Conversational chatbots and messenger marketing have taken the center stage in improving customer experience and business revenue over the past few years. The ease of implementation and multiple use-cases of our chatbot friends have made them the first choice for a lot of leading brands. Albeit it’s very clear that bots will never be able to completely replace human touch but the competition stakes are high. Time is money and time is exactly what we save by using bots for lesser valued work so that we can concentrate on higher-value work. Even small-to-medium-sized businesses are striving to include chatbots in their marketing strategy. Size of the chatbot market worldwide, in 2016 and 2025 Source What’s the reason for this recent upsurge in the use and success of chatbots? What are the different ways businesses can leverage chatbots to grow better? Is it necessary for you to have advanced coding knowledge(or any coding knowledge at all) to get started with your own chatbot? Throughout this article, I will answer all these questions to help you clear your chatbot basics and prepare a sound chatbot marketing strategy. Ready? Let’s proceed. What is a Chatbot? Ideally, chatbots are conversational agents which connect with real people and help solve their issues. They are software programs implemented by businesses to automate conversations with customers on their store/website. Chatbots generally fall into these three categories: Button/Menu-Based Chatbots Keyword-Based Chatbots Artificial Intelligence(AI) Chatbots Depending on the complexity of the tasks you would assign your bot to handle, you can choose any of the listed chatbots. There is another category of chatbots that have gained immense popularity due to the ease of their implementation, Messenger Chatbots. Messenger chatbots are messaging app integrations of a chatbot which makes it easier to connect with people on leading messaging apps like Facebook Messenger, Whatsapp, Slack, Kik, etc. With a monthly active user base of 1.3 billion people, Facebook Messenger is the leading messaging application to be integrated with conversational bots. Image Credit: Facebook According to Facebook, there are over 300,000 active bots on the Messenger Platform, with 8 billion messages exchanged between people and businesses every month. With users being omnipresent on the platform, it becomes a no-brainer to integrate your chatbot with Facebook and expand the reach of your conversational marketing efforts. If you haven’t been living under a rock, you are sure to have encountered some brand’s Facebook Messenger bot. One example is eBay’s advanced AI Facebook Messenger chatbot which acts as a personalized shopping assistant and assists people in finding their favorite amongst a billion products. Source Why Your Business Needs a Chatbot? The new trend in the market, bots, hasn’t just been accepted and welcomed by brands without any reason. They have proved their worth by delivering quality results and have found multiple use-cases, even in ever-changing business fields like eCommerce. Let’s check the different ways a chatbot can help your business grow: Better User Experience – Whether you are into eCommerce or any other business field, a bot improves the overall experience of your website/store to a great deal. Leading brands like Sephora are using bots to allow customers to try on their products before buying and have a look at their facial appearance. When customers are treated with such seamless experiences, it boosts engagement and positive word-of-mouth. Improved Customer Service – Probably the biggest use-case of chatbots. Assisting website visitors, navigating users to resources/products, scheduling meetings, handling presale queries, etc. are different ways you can use your bot to help with customer support and service. Data-driven Product Recommendations – It’s natural for us to exchange information during a conversation. Chatbots gather a lot of rich customer data over time and this data can be used to recommend products to customers based on past purchase history and most liked products. Automated Lead Generation and Qualification – Artificial intelligence and a well-written chatbot script can make your bot as capable as your marketing team representative in generating and filtering leads as per your set parameters. Rewarding Customer Loyalty – Not a complete replacement for customer loyalty programs but bots are also being used to engage loyal customers and present exclusive benefits. Closing the Deals – Chatbots have the ability to sell directly and sending users to the checkout page. Special sales chatbots are being put into use to close the deals. Even if you don’t trust a bot to close a sale for you, the human takeover feature allows your sales representatives to take over a chat from the bot whenever required. There is more to the aforementioned methods of utilizing a chatbot for your business. You just need to study the various aspects of your business which will suit and favor the incorporation of a chatbot. 5 Best Facebook Messenger Chatbot Platforms to Choose From After going through chatbot basics and understanding how it can help your business boost engagement, you might be tempted to have a go at it. But the very next moment you may feel the need for a team of developers, which can help you create a chatbot of your own. That’s not the case anymore as it is quite easy to develop and set up a bot on your own. Now, we will go through the best and most user-friendly platforms for getting started with your own Facebook Messenger Chatbot. Chatfuel Chatfuel is a trusted brand in the chatbot industry which makes it easy to create chatbots seamlessly. It helps you engage people drastically and grow your business and expand it to the fullest. Some features of this Facebook Messenger Bot Builder are: One can easily create segments according to the parameters and get audience insights accordingly. You can use your subscribers’ list to create custom audiences and even a lookalike audience for better Facebook Ads targeting. Delete inactive users with no hassle. Whenever a user comments on a post or clicks on an ad’s “send message”, you can directly add them as a subscriber. You can take the help of an expert to get you started and assist you with issues and concerns. BotMyWork Chatbot Builder If you target user-friendliness and ease of operation as the essentials in your product, Chatbot Builder by BotMyWork is a perfect Facebook Messenger marketing platform for you. BotMyWork Chatbot Builder is a no-coding platform that promotes conversational marketing on Facebook Messenger. You can create ingenious chatbots for all business needs to stop the involvement of human agents. Increase conversions via Facebook Messenger with broadcast messages, human takeover chat, lead generation, and FAQ features of Chatbot Builder. With BotMyWork Chatbot Builder, you can create your own Facebook Messenger bot in under 5 minutes. Automate the conversational flow and reduce any expenses on customer support agents. You can easily customize the bot according to your needs and improve the user experience on your website. There are only 2 prerequisites for building your Facebook Messenger Chatbot: An active Facebook account A Facebook Business Page If you satisfy the above 2 listed conditions, you can leverage the automation of a Facebook Messenger bot. Here are some useful features of BotMyWork Chatbot Builder : Create Chatbot Without Coding Broadcast Messages To Reach Target Group Customer Segmentation Using Tags Lead Generation & Nurturing Personalization Of Facebook Messenger Widget Reduces Support Work & Time Provides Conversational Menu Personalization Via Greetings Human Takeover On Live Chat Complete Analytics Report One of the biggest advantages of BotMyWork Chatbot Builder is its pricing model. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that it doesn’t have any pricing model at all. Yeah, you heard that right. It is completely free of cost and free to use. There isn’t any hidden cost attached to the product and users can leverage free bot automation. Moreover, this platform is backed by Natural-Language Processing(NLP) and Artificial Intelligence(AI) which help the bots in error-free contextual conversations and better responses. ManyChat ManyChat is another leader in the industry that allows you to engage prospects and build relationships with customers. The highlight feature of ManyChat is the visual drag and drop builder which helps to create customized chatbots in no time. It is a great solution to leverage conversational bots and provide a seamless user experience to your customers. From converting people into bot subscribers to segmenting subscribers according to tags and from creating custom fields for user information to automating your messages, this bot solution provider has got it all. ManyChat’s pricing is according to your subscribers’ list. They do have a free bot but you also get their branding along with the free service. For the pro version, the more subscribers you have, the more you pay for a month’s use. Botsify Many leading brands worldwide trust Botsify for handling their conversational marketing woes. The variety of features offered by the platform coupled with a helpful team make it a contender for creating advanced chatbots. Botsify helps in bringing down your staffing costs and increasing sales by a considerable margin. Here are some top features of the bot builder platform: Human TakeOver – If you are worried about your bot is intelligent enough to handle every customer query, this feature will end all your worries. A hybrid interface allows your human representatives to takeover any chat from the chatbot whenever they want. Conversational Forms – Conversational Forms are an intelligent way to collect information from users during chatbot conversations. These forms are customizable with multiple info fields such as Name, Email, Location, etc. Story Tree – This is another interactive feature to view and analyze bot conversations with a bird’s eye view. As the name suggests, it gives a tree view of the whole conversation with a specific customer. Checkbox Plugin – This is an integration that allows sending Facebook Messages via your Facebook Business Page to people who check this plugin. In other words, users who check this plugin become your audience indirectly. Acquire Users from Comments – This feature allows you to reply to your customers who comment on your post. Owing to the above-listed helpful features of this platform, it is quite popular in the industry and gives you the power to enhance conversions and sales via conversational bots. SnatchBot SnatchBot has made a name for itself with so many useful features to help marketers around the globe. They have recently launched their pro version and altered their pricing model a bit. They have garnered a lot of attention and customers with their attractive conversational bots interface. Some highlight features of the platform are as follows: Offering multiple ready-to-use bot templates and bot directories is the biggest feature of this platform. Depending on your business type, you can use any template and get started straight away. Multiple plugin integrations add to the flexibility of the product and make complex tasks easier. With the pro version of the product, you can get rid of the branding and claim exclusive support. If you are just starting with conversational bots and Facebook Marketing, SnatchBot is your answer as a complete stable solution. Over to You Conversational bots are changing the way online businesses engage and connect with their audiences worldwide. Facebook serves as the most potential social platform for marketing your products and boosting user engagement. Integrating Facebook Messenger with conversational marketing is a unique way to enhance user experience and assisting customers with issues. Certain messenger chatbot tactics and strategies must be followed to extract maximum results. Coupling the power of social media and conversational marketing can be the missing piece to your marketing puzzle. Integrating chatbots in your marketing strategy may seem intimidating to many but it isn’t. If you have an existing Facebook page and account, you are good to go. Do you use chatbots for your business? Why not? Do you plan to use them anytime soon? Which of the above-listed Messenger Bot platforms do you find most helpful? Please have your say. I am listening.