WTF are chatbots? A chatbot is a script based computer program inside messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and What’s App.They’re similar to emails, but much more effective, and can be used for list building, fundraising, customer service and more. While chatbots aren’t brand new to the digital scene, they’re still new enough that most brands and nonprofits are a) either not using them or, b)not using them strategically.
Chatbots are so effective that they’re already becoming a must-have engagement channel for early-adopting brands. If you haven’t already, now is the time to throw yourself into this effective tool…while you can still enjoy maximum ROI. Before you jump in, there are a few things you should keep in mind.
Get Personal. Emails and, frankly, many social media posts tend to talk at people. They are written for the masses. Messenger chatbots, on the other hand, should feel more personal. Like a conversation. Although it’s good to keep your message short and to the point, that doesn’t mean your bot shouldn’t have personality. You should create a ‘persona’ for your bot and bring it to life. This doesn’t mean using a bunch of slang to sound cool (unless that’s your brand), but it does mean writing like you’re talking to a respected colleague, if not a beloved friend.
Make it Count. You have a very short window to grab a user’s attention. Keep the conversation narrow, and don’t be afraid to be a little edgy…draw people in with a great headline and even better content. A chatbot about the “Racist history of cannabis legislation” is going to get way more subscribers than one titled ‘Three key reasons Illinois should legalize adult-use cannabis’. Trust us, we know. For brands, a focus on customer’s needs combined with strong headlines will deliver results. “Want to upstage your mother-in-law this Thanksgiving?” will grab more attention than a “Great Thanksgiving recipes” headline.
Don’t ask for marriage (yet) While chatbots can be great for increasing user engagement and conversions, some bots try too hard to get people to like them. Do this and you’ll be ghosted. Ouch.
First, focus on your pick up line and witty banter. Make sure your chatbot gets asked out on a second date and then progresses to bae status by designing one which first gauges interest and then communicates only when you have something important or interesting to share.
Strategy is Always in Style. No matter how new or cool the tool, a smart strategy for integrating it into your marketing communications plan is the key to success. Chatbots are no different. You should always start by first understanding what you’re trying to achieve, who you’re trying to reach and what messages are going to pull them in.