How to Create a Chatbot From Scratch In Under An Hour

Drift team

There’s one phrase that can both inspire and terrify a marketer at the same time:

“We need to start using chatbots.”

Why?

Because modern marketers understand that anytime you launch a new marketing channel, there are logistics to consider — and with chat, you’re essentially providing a whole new way for your prospects and customers to connect with you.

Then there’s the fact that the word “chat” conjures up the live chat software of yesteryear. Even though times have changed, many marketers don’t realize how ridiculously easy — and beneficial — it is to have a chatbot on your website.

Putting An End to Chatbot Myths

Live chat first entered the marketing scene almost twenty years ago. And since then, a lot has changed — both in terms of the broader marketing landscape, as well as in the technology itself.

For starters, in the early days, live chat support reps weren’t available 24/7. In many ways, the idea of “live” chat was an illusion when it first launched. If you chatted into a company via one of these old-school chat tools, you’d often get a generic message saying something along the lines of, “Thanks for your message — a support rep will be in touch soon.” Simply put, it was anything but live. And that created a very troubling experience for businesses and customers alike.

Today, chatbots and conversational marketing platforms provide a totally different experience. Instead of the static chat experience of decades past, chat conversations are live, dynamic, and have the potential to serve as a powerful lead generation tool that lives right on your website.

Best of all? There’s minimal work involved with getting these tools live. Instead of having to get help from engineering or worry about whether chat software will play nicely with your existing marketing tech stack, implementing chat is relatively simple.

👉 Yes, you heard me correctly: Creating a chatbot using Drift is way easier than you think. In fact, it typically takes less than an hour to implement.

And guess what? That’s not a basic chatbot, either — I’m talking about a personalized chatbot for your business — one that’s catered to your customers’ questions and a lead driver for your business.

To learn just how simple it is to do this, I sat down with Sara Pion, resident Drift chatbot expert, and Conversational Marketing Specialist, to find out how to create a chatbot in under an hour.

Here’s the three easy steps Sara says you need to follow to create your own chatbot in under an hour:

Step 1. Copy and paste the Drift Javascript snippet into the header of your website.

The best way to get Drift up and running on your site is to drop a quick JavaScript code block (or “snippet”) into the head tag of your website. Simply copy the code block from the install webpage and paste.

For more detailed instructions or if you would prefer to install Drift using an integration with Segment, WordPress, HubSpot, or Shopify, check out the step-by-step instructions in the below video.👇

Interested in seeing what Drift looks like on your website before installing the code? Take Drift’s bot for a test drive.

Step 2. Connect your calendar, set up routing rules, and add your team.

Allow your chatbot to schedule meetings for you while you’re out of office by connecting your calendar.

Then, make sure your chatbot is sending prospects to the right people on your team by setting up and prioritizing lead routing.

Finally, invite your team members to join and have them set up their profiles.

Step 3. Copy and paste questions from your standard form into the leadbot visual builder. Turn it on!

You’re almost there! Now it’s time to give your bot the finishing touches and make your bot conversational with some of the questions you might have on a form. Then, in Drift, you can plug these questions into the leadbot visual builder as questions for your bot.

Remember, you want to keep things conversational — even if you’re using a bot. Make sure your chatbot copy is friendly and engaging for a website visitor. We put together some chatbot copy inspiration for you to make chats more inviting.

Use the toggle in the upper right-hand corner of your screen and turn it on. That’s it — your chatbot is now live! Painless, right?

Questions? 🤔

Visit us online at help.drift.com for more videos and information on how to quickly and easily set up your Drift account and assistance on how to create a chatbot. If you’re feeling stuck, we recommend starting with our, Drift Quick Start Guide.

Learning How to Create a Chatbot is Easy

Chatbots are the next generation of marketing — they qualify leads 24/7, automatically book sales meetings, and successfully route conversations to the appropriate person. You can think about it as having your best sales or support rep sit on your website and talk to potential customers all day — no sick days or vacation days. While most modern marketers realize this, only the ones who are able to put the old days of live chat in the past and harness the power of chatbots will enhance the efficiency of their business.

For more secrets behind how to create a chatbot here at Drift (including Sara’s favorite feature and where she thinks chatbot personalization is going), check out my video interview with Sara.👇

 

BONUS: Want more insights around how chatbots are reshaping online experiences?

Check out our 2018 chatbot report.

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