What Is Conversational Marketing?
Conversational marketing is a feedback-oriented approach that utilizes the power of real-time conversation. As conversational marketing builds relationships, it creates authentic experiences for buyers and moves them rapidly through your marketing and sales funnels. Targeted messaging and intelligent ChatBots interact with potential clients as soon as they visit your website. What’s conversational marketing and how can it help my real estate business? Read on to learn more about conversational marketing and how it can help your real estate business.
The emphasis of conversational marketing is on two-way communication which includes feedback—it has some resemblance to other forms of marketing but is distinctly more effective than most. It has characteristics in common with email marketing, live customer support, customer loyalty programs, and customer success programs while maintaining a personalized approach the other usually lack.
Email marketing—when most effective—incorporates conversational tones and approaches like it’s counterpart. That’s how we do it at Happy Grasshopper—our focus is to build trust and create the opportunity for a conversation with your audience through conversational emails (among other methods utilized).
A conversational marketing strategy is a marked improvement over conventional marketing with its tendency toward the mundane lead capture methods such as filling out forms followed by long waits to see if there are any results or responses. That old way of marketing is no longer a good fit for the way modern consumers make purchases.
Aside from face-to-face interaction, most of us prefer to communicate via some form of messaging—in most forms of consumer purchasing. A Twilio survey found that 90% of those surveyed liked using messaging to communicate with businesses and most liked it better than email. The consumer preference was clear— conversational marketing is the preferred means of connection.
Lending further credence to these findings, the average email open rate is a mere 20%, the average landing page conversion rate is only 2.35%, and only 43% of people respond to cold calls. Let’s compare that to the HappyGrasshopper.com average open rate for 2019 at 23.9%—conversational marketing does make a difference with the highest open rate for email marketing categories.
Let’s be clear, that rate includes ALL emails sent by Happy Grasshopper members, not just the conversational messages. The influence of the conversational messages on the overall rate is remarkable, are you starting to understand conversational marketing and how it can help your real estate business?
You Make a Good Case for Conversational Marketing, but How Does It Actually Work?
In the paradigm of conversational marketing, if you want to be effective, you need to focus on the primary three basic elements of the method.
These are Engage, Understand, and Recommend. Before addressing each of these elements individually, it’s helpful to note that if you adopt a conversational marketing style—and strategy—it doesn’t mean throwing all your other active marketing campaigns in the trash.
Conversational marketing is a way of complimenting your existing marketing efforts, making them more effective and expediting the time between contact and engagement of your services by a consumer. Let’s walk through the three elements in more detail.
Three Basic Elements for Effective Conversational Marketing:
- Conversational Marketing: Engage.
It may be the kiss of death—requiring website visitors to complete a form, or register prior to getting the information they came for, or connected to someone to answer their questions. By offering an alternative way for that person to connect with you, in a conversational manner—immediately, makes for a personalized experience for the consumer. By allowing a conversation to happen naturally people ask questions. Trust is quickly established, even implied, because of the ease in which engagement occurs. The overall result—MUCH higher conversion rates for your real estate business!
The catch—it may not be practical to have a live person monitoring your website every minute of every day. Fortunately there’s a solution—intelligent ChatBots can immediately interact with the potential client. You can even integrate targeted messaging (hint, hint: we do that) to start a conversation without waiting for the visitor to make the first move.
- Conversational Marketing: Understand.
You want to understand the needs of a lead as quickly as possible. If you rely on nurturing emails and marketing automation it will be effective—by adding more conversational content you will get quicker results and a greater ROI on your investment. Without the conversational aspect? The Harvard Business Review has reported that if a business doesn’t respond within five minutes of a first contact to qualify a lead, the chances of conversion plummet by a jaw-dropping 400%. It just reinforces what we all know—you have to be there at the time of need in real estate, not after.
Intelligent ChatBots offer one solution to this problem. They’re a wonderful compliment to your conversational email campaign such as those offered by Happy Grasshopper. ChatBots ask the right questions to qualify a lead in real time, which allows for an immediate response—giving you the advantage of capturing the lead before they move on to another agent. Bots can even ensure that a potential customer is routed to the person inside your brokerage, company, or team—who is able to immediately assist them.
- Conversational Marketing: Recommend.
A ChatBot can only take you so far. A potential customer needs to interact with a live human quickly if you’re going to close that deal. Remember what we mentioned before—ChatBots can route the consumer to the right person, at the right time, and is automatically able to schedule appointments at the consumers convenience. Just integrate your calendars with your ChatBot and voila—it’s that simple. An additional benefit—automation frees up your salespeople to focus 100% on the real estate client and their transactions.
ChatBots can also answer questions that your audience might have. They can provide additional information as well as pertinent links on your website. It’s like automating your help system. It’s all done, automatically, while further qualifying the end-user consumer.
Slightly Different Ways of Looking at Conversational Marketing
The Engage/Understand/Recommend paradigm does an impressive job of laying out the essentials of conversational marketing. It’s equally important to recognize that after that comes the three core principles of conversational marketing are replying quickly, providing a personalized experience, and taking full advantage of analytics to assess all the data conversational marketing can provide.
The essential features of conversational marketing are in the conversations that happen whenever a potential client wants them to happen. Those conversations are scalable, because bots handle so much of the preliminary interaction. Those conversations also offer context and serve content—those conversations happen via the modality of the customer’s choice—by phone, via social media messaging, text, or messenger pigeon (just making sure you were still paying attention).
Five HUGE Benefits of Conversational Marketing
There are numerous benefits to conversational marketing. To boil the discussion down a little, let’s summarize the five most important benefits of conversational marketing.
- A conversational marketing experience makes a visit to your website feel warmer, more personalized, more convenient, and more human.
- You convert more—and better quality—leads, including consumers usually lost to old-fashioned marketing. Visitors aren’t burdened with filling out forms and waiting on responses, they want answers unilaterally without the demand of revealing their personal information. It’s on THEIR terms.
- You get new clients faster. Conversation qualified leads (CQLs) tend to close faster than leads obtained via traditional marketing. The sales cycle for CQLs averages a mere four days. The sales cycle for other leads averages eleven days. A great way to pre-qualify those consumers and establish the relationship you need to turn them into clients.
- You collect more information about potential clients that wouldn’t be available without an actual conversation. You can learn what brought a visitor to your website specifically, what their pain points are (to avoid them), and what selection considerations are most important to them.
- Your sales pipeline grows, a LOT.
A Little More on Conversational Marketing
Contrary to what you may fear, initiating conversational marketing doesn’t mean you must instantly purge every lead capture form from your website. It’s beneficial to maintain both forms and landing pages along with ChatBots that offer real-time messaging. You’re simply giving visitors an option that may feel more personalized and pleasant. The data suggests that people who prefer to communicate via real-time messaging are often decision makers and those in authority like executives and CEOs. A great demographic for any REALTOR® to connect with!
Conversational marketing and ChatBots can play a powerful role in customer support. They can significantly improve the customer-support experience by reducing wait times and providing the right information for self-help. There is a huge benefit to conversational marketing and how it helps your real estate business.
Conversational marketing is eminently scalable. By asking the right qualifying questions, bots can give fast answers to potential clients questions at any hour of the day or night. They can determine who’s qualified to talk to a salesperson and connect them immediately.
It’s also a lot easier to measure the effectiveness of your conversational marketing strategy far faster than you can assess any of your other marketing strategies. Many conversational marketing companies provide a conversational marketing platform with metrics built in specifically for the purpose.
You can quickly review the number of leads captured and qualified via conversations, the number of meetings booked and scheduled, as well as the potential ROI of the leads driven to your pipeline by your conversational marketing. You can clearly see how quickly you’ve increased the total number of new sales opportunities the conversational marketing has resulted in.
If you’d like to learn more about conversational marketing and how it can help your real estate business, we invite you to contact Happy Grasshopper. We can help you get started with the conversational marketing platform that’s perfect for your needs. Now you know what conversational marketing is and how it can help your real estate business!