Messenger Marketing Set to Dominate Social Commerce Trends in 2018

Facebook Messenger Marketing is now available as a way for businesses to more directly communicate with existing and potential clients and is expected to be a dominant trend in social commerce over 2018. Messenger marketing has been billed by many in the marketing industry as something that will revolutionise direct to customer marketing on a level comparable to that of email. That’s quite a claim and if the reality turns out to be even part of the way towards substantiating these forecasts, social marketers will want to make sure they are early adopters. Response rates and engagement tend to be at their highest when a marketing communication channel is still new and catches the interest of the target engagement market.

So what exactly is Messenger Marketing? It’s a combination of an email subscribers list and Facebook Messenger. Followers, including existing and potential customers can get in touch directly with a brand’s Facebook page through the Messenger app and communicate in real time. Users must first subscribe to a brand’s Messenger list but once they have been encouraged into doing so, the business can then message them in the same way as friends can be messaged from a regular, private Facebook profile. It’s like an email in many ways but the more personal method of delivery has already been demonstrated to lead to far higher engagement and response statistics. Open rates of communication delivered by Facebook Messenger are currently as high as over 90%.

Third party software is already available to help businesses build their Messenger lists as well as to segment a list into different groups and automate marketing campaigns. The big advantages that Messenger campaigns offer to social commerce marketers are:

Reach: Facebook Messenger has over 1.2 billion users and 1 billion messages are already being exchanged with businesses every month through the new feature. And that’s before most businesses have started using the channel.
Impressive Open and CTR: Open rates are reported as being as high as 90% to 100% and Click Through Rates over 90%. Messages actually being opened and read is the number one priority for marketers. As long as the product or service being presented is high quality and competitively priced, that is a very small step from marketing communication then being actioned.

Reduce Ad Costs: reduced advertising costs and expanded organic posts reach by setting up automatic Messenger responses to comments under Facebook posts. For example, an offer can be made via a post on a brand’s page such as ‘reply Yes for a 10% discount’. Users responding with ‘yes’ will then immediately receive an actionable message via Messenger.

Conversational: while email marketing is very one-sided, Messenger Marketing is focused on interactive back-and-forth communication. Automation can be set up to trigger message sequences specific to a customer’s needs based on keywords used. Interaction doesn’t require a human to respond to Messenger communication meaning campaigns are scalable and can still be educational and authentic if set up well.

Cheap to Build Messenger List: early adopters can take advantage of the fact that lack of saturation at present means that Messenger lists can be built cheaply in comparison to email subscriber lists.

ROI: Spend on Facebook Messenger marketing is reputedly being rewarded with ROIs of upwards of 400%, which is enough to pique the interest of even the most conservative marketers.

Email and other traditional marketing channels are far from dead and still very much have their use. However, the increasing role of social media in marketing is a trend set to continue and the smart marketer will make sure they get the ‘early adopter’ advantage.

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