If you’re wondering what ‘Messenger Marketing’ even means, it is ‘the act of leveraging mobile, chat platforms to facilitate conversions and commerce with prospects and customers’.
In fact, buttoned-up businesses are already implementing Messenger Marketing strategies. Why? Because if you aim to cultivate meaningful relationships with your customers, it’s important you approach them in the places where they’re already spending a significant amount of time.
There’s no denying the fact that we’re moving away from emails, SMS and phone calls. The growing number of people using mobile-friendly messenger apps like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, and WhatsApp to keep in touch with friends, family, and even businesses comes as no surprise; it’s the fastest, easiest, and arguably most convenient way to reach someone. And Messenger channels are the communication channels that consumers are already using.
Once upon a time, when people corresponded by hand-written letter, something called direct mail was born. And when the telephone became as ubiquitous as the letter once was, so did telemarketing. Then came the proliferation of email correspondence ushering in the rise of email marketing.
But today, people communicate with their Messenger apps. It’s safe to say that the acceptance of these apps has quickly skyrocketed, surpassing that of social networks, even. Messaging apps are intuitive by design and extremely easy to use. Hence, their wondrous appeal.
In fact, messaging is overwhelmingly preferred by people 18-44 years old, as their primary means of communication. The fact is that this demographic largely represents future generations of said prospects and consumers, and Messenger Marketing, as it were, is set to replace email, SMS and phone calls altogether as the channel by which businesses talk to consumers.
Don’t believe us? Look at China where more than 900 million people use WeChat every month. Yep, it’s the most popular app in the whole country. Even serious business employees choose WeChat over email to communicate. The app lets you make free video calls, share large files, as well as create instant group chats. Business cards are quickly becoming a thing of the past as WeChat also lets you scan personal QR codes for contact info.
We know it’s hard to fathom but WeChat has actually replaced many websites altogether. In China, countless bloggers have resorted to WeChat as their main distribution channel, garnering colossal readership without ever having posted anything to a traditional blog.
It also generates tremendous amounts of revenue, rendering cash and credit cards far less relevant these days. WeChat Pay is gaining strength and savvy. It is omniscient and omnipresent, a booming business throughout China. And it has come to be widely accepted as a way to pay for purchases both online and on the street, to request taxis, buy movie theatre tickets, even to buy a beverage from a vending machine.
According to a 2017 WeChat User Report, 87-94% of users in China pay for offline purchases using WeChat, compared to the 38-51% who use cash and the 29-36% who still use debit and credit cards. Mobile payment apps like WeChat have have reached an approximate 94% adoption rate while Apple Pay and other built-in Smartphone payment tools suffer.
As the use of Messenger Apps grows so significantly, so does Messenger Marketing.
ManyChat has existed as a Facebook marketing tool for about 3 and half years and powers about 500,000 Facebook pages in over 100 countries around the world, recently crossing the 3 billion message per month threshold. Soon, millions of companies will be using Messenger apps to reach billions of consumers, worldwide.
Today, people all over the globe are buying products and services directly through Messenger, another trend that is catching fire. Messenger commerce or ‘conversational commerce’ as it’s being called offers the ability to accept payments inside the very messenger app. ManyChat announced this service about a year and half ago and they’re constantly working to improve this component of their app by rolling out more upgrades, features, and support for additional currencies and integrations. It’s no wonder that a fashion blogger made headlines after selling 100 cars on WeChat in just five minutes.
If you want to apply Messenger Marketing somewhere besides China right now, Facebook Messenger is probably your best bet in terms of platforms. WhatsApp has also opened their API and is in private beta, with plans to open their API publicly in 2019, if they haven’t already. ManyChat is also positioning itself as one of the first platforms to integrate with WhatsApp. Then, iMessage is right behind them with its launching of Business Chat. They’re also opening up their API, and once again—ManyChat will integrate with it. Finally, there’s Android Messages and RCS which stands for “Rich Communication Services.” Basically, Google is attempting to make this the next way to text message (SMS).
Imagine if SMS could do everything that Facebook Messenger does--sending beautiful messages with buttons, images, links, and more. That’s the plan behind RCS. As soon as Google gets the new RCS standard approved, it could mean that you’ll be able to cast an even wider net over your customers with Messenger Marketing.
It goes without saying that Messenger Marketing is gaining traction and beefing up its benefits.
AI-driven messaging is also being added to enrich consumer experiences. Users can reserve a table at a restaurant, order groceries online, call a dog walker, book a massage, buy concert tickets, set up an appointment or just order a pizza. You name it.
All in all, Messenger Apps are becoming multi-channel communications and payments platforms for businesses to engage, chat and transact with customer conveniently, cost-effectively, simply and securely.
Why on earth wouldn’t you leverage this to improve your marketing?