Chat is the future of marketing.
Last weekend in Austin, Texas, ManyChat held their second annual Conversations conference. Speakers included Neil Patel, Mari Smith, Randi Zuckerberg, Molly Mahoney, Ezra Firestone, Mackenzie Liberman, Kelly Mirabella, and more.
They dropped knowledge bombs over the three-day event (more of that to come later, I promise…)
But the thing that had us (as marketers) most excited was the features upgrades to the ManyChat platform.
When ManyChat CEO Mikael Yang announced the updates, we were screaming and cheering like we were teenagers at a boy band concert (cue the confetti). 🎉 Forget Beatlemania, this was #ManyChatMania
Seriously, we were all one step away from throwing our knickers on stage at him. (You know you’re a massive tech nerd when you get that excited about updates to a platform.)
Why Chat Marketing is So Important For Businesses
OK, let’s break it down.
I’m going to hit you with some stats Mikael Yang peppered throughout his keynote.
In 2018, ManyChat chatbots were connected to 400,000 Facebook Business pages, which grew to 800,000 in 2019 (that’s 2x growth).
There were 150 million subscribers, which grew to a staggering 500 million in 2019. There are over 1 million ManyChat users from over 170 countries.
Let that sink in…
Now, over 2.5 billion people use messaging apps worldwide with 87% of smartphone users using mobile messaging apps. With this current trend, we are expected to have 3 billion messaging app users by 2022. 😮
In 2020, for the first time in history, there will be more mobile messaging app users than social network users.
This means that mobile messaging apps are bigger than social networks.
When 50% of users were surveyed independently for ManyChat, they answered that text was their preferred mobile communication method.
Just 20% of 18–29 year-olds said they preferred voice calls, while 62% of 30–44 year olds said their preferred method was text (and 61% of 18–29 year-olds).
So, what does this mean?
People looooooooove texting. 📲❤️
Put simply, the way people connect with businesses ALWAYS mirrors the way people connect with each other.
This means chat IS the future of marketing. And this means that Messenger, Instagram and WhatsApp are going to be able to exchange and make use of information seamlessly.
In the next 5 years, chat apps will become the primary channel for customer communication.
But it’s happening right now…
Neil Patel says that chat marketing is responsible for 28% of his sales.
Randi Zuckerberg had a slide during her Conversations 2019 keynote that read “Search is your date and chatbot is your mum.” She put it like this: dad doesn’t care about your feelings, whereas mum will make sure you have everything you need.
What the ManyChat Updates Mean For Businesses
So, ManyChat’s mission is to help businesses grow by building meaningful relationships with their customers.
At this year’s Conversations conference, the company announced these updates to further that vision (these are ALL of the updates, so I’ve highlighted the non-techy ones that you need to know about):
- Active Campaign integration
- All Posts Comments growth tool
- Date and number formatting (for dd/mm/yyyy)
- Send flow from Live Chat (and automate responses too)
- Google Sheets update row
- PayPal integration
- Current time (set your working hours)
- Condition step improvements (case sensitivity)
- Delete flows inside flow in one step
- Flow builder new design (unified started step, updated note design, and updated Messenger support — coming in October)
- Faster Flow builder
- Easy sponsored messages
- Message window filters (inside or outside the 24-hour window — coming late Sept/early Oct)
- Dependency check (to see if your flows are using certain tags and custom fields & clean them up)
- Dashboard 1.1 — language, gender, content overview graphs
- Shopify abandoned cart (and Shopify integration concept)
- 🎉NEW CHANNEL! SMS
SMS has been designed for flow builder, so you can restart Facebook’s 24 hour window.
Price is 50 SMS for free, and 0.03 cents per message thereafter. Available in the US now, and other countries coming soon.
- 🎉 NEW CHANNEL! Email.
You can use email right inside ManyChat. Price is FREE with Pro accounts based on subscriber level. For example, 1000 subscribers gives you 1000 emails and so on. Cost thereafter is 0.003 cents per email (three-hundredths of a cent per email.) Email still accounts for 30% to 40% of open rates/ sales, and grows 15% year on year.
This means that ManyChat’s vision for creating connection is happening in a single platform so it will be simpler, and with Facebook’s new 24-hour rule coming into effect in 2020 (meaning you can’t interact with a user unless they have interacted with your bot in the past 24 hours), both SMS and email will allow you to restart the 24-hour window right in ManyChat.
What You Need to Do Before 2020 to Futureproof Your Business
You need to get an understanding of chat marketing and what it means for your business, and what it will mean for your marketing strategy in 2020 and beyond.
Chat marketing can help your business in three ways: sales, marketing, and operations.
Your business will benefit greatly from having a chat marketing strategy that includes messaging apps, SMS and email integrations.
In fact, 99% of businesses aren’t even considering chat marketing, so you will instantly be in the top 1% of your industry.
Ready to find out more about chat marketing?
👉🏼 Click here to get the Essential Messenger Marketing Guide delivered to you via Facebook Messenger (what else?). 😉
Want to get started on a chat marketing strategy for 2020?
👉🏼 HECK YEAH! #BotParty 🤖🎉 You’ll get to work with me (an award-winning chat marketing agency ﹘ yep, that’s me below with the award for ManyChat’s Emerging Agency 2019…)
…But there’s a slight catch
I only work with a handful of clients, so drop me a line via my Facebook Messenger bot and answer some simple questions about your business to see if we’re a good fit. Can’t wait to hear from you!