How EAB Achieved a 120% Increase in Demo Requests After Adopting Drift AI
more qualified leads with Drift
increase in demo requests in the past year
increase in partners being supported after AI implementation
Founded in 2007, EAB is a trusted partner to education institutions and corporations through their best practice research, technologies, and enrollment and marketing services. They work with schools, from K-12 to graduate programs, to help reach all institutional goals, and partner with corporations through an acute focus on DEI. The Washington, D.C.-based company has supported thousands of institutions and was recently featured in The Washington Post’s “Top Workplaces 2022” list.
In 2019, EAB acquired YouVisit, a virtual tour platform and existing Drift customer. With Drift now at their disposal, EAB took the opportunity to experiment with chat. Though they initially used Drift to only generate demo requests, EAB knew there was room to tap into additional Drift features to scale the impact. At the heart of all EAB initiatives lies a people-centric approach — and so they saw immense value in a solution that would help provide website visitors with the fast, frictionless experiences they deserve.
“As site visitors were chatting into the Drift chatbot and asking questions about things other than YouVisit, we realized that there was an opportunity for us to expand and to generate demo requests and commercial conversations for our other lines of business — including research partnerships, numerous technologies, and other services,” said Reed Batesko, Director of Marketing Strategic Initiatives at EAB.
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Human-Like Conversations Powered by AI
After a year and a half of optimizing Drift’s built-in functions, EAB began evaluating Drift AI. While Drift was already generating demand for website visitors, EAB saw the potential to capture leads outside of the team’s usual hours — ensuring no lead slipped through the cracks, regardless of geography and working hours. And no matter who the visitor was or what they were looking for, EAB wanted a human-like, frictionless experience that allowed for free-text responses from the site visitor (rather than button responses).
Like many companies, EAB was hesitant about upgrading to AI. While they recognized AI as a powerful tool, it was also unfamiliar territory. But as Reed explained, “In talking with the AI team prior to actually adopting, they walked us through all the metrics and the type of impact we would expect to see. And so we ultimately moved forward with purchasing the AI capability. And long story short, it’s been incredible.”
When launching AI, EAB followed Drift’s crawl-walk-run strategy, training the AI on real conversations and gradually implementing AI across different parts of their website. With the help of Drift’s AI team, they saw immediate success during its “crawl’ and “walk” phases. “Our AI Conversational Designer was such a fabulous partner and coach along the way, sharing with us best practices, how to train the bot, and what type of utterances we should look for and train the bot to recognize,” said Reed.
After just two months on AI, EAB was already seeing 80 percent accuracy — which was far above their expectations given the unpredictable nature of site visitors using free text — but also left room for improvement. Drift AI comes pre-trained on over 100 million conversations, but just like you would train a new sales rep, EAB began training the AI to respond to their unique business-specific topics. After reviewing new phrases and keywords that site visitors had been using, Reed was able to train it to respond at a staggering 95 percent accuracy. Using insights like these, EAB can continue refining their interactions while simultaneously gaining a deep understanding of their customers.
Now, EAB is running at full speed. With their AI-powered chatbot (who they affectionately named Eabert) enabled across their website, visitors can enjoy efficient, human-like interactions on their terms.
“The AI capability is having a measurable positive impact on all individuals that come to the site — prospects, partners, and site visitors with unidentified intent,” said Reed.
A Red Carpet Experience for High-Intent Customers
With AI helping their website visitors, EAB’s digital marketing team can dedicate more time to engaging high-intent customers, while still ensuring that low-intent visitors remain supported at every stage of their journey.
“The time from when the individual site visitor first reaches out through the chatbot to the time that they’re actually having a conversation with our salespeople is much quicker. Fewer pieces of outreach are needed from our BDR team, accompanied by same-day or same-hour scheduling, which is incredible,” said Reed.
More Qualified Leads, Demo Requests, and Partnerships
Since upgrading to AI playbooks, EAB has experienced roaring success, including: