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13 Expert Tips to Increase Online Conversions in 2020 Lessons learned from ManyChat's annual Conversations Conference

By Martin Smith

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Deborah Kolb | Getty Images

Digital marketing in 2020 will be decidedly multi-channel. Messenger bot platform ManyChat's recent Conversations Conference 2019, held in Austin, embraced this by reinforcing key themes including omnipresence and personalization. In a launch reminiscent of Steve Jobs, founder Mikael Yang revealed a long list of new ManyChat features, such as the exciting multi-channel ability to automate SMS and Email conversations alongside Facebook Messenger chats.

Regardless of whether you're ready for messenger apps, these 13 strategies from #Conversations2019 will help you increase conversions across all of the digital channels you decide to embrace.

1. "Personalization is the new conversion rate optimization."

Digital influencer and New York Times best-selling author Neil Patel shared a simple, but powerful hack to revive unconverted leads. It's essentially the text version of Dean Jackson's 9-word email. Send a personalized text message with the recipient's first name and you're almost certain to get a response. Once you make contact, reply with something like, "I've been thinking about a few ways you can improve [insert client's biggest need.] Are you available at 9 a.m. or 2 p.m. on Tuesday for a call where I can share?"

2. "Delegate outcomes, not tasks."

Agency mentor and advisor Jason Swenk's top productivity tip is to hire people smarter than you, then get out of the way and let them find the best path to the goal.

3. "Think about how people are consuming information. Chop long-form pieces into bite-sized, tap-and-swipe-worthy content."

As a keynote speaker and best-selling author Mari Smith observed, stories are becoming a leading content format. Instead of worrying about how long it takes to create content that's destined to disappear, develop ways to repurpose that content now that it's less permanent. At the moment, advertising in stories is also relatively cheap, because inventory is high compared to the number of advertisers targeting the format.

4. Use creative calls to action during live videos to spark engagement.

Prepared Performer founder Molly Mohoney noted that comments with multiple words drive virality in today's Facebook algorithm. To keep creators from gaming the system, Facebook penalizes reach on posts that directly ask for likes, shares or comments. Mohoney suggests requesting comments using unique words that fit your brand. Her ask is, "Whenever you hear something helpful, use the hashtag #nugget and tell me what you've learned."

Related: 6 Ways to Drastically Improve Your Website's Conversion Rate

5. "If you wait for your content to be perfect, 10,000 other people will have already talked about your topic."

Zuckerberg Institute founder Randi Zuckerberg is indeed Mark's sister, and it's why she nicknamed herself the "other Zuckerberg." But as an early employee at Facebook and the creator of Facebook Live, she knows a little something about content. Additionally, her inspirational talk (viewed by many as the best of the weekend) painted a picture of how women -- and incidentally, every underdog -- can leverage media and brand to excel in today's tech landscape. Don't wait, publish now.

6. "Numbers don't matter if people don't care."

Stellar Media Marketing owner Kelly Mirabella recommends you avoid building large audiences for vanity's sake. Prune your lists down to those that are regularly engaged. Most social platforms now limit or amplify reach based on user engagement. Smaller messenger audiences mean lower subscription costs and sponsored ad fees, social posts with high engagement get rewarded with more organic reach, and higher email open rates help your messages hit the primary inbox.

7. "It's always a good idea to invest in automation."

Per BotBuilder CEO Matt Leitz, automation conserves resources, allowing for human interaction when it's most fruitful. Automate virality by putting share buttons at the end of any flow users find valuable.

8. "Use a recorded video conference to collect client testimonials."

Misfit Media co-founders Jace Kovacevich and Brett Linkletter advise interviewing your clients to prompt the responses you think will be most impactful. Prep them beforehand on what you'll ask, and how to respond so they look and feel polished.
Use the testimonials you collect for the next tip….

9. Love-Demo-Love Video Ad

Smart Marketer CEO Ezra Firestone's best-performing video ad sandwiches a product demo between two groups of video testimonials (five testimonials per group, each less than 10 seconds).

Related: 23 Sure-Fire Conversion Rate Optimization Tactics

10. "It's not about cost per conversion, it's cost per conversation."

John Bellamy Consulting CEO John Bellamy acknowledges that LinkedIn advertising is roughly eight times more expensive than ads on Facebook. However, he claims the only real way to determine if LinkedIn ads are a good fit for you is by comparing the cost per conversation of creating targeted B2B leads.

11. "Set reminders when using Messenger for lead generation."

Orca Marketology CEO Mackensie Liberman says that if a completed registration includes name, email, phone number and scheduling a phone appointment, you should set a reminder to fire seven minutes after starting the chatbot flow if a name isn't received. Check for email 14 minutes in and remind if necessary. If name and email are present without phone, request the phone number 25 minutes later. If a lead completes the contact information without scheduling an appointment, respond with copy that overcomes the prospect's main objections, then ask if there are other questions. Finally, send another request to schedule a call. Continue the conversation with a message confirming next steps.

12. Deliver the best user experience by preparing for extreme success.

Messenger Marketing Experts co-founders Philippe LeCoutre and David Sambor showcased a chatbot that sold over three million dollars in one hour for Tony Robbins, Dean Graziosi and Russell Brunson. Such a high-profile launch was likely to overload the sales system APIs, so LeCoutre and Sambor built-in fallback sequences to recognize and manage bottlenecks.
When the system became overloaded, the bot alerted the user that too many people were buying at that moment and requested the user try again in 10 minutes. This turned an otherwise poor user experience into positive social proof and FOMO.

13. "Like it or not, embrace the change. Treat the change as an opportunity."

ManyChat CEO Yang stressed definitively that Chat Marketing is a high-growth industry, and therefore, change is inevitable and necessitates continuous learning.

Implementing these 13 strategies will improve not only chat marketing but all of your digital conversations and conversions heading into 2020 and beyond.

Martin Smith

Lead Generation Expert, CEO of Overflow Marketing Solutions

Martin Smith is the CEO of Overflow Marketing, an agency that uses a multi-channel approach to digital marketing to create consistent business growth. Also known as DJ Graffiti, he was voted Best DJ in Detroit and has shared stages with Jay-Z, Eminem, Beyoncé, J. Cole and Dave Chappelle.

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