Chatbots have had their “roller coaster moment” already, they went up the hype hill and crashed down along with all the hopes and dreams of many. Afterwards, some survivors remained and are now building the future of bots. Those are the companies building bots for e-commerce, faqs, events, government agencies and a ton of other stuff.
Some of them are building communities, others are building services, but all of them are building a new tool for communication. A thousand articles on this magazine have talked about that, the power of bots.
The power of bots
If you have been following, you’ve probably already seen some stats regarding bots and their usage. As a matter of fact, more than half (65%) of millenials have already talked to a bot, and half of them are ready to make purchases directly from a chatbot.
More than that, 80% of businesses use social media to communicate with their audiences, and those audiences are expecting special treatment, impossible to offer from a human. On the other hand, bots have a 15% to 65% CTR, compared to a 3–5% for emails. That is huge!
Being a contact on your messaging app, bots have the ability to build upon your inner reflexes. You just know that people on your messaging app are friends and family, it’s a place where trust reigns. That is what makes a chatbot so efficient, and we will be discussing how to leverage this power for communication campaigns.
Designing your campaign
Before jumping into your hugely successful bot campaign, you have to design it, give it a little thought and create a very effective campaign.
First of all, we need to define our goals, our expectations, and how to get to them. What is my audience ?Is it millenials ? 12–15 y/olds ? Senior citizens ?
What are we selling ? What is our exepected outcome ? What information do we need to convey ? Will my bot be too spammy ? Will my campaign not be attractive ?
Okay, we know we want to launch a communication campaign via bot, but why ? What is our message ?
We obviously want people to interact with our bot, and probably to click on a link or fill some info, maybe even buy something. We need to convey the message in a manner that makes them want to click. As we said, people have inner trust in bots, unbeknownst to them, so our message must leverage that trust.
Here’s some advice for writing your message:
- Use the person’s name, most messaging interfaces will give you the name so you can use it.
- Use inviting vocabulary (words like “surprise”, “for you”…), but don’t be too blunt. Let the message give the user some surprise and invite him to do whatever you want him to.
- Use the bot’s personality. If your chatbot has a name and a given personality, use that to your advantage, make it seem he is a friend sending a message.
Be careful though, you don’t want people to think that you are holding their trust hostage to click on your message. Be gentle and charming.
Timing is of the essence here. You don’t want to send a message in a sensitive time for the user, like when he is in meetings, dinners, waking up or reading before sleep.
Best times are on the commute to work 🚂 , at lunch time 🍟 and on the commute home and 2–3 hours after that. At these times people often look at their phones or computers and look for articles or are simply chilling by the TV. Sending them a message from a bot is the perfect occasion for them to interact with you or your brand.
As a matter of fact, when people are not distracted with work or any important task, they’ll be more than willing to interact with something asking for it. Just imagine it’s you, after work, having dinner in front of Netflix, and getting a message on your phone : “Hey John, I have a surprise for you! 😄”. Is that not inviting ?
We are of course talking about chatbots, but you will need special tools to build an effective communication campaign.
First of all, once you have decided how to handle your campaign, you will need to have some sort of tool to send those messages. Many of the free platforms offer tools to broadcast messages.
Broadcasting is an effective way to convey one, two or (maximum) three messages, and with a little bit of work, maybe even send a little flow for the user to follow. However, the best communication campaign are the ones that personalize the results for the user, and add that little bit of “randomness”.
To choose your best tool, be sure to be able to add some automation to it, to tell it to follow some rules:
- if the users says no: ask why and get some feedback
- if the user does not respond, re-send a follow up message in 20 minutes / 3 hours / a day.
- if the user responds positively, mark him as a lead somewhere
These are just some examples, and integrations like Zapier and Google Sheets can help you build a mini-crm that is integrated within your bot.
On the other hand, if you can target your audience by creating segmentedgroups, you can be sure to have a higher ratio of engagement. Being able to segment your audience gives you the ability to send more tailored messages and touch your users where you want.
At the end this process your goal should already be quite clear. If it is not, place yourself in front of a piece of paper with a pencil, some headphones and some good old Rock to get you motivated.
- What are we looking for here? Users to read our article? Users to buy a product ?
- How are going to get there by sending a message? By asking them to? By using the FOMO (“fear of missing out”) method ?
Defining this goal at the end might seem counterproductive, since technically you already know what it is before even thinking of a campaign, but it will allow you to revisit your whole campaign strategy and maybe even to better define said goal.
Okay, now that you have sent your message and are oh-so-happy with the result, it’s time for some measurements. Of course, you won’t be able to tell if your communication campaign has worked until you crush the numbers. And for that, you’ll be using some specialized tools.
As a matter of fact, many of the most popular chatbot providers offer some sort of analytics/statistics interface. Obviously, some differences are to be expected, but some stats are more valuable than others.
Look at the example from this Chatfuel article; they show the Read Ratio and the Click Ratio (CTR) of each broadcast. Both are extremely important metrics as I’m sure you already know.
These statistics represent how many people interacted with your message. How many clicked on the link/postback and how many just read your message. To have a better understanding of these numbers, at Bottomatik we prefer showing the CTR both as the % of users that interacted, and the % of users-that-read-the-message that interacted (or ECTR: engaged click through ratio).
As a matter of fact, even if only 10% read the message, if 100% of them interacted it means you found a new segment, or simply you sent the message at the wrong time, but it was compelling enough to have each person that read it actually interact with it.
I really hope this article has helped you in discovering the possibilities and how-tos of a chatbot driven communication campaign. It is in fact one of the most modern, buzzing, and effective ways of communicating and marketing.
At Bottomatik we offer similar statistics, along with segmentation tools so that our clients can send tailored messages (sponsored or not). We know that driving a communication campaign can be daunting, which is why we accompany our clients from day 0 until the end of their event, and explain this whole process step by step.
Using the right tools and the right methods and spending some time on them will be extremely rewarding with the results. I’ve seen myself click on “bot-ads” that would never have worked on a website, simply beccause they were more personal and had more thought and feeling put into them. Anyway, I hope you learnt something and thus that I’ll be giving something back to this community.