If you’ve done any kind of copywriting, you’ve probably got a swipe file. (And if you don’t have one, get crack-a-lackin! In fact, start here.)
Swipes are collections of hook-worthy copy snippets that make you click, read, act, ponder, laugh…and most importantly move deeper into a conversation with a brand. Lean on your swipe file when you need inspiration (and a kick in the pants). The whole point of a swipe file is to give you a starting point without reinventing the wheel.
As I’ve jumped into conversational marketing, I’ve started grabbing chatbot swipes too. They help me think about copy as conversation and tap into the rhythm of speech.
(I’m not taking credit for this method. I found it on CopyHackers: check out the article!)
Sometimes one line is all you need, in which case I copy it into a Google Doc or Notion. But when you need more context, grab a screenshot and pop it in Google Drive or Dropbox:
While I’m still evolving my process, I started by organizing chatbot swipes by conversation elements like these:
Greetings: A warm hello to start a conversation. Can be formal or informal depending on the relationship with the visitor (eg. is it a returning or new user).
Informing: For giving information that is either requested or pertinent to the conversation.
Error: When the chatbot doesn’t understand or fails to fulfill a request.
Asking: For engaging or seeking information. Bit of help keeps the conversation going.
Checking: For testing the user’s understanding. Restating details and information for clarity.
Apologizing: For politely acknowledging the chatbot’s shortcomings. Should be brief and serve as a bridge to alternative solutions.
Suggesting: For presenting the user with relevant actions or options.
Conclusion: A clear end to the conversation.
And here they are!
Like most of us, I learn fastest when I have examples to follow. Use these phrases and prompts “as is” or for inspiration.
Hey there, friend! I’m [NAME]. I can help you [DO ALL THE THINGS]. To get started, let me know if you [SOMETHING] by selecting one of the options below.
Welcome to [NAME]! What brings you to our site?
Thanks for reaching out! What brings you to our site today?
Hi I’m [NAME] and I help [DO ALL THE THINGS]
Hi [NAME]! I’m BOTNAME, your friendly [BRAND] virtual assistant. You can interact with me by clicking on the buttons
Hi, this is [BOTNAME], the [TYPE OF] assistant bot. How can I help, USERNAME?
Great! Let’s get started. Is this QUESTION.
Welcome. I’m [NAME], [BRAND’S] digital assistant. Choose from popular topics below or type a short, direct question.
Hey! What are you looking for? I know all about [LIST ALL THE THINGS]
Want to chat about [BRAND] software? Can you tell me what you’re looking for?
Would you like us to send you a free tip sheet to help you [DO THE AMAZING THING]?
Click one of the options below. [LIST CHOICES]
Awesome! Please tell us your email address.
We got it! Thanks for visiting our page 🙂
Hey [USERNAME], welcome to the [#BOTNAME]! Click “Get Started” below ⬇
Hey, there. Can I help point you in the right direction? [OPTION 1] [OPTION 2]
Welcome to [BRAND, OR BOT]. Are you looking for [LIST CHOICES]
Hey, there. I’m here to make sure you get the information you need today. Can I help point you in the right direction? [SALES, MARKETING, SUPPORT]
Hey, there. Can I help point you in the right direction? (list 2–4 options to click)
Thanks for reaching out! We’re not always on Messenger, but we can still help you even when we’re away. What can we do for you today? [I have a question] , [I need community], [OTHER QUESTION, what’s my size?
[CEO OR COACH] has asked me to keep an eye on her messenger while she’s out coaching and spreading joy. Scroll through the images below and click a button to let me know how we can support you.
Thanks for joining us on Messenger. We are super excited to have you!
Our [BOTNAME] will help you when we’re not here in human form. While we’re away doing things only humans can do like finding cool snacks and answer phone calls, please send [BOTNAME] a message.
Until we can get back to you, here are some options: [OPTIONS]
1. Chatbot Trends Report 2021
2. 4 DO’s and 3 DON’Ts for Training a Chatbot NLP Model
3. Concierge Bot: Handle Multiple Chatbots from One Chat Screen
4. An expert system: Conversational AI Vs Chatbots
Sure pick a topic, and I’ll help you [DO SOMETHING]
You can also sign up to get exclusive VIP discounts and offers via text message, starting with $10 off your next order! [SAVE $10? SURE!]
Here are a few ways we can support your journey; whether you need advice, inspiration, or community, we’re here for you! [JOIN XYZ] [READ THE BLOG] [FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM]
This may take a minute. Here’s a tip while you wait:
Tip: [link to article or tip]
Comparing [PRODUCT A] to [PRODUCT B]? Click the button below to see the differences between Product A and Product B. Check it out
Sorry I didn’t get that!
If you asked me to [DO SOME WEIRD THING] I would do it. But I didn’t understand this.
Sorry, I don’t understand.
Oops, didn’t quite get that. Try again?
Sorry, I was trying to charge my phone. What were you trying to say?
Sorry, I didn’t understand you. I can only help you with the following. [LIST]
Sorry I didn’t understand you. Do you want to directly content [NAME, TECH SUPPORT]?
Is there anything else I can help you with?
Great! Drop your question here, and one of our Customer Care superstars will get back to you as soon as possible!
Sure thing! This is NAME OF BOT. Reply with your question and HUMAN NAME will be back to answer ASAP
Hey [NAME], are you interested in receiving [NEWS, TIPS, ALERTS] from [BRAND]? We promise to only send you big, breaking stories. We won’t spam you. Typically, this would be 1–2 stories per week.
[Doing something] soon? I can help you dig thru some ideas. Ready?
Questions about Pricing or Sales?
Looks like you are planning a getaway to [name of location]. I’ll hit you back with some recommendations.
We have this email on file for you right now:
Is that right? Click below to let me know
I’ll deliver the [TRAINING, LEADMAGNET, OTHER THING] to you there as well for easy access.
Hey there, just checkin’ in so we can get on with it and help you [DO ALL THE THINGS]
Is this the right email for you?
Just click below to let me know
“So, I’m good at talking about [TOPIC]. Other stuff, not so good. If you need help just enter ‘help.”
Get notified: Want to get a [FACEBOOK, EMAIL, SMS] notification about our next new product?
By clicking “Notify Me”, you may receive one message from [BRAND] in the future about this topic.
Our Customer Service team is here for you Monday through Friday from 9am to 4pm PST. We are currently experiencing more requests than usual, and apologize in advance for any delays you may encounter with our response times. Rest assured that we are working diligently to support your needs and appreciate your patience during this time.
Let’s get started… Choose how you’d like to discover [ALL THE THINGS]
Let’s narrow it down a bit so you only see what you want to see.
Hey there! You can grab a time on [NAME’S] calendar here
We’re pumped you want to get a demo! Just a couple of questions to get you over to the right member of the [BRAND] TEAM.
Got it. Talk to you soon!
Will not disturb you anymore without a reason, I swear!
Want to return to main menu? Type “START OVER”
Ah, [USERNAME], I understand that you are busy now… It’s ok
Would you like me to send you a reminder regarding our offers later?
I really don’t want you to miss out. [REMINDER PLEASE] [NOPE UNSUBSCRIBE]
Got any more chatbot swipes to share? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list!