Monday, 4 December 2017

The Future of Messenger Marketing: What It Is, Where It’s Going, & Why The Future Is So Very Bright For Businesses


Find out what’s coming and how businesses are already deploying Messenger Marketing strategies to grow relationships with customers in this post.
If there’s one thing all business owners can agree on, it’s that you have to approach your customers in the places where they’re already hanging out.
If your customers are sports-loving guys who watch ESPN and the NFL Channel, you wouldn’t advertise to them on HGTV and Lifetime, would you?
Of course not.
You’d put your ads on sports networks where your target market will see them.
And that, in a nutshell, is why Messenger Marketing is set to become the world’s single biggest marketing channel in the next 5-7 years.
Messenger Marketing – noun – the act of leveraging mobile, chat platforms to facilitate conversations and commerce with prospects and customers.
There’s no denying the fact that we’re moving away from emails, SMS and phone calls. More and more we’re using mobile-friendly messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends, family, and even businesses.
It’s the quickest, easiest, and most convenient way to reach someone.
Is it any wonder, then, why Facebook Messenger Marketing is the most exciting new marketing channel to come by in a long, long time?
Just look how quickly messaging apps surpassed social networks in monthly active users:
Future of Messenger Marketing: graph depicting how messenger apps have surpassed social apps
Source: https://blog.bufferapp.com/messaging-apps
The steepness of that curve should tell you something: messaging apps have a naturally huge appeal. They’re too easy and intuitive not to use.
So, what’s to come? In the next 1,700 words, I’m going to give you a glimpse into the future of Messenger Marketing and apps, along with a few hints about some of the sophisticated new tools we have in the pipeline for ManyChat.
Before we jump to the future of Messenger Marketing, let’s talk about what it is and why it’s so important for your business to start using it to connect with your customers.

What Is Messenger Marketing?

Messenger marketing is a new and increasingly popular way to communicate with prospects, leads, and customers.
As a marketing channel it boasts better engagement than any other channel out there, including…
  • Email
  • Direct mail
  • Social media
  • Push notifications
  • Skywriting
…you name it.
So what does that mean? Very simply, it means when you send your customers a message on Facebook Messenger, more people will open, read, and interact with your messages.
And those messages can either be live (say, a real-time conversation between a customer service rep and a customer), or they can be automated using a chatbot (much like an email autoresponder series). But unlike email, which has come to feel like work for most people, Facebook messages are quick & easy to respond to.
As a result, they get sky-high open and click-through rates.
If it sounds a little bit like SMS marketing, you’re on the right track.
However, with Messenger Marketing, you can do a lot of things you can’t with SMS, like sending beautiful messages that come complete with clickable call-to-action (CTA) buttons, GIFs, galleries, and more.
Basically, Messenger Marketing combines the instant delivery & attention of SMS with the attractiveness and automation power of email. Messenger also feels more personal than email, but less invasive than SMS—striking the perfect balance for businesses looking to communicate with customers.
And thanks to more and more integrations (such as our new integration with Zapier), you can now easily and automatically add Messenger contacts to your email list, register them for a webinar, and much more.

What Can You Do With Messenger Marketing?

The beauty of Messenger Marketing is that you can still do all the stuff you’re used to doing in your marketing efforts…
…it just makes everything easier and more effective.
When someone sends you a message they’ll be automatically added to your ManyChat subscriber list. From there you can add them to your email list and continue to follow up with them via email.
You can send them content, sell them products, ask for feedback, and more—all within the native messenger app.
The ability to add clickable call-to-action buttons in messenger gives you the freedom to customize messenger marketing for any business.
For example, look how easy it is to register someone for a webinar:
Derek Halpern uses ManyChat to register attendees to his webinar
Depending on which link you click, Derek’s chatbot can automatically register you for the webinar, give you the details on how to attend, or offer to send you the recording.
You can also use ManyChat to segment your visitors and find out what their interests are, so that you can present them with relevant and personalized product recommendations:
DigitalMarketer uses ManyChat to offer a white paper to their customers
Or, simply use a chatbot to deliver deliver white papers and other lead-nurturing content:
DigitalMarketer uses ManyChat to deliver white paper to their audience
Cutting-edge ecommerce companies are using messenger marketing to send transactional messages (whether on desktop or mobile) — sending purchase confirmations, letting people know when their product has shipped, and so on.
Look how Code&Quill, a brand that creates specialty notebooks for creatives sends all the information their customers need about their orders:
Code&Quill uses ManyChat to send confirmations and tracking information to customers

Code&Quill customer message using ManyChat on desktop
Of course, you’re already able to do all of this through email. But email feels cold and impersonal, and even the best email marketing departments in the world still get open rates under 30%.
In contrast, Facebook messages provide your customers with the personal, one-on-one interactions they want, with open rates currently hovering around 85%. And if they have a question, all they have to do is reply to your message—and someone from your company will be able to respond instantly.
And that’s what’s so great about Facebook Messenger Marketing. It gives you all the automation you could want, but in a way that’s also private and personal. As a result it provides less friction for the end user, helping you to develop a deeper relationship with your customers.
It was that goal—less friction for the end user, helping businesses to develop a deeper relationship with their customers—that drove us as we built ManyChat; the platform can already accomplish those things. But in the near future you’re going to see companies doing even more remarkable things with Messenger Marketing.
The best is yet to come.
And for a glimpse into what the future might hold, let’s take a quick trip across the world—where the future is now for messaging apps.

The Meteoric Rise of Messengers: The China Case Study

I’ve said before that in the next 5-7 years, Messenger Marketing is going to capture 80% of all B2C communication.
It’s going to replace email, websites, phone calls, and SMS as the primary way businesses communicate with customers. It’s not going to be “just another channel.”
It’s going to be THE channel.
And if you’re skeptical about any of this, look no further than China—where this exact thing has already happened.
In China, over 900 million people use WeChat each month, making it the most widely used app in the country. It’s the dominant way people communicate, pushing SMS and email to the sidelines—even at work, where many employees use WeChat for business communications (instead of email). The app allows for free video calls, easy sharing of large files, and instant group chats. Instead of exchanging business cards, you simply use WeChat to scan someone’s QR code and snag their contact information.
It’s done more than that, though.
In many cases WeChat has actually replaced websites altogether. Many bloggers in China have turned to WeChat as their primary channel for distributing content, generating massive readership without ever even posting to a traditional blog.
Did I mention it’s also a revenue monster—largely replacing cash and credit cards? WeChat Pay is everywhere in China: you can use it to pay for purchases at physical and online stores, request taxis, order movie tickets, and even buy a drink from a vending machine.
According to the 2017 WeChat User Report, 87-94% of users in China pay for offline purchases using WeChat…compared to 38-51% using cash and 29-36% using debit/credit cards:
WeChat graphic depicting the vast majority of offline purchases being paid for using WeChat in China
Source: https://chinachannel.co/1017-wechat-report-users/
Statistics like this are really cool because they give a glimpse of what’s possible, of what’s coming, in the rest of the world. And when you combine that with all the capabilities of Facebook…all the rich data and targeting options hiding in our profiles…
You can see why the future of Messenger Marketing is so exciting.

The Future of Messenger Marketing

Imagine you’ve just spent a night at a hotel.
After you check out the next morning, you look at your phone and notice a notification from Facebook Messenger. You check it, and see that the hotel has sent you an automated message asking, on a 1-5 scale, how your stay was.
If you respond with a 1-3, the chatbot automatically asks you if anything was wrong and what they can do to improve. If you respond by telling them about the cockroaches you found under the bed, a customer service rep immediately replies to your message and credits you with a free stay.
If you respond with a 4 or 5, the chatbot automatically thanks you and gives you a link to leave a review online. They also tell you that, in the future, you can book a room by simply sending them a message with the date and type of room you want.
Doesn’t that sound quicker, easier, and more convenient for everyone involved? (Especially compared to the nightmare of opening graphic-heavy emails and navigating a poorly designed website on your phone?) And of course, the hotel chain will be able to store the data from this conversation in a central system and use it to provide better service in the future.
In short, scenarios like this are what the future holds for Messenger Marketing.
You’ll be able to set up chatbots that automatically send a message based on the last interaction the person had with your company—whether it was watching a video, making a purchase, viewing a certain product page on your website…you name it.
When someone needs to contact you, they won’t go to your website. Instead they’ll send you a Facebook message. Messenger will become your single point of interaction with customers—the one place where they can easily reach you anytime they have a question, need help, or simply want to make a purchase (which they will also be able to do directly through Messenger).

Powerful New Features Coming to ManyChat

I can’t give too many specifics just yet…but let’s just say we have a LOT of really exciting new tools and features coming out for ManyChat.
First up is an all-new way to create your Facebook Messenger experiences with a versatile and easy-to-use builder that will help you visualize the setup of the logic and sequence behind your chatbots. Built into this new tool will come a suite of intuitive analytics that will simplify the process of optimizing your Facebook Messenger campaigns.
We’re also working on more sophisticated and robust ecommerce systems that will help online retailers to generate more sales while providing better customer service through Facebook Messenger.
Better live chat capabilities are on the way, as are a whole host of triggers and automations to help you maximize sales & revenue while providing a seamless user experience for your customers.
Stay tuned for more news on these coming features as we roll them out in the coming months!

Want to Grow Your Business With Messenger Marketing?

Make no mistake: Facebook Messenger Marketing is going to be a huge marketing channel for everyone—consultants, ecommerce companies, brick & mortar stores, public figures and celebrities, event organizers, and more—for the foreseeable future.
Everyone can benefit from integrating Facebook Messenger into their marketing strategy. And given how fast Messenger Marketing is growing, the sooner the better.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing such valuable and helpful information and knowledge! This gives us more insights and inspiration. Looking forward to seeing more updates from you.

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  2. That was quite an interesting read!
    You've made some pretty good points here

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