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Article first published in March 2018, updated July 2019

Email marketing is a proven technique for building rapport with your prospects and customers. When you combine it with live chat, you can bump your conversion rates and improve the overall customer experience.

Creating a back-and-forth relationship with customers is critical if you want to thrive in business. That’s why keeping in touch through live chat will increase conversions by roughly 8 times, according to a study by Smart Insights.

Creating a back-and-forth relationship with customers is critical if you want to thrive in business.

Source: Really Good Emails

When live chat is combined with email marketing, you can communicate in a way that fosters better customer engagement, maximizes conversions, and increases sales. Today, we’re sharing how to combine live chat and email.

Understanding the power of live chat

Through your online marketing activities, you’re driving traffic to your website. You have even been very effective in converting a high percentage of those visitors to your email list. However, how effective are you at converting visitors into customers?

The average conversion rate is between 1-5%. In fact, on average, only 2% of visitors end up making an inquiry or purchase. If the conversion rate of your website is lower than 2%, for example, then you can up your game by engaging website visitors and prospects with a live chat.

If your website visitors have browsed through your web pages, then there is a level of interest. However, there may be something stopping them from buying. Maybe they have questions about shipping or don’t understand your product packages. When there’s live chat, you’re able to answer all the questions your visitors have.

Forrester reports that 55% of U.S. online adults are likely to abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question, and 77% say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide good online customer service. Live chat gives customers instant access to someone who can answer their questions.

For example, through the use of proactive live chat, Intuit was able to increase average order value (AOV) by 43% on its checkout page, conversion rate by 195% on its lead generation page, and sales by 211% on its product comparison page.

Intuit Live Chat Increased Conversions and Sales

Using live chat to connect with website visitors

When visitors are on your website, they often browse through a number of pages. We can place these visitors into two categories:

  1. Those who are browsing.
  2. Those who are assessing your product and are potentially interested in purchase.

While browsing through your products, there are questions going through their minds. This is why you should send greetings to your potential customers via live chat.

This encourages your leads to start a conversation with your customer support staff and they can easily ask their questions without having to initiate the conversations themselves.

How do you go about this? A visitor who has spent time on your website is probably checking things out. After a period of time, let’s say 5 minutes, you can invite your visitors for a chat. This would help you meet their current needs and show the visitors how much you care about them.

In fact, visitors invited to chat are 6.3X more likely to convert to customers than the ones who don’t chat. Also, 61% of those customers convert within the first chat.

You can also have specific events trigger live chat. For instance, if they’re on your sales page and you want to assist during the process, there could be an automatic greeting to the visitor.

Here’s an example from Tagove (now Acquire) that triggers a live chat when a user lands on a 404 page so they can help the user find what he/she is looking for.

Tagove Live Chat Proactive Greeting

Collecting a customer email address before chatting with them

When you offer live chat on your website, it’s an opportunity to gain more leads by increasing your subscriber list. How do you do this? You have an email subscription form before the beginning of a live chat session.

Capturing a user’s email address means you can easily send them messages about new products that could be of interest to them. It also allows for a better connection between you and your customers. By sending email newsletters that are personalized to your customers, you can even turn them into repeat customers.

For example, Maids in Black uses a pre-chat form on their website. The form has two fields, asking for an email address as well as the question. It also gives the user the option to either send an email to or to chat.

Maids in Black Email Subscription Form before Live Chat

Encouraging your email subscribers to experience your chat session

Sometimes, customers don’t use features of your website because they don’t know they’re available. Live chat allows you to answer questions and help users through the process when they need your help most.

To increase live chat usage, let your website visitors know about it. Invite them to your website to chat with an agent.

Engage Website Visitors with Live Chat

This is especially important when you send emails to your email subscribers. When you send them product offers, you should tell them that live chat will be available during the purchase process in case they run into a hitch.

This will encourage some of your subscribers to check out your product because you’re already offering a timely answer to any questions they may have.

Use email to follow up “warm” chats

When a prospect visits your website, one of the first requests should be for their email address via chatbot. Of course, this has to be done tactfully. One reason this is important is that it can help you follow up if they haven’t made a purchase.

As powerful as live chat is, it has one major weakness—unlike email, you can’t contact visitors when they leave your site. This is one reason you need to use live chat and email together. Sometimes, all a customer needs to make a purchase decision is a gentle reminder of the purchasing process they started. By gathering all your live chat data and checking for warm leads, you can create a list of potential customers to follow up on.

Proper live chat and email management is a great way to harvest big data that you can use to run successful email marketing and chatbot marketing campaigns. So, don’t be afraid of using your chatbot link in your emails—the two make a great tag team.

Adding a link to the chatbot in emails

Another great way to use chatbots in tandem with your email marketing campaigns is by putting a link to your chatbot in your email. Here are two clever ways of using a chatbot link in your emails.

Let customers know you’re approachable

If your reader needs answers to questions regarding your products or services, let them know they can click the link to your chatbot.

If your reader needs answers to questions regarding your products or services, let them know they can click the link to your chatbot.

Source: Yahoo Mail

Not only will they get the answers they need from your chatbot (or live agent) but their interaction with your chatbot will provide you with a wealth of data you can use to improve your customer journey.

You can also use your chatbot to help address FAQs. By directing your customers to your chatbot, you free up your customer representatives to deal with issues that need human input. This, by far, is one of the biggest advantages of chatbots as far as customer support goes.

Feedback on orders

When sending a receipt of purchase to your customer, you can also include a link to your chatbot. Let them know they can reach out to you through that link if they need:

  • To know the shipping status
  • Help using the product
  • Report any defects or faults

Adding a link to your chatbot in your emails is a great way of offering proactive customer support. Additionally, it’s a well-known fact that great customer support is a key ingredient in building a loyal customer base.

Wrap up

Offering live chat on your website can boost your conversions. And the good news? You can even make your live chat better when you combine it with email marketing.

You get more of your email subscribers to participate in a live chat session and you get your live chat users to become email subscribers. It’s a win-win scenario, no matter the approach you adopt.

The digital age has opened up a lot of opportunities for brands to better reach and serve their customers. Chatbots are one such opportunity. As such, part of your duties as a marketer should include live chat and email management.

For more details on the state of digital marketing, particularly in relation to email, check out our digital marketing predictions for 2019.

This blog provides general information and discussion about email marketing and related subjects. The content provided in this blog ("Content”), should not be construed as and is not intended to constitute financial, legal or tax advice. You should seek the advice of professionals prior to acting upon any information contained in the Content. All Content is provided strictly “as is” and we make no warranty or representation of any kind regarding the Content.
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