It’s surprising how common chatbots are becoming in the digital space. If you own a phone or computer, chances are you’ve encountered a chatbot at some point — whether you realized it or not.
But what is a chatbot, exactly? A chatbot is an artificial intelligence software that uses Natural Language Processing (NLP) to talk or interact with people like a human through either voice or text. Chatbots can live in different places across the digital landscape such as websites, mobile devices, social media platforms, etc.
They can be as discreet as a friendly message popping up on a website asking to help, or as deliberate as asking Amazon’s Alexa for the latest weather update. Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether they’re human or not — and that’s the point!
If your business is making sales online, it might be time to consider investing in a chatbot. The Leverage team recently interviewed Arvell Craig, Founder of Chatbot Funnels, to learn more about the power of chatbots. Arvell and his team at Chatbot Funnels partner with digital marketing agencies to help them leverage the power of Facebook Messenger chatbots to automate sales conversations.
Read on to learn why chatbots are the hottest opportunity for sales in today’s digital world, how your business can benefit, and how to get started on building your own chatbot.
The Power of Chatbots for Sales Conversations
Arvell’s company, Chatbot Funnels, focuses primarily on Facebook Messenger. Why?
- Facebook has 1.3 billion users
- In December 2015, more people around the world were interacting on social media using a one-on-one messaging type software, like Facebook Messenger, than scrolling through their news feed.
- As a massive opportunity for marketing and growth, in July 2016 Facebook opened up Messenger for businesses and allowed developers to customize Messenger through tools and apps.
- Facebook Messenger is a direct sales funnel. Email marketing might get 20–30% open rates on the first email once you get people into your funnel. In the first message, Facebook Messenger has an 80% + open rate.
- Chatbot conversations initiated in Messenger virtually eliminate the need to send prospects an email for the sales funnel. Facebook Messenger cuts out about 3 steps of the sales funnel, increasing user experience.
Starting to think a chatbot might be for you, but still not sure how it can drive sales? There are three main ways Facebook Messenger chatbots can drive conversations:
- Facebook Page Viewers
If your Facebook page is driving a lot of traffic, Facebook’s algorithm enables Messenger to automatically open everytime someone visits your page. In your page settings, you can even enable a greeting to invite people to message you. This is one of Messenger’s basic features, but can also be programmed by a chatbot.
Just by having a free Facebook page, you’re giving page viewers direct contact to you through Messenger.
So whether a chatbot initiates the conversation or not, once someone messages your page, a lead has been created. With a third-party programmed chatbot, that person is automatically added to your sales funnel. Facebook allows bots to access the email address and phone number attached to the lead’s account. So they’re not only added to your funnel, it’s an auto-capture for email too.
2. Facebook Ads
Instead of pushing your Facebook Ads to a lead page offsite, send your Facebook Ads to Messenger. The bot will immediately engage, auto-capture their information and add them to the funnel.
3. Facebook Comments
One fascinating feature is that Facebook allows chatbots to initiate Messenger conversations with anyone who comments on any page post. For example, if someone comments on your Facebook Live, your chatbot can message the commenter with an offer. “Hey! Hope you liked our video. Comment below and I’ll send you a FREE report.”
You can also program a bot to listen to the comments on posts for keywords. When someone uses a keyword in your post, the chatbot can “grab” the conversation, turn it over to Messenger and begin a conversation with them to nurture them through a funnel and lead them to a sale.
Where to Start
Is your brain spinning from all the opportunities a chatbot could create for your company? It’s pretty exciting stuff, and more integrations are being added chatbots every day — so there’s no time like the present to get started!
For beginners, Arvell recommends starting by setting up a chatbot on Chatfuel or ManyChat. These are the two most popular and reliable tools with excellent support for Facebook Messenger. Both are also extremely user-friendly and can be set up in-house. These chatbots can do the very basic question-and-answer type conversations.
To take your chatbot to the next level, there are companies like Google’s Dialogflow, which can understand more random questions and conversations.
If your use case is more complicated — like using chatbots for marketing, lead funnels, nurturing relationships, and ultimately creating a sale — that’s where companies like Chatbot Funnels come in. These types of companies are connected to databases and use custom coding to create your entire artificial intelligence world.
Interested in learning more about the wonderful world of Facebook Messenger Chatbots?
Check out ChatbotFunnels.Me for more information and resources!