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Blog
February
04
2019

What Are Messenger Bots

What makes Messenger Bots more effective compared to like email or text messaging? Justin: Well, email is a, think of it as a conversation, as a one to many.

Justin: With Facebook Messenger, you can embed a checkbox like that where they can check it and then hit the submit button, and they’ll automatically get subscribed to your Messenger Bot.

 

Welcome to the growth hacking secrets show with Carlos A Vasquez where we share actionable strategies and tactics to grow businesses no matter what industry you’re in. Now, your host Carlos A. Vasquez.

 

Carlos: And welcome to another episode of growth hacking secrets. I’m your host, Carlos A Vasquez. And today I’ve got someone special as my commitment to you. I wanted to make sure that I always provide as much value as possible in the least amount of time because I know you are very busy and I, again, I want to thank you for spending the time with me.

 

Carlos: Today, I’ve brought in someone special. His name is Justin Scicluna, and I met Justin back when I was working at iHeartRadio. Well at the time it was Clear Channel, and we both were the geeks running the website. He was in charge of a few stations, and I was in charge of other stations.

 

Carlos: We were like two little nerd geeks getting along together, and we just shared all kinds of cool geekery and just kept it going, which is why we’re still ’till this day we’re professional colleagues and friends still just having fun, and now we’re making much better money doing this stuff on our own. So Justin, I mean, thanks for being here, brother.

 

Justin: Hey, thanks for having me. My pleasure.

 

Justin: Yes. Back in the days when we were working together, and by the way, you’re not kidding. We had to hack together so many things to make the system, the corporate web pages, and everything, work, and function the way they wanted to. It’s good times.

 

Carlos: Yeah, man. It was like another set of boot camp skills where we learned real-world use because we have to learn things quickly because we were sending traffic like in a matter of minutes. If we didn’t get it right, we were screwed, and if we got to right, we were still the unsung heroes because no one cared. It was us two doing all that work. It was usually the jocks take all the credit.

 

Justin: That’s right!

 

Carlos: It was all the glory that went to them, and anything that went wrong went to us. Geez, that sucks now that I think about it.

 

Justin: That’s why we have taken steps to bold launch our businesses and took control of our finances.

 

Carlos: I’m making a lot more money outside on my own than I did. But the experiences that I gained, the concert tickets, the people that I met. I wouldn’t have met so many great people, in such a short amount of time, had it not been for the radio station. So I guess it did have its pros and cons. It had a lot of perks. But when it came to finances, man, I wish, you know what? I think that’s what had to happen because if they paid us well we probably would have stayed there and we wouldn’t have grown as fast as we did.

 

Justin: Exactly

 

Carlos: So what was the reason why I wanted to bring you, Justin, is because since I build funnels and I build automations, and I do traffic, it’s usually like a multi-stack of software involved to get this going, and then I’ve heard about this whole thing before you started getting as big as you are now.

 

Carlos: But still, it’s just a whole different world for me. I get it, I understand the principles, but in no way do I feel as confident talking about it like I do with funnels and automation, which is why I wanted to bring you on here because it eliminates the entire need of such a full stack of software.

 

Carlos: I mean messenger bots are… If you’re not applying messenger bots now to your business, I think you’re missing out. A lot of people already have this behavior of staying within the Facebook platform, and right now it’s Facebook, but now it’s going to expand to other platforms. So if you grasp the concept now, I believe that you’ll be able to capitalize on how fast and how far it can go.

 

Justin: That’s correct. Right now is the time to kind of get in, especially if you want to edge out ahead of your competitors. It’s time to get into messenger marketing because though businesses are coming on every single day and more and more getting them, there are still so many that are not yet there, that I guarantee this would be one element that would edge you out above your competition and make you stand out.

 

Justin: Plus, I mean the whole philosophy behind messenger marketing is to automate individual conversations to many people all at the same time. It’s still personal. It’s still one on one feeling. The communication can be customized to that individual user’s experience, and yet it’s still automated and taking you the human out of it until the right time because it’s never meant to replace a person.

 

Justin: It’s expected to handle everything until a person’s needed, and the Bot can then manage all those easy early steps and then send you out a notification when you need to come in there and take care of business. So it’s, it’s fantastic.

 

Carlos: So hold on. What makes Messenger Bots more effective compared to like email or text messaging?

 

Justin: Well, email is a, think of it as a conversation, as a one to many. So it’s like walking into a large room and starting to scream out there. It’s same content going to everybody, and it’s just a business talking at you. It is not a conversation. When having a Messenger Bot, which right now Facebook Messenger being the one to use, you are having an actual conversation the user gets to participate in that conversation.

 

Justin: It’s also customized based on the information and how they answer your questions. You can customize the next step to that conversation. So it’s entirely like a one on one unique experience for that individual, and it’s all automated. So you don’t have to be there to operate it.

 

Carlos: So wait. So then when you say that the person responds like they type their response in the Messenger Bot knows what it’s saying?

 

Justin: Depending on how you have it set up, yes. So you, in most cases, the most simple case, you would offer them button choices. So you say you make a good point, you say, did you know that 56 percent of people surveyed would rather message a business than call them? And then you can have a yes, and a no button and they’d click no, and then you can customize the next step of that conversation.

 

Carlos: Gotcha. So it’s preselected responses that way they don’t screw it up basically. Right?

 

Justin: Correct. And you, if you want to get more advanced, you can add AI to your Bot and let it be smart enough to understand how to process language and then return an answer. But, I got to be honest, if you’re dipping your toe in, don’t waste your time with that. It’s just much easier to set up, like a choose your adventure style conversation where they are just pressing buttons to continue that conversation forward.

 

Carlos: Gotcha. So the possibility is there like you want to create your own, like your version of Siri or Alexa or okay, Google, you can do it, but that’s reserved for someone that’s committed to creating that programming language, right?

 

Justin: That’s correct. Because you, you would connect it through to one of the bigger AI processors like Google’s dialogue flow or you can even tap into Watson from IBM and Microsoft’s AI, Cortana I think, you can tap into any of these to do the heavy work of trying to understand the language, but you, the business owner, you’ve got to plug in all the answers and a selection of the questions, as many as you can think of a variations of it. So it takes a while to get it trained and up to par for you.

 

Justin: And then when you have enough variations of an individual question there, the AI will start to learn other more expanded on variations over time. So it just, it’s possible, and anybody could do that, but I got to be honest in the beginning stages, that’s a feature that you want to add after you know that you’ve got an excellent set of engagement in your Messenger. In my opinion.

 

Carlos: Yeah. Even then, like Alexa or Amazon, I don’t see them needing to create a messenger Bot that in depth. Although they can, it’s my experience with facebook messenger that you don’t want to do too much thinking, so it’s a lot easier to have the preselected answers right up front. Although you can, that’s one of the golden rules of marketing, just because you can don’t mean you should.

 

Justin: Exactly. World of marketing, if you’re trying to make your life easier, which I imagine automation, you’re trying to make her life more comfortable for the most part. Everything that you ever would want to do, you can offer button choices. You know, there are times when you take text input, and it can process that a little bit for you, but for the most part, button choices to move someone through a flow will get you where you want to go, and you can get it set up in a short amount of time.

 

Carlos: When you say flow, what do you mean?

 

Justin: So there’s the terminology and in Messenger marketing is all somewhat new. So let’s say you have one subject or one line of questioning that’s going to happen that’s called flow. In other words, it’s short for conversation flow. So you have a conversation flow that’s going to reach this ultimate goal. Hey Carlos, you’ve got a Bot right now that you want to answer your most common questions.

 

Justin: So that wouldn’t be an FAQ flow because at your frequently asked questions, and the whole purpose of everything is to answer those most common questions. And since you can do multiple things with the same Bot at the same time, it’s just a term to help you understand that I’m talking about this set of conversation, not the entirety of the BOT.

 

Carlos: Okay, so how do you separate that? How does the Bot know how to have different conversations? How does it keep it distinct?

 

Justin: So it has to at the beginning, whatever the entry point of a conversation flow is, has to be connected to something for someone to be able to trigger it so it can be connected to what they call a welcome message, which means if someone just comes to your Facebook page and hits the send message button, the initial greeting that pops up, if you have bot software connected is called a welcome message.

 

Justin: So you could have a conversation flow attached right there to your welcome message. That’s the only place it’ll show up. That’s the only time it’ll trigger. And at the same time, you could have a prospect generating a flow that’s connected to an ad somewhere else that’s designed to bring cold prospects straight into and build into your messenger list. Which yes, you can create a messenger list of subscribers similar to email and they can both be happening at the same time without either of them interfering with each other.

 

Carlos: Okay, so the triggers tell the Bot, start this flow of conversation.

 

Justin: Correct. And you can trigger it. There are many ways that you can trigger a conversation flow. It can be triggered by a website like a pop up that you usually see everything else. It can be a live chat on your site that is messenger living on your website, handling that, you know, your customer service or whatever it is that your conversation on your website would be for.

 

Justin: You can also connect it to a unique URL that you can share anywhere that you would typically share a link, someone clicks it, messenger pops open automatically, and in they click the get started button goes right into the conversation flow that you’d like to showcase. They have messenger scan codes, which are like QR codes.

 

Justin: You can connect a bot to a Facebook post, so either someone comments on a specific keyword or comments in general, it can launch right into a particular flow of conversation and Facebook ads, it can connect directly to a Facebook ad. So when they click, instead of it going to a landing page, it will pop open messenger to handle the conversation.

 

Carlos: Okay. So then, I mean, there’s a ton of options out there now. I mean, me, I’m an automated guy. I can come up with some, a bunch of automation when it comes to emails, but what I have a hard time with when it comes to bots, I have a hard time trying to come up with like what is the most basic use case? What’s the most basic use that someone should have as far as a bot is concerned?

 

Justin: Primary use should be something to answer your FAQ’s and drive somebody to book a call appointment or whatever your first call to action would be when you’re in the discovery phase of prospects. This standard FAQ’s can be very simple. I mean, the one that I have on my brand Webby Up is stupid simple. It doesn’t give you a ton of options it just pops in there and says, “Hey, welcome to Webby bot. What can I help you with?”

 

Justin: It offers to contact the human now, schedule a call, or see some live demos, and that’s it. Leads come in whenever they’re just curious or want to see live demos, and they pop through and see different demos and then if they want, they can click that schedule a call, and it goes right through and handles scheduling a phone call for me.

 

Justin: So I wouldn’t say that the first thing that would be the easiest, and you would be able to see something with as far as, you know, having a useful tool would be an FAQ Bot. And I say that though with an asterisk. If people aren’t regularly coming to your page as it is to message you, then they’re not going to magically start coming to your page and message you because you have a bot on there.

 

Justin: So if you do get a lot of web traffic, your use case might be a little bit different where you might use a pop up and add that pop up be whatever you’re going to offer as if you’re going to aaq22offer somebody, let’s say a discount for signing up for your email list, you can do the same thing, but just run them through messenger as opposed to right to a web page form.

 

Justin: So you’re going to have a pop up that says, thanks for visiting the store do you want an instant 15 percent discount? They click that button; messenger kicks into action. It can still collect their email address, give them their discount code. Now you’ve got them on your messenger list, you’ve got an email, and you can set them up with automations within messenger to follow up with them to see if they’ve purchased.

 

Carlos: So is this something built inside of Facebook so that you can create the bots? Right inside of Facebook.

 

Justin: You can build the one reply with the native facebook tools. So it’s; basically, somebody comes and messages, you get one reply back. So if you want to add more sophisticated automation and really the power behind Messenger bots, you’re going to want to connect a bot building software and there are new ones coming out every day.

 

Justin: The top leaders in that space, there’s one called Chatfuel, and then the current supreme leader in the space as one called Manychat m-a-n-y-c-h-a-t it is user-friendly, it has a free account, so you can get started and play with it without having to commit any money. And it’s user interface for building out a Bot requires zero coding. And if you can build a website with a visual builder, you can build a Bot in Manychat.

 

Carlos: Okay, so the free version also lets you add a piece of code you’re talking about to the website?

 

Justin: That is correct. You can use the customer chat, which would be like just a little chat bubble that somebody can jump in there and have a conversation with your Bot, or customer service rate on your site. Any of the popups that you would want can also be there. You can embed buttons directly onto the page, and drop-downs at the very top, like header bars.

 

Justin: You’ve seen the header bars that slide in after a moment, you can add those as well. They have different types of, they call them growth tools that you can embed these in, in their free account that you can embed rate on your website.

 

Carlos: Gotcha. So then, what features don’t usually come on the free tool?

 

Justin: One of them is very important. That is user inputs, and user input is anytime you want to collect information from somebody you would need user input. So you want an email address, you’re going to have to upgrade. Upgrading starts at $10 a month for up to 500 subscribers on this program. By the way, let me just let you know I’m not affiliated with Manychat. I just use them all the time, and they make my job easier.

 

Justin: So I’m promoting the heck out of them, but I’m not getting anything from them. I’m just letting you know that right now it’s the best tool to use, hands down. But yeah, for the pro level you can then start collecting data through their user inputs, and you can use messenger codes, which is like a scan code or a QR code that can drive somebody directly into a conversation flow.

 

Justin: And you can use what’s called the checkbox plugin. The checkbox plugin is kind of a neat thing that you embed a checkbox underneath your standard form submission button. Let’s use a use case of somebody in checkout. So you’re in Checkout on an eComm store and right before they click add to cart, you know, sometimes you have a checkbox there, and it says, would you like to receive emails? And they check it and then boom, you’re subscribed for emails.

 

Justin: With Facebook Messenger, you can embed a checkbox like that where they can check it and then hit the submit button, and they’ll automatically get subscribed to your Messenger Bot.

 

Carlos: Bro. That’s pretty freaking cool. And that’s just one software. You can eliminate the need of having to get like a funnel page software and email automation software. You still need some traffic source, but you could do a lot of it just within the inside of messenger. Many-chat software being one of them, all there.

 

Justin: When consolidating software, Messenger can be used as a website form where people are entering any information that you want to collect. Also, it can be used similarly to email drip campaigns where you can follow up and warm up the prospect to get them to a place where they become a lead where you can then kind of bring them around to making a sale. So all of this can be done in Messenger.

 

Justin: A lot of my clients are testing out, converting their standard web forms to driving them to Messenger to fill in the information so that if nothing else, if somebody lands in Messenger and they stopped midway, you still have them on a subscription list that you can follow up with. And that’s where the power is. But because the moment they engage your Bot, when you have Bot software connected, they become a subscriber.

 

Carlos: That’s like an Op-in. Gotcha. So by them clicking on it, they’re basically opted in to receive additional messages from you.

 

Justin: That’s correct.

 

Carlos: That’s pretty dope, man.

 

Justin: It works well. If you have, let’s say you have a landing page that’s getting a decent amount of conversions, you’re getting like most landing pages, you’re getting more traffic to the page, then you are conversions, In this scenario, when they get into Messenger, first of all, they just landed inside there and they hit one engagement button, then they’re subscribed. So you’ve got them there.

 

Justin: That’s what we just spoke about. But you can also go back and review all the conversation histories of those who didn’t fully convert like didn’t get to the end of the form you wanted them to fill out and find out where they dropped off. And you can use that data to equip your deal better or to better structure what you’re asking for.

 

Justin: So let’s say you’re asking for, first of all, you don’t have to ask for first name, last name, in Messenger. It pulls that from facebook for you. So that’s fewer questions that you have to ask right off the bat.

 

Justin: But let’s say you ask for email address, phone number, and maybe house address if you’re a realtor or something, and the person gets the house address and they’re like, I’m not comfortable giving that to you and that’s where you’re starting to notice a trend where that’s the form field that they’re falling out of. You can learn that by seeing these conversation histories and then adjust your strategy accordingly. So where you get higher conversion rates.

 

Carlos: Gotcha. So you don’t get a bunch of fields. Now, what about, what about open rates and click-through rates? Does it track that?

 

Justin: Yes. So open rates, click-through rates, perform much better than email. Open rates, you know, you got to give a range on it, but the open rates are generally like 65 percent to 100 percent, and I’m low balling the open rate there. And I’ll tell why in a moment. And then the click-through rates have adjusted. They’re about 45 percent to 100 percent clickthrough rates. Now the open rates, they can be deceiving to one point.

 

Justin: So when you get sent a message from a business, it’s going to land in your messenger and you’re going to get that little notification symbol, and people like to have those cleared out. So if nothing, somebody is going to go in there and tap on it to clear that notification. Now that gives somewhat of a little bit of false positive in that read; however you’ve got that moment that they tap on there to capture their attention.

 

Justin: So that message you’re sending, that first little enticing hook is there to grab their attention. You’re going to get high click-through rates right off of that first message which will bring them through your whole conversation flow.

 

Carlos: Gotcha. Gotcha. Dude, I think we could spend like hours talking about this man. So, you know, if you can brother would you be open in the facebook group, in the Facebook community? Can we continue the conversation there? That way you can share some more, show some videos on how to get this done. So that way people could try to leverage this on their business.

 

Justin: Yeah. I mean I’ll talk about this all day, every day. I do anyway, haha. I mean it takes a lot of explaining. It takes a lot of words. It’s a new thing, you know, and there’s a lot of confusion around it. So I mean a good, I’d say 70 percent of a day is spent just explaining what a bot is, how it can be used, and then going into details of what somebody can use their specific use case. And it’s so flexible.

 

Justin: Messenger Marketing is like a Swiss army knife. It can be made to apply to any situation. So that’s why it’s hard to quantify it in a few sentences of, “oh, what’s this going to do to work for me as a business?” It comes back to the question on that business owner. You’re the business owner. So what’s, what is your marketing goal? What are you trying to do? What’s your first step? “Well, I want to get cold prospects.” Okay, this is what you do to get cold prospects in Messenger.

 

Justin: “Well, I want to get prospects and warm them up to a sale.” Okay. Here’s what you would do then. So it comes down to what’s the goal, and we can hit you with a solution to solve that with Messenger.

 

Carlos: Dude, I’m impressed by how far you’ve come with this. You’re beyond me. The way you sound. You sound super confident in this. So I am glad to refer business your way because I don’t want to add this. It’s a whole other rabbit hole, but I’m glad I got someone on the inside that can help me with this man. Where can you be found, brother?

 

Justin: I am found at Webby Up. That’s W, e, b, b, y, U, P, all one word on Facebook, Instagram, twitters at WebbyUp Inc. And you can go play around with my Messenger Bot by opening up your messenger APP and looking up @Webby Up and play around with the demos.

 

Justin: I have some simple live demos on there that showcase different features that can be done in messenger. Like there are things called galleries that let you display multiple images, texts and buttons all at the same time. There are ways that you can see if you go through like let’s say the pizza ordering Bot all the way to the end. You’ll see how messenger communicates with email, and then you turn around and get a bounce-back email after getting to the end of a Bot, and it just lets you see some of the basic features that are available to businesses to use.

 

Carlos: Got It, brother. Alright man. So I’m going to go ahead and put your links inside of the podcast website, which is miamimarketer.com/growth. And I’m going to also include it in the show notes for this particular episode so that way people could go ahead and click on that and hopefully, you can help us continue spreading the word and gaining that advantage. So thanks for coming on the show, brother.

 

Justin: My pleasure. Thanks for having me.

 

Carlos: Thanks for listening to the growth hacking secrets show with Carlos A Vasquez. Want to join the exclusive growth hacking community? Of course, you do. Make sure to visit us at miamimarketer.com/growth for more info. See you soon.

author: Carlos Vazquez

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