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Think & Drink August 2018 Recap: Making Connections with Conversational Marketing

Elizabeth Crawford Written by Elizabeth Crawford | Conversational Marketing

Think & Drink August 2018 Recap: Making Connections with Conversational Marketing

Another Think & Drink has come to a close! At this season’s event, we shared tacos and local brews with Vermont marketing pros, sales reps, and business leaders as we explored how conversational marketing is transforming marketing and sales.

We were joined at the event by Michele Albanese from Drift and Oscar Zamorano from HubSpot. Michele and Oscar shared how their companies are creating opportunities for organizations to connect with customers and optimize their sales cycles through conversational marketing tools and strategies.

Want to feel like you were there? Watch the recap video and read the top 5 takeaways below!

As a certified Drift partner agency, we believe that every organization can leverage the power of conversational marketing. Here are the top takeaways we covered during the August Think & Drink:

Top 5 Takeaways from "Shorten Your Sales Cycle and Make Connections with Conversational Marketing:"

1. Most websites and sales processes are full of friction

Most companies are making it too hard for their prospects to get in touch with them. They use web forms and lead nurturing email workflows as the primary ways to connect with potential customers, but that leaves prospects waiting for a response which may never come.

When we force prospects to fill out forms on our websites or call us during business hours, we’re making the sales cycle unnecessarily lengthy and complex.

Conversational marketing is a one-to-one approach to marketing that companies use to shorten the sales cycle, learn about their customers, and create a more personalized buying experience. Conversational marketing reduces the friction on websites that prevents visitors from becoming qualified leads.

2. Conversational marketing can be person-to-person or person-to-chatbot

Conversational marketing uses live chat and chatbots to capture and qualify leads on your website.

Live chat takes place between two humans—it’s almost like texting for your website.

Chatbots, on the other hand, are automated tools you set up ahead of time that can greet website visitors, answer questions, and even book time on reps’ calendars. Chatbots are the key to effectively scaling any conversational marketing strategy.

Whether your conversational marketing strategy uses live chat, chatbots, or both, the goal is the same: make sure potential customers get their questions answered as quickly as possible. If you can’t provide an answer to someone’s question right away, that person is more likely to go ask someone else—probably your competitor.

3. The conversational marketing methodology is focused on engagement

With conversational marketing, the metric for success is how many people engaged in conversations with your company, rather than how many people filled out forms. Having a conversation—whether with a human or a chatbot—signals that a lead is truly engaged with your company and wants to learn more about what you do.

The conversational marketing methodology has three steps:

  • Capture: Gather information about your leads when they’re online, not just during business hours.
  • Qualify: Learn more about leads with targeted questions (automated bots are a huge help here!)
  • Connect: Connect high quality leads to a real salesperson efficiently and in real-time.

4. There are several platforms companies can use to implement conversational marketing

At our August Think & Drink event, we highlighted a few awesome platforms and companies organizations can use to strategize, implement and manage conversational marketing.

  • Drift is the world’s first conversational marketing platform that allows businesses to connect one-to-one with their leads in real-time. It incorporates live chat, chatbots, and email to create a complete process for shortening the sales cycle and giving your prospects the answers they need faster. Learn more about Drift.
  • HubSpot is a leading sales and marketing automation platform that brings together your core sales and digital marketing functions in one easy-to-use place. HubSpot recently introduced HubSpot Conversations, a tool that lets teams manage, scale, and leverage one-to-one communication across multiple messaging channels (website, Facebook, Slack, and more). Learn more about HubSpot Conversations.

5. Getting started is simple (and free!)

All of this might sound overwhelming, but getting started is simple. HubSpot Conversations is a free add-on to the HubSpot CRM—which also happens to be free! And Drift offers a free plan that allows you to get started connecting with prospects.

What’s the best way to start a conversational marketing strategy? Try replacing the forms on a few of your high-intent pages (like your pricing page or consultation request page) with a conversation. You can start learning about your leads and jumping right in with a proactive conversation, instead of dealing with the back-and-forth of forms.

People have been connecting through conversations to buy and sell since ancient times. It’s time to uncomplicate the sales process and bring the human side back to selling. If you’re intrigued by conversational marketing and want to learn more, let’s get started today!

Learn more about conversational marketing

We had such a good time at our August 2018 Think & Drink event, and we’re looking forward to the next one! If you’re interested in getting all the details of our next event when they’re available, sign up for Think & Drink updates below.

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Orignially published on August 16, 2018 , updated on September 19, 2018

Elizabeth Crawford

about Elizabeth Crawford

Elizabeth believes that great content is the driving force of any inbound marketing campaign. She wields tactics like search engine optimization, social media, and blogging to get you measurable results across the web.

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