This post was designed for everyone that is looking to squeeze a little more lead generation out of Drift. As a conversational marketing lead, I’ve been using Drift for a year, doing all the setups and optimizations, I practically live in the tool. During this time, I’ve had the opportunity to observe first-hand data generated from Drift conversations. From prospects flirting with a Drift bot to live chat turning a cold lead into a hot lead, I’ve seen it all. And I’ve picked up a couple of insights along the way.
Today, I’m drawing from thousands of Drift chats as I share with you my top four practical tips on setting up Drift for lead generation.
1. Strike while the iron is hot 🔥
Let me tell you a story. On the last day of high school, our teacher ordered pizzas for the whole class. How is pizza related to lead generation? Hear me out.
There were 30 students and everyone got their own pizza. With big orders, there’s always a chance that an order gets missed and when the stack of pizza boxes was delivered, that’s exactly what happened. My friend Arnold sat at the back of the classroom and waited for the last pizza…except that pizza didn’t exist. The restaurant had delivered 29 pizzas and poor Arnold had missed out.
There’s a lesson we can learn from Arnold and that is to strike while the iron pizza is hot. Arnold assumed that there would be a pizza waiting for him at the end of the line, but boy was he wrong. Don’t be like Arnold.
Now this is where I tie it back to lead generation. When your Drift bot books a meeting for you while you are online, it’s the perfect opportunity to ask the prospect if they are free for a chat right there and then. You already got a commitment for a meeting, so there’s no reason why they wouldn’t be open to having a conversation at that very moment. I’ve seen great success coming from teams jumping into the conversation once the meeting is booked to introduce themselves. Jumping into a chat while your prospects are actively browsing and interacting with Drift can speed up your lead generation process even if just greeting them with a, “Hey! Noticed you’re checking out X page. Let me know if I can answer any questions for you.”
You can also send the prospect material that preps them for the upcoming meeting. This can help strengthen your relationship and prevent missed meetings. Demo videos, webinars, ebooks are all things that you can send through chat. Even better, send a Drift Video and continue engaging your prospects before your meeting. The choices are endless. Don’t be afraid to get creative with your pre-meeting follow-ups.
2. Turn support queries into lead generation opps 🙋
I often notice that support queries are shunned by sales. The moment a salesperson on live chat sees someone searching for a help article, they automatically assume that there’s no opportunity for lead generation. But here’s the thing. While Drift is great at automating support queries coming in through sales and marketing channels, you should always keep a vigilant eye on these queries because it could become a lead generation opportunity. I’m talking about an upsell or even a referral.
Time and time again, I’ve seen upsell opportunities come up through support queries across different industries and sales processes. You’d be surprised how many new revenue opportunities you can discover if you approach each conversation with an open mind.
Here’s an example. When you route conversations to the support team, check back in with the customer once the support query is resolved. Support queries reveal the pain your customers are going through, and they’re an opportunity for you to touch base with your existing customers. Now you might be thinking this isn’t a sales team’s responsibility, but it’s important to approach it with a sales-driven mindset. Your clients may be looking for support on an integration. This is the perfect time for you to recommend other products, partners, or integration services. Or how about a subscription business? Support queries can be opportunities for your team to upgrade the client to a higher level plan when you link in how that plan can solve some of their problems.
Obviously these are generic examples and you’ll have to tailor the strategy to your product or service. I get that, believe me. But the thing to note is that every conversation is a touchpoint with a customer. And while some leads may be of higher quality than others – it’s important you don’t write off support queries. At the end of the day, these upsells add up to your quota, and it’s always easier to approach an existing client versus a new one.
3. Set up structured tags and lead stages for deeper reporting 🧐
Drift gives you great reporting but you can squeeze out more insights and build targeted remarketing bots if you set up a structured tagging system. By structured, I mean setting up naming conventions that consistent across all your playbooks/live chat scripts and using consistent logic that is based on data. The options we get to play around with are lead stages and conversation tags. Utilizing both tagging structures will allow you to segment data and glean deeper level insights which can help fuel your lead generation.
I generally approach tagging by aligning the tags to business objectives. You can start this process by asking yourself what conversational metrics are important to your business. From there, I found it useful to record it on a master document which was shared amongst both the marketing and sales teams. This is to ensure everyone understood the system and both teams operate out of the same definitions. You can always refer to the master doc to check that all the conversations are being tagged correctly. From there, I would also want to set up naming conventions to organize it in a digestible format. Examples of how I use each tagging system can be found below:
Lead stages are an opportunity for you to map out your funnel into granular actions and identify where your prospects are on the funnel when they are engaging Drift. We would want to classify them into TOFU, MOFU, BOFU, and CUSTOMER for stages in the funnel. This is followed by an action they’ve taken, so let’s say they leave an email for a top funnel whitepaper, we will tag it as TOFU | Whitepaper Download. Using this system, you’d be able to glean new insights such as what time of the day your users are interacting with your whitepapers through chat or how long you are spending on Support Queries for integrations as an example.
Conversation tags can be used to report on the content of your conversations. Generally, you would want to organize it into themes so you can quickly figure out what your prospects are chatting about. We separate into both actions or conversation themes e.g. Scheduling Meeting or Pricing Query.
When you combine conversation tagging with lead stages, you’re able to layer in more data to gain additional insights. An example would be TOFU | Whitepaper Download, Pricing Queries, and Live Chat to see how many prospects downloaded a whitepaper and also asked about pricing. You can then build these insights into your playbook optimizations so you can keep ramping up your lead generation.
4. Don’t end live chat conversations unless you’ve fulfilled the objective ✅
I’ve noticed how important it is to continue conversations on live chat and never end them unless the objective is fulfilled. Similar to how playbooks always try to continue the conversation by engaging the user, you should try to replicate the same behavior on live chat. That means steering the conversation away from binary responses and move them towards conversations that link up to an objective.
I’ll give you an example. Let’s say you have a prospect asking if your solution has a feature that may not exist yet. At first glance, it may be a simple yes or no answer through live chat. But guess what? You could actually miss out on a whole sales pitch because you ended the conversation prematurely. One way I continue the conversation is to acknowledge the query, offer a workaround, and then link up with a question. Something like, “We don’t currently offer that, but we generally recommend our clients to use this workaround. Have you done something like this before?”
Following this structure will open up the conversation which you should close by setting up a meeting. How easy is that compared to, “Sorry we don’t offer that, please go to our competitor.” You get the gist.
Your conversational marketing program will be constantly evolving and shifting as you learn new things about your prospects and customers. If you operate on the front lines, you’ll have a unique opportunity to generate data and interact with your customers. Leverage these insights to drive your lead generation and before you know it, your pipeline influenced by Drift will be growing in double digits.
Want to learn how conversations are transforming the marketing funnel as you know it? Get a copy of The MQL Is Dead here.
David Fei is a B2B digital marketing specialist. On any given day, you will either find him on Drift or running Vlookups on Excel.
Editor’s Note: This is a guest post. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org.