Messenger Marketing is the new wave that is set to become one of the most effective ways to engage with your audience, grow relationships, acquire new leads, and market your business online. With open rates hovering around 80% and click-thru-rates around 35% (significantly higher than email), this should be your go-to marketing channel in 2018.

First, let me explain Messenger Marketing aka Chatbots aka your vehicle to skyrocketing your business in 2018.

At the most basic level chatbots allow businesses to communicate with their audience, customers, and potential customers through social messaging apps (Facebook Messenger being the most popular). Since these bots are still shiny and new, most businesses and business owners are not familiar with them yet or don’t understand how beneficial they can be - but that will not last for long.

The ways in which we communicate are constantly changing and most people have moved away from email and phone calls and shifted towards SMS and Messenger apps like WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and iMessage.

Look for investment in rich messaging experiences not only from global brands, but small businesses who need to be creative and nimble to stay competitive.

David Marcus, Head of Facebook Messenger

Why Would I Need a Chatbot?

The biggest and most obvious appeal for chatbots are that they are running 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Messenger Bots never turn off. They essentially play the role of your virtual assistant who is there to answer frequently asked questions, cultivate relationships, schedule appointments or consultations, and build brand affinity by having a witty conversation when a real person is not available.

These bots will be integrated directly into your business Facebook Page so whenever someone decides to send a message, they will get a relevant answer. Bots can also be embedded to your website as well (like the one on our home page), so you can have a customer service chat directly on your page.

1.3 Billion

Oh, and 1.3 billion people are actively using Facebook Messenger each month - that’s more than the Facebook app itself.. So, yes, your customers are on Messenger. Maybe not all of them right now, but enough to make Messenger effective for your business.

Chatbots VS. Email VS. SMS

Think about bots as email marketing on steroids.

You are able to build a list by attracting leads, then nurture those leads by providing valuable content and answering questions/concerns, and ultimately converting those leads into paying customers. The difference is that with bots there is so much less friction - they are fast and intuitive, the messages are short and easy to process, and people actually enjoy using them.

In order to get someone on your subscriber list, all they have to do is interact with your Facebook Messenger - that’s it. With email, they would need to enter their name and email address (some slight friction), but with chatbots they only have to send a message (no bothersome opt-in confirmation either).

Messenger iPhone 8

Email just seems like work for people, whereas the messenger apps are more fun. With bots you are able to build, retain, and convert your audience in the most engaging, enjoyable way possible.

Oh, and SMS text messaging is NOT marketing-friendly. With SMS, you are crippled with limited options when it comes to utilizing images and video. You also cannot use buttons or personalized calls-to-action. SMS is just not as sexy as Chatbots, plain and simple.

Winner by Knockout: Messenger Chatbots.

Growing Your Business

The opportunities are endless when it comes to growing your business with chatbots.

As I mentioned earlier, one way to get someone subscribed to your messenger list is to have them message your chatbot (that is synced up with your Facebook Page). It’s as simple as that.

But what about the people who don’t know your business yet?

The awesome thing about these chatbots is that you are able to use numerous Growth Tools to help you (surprise, surprise) grow your business. They can be used with a Facebook Ad, meaning that when an ad is running, once someone clicks on the call-to-action they are sent directly to Facebook Messenger, completely bypassing a landing page.

Here is an example of a Facebook Ad from Jasper’s Market utilizing the Messenger call-to-action button.

Messenger Ad

Also, take note of Messenger Codes that can be used online as well as in a physical store or office location. For example, businesses could display a messenger code advertising an incentive or giveaway to entice customers to scan the code. Once a customer (or potential customer) scans the unique code their phone immediately loads the Messenger app and sends them to your business bot. Now they’ve interacted with the chatbot, received their offer or incentive, and are subsequently subscribed to the businesses chatbot for future follow-ups. Powerful stuff.

Shopify Messenger Code

Another growth tool allows the chatbot to be integrated directly into a post from your page using keywords. First, you create a post on Facebook asking your followers to comment a specific keyword that you decide on, and anytime someone leaves a comment with that keyword they receive a message from your chatbot.

Ideally you would want to offer a free guide, report, or something of value that you believe people would be interested in so that they will be inclined to leave a comment. Once they receive the message from your chatbot, they are subscribed to your list.

These are just a few of the many Growth Tools available with chabots to help grow your consumer base and increase your sales and conversions through messenger marketing.

Final Thoughts

Up until now it was rare to see businesses utilizing Facebook Messenger, and even more uncommon to see it being done effectively. Over the next year you will start to see more and more businesses using this marketing avenue to connect with and build relationships with their existing customers, as well as acquire new ones.

Brands and businesses of all shapes and sizes should start to utilize this emerging platform to grow their audience with engaging chatbots that deliver personalized, 1-on-1 experiences for their customers.

If you are looking for a new way to grow your business, look no further.