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Facebook Subscription Messaging

Everything You Need To Know About Facebook Subscription Messaging

Facebook Subscription Messaging

It goes without saying that Facebook Messenger is the most popular messaging app as of the moment. It has more than 1 billion active users, positioning it as one of the top marketing platforms for you to take advantage of in 2019.

Before fully committing to this platform, however, you need to be aware of the limitations. Having a strong understanding of the types of messaging Facebook allows is a must!

The first messaging type is Standard Messaging, which is the default permission type for all Facebook business pages.

This option allows page owners to send promotional and non-promotional messages to a user as long as its within a 24-hour period of the user’s last engagement. After that period, you’re only allowed to send one message and wait for the user to reply before you can send another message.

The other messaging type is Subscription Messaging, which requires special approval from Facebook that you need to apply for.

This article will show you exactly how to get apply and approved for Subscription Messaging!


What is Facebook Subscription Messaging?

To understand Facebook subscription messaging you must first understand Facebook Messenger’s 24+1 policy. When a user sends a message to your page in the first 24 hours, you will be allowed to send unlimited out bound messages to the user, both non-promotional and promotional. Once the first 24 hours is over, you’re only allowed to send one additional message to a user and this can be promotional or non-promotional.

However, you have the option to pay to send a promotional or non-promotional message once you are outside this time frame if you need more using Facebook’s sponsored messages placement.

This is Facebook standard 24+1 messaging policy that every business page is approved for by default.

Being approved for Facebook subscription messaging allows you to send messages to your subscribers outside of the 24+1 limits as long as they are non-promotional messages.

Why Do I Need Subscription Messaging Permissions?

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2019, Facebook is requiring page-level subscription messaging permissions.

Previously Facebook required these permissions at the “App” level. Meaning Opesta applied for subscription messaging permissions and was able to allow all our users to user our messaging permissions provided users followed messaging best practices.

Source: Facebook for Developers

Essentially, rather than allowing Opesta’s subscription messaging permissions to apply to all users, now page owners have to be approved on a Facebook business page basis.

How to Apply for Facebook Subscription Messaging

Cast all your fears aside for it is free, easy, and quick to apply for this helpful Facebook permission. Although, each application is manually reviewed so it will most likely take a bit of time to be approved. It’s important therefore to do your application right the first time, so follow the instructions below to give you the best chance!

Step 1: Request Subscription Messaging in Facebook Page Settings

Go to your Facebook page and choose Settings:

Choose Messenger Platform:

Look for the Advanced Messaging Features, click on it, and request subscription messaging:

Step 2: Complete the Short 3-Part Application 

The request for Subscription Messaging comes in three steps: you need to choose from three predefined categories, describe the nature of the messages sent from your page, and give some examples.

These are your three category choices:

  • News - News messages generally contain information for a specific category or interest. Please keep in mind that “company updates” will not qualify as news in Facebooks eyes.
  • Productivity - These messages should provide updates that promote personal growth and productivity such as reminders and calendar events.
  • Personal Tracking - Personal Tracking messages, as the name implies, are essentially messages that give updates on personal details be it financial, fitness, wellness, or health.


Most businesses would likely choose News or Productivity since the third category is quite specific. Generally most use cases in Opesta relate to providing valuable information about specific topics or reminders of online or offline events a user has registered for.

In the “Provide additional details” section, you should describe the nature of the messages you will be sending from your page and give a general idea of how often these are sent. This could be general information about the industry your business relates to or simply reminder messages for online events a user has requested to receive.

For the Opesta page we said, “Opesta sends periodic messages related to news about marketing and advertising. In addition to these messages we will also send online event reminder messages to users who have requested them.”

After describing the messages your page will send, provide some examples of those messages.

Once your page gets approved of this service, you will get a notification and your Advanced Messaging Features should looks like this:

Tips for Writing a Facebook Subscription Message Request

When you apply for Facebook’s subscription message, you’re essentially agreeing that you’ll only send non-promotional messages outside of the 24 hour engagement window. That means the messages you share in your examples should be non-promotional messages.

If the examples you share seem like they could be promotional in anyway, even simply linking to your website, there is a chance you wont get approved. Each request is reviewed manually so you never know exactly what one person will consider promotional and another not. Best to error on the side of caution here when you are applying.

Where you may noramlly put a link you can instead say things like, “Check the website for more info”, “Head on over to the YouTube channel to get all the details”, etc.

Finally, since application requests are reviewed manually, you won’t be given the exact date or time of the approval. Some approvals are completed in a couple of days, while others could take months. It depends on the information you give them.

If you have multiple pages, you’ll have to send a request for each page, unfortunately. This is due to Facebook switching to page-level approval.

Things to Remember:

  • These should be non-promotional message examples
  • Each application is being reviewed by a real human, so be thorough.
  • When giving examples, make sure it fits the type of message. Pages will most likely apply to be able to send news or productivity updates.
  • If the nature of your application is for news updates, the examples you have to give should be news updates, and not other things like promos, discounts, etc.

What Should I Do If My Application Wasn’t Approved?


There have been tons of page admins denied these permissions who have gone on to get fully approved, so don’t worry if you were too. What you have to know at this point is that you can apply as many times as you want — there’s no limit as far as we know.

If you try talking to other page admins, you’ll be relieved to know that most of them needed to apply several times before being granted that sweet green checkbox. While waiting, you can still use Messenger’s other messaging types anyway so there’s no need to freak out.

If you are having trouble getting approved feel free to reach out to Opesta’s awesome support team through our in app chat and ask for help writing your sample messages and business details.

If you do reach out please share as much about your business as possible so the team can help craft an accurate submission with you!

Another amazing resource is our video guide that will walk you through the entire Facebook subscription messaging submission step by step!

What Will Happen If I Don’t Apply for Subscription Messaging?

Facebook Messenger, in the past, was only used to be able to talk to friends and catch up with family. Today, it is one of the most powerful online tools to build customer relationships and brand presence. And it makes sense, considering Facebook Messenger is the second-most popular form of customer communication, according to a Nielsen survey. Customers send approximately 1 billion messages to companies and stores each month, which means you shouldn’t miss this opportunity of getting as close as you can to your target audience.

If you don’t apply for this service, you will lose the ability to send non-promotional content outside of the 24 hour window on Jan. 1, 2019. So really, it cannot be stressed enough that it’s crucial for you to apply for subscription messaging or forever lose the more than 1 billion active users Facebook Messenger has.

If you got rejected on your first time, apply again. That’s totally fine. If you miss the application, your only option is to send sponsored promotional content, which means you’ll have to pay for every message you send.

Are You Using Facebook Messenger Effectively?

As a platform that has the global reach to a billion people. Facebook Messenger has tons to offer businesses and companies. Being able to communicate directly to your target audience will result in stronger customer relationships.

Social media first caught the attention of many companies, but as technology continued to evolve, companies wanted something more specific and tapped into the right resources. With Facebook Subscription Messaging, you get to serve your customers better without investing a ton of cash.

How to Increase Your Webinar Conversion Rate Using Facebook Messenger

Facebook Messenger bot

Most webinars have fewer than 50 attendees.

That’s an abysmal number.

What’s going on here?

Even if a webinar gets lots of registrations, not that many people follow through and actually attend.

Unfortunately, people lose interest, change their minds, or simply forget about the webinar.

It’s a shame because there’s a lot of missed opportunity there.

73% of B2B marketing and sales leaders say the best way to generate high-quality leads is through webinars.

Think of all those leads you’re missing out on if registrants don’t attend your webinar.

So how do you increase your webinar conversion rate?

It starts by having people opt-in to receive communications from you on Facebook Messenger.

From there, you have to do your best to engage users and show them the value your webinar will bring to them.

It is possible to up your conversion rates. You just need to know how.

Optimize Webinar Landing Pages

Before we even get to Messenger, you need people to sign up for your webinar.

A strong landing page will increase the number of webinar registrations.

Firstly, you need to know what a good conversion rate for landing pages in your industry is.

If you know the benchmark conversion rate, you can better assess how well your landing pages are working.

Median conversion rates range from 2.8% to 6%.

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Let’s say you offer business consulting services, and the average landing page conversion rate is 5%.

So, drive more traffic to your pages that are performing well, i.e., 5% and above.

Your landing pages under 5% need more work.

What kind of work?

How do you optimize a landing page to increase webinar conversions?

It starts with a hook.

This is something that will lure in the registrants.

Take a look at this webinar landing page template from Unbounce:

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The hook here is ‘10 Job Hacks That Will Make Work Feel Like Play’.

It’s a highly appealing and unique idea.

Julie Stoian at Click Funnels recommends using this template to generate a great hook:

“How I/We _____________ (use something like doubled, tripled, 10x-ed)_______________Our ___________ (sales, customers, clients, leads, units sold, something your customer WANTS)_____________ with This/These _________ (insert a number)_________ Strategy/ies (tactics, systems,), and Why It Took/Without _________, __________, and ______________.”

You’ll end up with something like this:

“How We Tripled Our Webinar Conversions With These 10 Simple Strategies And Why It Takes Less Time and Effort Than All The Other Strategies Out There”

Then you’ll want to add three major secrets people will learn in your webinar.

Check out this example from Kissmetrics:

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The three secrets highlight exclusive elements that will make people desperately want to join this webinar.

In this case, it’s insight and new research.

You may also want to add a timer to give a sense of urgency.

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Furthermore, information on the speakers is a must.

It’s alluring because it displays the level of expertise on offer.

This example comes from a HubSpot webinar on Facebook best practices:

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Now we come to the all-important part.

You’ll need a button on the landing page which allows users to opt-in to receive communications from you in Messenger.

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Email is old news.

Having users sign up through Messenger makes it so much easier for them and you to stay in touch.

You can even make this a required option for those signing up for your webinar.

Now you can set up automated messaging sequences to contact registrants.

Automate Messages

Marketing automation is the way forward.

It increases the efficiency of repetitive tasks.

Plus, it leads to better conversions.

66% of those who have adopted it say they did so to get higher quality leads.

As I said at the start, few people who sign up for webinars actually attend them.

To get a higher conversion rate, automate messages to stay in touch with registrants.

Facebook Messenger chatbots have significantly higher open rates and click-through rates than email.

Marketing guru Ben Beck did some extensive testing to prove this.

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He found that an above average-performing email has an open rate of around 35%.

The chatbots he tested had an open rate of around 89% and 93%.

So registrants are much more likely to see your communications if you use Messenger.

This gives you more opportunity to persuade them to attend

Once registrants opt-in to receive messages from you on Facebook Messenger, the first message in your automated sequence should be a welcome message.

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Then you can send further messages with the aim of building anticipation for your webinar.

For instance, you could send a teaser video for the webinar.

Or you can ask registrants to send you questions.

They will be excited to see if their question gets answered in the webinar.

Similarly, you could send out a poll, the results of which they will be curious to see in the webinar.

Most importantly, you’ll want to send out automated reminders for the webinar.

People will forget about your webinar if you don’t.

This worked well for a webinar Bot Academy hosted.

They sent out this reminder one hour before the webinar.

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Then another reminder two minutes before the webinar.

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These messages saw 95% open rates and a 42% click-through rate when they went live.

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Through their automated messages, they actually got people to attend the webinar.

You mustn’t forget to follow up with attendees after the webinar either.

At this time you can encourage people to buy a product related to the webinar.

Make an exclusive, limited-time offer to those who attended.

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Opesta also automates segmentation based on behavioral triggers you set up.

This means you can segment those who attended a different message to those who didn’t.

Automation really does make for efficient communication.

Write Messenger Copy That Converts

Writing copy for Messenger is totally different to writing emails.

It’s important that you get it right.

Good writing is at the heart of AI.

Think of it this way: Google hired writers from Pixar and The Onion to make its Assistant AI more engaging.

If your messages are bland and generic, people are going to disengage.

Plus, boring messages may mean a boring webinar.

You want users to relate to your messages and take action i.e., attend your webinar.

How do you write good copy for Messenger?

Firstly, you need to write in a way that people are used to.

Emails contain lengthy amounts of copy.

But in Messenger, people write short, snappy sentences.

They send multiple messages at a time and use emojis.

Your Messenger bot should do the same.

Woebot, a bot that helps people with mental health, does this pretty well:

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The format is just like a standard conversation you would have with a friend.

Get down to the core of what you want to say, and you’ll be able to shorten your messages.

Conversational UI specialist, Hans van Damm says,

“Every sentence has to drive the conversation forward and bring the user closer to his goal.”

Dialogue has to be useful and engaging at the same time.

So the language used should be natural and similar to a regular Messenger conversation, too.

You’ll likely develop multiple conversational scripts.

And wind up with something fun like this bot from American Eagle Outfitters:

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Notice how the writing is totally familiar as in “Hey girl…”

Plus, they make use of slang and a bunch of emojis.

This emulates a casual conversation.

And would definitely appeal to their target audience of young women who likely have chats like this with their friends on the daily.

To optimize your copy for Messenger, you should also track interactions.

Is there a point where users usually drop off?

If so, carry out AB testing with different dialogue to improve your messages and keep users for longer.

Essentially, it’s all about engaging users so that they follow your reminders and attend your webinar.


Optimize the Timing of Your Messages

You know what they say:

Timing is everything.

Hamish McCollester, Creative Director at Rapp LA, says,

“With a deeper awareness of the issues in play, you can use the “time factor” to your advantage and better set up your campaigns for success.”

If you can hit up people at the right time, then you’re more likely to get a response or have people carry out an action.

And if you’re automating messages, it’s easy to choose the timing of each message strategically.

Let’s get to our first key statistic.

15% of registrations occur 3-4 weeks before a webinar.

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This seems mighty early.

But some people like to be the early bird, I guess.

15% is significant enough a statistic to warrant a reaction.

It shows that you can and should start promotions for your webinar early.

Moving on, 24% of all webinar registrations take place on Tuesdays.

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All weekdays are strong performers, but Tuesdays are the best.

Why are Tuesdays so great? Who knows.

But it doesn’t matter, if people like to register on a Tuesday then pay attention to that fact.

Be sure to promote on those high-performing days.

The best time to promote a webinar is between 8 AM and 10 AM.

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Schedule your messages to go out at that time, and you’ll be onto a winner.

People will engage on their way to work in the morning.

Last but not least, 69% of registrations occur in the week before the webinar.

And 33% of registrations happen on the day of the webinar.

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Some people sure like to cut it fine, don’t they?

So when it comes to your promotions and messages, start your efforts three to four weeks before your webinar.

The early birds will want to sign up then.

But you should focus your time and energy on the week leading up to your event, and even on the day.

Promote your webinar hard that week to get as many conversions as possible.


Yes, getting people to attend your webinar is difficult.

But it’s not impossible.

Especially when you leverage Facebook Messenger to increase conversions.

A strong landing page is necessary to get users to sign up in the first place.

When they opt-in to receive Facebook messages from you, set up automated messaging sequences.

Your messages should build anticipation for the big event.

Plus, provide reminders to get the user to act.

Your Messenger bot needs to be highly engaging if you want people to interact with it.

This means that good writing is a must.

And finally, you can optimize the timing of your messages and promotions to get as many responses as possible.

Now it’s over to you.

Start by putting together an appealing landing page so that people will want to sign up for your messages.

How to Land Big-Ticket Clients with Facebook Messenger

the key to messenger bots

With over two billion monthly active users, Facebook is home to just about anyone and everyone you know and don’t know.

Everyone from your neighbor’s dog to CEOs and CMOs use Facebook.

With such a large user base, it’s not hard to reach your target market.

But that doesn’t mean it’s easy to land big clients. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. People don’t browse Facebook for ads. And most display ads on Facebook don’t have a high CTR.

Facebook Ads are great for casting a massive net and landing a few clients.

But if you want the best clients that really grow your business, you need to use Facebook Messenger Ads to get personal.

Here’s how to land big-ticket clients using Messenger Ads.

Take An Account-based Marketing Approach

Landing big-ticket clients isn’t easy. And there are no shortcuts.

But the biggest way that people go wrong when looking to land a marlin in a sea of minnows is by using inbound marketing tactics.

Yep, you read that right. Inbound marketing is great, don’t get me wrong.

But when it comes to big fish, it’s not.

Let me explain:

The whole goal of inbound marketing is to open the floodgates and bring in thousands of visits and users with the hopes of converting a small percentage of them.

But big fish aren’t going to give you a million-dollar account deal from a wimpy Twitter ad. Heck, they probably won’t even see it.

Instead, you should be focused on using an account-based marketing approach. Account-based marketing is the idea of treating potential clients as their own market.

Marketo perfectly summarizes account-based marketing with their definition:

“Account-based marketing (ABM) is an alternative B2B strategy that concentrates sales and marketing resources on a clearly defined set of target accounts within a market and employs personalized campaigns designed to resonate with each account.”

Instead of using inbound marketing and casting a wide net, filtering leads through qualifications later in your funnel, you do that upfront.

You select target accounts that you want to land and then fully customize your marketing to perfectly fit their needs, rather than hoping that they will respond well to generalized ads.

And according to the latest data, account-based marketing works. 97% said ABM had a somewhat or much higher ROI than other marketing methods.

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Account-based marketing is a proven way to land big clients. The statistics are endless for its proven worth.

By qualifying accounts and potential clients before getting them deep in your funnel, you can focus on higher quality advertisements.

On top of that, you know these leads are top-notch and are looking for products in your space. The only convincing you need to do is selling your brand over a competitor.

Plus, you spend a fraction of the cost on ads. Instead of running tons of ads in the middle of your funnel or trying to convert at the bottom, you only run ads to your select target accounts.

That’s thousands of fewer clicks costing you money that was never going to convert.

And even if ad cost is high, ABM is meant for big-ticket clients, meaning higher acquisition costs can be justified because your end client is likely massive when it comes to revenue.

Thankfully, though, ad costs are relatively low when it comes to Messenger. AdStage found that most CPCs are less than $1.00 and that many are even under 30 cents.

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Messenger is one of the best places to land big-ticket clients for a few reasons:

  1. Ad costs are cheap, meaning acquisition is usually low, and reward is massive.
  2. Messenger isn’t being used by everyone.
  3. Facebook audience targeting is perfect for ABM tactics.
  4. Messenger allows you to get personal, which is critical for ABM success.

Ready to get started landing big-ticket clients? Here’s where to begin.

Develop Your Audience Targeting First

One of the most crucial aspects of a good account-based marketing plan is the audience you target.

Like we discussed earlier, this isn’t inbound marketing.

Meaning you don’t want to cast a net too wide to the point where pre-qualification doesn’t exist.

All of your accounts that you target should be highly specialized and able to convert on your offer.

Meaning they need your product and even actively use variations of it.

For example, you can’t target accounts that focus only on SEO if you run a PPC agency. They simply wouldn’t convert.

Plus, you don’t want all potential clients in PPC. You want the top dogs. The companies that would pay you millions a year.

To get started, you can use a custom Facebook Saved Audience. But before we dive into that, you’ll need to list out a few demographics and firmographics for your ideal targets:

  1. Company size (employees)
  2. Company revenue
  3. Income of target contact
  4. Job position of ideal targets
  5. Interests and exclusions

Using these five major sources of data, you can start to create small audiences on Facebook that will allow you to use an ABM-style approach to Messenger Ads.

Fire up a new saved audience in the Facebook Business Manager and give it a recognizable name for later:

Next, start by adding basic demographic data like locations, age, and gender:

Once you’ve done this, it’s time for the real work. The specific factors that will help you take your audience size down to only the most qualified big-ticket clients.

In the Detailed Targeting section, you can start to enter those demographics and firmographics that you outlined previously, like income, company size and more.

Adding just three variables using the “Narrow Further” option means Facebook will only add users to your audience that match all of the listed ones, rather than “at least ONE.”

Make sure to use the “Narrow Further” feature each time you add a new targeting option to keep narrowing down the pool.

For example, my sample audience size is now just a few thousand people.

That’s a great start for an ABM-style campaign using Messenger. It’s not too big to where you can’t customize offers and campaigns, and it’s not too small to where you won’t get any traction.

Having a few thousand targets on Facebook will help you collect potential clients that will net the biggest results.

Further down the line, you can further disqualify accounts if they don’t match your goals. But doing this pre-qualification and filtering ahead of time will give you the best targets to work with.

Create Cheap and Passive Brand Awareness

The first ads you run to your small selection of target accounts should focus on developing brand awareness.

Knowing how incredibly cheap Messenger Ads are, it’s a no-brainer.

Focusing on brand awareness is usually something to scoff at. Something that’s only for big brands like Budweiser or Pepsi.

But that couldn’t be farther from the truth. All of those brands started from scratch with no brand awareness. They didn’t simply become a big brand without focusing on building that brand.

When it comes to sales in any industry, brand bias is a huge driver of revenue.

In a study and analysis from Search Engine Land and SurveyMonkey, they found that 70% of consumers look for “known retailers” when doing a product or purchase-based search.

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The large majority of consumers and buyers are looking heavily at brand name when making a decision.

It’s even more important than pricing, free returns and shipping, reviews and discounts.

Brand awareness has the power to drive sales over the cheaper competition with better reviews and bigger discounts.

When creating brand awareness ads on Messenger, you want to focus on a short, clear and concise value proposition that explains your business with ease.

For example, check out this ad from Jasper’s Market:

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This ad is meant to develop brand awareness, establishing them as the leading place for fresh produce online.

When a user engages with the message-based ad, they’re linked to the website with a simple welcome message:

Let us know if you have any questions about Jasper’s Market. Instead of asking them to sign up or provide info or use a coupon to buy, they are left to their own devices to become acquainted with the company.

When creating brand awareness ads with Messenger, here are a few key points to keep in mind:

  1. Your image shouldn’t be your logo: Instead, focus on positioning your brand in the eyes of consumers by showing the content of your company. For example, Jasper’s Market shows fresh produce instead of their logo.
  2. Your headline and body text should be a concise value proposition: What does your company do, and why is it the best?

To create a brand awareness ad with Messenger, you want to use the News Feed placement option, which can be used with the following objectives:

Brand awareness, reach, traffic, conversions, apps, messages.

In the Business Manager, create an ad based on one of those objectives and select the “Click to Messenger” type:

This will establish a Messenger Ad that shows up in the News Feed but prompts users to message you from it, like the example above.

Using these ads focused on brand awareness, you can start to drive Messenger engagement fast and funnel these accounts to the next stage.

Remarket Interested Users With Qualification Questions and Lead Magnets

Once you’ve created passive brand awareness ads, you can start to move in for the real, personalized communications that Messenger is built for.

With Messenger, you have two options for ad placement:

  1. News Feed to Messenger
  2. Sponsored Messages (directly to the inbox of users)

But the trick here is:

You need to conduct the first placement in the News Feed to have the option to use sponsored messaging.

Sponsored messaging is Facebook Messenger’s form of remarketing, allowing you to only display messages like this to people who have engaged with your ads:

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Using sponsored messages, you can appeal using your personal profile or Facebook Page, and customize your messages with links, offers and lead magnets:

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Facebook Ad expert Jon Loomer uses an ABM-style approach by qualifying users even further during the sponsored message campaigns he runs.

For example, he will ask target accounts:

Is this training right for you?

He further presses each account-based lead as to whether or not they are right for the program and if they will be worth it down the line as a big client.

This second stage after building brand awareness is your opportunity to learn more about your target accounts, disqualify more low-level accounts, and collect leads.

You can do this by asking multiple questions and by having genuine conversations with those who engage on your ads.

For example, you should focus on asking qualification questions on their company size, revenue, marketing spend, tools they currently use, etc.

All of these can tell you if they are interested and willing to consider your product and service. If they aren’t, dump them.

You might only end up with a few big-ticket clients through this rigorous qualification. But make no mistake, that’s exactly what you want!

To create remarketing ads with Messenger, you first need to set up a new custom audience based on Facebook engagement.

You can create an audience based on users who clicked your CTA, opened any ad, or sent a message to your page.

Save that audience. Now, you can head to Ads Manager and create a new ad, being sure to select Sponsored Message this time:

Now you can effectively create new ads that will initiate the conversation with real target accounts directly in their inbox that have engaged with you and have shown interest.

From here, be personal and respond to each message. You can’t afford to use a bot when genuinely trying to connect with an ABM approach to big-ticket clients.

Now it’s up to you to close the sale.


Landing big-ticket clients is one of the toughest tasks you’ll face.

And with saturated advertising networks, it’s become even harder without the proper connections.

But maybe you’ve just been using the wrong approach. Inbound marketing is great for driving smaller clients.

When it comes to big clients that can boost your revenue dramatically, it doesn’t work.

ABM instead helps you focus on each individual account, giving them the proper attention they need to fall in love with your business.

And Messenger is the perfect companion. Following an ABM approach, widdle down your target audience and develop cheap, passive brand awareness ads to get their attention. Then, start remarketing to interested accounts to keep pushing them down your funnel.

Landing big fish with Messenger requires a slow, methodical approach and a specific, highly-targeted audience.

Here’s Why Messaging Will Dominate Every Other Marketing Channel in 2018

messenger bots better than other marketing channels

Messaging is the future of marketing.

Messaging apps have surpassed social networks in terms of monthly active users.

Even Mark Zuckerberg has said:

“Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking.”

It’s only natural then that messaging is set to be the primary marketing channel in the next five years.

As a business, it’d be crazy not to target Facebook Messenger…

A channel that over 10% of the world’s population uses.

Because it’s all about that reach.

One-to-one messaging provides so many features and benefits.

Marketers are starting to realize as much, so don’t be left behind.

Messaging will dominate the world of marketing in 2018 and beyond. Here’s how and why:

The Rise of Messaging

Messaging will replace email, SMS, phone calls, etc. in the coming years.

By 2022, there will be over 8.6 billion instant messaging accounts.

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Businesses will always reach out to people where they’re already hanging out.

If we could see into the future, it’s likely we would see that, number one there is a lot of Black Mirror-esque scary stuff going on.

And number two, messaging is the primary form of communication between businesses and consumers.

Black Mirror aside, we can’t actually see into the future.

The only thing we can do is look at a case study in which this kind of thing has already occurred.

In China, around 900 million people use the messaging app WeChat.

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It is the most popular form of communication in the country.

It dominates SMS and email, even in the workplace.

WeChat includes video calling, the ability to share large files and group messaging.

It even has a system in which you can use QR codes to swap contact information instead of business cards.

It is the primary method for distributing content for some bloggers. They have foregone a website altogether.

But perhaps the most interesting part is that you can use it to pay for stuff in online and physical stores.

This means it has largely replaced cash and credit cards.

87-94% of WeChat users make offline payments via WeChat.

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They use it more than cash, cards, and other smartphone payment methods.

As the capabilities of Facebook Messenger and other forms of instant messaging expand, it’s likely that they will move in the direction of WeChat.

After all, it has been possible to send and receive payments through Facebook Messenger since 2015.

And of course, you can make purchases through Facebook stores.

In the US, Facebook is the social media platform on which the most purchases are made.

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The WeChat case study is fascinating as it shows the future potential for messaging apps around the world.

The Primary Channel for Outbound Marketing

Brands must communicate with consumers on mobile messaging channels.

In 2018, it’s the most accessible form of communication.

So it would be the most proactive way for you to do your marketing.

Globally, people spend the most minutes online on their mobile devices:

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So it’s the best channel to reach people with your information, offers, and other communications.

Perhaps the fact that mobile browsing is so commonplace and accessible is the reason why messaging sees better open rates than email.

According to data from Headliner Labs, people are 3.5 times more likely to open a Messenger message than a marketing email.

That shows the potency of instant messaging as a means of outbound marketing.

And don’t forget that it’s a two-way street.

While marketing emails are like having a conversation at somebody.

Messaging is having a conversation with somebody.

This means that brands can converse with consumers in real-time.

And move them down their sales funnel in one thread…

Even towards making a purchase.

This is a great example from Sephora:

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The messenger chatbot strikes up a conversation with users to find out about their makeup preferences.

From there, Sephora can make custom product recommendations to the user.

There are a number of outbound marketing messages that work well for instant messaging.

For instance, re-engagement or abandoned cart messages:

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Messages sharing new content:

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New product releases or offers:

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Basically, in 2018 and beyond, you’re going to send out a similar marketing message to the ones you’ve always done.

But instead of sending them via email, you will send them through messenger.

The main reasons being, they’re more likely to be opened in the first place.

And users can respond in real-time.

Easy to Use On-Site Plugin

Ever used a personal shopper?

You have someone to guide you around the store, giving you the precise information you need and helping you pick up the right items.

Well, on-site messaging is similar.

You get someone to chat to in real-time while you browse a website or online store.

20 million Facebook pages already use messaging.

And in 2018, you’re going to see more and more sites that have the Facebook Messenger plugin on-site too.

Though there are other bots and on-site messaging services in existence…

Facebook Messenger has the reach of 1.3 billion users.

So, it’s a good idea to use the plugin as many of your customers will be Facebook Messenger users and totally familiar with the app already.

Take a look at it in action:

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Facebook Messenger’s benefits, such as rich media and bots, will not be lost in the plugin either.

So you also have the advantage of being able to use a superior platform.

The way the plugin works is that the messages sent between you and the site visitor pop up in the Facebook Messenger app simultaneously.

This means that you can continue to communicate with customers even after they have navigated away from your site.

How useful is that!

No leads are lost in this process.

This has another benefit too.

If you already have a strong presence on Facebook and use Messenger, then you won’t need to have multiple channels for customer inquiries.

The plugin loads up previous conversations between you and your customers when they reach your site.

The plugin can also be customized to match your brand, for instance with colors and greetings.

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With the plugin being rich in features that will benefit both brands and consumers.

Don’t be surprised if you see more websites adopting it…

Or if you find yourself adopting it too.

Facebook Messenger Improvements for 2018

One of the main reasons why messaging will dominate in 2018 and beyond is that it keeps getting better and better.

Messenger saw a lot of growth in 2017 and this year, and it’s expected to do the same.

David Marcus, VP of messaging products and head of Facebook Messenger, recently shared what we should be watching out for in 2018.

One of the key takeaways is that Facebook will declutter Messenger this year.

They’re going to simplify the app because some of the features haven’t found a market fit.

It’s good because sometimes the simplest things are the best.

People just want things to be easy, let’s be honest.

Nick Babich, editor-in-chief of UX Planet, says,

“When we interact with apps or websites, we have a particular goal. And usually, the less effort we spend on achieving this goal, the better experience.”

When Facebook simplifies Messenger, people will be able to achieve their goals much faster, thus improving customer satisfaction.

Marcus also predicts that “visual messaging will fully explode in 2018; people will expect a super fast and intuitive camera, video, images, GIFs, and stickers with almost every conversation.”

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This is excellent news for marketers. Because we all know the importance of visual marketing.

Over 90% of marketers use visuals in more than half of their articles.

The reason why visuals are so important to marketers is that people are much more likely to retain information if visuals are involved.

If a person hears something, the likelihood they’ll remember the information in three days is 10%.

But if a picture is included, the likelihood they’ll remember the info in three days jumps to 65%.

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It’s safe to say then that marketers will be able to use the prediction of visuals exploding on Messenger to their advantage.

Finally, Marcus states that big brands are now using Messenger as a marketing channel.

For example, LEGO.

And, Katy Perry.

And, lastly, Apple Music.

And this validates the use of Messenger for marketing.

CMOs are beginning to accept Messenger as the new go-to channel for marketing and communication.

Reduced Cost of Lead Generation

Lead generation isn’t easy.

63% of companies say their biggest marketing challenge is generating traffic and leads.

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But perhaps it’s such a challenge because they’re using outdated methods.

Typically, companies use lead generation forms to collect email addresses.

And they get people to fill them in using an offer of premium content.

The subscriber is then in their sales funnel.

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But this might not be the most effective or the most efficient method of generating leads anymore.

Let’s take a look at a case study from HubSpot.

HubSpot previously used Facebook ads to drive traffic to an interesting piece of content on a landing page.

Users filled out the form to access the content.

They also received a follow-up email with a PDF containing the content. You know the drill.

But HubSpot realized that capturing leads this way meant that users had to leave Facebook to get their content.

So instead they experimented with having people share their personal details on Facebook Messenger.

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Users answered the questions within Messenger and received their link within Messenger.

This had excellent results for HubSpot: a 477% reduction in their cost per lead, while lead quality only slightly decreased.

That’s a huge cost reduction.

So surely, experimenting with lead generation through Facebook Messenger is a no-brainer.

HubSpot says, “It might take a little muscle to build a Facebook Messenger bot to collect lead information, but the effort is well worth it. Use Facebook ads plus Messenger as a powerful one-two punch.”

You can emulate HubSpot’s success by creating Click-to-Messenger ads.

The call to action sends users to messenger instead of your website.

So all you need to do is change the destination of your ad to Messenger:

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You can enter your initial message manually.

Or leave the text field blank if you’re using automated messages.

All in all, a simple switch to capturing leads through Messenger could reduce the cost of lead generation.

As more marketers catch on, the use of Messenger as a marketing channel will soar.


As people now use messaging more than social media, companies will focus on this channel for their marketing activities.

Instant messaging is powerful. Its effects have already been seen in China.

The mass adoption of WeChat is a good indicator that similar could happen with Facebook Messenger around the globe.

Messenger will likely become the primary channel for outbound marketing.

People spend the most time online on their mobiles. So open rates are better than those for email.

Furthermore, Facebook has developed an on-site plugin for Messenger.

This makes it even easier for sites to make use of it.

And Messenger gets better year on year. It will be more useful to marketers than ever before.

Finally, there’s a good chance you can reduce the cost of lead generation using Facebook Messenger.

Everyone wants to save money, meaning everyone will want to jump on board.

Does your business use messaging as its primary marketing channel?

Because it’s time to consider it.

Why Messaging is Outperforming Email Marketing (And How to Get in on the Action Today)

Facebook messenger bot notification

Email claimed its place as champion of the marketing world with the humble rise of Hotmail.

It’s been the champion of personalization, cold contacting, and lead generation for over a decade.

Many mediums — such as push notifications and social media advertisements — have tried to compete with the effectiveness of email, but only now has a viable contender entered the marketing scene.

And its name is chatbot.

For the most part, these robots live on social media platforms, which is the perfect place for them to gain their foothold. After all, social media usership has grown from nothing to nearly 70% of adults over the last ten years.

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That growth gives chatbots a lucrative environment for expansion.

In particular, here are four reasons that chatbots are beating email to the punch.

Why Messaging is Better Than Email

We’re going to start off by discussing reasons why messaging is better than email marketing. Then, we’ll turn our attention to how you can jump on the messaging train.

Reason #1: Messaging is new and email is old

Whenever something new and intriguing comes on the marketing scene, interest explodes.

And that’s not surprising. Think about when a new restaurant opens up in your town. Everyone in the city wants to try the newest food joint.

But why does everyone flock to a new restaurant before they know if it’s any good?

Because humans want to try new stuff.

Here’s the psychology behind it in the words of Dr. Duzel:

“When we see something new, we see it has a potential for rewarding us in some way. This potential that lies in new things motivates us to explore our environment for rewards. The brain learns that the stimulus, once familiar, has no reward associated with it and so it loses its potential. For this reason, only completely new objects activate the midbrain area and increase our levels of dopamine.”

The same is true for Facebook Messenger.

In fact, when Facebook launched its chatbot integration with Facebook Messenger, the spike in interest was undeniable.

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Chatbots are new, and that’s one of the reasons that people are more apt to engage with them out of pure curiosity.

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Compare that with email. We all know what email is, and we’re all used to letting our inboxes rot with thousands of unopened messages.

But messenger platforms? Not so much.

I, for one, can say that my Facebook Messenger and iOS Messenger apps almost always have zero unread messages.

And it’s not just me. Lauren Kunze, CEO of Pandorabots, mentions that “…while email marketing has an open rate of 24%, a recent chatbot rocketed past that at 80%.”

Chatbots grab the attention of your target audience better than email since people don’t yet ignore messenger notifications.

Before I get ahead of myself, though, let’s point out some stats that you’ve probably already seen.

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As you can tell, instant messaging and text messaging come in second only to email in popularity. Doesn’t that mean that email is a more effective marketing strategy than chatbots and messenger platforms?

Not necessarily.

Assuming that email is more effective than messaging based on the above data is the equivalent of assuming that a website with slightly more traffic is also bringing in more leads and conversions.

That’s ridiculous.

The reality is that chatbots are far better at engaging your target market simply because the space isn’t yet crowded. Email, on the other hand, is old, cluttered, and easy for most people to ignore.

Reason #2: People always have their phones

I’ll bet that whether you’re in the bathroom, car, office, or at the dinner table, you have your phone on you.

Despite how some of those habits might hurt humanity’s relationships, it’s the reality.

Most of us can’t put our phones down.

Which means that we almost always have them with us.

In fact, there’s a name for the fear of not having your phone next to you. It’s called nomophobia, and it’s Wikipedia official.

Luckily for marketers, chatbots thrive best on mobile devices.

And since people always have their phones on them — millennials especially — chatbots also always have access to consumers, whether they’re on public transportation, waiting in a line, walking down the street, or even at a restaurant.

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Now, I know what you’re thinking. You can also set up email notifications on your phone.

But if you’re like me, turning on those notifications would turn your phone into a vibrating back-massager rather than the mobile device it’s supposed to be.

So even though people can turn on their email notifications, many people don’t. Which means that you can only access people via email when they’re looking.

Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, with its active 1 billion users, allows you to access your customer base at any time during the day since most people keep their notifications on.

Reason #3: Messaging is more personal

Email feels impersonal because it’s old and familiar.

Of course, email marketers are doing their best to personalize their campaigns. Interactive emails and big data personalization are two of the top email marketing priorities for 2017.

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But, when it comes to email marketing on mobile devices, the complaints are plentiful. Such as receiving too many notifications that are irrelevant to the consumer.


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The reason that email marketers are failing to personalize their messages lies in the nature of email itself.

First of all, email is always a shotgun blast approach. Even segmented campaigns go to a large group of people. And the worst part is that everyone knows it.

So when email marketers try to include name tags and other personal elements, it does little to actually increase conversion rates.

Email personalization efforts end up feeling more like subtle deceit than true friendship.

But is messaging better?

Well, even though everyone knows they’re talking to a bot, you can set up that bot to interact with them in ways that strengthen your brand image and feel human.

In the words of Mark Zuckerberg, “We want you to message a business just as you message a friend.”

And technically speaking, each interaction is individual, making the experience seem more personal than a single email sent to thousands of people.

Reason #4: People already use their phones to check email

We’ve already discussed three reasons why messaging is a better way to contact your customers. But here’s what we haven’t discussed. People are already using their phones to check email.

In fact, 27% of smartphone owners check their email on their phone as their emails come in.

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Not to mention that users prefer messenger apps over social networking as well.

Why is that important?

If people check their email on their phone instead of desktop, and chatbots are a better platform for accessing your customers through mobile, then it stands to reason that chatbots create a better experience for your customer base.

In other words, since consumers prefer to interact with businesses on their phones, mobile-based messaging beats desktop-based email marketing.

How to Leverage Messaging

Now we’re going to turn our attention to three tips to leverage messaging today. These are the three fundamental requirements you should have for any chatbot — regardless of the product or service you offer.

Tip #1: Make your bot conversational

One of the great strengths of chatbots is that they feel personal… even though they aren’t.

Users can have a full conversation with these robots in much the same way that they would with a real person.

So despite the chatbot’s automated answers, users feel like the experience is personal.

Which, to some degree, it is.

After all, chatbots respond based specifically on the user’s choices, making it more like a choose-your-own-adventure book than a linear experience.

This means that you need to make your chatbot feel as personal as possible for the people who interact with it.

Consider, for instance, Botsworth…

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Or Magic…

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The primary thing that chatbots have that email doesn’t is a strong sense of personalization. You can leverage that fact by creating interactions that feel human, even though they aren’t.

Tip #2: Automate as much as possible

The last thing you want to do is create a chatbot that isn’t completely automated. Ideally, you want to only worry about interacting with customers manually as a last resort.

After all, the entire reason that you want to create a chatbot in the first place is to make your life easier.

Chatbots can handle a variety of customer interactions. They can do a heavy amount of customer support, selling, and retargeting.

For your reference, these are the top messaging apps in the world. You might want to consider placing your chatbot on one of these.


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But one thing is for sure: If you automate your chatbot, your bot will be a whole lot more effective, and your business will be more efficient.

In fact, chatbots can help sales departments save on 36% of their costs.

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Of course, have an option for users to speak to a real person when necessary so they don’t become frustrated, trying but failing to choose the right options that will take them to a representative.

Ultimately, automate everything that you can. The up-front work will pay off when you start saving marketing time and money.

Tip #3: Funnel bot analytics to a cohesive dashboard

As with all marketing methods, the analytics is where the real test of your strategy comes in.

Without analytics to inform your current chatbot, you’ll probably end up swimming in the wrong direction. Or the best case scenario, you’ll swim in the right direction without even knowing why or how.

Choosing an analytics platform for your chatbot is absolutely critical to the effectiveness of your strategy.

Botanalytics is one place you can host these analytics.

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Here are some things that you’ll want to consider when it comes to chatbot analytics.

  • At which point do people stop engaging?
  • Which interaction seems to be the most effective at gaining leads?
  • How can your bot do a better job of re-engaging people who are close to leaving?

While overall analytics help determine where your chatbot is going wrong, A/B testing is a great way to determine what your chatbot is doing right.

If you’re a marketer, you know that the more you A/B test a strategy, the better.

And since the chatbot industry is so new and largely unexplored, that truth is even more vital to understand.

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Consider A/B testing the following factors on your chatbot.

  • Where the “buy” button is located.
  • Discounts with a dollar-off amount vs. a percentage-off amount.
  • Different product images.
  • Varying chatbot responses to high-interest queries.
  • How and where product descriptions show up on your chatbot.

It’s often easy to ignore analytics when you feel your strategy is working.

There are two problems with that.

You can’t know your strategy is working without data, and you can’t iterate your strategy and make it even better without A/B testing. That means data needs to be a vital part of your chatbot marketing strategy.

Paying attention to your overall analytics dashboard and running a consistent series of A/B tests will likely separate the wheat from the chaff in the world of chatbot success.


While email has been the leader of the marketing pack for over a decade, chatbots are giving the dinosaur a run for its money. The robots might not dominate humanity, but it’s looking like they’ll dominate email.

If for no other reason than that they allow marketers to speak to their customer base where it matters, when it matters, and how it matters.

Chatbots allow for an increase in personalization, and the fact that people always have their phones on them makes it a lucrative and largely untapped marketing space.

When building your own chatbot, though, you’ll want to make sure that you keep it conversational, automate everything that you can, and funnel bot analytics to a cohesive dashboard.

With that preparation, you can leverage the marketing potential that chatbots have to offer and interact with your target market in a way that email has never allowed you to.