AMY PORTERFIELD: Hey there, welcome back to another episode of The Online Marketing Made Easy Podcast. I’m your host, Amy Porterfield, and I am so delighted that you’re here today.
Before we get started, you know that I love to hear from all of you so thank you for all of the messages and DMs on Instagram. I love them! Sometimes it’s hard to keep up but I do my best so if you want to chat I’m usually hanging out on Instagram in the DMs. I’m just AmyPorterfield on Instagram.
I also love to read your reviews in iTunes. I learn so much about all of you and what you want and need in terms of your marketing from your reviews so I want to give a shout out to John Mikesh.
John left me a review in iTunes. A big thank you to you, John. He wrote:
“I love listening to people who can break down a topic to the simple and practical elements. This is a solid podcast that I will be listening to on theregular!”
That’s music to my ears, John! Thank you, again, so very much. I’m lucky to have you as part of this community and I hope you’re going to feel that way after this episode because I feel like my guest did a really good job today of breaking it down.
Today we’re going to dive into all things chatbots. You know I’m all about automating what I can inside of my business. Using chatbots is a prime example of an automation strategy that I definitely want to dive into more and more.
Since I began using chatbots not only have they kicked up our customer service experience but they have also increased sales to my evergreen programs. You may not know what a chatbot is just yet and you may not know much about it or how to get started. But I’m pretty sure you’ve already interacted with one.
My guest today is Andrew Warner. Don’t tell Hobie but I might have a business crush on Andrew. Andrew is from Mixergy, the popular podcast where he talks with top start-up entrepreneurs.
Andrew is obsessed with chatbots. He told me chatbots are the future of online engagement. It sounds like something that could be helpful for your business. I hope that you are all ears because we’re going to get into so many great details that you must know before you get started.
If you’re on the fence with chatbots and you don’t like the idea of automation and think it’s maybe a little bit too robotic then keep listening. You know I love the human touch in my marketing. So, if I’m using chatbots then I want you to be open minded to using chatbots as well.
As you listen today thinking about where a chatbot might make sense in your business too. Maybe you don’t have that need today but in the coming months, after you launch your online course or your membership site or you begin selling your physical products online then you might be at the place where your customer service needs to be at a larger scale.
If you want to reach out to people at a whole different level and you want to make sure you’re getting in front of the right people then a chatbot can do all of that.
Before we have Andrew join us I want to let you know that this episode is sponsored by my free masterclass, How to Confidently Create Your First Profitable Course in 60 Days.
If you’ve been thinking about creating an online course or if you’ve had an amazing idea for an online course for a while but you’re just not sure where to get started this free masterclass is perfect for you. All you need to do is head over to https://www.amyporterfield.com/courses.
I won’t make you wait any longer. Let’s talk all things chatbots with Andrew Warner.
AMY: Andrew, welcome to the show. I’m truly looking forward to talking all things bots with you so thanks so much for being here.
ANDREW WARNER: Thanks so much for turning on video. I told you I wore a nice shirt. I wore a jacket for you.
AMY: He did!
ANDREW: Everything you do is so beautifully done and polished. I said, “I cannot appear like a schlep. I’ve got to show up.”
AMY: You guys, right when I came on Skype I was not planning on being on video. I am literally in workout clothes and here he shows up. I said, “Andrew, you look so handsome in a sports coat.” Thanks for bringing it today.
ANDREW: I’m glad you’re willing to do video. I need the human interaction. If it’s just me talking into a mic I feel like I’m a robot but with me talking to you and I get to see you smile and I get to see when you’re not excited about what I’m saying it helps me adjust and be more of myself so I’m glad I get to see you.
AMY: I’m glad you got me out of my shell. You know I don’t love video but I thought, “Come on Amy, don’t be so vain. Get on video.” So here we are. I know my listeners can’t necessarily see you but I took a snapshot of you so they could just see how dapper you look. We’ll include it in the show notes.
Before we get into all things chatbots I want my listeners, if they’re new to you, to kind of learn a little bit about who you are. We always talk about how you earn a living so can you give us some details?
ANDREW: Yeah, sure. I’m someone who, when I graduated from school, I noticed that email was becoming the way that most people are communicating so I started an email newsletter that was just like a joke a day and then a trivia-a-day newsletter and then an inspiring quote via email.
All of this stuff seemed ridiculous at the time but I knew people would subscribe and want content via email. Sure enough it got into over 20 million subscribers over 20 million in boxes. It’s huge.
AMY: Oh my gosh! That number’s crazy.
ANDREW: You want to know something crazy? We got over 80% open rates on the emails we sent out.
ANDREW: Huge audience. Huge open rates. Then the revenue followed. It was over $35 million dollars in sales and then we (me and my kid brother) eventually hired more and more people and sold the business back in 2003 and I took a bunch of time off.
Then I said I was at a stage in my life where I always wanted to interview and write a magazine and I wanted to do something like that. I discovered podcasting in 2008 and I said, “This could be a way for me to interview people and do the kind of stuff I love.”
To this day I read biographies nonstop. This could be a way for me to create it. I started creating it and I did it just for a legacy. Then I was persuaded to add some advertising to it and my audience has known that I had g one into advertising kicking and screaming.
I didn’t need to money. I felt it was distracting. But what I discovered was that having ads made it more professional and feel less like a hobby to people. When I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses the audience doesn’t want to see this as my money pit, me spending money just to do this little hobby.
The fact that they see that it supports itself and is producing hundreds of thousands of dollars in ads and then more money from membership makes them feel like this is a real thing and allows me to also say, “I’m not putting my own money into it anymore. This is going to stand alone.”
That’s where I am right now. The site is called Mixergy. I interview entrepreneurs about how they built their businesses and I occasionally talk about what I did with email marketing back when I had that business.
AMY: I am a huge fan of Mixergy so it’s an honor to have you here and I love to hear your story, for sure. Moving into the chatbots, I want you to first kind of just set us up. Tell us in simple terms what a chatbot is and how it works.
ANDREW: I know we’re going to give people a video so they can see it for themselves in under 60 seconds. I created a chatbot for your audience that they can check out at https://botacademy.com/amyporterfield so they can see it.
But I’ll describe it. Imagine a landing page for a yoga studio. The yoga studio says, “We created a guide to teach you how to do a handful of yoga poses. Press this button below to get it.”
The user presses the button and immediately, it feels like magic, but their phone immediately vibrates and they look at their phone and there’s an alert at the top that says, “Here’s the guide I promised you.”
They tap the alert at the top of their phone and Facebook Messenger immediately opens up, there’s an image of the yoga studio they were just interacting with, and it says, “Hi,” and if it’s you, with will address you by your name, Amy. If it’s me it will automatically know my name is Andrew.
It will say, “Hi, Amy, here’s the guide I promised you. Can I give it to you here in Facebook Messenger and keep teaching you in Facebook Messenger?”
The user presses a button that says, “Yes,” and as soon as they press a button that says, “Yes,” they wait a second and then they get the guide right there. They can tap to open the guide. They can read it right there in Facebook Messenger. They can save it to read it on their phone later. They can share it with their friends via email, text message, Facebook Messenger, etc.
The beauty of this is that if a week later the yoga studio has a discount on membership they can message everyone who subscribed to their chat experience and say, “We’re offering a discount,” or, “We’re offering a free session. Come into our studio and learn, “ or they created another little guide or another way to teach you via gif, via video, via PDF to teach you how to do yoga.
It’s a way of connecting with people similar to what I did with email back in the early days, similar to what I still do with email, and will continue to do with email but in the chat apps that people love. And that’s as simple as it is.
AMY: I love that you explain it in simple terms. Like you said, we have a short video in the show notes to walk them through exactly what you explained. But, I like to lay it out there before we get into all the details.
My listeners are a mix of those in their first couple of years of business. Then there are some more seasoned entrepreneurs with a multiple six-figure business as well. Tell us who exactly should be using a chatbot and what sort of chatbot application they might start out using as a tool in their own business.
ANDREW: I’m going to say the #1 no-brainer use for a chatbot is anyone who is doing a webinar or something that’s time sensitive. I did a webinar with my friend, Brian Harris, for his audience.
I had people register to show up to the webinar. I looked at how many people registered and I think we had 857 people who registered to get this. After they registered we said, “Great, you give us your email address so we can remind you. But, if you hit this button I could send you a message via Facebook Messenger the minute I go live.”
Here are the stats on it. The people who got email, 42% of them opened. That’s a really high open rate, 42% open, right? The people who opened up the chat, 82% of them opened. It was 82.7% actually opened the message.
I said, “I’m going live now. You registered.” How could they not, they open it.
In email the click rate was 15%. So 15% clicked to say they were going to see the webinar they registered for. On chat, 37% clicked. We’re talking about way more people who are clicking, more than double the people are clicking and opening and going to see the live thing.
That’s who it’s greatest for.
AMY: This is huge. A lot of my listeners are into webinars because webinars are my thing. They come to me and say their biggest challenge is that people are not showing up live for their webinar. They register and then they don’t show up.
We all know that they have good intentions of watching the replay and they likely never will. So you just gave us a strategy to pretty much wipe out that fear, concern, or challenge.
This is huge but I want to get really specific really quickly and ask you if you are running a Facebook ad that says, “Register for my webinar,” and that’s how this is all starting?
Yes. We do a lot of different things but the #1 thing we do is have a Facebook ad that says, “Register for my webinar.” People hit the link. They got to a standard landing page. We happen to use ClickFunnels but we have used LeadPages very effectively and other platforms too.
It just says, “Here, register.” We ask for the email address first. Then on the confirmation page we say, “You’re registered. Hit this button so that we can remind you to show up.”
When they hit the button they are now also confirmed on Facebook Messenger. That answers the big question that people have for us which is, “Are you telling me that email is dead? Should I be replacing email with chat?”
Most people aren’t ready to do that. I don’t think the world is ready. If email is working for you keep it. Keep the standard landing page. On the confirmation page just say, “Hit this button and I’ll be able to remind you via chat.”
People will hit that button. The vast majority will because they want the reminder. It’s just one button to press.
AMY: This is something I’m doing 100%. I will be letting you know how it goes because it’s a game changer. Thank you for that. I feel like we could just end this but we’ve got a lot to cover so let’s keep going.
You’ve already given us some good examples. But can you give us a couple of examples of companies that are currently using chatbots successfully and tell us what’s working for them and how they track their success.
One more thing I want to add to that. If you could give us a big name company, someone that we would all know, but also on the flip side if you have an example of a lesser known company or entrepreneur that operates on a smaller budget (because that’s my audience) I’d love some of those examples as well.
ANDREW: I’m going to give you one. The reason I got into chatbots was one of my listeners, a guy named Shane Mac, created a business. I said I would invest in it and I put some money into the company.
I wanted him to see what I thought the future of chatbots would be. He’s not going to listen to me if I write him an email or text him or say, “Here’s what I think.” I had to create my own chatbot. I had to create my own experiences to show him.
So Shane Mac created a company called Assist. He created a chatbot for Sephora. I’m about to tell you something, Amy, please do not create this. Tell your audience, “Do not create this.”
Don’t be intimidated by this. This is just a vision of the future and for me to show you the big companies are already using chat. Here’s what you can do. I’ve done this.
You can go to Facebook Messenger and search for Sephora.
AMY: So guys, if you don’t know Sephora, it’s a company that sells cosmetics and such.
ANDREW: Thanks actually. You go to Sephora. They sell cosmetics, like you said. If you walk into a Sephora store they will do a makeover. They’ll actually let you try on the makeup.
For something like that you want to see it on your face before you buy, not just see it on a website. So what do they do for Sephora? What Assist did was, they have this thing that lets you see the different makeup they have. I wish I could show this to you. Maybe I could add this video to your people too.
I could hit a button. Here’s winged liner and red lipstick. I hit a button in Facebook Messenger, they are chatting with me but I hit a button that says, “Try it on.”
Right now you can’t see it but my lips have red lipstick on them.
AMY: Stop it!
ANDREW: I’ve got to talk. I’m a New Yorker. I talk a mile a minute. But lipstick is moving with my lips. It’s as if I’m looking in a mirror.
AMY: Oh my goodness.
ANDREW: That’s beautiful but I could slide over and see how it would look with more subtle makeup. Now it’s really subtle makeup.
AMY: Do you look good? Do you like it?
ANDREW: No I don’t. It doesn’t go well with my little bit of scruff. I shaved and I still have scruff.
AMY: That would be a little weird.