It’s a simple question. And no doubt you’ve heard of what a Messenger bot is. So, the question stands: Are you leveraging chatbots to grow your brand?

Often when we embark on the journey that is selling a private label brand online, specifically through Amazon FBA, it can become very easy to focus solely on the marketplace. We become overwhelmed with the new skills we must learn, and dedicate time and energy to mastering them; keyword ranking, optimization, sponsored product ads, promotions, coupons, lightning deals, and so on.

Rinse and repeat this process long enough and one day we look up and, ideally, we see that we’ve built a successful…Amazon business. Not that there is anything wrong with that at all. Quite the contrary, there is a lot of money to be made on Amazon and leveraging the platform makes sound business sense. Success is success.

The problem comes when we start to believe that the Amazon marketplace is the only source of gaining new customers. When we fall into this trap, we leave so much money on the table.

Research and statistics show that the majority of purchases on Amazon started with a keyword search using the platform’s search engine. That simply means the majority of sellers, including your competitors, aren’t doing a very good job driving targeted and directed traffic to their Amazon listings from outside sources. This presents a great opportunity.

The Viability of “Chatbots”

Messenger bots, otherwise called chatbots, represent a marketing strategy still in its infancy. Facebook just allowed Messenger objectives as an option in 2016.

What’s more, there is a good chance your competitors aren’t using chatbots in their marketing yet. While the technology is growing rapidly in popularity, many business owners and marketers still express concerns that the Messenger platform will one day go the way of email and people will simply tune out.

That seems like a viable concern, except that it isn’t.

The reason is because, unlike email, a mostly free service that isn’t heavily monitored and barely any support is offered to, Facebook is heavily monitored, heavily moderated and has a vested interest in ensuring the Messenger platform remains one of the most popular ways people communicate.

Simply put, Facebook cannot allow the Messenger platform to become over-run by bad marketing. It exists to enrich the lives of users, and now businesses have the unique opportunity to engage with that process.

Just take a look at some of these stats:

From the user perspective, according to the 2018 State of Chatbots Report, a large majority of people have plenty of reasons to engage with a chatbot if one is available. Chief among them are things like 24 hour service and getting an instant response.

From the business owner’s perspective, predictions of the growth of chatbots and what they are expected to achieve serve as a clear sign that they can help companies make money, hands down. Just look at these chatbot statistics from Ubisend:

Ok, so now that we are all on the same page regarding how viable a marketing channel Messenger is, what do we do about it?

Using Chatbots to Grow Your Brand

The Facebook Messenger platform, and chatbots that operate within it, are simply communication channels. But that is essentially what we as Amazon sellers lack, isn’t it? The ability to communicate with our customers?

But what can we achieve if we gain the ability to talk with customers?

For starters, we can provide more immediate and more helpful customer service. Sometimes, a sale or even a repeat sale rests on the strength of an interaction with a company.

If you compare side by side the process of interacting with a customer through Amazon’s messaging system, versus through Facebook Messenger, the results are startling. First of all, unless you are already logged into Seller Central, you won’t see that you received a message on Amazon until you get either an email notification, or you log back in.

When you use Amazon’s messaging system, you are limited to only seeing order information if the message is in connection with an order. So, if you are approached by a potential customer, you will only see their profile handle and no other information about them.

Contrast that with the rich and robust experience of Facebook Messenger. It is fast, users are alerted when their message has been read, the experience is seamless and highly convenient as well. Now, if you add a chatbot to the mix, customer support issues can be resolved almost immediately, information can be disseminated quickly and the customer can be moved through a positive experience with your brand in record time. This most assuredly can and will lead to more sales.

And that is just when using a chatbot for customer support. Now imagine you use it to communicate information about products.

To illustrate the potential here, I would like to show you screenshots of my own results. Now, I know my limited experience will not accurately represent the industry as a whole, but industry statistics are very much in line with my personal results.

First, take a look at this. These are the last five broadcasts I sent through one of my Manychat accounts. I use broadcasts to survey my audience, give them pertinent information about my brand, and introduce them to new products.

First, take a look at the open rates. 83 to 100%. That is simply incredible. I’ve never written an email that got those kinds of results (and I’m not a bad writer).

Now take a look at the next column, the click through rate. While those are much lower than the open rates, on the LOW end they hover at 25%. Again, this is an incredible number.

Now let’s compare that to an email list with roughly the same number of people on it. Here is a number of autoresponder sequences I have set up. Notice the abysmally lower open rates and CTR’s.

If that doesn’t open your eyes to the possibilities of chatbots in your marketing, I don’t know what will.

How to Maximize Your Chatbot/Amazon Experience

If you are already doing well on Amazon, that’s fantastic, but you can do even better. One of the best ways to achieve this is to turn on outside marketing channels in a highly targeted way. I suggest that the most cost effective way to get lasting results is through Facebook ads, targeting custom audience lookalikes with a Messenger objective, distributing a deal.

If you upload your buyer information from Amazon into Facebook you can create what is called a “custom audience.” This audience, once it becomes available to you, can be used to target advertisements to. That in and of itself is powerful. However, you can leverage the amazing power of Facebook’s platform intelligence even further by creating a “look alike audience” from that custom audience. When you do this, Facebook will identify millions of people on their platform who most similarly resemble your buyers.

With a pool of millions of potential customers, now you can run targeted ads with the objective to have them engage with your Messenger. Then, by setting up a simple chatbot like Manychat, you can offer people who engage with your ad and bot a deal to entice them to make a purchase.

And now the process is easier than ever.

Bridge by SixLeaf allows you to create a custom audience at the push of a button. With Bridge, you can also filter your buyer information by things like product, brand, amount spent, and more. You can even create an LTV (lifetime value) look alike audience directly from Bridge, so you can laser target only the people most likely to vote for your products with their wallet.

Code Courier by SixLeaf now offers Manychat integration, so you can distribute single-use Amazon coupon codes through Messenger that not only give out promo codes, but also direct buyers to your Amazon listing using our legendary Heatseeker URL. This is the most powerful way to both build your own list of customers and brand advocates AND rank for keywords simultaneously.

Messenger, chatbots and custom targeting are all innovations in advertising and communications technology that are shaping the future of marketing. SixLeaf is perfectly poised to offer Amazon sellers exactly the tools they need to leverage that technology and stay ahead of the curve, and their competitors.

UPDATE: March 2019

While the purpose of this article was to educate people on the potential of what they can achieve for their brand using chatbots, as well as to introduce everyone to features we have to integrate our tools with Facebook Messenger, we’ve gotten many requests for more details on those features.

We will write more extensively on this topic, but I thought I would add some more in-depth information on our Courier and Manychat template and campaign integration here in this post.

Let’s go over campaign setup and features within Courier by SixLeaf.

A Courier campaign offers the ability to distribute single use codes, a general code, or no code at all (for rebate setups). It also lets you add time and/or quantity based scarcity.

Next you can choose an integration (Amazon, Walmart, Shopify, etc). If you choose an Amazon product then you have the ability to use SixLeaf’s proprietary Heatseeker URL in the campaign.

You also have the ability to customize the Courier campaign “widget” fully. You can manipulate the fonts, text, spacing, imagery…every aspect of the offer window.

Analytics allows you to see which codes were taken, when they were taken, and by what IP address.

And you can also choose to install and integrate with our Manychat template, which will allow you to distribute your codes and/or URL through Facebook Messenger.

From there you can tag users, add them to sequences, and followup for a number of exposure-getting, brand-building actions (like reviews, social shares, referrals, etc).