Messenger Marketing
The best practice on how to build a good lead generation chatbot for Facebook Ads
In this guide, I want to share our experience of more than 30+ custom leadgen bots and give some recommendations that allowed our clients to increase the number of clients by 2–3 times while maintaining the same budget cap.
Generating leads using the Facebook Messenger is beneficial especially in two particular ways:

  1. The effectiveness of advertising by effectively calibrating the targeting and budget settings, ad quality and call-to-action.
  2. The effectiveness of the bot, namely the bots flow and the User Experience (UX) that it create
In this guide, we will take a closer look at the User Experience that the bot creates. In the article "3 Strategies to Use Messenger Bot and Facebook Ads For Lead Generation" you can find the possible flows that the bot can deliver. Also, it is important to stress the fact that we're only reviewing bots for Facebook Ads campaigns.

This means that the bot flow should be as simple and linear as possible (unlike complex custom bots that handle all requests) to achieve the only one goal — get a new lead. Here is a leadgen bot example with 37% conversion rate:
1. The right opt-in message

As the client clicks on the ad, they immediately receive a message on Facebook's Messenger. If the potential client will click the ad or simply send us a message, that will instantly generate a new lead. Ideally, the click-rate conversion of this particular opt-in message shouldn't be less 40-50%.

What does this conversion depend on?
  • Relevance. It is of utmost importance that the client finds the opt-in message and the ad relevant. We recommend using the same image like the one used in the advertisement, as well as a similar call-to-action.
  • Simplicity. It is imperative that the opt-in message is clear and effortless. Ideally, you would want to use the following formulas: Image + Text + Button; or Video + Button. Also, the text featured on the button must reflect the action that needs to be performed, i.e. "Download," "Find out more," etc…
  • Target audience. It is certainly a possibility, in terms of targeting your audience, that potential clients are not accustomed to using the Facebook Messenger in the first place; the transition to a Messenger chat after clicking the ad could as well be a bit uncanny, due to the fact that you'd expect to be sent to a website.
  • JSON or just a link to Messenger. If you're using a direct link to Messenger, the user will usually be sent to the Welcome page first, and only after the user clicks "Get Started" the bot will start doing its job. Thus we recommend using JSON instead.
Opt-in message with a message, picture, and a title.
2. Before asking for data, offer an incentive or a value

When a user clicks on an advertisement, he first wants to get a sense of reward and only then (if he is interested, of course) to share his contact information. Therefore, before asking a customer for his phone or a favorite car brand, you need to incentivize the act of offering any form of information, content, etc..

It's quite similar to how we do on our Landing page. We give a description of the product or service, describe the advantages, etc. Similarly, you need to act in the Messenger.

One of our clients (a travel agency) received a two- fold increase in the number of leads using the Messenger chatbot when, before requesting the customer's phone number, the offered information about the top 5 tours beforehand.
3. How to request information correctly

We are all used to the fact that in traditional input forms contain validated fields. The Facebook Messenger, unfortunately, lacks this option and often people insert phone numbers in unnormalized formats, for example, "My number is 1 234 9998" or "14889900 call me Tomorrow".

  • Data format. Therefore, we recommend when requesting any data to indicate in which format to enter data explicitly. For example, for a phone, this can be "Please, let us know your phone number in the following format '+14235678' ".
  • Tone of a conversation. Another crucial moment is how we ask for this information. The question "What is your phone number?" will receive far fewer answers than "Dmitry, tell us by what phone number we can contact you to confirm the appointment for the test drive (format 893012345)."
  • Quick replies. If the user's answer implies entering a predefined variant, then for these purposes it is better to either use buttons (2–3 options) or Quick Replies (2 or more options). So you make it easier for the user to enter data and avoid unnecessary errors.
4. Input Validation

Often it happens that when entering a response, a person enters it either in the format we need (as I mentioned above) or we asked our question at the moment when the user had already typed a message and sent it. In this particular case, we need to repeat the question and inquire that the user re- enters the data.

We recommend that the text of the error message differs from the original one and suggest that the client entered something incorrectly. In the question we also recommend bringing up the input format once again.

So if, for example, the customer is confronted with the following question "Dmitry, tell us what is phone number we can reach you to confirm the entry for the test drive?", and he entered an incorrect phone number; we recommend that he receives the following "positive" error message: "Dmitry, please enter your phone number in the format 896513845. Otherwise, we will not be able to hold the test drive."

It is important that we repeat the error message only once. It may sound odd, yet, probably the worst use of Messenger bot is looping its dialogue with the customer into an error message.
5. Repeating the question

It is often the case that the client has either been distracted from the dialogue with the chat bot or is just not ready to answer our question from the first attempt. In this case, the bot will wait for a response from the client for some time until the dialogue will reach its logical end; otherwise, it goes into its original state.

In everyday life, if we were confronted with silence from our interlocutor, we would simply reiterate our question. While working with chat bots, we do also recommend doing this. If there is no answer to a question from the client, then in 10–30 minutes (depending on the context), we recommend repeating the question, in a slightly different form.

For example, let's return to our question regarding the phone number — "Dmitry, tell us by what phone number we can contact you to confirm the entry for a test drive?". If we fail to receive an answer from the client, we can reiterate the question in the following way: "Dmitry, we have reserved time for you. However, we need a phone number to confirm the test drive. Please type your number here, in the following format 8965138123."
6. Content

  • Try to diversify the content. If you find it useful for the users, use pictures, videos and other media files.
  • Segment the content into separate messages. Ideally, each message should be placed on a screen with an open keyboard. On average, the message should not exceed 250-300 characters.
  • Format the messages. You can split the text of your message into paragraphs and highlight the headings.
  • Bring up the user's name and other personal information in the messages. However, try not abuse it (do not start each message with a personal name).
  • Use Emoji (where appropriate) to give the conversation a sense of personal correspondence.
  • Segment large portions of content into separate blocks and make them interactive. Send no more than 2–3 messages at a time. To separate blocks, use questions (if appropriate) or simple buttons such as "Got it?", "What else?", "Ok, let's go."
7. Ending the bot flow

When the bot has completed the session, we clearly need to let the user know about the steps that will follow.

If the user signed up for a test drive, it would not be excessive to mention that during the day, the manager will call them using the phone number provided previously, to confirm the day the test drive will be held. For example, "Thank you for scheduling a test drive. We typically call customers back within 15 minutes during business hours. "

If for example, the flow implies that an operator will enter the chat, then you need to tell the customer the time this will happen, as early as possible. Given that the bot can work at night, it is important to give customers information about the work schedule of the managers.

If we signed the client for the newsletter, then we must say what and how often we are going to send them messages and how the can unsubscribe from this newsletter.
8. Common Mistakes

1. Using the menu. At first glance, the menu in our bot appears to be a handy and valuable tool, however, if you analyze this perspective from the the user's point of view, who clicked on the ad and has been directed to the bot, the menu can take up to 40% of the phone's screen and acts as an unnecessary distractor, shifting the attention away from the opt-in message.

Our testing shows that in some cases the presence of a large menu reduces the number of clicks on the opt-in message two-fold, which subsequently means at least a two-fold decrease in the conversion rate.

2. Using Call and Go to site buttons. Not so long ago, a client of ours declared that the lead generation process does not work. It turned out that instead of requesting the user's phone, this company just sent a message like "Are you interested?" and "Contact Us" in tandem with "Call Us" and "Visit the site" buttons. It is not surprising that the number of calls and leads using this advertising strategy was not satisfying.

We should proactively inquire contacts from the client and not wait for their call. Also, when going to Messenger, clients are least expected actually to call someone.
In conclusion

Like any new technology or channel, generating leads using a Messenger bot and Facebook Ads should be used properly. Otherwise, the entire scheme is on the brink of failure.

If you haven't heard about WhatsHelp — it's a Messenger Marketing Platform for automating a sales funnel, growing subscriber base and broadcasting — all in one simple solution. Feel free to try it out.

I sincerely hope our experience has been useful to you and I will be glad to receive feedback and suggestions from you. Share your experience and observations in the comments to the post.
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