HOW SMARTLING MODERNIZED THEIR BUYER EXPERIENCE WITH DRIFT
Increased meetings booked
Conversion of leads engaged on website in first year
Increased Drift conversations
THE CHALLENGE: A SELLER-CENTRIC WEBSITE MISSING OUT ON QUALIFIED BUYERS
New York-based Smartling is a leader in translation management software and translation services. Their solution makes it easy for brands to connect with their global customer base by translating all of the words that power professional and consumer products like websites, mobile apps, and software services.
In today’s global economy, the benefits Smartling can provide to businesses are obvious. But back in 2018, Smartling hit a roadblock: their platform’s value and messaging wasn’t resonating with the market. To quote Smartling’s Head of Marketing, Adrian Cohn, “We recognized that our brand experience wasn’t a competitive advantage and we knew that it could be.”
Adrian has a somewhat unlikely background for a Smartling marketing leader: Customer Success. But as improving the buying experience becomes more crucial, his path will become more common among forward-thinking marketing teams. Because these days, being able to craft a message isn’t enough: In order to get that message to resonate, you need to be able to understand the behavior of your customers.
“When I joined marketing, my priority was to fix our product messaging and brand experience. It was also painfully obvious that our challenge was beyond messaging: The buyer experience was old-fashioned. Our website was stuck in 2010 and was too old school. Hard to navigate. Forms everywhere. Complicated buying process. We spent a lot of time developing the website with very little return.”
And the data backed it up. Taking a look under the hood, Adrian realized that despite Smartling’s considerable website traffic, people weren’t filling out the forms on the site.
Adrian made the decision to focus on completely rebuilding and refreshing Smartling’s website. In a little over a month he launched an entirely new website – new content, a refreshed brand position, and not a single form in sight. Instead, Smartling.com relied 100% on Drift’s conversational marketing platform to drive real-time, one-to-one conversations.
Here’s how Adrian explains it:
Smartling buyers now had choices. They could pick their own path. By engaging people immediately and eliminating forms, Adrian was, as he puts it, “Confident this experience would make it more likely for interested people to share their contact information.”
And he was right. Smartling doubled conversion of leads engaged on their website with Drift.
Fast forward to a year later. While conversations were up, Adrian still saw an opportunity to drive innovation for the buyer experience. There were three major problems:
- Conversations weren’t consistently leading to booked meetings.
- Buyers were leaving due to incorrect answers or slow SDR response (more than 2 minutes)
- Smartling was losing interested buyers during offline hours.
“Our team is only available for about eight hours a day in most regions. There was an entire period of time people wanted to talk to us, and we weren’t there for them.”
That’s 16 hours a day of lost sales opportunities, 112 hours a week of people showing up to the website, and leaving because they didn’t get a response.
Simply put, Smartling saw an opportunity to maximize every business opportunity by connecting in the moment with qualified buyers, no matter the time of day or the team’s availability.
THE SOLUTION: REMOVING THE FRICTION FROM BUYING
Drift Automation enhances the buyer experience with instant, 24/7 response.
“Having a competitive advantage at every touchpoint in the customer lifecycle is advantageous. We needed to create an even more seamless experience for buyers to get them to engage with us all day, all night, ‘eight days a week.’”
Adrian had a vision for what this experience could be.
“I thought about how frequently I use search – via Google and on websites – to answer specific questions immediately. How could we replicate that, and make the experience even better through the familiar experience of chat? Our interested buyers were coming to the Smartling website and searching for answers – I wanted every question someone had to become a conversation with Smartling through Drift.”
That’s exactly what Adrian and the marketing team did with Drift Automation. By learning the most common questions and the best answers, every conversation with Smartling through Drift Automation was like speaking to Smartling’s most qualified expert, only faster (like 90 seconds faster), and more frequently. Smartling went from engaging people eight hours a day, to having conversations with potential buyers 24/7.
No more wrong answers, no more waiting.
Drift Automation insights provide valuable and unexpected guidance for marketing strategy.
“You learn an incredible amount about what your prospects and customers are looking for in the conversation data from Drift Automation. We didn’t have a ‘plans page’ on Smartling’s website and we wanted to have better conversations with our buyers about pricing upfront. After reviewing the conversation data, we realized that 150+ people each month were asking about pricing and packaging, and withholding this information at the entry point to our brand was not simplifying the buyer’s journey.”
With this insight, Adrian redesigned the pricing page in a way that directly addressed what he now knew potential buyers were asking. “This became part of our top-level navigation, and a key converting page for our website.”
Drift Email keeps the conversation going.
“We have other marketing automation technologies, but nothing that can automatically reply or take action on customer responses,” says Adrian. “Drift Email keeps the conversation going with prospects who weren’t ready to book a meeting on their first visit to our site.”
Smartling’s first Email Bot campaign addressed abandoned chat meeting requests, engaging prospects in a clear and helpful follow-up conversation. Through integration with Drift and Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot), Smartling is able to completely automate the process of following up with these prospects and helping them book a meeting directly on an SDR’s calendar. “Drift Email enables Smartling to deliver a seamless user experience, which is exactly why we chose it in the first place,” says Adrian.
“Drift’s ability to cc account owners; filter out automatic responses; and classify responses as yes, no, or other is the next best thing to having a human inbound SDR,” says Adrian. “And, honestly, I’m not sure a human SDR could be as efficient, nor work around the clock. Drift saves our team members hours of work.”
THE RESULTS: THROUGH AN IMPROVED EXPERIENCE, SMARTLING MORE THAN DOUBLED CONVERSATIONS AND MEETINGS WITH INTERESTED BUYERS
The numbers tell the rest of the story. With Drift Automation, Smartling has:
- Increased meetings booked through Drift by 75%
- Increased Drift conversations by 86%
- Doubled the conversion of leads engaged on the website in the first year
- Increased email capture to meeting booked rate by 34% in first two months
For Adrian, simplifying the buyer’s journey is paramount. Website visitors can bounce for so many reasons – a page takes too long to load, the website is hard to navigate, specific questions aren’t being answered, or the form might be too long.
“With Drift Automation I know questions are answered the way they should be answered every single time. We are communicating with people in an innovative way. We are creating a helpful, consistent experience for every single visitor to our website, 24 hours a day. That moment when someone comes to the site, and easily gets what they were looking for from Smartling, without having to pick up the phone or fill out a form – that’s where the magic is.”
Whether someone is doing preliminary research, booking a meeting, or returning to the site, Adrian shares, “If we didn’t have Drift Revenue Acceleration Platform with Chat, Email, and Automation, we wouldn’t be able to engage with people the way we do now – and the brand experience would regress.”
Smartling’s modernized website experience enabled by Drift continues to drive multiple hundreds of conversations every month, which turn into qualified meetings for Smartling’s sales team.
And he’s just getting started. Other Drift initiatives in the works include Drift Video, Zendesk integration, and Drift Conversational Landing pages for high-value content. And ultimately, Drift has given Adrian the ability to deliver on the competitive advantage and brand experience he knew was possible.