Will Chatbots Replace Landing Pages

Take a look at the technology industry, and you will realize we are in the middle of the Rise of Machines. Bots are replacing everything from your kid’s teacher to your accountant.

But before you start looking for the Terminator, let us come back to reality.

Realistically, bots can accomplish in seconds what it could take a person-hours or days to do manually. Artificial intelligence (AI) powers bots to mimic the tone and voice of a real person and can handle conversations and interactions with consumers with the same efficiency. Possibly even more, given the piles of data that AI and automation platforms collect and parse in seconds. Machine learning further allows these bots to improve their operations with every interaction.

This leads us to the question at hand – can bots completely replace anything? What about landing pages?

The answer is a little more complex than it might seem. As of now, bots should not be expected to replace landing pages entirely, but they can augment them to help improve the customer experience and drive leads through the funnel. 

And it is quite possible that as AI evolves, bots may replace landing pages altogether. Let us unpack the topic a little and shed some light on how bots and landing pages can work in unison today, and what the dynamic might look like tomorrow.

A Place to Land

First of all, let us all agree on what a landing page is.

A landing page is a page where your customers and prospects “land” after clicking on a call-to-action (CTA) from an ad or a piece of marketing. These standalone pages are usually built with a landing page builder in a marketing automation solution. They are dedicated to a specific promotion or campaign and designed to accomplish a single objective. 

Landing pages can be useful in any number of ways, but the most common purposes are lead generation, nurturing, and conversion. Plus, there are various elements to consider when creating a landing page; check out some examples or well-built pages.

The importance of landing pages versus a regular website is that it provides a singular path to whatever action you want the user’s information into a crm software, whether that is email subscriptions, demo requests, or making purchases. Landing pages eliminate extraneous information so the visitor can quickly absorb what they are looking for, and that quickness matters. Attention spans are shorter than ever, and consumers have little patience for marketing messages in general; even less for marketing that is irrelevant to them.

Could Bots Do it Better?

could bots do better than humans

According to Drift’s 2018 collaborative report, 15 percent of American adults said they had used a chatbot to interact with a company in the prior 12 months. That percentage is still relatively small when compared to the use of channels like phone and email. But the companies behind the report expect that percentage to grow quickly over the next few years.

The most common frustrations with traditional online experiences, reported by survey respondents, include:

  • Websites are hard to navigate (34 percent)
  • Difficulty getting answers to simple questions (31 percent)
  • Difficulty finding basic details about a business, such as address, hours of operations, and phone number (28 percent)

How do bots alleviate these issues?

Simply by replicating human assistance, but faster. A bot can easily and quickly help you find what you are looking for just by front-loading it with links and keywords. Machine learning capabilities will enhance that over time as more and more questions are asked and answered.

Could Bots Really Replace Landing Pages?

Some experts argue that it is this dialogue between the user and the bot that will eventually make landing pages obsolete. Landing pages are important when done well, but saturation, the sheer number of landing pages audiences are exposed to might be making them less effective. With bots, the ability to ask questions helps users hone in on the exact information they are looking for.

Let us look at an example. Drift uses its “Driftbot” on its homepage and landing pages for just this purpose, even supplying one-click responses for the visitor to streamline the process. In this way, the landing page and the bot work as a team.

From the marketer side, bots can accomplish the tasks of lead qualification by asking the visitor a few simple questions. They can aid in lead nurturing and conversion by making suggestions and providing gentle guidance toward a desired action, the same way a human salesperson might do.

The difference is: bots do not call in sick; they are always on the job. They do not operate during normal business hours; they are available 24/7. Bots never have a poor attitude, or lack information. And they scale. They can handle hundreds of requests at the same time, positively lapping a human on the same track. Plus, according to Mindshare’s Humanity in the Machine report, 63 percent of people would consider messaging an online chatbot to communicate with a business or brand.

In fact, it is the retail sector that has brought and will continue to bring bots to the forefront of our daily interactions. A [24]7 survey of adult US internet users in September 2016 found that 29 percent of respondents preferred to connect with an internet retailer via online chat or messaging apps while making a purchase.

But the technology is not without its drawbacks.

Bot Backlash

When you walk into a brick-and-mortar store, do you like a salesperson to pounce on you immediately with product or sales information, or to greet you but then let you go through the store on your own?

I personally like to be left alone. I am also someone who immediately minimizes chat windows that pop up when I go to a website to do general research. I like to browse and see what jumps out at me. When I come to a landing page, I like being able to read at my leisure.

I can recognize that not everyone is as antisocial as I am when it comes to shopping, online or offline. But the question is, can a chatbot recognize a customer’s needs or preferences without being told? 

Do not get me wrong. Chatbots are extremely useful in many instances. H&M’s chatbot will help you put outfits together as you browse. Travel sites use chat to help you book flights and plan trips. All of those functions are valuable and help generate revenue. But the customer has to specifically choose to interact with the bot, which does not always happen.

Bots and Humans

bots and humans

While automation fuels bots with the right data. and AI and machine learning make them more “human,” consumers are still on the fence about working with AI. 75 percent of Mindshare’s respondents want to know from the start if they are chatting with a bot or a human, and 48 percent claimed that “it feels creepy if the chatbot is pretending to be human.”

Bots truly shine as customer service tools. Even though I usually minimize a chat window when it pops up first thing, I do go back to it if I cannot quickly find the thing I am looking for. Again, attention spans are short, and bots often can be the quickest route to the end goal.

That said, sometimes you must speak to a real person to get what you need. 

As a consumer, I understand that you have automated many of the most commonly requested services to serve more people. But sometimes your bot does not understand the nuance of my request, which is extremely frustrating. 61 percent of survey respondents stated: “It would be more frustrating if a chatbot could not solve my problem than a human.” 

And if you make the automated process too difficult to navigate, I am just going to fast track to a real, accountable person as soon as I can. Like dialing “0” for an operator when slogging through a lengthy automated phone menu.

It is important to note that 34 percent of consumers responding to the Drift collaborative survey said that they would use chatbots as a means for getting connected with a human. 79 percent of respondents to the Mindshare survey agreed that they would want to know a human could step in if the bot could not address the problem or if they asked to speak to a human.


As you can see, bots can provide extremely valuable boosts in efficiency and service, but the jury is still out on just how much they can replace. And landing pages are still valuable tools, but there is the issue of information overload and difficulty separating your landing page from the millions of others your leads might see every day.

People respond differently to various kinds of engagement, and many still do not trust that a bot can understand their needs the way a human can. Empathy does matter, despite how “human” a bot can seem. 

The key, at least now, is to let bots and landing pages work together, to engage and inform in diverse ways, but all with the same goal of moving leads and customers toward conversion.

, , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *