It seems like the end of 2018 is the time for the ‘trough of disillusion’ around messaging bots, with recent criticism of their effectiveness by marketing pros Jon Loomer (here) and Darren Hemmings (here). Now Andreas Mahringer, CEO of startup Sendmate (which focuses on messaging) has published a response to defend bots as a marketing channel.
Naturally, there’s an element here of flagging up his own platform: in contrast to the low click-rates cited by Loomer, Mahringer says that in October 2018 the median open rate of all campaigns sent via Sendmate was 95.9%, and that the median click rate was 17.9%. “We’ve seen outlier campaigns like polish musician Marika who achieved an impressive 76.6% Click Rate – and consequently hundreds of unique link clicks to her ticketing site – when announcing a show in her hometown of Warsaw,” he wrote, stressing that Sendmate’s click-rate metric only counts outbound links “not quick replies or clicking the menu for more options as we’ve heard other bot platforms do when reporting their ‘average click rates’”.
His post has some good thoughts on what bots can and can’t be useful for: they’re not a proxy for websites; they’re better used for the most engaged fans; and they need to be more personalised.