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How to Have Conversations with Leads and Customers at Scale Using AI

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Drips is an AI-powered conversational marketing tool that helps brands automatically engage with prospects via texting and calling.

AI from Drips has handled more than half a billion conversations so far, helping brands automate engagement with leads and customers at scale.

We spoke with A.C. Evans, CEO at Drips, to learn more about the solution.

In a single sentence or statement, describe your company.

Drips enables brands to drive conversations with their audience during moments that matter through humanized two-way text and scheduled calling powered by our cognitive outreach engine.

How does your company use artificial intelligence in its products?

The Drips’ AI-powered platform is backed by a unique natural language processing model that doesn’t exist anywhere else. This enables us to provide our clients with a way to engage with their audience through human-like, asynchronous texting and calling. With half a billion conversations handled to-date, our AI is constantly improving—more than 2.5 billion touchpoints have gone through the Drips platform within the last 12 months and over 50 million human QA interactions have trained our model.

What are the primary marketing use cases for your AI-powered solutions?

We focus on both sides of the funnel, marketing and administrative. Drips’ primary use cases include:

  • Renewal or re-enrollment of benefits or policies
  • Push to autopay
  • Appointments for calls or in-home services
  • Notifications of insufficient funds
  • Bill pay reminders
  • Drive to site campaigns
  • Reengagement of abandoned leads
  • Transformation of cold leads into warm leads
  • Completion of transactions or sales
  • Live nights and weekends coverage
  • Upsells and cross sales
  • Win back campaigns

What makes your AI-powered solution smarter than traditional approaches and products?

Our society is rapidly shifting from a customer-service focus to a customer-engagement focus. We typically receive more than 100 interruptions a day from emails to mobile push notifications, short code text messages, unknown phone calls, and more. The challenge with these outreach strategies is that the results are binary. The consumer either answered the call, or they didn’t. They clicked on the email or they didn’t. They noticed your direct mail or discarded it. There’s low engagement rates and therefor almost nonexistent insights on the majority of your audience.

These tactics are lengthy, costly, and oftentimes drive a frustrating user journey. This has resulted in consumers becoming experts at filtering out irrelevant messages—messages that aren’t coming from a human.

At Drips, we recognize that leveraging human-like, conversational texting the right way, over a period of days or weeks, is the best way for brands to break through the noise, engage their audience, capture intent and drive them to meaningful outcomes. And we do this at massive scale—at any given moment, Drips is holding over 3 million concurrent conversations on behalf of some of the world’s largest brands.

Are there any minimum requirements for marketers to get value out of your AI-powered technology? (e.g. data, list size, etc.)

We typically work well with brands and service providers that are handling more than 20,000 customer or prospect records per month. Our AI is easy to integrate into most companies’ marketing strategies. We make sure to partner with the companies where we will have much more than incremental impact. Our free analysis and discovery process will enable our team to present a thoughtful and substantial business case.

Who are your ideal customers in terms of company size and industries?

Drips helps companies in all the major industries—from healthcare to insurance, financial services, and home services. That’s the best thing about what we bring to the table: any company who wants to drive their audience to outcomes that matter, at scale can partner with us.

What do you see as the limitations of AI as it exists today?

AI-powered communications are smart, but they’re still not on the same level as real people (yet). As we continue to tune and perfect our AI, we’re finding that it’s getting smarter at communicating more effectively. That being said, as our clients operate in highly regulated environments, we believe relying on AI only is a mistake, and therefore employ a robust QA team 24/7/365 for when NLP probability isn’t near 100%.

What do you see as the future potential of AI in marketing?

Now that the industry is over the mystification of artificial intelligence (and frankly the limitations of relying on it completely), more companies will realize that humans and AI is the near future, not just standalone AI. There’s going to be a lot of balancing of what AI could do and what it should do. For SMS messaging, specifically, we’ll most likely see a transition from a deterministic model to a probabilistic model—with an AI system determining what message to send to a specific person based on historical learning.

Any other thoughts on AI in marketing, or advice for marketers who are just getting started with AI?

Testing is essential, especially with AI. Do your research, create action and impact oriented use cases, and find a technology partner that is a leader in their sector. Be wary of an “AI” company that can’t concretely explain how it operates and what actual problem it solves.

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