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How to Grow Your Audience on Messenger Using Different Entry Points

grow your audience entry points
Learn more about how you can leverage online and offline entry points to grow your audience on Messenger!

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There are over 1.3 billion active users on Facebook Messenger. Considering that people today use social media channels to discover and purchase new products, we can safely say that most of these users are your potential customers. 

It’s clear that any business that wants to thrive needs to leverage the power of social media. But advertising and standing out from the crowd on social is becoming more and more challenging. 

The great number of online ads causes a shrinking attention span and ad fatigue. That’s a headache for sure, but not a migraine-like one. The real pain for marketers comes with constant privacy updates that lock them out of customer insights and limit the ability to reach their audience, forcing them to reconsider the way they build relationships with customers. 

And while customers are tired of poorly targeted advertisements, they appreciate it if businesses engage them with personalized offers while keeping their data safe. 

These changes have paved the way for messaging, which officially became the preferred way customers want to engage with businesses. In fact, 60% of customers prefer messaging over phone calls and emails.

Messaging channels, such as Facebook Messenger, unlock many new opportunities for marketers to connect with their customers. Messenger enables private, one to one conversations. As such, customers are more likely to share their data with businesses in a Messenger chat experience. These data can be turned into valuable insights, allowing your businesses to better target prospects and grow your audience. 

The value of building an audience on Messenger is often overlooked. But it’s much more than just building better custom audiences for ads. The real value lies in building a strategically valuable and reachable audience businesses can continuously engage and monetize on Messenger. 

How can you do that? 

First, you’ll need to set up an automated Messenger bot and get new prospects into the bot by using several online and offline entry points. Second, using the zero data prospects directly shared with you in chat conversations, you can start strategically reengaging your audience with recurring notifications about topics they’re interested in. You can send them personalized offers based on their preferences. You can notify them about special discounts. You can hype them up about upcoming shopping events and product announcements. 

In this post, we’ll discuss how you can grow your audience on Messenger using different online and offline entry points. 

The Importance of Growing Your Audience on Messenger

The massive changes in customer behavior over the past few years have created significant challenges for businesses. 

Customers are increasingly frustrated with traditional communication channels. Phone calls often have long hold times and even when customers get connected with an agent, the call might easily drop. Emails have slow response times and lack transparency. Webchat sessions expire easily, while customers can get annoyed with poorly scripted conversations. 

That’s why customers are steadily shifting from traditional communication channels to messaging. 

Consumers these days expect simple, fast, and personalized experiences from businesses. They want to communicate with a brand in the same way they communicate with family and friends through messaging. 

Businesses that adopt messaging can race to the top. Why? Because 85% of consumers agree that interacting with a brand via messaging apps helps build strong relationships with a business. 

Imagine a world where your customers can easily connect with you via one to one conversations from a number of different online and offline entry points wherever they are in your customer journey. Instead of just seeing your ads, searching for your products, or following your brand on social, they can immediately start a private conversation with you from anywhere, enabling you to proactively support them in their purchasing decisions.

Why is it crucial to actively grow your audience on Messenger via entry points? Because entry points allow you to get more prospects into your bot and nurture them at every stage of your funnel. And the more high intent audience members you have, the more valuable your audience on Messenger will be. 

The best way to nurture people into high intent prospects and then customers is by getting to know them and targeting them with topics that interest them. But due to regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and Apple’s iOS 14 Privacy Updates, collecting data has become more challenging.  

A Messenger bot is a creative way to capture customer insights at a time when data is becoming more and more protected. Chatbot conversations are a gold mine of declared data: this is the information customers share with the bots directly in the conversations. 

With a Messenger bot, it’s easy to track every interaction as all insights are at the same place. Using data from bot conversations, you can get to know your prospects, build buyer personas, grow your audience, and optimize your buyer journey. The result is a more personalized experience where customers feel they are targeted with relevant offers. 

You should use all entry points you can to bring people at every stage of your marketing funnel into a direct relationship with your brand so you can engage and nurture them with notifications.

There are a number of different entry points to build awareness and drive more prospects into your Messenger bot. We differentiate between paid, organic, owned, and offline entry points.

Below we’ll explain each entry point you can use to get more leads into your bot and more customers subscribed to get regular updates from your business. 

Need to know the impact of Apple’s iOS 14 updates on your Facebook campaigns and digital marketing strategy? Find out what’s happening, and how it will affect your tracking and attribution. See how Messenger enables first party data personalization in a privacy-first world.

Paid Entry Points to Build Your Audience

What are your chances of gaining your prospects’ attention with online ads? Given shrinking attention span and ad fatigue, not much. But what if you could invite potential customers seeing your ad to talk to your brand and ask their questions directly from your AI chatbot in Messenger?

Paid entry points include click to chat ads on social, search and display. Click to Messenger ads are a type of Facebook ads that direct prospects into Messenger once they click on the ad, allowing them to start a one to one conversation with brands. Like other Facebook ads, they can be placed anywhere, including news feeds, Facebook stories, and even Instagram.

The main benefit of click to chat ads is that they can be easily scaled and therefore get you a massive reach on different platforms. As such, you can drive significant new traffic into your chatbot.

That’s why paid entry points, such as click to Messenger ads, are mostly used at the first stage of the marketing funnel to acquire new customers. Once these prospects click on the ad and opt in, brands can start nurturing them with recurring notifications. 

The great thing about using click to Messenger ads is that you can have a conversation with potential customers even before they reach your website or collect any information about your products. What’s even better is that you can start collecting data as soon as they click on your ad, which you can also use to build and grow your audience in Messenger. On the other hand, if If people who click your ad don’t convert immediately then you have still opened a direct retargeting channel on Messenger where you can re-engage them one to one with notifications.

If you want to learn more about why your business should direct prospects to Messenger from online ads, read our in-depth article on the main benefits of Click to Messenger Ads

grow your audience paid entry point

Organic Entry Points

Organic entry points are free entry points you can use to get more subscribers for recurring notifications. These are low-hanging fruits that will allow you to drive more leads while staying cost-effective. 

With organic entry points, you can target prospects who are already searching for your products, or following your brand on social. As they might already have an intent to buy from you, it’s the perfect opportunity to help them move further down your funnel using conversational AI

Customers these days use social media channels to discover new products. The majority of them also check out brands’ social page to get more information about the company. Using a Messenger entry point (e.g., ‘Send Message’ button) on social pages is a relatively easy and effective way to direct prospects into a one to one conversation with a brand. 

The shift towards a privacy-first world requires businesses to build deeper connections with customers via one to one conversations. Private replies on Messenger trigger conversations from Facebook post comments and Facebook/Instagram live comments to provide helpful information when the user needs it. Once a prospect comments on a post or live event, you can direct them into your Messenger and answer their questions in a one to one conversation. 

Using this entry point, you can turn discovery on Facebook and Instagram into customer relationships. At the same time, a one to one conversation is the best way to collect zero-party data, which is data directly shared by the customer. But are customers willing to share their data with businesses in a privacy-first world? As our latest research confirms, over three-quarters of customers are comfortable giving preferences to a brand in a private and safe way to receive a more personalized experience. 

grow your audience image 2

There is another essential organic entry point you can utilize: Instagram Stories. 

Why should you use Instagram Stories as an entry point? Because 83% of Instagram users discover new products in the app, and 80% make purchase decisions right on Instagram.

Prospects on Instagram want to engage with brands in a privacy-safe way via messaging. This is why the platform offers another great opportunity for brands to direct discovery into customer relationships through messaging. How? By creating an entry point to your chat experience from any link displayed in Instagram Stories.  

By inserting the link sticker from the sticker tool into your Stories, you’ll be able to invite prospects to start a conversation with your brand in Messenger. You can send them offers based on their preferences and answer any questions in real-time with an automated chat experience. 

As Instagram recently expanded the ability to add links in Stories to all accounts, it’s definitely one of those low-hanging fruits every business should take advantage of. Your Instagram is also connected to Facebook, so you can crosspost stories with a single click.

organic entry point instagram stories

Owned Entry Points

We’re talking about owned entry points when potential customers are already on one of our owned channels, such as a website or newsletter. Using owned entry points gives the opportunity to convert prospects who are already in their ‘ready to buy’ moments. And in case, the customer doesn’t convert, owned entry points allow businesses to reengage and nurture prospects even after they leave their website.

Click to chat URLs are one of the most engaging owned entry points. The best is that you can embed a messenger entry point into any URL and display it on any landing pages, newsletters, email signatures, and so on. This way you allow customers to directly ask their questions in a one to one Messenger conversation with your brand. 

Using click to chat URLs on relevant landing pages can provide customers with the information they need in high intent moments, helping you to turn visitors into frequent buyers. It’s definitely a huge plus that conversations started on your website can be continued on Messenger, even after customers leave your website. 

When receiving a message from the customer, you can either respond in real time or provide an automated response at a more convenient time. Furthermore, since the interaction is tied to prospects’ Messenger accounts, you can easily reengage them with sponsored messages, such as offers, promotions, and updates right in their Messenger inbox. 

Another major advantage of click to chat URLs is that you can save significant time by answering frequently asked questions with automation while freeing up agent time for more complicated requests.

Popular marketing uses cases include guided shopping, personalized product recommendations, and answering pre-sales FAQs.

The send to Messenger plugin allows consumers to opt-in to receive messages from a business on Messenger. It’s a great way to convert website visitors into subscribers and frequent buyers.

Enabling consumers to opt-in for future communications is one of the most efficient ways to grow your audience on Messenger. Once prospects subscribe, you can start building a relationship with them and follow up at a later time with product updates and offers. 

Since you can collect data about prospects who opted in from the website context (e.g. receive updates for specific products), you can use this data to better understand your audience and target them with highly personalized offers. How? Build a customer list, retarget and take advantage of the higher open rates on notifications sent via Messenger. 

Ultimately, you can build strong relationships by continuing to engaging with customers while driving loyalty by providing value for them.  

In e-commerce, send to Messenger plugins can be used for a wide range of marketing use cases. You can, for example, send out special coupons, inform customers about new product drops or send them back in stock notifications. You can also strengthen your loyalty program by offering pre-order information to VIP customers.

grow your audience messenger plugin

The checkbox plugin allows businesses to display a checkbox on landing pages, like a checkout page, that enables users to opt-in to receive messages from the business in Messenger. It’s similar to the send to Messenger plugin, but is optimized for forms, and can be used for any form-based flow on the business site. For example, you can display the checkbox plugin on your e-commerce webshop, where you wish to send receipts, order updates, or coupons to the user. 

Checkbox plugins can be installed on any web page on a website. We recommend you install the plugin on pre checkout or post checkout pages since people are generally in their high intent moments on these pages. If the person is not logged into their Facebook account, the plugin cannot be shown on the web page. Once a prospect opts in, businesses can start sending updates to the user. 

Displaying a checkbox plugin on your checkout page is a great way to direct prospects to your Messenger bot and build your audience on the messaging channel. The main benefit of having a checkbox plugin is that you can start building a relationship with prospects in their high intent, ‘ready to buy’ moments. It also gives an opportunity for businesses to follow up with prospects once they abandoned their cart and left their website. The plugin is also free and easy to set up, enabling businesses to end regular updates at no additional cost. 

owned entry points checkbox plugin

Offline Entry Points

Inviting customers to directly chat with you from other platforms is an essential strategy to grow your audience on Messenger. But don’t underestimate the power of offline and out-of-home advertising, such as product packaging, receipts, billboards, subway signs, and more. 

Is it possible to direct offline users into one to one online conversations and establish omnichannel experiences? The answer is, yes! 

A QR code printed on product packaging, receipts, or other offline advertising makes it easier for people to connect with your business even when they are not online. Customers can simply scan your code to start a conversation with your business in Messenger. 

grow your audience qr code

By displaying QR codes on out-of-home advertising, such as billboards and subway signs, you can benefit from a massive reach and exposure. This is the perfect opportunity to turn a traditionally non-active entry point (such as billboards) into an active entry point. 

The greatest thing about QR codes is that they are super convenient and easy to use. Customers can easily scan the code to connect without having to enter a long product number into their device. And as we all know, a good customer experience drives purchase decisions. 

There are a number of different marketing use cases that you can build around QR codes. You can collect feedback on products, share further product information, or collect more subscribers for your loyalty program. 

Key Takeaway

With over 1.3 billion active users, Facebook Messenger is the channel where your customers are. In order to grow your audience on Messenger, you need to leverage online and offline entry points to direct more prospects into your Messenger bot. 

Once people joined a conversation with your bot, you can start nurturing them and provide them with the option of opting in for regular updates about your brand. 

These are the most efficient ways to grow your audience using different entry points: 

With a Facebook Chat plugin, you connect with your prospects in Messenger after they leave your website. The plugin can be installed on any of your web pages, allowing prospects to start a one to one conversation with you on Messenger. 

Send to Messenger plugins allow consumers to opt-in to receiving messages from a business on Messenger. It is a great way to convert website visitors into subscribers and frequent buyers.

The checkbox plugin allows businesses to display a checkbox on landing pages like a checkout page, enabling users to opt-in to receive messages from the business in Messenger. For example, you can display the checkbox plugin on your e-commerce webshop, where you wish to send receipts, order updates, or coupons to the user. 

Private replies on Messenger trigger conversations from Facebook post comments and Facebook/Instagram live comments to provide helpful information when the user needs it. Once a prospect hits the button to send a comment, you can direct them into your Messenger and answer their questions in a one to one conversation. 

A QR code printed on product packaging, receipts, or other offline advertising makes it easier for people to connect with your business even when they are not online. Customers can simply scan your code to start a conversation with your business in Messenger. 

By inserting the link sticker into your Instagram Stories, you’ll be able to invite prospects to start a conversation with your brand directly in Messenger. 

Finally, click to messenger ads direct prospects into Messenger once they click on the ad, allowing them to start a one to one conversation with brands.

Want to scale your messaging on Facebook Messenger? Book a demo with one of our conversational marketing experts to learn how Spectrm’s conversational commerce platform can help you grow your business at scale! 

Want to know more about conversational marketing? Make sure to check out this free D2C Conversational Marketing Playbook for Ecommerce for creative best practices!

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