The avid listeners of this podcast would know that I don’t do interviews with people I don’t actually know in person, with the exception of one business-savvy MMA fighter.

As it turned out, the guest on this episode is another worthy exception.

The person I’m referring to is Mikael Yang, the co-founder of ManyChat. By some fated scheduling twist, Mikael and I ended up on the same call. After an awkward start, we finally figured things out.

Being a fan of the software, I was excited to have Mikael on the podcast and ask all those ManyChat questions I had tucked away. Here’s a preview of our discussion.

How did Manychat start?

ManyChat traces its roots back to a messaging platform called Telegram, one of the first messengers to open up their APIs. Mikael and his partners thought that people would want to use the platform to broadcast marketing messages.

By October 2015, ManyChat was already at 20K bots and enjoyed 50% growth on a month per month basis. In November, it was able to scale up to 30K bots. This steady growth led to the opportunity to join a startup accelerator program that helped the company scale and grow.

ManyChat for Facebook Messenger was launched on April 2016. Mikael and his co-founders had to make a very hard decision to migrate to Facebook since they were already getting good traction on Telegram. But they took the plunge. “And obviously if you wanna be the biggest and best marketing platform, you have to work the biggest social network.” , he explained.

Today there are 400K Facebook Business pages connected to ManyChat in over 100 countries worldwide, with 150 million subscribers to those pages.

Why is Facebook Messenger the “future” in terms of messenger marketing?

There are two billion people using messaging apps. Most of your clients are probably using one; it’s where all consumer communication is already happening. 

Statistics indicate that 50% of people prefer text over other communication mediums like video or voice. If you’re serving a younger demographic (18-44 years old), the stats for text increases to about 61-62 %.

According to Mailchimp’s data, email open rates are about 20%, on average.  For Messenger, it’s about 84% percent. Doing the math, you can say that “…there’s a 10x engagement on Messenger that makes it appealing as a channel…”

Tips for creating non-promotional messages that add value to your list.

  • Do not include a link in the first message.
  • Do not use words like “sale” and discounts”.
  • Add an unsubscribe button to avoid being blocked or tagged as spam.

Businesses need to adapt and use the platforms that their customers are using. If you’re a marketer, you’d want to take advantage of this. It’s where businesses are going to go to reach their consumers.

For those who want to start using ManyChat, you can get it here.

Connect with Mikael on Facebook and Twitter.

Listen to other podcasts about Facebook Messenger and ManyChat. Dave and I also talked at length about these topics on a recent webinar.

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