Marketing Bots vs. In-App Video Chat: Which to Choose? Sarah Chan Rejante February 16, 2023
"Hi there! How can I help?"
You're thinking about changing your phone plan and your provider's website has just prompted you to start a chat on Facebook messenger.
Three response buttons appear below the message. You select one: "Change phone plan."
"Great! Let me show you a few options."
You're taken through a series of automated questions and answers before finally settling on your perfect package. You make your payment and exit the browser, satisfied with your purchase, without ever needing to speak to a human.
That's right. Your entire experience wasn't facilitated by a customer service representative, but rather by a program! A chatbot, to be exact.
Don't worry, robots aren't coming for our jobs quite yet. Many of these conversations may start with a chatbot, but eventually redirect customers to a human who can better assist them with their needs.
Conversely, there are situations where a human alternative and a conversational growth strategy would be a better fit for your business.
Today, we'll take you through the in's and out's of marketing bots and compare them with their human alternative—in-app video chat.
Read on if you're looking to use marketing chatbots or in-app video chat tools in your digital marketing strategy.
What is chatbot marketing?
Chatbot marketing utilizes chatbots to perform various marketing activities, including communicating with website visitors and taking customers through the various stages of the customer journey.
Having the power to automate conversations that would otherwise be repetitive and time-consuming can be convenient for both business owners and customers.
Chatbots—also referred to as conversational bots, marketing bots, business bots, messenger bots, etc.—are computer programs that are designed to simulate human conversation, either through voice commands or text chats (or both).
Chatbots allow you to automate conversations from start to finish by asking a series of questions in order to determine a customer's needs. Here's an example of Microsoft's marketing chatbot in action:
Image. Microsoft Chatbot Conversation, February 12, 2023
This chatbot isn't programmed to serve the customer until the point of purchase. Instead, the customer is able to choose how they would like to be contacted by a live agent.
Most chatbots are programmed to respond the same way every time, using conversation trees that are built by predicting every possible customer response. More sophisticated marketing bots are able to engage in an adaptable way using artificial intelligence and machine learning.
More advanced chatbots can also build on existing customer data in order to provide a personalized experience, upsell and recommend products or services for future purchases, and share relevant information that may be useful to them.
To learn more about how to implement a chatbot marketing tool on your website, check out this informative guide by Hubspot:
What are the benefits of chatbot marketing?
Gartner forecasts that by 2027, a quarter of all businesses will use chatbots as the main way to provide customer service.
Today, a large percentage of organizations include some form of chatbot or marketing bot on their website or social media account, and this percentage is only growing.
1. They simplify the sales process through automation
Chatbots are ideal for businesses looking to automate repetitive processes in the customer journey. This can include determining customer needs prior to redirecting customers to the appropriate sales rep, facilitating basic and recurring customer queries, and gauging customer satisfaction after interactions. This, in turn, saves time for both parties and streamlines resources for your business.
2. They are cost-effective
Chatbot marketing is not a one-time investment. The initial startup costs to create chatbots can range from $0 to upwards of $10,000, potentially even more, depending on the complexity you're looking for. There are many chatbot providers offering monthly subscription services, some of which are free (with limitations) and offer various levels of customization. Premium features, such as machine learning, unlimited visitor reach, and analytics, will run your monthly bill up into the $100's and $1,000's range, but will provide a higher value. If you'd prefer a more exclusive, custom platform, you could also choose to build your chatbot in-house or hire an agency.
3. They are available 24/7
Regardless of your office hours, you can rest easy knowing your current and potential customers are being taken care of anytime and anywhere. With the use of chatbot technology, users can access a wide variety of your business' services without having to wait.
Where, when, and why should I use chatbot marketing?
Chatbots can be embedded in a website or redirect to a social messaging app such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram Direct Messages, Twitter Direct Messages, and even WhatsApp. They can also integrate with a number of other desktop and mobile apps, such as Gmail, Google Calendar, Salesforce, and more.
If you're looking to scale your marketing efforts, it's important to consider whether automation is right for your marketing strategy. Chatbot marketing can work for any sized company in any industry, but they are best used for simple, repetitive tasks. The more complex the need is, the better suited to a human it will be.
You should also consider your audience. There's no hiding the fact that conversational bots aren't exactly completely conversational. Even with recent advances in machine learning, such as ChatGPT, it's nearly impossible to mask the robotic-ness of a marketing bot. Bots still lack personality, humor, and emotions—the qualities that make us human!
What are the most popular chatbot apps?
For more information on the top marketing chatbots, check out this article on the top Intercom alternatives in 2023.
What is in-app video chat?
A study done by PwC shows that 75% of people would prefer to interact with a real person, even as technology improves.
In-app video chat technology adds a human touch to the sales process by connecting potential customers with live sales reps or customer support agents.
Similar to a chatbot, users are prompted to start a conversation through a pop-up notification or button. Instead of having the conversation through a messenger platform, however, in-app video chat provides a face-to-face experience through a video call.
Currently, Glass.io is the only service that provides instant, in-app video and voice conversations.
What are the benefits of in-app video chat?
In-app video chat marketing is most ideal for businesses looking to connect directly with their customer base. Additionally, in-app video chat is a good fit for businesses looking to provide a human touch at critical revenue points (evaluating a purchase, booking a demo, post-signup setup, and concierge onboarding).
1. Just as cost-effective as chatbot marketing
Similarly to chatbots, your initial startup costs will include an annual subscription cost in the several hundred to several thousand dollar range. If you leverage your existing marketing team or sales team to answer calls, you can reduce personnel costs and simplify your sales process by reducing the amount of time needed to generate and qualify leads.
2. Provides a more personalized experience
Have you ever started a conversation with a bot that couldn't comprehend your request, no matter how you phrased it? There's no masking the benefits of the intuitive, inquisitive and interpersonal nature of real human interaction. This is especially true later in the sales funnel where relationship-building is an asset when you're working towards a deal. Your employees will have a more in-depth knowledge base and be able to address even the most complex customer needs.
3. Delivers higher response rates than bots and email outreach
Glass.io early access customers are seeing response rates that far exceed traditional communication channels. For example, the average response rate for post-signup customers via Glass.io is 30% versus less than 5% via email and chat bots. Why is the response higher? Human operators are able to provide more relevant greetings (they can view the web visitor’s screen in realtime), engage when they have a visitor’s attention, and provide the type of high-fidelity communication previously only possible using Zoom + Slack right on your website.
Where, when, and why should I use in-app video chat?
In-app video chat tools are best used on your business' website—they don't integrate well into social media platforms. The purpose of in-app video chat is to reach potential customers who are already familiar with your brand and product or service in order to move them further down the sales funnel.
In-app video chat tools allow you to jump in at any point in customer journeys, so long as the customer is on your website. Through face-to-face interaction, your sales team can build meaningful relationships with potential customers, identify possible obstacles and help them as they make their buying decision.
Which in-app video chat tool should I use?
In-app video chat tools are a great way to plug your leaky sales pipeline. If you're looking to get the most value out of your customer interactions and reach more qualified leads, you may want to try Glass.io.
Instead of sending your website visitors repetitive messages through marketing chatbots, Glass.io allows you to connect with customers in a more authentic way by connecting them directly to a live agent.
Your people know your customers best. Glass.io helps you leverage that personal touch through intuitive technology so you can reach the most qualified leads faster without sacrificing the quality of conversations.
How are marketing bots different from in-app video chat?
Marketing bots and in-app video chat are both great marketing strategies with similar benefits. For example, both tools share numerous capabilities including the ability to nurture leads, improve lead generation, book meetings and upsell users.
The most obvious difference between the two is the amount of human intervention needed. A chatbot marketing strategy is less reliant on human interaction and more focused on marketing automation. Repetitive marketing tasks are completed by robots, and marketing teams are only involved when more complex issues arise.
In-app video chat's end goal is to connect the most qualified leads with the right person to address their needs. More often than not, especially in customer service situations, people are faced with issues that bots may not be programmed to address. Unlike bot marketing, in-app video chat leverages real humans to eliminate the frustration of miscommunication.
There are many reasons why your business can benefit from using in-app video chat tools or marketing chatbots. Deciding which is right for you will depend on whether your end goal is to automate and streamline your marketing tasks or build lasting, meaningful connections with your leads.
As you evaluate your business' needs, consider how either strategy will impact the other tactics in your marketing strategy and which option would best resonate with your audiences.
Sarah Chan Rejante is a digital marketer and social media coordinator based in Toronto, Canada. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations from Humber College and is passionate about marketing and getting in front of customers in the right way.
With Glass.io, you can reach across the screen and help visitors make a buy decision. See exactly how visitors use your website in realtime, trigger a notification to the right sales rep when they show buying intent, and start a personalized conversation (chat or video) at the perfect moment.
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