By Jen Amundgaard
To succeed in your Sales and Marketing efforts, your organization needs to resonate with your target audience. Not only do you have to understand their goals and pain points, you must also communicate with them on their own terms. In other words, you need to “talk the talk” to leave an impact on your prospective customers.
Of course, what resonates with one audience won’t necessarily connect with every audience you encounter. This is especially true when reaching out to audiences in different geographical locations. There are language barriers that need to be overcome and cultural norms that need to be respected if you expect to leave a lasting, worthwhile impact.
Here at Conversica, we strive to give your prospective customers the most natural and positive experience possible. This starts by understanding your prospective customers are used to receiving emails from employees with names, titles, phone numbers and email signatures that follow certain standards. Each of these factors into how successful you can be in your lead outreach.
In order to get the best results and uphold your brand’s reputation, here are some best practices for applying geographically and culturally relevant standards to messages coming for your Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs), as well as how and why to leverage multiple IVAs at once.
Why Businesses Employ Multiple Intelligent Virtual Assistants
If Intelligent Virtual Assistants offer near-unlimited scalability, then why do businesses employ multiple IVAs?
There are a couple of reasons for this. The first, is IVAs have different skills that serve the needs of different teams. One size doesn’t always fit all – therefore it’s best to have one Intelligent Virtual Assistant leveraging Sales and Marketing skills (i.e., for lead follow-up and cultivating interest) and another with the Customer Success skill set for staying connected with customers.
The second reason—which is the focus of this post—is that for companies that serve more than one geographical location, it’s important to aptly adhere to relevant language requirements, cultural norms, consumer expectations, and the like.
Ask yourself: Would you hire one person to serve the entire global market? Do you have a single marketing strategy to cover the entire globe? Do you expect leads in every geo to perform identically? Do you ever segment your results per geo because you have different expectations of them? Have you taken the time to create diverse websites per geo?
It’s wise to apply the same logic when hiring your Intelligent Virtual Assistants.
Consider Location, Time Zones, and Behavior
Intelligent Virtual Assistants should appear as if they are located in space and time. This means that if a Sales Development Representative (SDR) can’t be on three different continents at once, neither should your Intelligent Virtual Assistant. Similarly, if your SDR isn’t at work at 3 a.m. local time, then your IVA shouldn’t be sending messages at that time either.
Obviously, Intelligent Virtual Assistants are almost infinitely scalable because they aren’t bound by the same limitations as people. But when customers treat their IVA like a machine rather than an AI-driven employee, their return on investment suffers. Why?
While it might seem like a benefit to have an always-on virtual employee, the truth of the matter is that it can derail conversations (as leads ask “Why are you awake right now? Where are you?”) or result in unrealistic expectations as an IVA can respond in minutes but an SDR doesn’t arrive at work until the next morning.
When It Comes to the Email Signature…
In order to be CAN-SPAM compliant, your Intelligent Virtual Assistants’ signatures should include a non-PO Box mailing address. Not only is this important for compliance, it also makes your Intelligent Virtual Assistant feel local and relatable, and helps to distinguish her from Marketing Automation nurture. While both kinds of nurture and follow-up have their place, leads are more likely to actually reply to personalized, human-like emails.
If you are using a single IVA to manage contacts from multiple locations, avoid including an address from every country in the signature line of your IVA-powered emails. This is awkward and immediately flags communications as inauthentic, not personalized, and more likely to be sent from an unmonitored email address.
Similarly, using multiple Intelligent Virtual Assistants for differing geos allows for local phone numbers.
Allow for Linguistic and Cultural Nuances
Conversica’s Intelligent Virtual Assistants support multiple languages and cultural nuances (such as Japanese characters, Portuguese accent markings, and more) which make conversations feel authentic and natural. The same thing goes for an IVA’s name, title, and company name since these sometimes need to match foreign language requirements.
One way to achieve high deliverability rates is to create extreme variability in your email content. For example, an IVA might introduce itself as a member of your company via the subject line or body of the email. By matching a company name, title or other details to the appropriate language—rather than English, for example—the communication appears more credible and personalized.
By following the best practices shared above, you can maximize your potential using an Intelligent Virtual Assistant to serve multiple geographic locations. For more best practices, read our blog posts: “What to Do With Your Lower-Quality Leads” and “Working with Your Customer Outcomes Manager on a Lead Results Strategy.”