Treat your practice to a Facebook Messenger Chatbot this Christmas and watch sales soar in 2019

By Loran Simon | Our Service

Treat your practice to a Facebook Messenger Chatbot this Christmas and watch sales soar in 2019

Unless you have been asleep under a rock for the last few years, you can’t have missed the arrival of the ChatBot.

Bots aren’t new, flow chart based chatbots have been around since at least the nineties but in the last few years there has been a explosion in their use, albeit we are still a long way off from the sophisticated level of artificial intelligence and NLP (natural language processing) required to make truly human-like bots.

The technology has certainly received its fair share of hype and most pundits agree that 2018 was not the revolution that had been predicted. However, they are also almost unanimous in their belief that messaging will continue to gain traction and that ultimately Chatbots aren’t going away anytime soon.

So, what does this mean for you and your practice and should your use of Chatbots be limited to meeting and greeting visitors to your website, or are there other, more effective and revenue generating uses for this transformational technology.

We believe there are. We’re using it ourselves, as part of our own marketing mix and along with our own use of it, dental clients of our Facebook Bot Messenger Marketing service are seeing great results:

Here’s how It works…

There are 3 different “types” of Facebook Messenger ads.

  • Click-to-Messenger ads: These drive traffic and conversations, using Messenger as a destination
  • Sponsored Messages: These allow you to send promotional messages even after the 24-hour rule has passed
  • Messenger Home Placement: This is a placement for ads that can appear on your Messenger home screen (and they can take people either to a Messenger conversation or to a landing page)

1. Click-to-Messenger Ads

Destination ads appear in the newsfeed of your target audience, and when clicked on, open inside a Facebook message (instead of sending traffic to a URL)

Best use - Retargeting people who have visited your website or a landing page previously but not completed an action like getting in touch. The chat option allows you to reconnect with that person to discover more about why they might not have chosen to book an appointment or to learn more about their dental issue. There’s usually a reason people don’t buy, and if you give people a platform to ask questions and have those question answered you will find a significant uplift in your conversion rates. We know, because we have seen it also for our Snoring Device.

2. Sponsored Messages

These ads appear in the Facebook Messenger inbox of your Messenger subscribers (in other words, anyone who has messaged you in the past and has not unsubscribed).

Best use: Sponsored messages are great for follow up, promotional messages to people who have already interacted with your ads and who have not unsubscribed (remember everyone who interacts with your Click to Messenger Ads automatically becomes a subscriber). These people are already familiar with your brand and your practice, so they are ripe for an offer, a reason to remain subscribed and to feel special.

3. Messenger Home Placement: #

Really this is just a new placement for an ad, inside Messenger. ou could choose to have this ad open inside of Messenger, or take the person to a landing page. These sponsored messages are served before and after conversations and are labeled ‘sponsored’ above the advertiser’s name.

Best Use: Since sponsored messages can only be sent to recipients with previously-open threads; they are not flagged as spam. This allows the practice to easily re-engage previous conversations to increase communication, drive traffic, and boost conversions.

Why has Facebook Messenger marketing taken off?

What 2018 has proven is that Facebook Messenger is an essential communication channel for businesses and continues to experience huge growth. But why has this come about I hear you ask?

The simple fact is that people have shifted their attention from social media to messaging platforms, they are more personal, easier to use, fast and conversations are immediate.

And for businesses, not only are messaging interactions less expensive, but your practice can handle a lot more conversations at a time while meeting your customers where they are.

People now expect to talk to businesses the way they talk to friends, and by mastering Messenger marketing, you’ll be able to give them exactly that. It really is crucial that you adapt and cater to these changing needs.

Facebook reports that more than 1 in 2 people say they’re more likely to shop with a business they can message, and 67% of people expect to message businesses more in the next 2 years.

We’ve all witnessed the massive increase in businesses of all types using chatbots to support their customer service departments, but more and more businesses are now using them to automate marketing and sales efforts.

Chatbots offer an unparalleled opportunity to engage with your audiences in real time and for them to experience a quick and easy way to learn more about your business, right where they are, when they are most interested.

What do the results show?

The internet is awash with statistics demonstrating the power of this approach and we have ourselves seen open rates unmatched through any other channel:

- 40% opt-in rates (compared to 10% for landing pages). Everyone that starts a messenger conversation with you becomes a subscriber, just like with email.
- 80% open rates (compared to 20% for emails).
- 20% click-through-rates (compared to 2% for emails).

This means if you have a Facebook business page you really should be thinking how to integrate this fantastic new channel into your marketing mix. The take up of our service is proof enough that forward looking practices are discovering the power of the Chatbot and stealing a march on those who remain stubbornly sceptical.

Top Tip

The key is to be very clear on the purpose of your chatbot and remain laser focused on delivering the best possible experience for the customer. Don’t try to make your Bot do too much. We’re still some way off from Bots being human, they don’t and can’t do everything so ensure what they do do, they do well.

Bots today are best used to help solving problem or answer questions that have a limited set of outcomes. They are simple, easy to use, reduce friction and function effectively 99% of the time.

In conclusion

We launched our Facebook Chatbook service earlier this year and we’ve seen adoption really take off in the second half of the year as more and more practices understand the value of the Chatbots.

Providing real-time responses to sales enquiries can make all the difference when it comes to converting new patient enquiries and for busy practices having a Bot on your side fielding enquiries and answering questions, while your teams are busy dealing with patients face to face can be a the difference between bringing that new patient on-board or not.

Our click-to-Messenger ads reach qualified audiences on Facebook and through chatbot interactions pose a series of questions about the patients requirements in order to steer them towards the most suitable call-to-action. Using messenger bots is a perfect way to automate your prospecting, nurture leads, and convert them into customers, while also allowing your front of house staff to give patients in the practice the best possible customer experience.

There are currently 100,000 active bots on messenger and their number is growing every day as businesses realise their marketing potential. If you are not already thinking about how to use Bots in 2019, then you really should be. Email marketing, while not dead is on life support and regardless of age, gender, lifestyle, messenger apps are used by nearly everyone - they are the new email. If you want to sell more treatments be where your customers are and that’s on messenger.

Book a consultation today with one of our advisors and let us help you understand more about this brave new Bot world. Speak to one of our advisors today!

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Loran Simon

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About the Author

After generating more than 85,000 patients for our own dental lab, and for the clients of our digital marketing agency for dental practices, I cracked the code for running successful online marketing campaigns.