[03:31] Indeed. So I think we did a pretty good job of answering who you are and what you do. But if there’s anything you want to add to that, feel free to do so. In the absence of that, I’d like to know, how did you get into the chatbot space?
- Yes, so that’s kind of one in the same question a little bit. So my background is not in marketing or business. That was the furthest thing from my mind when I graduated from high school and went to college. I actually have my bachelor’s degree in biology. And for about a decade, I spent my time as a clinically certified psycho geneticist analyzing people’s chromosomes underneath a microscope looking for abnormalities. So did that for a big chunk of my life. And that’s what I thought I was going to continue to do. But I realized, I’ve been stuck in the lab with no windows, having to deal with a boss.
Those of us who are entrepreneurs and start our own business, a lot of times we realize that that’s the direction we’re going to go because of an experience working for somebody else that we don’t want to do that anymore. So I also decided, I’m a more outgoing person compared to a lot of my lab mates and that I could probably do more and help more people with not being stuck in the lab. So that’s when I started thinking, “Okay, what can I do online? What can allow me to work from home since I have a family and be able to work around my kids?”
And I found out about digital marketing. And initially, it was just Facebook ads for businesses. And I started doing that. About five months into that I heard about these things called chatbots—Messenger chatbots. And I was like, “Oh, this is sounds really interesting.” So I started learning about it, and I have not looked back. It just really clicked for me, maybe it’s my scientific analytical mind. But being able to utilize chatbots for marketing has been one of the coolest things I’ve been able to do and be able to create things.
It’s kind of like when you have a recipe for some sort of food that you want to make that you’ve never made before. And then you put all the ingredients together, and you bake it up, and it comes out with this thing that you’re like, “Wow, you know, hopefully it looks like the picture. It tastes like what they say it should taste like.” But it’s kind of like that for me where I’m like, I can put all this stuff together in these little blocks in Messenger, and then it comes out with this really cool functionality of being able to do whatever the end result is that we want to create. So, that’s lead generation. Or doing fun things like quizzes inside of Messenger, the sky’s pretty much the limit. So I love that ability that I’ve been able to create things like that through Messenger.
[06:12] So I am not a chatbot expert. I do—I have used ManyChat in the past. And what I’m wondering is—so a while back and you can speak to this better than me, but Facebook made some changes. And as the chatbot neophyte, I thought, “Well, that makes chatbots pretty much useless.” It basically—I think it was like the 24 hour rule or something like that. So my ability to send broadcasts to my chatbot subscribers to tell them that I have a new podcast episode available, was gone. So, I pretty much stopped using it.
So I’m sure that I’m probably in the minority and thinking chatbots aren’t as effective as they once were. So maybe you could help me do me in the audience to better understand what the current landscape is.
- Yes, and you are definitely not alone. A lot of people who aren’t in the bubble of chat marketing, and aren’t breathing those day in and day out, they come in, they’re like, “Hey, I try to send a broadcast I haven’t sent since January, and it won’t send what’s going on?” So there’s still a lot of people that are learning these rules and how to best navigate through them.
But yes, so what Facebook did is because, of course, here, there’s always bad actors that ruin it for the rest of us. So, some people were just totally spamming people and spamming their users and their main purpose for Messenger is to have a good experience for their users. So, people would complain about pages just messaging them stuff. And it was just kind of the Wild Wild West.
So what they’ve done is they’ve created some structure and some rules around pages being able to message their subscribers. So one of the main ones is, like you said, the 24 hour rule. So making it that businesses and pages can only message their users within 24 hours of them last engaging with the previous message. And so that’s just a standard message where you can send whatever you want.
Now, there are some ways to reach your subscribers outside of those 24 hours in Messenger. One way is using message tags. So it’d be one of three tags, one being a post-purchase update, which is really useful for e-commerce, especially when people have purchased the product. You want to follow up with them, make sure that they receive the product, or if you’re wanting to let them know about a shipping update, things like that.
Also, there’s confirmed event updates. So if somebody opts in for a specific event, then it will give you that ability to say, “Hey, we’re going live,” or “Hey, with this event that’s coming up, here’s some information that you need to know before the event,” or even letting them know if the event changes, things like that.
The third one is account update. It’s more of a boring tag option. So the example that Facebook gives is somebody who applies for a credit card to let them know that their application was received or letting them know that their billing has changed. So boring stuff like that. Most people aren’t utilizing that one. And if they try to use that one as for something else, then they can get dinged for that. So that is one way to reach people outside of 24 hours.
The other way in Messenger to reach people is what’s called the one-time notification. So this you have to actually opt into through your Facebook page. If you go to Settings, and Advanced Messaging, towards the bottom will be this one- time notification. You’ll see there where you just click a link that says you want to opt into that. And then that gives you inside of many chatting ability to ask people, “Hey, do you want to be notified about x?” Whatever it is that you want to notify. So in your case, saying “Hey, do you want to be notified the next time I come out with a new podcast episode? Just click the notify me button below.” And so when they click that, then that gives you a token to be able to use to reach those people who opted in at some time outside of 24 hours. So that is definitely a way that Facebook has been able to make it so people can still get messages outside of 24 hours that don’t fall into one of those tags, buckets. But being able to also limit the spamming.
And also, just to let you know, actually before this, I just got off a call with Facebook Messenger team, they’re always wanting to listen in here with those of us who use Messenger a lot, our feedback. So they are looking at making things easier for businesses as well. So they’re always looking to try and make it better for them and their users and also for businesses. So with Facebook Messenger chatbots, that’s how you reach them outside of 24 hours.
But my suggestion is definitely building a omnichannel chatbot where you also utilize SMS, and email, to get the whole benefit of getting them and the focus to get them back into Messenger to get whatever that you’re offering or the message. That will reopen that 24 hour window. So then you can also get them to opt into an OTN or cross sell them or whatever. So, using multiple channels with the goal of driving them to Messenger is the best way to be able to be able to utilize a chatbot all the time outside of 24 hours.
The last way you can do it is through paid messages through Facebook. It’s technically an ad. The only downside is, it only delivers to about 40 to 50% of your audience due to Facebook’s algorithm of their ad platform. But that also is a way to reach subscribers as well.
[11:41] Okay, so you just went through quite a bit, I want to unpack some of it. Let’s go back to the Facebook page, you said there’s a setting on the Facebook page that once I tick it or turn it on, and what was the name of that setting, again?
- Called one-time notification.
[11:58] Okay, so if I enable one time notifications, then the subscribers that are on my chat bot list can elect at their decision to receive messages from me that are out of the 24 hour window. So in essence, I would then be able to use ManyChat or a chatbot to notify them of whatever message I would like because they told me “Hey, it’s okay for you to do that.”?
- Yes, one time, though. So it’s they opt in to the one time notification, and then they get one message. So every time they click the Notify Me button, you get a token. And you can actually get multiple tokens. I’m just going to say this here too, because double check, if you’re listening to this, six months down the line, some of this might have changed a little bit. They might have expanded it or restricted it. So just double check.
But currently, what I’ve been doing is like with people who have challenges or things like that, that are over multiple days, you can actually ask them to click the Notify Me button multiple times in a row and that will give you more tokens. So if you want to say like, “Hey, if you want the next month’s worth of notifications of our podcast episodes, click the following Notify Me buttons that come up.” So then they click Notify Me, then it would send them another one that has Notify Me. So it’s a way around it and the way to get multiple of them. But it works and especially like with challenges and things, being able to get people to opt in to that can help be able to reach them outside of that 24 hours.
[13:31] Okay, so a bit of a workaround, but not spectacular from what I’ve just understood you explained.
[13:41] Yes, it works if I want to get people to click things a whole bunch of times to give me enough tokens to be able to send them enough messages. But it doesn’t appear to me as though that would be—for the use case I’m talking about for me to send one message per week, every time I produce a new episode to my subscribers on an ongoing basis. It doesn’t sound like what you’ve described would allow me to basically do that unless I could somehow convince every single subscriber every single week to get another token by clicking on whatever they got to click on.
- Yes, so for example, let’s say they clicked the OTN, and then you send them a message using that token saying, “Hey, I’ve dropped a new podcast episode. Click the Tell Me More button below,” which will send them another message, which will open up that 24 hour window. So then you can say, “Here’s what this podcast is about, blah, blah, blah.”
And then because you’ve opened up that 24 hour window, you can also do a smart delay, after 10 minutes an hour, whatever within that 24 hour window to say, “Hey, do you want to be notified of next week’s podcast episode where we’ll be talking about XYZ with interviewing so and so? Click the Notify Me button below. So it can be conversational and creating a template like that where they get the message and they’re then getting the podcast episode information and then it asks them again if they want to get the future opt in for the one time notification.
[15:07] And they would have to do that every single week to get the note. Right?
[15:13] Okay. All right.
- But again, it might change. But that’s one way using the one time notification. Or, like I’m saying, I use SMS a ton with a lot of my clients bots, where it will take them right into Messenger and give them the information there. And then SMS there’s not that limitation, you know, you can send messages as many times as you want, as long as people want those messages.
[15:37] Yes well, that’s the next part. I went unpack. So let’s use again, me as an example. So someone comes to the Bright Ideas website, they join the email list. So now they’re in my autoresponder sequence, the welcome series, but they’re not yet in a chatbot. And I don’t have SMS. So walk me through how I’m going to make this a multi-channel communication. What does that look like? What do I got to do?
- So in the email, you can actually include a link, which is called a ref URL growth tool inside of ManyChat, that will actually take them into Messenger to opt in there. Of course, giving them some sort of incentive to click into go into Messenger. Then once they’re there, asking them to opt in for SMS notifications for future updates, future podcast episodes, whatever giving some sort of incentive for them that they want to join the SMS list as well.
[16:35] Okay, and then so you’re gonna have to use a third party SMS provider, I assume to make all this work?
- Nope. ManyChat does it all. ManyChat even does email. So you could even move everything, your whole list into ManyChat and have it all one hub. But I’ve also worked with clients that they have their outside email list or ActiveCampaign, or Klaviyo, or Infusionsoft, or whatever, that I still utilize to manage email, as part of the process of sending out these notifications. But they still have their other email lists and their other email service provider.
So usually, when I send out a message, I have conditions at the beginning that, first look to see if someone’s engaging last 24 hours, then I just send them a message. If they’ve opted into a one-time notification, then it will send that message. But if they haven’t had any, if they don’t meet those two conditions, then it will send them an SMS message. And then if they don’t fit either three of those conditions, then it will send them an email.
[17:34] Got it? Okay. So, what do you think, are some of the most effective strategies for getting people to get into your bot funnel to begin with?
- Yes, so there are a number of ways, really depending on what kind of offer and what kind of business you are. But using Facebook ads is really the best way to be able to drive an actual amount of traffic into your chatbot. You can also do it organically through—like I was saying, emails. If you have a YouTube channel, you can have that in the description with the link, having it on your website.
The other great thing that I’ve utilized with a lot of clients is on their website, having the customer chat widget, which allows people to ask questions on the website through Messenger. And actually Facebook just released recently, the ability to have a guest feature, which allows people to chat with the business through Messenger without having a Facebook profile. So people can opt in to chat via a guest. And then my suggestion is when they opt in as a guest that you ask for their email address. So then that way you’re collecting information and creating a contact from them, inside of your main chatbot as well.
So some other strategies I’ve used are, like I mentioned earlier, doing quizzes, doing giveaways, doing coupons, too. So like, “Hey, do you want a 10% off coupon code, click the button below and I’ll send you your own coupon code that you can use in store.” So there’s a ton of different use cases. I’ve done surveys even.
If you want to utilize your chatbot, to increase your awareness of your customers, and also learn more about your customers for future Facebook ads, ad copy, or just finding out where they’re at in terms of their interest level. Utilizing a chatbot, you can ask all these questions inside there, where it’s also conversational. They’ll answer the questions and at the end, you can have a call to action of whatever you want to. You can give them a coupon at that point or just say, “Hey, you know, do you want to be notified of future offers, click the Notify Me button.” Then that way you’re also getting a lot of customer research there as well including—as well as getting a new subscriber and new contact.
[20:00] All right, so now that we’ve covered how to get people in the funnel, I know from my using of ManyChat, you can do a lot of automation. They’ve got a canvas, it’s visual, you can drag out your flow and figure out what you’re going to do, and so forth. So there’s a lot of stuff you could do. Or if you’re running a small business, maybe you’re just all doing it manually, which maybe doesn’t strike as the best idea.
So let’s talk about, what are some of the best practices, because once you get people in, you’ve got to get them engaged, while they’re in your funnel. Otherwise, you’re never going to get an ROI on your ad spend or whatever thing you did to get them in the funnel and to begin with. So if you want to talk about either a client you worked on or we can use again, Bright Ideas, what you think I should be doing? However you want to answer the question would be just fine.
- Yes, so one thing definitely you want to do is try to segment your users. And again, depending on your type of business let’s say you have an e-commerce business that covers a ton of different types of products. Or, you know, let’s even go a little bit further and say you’re an e-commerce business that does clothing. So you can choose and create tags inside of ManyChat based off of what people are interested in. So that way, if people are interested in a certain type of shirt, or they’re interested in workout gear, and you have workout gear. So then that way, you can send those people specific messages around what they’re interested in.
So it’s really about diving in and making sure things are really relevant to the user, so that way they want to engage. Because if you’re sending messages to people that they’re not interested in a specific thing that you’re promoting, then they’re most likely to then not engage and they won’t be interested in then future messages. Even if it’s a sponsored message that you create you send out, they just might ignore it, just because they’re like, “Oh, I don’t really care about the information that they’ve been sending me.” So that’s one way to make sure that people are wanting to be engaged.
The other part is asking people about them, getting their feedback. Like I was saying with the customer survey, utilizing that and people are like, “Oh, I love talking about myself or about my interests and things like that.” And letting them kind of direct the direction of how things go inside of Messenger based off of they’re giving their tips and their input in terms of what they feel and what they like. And that really goes a long way to get people to stay engaged.
Also offers. Of course, people love to get the latest offer from a business, that also is useful. And if you can gamify it in any sort of way. Like I’ve done for a little restaurant, we did a birthday campaign where it’s, “Oh, you get a birthday surprise!” They can pick one of three gifts and it’s just three boxes as a image inside of Messenger and says, “Hey, pick which gift.” Then they just choose one, and then it’s either $5 off, $10 off, or $15 off. And so that’s fun for people, they’re like, “Oh, this is interesting.” And then they get to pick. Of course, if you do something like that, make sure you have it where they can’t go back and choose a different one by utilizing tags, and “Oh, they’ve gotten their gift,” that they can’t go back and and choose a different gift from the list.
So making it fun and interesting is really a great way to keep people engaged and wanting to come back to engage with your chatbot and get more information from the bot.
[23:36] So if I do a really good job building an automated funnel that gives them the experience as though they’re actually kind of chatting with a human being because you’re asking them questions, and they’re choosing answers. And they’re segmenting and tags are being applied. I suppose that if you do that really effectively, you should be able to stay within the 24 hour rule for ideally an extended period of time because you’re going to program this automation to interact with them at least once, maybe twice—I’m not sure—during a 24 hour period. Then for the 24 hour window to be extended, they have to not just receive a message but they have to reply in some way. They have to click a button or watch a video or type something back to you. Is that right?
- Yes. So as long as they are sending a type of message back, which could be from a button click. But it’d be a button click that sends a message. So don’t assume that them clicking a button that goes to a website that doesn’t count as engagement. So it has to be the back and forth. And yes, so the goal is to try and keep that 24 hour window open. But not being spammy where you’re trying to send messages every single day because you won’t keep that 24 hour window opened constantly for majority of people. So that’s where one of the first things you want to do when that initial 24 hour window is open is that you get their contact information, being able to do SMS email, or and or the OTN as well.
[25:03] Because then you can use those other channels to get them back into the chatbot so that they reply, which then reopens another 24 hour window. So you’re just giving yourself multiple ways to communicate with your list and being clever about how you design your marketing to make use of all of those various channels to ultimately reach your end goal?
- Exactly. And utilizing also organic means in terms of Facebook groups. If you have a group being able to have that link saying, “Click the link” and it takes them into the chatbot. Well, then that reopens that 24 hour window as well. So you know, not just using your chatbot and ways that you can reach them inside of there but getting them to re-engage outside of Messenger or outside your chatbot to get them back into Messenger open that window again.
[25:51] Okay. We’re going to take a quick break. When we come back, I am going to ask Mackensie to explain to me what are some of the most common mistakes that she sees and how to avoid them.
If you’re running an Amazon wholesale reseller business and you’re struggling to scale it up, I’d like to invite you to check out my Wholesale Ecommerce Business System, or WEBS as it is now widely known online. WEBS is not a training course. Instead, it is the collection of 75 plus highly detailed workflow templates that my team and I have developed over the last few years. Without these systems, achieving a rank of number 254 on the Inc 5000 would have been absolutely impossible. Check it out today at https://brightideas.co/webs.
[26:36] All right, Mackensie, common mistakes, one of the biggest ones you see.
- So besides not setting up your foundational bot, like we’ve been talking about, so you can reach them outside of my powers. I think that’s number one. That’s a mistake or something you want to make sure that you implement.
Second is the messages themselves. I’ve seen people take chunks of email campaigns and just copy and paste them inside of Messenger. That is not good. You want to make sure that it’s conversational, and it’s short. And to the point, right. So also realize it’s you want to treat it as a two way conversation, not just you talking to them, like what email is. So making it conversational and short. And giving buttons, giving them something to click on is definitely a focus that you want to make sure that your bot is in. Seriously I have seen people take their emails and just copy it and it’s super long. That’s the other thing, when you send the message, you want to make sure that—and test it, too.
Make sure that when the message is sent that they don’t have to scroll down to see the top of it. So just having it so it’s short enough where when they receive it, it’s still visible, where they don’t have to try and find the beginning of that message. Because that can be a problem.
Another mistake I see people make is not utilizing reminders or follow-ups. So like if you’re having people come into the chatbot, and you’re asking them for an email or you’re asking them for an OTN, and then they don’t click, they don’t do anything. You want to make sure that you are following up with them either minutes later or within the 24 hours to say, “Hey, see that you didn’t give your information or you didn’t click this. Are you sure?” Or you want to give them an incentive again, or pointing out the incentive for them to click to use that, is really something that you want to utilize. Because, think about abandoned cart, right? I mean, that’s huge in e-commerce. So utilizing something similar inside of Messenger as it being an abandoned cart of the message, to get them to that next step.
[28:44] Okay. So for people who want to learn more, because obviously the interview here we can only go so deep into the actual how you do it and there’s a lot of detail involved in getting this stuff done. What type of resources—maybe they want to get in touch with you? Or maybe you have a training course or something. What type of resources do you have available for people who want to learn more?
- So I say, first join my group. It’s Marketing with Messenger Bots. Even though we’re now technically not just Messenger. But I’ve had that group for a few years now when it was only Messenger. In there, I give a lot of tips and announcements, new updates, anything updated with rules. That’s where you’d find the most latest information. You can also message my page, my Orca Marketology chatbot and find more information there as well. Those are probably the two best ways to get a hold of me.
[29:39] Okay, well then, Mackensie, thank you very much for making some time to be on the show. It’s been a pleasure to have you here.
[29:49] So to get to the show notes for today’s episode, all you need to do is go to brightideas.co/343. And we’ll put links to anything that Mackensie and I talked about. And if you enjoy this episode, and you have not already done so, I would love it if you would take a moment and pull up your favorite podcast listening app and leave us a subscribe, rate, and review for the show. That’d be wonderful. So thank you very much for tuning in today. I look forward to having you back for another episode soon. Take care. Bye
Thanks very much for listening to the Bright Ideas podcast. Check us out on the web at https://brightideas.co/.