Facebook messenger chatbots are the hottest trend in digital marketing and for good reason. While e-mail open rates have dipped into the teens, open rates for instant messaging are close to 90%.
Even better for you, marketing via FB messenger is only going to grow exponentially over the next 5-7 years. Think this is hype? Check out this article from the folks over at Manychat (a bot platform) on the future of messenger marketing.
This post is a primer on Facebook Messenger Chatbots. It will give you an overall understanding of this topic. My hope is to inspire you to use FB chatbots to grow your online business.
Here is the basic outline of what I will cover:
- What is Facebook Messenger marketing?
- What are Facebook Messenger chatbots?
- Which Facebook chatbot platform should you use?
- How do you build your own chatbot?
- How to use chatbots to grow your online business?
What is Facebook Messenger marketing?
Facebook Messenger marketing is simply using Facebook’s messenger app to build relationships with your prospects and promote your product / service to them via instant messaging.
It is similar to e-mail marketing only now you are using instant messaging instead of an autoresponder like Mailchimp or Aweber.
Marketing via FB messenger has several huge advantages:
- There are 1.2 billion people who use FB instant messaging
- People are hooked on their phones, social media and notifications and so FB messenger gives you a direct line to where your prospects are paying attention
- Open rates for instant messaging are somewhere in the 90% range. E-Mail doesn’t even come close to this.
- Click through rates for FB instant messaging can be as high as 60% if you know how to build engaging messages
- You can send images, videos, audios, links, GIFs, and text messages as well as engage in video and audio calls with your prospects. Few mediums give you this kind of power and flexibility.
- Messaging allows you to personally engage with your customers, in real-time if you want, in a way that is not possible with e-mail or other mediums
What are Facebook Messenger chatbots?
FB messenger chatbots are programmed conversations that you can have with your prospects and customers over FB messenger.
Chatbots can be programmed to perform basic tasks like answering questions, requesting information, sending out information, and the like. Thus, instead of having an opt-in form that only collects an e-mail, a chatbot can open a conversion with your prospect in real time. It can ask a few qualifying questions and react accordingly based on logic.
The benefits are many:
- Real-time engagement with your prospects (at the moment they are most interested)
- A better understanding of your prospects’ needs based on their interaction with your bot
- Greater ability to provide your prospects with the service or information they are seeking
Which Facebook chatbot platform should you use?
In order to use or build a chatbot, you’ll need to use a software program.
There are literally dozens of chatbot programs on the market, but the three most popular for digital marketers are: Chatfuel, Manychat and the new kid on the block Mobile Monkey. All three provide you with a free account and allow you to create several chatbots without spending a dime.
This is not a review of which of these programs is the best.
They are all excellent products with a rich array of features that are very similar. You cannot go wrong with any of them. Thus, my advice is to choose one of these platforms and become an expert in building chatbots on that platform.
My preference is Mobile Monkey because they have an affiliate program (and I like their quirky marketing). Thus, I want to build my expertise in chatbots based on that platform.
It’s a win-win.
You get my shortcuts and training on using chatbots for your online business and I benefit if you ever become a paying subscriber. Again, all three of these platforms are excellent, so I am choosing the one that makes the most economic sense without sacrificing any of the functionality.
How to create a Facebook chatbot?
Building your own chatbot with the above platforms is a breeze.
There is no coding required. It’s essentially point and click and drag and drop. I’ll use the Mobile Monkey interface to demonstrate this but the principles apply across any FB chatbot program.
The middle section is where you create your chatbot. You can see the orange buttons (top center) that allow you to place text, images, buttons, GIFs, video, etc. inside of your chatbot.
All you do is double-click on one of the orange buttons and add the element. You can add one element after another in logical sequence until your bot conversation has been created.
Buttons are like filters or questions that allow you to segment your prospects so they receive exactly what they want. The buttons can lead to other chatbot conversations (see below), links, URLs, or really anywhere on the web.
Here is what the FB chatbot looks like on a smartphone:
Notice the image comes first, then a text element, then three buttons each leading to another chatbot sequence. When the prospect clicks a button, the next sequence begins.
How to use chatbots to grow your online business?
Whatever you are currently using now to generate leads and sales, chatbots can do the job but much better.
- Instead of sending your prospects to a dead landing page, you can open up a chatbot conversation with them.
- Instead of sending them e-mails with an open rate of 20%, you can send them instant messages which they are compelled to open at close to 95%.
- Instead of sending a link in your e-mail with a click-through-rate of 4%, you can send them a link in an instant message where click-through-rates are near 60%.
- IMPORTANT: Once a person clicks on a link, button or form for your chatbot, they become a subscriber. There is no need to enter their e-mail address.
There are literally dozens of ways to get people to interact with your bot, which will allow you to build your list and promote your products:
You can create a link to a bot campaign:
The following campaign is for an affiliate and website building program called Wealthy Affiliate. The bot is activated via a link which I’ve placed in different locations of this website, after I have explained the program and pre-qualified different prospects.
If you click the link, you can interact with the sample bot for yourself. It will ask you a question, then send you to the appropriate training. Don’t worry, you can immediately type “stop” to unsubscribe from the bot.
You can place these links in your e-mail signature, e-mails, blog pages, FB buttons, FB status updates and in any digital communication where you can use a link.
You can create landing pages in Mobile Monkey that lead directly to your chatbot:
Here again, you will receive a URL, which you can then place inside of any link leading to your landing page => Click for the sample landing page below then opt-in to receive the message.
Again, this bot connects back to the same campaign for the Wealthy Affiliate training.
You can create buttons to put on your website pages:
In the image above, you can see the Messenger button that sits on every page of your website. When someone clicks the button, they will interact with your bot, in this case, something like a customer service request where they can ask a question or request information.
The moment they click the “Continue” button, they will become a subscriber.
You can send a sequence of instant messages over a period of time:
This post barely scratches the surface on Facebook Messenger chatbots. I encourage you to sign up for a free Mobile Monkey account and begin experimenting with chatbots for your own online business.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment or write to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here’s to your success.