Facebook plays an integral part of our digital marketing experience, and being able to use what’s arguably the most powerful and most popular social media platform to gain an audience for our business is an incredible opportunity! For business owners who’ve used the power of Facebook before, there’s also a large chance you’ve heard of the popular Facebook messenger marketing software, ManyChat! With messenger marketing at the forefront, it’s important to think about where these programs will take us in the future, how we should be using them effectively, and the sort of things we can look forward to with our audiences, and the connections we make.
Facebook Messenger Marketing:
This week, we’re lucky enough to have the founder and CEO of ManyChat visit us this week, Mikael Yang! Since starting ManyChat, Mikael has found a lot of success and believes that messenger marketing is something we’ll need to keep an eye on over the next 5 – 7 years. He tells us about how ManyChat got started, the things that automated systems can help us with, and what to do when people start cheating the system. Let’s get started!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU WILL LEARN:
- How ManyChat got started! Mikael started the company in 2015 with his co-founder, though previously they were focused on other projects and startups, mostly in eCommerce or in the consumer ad space. Their projects taught them how to assemble a team, and how to think about products—afterwards, Mikael says that he thinks they’ve made all the mistakes a technology company can make through previous trial and error. Though Mikael says they still can learn, they’re happy that ManyChat is in a good place right now.
- For those who are unfamiliar, Mikael explains what ManyChat is! It’s a messenger marketing platform that helps you as a business grows by using Facebook messenger for marketing, sales, and support. With ManyChat, your engagement rate is 10 times higher on everything that you do—open rates are at 80%, compared to 22% with email marketing, and click-through rates are at 20 – 30%, compared to 1 – 2% from email marketing.
- Mikael tells us the origin story of ManyChat, explaining what inspired him to create it. They started the company when Telegram Messenger first opened, which was a service that worked in the same way as the Facebook messenger, or Whatsapp. Telegram Messenger was one of the first western messengers to open up their API’s—meaning, they became an open platform for other developers to build on top of, and it allowed the automation of chat for businesses! With that, Mikael decided that, if they made it super easy for a marketer to get subscribers and connect with their audience, their target audience will be expansive. And right he was!
- From there, Mikael explains that he created the notion of a broadcasting bot, which is meant to send messages through updates, sort of like a newsletter. That idea gained exponential growth very quickly, due to the fact that every bot was branded with ManyChat. From there, more and more people started using the platform, as well as subscribing to the service. They noticed they could do so much more with it, and that they could automate experiences and build things inside messenger. The engagements numbers were very high, like nothing they had experienced before, and that’s when they realized that messenger marketing was the future.
- Mikael explains that they aren’t building bots, nor are they a live chat platform. He believes that those things are apart of the new discipline called messenger marketing and that it’ll be at the forefront of digital marketing over the next few years. After doing some research and investigating, they found that it’s important to mix automated experiences with human manual responses, and by combining the marketing automation of messenger with live chat to take over the conversation once they see that it’s a qualified lead they can talk to, they’ve found the sweet spot of success!
- Mikael talks to us about why he doesn’t get annoyed about anyone going over the space they’ve created. Using messenger as a channel to grow your business and build equal relationships with your customers is what’s important—overall, Mikael states that he gets a feeling of satisfaction that fellow bot companies are cashing in on messenger marketing, and as designers, they’re proud of the ideas and philosophies they went after.
- Mikael explains the future plans that Facebook has, stating that they plan to power a lot of the business to customer communications. Additionally, they also want the messenger, WhatsApp, and Instagram to power the majority of communications, and the way that they’re going to do it is through platform partners. Right now, 95% of that traffic of those conversations is going through platforms like ManyChat, and that transition for business isn’t going to happen without the help of people who are going to help, market, and support these businesses.
- Mikael talks to us about people who abuse the system, saying that they’re always around, regardless of what system you build. At ManyChat, they want to provide you with the best experience for all people involved, and they want to look out for the interests of four parties when they build platforms. First, the users who are communicating with businesses. Second, the businesses themselves, so that they can get results with their messenger marketing. The third is Facebook because everybody who builds connections is valuable to the customers and the business. Fourth is their own interests because they want to be a viable and growing business.
- Additionally, when somebody starts to abuse a system, Mikael explains that it’s usually visible in the way that their subscribers react. Facebook will often block pages that get a lot of reports as well, and that’s the security system that’s already built in. ManyChat is also working on an internal system to help monitor the help of the bot, and how people are reacting to your messages. If you have a lot of subscribers and they aren’t opening your messages, something could be wrong, and they could help fix it easily!
- Mikael leaves us with the notion of two separate things—a true opt-in, and a true opt-out. With a true opt-in, the business cannot start a conversation with a person randomly—the person has to start the conversation on their own. On the other end, a true opt-out lets someone delete conversations with a business they don’t want to hear from anymore. After that point, the business cannot get in touch with you again until you subscribe again. It gives customers a blanket of security from spam and changes the architecture of how businesses can talk to you.
LINKS MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
Did Mikael not get to answer a burning question on your mind? No problem! You can get ahold of him at any of the social media listed above. With how powerful ManyChat is, I think I can speak for all of us when I say that having Mikael on the show to talk about this amazing software and how it will affect the future of digital marketing was nothing short of a wonderful treat!