Guest post by Thomas from LandingCube

Amazon sellers are always looking for an edge to stay ahead of the competition. Using the same strategies and tactics that the average FBA guru is peddling is going to lead to mediocre results.

When it comes to marketing, there is an early mover advantage. If you can learn and master a new tool or channel before it hits widespread adoption, you stand poised to reap larger benefits. Facebook Messenger chatbots are one such marketing channel that seems to be the future.

The Power of Messenger

Messenger is a potential game-changer for Amazon brands. Most Amazon brands don’t have a direct line of communication to customers, which limits their ability to guide people from initial awareness, to paying customers, to repeat customers and evangelists. The more successful brands have built an email list, because they know having that list is the most valuable asset a business can have. Now, Messenger provides an even more personal & engaging form of communication than email.

Open rates, click-through rates and response rates on Messenger blow email out of the water. A 21% email open rate is average, according to GetResponse. If you get 40% you’re elated. But Messenger consistently gets open rates of 70-80%, sometimes in the upper 90s.

While emails get click-through rates between 2-3% on average, Messenger gets 5X and higher click-through rates. A test run by HubSpot showed 13% CTR for Messenger, while others have run tests with as high as 44% CTR.

What explains these higher open and click-through rates? Messenger is a more personal form of communication than email. It is used to talk to friends, whereas email is used for more formal business settings. And most email inboxes are overflooded, so people tend to ignore most emails, especially if they don’t open them in the first hour. Also, most people get push notifications for Messenger, which explains why they tend to read the messages super quick (which leads to higher engagement).

Mark Zuckerberg himself has come out and declared that Messenger is the future of Facebook. And Facebook has plans to merge Messenger with Instagram’s direct messaging platform, as well as Whatsapp.

Brands that get into Messenger marketing now, build the capabilities while it’s free to do and set up chatbots before their competitors are putting themselves way ahead of the curve.

What are Messenger Chatbots?

Chatbots are essentially automated sequences you can set up for Messenger, with different triggers and different paths for customers to go down. Think of it like an email drip sequence, except with the ability to build much more complex flows.

You can pretty much use Messenger for everything that email marketing has been used for. To deliver tailored content, send newsletters, send promotions, thank you messages, order & shipping confirmation, upsells, event registration, etc. But with the higher engagement rates, chatbots have the potential to be much more powerful than email.

It should be noted that because this is a new development, customers can be wary and cautious. They aren’t sure of how their information from Facebook is shared and they don’t want to be spammed. So you have to do an even more diligent job at managing their expectations, not being spammy and providing tons of value.

How to use Messenger to Grow Your Amazon Business

Messenger provides a great opportunity for Amazon sellers to boost performance on Amazon, while building an audience outside of Amazon for brand power. Building up a list of Messenger subscribers will make it much easier to launch future products and ask customers to leave reviews.

But first, how to build up the Messenger list in the first place? If you have an existing email list, you can send them a discount promotion or some free content, which they’ll claim by sending a message in Messenger.

ManyChat, the leading chatbot tool for Messenger, provides many different growth tools for building up a Messenger list. The simplest growth tool is just a URL that opens up a chatbot message upon being clicked.

For an Amazon-specific Messenger tool, LandingCube offers a landing page that sends single-use promo codes through Messenger.

For prospecting, you can use Facebook Ads to build up a Messenger list. Again, the best option is to incentivize people with a discount code. This will also help increase conversions & sales on Amazon, which will boost your rankings, leading to more organic traffic from within Amazon.

The ad can lead to a landing page as shown above, or the ad can open up a chat directly within Messenger. Again, LandingCube offers a Messenger JSON ad solution. When someone clicks on your ad, it will open up a message in Messenger to claim a coupon code.

Later, the bot will ask them if they actually bought the product or not. If they did, you can then direct them to leave a review on Amazon.

And all of this is within Amazon’s Terms of Service, so it’s not going to get you in trouble. So you can use this to launch new products, boost rankings on existing products, and collect verified reviews.

Ranking Campaigns

To use Messenger to rank a product to page one, you essentially want to mimic the sales velocity of the competitors on page 1 over the course of 7-10 days. So if they make 1,000 sales each month, you want to push about 33 products every day over 7-10 days.

Using discount codes is the best way to incentivize high conversions. Our data shows that discounts of about 70% tend to see the highest conversion rates.

Only do this if you have lots of inventory to spare. If you run out of stock, the ad costs and discounted units given away will have been wasted. You won’t be able to take advantage of the increase in organic traffic that results from this strategy.

Review Campaigns

Another important point is that a 70%  discount is not eligible for Verified Purchase reviews, which are very important for building trust with customers and for Amazon’s ranking algorithm. So if you are running Messenger ads to a cold audience with the aim of generating product reviews, you’ll want to keep discounts below 30%.

And, again, the Messenger bots will allow you to automatically follow up with those who claim coupon codes to ask if they’ve bought the product. And then you can ask those who bought to leave a review.

When directing people from Messenger to leave a review make sure to send them to the homepage, rather than the ASIN review page. The reason is that traffic sent to the ASIN review page looks suspicious to Amazon. Customers wouldn’t find that link by themselves. While you want to be aggressive with generating reviews, you don’t want to raise any flags.

Final Thoughts

Using Messenger can be a powerful way to boost rankings and generate reviews in the short term. However, the real power in this marketing channel is the momentum you are able to build over the longer term. After the first campaign you run, you will have built up a sizable list of Messenger subscribers who are interested in (and perhaps already bought) your products. So, when you want to launch a new product, or boost rankings for another existing product, you already have that list to work with.

But remember, marketing is all about giving value. Just like with email, you don’t want to burn out your list. If you only hit them up with sales and review requests, lots of people will lose interest. Mixing it up with educational content, fun stuff related to your brand, and anything they might find value in, will ensure your list remains a highly valuable asset for your brand.

Messenger provides Amazon sellers with a chance to really build out their brand and develop deeper customer relationships. It can help you boost performance on Amazon, while also gaining more control and leverage against the volatility of the Amazon marketplace.

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