Facebook Messenger Stakes its Claim Against Email

When was the last time you had average open rates above 80% and the average click-through rates of nearly 30%. Unless you have been in digital marketing since the very first days in the 90s and early 2000, most of us know that you will be lucky to get a 30% open rate or a click-through rate above 10%. In fact, recent data by Smart Insights reported that email open rates average is at 22.87% while average click-through rates are down to just 3.26%. Meanwhile Facebook Messenger the newest marketing channel boasts average open rates of 84.3% and average click-through rates of 28.3% according to Modern App which analyzed 100,000 message samples.

Facebook Messenger bots are a relatively new channel but could they just displace email as the preferred marketing channel. Email has been around for a long time and many business owners are familiar and comfortable with it as compared to Messenger. Facebook Messenger chat bots only came into the scene in 2016 and it is estimated that there are approximately 900 million people using the platform every month. Meanwhile, email has been around for longer and has a massive 2.7 billion users, which is expected to top 2.9 billion in 2019. Facebook Messenger may never surpass that any time soon. However, the effectiveness of Facebook Messenger when it comes to metrics show that it is the most effective channel at the moment.

What are Facebook Messenger Marketing Bots?

Facebook Messenger bots are a collection of digital messages that can be very effective marketing tools. They are programmed by AI to provide automated responses and answer questions. You can get a programmer to code a bot for you or go to a mobile platform such as Mobile Monkey or Chat Fuel, where you can easily build the bot yourself. With a bot, you get to automatically respond to customer questions to improve conversions and customer service. This can save you a lot of time that you would have had to spent replying to emails or having someone on standby answering client questions.

Advantages of Facebook Messenger over Email

1. Personalization

Messages on Facebook Messenger are highly personalized and conversational, which makes it very likely that your messages are more likely to be opened. On the other hand, while email is still a great channel for marketing, it is less personalized and conversational. Moreover, users receive tons of emails a day and with providers such as Google providing filtering, your emails might be dumped in the promotions tab and never see the light of day.

2. You do not have to Deal with Email Fatigue

Long gone are the days when we used to get only personal emails in our inboxes. In the modern world, we get tons of spam in our inbox and marketing emails are more likely to be ignored than most other emails due to email fatigue.

3. Less Time Spent Building a List

Building a list takes a lot of time that may not even convert that well once you build it. Conversely, there is less friction involved in creating a Facebook Messenger leads list. Moreover, your prospects do not have to opt into email newsletters that you spent hours crafting and optimizing. All they need to do is click and subscribe as compared to email, which requires several steps such as type in email, submit and confirm, which increase the chances of users dropping off.

4. Enjoy More Options and Message Sequences

Just like with an email campaign, you can send message sequences which have as many or more options as compared to email sequences and can be just as long or short. However, the best thing about Messenger sequences is that you do not have to wait a day or two before sending the next sequence as you can send the next message anytime you feel like including immediately.

5. Instant Response

Unlike emails where you have to wait sometimes for several days for the recipient to respond, Messenger responses are instant. Moreover, you can engage in real-time conversations with the leads, which significantly improves the chances of conversions.

6. Retargeting

Facebook Messenger is more effective at retargeting given that unlike email, Facebook has a lot of data about your prospective customers. You get data about how they look, their gender, their occupation, where they went to school and even their income. On the other hand, email hardly offers any information about your prospects which makes sending emails more like shooting in the dark. With so much information on your prospects, you can write highly targeted messages and retarget to a very specific customer that is likely to convert.

7. Opt-in Features

Facebook Messenger has the same opt-in features provided by email lead generation platforms. You get boxes, buttons, slide in and pop-ups just like you would with email. You can even acquire leads when they simply leave a comment on your Facebook page which shows that they are interested in what you have to offer.

Facebook Messenger for E-Commerce

The Facebook Messenger chatbot is particularly effective for e-commerce and it should definitely be a tool in the marketing arsenal of any online business. Some of its uses are in:

1. Abandoned Cart Recovery

Messenger makes it possible to create a bot that sends a message to a client who added a product to their cart but did not check out, just like you would with email. You can set up Messenger to ask the client if they have any questions about their purchase or if they would like to check out. This can result in up to 11% conversion of abandoned carts as compared to email, which only converts abandoned carts at about 4%.

2. Live Chat

Messenger provides one of the most effective ways to interact with clients. The Messenger live chat bot makes it easy to either respond manually if you are online or let the bot reply if you are offline. Your customers can receive instant responses to any questions they may have, which gives a good customer experience that can significantly drive conversions.

3. Shipping Updates

It is easy to send messages about the shipping status of orders to customers. You can notify clients of when the package is delayed, shipped and delivered. Messenger can be a way of complementing email updates that could get lost.

4. Product Suggestions

Given that you have access to a lot of data about your potential clients, you can help first-time visitors find what they want or make a decision on what to buy if they do not know what they want. You can configure the Messenger bot to ask the client questions about their preferences and finally lead them to a suitable product. This could also give you an SEO boost as more people spend time on your site and improve engagement metrics.

The Bottom Line

Facebook Messenger is currently one of the most effective ways of doing online marketing campaigns. Its metrics have supplanted email with their high average click-through rates and open rates. It also comes with a variety of functions and apps that would benefit businesses and individual users alike. It is yet to suffer from messenger fatigue, which means that high open rates could lead to high conversion rates. For businesses that take advantage of it, there is still a first-mover advantage to be had as most marketers have yet to discover this excellent channel.