The Comprehensive Guide to Chat Marketing

The digital marketing landscape is rapidly shifting. In an age of spam filters, ad blockers, and overly saturated social networks, it’s increasingly difficult to build and retain a dedicated audience online. At the same time, it’s more imperative than ever for brands to build a rapt digital audience — one that’s primarily mobile. After all, it’s estimated that, by 2021, mobile e-commerce will make up almost three quarters of e-commerce sales.

As experienced performance marketers, we know how crucial digital marketing is for driving e-commerce revenue. We understand that brands are looking to grow and retain an audience of repeat customers, and are seeking a full-funnel solution in order to do so.

Chat Marketing is that solution. In fact, it’s the only solution that is full-funnel, multichannel, and that vastly outperforms email and display ads.

But you might be wondering: what is Chat Marketing? Why is it such a massive opportunity for your brand? How exactly does it work? And how can you get started with Chat Marketing today?

We’re going to address these questions and more in this comprehensive guide to Chat Marketing. By the end of the guide, we aim to provide you with an understanding of what exactly Chat Marketing is, why it’s the fastest-growing digital marketing channel, and how it can help your brand increase revenue and drive performance over the long term.

Ready? Let’s do this.

What is Chat Marketing?

Chat Marketing is exactly what is sounds like: a marketing channel that connects brands with customers over messaging platforms like Messenger, SMS, and Google RBM. The brand involves the customer in direct, 1:1 conversation, which enables the brand to deliver hyper-personalized content like product recommendations, shipping notifications, targeted product launches, and more.

This is what a Chat Marketing conversation looks like:

At every stage of the customer lifecycle, the brand engages and re-engages their customer in a targeted, personalized, solutions-oriented way. Whether the customer has recently learned about the brand, they’re evaluating a purchase, they’ve recently made a purchase, or they’re six months post purchase, Chat Marketing enables the brand to stay top of mind throughout the entire funnel. That’s why it’s the optimal way to build lasting customer relationships throughout the purchasing journey. Reaching people at the most impactful points in their journey is the best way to increase revenue, conversions, opt-ins, and sales.

Why Chat Marketing

As we mentioned, we’re veteran performance marketers, which means we’ve worked with just about every digital channel out there, including display ads, email, and social media. These channels, once hugely successful, have fallen victim to their own success. Mobile ad blocking is increasing 90% each year, while 25% of emails that customers have opted into still go to spam. And social media, once touted as the great savior of digital marketing, is increasingly crowded and difficult to monetize.

Meanwhile, 60% of the most frequented apps are chat apps. And the numbers, when comparing Chat Marketing to other leading channels, speak for themselves:

  • Chat boasts 85% open rates, while email’s open rates are a meager 20%.
  • Chat’s engagement rates are consistently 40%, while display ads provide a mere 1% click-through rate.
  • Chat’s conversion rates are solidly 10%, while email ekes out 4% conversion rates.

In other words, Chat Marketing outperforms the next leading digital marketing channels by staggering numbers.

Furthermore, Chat Marketing is more reachable, more results driven, and more observable than any other channel. Given that it’s such a high-touch channel, it enables brands to build truly personalized, long-term relationships with customers, something that has, in the past, eluded e-commerce marketers. And since Chat Marketing is built on advanced AI that enables brands to deliver hyper-tailored messaging, brands have the opportunity to hugely impact their customers’ buying decisions. After all, as we mentioned, messaging people throughout the purchasing journey is the best way to increase revenue and inspire long-term loyalty.

Chat Marketing also enables brands to track revenue and customer behavior in a much more sophisticated way than any other channel. Since Chat Marketing utilizes first-party data and AI to personalize the customer experience, brands are able to gain a deeper understanding of which customer behaviors lead to revenue. They can also make more data-driven marketing decisions, since first-party data provides them with a more in-depth and reliable understanding of their customers than any other type of data.

How to Increase Your Revenue with Chat Marketing

Besides its dominance over every other digital marketing channel, Chat Marketing is such a potent channel because it enables brands to receive massive returns on their marketing spend. In fact, mobile messaging drives over 10x more revenue than email and display advertising.

Here’s how it works:

Chat Marketing helps brands build and retain a dedicated audience to sell to throughout the customer journey. Organic and paid conversation starters — ads, QR codes, links, widgets, Instagram ads, and more — enable brands to launch a chat conversation from anywhere. When a customer opts into a chat, the brand is part of their buddy list, alongside real-life family and friends. That means the brand is treated as a friend, immune to spam filters, ad blockers, and other means to stop non-friends from reaching people (looking at you, Facebook Newsfeed!).

Once a customer opts in, the brand can begin chatting with a customer immediately. These interactions are 1:1, direct, and automatically personalized based on data the chatbot collects and provides the brand. The conversation is two-way, meaning the brand or the customer can message each other at any time. That also means you can begin selling to your customers from the second they join your audience. By engaging them throughout their lifecycle, you stay top of mind throughout the funnel.

Staying top of mind throughout the funnel, whether a customer is new to your brand, considering a purchase, recently post-purchase, or considering an additional purchase, is crucial to inspiring long-term loyalty. With Chat Marketing, you never need to struggle to make incremental sales. It’s simply the next step in a more fluid sales funnel.

That’s because Chat Marketing conversations are built for e-commerce. One-click buy buttons, order updates, product recommendations, and other commerce-driven interactions drive revenue in a more targeted way. Abandoned cart messages on chat, for example, outperform abandoned cart emails by 3x. That’s why Chat Marketing helps you increase conversions by 150%. It’s really that effective.

That’s why Chat Marketing helps you increase conversions by 150%. It’s really that effective.

Say you’re an up-and-coming digital makeup brand looking to build and retain an online audience. By placing Starters on your website, on Instagram and Facebook ads, and placing QR codes on in-person locations, you begin to build a new audience you can message anytime. As your audience moves down the purchasing funnel, you send targeted product recommendations based on the first-party data you received from past interactions with a given customer. That enables you to understand what your customers want, and what might resonate with them in the future. You can message cart abandoners with impactful reminders they’ll actually receive, and entice them back to your site with discounts and offers.

After a customer makes a purchase, you can send them shipping notifications, product guides, and customer-satisfaction surveys. Then you can upsell and cross-sell them with suggested products based on previous purchases, coupon codes before the holidays, and timed refills on their favorite products.

A Better Way to Sell Online

Instead of paying for costly retargeting ads or sending endless ineffective emails, Chat Marketing automates your marketing, customer service, sales, and branding efforts. It’s easier and cheaper to generate leads, and the right Chat Marketing platforms enable you to send those leads directly to your CRM and e-commerce platforms.

That’s why Chat Marketing is a better way to sell. Since it’s primarily mobile, and since your customers spend the majority of their digital time on messaging apps, you have the opportunity to be where your customers already live. Furthermore, it’s more targeted, more data driven, and more personalized. It takes the guesswork out of online marketing, so brands can focus on what’s important: generating leads, selling more, and retaining customers.

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