How Small Businesses Can Get (And Stay) Successful With Conversational Marketing

“We got our first prospect on the site last week. If they close–and it looks like they will–that’ll pay for Drift for the rest of the year.”

Since I’m on the Customer Success team at Drift, I love hearing news like this from our clients. And, since people are finding enormous success with our product, I’m lucky enough to hear stories like this every day.

But that doesn’t mean that all small to medium-sized businesses I talk to are bought into the idea of conversational marketing, or Drift.

Many customers have questions about adding a new tool to their sales and marketing tech stack, and what the impact will be. Then there are the customers who are unsure of what it means to practice “conversational marketing”–something we pioneered here at Drift, but want the entire world to embrace.

Fortunately, when it comes to helping Drift customers be successful, I’ve seen it all. So today I’m going to be debunking some common myths about what you need to get–and stay–successful with conversational marketing and chat if you’re a small or medium-sized business.

Understanding the Power and Utility of Conversational Marketing

First things first: The old way of doing marketing and sales doesn’t work.

Today, people are looking for immediate connections to the brands they want to buy from. They don’t want fill out a form only to wait days to hear back about next steps. With conversational marketing, the goal is to eliminate what causes friction in the B2B buying process, and give the people what they want, when they want it.

So, humor me, for a second:

Imagine it’s midnight, your local time. The CEO of one of your target accounts visits your website. She browses different pages, ostensibly looking for information, or maybe she has a question. At this very moment, would you hit her with a ten-field form, or use Driftbot to start a conversation with her?

Obviously, a conversation makes a ton more sense in this scenario, and a ton of others. It’s timely, it’s relevant, and it’s way more likely this CEO’s going to chat with you rather than fork over her email address and wait for you to get in touch.

And that’s where Drift comes in.

Whether staffed by human or bot, Drift chat gives businesses the ability to get closer to prospects at the speed of a quick conversation.

There are tons of reasons why I think you should use Drift to embrace the conversational marketing revolution. But what I think actually doesn’t matter as much as what you view as an obstacle to making it happen.

So I’m going to share some real objections I’ve received about conversational marketing and Drift, and go into detail about why you might want to think again about whether or not you’re ready.

Three Common Myths About Conversational Marketing

Myth #1 – “I don’t get enough traffic to use Drift.”

If you want to maximize engagement with every visitor to your website, a key ingredient is having, well, traffic to your website. But if your site isn’t generating a ton of traffic yet, you might view this as a reason you’re not ready for Drift chat. But I caution against this kind of thinking.


Well, if you’re not getting a ton of traffic, wouldn’t it make the traffic you are getting that much more important? I think so.

By using Drift to interact with visitors to your site–even if it’s a small number–you’re doing everything in your power to engage those potential leads with a welcoming conversation. Chat is faster than getting someone to provide their email, and for small teams, coverage is easy with the help of a bot. It’ll even book meetings for your sales team while you sleep.

Myth #2 – “I don’t have enough time to set up a new solution.”

You might think you don’t have time to set up a conversational marketing tool like Drift. But I think the better question is, Do you have time to waste losing valuable leads that land on your website?

I’m thinking the answer is a firm “no.”

Research indicates that lead response time is everything. Waiting even more than five minutes to respond to a lead can mean a 10x decrease in your odds of actually connecting with them. After 10 minutes, there’s a 400% decrease in your odds of qualifying that lead.

The relatively small investment of time it takes to set up a new Drift account with me–we usually do two calls, one hour in total–means it’s not only fast, but probably takes less time than most tools in your marketing tech stack.

Myth #3 – “I don’t want to get rid of forms.”

When was the last time you went shopping online, found something that looked really awesome, and thought, “What I’d really like to do now is answer five to ten questions about why I want to purchase this item!”


People shopping for software solutions are the same people who shop for consumer goods, so there’s no reason to make them fill out a form to express their interest in your product, either. After all, they’ve come to your website. Make it easy for them to get their questions answered through a short conversation, and not a form.

I recommend starting out with a simple Driftbot, maybe 3-5 questions that you’d generally ask in your first sales prospecting call or email. Make sure to use buttons whenever possible, as buttons have a higher interaction rate than text entry. Finally, route the prospect to a team member, or capture their email right in the chat for follow-up.

You Just Want to Grow Your Business

And I want to help! But the old way of B2B marketing isn’t helping you hit that growth stride as fast as you like.

With conversational marketing, you can make the buying process a lot more simple and straightforward for prospects, as long as you have the right tools in place. With Drift, small to medium-sized businesses can actually focus on automating elements of the conversational sales process to make conversations 100% scalable. You’ll spend less time booking meetings, and more time closing the deals that’ll drive your growth.

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