Email used to be one of the most effective marketing channels – but it has been on the decline in recent years. With increased automatic filtering and more and more businesses turning to email (and more emails) – it is a hard channel to win with these days. Alternatively, businesses are turning to new channels and one of the most successful has been Facebook Messenger. 

Facebook Messenger marketing is on the rise as an inexpensive and effective way to find your target customers and engage the with your brand. One of the best parts of Facebook Messenger marketing is that it is interactive in a way that many marketing efforts are not – and it is quickly becoming one of the most successful tactics as well. This article covers 4 main reasons you should consider Facebook Messenger for your campaigns as well as how to get started using it.

What Facebook Messenger Marketing Is

If you’re a Facebook user, chances are that you’ve used Messenger. Messenger is the means of direct messaging (or private messaging) between individuals on Facebook. Messenger is also used for calling and group messages as well. 

Facebook Messenger began offering advertising in 2016, but businesses are struggling to implement it into their marketing mix. These are some reasons you should consider implementing Facebook Messenger into your marketing strategy. 

Why You Should Use Facebook Messenger for Your Business

Messenger open rates are higher. 

An email has an average open rate of 22%, and that percentage is on the decline. In contrast, Facebook Messenger has an open rate of 98%. Imagine if your message was seen by 98% of your target audience! 

Interactive marketing is more effective – and Messenger is purely interactive. 

Your business has the ability to have direct conversations with potential customers on Facebook messenger. On the surface, you may not immediately understand the benefits of this. With nearly every other marketing channel, your business just sends out the message you want to send and receive very little feedback. 

However, through Facebook Messenger, you can communicate directly with prospective customers, including answering questions and placing orders. This means they can have the answers they want quicker, and because of the direct contact, they are far more likely to feel linked to your brand.

Meet your target where they are. 

Meeting your customers where they already are is the logic behind email. Your potential customers are already checking their emails – so they might as well see a message from you. However, email marketing is becoming overcrowded, and inboxes are implementing filtering rules that make it so fewer and fewer people are actually seeing your message. 

Facebook Messenger is the same concept. Most people spend a lot of time on Facebook anyway. Instead of going out of their way to go to your webinar or your app, they can see what you’re trying to tell them on a channel they’re already using for friends and family.

Everyone is using it.

There is a huge opportunity to find and connect with your target audience on Facebook Messenger. More than 1.3 billion people use Messenger on a monthly basis. That means there is plenty of opportunities to get in touch with potential customers and make it personal.

That also means there are far more opportunities to be seen because the competition is lower. Only about 30% of businesses currently advertise on Facebook Messenger. That is significantly less than the 94% who run normal Facebook ads. 

How to Get Started with Messenger

So you’re convinced that Messenger could be an asset for your business – how do you get started? 

Facebook has made its advertising platform straightforward. When you launch the Ad Manager, it walks you through the steps to create ads and build audiences. The most complex part is making sure your objectives and the campaign budget you set will get the types of results that your business wants. It can also be a bit difficult to implement complex strategies when you’re first getting started. 

8 Steps to Get Started

1. Log into Facebook Ads Manager and click “Create.”

If your Ads Manager account is linked to your personal Facebook page, you can find Ads Manager by clicking the drop-down menu in the upper right corner and selecting “Manage Ads” from the options list. 

2. Choose your marketing goal.

For Facebook Messenger ads, you can select the following goals: reach, brand awareness, app installs, traffic, messages, catalog sales, or conversions. If you aren’t sure what the right goal is for your campaign, select “Messages.” It is the most direct marketing goal for a Messenger ad. 

3. Select Messenger Ad type.

We’ll cover the types of Messenger Ads in the next section. The key thing to note is that each type will influence where the ad shows and what it looks like. 

4. Define your audience.

Choosing the correct audience will have a huge impact on the success of your campaign. If you aren’t sure who to target, create customer profiles. Identify your ideal customer with hobbies, demographics, interests, and behaviors. You can also upload a list of your current customers and ask Facebook to do an “Audience Match” so that they can find other users on Facebook that are similar to your customers. 

5. Select your placements.

Messenger ads will pre-populate in the placements based on your Messenger ad type. These will be pre-selected based on the best fit for your ad type. 

6. Add your budget and schedule.

After you select your audience and placements, you’ll need to adjust your schedule and budget for your ads. As you adjust your budget, you’ll see the types of views and placements you could receive for your ad. Once you’re happy with the numbers, you can create and launch the ad.

7. Create and launch your ad.

This is the part where you’ll design your actual ad. Depending on your placements, you’ll either need text-only or both text and an image. Once you’ve created your ad, you can launch it. 

8. Monitor and optimize your ad. 

You can track the engagement of your ad through Facebook Insights, which is the built-in analytics platform. Once your ad is running, you’ll need to monitor and optimize it. 

Types of Facebook Messenger Ads

The type of Messenger Ad that will fit best for your business will depend on a number of factors. You may even consider checking two or all three forms, and seeing which gives your company the best results. To start considering the ads that you can run, here are a bit more details about could ad type:

Messenger Ads

Messenger advertisements turn up directly on the Messenger app’s home screen. This means they will end up in the inbox of your target audience alongside the other messages. If you want to broaden the scope of your advertising campaigns and seek to get your company from your target market in front of new people, these advertisements are a good choice.

Sponsored Messages

Sponsored messages enable you to forward a message directly to a potential customer’s inbox. Nonetheless – the downside is that you should give these only to people with whom you already have an ongoing conversation. If you start building a customer base on Facebook and reaching out to them via Messenger, this can be a great choice, or inspire them to contact you. Think of this as “remarketing” or “retargeting.” You might also think of it as a tool for creating loyalties. Using this type of ad to communicate with people who already know your brand.

Click-to-Messenger ads

Rather than showing your future customers in the Messenger app itself, these advertisements pop up in the newsfeeds. Unlike a traditional News Feed ad, the call-to-action is for “Send Email” and if a customer clicks it will open a Messenger chat with your company. This is a perfect type of ad to run in conjunction with Sponsored Messages so you can build a program that will get them to connect with you through Messenger with a Click-to-Messenger ad, and then follow them up or invite them to visit if they don’t already have a Sponsored Message directly in their inbox.

Advanced Tips for Messenger Ads

Once you’ve got the basics down for your ads, you’ll need to set up a few advanced tactics in order to manage your ads better. This includes:

Set up Instant Reply – Instant reply will create a first response for new messages. This message should share the timeframe where someone can expect a first response in. You can also thank someone for getting in touch. 

Set up Automated Responses

If you get a lot of the same questions via Messenger, you can set up automated responses to answer them. Do this by going to Inbox, then Automated responses, and then Frequently asked questions. You’ll enter your frequently asked question as well as a response that you’d like sent to any customer who asks that question. 

Schedule Away Messages

An additional automated response you should set will be away messages. This is especially important if your team won’t respond to messages at night or on the weekends, for example. You’ll set the schedule for when you’ll be away, and include the message you’d like sent. 

Consider a chatbot

If you start to receive more messages than you can handle, you may need a more advanced chatbot than the one that is sending out responses to FAQs. There are several Chatbot tools to choose from, and the right one for your business will depend on several factors such as industry and budget. Keep track of what the most common conversations your sales or customer service reps are having so you’ll have an idea of what can be automated with a chatbot. You will still need to be mindful of Messenger even after you’ve implemented a chatbot. There will still be conversations a live person may need to respond to.

Final Word

Facebook Messenger is a powerful ad platform. However, it may actually be better to use in tandem with email marketing, instead of by itself. There is some set of your email list who would rather hear from you outside of their inbox on another channel like Facebook Messenger. That being said, there is probably another set that do prefer email. 

Once you allow your audience to have more control over how their hear from your brand, you’ll probably see an increase in activity metrics on each of your channels. This is because your potential customers now have the choice to hear form your brand on the channel that they prefer. Not only does this increase your customer relationships and make your marketing more effective, it will also help your deliverability score. 

You should be cautious about sending the same message to customers on both channels. You don’t want to annoy customers by sending them too much of the same message. If you need to send a very important message on more than one channel, you can delay one campaign so that your customers aren’t being hit at the same exact time. 

There are many strategies for utilizing Facebook Messenger alongside email marketing, and we encourage you to do your research before limiting your business to one channel over the other. When done correctly, these channels can complement each other well and increase your overall business success.