How To Optimize Your Messenger Chatbot and Make Sales a Breeze

Patrick Foster

Using Facebook Messenger as a sales channel has become an incredibly popular option recently, and for good reason. People primarily use their phones to send and receive messages, and moving your value propositions into that conversational space is a great way to capture their interest.

But as with any element of marketing, it isn’t enough to simply have a Messenger chatbot – you need to execute it properly. Not only will it end up irritating users if it doesn’t work well, but it will also fall short of its potential if it’s merely mediocre.

Here’s how you can optimize your Messenger chatbot to make the most of what it can accomplish and consistently generate effort-free revenue.

Use as many traffic sources as possible.

Your chatbot may work through Messenger, but it should receive traffic from as many sources as possible, so you’re making a mistake if you’re not linking to it however you can. Thus far, Facebook has provided several ways you can send people directly to your chatbot, including:

Using customer matching: if you have a user’s phone number through legitimate means and they’ve never used your chatbot, you can send them an introduction in Messenger.

Providing Messenger links (short URLs) and codes (visual shortcuts similar to QR codes) to make it incredibly easy for users to find your chatbot.

Adding a web plugin to your website that will allow users to start Messenger conversations directly from their browser.

The more visitors you get to your chatbot, the more conversions you’ll end up with. Even if the users don’t always have intent to buy, any vaguely-relevant traffic you get without having to spend anything on advertising is worth having.

Capture user attention right away.

Getting someone to try your chatbot for the first time is incredibly important – it can’t sell to people it can’t reach – and an area in which a lot of chatbots fall short is initial presentation. When a visitor who hasn’t used your chatbot before taps or clicks on it for the first time (whether out of ready interest or idle curiosity), it needs to be as captivating as possible.

If you haven’t made any alterations to the presentation, your chatbot’s initial window will probably list basic information from your Facebook page, or even be completely blank. Fix that by fleshing it out with the best message you can. You should aim for something punchy, action-driven, and possibly personalized (this will depend on how familiar you want to be, but it’s generally fine to go with their first name).

Think about the difference a message like “Hi Steve! Our new chatbot is great for answering your questions and saving you money. Hit the button below to get started and enjoy 15% off your first purchase.” could make.

Master your product presentation.

Purchasing decisions are heavily influenced by visuals, particularly when they’re impulse buys, and spur-of-the-moment retail is exactly what your Messenger chat should be going for because that accounts for most of the purchasing we do through our phones.

If you want to do in-depth research before you buy something, you’re almost-certainly going to do it on a laptop or a desktop. The smartphone is just about the worst format for that sort of thing. But if you wake up in the middle of the night and happen to feel like buying a new shirt on a whim, a Messenger chatbot is ideal for your intent.

Getting someone to tap or click on your chatbot and be interested enough to stick around will only bring you the opportunity to pitch a sale to them – if you don’t fully exploit that opportunity, the whole thing will have been pointless. Make sure to do the following:

  • Use the best product images you can get
  • Make sure all the copy reads as it should
  • Provide the right number of options (not too many, not too few)

You must also take care to tag all of your products correctly and check that your product integration is working as it should. If your Messenger chatbot is configured as an add-on through a DIY webstore maker, this shouldn’t be a concern, but if you have a custom Messenger chatbot manually integrated with your ecommerce site, you should test everything thoroughly.

Chatbots are incredibly powerful ecommerce tools, but there’s no sense in using them if you’re not going to get them running optimally. When using a Messenger chatbot to drive sales, make sure it’s easy to find, likely to grab user attention, and set up with attractive and appealing product options.

Patrick Foster is a writer and ecommerce expert from Ecommerce Tips – an industry-leading ecommerce blog that offers practical marketing advice so your online store receives the exposure it deserves. Check out the latest posts on Twitter @myecommercetips.