Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Drift partner Digital Litmus. Interested in contributing content to the Drift blog? Email Molly Sloan at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We all know chatbots can do amazing things, and as we get even more familiar with their fantastic potential, new use cases arise on an almost daily basis. It’s an exciting time to be experimenting with conversational technology and as the field develops, we’re likely to see even more creative applications.
So, with an open mind and a little bit of ambition, we’re going to take a look at how chatbots can complement your email nurture campaigns.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably more than aware that the power of email is waning. Fewer people are actually click through the hundreds or thousands of emails they receive. All in all, it’s a frustrating situation, particularly when email nurture campaigns likely remain a key piece of your marketing strategy.
Something needs to change, and this is where chatbots come in.
Chatbots can fundamentally change the way your email nurtures work, for the better. Their ability to engage prospects and react accordingly gives them the edge and makes for some truly unique strategic opportunities.
Chatbots can qualify and drop prospects at different stages of an email nurture
Email nurtures are great, they guide prospects through the funnel and help them on their way to purchase, but they’re often very linear. In most cases, a prospect will fill in a form and be dropped at the very beginning of the nurture, irrespective of where they are in their journey. This is problematic as the first emails in a nurture are often designed for those with limited engagement history with the company.
Chatbots help avoid this issue through their interactivity. With just one or two qualifying questions in your sign-up conversation, you can get an idea of where the prospect is in the funnel and automatically drop them into the right stage of the nurture.
This ensures prospects only get the emails that are really relevant to them; prospects considering a purchase won’t receive early-stage education emails.
Chatbots enhance and diversify email engagement opportunities
When most people think of chatbots, they think of a pop-up window on a website that engages with prospects in a similar format to that of Facebook Messenger, but this is just tradition bogging down the real opportunities.
Chatbots can go so far beyond this typical use case. In an email nurture, you can embed chatbot links straight into each email, offering prospects the opportunity to engage conversationally with the wider topic in question. When clicked, these chatbots will open your website and the relevant chatbot flow will be engaged, creating a highly personalized and contextually-relevant experience.
Achieving engagement with prospects is harder than ever, so it makes sense to branch out and with a custom chatbot linked to from each of your emails, you can diversify the opportunities your prospects have to engage and develop.
Highly-targeted chatbot-specific email nurtures become a reality
When it comes to email effectiveness, the more targeted, the better. With a greater focus and understanding of just who is going to receive your emails, you can align content specifically to the challenges of the group in question. This creates the opportunity to offer a high level of value as you’re not trying to appease a wide range of people and their needs.
With this approach in mind, chatbots help you improve targeting even more. If you can get enough scale in your data-capture efforts, you can segment and build a database of prospects based on how they were captured by your chatbot. So for example, if you know a prospect’s data was captured through your Homepage chatbot via one of 3 vastly different routes, you can set up an email nurture for each to accommodate accordingly.
Not only is this scalable, but it also brings you one step closer to developing that all-important personalization in your email marketing efforts.
Now take the principles of this strategic approach and consider the opportunities it could create for ABM. Imagine, a prospect comes onto your website, offers their details (including company name) and automatically, they receive a company-specific email nurture customized to accommodate for their particular pain points. Chatbots and personalization really do go hand-in-hand.
It should go without saying, but chatbots offer genuine opportunities to enhance the power of your email nurtures. With a little bit of creativity and ingenuity, they can go a long way to improving the targeting, engagement and conversion capabilities of your email efforts and help you stand out from the crowd when it matters most. In a world where email is struggling more than ever, it makes good sense to embrace personalization and improve the experience your prospects receive.
So, why wouldn’t you use chatbots in your email nurtures?
Sebastian Hardman is the Managing Director of Digital Litmus, whose mission is to help B2B SaaS companies rapidly grow their businesses. They build always-on Demand Generation Machines that deliver huge ROI across the customer journey.