Chatbots vs Email Marketing: Which Is the Best for Your Business?


Establishing a good relationship with your customers is a crucial step in ensuring your business’ success. A good way to accomplish this is to show them you’re around when they need you, whether it’s to give them the latest updates about your brand or something as simple as answering questions about your products and services.

But paying attention to each and every one of your customers becomes more challenging the larger your clientele becomes. To ensure that nobody gets left out, you can turn to chatbots and email marketing, analyzing which works best for your business.

Chatbots: A Program You Can Talk To

A chatbot is a computer program that is capable of conversing with and responding to human users. The technology is relatively young, so its full potential is still being explored. Basic chatbots can provide preset responses to certain questions, often through an if-then approach, but advanced versions can provide more customized answers and solutions.

Suppose you want to buy something online. Traditionally, you’d have to browse through multiple product pages to find the item you need. With a chatbot, you can ask a question about your desired item and the program will take you directly to relevant product pages. It’s like having your very own shopping assistant.

Example of chatbots in action on mobile device
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There are many advantages to using chatbots, not only for your business, but also for your customers. Here are some of them:

Better customer service – At the end of the day, chatbots are all about improving user experience. A survey says that more than 80 percent of customers expect assistance during shopping – and they need it within five minutes. Chatbots are designed to provide fast, real-time assistance by offering content and links that your customers may access to find and purchase the products they need.

Higher Net Promoter Score (NPS) – NPS indicates the likelihood that your customers will promote your brand to their peers. One of its most important determiners is customer satisfaction. Many customers are delighted by a business’ quick response, even if their issue isn’t completely resolved. Prompt assistance makes them feel valued, so they become more likely to speak positively to their family and friends about your brand.

Easy and cheap maintenance – Chatbots are easy to configure according to your business’ unique needs. Maintaining them doesn’t require much effort and resources either. For instance, they don’t cost as much as paying one of your staff members to be available 24/7 to entertain and engage your customers.

Accurate consumer data monitoring – Chatbots do more than respond to your customers. They also collect feedback and other insights that you can use to improve your product or service. The data collected by chatbots can also help you monitor your customers’ needs, gauge interest in products and services or specific features, and boost the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

Example of chatbots in action on mobile device
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Time savings – You can use bots to send messages to all your clients at the same time. Even as a growing business, you probably have way more customers than you can send messages to manually within a day. A chatbot simplifies the process, saves you a lot of time, and ensures that messages are delivered when needed.

Compatibility with messenger apps – Nobody wants to download and install apps they’ll probably use once and won’t use again. This is why people usually stick to certain apps that get the job done. For instance, most people prefer to use popular messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and Viber instead of downloading new ones every so often.

Chatbots are highly compatible with most messenger apps, allowing you to send messages through the media your customers actually use. In fact, chatbots are compatible with most social networks, too, which means you can also use them to improve the effectiveness of your social media strategy.

Increased in-app purchases – If you offer products that your customers can purchase through messaging apps, you can use chatbots to encourage higher sales. Analyze your customers’ buying behavior and program your chatbots to take advantage of any trend or opportunity to sell.

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Email Marketing: It Still Works

Despite being around for decades, email remains to be a crucial communication channel, and the data proves it. For instance, people sent 1.8 million more emails in 2017 than they did in 2016. And in 2018, 281 billion emails were sent and received daily around the world.

The continued relevance of email marketing rests on its many advantages, which include the following:

Targeted messages thru segmented lists – It’s great to be able to reach out to a lot of people, but it’s even better if your messages reach those who actually need and are likely to respond to them. Email marketers can segment their lists to ensure that only those who meet certain criteria receive a particular message.

With a large number of emails an average person receives in a day, making sure your content is relevant to them is an excellent way to getting noticed in your customer inbox. This tactic is known to increase engagements, making it effective for purposes ranging from spreading awareness about your brand to being an effective tool to grow your ecommerce business with email marketing.

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Revenue growth– With the right subject line, dynamic content, and call-to-action, it’s possible to influence email readers to purchase your product. When paired with the right targeting strategy, email marketing can be one of the best tools to generate sales from impulse purchases.

Multi-device compatibility – People read their emails on multiple devices, which means you can reach your customers no matter what device they may use. Make sure you optimize your emails for all screens for the best results.

Message testing – Your email is only as good as its content, but it can be hard to create the perfect email on your first try. The good thing about email marketing is that you can send out several versions of the same email to test which ones are the most effective. The feedback you gain may be incorporated to your content marketing strategy to improve your outcomes moving forward.

Lead generation – Many of those who receive your emails won’t make a purchase, but that doesn’t mean your efforts are wasted. By using your succeeding emails to check on them or update them about your products, you can foster a relationship with these leads and eventually convert them into paying customers.

Relationship maintenance – Just because a purchase has been made doesn’t mean you relationship with your customer has ended. Using email, you can keep the relationship going. With the right push, you may turn a one-time buyer into a loyal customer who will stick to your brand long-term.

Email or Chatbots?

Now on to the big question: does your business need chatbots or email marketing more? Without a doubt, both email and chatbots have their strengths and weaknesses, requiring an analysis of which could help your business more.

Chatbots offers quick and highly personalized service to users. It is also entirely driven by consent – your customers absolutely won’t have to use it unless they choose to. Because of this, chatbots tend to generate higher click-through rates and conversion rates. To compare, emails have a CTR of only 4% on average, while chatbots generate up to a whopping 16%.

Chatbots are also not known to send spam messages, which tend to fill up email inboxes and annoy users. Because of this, customers are more likely to read messages you send them via messenger apps.

However, emails are a lot cheaper than chatbots. If you were to look at the two services in the market, you’d see that both of them actually have almost similar price points. The difference is that email, having been around longer, offers more choices in terms of providers. Some email services charge nothing up to a certain number of messages sent, meaning you can send out marketing assets without spending a single cent.

Messenger apps may be popular, but not everyone uses them. People older than 55 tend to use emails more than they do messenger apps. That said, chatbots are generally better for businesses with younger customers, but email marketing is able to reach out to customers of any age.

Chatbots are a developing technology and it is exciting how they will improve in the future. Email, on the other hand, seems like it isn’t going anywhere soon. Find out what each option’s strengths and limitations are and choose which one offers the most benefits to your business. Better yet, why don’t you use both?

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