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Everything You Need to Know about Using Chat Funnels to Grow Your Business

Jenna Kutcher 

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January 26, 2024

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Automate Growth and Engagement with Chat Funnels

It’s no secret that marketing your business relies on the opportunities you have to connect a growing audience to your offers. And sometimes, because of an algorithm or the fact that you simply just don’t have the time to reply to every DM, email, and comment (who does?!), those opportunities don’t get through to your audience in the way you’d like them to.

Over the last year and a half, I’ve tested what’s been known as chatbots — although I lovingly call them Chat Funnels thanks to the incredible automation genius herself, Natasha Willis. The power and efficacy of automated chat funnels’ ability to connect my audience to my offers is undeniable.

From day one of incorporating a chat funnel to my strategy, I’ve added thousands of email list subscribers (around 53,000 and counting) and brought in a revenue of over $1.7M from chat funnels alone. So, I’m dedicated to helping you learn how the simple integration of chat funnels into your digital marketing strategy can multiply your efforts and lead to results that standard, manual marketing efforts just can’t match. I don’t want you to hold back from starting, growing, or scaling your list simply because you don’t know how or where to begin with chat funnels!

This post is going to walk you through what chat funnels are, why they’re so easy and effective, where to begin, and how to integrate them into your marketing plan so that your funnels can drive results for your business. 

Find what you’re looking for:

What a Chat Funnel Is and What It Does

So, what exactly are ‘chat funnels’? Technically, we’re talking about a chatbot that helps you ‘funnel’ your audience and segment them based on their interests and needs more easily. In essence, chat funnels function as a blend of artificial intelligence (AI) and natural language processing (NLP). They allow your audience to comment a trigger word or phrase that drops them into a marketing funnel connecting them to the offer they’re interested in!

They’re important because they help easily bridge the gap between your customer and your offer by automating the process. With just a simple integration on your end and a simple comment on your customer’s end, you can get people off of the apps and onto your email list and into your sales funnel.

This creates a frictionless experience for your follower. They don’t have to click off of your post, search for your profile, hunt down the right link to your offer, then navigate out of the app entirely. Instead, the offer or details are directly messaged to them from you. This automation then helps boost your engagement because Instagram registers your interactions in the DMs with your followers and sees your followers responding, clicking, and wanting more.

Chat funnel automations can 3x your conversion rates. This allows you to spend less time connecting the dots for your leads so you can have more time to develop the best kind of funnel experience for them. You’re even able send them reminders about their interests and grow your own VIP broadcast channel on Instagram where you go even deeper with the message you send to them!

We’ve used chat funnels to help promote course launches, gain webinar registrations, offer free resources, drive results for our affiliate offers, ramp up podcast downloads, and so much more – all automated! 

I want to make chatbot funnels and automations more approachable for you, so keep reading as we break down the steps you can take today to integrate your own chat funnel strategy for your business.

How to Build Your Chat Funnel

While we’re using the word ‘chatbots’ to help you understand the automation piece of a chat funnel, as in a bot can handle the communication piece for you, it’s important to know that this technology is 100% approved by Meta, Instagram, and Facebook respectively. I know the word ‘bot’ can elicit hesitation, as it did for me when I first started exploring this kind of strategy.

I started learning about chat funnels from the brilliant mind who actually taught me that term: Natasha Willis, cofounder of School of Bots and leading educator in automated DM marketing. She showed me that a cutting edge strategy doesn’t mean it’s a difficult one. In fact, trying chat funnels was one of the easiest yeses I’ve said in a long time!

Getting started is as easy as setting up your chatbot automation! ManyChat is my favorite platform for launching and managing our chat funnels, and the user experience is a breeze. You’ll likely be wondering why you didn’t get started on this a year ago!

Pick your app/platform (I have funnels on both Instagram and Facebook) and from there you’ll set up your word trigger and use ManyChat to manage your trigger words, quickly teach it your brand voice for it’s automated responses, and watch as you skyrocket your engagement.

Want to try out engaging with a chat funnel as a customer? You can tap here and DM me the word “CHAT” on Instagram to see what this automation looks like in action!

 

Now, if you’re starting from scratch, my advice is to take advantage of the incredible ManyChat resources that School of Bots has to offer to help you become an DM automation pro. You can learn from the queen herself, and she’ll teach you everything you need to know, including how conversational marketing is changing the game and how to ditch the “link in bio” on your profile!

Integrate A Chat Funnel Strategy on Instagram

Once you’ve built your automations in ManyChat, you’re probably wondering how to start getting your audience to engage with your trigger word and test out your funnel. There are a few easy ways to easily get their attention and begin ramping up your engagement on Instagram or Facebook!

01) Start with Freebies.

Free offers and downloads are a quick way to get people from curious to clicking without any cost or much effort on their end. You can create a new freebie (I’m detailing one of my favorite freebies below) or pull one of your current freebies to help launch engagement with your first chat funnel.

From there, your process is straightforward and streamlined! Create content to promote your freebie, share it with your audience, and in your content (keep it as simple as you like!) give your audience the call-to-action to DM you your trigger word. It could look something like this:

“Get my free Tidy-Up Organization Checklist! I’ll send you the link, just comment the word “TIDY” and I’ll DM you the link to download it!”

This is basically a triple whammy when it comes to how it can impact your results:

01) You’re making sure the audience who is looking for this actually gets it, rather than waiting on a comment or reply from you (or the motivation to go hunt down the link on your bio or website). It’s automated and done FOR you, in YOUR brand voice. No one gets missed.

02) You’re showing Instagram that your audience likes to engage with you and the algorithm will reward your channel with more visibility to your followers, growing your Instagram engagement 3x better than other strategies.

03) If your freebie asks for their email address to be able to access their download (it should!), then you’re adding more subscribers to your email list and growing that at the same time!

And the funnel, of course, doesn’t stop there. You can segment your audience based on their interest in your freebies and connect them to your related paid offers in more tailored, targeted ways. If a segment of your audience wanted your freebie about organizing their home, then they’re the perfect candidate to receive your one-year, organization mastermind and accountability group!

02) Create a quiz on your website.

It’s no secret: people LOVE to take quizzes to learn more about themselves and get tips or insights on their next best move in life, love, or their career. That feeling of getting personalized results is unrivaled.

A quiz is an easy, enticing freebie that can help drive engagement with your chat funnels. And they’re one of my favorite freebies to create and offer my audience because I can learn more about their interests in the process!

The Level Up Quiz is my most recent quiz, and and we utilize this primarily to gain insight about why they’re following me, whether that’s for parenthood, marketing, entrepreneurship, motivation, or something else entirely. And then we segment and target our audience based on their responses! 

The best part? Because of chat funnels, I’m able to send my audience the questions directly in their Instagram DMs, so they never have to leave the app, creating a seamless experience for everyone. If you want to try The Level Up Quiz and see how it works, you can just DM me on Instagram with the word “QUIZ”!

Diving Deeper into the Power of Chat Funnels

Much like a bag of chips, once you pop your first automated Chat Funnel campaign out into the world, you won’t be able to stop! And your audience will thank you for it. The more you create, the better and more strategic you can get about your insights.

While you’re saving time and creating that frictionless experience with your offers for your audience, you’ll have more time to do smart, creative work inside your business. You can leverage what you learn into better freebies, quizzes, paid offers, brand messaging, website copy — the list goes on and on.

The best way to become comfortable and confident with how a DM chatbot automation really works is to get inside of ManyChat, and start building out your first one! If you’re already feeling creatively motivated to soak up as much knowledge about this as possible, then I highly recommend checking out School of Bots and the resources they offer so you can learn from the leading chat funnel marketing educator out there!

As you grow, you might find that you want to hire or outsource managing your chat funnel automations. You can work with School of Bots to help keep track of your funnels and trigger words, brand voice within ManyChat, and navigate growth to keep those numbers going up!

More Chat Funnel Building Resources

Want to learn more about chat funnels? I’ve compiled a list of my favorite podcast episodes and blog posts to help you get started!


Want to Start Your First Chat Funnel Automation?

Hop into ManyChat to be guided through setting up your first campaign!

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A small town Minnesota photographer, podcaster, educator and puppy rescuer, my happiest days are spent behind my computer screen sharing my secrets with the world. I'm glad you're here.

I’m an expert at online marketing, a nerd when it comes to the numbers, and my obsession is teaching others how to make a living doing what they love (without it taking over their life). 

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