Best Practices for Engagement with Teaser Messages + Automatic Launch
Chatbot  -  Mar 04, 2021

Over the years, the team at Instabot has developed best practices for designing and building chatbots—and these best practices are based on quantitative data. By using our analytics, we can tell which bots are effective or not—and have collected efficacy data across many industries. These best practices may change based on sector and business operations—which can create particular nuances in bot design—so please keep that in mind.

Our first best practices will start at the beginning with the teaser message. You can find these settings in Bot Management/Triggers.



1.)   Persistent Button Teaser Message Should be Multiple Choice

There are other bot designers and platforms that tell you to start a bot with an obscure question such as: “How can I help you?” However, teaser messages should start with multiple choice. The reason for this is that chatbot technology is still relatively new, so the common user experience when you start with a more open-ended question is for users to test the bot’s limits and what it can do for them. When companies start bots with, “How can I help you?” you will also see users input more “test” questions such as, “Can you do math?” and “What’s the weather?”. This is creating friction for your website visitor. Multiple choice options inform the user about some of the things that bot can provide for them—without them having to ask. Common options to start your bot might be:

·                 Pricing

·                 About Us

·                 Our Process

·                 Why We’re Unique

·                 How Technology Works

·                 Customer Support

This also gets the user asking questions that they should be asking. For example, if you have affordable pricing as compared to the competition—use your chatbot to highlight that to your prospects. Using this technique will increase engagement with your bot, reduce friction for usage (no testing necessary), and lead to educating your prospects more quickly.




2.)   Persistent Button Teaser Message should never be more than 5 options

Keep your multiple-choice options limited. Messaging is very powerful in that it can reach users who are otherwise overwhelmed by large quantities of information. Through technology, humans are evolving to expect instant answers and gratification. They no longer can read through pages on a website. We see in analytics that bot nodes that contain more than 5 options will see much lower engagement rate—sometimes 40% loss. We think it’s because people are overwhelmed by the content of the responses—they can’t digest information quickly and that leads to abandonment. Therefore, choose 5 topics for your bot to prompt users; let them uncover more information as they go through the conversation.

3.)   Persistent Buttons Should be the Highlight/Action color on your website

As soon as your prospect or customer lands on your website, you are training them how to use it. Most websites will choose a specific color (or two colors) for all call-to-action buttons on their site. For example, we use the color “green” for action. By keeping this color consistent, you are training your users to think, “when I click a {green} button this will be a catalyst for action and I will receive new information.” Usually, this color or colors are managed by your team’s branding guidelines or creative director. Whatever the action color is on your site, you should use this same color for the multiple-choice buttons on your bot. The continuity will further enforce call-to-action and signal that the bot can provide useful information.

4.)   Always Include, “Ask a Question”-collect training data, understand your first bot users

One option in your teaser message should always be, “Ask a Question”. This serves several purposes. First, you want to capture your customer needs. While you want to leverage multiple choice buttons to show what the bot can tell them, you also want to capture information that your prospects/customers may want, but that you had never expected when you built your bot. For example, maybe a competitor just launched a new feature and prospects will want to know if you have that feature—it can capture topical or seasonal information that would not normally be in your bot. You can then use this to update your bot. Secondly, it allows you to collect training data for natural language processing training.

5.)   Automatic Launch Bots are Aggressive, but Effective

Most companies choose to launch bots as a persistent button because they prefer a more subtle user experience. However, if engagement with your bot is a priority, we’ve seen that companies with an automatic launch strategy have much higher engagement. This result is enhanced if the company adds a transparent background to the page with the automatic launch. One particularly effective way to use automatic launch is after a time delay which signals the user is interested in learning more about your products or service, hence they are more primed to start talking to your bot. This time delay will depend on your user’s common behavior. We recommend experimenting with starting with a 7-15 second delay (depending on how long it takes your site to load, this time may be extended)


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