We talk to our customers and partners almost every day about their messaging marketing experience and their reasons to use bots in their social media communications. Not surprisingly, generating new leads for their brands is almost always one of their top priorities.
It sounds easy in theory that all users from Messenger and Viber will start their conversations with the brand, but in reality – just like everything else – needs careful setup and planning. In this post we’d like to give you some basic idea about how should you start and what steps should you follow, including advertisement options.
1. Set up your bot to handle your leads
The first step is to set up your bot in the way you want to handle your incoming leads. The best performing bots are always on the point and waste no time. Research shows that you should not try to disguise your bot as a human, people will figure it out fast that it isn’t (and get angry at you). Instead, have your bot it’s own bot-personality, which works great. It’s ok not to know the answer for everything, but there must be a way to improve over time.
As for handling the new leads, your bot should have the necessary flows to lead your users and customers through your processes, be it an on-boarding flow or signing up new users to your platform. When a new customer is being led through the process, he/she will less likely try to do stuffs that you are not prepared for (and will need human assistance). We encourage everyone to test multiple flows as conversations in this environment are vastly different than in email, for example.
2. Re-engage with broadcasting (random vs. repeating)
Most of your leads won’t turn into your paying customers at first interaction. Rather, they sign up to your mailing list, join to a watchlist or just remain passive until they are ready to commit. This is no different with your prospects from the messaging platforms, but here we have a much better tool to re-engage them later. Why is this better than email, for example? The answer is the high engagement rate. To do this, there are multiple tools and ways in the advertisement platforms (re-targeting is probably the best and most cost effective way), but also with your bot platform: broadcasting. When you send out messages to your leads and customers, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Make sure you respect their settings (if they subscribed to a topic or not)
- Do not spam, it’s bad for your brand
- Try to send information that is actually useful and important
- Besides text, you can broadcast multimedia content or even different flows to have better results
- Have some kind of schedule
3. Automated leads with triggers (with APIs or pre-built extensions)
This is the most interesting part as you can connect all your software to have automated paths to handle your leads with messages. Since the engagement rate is generally high, this is a good way to re-target and re-engage your existing customers. There are multiple ways to do this through the API or the existing pre-built solutions, like Zapier. To connect your webshop or shopping cart, you have to define your triggers (the event that happens on your side, like an abandoned cart or customer inquiry) and then from the bot side define the action (the event that the bot/messaging should do, like automatically launch a new conversation flow with your content).
4. New users from Facebook Messenger advertisement
We wrote about this earlier about how to set up your Facebook ads to target Messenger (and your bot) as a destination. The advertisement algorithm is very sensitive about the pictures and what you write on them, which have a large effect on the reach of your campaign. Writing the same text on the picture with smaller and thinner letters makes wonders. Make sure you check out your ad pictures in this validator tool before publishing them.
5. The chat plugin on your website
It’s an excellent – and free – tool to start your conversations (or to continue existing ones) with your customers directly from your website. Quick to set it up, you need to paste a few lines of code to your site’s html (this is how). Since Facebook is probably not the only tool that you will use for lead generation, your website should have this plugin ready to receive visitors from any other source. For Viber, you can set up your landing page with your simulated chat window.
6. The right conversations
Conversation elements that are generally short and on the point have better result. It’s important to have the necessary call to action(s) in place as part of your pre-set conversations, that will lead your users to the desired conversion points (for example directing to your shopping cart). Not necessarily at the end of the conversation, but have the option for multiple points to convert – especially at key decision points in your chat.
While deploying a bot, your goal is to have automated conversations to handle the bigger part of your leads, but sometimes human intervention is inevitable for various – and obvious – reasons. As you have to do both parts, it’s important that the bot that you are using should have an option to handle live chat as well, for example you should be able to switch off the bot for individual users if they need to talk to you or your admin. Campaigns could be vastly different in conversations, depending on your market and target group. Don’t be afraid to experiment, this is an uncharted territory for most (of your competitors too!).
Do you have a campaign that had great results with a bot recently? Would love to hear about it!
Also published on Medium.