Release Notes

Applozic Release Notes: Here’s What’s New from January’19

Release Notes is our monthly publication to update the community on the recent 
feature additions and product improvements. This is so that you can easily stay 
up to date on what’s new. Here’s what we launched in January’19.

We welcomed 2019 with the resolution to improve customer satisfaction and a goal to make sure not a single customer leaves us. So we took a few paces backward and dedicated the first month of 2019 to build the most wanted features based on your requests. Read on for more!🌟

 

What’s New on iOS🚀

 

Custom Message List View:

You can now create custom message lists with Applozic. This update is for users who have distinct users in their app and would like to populate separate views for each set of users. For example, if you are using Applozic for customer support chat, then you can populate separate lists for specific agents and also for assigned and unassigned conversations.

Custom Message List

 

Vertical Layout – Quick Replies:

Did you dislike the horizontal layout of the Quick Reply buttons? If so then we have heard you and acted on it. We have changed the view to accommodate Quick Replies on a vertical layout. The current layout makes it easier to read and select the options.

Quick Reply Buttons

Not using Quick Replies yet? It is a great time saver, engages users and improves message response rates.

Try Now

 

Improved File Handling and Attachments:

We made two major enhancements here:

✅ Users can now upload any type of file; PDFs, Docs, and others directly from iCloud and share it with their contacts.

✅ We have added an option that shows only specific file types from the gallery when a user is sending attachments. The application admin can enable it for specific cases when they are certain about the file types that application users will send.  

Attachments from iCloud

 

UI Improvements:

Your favorite message bubble view just got better. Now you can change the color of the message bubble and all its internal elements like the text color, the button color and the color of all the icons.

 

Other Features & Enhancements:

💬 Now the Typing Indicator will be dismissed in 30 seconds if the user is still typing

📊 We added a message metadata option in the configuration so that if metadata is set, it will then be sent with all the messages. This will allow you to get more information about every user.

🆕 Added support for Submit button and Link button as rich messages.

🐛 Squashed a few bugs and made performance updates for a smoother experience

 

What’s New on Android 🚀

 

New & Improved Push Notifications:

Applozic now supports HTML formatting in Push Notification. So all your HTML messages will be rendered in the notification tray in their native form.

Push Notifications

 

Improved File Handling and Attachments:

Just like in iOS, the option to filter out specific file types from the gallery while sending an attachment is also available on Android. So for users with a packed gallery, it becomes convenient to search for specific items.

Custom File Type

 

Other Features & Enhancements:

⚡ More updates = increased SDK size? Not in our case! With the latest release, we made various optimizations to bring down SDK size by 500 KB.

🔒 You can now show/hide group subtitle for your users.

👨‍✈️ Application admin can update the metadata even for a logged in user.

Our top resource of ideas and fixes is your honest feedback. Please continue 
sending all your great suggestions to support@applozic.com - we’re 
listening.

Benefits of Using Chatbots in Marketing Strategy

Chatbots have seamlessly fit into our daily lives. There is Google Assistant and Siri for your phones, Alexa for your home and smart-concierges to book your tickets for the holidays.

When it comes to marketing, businesses still rely on traditional channels. Emails, social media, and advertisements to name a few. A lot of them lack a little bit of innovation and hence, seems to be on the verge saturation.

Taking nothing back from traditional marketing techniques, they give astonishing ROI. For example, email marketing gives a $44 ROI for every $1 spent. It is one of the most effective marketing strategies you can have at your disposal. Due to its effectiveness and the sheer number of email users around the world, email marketing is a necessary tool for today’s digital marketers.

This begs the question: Is it possible to get even more out of your marketing strategy?

Well, yes. It is absolutely possible. At the current state, traditional marketing seems to have saturated. There is still a way for you to make it a whole lot better. One prominent factor that can help you bring innovation in email marketing is chatbots.

What is a chatbot and what can it do?

A chatbot is any computer program or artificial intelligence (AI) that is designed specifically to simulate conversations with humans. The level of understanding of human interactions depends on how sophisticated its programming is.

Businesses today use chatbots that range from relatively simple chatbots to more complex chatbots. To better understand how chatbots work, you need to know the difference between the two.

A simple chatbot’s understanding is based on keywords or commands that have been pre-programmed by the developer, which each command programmed separately. For example, if a human user types the words “hi” or “hello”, the chatbot can be programmed to respond with something like “Hello. How can I help you?”.

A complex chatbot, on the other hand, is capable of understanding a wide variety of human inputs. It is also called a smart chatbot due to the fact that it uses machine learning to understand how to better respond to inputs and adapt to human behavior. Think of Siri and Google Assistant. 

If you want to know more about chatbots, read our detailed beginner’s guide to chatbots.

How to use chatbots in marketing strategy?

So, you already know what a chatbot is, what it does, and how a simple chatbot differs from a complex chatbot. The next thing on your mind might be: “What exactly are the benefits of integrating a chatbot into my marketing strategy?”

Well, here a few examples.

More “human” approach

Most of the marketing strategies have one drawback that they mostly facilitate a one-way conversation. Think about it. You receive tons of emails and ads from businesses every single day, but do you really engage with all of them? Most likely not.

One way to offer better engagement—and a more human approach—to your subscribers is by taking advantage of chatbots. It may seem contradictory to consider an AI-powered tool the more human approach, but it’s true.

The reason a chatbot is more “human” is that it is a two-way conversation that happens in real time. Isn’t it how conversations with actual people work? When you ask a chatbot a question, it responds in real time—again, much like how actual human conversations work.

You can humanize your chatbots for more effective conversations. Just follow these steps.

This is also why, even though chatbots are powered by AI, they are still a whole lot more personal than call-to-action (CTA) buttons. To further increase personalization, you can program your chatbot into providing natural responses similar to how an actual person would respond in a conversation.

Additional lead generation channel

There is no question that CTA buttons that ask people to provide their email address are effective at growing your list. But CTA buttons are also very impersonal.

Data has proven that customers want personalization when dealing with businesses. Why not use this as an opportunity to communicate in a more personal manner?

You don’t have to entirely do away with your CTAs. What you should do is use chatbots as another method to actively capture leads and grow your email list.

For example, if a user visits your website, you can program your chatbot into sending a message that’s something like this: “Thank you for visiting our website. Would you be interested in subscribing to our email list so you can stay updated on special promotions?”

If the user responds positively, you can then program the chatbot to ask follow up questions regarding the user’s email address or what type of promotions and content they’d like to receive.

Your chatbot can then automatically transfer all the information it gathers to your database. Post that, you can start segmenting your lists and sending relevant emails.

Improved after-sales processes

Another benefit of chatbots is that they can help you streamline certain sales processes that you complete by email.

To illustrate, say a subscriber logs on to their account on your website and makes a purchase. You can program a chatbot to remind the subscriber that they’ve just made a purchase and you have emailed the purchase confirmation to them.

You can then provide further assistance to your subscriber through the chatbot. Program your chatbot to inform the subscriber that they can review the email and ask questions if they need clarification.

If the subscriber has questions regarding the purchase, the chatbot is the ideal tool for providing a real-time resolution. This is much better than having the customer send an email to your support team and then waiting a few days for a response. 

If you want to see such a chatbot in action, click the chat widget on the bottom right corner of your screen.

In this scenario, all the chatbot needs is more information from the subscriber in order to resolve the issue. Once the subscriber gives the required information, the chatbot can respond adequately.

Final thoughts

There is a huge debate going on among marketers that chatbots will soon take over a lot of marketing channels. This is doesn’t have to be the case. All the marketing channels are unique and powerful that have a place in your digital marketing strategy. 

You should use chatbots in conjunction with other marketing channels to achieve your business goals, whether it be boosting your engagement with your subscribers, generating more leads, or improving your after-sales processes.


Author Bio:
Lane Harbin - chatbots in marketing
Lane Harbin is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Campaign Monitor, an easy-to-use email marketing platform. Campaign Monitor empowers marketers to send targeted campaigns that grow their business. When she’s not geeking out over email marketing, she enjoys binge-listening to podcasts, catching up on the latest tech news, and constantly rearranging her living room.

Basic Security Checks for Chat Service

Normally, we come across situations where we need to decide between build or buy. Ultimately, we need to focus on our core technologies and business. We use different SaaS products to maintain our fast growth. Knowing about the security protocols of these services is an essential part.

One of such services is the chat service. In this article, we will cover basic security checks developers need to consider while integrating chat. Even if you are building your own chat component, you should consider these checks.

5 Basic Security Checks for Chat Service

All APIs call over HTTPS

In most of the cases, you need to call the APIs of your service provider to send or receive information. This information might be very private for your users or your business. You need to secure the transport layer and ensure that you are communicating with trusted resources. For this, your first check should be to ensure that all the APIs calls you are making must be on HTTPS.

Two-factor user authentication

User authentication is the best thing to do to avoid any unintended users to log-in to your chat system. You can authenticate the user from your backend before giving them access to the chat system. Sometimes, it may feel like an extra effort but this will give you complete control over authorizations.

Your chat service provider should have the configuration to provide your own authentication URL where user’s credentials should be verified. This will enable you to take other security measures such as expiring user password after some time. You can check out how you can configure it with Applozic.

Identify the source of any incoming calls to your servers

You might be using proactive callbacks from third-party servers to your backend servers to get some event-based data. For example, if messages are not delivered to a receiver within X minutes (let’s say 5 minutes), post messages to your backend servers. Sometimes we keep these webhook URLs open. Calls from an unidentified source might cause potential damage.

Your chat service provider should have some setting to pass parameter or header in each call. You can control and change this setting anytime to identify the source of the calls to your backend.

We, at Applozic, provide similar configuration to define your own token which we pass in each call as a header.

Real-time updates to authenticated users

You must ensure that data transferred is intended to intended users only while sending real-time updates.

Encryption of your chat data

It is very important to understand if you really need encryption of data and what level of encryption you need? You might not need any encryption if your chat service covers all of the above points and you have configured it correctly.

However, based on the nature of your business and usage of the chat data, you can decide whether to encrypt the data or not. For example, if you are using chat service in some kind of social app where chat data directly belongs to your users, you may enable E2E encryption.

Another usage case might be customer support, where chat data significantly connected with your business and you might need to analyze data for improving services. You can keep it to only encrypting data in motion or even avoid it.

It is really important to implement basic security checks for any service that you use. Especially in the light of recent major data leaks and privacy mishaps. These basic checkpoints will make your system more reliable and robust.