Consumer behavior and expectations are constantly evolving. Today, people expect a high level of interactivity with the brands they deal with, whether it's a compliment, concern, complaint, or question via social media, or the ability to quickly reach out to a member of the customer support team.
Online marketers know the significance of lead generation for businesses, hence they use a number of strategies and tools to enhance their process. Automation and chatbots have been growing into all parts of the industry, taking up various roles and responsibilities that an average user would have to manually perform. But how can you use chatbots for lead generation? How does a lead generation chatbot help? Let’s find out!
What is lead generation?
Lead generation in advertising and marketing is the creation of consumer interest or inquiry into a company's products or services. For purposes such as list building, e-newsletter list acquisition or sales leads, leads can be generated. Methods for generating leads typically fall under the advertising umbrella, but may also include non-paid sources such as results from organic search engines or references from existing customers.
Who are leads?
“Leads are the metric that, as marketers, we have to rely on. Because lead means money”
- Kipp Bodnar.
A lead refers to a potential customer in a sales sense, often known as a "prospect”. The definition of a "lead" can vary for every organization. For some firms, a "lead" is a contact that is already known to be a prospective client, while other firms view any sales touch as a "lead. "Depending on the organization, the definition of the term “lead” may vary. For some companies, a “lead” is a contact already determined to be a prospective customer, whereas other companies consider a “lead” to be any sales contact. But, across these divisions, what remains the same is that a lead can ideally become a potential customer. Therefore, sales teams are responsible for converting as many leads as possible to maintain a good conversion level.
Where do they come from?
Business Leads may come from various sources or activities, eg virtually through the Internet, through personal recommendations, through client or telemarketer telephone calls, through commercials, and events.
Lead generation is often coupled to push leads through the purchase funnel with lead management. The term pipeline marketing applies to this mix of activities. A business lead is usually assigned to a follow-up person. Once the individual (e.g. sales associate) approves and recommends the individual to have potential business, the lead becomes a business opportunity. Before the contract is achieved, the product has to endure multiple sales phases.
Why is lead generation important for businesses?
The answer is simple. The more leads you have, the greater the probability that some of them will become your paying customers. As we have established, the process of collecting leads is called lead generation. For example, You run a small house-renovation business, you have a website of your own, and you attract a certain number of visitors. One of them, asking some questions, fill out the contact form. You receive their email (a lead), later contact that person (answering queries), and later close the sale and voila, you have a new customer! That's how you've converted the lead.
Lead generation is particularly important because it allows your business and the website landing page of your business to create huge traffic, leading to higher sales and conversion rates. With good lead generation traffic, you create a target group for each search engineer who actively uses the internet to find and purchase a product or service.
With Google, this process has made it easier to connect with all prospects who are searching for exactly what you have to offer, and you are given the opportunity to show how different your business is and how better it is.
When potential customers actively seek solutions and your business stands out, the chance to convert from business lead to customer increases dramatically. If you have a process of quality lead generation, finding the right customers for your business needs will help a lot. You can check this guide on local lead generation!
Often the best way for lead generation is to use a lot of different methods or strategies so you can work out what is the best option for providing good quality lead generation. One of the frequently used strategies would be the use of chatbots for lead generation.
How chatbots help in Lead Generation
Chatbots are a great asset to customer service, but how does it help with sales? Well, according to Chatbotslife.com suggests that chatbots can improve conversion rates by up to 25%.
And this data is about chatbots alone. Merging it with Live chat boosts the effects. According to Vtldesign.com, 38% of buyers purchased something because of a live chat session. Besides this, if asked to put down how effective is a lead generation chatbot, here’s a list-
It helps you understand the audience
It’s hard to give a present to your new neighbour but easy when you’re selecting a gift for your close friend. Why so? Because you know your friend inside out. Similarly, it can be difficult to sell products to customers when you don’t know their preferences. Lead generation Chatbot makes this difficult job simpler. A lead generation chatbot makes it easy for you to understand your audience. It allows you to identify the consumer's product interests, likes, and dislikes. This also improves the commitment of the lead. As users speak to it, a chatbot will perform surveys, ask questions and quizzes to collect data and personalize the user experience. A lead generation chatbot will also help you get a better idea of your best and least effective goods. To produce a lead, an eCommerce store can use a sales chatbot.
Segments the audience
Segmentation plays an important role in maintaining relevance to your content. It also increases your strategy for generating leadership. Suggesting a tour package for American residents that is true for Indian nationals will spoil the experience for customers. Based on the data you got, your chatbot will segment the audience. It does this on numerous factors such as demographics, interests, age, sex, etc.
This also helps you to nurture and retain the lead. If a consumer belongs to a specific category, the solution you have for that segment can be dealt with by you. For example, if a user celebrates Christmas, your lead generation chatbot can show the best presents available for the customer to give at Christmas. This can be very impactful since it targets the audience with a fitting solution.
Builds Relationships with Customers
Trust is a relationship's foundation. A customer support chatbot helps users gain confidence by communicating with them on a regular basis. By offering direct assistance, it connects users and is always available to help them. It makes users believe they can always rely on a product. For lead generation, this can be very helpful. People rely on chatbots since they are not pushy and will always take care of the preferences of the customer. You can provide your users with customer support via a chatbot. They will ask the bot how to fix it if they consider any issues related to their shopping experience or account. We have different approaches for chatbot lead generation, but this is the one that needs to be followed. You can do this with chatbots to increase lead generation to build a lasting relationship with customers.
Replaces manual forms
It has become a tedious task to fill out forms. It's neither thrilling nor attractive. Chatbots will cleverly substitute these forms in a super-effective way. It asks user details as the user goes further in the conversation. It reduces the pressure and streamlines the process of gathering information for you. Therefore, if a customer does not have to make an effort to fill in data, it boosts your lead generation strategy. In response to a comment, users find it easy to provide information. It doesn't annoy a client making a chatbot to collect lead data. Create a lead generation chatbot that can ask for the name, email, phone, address and more about the client. By providing autofill options, you can allow the customer to do less typing, so you can also fasten the detailing process.
Educates the audience
Knowledge is a key element in the cycle of lead generation. The consumer will not buy it without knowledge of the material. With a chatbot, this can be made easy. Most companies use chatbots to educate and make them frequent subscribers for their audience.
How Live Chat generates and nurtures leads
We’ve seen it all before, we’ve heard it all before - everyone loves Live Chat for customer support. But if you think that’s the only way to use Live Chat, you’d be missing out on a lot of opportunities. Live Chat can work wonders for both lead generation and lead nurturing. It can navigate leads through your products and services, almost like a digital salesperson. So let’s explore how to use Live Chat for lead generation and nurturing.
Let’s start with how to generate leads first. Say your prospect has found your website- according to The Daily Egg by Neil Patel, you only have 15 seconds to make an impression before your prospect leaves your website.
So, how do we get them to stay?
An excellent way to break the ice is by using a chatbot to start the conversation. Ask them what they’re looking for, how to help them, and learn about them. The more you engage with the visitor, the longer they stay.
This also shows your visitors how accessible your team is to their demands. Accessibility plays a major role when it comes to converting a lead into a customer. Most customers don’t have a lot of patience, and in an era of shortened attention spans, devices, and multi-tasking, customers and leads prefer quick and convenient communication.
If you’re a prospect, tell us- how likely are you to buy a product you’re interested in based on an advertisement?
Not very likely, right?
Now compare this with going to a store, and having a salesperson interact with you. You strike up a conversation, and they pitch the same product to you. Since a rapport has already been established between you two, you’re probably more inclined to listen, aren’t you?
So how are your customers any different?
A live agent is a happy medium between an online ad and a salesperson. While a chatbot can initiate the conversation, your live agents can continue and make the sales process a lot more engaging, while establishing a relationship between your visitors and your brand.
Allows businesses to define if lead is qualified
What’s the difference between a cold lead and a warm one?
When your chatbot pokes them through the chat widget of your website, a cold lead will most likely leave your bot on read. Whereas a warm lead will engage with your chatbot, and then your live agent when they take over.
But say your lead does engage with your agent. Your agent can determine whether this lead is warm or not through real-time interactions.
So now we’ve talked about how the combination of both Live Chat and chatbots can help in lead generation. Let’s focus our attention on lead nurturing now.
Let’s preface this with a few stories.
As a youngster, I was quite the foodie. I was always on the lookout for a good restaurant, and there was one that I had my eyes out for. We booked a table, we arrived, we ordered, and we ate. While the food was delectable, that’s not what I remembered. I remembered how lovely the server was to me. I remember them asking me what my preferences were and making recommendations that were suited to my tastes. I remember their smile, their warmth- their aura was so inviting that I was looking forward to my next visit while still dining with them!
In fact, it moved me so much that I did return, with more friends this time- and the same server remembered me. And that’s what moved this restaurant to my top 10 list of favorite restaurants. It’s been over 15 years since I visited that restaurant, and I still remember being treated like a princess.
There was frigidity in the air. I could see the leaves turning from emerald to amber, and I knew it was time to go shoe-shopping. So, I went to the mall and had a lovely salesperson approach me and offer me a pair of durable winter boots. It was my first time shopping for boots, and they helped me out immensely- they asked questions about my daily life to make the best recommendation for me, and I was sold. I went back to the same store a few weeks later, and they hardly recognized me. It was a real bummer.
These two contrasting experiences is what lead nurturing is all about. Think of it as the process of converting a cold lead to a warm prospect. And how do we achieve this? Through personalization.
While both stories showed how the power of personalization moved me towards making a purchase, one incident made me eager to return, while the other made me never want to step foot into their store again.
Having access to previous conversations with your leads allows you to create an experience tailored to their interests which leads to a long-lasting relationship. Once they have a slice of how well you can care for them, they’ll return for more.
Shortens the sales funnel
Gone is the need for landing pages to get registrations in for your website. Your live agent can facilitate in a more interactive way- through conversation.
The entire registration process occurs in the chat window itself, as opposed to using traditional forms. In fact, a live agent asking for contact details appears more trustworthy than writing it out on an empty screen.
How to Generate Leads with live chat and bots
Here are the best practices you can follow with chatbots, as well as Live chat to generate leads faster than ever!
With this feature, before the discussion starts, you can ask your visitor questions and get personal information, such as your name or email address. Regardless of how the conversation ends, the visitor's data is already available and you can use it for marketing and sales purposes later.
Chatbots can still do the job, even if you're not there. When your potential customer clicks on the live chat widget when you're offline, a chatbot can tell them you'll get in touch with them as soon as possible and collect all the necessary information, such as name, email, phone number, and visitor inquiry.
You may use a lead generation chatbot when a new or a returning user enters your website to automatically greet them and ask a question like, "Are you interested in our product?" You may allow them to leave their email for later interaction if they respond positively. A chatbot can tell a returning visitor from a new one – to enable them to shop, you can use it to approach returning visitors with a discount. You often receive a lead as a reward (because you sent a discount to a particular email, right?).
The same applies to a non-responding representative. A lead generation chatbot can inform the visitor that at the given moment the live chat agent is busy and offer them the option to wait or leave their contact information. Customers value their time and they hate to wait – their patience wears out at 10 minutes. So, instead of annoying them, give them a choice to either wait or be contacted later.
Many consumers also prefer other forms of communication to using phones. A chatbot can ask your visitor if they are interested in your product or services and then let them leave their telephone number and order a telephone call. It's a great feature if your business relies mostly through that network on delivering sales and customer service.
Visitors will bounce from a website for a lot of reasons. Perhaps they didn't like it, they didn't have the data, or they didn't find it interesting. But what if the explanation was more trivial, like leaving the website to come back a little later? You can do the best of any visit – a AI chatbot can contact a guest who tries to leave the website (or shopping carts) for whatever reason. You may ask some questions to the visitor that will end up getting a lead (or at least some feedback).
Suppose you had a visitor on your contact page and they filled out the form, but they didn't send it for some reason. A chatbot can engage them at that very moment and help them with their problems, answer their questions, or gather a lead. Comfortable, isn't it? Once, you're getting the most out of your touch and making money rain!
Live monitoring allows you to take over the initiative and include every website user. Occasionally tourists only walk around the website in search of specific information–you can simplify the cycle and ask your visitor for help. You will resolve barriers to sales, obtain contact information, and close the deal. And this works because you make sure that every visitor has been engaged and encouraged with your excellent, personalized customer service.
If you have your own business blog, by engaging visitors who read your posts, you will improve your lead generation. It's simple: someone reads the article, then they are recruited by a chatbot, asking if they are interested in a particular product or service, and collecting their contact information. You can even send that visitor a discount – you’ll boost your chances to convert and you’ll get a lead at the same time.
Quality lead generation chatbot platforms allow you to integrate with Messenger and your Facebook page in the process. You can essentially do all the things mentioned in previous points with this integration, but enter the game with Facebook and Messenger (and the great opportunities they offer). For example, a chatbot will engage visitors to your Facebook page, ask them if they are interested in your deal, and ask for their email address to follow up with them later. Social media presence is a crucial factor in sales. One-quarter of American online sales are related to social media channels, according to a BigCommerce survey. This incorporation helps you to optimize your market value by engaging prospective buyers across any network.
A chatbot can involve users visiting a specific URL. For example, you have a very expensive and lucrative product page from your perspective. You want to make sure there is nothing between the potential customer and the order, so you're setting up a chatbot to help. A chatbot greets the visitor and asks them some sales questions (which will help you close the sale later), before collecting their contact information. You can also require your visitor to instantly complete the sale to a live chat operator.
Here are 5 ways to build a lead generation funnel through chatbots
Attract and connect with your audience
The first step in building your lead generation funnel is by attracting and connecting with your target audience. This step can’t be done completely through the chatbot.
You need to offer something unique to your audience that catches their attention. This could be a piece of high-quality content that might interest them.
While they’re going through the content, the chatbot could send out a message with a lead magnet.
This might interest your audience and they may decide to provide their details to get their hands on the lead magnet.
If your chatbot is a Facebook Messenger chatbot, you can get permission to message them and receive access to their public profile too. Alternatively, you could ask for their name and email address to take things further.
Engage the lead
Once you’ve got a way to contact the lead, you need to engage the lead to improve the chances of them becoming conversions. Also, having only the contact details is only the tip of the iceberg. You need to qualify the lead before it can be of any use to you.
So, how can you go about this?
There are two ways you can do this.
You could continue your conversation through the chatbot or engage with the lead through emails now that you have their email address.
But why emails, you may ask?
This is because email marketing has a high ROI of up to $40 for every dollar spent on it. So, engaging with the lead through emails might be a good option as the prospects might respond positively to it.
The next thing that you need to do is ensure that the lead remains warm and engage them. It’s only by engaging them that you’ll get to know more about them.
You could ask them relevant questions to segment them.
For instance, you could ask them about their marketing budget, and based on that, you can figure out if they’re a freelancer, an agency, a small company, or an enterprise.
Getting such information can help you provide personalized customer experiences to them even further and increase the chances of converting them.
Ask qualifying questions
Once you’ve engaged the lead, you can start asking them qualifying questions. Chatbots make this process easier as they can ask the questions in a conversational manner rather than the lead having to fill out long forms.
Whether you use AI-powered chatbots or regular ones, you should try to make this process as quick as possible. One way of going about this is by adding buttons.
What does this do?
When you add buttons for the responses, all the lead needs to do is click on the buttons. This saves them the effort of having to type out the answers. It’s a win-win situation, really, as you’ll get consistent data without varying answers and spellings.
Based on the answer to each question, you can display the next relevant question. This can help you qualify and segment the leads into highly specific groups.
Add the data to your CRM
Once you’ve segmented your leads into different categories and collected their information, you need to add that data to your CRM or a spreadsheet.
This is where chatbots excel as well.
Many chatbot platforms offer integrations with popular CRMs, email clients, and even Google Sheets.
This can help you completely automate this process.
All the information that the chatbot receives will be automatically transmitted to the respective application and be registered. Check this article on CRM for start-ups.
Set up human takeovers
When you’re segmenting the leads, you might find some enterprise leads which may need special attention from your end.
In such a situation, you should have the option of taking over the conversation to ensure that the lead doesn’t get away.
For such situations, you should set up triggers that will prompt the chatbot to transfer the conversation to a human agent.
Let’s say that the threshold for an enterprise account is 100 users. In such a situation, when the lead enters any number above 100 while answering the question posed by the chatbot, it’ll transfer the conversation to a human agent.
This can ensure that enterprise clients get customized services that can solve their issues.
How to build a lead generation chatbot
You can build a lead generation chatbot in a matter of minutes with Instant Web. The bot creation wizard makes it a breeze.
First, enter the name, description, and category for your bot.
Now, you can choose to use a pre-built template or start with a blank canvas. You can find industry and function-specific templates, including ones created for lead generation.
Customize the look of your website bot with themes, fonts, and backgrounds. You can deploy the bot on 10+ other touchpoints after the initial setup is completed.
Enable live chat to facilitate lead nurturing.
Customize the welcome path and set up FAQs.
Now, review the initial setup and proceed to the flow builder.
In the welcome path, ask for the user’s name and store it in an attribute. This can be done through the Request User Data node.
Next, you’ll want to ask the users to provide other information like their phone number and email id. Use the same node and store these details in attributes as well.
It’s time for you to ask your qualifying questions. To make things easier for your customers, you could give them options to click on, rather than typing, by using the Send Message with Options node.
After they answer, your bot could automatically upload all their information to a Google Sheet, without your agents needing to do anything. You could set this up using the Google Sheets integration node.
If the users’ responses to your questions qualify them, trigger live chat to allow your agents to nurture and convert them.
Growing an online business is getting more and more challenging. How can you maximize your chances of getting customers when competitors are constantly trying to steal your precious customers by using strategies that you’ve never heard about? You must get the absolute best out of every business idea, including customer service, marketing, and sales. Lead generation is one of the crucial part of the growth of the business and effective strategies are to be implemented to keep them leads coming! A lead generation chatbot can help you through this and can be the ideal tool for automation of lead generation process.
Thanks for reading.