Facebook Messenger Marketing: A Step by Step Guide

There has been much buzz about Facebook Messenger marketing, also mentioned under the term “Facebook bots”.

As of now, Facebook Bots have mostly proven to be a disappointment. But under the radar, some companies are starting to make significant progress in generating sales and brand awareness via Messenger.

In this article we will discuss:

  • What exactly is Facebook Messenger marketing?
  • How can you get started using Facebook Messenger marketing for your brand?
  • What are the best ways to drive traffic to and via Facebook Messenger?
  • Most importantly, we’ll share case studies of companies that successfully used Facebook Messenger marketing for their promotion and sales.

What is Facebook Messenger Marketing?

What do we call Facebook Messenger Marketing?

Facebook Messenger Marketing means that companies can interact with end users via the Facebook Messenger interface instead of the traditional Facebook Timeline (duh… kind of obvious, but always an useful reminder!)

When a company or brand writes to an end user on Facebook, it is effectively doing so through a Facebook Page.

It therefore means that a conversation is engaged between a brand’s Facebook Page and an end user on Messenger.

In practice here is what it looks like:

As a brief summary, here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • If you have a Facebook Page, users can interact with it it
  • If users give you permission, you can also send them “notification” messages from your page (we’ll see later what are the limitations on the messages you can send, and how to send out these messages)
  • You can use this 2-way flow of conversation to engage your users in a very personal way.

Why is Facebook Messenger a great opportunity for marketers?

What are the advantages of Facebook Messenger over other forms of communication such as email?

The simple answer is: open rates are much higher. According to the superstar marketer Neil Patel, Facebook Messenger has 88% open rates and 56% click through rates! That’s significantly more than the ~25% average of email marketing.

Now, are these real numbers? What does “Open rate” mean in Facebook Messenger?

In Facebook Messenger:

  • “Open” means that users clicked on your bot to see what message was sent
  • “Clicked” means that users clicked on an outbound link taking to your website, a document download, etc.

So “Click Through Rate” on Facebook Messenger is more similar to “Open rate” on emails (although it is actually a bit better than a simple open, because the user actively engaged with your content). Here’s an illustration:

So in summary, the 55% Click Through Rate of Facebook Messenger is to be compared to 25% average open rate in email marketing (arguably it’s a bit more qualified than a simple email open). That’s more than double the performance!

Who uses Facebook Messenger marketing?

You might think that this is all the stuff of Facebook Keynotes, but that people don’t really use these features in real life. Well, they do.

We’ll be deep-diving several case studies later on, but in order to take a first practical example, let’s look at a first high-profile example: the airline KLM.

If you buy a flight ticket on KLM website, you’ll see a checkbox during the checkout process which enables you to opt-in and receive flight information via Facebook Messenger.

After you opted in, you will automatically receive updates via Messenger including your boarding information, your boarding pass and eventual delay notifications.

This is an extremely efficient way to make it more convenient for travelers to receive their boarding pass and to keep it at their fingertips during the entire travel experience!

Very interestingly, KLM also integrated with WhatsApp (this is a beta project for WhatsApp which doesn’t have a public API yet, but which shows that Messenger is definitely the business channel of the future!) and of course with WeChat (the Chinese App which is pioneering all of these “Messaging for business” concepts)

How to get started with Facebook Messenger Marketing?

There are 3 ways for you to get started with Facebook Messenger Marketing:

  • Custom build your Facebook Messenger experience: if you’re a developer, you can head over to the Facebook Messenger Documentation and figure out how to integrate your website with Facebook Messenger. The API will enable you to send out messages, manage conversations, targeting, etc.
  • Use a third-party Facebook Messenger CRM: a bunch of tools are popping up enabling you to create complex experiences with Facebook Messenger. The leaders in this market are ManyChat and Chatfuel.
  • Lightweight Facebook Messenger integrations: some tools enable you to start using Facebook Messenger without having to deal with a brand new channel. Chatnoodle (that’s us!) for instance enables you to automatically send out your newsletters via Facebook Messenger without additional effort. This is a good solution if you want to start experimenting with Messenger without too much hassle.

Here is an example of a Facebook Messenger message set-up via ManyChat. The system enables to create interactive Facebook Messenger experiences with a simple graphical interface. As you can see this real-life exemple (this is an example from my other company WalktheChat) has 100% open rates and 81.3% click-through rate!

Chatnoodle takes a different approach by simply adding a “Log-in via Facebook” checkbox to all of your newsletter forms, and then automatically sending your newsletters via Facebook Messenger.

Let’s look closer at these two ways of creating your Facebook Messenger experience!

Creating Facebook Messenger experiences through coding

There are a few resources which can be helpful if you want to get your hands dirty and build your own custom experience:

From a conceptual point of view, you can write Facebook Messenger in any programming language (as it’s simple an interface receiving callbacks from the Facebook Page and sending out messages to the Facebook API). You’ll also find many code samples in most of the “popular” languages (PHP, Python, Node.js, etc.)

Creating a Facebook Messenger experience through a 3rd party platform

We’ll now deep-dive into the 3 third-party platforms I already mentioned: ManyChat, Chatfuel, and Chatnoodle, and see their characteristics and advantages.