The Dos and Don’ts of Conversational Marketing

As a pioneer in the Conversational Marketing space, we learned what to do and what not to do early on. Now we’re here to share our insights.

We talk a lot about the importance of Conversational Marketing, and why brands should build a larger Conversational Marketing strategy around their chatbots. We have also been known to extol the virtues of being discerning about your chatbot partner; we firmly believe that your chatbot partner should be a fully integrated marketing and sales platform, instead of just a generic bot builder.

But what are some of the tactical, fundamental ways you can ensure your Conversational Marketing strategy is successful? How can you build a chatbot that will engage people on a deeper, more meaningful level; ensure you’re sending messages that will resonate at the right time; and use your conversations to drive customers further down the sales pipeline?

Here are some of the dos and don’ts of Conversational Marketing:

Do: keep it fun, simple, and interactive.

The golden rule of content is that people are looking for a reason to stop reading. Too boring? They’re out. Too laborious? They’re out. Too convoluted? They’re definitely out.

Chatbots, unlike email and long-form content (like this article!), have the power to be truly engaging and fun to interact with. Your conversations should be simple, creative, and personable. Utilize emojis, images, videos, and custom-built animations to enliven the user experience and keep the tone light. (At Chatkit, we’re partial to the taco emoji 🌮🌮🌮.) Imbue your chatbot with a distinct persona that reflects your brand’s personality and messaging. And prompt your customers to interact as much as possible — preferably with a set list of choices instead of a messaging free-for-all. That way, you can better control interactions and ensure your bot can answer to the best of its ability.

Don’t: pretend your bot is a human.

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: pretending your bot is a human will only hurt you. Bots are far from being fully autonomous; AI is years away from talking to your customers without frustrating them. And people aren’t easily fooled. They know when they’re talking to a human and when they’re talking to a bot. Considering that 73% of people say they won’t interact with a bot again after one negative experience, posing your bot as a human will most certainly be harmful.

Instead, be honest that your bot is a bot. You can even make it fun and interactive: announce yourself as a neighborhood friendly chatbot, or stage some banter between the bot and your company or one of your employees.

Do: have a human ready to step in when necessary.

Sometimes, people require specific assistance or have questions your bot can’t answer. In those cases, it’s important to have a human ready to take over the conversation. Make sure people know how to access a human in the instance that they need more comprehensive help.

Don’t: spam users.

This is a big one. It’s important not to overwhelm your customers with too many messages. No one wants to be annoyed by an overzealous bot. And make sure your messages don’t push too hard, lest they feel like spam. After all, the block button is but one click away. Don’t give people a reason to send you to ignore.

Do: incentivize users to opt in.

People need a reason to opt into being messaged by you. After all, once they’ve opted in, you appear in their buddy list, alongside their real-life friends and family. That premium access is worth investing in. Consider rewarding people with discounts or special offers that will make it irresistible to opt in. It’s also important to reward people when you ask them for information. For example, if you ask them to fill out a survey, offer a 10% off coupon on their next purchase!

Don’t: throw up the first script you think of.

Since Conversational Marketing is a holistic strategy that encourages brands to be tactical and deliberate about their chatbots, it’s important you A/B test different conversation possibilities. That way, you can ensure your conversations align with your micro and macro marketing goals. Is “learn more” the right call to action, for example, or is “sign up now” better? It’s also important to automate your A/B testing so it doesn’t consume too much of your time.

Interested in learning more about how Conversational Marketing can help your brand? Download our Conversational Marketing Playbook from Chatkit

Have any other dos and don’ts of Conversational Marketing? Tell us in the comments!