The Ultimate Guide To Messenger Marketing and Facebook Chatbots

Maybe you’re getting frustrated. Maybe you’re looking for a leg up on your competition. Maybe you’re looking for a new communication channel that isn’t already saturated with marketers.

If that’s the case, then you’re in luck.

Because Facebook Messenger Marketing is in prime position to become the world’s #1 marketing channel in the coming years…and the companies who become early adopters of this fast-growing channel are going to have a serious advantage over their competitors.

If you want to come out ahead as the world moves away from email and toward messenger apps, this guide is for you. Read on to discover why messenger apps are so huge (and why they’re going to continue growing).

 

Communication Is Changing

The way people communicate is changing in a big way.

Just compare the way you communicate today with the way you did 10 or 15 years ago. If you’re like most people, you have shifted away from email and phone calls and toward SMS and messenger apps.

Like everyone else, you probably prefer communication that is convenient, instantaneous, and always at your fingertips. And, because most of us use our smartphones as our primary PC (not to mention our primary source of contact with others), we prefer communication that is smartphone-friendly.

Messaging apps are the perfect solution.

They’re fast and intuitive. The responses you get are short and easy to read. And people like using them!

These are just a few of the reasons why messaging apps have become so universally popular today, and why they’re such a great channel for marketers looking to reach new customers and grow their business.

What Is Messenger Marketing & Why Is It Important?

Messenger Marketing is simply the act of marketing to your customers using a messaging app.

You can build a list by attracting new leads, nurture those leads by sending them content and answering their questions, and ultimately convert those leads into new paying customers.

Conceptually, it’s similar to how Email Marketing works. But in practice, Messenger Marketing works much differently than email. It’s much more conversational— with Messenger Marketing people are looking for a conversation that feels 1-1, where emails from most businesses are one to many. Also unlike email (where open and click-through rates continue to decline year after year), Messenger Marketing is actually growing.

Rapidly.

And here are a few reasons why:

High Engagement Rates

A 2016 report from Statista compared the open and click-through rates for different types of emails. In their research, they found that the average email open rates were 5.9%-18.8%, and the average click-through rates were 0.4%-2.1%.

Compare that to Messenger Marketing—where marketers are currently seeing open rates of 80% or more and click-through rates greater than 30%—and you’ll start to get an idea of the potential of this new marketing medium.

People are much, much more likely to open and click on a messaging app than they are with an email. And that’s good news for any company hoping to engage their leads and prospects online. 

Messenger Apps Have Less Friction Than Email

One of the beautiful things about messenger apps is that they provide a seamless user experience with very little friction.

By comparison, think about all the friction that comes from using email:

First of all, simply looking at your inbox is probably enough to fill you with anxiety. If you’re like most people, your inbox contains anywhere from a few dozen to several thousand unread messages. Seeing all those “open loops” is painful, especially when you know it could take hours to sort through & organize all those unread messages.

Example of full email inbox

Scary, right!?

Second, email comes with the constant threat of spam and viruses. We’re inundated with unwanted email every day, and we all know someone who accidentally downloaded a virus from an innocent-looking email. So the trust factor with email marketing continues to decline.

Finally, consider how much more work it is to open, read, and engage with an email. Emails tend to have a lot of text, and depending on the email and the device you’re using, that text may or may not be formatted correctly for your device.

Have you ever tried to read a non-mobile-optimized email on your phone?

FedEx shipment mail on mobile not optimized

It’s painful… and even big companies like FexEx are making this mistake. Not only is the text impossibly small, but in some cases you actually have to scroll back and forth if the text wrapping is off.

Messaging apps have none of that built-in friction. They are safe and familiar places for us. We’re comfortable using them. The messages we receive in messenger apps are typically short and easy to read, and they’re automatically formatted to look great.

Speaking of which… 

Messenger Apps Are More Marketer-Friendly Than SMS

OK, so email as a marketing channel continues to get more and more saturated. But why not turn to SMS marketing, rather than using messenger apps?

Because SMS is decidedly not marketer-friendly.

If you’ve ever subscribed to an SMS list, you know that SMS messaging is very bare-bones. Your options for inserting images or videos are limited. You can’t hyperlink text, which means any URLs you include are going to be long and ugly. And you can’t include buttons or other customized calls-to-action.

To put it plainly, SMS marketing is ugly.

And to top it off, it can be expensive. Especially when you have users who might pay up to 10 cents per text message they receive.

These are some of the reasons why SMS marketing never really took off, and why Messenger Marketing provides a much better opportunity for marketers.

Messenger Apps Are More Personal

Another great thing about messaging apps, compared to traditional advertising, is that they are much more personal and interactive.

Just about every other traditional advertising channel—TV, direct mail, email, print, radio, etc.—is a one-way communication. The company is communicating AT you, and there isn’t much you can do to personalize it.

But Messenger Marketing changes that.

With chatbot marketing, the messages you receive can be easily customized based on the links you click as you progress through the message flow. And at any point you can always type a message to the company and get a personal response from a live customer service rep.

This makes communication on messaging apps more personal. It’s a two-way street, just like communication should be. And most importantly, this is the kind of communication people are growing to expect from the companies they do business with.

Messenger Apps Are Growing Rapidly

In just about every country in the world the most frequently used app is a messaging app. They’re pervasive; everyone uses them. And this has been the case for quite some time. Messaging apps surpassed social networks in terms of monthly active users way back in early 2015:

Now the specific app that people use varies by country—Facebook Messenger is the most commonly used app in North America, while WhatsApp (also owned by Facebook) reigns supreme in Europe. In China, WeChat is the hands-down winner. But regardless of the specific app, it’s clear that messengers are the channel of choice for people all over the world when communicating with friends & family.

Why Facebook Messenger?

With all the messaging apps out there, why should you focus on Facebook Messenger as your go-to app for Messenger Marketing?

There are several reasons.

First of all, if you live in the U.S. or Canada, Facebook Messenger is the hands-down clear winner in terms of users. With over 1.3 billion active users each month, Facebook Messenger has an enormous reach.

Second, Facebook has been testing and expanding the capabilities of its Messenger app for this very purpose. So unlike WhatsApp, which is still a fairly bare-bones app (more like SMS), Messenger features the ability to build automated chatbots complete with images, videos, galleries, call-to-action buttons, and more—making it the app of choice for marketers and business owners looking to grow their business with messenger marketing.

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