Half of customers would rather communicate with a business using messaging than email.
Three-quarters of your customers would rather use web chat and text instead of calling a service provider.
Messaging is more widely and frequently used than even social media.
Yet less than 1% of businesses have the tools to automatically stay in touch with customers in messaging.
Businesses who are using messaging are able to reach customers across all interactions and touch points to get real work done.
So what’s a growth marketer to do in 2020 and beyond?
Well, you can start here.
We’ve analyzed the data of thousands of MobileMonkey customers to distill the top chat marketing tactics that will yield the greatest return for the least amount of effort with radically new approaches to automated messaging and live chat for lead generation, engagement and retention, sales and conversion.
Chat Marketing Tactic #1: Install Web Chat on Your Website
The first in any list of chat marketing tactics is adding web chat to your website. Obviously.
- Customize the look and appearance of the chat widget and the greeting message.
- Customize when web chat should appear (desktop, mobile, first time visitors, repeat visitors, specific pages)
Boom, you’ve got live chat installed.
Unfortunately this is just the beginning of the story.
Stopping here would be like saying the key to being rich and famous in ecommerce is to have a website.
Just having the live chat is an important first step but now we have to ensure this live chat is successful.
If you’ve never used live chat before, what you should know is that typically all these customer inquiries from your website and other places end up in your inbox.
You can use a desktop application where you can view all the inquiries and respond to them in real-time.
Alternately, what happens more often these days given that nobody is sitting at a computer 24/7, is that you install a MobileMonkey chat marketing mobile app that notifies you if there’s a qualified visitor on your website who has a question.
By clicking on the notification it will deep link you into the app to the conversation where you can engage with that customer as opposed to waiting at your desk.
Typically what we find is that in small and medium-sized businesses, they fall into one of two categories. One is that they don’t have enough quality leads — not enough people filling up the chat sessions.
Alternatively we see the opposite problem, too many unqualified leads — a larger website with hundreds of thousands of visitors, you can end up with a lot of dumb chat sessions that don’t really make any sense.
There’s also often a combination of both — they want to reduce the donkey leads and get more of the unicorn leads.
Chat Marketing Tactic #2: Get More Chat Inquiries — & More Qualified Inquiries, Too
There’s a couple different strategies you can use to increase your volume of high-quality web chat leads.
Set up custom greetings for important website pages to increase the number of inquiries.
Say you have a pricing page discussing pricing for your products or services, this is a very valuable page. Instead of a generic “Hi, can I help you?” greeting,” use an ice breaker like “Do you want to see if you qualify for SPECIAL pricing?”
Examples for custom greetings (ice breakers):
- Would you like help in finding the right-size bicycle for your kid?
- Are you looking for a rental apartment, buying a home or condo, or selling your property?
- Would you like help to find out if you have COVID-19?
- Would you mind taking a brief survey about your customer experience today?
The way you create these is by stacking the questions, attachments, images one-on-top of the next, like the way you create a webpage but easier.
Once you create these dialogues, you can send users down different funnels and get a better sense if they’re qualified:
This brings us to the next strategy for increasing leads and improving chat lead quality…
Improve lead quality by setting up push notifications when a user is deemed super important or urgent.
There’s going to be a range of quality for messaging inquiries to your business.
Do you need to be notified of every conversation started? No.
Set up a notification for the top inquiries when someone indicates they’re a super valuable lead for your business.
How do you do it?
Create the dialogue and if the user says something qualifies this inquiry as a top-tier lead, add the notification widget to the dialogue.
Hot lead notifications can be sent by email or as a mobile push notification:
Chat Marketing Tactic #3: Reduce Donkey Chat Sessions with Menus & Automated FAQs
If you call Home Depot, they don’t send you directly to a live customer agent. They try to figure out the reason for your call today and make you navigate a phone tree to help you find the information you need.
More than half the time that’s adequate. The customer might be asking for directions, or hours, or return policies and other frequently asked questions. Your business doesn’t need a live attendant for such obvious information.
Using the bot builder you can create a “phone tree” type menu so users can navigate to the type of information that they’re looking for.
Even if they don’t find the information they are looking for, it provides you with additional context for the live operator to understand what this call is about.
Another of these chat marketing tactics that reduces unqualified chat sessions is to set up FAQ answers for the bot to answer right away.
Say you’re designing a new dialogue about a webinar. You add some keyword triggers so that if someone asks for “webinar” the system will analyze what the person is asking for and then return the dialogue that matches their question with the answer dialogue without requiring human intervention.
How does this work? It’s kind of like training a new receptionist. Initially, the person doesn’t know all the answers but they will be accumulating unanswered questions from people who call the front desk.
Periodically, over time, answer the unanswered questions by creating new content to point people to the right page on your website or give them the answer right in the messaging session.
Chat Marketing Tactic #4: Scale Up Chat Volumes with SMS Blasting
What’s the relationship between web chat marketing tactics and SMS marketing?
These days tools like MobileMonkey are not single-platform messaging inboxes.
It’s an OmniChat® messaging inbox that allows you to support messaging on different platforms like SMS text messaging.
There’s a difference between waiting for people to chat with you on your website vs. reaching out proactively and engaging with old or new prospects like you can do with text message marketing.
What MobileMonkey does is connect businesses to mobile users not just through webchat but also SMS and Facebook Messenger, today, and additional platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, and iMessage later this year.
Use your webchat to opt-in new SMS subscribers, and then send text message updates to these subscribers with announcements, news and deals.
These conversations in SMS will show up in the same unified multi-channel chat inbox in MobileMonkey.
This is interesting because you don’t have to manage one system for SMS, another system for webchat.
All of these different messaging channels are just real-time chat, regardless of what channel they come in through.
It’s also really important because all your content, all your automations and frequently asked questions, you want them to work across different channels.
If someone asks a question through Facebook, or through SMS, you shouldn’t have to configure that information on multiple systems. That would be a nightmare.
All the chats are coming in through one system where you can view and respond to them or automatically respond to them using one system.
As a result you’ll get more leads, better quality, conversions, and better overall customer experience.
How do you grow your SMS subscriber list?
MobileMonkey supports SMS keywords.
If you live in Canada or the United States and text the word “CLUB” to 309-740-3151, that will get you into my Unicorn Marketers Text Messaging Club. I will send you a kooky message each week with ideas about how to spice up your marketing.
Give that a try if you’re in Canada or the United States. That’s just one way you can get more SMS subscribers.
Another thing you can do is collect SMS opt-ins from website chat. One of the things you should do early on is opt them into SMS messaging. This is important so you can re-engage with your customers after they leave your website.
Chat Marketing Tactic #5: Integrate with Facebook Messenger
MobileMonkey also supports chat marketing in the #2 messaging app in the world, Facebook Messenger, with 1.3 Billion users.
When someone messages your Facebook Page, Instead of allowing the message to just sit unattended in your Facebook Page inbox, send the message into your OmniChat inbox. That way the people manning your webchat and SMS chat can also manage your Facebook chat.
There’s other ways you can use Facebook. One of them is connecting the comments on a Facebook post to OmniChat.
You can ask in a post: “Guess how much this house sold for and we’ll send you the answer in Messenger”.
Another way you can connect your OmniChat strategy to Facebook is through paid engagement. The main product for generating new leads through Facebook Messenger chat is click-to-Messenger ads.
It’s a news feed ad format but instead of sending people to a website the ad sends people to a Messenger chat session.
As soon as they send your business a message, they become a contact and you capture their contact information.
You can use click-to-Messenger ads to drive people into messaging sessions in the same dialogues you create for your webchat and SMS. You can invite people to take surveys, buy stuff, register for an event. It’s more efficient than website traffic because it’s much easier to have all this work done in messaging than in a browser.
What you can do is engage with users, either manually or programmatically, segment users into audiences because of certain properties, and then reengage using customized message blasts.
What do Messenger ads cost? It’s bananas.
Because you receive the users contact information as soon as the conversation starts, the cost per lead is incredibly low!
Another of my favorite chat marketing tactics that reach people through Facebook Messenger is Sponsored Messages. It’s a way of sending messages directly into users’ Messenger threads.
It’s a lot like getting a message from your mom, except it’s an ad instead of a message from your mom.
You can view and respond or automate responses to your sponsored messages as you see fit.
Chat Marketing Tactic #6: Automated Drip Campaigns
What is a drip campaign? Drip campaigns in chat are a lot like remarketing but sending messages instead of following people around using ads.
When someone talks to your business, you want to make sure they remember you.
So set up a series of messages and tips and tricks to send 10 minutes to a few hours after your conversation.
The pro tip here is to front-load drip chat campaigns. It’s kind of weird to get a message from someone you hadn’t messaged in a month.
But while the conversation is hot, engage in messaging to make sure they remember who you are.
Chat Marketing Tactic #7: Scaling Human Operators
At some point if you’re successful in setting up the chat infrastructure and being thoughtful about how to automate certain types of inquiries, and how to manually handle certain types of inquiries.
And then if you’re using SMS and Facebook Ads to dramatically increase the number of messaging sessions, it stands to reason that you’re going to have to scale up your chat marketing operations — which are the most valuable sessions you’ll have, 3X more valuable than website clicks.
You’re going to have to consider a CS rep to handle the inbound chat inquiry from all these different sources. That’s when you know your chat marketing tactics have worked, and it’s a good problem to have.
How do you manage that in a product like MobileMonkey?
There’s the ability to assign conversations to different operators and make sure every conversation is being taken care of.
While it’s very typical for a business to have a salesperson, a better approach is to have your website and chatbot do the selling and hire a product or service specialist to nurture warm leads into closed deals through a combination of automated and live chat.
Chat Marketing Tactics: What Does It All Mean?
We’ve covered a lot of chat marketing tactics to try for messaging and web chat.
We started with setting up chat on your website, which is just the first step. What businesses need to do is increase the quantity and quality of inquiries.
You also need to filter out some of the noise through thoughtful and helpful automations. Once you have that in place it’s time to scale up your chat infrastructure by doing outbound chat marketing like re-engagement using SMS push notifications to re-engage your contacts and connecting Facebook so all your messages go into your OmniChat infrastructure regardless if they come through paid or organic means in Facebook.
Then, set up automated drip campaigns in messaging so everyone who does speak to you through messaging gets your best offers and tips in messaging over the next day or so.
You’ll know you’ve made it when your chat system is so hot that you need someone to manage the customer experiences happening in chat.
For a limited time, we’re giving away a Free Forever special edition of MobileMonkey due to the Coronavirus pandemic. You can claim yours here.
Important Next Steps
- Get started with chat marketing campaigns by building a free MobileMonkey OmniChat™ chatbot. Get MobileMonkey for free today.
- Talk and learn about chatbots with other enthusiasts. Join MobileMonkey Island, a Facebook group of over 35k marketers and entrepreneurs that are ready to support you.
- Advance your marketing performance with Chatbot University, a free chatbot tutorial and training area for chat marketers.