Email & Facebook Messenger Marketing

As the ecommerce industry grows, new marketing channels are changing the marketing game. Facebook Messenger marketing exploded onto the scene in 2016 and it’s been a powerhouse ever since. Ecommerce businesses now have another powerful marketing channel to help increase their sales. There’s a lot of success stories with companies using Messenger marketing, but how does it compare to email?

It’s a battle of the heavyweights: Email vs. Facebook Messenger for ecommerce supremacy. Is email or Facebook Messenger a better marketing channel for your business? Read on to find out.

What is Facebook Messenger Marketing?

We’ve written about Facebook Messenger marketing before, but here’s a quick summary. Just like with email, Facebook Messenger can be used as a marketing tool to keep in touch with your customers and leads. With over 1.3 billion people using Messenger on a monthly basis, there’s a huge opportunity to get in touch with your customers and make it personal.

With Messenger marketing, you can send your customers offers, shipping updates, receipts, new featured products and more. You can even provide customer service.

One of the biggest claims to fame with Messenger Marketing is the crazy-high open rates and click-through rates (CTR) for Messenger campaigns. We’ve seen open rates as high as 88% and CTRs as high as 48% for businesses with thousands of subscribers!

Since Facebook messages are conversational and highly personalized, customers are more likely to open messages received on the Messenger app. While email is still a great marketing channel for ecommerce businesses, there’s a good chance your emails will get “lost” in the shuffle as customers receive a lot of emails every day. With some email services even filtering emails into a Promotions tab, there’s a good chance your customers might not even see your email.


Meet Octie, the Octane AI bot

Facebook Messenger Marketing and Bots

We hear the word “bots” a lot now (we even have a bot named Octie). What is a Facebook Messenger bot? A bot is a collection of digital messages that can answer questions, provide automated responses and be programmed with simple AI. Most bot platforms let you create these responses without having to write a single line of code, so you don’t need programming experience to start using Messenger bots!

With Messenger bots, you get the ability to automatically respond to customer questions. Just spend a few minutes setting it up and you’ll save yourself valuable time. Instead of having to rush to reply to a question, you can let your bot handle it!


Why Use Facebook Messenger Marketing for Ecommerce?

There are plenty of reasons to use Facebook Messenger as an ecommerce marketing channel. A couple of our favorite reasons include abandoned cart recovery, welcome messages, shipping updates and product suggestions.

Abandoned Cart Recovery


When your potential customer adds a product to their cart but doesn’t complete the purchase, you can set up Facebook Messenger to automatically send them a message later, just like with email. They’ll receive a message asking if they would like to complete their purchase or if they have any questions.

With the nearly 100 ecommerce businesses we’ve worked with on Facebook Messenger marketing, most find that they are now connecting with more new customers on Facebook Messenger than on email, and they are consistently converting 1 out of 9 abandoned cart messages to sales.

How does this compare to email? In 2017, 69% of carts were abandoned. The ecommerce benchmark for abandoned carts recovered with email is 4%. Octane AI customers average 11% with Facebook Messenger!

Live Chat


Live chat is a great way to interact with your customers -- if you’re able to respond quickly. You can respond manually, or let your bots do the heavy lifting for you. Your customers receive nearly instantaneous responses to any questions they might have.

Here’s an example from an Octane AI customer who used live chat to increase their revenue:

LXMI does not have the staff to respond immediately to every inquiry that comes to them through Facebook Messenger. LXMI began using Octane AI's chatbot technology to stand in the gap and delight customers with instant and helpful service. Octane AI has enabled LXMI to talk directly to thousands of customers and increased their revenue by 7% in their ecommerce channel.

Read more about LXMI and Octane AI.

Shipping Updates


You can easily send shipping messages to your customers so they can track their order status. Shipping updates can get lost in email, so having a second channel for shipping updates can be pretty useful. Customers can be notified of when a package is shipped, delays and delivery confirmations automatically.

Product Suggestions


First-time visitors to your site may not know what they want. Or they know what they want, but can’t find it. With Messenger, your bots can help customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

You even get an SEO benefit from this! Since search engines use time spent on site as an engagement metric, having customers stay on your page longer while they interact with your bot can help with your organic search rankings. Who doesn’t love free traffic?

Why Use Email for Ecommerce?

Email is still popular with ecommerce businesses for a reason. It’s traditionally been the best and most cost-efficient way to market your offers, new products and much more.

Each time you send out an email, it doesn’t need to be promoting a specific product or sale. Once you capture a new email address, an effective series of emails looks like this:

  • An introduction to the brand and what it stands for
  • Follow up emails with educational emails about trends in their industry
  • Finally, an email to inform customers of a sale or promotion

Through effective email marketing campaigns, a company can generate brand awareness and credibility so that when it does eventually convert a customer, they are more likely to be a repeat customer.

However, with tools like Gmail filtering emails from ecommerce businesses into a “Promotions” tab, there’s a good chance your emails might be missed from your customers if they never check it.

Using Email and Facebook Messenger Marketing Together

Is it possible to use both channels together? Absolutely! One common use case we see is to use Messenger for automated email address collection. You can collect email addresses and have the customer enter your automated drip email sequence.

You can also use email and Facebook to send the same campaigns. You run the risk of annoying a customer with too many messages at once, so we recommend not sending the campaigns at the same exact time. Put a delay between your email and Messenger campaigns so your customers don’t feel swamped with messages.

You can also start with an email message and use Messenger to follow up. For example, you’ll send a customer an email with a limited-time discount offer that the customer doesn’t open. Using Messenger, you can schedule a follow-up message to let them know about the offer as a way to remind them about it.

The Verdict

To sum it up, email and Facebook Messenger are both equally crucial for ecommerce businesses. Every business is unique and you’ll never know which channel will perform best on any given day. Just like with the stock market, there are days when one channel outperforms the other, or both channels might have a great day. Take the time to experiment with both email and Messenger to see what works best for your business.

With Octane AI, merchants can run abandoned cart campaigns, answer customer questions automatically, create conversational FAQs, send receipts and shipping notifications, and help their customers find products automatically. They can reach the billions of people using Facebook Messenger in the same way they have with email marketing automation.

If you’re running a Shopify store, try Octane AI free for 30 days by clicking the link below.


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