Drift plans to bring its sales and marketing automation services to emails soon to expand upon existing services provided through live chat with a human or an automated bot.
“We started with web and app messaging, and in September we’ll announce we’re getting heavily into the email side of things — both inbound and outbound. We’ll get into voice at some point, we’ll get into video in a very specific way,” CEO David Cancel told VentureBeat in a phone interview. “We’re going to get into every way a company communicates with customers, every single one of these channels that exist over time.”
More information about these plans will be shared at Drift’s Hypergrowth conference, to take place September 25 in Boston.
Drift declined to share details about the kinds of services it will make available through email clients, but targeting and qualifying leads will be part of it, a company spokesperson told VentureBeat.
Ultimately, Cancel said, Drift wants its bots to capture all communication between sales and marketing teams and customers with the goal of providing customers insights or analysis of sentiment like Mattersight, IBM Watson, or Salesforce’s Einstein do.
“Being the center of all conversation data that’s happening, whether it’s voice, whether it’s text, whatever it is, and then being able to analyze that, understand that, give insights to the company, but also provide better experience to the customer in that sales and marketing context,” he said.
Drift began with live chat, then launched LeadBot, which asks users questions to understand if they fit the definition of the customer you’re trying to reach, in order to qualify leads and target specific inbound audiences or customers. With LeadBot, a machine may start the conversation by asking questions, but once it hears the right answers, a human will be alerted to step in to close the deal, or the lead can schedule an appointment with a human.
This summer Drift launched Drift for Enterprise and Playbooks, a series of bots made especially to carry out tasks or meet goals like “grow blog subscriber list” or “increase qualified leads who schedule meetings.”
With Drift for Enterprise, traffic received from, let’s say, a Fortune 100 company or other desired customers can trigger a different message and treatment than the rest of your website viewers, or you can set Drift so that only visitors from specific kinds of businesses see a messaging option and are invited to chat, such as B2B SAAS companies with more than 50 employees.
Drift has grown to serve more than 40,000 customers since its launch in April 2016.
Cancel, who helped create products at companies like Hubspot and Performable, said he made Drift to rebuild sales and marketing automation for the modern age of conversational commerce.
“I can subscribe to on-demand underwear from Me Undies right now from my phone in like a millisecond,” Cancel said. “In a world where I can subscribe to underwear on-demand, the idea that I’m going to fill out forms and download ebooks and wait a month for some sales rep to email me and want to set up a call is freaking insane, so I think we’ve hit peak insanity.”
Drift is based in Boston with a staff of about 50 employees.