Facebook Chatbots with Mobile Monkey

Sarah: Today we have Virginia from Mobile Monkey. Welcome to the show

Virginia: Thank you, Sarah. It’s so great to be here.

Sarah: And can you tell our listeners a bit about Mobile Monkey the how you got started, why, and how you help entrepreneurs?

Virginia: Well, this is a great topic for me. I’m the Marketing Director at Mobile Monkey and Mobile Monkey is a platform for marketers to create campaigns and chatbots on Facebook Messenger. The company was started in 2017 by Larry Ken Lay, Kim’s got a reputation in the marine industry, for building really great software from Reuters, and you might have heard of Wordstrem. Wordstream is a platform for Facebook in Google advertising.

It helps you optimize your campaign research keywords and do a lot of advanced things. And when he started that company about a decade ago, he started himself, and then last year he sold to a parent company of USA Today for over 150 million. He’s a real visionary. He’s kind of got a crazy thing for unicorns and the apart from being really fun, metaphor and graphic element, it’s a metaphor for things that are just really spectacular. Things that are way above. So any campaigns that you run, that are unicorns or promotions or PR stunts the things that get you visibility like the 90% of the campaigns you do, that’s a unicorn in all that as a way of explaining why he started Mobile Monkey being a platform where you can build campaigns to market your business on Facebook Messenger, which is the number one application in the US, number two in the world and its second in the world. So Facebook is really got the market covered in terms of chat applications. And he saw the trend which were really be in the middle of today, which is that people are using their chat apps more than they’re using social media.

And if you think about your own habits and behaviors. I send, hundreds of messages a day, across my chat where I messages on my iPhone. It’s a Skype message on Instagram DM Facebook message or DM, there’s a Slack message I have I’m plugged in to 10 different chat applications, and I definitely check them more than I check Facebook or something like that. So we’re in the middle of this communication shift and it’s all the more… So if you look at all across generations, and it’s really coming into its own right now is that your behavior at all? Do you use a lot of chat apps?

Sarah: Yeah, actually I use Facebook Messenger more than email, probably for communication with friends. I think email marketing is still really important, of course, but I feel like Facebook Messenger marketing and also text message marketing are pretty much the future or where it’s going because the click-through rate is so high. What have you seen as the average click-through rate with Mobile Monkey?

Virginia: It’s interesting that you bring up email because I think that’s what we’ve been using a lot as businesses in terms of a way to a message and talk to our audience and grow our list. We’re used to email, and just over the last decade, it kind of just continues to decay in terms of open rates and click rates. So the average open rate and email is like 20%, and click-through rate is 2% in an email. Whereas in Facebook Messenger, today, we’re looking at something like 60 to 80% for open rates and 20% or more for click rates, so it’s like 10 X there in the engagement, not only because we’re using our chat apps all day to talk to our friends like you are, but there’s notifications on our phone that kind of pop up and then Facebook Messenger. It’s just a lot more interesting than an email that’s kind of like just talking at you in Facebook Messenger and you mentioned text message marketing as well.

Facebook released an API, which is basically a way for computers to talk to each other or something like that. It really is this API that allows developers to write software that interfaces with the Facebook user application which opened it up to the ability for people to program chatbots on the platform and I should probably define what a chatbot is. Chatbot is software that interfaces with the user, or people in a chat application. So rather than the interface being something visually..so a web page or something like that, it’s text that’s in your chat up. And so, you can program responses you can basically give people directions or set of appointments or choose the right product for them based on questions and suggestions and program responses that help lead people in like a phone tree, to the answer that they’re looking for. So that is the magic of Facebook Messenger. People are using it more. It’s super engaging, it’s interactive, and it’s easily programmable with the platform, like Mobile Monkey where you don’t have to do any coding so marketers can use it. Somebody like me, where I’m not a coder, I’m not able to do anything kind of like that. If you can use something like an email marketing platform like MailChimp, then you can use a tool like Mobile Monkey because it’s just drag and drop widgets and it kinda guides you through the process of creating these chatbots and do something like a marketing in the channel where people are really engaging today.

Sarah: Yeah, and you mentioned that email has only about a 20% open rate, and then a 2% click-through rate. So with Messenger marketing, is it closer to 80%? A 80% open rate, and 20% click-through rate is very typical. I’ve noticed, ’cause when you send an email, well, first of all it might end up in someone’s spam folder. But even if it doesn’t, because I know that I get over a 100 emails a day, maybe more actually… And so, I either have to recognize the person, it’s someone I personally know versus a company or something, and/or the subject line has to be so attention-grabbing to me ’cause they literally have milliseconds to catch my attention before I just swipe and delete or whatever. I don’t open many emails, but with Facebook, you get a notification and there’s that little one or two or however many messages you have. Well, I guess when you’re on Facebook anyway there’s that. If you’re just in the Messenger app, then I guess it’s bolded or something like that. So it’s kind of always reminding you that you have a message, if you haven’t read it, and it is more interesting or entertaining. I think I’ve gotten a few chatbot messages from different companies. It’s not that common for them to send them out, right?

Virginia: It’s not that common, it’s only less than a one percent of businesses are using automation in Facebook Messenger right now, which also represents an incredible opportunity for businesses who do want to become an early adopter and get all of those benefits of jumping into a market before everyone catches on.

Sarah: I was thinking that the other day because we’re also so used to email that we’re just bored with it, but with Messenger, the majority of the people may be on your list, or whatever, maybe have never gotten a chatbot message before or interacted with one and they’re gonna be like, “Oh what is this? This is new or interesting, what is this new thing? And so it almost feels like you’re above the curve or introducing something to them for the first time that they didn’t even maybe know was existed.

Virginia: Yeah, you can totally stand out this way in an email. I hand out my email like it’s candy. I wanna get 15% off my first order. I’ve got promotion tabs that help filter messages from businesses, and it’s a really crowded, noisy place, in my inbox, and I kinda tuned it out. I feel like you I know the person who sent me the message where as Messenger it’s not that… And the other thing about emails is that you can buy email lists, you can put in a few different criteria and filters to find people with certain job descriptions or workplaces that kind of thing, and you can buy an email list and that’s another reason that people get their hands on my email and maybe I didn’t give it to them or people sell contact info to other businesses. So the thing about Messenger is there are safeguards so the only way that somebody can get on your Facebook message or contact list is if they message you first. And that means that I’ve asked for an interaction and wanna have or learn more about a business. So that’s another reason why I am much more receptive as a customer to getting messaging from that uses.

Sarah: Yeah, I was gonna ask about that. So if you message the business, they might be able to message you, but then what about if you’re a fan of their page and say you’ve never messaged them could they message you with a chat bot randomly?

Virginia: So, a bot messenger and Facebook pages, they’re related because you need to have a Facebook page in order to have a Facebook business page too but liking a page is in the way that you get on the Messenger contact with the person has to send a message first, and, but they are a number of entries that Facebook created to create that first interaction with the bot and the same message button on a Facebook page is one of them.

The other way is you could embed your chat bot on your website and if somebody sends you a message there, you know that on a website can increase conversions by 50%. If you think about it, I might send a message or wanna hit that chat button in the corner, ’cause I don’t know, do I need a size medium? Maybe large. And so do I wanna make an appointment, but are you open on Saturdays? There’s a lot of conversion bottlenecks that you can streamline by having chat on your website, and if you add a chat bot to do that kind of first line of manning the website chat questions, then you could automate it and if you don’t have to have yourself or a live operator or somebody on your customer service team managing that answer those questions because what you will do is program all of your frequently asked questions in there and now your bot can respond to when somebody says direction or whatever it is, it says can I help you? So if somebody messages your bot and be it on your website that’s another entry point into becoming a new Facebook Messenger contact and there are like, I don’t know, maybe 10 or so entry points that we call lead magnets in Mobile Monkey.

Sarah: I was gonna ask about the chat widget. I currently have a chat widget on my website, but it’s not through Facebook, so that’s good to know. So if I have a Mobile Monkey Facebook chat widget on my website, would they have to currently be logged in to Facebook or how does that work?

Virginia: So you’re online so I can send you a message, it is enter your name, email, message, and somebody will get back to you that too, Okay, it’s better than maybe not being able to have that quick contact route. So instead what you do is you set up your chat bot to greet somebody and answer their questions, and it’s in the same little spot in the bottom right-hand corner, the person in order to message you will need to have a Facebook Messenger account which basically just means that they need to sign into Facebook and if they’re logged in or you can program with the different messag.

Sarah: Oh, okay, yeah, I’ll have to install that on my website and see how it does. Now can you explain the difference between a chat-bot builder and a chat blaster.

Virginia: The chatbot builder is part of the tool where you’re going to create and program the little dialogues that your chat bot will say. It might be: Somebody says Hi, what are your hours?

Or what’s your phone number? So the chatbox builder is just basically the part of the platform where you write all your bot dialog. And by that I just mean, it’s the way that you reach people. Different automation tools in Mobile Monkey include our chat blaster and our drip campaigns as well drip campaigns, if you’re familiar with email marketing or scheduling of messages that go out in a sequence like a time sequence right?

So somebody enters my audience of new customers and then I send them a welcome message and then I send them a follow-up maybe a day later to see. Did you do have any questions that you’ve got started and then maybe 10 days later, you sent a survey to find out how they’re doing. Something along those lines might be like a drip campaign with the chat blaster. What you’re doing is you’re sending a message out to an audience.

So then there’s another part of the platform that’s your audience builder and if you’re familiar with email marketing platforms, it’s all kind of the same right? We’ve got your campaigns that you might send out to some bulk list and you’ve got your Audience Builder where you take all your contacts and you can filter them based on different criteria and you got your automations builder, where you can create drip campaign sequences for different audiences, and chat-blasting is pretty much the crown jewel of Facebook Messenger marketing. It’s when you take what you’ve done to grow your contact list, get new subscribers, and grow your leads basically, and it’s when you send your messaging out to them.

One of the great things about Facebook Messenger marketing as you learn a lot about your context just out of the gate, with Facebook, because Facebook has so much data about us as users where we are, what language we speak, or gender or our name. Obviously it has an email that’s great, that’s connected to our Facebook account and all of this it gives to us as a business. So that’s kind of my thing about basic Messenger, it instantly captures a lot of relevant information about our customers or our prospects so what we do with all that information and other questions that we ask, ’cause we get to learn about our customer. Maybe somebody that is on our website and says, “Hey I wanna know if you have this thing in a red widget” You can save that to their customer profile. And now you know that they like the red widget, say the red widget goes on sale, you can say, “Hey we have a sale on the red widget” You take information that you know about your audience and you send them relevant offers, and messaging through a chat bot.

Sarah: Yeah, that does make sense, that’s a good idea, the fact that you can send out chats without someone having to message you for (of course, like you said, they have to message you first at some point) but then a month later or whatever, if you’re having a sale. Or whatever it might be and then they can just blast that out, that’s pretty cool actually.

And then I was looking on the website and it says You could turn a bot over to a live chat to where an actual person is responding. So how does that work?

Virginia: This is something that I think a lot of businesses want the ability to have, which is a person that can step in at any time when the chat bot either doesn’t have that answer because creating a chat-bot that has answers to everybody’s questions is something that just happens over time. I recommend that you take a list of your frequently asked questions, something that you probably intuitively know what a lot of the common questions people will ask you can also talk to maybe whoever else is on your team and brain storm and all come together and get this list together. You can also maybe look at your website, search if you have something like that. What Mobile Monkey is really awesome at is it will tell you all the answers that people have. So you get your bot up on your website and people will start typing things to it and whenever Mobile Monkey or your bot doesn’t have an answer to it will save that for you and you can start programming answers for it. So I guess I’m just trying to explain that it’s like an inter-process, it’s always growing. Your bot is always maturing in terms of how much it knows about your business, and how to serve your customers, that kind of thing, but there will be times when your bot doesn’t have the answer for somebody and you want it to be able to flag you to say, “Hey step in. So Sarah is looking for an answer, and collected the info from her. You might have the Facebook pages or I think it’s the Facebook page is on your website or on your phone, and you might be getting notifications when somebody messages your Facebook page, you can just keep an eye on it on the conversation and if the bot is answering the questions properly then you don’t have to step in, but if it looks like you wanna jump into the conversation, you could always take over at any time, just start chatting whether at your computer or on your phone, or anything like that, and then the bot will turn off itself as soon as you start talking and it will switch off for 10 minutes, it will switch off as long as you’re talking and then once the conversation stops for 10 minutes it will turn back on.

So that’s one way that you can jump in and to take over and another way you can jump in and take over ’cause you can program a little sequence where it will give you an email alert when somebody is looking for help. So for instance, what I would suggest to you, program response for the word help. Okay, ’cause it’s basically like keyword triggers, you can come up with a littl that you use the chat bot builder to say. When somebody says “home”, you should go back to the start of the menu or when somebody says “help” then you should tell him like, “Hey, I’m just the bot., but if you want some help fill out this form” and they can put a little form that will ask them their name, and their email or their phone number or whatever their preferred way to get in touch is and maybe a little message to what can we help you with, let us know and its follow-up, and then you can send that info to yourself with an email. Do you email it too? And that’s the email alert widget the email we is super duper powerful and it does come with the pro version of Mobile Monkey. Everything we’ve talked about to this point though, has been possible in our free version. And so this is the first feature that you hit on that is part of the kind of advanced features that. So can you tell me a couple of our different Facebook pages that you have?

Sarah: Let’s see, I have the Frugalpreneur one, and then I have one. Well, I have a personal page, but then I also have a business page for basically my author page, and then I have one for a couple of my products which are SiteSeam and Social Sharx and then I also have one for my travel agency Palm Tree Travel & Tours.

Virginia: So you would just hook up a new free account to a Facebook page. It’s basically one-to-one, one for the account goes to one Facebook ad same thing is true of the pro. One pro account goes to one Facebook page, and the reason that if you have unlimited pages, with the free account, just ’cause you create a new free account.

Sarah: Oh, I see, okay, so I mean I understand obviously you wouldn’t want the same bot for all the different Facebook pages, but I wasn’t sure if you could connect multiple Facebook pages to one account, but have different bots for each page, but I guess that’s not possible then.

Virginia: Yeah, no, it’s just the one to one account.

Sarah: Okay, so that makes more sense ’cause like I was like, “Why do you get as many as you want, on the free plan? But then the Pro plan… You have to pay for each one it didn’t make sense, but now it does because you can only have one bot per page.

Virginia: There is if you are looking for advanced features and you’re looking to probably have a handful of Facebook pages, you’ll wanna do the math to see if you wanna get individual pro-plans for each page or if you want to get the team plan with unlimited pages. So there is a way that you can do at a certain point, it makes sense ’cause if you’re paying the regular price for Pro Plan right now we’re just about to release some brand new pricing tier where it’ll be $19 for a Pro Plan. So, and I don’t know off the top of my head, what the agency pricing is, but say it was $150 for unlimited pages, versus $20 for pro pages, then I’m not good at math, but if you have 8 pro pages, then now you would wanna get in to the unlimited team plan, right?

Sarah: Okay, yeah, that makes sense, and then what do you integrate with? ’cause I just see Word Press, but what if someone has one of those drag on drop builders versus…

Virginia: You can embed your chat on any website and I would usually use recommend people use Google Tag Manager when somebody gets to that point, where they wanna embed their website or their chat on their website you can do it with kind of website, Wix or Squarespace or whatever, you don’t have to have WordPress. We have a plug-in, so that’s super easy, it’s free to use the plan to add it to your website, but there are various methods, the help docs. I help walk you through it. And we have a great community called Mobile Monkey Island on Facebook where we all just kind of jump in with answers to questions or our own questions, running campaigns by people to get feedback and collaborate on things. And I definitely think it’s a super community. Look around Facebook and we’d love to have you

Sarah: Okay, and also I was gonna ask about the webinar registration and survey and all these different things you can do through the chat bot.

Virginia: You’ve just hit upon a number of use cases for your chat bot that are really great for lead gen, right? Bots can be used in for a pretty much every industry. We’re talking about webinars, right? So I’ll tell you a little bit about that you would integrate to chat with whatever your webinar platform is, whether it’s Zoom or GoToMeeting or whatever you’re using, and that is something that you do with the connections widget, you’ve approved that application. So it’s really, really easy to do with Zapier

It’s basically glue for different web applications and we’ll a report data from one application and I will put it into another so that you can connect to your different systems that you’re using. So in this case, you take Mobile Monkey, you would use the chat bot builder you would add a form or a question, you would ask people for their name, you don’t even have to ask for their name because Facebook already knows their name and I already put that into your contact database but you might ask them to confirm their email. And this is another awesome thing. Facebook knows what their email address is. So you could pre-populate that information in your question in the chat, and you can say like, “Would you like to sign up for the webinar on May 10”?

People are more likely to sign up for your event because they don’t have to go through any kind of cumbersome form, and that they can just hit the back button or close the window and abandon and you can also send a reminder to their phones 15 minutes or an hour before it’s about to start and then let them know that it’s starting, here is the link because it’s not buried in an inbox and maybe not right in front of them, they’re a lot more likely to attend the event, so that’s why it increases your webinar sign-ups, and also it increases your attendance and then so use the bot to collect all that and then you add a little glue between Mobile Monkey and your webinar platform, and now they’re signed in to your webinar platform. And that’s the magic.

So you ask about links as well, how do you link different aspects, maybe your website or your blog or a product that you’ve got a sale on or something like that, and you can use I think a few different kinds of buttons you can use something that’s really visual and interesting to look at, like a gallery or a list.

There’s a lot of ways that you can create interactive experiences, different options for people to visit different assets that you’ve got, and it all was looks good on the Messenger app or in the desktop experience, because one website where you have to have something that’s mobile responsive or mobile friendly, which comes with a lot of complexity because people might have their screens or they might not be using a standard window size or any number of reasons why it can be a challenge to have a mobile-friendly website experience. Messenger is always Messenger, and it will always have fun this way and it’s just infinitely more mobile-friendly and predictable.

I would definitely encourage people after I’ve talked your ear off about chatbots…there’s nothing like actually experiencing it. So if you go to Mobile Monkey dot com and you’ll find some, try this out yourself and we do have a sample webinar that you can sign up for, as well as a survey. The customer survey is another really fun application for this, because people are more likely to just tap a couple of buttons and Messenger and give you really valuable feedback.I know more maybe now, you know that they really like bananas. And you can tell them all about your banana promotion.

Sarah: That kind of ties in with Mobile Monkey. And actually, I’m on your website right now and I’m looking at a picture of a monkey hanging from a tree with a banana. So I think I have one more question and that’s about the Facebook Messenger Ads.

Virginia: Over the years, we’ve seen Facebook ads getting more and more expensive because the competition is increasing, Facebooks running out of inventory. There is a number of reasons. In fact, in the last year, the cost of the CPMs on Facebook Ads increased, on average, 12-20%, which is crazy. You think about it, it just keeps going up. So what’s a great opportunity right now for Facebook advertisers, is to go in and give a test to what it’s called Click to Messenger Ads and you can Google that.

And what the user experience is first of all, the ad looks the same. You put in a new feed or you put it in the Instagram feed or you put it in stories is the placement in the creative are gonna be like any other Facebook ad that you run, but when somebody clicks that call to action buttons that you place, they go into your message or experience. So rather than maybe a website landing page where you’re gonna ask them to kind of convert from your website, what you’re doing is you’re sending it into messenger where you’re gonna have a conversation. So this is more so top of funnel, if you can think about it that way, but it’s finding leads at the top of the funnel. And creating a relationship so that you can continue to nurture that relationship with follow-up messaging learning more about who they are, what they need, and then sending the right offers at the right time. You asked about what the cost of something like Facebook Messenger Ads and they’re just like a fraction of the cost. We are running Facebook ad campaigns right now and our new conversations started or between 3 and 5, two people who are highly, highly relevant to our audience. If you compare that to a traffic or a conversion campaign our traffic campaigns were also paying three to 5 per click, and if you multiply that out, every website visitor once you’re on at my website, you convert around 2 to 0% of the time, so we might get two or 3% of visitors to our website to fill out our form and become a contact in our database. You want to play that out? It’s like maybe 200-250 a lead versus 3 for that same lead except instead of me collecting that email address and it’s putting the moment contact database now I’ve got their contact information in my Facebook Messenger database which is more valuable. First of all, we talked about the difference of how much I’m paying for that lead, and then also, now I can send follow-up messaging through messenger rather than through email where things are intimately more engaging, and get a much higher open rate and click-through.

Sarah: Oh wow, yeah I’ve seen when I do ads, I’ve seen where that’s an option, but I just… I didn’t know you could connect a bot to it. Okay, well I’m gonna do that then.

Virginia: That’s exciting yeah, I’m happy to help you with it. And I’ve written so many tutorials on it as well. That’s how we run all our Facebook campaigns for the last eight months we’ve really switched over completely because it just, it really makes a lot of sense financially, the cost. It’s all the same targeting for your audience ability to find who you want to talk to, but then it’s so much more valuable to continue to have conversations that are interactive, that are two way where I’m collecting information about them, and they’re telling me what they need a lot more dynamic than an email. And it’s kind of just the trend now, right?

If you take advantage of this now, this opportunity before most of the world has caught on, there’s a lot of first advantage.

Sarah: Yeah, I’ve definitely learned a lot and I hope that our listeners have as well. So I appreciate your time today and answering all my many questions. Is there anything else that you wanted to discuss?

Virginia: It was really my pleasure, thank you for inviting me, Sarah. I think this is such a great topic. The way to run your business on less than $100 a month and find the best tools. So we have a free plan and I did mention a whole bunch of pricing tiers that are being released, but the free plan is always gonna be there, we guarantee it will always have that free plan, so give it a shot, and see how it compares to your other marketing channels. It’s been really awesome to be able to share all this with your listeners.

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