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How to Use Chatbots to Improve Sales Automation

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How to Use Chatbots to Improve Sales Automation

Every business owner dreams of skyrocketing sales without doubling their workload. You want your sales process to be a well-oiled machine: potential customers pour in, conversions increase, and your team is free to focus on qualified leads.

But that’s not always the case. Too many brands struggle with sales automation for various reasons. In fact, only one in four companies has automated at least one sales process.

The good news is, for these struggling companies, there’s an easy way to improve sales automation. Enter chatbots.

These programs that ensure human-like conversations are effective, too. Businesses adopting automation in their sales processes witness significant growth, with reports showing an astonishing 67% increase in sales attributed directly to chatbot technology.

That said, here are five ways to improve sales automation with chatbots and exceed your sales goals.

1. Use Them for Lead Generation

Lead generation is the first step in building a robust sales pipeline. However, any seasoned salesperson will tell you that not every lead is a “good” or “quality” lead. Sifting through the masses to find those ready to engage or make a purchase is often a time-consuming and frustrating task.

That’s where chatbots come in: they enhance customer engagement by interacting with visitors the moment they land on your site.

Unlike traditional forms that passively wait for a visitor’s attention, chatbots like the one above actively initiate conversations, and encourage visitors to share information like contact details. Once this data is collected, you can use outreach tools to verify emails and maintain effective customer communication.

Chatbots are also equipped to qualify leads on the spot. Through a series of predefined questions, custom chatbots can assess a visitor’s needs, preferences, and readiness to buy.

2. Leverage Them for FAQs

Remember the last time you had a question about a product’s advanced features before you decided to buy? Did you enjoy digging through an endless FAQ page with common questions, or did you wish for a simpler, more direct way to find answers with a faster response time?

Faster assistance doesn’t necessarily mean putting in more human resources; AI-powered chatbots are a more cost-effective way to provide immediate and accurate responses, without the risk of human errors or the need for repetitive tasks.

When customers land on your website and type their questions into a chat window, they receive instant responses tailored to their needs. This personalized experience helps build credibility and trust in your service.

Chatbots also offer valuable insights, like what customers are asking about. This feedback will help you refine your FAQs and even product offerings, to suit your customers’ preferences and needs.

3. Automate Sales Funnel Navigation with Them

One of the trickiest parts of any sales process is sparking interest and actually crossing the finish line—closing a sale. Push too hard, and you risk scaring a lead away. If you’re too passive, you might lose them to your competitors.

So, why not seize the opportunity to improve sales automation with chatbots? You can automate your sales funnel navigation in a way that feels both personal and timely.

For instance, when a visitor looks at a specific product page, a chatbot can immediately jump in and offer relevant recommendations, comparisons, or even product demos and customer testimonials. Or they can offer better options that fit the potential customer’s criteria better. All this is meant to move them closer to a purchase.

This is exactly what Sephora’s Virtual Artist chatbot does.The powerful tool helps potential customers find a Sephora lipstick that matches the color they’re looking for. All potential customers need to do is upload a picture that contains their preferred color:

1711747563 961 How to Use Chatbots to Improve Sales Automation

Remember, though, that the effectiveness of your sales funnel isn’t solely reliant on chatbot interaction. The tools and platforms you use to build and manage these funnels are equally important. For instance, tools like Leadpages and other Leadpages alternatives can help you create high-converting landing pages and capture leads effectively. You also need customer relationship management tools like HubSpot to track interactions, personalize customer journeys, and ensure timely follow-ups.

All these combined will help ensure a boost in sales conversion rates, enhanced customer satisfaction, and improved retention rates.

4. Get Customer Feedback with Chatbots

Did you know that 95% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase? It’s an integral part of the buying process. You need to collect feedback on your products and showcase it on your marketing channels to get people to buy. You also need to get feedback on your customer experience. Companies that provide good customer experiences boost their sales at a rate that’s 4 to 8 percent higher than the average.

But traditional methods of gathering customer feedback—like sending out surveys via email or making direct calls—are not very efficient. This is where you can seize the opportunity to revolutionize feedback collection using AI.

With chatbots, customers don’t need to fill out lengthy forms or wait on the phone. They can share their thoughts and experiences directly through the chat interface, making the entire process feel seamless and unobtrusive.

1711747563 77 How to Use Chatbots to Improve Sales Automation

The above is an example of a chatbot collecting customer experience feedback on HostPapa

Moreover, these smart tools can sift through responses in real time, categorizing feedback into actionable insights. This means you can quickly spot trends, identify areas for improvement, and even catch minor problems before they turn into complex issues.

5. Use Them for Sales Performance Monitoring

Gone are the days when sales performance analysis was a monthly ordeal of spreadsheets and guesswork. With the advent of Artificial Intelligence, monitoring sales performance has taken a quantum leap forward.

Chatbots track interactions, conversions, and customer engagement in real time, offering data that can be used to gauge sales performance.

But they don’t stop at data collection and analysis. AI chatbots can help scale your business by alerting sales teams to areas requiring immediate attention.

For example, if a particular product is seeing higher-than-usual abandonment rates at the checkout stage, the chatbot can flag this issue in real time. This will allow the team to investigate and address any underlying issues promptly.

Moreover, chatbots can personalize performance feedback for individual sales reps. This data encourages sales representatives to set personal goals, experiment with new sales tactics, and continuously refine their approach based on real-time feedback.

Conclusion

There’s no denying that businesses can significantly improve sales automation with chatbots; the question has been “How?’’. While chatbots cannot take charge of the entire sales process, they help streamline the sales funnel navigation from the time a lead enters the funnel to the point of closing.

Chatbot solutions have also been instrumental in offering excellent customer service. They initiate proactive communication, can schedule appointments, respond to customer inquiries promptly, and offer personalized product recommendations, all leading to improved conversion rates and customer satisfaction.

Let’s not forget the invaluable data chatbot platforms can provide. The information helps identify common issues, and pinpoint areas for improvement. It also plays a crucial role in helping businesses refine their sales strategy to better meet customer preferences and needs.

What are you waiting for? Invest in AI-enabled chatbots and your sales team will reap the wide range of benefits they provide.

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples [2024 Update]

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YouTube Ad Specs, Sizes, and Examples

Introduction

With billions of users each month, YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and top website for video content. This makes it a great place for advertising. To succeed, advertisers need to follow the correct YouTube ad specifications. These rules help your ad reach more viewers, increasing the chance of gaining new customers and boosting brand awareness.

Types of YouTube Ads

Video Ads

  • Description: These play before, during, or after a YouTube video on computers or mobile devices.
  • Types:
    • In-stream ads: Can be skippable or non-skippable.
    • Bumper ads: Non-skippable, short ads that play before, during, or after a video.

Display Ads

  • Description: These appear in different spots on YouTube and usually use text or static images.
  • Note: YouTube does not support display image ads directly on its app, but these can be targeted to YouTube.com through Google Display Network (GDN).

Companion Banners

  • Description: Appears to the right of the YouTube player on desktop.
  • Requirement: Must be purchased alongside In-stream ads, Bumper ads, or In-feed ads.

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Resemble videos with images, headlines, and text. They link to a public or unlisted YouTube video.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that play outside of YouTube, on websites and apps within the Google video partner network.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: Premium, high-visibility banner ads displayed at the top of the YouTube homepage for both desktop and mobile users.

YouTube Ad Specs by Type

Skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Placement: Before, during, or after a YouTube video.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
    • Action: 15-20 seconds

Non-skippable In-stream Video Ads

  • Description: Must be watched completely before the main video.
  • Length: 15 seconds (or 20 seconds in certain markets).
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Vertical: 9:16
    • Square: 1:1

Bumper Ads

  • Length: Maximum 6 seconds.
  • File Format: MP4, Quicktime, AVI, ASF, Windows Media, or MPEG.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 640 x 360px
    • Vertical: 480 x 360px

In-feed Ads

  • Description: Show alongside YouTube content, like search results or the Home feed.
  • Resolution:
    • Horizontal: 1920 x 1080px
    • Vertical: 1080 x 1920px
    • Square: 1080 x 1080px
  • Aspect Ratio:
    • Horizontal: 16:9
    • Square: 1:1
  • Length:
    • Awareness: 15-20 seconds
    • Consideration: 2-3 minutes
  • Headline/Description:
    • Headline: Up to 2 lines, 40 characters per line
    • Description: Up to 2 lines, 35 characters per line

Display Ads

  • Description: Static images or animated media that appear on YouTube next to video suggestions, in search results, or on the homepage.
  • Image Size: 300×60 pixels.
  • File Type: GIF, JPG, PNG.
  • File Size: Max 150KB.
  • Max Animation Length: 30 seconds.

Outstream Ads

  • Description: Mobile-only video ads that appear on websites and apps within the Google video partner network, not on YouTube itself.
  • Logo Specs:
    • Square: 1:1 (200 x 200px).
    • File Type: JPG, GIF, PNG.
    • Max Size: 200KB.

Masthead Ads

  • Description: High-visibility ads at the top of the YouTube homepage.
  • Resolution: 1920 x 1080 or higher.
  • File Type: JPG or PNG (without transparency).

Conclusion

YouTube offers a variety of ad formats to reach audiences effectively in 2024. Whether you want to build brand awareness, drive conversions, or target specific demographics, YouTube provides a dynamic platform for your advertising needs. Always follow Google’s advertising policies and the technical ad specs to ensure your ads perform their best. Ready to start using YouTube ads? Contact us today to get started!

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Why We Are Always ‘Clicking to Buy’, According to Psychologists

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Why We Are Always 'Clicking to Buy', According to Psychologists

Amazon pillows.

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

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A deeper dive into data, personalization and Copilots

Salesforce launched a collection of new, generative AI-related products at Connections in Chicago this week. They included new Einstein Copilots for marketers and merchants and Einstein Personalization.

To better understand, not only the potential impact of the new products, but the evolving Salesforce architecture, we sat down with Bobby Jania, CMO, Marketing Cloud.

Dig deeper: Salesforce piles on the Einstein Copilots

Salesforce’s evolving architecture

It’s hard to deny that Salesforce likes coming up with new names for platforms and products (what happened to Customer 360?) and this can sometimes make the observer wonder if something is brand new, or old but with a brand new name. In particular, what exactly is Einstein 1 and how is it related to Salesforce Data Cloud?

“Data Cloud is built on the Einstein 1 platform,” Jania explained. “The Einstein 1 platform is our entire Salesforce platform and that includes products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud — that it includes the original idea of Salesforce not just being in the cloud, but being multi-tenancy.”

Data Cloud — not an acquisition, of course — was built natively on that platform. It was the first product built on Hyperforce, Salesforce’s new cloud infrastructure architecture. “Since Data Cloud was on what we now call the Einstein 1 platform from Day One, it has always natively connected to, and been able to read anything in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud [and so on]. On top of that, we can now bring in, not only structured but unstructured data.”

That’s a significant progression from the position, several years ago, when Salesforce had stitched together a platform around various acquisitions (ExactTarget, for example) that didn’t necessarily talk to each other.

“At times, what we would do is have a kind of behind-the-scenes flow where data from one product could be moved into another product,” said Jania, “but in many of those cases the data would then be in both, whereas now the data is in Data Cloud. Tableau will run natively off Data Cloud; Commerce Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud — they’re all going to the same operational customer profile.” They’re not copying the data from Data Cloud, Jania confirmed.

Another thing to know is tit’s possible for Salesforce customers to import their own datasets into Data Cloud. “We wanted to create a federated data model,” said Jania. “If you’re using Snowflake, for example, we more or less virtually sit on your data lake. The value we add is that we will look at all your data and help you form these operational customer profiles.”

Let’s learn more about Einstein Copilot

“Copilot means that I have an assistant with me in the tool where I need to be working that contextually knows what I am trying to do and helps me at every step of the process,” Jania said.

For marketers, this might begin with a campaign brief developed with Copilot’s assistance, the identification of an audience based on the brief, and then the development of email or other content. “What’s really cool is the idea of Einstein Studio where our customers will create actions [for Copilot] that we hadn’t even thought about.”

Here’s a key insight (back to nomenclature). We reported on Copilot for markets, Copilot for merchants, Copilot for shoppers. It turns out, however, that there is just one Copilot, Einstein Copilot, and these are use cases. “There’s just one Copilot, we just add these for a little clarity; we’re going to talk about marketing use cases, about shoppers’ use cases. These are actions for the marketing use cases we built out of the box; you can build your own.”

It’s surely going to take a little time for marketers to learn to work easily with Copilot. “There’s always time for adoption,” Jania agreed. “What is directly connected with this is, this is my ninth Connections and this one has the most hands-on training that I’ve seen since 2014 — and a lot of that is getting people using Data Cloud, using these tools rather than just being given a demo.”

What’s new about Einstein Personalization

Salesforce Einstein has been around since 2016 and many of the use cases seem to have involved personalization in various forms. What’s new?

“Einstein Personalization is a real-time decision engine and it’s going to choose next-best-action, next-best-offer. What is new is that it’s a service now that runs natively on top of Data Cloud.” A lot of real-time decision engines need their own set of data that might actually be a subset of data. “Einstein Personalization is going to look holistically at a customer and recommend a next-best-action that could be natively surfaced in Service Cloud, Sales Cloud or Marketing Cloud.”

Finally, trust

One feature of the presentations at Connections was the reassurance that, although public LLMs like ChatGPT could be selected for application to customer data, none of that data would be retained by the LLMs. Is this just a matter of written agreements? No, not just that, said Jania.

“In the Einstein Trust Layer, all of the data, when it connects to an LLM, runs through our gateway. If there was a prompt that had personally identifiable information — a credit card number, an email address — at a mimum, all that is stripped out. The LLMs do not store the output; we store the output for auditing back in Salesforce. Any output that comes back through our gateway is logged in our system; it runs through a toxicity model; and only at the end do we put PII data back into the answer. There are real pieces beyond a handshake that this data is safe.”

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