Are Messenger Chatbots the New Email Replacement?

We’ve always been enamored  by the ‘next new thing’.

The silver bullet that’s going to shave our CPMs, sky rocket our conversion rates, and explode our open rates. When Messenger Chatbots burst onto the scenes, it’s easy to see why we might see them as a new replacement for email.

With over 1.4 billion monthly active users on Messenger, open rates of 60% and upwards of 30% click through rates, what is there not to love?

If you’re an e-commerce company, you’ve already heard this a thousand times over…

Email should (if done correctly) account for 30% of your overall revenue.

And that 30% acts up quick. Stupidly quick in fact. If you do a million dollars in sales, that’s an additional three-hundred thousand just waiting to be put into your pocket. With email open rates hovering around 20 to 30% and the click through rates being even lower, why then would you not use Messenger Chatbots as the new replacement?

Well, that’s because of a couple of things.

(Firstly) The goal of a Messenger Chatbot is NOT to sell, but to hold a conversation.

In the age of Youtube and Google, answers to our questions come in  the split of a second. As sad as it sounds, the Internet has perpetuated our need for instant gratification.

The same goes for when customers are browsing on your site.

Does this dress come in black?
What happens if I need new shaver blades?
When is the best time to pop these new supplements?

Your consumers want answers, and they want them now.

They don’t want to repeat their questions to multiple customer service reps to find an answer. (in fact, 49% of them are irritated by having to do so –  Ujet,, MPL Systems, Salesforce, Facebook)
They don’t want to wait for 3 days to get a response to their email.
They just want to get to the down and dirty – and get answers right now.

And if your site doesn’t have them? Well, it’s not too hard to find another site that does.

(Secondly) Marketers pissed Facebook off.

Have you ever heard of the saying that ‘marketers spoil everything’?

Back when email just launched, it was like the wild west, open rates were through the roof, click through rates were amazing, and it was all rosy. And then marketers came along and completely crashed it to hell. Spammy emails, clickbait titles, bait and switch – you name it, we did it.

Likewise, when Messenger Chatbots first came out, there was something called the ’24 + 1′. This meant that we were given the ability to send customers a message outside of the 24 hour timeframe that they reached out to us. If the customer responded, that would mean we had another 24 hours to send them absolutely anything we wanted.

And that went exactly as you think it could have went.

Marketers abused the shit out of it (honestly, I’m pretty amused about how we manage to spoil everything).

Since Facebook is all about the customer experience (to get the user to spend as long as possible on the site), they quickly clamped down on it.

Spankings were given, pages got blocked, and new rules were created. We were no longer allowed a ‘+1’ and now restricted to sending messages only within 24 hours of the user interacting with us. Which makes total sense if you think about it.

Imagine being a user on Facebook and getting bombarded with a million different messages  from a million different pages. I don’t know about you, but I’d be irked.

Therein lies one of the differences why you can’t use Messenger Chatbots as an email replacement – you can’t send messages past 24 hours of non interaction.

Which then brings us to our final point.

(Thirdly) The explosive power of omni-channel marketing

The world has become an extremely noisy place. As Gary V loves to say, it’s become a ‘competition for attention’. Everything is screaming for attention, and in between funny cat videos and the Kardashian’s latest scandal – everything pales in comparison.

The average conversion rate on an e-commerce page is 2%.

Just take a second to think about that.

Only 2 out of 100 people who land on your site actually convert. The rest of them have to be won through re-marketing.

Life gets in the way. We get busy.

The beauty of Messenger Chatbots is that you’re able to use them as a top-of-funnel acquisition point. From there, you’d be able to grab their emails and phone numbers. With open rates and click through rates the way they are,  you’ll be getting your offer/ask in front of more eyes – and hence more opt-ins. That would mean you have 3/4 different touchpoints to reach out to your customers. Messenger (sponsored messages or when the customer interacts), email, text messages and even IG.

You’ve already beaten your competitor because you’re one/two channels on top of them (or 3/4 for the lazy ones that only run FB ads).

It isn’t hard to deduce who’s going to crush who.

Furthermore, you’re building your own platform independent list that’s not dependent on platforms waking up on the right side of the bed. That freedom it gives your business is limitless, as well as exponentially increases the valuation of your business in the event of an exit.

Looking into implementing a Messenger Chatbot for your business? Feel free to hop onto a 30 minute non obligation call with me, where we can brainstorm ideas you’re free to run with here.

All the best,