The number of founders learning how to start a chatbot agency is increasing at a significant rate.
Chatbots are the biggest marketing trend to emerge in the marketing landscape in the past ten years. The marketing agencies with the biggest successes and the highest client retention right now are the marketing agencies that are using chatbots to their maximum potential.
This is a very big deal.
If you are part of a marketing agency, it’s crucial to take advantage of this massive opportunity in the marketing landscape. Selling chatbot services is a fast path to an exploding lead pipeline, buckets of revenue, and an unstoppable advantage over your competitors.
Read this article, and you’ll learn…
- Exactly how to capitalize on the chatbot marketing trend before it becomes saturated
- How to sell chatbot services without losing your marketing edge
- How your agency can scale in spite of the massive new demand for your services
Want to start a chatbot agency? This article is the framework you should follow if you want to sell chatbot services, go big, and forge the future of marketing.
Start a Chatbot Agency Step 1: Decide how chatbots will fit with your current marketing services.
If you want to start a chatbot marketing agency, this is a no-brainer. You already know you want to sell chatbots.
But if you’re on the fence about selling chatbot services, this section is for you. (Plus this article, which provides more detail on the subject.)
There are two basic approaches here:
- Start a chatbot agency from scratch. Brilliant. Skip to section 2.
- Add chatbot services to your existing marketing services. Awesome. Keep reading.
Should you sell chatbot services?
In most cases for marketing agencies, the answer is yes. Why?
- Your existing customers are expecting it.
- Chatbots can generate massive results for your clients.
- Chatbot marketing perfectly complements other digital marketing services like Facebook ads and social media management.
- Chatbots can provide a recurring revenue stream with valuable retainer contracts.
- Chatbots are an easy sell.
- Chatbots set your agency apart as innovative and unstoppable.
- Chatbots are a perfect way to defy seasonal slumps or becoming outmoded.
- Chatbots are scalable.
- Chatbots are easy to learn.
- Chatbot builders are inexpensive.
Let’s use an example.
Say you have a client who is a personal coach. You’re running Facebook ads, and she’s getting moderate success.
But Facebook ads are expensive. Plus, she’s having a hard time qualifying her leads. She’s not upset about your services, but she wants something more
Creating a simple chatbot sequence for your client can transform her ho-hum marketing results into slap-you-in-the-face success
Hand her this chatbot, and instantly several things happen:
- She qualifies leads automatically using a conversational chatbot sequence
- All her non-qualified leads are funneled into her Facebook group for exciting fitness tips and health advice.
- Qualified leads can instantly schedule appointments for a free consultation
- Her chatbot Messenger messages get 70-80% open rates and 40% clickthrough rates every time.
There’s more, but you get the idea.
Oh, and one of the best parts? All you had to do was clone our personal coach bot template and sell it to her. (But you don’t need to tell her that.)
The first step is simple — make the decision that you’re going to sell chatbot marketing services, and visualize what it’s going to look like as part of your ongoing marketing practice.
Start a Chatbot Agency Step 2: Select a chatbot building platform like Customers.ai.
To start a chatbot agency, you need chatbot tools.
And the best chatbot creator we know of is Customers.ai. (No surprise there.)
As a marketing agency, whenever you offer a new product or service, it’s important to purchase top-of-the-line tools for creating and sustaining your new product.
There are more chatbot builders than Customers.ai, of course, so here are some guidelines for selecting a good chatbot builder.
- Choose a chatbot builder that is easy to use.
- Select a chatbot builder that offers plenty of features.
- Choose a chatbot that has endorsements from notable marketers.
- Choose a chatbot company that won’t go out of business anytime soon.
That fourth point is crucial. Chatbots are in the early days of development, so companies are rising and falling all the time. Find someone who’s been in business longer than a few months, has a solid support team, and has some social support (like a Facebook group).
Customers.ai is the fastest-growing official Facebook Messenger marketing solutions provider partner. What this means is that Customers.ai is the rising star in the chatbot marketing world, recognized by Facebook (as an official partner) and endorsed by marketing notables like Neil Patel, Mari Smith, and Brian Dean.
Customers.ai was designed as an agency software with an agency pricing model. The entire Customers.ai platform is ideally suited for agency marketers, and the tools are designed for agencies to use on behalf of their clients.
Customers.ai has thousands of agency marketers including Facebook marketing agencies, social media marketing agencies, and other boutique marketing agencies. Check out the Customers.ai Certified Agency Directory to find out how other marketers are using the product and selling their chatbot services.
Customers.ai’s advantages for agencies are multifold:
- Unlimited Facebook pages. Easily scale your services without accruing additional costs.
- Unlimited features. Every one of Customers.ai’s features is available to every Facebook page and every one of your clients.
- On-boarding support provided by Customers.ai expert bot builders. Unlimited Messenger contacts included free, which gives you more than enough runway to build major results for your clients.
- Your entire marketing team and your clients can collaborate on the development of the chatbots.
If you want to start a chatbot agency, you’re going to need an agency plan. Buy it. Get it. Do it.
While you’re just learning the platform, however, you can get started with a free plan.
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Start a Chatbot Agency Step 3: Learn how to use your chatbot builder.
This is the fun part. And I don’t mean “fun” as a euphemism for “arduous, painful, and difficult learning curve.”
Making chatbot is fun, easy, and (this is an important one for me), code free!
This is the main screen of the dialogue creator in the bot builder. No code, anywhere.
If you want to skip the creation process and work with something ready-made, we’ve got you covered. Customers.ai has assembled a powerful library of chatbots.
When you’re starting out, you can simply copy or borrow from the existing chatbot templates.
Then, the more dialogues and sequences that you develop, the more options you’ll have to choose from when you create chatbots for other clients.
If you become niched-down into a particular vertical, then it becomes easy to simply tweak a few elements to offer your new chatbot client a chatbot service. It takes you a few minutes, but you give them a brand new marketing channel.
For example, if you serve doctors and dentists with marketing services, then you can simply repurpose the dentist’s office chatbot for many of your clients.
This is where the subject of scaling comes into play as I mentioned earlier.
The best way to learn chatbots is to use them in your marketing funnel. The more you use it yourself, the better you’ll be able to create and provide them for your clients.
(Oh, and, yes, we have a marketing agency template for you.)
Start a Chatbot Agency Step 4:
Determine your pricing structure for your chatbot agency.
It’s time to talk about money. In a good way.
Chatbots are a valuable marketing service, and it’s important to determine a pricing structure that asserts the value of your product without making it cost-prohibitive for tentative clients.
One of the best pricing structures, especially if you’ve just started a chatbot agency, is a simple fee for chatbot creation plus a retainer fee for the ongoing service.
Here’s how it might work.
- 1 chatbot = $1,000
- Ongoing retainer = $500/month base + $50 per additional chatbot
This is, obviously, a simple pricing structure, but it gives you a starting point.
There are a variety of chatbot-related services that you can offer your clients. These can be priced independently, upsold, provided as free, or whatever combination you think would work best in your particular niche.
Here are some examples
- Adding a WordPress plugin to the client’s website
- Creating Messenger ads on Facebook
- Developing QR Messenger codes
- Sending chat blasts
- Launching drip campaigns
- Providing integrations
- Posting comment guards
- Creating custom landing pages
- Live chat takeover
- Adding RSS blaster
- Providing bot analytics
Be sure to set an ongoing retainer fee for chatbot service. The retainer fee covers the ongoing cost of your chatbot building software, maintenance or optimization required and reporting on data and other analytics.
Start a Chatbot Agency Step 5: Launch your chatbot agency or sell your chatbot services to existing clients.
It’s time to start your chatbot agency.
And, if you already have a marketing agency, you can cross-sell or upsell your chatbot services to the clients you already have.
Pull out the stops to your marketing. You are offering a valuable service — one that is almost certain to blow up your clients’ business.
How To Start a Chatbot Agency: Action Items
Customers.ai has an ever growing number of resources for digital marketing agencies.
We have great relationships with our agency partners, and continue to be amazed by the returns agencies get by selling chatbot services to clients.
Start by learning how to grow an agency business with chatbot marketing services.
Or, if you prefer print, here are our latest knowledge bombs to help you grow your client portfolio, increase your average deal size, and win more business:
- Text Marketing for Agencies
- Marketing Agency Pricing Guide
- Affiliate Marketing Tools
- Instagram Marketing Tips for Agencies
- Web Chat for Agencies
- Digital Marketing Agency Tools
Important Next Steps
How To Start a Chatbot Agency: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How do you promote a marketing agency?
The most common ways to promote marketing agencies consist of the following:
- Client testimonials
- Case studies
- Thought leadership
- Conference sponsorships
- Industry awards
There are many other things you can do to promote your agency, and then there are marketing agency growth hacks to consider when you’re ready.
However, the best way to promote a marketing agency is to offer something new and differentiated in your services portfolio. It doesn’t have to be unique, just something that not every other agency offers and that you can do as well, if not better than, the competition. Selling chatbot services has been one of the more popular and profitable agency services to offer in recent years.
How do I write a marketing proposal as an agency?
The only perfect marketing agency proposal is the one that works for your specific agency, in your specific situation, and with your specific clients. Which is a lot of variables to consider.
Thankfully, however, there are marketing proposal templates that can speed up the process.
The most important thing to consider when writing a marketing proposal are the client’s motivations. So, focus on how you can help to solve the client’s problems, as well as what you can include in your proposal to evoke positive feelings and excitement from the client.
How are agency fees calculated?
There’s no single pricing model that’s going to work for every marketing agency. In fact, most digital marketing agencies should adopt multiple pricing models based on the type of service and project that’s being delivered to the client.
However, there are a handful of marketing agency pricing models that work for the large majority of agencies, including:
- Project-Based Pricing Model
- Hourly-Rate Pricing Model
- Value-Based Pricing Model
- Retainer Fee Pricing Model
What are some client retention strategies for marketing agencies?
Client retention is one of the most effective methods for growing your agency’s income and keeping it. Here are five extremely effective client retention strategies for marketing agencies:
- Eliminate month-to-month sales contracts. Yes, you’ll get fewer clients, but the ones you do get will stay longer, providing long-term value and delivering consistent revenue.
- Attract high-spend clients if you do performance marketing. Meaning, avoid clients that have low advertising budgets. Low ad budget clients churn at a high rate. Avoid them when possible.
- Do a better job of qualifying your clients. One way to do this is to use marketing automation tools for agencies, such as adding live chat to your agency website.
- Correctly manage client expectations. Churn will skyrocket if you over-promise and under-deliver. Don’t do it.
- Request referrals from high NPS (net promoter score) Clients. This sounds like a lazy idea, but for digital agencies, it’s actually quite useful. The reason being, NPS averages in the marketing agency world are low. So, high NPS agency clients are much more likely to give you a referral. Find your high NPS clients and ask them for referrals. You’ll be surprised.
What is a chatbot agency?
Chatbot agencies develop custom chatbots for businesses. While simpler bots can be built quickly with an intuitive chatbot builder, more complex bots that are expected to handle a high number of queries require development time.
Chatbots are the present and future of marketing, and they provide enormous value to clients while delivering a high ROI to agencies. Due to the nature of bots, agencies end up both saving a lot of time and providing 24/7 value via chatbot messaging automation tools.
An agency that adopts chatbots into their services portfolio can offer many different types of services, such as:
- Web chat for agencies
- Instagram marketing for agencies
- Text marketing for agencies
- Marketing automation tools for agencies
To get started selling chatbot marketing services to clients, you’ll need some advanced chatbot marketing training and a chatbot proposal template. You can also watch this chatbot marketing agency webinar that covers Facebook Messenger marketing and has chatbot training.
Are chatbots profitable?
Chatbots are indeed one of the most profitable marketing agency tools and have proven to help scale marketing agencies fast. Here at Customers.ai, we’ve seen chatbot marketing literally 10X results for their clients with tools such as Facebook ad coupons bots, lead generation tools, and product recommendation chatbots.