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Conversational Marketing Strategy: Replace Forms with Conversations

Blog • Jan 3, 2024 2:13:04 PM • Written by: Kristine Hsu

The “Old” Way: “First, marketing teams publish free, short-form content, like blog posts, driving as much traffic to those posts as possible. Then, they add calls-to-action (CTAs) to those blog posts that drive people to landing pages that house longer-form, gated content, like ebooks”.

If this is your company’s current marketing strategy, you should read on. 

What is Conversational Marketing?

What is wrong with your website?

Solutions: Fix your Website

How to ask Qualifying Questions?

Success Case: Nestlé Coffee

Surprise! This is all from a book

What is Conversational Marketing?

“Conversational marketing and sales is the process of having real-time, one-to-one conversations in order to capture, qualify, and connect with your best leads”.

Before customers only look for Product, Brand, and Service:

  • What they’re buying (product)
  • Who they’re buying it from (brand)
  • How they’re able to buy (service)

Now, they care about the buying process itself. If it is taking them too long to purchase the product, they are going to your competitor.

What is wrong with your website?

Data shows that:

  • “the average conversion rate for landing pages these days is just 2.35%, according to Search Engine Land.”
  • “81% of tech buyers don’t fill out forms when they encounter gated content—they’d rather go look for that information elsewhere than go through the hassle of filling out a form”
  • “After ten minutes, there’s a 400% drop in the odds of qualifying the lead… 90% of companies failed to respond to sales inquiries within that five-minute sweet spot”

Problem 1: Forms are not effective

  • Companies are making it overly complicated for potential customers by asking interested customers to fill out forms and wait.
  • Tech buyers are losing faith that they will get a reply by filling out forms.
  • Companies are asking interested customers to share personal information in exchange for “exclusive” content and or sales representative’s time that they can receive elsewhere.
  • Companies don’t respond to leads fast enough.

Problem 2: Messaging is the new way of communication

  • “By 2016, 90% of global consumers expected to be able to talk to businesses via messaging, according to a study from Twilio.”

Solutions: Fix your Website

  • Implement a messaging or “live chat” tool to your website with a welcome message that tells people you are available.
  • Use AI chatbots to provide 24/7 services.
  • Replace forms with CTAs that initiate AI “live chat” tool.


9 Steps to Fix your Website:

1. Get rid of forms. Or, keep the forms, but also offer customers an ****option to chat through messaging.

2. Insert chatbots on every page. Then once you know which pages have high traffic, target those high-intent pages(ex. pricing page) to filter customers.

3. Add a messaging widget to your website and customize the color and icon style to fit into your website.

4. Integrate tools with messaging:

  • Team Collaboration Tools (Slack): Respond to website visitors directly within Slack, instead of having to access a second portal to have conversations with website visitors.
  • CRM (Salesforce): New contact records can be created automatically for leads you generate through messaging without changing any of the structures or workflows you’ve already built.
  • Marketing Automation Tools (Hubspot)
  • Analytics Tools (Google Analytics): Review the performance of messaging alongside the performance of the channels you’ve already been measuring.

5. Put up an effective welcome message: ask a question, be succinct, and have fun with it.
6. Set Expectations with online / offline hours

  • Ex. during offline hours, you can have an away message appear.
  • Write an effective away message: be honest, encourage visitors to ask a question, and don't forget to ask for an email address.
7. Show your face to make messaging a more trustworthy channel.
8. Create Separate Inboxes for Sales, Support, Success, Etc.
  • Assign those best equipped to help.
9. Ask Qualifying Questions!

How to ask Qualifying Questions?

Specific Step-by-Step Guide:

  • Greeting
  • Let them know you’re human (if you are)
  • Question 1: What brought you here?
  • Question 2: Who are you? / What company do you represent?
  • Question 3: How are you thinking about using our product?
  • Call-to-action: Book a demo. / Get in touch with a human.
  • If a lead doesn’t qualify, you can say, “Sorry, we don’t think our product is a good fit for you at the moment.” While the leads that do qualify can be sent to the right sales rep or the right sales rep’s calendar.

Tips on Writing Effective Qualifying Questions:

  • Avoid asking closed questions
  • Avoid following a script
  • Be authentic

List of Common Qualifying Questions:

  • “What brought you here today?”
  • “Why’d you decide to sign up?”
  • “What are you hoping to accomplish?”
  • “What specific goals are you trying to hit?”
  • “What tools/products/services are you currently using to hit these goals?”

Success Case: Nestlé Coffee

Nestlé Coffee previously organized a tasting event themed "Discover Your Destiny Drip Coffee." When customers joined the LINE Official Account and clicked on the graphic menu block, an automatic "Register for Tasting Now" message would appear. Triggering keywords prompted automated responses, enabling the Nestlé official account to guide customers through selecting their preferred flavors step by step through messages. Finally, product information was provided, allowing customers to decide whether to "match" or make a new selection. This entire sequence of interactions utilized the automatic response feature on LINE, concurrently collecting tags and efficiently fostering interaction to establish customer profiles.

The average open rate for segmented broadcasts for tasting events was 70%.

Surprise! This is all from a book

Ideas and quotes in this article are taken from the book, Conversational Marketing: How the World's Fastest Growing Companies Use Chatbots to Generate Leads 24/7/365 (and How You Can Too), by Dave Gerhardt and David Cancel. This book contains specific details on how you can improve your conversational marketing game, including multiple real-life examples with top Fortune 500 companies.

David Cancel is currently the Executive Chairman at Drift, and he has previously worked for multiple software companies such as HubSpot, Performable, Ghostery, and Compete. One can say he is a master in marketing for B2B and Saas.


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Kristine Hsu