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Instant messenger marketing

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Wednesday February 7, 2007 )

A new service just launched reminded me of the fact that reaching new clients and communicating with existing customers via IM is something that most online businesses ignore. Given the massive numbers of people who use instant messaging daily, it could well be an excellent automated marketing tool. And I don’t mean IM spam bots :).

IMified launched a couple of days ago and it’s going to be very interesting to watch the service progress. Imified is an instant messenger robot type service that works with most IM networks.

IMified acts as a client connecting to services such as Google Calendar, Movable Type and Blogger accounts without the user having to open a browser. It also offers some handy little tools such as notes, reminders and todo’s.

All you do is add the IMified screen name as a buddy to the Instant Messager network you use and you’re good to go. You then send any sort of message to that buddy and you’ll be presented with a menu from which you can choose to add notes and reminders. It’s very quick to add a reminder, took me around 20 seconds to do and the reminder did flash up at the alotted time.

I didn’t try out the features for posting items to Blogger or Google Calendar as yet, but it appears to be quite simple to do also.

Instant messenger robots aren’t new, but IMified would appear to be the first service to offer productivity tools on a large scale – and no doubt we’ll be hearing a lot more about them in the time ahead.

Just on the topic of Instant Messenger robots – basic bots aren’t all that hard to set up; so you may want to consider one for your online business. You can use it to host IM newsletters or keep customers up to date with special offers, without them having to visit your site… but with the goal of getting them to visit it :).

As many people spend a great deal of time in messaging activities, having your IM bot on their buddy list could help serve as reminder about your business and encourage them to check what’s new in your store on a more regular basis.

I’ve set up an example IM bot that you may like to take a look at. Simply add ttbnews to your AIM buddy list and then type HELLO in uppercase. It’s simple and rough at this stage, but it does have me thinking more again about utilizing instant messenger bots for more serious marketing applications.

Related:

Instant messaging and live chat etiquette



 

 
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