Companies often emphasize artificial intelligence on their homepage or on services pages. While AI is currently an important topic, a simple mention of it on a website’s homepage will not get potential customers interested. Instead, it is more important to focus on the direct needs of the stakeholders who find an AI vendor website and their online properties in order to get them closer to a sale.
At Emerj, we have ample experience running B2B AI advertisement campaigns. That experience has made it clear to us that the first goal for converting more leads is to educate buyers about how AI enables a better method of finishing a given task.
In our B2B lead generation audit work, we think through the frame of “next.” This means we want to help companies bring customers to the next step closer to buying the AI product or service. If a given visitor of the sight turns out to be a customer, we want every interaction to move them closer to a sale.
In this article, we discuss how vendors can apply some of these best practices for converting more leads and turning fresh leads into qualified customers. We also explain how to encourage site visitors to take the next step. We primarily focus on the following aspects of advertising and sales for AI software:
- Lead Generation: How to use web content to attract new readers and turn them into sales leads.
- Turning Leads into Sales Calls: Following up with fresh leads for a one-on-one sales call which can get them closer to buying the product.
- The First Email: How to write the first sales email to newly generated leads.
We begin our explanation of how to convert more leads for AI products with lead generation.
In order to generate strong leads, an AI company will need a website with valuable marketing content. That content will need to address the specific needs and business problems potential buyers will have.
Additionally, a company should also create new opt-in opportunities that act as next steps which allow readers to exchange their contact information for some insight or business value. The company will then be able to better discern which customers are open to learning more and what their specific needs and pains are that can be addressed in further content or products.
Consider an AI vendor company offering solutions for lending. They believe their solution can help lenders reduce risk and lend more. Stakeholders in the lending business could be attracted from multiple angles. Because of this, we have provided examples of free web content and opt-in content that could attract lenders based on their variety of needs.
First, consider the kinds of titles that might attract a lending stakeholder whose primary focus is to find ways for their business to succeed more in areas they already excel at.
Example Web Content Titles for Potential Lending Clients:
- “How to Approve More Auto Loans with Machine Learning”
- “Three Ways AI Helps Lenders Win More Business”
These titles are good for attracting the kind of person looking for more information on how AI might bring their business some ROI. Keywords such as “approve more,” and “win more” help to catch the eye of someone focused mostly on results and how such an investment would affect their bottom line.
Example Opt-in Content Titles for Potential Lending Clients:
- “Increasing Lending Revenue with AI – An Executive Guide”
- “AI-enabled lending – Four Innovative Trends”
This type of title can show readers the value of a longer resource document such as a white paper or data sheet. Additionally, the titles focus on phrases such as “executive guide,” and “innovative trends,” because they emphasize who the article is for and the importance of the information held within them.
Additionally, consider these titles as examples for attracting lending stakeholders whose main focus is to screen out high-risk customers. Here, the opt-in is highly correlated and customized to this type of person.
Example Web Content Titles for Potential Lending Clients:
- “Reduce Home Loan Defaults with Machine Learning”
- “Comparing Old vs. New Methods of Lending Risk Assessment”
Example Opt-in Content Titles for Potential Lending Clients:
- “Machine Learning Risk Management Basics for Lenders”
- “Managing Loan Risk with AI – An Executive Guide”
When creating web content and opt-in documents, it is important to emphasize the strength of the benefits each piece of content offers. Companies can do this by considering the core motives of potential stakeholders and translating them into marketing content. Once an AI company demonstrates good reasons to buy their product, they can create opt-in assets as a next step towards an eventual sale.
The following screenshots are examples of web content and opt-ins from current AI startups. We explain how each title appeals to the startup’s buying vertical and how the follow-up content and calls to action also target that vertical.
This title from CognitiveScale is effective in that it promises to explain how to find value when automating business processes across an entire enterprise. This is usually how stakeholders think of AI solutions, as they are usually made to transform a single business area at each level.
At the end of the article, CognitiveScale encourages readers to join the beta list for their new offering, Certifai. This likely attracts the same types of customers who would have clicked on this article because it references the solution’s cloud compatibility. Potential clients looking for enterprise-level solutions benefit from cloud-based platforms because they facilitate software installation across hundreds of computers.
Anodot’s title works to attract stakeholders who are more concerned with ways they can succeed more in areas they are already succeeding. The word “consistent” indicates that Anodot’s solution might offer a higher degree of accuracy for revenue monitoring than is already in use.
Their conclusion includes a link to an overview of the revenue monitoring solution as well as a “let’s talk” link that puts the user into contact with a representative.
Most importantly, the company has a large call to action at the bottom that invites the reader to watch a 3-minute demo. The emphasis on the demo’s length serves to entice the reader more as the video will not take much time to finish. If they decide to take this next step, Anodot will have their contact information to follow up with for a sales call.
Turning Leads into Sales Calls
Once a vendor has generated fresh leads by attracting potential customers with marketing content and opt-ins, they can follow up with those leads in sales calls. This is why it is important to always have a call to action at the end of web content. That way prospective customers can be directed to another learning opportunity that requires providing one’s email or phone number to access.
When a potential customer submits their contact info, the form should redirect to a “thank you” page which shows another next step. This could be more marketing content or a reminder to check for an email with more information or as a follow-up. A good next step is usually a detailed live demo or webinar demonstration. These can be conducted in scheduled groups or one-on-one sessions.
The following copy is a good example of something that could go on a “thank you” page after a customer submits information for an opt-in opportunity:
Thank you — Your white paper is on the way.
If you wish to learn more about [name of vendor company here,] then be sure to get in touch with us directly by scheduling a live demo.
[Scheduling Form for Sales Appointment]
In theory, the vendor company wants to address the step the visitor took by providing their information, thank them, and confirm they will receive their content. The vendor should then emphasize another opportunity to get into direct contact with something along the lines of, “here’s how we can help you solve [specific business problem.] If you want to discover how [name of vendor company here] helps other businesses solve this problem, contact us directly for a detailed demonstration.”
Below we provide examples of effective next-step opportunities for companies to gain some contact information in exchange for insights into how the AI product might work for the reader.
This example from the AI vendor Vidado shows the download page for one of their case studies. The user can read the abstract of the case study and then decide if they want to input their information to download the full version. Once a reader enters their information, the form fades seamlessly into another logical next step in the form of requesting a demo.
Even if only a small fraction of visitors click on the “request demo” button, this simple update to a thank you page could net the vendor a large crop of demo requests.
This method of layering next steps over each other allows Vidado to take their visitors who are directly interested in their product and allow them to self-select if they will become a sales lead. However, keep in mind the framework of “next.” These potential leads will ideally not stay leads for long. The vendor should always be looking to turn these fresh leads into appointments that salespeople can contact and try to encourage a sale.
The example page above from crowdsourcing vendor Appen clearly lays out the benefits of the download opportunity. It explains exactly what the reader will gain from the download, and clearly expresses gratitude after the download. The “thank you” page includes three softer calls to action in the form of contact sales, investor support, or finding flexible work for crowdsourced workers or contractors. This is an effective way of leading readers to the next step; however, it is unclear exactly which is the best next action for different types of readers.
To advise Appen, we would recommend they remove all next steps aside from “contact sales,” then replace that word choice with “book an appointment.” Here, we would reiterate the benefits Appen can help with.
For example, we might write, “If you want to find out how crowdsourced data can enrich and jumpstart AI initiatives, please schedule a time to talk to us about how we can support your AI goals. Click here to schedule an exploratory call at your earliest convenience.” This makes for a more effective single call to action.
The First Email
Once a vendor company has generated some new leads and attracted them towards opt-in content and providing their contact information, they will need to engage these new leads through an initial email. The first email should serve a similar function to a “thank you” page in that it should confirm whatever content the reader has downloaded.
Additionally, the email should deliver it and reiterate what problems the vendor can help with if the first email is attached to an opt-in opportunity. It is important to remind the prospective customer how the vendor company can help them solve a key business problem the product is made to solve. There should be another logical next step for the reader to click through at the end of this email as well.
Below is an example of a first email a vendor might send to newly acquired leads. It is written from the perspective of a fictional AI vendor “ExampleCorp” which sells customer service chatbots to banks:
Subject Line: Your “Buyer’s Guide to Conversational AI for the Enterprise” inside
Thank you for requesting access to our buyer’s guide to conversational AI. Follow the link below to access your PDF copy now:
[Conversational AI Buyer’s Guide]
We hope that our buyer’s guide will help you make better purchasing decisions about conversational AI interfaces. At Example Corp, we’ve been working in natural language processing (NLP) for over ten years, helping banks and insurance companies streamline and modernize their customer service process to improve the experience. While we often help our clients make important purchasing and integration decisions about conversational interfaces, some businesses can benefit more from a custom chatbot solution built for their customers’ more specific issues. This month, we are hosting a series of webinars called, “How Can I Help You? – An Enterprise Guide to Improving Customer Service with AI” (register here), which features three case studies of our own enterprise clients in banking and insurance. In this series, you will learn:
- Four simple criteria which will indicate whether your business should buy or develop a chatbot solution for customer service.
- The best way to estimate the time and resource requirements of an NLP chatbot project
- Much more
We’re offering this webinar series at various times throughout the week to accomodate for any EU or North American time zone – secure your spot below:
[Webinar Registration: “Build or Buy – An Enterprise Guide to Process Automation”]
About the Emerj B2B AI Lead Generation Audit Service
With Emerj’s B2B AI Lead Generation Audit, we apply the proven best-practices of lead generation to your entire suite of digital marketing assets, giving you a simple blueprint to improve conversion and generate more AI-focused enterprise leads every month. Learn more to optimize your online marketing assets to attract and convert more ideal buyers.
Header Image Credit: Marketing Land