatbot can ask their name, email and what products or services interest them. This information can be used for targeted lead-generation campaigns, such as email marketing or retargeting ads.
A lead generation conversation can be as follows:
Chatbot: Hello! Thanks for visiting our website. What are you interested in today?
- New Phone
Chatbot: Great! We have some fantastic deals on our latest phone models. If you need more details or comparisons between models, please provide your name and email.
- Enter email
- Browse models
- Ask a question
Visitor: Enter email: [email address]
Chatbot: Thank you! We will send you detailed information shortly. Anything else I can assist with?
In addition to gathering leads, chatbots also disqualify unqualified leads by asking targeted questions. Suppose a visitor wants a product or service that your business does not offer. In that case, the chatbot can immediately inform them, ensuring that your sales team only spends time on leads genuinely interested in what you offer.
Chatbots often serve as the first line of customer support. They answer questions, provide order statuses, help to troubleshoot processes and more. By automating these tasks, your customer support team can focus on handling more complex issues that require a human touch.
Chatbot: Hello! How can I assist you today?
- Check order status
- Return or exchange
- Technical issue
Chatbot: Please provide your order number to check its status.
Chatbot: Your order is on its way and is expected to be delivered tomorrow. Would you like to track the package?
Chatbot: Here's the tracking link: [link]. Anything else I can help with?
This chatbot quickly and efficiently handles the customer's inquiry, saving them time and providing a positive experience.
Chatbots for Quote Generation
Many business services, such as insurance, require customers to fill out lengthy forms to get a quote. This information is then sent to a salesperson who contacts the customer to provide a quote - a time-consuming process for both parties.
Chatbots streamline the process by asking for information conversationally. While leads still have to submit some information, it's done in a more engaging and user-friendly way. The chatbot can also provide a quote instantly, allowing consumers to either accept or reject it on the spot.
Chatbot: Hi there! Are you looking for a cleaning service in Sydney?
- House cleaning
- Office cleaning
- End-of-lease cleaning
Chatbot: Great! How many bedrooms and bathrooms does your house have?
- 1 bed, 1 bath
- 2 beds, 1 bath
- 3 beds, 2 baths
Chatbot: And what is the size of your home?
- Less than 1000 sq ft
- 1000-1500 sq ft
- More than 1500 sq ft
Chatbot: Based on the information, the estimated cost for weekly cleaning is $120. Would you like to book this service?
Chatbot: Fantastic! We'll send a confirmation email shortly. Anything else I can assist with?
We can see in the example above how chatbots waste no time in gathering information to provide a quote. The process is also more conversational and personalised, replacing the colder, more formal process of filling out forms. This can lead to a better customer experience and increase the likelihood of converting leads into sales.
Appointment Booking & Reservations
Businesses, like hotels and restaurants, rely on bookings and reservations to generate revenue. Chatbots are perfect as they can handle multiple bookings simultaneously without double booking. They can also take bookings outside of business hours, ensuring no bookings are missed because a live agent wasn’t available.
Sephora’s Facebook Messenger chatbot, for example, streamlined makeup session bookings, which proved more efficient than traditional phone or email bookings. As a result, Sephora experienced an 11% increase in US orders. Moreover, customers who scheduled their sessions via the chatbot typically spent over $50 during their in-store visits. This highlights the significant impact chatbots can have on enhancing business operations and customer spending.
Nearly all businesses have some sort of loyal customer program, whether it's a membership or rewards system. But while loyalty programs intend to reward and retain customers, many people refuse to participate in them. In fact, even active engagement in loyalty memberships only lasts for a short time, with 45% of existing loyalty members admitting to not being actively involved in their program.
Furthermore, consumers don't even realise how many points they have in their accounts, let alone how to redeem them. While this issue seems minor, it’s problematic for businesses as it hinders the possibility of repeat business.
Chatbot loyalty programs can remind customers of their point balances or that they're close to redeeming a reward. They can also encourage them to earn rewards through different means, such as solving puzzles, giving feedback, ordering a large ticket item or engaging in a survey.
All in all, by simplifying point tracking, offering fun ways to earn points, and providing real-time assistance, chatbot-driven loyalty programs get users engaged and invested in their loyalty program.
General Business Information
When a consumer visits an unfamiliar online store or business, they’ll probably want to learn more before purchasing. For a cafe, this could be anything from their business hours, location, or even their WiFi password.
Chatbots can instantly provide general business information, eliminating customers from searching various web pages or making phone calls. With an integrated chatbot, customers can simply type in their query and get a real-time response.
Visitor: Hey, what are your store hours?
Chatbot: Our store hours are:
- 9 AM to 8 PM, Mon-Sat
- Closed on Sundays
Is there anything else you'd like to know?
- Parking facilities
- Current promotions
Chatbot: We have a spacious parking lot next to our store. Parking is free for the first two hours with any purchase. Need more info?
Feedback is invaluable for any business. However, getting customers to take the time to fill out feedback forms is challenging. Chatbots simplify this process by inviting customers to share their feedback conversationally after a purchase or service experience.
Visitor: Thank you for helping me with my inquiry.
Chatbot: You’re welcome, is there anything else we can help you with?
Chatbot: Thank you for choosing us! If you have a moment, could you provide some feedback on your experience today? Below is our review page link. Your insights are important to us and help us continuously improve our services.
Show consumers your latest content
Chatbots are typically known to handle customer inquiries, but they can also serve to showcase your latest content pieces. This could be anything from your latest blog post to a video addressing a common customer pain point.
You can instruct the chatbot to notify visitors of new content or be reactive and only present the latest content when a user asks for it. This keeps your customers informed and helps drive more traffic to your website.
For example, when visitors go to website, the chatbot might pop up and say:
Chatbot: Hey there! We've just published a new blog post on 'The Top Trends in Our Industry.' Would you like to check it out?
- Sure, show me!
- Maybe later.
Chatbot: Fantastic! Here's the link: [yourbloglink.com/latest-post]. Happy reading!
If you have an upcoming promotion or discount, you’ll want to get the word out. Chatbots can do so by informing customers about ongoing promotions or discounts.
Pizza Hut's chatbot, for example, provides its promo landing page link to customers. They also include a link to their app, allowing customers to easily order without contacting them.
Chatbots can be trained to provide several scripted messages or even respond to natural language queries. By leveraging techniques like pattern matching and Natural Language Processing (NLP), chatbots can recognize specific keywords or understand the context behind user inquiries.
Combined with their integration with your consumer database, they can fetch real-time data to give consumers the latest and most accurate information.
The Best Practices for Chatbot Marketing
While chatbots can automate customer interactions and offer rapid responses, their effectiveness hinges on thoughtful design. If your chatbot’s design doesn’t align with your audience’s needs and preferences, it can frustrate users rather than assist them.
Here are some best practices for chatbot marketing:
Use closed questions
While chatbots increasingly use NLP (Natural Language Processing) to understand and respond to human language, it helps to use closed questions to avoid confusion. Closed questions require a specific answer like yes or no, or multiple choice options.
When queries are too complex, it can cause your chatbot to provide irrelevant responses or even crash. Closed questions also help guide the conversation and keep it focused on specific topics, making it easier for the chatbot to handle.
Provide clear call-to-actions
Your chatbot is a marketing tool, so it should lead consumers to take action i.e signing up for a newsletter, or booking an appointment. To ensure it does that, include clear call-to-actions (CTAs) throughout the conversation. Even when troubleshooting a problem, your chatbot can conclude the interaction with a CTA like "Is there anything else you'd like to explore?" or "Check out our latest products here."
By taking a proactive approach with contextually relevant CTAs, you’ll naturally create more conversion opportunities.
Make your marketing chatbot easy to reach
Chatbots can be hard to locate on a website, often forcing consumers to find answers themselves or go somewhere else. To keep your chatbot accessible, you can strategically place pop-ups or buttons, that’s highly visible on the page.
Additionally, if your business uses multiple channels to contact consumers i.e. social media, phone number or email, ensure your chatbot shows all customer contact options, as shown below:
It’s a small addition, but one that can make a big difference in customer satisfaction and engagement.
Ensure your bot's responses are on brand
Since your chatbot frequently interacts with consumers, it often serves as the face of your company. Make sure that its responses are on-brand and reflect the tone and voice of your business. So, if your business has a more professional and formal tone, you can’t have your chatbot spewing slang words or too many emojis!
Optimize the online user experience
Over time, business owners can learn how visitors behave on their website. And by meticulously mapping out this customer journey, they can identify critical touchpoints and potential bottlenecks consumers face. For instance, if consumers are abandoning their shopping carts at the payment stage, they could add a chatbot feature to help them complete their purchase.
Chatbots can also be programmed to offer discounts or promotions during specific stages of the customer journey, increasing conversion rates and driving sales.
Provide options for human interaction
While chatbot technology is rapidly evolving, it's common for bots to struggle with complex or personalized inquiries. In this case, you want to make it straightforward for customers to contact a human representative. Usually, if a chatbot can't answer after a few tries, it offers to connect the user to a live agent.
Regularly update your chatbot's knowledge base
Your chatbot's knowledge is its power. But if it's lacking in information or is outdated, they can quickly become a source of frustration for customers. Ensure to regularly update your chatbot's knowledge base with new products, services, and common answers to questions. Your bot will then be always equipped with the most relevant information.
Consider AI-powered chatbots
AI-powered chatbots use machine learning, natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) to understand and respond to customer inquiries. These advanced chatbots can also analyze data from previous interactions to improve their responses.
As these bots evolve, they will become even better at understanding and engaging with customers. If your business routinely handles complex inquiries and provides personalized responses, consider investing in an A.I bot. But, just realize that they require extensive coding knowledge and resources to create.
Test, review and refine your chatbot overtime
Like any marketing tool, continuously testing and reviewing your chatbot's performance is necessary. If your chatbot is excelling in some areas but struggling in others, you can make the necessary adjustments. This could mean tweaking the language used by the bot, updating its knowledge base or adding new features.
Ensure users know they're talking to a chatbot
Like it or not, many users prefer to talk to human customer service representatives rather than a machine. As such, it's tempting to hide the fact that you're using a chatbot.
However, it's important to be transparent and inform users when they’re interacting with a chatbot. This ensures they’re not deceived, leading to a more positive interaction.
Hire live agents or answer queries yourself
While chatbots can answer various inquiries, you'll always want a live agent on-board when customers have complex or personal queries. This human touch and real-time support can make a huge difference in customer satisfaction. Additionally, by monitoring the types of inquiries that require live assistance, you can fine-tune your chatbot's capabilities to handle those queries in the future.
Chatbot Marketing Examples
Now we understand the benefits and strategies of using chatbots in marketing, let's look at some real company chatbots in action:
Mailchimp's smart support bot is as comprehensive as it gets. Users can ask for pricing and plans, troubleshooting, specific how-to guides, company info and more. The bot's conversational tone is user-friendly, and allows users to ask more questions, return to the menu, send feedback or speak to a live agent.
Just as impressively, the bot’s script is tailored to the page the user visits. For example, if we visit the pricing page (as shown below) the bot immediately recognizes this by asking, ‘Questions about pricing?’. This level of contextual understanding ensures inquiries are addressed precisely and quickly.
It's a great chatbot marketing example of how a chatbot can provide an all-in-one solution for customers.
Decathlon U.K.'s automated product support and suggestion Facebook messenger chatbot, it shows how chatbots can enhance the customer experience. The chatbot helps customers navigate Decathlon's vast range of products by properly guiding them throughout the process.
It even gives users actionable advice on how to find a specific product category based on their preferences. In this example, it suggests typing in key phrases like 'running shoes for men' and presents different options based on the user's input.
KLM's chatbot, BlueBot, uses A.I. to serve customer inquiries and assist with flight bookings. It also provides vital information like flight statuses, baggage allowance, refunds and even information regarding COVID-19 travel restrictions.
Since BlueBot's integration with Facebook Messenger, KLM has handled twice the amount of customer requests through the app. This has saved the airlines significant costs on customer support and allowed them to focus on more critical tasks.
Domino's released their sophisticated chatbot on Facebook Messenger, aptly named ‘Dom’. This digital assistant facilitates the ordering experience and even connects to users' Google profiles, having access to customers' past pizza orders.
Dom also uses predictive analytics to suggest new pizza combinations based on what customers bought in the past. This speeds up the ordering process, offers a more personalised experience to the consumer and helps boost sales by enticing them to try new menu items.
Mountain Dew's DEWbot Initiative on Twitch
In collaboration with Twitch and Origin P.C., Mountain Dew's "Rig Up" campaign featured the Mountain Dew Twitch Studio streaming renowned gaming professionals. DEWbot, their chatbot, helped viewers by launching interactive polls about gaming components, live updates and announcing winners in real-time.
This campaign saw a significant 550% surge in in-stream conversations and earned a gold Shorty Award, highlighting the potential of chatbots in enhancing live-streamed content.
The Future of Chatbot Marketing
There's little doubt as chatbots and AI continue to evolve, their marketing and customer service potential will only increase. However, it doesn't mean live agents will disappear from the face of the earth entirely. Instead, they’ll help businesses respond to more complex queries bots simply cannot handle. And remember, many people just prefer to talk to humans regardless of how sophisticated chatbots become!
By utilising chatbots across all aspects of marketing, businesses can enhance efficiency, provide immediate responses, and cater to the digital preferences of many consumers. However, it’s on the business owner to properly use them and integrate them in a way that complements their overall marketing strategy.
We hope this insight helps you harness the full potential of chatbot marketing in the years to come. Good luck!
If you enjoyed this article and are keen to explore other cutting-edge digital marketing tools, don't miss our comprehensive guide on how to use the TikTok Creative Center. Dive in to discover data-driven trends that can significantly boost your conversions!