Bot is a piece of script written to automate tasks you would usually do on your own.Recently my colleague James, wrote a script for sending emails with a single click through Google sheets, I call it the James Bot.

Facebook Messenger, Cortana by Microsoft, Siri from Apple and GrowthBot by Dharmesh Shah have made bots a popular team member.We at Inbound Mantra use GrowthBot regularly.Through this blog, I have attempted to capture my experience with bots till date.A brief anatomy.

What can you do with bots?

To name just a few things, you could use bots for -

Customized Content - A bot can act as a smart newspaper. It can send you relevant content as soon as it's published.

Take a look at NewsBot and Pushbots for this functionality.

Integrations - Integrate with slack, asana or your website & let it just take care of your visitors.

Check out Driftbot for your website visitors.

Customized Tasks - Get time alerts, weather forecasts, translations, formatting or other services.

Take a look at Trackingtime and Tomatobot by Slack.

Social Conversations - A bot could connect people looking for conversation partners based on common interests, proximity or hashtags.Crowdfire can help you strike good conversations on twitter.

How do bots work?

The main motive of a bot is to emulate human behavior.

It does this by sending HTTP requests and parsing the response received to induce the required result. When someone types a URL or searches a keyword, HTTP request is generated which asks  for a resource from the server. The user is unaware of this due to the level of abstraction. The bot does the same thing without human intervention.

Bots already exist in many of the places where you communicate, primarily messaging apps and websites. In these apps, bots are special accounts that do not require an additional set-up. Users can interact with bots in two ways -

  • Send messages and commands to bots by opening a chat with them or by adding them to groups. This is useful for chat bots or news bots.
  • Send requests directly from the input field by typing the bot's @username and a query. This allows sending content directly into any chat, group or channel.

How are bots different from humans?

  • Bots have no online status and no last seen timestamps, the interface shows the label ‘bot’ instead.
  • To err is human. Bots are meant to be perfectionists, they just don't make mistakes
  • Bots remember - a customer should never have to repeat them over and over. Since bots process more data than humans, they have instant access to interaction history and personal details.
  • Bots never eat, sleep or complain.
  • They don't need salaries

This easily makes them your best employee, isn't it?Are bots part of your marketing plan in 2017?

Do let me know through comments.