We talked with ManyChat Co-Founder and CEO Mikael Yang about how to build a Facebook messenger bot with ManyChat for your community. It may seem counterintuitive, but Mikael built the ManyChat Facebook Chatbot to help you be more human rather than less. ManyChat is a tool that can help businesses and professionals engage their audience through messaging apps, but like any tool, it has to be used to further community building rather than just sending out messages. Mikael has revolutionized how businesses communicate and engage with audiences through messenger apps and chatbots. ManyChat allows businesses to create a Facebook Messenger chatbot within minutes and interact with prospects on a personal level. We asked Mikael how you can use a chatbot to be more human. Question: Tell us about ManyChat and how it works. How is it different from other chatbot competitors? Answer: ManyChat allows users to conduct sales and marketing through Facebook Messenger. They automate what their Facebook page is saying to their customers on Facebook Messenger. Businesses are doing this because people are getting much higher open rates and click-through rates. With these higher engagement rates, businesses are able to accomplish more to drive higher ROI. ManyChat prides itself on making chatbots accessible to solopreneurs and small businesses and those that aren’t as tech oriented. We’ve built a visual system that is easy to use with drag and drop functionality. Anyone without coding or technical knowledge can create their messenger automation and drive results for their business. Question: What gave you the inspiration for ManyChat? Answer: We started ManyChat when Telegram Messenger (a popular messaging app with a focus on speed and security that syncs seamlessly across any number of devices). I wanted to do a telegram newsletter and send a broadcast out to my subscribers. I spent a few hours trying to set up the database and get the code to work. It became obvious that there are thousands of other people wanting to do the same thing and who may not have the technical knowledge. We wanted to solve our own pain, but also realized there were so many things you can do with messenger apps. Question: What is the future for using chatbots in marketing? Answer: Messenger marketing will consist of building messenger subscribers, converting subscribers, messenger broadcasting, manual support, sales and marketing automation, and business tasks. This means of marketing is going to be the most popular form of marketing in the next 3-5 years because it’s the way people are communicating, which is all that matters. People are using messenger apps every day. Until now, there was no way for businesses to be part of those conversations. Now, with platforms like ManyChat, your business can become a part of that conversation and can use messaging apps to get business results. There are over 2 billion people using messaging apps in the world every month. Messaging apps have surpassed social networks in terms of popularity. Since 2016, messenger apps are the number one apps in sales. Businesses don’t decide what marketing channels they use. Businesses have to respond to what customers are using to be successful in marketing. Question: How do suggest you use a chatbot or messenger app to make it feel less impersonal? Answer: I think messaging apps feel more personal than email. The more customization and detail you can provide to the user that makes them feel like the bot is talking to them specifically based on the actions they have taken in the past and based on the information the bot has on them, the more personal it becomes. Question: How can we not create fatigue for customers and how much is too much in chatbot or messenger marketing? Answer: It’s important to understand your audience and segment them. Get people on your list that want to read your messages and want to interact with you. Understand what’s interesting and relevant and send that content. Question: What is the current click-through rate for a bot and how do they compare to other marketing communications? Answer: The open rates are typically 80-90% in terms of people opening the messages and the CTR’s are anywhere from 10-30%. The open rates are 4 times higher than email and CTR’s are 10 times higher. Question from Susanne Hemet: To what do you credit the self-confidence you have to just go out there and disrupt the marketplace? Where do you get your best ideas and/or do your best thinking? Answer: When we were starting, we were just trying to solve our own pain. It was a gradual process before there was a realization that we were disrupting something. Sometimes things grow to bigger than you imagine them to be. Our best ideas and best thinking typically come from talking to users, reading community posts, reading about other startups, talking to the team and meditation. Question from Jim Fuhs: Do you have any concerns about the data issues that Facebook has been facing? Do you think that they will make it more difficult for businesses to use ManyChat or other messaging programs to integrate with Messenger? Answer: ManyChat is already integrated. The only thing that could happen is that permissions could be revoked from platforms. It’s not about the information, the thing businesses are excited about is the ability to connect and build meaningful relationships with their customers. Facebook is interested in businesses doing that, so their gain is to become the ubiquitous platform that powers human connection and communication. To make that happen, they need businesses on board to provide useful services to end users. That’s where platforms like ManyChat comes in to provide sales and marketing support and bring businesses into the platform. Question: How do you support businesses that want to use ManyChat? Answer: We build the product and help them to leverage the product to drive their business results. We also have a free community where people can get a lot of help and feedback. We released a free course as well with over 10 hours of marketing content. We hosted the first-in-the-world messenger marketing conference in Austin, Texas, on September 22nd, 2018. We talked about strategies and tactics to be successful. Tools, apps, and resources mentioned: ManyChat Website Free Course: Messenger Marketing & Chatbot Mastery Messenger Marketing & Chatbot Conference ManyChat Conversations2018 Take Action Sign up for a free ManyChat account and test it on your business Facebook page and click over to the Communities That Convert chatbot to get an example of how it works and get messages about new episodes. How to reach Kami: If you’d like to learn more about Kami Huyse, visit her website at www.zoeticamedia.com. You can contact her by email at email@example.com or tweet to @kamichat. How to reach Madalyn: If you’d like to learn more about Madalyn Sklar, visit her website at www.madalynsklar.com. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet to @MadalynSklar. Join Our Community We have a new community on Facebook. We will extend the conversation from each episode and deliver bonus content. 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