207: How To Use Facebook Messenger Bots To Sell A Digital Course With Mary Kathryn Johnson

How To Use Facebook Messenger Bots To Sell A Digital Course With Mary Kathryn Johnson

Today I’m thrilled to have Mary Kathryn Johnson on the show. Mary is someone who I met long ago when I was guest on her podcast Parent Entrepreneur Power. And we recently reconnected again at Social Media Marketing World.

It had been a while since we last spoke and when we started chatting, I discovered that she’s now a Facebook messenger bot consultant which really piqued my interest because that’s exactly what I’m studying right now.

Anyway, Mary has implemented high converting messenger bots for a lot of high profile clients and today we are going to pick her brain on how to implement a messenger bot for a digital products business.

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What You’ll Learn

  • How Mary discovered Facebook Messenger bots
  • Her best Facebook messenger bot implementations for selling digital products
  • How Facebook messenger can be mixed in with email
  • The best way to get new messenger subscribers/li>
  • Some sample messenger autoresponder sequences

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You’re listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, the place where I bring on successful bootstrapped business owners and delve deeply into what strategies they use to grow their businesses. Now today I’m happy to have my friend Mary Kathryn Johnson on the show. And a couple weeks ago I actually had Molly Pittman on the podcast to talk about Facebook Messenger bots to sell physical products online. But today, we’re going to discuss with Mary different ways people are using Facebook Messenger bots to sell digital products online.

But before we begin, I want to give a quick shout out to Privy who is a sponsor of the show. Privy is the tool that I use to build my email list for both my blog and my online store. Now Privy is an email list growth platform, and they manage all my email capture forms. And in fact I use Privy hand in hand with my email marketing provider.

Right now for example, I’m using Privy to display a cool wheel of fortune pop-up. Basically a user gives their email for a chance to win valuable prizes in our store. And customers love the gamification aspect of this, and when I implemented this form email sign ups increased by 131%.

Bottom line, Privy allows me to turn visitors into email subscribers, which I then feed to my email provider to close the sale. So head on over to Privy.com/Steve, and try it for free. And if you decide you need some of the more advanced features, use coupon code MWQHJ For 15% off. Once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve.

Now I also want to give a quick shout out to Klaviyo who is also a sponsor of the show. Now always blessed to have Klaviyo as a sponsor because they are the email marketing platform that I personally use for my ecommerce store, and I depend on them for over 30% of my revenues. Klaviyo is the only email platform that is specifically built for ecommerce stores and here is why it’s so powerful.

Klaviyo can track every single customer who has shopped in your store and exactly what they bought. So let’s say I want to send an email to everyone who purchased a red handkerchief in the last week, easy. Let’s say I want to set up a special auto-responder sequence to my customers depending on what they purchased, piece of cake, and there is full revenue tracking on every single email sent.

Klaviyo is the most powerful email platform that I’ve ever used and you can try them for free at mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O. Once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, now on to the show.

Intro: Welcome to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast. We will teach you how to create a business that suits your lifestyle, so you can spend more time with your family and focus on doing the things that you love. Here is your host, Steve Chou.

Steve: What was that?

Mary: I don’t know what was it?

Steve: Is that a piano in the background?

Mary: No.

Steve: No, okay all right.

Mary: There is one but nobody’s playing it. If somebody is, I’m in trouble.

Steve: Okay. Welcome to the My Wife Quit her Job Podcast. Today I’m thrilled to have Mary Kathryn Johnson on the show. And Mary is someone who I actually met long ago when I was a guest on her podcast Parent Entrepreneur Power. And we recently reconnected again at Social Media Marketing World, and it had been a while since we last spoke. And when we started chatting, I discovered that she is now a Facebook Messenger bot consultant.

She runs Messengerfunnels.com. And that really piqued my interest because that’s exactly what I’m studying right now. And Mary has actually implemented high converting Messenger bots for a lot of high profile clients. And today we’re going to do is we’re going to pick her brain on how to implement a Messenger bot for a digital products business. And with that, welcome to the show Mary, how are you doing today?

Mary: Hey there Steve. I am fantastic. I mean I woke up this morning, how could I be not good since I woke up and the sun is shining, so yeah I’m doing great.

Steve: It’s true, the weather is great where we live, we can’t complain.

Mary: My gosh, I cannot. It’s crisp in the morning and nice and warm, not too warm in the afternoon. So yeah life is good, how are you?

Steve: I’m good, I’m good. You know first off, I just want to say I love your name Mary Kathryn Johnson. It always makes me think of a movie star because they always say they have three words in their name.

Mary: Well I got to tell you, I can’t just be Mary Johnson. There’s a lot of Mary Johnsons in the world, and so I had to distinguish it a little bit, plus the domain Mary Johnson…

Steve: That’s true, impossible to get.

Mary: Yeah I had to just put my middle name in there, and channel my grandmother whom I’m named after, and yeah go on with life.

Steve: So Mary, give us the quick background story. Tell us how you actually got into Facebook Messenger bots.

Mary: Oh my goodness that is Andrew Warner’s fault, it is absolutely his fault. I’m on his list; I listen to his podcast periodically. And one day I open my email and there was a message in there, this was late January of 2017. And the message said how would you like 80% open rates and 60% click through rates unlike everyone else I went to, yeah dah.

Steve: I fell for that too man, yeah.

Mary: So I opened that message and it led to a invitation to a webinar. And of course like all wonderful humans that use the internet, I went ahead and registered for it with absolutely no intention of attending. I’m just one of those people that I’m just over webinars, and I’m just like I know your process, you’re going to give me an email, you invite me to the webinar, yes I’m intrigued, but you still invite me to the webinar and probably what I’ll do is I’ll be busy at the time and I’ll watch the replay. That was my absolute intention.

And somehow for some reason at the time the webinar was going to happen, it was on my calendar and it popped up and I was absolutely not doing anything else except whatever I was doing. I was not as intrigued as the webinar, so I jumped on. And I jumped on this webinar and he absolutely blew my mind. It was one of those experiences like the first very first online business that I did in 2003. I was totally consumed by this topic.

And he went through a very simple demonstration of how to create a Messenger bot on Chatfuel because at that time Chatfuel was free and easy and ManyChat was still kind of working things out. And so I jumped on during the webinar, got on to Chatfuel, checked it out, was just, oh my gosh, this is amazing and I kept telling him, it was a live webinar thankfully. And I kept asking him in the chat, how much would you charge for this if you were in a business, if you were actually doing this for clients?

And he evaded the question, oh it depends. And I hammered again, I said no, and he evaded the question again. And finally I’m like no; I really need to know how much would you charge for this because I had no clue. And I think he just grabbed a number out of the air just to shut me up to be honest, and it came out to about $1,000. And I went, okay. He was selling a course and I’m like, I got to do this but I’m not going to go into debt to do this course. I’ve done that before, I’m sure all of us have.

And I’m like, no, I’m not doing it. So I’m going to have to make this work. And he was actually charging $400 to get on the phone with him to see if you even qualified for the course. This was his first round of webinars. And I put down my money and I had two days before I was going to talk to him. So I went out into my network and I built a temporary and just a demo bot and went out to people, and just started talking to them about what they were doing. And this was launch season obviously is the end of January beginning February.

And so I just went talking to people and I got a couple people that said you know what, last year I was killing it. I was clashing it with my course, people were doing great. This year nobody clicks it, nobody wants to buy it. And I’m like, hey, you want to chat, maybe I can help. And that’s all I did. And as I started talking to them about what they were doing, their email open rates and click through rates were terrible.

So I said, there’s this new thing that I’m getting involved in and learning about, you want to see what it’s about? And they said yeah, and when I showed them I said, it’ll be $1,000 for me to create this for you, and they said do it. So I sold — pre-sold to people before I even knew how to do it and paid for the course, and the rest is history.

Steve: And I think you had David Siteman Garland as one your clients as well.

Mary: I do yes.

Steve: Who has a ton of digital products.

Mary: He is — yeah we built a — we call it the adventure, ad adventure because that’s really what it is. As people get into your products, they come in for one, you’ve got a lead magnet, you bring them in for one particular product and they start going through that funnel so to speak and that’s why the business is called Messenger funnels not Messenger bots, because the bot is just the delivery method Steve, it really is.

Well, I try not to be annoyed but I am when people say do you build bots, and I’m like well dude that’s like saying I build emails, right? It’s just the delivery method; it’s what you put into it. It’s the funnel, it’s the process, it’s the adventure, that’s what I build and I just happen to deliver it in a chat bot.

Steve: I might have to rerecord the introduction entirely.

Mary: No that’s totally cool because people are now getting to learn that whole words. So that’s totally cool, it’ll get their attention, then I’ll educate them.

Steve: So Mary what I was hoping to do today, and we had this I want to say hour and a half long conversation a couple of weeks ago on this, and it was recorded but it wasn’t like in podcast format. So what I was actually hoping to do today was also go into depth on how you’ve implemented Facebook Messenger funnels, not bots, funnels to sell digital products for some of your clients.

And we don’t have to talk about a specific client in person, but I just want like a holistic view on how you might get started. Let’s say you sell a digital product and you have a small following, let’s talk about the funnel, how to acquire subscribers and that sort of thing, and how they can be mixed with e-mail too.

Mary: Yes, yes, yes because it’s vital even though I don’t personally use e-mail really anymore for any kind of outreach or communication for my business. It’s still vital because the day of this recording, this is how Facebook works. So the day of this recording, Facebook just came out with — because of this breach of data that they had recently, they just came out with the statement that they are not allowing anyone to connect a new chat bot to their Facebook business page until Facebook has figured out this data thing.

So as of this recording, you cannot attach a chat bot right now to your business page. Now that obviously Facebook will lose money with that, so that’s not going to be going on very long. But my point of it is definitely integrate e-mail because Facebook’s goals and your goals might not exactly be aligned, okay? So I’ll just leave that out there and say definitely connect email, Facebook will go through changes and adapt to things because Messenger is still really — I mean it’s very not even infant stage, it’s still brand new.

This is still the Wild West. So keep your stats, keep your connections, but dive in to Messenger. And by the time you hear this, I’m sure that will be lifted and everything will be fine. I don’t anticipate that being more than a day or two to be honest with you.

Steve: I didn’t even hear about this, I had no idea.

Mary: It just happened a couple of hours ago as a matter of fact.

Steve: Okay, that’s why I haven’t heard, wow okay.

Mary: Yeah that’s how fast things — I got a message from Chatfuel that basically said, hey, just to let you know, don’t try and connect any business pages to Chatfuel because you won’t be able to. So anyway so with that in mind, the point of this is think big picture first just like any other sales of your digital products. You don’t start with how you get people to something you haven’t even created yet, right?

Steve: Right.

Mary: Okay so the first thing you do is start with the end in mind. So I’m going to talk about starting with an overview of this, start with the end in mind. What are you selling, what are you converting? Some people are converting to an appointment because they have a high ticket mastermind, some people are converting to the sale of their course, some people are converting to the sale of an e-book or physical book. But whatever it is you’re converting to, think about the conversion first, then you work backwards from there. Because if you if you don’t know where you’re going, you don’t know how to get there, right?

So you need to start with conversion and then you think of the adventure people need to go on to know, like, and trust you. These are all terms you already know, that to know, like, and trust you to be able to buy that thing. And so if you start with the end, you think about the adventure, then you can start thinking about how do I get people in, and what do people need, what is the hook, what is the lead magnet, what are those things that will get their attention because that’s the biggest commodity right now is attention.

So what’s going to get their attention to be able to come in and consume, and go on the adventure that I want for them. So that’s the big picture, does that make sense?

Steve: Yeah so let’s make some assumptions here that we’re selling a class and let’s say we have some of those lead magnets that are already in place on our e-mail sequence.

Mary: Perfect, absolutely perfect. So what you’re going to want to do is if you’ve already had this funnel created in e-mail, you’re ahead of the game. But you need to think very differently in terms of communication style when you take that copy and put it into Messenger, okay? So you need to think about, then the next thing we need to do is once we have that already laid out, so I’m thinking I see on a whiteboard this funnel, right, this adventure. And there’s connections, here is first email, then it connects to the second email etcetera, etcetera.

So you need to take that and do what I call a face tweet. So I used to be a Twitter gal. I would love the short done, I’m kind of gabby when I talk to people in person, but I’m a very much to the point.

Steve: No, I didn’t really notice that.

Mary: So I’m a face to — I was a Twitter person and I really didn’t do a lot of Facebook because it was just too chatty and surface stuff for me, and I don’t talk about my luncheon, what my kids did that day online at least. If you’re talking to me face to face, yeah I’m going to tell you all about my business. But so when Facebook, the Messenger came in, it just was perfect for me because it’s like telling a story like the Facebook type thing but with Twitter bluntness, okay?

So that’s why I call it face tweet. So you want to look at that e-mail and now you want to reverse engineer that e-mail that you just wrote. And it’s a wonderful long story email, it’s got people, it’s hooking people in if they read it, problem is they don’t read it anymore. So it’s all that long form story. Now I need you to reverse engineer that and go back to your outline form, and take that big not beautiful long story and turn it into an outline and highlight only the most important parts. So you’ve got to get to that story much faster with much less copy.

So take that e-mail, face tweet it, tear it down. And that’s the start of the copy you put into Messenger.

Steve: You know what’s funny is like I have these emails that are like 1,000 words or more, and you’re telling me that I have to condense it down to like a couple of hundred characters, right?

Mary: Oh yeah less okay. So here’s the way, so yes here’s the way Messenger works. You start — what I do is that another reason that I think I give it a face tweet is I usually have each message in my sequence of messages. So you’re going to take that e-mail and you’re going to break it into maybe at the most like seven messages, okay?

Steve: Right.

Mary: And each message is like one 160 characters. So Twitter was 140, okay I give you a few more, 160 let’s say. And what you want to do is you don’t want to just tell like we do in the email. We’ll start in the — think of it as email is passive, you’re telling a story like you’re reading a book. The author isn’t engaging with you. The author is not asking you to engage back and share your opinions, but in Messenger that’s exactly what you’re doing. So you need to not tell a story, you need to engage people.

And really number one, if you hear nothing else, this is Facebook besides advertising. This is Facebook’s main purpose. They want people to engage. So if you keep that in mind, Facebook will love you and you will love Facebook. You need to engage people. So if you have an email, let’s say you’re going to tell a story about this time that you — okay let me just speak from experience and I can make something up. So I fell and broke both my legs when I was eight months pregnant.

And so I go through that story with people and I talk about yeah this is what happened and that’s what happened. So instead of doing that I would say something like, have you ever heard of someone at eight months pregnant falling and breaking both their legs, so that they have to deliver the baby with a cast on each leg up to the knee? Do you believe that, right? And so I’d say do you believe that, and I put a button, oh my gosh, no way. Or yeah that’s me. I mean I would put those two buttons after I put that question, does that makes sense?

Steve: Yeah. So do both buttons lead to the same reply?

Mary: Not necessarily. So that depends on your adventure. So I have a client Allison Prince and we go through a whole process for her, and she has an online course, a digital course and it’s sold through an evergreen webinar. And so she might ask, did you know that my two daughters sold $100,000 in products in the first nine months of me helping them start their e-commerce store? Do you want to find out how I did it? And then one of the buttons is heck yeah, and the other one is no, I’d rather stay stuck.

Well the one that says no, I’d rather stay stuck goes to another message that says, are you kidding me, you’re probably the first person to actually click this button, right? And then it goes to no worries, that’s totally cool, I’ll be here if you need me. And it stops. We’re not going to keep trying to sell them, we’re not going to — if they say, if they want to stay stuck that’s cool. Then we come back later and follow up and that kind of thing a couple of days later. But the one that says heck yeah, well then that goes into the funnel. And each of those buttons you’re going to tag so that you can segment your audience.

Steve: I see. And so in this case you’re tagging just based on interest, right? So in this example that you just gave, if someone click yes, you will just immediately tag them for interested in e-commerce for example?

Mary: That’s right.

Steve: Correct okay.

Mary: And then the next one is, okay great, now we need to know are you a newbie at this or do you already have a store and you need to know how to grow it? So that’s very important tagging, right? I’m a newbie or I already have a store. You’re going to give different information to those two people.

Steve: That’s correct. Okay so these are questions that you ask right off the bat on the front of the funnel?

Mary: Well it could be. So it depends on what your lead magnet is, right? So that’s in the middle of her funnel, that’s actually toward the end when we’re going to invite them to the Evergreen webinar. So that’s around the middle to the last half. The beginning part of the funnel is all lead magnet stuff. So a lead magnet, it might be, she might have one of her lead magnets be the 15 biggest business mistakes I’ve made and how to avoid them yourself.

So, they come in and they want to find out the business mistakes, and how to avoid them, and that’s the beginning in the funnel. Then we offer them another lead magnet to be honest because again Facebook engagement. The standard web in our funnel doesn’t work in Facebook as well, so in Messenger anyway. So you don’t go to a Facebook ad and then you hook them in with your lead magnet, they come in with your lead magnet and then immediately you say, hey, come to my webinar, and then immediately it’s buy my course.

That process doesn’t work as well. It works pretty okay but nowhere near as well as getting engaged with people. So instead of that Facebook ad to the lead magnet, the beginning of the funnel for her is and for most of my evergreen webinar clients is a Facebook live on their business Facebook page.

Steve: Okay.

Mary: They do a Facebook Live and I’ll take that exact same lead magnet. The lead magnet hasn’t changed, but she’s doing a Facebook Live saying, hey, do you want to know — I got to talk to you about my big business mistakes because we all make them, and I’m not going to sit here and try to tell you that I’m this perfect person who’ve never made mistakes. Are you kidding? She says I hired a CEO from one of my last companies who totally ran my business into the ground because I didn’t trust my gut and do what I knew needed to be done. I followed what I thought this person that I hired who was supposed to know everything that we were supposed to do, and the business failed.

So she talks about that little bit more and then gets people to engage and say, hey, you know what, tell me tell me what your biggest business mistake was, comment on this post, and when you do I’m going to give you my 15 biggest business mistakes in Messenger and how to avoid them.

Steve: I see, and this is happening during the live or is this just a piece of content. Okay during the live, I see.

Mary: The live yes and so then that’s a post. In Messenger, you have a comment, a Facebook comment tool that allows you to take one of your posts and anyone who comments on that post they can then become a subscriber. But again I caution you, don’t just use this as click bait, this has to be engaging. You can’t just tell people, hey, comment buy and I will give you stuff. It’s got to be actual engagement, you have to ask in the Facebook Live, ask open ended questions, what would you do, what have you done to get people engaging with you in the comments?

Then tell them very clearly and explicitly, when you comment I will give you my thing in Messenger. I will deliver it to you in Messenger. If you do that, Facebook will love you. If you try and click bait and just get them to click so you can get a subscriber, Facebook will shut you down. And they will have no problem shutting you down first and asking questions later.

Steve: In terms of advertising the live, do you just go live or do you actually send out a message ahead of time?

Mary: Either way depending on your own Facebook page and how much engagement you already get.

Steve: I see.

Mary: So a lot of my clients have a business page but the majority of their engagement is in groups. Again at the time of this recording, we can’t attach a bot to a group; we can only attach it to a business page. So what we have to do then is start building up the engagement on their business page first. So we just start doing Facebook lives, we just start posting more, we just start engaging with people, we invite people in to go to comment on this post so that we get people used to engaging on the business page now.

Once you do that, then you can start going live and again start getting them to engage in the lives, and then you start once you start getting enough engagement and that is really up to you as to what your business is, and it doesn’t have to be a lot. So just like with Alison and I do have permission to share some of her stats, so I’m not talking out of class here. Just with hers, she just passed the 3,000 mark, so she just has 3,000 subscribers in her Messenger bot. And last week, we sold 44 of her online course.

Steve: Crazy.

Mary: And that’s with 3,000 people.

Steve: On her business page, it’s like if you’re starting from scratch do you recommend — would you recommend building up the Facebook page first before you start doing these lives, or do you just do them all from the start?

Mary: Just started engaging with people, just starting all the normal ways that you try and get people to your page or your group, do all the normal ways that we already know to try to get people into your page or group and not being scammy, not being like click baity. But a lot of the groups that you might belong to have a follow Friday kind of thing or a promotion day or something like that, definitely putting your page into those, you can go ahead and do an ad, just a click add that specifically gets people to like your page and shows them hey, make sure you make notifications so that you see this first, and give them some value, you know that’s what it’s all about.

Steve: Sure but the audience might not know, so I’m glad you’re actually saying all this stuff out loud.

Mary: It’s value, it really is all. So Allison and all my clients don’t like in like dynamo stuff or boss moms. They don’t just try to get people to like their page, they give lots of stuff, lots of free stuff that are higher level than their course gets. Your course is usually deep down really teaching high quality stuff will start with the higher level. So like with Allison, if it’s the business mistakes, one of them might be the top six apps I use in my business every day.

So everything is related to e-commerce business, and the things that you have in your life as an entrepreneur. That shows value of that she knows what she’s talking about in building a business. Then she gets deeper into the funnel to give more value and then brings them to the course, does that make sense?

Steve: Yeah it does. And do you recommend using like auto posting services then onto your page?

Mary: Yeah there’s no problem. All of us do whether it’s MeetEdgar, or RecurPost or Buffer or Hootsuite, any of those kinds of things. But I wouldn’t have that as the only posting you do. I would definitely have that as providing value. And I usually personally use that when I’m especially in the bot world I have a Google alert.

And so I look at that Google alert and especially with Messenger bots or chat bots or any of those keywords. I get an alert every day from Google about the top pieces of news or the top information with those keywords. And I go through that and I stack that and my assistant then schedules it out in Buffer or RecurPost depending on if it’s evergreen or if it’s just timely.

Steve: The reason why I asked that question is because when you auto post things, those posts tend to get less engagement than for example a live, right?

Mary: That’s true but it also then just still at least has data, still has stuff on your page that people can still engage with. So if you sprinkle it, I don’t post five times a day in auto posting in Facebook. I might post five times a day on Twitter, auto posting but not on Facebook. So I might only have one or two auto posts and the rest are my own.

Steve: I see and then you mix in a live maybe like once a week or?

Mary: Yeah, once a week or more often if you are needing engagement, if you’re needing to build that page up. People respond to images, gifts, and videos more than they respond to text posts on Facebook.

Steve: Okay yeah, that makes sense. And then once you — so let’s say you’ve done a couple of lives and you’ve built up your subscriber list, what are some of the next steps to conversion?

Mary: Okay. So again as long as you have the funnel in Messenger built and you know the adventure, so you’ve asked engaging questions, you’ve built that out, you’ve tagged all the buttons, you’ve figured out what kind of adventure people need to get to go to the conversion, and again all of these surveys, quizzes, all of it you can do in Messenger. You don’t need outside software.

You can even if you’re an e-commerce business which I know we’re talking about digital products, but I got to say this because this is the direction that Facebook is going. Even if you have and e-commerce product, you can actually even sell it in Messenger. So that’s the direction Facebook is wanting to go. But now once you get through the adventure, you can then go out to a landing page or a sales page on ClickFunnels, or Leadpages or Infusionsoft, wherever it is you have the rest of your sales funnel when they actually buy.

Steve: Can we talk about that for a little bit? Do you have any experience with just selling directly on Messenger with any of your clients?

Mary: Yes I do. I have a couple of clients especially in e-commerce. I don’t use ManyChat, at least not — again I have to keep expressing this, and I’m sorry because this is changing so fast. I have to say as of the time of this recording because if you hear this a year from now, it probably will be totally different. But right now I have my e-commerce clients on Chatfuel, and the reason is because — and we’re talking ManyChat and Chatfuel, for the people you don’t know this ManyChat and Chatfuel are programs to build these bots in Messenger just like Leadpages and ClickFunnels and all those other Infusionsoft are programs where you can build sales funnels and landing pages.

So Chatfuel is where I have my e-commerce clients because they have developer tools that are very sophisticated. And what we do is so exciting. What we do is instead of — so most people are on the phone, right? They’re on their phone, they got the Messenger app, they’re going, and they’re checking things out. And we get them into the funnel in Chatfuel and in Messenger, and they’re starting to — let’s say one of them I was working on right before I came onto this call with you has a business selling skincare products.

And so she sells skincare products to aestheticians specifically, you have to be a licensed aesthetician. So you come into the bot and they say, we ask them, we qualify them with okay, what kind of business do you have? Do you just wax at home, do you have a solopreneur with your own shop, or do you have a full fledged salon? So they choose one of those and we tag them there. And then we ask them, okay, what kinds of products are you interested in? So she has her own product lines, and then she also resells some others.

And so then they choose which product. And then when they choose that product, instead of having the bot just give a link to that page on their site and then the bot will make the browser open and then make them go outside of Messenger to your browser on their phone to see that page, instead of doing that we can actually use what’s called a web view. And we can call that website into Messenger so that they’re on their phone, they say yes I wax at home and I want the brow code, this is a new product that she’s got brow code. So I want brow code.

And so when they click that button brow code, what happens is Chatfuel goes out to her website and calls in the actual site with the shopping cart, all the features, all the menus, everything into Messenger. So the consumer or the aesthetician never has to leave Messenger. They purchase right inside Messenger even though they’re using the shopping cart, the merchant account, all of that from the website, but it’s actually conducted in Messenger.

Steve: So I know you showed this to me at SMMW, but to me when you showed this to me, it seemed like it was just a browser within ManyChat, kind of like how like if you have an Android phone and you click on a link in Gmail, it’s actually opening that site within Gmail. Is that the same concept?

Mary: Same concept.

Steve: Okay same concept okay.

Mary: But the difference is again Facebook doesn’t want you to leave Facebook. So it helps Facebook along by calling that into Facebook rather than sending you out to Safari or whatever other browser you have on your phone.

Steve: I’m just wondering like if that aspect actually has an effect on conversions.

Mary: Negatively or positively?

Steve: Either, it seems to me that it would be neutral, right, because it looks like the same site.

Mary: It looks exactly the same site. The difference is it’s probably going to load a lot faster because there are less steps first off, because it’s actually calling it into Messenger rather than waiting for that browser to open on your phone, you see what I’m saying?

Steve: Sure.

Mary: Instead of linking it and having a browser open and then you’ve got to call the website, so no matter what is going to be faster. So if nothing else, that will increase conversions I would assume just because it’s faster. And then secondly, it’s in the native app. You’re not having to go anywhere or see anything differently. You are never leaving. Now let me say this, the reason we’re doing it that way is because the native payment system which is active right now, you could actually code your bot with all of that information to actually purchase inside Messenger instead of calling in your website. And it goes and purchases through either Stripe or PayPal.

So you could do that, but she’s got umpteen products. We’re not going to code all of that and create a brand new store in Messenger. When that becomes easier, of course we’ll do that.

Steve: Have you seen people using the native payment method for a digital product?

Mary: You can’t.

Steve: Oh you can’t.

Mary: As right now, as of this recording you can’t sell through the native payments digital products, you can only sell physical products.

Steve: Okay but I suspect that’s something that’s…

Mary: It’s coming.

Steve: Definitely on everyone’s roadmap.

Mary: Yeah it’s coming.

Steve: So let’s go back to the funnel again, and maybe we can talk a little bit about how you develop that story. So you have the subscriber and you’re selling additional product, like how can you give us some examples of how you’re kind of nurturing that person along your story, and how you actually finally end up converting that person to a big ticket sale.

Mary: Yes okay. So the big ticket just to get an idea let’s say Alison’s product or one of the other products that I might be working on, it could be anywhere from 997 to say $2,000 to $10,000. I met a client that’s in the real estate market and she helps women and also men, but the majority of her market is women, become real estate investors without the need of a real estate license. So it could be anywhere from 997 to up to five or $10,000.

And again the nurturing process is just like you do an e-mail in the sense of the marketing concepts, obviously the communication is different. But I start with the big picture and I always start with mind maps. I have to see it, it needs to be in pictures, I’m one of those picture book kind of girls. I tried to read Lord of the Rings and I got through it, but it was one of the hardest experiences. And someone saw the sun and this and that, I’m like dude, just give me the story.

So yeah so I see in pictures in that respect. So I start with this and I build little boxes and I build myself a little adventure and I put in the actual copy so I can see it and make sure that one of them isn’t more advanced than the other and it doesn’t lead very quick clearly. So I start with a mind map and you need to start simply and higher level, and then you get deeper and deeper and deeper as they come on the adventure with you. So it’s just like a book in that respect. You start with the concept of where you’re going and then you lead people deeper into the story.

So again I would take one of your e-mails and you start in your email, you don’t start in the middle of the dense stuff that you’re trying to teach people. You start with a higher level version, right, yeah. And so you do the exact same thing only in again 160 characters. And Steve if you like, I have a little just a easy little PDF with a fillable box and that’s really all it is that you can use that is specifically 160 characters and it makes you stay small, it makes you stay less wordy, it makes you really weed out your words. And again Twitter does, you should do that more, but does that as well.

So you just start with one of those outlines and start creating engaging messages. Now not every message has to be a question with a button. You can combine say two or three of those messages with what we call typing delays in between. And that’s fine but I wouldn’t go more than say three, and actually ManyChat doesn’t let you do I think more than five in one message without making the user do something.

Steve: What is the purpose of using the messaging delay because at that point it seems like you’re pretending to be an actual human when you’re not, right?

Mary: Well you could look at it that way and yes definitely a lot of people use it that way, but it’s also to let people catch up. When you’re giving a message, you can’t necessarily — I have not been able to get every single message, only 160 characters before I have to ask the user to do something. And also you don’t want them to always — we’re not trying to train them like dogs, right? So we don’t want to make them click buttons constantly.

So we do want to deliver a certain amount of information and it’s okay to do that where you deliver a piece of content and let them read it, because okay, here’s the deal, are you going to be more inclined to read a short message and see the typing delay underneath and then wait for the next one and then read that, or would it be better for me to put all of that copy into one long message where they have to actually scroll back up to start reading it.

Steve: Okay I see your point.

Mary: That makes sense?

Steve: Yeah. I suppose if you’re delivering a huge piece of content, you’d probably want to direct them to a web page or some sort of PDF right, or a video even?

Mary: What do you mean by that, a huge piece of content?

Steve: I was just thinking like one of my emails could be like 2,000 words, and so instead of like walking them through this journey through all that content, just send them to a video or send them to a PDF download?

Mary: And with both of those depending on how long they are, you don’t have to send them anywhere, you can deliver it straight in Messenger. So you say — that’s especially lead magnets, we don’t have to go outside of Messenger to deliver those PDS. We just put that right inside Messenger, and people click it and open it right there.

Steve: Okay sorry that’s what I meant sorry.

Mary: Yeah and then the videos, again it depends on how long. I wouldn’t put a 30 minute video in Messenger, but I’ve heard upwards of ten minutes, people had no problem. The difficulty and that’s another place you can use that typing delay, the difficulty is the load time. So if you have a video of only say 30 seconds or a minute that explains the concept, you can actually talk much faster than people have to read that type. And so you could do — I don’t know about 2,000 words, but you could do more in a video at 30 seconds or a minute than you could in typing and it would be much more engaging.

So yeah you could still deliver that content in a video rather than having to type it all out with buttons and all that stuff. But again find out which content is most important that you need to know about your consumer, and make sure you put that in buttons so that you can tag them.

Steve: What are just some general best practices, because a lot of people are going to be used to e-mail since it’s been around for so much longer? What are some just best practices when you’re moving over to Messenger or just even in general creating a Messenger bot?

Mary: Yes. So the first thing I would say is the normal marketing best practices apply. So you’re not going to want to use click bait, you’re not going to want to just buy a lead, you’re not going to want to just take someone and get their email address and then never do anything with it or sell it to somebody else. So those kinds of things I’m sure everyone listening to this since they’re listening to your podcast knows that they’re going to use marketing best practices.

Beyond that in bots, really the first thing I’m going to say is I don’t want — I know you don’t market or want to get too technical, but what you should do is familiarize yourself with Facebook’s Terms of Service. I would do that myself instead of relying on someone else. I haven’t gotten any of my clients’ pages shut down that’s for sure, and I’ve got quite a few of them, so I’m very proud of that fact. But that doesn’t mean everyone is paying attention to the terms of service.

For instance, here’s one little term of service that I see almost no one complying with. And that is we have what’s called a check box that we can put on buttons on a website to look for lead generation. And that checkbox basically checks you off as Facebook. If you’re logged into Facebook it says, is this you? I’m sure you’ve all seen it, and it has your little picture there and it says is this you and there’s a checkbox saying, yes this is me. Well that checkbox on the buttons according to Facebook’s Terms of Service again at the time of this recording, I know I feel like a darn here, but according to Facebook, that checkbox should be above any button you apply it to, but almost everyone is putting it below the button.

Steve: I hate to bring this to you Mary, but I’m actually following this terms of service.

Mary: I love you. So I haven’t seen yours yet, that’s fantastic.

Steve: I didn’t know about that rule by the way, just to be clear.

Mary: Good for you, thank you for that because that is everyone else is putting it below and putting it very small, and I mean it’s really Facebook is a stickler and you want to follow it. So, fantastic, good for you Steve.

Steve: Well the only reason why I’m doing that just to be clear though is because right now you can’t have that checkbox clicked unless you are grandfathered in. And so in order to get someone to actually physically check that now, they have to see the offer before they click on the button, so that’s why I put it up top.

Mary: Perfect, good for you. So you’re actually following marketing best practices, you want people to be aware of what they’re doing and not just trying to trick them into doing it. And so just little things like that. Now I don’t know if Facebook is going to shut down everybody who’s putting that below the button and all that kind of stuff, but I’m sure it’s on their algorithm that it will be a mark against you, right? And there are many other marks that you can get so I don’t know how many Facebook adds up before they say that’s it, you’re done.

So the more you can follow and of course Facebook doesn’t accept your excuse that well I didn’t know. So we need to be aware. So number one, Facebook Terms of Service. Number two, this is not about you, this is about the person taking your adventure, and stay in their frame of mind and think if I were coming in here, what would I want to do, how would I want to be treated, what kinds of questions would I want to be asked? Not just for the sake of getting my data, but for the sake of really educating me and getting me to the end result that is going to better my life.

And beyond that the number one thing I would say is it is not about numbers. So your numbers here are not necessary. I actually invite people to reject me, Steve I really do. That’s that one thing when I made that decision back in January of 2017; I invite people to reject me because those people aren’t going to have fun on my adventure. So I don’t want them here.

I would rather have them taking an adventure with someone else. I want people who are just as hot about this and excited about this as I am and following these best practices just like I am, and then we’re going to have a blast together. I don’t want to just take people who are lukewarm and hope I can sell them at the end.

Steve: Does that imply you always ask for the unsubscribe at the beginning of any interaction?

Mary: Yes I do, yes I specifically say at the bottom of the growth tools which in ManyChat are the lead magnets, are the entrances. I specifically say in there, PS, just simply reply stop if you want to be removed from my list, and then I add my own personality in there and then I say, and I’ll cry for you and I’ll miss you but I understand. So something personal beyond just reply with stop, you’ll be unsubscribed. I usually add because it’s Facebook, we’ve got to be personal. That’s what people do, this isn’t just business to sell, you have to show some of your personality to a certain extent.

So I don’t know, did I give you enough of the marketing, the best practices, follow terms of service, marketing best practices by themselves, engage people on the adventure for them not for you, and don’t be too wordy, use emojis, oh my goodness you’ve got to use emojis, people love emojis, images, and gifts. Start every conversation, when you’re going to push out a message start it off with an image or a gift not just text, because that pops up on their phone and it says Steve sent you an image, or Steve sent you a gift. They’re going to open that faster than Steve sent you a message.

Steve: These are great tips. Mary by the way, have you heard of anyone getting banned on Messenger just yet?

Mary: Yes.

Steve: Oh you have okay. So they are actively policing the promotional messages and that sort of thing?

Mary: They are. Since the algorithm change in January of 2018 which people thought was Armageddon, I’ve had none of and no issues at all with my clients because our number one purpose is engagement. It’s not just selling, it’s engagement. And since then I’ve heard of many more people getting shut down.

Steve: This is all great Mary, and we’ve been chatting for quite a while. I do want to give you the opportunity to tell people about your services, where they can find you and contact you.

Mary: Oh that would be wonderful, thank you. Messengerfunnels.com is the website, Facebook especially Messenger Funnels, but I also have a private group that I use to answer a couple of questions where we are active in there and we’re talking a lot about we call it Messenger hackers, we call ourselves Messenger hackers. And what we do is we go out and see bots and hack them, and say I really loved when this person did this, or I really loved when this person did this, and I probably wouldn’t have done that. I mean we’re nice, we’re not going to tear people to pieces because obviously do unto others kind of thing.

So I’d rather not have them tear me to pieces if I do something wrong or something that may not work for others. But so Messenger funnels, Messenger hackers, they can email me directly if they want any information or message me on Messenger. But my email is mkj@messengerfunnels.com. And I’d love to help in any way I can, either myself or my team because really Steve my number one goal and my number one passion with this, the reason again I call it Messenger funnels and not Messenger bots is because I want to make sure that this does not become the next e-mail, right?

Steve: Yeah I think the chances of that happening are less because you have to opt in, like I can’t just willy-nilly message you, and I can opt out at any time.

Mary: Right but people don’t know that yet.

Steve: It’s true.

Mary: A lot of people are getting, they’re opting into things, and they don’t even realize they’ve opted in. They just clicked a button and it’s so much easier to opt-in in Messenger because you don’t have to enter your name and e-mail address.

Steve: That’s true.

Mary: And we didn’t even talk about sending emails out and connecting this stuff. I mean that’s a whole other world you can — and like with Alison bot and Whitney the real estate and all the all these other people and my own bot included, you can take people and ask, you have to ask them for their email address, Facebook won’t just give it to you. And then you can use Zapier or other types of interactions to send that information to a Google sheet to send it to a CRM, to Salesforce, to anywhere you want to send it.

You can link it in with even WebinarJam or GoToWebinar so that people are automatically registered, so you don’t even have to ask them to fill in a new form. You just ask them in Messenger for their e-mail and the bot can register them for you. So there’s lots of those kinds of details that we obviously don’t have time to get into. But that’s my number one purpose is to keep this best practice and to make sure that people actually look at this as a very valuable tool not a scammy, spammy, oh my gosh, I don’t want to do that anymore.

Steve: I don’t know if you listeners out there can tell, but Mary is very passionate about this topic, and she has tutorials and she has the Facebook group. So if you’re interested in all the stuff that we’re talking about, make sure you go check it out, and I will link up all these resources in the show notes. But Mary, thanks a lot for coming on, I really appreciate your time.

Mary: Thank you for the invitation Steve. I’m so glad we were able to reconnect, and I just look forward to many more connections and spreading the word about this amazing tool.

Steve: And hopefully that encourages you to hit more conferences Mary.

Mary: Yeah I know. I will be going to the second one now. I just got back from Funnel Hacking Live, so my second one this year. It’s only March, so who knows what the rest of the world is going to be.

Steve: Cool Mary. It was great chatting, take care.

Mary: Thanks.

Steve: Hope you enjoyed that episode. Mary really knows her stuff, and she has real hands on knowledge on how to implement these Messenger funnels to maximize sales of digital products such as online courses. For more information about this episode, go to mywifequitherjob.com/episode207.

And once again I want to thank Klaviyo for sponsoring this episode. Klaviyo is my email marketing platform of choice for ecommerce merchants, and you can easily put together automated flows like an abandoned cart sequence, a post purchase flow, a win back campaign, basically all these sequences that will make you money on auto pilot. So head on over to mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O, once again that’s mywifequitherjob.com/K-L-A-V-I-Y-O.

Now I also want to thank Privy for sponsoring this episode. Privy is the email capture provider that I personally use to turn visitors into email subscribers. And they offer email capture, exit intent, and site targeting tools to make it super simple as well. And I like Privy because it’s so powerful and you can basically trigger custom pop ups for any primer that is closely tied to your e-commerce store. If you want to give it a try, it is free. So head on over to Privy.com/Steve, once again that’s P-R-I-V-Y.com/Steve.

Now, I talk about how I use all these tools on my blog, and if you’re interested in starting your own ecommerce store, head on over to mywifequitherjob.com and sign up for my free six-day mini course. Just type in your email, and I’ll send you the course right away, thanks for listening.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast, where we are giving the courage people need to start their own online business. For more information, visit Steve’s blog at www.mywifequitherjob.com.

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One thought on “207: How To Use Facebook Messenger Bots To Sell A Digital Course With Mary Kathryn Johnson”

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