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5 Essential Rules to Writing Non-Sucky Chatbot Conversations

a vintage typing machine on a table with soft blue and white color

So, do YOU know how to give good copy?

It’s OK… I meant to do that 😉

Copywriting isn’t natural to everyone, but it IS essential to growing a business and generating sales…

Good copywriting can generate thousands of dollars of new business.

I know because…

I’ve created an email for a SaaS startup that generated a 10% open rate in 2 hours (higher than industry average).

I also created a Messenger bot and two-email sequence for the same SaaS startup that made $3,000 in sales in 24 hours,and had a 68.2% open rate, a 36.5% CTR and 71.5% CTR to sales page.

My landing page copy for dating expert Matthew Hussey (for askmh.com) outperformed the control by 44%.

I’m also a former journalist for Rolling Stone, FHM, Australian Penthouse and a host of Fairfax publications. So when I say writing is my life, I mean it! 😉

This year, my agency created a Facebook Messenger campaign using Facebook Messenger for a Melbourne education institute that brought them 530 leads in just 60 days, with 40 leads indicating they were ready to enrol in the next 6–12 months, giving them 25% ROI each quarter.

Top 4 Most Popular Bot Design Articles:

1. How to Make Your Chatbot Sound Natural

2. Zero to 45k users: how we created a chatbot to track airfares

3. Our journey of building a scalable knowledge management chatbot

4. Chatbot Conference 2020

(And my agency was honoured by ManyChat as Emerging Agency Winner 2019 for the results we achieved with Messenger. You can read more about that here.)

In fact, serial entrepreneur Ramit Sethi, was quoted in an interview with The Hustle as saying, “Copywriting is the most underrated skill. I spent years studying it; we’ve generated millions of dollars using copywriting, and I’m still amazed by the masters.”

Let me break it down for you…

  • Content marketing gets 3X more leads than paid search advertising.
  • Direct response copywriting gets 48X more conversions
  • Over 47% of buyers view 3–5 pieces of content before purchasing.

So it goes without saying that good copy can help you increase sales and customer retention, persuade your readers to take action, and increase the quality and quantity of your leads.

Now here are the 5 Essential Rules to Writing Non-Sucky Chatbot Conversations, which was part of my presentation at the first-ever ManyChat Australia meetup.

Rule #1: Keep it Conversational

Yes, it’s a conversation. It’s friendly but it’s structured.

Think back to when you were writing stories in English class and your teacher would tell you when two characters are talking, it’s a conversation, but it’s not like a conversation in real life; it’s structured, it has flow, pace and momentum.

This rule now applies to your Messenger bot conversations.

Remember to also follow best practice rules and in some cases, legal requirements (for example, the state of California legally requires companies to declare when customers are talking to a chatbot).

Your welcome message should say something like, “Hi <first name>. I’m a chatbot and digital assistant for <page name>. Here’s how I work.”

Make sure you set up expectations for your subscribers, too. For example, tell them when someone will be getting back to them: “Our team is online from 9am-5pm. You’ll get a notification when the respond. Feel free to close this chat now.”

Rule #2: Keep it Personal

Don’t forget to use personalisation. (You can also use smart videos that insert your subscriber’s name into videos).

Be sure to include your subscribers name, and make sure you engage with them as your brand would.

Personal brand example: My Hot Dog Cart Store client calls himself “Hot Dog Professor” so he sounds like a southern dude with “howdy.”

To create this, I had some of his videos transcribed so I could understand the nuances of language. Here’s what it looks like:

Can you see how all the elements work together in the above example?

Rule #3: Yes, it’s a Bot but it’s Also Human

Humans like to interact with humans, not robots, so you can approach your subscribers like a friend.

Use language like ‘hey, I’m just dropping in here to share this with you…” or you can use “oh, I totally forgot to send you this.”

Think of how you have conversations in real life, and then add some of those elements.

Rule #4: Let’s Have Some Fun

Listen, it’s a Messenger bot. It’s meant to be fun and interactive!

Use emojis. If you have to convey a lot of information, use emojis as bullet points to create visual interest.

Use GIFs. Copy can be enhanced by appropriate GIFs to show humour or reward the user for performing a task.

For example, when I ask my users in my chatbot for their email address in order to receive a free guide, I reward their action of giving me their email address with a celebratory GIF like this:

Woo! YES!

Try it!

Rule #5: Tone of Voice

Tone of voice is how the character of your business comes through in your words, both written and spoken. It’s the way you say things & the impression it makes on everyone who reads or hears you

For example, the education institute bot my agency is polished and polite while still being friendly. You can see the example below.

Whereas my hot dogs client bot is down’n’dirty southern dude.

Bonus Tip #1: Reuse Content

Don’t be afraid to reuse existing copy in your chatbot to help craft conversations and keep a cohesive experience for your subscribers.

My agency creates copy for:

  • Facebook Ad
  • Bot flow
  • Email (triggered in bot)
  • Landing pages

We’ll use copy from the website or brief to create the bot copy — the trick is to make it sound like a conversation. We will reuse copy from the Facebook Ad and Bot flow to create the emails we send out.

Bonus Tip #2: Don’t Forget Your Buttons!

Uh…. Not *those* buttons but you get my drift!

People don’t read all of your message text within the bot, so your buttons or quick replies are going to have to do MORE of the work.

For example, say you have a real estate bot and it sends a message asking subscribers if they can an open house. Include “Yes I can attend” or “No I can’t attend”, not just YES or NO.

Including a “something else” option is also good for some yes/no questions.

Also include “why I am seeing this?” at the end of messages so people can tap it if they have forgotten they’re a subscriber.

Want More Copy Tips?

Click here to participate in my 3 Day How to Give Good Copy Challenge (it will open in my Facebook Messenger chatbot), which will deliver one tip per day to set you on the path to copywriting greatness.

Want Professional Copywriting for Your Chatbot?

Click here and complete a few simple questions (it won’t take more than 2 mins) to see if we’re a good fit to work together and get your copy working harder for you!

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