Chatbots are on the Rise: How Do They Compare to Email Marketing

Figuring out the best marketing solution for your company is overwhelming.  Tons of terms are thrown around like automation, funnels, bots, conversion, and more.  What does this all mean?

Building an email list and automating an email strategy is all the buzz right now.  However, Facebook Messenger is on the horizon. Choosing the right solution for your company is definitely a head scratcher.  We’re here to help! Both email and Facebook Messenger marketing have their pros and cons.  We created a list to figure out which advantages work best for your business.

What’s the difference between Email and Facebook Messenger marketing?

Both email and Facebook are attacked in different ways.  Email marketing requires that a visitor opts-in to your list by signing up for something like a giveaway, newsletter, or free download with their email address.  Then you would create automated email sales funnel to upsell and remind them of your product or service.

Facebook Messenger utilizes bots to do something similar.  Your potential customer opts-in to a Facebook group associated with the bot you are using.   Then the bot starts to send them Facebook messages to sell your product or remind them of your service.  Facebook bots are only allowed to contact members who’ve proactively clicked Follow to stay in touch, or who have posted to their page.

Since in both cases the customer opts-in, they are giving you permission to contact them.  When you send an email or a Facebook message, you want to be like the uncle you haven’t talked to in months not the unsolicited 800 number.  Warm leads are much more likely to get higher open rates. 

What about the Click Through Rates?

Facebook bots have a much higher click through rate of 56% which means people are clicking on the link provided by the bot in the message.  Email marketing is much lower, wavering around two percent depending on the industry. 

The numbers in difference are astounding.  According to the Facebook bot pros, sending a Facebook message is less invasive.  Also, it appears right away.  Unlike emails, you have to open the email to see the message.  This gives the customer the opportunity to delete it without even hesitating. 

Sometimes won’t want to tease yourself with the newest line of Coach bags, so I opt to delete the email, so I don't get tempted.  But if it were to pop up on Facebook, you could read the message at the very least then walk away before you pull your wallet out for a cute clutch.

Carefully craft and design

Both Facebook and email require a bit of crafting before sending out messages to your customers.  With email, your carefully crafted design is the secret sauce to your success.  The pop colors, the arrangement of stories, and catchy subject lines guarantee a click through almost fifty percent of the time.  But getting to that point takes trial and error.

With Facebook messenger bots, you can program the system to interact with your customers, but there is no real design aspect to the messages.  At least not to the extent of an email campaign.

Both automated systems require some experimenting.  If you already have an iron clad email marketing plan, then why start all over with an entirely different system?  Do what works.

Chatbots are not mailing lists

No one will complain they did not remember signing up.  The problem with email is it becomes invasive.  The average office worker gets 121 emails per day.  Your message is likely to get lost in the bunch in between next week's corporate retreat and the email from their wife asking to pick up the kids after school.  You customer did opt in to receive your emails, but it's probably not their priority. 

One reason mailing list CTRs are so low is that many mailing lists are padded with recipients who didn’t realize they signed up while making an online purchase, or whose names were bought or rented.

Your customers are starting to experience email fatigue (Yep, that's a real thing).  There are so many emails flying around; it is hard to stand out from the rest of the competition.  Over 289 billion emails are sent a day!  Imagine that feeling you get when you go on vacation, and dread the first day back at work because of the overwhelming amount of emails you'll have in your inbox.  That's tiring all in itself.  Just thinking about it makes me want to take a nap.   

Chatbots, on the other hand, are welcomed.  Your customer has to sign into Facebook to start messaging.  This means, they are probably not working or they're bored at work.  Either way, you have their attention. Also, your customer chose to be part of the group. 

In reality, it takes more steps to open an email than to get a message from a chatbot. 

Dial down on your demographic

The biggest benefit of email lists is you can target your campaign to a smaller demographic within the list.  They are scalable.  Depending on your company goals, this could eliminate those customers who are not likely to buy your product. 

Chatbots are scalable as well and provide you with a bit more detail. You can know where your subscriber went to school, where they work, their gender, how they look, all through Messenger.  You can integrate your email sales funnel into your Facebook Messenger strategy.  That is the campaign you have already perfected through email marketing. 

Overall, the benefits of Facebook Messenger bots are staggering.  They are the email sales funnels of the future.  However, if you already have a system in place that is working, don’t rock the boat.  Like they say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” 

Try testing out chatbots while running your email marketing campaign to see if it fits.  It is always to try A/B testing.  This time, you’re not limited to just email design but also which system works for you.

If you have questions about email marketing strategies or chatbots, contact the team at 10twelve.com.  Their team will steer you in the right direction.