How To Use Facebook Messenger To Sell Online – A Guide To Building Chatbots For Ecommerce

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For the past year, I’ve been experimenting with Facebook Messenger marketing and Facebook Messenger chatbots and my results have been nothing short of incredible.

Right now, my Facebook messenger marketing numbers are blowing my email marketing numbers out of the water.

For example…

  • My open rates are 5X better than email
  • My click through rates are 8X better than email
  • My revenue per subscriber is about 3.5X better than email

How To Use Facebook Messenger To Sell Online - A Guide To Building Chatbots For Ecommerce

Pretty amazing right? These ridiculous results remind me of how email marketing used to be 10 years ago before EVERYONE started sending emails and saturating people’s inboxes.

Over time, I fully anticipate that Facebook Messenger marketing will suffer a similar fate but for now, it’s a great time to jump in.

Currently, over a billion people are using Facebook Messenger!

What Is Facebook Messenger Marketing?

Facebook Messenger

For those of you who are unfamiliar with Facebook Messenger marketing, it’s very similar to email marketing except that all communication is done through Facebook’s messaging app.

But the key difference is that people interact with messenger in a fundamentally different way than email.

For example whenever I receive an email, I rarely check it right away.

In fact, it can often take hours, days or even weeks before I reply. Sometimes I don’t even see the email and it goes unnoticed.

But for Facebook messages, I almost always check them right away. To me, Facebook messenger is a much more personal medium of communication. It’s the way that my friends and family reach out to me and I’m always eager to chat.

Now you’re probably wondering whether this intimacy will be lost when thousands of marketers start using Messenger to spam their audience. And the answer is yes. Eventually, people will become less receptive to messenger messages.

But for now, it’s working extremely well.

For example, here are the results of a campaign I sent the other day.

Messenger

This message resulted in $553 in revenue with a click through rate of 36.7%. In comparison, my average email click through rate is between 2-5%!

In addition to sending broadcast messages, tools like ManyChat allow you to create Facebook Messenger chatbots and autoresponder sequences to create an interactive shopping experience!

How To Gather Facebook Messenger Subscribers For An Ecommerce Store

Building A List

There are many different ways to build a Facebook Messenger list for an ecommerce store. One of my biggest dilemmas early on was deciding whether I should focus my efforts on gathering emails or messenger subscribers.

Right now, sending Facebook messages is free and VERY effective but who knows what will happen in the future?

Facebook might start charging users to send messages. Facebook might start reducing the reach of marketing messages. Unlike email, Facebook is the boss and they can do whatever they want.

My solution to this dilemma is to gather both emails and messenger subscribers whenever I can. In fact, here’s what I try to do every time a visitor lands on my site.

  • I try to grab an email address
  • I try to make them a messenger subscriber
  • I try to get them to accept push notifications
  • I pixel them for retargeting on Facebook and Google

This gives me 4 different ways to bring a customer back to my site!

In this post, I will show you exactly how I use Facebook Messenger marketing for my ecommerce store.

How To Add Facebook Messenger Subscribers Via Live Chat

First off, if you go to Bumblebee Linens, you’ll notice a live chat window in the lower right corner of the screen.

live chat

Whenever someone clicks on this live chat button, they are presented with the following options…

Live Chat Options

As soon as the user clicks on any of the buttons, they instantly become a Facebook Messenger subscriber and I can send them broadcasts in the future.

Right now, I’ve populated this menu with the most frequently asked questions in our store.

If they click on “Get Delivery Time”, they are taken to a page that tells them approximate delivery times depending on what they order.

Shipping Times

If they click on “Check On An Order”, they are taken to a page where they can get a detailed status of their order. Here’s what the page looks like.

Order Status

By entering an email address and an order number, customers can check up on their purchase. Both of these questions make up about 60% of the inquiries that we get on a daily basis.

Finally, if they decide to “ask a question”, they are asked to type in their inquiry or give us a call. We make it clear that they may NOT get an answer immediately depending on the time of day.

ask a question

Right now, this live chat widget generates a steady stream of Facebook Messenger subscribers without paying a cent!

How To Add Facebook Messenger Subscribers On Add To Cart

This next subscriber growth method is one that I’m currently testing for my store but I haven’t made live yet. However, I wanted to give you a sneak peek into what I’m working on.

Basically, you can get a customer to opt into your Facebook Messenger list whenever they add something to their shopping cart with a checkbox optin.

Here’s how it works.

checkbox optin

In the picture above, the customer is instantly opted into Facebook Messenger as soon as they click on the “Add To Cart” button. Afterwards, you can then send them product and order specific messages via Facebook.

Optin message

As soon as they click on the “yes” button above, they instantly become a Facebook Messenger Subscriber.

Right now, PureCycles.com is using this method to send abandoned cart messages with Facebook Messenger and it’s super cool! I was shopping for a bike the other day and I received this messenger message a few hours later reminding me to complete checkout!

messenger abandoned cart

What’s cool is that this is a picture of the exact bike that I was looking at!

How To Use Facebook Messenger Ads To Build Your List

In addition to the methods above, I’m also running Facebook ads to build my messenger subscriber list.

This first ad shown below is a top of funnel ad that I’m running to a lookalike audience of lace handkerchief purchasers.

Here’s what the ad looks like…

FPS ad

Whenever someone clicks on this ad, they are automatically sent a Facebook messenger message that reads as follows.

FPS Chat

As soon as they click on any button, they instantly become a Facebook Messenger subscriber. After they click on the link, they are taken to a custom landing page where I ask them for an email to take advantage of the offer.

landing page

The upshot of this marketing funnel is what I call the trifecta.

By enticing a customer with an attractive offer, I can get a Facebook Messenger subscriber, an email subscriber and a purchase!

How To Use Retargeting Ads To Build Your Messenger List

In addition to the top of funnel ad described above, I also run Facebook messenger retargeting ads to build my messenger list. Here’s an example of an ad that I’m running to customers who have not purchased in 60 days.

retargeting

Back in the day, I used to provide the coupon code directly in the Facebook ad itself and a click would take them directly to our website. But now, I run the ad through Facebook Messenger first so I can gather a new subscriber in the process.

This way, I can reach out to this person again in the future WITHOUT having to pay Facebook.

How To Add Subscribers Via Facebook Comments On Page Posts

Derek

If you have a Facebook fan page for your business, you can also gather subscribers whenever someone comments on your page post. Right now, people are building their messenger subscriber lists by holding Facebook lives on their page.

Because Facebook live video has the greatest reach of any post type, marketers are offering freebies and giveaways when users leave comments on their videos. Once a visitor leaves a comment, they are instantly greeted with a Facebook message.

As soon as that visitor replies, they become a subscriber.

If you are not comfortable getting on camera, you can also offer a free giveaway in a regular Facebook post where a user has to type in a certain keyword to get the freebie.

However, please be aware that Facebook has been cracking down on comment abuse. If you explicitly tell people to comment in a certain way in your post copy, Facebook will likely reduce the reach of that post.

It is for this reason that most marketers are only using comment based messenger growth tools in their live videos.

How To Use Facebook Messenger Keyword Automations For Customer Support

In addition to generating revenue with Facebook Messenger, I’m also using keyword automations to reduce the support load for my store.

What is a keyword automation?

A keyword automation is a tool that recognizes certain keywords in a customer’s chat entry and responds with an appropriate message.

For example, if you type “How long will it take to receive my order” into my store’s chat window, you will be greeted with the following message.

How Long

Because customized products in my store take longer to fulfill, I have my messenger bot first ask the customer if they are purchasing a personalized product.

If they answer “yes” then I inform them that it takes up to 5 business days before their order will ship.

If they answer “no”, then I tell them that their order will ship the following day.

By using a tool like ManyChat to recognize certain keywords, you can have a messenger bot answer the majority of your commonly asked customer support questions.

In our store, we’re often bombarded by questions like

  • Do you ship internationally?
  • Do you sell wholesale?
  • Do you offer discounts?
  • Do you have a catalog?
  • When will an item come back in stock?

All of these questions have prewritten responses in our database. In the event a customer asks a question that we do not have an automated answer for, we reply with the following.

default reply

If they click on the “Talk To Human” button, I get a notification in ManyChat which alerts me that a human needs to respond.

Note: We never pretend that our bot is a real person. It’s impossible to create a bot that behaves like a human so we give the customer the option to talk to someone real as soon as we can’t answer their question.

Facebook Messenger Marketing Limitations

As you can imagine, allowing marketers to send promotional messages to their messenger list leaves it wide open to abuse. As a result, Facebook has strict guidelines on how and when you can send your messages.

For example, you are only allowed to send promotional messages to a subscriber within 24 hours of their last response. As a result, you can’t just blast your entire subscriber list with random coupons and sales otherwise Facebook may ban you.

There are 3 types of Facebook messages you can send.

  • Subscription Broadcast – These are your standard messenger blasts to your list. Subscription broadcast messages can not contain ads or promotional materials, but can be sent at any time.
  • Promotional Broadcast – These are messages that contain sales or promotions. Promotional broadcast messages can only be sent to subscribers who were active in the past 24 hours.
  • Follow Up Broadcast – These are messages that remind subscribers of your promotion. After 24 hours have elasped from a visitor’s last activity, you are allowed to send them 1 follow up message. After that, you can’t send them additional ads or promotional messages until they are active again.

Because you can’t randomly blast sales messages to your subscribers, you have to be a little creative in how you approach your correspondence. Remember you are only allowed to send coupon codes and sales AFTER a subscriber has interacted with you.

So instead of outright blasting them offers, you should ask them questions instead to get them to reply.

Below is an example of how we do this in our store.

broadcast

In the broadcast above, we inform the customer that we have a bunch of brand new items that have arrived in our shop and we ask them if they would like to see them.

Note: We always offer them the option to unsubscribe to all future messages. This is important because if enough users complain, Facebook may ban your messenger account.

Once a user clicks “yes”, we present them with a coupon code and direct them to our website so they can begin shopping.

Overall, you have to be extremely careful to not piss off your subscribers and you MUST follow Facebook’s guidelines or risk getting banned.

But if you follow all of the rules, Facebook Messenger marketing is an excellent way to bring customers back to your shop for more sales!

Right now, I’m adding a brand new Facebook Messenger Marketing module to my Create A Profitable Online Store Course. If you want to learn how to implement the marketing methods described in this post, join me!

Click Here To Join My Class

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2 thoughts on “How To Use Facebook Messenger To Sell Online – A Guide To Building Chatbots For Ecommerce”

  1. Chatbots are here to stay, its so exciting automating most of our online marketing efforts. Developers have come to realise its importance and are now creating more relevants bots. i would surely try your facebook bot tips for my Naija mixtapes blog

  2. I am so happy to read a post that covered each aspect of sales through Facebook Messenger.
    Thank you. As understanding small aspects like ‘Keyword Automations’ with Facebook Messenger were unnoticed, your post helped me to cover the aspects I missed.
    I’ll try and soon post the results.

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