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Picking the right tools for your conversational marketing strategy
When you’re looking for the best software for conversational marketing – sometimes called messenger marketing software – it pays to start by thinking about what you want to achieve. From there you can consider which tactics will be most effective and can research the best tools for your business.
Conversational marketing tools aren’t just pop-up messengers for real-time conversations held on your website. You can also use tools to interact with customers and prospects on social media.
Most tools have an element of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which means the more they are used, the more they learn. This helps to deliver continual improvement in your messages and creates an increasingly intuitive programme to support your marketing.
If you’re not sure where to start, think about the various touchpoints that customers have with your business. If all of your enquiries start on your website, that’s the place to start. If you get a flow of messages from facebook on a regular basis, you might want to start with some software that supports initial conversations on social media.
Products in the conversational marketing category typically share features of or integrate with live chat and chatbot software to produce real-time, meaningful dialogues with customers at different points in the buying journey.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of handing all your conversations off to robots, there are tools which integrate automatic and human interaction so you can focus on the aspects of conversations where the personal touch really makes a difference. You can also tie communication channels together, so you could chat via facebook or online and then send a meeting invitation via text or as a calendar appointment. The greater the level of integration, the more efficient the system will be – and the smoother the experience for your customer.
When you’re looking at your options, use this simple checklist for conversational marketing tools:
- Does the solution ensure the creation of intelligent messaging bots that engage visitors across more than one channels?
- Does the solution provide the tools to create personalised responses within each conversation?
- Can the solution direct customers to the right sales rep or an online store for immediate purchase?
- Can the solution track the customer journey?
- Can you follow up on any automated conversations in real life based on the data the solution provides?
Each solution has its advantages. here are a 10 of my favourites that you might want to consider. Of course the tool might depend on your objective or the most important channel.
- Intercom has seamless integration between sales and customer support, which can be valuable for product development.
- Drift is one of the market leaders and boasts rapid evolution via AI so that your channels become increasingly sophisticated.
- Drift also produce Siftrock, which is designed for B2B markets.
- Hubspot is an in-bound marketing platform which integrates conversational marketing with software for blogging, social media monitoring, SEO, email marketing and analytics.
- Conversica allows you to custom-build personas for your conversational marketing; this can be valuable in reinforcing your brand and if you’re running your own business, you can make sure these communications reflect who you are and what your business stands for.
- Saleswhale is designed to book meetings for a sales team.
- Whisbi is a mobile-first tool which is optimised for phones and tablets.
- If you want to test the water, Manychat allows you to create a Facebook messenger bot for marketing, sales and support for free, which is a great way to get started and see some results before you invest.
- Other Facebook Messenger services are Mobile Monkey and Chatfuel
That’s just a flavour of what’s available; the important thing to recognise is that when it comes to conversational marketing, it doesn’t have to be all or nothing. You can start with one channel and gradually build up or you can apply across all channels and allow the solution to grow as you gather more intelligence.
None of this has to replace what you’re already doing. You can keep your traditional means of capture, and some prospects may prefer to fill in a form and wait for an email or a phone call. Remember this is all about putting the customer first, so the more options you provide to get in touch, the better it is for everyone.
Download the complete article on getting started with conversational marketing here and get lots of other free stuff too.