As online marketers, most of us already know about the power of asking questions.
We’ve been asking our prospects questions for a long time now.
Sometimes with surveys, sometimes with services that plug into our websites, and sometimes as part of our email automation process.
The idea being… when you ask questions, you get to know your prospects better. And the better you know them, the more you can customize your messaging and give people what they want.
That’s all good.
Except chatbot marketing does it better. : )
Chatbot flows are conversational.
When you write a flow for a chatbot, you’re not writing a sales script.
You’re writing a conversation.
If you’re not sure how that feels, open your phone and look at a recent text conversation you had with a friend.
You take turns. There are pauses between turns. You express emotions with emojis and have fun with GIFs.
Think of those emojis and GIFs as the equivalent of gestures in real life. We use gestures to express emotions and create emphasis.
Something else you’ll likely find in that text conversation is a series of questions.
Asking questions is fundamental to any conversation.
Like, “How are you?”
Asking questions lies at the heart of any chatbot flow.
Most chatbots you encounter right now are rules-based.
That’s definitely true when you’re engaged with a chatbot on Facebook Messenger. These aren’t powered by billion-dollar AIs lurking in the heart of Silicon Valley. They are run by conditional logic. “If the user does A, then the bot should do B.”
As a result, when you write your script, you can’t ask open-ended questions. Because your bot won’t understand.
That’s why, when you engage with a bot, you’ll come across a number of multiple-choice questions.
Including a series of questions like this is essential to any well-designed flow.
It makes the user feel included. More than that, it makes them feel in control… like they’re in charge of the direction of the conversation.
That’s a powerful way to keep your readers involved.
The answers help you customize your marketing message in real time… like NOW.
Of course, asking questions isn’t simply a way to make your users feel good.
It also helps you customize the content you deliver.
Take another quick look at the screenshot above. There are three choices there. And when someone taps one of those buttons, they are taken to a different branch of the flow.
In other words, the conversation is being customized to address their interests and priorities.
And this is happening in real time. We’re not following up with a custom email sequence at some point in the future. We’re customizing the messaging on the fly.
If you’re offering a free download at some point in your flow, you can have several different downloads ready to go, and present the version that best matches the answers each user has given you.
As you can imagine, all this has a powerful impact on your final conversion rates.
Never mind 5 questions, how about 10?
Like I said at the outset, marketers have understood the power of asking questions for a long time.
But it’s only now, with chatbots, that you can ask these questions on the fly, and create multiple message paths to match each person’s priorities.
And you don’t have to stop at just 5 questions.
Our own bot includes over 10 questions in all.
That means we can do a LOT of customization and collect a TON of data on each user along the way.
This is the Q&A approach to online marketing on steroids!
You can see how this works right now by having a chat with our very own chatbot.