There is a new contender in the running for the title of ‘most effective marketing tool’ in the world: chatbots. Depending on whom you ask, the current favorite- email- is now said to be in its sunset years. However, given that email marketing has been around for more than 40 years now, it may be too early to write it off just yet.
For one, email has survived the onslaught of social media and live chat, which says a lot about its ability to bounce back. In any case, the growth of omnichannel marketing means that you can’t rely on any channel anymore; you can probably get far better ROI by teaming up two or more channels- like chatbot and email marketing, for example.
The next decade may well belong to a new phenomenon, Chatbot Email marketing- a concept that could complement and enhance the capability of both. But first, let’s take a closer look at what chatbot technology is all about.
What are Chatbots?
Chatbots (chat+bot) is an evolution of live chat, except that a software program does the chatting in place of an agent. Chatbots have been around since at least the late 1960s and have been through many iterations over the years. So much so that you could easily mistake the latest generation chatbots for an actual person.
This is because they are capable of not just understanding the context in which you make a statement but can also come up with ‘real-time’ responses based on the emotions you express. The AI algorithms powering the latest chatbots also allow them to learn from every interaction, becoming better and better over time.
When messaging apps are growing in popularity, chatbots provide businesses an important advantage: instant response to customer queries, 24X7. But, that’s not all; it can perform dozens of tasks, from providing fresh content ideas for your knowledge base to displaying personalized offers and discounts right within the chat window.
How to Leverage Chatbots to Boost Your Email Marketing Campaigns?
Modern marketing campaigns are designed to work on multiple levels. For example, billboards and TV adverts have mass-market appeal, while telemarketing is more personalized and allows for real-time interaction. In chatbot and email, email provides the outbound component while chat makes up the inbound.
Thus, email and chatbots can help you build awareness about a product (quality, features, pricing, variants) while chatbots can deliver more specific information (shipping, warranties, stock availability, order status, etc.).
Here are 4 ways chatbots can help you get better results from your email marketing:
1. Capture more leads
Do most of your leads come from the email lists you purchase? More often than not, you’ll find important details missing, or the information in them may simply be out of date. The opt-in form on your website is a better bet in terms of lead quality; however, web traffic can wildly fluctuate over time.
Chatbots can be the perfect antidote to this problem. Chatbots can help you improve user experience by getting rid of annoying pop-up forms when a customer lands on your website for the first time. In addition, Chatbots can easily collect additional data related to customer preferences during the course of an interaction without distracting customers.
Chatbots create more engagement during the discovery stage of the customer journey by providing links to helpful knowledge base articles, free offers, and discounts. Think of this as an extension of the welcome experience of your website – only chatbots help you get started much sooner.
2. Drive personalization
Emails marketers have received a lot of flak in recent times for spamming inboxes with irrelevant content. So it is no surprise that average email open rates dropped from 24% in 2018 to 21.3% last year. However, a bit of analysis can clarify that this had everything to do with poor personalization and targeting on the part of marketers.
The right way is to segment lead data and group your customers based on common factors like location, age, income, purchase history, etc. Porting data from one application to another can be risky. However, the good news is that it can all be automated.
All you need to do is integrate the chatbot on the backend into your email marketing software. The result: chatbot data is populated directly into your email lists in real-time. You can even define rules for the type of data to be collected and the frequency of being updated.
3. Know what customers want
At the end of the day, personalization is only possible if you know what customers really want based on where they are in the customer journey. Thankfully, chatbots make it very easy for you to qualify leads by unobtrusively asking specific questions. Customers are likely to think that the questions are part of the interaction, so they may happily provide the information you need.
The result: you will have validated them in real-time and without affecting the customer experience. This can be critical as the customer enters into the crucial decision-making phase with your product. In addition, this will help you start sending emails appropriate to their needs, improving the odds of engagement and conversion.
4. Send Automatic Emails based on Query Type
Integrating your chatbot interface with email has another advantage you may not have thought of! It can trigger automatic emails based on the customer’s query. So, for example, if a customer wants to check the ETA on an order, you can set up the chatbot to send a confirmation via email. Another example, you can also send an email summary of each ticket opened by a customer as soon as it is logged into the system.
Should the customer click on the Contact Us link at the end of the message, you can route them back to the chatbot, where they can seamlessly resume the conversation based on the information already present in your email marketing software.
Chatbots are versatile tools that can grow your email marketing ROI considerably. When it comes to customer service, they can take over from your team during odd hours. If you are looking for help with building or scaling your customer support team, Helplama can be the ideal partner for your needs. We have both the experience and the talent to help you deliver on-brand customer service for a fraction of the cost of doing it in-house. We have gained notoriety for our Zero Risk Money Back Guarantee. Contact us today for more information!