Starting out as a newbie in the “chatbot scene” last year, I quickly realized the landscape of bot building platforms was rapidly expanding but I had no idea how fast exactly and how many players there were at the time. In Facebook groups questions often came by like:
- “What is a good platform for making web chatbots and integrates with DialogFlow?”
- “What are the alternatives for ManyChat and Chatfuel?”
- “Wich platforms support making chatbots for WhatsApp?”
Suggestions were given by other bot enthusiasts and platform owners but still: picking the right software wasn’t easy. Comparing a couple of platforms was really time-consuming and often not all specifications can (easily) be found on a website.
I decided to do the obvious: make a list and crowdsource it on Facebook & LinkedIn and names of startups and well-known brands started pouring in. I quickly made a Google Form but of course, felt a bit ashamed for not using a bot for this 🙈 People btw started sending me private messages asking me to share my list, so I knew I was onto something very interesting here.
In the office of my friends at Botsquad (a great code-based platform you should definitely check out 🙂) the name of the bot about platforms was quickly agreed upon: the Mother Of all Bots!
Top 4 Most Popular Bot Design Articles:
Minimum Viable Bot (MVP)
My MVP was offering an overview of platforms per country. This way I could get my bot out there without having to know any details of the platforms. Later on, I added short lists with favorites in these categories:
- Messenger Marketing
- Saas Businesses
- Small Businesses
You can check out the bot on Facebook Messenger.
What to filter on?
Later on “Advanced Search”* functionality was added with the help of the Botsquad team. Selections can be made on:
- Facebook Messenger features (Broadcasting, Drip campaigns)
- Dialog building method
- Features (Version control, Role based Access, On premises installation, Open source)
- Integrations available right out of the box
- NLP integrations
- Native NLP engine (languages)
- Country of origin
For those that don’t have Facebook: click here 😉
Getting users 🚀: LinkedIn, Facebook groups AND Product Hunt!
At the end of May I really started pushing the MOB and a post on LinkedIn went pretty viral:
I always thank anyone who comments on my posts so I have to admit around 50% of those 267 comments are mine 😉 Still, I had 100+ people lined up, anxious to try the bot, not bad for one post!
Another way to get users was via Facebook groups about bots, startups, entrepreneurship and SaaS businesses. Of course, I also asked the audience of my Botrepreneurs group to try the bot and give feedback.
Last but not least I launched the MOB on Product Hunt on June 20th and that almost doubled the number of subscribers!
Many blogs are written about getting the most out of your Product Hunt launch so I won’t go into detail here but it’s nice to mention how I “closed the loop” 🔄:
After a user did three queries on countries/categories, the bot simply asked the user to vote on Product Hunt:
BTW: if you tried the bot and liked it, feel free to check it out on Product Hunt via https://www.producthunt.com/posts/mob-mother-of-all-bots.
More Stats 📊
- Currently, 139 platforms are listed of which 85 filled out their specifications needed for Advanced Search.
- Since my LinkedIn post 50 platforms listed themselves and new ones are added almost daily.
- 31 countries are represented, 29% of the platforms are made in the USA.
- Half of the users skip my 3-step intro and start chatting right away.
- Having two bots can confuse people; they expect all the functionality to be available in one bot.
- Don’t repeat the same stuff too much, build in variations (still some work to be done here for me).
- Check your Natural Language Processing logs daily. A cool side effect of offering NLP is that new requirements can be derived from what people ask the bot.
- Users only have so much patience. In “Advanced Search” I noticed quite some dropouts, numbering the eight questions they have to answer helped a bit but not enough. The bot will be rebuilt to give the user more freedom (i.e. only set filter 1 and 7 and then run the query).
- Adding GIFs (and humor in general) matters! Make the user experience delightful and worthwhile to share with others. Without humor, a conversational experience looks a lot like filling out a boring form. Make use of what this new way of interacting with users has to offer!