Getting Executive Bot Buy-In

If you are having a difficult time getting executive buy-in on using chatbots, Andre Sternberg has a few suggestions. For one, there’s no cost per message/story after setting up a chat bot, and it has pretty amazing conversion rates. You can always fall back on emphasizing the need to embrace emerging technology so as not to be left behind, and the possibility to leverage for other platforms.

Sternberg, the associate director for digital advertising at Sierra Club, presented the case for chat bots based on their experience during a session called “Tell Your Bot Who’s Boss: Using Emerging Tech to Drive Engagement” (#19NTCemergingtech) during the Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) in Portland, Ore. Also participating in the panel were
Angie Aker, manager of web and social storytelling for Food and Water Watch (FWW), and Rachel Allison, co-founder and principal of Fresh Eyes Digital.

Sierra Club found that fundraising response rates were about five times higher than email and cost per acquisition was 50 percent less than Facebook ads. Not only that but messages were free to send via the Facebook Messenger chatbot. Sierra Club used organization-driven blasts like news, updates, action alerts, rapid response and fundraising appeals.

Since September 2017, Sierra Club has seen its subscriber growth rise to more than 475,000 reachable users and more than 200,000 weekly active users through 2018. They’ve added almost 200,000 new emails or contacts.

Chatbots are great for fundraising conversions, list growth, and branding and cultivation. If your organization already has relatively optimized in email, social and digital ad channels or content that can be repurposed to populate a flow or has a digital team that’s busy but not entirely maxed out.

Chatbots also are ideal for nonprofits that are looking for ways to boost or make up for softening email or web returns or trying to change brand perceptions.