The modern buyer is fueled by speedy access to products and services, lightning fast responses to questions and low-friction website interactions. They also love personalized experiences. Let’s call them the “Fast and the Curious.” A study from and the Harvard Business Review found that if you wait 5 minutes to respond after a lead initially makes contact, there’s a 10X reduction in your odds of getting in touch with that lead. After 10 minutes, this stat plummets to a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying a lead. Let that sink in. The Fast and the Curious are not messing around.

If you want to keep pace with the way the modern consumer likes to buy, then you need to be able to meet them wherever they are on your website and in the sales funnel. 

Cue chatbots…

These are an excellent intermediary to help curate customized experiences, lower friction and get buyers the answers they need at the speed of a pop-up window. Chatbots can be used on websites, and across some social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.  Jon Davis, CEO of Shape, offers a useful way for thinking about chatbots: Envision your website or social pages as a store. The chatbot is the friendly sales clerk asking folks why they came, what they’re interested in, and how they can help direct them. When thinking about how to set up a chat-bot conversation flow, Drift offers this excellent guide:

Establishing the right messaging and flow based on user intent and funnel-placement is the first key to success and there are webinars, white papers, & infographics galore to help on this end. One of the more interesting use-cases, especially for B2B, is being able to speak directly to your ABM audiences. Curating a custom bot experience for companies you’re trying to woo that are actively engaging with your site is savvy marketing. Speaking directly to these high-value audiences with customized messaging is a key value of a chatbot.

Here’s a great example from an interaction I had today with a chatbot:

Another key to success is attribution. This is especially important if you are running paid media campaigns. High-value interactions with a chatbot can be a conversion type. Let me say that again in a different way: if a user comes to your site from a paid search or social ad, and they turn over lead info via the bot, you are missing out on conversion volume if you are not tracking these interactions. Track them!

A worth-your-money chat-bot vendor will provide easy routes to properly track the following via paid search and paid social:

  • conversations started
  • leads
  • purchases
  • calendar appointments set up

This is accomplished primarily by implementing a platform’s custom event tracking snippets within the chatbot’s code. Initial set-up can take time. But, implementation will allow you to track conversions that are happening within the bot across search and social platforms. The goal here is being able to optimize toward these conversion types using automated strategies.

You know how across your marketing efforts you’re always trying desperately to target the right persona? You can get demographic and audience-specific insights from your advertising platforms, but one powerful component of the chatbot is straight-up asking if they’re the right fit for your product. You can route them to the right info accordingly. Qualifying leads and properly routing unqualified traffic is a game changer. This way, sales teams can focus only on inquiries that have high-purchasing intent. Better conversations with better prospects positively impact the bottom line. 

Here’s a great example of using bots to pre-qualify traffic:

If you’re interested in getting started with chatbots, there are resources a-plenty and a pantheon of vendors including Drift, Hubspot, Mobile Monkey (Facebook), Aivo, & Botsify to name a few. Chatbots are an important and useful AI that can fill the gaps in buyer expectations and buyer realities. Speed up your response times, intelligently route traffic, focus on high-value interactions and intelligently customize messaging for your audiences. Above all, ensure that if bots are part of your funnel, proper attribution is applied. For more resources on chatbots see Drive Prospects Down The Funnel With Chatbots,   Grow Your Business With a Chatbot,  & Drive Insane Traffic To Your Chatbot with PPC.