Close your eyes and imagine.
You’re browsing your CRM database (or an Excel spreadsheet, whichever works for you).
You’re seeing contact details of hundreds of people. Their names, email addresses, maybe some phone numbers as well.
They are your prospects who expressed an interest in your product or services and left their details willingly. You have their permission to reach them out.
Each contact is an opportunity. Each of these people behind an email or phone number could become your customer.
Open your eyes. Back to reality.
You need to collect those contact details first, or as it’s called in marketing, to generate the leads.
- What is lead generation?
- How to generate leads
- Effective tools to generate leads
- Lead generation: a live chat boosted with chatbots
Let’s start from the beginning.
What Is Lead? What Is Lead Generation?
A lead is a person or a company that has shown an interest in your products or services.
A lead generation is a process (or a marketing technique) that has three basic stages:
- You create an interest in your product or service
- You use the moment of interest to win the contact details of the people who discovered your business and found it interesting (they become your prospects)
- You pass the contact details to your sales team to follow the prospects up and convert them to customers
Once a lead becomes a customer, the process of lead generation finishes.
The importance of generating new leads is pretty straightforward. Getting more leads increase your chances of converting at least some of them into paying customers.
How To Generate Leads
There are many lead generation channels and methods. Which one you choose depends on your business profile and how much you can spend on acquiring those leads.
Let’s take a look at different lead generation channels and see how you can generate leads within each of them.
Lead Generation Channels
Generally, there are two channels through which you can generate your leads: outbound and inbound.
Outbound Lead Generation Channel
The outbound lead generation channel is about acting in a proactive way. It means that it is you who acts first and you do not wait for someone to discover you.
How to generate outbound leads?
- cold calling and/or emailing
- face-to-face networking (e.g. you meet prospects during some event)
- ads (in print, radio, or TV)
The goal of this method is to make a sales pitch to as many people as possible, without taking into consideration their profile.
Inbound Lead Generation Channel
The inbound lead generation channel focuses on the content of your website. Your goal is to provide attractive, valuable and educative content to your visitors (and customers) through the blog.
The blog should focus on topics related to your business and (or) industry. This way people interested in some specific topic can learn something from you.
Then, you optimize the blog with SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques to reach an interested audience.
How to generate inbound leads?
You need to optimize your website to persuade visitors to take some sort of action that will result in visitors leaving their contact details.
So for instance, the visitors may do the following through your website:
- sign up to your newsletter, email course, or webinar
- contact you through the contact form or email
- order a call
- leave their email to receive an ebook or cheatsheet
- register a trial account
- register to read a full story or watch a video
Find the best live chat app for your business and read our article comparing the features of the best free live chat software available on the web.
The Most Effective Tools to Generate Leads for Your Business
Live chat and chatbots can be used as effective online lead generation tools.
Both of them have their advantages but what’s more important, they can easily replace some “standard” lead generation methods while adding something unique that other solutions lack.
The use case for both lead generation tools is simple. Live chat lead generation and chatbot lead generation work together.
You use a live chat to provide real-time support and close sales as soon as possible while the chatbots automate the sales process and maximize the efficiency of lead generation, especially when you’re offline.
12 Best Features of Lead Generation Chatbot
Wait — Live chat and chatbots as lead generation tools?
Isn’t a live chat a tool for online chatting and chatbots for automated chats?
Still, the chats alone are powerful enough to get you some extra leads.
Remember, how we’ve talked about catching the visitors’ attention? A live chat operator can do a really great job here.
In fact, conversations can be a real game-changer in the sales process.
In one of the surveys, Drift revealed that website visitors who had a chat with a live chat operator are 82 percent more likely to become customers.
Not to mention that a live chat scored 92 percent on a customer satisfaction scale.
Secondly, messaging apps are extremely popular nowadays. Live chat, an example of an app that enables two parties to chat with each other, is convenient for the customers and live chat operators.
Moreover, live chat is packed with many features that other communication channels lack. And when we boost it with chatbots, it becomes a powerful lead generation tool.
After all, chatbots are great at engaging and chatting with visitors when you are busy or away.
What Are the Best Lead Generation Chatbot Apps?
There are quite a few of lead generation chatbots available on the market. These include:
- Facebook Messenger
Just to name a few.
What features make live chat and chatbots so special in a lead generation process? Let’s take Tidio as an example and see how this app can help you in different scenarios.
Tip: If you are looking for the best lead generation chatbot apps check out this comparison: Zendesk vs Intercom vs Drift: Intercom Competitors Ranked
1. Use a Pre-Chat Survey
Pre-Chat Survey is a live chat feature that automatically asks your visitors some questions before the conversation starts.
The survey asks for a name, email address, and (or) telephone number.
Regardless of how the conversation ends, you already have your visitor’s contact details and you can use it later for marketing and sales purposes.
2. Welcome a New Visitor (Or a Returning Visitor)
When a new or a returning visitor lands on your website, you can use a chatbot to automatically greet them and ask whether they would like to know more about a particular product or service.Get Free Template
This conversation may have a few possible outcomes. For example, when the chatbot is unable to answer a certain question, it will transfer the chat to the live chat operator (if there is any available).
Otherwise, it will ask for an email address or telephone number so that an operator can contact the visitor at their earliest convenience.
While the first scenario can lead to a sale (a lead could become a customer), the second one gives an opportunity for a conversation (and conversion) at a later time.
Another trick to collect contact details from your visitors is to offer a small discount to returning customers.
A chatbot can tell a returning visitor from a new one. When it recognizes a returning customer, it can offer a promo code to them (some people need just a tiny nudge to make up their mind).
If the returning customer accepts an offer, the chatbot will ask for an email address to send the code.Get Free Template
Even if they don’t redeem the code afterward, you have their email address that you can use for further marketing purposes.
3. Collect Leads When You’re Offline by Using Chatbots
Chatbot lead generation does not stop when you or your sales/support team is offline.
Let’s say your potential customer clicks on the live chat widget when you’re away.
Since there is nobody around to reply, a chatbot activates and informs the customer that someone will contact them as soon as possible.
The chatbot collects all the necessary information, such as name, e-mail and (or) phone number, and the customer’s written inquiry.
4. Engage Users When They Want to Leave the Website (Or Abandon Their Shopping Cart)
There are many reasons for cart abandonment. Perhaps the visitors did not find the information they were looking for or the shipping costs were too high.
But, what if the reason was more trivial? Such as – the visitor put some items in the cart to come back and pay for them later.
Regardless of the reason, you can make the best of every visit.
A chatbot can engage a visitor who tries to leave the website (or shopping cart) and ask them some questions that’ll end in getting a lead (or some feedback, at the very least).Get Free Template
In this particular situation, the chatbot can potentially not only collect a lead but also address the visitor’s issues.
When the issue is resolved, the customer may either leave or complete an order.
5. Generate a Lead When an Operator Doesn’t Respond
Chatbot comes very handy when there is an operator who’s not responding (because they’re working so hard!).
A chatbot can inform the visitor that the live chat agents are busy at the given moment, and offer two options: visitors can continue to wait or leave their contact information.
6. Allow Your Visitors to Order a Phone Call
Some customers still prefer using phones over other forms of communication.
A chatbot may ask a potential customer to leave their telephone number so that someone from the support team can contact them later.Get Free Template
It’s a great feature if your company relies mostly on providing sales and customer support (or service) through that channel.
7. Engage a Visitor Who Leaves a Form
Let’s assume you have a visitor on your contact page who filled out a form, but, for some reason, didn’t submit it.
At that very moment, a chatbot can engage them and help with their issues, answer their questions, or collect a lead.
Convenient, isn’t it? Again, you get the most out of your contact form and make it rain money!
What else you can do when it comes to the different contact forms (registration form, contact form, or even a newsletter pop up window) is to replace them with your chatbot.
So instead of expecting your visitors to fill out (yet another) online form that is no different from other forms on different websites, send your chatbot to collect the information from the visitor in a conversational way.Get Free Template
It’s as fast as the regular form, but more fun and engaging!
Pro tip: New to chatbot conversation design? Check out our 10 tips on writing chatbot dialogues.
The result? Your visitors will be more hooked and less likely to leave.
8. Engage a Visitor on a Specific URL
A chatbot can start a conversation with users who visit a specific URL.
For example, let’s assume you have a Shopify store with a very expensive and profitable product.
You want to make sure that nothing stands between the potential customer and the sale, so you set up a Shopify bot to assist.
A chatbot greets the visitor to make a great first impression, and asks them some sales questions (which will help you close the sale later), before collecting their contact information.Get Free Template
Additionally, you can also allow your visitor to transfer to a live chat operator to complete the sale right away.
10. Engage Visitors On-Site With Live Visitor List
Live Visitor List allows you to track how many visitors are currently browsing your website and what page they currently sit on.
With this feature, you can take over the initiative and start a conversation with any visitors you want.
For example, you notice a visitor wandering around the website looking for specific information – you can cut the process short and offer them your help.
In other words, Live Visitor List enables you to act in a proactive way and chat with the visitors who otherwise might have not contacted you on their own.
You can overcome visitor’s obstacles, collect their contact information, and close the sale in one go.
And this works because you make sure that every visitor has been engaged and encouraged with your excellent, personalized customer support.
11. Collect a Lead When Someone Reads an Article
If your company has a blog, you can boost your lead generation by engaging visitors who read your articles.
How does it work?
A chatbot engages your blog visitor by asking them if they’re interested in a particular topic and recommends other articles.
If the visitor is in a hurry, they may leave their email address so that they can receive the articles by email.
You can go one step further, and apart from sending the articles, you can try to convert them.
12. Engage Users on Facebook
Live chat and chatbot platforms can be integrated with Facebook Messenger and, in the process, with your Facebook fan page.
With this integration, you can basically do all the things mentioned in previous points, but with Facebook and Messenger (and the great possibilities they offer) joining the game.
For example, a chatbot can engage your Facebook Page visitor, ask them if they’re interested in your offer, and ask for their e-mail address to send them a personalized offer.
Or, since the messages on the Messenger do not disappear when either of the party goes offline, they can continue the chat with the newly acquired lead.
Presence in social media is a crucial sales factor.
According to a BigCommerce report, one-quarter of American online sales were linked to social media channels.
Thanks to this integration you can maximize your income potential by engaging prospective buyers through every possible channel.
Live Chat and Chatbots as Lead Generation Tools: Conclusion
Live chat and chatbots are great multi-purpose lead generation tools that can expand the pool of your potential customers.
By using chatbots for lead generation (and live chat as well), you can:
- Collect the contact details from the visitor through the live conversation
- Automate active engagement with the visitors and prevent them from leaving your website
- Offer help whenever you or your live chat operators are busy or offline. And if the issue is more complex, collect the contact details so that a live chat operator can get back to the visitor later
- Engage the visitor at any point of their user journey, be it on your website, Facebook fan page, or mobile app
- Offer visitors fun, conversational and engaging way for signing up for a newsletter, leaving a query, or registering their account
- Quickly refer qualified leads to the live chat operators (or your sales team) to strike while the iron is hot
When it comes to live chat and chatbots benefits, almost every business area gets its share. That includes customer service, marketing, sales, and, of course, lead generation. There are countless chatbot examples online that prove their effectiveness and popularity.
And what’s also important, live chat and chatbots are very cost-effective tools that can be set up in a matter of minutes.
Reach more prospects and increase your conversion ratio with Tidio live chat powered by chatbots. You’ll soon learn that live chat and chatbots can be more than just lead generation tools.Try Live Chat For Free