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3 Ride-or-Die Best Practice Rules for Building Your First Messenger Bot

Surprised girl with computer

Are you including Messenger marketing as part of your digital strategy?

If not, why not?

Messenger Marketing is a fancy way of saying “I’m using a chatbot to communicate, nurture and turn prospects into buyers.”

Why? Because communication is moving away from email, SMS and phone calls.

Think about it… Where are you having the most intimate conversations?

It’s on WhatsApp, Messenger, Instagram DMs, and for some people it’s Snapchat (but I’m not touching that one.)

In fact, in China, over 900 million people use messaging platform WeChat. In fact, bloggers and influencers share their content SOLELY on the WeChat platform. Let that sink in…

My business hero, Ezra Firestone, founder of Smart Marketer, says: “Within five years Messenger will literally replace channels like email, SMS and even websites… It will be THE channel.”

That’s pretty big stuff.

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Let’s do a short intro (as bots are still the new kids on the block)…

Messenger bots can:

  • Turbocharge your sales
  • Act as a digital assistant to handle queries, automate tasks, and nurture new leads
  • Bots can educate, pre-qualify and even filter and forward leads to the right person.

And right now, 95% of businesses aren’t even using bots, so if you’re jumping onto Messenger bots now, you will be ahead of your competition and capture customers first.

For some clients I’ve worked with, a bot solves their biggest problem: answering the same customer service queries over and over; for others, it’s nurturing their audience and tying it into product launches.

And I know what you’re what you are saying right now: “But Angela, no one wants to talk to a bot…”

Well, actually they do!

  • In fact, 47% of consumers say they would buy items from a chatbot. And 45.8% of consumers would rather communicate with a business through a messaging app than email.
  • Usually people have negative associations with bots that are spambots (and those bots on ticketing websites that snap up all the Britney Spears tickets before you get a chance), but with Messenger chatbots, as long as you tell your customers it’s a bot, they are MORE willing to give out information like what they are willing to pay for something (like a budget qualifying question) because they know they are giving it to a bot and not a real human.
  • Messenger bots are SO new it’s almost like a novelty, so people actually embrace them.
  • To use bots to qualify leads, here’s an example: For the solar power company bot, we gave it a series of questions that it fires off to qualify prospects. For example, the bot asks budget and when they are looking to buy a system and gives them 4 options to answer with. When the business owner receives the information from the bot, he knew instantly how much prospects are willing to spend with him and when they are ready to buy BEFORE he even jumps on a call with the prospect, saving him time and increasing his productivity 10 fold!
Bot Building Best Practice 101

Now you understand the value of bots, let’s break down 3 ride-or-die best practice tips before you dive head-first into creating your own Facebook Messenger bot.

(I use ManyChat, so I’ll be using ManyChat terminology below. Here’s my quick 9 minute video overview of the features I mention below.)

Welcome Message

For the welcome message (which is the message anyone gets when they hit “Send Message” on your Facebook page), your bot should ask your users to opt in for two reasons:

1. In order to subscribe someone to the bot, they have to perform an action, by hitting a button means they become a subscriber.

This is also best practice to let them know that they are opting into receiving future communications from you, so they are clear that the bot may send them updates from time to time.

Sending Updates (known as Broadcasts) to Your Subscribers

You can send updates to your subscribers known as broadcasts; however, there are several restrictions based on the type of content you can send.

for example, you can send a message (known as a broadcast) that offers valuable, free content (like a video, blog post, even a tip or hack).

But if you want to send an update about promotions (a sale or offer or anything that your subscribers have to pay for), you can only send promotional message to the subscribers who have interacted with your bot in the past 24 hours (or Facebook can ban your account and shut down the page).

It’s also best to have a strategy around these so you’re not sending too many updates too often and they offer value AND promotional material.

Remember the 24+1 Rule.

Default Message

Your Default Message is set to fire off once every 24 hours when your bot doesn’t recognise a keyword or question. (I’ve had default messages set to “fire always” but it gets crazy in there and overrides keywords.)

Sometimes, your bot is not responding to you because the Default Message has already fired off to you when you were testing the bot (for example, you are an existing subscriber).

However, if someone comes into your bot for the very first time and starts typing (which is pretty rare), the Default Message should kick in, and then then your user can hit the menu buttons from there to restart the bot, and everything will work fine.

Of course, these things aren’t 100% foolproof, but you’ll still get all messages in the Facebook inbox and Live Chat in ManyChat if your bot gets confused.

Now you’ve got a breakdown of best practices for bots, you know what to look for when building your first bot.

Not sure you can tackle a bot build on your own?

Drop me a line via my Facebook Messenger bot (hit the “Work with me” button) and let me help you out.

Want to know more about how bots can help your business?

> Click here to get my 40+ Chatbot Tactics delivered to you instantly via Facebook Messenger.

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