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Intro to Conversational Marketing and Chatbots for SaaS Marketing

Is HubSpot Conversations or Drift messaging bots right for you?

Think about the best conversation you’ve ever had. It most likely doesn’t involve one person talking at you the entire time. SaaS companies that have adopted inbound marketing understand marketing communications are becoming more and more of a personalized, two-way conversation.


First there was email, then social media, and now messaging apps are the most popular way your customers are communicating. According to Trilio, 89% of customers would like to use messaging to communicate with businesses.

Despite this, only 48% of businesses are equipped to connect with customers through messaging. Let’s walk through everything you need to know to start using tools like Drift and HubSpot Conversations to have meaningful, one-on-one communication with prospects at scale.

What is Conversational Marketing?

Conversational marketing is a one-to-one, personal approach to sales and marketing that creates engagement with prospects and customers that is best suited to their communication habits, relevant to their current needs, at the right time and scalable for your business. The goal is to create more authentic, personal and informal conversations similar to the ones your prospects have every day.

While email, phone, social media and other channels are all part of a conversational marketing strategy, messaging is one of the most important and successful ways of starting B2B conversations. Messaging apps, SMS and in-app chats are easy to use, allow customers to respond on their time, have excellent open rates and are less disruptive than other marketing channels because they are always at the right time.

Moreover, conversational marketing allows you to go after the low-hanging fruit prospects that are most actively engaged in the sales process. With the use of chatbots, your company can be available 24/7 to engage with your prospects. Conversational marketing then allows them to quickly move themselves through the sales process, qualify themselves and easily book a meeting or demo.

Types of Messaging Channels

There are a number of different channels B2B marketers can use chatbots to engage with customers. The goal for your conversational marketing strategy should be to meet your prospects where they prefer to communicate:

  • SMS Messaging: The most popular messaging tool is the standard SMS text messaging application every phone has. In fact, 47% of customers prefer to use their native SMS app for messaging businesses.

  • In-app Chat: Adding a chat function to your website or application is the best way to open up communication that is timely and relevant. Messaging website visitors or software users ensures you are connecting with them as they are actively seeking out a solution.

  • Over-the-top Messaging Apps: In addition to SMS, many customers also use messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and Google Hangouts. It is projected these apps will have 2.48 billion users by 2021.

Uses for B2B Messaging

The opportunities messaging opens up for your business to engage prospects and customers are endless and will depend on your specific goals. Here are five of the most common uses for messaging:

  • Reply to order confirmations (60%)

  • Give product or service feedback (49%)

  • Learn about new products (46%)

  • Rate or respond to survey (45%)

  • Get customer support (39%)

Best ChatBot Conversational Marketing Tools

While many SaaS businesses already have one-on-one conversations with prospects through sales, the most important aspect of conversational marketing is the ability to scale these personal marketing communications as you grow. There are several chatbot and conversational solutions available that can help automate and organize these conversations.

The messenger bot and conversational marketing solution that is best for you will depend on your unique needs and your current martech stack. As Drift and HubSpot Partners, we have seen the strengths and limitations of both solutions.

HubSpot Conversations

The most obvious and valuable benefit to HubSpot’s messaging tool is how well it integrates with HubSpot’s Growth Stack of marketing, sales and customer success tools. This makes it easy to transition chatbot conversations to sales or customer service reps. The integration with your HubSpot CRM also provides full contact listings and marketing automation insights for more relevant conversations.

Beyond the integration, HubSpot conversations includes live chat, chatbots, universal inboxes to manage conversations across channels and a flexible structure that allows additional integrations and customization.

Pros of HubSpot Conversations:

  • Integrates with HubSpot

  • Flexible

  • Organizes conversations across mediums

Drift

For companies looking for a more robust and integrated experience for their customers, Drift’s messaging bots really shine. With individualized targeting and personalization, Drift is able to have automated communications that create a much more authentic conversation. Drift is excellent at running sales sequences to qualify leads, scheduling meetings and collecting valuable prospect information.

Drift is also a HubSpot Connect Partner, providing a solid integration for HubSpot users that need more features out of their chatbots. In addition to HubSpot, the integrate with other CRMs and marketing automation tools such as Salesforce and Marketo. They also have a Vidyard integration that can enhance the conversation with live video.

Pros of Drift:

  • More robust AI powering chatbots

  • Integrates with other marketing tools

  • Pre-built communication templates

As companies look for better ways to reach prospects in more authentic, relevant and timely ways, conversational marketing is quickly becoming a must for B2B SaaS marketers. With a messaging bot solution like Hubspot Conversations or Drift, you can now scale personalized, one-on-one communications and engage prospects in a much better way.

Adding additional ways to communicate with your most engaged and interested prospects and customers is a great way to quickly boost leads and sales. We’ll dive deeper into specific strategies for using conversational marketing and chatbots to go after the low-hanging fruit in a future blog.

Want to learn more about how conversational marketing could fit into your overall strategy? Book a complimentary 30-minute consultation today.

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