Alexa as a Lead Gen Vehicle
In my previous post, Developing API Alexa Skills, I provided 3 examples of how to integrate your enterprise business existing APIs with Alexa. If you missed that post, please check it out here. If you’re wondering what the heck an Alexa Skill is, please check out my Alexa 101 post here.
In creating an Alexa Skill that calls external APIs, we are now adding the functionality not only to return information, but also write to your CRM; and thus creating a lead in your sales pipeline.
This scenario is one of the most common requests for Alexa Skills today. For example, have Alexa collect a user’s name, email, and phone number, write to the CRM API, and then add them to their lead nurture list.
But how does Alexa collect a user’s personal information?
Does the user verbally enunciate their email address to Alexa, “C-A-R-O-L@gmail.com,” or is there an easier way? Short answer, YES, there’s an easier way. But before we delve down that road, let’s start from the user’s perspective. Why would a user want to give us their contact info? What content are we providing via our Alexa Skill in exchange? If you can’t answer those 2 questions, STOP now. There’s no point in developing a skill with no value to the user. Alexa Skills are going the way of mobile apps, too many unused apps out there with no value and no users. There are well over 30,000 Alexa Skills available today. How will your Alexa Skill stand out? (I’ll save this “holy grail” stuff for a future post.)
Assuming your Alexa Skills provides valuable information where a prospect would opt-in to receive a follow-up email and subsequent lead nurture campaigns, let’s talk about how to collect the user’s information with Alexa.
Amazon allows Skills to collect the following pieces of user data, given the user expressly opts-in. It is not possible for the developer to obtain a user’s contact info from just opening your Alexa Skill.
5 Steps to Alexa as a Lead Gen Vehicle
Step 1: Create valuable and compelling content.
Step 2: Ensure your Alexa Skill meets the “Before You Begin” requirements as stated here by Amazon.
Step 3: In the Developer’s Console, select the permissions you require.
Step 4: Present a Permissions Card to your user in the Alexa app.
Step 5: User approves the sharing of their contact info.
Easy enough? This method of collecting user information has its pros and cons versus web forms or mobile apps. Instead of a user typing in their email address (or using an auto-fill form), the user is simply approving permissions on an existing mobile app.
As of the writing of this article, we are completing a project with an enterprise client for this type of work. If you need my expertise, please reach out to Elizabeth Simpson, Steve Youngblood, or myself, Caroline Dunn. Thanks for reading!