Remember when one billion was cool?
Well, Facebook recently surpassed two billion monthly active users on their site.
But that’s not good news. Not for you and me, anyway.
It means there are millions of advertisers you’re competing against. There are easily thousands of other companies in your niche.
How do you differentiate?
Facebook’s new Messenger Ads give us the ability to reach customers instantly. And according to Facebook, they’ve already been shown to increase conversions and response rates.
So, what are Facebook Messenger Ads, and why should you care? How do you use Messenger Ads to drive sales, increase conversions, and qualify leads?
Here are four things you need to know about Facebook Messenger Ads, plus some tips on how you can set them up today in just a few minutes.
What Are Facebook Messenger Ads?
Facebook Messenger Ads are a relatively new ad feature that allow users who see your ads to initiate a text conversation with your business with the click of a button. Facebook currently offers a few different types of Messenger Ads:
- Destination ads
- Sponsored messages
- Home section ads
The destination style Messenger Ads show in your Facebook newsfeed like a typical ad, but the objective is vastly different.
Instead of a typical call to action like “Shop Now,” users see “Send Message”:
Where a normal ad would send people directly to a landing page, this Messenger-style ad will engage customers without directly asking them to buy – meaning you don’t have to scare away cold, non-brand-aware users with a heavy ask.
The second ad type is called a sponsored message. These ads allow you to deliver specifically crafted messages directly to a user’s inbox:
It’s a great tool for driving strategic engagements and actions relating to your business while keeping a user on the platform and reducing the risk of a bounce.
The last type of ad that works for Messenger shows up directly in the home dashboard of your messaging application:
The main use of these ads is pretty simple: To generate real, organic conversations with your customers. You know, to actually interact with them rather than treating them like another user on your list.
Once you’ve made initial contact, you have the opportunity to personalize your customer service and tailor the experience for each user.
The results speak for themselves. Globe Telecom has already reduced calls to their hotline by 50% with the implementation of Messenger Ads.
So, why should you invest your marketing budget into this ad type? What are the key aspects that you need to know about?
Here are four things you should know about Messenger Ads.
1. You can reach people faster on their preferred medium
Customer support is moving towards messaging.
If you aren’t using a live chat service in some way, shape, or form, you risk losing out on conversions. Because it’s no secret that responding to a potential lead faster will only increase your odds of closing a deal.
The Harvard Business Review conducted an impactful study a few years ago to see how a company’s response time to leads would impact their qualification rate.
They wanted to see if response time played a role in conversion rates. Can you guess the results?
If you don’t respond in the first five minutes of a customer reaching out to you, you decrease your odds of converting them to a lead by 400%.
And according to a Drift study, the vast majority of sales teams don’t respond within anywhere near five minutes or less:
In their study, only 7% of sales teams responded within 5 minutes. On the other hand, 55% took more than five days to respond to inquiries or never responded at all.
In today’s world, the standard response time is only shrinking. Meaning you need to be responding ASAP if you want to find success when driving sales and qualifying leads.
Nobody wants to wait four days to get an email response from your company.
That’s why messaging apps have started to surpass social networks in their usage:
In fact, 73% of customers prefer talking to companies via live chat rather than email. And 56% of people would rather message you than call you for customer service.
Why? Because you can get your problem solved almost instantly. No more sending hopeless emails to inboxes that seemingly never get checked.
Waiting on the phone, only to be bombarded by an annoying sales rep, isn’t your only option for fast help anymore.
On top of just fast messaging to potential leads, over two billion messages are sent between consumers and businesses every month. Facebook also tells us that 53% of consumers are more likely to buy from you if they can message you.
Facebook Messenger Ads allow you to effectively reach more people faster, giving your business the chance to convert users at higher rates.
2. You can personalize ads like LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail
LinkedIn’s Sponsored InMail is equal parts awesome and creepy.
You can essentially send personalized messages to users who you aren’t connected with and land them straight in the user’s inbox.
How’s that for an invasion of privacy? But they work because online ads are often a numbers game.
Facebook Messenger Ads now allow you to do pretty much the same thing, except you can’t target non-brand-aware users – meaning you can only do this for people who have interacted with your ads previously.
That’s actually a good thing because it virtually removes the creepiness associated with it. It’s like remarketing on steroids, allowing you to personalize ads from head to toe.
Remarketing also works. Clothing company Barbell Apparel was able to raise 49x their product launch goals using remarketing tactics.
You can get your message directly to a user within their messaging app, so you’re not restricted only to the news feed, meaning you can (somewhat) naturally reach out via a direct, personalized message.
You can use these for almost any type of remarketing. For example, Jon Loomer uses them to give users who engaged with a previous webinar ad a reminder to convert:
But the kicker here is being able to scale this effort to huge lists – you can retarget thousands of people with these semi-personalized messages.
Typical display advertising conversion rates aren’t great. And the Facebook News Feed is already cluttered.
With these ads, you also don’t run the risk of being seen as creepy or overreaching because you’re only targeting people who’ve already shown interest in your brand. And sending a personalized message gives you a better shot at landing conversions than a basic, mass-produced remarketing ad on their feed.
3. Messenger ads offer better local targeting options
One of the best ways to use Facebook Messenger Ads is for building localized brand awareness.
Have you ever tried to run ads on Google or Yelp to drive local traffic? Did it work?
If you haven’t used those sites or found success, Facebook Messenger might be your new favorite tool for advertising.
With their new “Local awareness” feature, you can create newsfeed ads that drive huge levels of engagement. You can select a specific local audience depending on where your business is located to determine who will see your ads:
Once you’ve selected a target city or audience, you can come up with specific offers that people can use at your local business:
Meaning you can drive real foot traffic with a simple, message-style ad!
Driving local traffic has become increasingly difficult, but with these Facebook Messenger-style local ads, you can reach customers that live nearby with deal-based conversion offers.
4. Messenger ads are best for starting a conversation
If getting leads to converse with you is tough, which it probably is, these ads should be your bread and butter (yes, I’m hungry).
Qualifying leads and gauging interest is critical when it comes to producing real sales. Nobody wants to spend five weeks talking to a lead before finding out that they don’t even care about your product.
And when you can’t simply ask a user to convert instantly (meaning cold traffic), you need to start a casual conversation to assess their needs and interests. Otherwise, you’re going to have to run tons of remarketing ads with your fingers crossed, hoping to land a sale.
Facebook Messenger Ads are a perfect balance between ads and real sales conversations.
For example, check out how Jon Loomer uses these ad styles to initiate a real conversion with potential leads:
Instead of instantly asking prospects to sign up for a training course and pay him, he asks them to message him directly and chat about it.
He helps them see if it’s really a good fit, rather than expecting the user to know immediately and shell out their hard-earned cash on it.
Plus, this ad style has the added benefit of extreme personalization: Is this training right for you? Let’s talk it through!
It gives the user an experience that regular remarketing ads simply can’t provide. And once a user responds, you can even customize automated response messages using bots:
Delivering custom offers and CTAs has never been so easy.
You can see another example of how powerful messaging-style interactions can be in Drift’s recent “Year without forms” article.
They scrapped the typical marketing and advertising playbook of lead magnets and forms and switched their site over to a mostly messaged-based form of lead gen.
They used welcome messages to engage prospects, similar to how these new Messenger Ads work:
Using this strategy of initiating the conversation, they found that 63% of people who clicked on their message ended up speaking with a sales rep.
Now that’s a good conversion rate.
Remember: there are millions of companies advertising on Facebook. You need to stand out and differentiate (ah, college marketing buzzwords) your business if you want more leads.
Start a conversation with them using Messenger Ads to qualify leads with fewer steps than a traditional sales funnel.
How to Set Up Facebook Messenger Ads
Now that you’ve got a grasp on some of the best ways to use Messenger-style ads, it’s time for the fun part: setting them up.
I can tell you’re already jumping for joy.
You’ve got a few options for setting up Facebook Messenger Ads.
It’s relatively easy, and anyone with a Facebook Business Manager account can do it in just a few minutes.
Keep in mind that this platform is still new, growing, and changing, so your options are currently somewhat limited.
Currently, you can only create Messenger-style ads with three different goals: Traffic, conversions, and app installs:
Click on your desired marketing objective and create a new ad account for it.
Next, scroll down to the conversion section and select “Messenger”:
This option ensures that users who click on your ad will start a conversation with your business rather than having Facebook direct them to a landing page. That way you can tell them how awesome you guys are. But seriously, don’t do that.
Now you want to edit your placements to fit your goals:
The key here is to make sure that “Messenger” is selected and in use.
You’ll also notice that “Sponsored Messages” is not eligible yet. That’s because it’s a form of remarketing, as we discussed in the first tip of this article.
Once you’ve selected “Messenger,” your ads are just about ready to run. Fill it out with your desired content and head to your call to action.
Make sure that “Send Message” is the call to action users will see on your ads:
Now you want to set up your message offers. This is different from your headline or description that you’ll find on the standard ad.
Essentially, this is what the user will see once they’ve clicked on your ad and are taken to their messenger app. For example, here’s how Jasper’s Market customized their message for users that clicked:
Once a potential customer engages with their ad, they’re sent a coupon straight in their messenger dashboard.
You can customize just about everything in the message, from the initial message to the custom responses that a user can choose from:
For example, here’s how you can structure a potential message to consumers:
You can offer up a welcome message coupled with a headline and give them multiple options on how to respond.
If you want to use the messaging interaction to take users off-site, you can add buttons instead:
Once you’ve customized your messaging, all you have to do is place the order, and your messenger ads will be live.
A few final words on Messenger Ads
Facebook Messenger Ads allow you to speed up and personalize customer interactions, and reaching people faster is key in today’s cutthroat marketing environment.
Chances are, if you don’t like waiting for an email response or being on hold with customer service, neither do your customers.
Instead of blasting an ad to thousands, you can deliver custom messages to your audience in the form of messaging-based ads.
Reaching a customer in five minutes or less is critical to qualifying a lead, and personalizing those messages can help you drive lower costs and build loyalty.
Facebook Messenger Ads can specifically help you with personalization and great remarketing.
The new platform also helps with local targeting. You can direct specific, in-store offers to the inbox of local residents with ease.
Lastly, it’s great for starting a sales conversation that is otherwise hard-to-obtain. You can instantly start real, natural conversations that can help you nurture a potential lead until they convert.
And once you initiate that connection, you have instant access to their inbox for the rest of time.