Lead generation is the supreme discipline of online marketing. The aim is not only to draw the attention of a potential customer to the company, but also to turn him into a potential buyer. A prospect qualifies as a lead when he provides the company with his personal data (e-mail address, telephone number, etc.) for further interaction. He thus expresses an increased interest in buying the product or service.
The challenge for companies today is to convince potential customers of their own product. Whereas it used to be possible to generate qualified leads mainly by cold calling on the telephone, companies today have a range of different communication channels at their disposal. Addressing consumers in their direct environment has therefore never been easier – and more difficult at the same time. After all, a multitude of seemingly identical offers, confusing sources of information and the fear of data misuse make potential prospects wary.
The buying process usually involves several touchpoints before a customer makes a concrete purchase decision and approaches the company. The customer not only obtains comprehensive information about the features, benefits and price of the product, but factors such as the customer relationship and the buying experience also influence the purchase decision. Therefore, it is important to reach the prospective customer already during his customer journey in order to place his product without appearing pushy.
Making the customer journey work for you – thanks to chatbots
Customers want an individual approach and personalized content – this is part of a complete shopping experience. This builds trust with the company and reduces distrust of data sharing. This is exactly where the use of a chatbot is recommended. With the help of a chatbot, the customer journey can be used efficiently for marketing and sales purposes and lead generation becomes a no-brainer.
We will show you which possibilities a chatbot offers for targeted lead generation using the following examples of use:
Lead Funnel at Facebook
“If you don’t solve problems, don’t be surprised that no one is interested in what you have to offer” (Peter Sawtschenko).
Let’s say that based on his social media behavior, a user gets an ad displayed in his Facebook feed that piques his interest. He clicks on the CTA and automatically the dialog with the chatbot starts. Thanks to Natural Language Processing (NLP) – a subfield of Artificial Intelligence (AI) – chatbots have the ability to process, read and respond to human language. In this way, a chatbot can informatively pick up the consumer exactly where he or she is.
After a short get-to-know-you interaction, the user is guided unnoticed through a predefined questionnaire to receive an adapted product offer according to his answers. The funnel makes it possible to obtain and evaluate relevant data in a smart way by means of targeted response options in the form of buttons or quick answers. Due to the personalized content that the user receives as a result, interest is increased and he passes on his personal data to the chatbot.
Via a CRM interface, this information is stored in real time and is available to the sales team for further acquisition activities.
Jackpot thanks to chatbot: a lead generated automatically!
Retargeting – how a cold lead becomes a hot lead
But what happens if there has already been a point of contact with a prospect, but it has not yet been enough to generate a qualified lead? Here, too, the use of a chatbot is worthwhile. Let’s take a look at the following example.
During a Facebook chat, the company was able to find out with the help of a chatbot that the user Peter likes to do outdoor activities. Unfortunately, the online store for sneakers was unable to offer a suitable item at the time. Now, however, the perfect hiking shoes are newly available in the range. Now the chatbot can send an update on the new product. In case of possible queries, the chatbot can additionally answer specific information thanks to stored data from the product catalog:
Peter: “Are the shoes waterproof?”
Chatbot: “Yes, the shoes are waterproof.”
Peter: “How heavy are they?”
Chatbot: “The shoes have a weight of 445 grams.”
Peter has clicked the link to the product, but the purchase has not yet been made? No problem for the chatbot: After 48 hours, it automatically sends a discount code “OutdoorSpecial” with a 10% discount.
Lead generation in customer service
If the prospect has already made it to the company’s website, but doesn’t find the information he’s looking for within a very short time, he quickly loses interest. A potential lead who is already standing at the door – too bad to let him go. A live chat is the optimal way to actively welcome the prospect to the site and ask about their intentions. This promotes customer proximity and the invisible barrier for the prospect to get in touch with the company disappears.
But who answers the myriad of inquiries from website visitors? Customer service representatives want to deal with individual customer inquiries, take time to do so, and not always answer the same questions. The integration of a chatbot can remedy this situation and act as an additional colleague who takes over the repetitive inquiries.
With the help of artificial intelligence, the chatbot can find out what the prospect needs through a predefined process. For example, if the user is looking for a suitable mobile phone contract, first general and then increasingly specific questions can enable classification into the right contract category. In the end, the potential customer is shown information about a mobile contract that specifically fits his requirements and thus delivers added value without having to search for a long time on the website.
Congratulations: the lead is yours! Now that the chatbots have done their groundwork, customer service can take over.
Lead generation through raffles
A common lead generation method in marketing is the raffle. The integration of a chatbot here is simple and efficient. The given answer options are displayed as buttons. Due to the intuitive and fast operation, participation is not a hurdle for the user, which increases the conversion rate. Entertaining image and video formats can be integrated for a better user experience. Personal data is collected at the end of the contest.
WIN WIN: The user has the opportunity to win a great prize and you have definitely won a lead.
Lead generation through topic bots (using Corona as an example)
By using topic-specific chatbots on the homepage, targeted information can be transported to prospects or customers. For example, a chatbot can be programmed on current topics to help companies, employees and customers find relevant information. The content made available provides valuable added value.
Using the Corona chatbot from e-bot7 as an example, the chatbot provides information about current figures, data and facts, using information from official sources (WHO, Robert Koch Institute, etc.). The information is continuously updated and at the same time the need for further information is queried.
The use of topic chatbots enables an enormous reach and possibility to generate new leads due to the topicality. After entering the data, the prospect receives the latest information directly on his smartphone – as WhatsApp, email or via app.
The use of chatbots for lead generation is versatile and can support both the marketing, sales and customer service teams. Repetitive and inefficient tasks are automated by the chatbot and potential customers are scalably converted into hot leads.