Chatbots Vs Email - The Battle is on
By Arijit Banerjee
Marketers love chatbots. It’s easy to see why. From answering FAQs to tackling more complex tasks such as enabling personalization and advanced lead nurturing, chatbots are driving value for customers and businesses. Grand View Research estimates the chatbot market to increase at a CAGR of nearly 25% through 2025. In India, e-commerce companies, leading financial institutions, travel and hospitality firms have already begun implementing chatbots. This growing trend raises the question: does this mean the death of email marketing?
Let us explore three key marketing scenarios to help answer the question:
Chatbots offer a highly personalized form of interaction, enabling you to engage with your audience at a time and place convenient to them. This explains why chatbots have click-through rates averaging between 15%-60% while email CTRs average 4% at best. One of the biggest benefits of using a chatbot is it leaves the customer in control while giving you contextualized opportunities to nurture the prospect. It enables an instant two-way communication channel, unlike emails where the response is delayed. In India, chatbot development firms are working with linguistic specialists to develop applications that support vernacular conversations. The customer can ask questions to the bot and receive an immediate response in a one-to-one context. The result: deeper engagement and interactions based on their personal preference, making it easier to move them along the conversion funnel.
Lead generation and nurturing:
Chatbots work well in engaging with users and providing them with the information they are looking for. This makes them invaluable in generating and nurturing leads. For example, every time a customer visits your webpage, you can leverage chatbots to start a conversation with them. Chatbots enable you to gain insights on customer preferences, interests, content choices and so on while encouraging leads to subscribe to your newsletter. The insights gained via chatbots enable content/offering customization via emails, enabling even greater conversion. Tata Capital leveraged AI and bots to increase their lead gen by 600%.
Conversely, chatbots also help you interact with possible prospects from your email list and move conversations to the next level, helping qualify the leads from email campaigns. You can then send out highly relevant content to these leads based on the information gained from chatbot engagements, shortening the lead nurturing cycle and enabling faster conversions. So, in reality, chatbots and email marketing can complement each other for increased returns on investment.
Metrics and analytics:
Marketers have long preferred emails for direct marketing because of the depth of metrics they deliver on user engagement. Bots offer the same depth of insight and more, including impact and sentiment analytics. Chatbots can analyze huge data volumes to improve performance and chat flows over a period of time. 35% of Amazon’s consumer sales are estimated to come from ‘frequently bought together’ product recommendations made by Amazon’s chatbots. AI-driven metrics will continue to help improve both bot and email conversions in the future
In conclusion, both chatbots and emails are cost-effective, deliver targeted messages, and drive revenue. On the one hand, chatbots support immediate and highly customer-driven interactions. On the other, emails allow more in-depth content sharing and extensive engagement over a sustained and longer period of time with the user, enabling you to drip-feed content and nurture prospects across categories.
Emails continue to be the primary mode of contact for a large user base and they are also easy to share and forward, unlike chats. Chatbots are more likely to attract younger audiences while the more mature and older audience may still prefer email communication. Brands must keep all of these factors in mind while choosing their primary mode of communication. But the bottom line is: chatbots and email marketing feed into each other and can collectively drive better results than when used in isolation.