Chatbots – How to Increase Your Open Rates.

Almost all businesses have (or perhaps should have?) a Facebook presence of some kind in this modern day and age. Conversely, most businesses should also have a database that they engage with on a semi-regular basis. Whether by email, mail, sms, or three-eyed raven (Loving the new G.O.T season btw) is up to the individual business. If you aren’t doing so already, it is strongly recommended you do start a database. There is most likely a large chunk of pie yet to be consumed by your business that you are potentially leaving on the table (figuratively speaking of course)…. However, I digress.

In the interests of keeping on topic with the article, let’s assume you do have a database, and tend to engage with them via email. Here’s a scary stat; the average person receives 121 emails per day! That figure is estimated to increase to 140 by 2018. Crazy to think of really. As a guideline, it is suggested that a poor performing email list will have an open rate of just 10%, whereas a well performing email list will have an open rate as high as 40%. What does that mean for your business?

Well, with all your hard work to build your database, for every 100 people on the list, only 40 are likely to open the email. Then if you have an offer to promote, it is likely the click-through rate will be even less. Some as low as 0.5% – 2.5%

I should probably pause and offer some clarity at this point. In no way am I bagging out email marketing by any stretch. I use it for both my own endeavours, and for my clients, and will continue to do so. I don’t think it’s a dying form of marketing at all. In fact there are people out there that solely rely on their email database to generate their full-time living.

“Okay, so if you’re not getting in a huff about email marketing then what is your point?” I hear you ponder.

Good question. Another scary stat is that due to algorithmic changes to Facebook people will only see approximately 12% of the posts you put up on a business page:

Source: Neil Patel


So how does one go about increasing the open rates of the correspondence sent out?

Well, a roll out from our good pals at Facebook last year has added the option of creating messenger bots. Despite the name sounding technical and a tad sci-fi, they are actually quite simple to implement. I use Manychat, but there are a number of alternatives (i.e Chatfuel, Botsify, It’s Alive to name a few).

Messenger bots are akin to email when that form of marketing started coming into existence. People had not seen a well written piece of copy before, so they were more inclined to open emails, and in doing so allow a business owner to form a relationship with the reader. Given how new messenger bots are, people are not suffering from ‘banner blindness’ as yet, meaning that the engagement rates are insane.

Check out the results from a recent case study using Manychat below;

The bots allow for a number of ways for initial engagement and interaction with your audience. It allows for you, or the representation thereof to engage with your audience in real time, meaning the readers are more likely to respond to your messages. You can put pre-defined options such as buttons that lead to a website, a call to action such as a contact number, or another message so you can create a sequence. Check out the example below for a recent campaign;

There are two options the user can click on which both lead to a sequence. One is an upsell to a consultation, the other sends the reader down a dark and lonely path of mayhem (jokes kinda!).

The point being is you can cater this conversation to anything that is relevant to your business. You can engage just to say hi, offer a promotional code, send invites to your events, or even help to drive traffic to your blog or business page.


How do people get onto your messenger list?

There are a number of ways to get people to sign up to your bot. You can set up a pop-up which will allow the reader to engage with the messenger in one click via your blog or webpage. See the example below (and no I didn’t write the cheesy blurb, it’s standard I swear!)

My personal favourite is you can set up a post in Facebook with the likes of ‘comment ‘yes’ to receive a…(insert item of interest; i.e a free ebook, video, promo code, etc). The bot will interact with anyone that comments on the post, and allows you to build your messenger subscriber base with ease.

If you already have a responsive email list, you can also send them the link to subscribe to your bot sequence to grow it rapidly.

While bots may not be the be-all and end-all, they are a great way to engage with your audience and add another communication method to your repertoire.

Jamie is the founder of Leadco Solutions, a digital agency focusing on Facebook ads, and lead generation. For more info, check out:

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