I am currently enjoying a humid Monday night here in Bangkok and was thinking about whether certain things could be automated. I was thinking about lead generation, and wondered, how good are chat bots these days? And specifically, which one is best for lead generation?
Check out my findings below.
TLDR: Continually is, in my opinion, the best lead generation chatbot. It has one of the easiest to use interfaces of all the ones that I have checked, lots of features that would be really important for users such as the ability to book consultations directly with the chat bot, and some really strong integrations with your CRM. The price is also compatible or lower than others on the market.
Best Lead Generation Chatbots
Summary of Results
|Bot Penguin||Chatbot||Continually ⭐||Instabot|
|Ease of Use||4||3||5||3|
Paid from $4.17 p/m
|From $42 p/m||Freemium|
Paid from $25 p/m
|From $49 p/m|
I used the following criteria to evaluate the different bots.
The first and most obvious wanted check is what features the chatbot has. What I’m really looking for here is the ability to book consultations or collect emails in a really streamlined way. This is about lead generation.
Ease Of Use
The next thing I’m looking for is how easy is it to use these features. If something is a pain to use, then nobody will want to use it. If it is confusing then it is also unhelpful because you may always have to worry about whether or not something is broken or will break.
Integrations here are key in that the chatbot should integrate with your CRM and email marketing platform. Ideally, it would be good to be multiplatform if possible, but if it is a strong standalone solution that’s not such a bad thing either.
Finally, it is good to check the pricing of the chat bot. I’m keen to see whether or not the pricing models are clear and intuitive, but also good value for money.
The Best Leadgen Chatbots Analyzed
Honestly, I was really surprised by bot Penguin. It looks kind of crummy from the design, but it’s actually quite featured and relatively functional. One thing that stands out about bot Penguin from the beginning is that it really covers a lot of platforms, such as Facebook, WhatsApp, telegram and your website. That’s kind of cool.
Features: for features, it was pretty solid. It offers you the ability to book consultations within the chat app itself, and or collect leads by email so that you can collect them through a lead magnet.
Some features though that were missing is the ability to set custom fields on the user who interacts with the chat bot. If you’ve used any marketing automation platform, you’ll find that in generic automation field that you can populate and clear is really handy for running your automation.
The other thing missing here was the inability to trigger your chatbot by URL, or more sophisticated user behavior. This means you’ll probably have to rely on something too add that code to your site on just the pages where you want the chat bot to load.
Ease of Use: Using the application was pretty straightforward. They decided not to use a process map style interface, which I think really works for them. It’s pretty simple to add steps to your chat bot and see your chat bot as it builds up.
Integrations: they have a very big list of integrations which is very nice to see. MailChimp and ActiveCampaign are missing, so you will need to use Zapier which can be expensive.
Something I noticed with the integrations too, is that they didn’t really explain what information will be moved between the platforms. I’m assuming just the name and email, but it would be good to know if it is bidirectional, or you can add custom fields.
Pricing: Bot Penguin is probably the cheapest on the list starting, having a free version and paid from from $4.17 per month.
ChatBot seems to be really focused on ecommerce, but it has some features that can support regular businesses. One thing I really liked about this chatbot was that it had a range of recipes that you could start from, which really give you some ideas on what to do with the bot.
Features: fully generation it offered email capture, however, it is missing one of the major components which is the ability to book consultations through the chatbot.
It really is more suited to E-commerce, because it has some great features around offering discounts and showing different products to customers.
One of the key features that it has here is the ability to set custom fields. It is unclear whether or not the custom field can be brought over into your CRM, but it’s good to have.
Ease of Use: honestly I found it a little bit challenging to get around their fixed process map style builder, which can get a little out of hand when you have so many different branches. Having said that I got used to it fairly they quickly.
Integrations: as you might expect their integrations are heavily scented around e-commerce, with the native integration with Shopify. It does have some good integrations with other messaging platforms, like Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp comma which is great, but not Calendly or other booking apps which would be useful.
Continually is a really polished chatbot app, and I’m super surprised more people aren’t talking about it . I first came across continually back in 2019, when I was looking for a chatbot for a legal practice. It seemed to be one of the only chat bots at the time well suited to generating email leads and bookings.
Features: Continually is pretty feature-rich through ‘powerups’. One of the best things about the app is that it can facilitate bookings directly through the chat bot. If you look at the screenshot below you can see that you can integrate your Google Calendar and set up sometimes for the app to be able to book into.
Another really cool feature is that all people who interact with the chat bot, whether they have been identified by an email or phone number or not, pull into a mini CRM of sorts where you can continue the conversation back to them by sending a message. You can also edit the information that you learn about this particular prospect and that will also sync into your CRM that you integrate.
Continually also doesn’t have major limits on the number of bots that you have with your account, so you can really make full use of chat bots for all stages of your marketing funnel . They also have very sophisticated triggering parameters so you can make sure that you only trigger a certain chatbot for a particular page, such as a pricing page or for returning visitors only
Ease of Use: of all the chatbots surveyed, I would say continually is the easiest to use. It has a drag and drop process flow style buildup, which is quite smooth considering what it is. You’re not overwhelmed with options on the left, but you also get an intuitive understanding of how to build the chatbot and the logic of the flow as you go through it. There’s also a preview of your chat bot in the bottom right hand corner that you can trigger it anytime to see what it looks like as you build it.
Integrations: Continually had the widest range of integrations from the chatbots that I profiled. Integrated with a good range of CRM’s but also other important tools such as Google Analytics where it automatically adds events, such as interacting with your bot, to your Google Analytics profile.
Pricing: continually has a free to use version, which is suitable for most freelancers for example. It also has a paid package starting from $25 a month and scales based on page views.
By the time I got to Instabot , I was pretty tired of looking at different chatbots, but this is still a really solid option that deserves to be on this list. I will say that Instabot strikes me immediately as being more of an enterprise-level tool in terms of its style.
Features: it was deeply featured, and had a good integration with Google Calendar, so similar to continually, it can book consultations directly with chatbot.
Ease of Use: Sadly I found the process flow builder of Instabot to be one of the most difficult to use. I think when they control how the process map flows visually, you get less of an intuitive grasp of what’s actually happening in the bot itself. Another feature here that made it hard to use the terminology of nodes instead of steps, or something else. So it wasn’t immediately clear what the purpose of a node was, or when you need to use a node or something else in order to program in the question or action you wanted.
Integrations: Integrations wise, they had a really good range of integrations which you can see below. Curiously missing, or at least at the time that I did this review, is an integration with Zapier which I think would really give you a much broader range of possibilities.
Pricing: There was no freemium plan, just a paid plan starting from $49 per month
No hard feelings, guys, but I didn’t test this chatbot. Sadly, from the website you can’t really get any ideas on what the pricing model is, or who even created this thing. But somehow it ranks really high on the first page of Google, so I’m sure there are people who will like it. But trust was definitely a factor here.
What is a lead generation bot?
A lead generation chatbot, is a chatbot that allows you to collect names, phone numbers, emails in return for content, or even book consultations directly with a marketing or sales person.
What are the different types of chatbots?
I would say there are roughly five types of chatbots. FA Q bots, help people answer FAQ. Booking chat bots help people book consultations or trips. Lead generation chatbots, help people access content in return for their contact information. Customer service chatbots, help people access your support team after self-service. And sales chat bots, designed to connect users with the sales team after qualification
How do you generate leads on chatbots?
You generate leads with chatbots by offering a piece of content in return for somebody’s contact information. Alternatively, you can book a lead through a chatbot by prompting a sales team consultation.