Chatbot marketing is a way to promote products and services using a chatbot — a computer application that carries conversations with users by a predetermined scenario or with the help of AI. Brands create this virtual assistant with a chatbot builder, and connect it with messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Snapchat, etc., or add to their website.
The first “chatterbot” named Eliza was developed in 1967 to demonstrate communication between humans and machines. Today, chatbots help companies achieve a high level of user engagement and solve users' problems, speaking with leads right in their private space. It promises the growth of profits but, at the same time, requires responsibility and respect.
Watch this video by Sujan Patel, where the marketer answers the question of how to use chatbots in marketing.
Benefits of Chatbot Marketing
- Saves time and money
- Helps segment traffic
- Provides a quick response
- Speeds up the payment process
- Fits any business
- Boosts engagement
- Gives data for analysis
- Helps in lead nurturing
Let's discuss every aspect in detail.
- Save time and money. A chatbot allows your business to serve more clients with fewer resources and efforts. Unlike human beings, the chatbot needs no salary and works 24/7, meaning that creating a chatbot is a one-time investment.
- Help to segment traffic. Chatbots diversify your audience by leading the conversation in different directions. For example, a person showing interest in pricing is likely to be a warm lead, so the chatbot may suggest making an order right in the chat. In case people need more information, the chatbot should give all the necessary details about your product or service.
- Provide a quick response. An instant reply enables users to solve their problems fast and results in a positive user experience for your clients. If performed correctly, the chatbot will improve your brand image and grow the feeling of trust associated with your company.
- Speeds up the paying process. You can utilize a chatbot for completing orders without making users move to a website. Making orders and paying right in the chat takes less time and effort from your customers to buy from you. For that, you need to connect PayPal or other money transfer services to your chatbot. How beneficial for eCommerce stores!
- Fits any business. You can design a chatbot to cover various processes, regardless of whether you own a small family business or a vast enterprise. It is a universal marketing channel, and SendPulse enables creating chatbots for Messenger for free.
- Boosts engagement. The conversation is held in messaging apps like Messenger, WhatsApp, WeChat, etc., with an enormous audience — around 5 billion users, according to MessengerPeople. This means that you will have a chance to communicate with a highly targeted audience on a global scale.
- Gives data for analysis. All data collected with the help of your chatbot gives you insights on your audience’s needs and preferences. With this data, you can adapt your chatbot marketing strategy as well as overall marketing to achieve better financial and communication results.
- Help in lead nurturing. With chatbot marketing, you can smoothly and rapidly move prospects down the sales funnel. If you sell shoes, you can show different models, colors, characteristics — anything to warm leads and help them decide that your services worth their money.
What can a chatbot help you with?
- Making orders
- Customer support
- Scheduling meetings
- Tracking orders
- Sharing news and updates
Now, that we know why chatbots are essential for marketing, let’s review some functions it can handle for your business.
- Enabling making orders. If you run an eCommerce store, selling clothes, food, accessories, etc., a chatbot is a lifesaver since it allows taking orders directly in the chat. In case a user is yet not ready to make a purchase, a chatbot can at least tighten the search before the customer contacts a real person. For an organic food store, it would be helpful to find out which vegetables person needs — and only then address them to the sales rep.
- Delivering customer support. A chatbot is a great assistant for answering FAQs. Besides, working 24/7, the chatbot helps solve the problem of different time zones. For a financial consultation agency, located in the US with the better part of its customer base in India, a chatbot would help to avoid hiring customer support on a double-shift basis.
- Scheduling meetings. A chatbot may be extremely helpful for one-person brands in any industry — hair salons, fitness trainers, DJ services. You can connect it to Google Calendar, and your virtual assistant will take care of appointments while you give a haircut, move your body, or spin vinyl.
- Tracking orders. “It said my package would come in three days, but I never received it!” — chatbots liberate you from that hassle that always appears with selling goods. A sophisticated chatbot allows tracking packages, while the simpler one can inform a person about the shipping and delivery automatically. Wouldn’t it be great to ask for a review a couple of weeks later and offer another product?
- Sharing news and updates. When people start communication with your brand, you can suggest that you will be providing them with the latest news: new collections of clothes, fashion shows, etc. A chatbot can help you stay in touch with your audience, keeping people engaged.
Well, you can hire developers for creating a very expensive chatbot or try out a predesigned chatbot that solves a particular task or create one without a line of code in a chatbot builder. It doesn't take long to create a chatbot with SendPulse, and it’s free. Here’s how.
Chatbot Marketing Examples
Let’s now find out how companies from various sectors utilize chatbot in their marketing strategies.
Travel and hospitality. In this example, booking.com helps users find apartments based on keywords that stand for location.
Restaurants. A fast-food restaurant called Wingstop allows users to make orders without going to their website.
Retail. Louis Vuitton helps its users choose by dividing their products into different categories according to color and price range, gives the option to contact a real person.
Chatbot Marketing Tips
- Find out the FAQs of your business
- Build specific conversation tunnels
- Test your chatbots
- Make your bot stand out
- Ask permission for sharing news
- Ask for data
- Promote your chatbot
Continue reading to get more information on the subject.
- Find out the FAQs for your business. To create a useful chatbot, examine which difficulties people usually have and what they don’t understand when using your product or service. You can analyze the data within any marketing platform you already use, by giving a small survey or getting feedback from your customer support team.
- Build specific conversation tunnels. Your chatbot should be very specific when solving problems. Any step aside from a particular task will result in an unpleasant experience for users since chatbots are still limited in understanding what people want. Limit the choice of remarks for the user, create a conversation tunnel — one for each task like answering FAQs, confirming orders, or scheduling meetings. In case your chatbot doesn’t understand a query, let people know they can contact a human being anytime.
- Test your chatbots. Try a chatbot yourself first, or show it to your friends and colleagues. After you launch a chatbot, analyze the way your audience interacts with a chatbot to get insights on how to improve it.
- Make your bot stand out. Since a chatbot aims to simulate a real-person conversation, give it a name depending on your industry. If you teach coding, let it be Cody, or Moto — if you offer car rental services. Make sure the conversational style correlates with your overall brand image and your niche, i.e., a formal manner for finances, medical care, insurance, and a more informal style for other services.
- Ask permission for sharing news. Once the user starts communication, you can send scheduled messages with updates and news. But don’t think it allows you to bombard users: they will immediately stop it without thinking twice. Ask for permission first and agree upon the frequency of messaging from your side. It’d better be not too often.
- Ask for data. It’s okay to ask users to share some data like their name, age, location, etc. Your motivation is to provide a more personalized way of interaction in the future. Besides, ask your audience to leave their email addresses to continue communication on other platforms if chatting isn’t very convenient for them.
- Promote your chatbot. Make sure people know about your chatbot.
To enrich your knowledge, follow chatbot best practices to know how to create a chatbot that will give your audience positive user experience.
- The article “11 chatbot marketing examples to boost your bot strategy” by SproutSocial shares examples of chatbot usage from various niches.
- The article “10 Ways to Use Chatbots for Marketing and Sales” by Entrepreneur shows how to utilize chatbot to increase your revenue.
- The article “Beginner’s Guide to Messenger Bots” by Buffer helps to get acquainted with chatbots for marketing.
- The article “Battle of the Bots” by HubSpot criticizes the way marketers use new marketing channels, and it's a fascinating story.
Last Updated: 2020-01-20