Chatbots and Messenger marketing
When the topic of conversational marketing comes up, most people think about chatbots first. According to a report published by Salesforce, almost 60% of customers claim that new technologies like chatbots have changed their expectations of companies.
A chatbot is a piece of software which mimics human language and conversations. The idea behind it is to make the user feel like they’re talking to a human being.
Chatbots can be implemented in many different ways. You may use a voice assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant (more on that below), embed a bot on your website or talk to the customers through a channel they’re already using – such as Messenger.
The number of Messenger chatbots is growing rapidly. Back in 2016, just three months after the launch of Facebook bots, there were 11,000 chatbots on Messenger. In April 2017, the number of Messenger chatbots hit 100,000. As of 2018, the number has tripled. Currently, there are more than 300,000 chatbots on Messenger and new ones spring up like mushrooms.
Why is this particular conversational marketing channel rising in popularity? The main reasons for that include:
- High open rates and click-through rates – As the organic Facebook reach is declining, marketers are looking for new ways to reach their customers effectively. Messenger marketing is one of the most promising tracks to achieve this. Open rates for messenger bots average around 80%, while the click-through rates range between 15 and 60%. A digital marketing guru Neil Patel shared his own example of a Messenger chatbot campaign with a 88% open rate and a 56% click-through rate. Impressive, right?
- Short customer journeys – When it comes to email marketing, there is a lot of hassle involved. The user needs to provide their email address, open the inbox, scroll through dozens of unread messages and go through different steps to interact with your message. Messenger is much faster and more immediate – your campaign will feel like receiving a text from a friend. The customer journey becomes much shorter, too.
- No technical knowledge needed – With conversational marketing platforms like Chatbotize, you can build your very own Messenger chatbot in minutes. Literally, minutes – you don’t need to know how to code. Instead, you can use ready-to-implement plugins and templates.
- The power of AI – Forget about creepy chatbots and irrelevant responses. Thanks to technologies like natural language processing, chatbots are getting better at understanding human language and coming up with natural replies. Another thing is machine learning: the longer a chatbot works, the smarter it is. Based on the previous conversations, it learns how to match the response to the query to sound more human.
Contrary to chatbots, live chats involve contact with a real person, usually a customer service team member.
Did you know that 79% of customers prefer to use live chats, as this is the way to get instant responses? Other reasons for choosing live chats over traditional customer service include the ability to multitask and higher quality of the information received. What’s more, 22% of customers claim that they just don’t like to talk on the phone. For them, the ability to use a chat instead is a dream come true.
Live chats are obviously a huge time-saver, but there’s much more to them – they can help with boosting your sales as well. According to Econsultancy, 83% of consumers need some kind of support to complete a purchase. This means that implementing a live chat on your e-commerce website is very likely to increase your conversion rates.
Voice user interfaces have exploded in popularity in the past few years. Voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, Google Assistant or Microsoft Cortana are becoming a more and more important part of our lives. Although there’s still room for improvement, the conversations we have with them feel quite natural, very much like you’re talking to a real person.
Sounds good, but what’s in it for marketing?
Quite a lot, actually. Currently, 62% of US smart speaker owners are using their voice interfaces to make a purchase. Big companies, like Starbucks and Kayak, are well aware of that trend. With voice-based chatbots and applications, they allow the customers to order a coffee or even book a flight. One of the most prominent examples of voice marketing done right is Domino’s. This pizza chain uses an AI-powered voice assistant to handle incoming phone orders, as well as a pizza ordering skill for Amazon Alexa. The results are quite impressive – 20% of their “one-click orders” now go through Alexa. So simple and so convenient, right?
The future of voice marketing looks bright, too. According to Voicebot.ai, one in three American marketers is expected to have a voice app by 2020.