How to Use Marketing Psychology to Build a Likable Chatbot

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Below is a transcript of the Chatbot Marketing Training Course by MobileMonkey and Isaac Rudansky, of Adventure Media. Get the full course here and become a messenger marketing master. Everything you learn here you can do yourself with a free chatbot in MobileMonkey.

Welcome back chatbot fans, and welcome back.

In this lecture we’ll be continuing on talking about principles of persuasion in effective chat design, and we’re going to talk about likeability, which is what I call your secret weapon in every single bot message you send.

The principle is really straightforward, it’s really simple, right?

We prefer to say yes to requests from people we know and like, this is something which is just true in all aspects of human interaction, especially when we decide which brands to buy from, we often buy from brands that we like the way their website looks, we like the production quality of their videos, all different sorts of subtle irrational cues help us figure out where to buy from.

Now, since we don’t know, or our users don’t know our chatbot, right? It’s not a person, even if it was a live chat representative they’re not going to know us personally, we’re not going to really be friends, we need to at least make them likeable, okay?

So, there’s a bunch of different things that you could do when you’re building your chat bots, and you’re thinking about how to actually craft your messages to make these chat bots likeable, and just going back.

This is why these chapters in my mind are so important, because you’re going to learn all the technical steps in building chat bots, and all the different features, and all the different widgets, and what’s the difference between an RSS blast and a chat blast, and a drip campaign, and a clicked to messenger link.

But, none of that stuff is important if you can’t write in a way that appeals to other humans, in a way that’s likable, in a way that gives a sense of urgency and it gives a sense of— and develops that feeling of reciprocity and commitment, those are things that we spoke about previously, which is why these things are really important and it’s really worth thinking about.

So, humor. Humor is a trait that people tend to like, so don’t be afraid to make your chatbots funny, in fact, you should be afraid to make your chat bots boring and not funny, or unfunny.

We’ve seen chat bots that are humorous, that have sort of tongue-in-cheek. You don’t have to be a professional comedian, I’m certainly not a professional comedian, but there’s a certain element of looseness, and natural language, and authenticity, and humor that comes across in a very likable way when you’re building your chat bots.

Give your chat bots good taste, okay? This is interesting. People like people with good taste, so you could send cool gifs and tasteful images and videos from around the web

Again, this going back to one of the previous points of using Instagram posts, or other social media posts that have been successful, or just interesting images that could spark a conversation that shows that you have good taste, that you are aesthetically refined, to things like that.

Those are things that will make your chat bot more likeable.

People like people that are authentic, right? So, it’s okay to be genuine, discuss things that you don’t like, you could complain about things.

Ask your users about their frustrations and their fears, that’s a really important, and a really good technique and good advice when it comes to building your chat bots, and this applies to all different messages, you could be sending out a drip campaign or a specific chat blast, or you could be running click to messenger ads.

These elements should be used in each area of the of communication. Be open with users and ask users to be open with you.

Another interesting technique is to ask questions that will give your bot an opportunity to complement a user, we’ll talk about a couple ideas for that in the in the next slide.

People are more willing to comply and engage with people who have similar interests and backgrounds as them, and this is very similar to what we just spoke about with regards to social proof and tribal identity, if you remember that, a big part of social proof is looking to like people to see what is good and what is appropriate.

This is a very similar concept in likeability, if you could convey that we are similar and we have similar interests, and similar backgrounds and desires, that will create a sense of likability, a sense of ease and a greater desire to buy from you, as opposed to an unknown competitor that hasn’t done as good of a job as you’re going to do with getting people to like your brand through better bot marketing.

Let’s take a look at likability in bot design. I have a little bit of a chat bot over here that you can take a look at the picture, but a couple minutes we’re going to actually just go through, I’ll show you the back end of that bot again.

So, here’s a couple examples, ecommerce brands can send cool images and videos from around the web and engage users in a conversation about the subject of that video or photo.

Successful brands understand that you don’t have to have a picture, or a video, or a topic of conversation that’s directly related to your products or services.

And that’s why they’re successful, because they understand that if I could engage you in something interesting, even if it’s a little bit off topic, it creates that sense of likability and that sense of engagement, and that’s very important, that’s really powerful.

A client of ours, which is a company that makes stand up desks, desk risers, they might send out a chat bot or a chat blast, or drip campaign complaining about back problems that they’re experiencing in their office, right?

This is really interesting stuff, it’s unique and sort of like— I think that chat bots are really the only venue and channel that something like this could really work, they can complain about their back problems and they can engage users to talk about their own back problems and their own health issues as related to sitting at an office cubicle all day.

And sort of just open up that conversation which is so authentic, it’s so natural, and it really works to drive engagement, and again, it’s the point is not to get a sale from every given chat, the point is to keep people engaged with your brand.

As we spoke about, funny GIFs, emojis, work incredibly well. And any type of emoji, there’s not a specific set of emojis that work better than others, all emojis work, increase conversion rate, and increase engagement rate.

And we have done these tests specifically, and we found these results to be true across a variety of industries and verticals If you’re advertising a local business, and this is really huge, engage in conversation about the user’s hometown.

So, for a negotiating seminar that we’re advertising in Buffalo, New York. And we’re only advertising to people who are in Buffalo, New York.

There’s a there’s a huge amount of information that we could talk to with the user that’s relevant to them in their hometown, and just showing that we’ve taken— even if the user knows it’s a bot, the user also knows that the brand designed the bot, right?

so just showing that that the brand has the sense and has the awareness to talk about something that is dear to the user will increase affinity towards your brand, it’ll increase likability, it will create that sense of likability with your brand.

A client of ours that sells a parenting course for newborns talks about their pains and joys of newborns while established and likability.

So, you know, here’s a terrible story of our toddlers, and some of our customer toddler’s, how difficult they were been, where the parents almost went nuts and threw the baby out the window, what is your worst story been?

And they start typing, and it’s like you see these incredibly authentic interactions that are taking place even when the people who were interacting with know that it’s a chatbot on the other side, and all these things serve to increase this over all sort of esoteric and difficult to describe intangible sense of likability. Very powerful.

Now, in your own business, think about different ways that you could establish likeability in your bot design.

Again, the same exercises we’ve done in the previous couple of lectures, write down two to three different techniques or strategies that you can implement in your own bot, and how you would talk to increase that likeability.

Whether it means giving your bot some humor, giving them good taste, sending out tasteful videos or images, opening up to them in a personal way, asking them to open up to you in a personal way, sharing some similar background like hometown, or tastes, or interests.

Think of some different ways and you’ll see once you start taking pen and paper, and actually trying to put down in writing different ideas that you would have for making these chatbots likeable, you’ll see that you’ll start getting some really great ideas.

Now, let’s quickly jump into the backend of Mobile Monkey again and take a quick look at this little chat bot that I put together that illustrates likeability.

So, here we are in the backend of Mobile Monkey again, and we’re going to quickly test this page and open messenger, and again, we’re going to do this on a desktop computer. And you’re seeing above here is the old threat from the same test, but over here it says, “Hey Isaac, what’s your favorite horror movie?”

Now, this is an example bot for a client of ours that runs one of the biggest independent streaming services for indie movies and horror films, so we’re trying to get people to sign up for a free trial for this streaming service, okay?

But, are we just going to blast out to thousands of people “sign up for a free trial?” No, we’re going to talk to them like real people, we are going to use psychological principles to increase engagement rate, and that’s what makes these bots so incredibly successful.

So, “Hey Isaac, what’s your favorite horror movie? The Shining, 1408, The ring, Friday the 13th.” Let’s say I choose “1408” okay? “No way” and then it’s typing, like this is very humanistic, right? “That’s also my favorite horror movie, John Cusack was fantastic in 1408, no? I think it’s one of my favorite Stephen King adaptations.

We’re usually able to offer new customers a seven-day free trial to our streaming service, but since we’re both Stephen King fans I’m able to extend the trial to 30 days if you sign up today. No credit card required. What do you say?”

And again, getting me to take a stand, what do I say about that offer, right? That goes back to which principle? commitment and consistency.

And I’m going to click “That’s great”, that’s the only option. “That’s fantastic Isaac, here’s a link to your extended free trial. 30-day free trial” you click the link and go to the website, right?

So, that is likability in action, we’ve established a connection, we’re both Stephen King fans, my favorite movie, your favorite movie, I’m going to use that to offer you a free-trial that’s extended, it increases that sense of satisfaction that you’re getting a better deal than other people because we have this sort of thing going on with the two of us, that we both like Stephen King, 1408 was our favorite movie.

When you can apply things like this to your business, it’s very powerful. So, think of a couple ideas that you could implement with regards to likeability, and how you might even combine that with some other principles of persuasion that we’ve spoken about until now, and you’ll start having some ideas for chatbots that are going to be enormously, enormously successful.

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