Episode 83: Facebook Messenger ManyChat

Today I’m going to talk about a new avenue of marketing we have found here at Color It. As many Facebook users know, last year the platform pushed for Messenger to be its own stand alone app. We have found a great tool called ManyChat that creates a Facebook Messenger mailing list. This allows us to send marketing messages to potential customers through Facebook Messenger.

Now, there are some restrictions, but as long as we are paying Facebook for advertising, we can use Messenger as a marketing tool. The response to these messages has been overwhelmingly positive. We have done a couple of campaigns or “sequences” as ManyChat calls it on Facebook Messenger and I’m excited to share the surprising results from it!

Here are the points from today’s episode:

  • What is ManyChat?
  • Chat apps are replacing email marketing.
  • How ManyChat works with Facebook Messenger.
  • The Color It contest we launched through ManyChat.
  • Color It’s 23 Download Promotion.
  • The restrictions Facebook puts on us when using Messenger.
  • The awesome results we have gotten from using ManyChat!

I have a couple of speaking engagements coming up:

  1. Global Sources — Hong Kong, October 17-19.
  2. EcommerceFuel Live — Laguna Beach, CA, January 11-13, 2018.

Also, make sure you follow us on Facebook. We do live episodes on our page, so go like the Ecom Crew Facebook page and you will be notified when an episode is about to start.

We have some sponsors to thank as well. The first is Stamped.io, which is a great tool if you need to get some quality reviews for your Shopify store. The second is AsiaInspection, both Dave and I use AsiaInspection when we have to inspect a shipment from China. Both of these sponsors are great partners and we’re happy to have a relationship with them.

Resources Mentioned Today:


Color It

Ecom Crew

Ecom Crew Facebook Page

EcommerceFuel Live


Facebook Messenger

Global Sources




If you have any questions or anything you’d like us to discuss on the podcast you can now email us directly at ecomcrew.com!  Just send those emails to support@ecomcrew.com. Also, we would really appreciate if you would leave us a review on iTunes. Thanks for listening!

Full Audio Transcript

Mike: Hi, this is Mike and welcome to this edition of the EcomCrew Podcast. This is episode number 83, recording this live on August 22nd, and it’ll go out hopefully on this coming Thursday. I normally try to do the live episodes on Monday, but we had some friends in town this week and we try to put friends and family before work as best as we can. And now this was one of those weekends where it was my wife’s birthday and today is our anniversary, and I wanted to spend some time with her and friends this weekend doing all that stuff. So it was a fun weekend, back to work today, and I want to get the podcast in.

Today’s episode is going to be about ManyChat, M-A-N-Y, ManyChat.com which basically allows you to get people signed up to Facebook Messenger, to your Facebook Messenger list. So that’s going to be the big topic for today.

Before I get into it, just a couple programming notes real quick. First off I just want to mention our sponsors. We have a new sponsor AsiaInspection as of a couple of weeks ago. AsiaInspection is someone that Dave and I both use whenever we bring stuff in from China. I’ve been using them since the very beginning. They are awesome, they have a great interface to hire inspectors to go out and inspect factories and all your products at any stage of the game.

And then also Stamped.io. They’ve been our first sponsor and definitely been a great partner for us, and I’m using them for all of our Shopify stores to collect reviews, and it’s been really great. So without any further ado, let’s get right into the main episode here and talking about ManyChat, and why we’ve been kind of driven to do this.

So you may or may not be aware of it. Let me just kind of give you some background of what this is and why it’s important. So I guess it was last year, Facebook just started really getting more serious about Messenger and being able to chat back and forth. It became a separate app on your phone instead of being integrated with Facebook itself. I personally just didn’t really get it. I’m not a big fan of Messenger; it’s just another app and another thing for me to have to deal with communicating on my phone. I prefer to just text.

But after being over in China for the last couple of years, at least two or three times a year for the last couple of years, and seeing the way that WeChat works over there, I definitely get it. Right I mean I’m definitely–whether or not I’m a big adopter of the technology and the platform or not is immaterial. If you look at the way that the Chinese use WeChat and really just all the Asian countries, it shows you where Facebook is heading. And they have such a huge leg up here that I don’t imagine them being supplanted as the number one platform at least in the United States.

So WeChat is more than just a way to chat back and forth. It’s a payment platform. You can basically text people money; you can order your Uber or whatever the local version of it is called in China, I always forget what it’s called. You can do some shopping and stuff within the app. And that’s certainly where Facebook Messenger is heading. And instead of being – so we’re top here, let’s just say like I was with email marketing because it definitely took me long to get on the email train.

Knowing how powerful email marketing has been to our business, it was pretty obvious to me that Facebook Messenger was something that we wanted to be an early adopter of because I just already know the value of email marketing. So the concept of Facebook Messenger chat is that obviously the open rates just inherently are going to be way higher.

I mean if someone is getting a message right on their phone, on their home screen, it’s going to have a lot more relevance and get opened a lot better or more often, more frequently, than an email because people have kind of almost been trained to ignore emails at this point. And even if they do want to get your email, a lot of them end up in spam, or get filtered some other way because it’s tough to be an email marketer in 2017.

So yeah that was kind of the impetus behind getting serious with ManyChat. I had actually first heard about it from my partner AJ with ColorIt just a couple of weeks before going to All Stars. And then it was kind of the big talk at Ecommerce All Stars, and just really wanted to kind of plunge in with both feet and see what we could do.

So when someone sends you a message on Facebook, this is just the way the system kind of works, you’re automatically subscribed to someone’s list on Messenger. There is no real way to segment anybody or anything like that yet. If they have messaged you then you then have the right to message them back basically. And you can do a pretty similar setup to email where if someone has messaged you a particular keyword or trying to get subscribed to a particular list, you can then send them a sequence of messages in return, the same way that you would set up a flow within Klaviyo and communicate with somebody.

So I just wanted to run some tests, and this is what I’ll be talking the bulk about today, just early reporting back on what we’ve been able to achieve with just two campaigns so far with ManyChat. So the first test was like, you know what I just wanted to see what would happen if we run our contest that we’ve traditionally been running through our landing page and through Gleam if we used the first touch point to be ManyChat.

So we made a post and said, someone today is going to win this book, type or comment the word “enter” into the comments and we will send you a message with more details. That’s all the post basically said. We’re just – we’re giving away this book today, type “enter” in the comments to win. We will send you a message via Facebook messenger with more information. You need to, as a part of the terms of service, make sure that you’re telling the person what’s going to come, that they’re going to get messaged on Messenger. Facebook doesn’t want that to be a surprise component, so we’re going to make sure that we let people know.

So once you’ve made a post, you can use ManyChat to – they have these things called growth tools. So one of the growth tools is Facebook comments. So you can select a specific post and only that post and say like if they type in the word “enter” or “enter” with the word quotes, or “enter” with a period after it, or any of the combinations of the word “enter” you can think of because people don’t follow directions very well sometimes, then they are automatically going to get an auto subscribe message basically. And that message you can customize to anything you want.

And for us we just said, look thank you for entering our – you are interested in our contest, please type the word “yes” to confirm your entry and give us permission to add you to our list. We are going to pick the winner today at 4pm Pacific Time. That was the reply message we had. And then when people type in the word “yes” by them communicating with us, they’re automatically then on our list. So that was step one what we’ve done with ManyChat to get people on our list.

And then the second campaign that we ran is for our 20 free download promotion. So for that we just said that’s one of these things that’s not too good to be true, we’re going to send you 20 free drawings, we’re going to message you a drawing every other day in Facebook Messenger. So it’s a similar thing, they type in the word “free”, please type in the word free to get subscribed. And then we send them a message and say, “please type yes to confirm your subscription. As a reminder we’re going to send you a drawing every other day.”

When they type in the word “yes”, then they start getting the sequence. That’s what ManyChat calls it as, a sequence, and the sequence then emails them – not emails but messages them 45 times. There is one for each drawing and then every other day we have a little bit more about our company. So the key here is you can’t sell them something directly through ManyChat. You’re not allowed to use that as a sales platform necessarily, but you can obviously continue to expose them to your brand, you can do something like – so it’s like check out this book or check out this drawing. That’s definitely allowed, but you can’t say here is a 25% off sale, use this coupon, that’s not allowed.

So there’s definitely some restrictions, but you are allowed to advertise in Facebook Messenger. As long as you’re paying Facebook for the right to do that, then you would have the ability to target all these people with a Facebook Messenger ad. So Facebook Messenger ad, you know it’s now a thing; it’s released platform wide, so you can actually advertise to people right within a Facebook message with an ad unit or a link to something. And again the open rates and stuff are pretty crazy.

So let me go over that stuff real quick. I have – I’m going to open that up here on my computer and just kind of go over it. In fact I’m going to do it, if you are on the live stream, you want to go back and watch the live stream. I’ll just go and log right into our account at ManyChat. I’m going to show that here on the live stream. So if you do want to go back and go to facebook.com/ecomcrew, you can watch this part of the live stream over again if you want. Just kind of verbally talking about what people are going to see on the screen here is that we’ve gotten 2,662 subscribers on our list so far, which after running this just for eight days is obviously pretty darn good.

I’m really happy with the results here. It’s kind of funny we have this graph, it’s showing starting on August 8th where we had zero people. On August 9th it looks like we had 28 because we were just getting started with it, and by August 10th we had 285 people on our list. So it’s been growing steadily since then. We have had 155 unsubscribes, so we had 2817 people subscribe to this so far. Unfortunately 155 have unsubscribed but that’s still a pretty high retention rate.

So now if I go under automation here, and I look at sequences, you can see if you’re looking at this on the live stream just how high the open rate is on these messages. So the message that we did for August 11th when we started this contest, we had two messages basically thank you for entering, and then you didn’t win, I’m sorry you didn’t win. The open rate on this was 98%. I know it sounds crazy but 98%.

The introduction one was opened 100% of the time and then the follow up one that we did was opened 96% of the time. It had a 15% click through rate on the follow up email which is just incredibly high, something you would never achieve with email marketing. And then our 20 free downloads one, again we’re just getting started with this because we’re just getting people to sign up to this. But the open rate on the first message is 99.9%.

We sent 1366 of them; I guess one person didn’t open it. It’s pretty darn crazy. Then we sent an intro thing, then we do a second drawing and we do have an offer but we don’t make that apparent, it’s just basically learn more about this book, then another drawing. By the time we’re down to the sixth email which is – I keep on saying email because I’m so used to this being an email promotion — but the sixth drawing, the open rate is 71% still, and the click through rate is 35%.

Again numbers that you would just never dream of in email land. We do well with email marketing; we get 30% open rates which is way higher than the ecommerce average, so I’ve always been tickled pink with that. But seeing these types of open rates is just pretty staggering. So if our open rate is three times higher on Facebook Messenger than it is on email, obviously it’s three times more effective, I’d be willing to pay three times more to get these people.

But the fact is that we’re paying a fraction of the cost to get people to do this because what ends up happening is that our posts now are going viral because we’re getting a ton of comments. And I also tell people to share as a part of the condition of winning or getting these free giveaways.

So people are leaving comments, anyone that signs up has to leave a comment. So instead of us getting just a couple of comments here and there, now everyone is commenting. So Facebook looks at the amount of interaction per views, it’s like a ratio they’re looking at, and our interactions per views is incredibly off the charts because like most people that are looking at this are typing in, oh I want this for free, and they type in free. And then we start sending them the Facebook message sequence for a long period of time.

So, not a whole more to say about this, it’s pretty new but it’s something that I think you guys should be looking at. Again ManyChat.com, they are not a sponsor, we’re not affiliated with them in any way, just something that I really do like. And as a side note that we do use Zipify pages, Ezra’s page builder. We do have an affiliate link for that now, but I don’t have it handy, I’ll mention it next episode.

But regardless, if you sign up through our affiliate link or not it’s a great software. It allows you to build really great landing pages. So that’s what we basically do is we’re sending people from ManyChat over to a Zipify landing page that’s customized for that particular offer, it’s because we can use more long form content on a Zipify landing page.

So that’s about it for that. Reminder, I am going to be speaking at Global Sources, that’s the next upcoming event, October 17th through 19th. Please use our code to get $50 off, it’s 3EC50, again that’s number 3 and then Edward, Charlie 50 that will get you 50 bucks off your entry ticket into Global Sources. I’ll be speaking twice there, it’s a three day event, I’ll be speaking on day one and three. I look forward to meeting everyone there. And then of course Ecommerce Fuel is coming up in January 11th through 13th.

One last thing I want to mention is that we did launch the new EcomCrew website today. So go over and check that out. We merged ChineseImporting.com which is Dave’s old site into EcomCrew. So now all that content is in one place, and we think it’s going to be – we’re going to be better off for that. He’s going to be writing a lot more written content, and I’ll be responsible for a lot of the podcast content. And then when we do something that’s really big, we’ll probably try to merge those two things together, have a podcast to help the blog post or vice versa.

Yeah, so hope you guys found this stuff useful. Definitely check out ManyChat. If you get a chance, come back, and let us know how that’s doing for you, we’d love to know how that’s going. And anybody that’s in the San Diego area, I’d love to catch up with you if you guys are in this area if you want to grab lunch or something just maybe thinking of my lunch today, I just got an opportunity to meet another listener and had lunch. It’s always good meeting podcast listeners, and talking to other ecommerce entrepreneurs. So if you’re ever in the San Diego area, look me up, I’d be happy to catch up with you. So until next week, we’ll talk to you then. Happy selling and we’ll talk soon.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the EcomCrew Podcast. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/EcomCrew for weekly live recordings of the EcomCrew Podcast every Monday. And please do us a favor and leave an honest review on iTunes; it will really help us out. Again thanks for listening, and until next week, happy selling.

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