Chatbots Are Changing the South African Marketing Environment

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Although most of us have now interacted with a chatbot at least once, most people in South Africa don’t even know that they have engaged with a chatbot. Facebook and WhatsApp are commonplace on most South African owned smartphones, and chatbots can start a conversation with a single notification. Did we mention the 80-90% open rates when people do receive that chatbot notification? That’s a mighty impressive result!

 

Automate Lead Capturing With a Chatbot

Getting a foot in the door is step one when a new customer arrives. In most cases, it probably cost you some marketing budget to get that potential customer through the door in the first place. Ideally, they actually convert into a paying customer. Since you paid to get the people there, wouldn’t it be great if the potential customer gave you their contact details so that you could get them into the marketing funnel? That way, even if they don’t make a purchase today, at least you can make sure they come to you when they do make their desired purchase.

Running Google Ad campaigns, Facebook and Instagram ads can all drive more customers to your physical location or website, but how do you get their contact details once they are there? Traditionally, websites have an email contact or capture forms. An email address was the lead to have, but email open rates have dropped to below 10%. On the other hand, chatbots have not only proven to be a great way to capture leads, but the effective use of chatbots has led to 80-90% open rates on messages sent to subscribers and even click-rates as high as 50% in communications sent to subscribers.

Just like email, chatbots can be automated but chatbots are much more intuitive than an email autoresponder could ever be.

 

Facebook Chatbots in South Africa

The use of Facebook chatbots is nothing new, internationally anyway. Locally, food brands like Lancewood Cheese and Knorr have been effectively using Facebook chatbots to capture leads. ABSA bank uses chatbot technology for its ChatBanking on Facebook and WhatsApp. With ABSA’s ChatBanking chatbot, technology facilitates getting you bank balance, buying electricity, purchasing airtime and mobile data, or to even make payments.

Thanks to how flexible chatbots are, they can be put to use in any lead capturing or marketing campaign. From banking to the food industry and even restaurants, chatbots can increase conversion for any business.

 

Consumers Want To Engage With Chatbots

Trust is crucial to us, as a species. Not only in human relationships but also when we decide where to spend our hard earned money. Once you trust a brand or service provider it’s much easier to keep buying from an establishment you trust. As a business owner, you can gain the trust of potential customers by providing them with something of value. A free hotdog or factual information that will help a potential customer with a problem is a great value proposition, and people will happily engage with a chatbot to get that information or that free hotdog.

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Offering a free hotdog is an easy way to get customers to your physical location. To get the free hotdog the potential customer needs to scan a QR code. That starts a conversation with a chatbot which will give them their voucher for their free hotdog. The chatbot can also be used to capture leads that will automatically go into your lead management system. Not only do you now have the lead, but you have also built trust. An hour or two after the potential customer has visited your physical location for their free hotdog, the chatbot can check in with the potential customer and offer them a special or a discount on their next visit. A chatbot offers a simple yet effective way for a restaurant to get return customers. A car dealership can use the same chatbot to get potential customers to the dealership and to capture their contact details once they are there.

Early Chatbot Adopters in South Africa Will Gain the Most

If you started with email marketing 20 years ago, the ROI was extremely high. As time went on, more effective marketing channels came to be (people also started ignoring marketing emails) and chatbots are the latest marketing pioneer that will yield high returns, especially for those who get on board early.

Increase your marketing ROI and lead acquisition with a chatbot, contact us today for a consultation so we can discuss how a chatbot can work for your business.