The Impact of AI on E-Commerce Average Order Values (AOV)

Intelligent remarketing is essential to creating businesses that scales and Artificial Intelligence is leading the charge.

Here’s what our friends at JustUno had to say on about how brands can take advantage of the traffic they are already getting.

Intelligently Remarketing with Dynamic Upsells & Cross-Sells

The When

While it is currently a hot topic, especially in e-commerce, AI is more than just a buzzword. Machine learning is enabling e-commerce businesses to learn and adapt faster than ever while increasing their profits beyond what is possible through manual means.

AI can sound daunting or ‘too robotic’ for many, but think of it as a convenient personalization tool you can leverage to make specific segments of your marketing funnel smarter. According to a report by the Boston Consulting Group, retailers that implemented personalization strategies saw average sales gains of 6-10%, a rate two to three times faster than other retailers (BCG). We all understand the importance of providing the right message, to the right person, at the right time, but without AI this is simply untenable for all but the largest teams.

AI helps scale complex customer journey interactions with your brand.

With the power of AI, you can level the playing field and execute your marketing strategy from a smarter and more efficient perspective. You’ll provide a better overall customer experience, free up your valuable time for additional revenue-generating activities, and most importantly, increase conversion metrics.

Let’s take a deeper look at why you should be embracing AI marketing technology today, and ways you can immediately begin implementing it into your e-commerce marketing strategy!

The What

Upsells and cross-sells are a commonly used tactic for quickly increasing average order values (AOV). You may be wondering what exactly is the difference between an upsell and cross-sell? It’s simple if you just remember these well-known fast-food examples:

  • Upsell = “Would you like to ‘Mega-Size’ that order for only $1?”
  • Cross-sell = “Would you like to add fries to that order for only $1?”

When you implement Justuno Plus’ AI features, our technology starts analyzing your website to produce the data required for these intelligent recommendations. This includes ingesting your product catalog, visitor behavior, and determining key things like:

  • What products are most popular
  • What combinations of products are the most popular
  • Average order values

Once Justuno has gathered enough information about your products and visitor purchasing behavior, you can begin to include AI-driven intelligent upsells and cross-sells in your promotions. Justuno will then continuously work to optimize these as it collects more data.

AI powers remarketing based on the visitor's onsite behavior

The Who

Once we know what is being purchased and how it’s time to display relevant messaging to targeted visitors. Justuno’s core technology fingerprints these visitors and can recognize them when returning to your site. This allows you to show relevant offers that align with a particular segment of your funnel — whether they’re a new or returning customer, on their first, second, or fifth visit, have an abandoned cart history, etc.

Even if they have switched from mobile to desktop, used an incognito window, or took other ‘evasive’ actions, you’ll still be in the loop! That’s some serious intel on your traffic that you can have out-of-the-box with any Justuno plan, and with certain creative applications, the possibilities are nearly endless. (psst… no AI Plus features required for this)

The How

Now that we understand product sales dynamics and visitor behavior, you can leverage these details to hone-in with advanced behavioral targeting and decide exactly how you’ll deliver offers to key website visitors.

Here are just a few examples of rule sets for triggering targeted upsell and cross-sell promotions:

  • New visitors that begin showing exit behavior such as cursor travel to ‘back’ button, idle time, etc. (display exit offer with a discounted popular item to reduce bounce rate)
  • UTM terms (mirror offsite promo messaging onsite or display different recommendation based on a user selection)
  • Visitor source from email, social, paid advertisements, and more (optimize marketing expenditure with maximum conversions)
  • Visitor has added an item to cart and been on site X times without completing their checkout (display a discounted cross-sell offer with an AI suggested related product)
  • Returning visitor with cart total value >X (target those ‘window shoppers’ with offers proven to convert)
  • Visitor has placed an order before within past X days (display complementary cross-sell items that weren’t purchased during the last session)

Using one – or a combination – of the above rules for triggering an intelligent upsell or a related product cross-sell can instantly boost your remarketing strategy. Visitors will be seeing products they’re more likely to purchase because Justuno has used data to predict the best products to offer!

The Why

It might not seem like it could make much difference, but even increasing your AOV by a minuscule percent can compound into large overall lifts at the end of the quarter/year. With the help of AI, that and more is readily attainable, and it requires little to no effort beyond initial setup. 

If you are currently spending time analyzing customer purchase behavior and manually calculating upsell / cross-sell opportunities, then you may be a good candidate for Justuno Plus and its added AI functionality. Don’t forget that Justuno can offer as much or as little help required to get your AI-driven marketing operations up and running. From proven strategic guidance to full white-glove service, our goal is to make a bigger impact on your sales with less work required by you!

Jenna Ochoa is the Partner Marketing Manager at Justuno. She has been working in the e-commerce industry for over 5 years and occasionally writes about it on the Justuno blog.

OptIn Confirmation Messages Build Stronger Customer Relationships

An effective Messenger Marketing strategy requires collecting OptIns from your customers. Opting-In is easy—as easy a click or two. It’s so easy that customers may not be sure what they had done to receive your messages.

The challenge is collecting OptIns without confusing your customers. First, you want to be transparent about how you are able to reach them on this new channel.

At F8, Facebook announced their company’s heightened focus on privacy and creating a good experience for their users. But, they also oozed confidence why Messenger is the future of business. Businesses should do their part to make the Messenger channel feel like a natural place to interact. In return, customers will continue their relationship with your brand.

Brands using ShopMessage’s Immediate OptIn Confirmation Messages are able to provide immediate feedback based on their engagements. This goodwill, in turn, lays the foundations for a customer to build a lasting relationship with your brand.

Wait, What’s an OptIn?

To communicate with your visitors via Messenger, you need to to get their permission first. An OptIn is how Facebook verifies who has permission to message whom. It’s the password that allows your business to proactively engage with your customers in Messenger.

Collecting Messenger OptIns is 2019’s equivalent of collecting emails 20 years ago. Businesses that invest in their list-building now will make Facebook Messenger their next big revenue-driving channel.

What’s the Immediate Confirmation Message?

Immediate OptIn Confirmation messages are a sweet feature upgrade for ShopMessage’s Growth Plugins. Businesses on Facebook are already using Growth Plugins to build Messenger subscriber lists.

It’s essentially a message that sends immediately after the Messenger OptIn event occurs. We’re not talking about days, hours or minutes here. We’re talking about messages that customers receive seconds after they engage with your brand.

Why This Matters for Businesses on Facebook

Growth plugins were previously optimized around using the plugin to enter a customer into a messaging flow.

The problem was that flows don’t respond immediately. There is a time delay between the OptIn event and the receipt of the message. As a result, there will be a lag between the time that a Messenger OptIn event happens. This delay of even a few minutes can be enough time for a customer to lose interest.

This delay between action and reaction is not new. Even now, customers signing up via email address experience this problem.

With the Immediate OptIn Confirmation, businesses can set up a message that will send immediately. Then, seconds after the Messenger OptIn event occurs, your customer will receive a message from your business page in Messenger.

As a result, this creates a much better customer experience. You can build customer trust in this new channel by delivering the confirmation message immediately.

Since your customers are actively engaging with your brand, they are at peak receptivity to messages, despite the novelty of the channel. Customers receiving this external feedback that opting-in to messages with your brand was the right thing to do.

This micro-interaction with your business primes your customers to view your brand more positively. Furthermore, you can sweeten the experience by adding the delivery of a dynamic discount code. When you do this, you start your customers’ journey with your brand off on the right foot.

How To Use Immediate OptIn Confirmation Messaging Effectively

In order to be effective, you need to be in the shoes of your customer. An effective immediate OptIn confirmation is timely and relevant. Thus, it doesn’t distract your visitor from the thing you want them to continue doing.

Your customer will be able to trigger an immediate message one of several ways.

  1. Visiting an M.Me Link from somewhere else on the internet
  2. Clicking a send-to-messenger button on an onsite Growth Plugin.
  3. Signing up for order updates — coming soon!

When this happens, a message will greet them. In order to be effective, the immediate message will be tailored around the context of the customer experience leading up to the OptIn event.

Visitors from an M.Me link may need additional context about what they gain from chatting with your business on Messenger. You can ask your visitors questions. You can then use their responses to tailor a more relevant landing page experience for them before moving them down your funnel.

People who click an onsite growth plugin will benefit from only receiving a brief confirmation message. You don’t want to pull their attention away from their onsite experience.

Mobile visitors may see your message as a push notification at the top of their phone as they are browsing. This is a great way to confirm receipt of the dynamic discount code in their inbox, without taking them off your site.

The most effective immediate OptIn confirmation messages treat Messenger as a companion experience. These messages support another interaction your customer is already having with your brand.

Are you ready to get started?

LIVE! with Facebook Blueprint: The Future of Messenger for Businesses

Arjun Ohri joined Facebook Blueprint to talk about the future of messenger marketing for businesses and brands.

The Future of Messenger for Businesses

We're Live with our team of Messaging experts! Join the conversation now and learn what Messenger can do for your business, along with tips on how to get started. Submit your questions in the comments section below for the opportunity to get answers Live!

Posted by Facebook Blueprint on Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Listen in as they cover a wide range of topics, including how to engage your audiences without spamming them, intelligently automate common customer flows using a conversational interface, and earn more ROI for your marketing spend.

Or jump through a partial transcript highlighting ShopMessage.

Chidi: [00:08:20]

And Arjun, like Christian, you’re representing a developer perspective. What would you say is important in terms of some of the use cases you’ve seen where Messenger works and even where Messenger doesn’t work.

Arjun: [00:08:30]

Sure. So first of all, let me with Messenger you have the opportunity to really. Meet people where they actually are, you know, all the stats are saying that the biggest growth is coming from 1 to 1 and small group messaging and so people are spending more time within the Messenger apps.

So, you know with that, that really gives you the opportunity to be more personalized and be more engaging. So in terms of the actual use cases where thing that especially in the e-commerce world. There’s a few that advertisers really taking advantage of. So I would say first of all is just helping users, just helping customers actually go through and finish their purchase or finish whatever goals that they have.

Oftentimes for e-commerce, their goals are things like their ROAS or their conversion rate and making sure customers are happy throughout their customer journey.

Continuing The Conversation

Arjun: [00:09:09]

So with Messenger, the best use cases are, first of all, tying what customers are doing on their site which is where most of the activity takes place to actually a Messenger conversation.

So if somebody’s adding a few products to their cart and they’re really kind of deliberating what they should buy. How do you follow up later on in Messenger and really give customers a personalized experience to either continue that conversation either with the bot or with the person or just have a direct link to go back and finish the purchase that they started and then so and then overall the scenarios that work best or when you’re figuring out where your customers are in their life cycle and making sure you have the right message.

Throughout the life cycle.

Chidi: [00:09:45]

Okay, you mentioned returned as Ben mentioned purchases, which should advertisers be thinking about when they’re talking about how to should I actually optimize?

Arjun: [00:10:01]

Right. So most of our— a lot of the advertisers that we see be very successful on Messenger, they’ve already been really successful they already invest heavily on Facebook and Instagram already and so Facebook and Instagram for the stories and for the newsfeed are great for product Discovery and really kind of give them the public, like giving a public view of your brand and so when Brands want to actually get into Messenger. Then this gives them the opportunity to be more personalized in their messaging. So in terms of what they should actually do is first of all building up that Messenger Channel through on-site capture, allowing users to opt in while they’re on the website and also using click to Messenger ads in case that there’s not already an open conversation. Maybe you can start a conversation with the brand after they’ve already considered your product. And then lastly is re-engaging users later on through sponsored messages that— they can be Promotional and we’re seeing customers drive over 30x ROAS.

If you want to tell somebody you can get 30x ROAS on an ad Channel people usually say, like sign me up. So this is really an opportunity for advertisers to get a great return on their investment while giving customers a good experience.

Abandoned Carts

Chidi: [00:18:34]

When people drop off and then with Messenger you can get back to that person where they actually left off.

How do you think about that? Like what are the benefits of being able to get back to somebody right where they left off?

Arjun: [00:18:46]

Sure, so, I mean generally if you talk to Merchants talk to eCommerce Merchant, the biggest problem tends to be abandoned carts. So advertisers are spending so much money to acquire a customer suggest come to their site and browse around and a lot of these customers are legitimately interested in buying a product.

They’re adding products to their cart. And for whatever reason, they don’t finish the purchase. That can be because they’re distracted or they just forget or you know, maybe they don’t have the right kind of, like a coupon or discount or like a sense of urgency to pus- to push them, really, over the edge.

And so what that what we found is how do we turn Messenger into a revenue channel to actually take these customer Journeys that are already happening on the site, but getting them to actually finish the purchase and so what we found is first of all, the best thing to do is making sure that the message that’s going to the customer via Messenger is not something generic like “hey, you should come back and buy something” but instead it actually takes a context of what they were actually browsing, what was in their cart. How do we show pictures of it? Show you a description again, maybe show you some reviews and why you should trust the brand and then sending that over and then one of the things that we found is when customers get these messages, first of all, it’s very highly contextual.

I mean it’s within 30 minutes of them actually browsing the site. So you’re seeing these 80% plus open rates just on getting that first message and then beyond that advertisers have a lot of flexibility in what they can do to ultimately get that purchase.

So for some advertisers discounts are really what drives it. So giving a unique discount code to that user over Messenger that only they have that they can go and make finish that purchase that’s really valuable. But for some other brand especially higher-ticket items, Well customers always love discounts. But sometimes it’s something else. Sometimes they want to know about the return policy.

They want to know about the reviews. Sometimes they want to know about like just generally like how long is this product gonna take to get to them tell me about the shipping. So Messenger is a great time to then pick up where the customer left off on the site and to try to make it a more of a conversation to get these customers questions answered and ultimately get them to make the purchase.

Easy 15-minute Integration

Chidi: [00:20:52]

Okay, and Arjun while we’re on you I have a question from the live feed from Christine. Christine wants to know how challenging is the integration of Messenger? And then also, can you give some examples specific to the retail industry?

Arjun: [00:21:05]

Sure, so, you know the nice part about Messenger is even though there’s this whole Holy Grail of integrating your entire company systems with Messenger.

It’s actually very very simple to get started. Especially if you’re an e-commerce brand. So, you know one thing that we spend a lot of time at  ShopMessage is if you’re a retail brand then you can get started in just 15 minutes and especially if you use a platform like a Shopify, Magento or Salesforce Commerce Cloud, we integrate with these platforms such that when you get started then automatically you can start prompting people on your website to opt into Messenger automatically.

You can set up some of the best practices in terms of abandoned cart flows, receipts, maybe a shipping notification or a post-purchase follow-up. And then and automatically you can set up a FAQ of some of the most common questions. So this can take as little as 15 minutes to get set up with the basic experience.

And then from there really many advertisers go and add a lot of customization. The advertisers that perform the best are the ones that actually take their brand voice and actually put it into the Messenger, putting into the Messenger experience.

So, for example, we worked with a company who they’re selling toilet bidets. So, to millennials, And which is a really funny product and it was really going viral and instead of in their abandoned cart message saying “hey, did you leave something behind?” Their message said “Pssss! Did you forget to flush?” And so and it had the person’s name in it and it was something that was very authentic to that brand.

So I would say like even though it takes 15 minutes to get set up the more an Advertiser puts their own voice into it and add some things that are really authentic to the brand then the Messenger experience only gets better for customers and drives more revenue.

Bridging the Gap Between Marketing & Customer Service

Arjun: [00:32:06]

One of our favorite examples of an experience that kind of bridges the gap between customer service and actually marketing is a project that we did with American Eagle Outfitters.

And so what they noticed is that they had a really big push for selling jeans and bras during the back-to-school season last year and with so many SKUs, with thousands of skews it can get a little overwhelming. So just like you have a person like a physical person at a retail store who would, who would help you with your purchase, they tried to make sure that they could provide that experience with Messenger.

So the experience was you go to— if the system detects that you’re browsing for a pair of jeans on American Eagle. It, on the customer chat plugin, through Messenger can actually pop up on site and ask if you need help choosing a perfect pair.

Get 3x Conversion Rates Using Guided Product Quizzes

And then one of the great Parts about Messenger is instead of users having to type in “Yes, I need help. I’m looking for this, and this, and this.”Messenger actually provides lots of quick replies and buttons so that yeah we were able to offer, first of all, identify when users are actually browsing for jeans and then give them a quiz of just three to five questions to find the best pair of jeans for you.

Basically, so based on the fit you like the kind of color you like and you know what your personal style is. And the result is that the conversion rate for the people who are able to interact with this was almost three times the– versus ones who did not actually get this experience. And that’s really valuable because not only did these conversations lead to more sales, but whenever someone had an actual question, they can ask that question. And then if they needed someone from customer support to answer that question, then they had a channel to do so. So it really is possible to really bridge the gap between marketing and customer support. It just takes a little bit of thought about where the customer is in their Journey.

Click-To-Messenger Ads for Lead Generation

Chidi: [00:37:14]

One more question from the live feed because this is a popular question right here. So Brie wants to know “how can I use messages to actually generate lead ads, right generate leads in general?

Arjun: [00:37:26]

Yeah. Sure. So one of the nice things about Messenger is that because you have these quick replies and really simple interaction scheme, then it works very effectively for lead generation.

So one scenario that we found works pretty well is running click to Messenger ads. So there’s really two scenarios one scenario is if you want to try to get brand new leads then using click to Messenger ads where the result is, you’re not going to a website, but you’re opening up a Messenger conversation and you can just with a few taps, you can really get a lot of Engagement and get a lot of information from the customer. One nice thing about Messenger is, when a customer comes in and starts engaging with it, they don’t need to enter their name. Like Facebook already knows their name. They, if you want to capture an email address or phone number you can do that with just one tap.

So, you know a lot of the basic questions that when you go to a website you have to fill out, Messenger just makes that totally seamless and then you can start getting to the meat of it. You can start getting to what are the important questions that qualify somebody as being a lead or not. So, so click-to-Messenger adds to a lead-gen conversation works particularly well.

And the thing that makes it, Messenger even a better channel for this is let’s just say somebody drops off in their flow and they don’t finish it off. You can send the reminder later on, or the next day, saying “hey you want to pick up where you left off?” And then, the customer, it’s very easy to do that.

They don’t have to go back to a website. They don’t just start from the beginning. They can just continue on with the flow. So that’s been a really positive flow and a—the case where Messenger is going to be increasingly used for lead-gen scenarios.

Chidi: [00:39:06]

So it’s clear to me that Messenger is really powerful.

What about the costs associated with Messenger? How would you guys respond to that argument if you can go first?

Arjun: [00:39:16]

Sure, so the cost of just getting a basic Messenger experience up, I mean, we are, ShopMessage offers both a managed service for large Enterprises. But also we have a self-serve version that starts to just like a 30-day trial and then nine dollars a month.

Large Enterprise Costs

Chidi: [00:39:31]

So really how would you define large Enterprises if you don’t mind me asking?

Arjun: [00:39:33]

Good question. So large Enterprises are the ones that tend to require a lot of integration with their other systems that generally have multiple teams within their, within their organization that you have to work with to make sure the experience is approved and works across these multiple organizations. Often times, there are a lot more requirements for integrating with other forms of software. And to be honest. This is actually where Christian and Snaps, his company, is really, really excels, and they have a lot of experience in it. So. Yeah, you know that said one point that I think I’d want to get across, Is that even if you are a large Enterprise you don’t have to spend months and months to get everything integrated to get value over, out of Messenger.

The nice part about it is you can have a go to market strategy doesn’t matter if you’re like a one-person Shopify store or if you’re doing a billion dollars plus in sales online. You can get started with the most common flows, which is you know, how do you welcome customers to your site?

How do you give them abandoned cart messages, receipts, shipping notifications, automate some customer support? And that starts, is as little as nine dollars. And then that said if you want to invest in sponsored messages to re-engage customers after the fact those, the price, the cost is really as much as a business wants to invest.

What we are seeing is over 30x ROAS for some of our customers who are using it. Blenders Eyewear is a great example of a sunglasses company based in San Diego. That you know the one that when they run a promotion it’s very few and far between they have a really they have a high-quality product, but you know when they do run the promotion they’ve used sponsored messages to reach out to really really like, segmented groups of people with a personalized message and those are converting at 30x ROAS plus and that just outperforms any other channel.

So, you know if you’re getting a 30x ROAS and your cost is really like how do I put more money into it? That’s the question that you’re asking.

Chidi: [00:41:33]


Arjun: [00:41:34]

And then likewise for click to Messenger ads, you know, we don’t recomm– we don’t, it doesn’t have to be a massive a multi-thousand, a multi-million dollar investment into ads. You can run a basic test to see what kind of conversion you’re getting, and then use those as the ability to really decide how to invest further.

So I really want to dispel the notion that it requires a significant cost or time investment to get value out of the Messenger channel.

Grow Early with Data-Driven Best Practices

Arjun: [00:44:31]

I was just gonna say like thinking more long-term. It’s very clear that that conversation and messaging is going to be very core to interacting with businesses over the next five, ten years.

And of course, if we look at examples like in Asia where messaging is just so central to how people engage with businesses and the US really has an opportunity to grow.

So, for brands, this is really the time to get started. If advertisers want to make the most out of the conversational channels, best to get started early. And it’s just like if you were early to building an authentic Facebook presence or building an Instagram following, this is really the time to just try to, try to get started now and like like you’re saying like the value of working with a partner like ShopMessage or Snaps is that we can help take all the best practices that we’ve learned over the years of with other businesses and just apply those directly to you, to your experience. As like the baseline experience that we know converts well. Brands can then go and customize on top of it. But they’re not starting from scratch, they’re starting from something that they know converts. There’s data around. For example, like if you are going to do an abandoned cart flow, you know, if you, for brands that provide a 10 to 15 percent discount, they actually double the conversion rate.

So if discounts or something that’s part of your existing brand strategy, and then that is some that’s a useful data point to know as opposed to having to test everything from scratch.

Localizing Global Content

Arjun: [00:53:54]

Seeing actually examples for many global, global advertisers. They need to make sure they have a pretty localized experience for each market they work with.

So we found in Messenger that that amounts to a few things. Number one is just the language. Making sure that if you’re browsing a site, you know in Spain then you’re going to get your message back, like, in Spanish. So and no matter what, no matter what version of a site you’re browsing you’re going to get the appropriate language.

And then secondly is it’s not just the language. It’s also nuances about the language and the interaction style. So, you know in some depending on your brand and depending on the locale, sometimes you might want to, a more informal tone versus one that’s a little bit more formal. And so working with global advertisers, we can help really give the ability to have a separate messaging for each language you work with.

And then lastly is now with GDPR and other actual regulations laws that are in place, then it’s really important to make sure that what with each, with wherever the customer is based, that you’re able to be respectful of these laws. So, you know people in the US might see a slightly different experience and someone in a GDPR based country.

So these are all things that– I don’t say these to kind of like scare people away. I think these are really an opportunity to give a personalized experience no matter where in the world your customers are.

Arjun: [00:57:21]

And then lastly is for especially for e-commerce companies that want to get started today, the best thing you can do to make your messages more personalized is making sure that it’s actually just integrated with your site and that you’re set, you’re send– you’re continuing the journey as opposed to starting from scratch.

So, I mean we’re really excited about Messenger and it really is going to be the future of how people talk to businesses. It’s already how people talk to each other. So we’re excited.

How to Get Started with Facebook Messenger Marketing and Grow Your List of Contacts

No Checkbox, No Problem.

The ShopMessage team is proud to announce our new suite of Growth Tools for building your list of Facebook Messenger contacts!

Throughout this blog, we use Growth Tools, Growth Plugins, and Promotions pretty loosely.

They all refer to the same thing, and they all help you launch your Messenger Marketing strategy.

Who is this guide for?

We believe e-commerce merchants everywhere should have a strong Messenger marketing strategy. We wrote this guide for businesses that are in various stages of formulating their Messenger strategy:

  • Businesses that need help deciding which Facebook Messenger Marketing platform to install.
  • Marketers trying to collect Messenger opt-ins on their site and landing pages.
  • Brands that are even thinking about getting their feet wet with Conversational Commerce.

Also! We integrate with almost all platforms including Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, Prestashop, and Salesforce Commerce Cloud to name a few.

If you’re already sold on Messenger and you just want the meat and potatoes, click here.

Why Every Business Needs a Messenger Marketing Strategy Now

Email is declining

We built these growth tools for e-commerce merchants big and small because now is the time for businesses to get started building up your list of Messenger contacts.

Email engagement is declining as inboxes saturate and recipients are afflicted with email fatigue.

Typing in an email address is a high-friction experience for today’s modern shoppers. It just takes too much time.

The email collection experts at Sumo benchmark the average email opt-in rate at 1.95%. Then out of that ~2% that have opted in, e-commerce stores can expect 15.66% open rates. That’s barely a drop in the bucket!

So where are they going if they’re not opening their emails? 

Messenger. It’s exploding!

More than 1.4 billion people are actively checking their Facebook Messenger inboxes every month. Mark Zuckerburg himself reported at Facebook for Developers’ F8 Conference that over 20 billion monthly messages were sent between people and businesses as of 2019, which is 2.5 times more YoY (as compared to Q2 2018).

Not only are people online, but they’re engaged! ShopMessage clients have seen ~81% open-rates and 34% click-thru rates. Email just can’t compare—take a look at Mailchimp’s benchmarks!

Messenger vs email engagement rates show that Messenger is more than 10x more effective than email. Messenger gets 81% open-rates and 34% click-through rates, while email has only 16% open rates and 2% click-through rates.
Infographic comparing Facebook Messenger and email engagement rates.

However, if you want to engage with your (potential) customers via Messenger, you’ll need their consent to be messaged. You’ll need them to opt-in to receive messages from your page.

Some brands who are veterans in the Messenger space may have been lucky enough to have their checkboxes pre-checked but…

Facebook’s pre-checked checkbox widgets went away — Here’s what you should know

Facebook recently made an announcement on its Developers page. As of April 9, 2019, Facebook has completely disabled the Messenger Check-box plugin’s pre-checked state. For some, this was a sad day, indeed.

When this happened, any brands that were lucky enough to get their stores onto an approved pre-check list lost their whitelisted status.

There is a silver lining though.

In the end, Facebook’s checkbox widget was just one of many points in your customers’ journey to engage with them and offer the opt-in promotion.

With Growth Plugins like the ones on ShopMessage, no checkbox is no problem!

An abstraction of an e-commerce website experience on a mobile phone is shown on the left. On the right is a close-up of that same screen, zoomed in to focus on a checked checkbox with the words "Send to Messenger" along with the Facebook Messenger icon next to it. Below the checkbox is a Facebook profile photo and name, Caroline Connors. A "Not you?" link is greyed out next to it. A female emoji wearing a purple longsleeve shirt forms an X with her arms above the close-up. Below the close-up is an alarm clock emoji with the text, "April 9" beside it.
Facebook will be deprecating the checkbox widget on April 9, 2019.

How ShopMessage’s Growth Tools Will Help Make You a Messenger Marketing Pro

The challenge: how to start a conversation with customers.

Our solution: create a growth tool for building your Messenger Marketing list. We gave a nod to email capture modals, with a small but major difference: one-click opt-in.

No more typing! But there’s a little more to it than that.

A GIF of an example store. A modal pops up with a Messenger opt-in button. The user clicks the button. The modal changes to the completed state, including a discount code. The user continues shopping.
Choose from a range of strategies for promoting to your visitors and collecting their Messenger opt-ins.

Our tools make every effort to respect the tenets of human-centered design by creating a frictionless experience for your customers.

Here’s what you can do to make that a reality for your customers.

Leverage ShopMessage’s Smart Logic to create a pleasant customer experience

We spent hundreds of hours thinking through what would make a Messenger opt-in experience an awesome one for your customers.

Optimize Opt-Ins by Only Displaying to the Visitors That Are Likely to Opt-In

Increase your success rate, and avoid wasting impressions on people that have a low probability of converting.

Logged In To Facebook

Your promotions will only show if we have detected that your site visitor is already logged into Facebook on their browser.

Users shouldn’t have to exit their purchase flow to log into Facebook Messenger. This would risk them abandoning your site and their cart.

Not Yet A Messenger Contact

We also don’t want to spam your existing contacts. We’ll only show your promotions to visitors that are not already in your list of contacts.

Once you’ve collected your customers opt-in, we won’t bother them with future pop-ups so they can focus on browsing your store.

ShopMessage smart logic only targets visitors that are: 1. logged into Facebook, 2. Not on an existing contact yet and 3. Not at the same time as an existing modal on the site. A guy with glasses and a hat smiles widely at his phone.
ShopMessage will only display plugins to visitors that are most likely to opt-in.

Works in Harmony with Existing Email Capture Modals 

A Messenger boom doesn’t have to cost you your existing email strategy. In fact, ShopMessage is proud to call several of your favorite email capture tools our partners.

We’ve built smart logic into your promotion’s display rules that prevent our plugin from competing with any of our partner’s plugins. No need to worry about flooding your customers with too many offers all at once.

A well-rounded marketing strategy will need multiple customer touch points to build a lasting relationship. ShopMessage wants to help you get there.

Device & Page Display Awareness For Advanced Visitor Segmentation

We’ve built in the ability to target customer browsers, UTM sources, and specific pages using string matching.

This allows you to create alternate experiences depending on which advertising channel they came from.

You can also target broad categories of pages across your site, such as your /collections/ or /product/ pages.

A bullet list of advanced targeting behaviors. The three lines read: Page & source targeting, frequency throttling, and Choose mobile, desktop & tablet. A photo of a man leaning on a bar in a café smiling at his smartphone.
ShopMessage allows you to target people based on the device they are using, the page they are on and the traffic source they came from. You can specify what frequency you want to display your overlays to the same user.

Create Beautiful Opt-In Capture Modals in 3 Clicks With The Flexibility to Fit Your Brand

We looked at hundreds of modal experiences used by the biggest brands in e-commerce to figure out what makes for a great experience. Here are a few things we learned:

4 Tips for Creating Beautiful Overlays

  1. Tailor your message to the particular point in your customer’s journey that you are engaging them.
  2. Branded Flyouts, Modals, and Full Page Takeovers are great ways to catch your customer’s attention.
  3. Keep things short and sweet. Use 2-3 lines to avoid a cluttered looking promotion.
  4. A simple background can add a lot of life and texture, without distracting from your main message.

We took these learnings and worked with a team of designers to create hundreds of professionally designed templates. Our goal was to help brands get started collecting opt-ins right away.

Instead of a clunky, freeform email input field waiting for a typo, brands can use one-click Send-to-Messenger buttons to follow-up seamlessly.

A grid of flyout overlays is layed on a warm, gradient background. They are all designed with different backgrounds and typeface choices, but they all say "Welcome! Take 10% Off Your Order". One overlay is twice as large as the rest, but it does not disrupt the grid.
We’ve created hundreds of preset overlays to help businesses hit the ground running.

All of our presets are plug and play—easy to use. We wanted you to be able to get started with Messenger Marketing without getting bogged down on design. The only thing you need to upload is your logo!

However, we also know that customization is important. We gave you the ability to customize just about anything in your overlay.

You can edit the background imagery, upload a logo, change the colors, edit your copy, and include a promotional offering to fit the needs of your brand.

An abstract representation of UI elements from the ShopMessage product that shows the overlay design interface. A preview of the existing overlay settings shows on the right side, while the left side has a column of settings. The background is a warm gradient of orange to yellow to pink.
ShopMessage’s overlay design tool allows you to customize layout, fonts, backgrounds, call-to-action text and more. The preview updates in real time.

Different Strategies To Grow Your Contact List

Every customer is unique, and every store experience is unique. We put together multiple Growth Tools strategies to make sure there’s a tool for everyone that can cover their bases.

Each strategy determines a set of rules governing the behavior of your Growth Tool. The strategy chosen will pre-populate specific messaging into your preset that is appropriate for the timing of your promotion.

Growth Plugin Customizations

  • overlay type e.g. modals, flyouts, and full-page takeovers
  • background image
  • messaging
  • typography
  • colors e.g. buttons, text
  • discount
  • your own logo

The Arrival Promo

Maximize your impressions by presenting all eligible visitors an offer moments upon arriving at your store.

You can set this to display immediately upon arrival, although we would recommend a few seconds of delay.

This way, your promotion benefits from the added surprise/delight of popping-up.

A turquoise and grey Facebook Messenger opt-in capture modal on a minimalist website mockup. The modal says "Welcome!"
A promotion that displays immediately, or very shortly after, a visitor arrives on your site.

The Purchase-Intent Promo

Use this strategy to strike a balance between your customer’s ability to browse the site and maximizing your opt-in rate.

Purchase-Intent is defined as viewing the page for X-seconds, scrolling down Y% of the page, or adding an item to their cart.

You can customize the timing and percentage delays based on your typical customer’s behavior.

A pink Facebook Messenger opt-in capture modal on a minimalist website mockup. The modal says "Unlocked!"
A promotion that displays when a visitor exhibits purchase intent. This can be defined as time spent on a page, the percentage of the page scrolled or adding an item to their cart.

The Exit-Intent Promo

Wait to display your promotion until your customer appears to be navigating away from your store. Catch your on their way out could mean the difference between an abandoned cart and closing the sale.

A yellow and grey Facebook Messenger opt-in capture modal on a minimalist website mockup. The modal says "Wait!"
A promotion that displays when a visitor appears to be navigating away from your site.

The Persistent Promo

This is a subtle, yet visible, way to build your Contact list. Best of all, it doesn’t take up a lot of space.

This hybrid promotion will render as a pill in the bottom corner of your page until the visitor engages with it, or an Intent rule is triggered.

When this happens, the pill will expand into a modal, a flyout, or a full page takeover depending on what design you chose.

A blue Facebook Messenger opt-in pill on a minimalist website mockup. The pill says "Unlock 10% Off"
A subtle, yet persistently accessible pill in the bottom corner of your site that visitors can engage with at will. A great way for your growth tool to co-exist with an email capture modal that may already be in place.

The Post-Purchase Promo

This strategy is different because it targets the customer after they have completed their purchase. Use this to ensure opt-in collection by celebrating your customer with an offer they can save for their next visit.

It’s important to lay the foundation for building a repeat customer while your customer is feeling peak joy about their purchase.

A blue and grey Facebook Messenger opt-in capture modal on a minimalist website mockup. The modal says "Thanks!"
A promotion that displays after a visitor has completed a purchase. A great way to celebrate your customers and re-engage them for repeat purchasing.

How to Choose the Right Growth Plugin Strategy for Your Brand, or What To Do If You Have an Email Modal On Your Site Already

Messenger opt-in growth tools and email capture modals appear and behave similarly.  Take care to avoid creating a conflicting, confusing experience for your customers. The last thing you want is to create a poor experience with both channels.

The good news is, we thought a lot about this problem. While we were debating our solutions three things kept coming up:

  1. The customer journey on your site comprises of multiple touch points.
  2. You want to avoid annoying or over-saturating your customers.
  3. You want to maximize your Messenger opt-ins.

Understanding The Steps of Your Customer’s Journey

To choose the right growth strategy, you need to take a look at the various points in your customer’s journey with your brand. Some common events include:

  • Discovering your brand
  • Landing on your website
  • Browsing your site
  • Adding an item to their cart
  • Completing their purchase
  • Becoming a happy customer.
A diagram outlining the steps along that a store owner can offer a promotion: upon arrival, after demonstrating purchase or exit intent, or post-purchase for next time. A merchant can also use a persistent promotion pill that displays during the entire session.
ShopMessage’s team has identified the most common scenarios that a merchant would want to offer their visitors a promotion. The best part is a merchant can use more than one!

It’s important to understand the scope of possible customer engagement points. This will enable you to identify where your existing email capture strategies fit into the larger puzzle.

You’ll be able to spot the gaps where you are not engaging with your customers. These are the opportunities where you’ll want to deploy your Messenger growth plugins.

What to Consider When Choosing a Strategy

First, you’ll need to determine whether there are any existing modals on your site that you need to take into account.

If you don’t have an existing email capture modal, then this choice is easy. Display your promotional plugin upon arrival with a slight delay.

We also recommend using the exit intent and post-purchase promo strategies for good measure.

A diagram of how ShopMessage's recommended growth tool strategy if your store has no email modals. Use the welcome, the purchase intent, and the exit intent promos. Vary the text and possibly even your discount offer between promotions.
In general, you want to maximize your opportunities to capture opt-ins by using multiple strategies that hit the visitor at various steps in their customer journey.

What to Do If You Already Use Email Modals

Do you already have email capture modals? If so, they will likely display upon arrival and/or when exit intent is displayed.

You should decide if you want to replace any of your existing email modals with one of ShopMessage’s Messenger growth plugins.

The alternative is to find a new step in the journey to prompt your visitors.

A diagram of where brands that use email capture modals tend to display them: upon arrival, and when exit intent is displayed.
Along the customer journey, a majority of brands that are using email capture modals have them deploy upon arrival, or when the visitor has displayed exit intent.

Choose the Persistent Offer strategy if you want your growth plugin to coexist with an email modal. This subtle pill keeps your opt-in promotion visible. It won’t compete with the arrival or exit-intent modals for attention.

Our Post-Purchase Promotion is unique. It displays to visitors that have already converted into paying customers. Use this time to celebrate your customers and encourage them to turn into repeat buyers.

A diagram that shows email capture modals being deployed upon visitor arrival and upon the exhibition of exit intent. A ShopMessage overlay is recommended at the post-purchase stage while also recommending a persistent promotion display in tandem with the email capture modals.
You can balance your email and messenger plugin displays by targeting your visitors at different sections of their customer journey.
Grow With Messenger

What to Do with Your New Growth Tool & The Contacts You Collect

So if you’ve gotten this far, then you’ve successfully created your first of many Growth Tools.

The contact opt-ins are rolling in! Awesome! But, we promised you this would feed into your larger Messenger Marketing strategy!

Just follow these steps.

Create a Welcome Series Message Flow to Greet Your New Contacts

It would be rude not to welcome the new additions to your brand family. We recommend connecting your Growth Tool to a Welcome Series flow.

It doesn’t have to be long-winded or complex. Even a simple “Hello! Thanks for stopping by!” goes a long way. It’s easy to make sure your customers know you care about creating a relationship with them.

A brunette woman wearing red and black looks down at her rose gold cell phone. Next to her is a floating conversation from Messenger. The first message is an image of five hands holding five pink balloons that spell out "Hello". The second message says "Welcome!! (Hand-waving emoji) This is where we make new product announcements and offer special sales to insiders like you. Sound good?" The messages are from a brand named Brooklyn.
The first step to building a lasting relationship is to start! Enroll your growing list of contacts into a welcome series flow that greets them as soon as they’ve accepted your promotion.

To create a flow for your promotion, navigate to the Follow-Up tab of your Growth Tools editor. Then, click the Create Flow button.

Next, you will be taken to the familiar flows message editor. You’ve most likely already encountered this while setting up your abandoned cart flow.

An abstract representation of UI elements from the ShopMessage product that shows the flow creation button. The background is a warm gradient of orange to yellow to pink.
Once you’ve set up your tool, the next step is to get a flow set up to start engaging with your new contacts.

To make things easier, we’ve created a nice, warm default that you can get started with.

The welcome flow comes with all the customizability you’ve come to expect from our product. After all, branding is important!

An abstract representation of UI elements from the ShopMessage product that describes the message flow rules and messages. A minimalist cellphone illustration shows a welcome conversation. The first message is a photo of five hands, each holding up a pink balloon letter that collectively spells out the word "Hello". The second message reads, "Welcome!! (hand wave emoji in yellow) This is where we make new product announcements and offer special sales to insiders like you. Sound good?" The message sender is a brand called Brooklyn.
ShopMessage has created a default flow that you can use to hit the ground running with engaging your new contacts.

Advanced Scenario — Visitor Properties

We also allow you to set unique visitor properties for contacts collected via your Growth Plugin.

You can use these visitor properties to identify this specific segment of your contacts list for specific campaign targeting.

Are you running a special Warehouse Sale promotion? You may want to send follow-up content to these users about similar deals.

You would need to specify the visitor property associated with this promotion as your inclusion rule in your campaign targeting set-up.

Bottom Line

Building a customer relationship that generates a high LTV for your business is hard.

You’ll need to meet them where they are, and that’s in multiple places. Some customers prefer email, others prefer Messenger, and some like a little bit of both.

Facebook Messenger offers a rich, interactive space to engage with your customers and prospects. ShopMessage’s Growth Tools was designed with the end customer, your customers, in mind.

We placed an emphasis on creating a great experience for everyone.

Are you ready to get started?

This article was updated on May 6th, 2019 to reflect new statistics from Facebook about Messenger adoption.

Why Facebook Messenger is THE Revenue Channel of 2019

Messenger is the future of marketing.

The modern shopper is conditioned by 2-day delivery standards and on-demand streaming entertainment. Customers expect the world to move fast at their fingertips.

Reading emails is a chore, and direct mail goes straight to the shredder.

One of the challenges that marketers have is keeping up where consumers are—Facebook Messenger.

Enter Messenger.

This is where people are migrating. More than 1.3 billion people are actively checking their Facebook Messenger inboxes every month. Mark Zuckerburg himself reported at Facebook for Developers’ F8 Conference that over 20 billion monthly messages were sent between people and businesses as of 2019, which is 2.5 times more YoY (as compared to Q2 2018).

Bar graph on a gradient background showing the growth of Facebook Messenger's active users over the last 8 years.

Zuckerburg went on to say that Messenger now “has a higher daily message volume than SMS had globally at its peak.”

We dug up that back in 2016, Facebook had been processing more than 60 billion messages per day.

Throw that on top of Zuckerburg’s announcement that Facebook would be merging the infrastructures of Messenger, WhatsApp & Instagram, and you’re looking at more than 2.6 billion monthly users!

People are Already on Facebook Messenger and they are Engaged!

We’re not saying that email doesn’t work… we’re just saying that Messenger Marketing is 10x more effective. Let’s do the math.

As of last year, Mailchimp reports an average 15% open-rate & 2% click-thru rate. Messenger Marketing typically sees around 81% open-rates. 34% click-thru rates are common too. This is great for your abandoned cart messages! More on that later.

Insane engagement like this might make sense if you consider that only about 1 in 3 businesses are communicating with their customers on the Messenger platform. It’s just not that crowded… yet.

There’s no telling how long you can expect engagement like this to last. The last time you’d have seen that kind of engagement email was back in the 90s before the channel got saturated and segmented.

An image macro with a photo of Gary Vee reacting to Messenger engagement rates. He has  an "ah shucks" expression of FOMO. The text above him reads, "I wish I sent more emails in the 90s."
Gary Vaynerchuk reflects on the high engagement rates email once had.

Conversational Engagement That Scales

The beauty of the Messenger channel is that your customers are already in a conversational mindset when they enter the channel. Customers are ready to engage with you if you can offer something interesting. After all, no one likes to chat with a bore.

Take your typical Abandoned Cart scenario. A customer is browsing your store, adds a few things to their cart and then they get a text that Fyre fest tickets just went on sale, which causes them to switch tabs, leaving your items to sit in cart limbo forever.

Photo of Billy McFarland floating on an inflatable recliner drifts in a turquoise blue ocean
Money doesn’t just have to float out there, you can get yours back.

But what if you could automatically slide a direct message into that customer’s inbox with a gentle reminder (you can even include a discount!) that links back to your page?

Now your customer can pick up where they left off! Your reminder message will be the first thing they see after they message their friends about their tickets.

That’s the power of automated messaging flows in Messenger.

Your conversational message opens up an interactive channel for your customers to re-engage with your brand, and lays the foundation for a longterm relationship.

We’re getting to a greater average LTV just by kicking off a casual conversation, at scale.

A photo explaining how Messenger flows can drive value. A black shopping cart is parked in front of a blue wall. White text centered in front of the image reads "100 million dollars worth of Abandoned Carts saved using ShopMessage."
Don’t leave money on the table. Recover revenue through Facebook Messenger with ShopMessage.

You don’t want to leave money on the table. Getting insanely high engagement rates with your abandoned cart messages is an easy way to make sure you’re recovering more of your revenue this year.

Getting Started with Messenger Marketing Is Easy

Conversational marketing is leading the way in 2019. This strategy delivers all day, every day, 24/7, and generates profits for you, even after you clock out to go home.

You don’t want to look back on 2019 a year or two from now and realize that you’ve fallen behind the competition by using outdated techniques to try and win customers. Luckily, we have a guide to help you get started!

Messenger marketing is the future of marketing and it’s happening right now. They say a rising tide lifts all boats, so make sure you’re situated to catch this wave.


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