The creation of chatbots has not just begun in the last decade or so. Yes, that’s when they have started gaining mainstream popularity. But the first invention, ELIZA, a computer program developed at MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory in the mid-1960s, was designed to simulate conversations with humans.
Ever since then, it's started raining chats and bots and we have come a long way from the ELIZA days. Well-known brands have made use of chatbots to make life simpler for themselves and their consumers. Examples include Apple (Siri), Slack (Slackbot), Samsung (S Voice), Facebook (Messenger Bots) and Google (Alexa). And just like that, the list goes on.
Most of these chatbots have been used as a messenger marketing tactic, which is reported to have a higher open rate of 70 to 80% within the first hour when compared with email marketing that has an average open rate of 5 to 10%. However, 66% of consumers make purchases after receiving a marketing message via email. So it comes across as no surprise that when it comes to increasing conversions, email marketing is the preferred channel.
Personalised emails have always been a business’s "BFF" when it comes to driving higher engagement with consumers but suddenly chatbots have waltzed their way in and are subtly changing the consumers’ preferences.
Instead of pitting them against each other, have you wondered what miracles might just happen if you pair your email marketing strategies with chatbots? This blog will explore how chatbots and email marketing can synergistically fulfil your cravings for conversions:
1. Count me in for more subscribers
Sometimes getting new newsletter subscribers can be a chore - one that brands repeatedly face because people need some sort of incentive to be motivated to sign up and receive these newsletter updates.
But why worry when chatbots exist - they help to solve exactly that! They streamline the sign-up process so that it becomes much more efficient and more convenient for the consumers, encouraging them to subscribe.
L.A. Times Food is a perfect example of this - Goldbot, their Chief Food Critic bot eliminates the need for users to leave the popular social media site, Facebook to specifically fill out a form on their landing page. With the Facebook Connect Login, they are just one click away from email subscriptions.
2. Capture insights, not just leads
With relation to the first point made above about increasing subscribers, chatbots can also improve lead generation and facilitate the nurturing process.
While chatbots help to increase subscription rates, they can also carry out a personalised conversation with the users. They capture valuable insights about the leads whilst holding a meaningful conversation with them. This can also be taken a notch up to generate new leads and “nudge” them in the right direction.
For example, Whole Foods makes use of a Facebook Messenger Bot to connect with its users by providing recipes, products and cooking inspiration. The chatbot is triggered to start a conversation with the user. The bot gathers some details such as their preferences, interests, what kind of content they’d prefer, known as list segmentation and provides more personalised recipes to their audience.
Thereafter, the leads generated through the chatbots can be nurtured through email campaigns. And thanks to the list segmentation the chatbots carries out in the initial stage, brands can send more relevant and significant content to their leads.
3. Cart Abandonment Bots
70% of online shopping carts are abandoned. Do e-commerce brands lose over an average of 75% of sales? Yes, these facts are true - something that e-commerce brands have to deal with on a daily basis. The reason could be as complex as analysing why the consumer dropped out just before the checkout stage to something as simple as the consumer forgot to complete the order or there was a timeout error.
But how does a brand combat this? Brace yourself, turn that frown upside down because you can get those dropouts back again through the magical power of chatbots and cart abandonment emails. In addition to sending out cart abandonment emails, Facebook chatbots give consumers another nudge that they have left their shopping carts incompleted and that an email has been sent to them about the same.
For example, Shopify makes use of Recart chatbots to give their shoppers a reminder about their abandoned shopping carts. When a shopper adds a product through their website or mobile app and does not complete the purchase, the Facebook chatbot integration sends notifications to the consumer by driving them back to their abandoned items and convert them into recurring customers.
These are just some of the ways that brands can make use of two special and different ingredients to enhance the overall food taste. In other words, with the combination of chatbots and email marketing, brands can leverage the data they gather from consumers to provide them with a more personalised experience.