Hold on, because I’m going to make a very bold statement.
I believe that every digital marketer should know about Facebook Messenger marketing with chatbots.
Why do I say this?
Because Facebook Messenger marketing is both the largest and most targeted marketing channel. It possesses the highest engagement rates and wields the greatest potential. When combined with Facebook Messenger chatbots allow you to unleash this potential at scale.
I walked away from my first startup to found a company built on Facebook Messenger marketing, and I’m confident it was the right thing to do. Now, I’m obsessed with the mission to tell everyone why Messenger marketing is significant and how to use it to its maximum effect.
By the time you finish reading this article, you will be convinced that Facebook Messenger marketing is enormously powerful, and you’ll know exactly how to act on this conviction.
Let’s get into it.
Facebook Messenger Marketing and Chatbots: Just the Facts
First, I’m going to explain what Facebook Messenger marketing is.
If you’re totally new to this, don’t worry. We’re starting at ground zero.
Facebook Messenger marketing is the use of Facebook Messenger as a marketing channel to connect and communicate with prospective customers.
Using Facebook Messenger as a marketing channel combines the power of interactive instant-message conversations with a scalable methodology — chatbots.
And what are chatbots?
Chatbots are programs that automate and simulate dialogue on a messaging platform.
You’re probably familiar with the practice of chatting with a bot online. Depending on the platform, however, bots do way more than just chat.
Facebook Messenger chatbots, for example, can do the following:
- Schedule calendar appointments for a phone call or meeting
- Provide a downloadable resource like a PDF
- Send a blast to thousands of users at a time
- Create and confirm reservations
- Offer tickets or access codes to events like concerts or conferences
- Ask a series of questions to segment users
- Allow for the purchase of items
- Facilitate payment processing
- Provide shipping status updates
- Easily gain contact information like phone number or email address with a single click from the user
If you were to start engaging with me on Facebook Messenger, you might receive a Messenger message like this:
Another Facebook Messenger sequence might look like this.
But why Facebook Messenger?
Facebook Messenger Marketing and the Potential: Look at the Data
When it comes to Facebook Messenger marketing, it doesn’t matter what you think of Mark Zuckerberg, corporate greed, climate change, or butterfly migration patterns.
The fact remains: Facebook Messenger is enormous.
Facebook Messenger has over 1.3 billion users. That number is projected to climb close to 1.4 over the next 10-12 months.
If billion with a “b” isn’t big enough for you, take a look at what Facebook is doing over the next two years — they are merging the three messenger platforms they own. Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Whatsapp will be integrated to facilitate communication between all three.
Lest you’re asking but what about social media? please realize that the lines between social media and messaging are blurry. But even if you are delineating between the two, messaging apps outpaced social networks back in 2017!
More individuals are using messaging apps than on social networks.
If you do view Mark Zuckerberg as the one true prophet of social media and messaging, then pay close attention to what he recently (March 2019) announced:
“Private messaging, ephemeral stories, and small groups are by far the fastest growing areas of online communication”
Not sure about you, but as a unicorn marketer, I want to be part of that fastest growing area.
Keep in mind, too, that Facebook as a social network is changing. Just recently, they killed the Newsfeed. Clearly, the giant platform is giving messaging pride of place in its strategic shift.
Let’s leave aside the issue of size and its attendant jaw-dropping facts, and consider another variety of statistics.
Conversion rates. Open rates. Engagement levels.
Your heart just skipped a beat. This is the stuff that marketers’ dreams are made of.
Take a look at some stats from a recent drip campaign that I did with Facebook Messenger. These are my engagement levels.
To put this into the language of email marketing, I had an open rate of 86% and a response rate of 61%!
What was this? Some voodoo mixed with trickery and a dash of clickbait?
No. It’s the raw and unthrottled power of Facebook Messenger marketing.
Some of my marketing colleagues are unabashedly telling their own tales of “88% open rates and 56% CTRs” using Messenger bots.
Many of the Facebook Messenger marketing campaigns that I launch are eliciting 60-70% open rates in the first sixty minutes.
Stratospheric conversion rates and engagement — the wildest dreams of marketers everywhere — are insane with Facebook Messenger.
Look, I’m not trying to be sensational or delusional. I’ve spent over a decade in the marketing world, focusing on paid channels. I’ve created tens of thousands of email marketing campaigns. I’ve tried a bunch of different growth marketing tactics, and this one really stands out.
Facebook marketing messages convert five times better than Facebook display ads. You can crush your ad spend by 95% using Facebook Messenger marketing tactics. You can segment the heck out of audience leading to even higher conversion rates.
Facebook Messenger marketing is where it’s at right now.
So the next logical question is how do I do this thing?
I’m glad you asked.
Facebook Messenger Marketing and Tactics: How to get started
Whenever you consider opening up a new marketing channel, you might have all kinds of concerns and questions:
- How much will it cost?
- Whom will I need to hire?
- Does our audience interact on this platform?
- Can we scale?
- What’s the learning curve like?
- Is it complicated?
- Can we afford this?
I get it. Those are great questions, and any responsible marketing manager or director of marketing is simply being responsible by asking them.
Now, allow me to destroy each of those questions with straightforward answers:
- How much will it cost? Nothing.
- Whom will I need to hire? Nobody.
- Does our audience interact on this platform? If your audience is on Facebook, then yes.
- Can we scale? Yes. Chatbots.
- What’s the learning curve like? Can you drag-and-drop? Good.
- Is it complicated? No.
- Can we afford this? See question number one.
I’m not trying to be simplistic, but most of the hmm-should-we-do-this questions and concerns are invalidated from the get-go due to the low cost, ease-of-use, and nature of Facebook Messenger marketing.
It’s easy. It’s free. It’s quick.
Just writing those three sentences makes me feel snake-oil-salesmanlike, so let me prove what I’m asserting.
I’ll show you exactly how to get started with Facebook Messenger marketing and chatbots.
And before you scurry off to fry your brain on BuzzFeed or something, let me be very clear about one thing: You don’t need to code.
Each of the steps below is simple and uncomplicated. And there are only three.
Here it is.
1. You’ll need a Facebook Business page.
Likely, your business already has a Facebook page. If you don’t have one yet, you can be up and running with one in 10-15 minutes.
If you want to go full-bore on Facebook ads, marketing, etc., be my guest. However, what we’re focusing on in these steps, is using Messenger to market your business.
Having a Facebook Business page is a prerequisite to using Messenger marketing.
2. Choose a chatbot builder.
If you’re not careful, choosing just the right chatbot builder can take a lot of time.
As the founder of a chatbot builder, my admittedly biased opinion is MobileMonkey, which has earned its reputation as the “world’s best Facebook Messenger marketing platform. There are, however, other chatbot builder options and popular chatbot tools out there.
3. Build your first chatbot.
Assuming you’ve selected a chatbot builder with power and functionality, you should be able to get up-and-running in a few minutes, literally.
(Actually, make that seconds. I timed myself creating a welcome chatbot in 28 seconds.)
Truth: Building a chatbot is fast and easy.
In MobileMonkey, all you need to do is connect your page to the MobileMonkey app. Then, you’ll enter the chatbot builder.
Then, you click “Dialogue,” and you’re off to the races.
You’re provided with a sample bot that can be customized with a few tweaks.
Also truth: Creating a far-reaching Facebook Messenger chatbot campaign can take some time.
Each of these is straightforward and easy to set up, but they do take some time. As you become familiar with the platform and creating dialogues, the process becomes easier and even fun.
Facebook Messenger Marketing and Chatbot Builders: How to Choose the Right Messenger Chatbot Builder
Keep in mind these five recommendations about selecting a Facebook Messenger chatbot builder.
1. Select a chatbot platform that has a robust customer base and is founded by someone with experience.
Chatbots are a nascent technology, so startups rise and fold rapidly. A chatbot platform that launched two months ago may disappear next month. You want to choose a tool that will last.
2. Select a chatbot builder that focuses on Facebook messenger.
Some chatbot builders offer functionality on a variety of different platforms — Kik, Slack, Skype, etc. That’s great if you want to go in those different directions. What I recommend, however, is keeping a singular focus on Messenger marketing, because that’s where the functionality is the fullest and the greatest potential is available.
3. Select a chatbot builder that allows you to build complete chatbots and offers additional features.
Some chatbot builders are extremely limited in what they offer. For example, one “chatbot builder” may be nothing more than a flow visualizer. Visualizing dialogue flow is nice, but you need to actually be able to build a bot. Once you’ve built a bot, you want to use that bot to its maximum potential.
4. Select a chatbot builder that supports simple chatbot creation.
When you enter the world of chatbots, you’ll encounter a bewildering array of concepts like natural language processing, recurrent neural networking, morphological segmentation, long short term memory, and deep learning algorithms. It’s cool stuff and all very fascinating. But forget it. You’re trying to build a chatbot over your Arby’s fast food lunch break, not learn a new science.
5. Select a chatbot builder that has support, help documentation, and ongoing education
I’ve done a lot of digging around the chatbot tools world, and I’ve found that some programs offer their software but have zero support. Like no documentation whatever. My take? If you’re going to create a software, then nurture a community around it.
What I’ve tried to do with my chatbot startup is to curate a gathering of people who can geek out about this stuff, ask questions, help each other out, and basically provide support. MobileMonkey also hosts summits that provide master-level classes on everything Facebook Messenger and chatbot-related.
Here’s a summary of my recommendations.
- Select a chatbot builder that will last.
- Select a Facebook Messenger chatbot platform.
- Select a chatbot builder that is feature-rich.
- Select a chatbot builder that solely builds chatbots without distraction.
- Select a chatbot builder that offers help when you’re stuck.
Once you’ve selected a chatbot builder, you’re ready to play ball.
Facebook Messenger Marketing Bonus Tactics
A few things that I suggest doing right off the bat are as follows:
- Install a Facebook Messenger chatbot on your website. You might as well get Messenger leads in your sleep. Drop a widget on your site, and make it happen.
- Apply for Facebook subscription messaging. If you want to unlock the full potential of Messenger marketing, you’ll need to get approved for subscription messaging. Follow the instructions here.
- Create a click-to-messenger ad. If you’re familiar with Facebook advertising, then you shouldn’t have any hesitancy about creating a Messenger ad. Messenger ads cost less and have far higher performance than legacy ads.
These three tactics will jumpstart your success and provide the incentive for doing even more with Facebook Messenger marketing. You’re on your way to unicorn success.
Facebook Messenger Marketing and Your Future: Unleash the Power
You’ve spent ten minutes of your life reading this article.
It wasn’t a waste of time.
You’re armed with the awareness of the world’s hottest marketing channel, and you’re equipped with the knowledge to act on it.
Digital marketing is changing. As tactics go, Facebook Messenger marketing is the new frontier.
My personal recommendation: Sign up for a chatbot builder during your lunch break, play around with it, and create a chatbot. This small action could change the entire trajectory of your marketing career and the success of your business.