Have you heard about the latest marketing tool, chatbots? More importantly, should you be using them for your Facebook business pages or business website, the short answer is YES! First off, lets define a chatbot. According to Technopedia, a chatbot is an artificial intelligence (AI) program that simulates interactive human conversation by using key pre-calculated user phrases and auditory or text-based signals. By predicting an introductory conversation with a new user to your business, you can have a chatbot interact with the person and therefore you can direct them along a path to a desired result. More importantly, you can have the chatbot interact with customers while you are sleeping, busy, or unavailable and you can pick up the conversation when you are available. Now that we have defined a chatbot, let’s talk about the benefits of this powerful tool for your business.
The first benefit of a chatbot is building a client list. In marketing, there is a mantra, ‘have an email list, build an email list’ because you can market directly to your customers and have a more personal touch when marketing to them. How are you adding new people to your email marketing list? Most businesses have an opt in page or pop up on their website so that visitors will be added to their list. With chatbots, when a person interacts with it, they are automatically added to the chatbot list. Therefore, it is one less step for you to add new subscribers and since they messaged you in the first place, you know they are extremely interested in your product or service. Another benefit of utilizing chatbots are the results you get by way of open rates and click rates. What are your email open rates? Your click rate? Mailchimp has posted their current email marketing benchmarks, the average open rate is 21.09% and the average click rate is 2.61%. By using some math, to have 100 people open your monthly email marketing you will need an email list of 500 to really start reaching people. According to Digitonic, chatbots get average open rates of 60-80% with a click rate ranging from 15%-60%! One of the main reasons for these incredible numbers are that the chatbot interacts with most of its users through mobile devices.
Speaking of mobile devices, this leads to the awesome open and click rates….everyone has their phone on them. When a chatbot broadcasts a message, it sends a Facebook message that is a bubble and pops out on the home screen of your mobile device. As compared with an email, you may just get a notification and easily ignore it. Many people receive hundreds of emails in their inbox and most of them get ignored, the Facebook bubble not only distinguishes itself on the home screen but also may have an audio sound as well to tell the user of a new message.
The two main places you can add your chatbot is on your website and your Facebook business page. If you put a chatbot on your website, your visitors can interact with ‘you’ immediately and you can pick up the conversation after the visitor has been led through predicted introductory conversation. The other location for your chatbot should be on your Facebook business page. Facebook offers their own chatbot, however, I would recommend using a third party chatbot service such as Chatfuel, Manychat or Opesta because you have more features and more control of your customer list. Always try to make it easy for your customers to contact you so that they can try to find their own answer first, then if further assistance is needed, they have been guided through various prompts and ready for more 'real' interaction.
In conclusion, chatbots are a very powerful tool that will help you manage your customers, increase open rates, increase click rates, and simple to use. I have tried various chatbots for various clients and most of them come with a free version and easy to set up tutorials so that you can start building your chatbot from the start. Artificial intelligence chatbots help you work smarter, not harder when it comes to real time online marketing.
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