Turns out, it was the best way to get freelance talent.
Two months ago, when we found ourselves brainstorming about the best way to make a product that freelancers love. It was then that our team came across Facebook Messenger chatbots for the first time. At Ease, we had a good value proposition for freelancers to get more paying gigs, but were not sure where to start coding.
After going back and forth discussing the pros and cons of each platform (web, iOS, Android, Chrome extension, chatbots, etc) we chose to build Ease-e bot, a Facebook Messenger bot that helps you find freelance gigs on auto-pilot; now in retrospect, we couldn’t be happier about making this decision. If you are in the same stage of your startup and thinking about whether you should build a native app or a chatbot, this article is for you.
Here are the main reasons why we chose to build a chatbot instead of an app:
1. Ease of Development and Cost-Effectiveness
The Ease-e Bot was built on Chatfuel, which turned out to be a great decision for our not-so techy team. The drag and drop editor made it easy for anybody on the team to change the user experience or send push notifications to our users.
“Had we chosen to build a native app, we would have had to hire at least one full-time developer to code and maintain the repo. Instead, we were able to built the chatbot ourselves.”, explains Ease CEO, Nathan D. Harris.
Chatbots proved to be an amazing way of launching a cost-effective MVP and testing the value proposition before deploying more resources on a robust product.
2. Native Apps Are in Competition for Storage Space
Fact is, most people can’t afford the latest iPhone. For many users, storage space is still a very real struggle. According to Techcrunch, the average smartphone user only uses five different apps, comodetizing most of the app store. As an app maker you don’t want to be in a position where you compete with somebody’s holiday pictures for storage space on a their phone – chances are that they will delete your app over deleting saved videos or the Facebook app. Chances are, your app ranks highly in order of things that get deleted when storage gets tight.
3. Messenger Apps are on the Rise
The chatbot market is growing rapidly and we decided as a company that we want to be ahead of the innovation curve in order to rise with the next rising platforms. Since launching the Ease-e bot, Facebook has made chatbots a lot more visible on the Messenger app and sites like BotList and ProductHunt have helped us gain exposure much faster than we could have earned on the crowded Google or Apple App Stores. Furthermore, we saw new features coming out almost every day on both Chatfuel and Facebook, proving their commitment to this rising technology.
4. Open-rates are Through the Roof
When was the last time that one of your newsletters got a 90% open rate? Sounds too good to be true, right? Surprisingly, push notifications sent out through the Ease-e bot have over 80-90% open rates! Freelancers that have signed up to the bot actually open our messages about new job opportunities in their fields while emails get lost in people’s busy inboxes. This might change in the future, but for now Messenger presents an amazing opportunity to get your message seen by your relevant target audience every time.
In just a few short months after launching our Facebook Messenger bot on BotList, we now have access to a long roster of highly qualified developers, designers, marketers, growth hackers, writers, and much more just a click away. Freelancers are notified of new gigs available to them, and we are able to scale the business by focusing on sales and delegating fulfillment of projects to members of our freelancing community.
Consider being a boat that rises with the current tide instead of battling for attention in crowded markets. The chatbot landscape is maturing, but there is plenty of room for innovation and pioneering entrepreneurs.