Picture this. You visit a website and the first thing you see is a box pop up in the lower right of your screen greeting you with a generic, circa 1990 department store, “Hi! How can I help you today?”
How would you describe the experience? Because I’m pretty sure engaged, personal, and understood aren’t words that come to mind.
Here’s my next question. Why should your customers feel any different when they visit your website and are greeted with a similar (if not the exact same) message? Sure, this may be a standard opener, but in reality, it only results in successful conversions for about 1-3% of engagements.
To strengthen your Driftbot’s ability to convert prospects and provide a powerful user experience, you’ll need to change up the game. That means integrating four crucial conversion rate optimization tactics that include your bot’s opener, timing, conversational content and effective CTA buttons. Here are The Bot Lab’s best-kept Drift secrets to optimizing your bot’s conversion.
1. Contextual Opener
For any online marketing campaign or customer engagement effort, it is critical to know your audience’s challenges and pain points, and further, how to empathize with them. Relationship-building based on empathy is a critical tool for business that can easily turn website traffic into leads.
Few things are as quick to turn a prospect off and reduce your conversion rate optimization as a chatbot spouting an impersonal, unwelcome, and irrelevant greeting “Hi! How can I sell you this product today?”
When your first-time visitors or current customers hit any of your landing pages (the top of the conversion funnel), they need to feel as if their problems are understood and that they matter – immediately.
You or Google may have delivered them to your site, but in the absence of the appropriate sentiment, why would customers believe that your product or service will help them?
At The Bot Lab, we believe that this idea forms the core of the necessity to “meet your prospects where they are,” using a contextual opener with simple language to create a personalized user experience.
So, let’s say, for example, that you run a real estate agency. If you want the company’s marketing efforts to meet your conversion goals, your bot shouldn’t open with a generic statement, icebreaker about the weather, or a cheap fun fact about something unrelated to the housing market.
To convert a site visitor into a loyal customer, you need more.
An optimized opener would perhaps have your bot mention how tough it is for a certain percentage of people to pin down their property’s market value, especially during the current season.
By following up with an offer to help, the bot immediately illustrates to your prospective client that you understand their challenge in the context of the current circumstances and that your company is prepared to address the issue.
For example, here’s a technology brand we work with that provides a product that helps companies manage their leads more effectively. Upon visiting their site, you’re greeted by “ever had a duplicate lead cause two salespeople to contact the same prospect? Awkward…am I right?” Through angling the opener around a pain point the prospect can relate to, it meets them where they are with relevancy. Contextual openers can triple engagement rates with your bot.
Such a greeting doesn’t have to be long-winded. In fact, brevity in your bot is crucial since you only have 100 characters to make an impression. Plus, typical user behavior shows that most people interact with bots on mobile devices. So, you have a limited time to showcase your skills, grab your visitors’ interest, and maximize conversion.
Your opener is the most important needle-moving tool in your Drift toolbox. It is critical to helping you gain qualified leads and boosting your engagement and conversion rate.
2. Bot Firing
Remember the time you visited a website, only to be bombarded by pop-up messages from the chatbot? Yeah, most people agree that this is plain annoying. Nothing drives your bounce rate up (and conversion rate down) as quickly as an irritated customer.
Your bot should not always be the first thing your potential customer experiences when visiting your landing pages.
Instead, it’s best to give them a beat to absorb your landing page, site elements, and/or blog article.
Then, once they have a feel for the context of your site, your chatbot can fire delivering a contextual opener that engages them in a real-time conversation that converts, contributing to your overall conversion rate optimization strategy.
Don’t worry – this doesn’t mean that you have to wait for your customers to spend an excessively long period of time on your site.
It just means that you need to give your prospects a chance to understand their context before a bot engages with them or you steer them into the checkout process or other conversion actions.
Generally speaking, we recommend waiting 5-10 seconds to fire your bot, depending on the page and the types of users visiting your site. This will maximize your customers’ willingness to engage and optimize conversion probability.
For example, if you check out The Bot Lab, you’ll notice it takes several seconds for our chatbot to fire with a contextual opener reading “want to experience an all-star Drift Bot and learn how to formulate instant results?”
Once your bot has fired, you want your sales team to be good and ready to jump into the conversation at the right time.
The first law of Drift (and Conversational Marketing and Conversational Sales) is the law of “NOW” – meaning you want to chat with a prospective client when they’re warm and engaged. Digital marketing sometimes sleeps on that fact.
This will help increase conversion rate optimization by turning mere visitors into customers. But it also helps nurture and sustain customer loyalty in a natural progression throughout your website.
3. Buttons, Buttons, and More Buttons
Giving your customers control over their experience with your company is crucial to help optimize conversion rates. Why? It provides your prospect with a sense of agency; customers want to feel like they have the power, not the marketers.
Giving full freedom over their engagement (and your business’s release of control) makes it clear that the choice to participate in a chat, subscribe to an email list, and purchase the offered products and services are entirely the consumer’s.
Still, the entire foundation of digital marketing and other forms of advertising is knowing that your target audience needs a bit of encouragement to push them to this independent purchasing decision.
For this, you need effective calls to action (such as buttons) to increase conversions.
Yes, we mean adding or replacing your current buttons with buttons that offer the option to engage with your bot. And in clicking those buttons, will then fire your bot.
Doing this will allow you to powerfully weave Conversational Marketing into your UX. In fact, your bot IS your UX.
☝️This is something often overlooked by companies.
The best CTAs are urgent, relevant, and persuasive – meaning that they demonstrate an understanding of the prospect’s desired solution and have that solution available NOW. Effective CTA examples to optimize conversion include:
- “Chat now!”
- “Get your questions answered.”
- “Skip the reading & chat with us”
Or, a first-person version that taps into the psyche, specifically into a sense of “loss aversion” (or, simpler, colloquial terms, “FOMO”):
- “I’m tired of low conversion rates.”
- “I want more conversations.”
- “I need to optimize conversions.”
Below is an example of a client we worked with – both the orange, “get started” button in the upper right and “chat now” button towards the bottom fire the bot you see in the image. This provides multiple avenues to get into a conversation with the prospect through buttons & through a well-designed UX.
4. Conversational Content
Ever strike up a conversation with someone about a book or a recent news article you’ve both read? Conversing on a topic in which you share mutual knowledge is a great way to break the ice and helps you establish common ground from the get-go.
This is why conversational content driven by analytics tools that track real-time customer behavior is a key feature within Drift and can boost your chatbot engagement by multiples, optimizing conversion even further.
So, what is conversational content? It’s a critical part of converting prospects that involves building bots that fire alongside a piece of content – like a PDF or just a blog post.
As your prospective client is perusing your site, reading through one of your blog posts, this is a golden opportunity for your chatbot to jump in and open a casual exchange with relevant and contextual information, as discussed earlier.
We see engagement rates as high as 25%+ with conversational content. It’s a central component to optimizing conversion within your bot, particularly if you’re doing a lot of content marketing.
Here’s a teaser of what conversational content looks like from The Bot Lab itself. To see a full conversational content bot in action with soaring engagement rates, click here.
At the end of the day, you work hard to get quality traffic to your website. Anything less than a 2% engagement rate isn’t doing your prospects or company any favors.
The time to change is now…and it’s easier than you think. Implementing the four tactics above – a contextual opener, bot firing, CTA buttons, and conversational content will have your bot chatting up a storm. Then watch as the conversions come flooding in.
Ready to define conversion optimization strategies for your Drift system, 3X conversations and demos, and exceed your 2021 sales goals? Get in touch with The Bot Lab, Drift’s Partner of the Year, now.
Named a top Conversational Marketing partner and innovation leader, Lindsay Angelo is co-founder and Chief Growth Officer of The Bot Lab. She’s also a Strategist, MBA, and TEDx speaker who’s passionate about partnering with organizations of all sizes to accelerate their growth and impact. She believes magic happens where logic meets intuition, where the rational meets the emotive & where facts meet insights.