The Dos and Don’ts of Chat Marketing

As experienced performance marketers, and as pioneers in the Chat Marketing game, we’ve learned a lot from experience. We’ve watched many companies try and fail to launch Chat Marketing platforms, and we’ve learned from our own successes, mistakes, and iterations. We know how brands can succeed using chat, which is why we advocate for a full-funnel, customer-centric approach.  

But while we often speak of the broad ways business and brands can succeed with Chat Marketing—whether it’s by engaging customers throughout their customer journey or by choosing a fully integrated Chat Marketing partner—many of the dos and don’ts we’ve learned are far more tactical and fundamental. How can brands launch chat strategies that engage people on a deeper, more meaningful level; ensure they’re sending messages at the right time; and utilize conversations to drive customers further down the pipeline?

Here are some of the dos and don’ts of Chat 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.Chat, unlike email and long-form content (like this article!), has 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. (Here 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 answers 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 chatbot 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 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 customers 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 chatbot. 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 Chat 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.

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