Facebook Messenger Bots – Exploring A New Marketing Channel

Why Facebook Messenger?

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I consider it essential for my business that I keep an “ear to the ground”, looking out for the latest news and updates around social media, video and online marketing.  I regularly scan blog posts and articles via social media and my favourite RSS reader, Feedly.

Towards the end of last year I read a number of articles about marketing bots – more specifically and more interestingly, Facebook Messenger bots.  This new technology allows users to send messages to opted-in clients and prospects WITHIN Facebook Messenger.  Why is this worth considering?

Think about the number of emails you receive per day.  It’s estimated to be around 150 for most people.  That’s a lot, and most of us don’t read every single one, in fact we don’t even open every one.   Now think about the number of Facebook messages you receive per day.  For most people it’ll be a lot less than 150.  Can you think of a time when you didn’t open and read a Facebook message?  They’re similar to texts – when you hear that notification, you have to look!  Now think of how many automated texts you receive from businesses –  you still read them.  Would you agree that Facebook Messenger is a space worth utilising for marketing?

Giving Permission

I’m not saying you should immediately start spamming people with uninvited promotions on Facebook Messenger.  Nothing would turn them off quicker!  However, when someone messages your Facebook page,  they are obviously giving you permission to reply, because they expect an response to their question or feedback.  The Messenger bot automates this process, enabling you to offer an opt-in facility whereby clicking a button subscribes a user to your Messenger system. You are then able to send them messages.  Even better, you can offer a free download in exchange for the subscriber’s details –  just as you would with your email list.  And, as with your email list,  subscribers to your Messenger setup always have the option to unsubscribe.   Is it making sense now?

Your Opt-In Offer

Although you CAN use the bot without offering something in exchange for subscribers’ details, I don’t recommend you do this.   It would feel a little awkward and most people would be turned off by unsolicited messages.

Instead, create something of value (a lead magnet) that potential subscribers would be happy to give you their details to get hold of.   For my Messenger bot subscribers I’ve created a brand new lead magnet, my e-book “11 Tips For A Successful Launch”.   Anyone planning a launch should be aware of Facebook Messenger as a marketing strategy!  Click on the image below to see my messenger bot in action.

11 tips for successful launch

 

Setting Up Your Messenger Bot

Let’s get the best bit clear straight away  –  it’s FREE!  The tool I’ve used is ManyChat –  there is a paid version but the free version is excellent and covers you up to 500 subscribers.   I’ll assume you’ve created a lead magnet already, so if you haven’t, that’s your first task.

Go to ManyChat and log in with your Facebook details.   You’re then given the option to choose from the list of pages that you admin –  select the one you want to be your Messenger bot host.  (you can set up bots for all of your pages if you want to)

Go to Growth Tools, click on New Growth Tool  > Landing Pages and compose a message that you’d like people to see when they visit your opt in page. You can change background and text colours, add an image if you wish.   Click Next.

Facebook messenger bot initial state

Compose the message you want to appear once people have opted in.  Again, you can change background and text colours and/or add an image. Click Next.

 FB messenger bot submitted state

Compose your “welcome” message. You’ll see there are various options to add a file, video, image, audio, text etc.  I used “file” and uploaded the pdf of my e-book.  Click Next.

FB messenger bot welcome message

On this screen you’re given the URL of your landing page –  copy and keep in a safe place.  You can then share this URL whenever you want to encourage people to sign up to your Facebook Messenger bot.

Pretty straightforward, wasn’t it?

It’s also advisable to go into Automation and turn off the Default Reply – it’s preferable to reply manually (unless you’re going to be away for any length of time) –  your aim is to instigate conversations with your subscribers inside Messenger, so a personal response is always best.

Following Up With Your Subscribers

In ManyChat, you have the option to create “Sequences” which are equivalent to Autoresponders in email marketing.  I’ve not set any up myself as yet but will be considering the best way to do this shortly.  As with email, you can send “Broadcasts” at any time, too.  Obviously it’s preferable not to bombard your subscribers with messages, especially given the newness of this technology.

Perhaps one of the most powerful features of Facebook Messenger Bot technology is the automatic addition of subscribers to your “Page Messages” custom audience within your Facebook Ads dashboard.   People that have messaged your page are already interested in your products and services, so it’s a no-brainer to target them with ads when you have a new offer.  Not sure how to get this set up?  Take a look at my Done For You package,  or check out my Facebook Ads Training.

Your Turn

Will you give Facebook Messenger Bots a try? I reckon we’ll be seeing a lot more of this technology – it’s simple but effective.  That’s always a good thing!  Let me know how you get on – share your Messenger opt-in offer in the comments.

I love helping businesses to get the best from their online marketing. Please contact me if you need further advice on setting up your Facebook Messenger Bot.  Why not join my Facebook Group “Online Marketing Support” too?  

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