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Jesse Willms describes the ins and outs of conversational marketing

Constructing the chatbot carefully may require the help of a technology consultant, but together you can build a system that will satisfy your customers and employees alike.

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Conversational marketing is a new technique that is used in concert with automated communication systems. It is a personalized approach, and it allows buyers to move through sales and marketing funnels using natural-language questions. To the customer, the interaction is a simple conversation, but to the marketer, it is an easy way to get information about what the customer needs and wants.

Jesse Willms, an experienced Internet marketer, explains the ins and outs of conversational marketing and how it can benefit your business.

How Does Conversational Marketing Work?

Conversational marketing works through AI chatbots, software programs that use natural language, and pre-planned responses to hold a conversation with your customer. Chatbots use conditional logic to answer questions, and you can set the answers to whatever you like based on the dynamics of the conversation.

Chatbots have become a popular method of using conversational marketing. They are much quicker than traditional lead generation forms, where not everyone enters their information. Chatbots can naturally gather user information, increasing the value of the leads they collect.

Chatbots are a budget-friendly solution. Rather than dedicating human staff to answering customers’ questions on the website, it is possible to run many conversations simultaneously using a chatbot. If the customer’s questions become too difficult for the chatbot, the customer can be referred to a human service representative for help.

Chatbots can enhance email marketing, fill out forms, construct landing pages, navigate frequently asked questions, and integrate with voice applications like Alexa. These applications are just a few choices for using a chatbot to enhance your conversational marketing.

Examples of Conversational Marketing

The following are some examples of companies and even apps that use AI and conversational marketing with their businesses.

Domino’s

Domino’s has been a pioneer of conversational marketing. Their emoji-based texting program enables existing customers to text them with a pizza symbol to order again. This system is fun and fresh for the customer and will encourage repeat business because it is so easy to interact with the company.

Mortgage Companies

Mortgage companies use chatbots to ask their customers a series of questions about their goals, income information, and the amount they can afford to pay without running a credit check. Customers are more likely to want to respond to chatbots about mortgage eligibility anonymously. They can easily be funneled to a human operator if they wish to initiate the mortgage process.

Calendar Apps

Using chatbots, customers can set their appointments with sales teams. This saves the customer time and gives them a sense of ownership in the process. Customers who can make their appointments appreciate the convenience.

Facebook Messenger

Many retail websites are beginning to use Facebook Messenger to conduct business. It is a convenient platform since so many customers already use it daily, and notifications can be integrated into the customer’s experience. Companies like 1-800-Flowers use Facebook messenger in all phases of the flower sales process, from selecting a bouquet to delivering it to the correct person and paying for the delivery.

Health Applications

Conversational marketing is also valuable for the healthcare industry. A website called HealthTap is using Facebook Messenger to answer many diverse medical questions. The database can pull up a wide variety of results, and they are ranked by the number of doctors who have commented on the answer. Customers can have their questions answered and some of their fears put to rest when they use conversational marketing.

SMS and Text Integration

Many chatbots have been able to move to a text- or SMS-based model. This makes interacting with a store or website easy and helps it fit seamlessly into a customer’s day. In addition, using SMS models means that the customer will frequently opt-in to receiving marketing messages, making their lead even more valuable to the company.

Form Abandonment

Conversational marketing has been shown to reduce form abandonment, one of the major sources of customer loss. Forms are sometimes long and tedious to fill out, but a chatbot or messaging app can easily walk the customer through the steps of thoroughly answering all the questions.

Possible Downsides of Conversational Marketing

No matter how helpful chatbots and messaging apps are to your company, some customers will resist them. Some customers are still offended that they are being asked to interact with a chatbot rather than a “real human being.” There needs to be an option for customers to bypass the chatbot and go straight to an email form or telephone number to reach a real person.

As time passes, at least some of these resisters will likely become accustomed to the idea of AI customer service. As the technology slowly takes over the Internet, it will become easier to use and less detectable for the average customer.

Using Conversational Marketing

Jesse Willms encourages all website owners to consider using conversational marketing in their businesses. Having an easy, seamless way to gather customer information and answer pressing questions even when a human operator is not available can be a huge advantage for your business.

Constructing the chatbot carefully may require the help of a technology consultant, but together you can build a system that will satisfy your customers and employees alike. 

Have any thoughts on this? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Chris has been blogging since the early days of the internet. He primarily focuses on topics related to tech, business, marketing, and pretty much anything else that revolves around tech. When he's not writing, you can find him noodling around on a guitar or cooking up a mean storm for friends and family.

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