Lead generation is the process of acquiring potential prospects for your business, who you can then go on to build relationships with and convert into customers. Many marketers use opt-in forms to generate leads from a website, such as giving a free download in exchange for an email address. This method used to be highly effective when done right, however, they are now arguably overused. Consumers are getting good at switching off from adverts and pop ups, and sometimes they just want a direct answer, rather than a free guide.
This is why marketers are beginning to see the huge potential proactive live chat has in lead generation. This tool can trigger chat invitations to website visitors while they’re browsing, inviting them to engage with the business. These chat pop ups can be configured to ask visitors targeted questions relating to what they’re currently doing on the website. For example, a chat could pop up that reads “Hey, would you like help choosing a new hat?” while a visitor is browsing that hat category of your eCommerce store. This is a much more targeted and personalised approach to lead generation, and consumers are receptive to it.
Why is proactive live chat so effective in lead generation?
Consumers value convenience
More and more brick and mortar stores are going under, thanks to the likes of eCommerce giants such as Amazon. This is mostly due to the fact that its more convenient to shop online, where items can be ordered with the click of a button, and delivered directly to your front door. The more convenient it is to engage with a business or buy online, the more likely we are to convert. Indeed, e-tailing reported that 45% of consumers prefer live chat over other communication channels because it’s convenient and allows them to multi-task.
Consumers value real-time conversation
Let’s look at some statistics:
- 52% of customers have abandoned a purchase because they couldn’t get an answer quickly enough.
- 44% say that having questions answered live is one of the most important features a website can have.
- 79% said they prefer live chat over other communication methods because they felt their questions were answered immediately.
These stats demonstrate that consumers value fast, real-time communication. People are busy – and often impatient – meaning they want immediate answers. Failure at providing this will likely result in the customer moving on to a competitor, instead. Live chat allows the business to respond instantly, so any questions or concerns can be addressed in real-time.
Consumers don’t always like to make the first move
We’ve found that 60-85% of live chats are generated from proactively inviting the website visitor, compared to them manually clicking to start a chat themselves. This is due in part to the fact that many consumers don’t like to make the first move – perhaps they feel that their question isn’t important enough, or that they may have to wait too long for a reply. Either way, proactively reaching out to the website visitor lets them know that support is available right now, and this massively increases the chance of them engaging back.
How can proactive live chat be used to capture leads?
Engage website visitors in conversation while they’re browsing
Proactive live chat allows businesses to proactively engage with website visitors while they’re browsing. Once your proactive message has caused the website visitor to engage back, you have the opportunity to capture that visitor as a lead. Be sure to ask them for an email address early on in the conversation, so that if the website visitor leaves without making a purchase, you’re able to follow up.
You may not even need to follow up leads after chatting with them, as many consumers will convert there and then. Studies show that those who engage in live chat with a business are three times more likely to convert, and 38% of consumers said they went through with a purchase because of the chat session. Live chat builds a relationship between business and customer right from the start, giving the business the opportunity to help the customer feel confident in making a purchase.
Proactive technology allows you to send highly targeted chat invites
To increase your chances of generating a lead through proactive live chat, you can target specific types of website visitor with specific messages. Proactive technology enables you to set up triggers, which will trigger to website visitors who fall into a set condition.
- Leads who came from a specific email campaign
- Leads who clicked on a specific Facebook ad
- Leads who clicked on a specific Google ad
- Leads who have visited your website before
- Leads who are currently on the checkout page
Customising chat invitations in this way increases the chance of that website visitor engaging back – it feels personalised to their current situation and is relevant to them. Through testing at Handlr, we’ve found that asking direct questions such as “would you like a quote?” generates higher responses than general questions like “is there anything I can help you with?”
Live chat enables you to capture leads outside of business operating hours
Proactive live chat software also allows you to configure an “offline form.” This means that when you’re offline and not available to chat, your website visitors are given the option to fill in this offline form, instead. This can ask for criteria such as a name, email address and a message, so that you’re able to follow up that lead once you’re available. This just provides another option for contact, which many consumers may prefer over sending an email.