What Chat Can Learn From Email

Email marketing is being replaced by Conversational Marketing. But there’s still a lot we can learn from our predecessor.

As we’ve mentioned before, chatbots are becoming smarter and more ubiquitous, which means the cult of the Internet has been heralding email’s inevitable death for some time. But even though chat’s click-through rates are 600x better than email, and even though 76% of people say messaging apps have improved their lives, it’s still premature to discount email. After all, email is a bastion of digital marketing. It’s outlived many fleeting marketing trends. And it’s persisted for this long because it’s an excellent way to generate leads, message customers directly, and sell to a segmented audience.

In fact, since email marketing has been around for several decades, there’s a lot that Conversational Marketing can learn from its predecessor. After all, 28% of US online shoppers subscribe to store or product emails to stay informed, and 64% of American Internet users have printed a coupon from an email. Those are staggering numbers. As the new kid on the marketing playground, there is evidently a lot that chat can learn from email.

Here are 3 insights chat can learn from email:

(1) Email marketers use graphics and striking images to capture eyeballs.

Many of the most successful email campaigns are also the most visually appealing. (Think charity:water, Litmus, Apple, and Harry’s.) That’s because email marketers know that good design, arresting images, and consistent branding are key to capturing people’s attention — and keeping it. They’re an effective way to showcase your products, tell your story, and get people to click.

What chat can learn: platforms like Facebook Messenger have excellent rich media capabilities, and brands should not hesitate to use their most striking visuals when chatting with people. Chat is more interesting and engaging when it goes beyond basic copy, and images are great for branding, creating a distinct mood and feel, and influencing people’s buying decisions. Consider creating dedicated images for your chatbot, instead of using generic stock photos or emojis alone.

(2) Email discounts drive sales both online and in store.

As we mentioned, email is a hugely effective way to send coupons and discounts to your audience. After all, if a coupon falls in the grand ether of the Internet and no one is there to use it, does that discount really exist? Email is direct, and its users have been conditioned to expect discounts to arrive by email, which makes the platform incredibly efficient at driving sales. In fact, 36.6% of American businesses use email marketing for promotions. Furthermore, 27% of American online shoppers subscribe to stores’ and products’ emails in order to save money. Even though these consumers are looking to save money, email discounts can drive massive revenue for companies. And shoppers can use these coupons both online and in store.

What chat can learn: brands should be sending well-timed promotions to their customers through chat. Like email, chatbots are direct, easily customized, and potent engagement tools. When customers know they might receive coveted promotions from your brand, they’ll be more likely to opt into your chatbot and stay engaged with it.

(3) Email marketers put a lot of effort into copywriting.

Email marketers don’t just send out an email campaign haphazardly. They engage copywriters, content strategists, designers, and email specialists to write, design, and optimize the best emails possible. Email campaigns are A/B tested, copyedited, and written with the user in mind. What this means is that the best email campaigns are cleanly written, compelling, and designed to resonate deeply with customers. They contain powerful subject lines, use relevant and impactful calls to action (CTAs), and are highly personalized.

What chat can learn: thanks to the ease of building significant conversations with platforms like Chatkit, there’s no need to employ an entire team merely for your chatbot. But Conversational Marketing teams should consider their chatbot scripts carefully, copyedit them, and write them with the user in mind. In other words, they should come up with a copywriting strategy for chat, like they would any other marketing campaign.

Do you have any other insights Conversational Marketing can learn from email? Let us know in the comments!

Interested in learning more about how Conversational Marketing can help your brand? Download the Conversational Marketing Playbook from Chatkit .

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