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8 Ways to Monetize a Chatbot to Increase Profit
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8 Ways to Monetize a Chatbot to Increase Profit

Illustrator: Adan Augusto
8 Ways to Monetize a Chatbot to Increase Profit

Through AI technology, customer interaction and engagement have become even more intimate. The need for such a comfortable connection with the customer has led many companies to adopt a more interactive medium — chatbots.

According to a 2022 study by ThriveMyWay, 24% of enterprises, 15% of midsized companies, and 16% of small firms utilize chatbot services. Chatbots’ user-friendly engagement and communication with consumers have transformed them into major monetization tools for businesses.

However, it’s not just a matter of implementing a chatbot on a website and being done with it. Businesses require a true chatbot marketing strategy to bring value to their customers. After all, building a chatbot intends to offer consumers a unique and customer-centric experience.

So despite the rise in demand for conversational AI, one crucial question remains: how can chatbot monetization help businesses increase profit?

Here are some main chatbot monetization techniques businesses can follow to increase revenue.

1. Understand Consumer Behavior

Consumer behavior refers to individuals performing certain actions before, during, and while using a product or service. The executed actions comprise everything — from the initial decision to buy a product to how the product is used and disposed of.

Marketing experts often study user psychology to better understand how to target potential customers and encourage them to make a purchase.

The strategy remains the same when it comes to chatbot monetization. Chatbots are computer programs that can mimic human conversation. AI-based chatbots are trained to understand the intent of the customer’s query, providing businesses with the information they require to understand consumer behavior.

For example, if a customer queries a chatbot about a product, the chatbot can provide the business with information about the customer’s interests, demographics, and purchase history. This information is critical for businesses looking forward to understanding the needs of their customers. 

Businesses are required to understand their customers better so that they can serve them well. Chatbots offer an easy and cost-effective way for businesses to get insights into their customers’ behavior by understanding how they engage and interact with chatbots

By understanding how and why consumers behave in a certain way, businesses can make customer-focused decisions. This, in turn, will be beneficial for the customers and will also help companies identify emerging trends to adjust their offerings accordingly.

2. Use Bots as a Service

After starting a business and obtaining a business license, you’ll need to automate repetitive tasks that can get expensive and reduce your profit margins. Using bots as a service can help you with that. 

Bot as a service (BaaS) is a model where chatbots handle business communication. It enables businesses to take advantage of chatbot technology without investing in chatbot development tools and their maintenance.

There are several benefits to using BaaS, including:

  • Improved customer satisfaction: Chatbots can provide a faster and more convenient way for customers to get the answers they need.
  • Reduced customer support costs: They can automate many tasks associated with customer support, such as answering frequently asked questions and providing information about product availability.
  • Increased sales: They can proactively offer products and services to customers, which can lead to increased sales.
  • Improved efficiency: Chatbots can free employees from having to handle routine tasks, such as providing information about products and services, so that employees can focus on more critical tasks.

Bot as a service for any business can be the most cost-efficient business model, provided that it is designed for specific business needs. 

Data on the projected market size of the North American chatbot industry
Source: Grand View Research 

Chatbots are becoming popular, and many businesses have already embarked on the journey of chatbot monetization and working alongside these bots.

For instance, Belfius, an insurance company, handles thousands of insurance claims on a daily basis. They decided to integrate a conversational chatbot to reduce the employees' workload and boost efficiency.

Customers write their queries to the bot, and the bot categorizes the type of claim each case is about and then hands it over to the main department.

Belfius uses bots as a service to handle insurance claims
Source: Belfius

The chatbot providers offer a wide variety of services, including creating, training, and deploying chatbots. They also offer services such as analytics, which can help businesses track the performance of their chatbots.

Many companies have also begun using chatbots to guide prospective candidates through applying for a job; they can even be used to help screen candidates. 

By providing a guide to recruitment marketing through a chatbot, finding and applying for a job becomes much easier for candidates, and it can save time and money, too.

Landbot is one example of a great chatbot builder. The platform helps brands build chatbots for different purposes without the need for any coding knowledge. 

Therefore, if you’re looking for a way to harness the vast benefits of chatbots without building your chatbots from scratch, consider using bots as a service.

3. Use Chatbots for Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is performance-based marketing where affiliate marketers promote different companies' products on personal websites or social media channels and earn a commission when someone clicks on their links or makes a purchase.

To monetize this process, one can use an interactive chatbot on the affiliate page. This chatbot can be a scroll or exit popup engaging customers in a human-like conversation. The chatbot can provide users with the information required to convince them to click the affiliate link.

Therefore, chatbot monetization can be an effective strategy for affiliate marketers to boost their earnings. These bots can help you address customer objections, resulting in more clicks.

Moreover, you can use the analytics from the chatbots to improve your content for even more earnings. For example, you could analyze the most common queries handled by your chatbots. You can then use that information to update and improve your content hubs. That ensures your content fully satisfies the user intent.

4. Chatbots for Native or Sponsor Ads

Native advertising is a form of advertising that blends in with the surrounding native content on a website. Unlike banner ads or pop-ups, native ads are less intrusive and more difficult to ignore. As a result, they can be an effective way to reach potential customers.

Here is an example of native advertising by the footwear and apparel company Allbirds. This ad was placed as an in-content on The New York Times newsfeed.

A native ad from Allbirds
Source: Hubspot

Chatbots can help with native advertising by providing personalized recommendations and conversing with users. This will create a more seamless and enjoyable experience for users.

Chatbots are great for native ads or sponsored content because they can help to create a more personalized experience for users.

One potential use case here is incorporating sponsored content into a chatbot conversation. Let’s say, for example, a user is interacting with a chatbot on a website or in an instant messaging app. The user then asks, "how do I calculate my marketing ROI.”

The chatbot can provide a sponsored link to an online tool or guide where the user will find the answer to their question. The website or app hosting the chatbot will then earn from that interaction.

That’s the potential of chatbots in native or sponsored advertising. Conversational AI chatbots are getting more and more sophisticated. They’re getting smarter at understanding user queries and directing them to relevant resources. Publishers can take advantage of this, as well as the growing need for instant responses from users, to usher in a new age of native advertising.

5. Use Bots for Research or Conducting Surveys

Chatbots are a great way to do market research. They can help you figure out what people want and need and how they feel about particular products or services. 

They can also help you collect feedback by conducting chatbot surveys. Check this out:

 using chatbots to conduct surveys and research
Source: Landbot

Most chatbots use natural language processing to figure out what people are saying. They understand people’s queries, even if they use casual language or slang, making it easier for people to communicate with chatbots. It also eases gathering feedback from people.

Moreover, chatbots are conversational in nature. This makes the surveys more fun and engaging. As a result, more people are likely to complete your surveys.

Overall, chatbots are a great way to do market research and gather feedback from consumers. They are easy to use and can help you get more accurate results from your surveys.

6. Use Chatbots for Lead Generation

Chatbots are an effective way to automate lead generation, by helping businesses connect with potential customers and collect useful information. In addition, chatbots can help qualify leads and determine whether a lead is worth pursuing.

To be successful in lead generation, designing a humanoid chatbot that can communicate with customers in a conversational way is essential. It builds content flow, encouraging people to trust the chatbot. Users won’t have to worry about their information leaking, having their identity stolen, or any other such risks. 

As a result, leads will interact with the chatbot more freely and provide vital information for you to follow up with them.

how to use chatbots for lead generation
Source: Facebook Messenger

The content could include questions about what consumers are looking for or how they can be helped. Consequently, consumers will either submit their contact information or subscribe to a mailing list.

7. Earn Commissions from Chatbot Sales

AI-based chatbots are the future of online customer service. By automating simple tasks and providing instant interaction, they can help businesses increase sales and conversion rates. 

Here are a few tips to make the chat more functional to start earning commissions from chatbot sales:

  • Know your chatbot’s capabilities: Chatbots vary in features and hence offer different services. For example, some bots can take orders and payments, while others are limited to providing customer support. Make sure to fully understand the bot’s features before deploying it.
  • Train your chatbot staff: Like any other employee, chatbot staff needs to be trained to use the bot properly and provide excellent customer service. This includes knowing how to handle common customer inquiries and problems.
  • Use the right marketing materials: Right marketing materials will explain what the chatbot can do for customers. This includes an overview of the bot’s features and how it can improve a business’s sales and conversions.

8. Boost Retail or eCommerce Sales

Conversational chatbots for eCommerce can increase sales by providing an easy way for customers to order products. They can help customers with product information, returns, and order history. They can also help with troubleshooting issues and answering customer questions. 

Here is how Starbucks helps customers palace an order via a chatbot:

Starbucks uses chatbots for placing orders
Source: Hubspot

Technology has specifically made things easier with voice chatbots. With the rise of voice-enabled services, such as Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant, the products’ accessibility to shoppers has become even more convenient. Consumers can now place orders without surfing through a website or navigating through a complicated checkout process.

A study says 35.2% of consumers believe voice search is good for reordering products. This makes the additional orders fast and easy, increasing the number of return customers and growing customer loyalty for the brand.

For a company looking to use a shopping chatbot in its eCommerce or retail business model, make sure the chatbot can handle tasks that need to be completed.

Chatbot owners should ensure the conversational computer programs used to design the bots are easy to use and understand. The messaging bot should be tested well before releasing it to ensure it works correctly.

Finally, provide training for customer service representatives on how to use and work alongside these automated assistants.

Conclusion

Chatbots are used in various departments, including customer service, marketing, and sales. In addition, they can be used to generate income in various ways.

For starters, you can use them to understand consumer behavior. You can also use chatbots for affiliate marketing, sponsored and native ads, customer research, and lead generation. Further, you earn commissions from chatbot sales and boost retail and eCommerce sales.

The best part about chatbots is you don’t need coding knowledge to build and deploy one. You can simply use bots as a service to build and launch a powerful chatbot. So there’s really no reason not to utilize conversational AI chatbots. Not when they come with so many benefits.

Austin Andrukaitis
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Writer

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