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Holiday messaging and chatbot tips for marketers

Senior Product Marketing Manager, Intercom

Daniel Harris

@danielharri5

Main illustration: Olenka Malarecka

Gearing up for the holidays? For ecommerce and consumer focused brands, the holidays offer a huge opportunity to grow your customer base and drive sales with chatbots and targeted messaging.

Through to New Year’s, consumers are in the mood to buy. It’s up to you to reach and convert them at scale, and today’s chatbot technology, such as our Custom Bots, can help you can get there.

A couple of weeks ago we showed you ways chatbots can relieve your massive support queue during the holidays. Today, we’ll share a few tips to for using the same chatbots and messaging to exceed your acquisition goals. None of these tips require an engineer to set up, so you can do them all yourself and see your work pay off throughout the holidays.

Tip 1: Increase performance of paid ad campaigns with personalized messages

Perhaps you’re spending a ton of money driving traffic to your site through paid ads, but once people get to your site, you leave it up to them to take action and figure out what to do next. Considering the average clickthrough rate across all industries for Facebook ads is less than 1%, the odds aren’t in your favor.

With targeted messages you can drive more people to take action once they arrive on your site. Send them a targeted message based on which ad platform, or specific ad they came from. You could send them a personalized holiday video, a product overview, some additional info about the product, a discount, or just ask them if they need help.

At Intercom, we’ve measured the impact of these messages on average purchase size, and the result across more than 13,000 customers, on average, was an increase of 13%. That may not seem like a lot, but across hundreds or thousands of customers, it can mean a massive difference.

Tip 2: Customize a bot to increase the conversion rate of organic visitors

Some people end up on your website and aren’t sure where to go, how to find what they’re looking for. The average bounce rate of ecommerce sites is 20%-40%, meaning up to 40% of visitors, on average, leave your site only seeing one of your pages.

If you’re trying to attract shoppers who buy multiple products, help your website visitors figure out where they need to go to find what they’re looking for. With Custom Bots you can customize a chatbot to automatically engage your visitors, ask them a few questions to understand what they’re looking for,  and point them to the best place to find it.

This could be as simple as making a product recommendation based on some factors, for example, a sunglasses company could ask what type of frame material or shape they like, and point them to the right place:

Tip 3: Increase email campaign conversions with targeted messaging

A Salesforce study found that 59% of customers say tailored engagement based on past interactions is “very important” to winning their business, and 84% say being treated like a person, not a number, is very important to winning their business. It’s faster and less costly to write a personalized email than it is to create a personalized landing page or call everyone in all your customer segments, so email is a key driver of traffic and revenue.

When people click through from an email, don’t just drop them on a page showcasing your product, send them a targeted message to let them know why they’re here, say hi, say thanks for reading the email – acknowledge that your reader is a real person, not just a click or conversion opportunity:

Tip 4: Reduce shopping cart abandonment with targeted and timely discounts

A study run by Barilliance found that around 78.65% of carts are abandoned before purchase. This means almost four out of five potential sales are lost. To reduce abandonment for possibly your biggest sales quarter of the year, you can send targeted and timely discounts to people who visit their carts but don’t check out, or simply added an item to their cart but haven’t yet viewed their cart. By doing so, you’ll capture sales that would have likely been part of the nearly 80% who typically abandon:

Tip 5: Capture newsletter subscribers within the Messenger

Not every visitor is ready to make a purchase right away. However, they might want to stay up to date about your latest products or even your yet-to-be-released ones. Capture their email addresses in exchange for a regular newsletter, where you can stay top of mind when they finally are ready to buy.

A live chat conversation with such visitors is a perfect time and place to ask for them to sign up for your newsletter. By capturing a visitor’s email, you can nurture them over time and convert them into customers.

Don’t use Intercom for email? In our App Store you’ll find integrations to many of your favorite email tools, such as MailChimp, CampaignMonitor, and more using our Zapier integration and data export tools.

These are just five quick tips you can start using in Intercom today to increase sales this holiday season. Best of luck and let us know what’s working for you in the comments below. We’d love to feature your success stories in a follow-up post.

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