7 Strategies for Using a Chatbot in Lead Generation

Your sales strategy is the message, and chatbots are the messenger. To make sure it’s not shot in its digital foot, there are key ways to use a bot as part of your funnel.

Lead generation is a collaborative effort between the business and the mediums it uses to communicate its message. From word of mouth, newspaper classifieds and commercials to YouTube ads and Facebook campaigns, lead generation has evolved with the times.

How chatbots help in lead generation

Chatbots instantly connect with your customers. And not just to greet them and forward their request to an agent, but to offer meaningful assistance.

Instead of solely relying on copy to appeal to customers, you can now use conversational AI to build relationships and trust. Bots proactively guide site visitors through your sales funnel by appealing to their pain points, making recommendations, getting them on your email list and helping you nurture the customer over time.

Sales funnel infographic
A chatbot can help with each step of your lead generation funnel.

If you want to meet more customers on your website, keep reading to find out how you can use a lead generation chatbot to stoke interest and generate valuable prospects.

  1. What are lead generation chatbots?
  2. Skip the queue system and help customers instantly
  3. Keep the welcome message short and interesting
  4. Make personalized suggestions
  5. Collect user data in a non-suspicious way
  6. Retarget visitors who have engaged with your brand
  7. Talk to customers in their native language
  8. Follow-up with customers and show you remember them
  9. Best no-code lead generation chatbot

What are lead generation chatbots?

A lead generation chatbot is an artificial intelligence-based bot designed to initiate conversations with customers to build interest in your business and products/services. The chatbot uses conversational marketing to collect contact details and share information relevant to the customer’s request.

Some benefits of using a chatbot as part of your lead generation process are:

  • Helps you better understand and segment your target audience: Through conversation, chatbots learn who the customer is and what they are looking for and why, which helps filter them into the appropriate sales funnels. This helps retain your lead by providing service tailored to their specific needs.
  • Builds brand visibility and awareness: Chatbots help educate customers by proactively presenting and explaining your business offerings. Plus they’re great for initiating conversation or answering questions about your business across channels and mediums. Customers don’t have to look far for answers or an overview.

  • AI chatbot talks to customers on their favorite messaging channels, such as WhatsApp
    Userlike’s AI chatbot lets you use interactive features such as a WhatsApp catalog and button options to highlight certain products or offerings.
  • Takes over tedious tasks: Instead of solely relying on contact forms and FAQ pages, chatbots can make registration processes and asking questions a conversational affair. If customers need to check the status of an order or file a claim, they can do so with a chatbot.

  • Keeps customers from leaving your website: Chatbots help capture the attention of visitors at the most crucial moments: when they first visit your site, when they start searching your FAQ for an answer and at checkout. A proficient bot jumps in to assist, giving your potential customers few reasons to leave. Help is always right there.

If you’re ready to implement a chatbot as part of your lead generation strategy, here are the best methods.

Skip the queue system and help customers instantly

In lead generation, how quickly you respond to customers matters. Good thing speed is one of a chatbot’s special powers.

Chatbots can proactively approach your customers or reply the second a customer initiates a chat. Not only does this reduce your risk of losing a sale, but it shows customers that you’re actively trying to help them and don’t expect them to wait.

Even if a customer prefers to speak to a human agent, using a chatbot keeps your visitors from having to search your site wondering how to contact your team. According to our consumer chatbot perceptions survey, your customers are happy to speak to a chatbot first in order to be transferred to an agent. Your chatbot can use this opportunity to collect the visitor’s contact information and start building a profile.

Want instant customer profiles for your agents? Userlike generates them as soon as you have the customer’s email. You can then see their location, public social media and more.

Keep the welcome message short and interesting

Breaking the ice with your customers is a crucial first step in the lead generation process. It can make or break your efforts: if it’s too overwhelming, you risk annoying your customer. Too boring, they won’t click.

With your opt-in message, we recommend keeping it concise. Have the chatbot introduce itself and inquire about the customer’s visit. For example, “Hi, I’m Byte, the Really Great Tech Store’s chatbot. I can answer questions and do certain tasks. What can I help you with today?”

If your chatbot is meant to greet customers who find your website through a campaign, then make sure to reassure customers they’re in the right spot, “Thanks for your interest in (campaign name)! Have a look around and I’ll help you along the way.”

We recommend that your chatbot sticks to your business’ defined customer communication voice to keep service consistent. However, depending on the chatbot use case, you can switch up its tone to fit the customer’s unique situation or journey.

You can also use button or carousel options for attractive, easy navigation. This saves customers having to type their request and may help them discover interesting products or services they wouldn’t have otherwise searched for.

Example image of Userlike's carousel feature
Userlike offers button and carousel options to use with your chatbot.

Don’t feel pressured to be funny or entertaining in this first message. Though we recommend giving your chatbot a persona to help develop its script, your welcome message should aim to be helpful to increase your CTR chances.

Once customers get over the intro hurdle, keep their attention with a healthy dose of wit and cleverness — if it fits your brand.

Make personalized suggestions

Chatbots help guide the customer through your sales funnel, also known as lead nurturing. Personalization makes this process more effective since you can learn and appeal to customers’ pain points through conversations with your chatbot.

According to Anna Jankowska for Forbes, “Until you know the other party and their needs well enough, you will not be able to provide value.” Lately, customers are not in a rush to buy. If anything, they’re looking where they can save or cut costs. Chatbots are your tool for learning what your customers truly need in order to make proper suggestions, establish trust and initiate a sale.

If you design a chatbot that’s meant to provide near agent-level assistance, then it’s important to plan conversation flows for a variety of topics. Then it can respond to customer requests more accurately.

Of course, when designing your chatbot it can be difficult to cover all possible ground. It’s better to use a self-learning solution that grows on its own based on customer conversations.

For example, Userlike’s AI Automation Hub is connected to a central knowledge base and is ready to chat immediately. You customize this knowledge base with your company data and it self-improves from each chatbot and FAQ page interaction.

Userlike's AI chatbot chats with users on their favorite channels such as WhatsApp
Reach your customers on their favorite channels and improve your service from chats.

Learning from conversations helps you stay one step ahead of customers and avoid misunderstandings and frustration in the future.

Your lead generation chatbot can also help with lead segmentation by filtering the visitor into the appropriate “bucket” to continue their buyer journey. It does this according to the keywords it understood during the conversation, customizing the funnel to the individual on the fly.

To learn more, read our post, “4 steps for creating compelling chatbot funnels.”

Collect user data in a non-suspicious way

Customers who land on your website want something from you. It could be a follow-up to your campaign promise in your ads, a blog article about a topic they’re interested in or a great deal on a product you provide.

But customers also have something you want: their contact info. Chatbots can bridge this exchange by offering relevant lead magnets (whitepapers, e-books, webinars) in exchange for their email.

Those who sign up help filter out your target audience. These are the potential leads your chatbot generated for further nurturing.

If a customer isn’t interested in lead magnets but has questions about a specific product or service, your chatbot can gradually collect information throughout the conversation. For example, your chatbot can ask for the person’s name and email at the beginning of the chat, and later ask about their industry, budget and team size to help tailor their suggestions.

But don’t ask for too much all at once — according to Harvard Business Review, customers will only likely share more information if you gain their trust over time and provide value in return for their data.

To maintain transparency, let the customer know what you’re using their information for. For example, just in case the chatbot needs to forward their request so an agent can help further.

MongoDB's chatbot giving a transparent message
MongoDB’s MBot tells customers immediately why it’s asking for their contact information.

You can also reassure customers about your data use by including button options below the bot’s contact info request that say “why do you need my info” or “what will you do with my data” so the chatbot can answer any questions they may have or redirect them to your data privacy page.

Retarget visitors who have engaged with your brand

Effective lead generation is a combination of many different techniques and actions. Chatbots naturally complement whatever strategy your business is already using.

For example, your site visitor didn’t convert the first time around but your chatbot managed to collect their name and email. You can use your email marketing to help move them down the funnel by providing something of value in your email, like videos, alerts about new blog posts or free webinars.

23andme's FAQ page and chatbot
23andMe’s abandoned cart email links to their customer support page where you are greeted by a chatbot.

If you’re interested in a Facebook chatbot, you can use them to re-engage users who visited your business page and clicked through to your website, but didn’t convert. Your chatbot can then greet repeat visitors with a message like, “Glad you found us again! Here’s some recommendations for you: (button options).”

This shows you remember the customer and they don’t need to go through the same conversation steps again.

Facebook retargeting post
DM Lab used their Facebook bot to target customers who visited their page but didn’t convert.

In lead generation, chatbots are a part of your efforts to influence customers’ perception of your company, address their needs and convince them of the value of purchasing from you. And this can start with a simple targeted message.

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Talk to customers in their native language

If your company has customers all over the world, speaking to them in their native language will give you an edge in lead generation.

Thanks to sophisticated translation software like DeepL, it’s now possible to speak another language online with accuracy. DeepL’s neural networks are able to capture slight nuances and reuse them in translation.

Graphs showing DeepL's translation accuracy compared to other major platforms
DeepL’s translation accuracy in comparison to other big name platforms.

That’s why we added DeepL to Userlike. Not just because they’re fellow Cologne, Germany natives, but because we appreciate and trust the accuracy of their translation service. Our agents and chatbot can easily switch to the customer’s native language and build the relationship.

Our AI chatbot is connected to our software and can be used with DeepL. We wanted to give customers the ability to reach more customers and not have to worry about awkward, unclear exchanges.

Follow-up with customers and show you remember them

Chatbots help with relating to your customers on a personal level and giving your brand a persona. If a visitor actively participates in conversation with your bot, it’s a sign of interest in your company. They are worth nurturing, especially if the connection is “lost” at any point.

Userlike's star rating system

Chances are high this visitor will convert to a customer, so it’s important to make follow-ups with your bot a part of your lead generation efforts.

For example, during the conversation your bot can trigger a message after five or so minutes of inactivity. It can ask if the customer needs more help, an aspect of good conversational UI.

If the customer doesn’t respond, Userlike makes it possible for the chatbot to mark the conversation as finished and gives the visitor a chance to rate their conversation.

If you collected their email, send them a feedback form as your follow-up action. It could include a link to jump back into the chat or links to educational materials on your website.

Best no-code lead generation chatbot

Name a better customer service duo than messaging and chatbots. At Userlike, we wanted to make it easier to have live chat and a chatbot without having to build it elsewhere.

Our AI chatbot is connected to our software and functions as an active member of your team: it can greet customers, answer questions with human-level accuracy and navigate visitors through your sales funnel.

Screenshot of Userlike's chatbot page

It’s a part of our AI Automation Hub, which is a collection of three modules connected to a central knowledge base: an AI chatbot, Smart FAQ and Contact Form Suggestions.

It’s self-learning software that you can implement without a developer. That means anyone on your team can create a chatbot or FAQ page and put it online without ever having to touch a single line of code.

Smart FAQ self-service portal for customers
Create responsive no-code self-service FAQ pages.

If you’re interested in learning more about how you can generate more leads using our AI chatbot and automation suite, start a chat on our website to talk to a member of our team. And while you’re here, be sure to sign up for our free 14-day trial to take a look at our customer messaging software — no credit card needed.