Make Your Message Stand Out With Bots

Many of us have created onboarding sequences for our subscribers. They're dead useful, they can be used to educate and delight your subscribers... in short, they're awesome. 

Today we're going to talk about a sequence of a different sort: a non linear sequence. What are they, and why are they important? Would one of these go well with your business? Join us today and find out!



Psst! Want to ask me about bots? Click this link, get on my calendar, and let's get the conversation started!


Welcome to the Bot Signal, your home for news and views about Messenger chatbots. Today we're going to talk about making your message stand out and we're going to talk about it in terms of how you structure your messages. It's going to be really cool. Stay tuned. Sit back, relax and listen to a tale of two sequences. Okay, so the one that everyone starts out with is a linear sequence. It's the seven day free mini course where you start learning about whatever the whatever the topic is on a Monday, and then you're finished the following Sunday, kind of a day by day or a week by week drip sequence. We're all really familiar with this through email. Uhm perfect. - the linear sequence is something that I like to, the gaming culture refers to it as railroading. Basically, you get on the train at one spot, the train stops at various stops along the way. It's all guided by something else, and at the end of the trip you've made your journey, you're spit out at your destination. Fantastic. That's the linear kind. That's the kind if you're just starting out, you want to start with because there's a lot to understand about bots and there's a lot to learn and if you are trying to build a sequence for the first time, this is the simplest kind to build and this kind of sequence will always be useful to you.

01:43: So if a linear sequence is like a train ride than a nonlinear sequence is like a playground. Bear with me for a moment and please remember back to the third grade when all of a sudden the bell rings and you've got 15 minutes to go outside and play it out before you go to your next class. You enter the playground and there are: There's some red rover going on in the corner. Maybe a game of kickball is happening somewhere and you've also got your choice of playground equipment to go to. You can run over to the slide. You can teeter totter it for a while. You can do what your friends are doing. All of these opportunities are open to you and you get to wander around from place to place and play on the stuff as long as you want to before you move on to another thing.

02:40: This is more of a, much more of a choose your own adventure bot. This is a bot that introduces discovery and exploration as part of the experience. Non-linear bots rock. They just do. Let me give you a little example. Uh, Zootopia. We all remember that movie, the bunny who wanted to be a cop. Uh, and eventually I think made detective, if I remember correctly, loved that movie. Anyway, Zootopia room movie released about March of 2016. In April, I think it was late April 2016, the Bot released. So a month after the movie is done now people can interact with the bot, which they chose the main character of the, you know, the, the, the bunny who wanted to become a cop. And uh, in this bot, people get graded. They, you know, they move up in the ranks of the Zootopia police department, the ZPD. Obviously you can become a detective.

03:46: You can get a badge, you can do all of these different types of things. When that bot released, it really was one of those moments where people were kind of taken aback. You know that not only, you know you can make a movie trailer if you want, right? It's two minutes. It's a very passive experience and you measure your engagement by how many people clicked to watch that thing, but are people really engaged? They put out this Bot and people spent minimum 10 minutes engaging with the content and some of them went back several times. That's a big deal and we'll talk about how big of a deal that is in this next segment.

04:31: Making your bot a playground with each little area on the playground, being some sort of knowledge or teaching that you want to give to the people subscribed to your bot is just a wonderful experience to give them. You see, in marketing, we're taught constantly that people won't read. People won't click through, people won't, don't want to scroll. There is a very famous user, a user interface book out there called "Don't make me think" uh, we refer to it all the time when I was building interfaces in a past life. Anyway. Yeah. People won't click through. Yeah. People don't want to scroll why, cause it's boring. All right, let's just be honest. Most marketing materials are boring, but people will totally click through if they're having fun, if they're earning little badges, if they're leveling up, if they're finding little things that are unexpected and surprising. If you put discovery and exploration into your bot, people will absolutely click through. Hey, remember PokemonGo? Remember reading stories about people who walked right into traffic, uh, injured themselves occasionally because they were so focused on what was happening on their phone. Listen, people will absolutely click through. You do have to make it fun for them. Discovery and exploration is huge. It's fun. It allows people to go at their own pace and you'll get people coming back for more.

06:17: So people will click through when it's fun for them and especially if you introduced discovery and exploration elements in your bot. Now here is a couple of things to think about when you're doing that. What I do is I use, kind of, game video game elements actually uh well in some of these are in table tops as well, but what I do is I use game elements and I rename them to fit my brand. Okay. So if you've ever played a game, video or otherwise, usually, especially in roleplaying games, there comes a time when your character levels up, gains a level somehow. Um, and I use leveling up in the bots that I write. A long time ago, I used to run a Facebook group, I used some gaming elements for leveling up in there as well. And this Facebook group was called the Dojo and every once in a while we had challenges and those who participated got to level up. I would send them a certificate with their new belt rank- their new belt color on there. Uh, and people absolutely love that kind of stuff. So use leveling up. The Zootopia bot does that as well. It gives you different badges. You get to be different ranks in the, uh, police department. Uh, so, so think about that. Here's another one. Easter eggs are very, very popular in video games and otherwise. These are those little hidden gems that not everybody finds a but they're filled with, you know, in video games a lot and they're filled with a power up or they're filled with, you know, a different piece of equipment or something like that.

08:08: Something that is going to be valuable to them during the game. So you can put an Easter egg in one of your areas of play or areas of knowledge, if you want to think about it that way, you can put Easter eggs in there and lead people into finding that kind of stuff. It makes people feel like a rockstar and that's exactly what you're going for in your bot. Lastly, you can also think about doing the whole thing as a scavenger hunt or a treasure hunt or something like that. We'll give your, give that thing a theme and give people something to work toward. So that is enough for me today if you want to build one of these nonlinear bots and not sure about where to start, do get a hold of me because I build these things and I would love to build one for you.

09:06: Thanks for listening today. You can find full episodes of The Bot Signal on your favorite podcast player, and if you have the anchor app stop in, ask me a question, leave me a voice message and I'll included on my next show. If you're completely new to bots and you don't know what's going on there visit me at Start a conversation with me. Take my free mini course. It's all available. Thanks a lot and I'll see you in a bot.

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RJ Redden