Using Messenger Bots To Automate Your Sales Funnel

Reading Time: 17 minutes

On this week’s episode of Digital Conversations, Billy is joined by Mackensie Liberman, Owner of Orca Marketology. Mackensie explains how Facebook Messenger chatbots can be used to more effectively engage with prospective customers.

Guest: Mackensie Liberman started her marketing career, and at the same time founded Orca Marketology, after spending the first 15 years of her career as a cytogeneticist. She found a knack for driving valuable leads and increasing ROI through Facebook Messenger chatbots. Talk to her on Messenger here!

Listening Platforms:


Billy: Alright everyone, welcome to the show today. I’m your host Billy Bateman and I am joined by Mackensie Lieberman, owner of Orca Marketology. MacKensie, thanks for joining me today.

Mackensie: Yeah, thanks for having me. I appreciate it.

Billy: Yeah, I’m excited to have this conversation. You guys specialize in Facebook Messenger marketing. And we’re gonna dive into that topic. But before before we do just want to have you tell us a little bit about yourself and about Orca Marketology.

Messenger chatbots

Introduction to Mackensie

Mackensie: Yeah, so pretty much I think the most interesting aspect, and what I like to start off with, is myself I am not a marketer by trade. I did not go to business school, I do not have a business degree or a marketing degree. I am actually a formerly, clinically certified cytogeneticist, which that’s pretty much what I did was I used to analyze people’s chromosomes for abnormalities underneath a microscope for over a decade. So, my background is in science, and biology specifically. And I thought that’s what I wanted to do for my career, got the degree and all that fun stuff. But then after about a decade of doing that, and working in the lab with no windows, I decided, you know what, I need to do something else with my life that’s a little bit more fulfilling.

And so that’s when I started looking into what I can do online and came across being able to have an agency and run Facebook marketing for local businesses. So I started doing that and learned my way through that which was definitely a learning curve, but about six or seven months into that I found out about these things called messenger bots. And I said, okay, I gotta check these out, see what this is all about. And once I started diving into them and realized the power of not just messenger bots, but just conversational marketing in general, and the conversions that I was getting, I never looked back. I have not created a landing page for lead generation since then. It’s always been through chatbot.

So I’ve just really started running with that and with my own marketing and with my clients marketing of utilizing chatbots. And over the years, it has just improved a ton with functionality and abilities. And I’ve just kind of ridden the wave with those changes, both pro and con, you know, with Facebook making changes, but it’s been quite a ride the last four or so years.

Billy: Awesome. So let me ask you this. Do you remember the first messenger bot you built?

Mackensie: Yeah, I built it for myself. For client acquisition. It’s now kind of been a funnel hack or bot hack commonly by people. So I don’t trust people going through it our actual potential clients, there are some here and there. But I built it for myself. But the first bot I built for somebody else where, you know, a client was on the line, right? It was a gift card giveaway for a local restaurant, was my very first chatbot client. And so I said, well, we’ll just run Facebook ads for some gift card giveaway, get people to opt in and it went like gangbusters.

I had an amazing opt in rates and then also a lot of people who actually redeemed the coupon that they got as a consolation for entering the giveaway. So and then of course, because I got the great success with that, it was written up in the ManyChat blog and was posted a lot of different places. And so that kind of really was that first initial bot was my stepping stone up into where I got to where I am now.

Billy: Awesome. Awesome. The first bot. I mean, I remember the first one I worked on for a client. Great. I mean, great times. You feel the pressure, the first one you’re like, I hope this works. So okay, so you’ve really drilled in on Facebook bots, and we’re gonna dive into that. But I want to ask one question before we do that is if we’re going to look you up on social and try to figure out you know, who is Mackensie? What does she do? What is she like? What’s her career? What’s something we wouldn’t we wouldn’t figure out by looking at your social profiles?

Mackensie: Um, well you would probably find it if you really searched. But like, I still do, but I really back when I was in high school and college, I used to pole vaylt a lot. And so for in track and field in both high school and college, and recently I still do pole vault.

During the summers, there’s about a four week period where they allow people to come and vault and stuff. And so I’m very sad that I missed that this year because of the pandemic. But yeah, that’s one of my passions is pole vaulting and trying to improve my personal best with that.

Using Messenger Chatbots

Billy: Awesome. That’s interesting. That’s cool. So, okay, well, let’s hop into it. So you’ve got a lot of experience using Messenger to generate leads. What do you think are some of the best tactics people can use to generate leads?

Mackensie: Yeah, so besides giveaways, which, obviously, that works pretty well. There are a number of different strategies and tactics that you can use. One is just a straightforward, Hey, here is what the offer is, want more information, click here and we’ll send you a message. But there are some other ways that you can make it more fun and engaging.

For example, like using a quiz of some sort. And people love to take quizzes on Facebook, I’m sure as many people know that. You’re scrolling through and you’re like, oh, what kind of Kardashian are you or whatever. Some of these dumb quizzes, right? But creating a quiz that’s related to your service or your product or whatever, and asking people, hey, click here to find out what kind of whatever you fit into. And it piques people’s interest, and then they’re just like, I wonder what my results gonna be. So, when they click and they go into Messenger, then they answer some questions and you can give them a result based off of their answers.

And also the other benefit of that is it also helps you, for customer research as well, to kind of figure out where your audiences in terms of what their answers are. So then that way, future campaigns and things you can be like, oh, there’s you know, this many people who answered this way, maybe you should do a campaign that’s kind of around that. So yeah, so quizzes and surveys are definitely a great way. And then you can do other fun things like games inside of messenger too. It’s kind of along the same lines of having that engagement. And all these are just you know, click to messenger ads. Then there’s a whole other realm of comment to messenger ads, where you have a video you have a live or whatever, I can even be an ad itself.

That’s not obviously not live but asking people to mention below, what their interest is, and or something along the lines of what you’re wanting to promote. Then when they comment, then that will send them a message. Which is great because it helps increase engagement for your posts, which will also help increase organic reach as well.

And then also just with the algorithm. You just have to be careful of not being very explicit like saying comment yes below and we will send you your guide. Because Facebook will see that as engagement baiting. So you got to kind of have it have a more open ended question. An example of this that I used, I guess along the same lines with my restaurant client. I asked people what their favorite Mexican dish was. And they would comment below with whatever it was. People love to talk about themselves and what they love and things like that.

So putting that as an ad really helped with engagement and got a lot of people into Messenger. Just saying, hey, comment below with your favorite, whatever, however it’s related to your product or service and then saying and we’ll send you a quick message with what you’re promoting. Then that way also you’re letting them know that they are going to get a message so they’re not just suddenly surprised that oh, I’m getting this message from this page what is going on. So it kind of helps to keep people informed.

Messenger Chatbots – Get Rid Of Traditional Marketing

Billy: Okay, and you’re running those off of promoted ads on Facebook.

Mackensie: Yeah, you can do both. You can do where like if you’re doing a Facebook Live you can have it on the organic posts. Or you can run with Facebook Ads to just a regular Facebook Ads post where you can connect to the chatbot to those posts with those comments.

Billy: Okay, okay. So with running the ads, partnered with the with the messenger, why is that so powerful? Like, what kind of engagement rates are you getting? And why does that work?

Mackensie: Yeah, so I have to hearten back to my initial experience with chatbots. Or my first I guess go around thinking, Oh, these chatbots might be a good idea. Because one of my clients, I was answering a lot of questions that people had about the ad inside of messenger. They’re messaging the page, then oh, what about this? Or what about this? That thought of thinking, wow, I could actually automate some of these replies, and I wouldn’t have to actually sit there and respond to each and every person would be amazing.

So that’s one huge benefit, is people love to converse and chat with businesses. Much more than they love to call people on the phone. With being able to have an ad. Where it goes into Messenger, not only is it a great transition. Because yeah, Facebook owns Messenger. So it’s super simple to set up for the ad itself, and it’s a good transition from the ad into Messenger.

But also the fact that it’s conversational. People do, some people obviously know that it’s probably not a real person. Some people do think it’s a real person. Which is interesting to see some of their replies. But being able to have that where they’re inside of messenger already. They’re getting, you know, opt in for whatever offer or they’re going through a quiz or whatever. But if they have a question right then and there. They can ask it inside of Messenger, which is very beneficial. Because then you can overcome objections. Or maybe just one little thing that might be keeping them from making a purchase or the next step.

And so being able to converse with them inside of Messenger can help with getting those people to take that next step and to follow through with a call to action.

Billy: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more, we want answers like now. We don’t want to wait around. I mean, we can’t and you’re right. The older demographic tends to pick up the phone. If you’re under 40, you probably would say, if I can just chat with somebody, I’m all in on that, you know.

Well, and then also to the point of, if somebody is shopping around like, again, for like local businesses, but someone shopping around and they are, they have like two or three different businesses in mind. And they just pull up their Facebook page and they hit send message. And they ask a question. To each of these businesses, which one do you think the customer will go with? They’ll go with the one probably most likely that responds back to them either immediately because they have an FAQ and a bot. Or you know, someone who actually can pull up messenger really quick and respond to them if their bot isn’t able to give the answer that they need.

Versus you know, a business that takes three to four days to respond. So you can see how, just in general how just conversational marketing really helps to increase sales and just increase engagement that also helps to build the brand awareness as well.

Billy: Yeah, yeah. Okay, so you’ve engaged them via Messenger. I know Facebook has some rules regarding timelines on re-engaging people inside of messenger. Can you take a few minutes and dive into that?

Engage Meaningfully

Mackensie: Yeah. So Facebook Messenger is owned, obviously by Facebook. Facebook, their number one goal with Messenger is they want to make sure that it’s not spammy. And they don’t want it to end up like email either. So with that being said, they want to make sure that the conversations that businesses have with their subscribers are. Again, along those lines where it’s not spamming. What they’ve implemented is the main rule which is a 24 hour rule. So what that is, is pretty much you have 24 hours after somebody engages with your bot. Sending a message, opting in through an ad, clicking a button. 24 hours within after they do that, you can then send them any message that you want.

But also keep in mind, if they you know get annoyed if you’re sending too many messages within those 24 hours. They can block your bot and then that’s a whole other issue where if you have too many blocks. Then Facebook will send your page a warning and say hey, you know there’s an issue here. You’re annoying your subscribers. So within those 24 hours. You can send any message and so the goal is really when you’re creating your chatbot is to have a good overall view. Like a 30,000 foot view, of what you want your subscribers to do from the start to the end, with the end goal in mind.

And being able to utilize obviously messenger with that but then also utilizing email and SMS like ManyChat has inside of it to be able to bring people back and get them to reengage inside of messenger to take that next step. So it’s almost like, you think about a frog that leapfrogs from lily pad to lily pad. So same thing, we’re opening up that 24 hour window consistently. Now, Facebook has given a couple ways to contact your subscribers outside of 24 hours.

So one of them that I absolutely love is called the one-time notification. And so with that, you can ask people, hey, do you want me to let you know the next time I’m going live? Or do you want me to let you know the next time we have an offer, or something along those lines. You can say whatever you know, the offer or the notification is about. And then when they click the notify me button that gives you a ticket to be able to send them a message. Whenever, can be three days later, three months later, a year later, whatever to send them a message about that topic.

Now you can only send one message per often so if you want them to. Or you want to send them another message that’s a one-time notification. You’ll have to get them to opt in again to another OTS but that’s a great way to keep people going through messenger and then to get them to reengage. The other thing that Facebook has given is depending on the content of your messages. You can use one of three what are called messenger tags. One is accounts update. The other one is post purchase update, and then the third one is confirmed event update. Account update is super bland and boring.

And you can go to the Facebook developer website to see actually what they list as what is doable to use for these tags and what is not allowed. For example, the account update they say like, if somebody applied for a job to let them know that their application was received or if they applied for a credit card, that their card was approved or denied, you know, some just boring stuff. But most marketers and most people in digital marketing space have no need for it. The second one, the post purchases is obviously e-commerce. That’s a great use case to be able to follow up with them to say, Hey, you know, you purchase, were you able to receive, you know, did you receive your product?

The one thing that all of these you cannot ask for which this is really important for e-commerce is you can’t ask for reviews in that initial message. But if you send them a message saying, hey, just want to find out. Did you receive your product and they click the button. Then that opens up that 24 hour window where then you can say, Okay, great, we would love if you would leave us a review. So, again, it’s coming up with that whole idea of the big picture of what your chatbot funnel is going to look like.

The third one is the confirmed event update. So this is if somebody opts in like let’s say you’re going to go live about something and you want and people have opted in that they want to know about when you go live, and be notified. Or webinars, that’s another one I use a lot for a couple clients. People opt in that they want to get notified before the webinar starts. So that’s where you can use that confirm event update. Now, I actually recently got a little warning from Facebook for one of my clients, because I was sending a replay link. Using that tag for someone who had opted into that event. Well, they said you can’t send anything about past events or new events using that tag.

So what I did instead is like, okay, well, Facebook, I don’t agree with your decision. But I will work around with the rules. And so now what I do is when people opt in for the webinar. I say, Would you like after the event is over for me to send you the replay, go ahead and click this notify me button. Which is a one-time notification, and then I can send you the replay. So the huge benefit of the one-time notification is it’s pretty black and white. Either they opted in or they did to get the next message.

Whereas these tags are kind of up to Facebook and what they decide falls in it. I mean, when you look at the developer website, with the listing of what’s acceptable and not acceptable, it’s kind of vague. So that’s one good thing with that one time notification is that it’s black and white. But, those are a couple ways that you can work around with Facebook’s new rules. But again, like I said, also utilizing email and SMS to get people to opt back into messenger and keep driving them into Messenger to get that window to open up is usually the number one goal.

Billy: Okay, okay. So what’s your best play? I mean, what do you recommend is like, Okay, I’m getting going. And let’s do an example of like a restaurant. How do I get people to opt in? And then what’s the best way to get them actually into my restaurant?

Collecting Lead Data As Efficiently As Possible

Mackensie: Yeah. So um, the great thing is, there’s a lot of different ways to get subscribers into a chatbot. Facebook Ads obviously is the most obvious and easiest way. But there’s other ways like a website chat widget. Which is also another great use case for if you’re selling something on a website or you have people going to your website. Let’s say even that you’re paying for Google Ads or SEO.

Might as well make use of that traffic and get them into your bot to through website widgets. Which one would be like a customer chat widget. Which doubles also to help overcome objections. If people have questions about whatever’s on the website, instead of them thinking. I’m not going to call or I’m not going to click to email. Oh, here’s a little chat widget, I’m going to just chat with the business really quick. So utilizing the customer chat widget. You can also use pop ups and bars and things like that on the website as well that will take them into messenger.

And the other good thing with the customer chat widget is you can actually have Facebook actually just recently rolled this out where you have an option of signing in under Facebook or chatting as a guest. There are downsides to that but the upside is there are people who, surprisingly, do not have a Facebook account. So this way and allows people to still chat with your business through messenger without having to sign in to a Facebook profile. The only thing is it expires after 24 hours. So you can’t chat back with them. But if you set it up where if somebody comes in as a guest that you ask them for their email, initially, then you can be able to follow up with them if need be after they close out the window or whatever.

Utilizing website traffic as much as possible, you can also utilize a QR code. So that’s great for in person use cases, for example, with especially with a pandemic with a lot of restaurants needing to be totally digital and not have a lot of, you know, not have their menus, you know, they’re not reusing menus. So instead, they hand out these little disposable three by five cards that have a QR code on it same to see our menu, click here, scan this.

And then it’s great because it also adds to your subscriber list. And then you can say hey, do you want to be notified next time we have an offer? One-time notifications, click that And then like, Oh, great, we’re off to the races. Now what’s a good email for you sort of thing? So yeah, QR codes and then using a rep URL, it’s just a URL link that goes specifically to a flow inside of your chatbot that you can use anywhere pretty much anywhere online. You can use YouTube descriptions, you can use it in Facebook groups. You can use that emails, wherever to get more people into messenger that way.

Billy: So I’ve got I’ve got one more question for you. This is with all bots, but I want to drill into Messenger so somebody starts interacting, you’ve got a CTA in there, they don’t quite complete it. What are your recommended strategies for re-engaging people. Whether it was to sign up for a list or chat with somebody to get them to reengage and complete that CTA?

Mackensie: Yeah, so when you compare Facebook Ads to a chatbot versus Facebook Ads to let’s just say a landing page. And let’s say both examples are opting into some guide or a PDF. When they’re on a website, they put in their name, they have to type in their email, and then they have to hit submit. Well, let’s say they don’t, for some reason, complete the form and they don’t hit submit.

The only way that you can get in front of them again to try and get them back to do the call to action is to do a retargeting Facebook ad. Which, you know, those are great. But they’re only so good. Because people are scrolling through Facebook, they might not notice it.

That’s what the ad is about. It’s not directly one to one. Now doing the same process, but inside of messenger, they come into the chatbot. Their name is already there. So you don’t have to ask them for their name. So it’s one less thing you have to ask. And then you ask them for their email. Well, you can actually pre populate in a button, their email that they can just tap and it’s their Facebook email, but if they say I haven’t used that email in 10 years, I just use it for logging into Facebook.

They then reply with their actual email they want it sent to. But let’s say the same thing happens where they opt in and they, for some reason get distracted. They don’t provide their email. Well, then you can send a reminder message to them. You can set it up, you know, after five minutes, 10 minutes. However long you want to say, hey, you know, first name. Are you still interested in getting XYZ, you know, whatever it is that the call to action is. And giving them the option say yes or no. And then that’s great because it’s one to one. So you’re actually sending them a specific message that they get a notification on their phone about. That will then help to get them to complete that call to action.

Now an example of how this has worked really well is I have an orthodontist client that was just for a free consultation. They give their email, phone number and then they would schedule a call. So there’s three different spots where a lot of people would drop off at different spots. Well, then I would have these reminder messages that would kick in after so much time after they stopped engaging with the chatbot. And just from those reminder messages. It brought in 30% more people who actually went and booked a consultation on their own. So reminder messages are super important and help as a kind of a catch fence to get more people to complete what the ending action is.

People who say, No, I’m not interested, you can, follow up, and say, did you have any questions? Maybe they had some sort of objection, or they weren’t sure about something that they wanted to ask. And then with them asking that question, then they can get that you know, through and be like, now I’m interested. And then they can continue on. So that again, that’s where that benefit of having that conversational marketing and just having it all within Messenger already really can help to increase conversions.

Billy: Awesome, awesome, great stuff. Well, thank you. Thank you so much, Mackensie, this has been really good. And if somebody wants to get in contact with you and continue the conversation, what’s the best way for them to reach out?

Mackensie: Probably going to my chatbot. So if you go to Orca Marketology Facebook page or you can just go to .me backslash Orca Marketology then that is my chatbot that you can go through and check it out. Like I was saying a lot of people have hacked, my bot is going constantly. But then also just if you want to chat, then that’s a reply there and I’ll get a notification.

Billy: Awesome, awesome. Well, you know, hey, if people are going through and trying to try to hack your bot, that’s a compliment.

Okay, well, thank you again and and we’ll chat later, Mackensie.

Mackensie: Sounds good. Thank you so much.