Online marketing is always changing. As an example, ten years ago, no one was using Facebook ads. Now, it’s one of the most vital parts of any digital marketing strategy. And while it is increasingly competitive and expensive, if you’re not advertising on Facebook, you’re missing out on probably the best acquisition outlet available.
As Facebook has taken over the online advertising market, so too is Facebook Messenger taking over the engagement market. Where email used to dominate, marketers are now realizing the value of a Messenger list. Either over, or in tandem with an email list.
Messenger is primed to explode as the next big marketing channel, as email did before it. So while it may seem daunting to get into Messenger marketing, do it now and you’ll be at the front of a big shift in the online space.
Messenger vs Email
As a direct line of communication with customers, an email is the most valuable asset an e-commerce business can have. However, it is not the most effective medium for all messages. Messenger provides an additional mode of communication that is more personal and more engaging than email.
Messenger for businesses is beginning to rise up because it addresses the exact problems email has. It’s a good idea to incorporate Messenger marketing (alongside email) in your marketing strategy.
So let’s take a look at the advantages of Messenger marketing.
Better open rates
Average email open rates are about 21%. If you average, 30% you’re doing really well, and if you consistently get 50% you’re an email-god.
Open rates on Facebook Messenger are, on average, 70-80%. And that’s being conservative. Some experiments run by marketers came back with 98%.
Email marketers would kill for that kind of open rate. If you have the same number of people on your email list and your Messenger list, the number of people actually seeing your marketing material will be much higher for Messenger.
No matter how enticing your offer is, how amazing your marketing copy or whatever kind of Jedi mind tricks you have up your sleeve, if your message is not read, it amounts to nothing. Open rates are key, and in this respect, Messenger leads the way.
More personal, for better engagement
Open rates are the first step. Getting engagement from your customers or leads is the next. There’s so much more you can do if you’re able to open a dialog with someone.
Where email feels a little impersonal, Messenger feels like you’re interacting with a real person. Almost all of us use messaging apps every day (Facebook also owns Whatsapp), so it feels a lot more natural to converse with a business, or a sales rep, on here. It’s a lot easier for us to type a quick message on Messenger and hit “send”, as opposed to writing an email. Same goes for clicking links in Messenger.
Engagement (with the eventual goal of a conversion) is what everyone is after in online marketing. Email sees click-through rates on average around 2-3%. As a rough benchmark, between 10-15% of your opened emails will result in a click to your call-to-action.
Stats on Facebook Messenger are still fairly variable, as it is still quite new as a form of marketing. However, from the data we have, some studies show click-through rates of 44% for Messenger. Even on the lower end, a test run by HubSpot had a 13% CTR from Messenger, a 619% difference to email.
One of the possible reasons for email open rates and engagement rates being so low, is that it has a reputation for spammers. From regular e-commerce marketing, to “Nigerian Prince” emails, users these days are wary that whenever an email notification pops up, they’re being sold something.
Messenger is a lot newer and doesn’t yet have the same reputation. It’s possible that it will go down the same road over time, but unlikely. It’s already a lot tougher to send unsolicited messages to cold leads through Messenger.
Users can easily turn off messages from your business. And Facebook has strict policies for how businesses can interact with Messenger users. So if you get to the point where you’re spamming people too much, your Messenger privileges are likely to get cut off.
This means fewer opportunities for what you can send via Messenger marketing but at the payoff of increased trust from your leads. It comes out as a net positive for marketers and businesses, since having people trust you and what you’re selling them is vital for getting conversions.
Your subscribers are REAL people
Not to say your email subscribers aren’t. But when you add someone to your Messenger list, you can find out about them a lot quicker and a lot easier. This is crucial for nailing down target demographics, as well as tailoring your communications for the person you’re marketing to.
In email marketing, unless your engagement rates are very high, often times you feel like you’re speaking to a faceless address. Messenger marketing gives you the knowledge that your marketing efforts are going towards someone who is active and more than just a number.
How Do You Build a Messenger List?
Marketers are just scratching the surface of Messenger marketing, and the tactics needed to cultivate an active, valuable list of subscribers. The good news is, since it’s such a new phenomenon, people are generally more willing to join your list than they are with email. However, you still need to give them a reason to bite.
The typical opt-in bait strategy used for growing email lists works for Messenger too. Create a piece of engaging, valuable content, and instead of delivering it via email, give people the option to receive it in Messenger. Upon delivery of the content, create a Messenger sequence to get the lead to sign up to your Messenger list.
Messenger bots are a great way to drive Messenger sign-ups. This is done by making a simple program which will automate a conversation with people who interact with an ad or another entry point.
Direct to Messenger Ads
Your entry point may be a Click-to-Messenger ad, which has a button for your lead to open a Messenger conversation, at which point your bot sequence is triggered.
It could also be a Comment-to-Messenger ad. This is where you set up a bot that triggers when someone comments a specific word on your post.
As an example, you might have a call-to-action on your ad that says “Comment ‘Promo’ Below to receive your free [insert bait here]”. When someone writes “Promo” in the replies, you’ll start an automated conversation to deliver your content. Once the customer replies to your message (this can be via a simple confirmation button as part of your bot sequence), they’re on your list. This is not only great at adding subscribers, but encouraging future subscribers with the social proof coming from visible engagement on your post.
For Amazon sellers, the best kind of opt-in incentive is still discount promo codes. It’s a monetary incentive, which everyone loves, and it drives people to buy your product on Amazon. The added advantage for Messenger is that it’s a lower-friction option than delivering the code via email, which should help you land higher conversion rates from your ads.
…which leads us to…
LandingCube’s Brand New Facebook Messenger Feature
LandingCube now enables Facebook Messenger integration for single-use promo code delivery! You can still use a landing page to capture emails in exchange for promo codes, or you can send codes in Messenger and build a Messenger list.
There are two options to do this with LandingCube:
- Send-to-Messenger Landing Page
Just like an email opt-in landing page, except the call-to-action button opens a conversation with a Facebook Messenger chatbot. The chatbot, initiated from your brand’s Facebook page, sends the customer a promo code. You can also configure two follow-up sequences after the initial claim. The ideal use of these sequences would be to remind the customer to use their coupon, and later to ask for an honest review.
- Facebook Messenger JSON Ad
For much lower friction, you can bypass the landing page and keep your entire coupon delivery flow on Facebook. The Click-to-Messenger campaign allows you to set up an ad on Facebook which, upon clicking the ad’s CTA, opens a chatbot to deliver a promo code to the customer. This option also allows you to follow up with two additional sequences.
The JSON Ad can be a great option for product launches or campaigns targeting a high volume of sales, as the shorter sales funnel makes it much easier to generate conversions. It’s also great for retargeting. Take leads who have already expressed interest in your brand, and send them through a short sales funnel to get them to buy.
With both Messenger chatbot options, LandingCube users can integrate the campaign with ManyChat. Allowing you to build a Messenger list and utilize Messenger Marketing in your business (sending broadcasts, for instance, and building more advanced flows).
How to Use Messenger Marketing Effectively
As effective as Messenger can be, if you approach it just like email, your results are likely to come up short. That said, there are also more possibilities for what you can accomplish. While there may be a bit of a learning curve, it’s worth devoting the effort to building a solid Facebook Messenger marketing strategy.
Messenger bot sequences
As you would set up automated email sequences, you should use Messenger “bots” to handle certain parts of your Messenger flow.
Messenger bots can have many different uses:
- Lead segmentation
- Content delivery
- Customer service
- Closing sales
- Review request sequences
And as more advanced marketers jump on the Messenger bandwagon, it’s likely we’ll see even more creative uses for Messenger bots.
If creating a bot sounds a little too technical for you, don’t worry. There are a bunch of tools available (ManyChat is the most popular) that handle the coding side of it for you. All you need to do is put in your triggers and responses.
Integrate live chat with your Messenger strategy
Bots are great, so long as your customer sticks to the script. Since they’re a real person, it’s possible they’re going to reply with something your bot hadn’t planned for. The personal nature of Messenger can turn on its head when it becomes evident to your customer that they’re speaking to a computer, and not a real person.
It’s super valuable to have support staff ready to step in and take over a conversation if your customer or lead has a unique question. That can be the difference needed to land a conversion or quickly solve a complex customer issue.
Don’t overload your subscribers
Don’t abuse the connection you’ve made with your subscriber. No one wants to be spammed with Messenger notifications 20 times a day. You’d best believe if you are doing this, your subscribers will be quick to unsubscribe.
Not only does excessive spam cast your business in a bad light, it could also put your Messenger privileges in jeopardy. A large part of Messenger’s value right now is that it doesn’t have a reputation for spam. Facebook wants to keep it that way. If you’re sending too many low-quality messages and getting a lot of unsubscribes, it’s casting Facebook in a bad light. It’s in their interest to cut you off from being able to send messages, leaving your Messenger list worth nothing.
Change your tone to suit the platform
We’ve established that Messenger is a more personal form of communication than email. And the way you communicate should reflect that. Long-form essays and formal language are out. Short but sharp messages, casual language, and emojis are in 😊
. Most subscribers don’t want to scroll through pages of content on Messenger. They downloaded it to use as an instant messaging app, so adapt your marketing to fit.
Give value to your subscribers – a reason to stay subscribed
It’s not a problem now, as not many businesses are using Facebook Messenger marketing. But once it ramps up and begins to take over, as many expect, consumers could easily get overloaded with different companies vying for their attention. Imagine how your email inbox looks now, and translate that to your Messenger app.
Ensure your subscribers have a reason to keep receiving and opening your messages. Imagine if every message you send is trying to sell something. Your subscriber will get tired of seeing notifications from you, quick. Either they’ll unsubscribe, or stop opening your messages. Regularly offer something of value, such as helpful content, or promotions.
In Summary – Is Messenger Marketing For You?
Not all online businesses are the same. Thus, not all businesses should utilize the same marketing channels. There are businesses for which email makes sense and those for which it doesn’t. The same goes for Messenger.
If your target customer happens to be a Facebook user, there’s a good chance Messenger work for you. Don’t jump off the email wagon, but give Messenger a try. Work on engaging your customers. It will give you a great chance of building an audience that is profitable in the long run.