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  • Why you should use messaging apps in marketing and how to collect contacts
Andrea Serventi
30 October 2018
Reading time: 8 min

Why you should use messaging apps in marketing and how to collect contacts

We have analyzed the current landscape to give you some good reasons to connect with your database via messaging. Furthermore, to get started, here are 6 techniques to expand your audience.

As Google has repeatedly proclaimed in this year of 2018, “Support is the real battlefield for brand growth. As empowered consumer expectations continue to rise, the brands that support best will win.”

And what better way to support if not with the tool most preferred by the consumer, messages? But let’s not just talk about support; instant messaging systems can be used for any marketing aim.

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In this blog post, we tell you about the advantages of the messaging channel for companies, then point out some techniques to gather new contacts and expand your audience. Let’s get started!

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Why use messaging apps for marketing?

In 2015, Business Insider published a chart comparing two different types of traffic:

  1. The four major social media websites (Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram)
  2. Four instant messaging apps (WeChat, Viber, WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger)

Result: 2015 will be remembered as the year in which traffic on messaging platforms exceeded traffic on social networks. Today, three years later, the paths have grown even further apart.

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Statista instead focused on monthly users: its 2018 report  shows that messaging app users around the world went from 1.58 billion in 2016 to 2.01 billion in 2018, with the 2021 projection giving us a monthly audience of 2.48 billion people.

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This would be enough to push marketers all over the world to highlight the messaging channel as the channel with the most potential for marketing and, more generally, for brand communication.

But let’s take it a step further. Facebook IQ conducted a study on the use of mobile messaging, interviewing 12,500 people worldwide. Data emerged that cannot be ignored:

  • 63% of respondents noted that communications with companies via messaging apps has increased in the last two years
  • 56% would rather send a message than call a company in order to deal with a company’s customer service.
  • 61% say they appreciate personalized messages from companies
  • Over 50% say they are willing to shop at a company that communicates through messaging apps.
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Welcome to the era of Conversational Marketing

What is the lowest common denominator in these numbers? We like to point it out with one word: conversation. Users and brands view messaging apps as the channel with which to communicate in a closer, more intimate and immediate way.

Conversation implies the concept of canceling out distances, adopting the logic of dialogue through systems and platforms used in everyday life, by everyone. However, as mentioned before, the potential of messaging is not only about advertising but also about the wider dimension of the relationship, helping establish a personal and direct link between brands and customers.

Without forgetting another key player, a third one that is a clear advantage: the robot – chatbot if considered in the context of messaging – that will open up more and more in the coming years to fulfill its great potential in managing a wide range of activities.

What can messaging apps do for your business?

In today’s fragmented landscape where brands are in strong competition to catch people’s attention, messaging offers an unmissable opportunity for communicating with a young and ultra-connected audience. The various apps offering a wide range of contact possibilities with customers and potential customers:

  • Cultivate contact
  • Deliver information
  • Boost sales
  • Involve people in events
  • Regain potential customers
  • Provide support and assistance

Let’s instead look at the tangible benefits:

  • Registration is quick and easy for people (compared to landing pages and registration forms in general)
  • You only get real contact data at all times
  • Registration is instant
  • Messaging presents the best combination, as it has a simple structure but can be rich in content
  • The messaging channel lends itself to integration with bots (Facebook Messenger already has 300,000 bots developed)
  • Messaging has high engagement rates (Statist data 2016: opening rates: 80% or more (88% average opening rate for Facebook Messenger); click rates: 30% or more)
  • They are safe and familiar places for people
  • No optimization required: messages are automatically formatted for optimal layout
  • Imply a two-way relationship, as opposed to TV, direct mail, email, print, radio, etc.

How to collect new members

We talk about database building, that is, the activities aimed at creating and expanding your audience (customers, prospects or simply interested users), to send messages to.

For this activity you need tools and a good dose of creativity to identify attractive strategies that encourage people to register. Let’s take a look at some possibilities.

1. Create a multi-channel pop-up form

This is the main tool integrated into the MailUp platform that lets you make databases for both channels: Messenger and Telegram. To create a pop-up form, simply:

  • Set the style, i.e. the background of your form, choosing between light and dark
  • Choose the location where you want the form to be placed on your website’s homepage
  • Select the form’s language
  • Set a delay in the display
  • Choose the channels where you want to register users and a possible description of the same (Email, SMS, Facebook Messenger, Telegram)
  • Insert the Privacy Policy

Once created, the platform automatically generates the html code to be inserted in your website (on the page you think is most strategic) or blog.

popup form multichannel

2. Create the button on your Facebook page

Facebook is the world’s largest social network. Converting this stream of visitors into contacts is critical.

The first step is to optimize certain aspects of your Facebook page. Firstly, put the Send a message button on your company’s Facebook page. Here’s how:

  1. Go to your site’s homepage
  2. Click on Add button
  3. Select Send a message
  4. Select Messenger as the user’s redirect location

All you have to do is return to MailUp and, if you haven’t already done so, set up the automatic Invite to Subscribe message: set up a message that says something like, “Sign up to receive news and offers on Messenger.”

3. Insert a visual on your Facebook page

The button on the page is a fundamental tool, but it must be integrated at all costs with a support that has greater visibility and attractiveness.

visual is the card to play here: a clear and creative indication that gives visitors to your page all the indications and good reasons to subscribe to your Messenger channel.

4. Encourage registration with a coupon

This is roughly the same procedure as above, but with two substantial differences:

  1. The communication can be either online or offline (i.e. visual or printed)
  2. It must offer a tangible advantage to the potential contact. Why? If in the previous case the people were already on Facebook, in this case they must have a strong incentive to go there and register. Hence the emphasis on incentive. You have to offer a valid reason, a tangible advantage, such as a coupon (or discount voucher) to persuade people to register.

5. Create a Messenger ad

Today, brands use Messenger to send people to landing pages, product pages (generally places of the site focused on purchases), but if your purpose is database building, you can insert your ad in the Home tab of the mobile Messenger app and send potential contacts directly to the conversation page in Messenger with one click.

The automatic message we saw before will appear here (for example, sign up to receive offers and news).

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This is a form of digital advertising that is still being experimented by brands: consequently, people’s reactions to these ads are still mixed, with results between excellent and disappointing, ranging from enthusiastic marketers to those who find the ads unpleasant.

6. Promote your Messenger Code

Maybe you know what we’re talking about. This is the QR code with which you can create a direct connection to a Facebook page. Let’s start from the beginning.

  • Where can you find it?
    If you are an administrator of a Facebook Page, you can find the code in the Messages section, and can download it from there in different formats.
  • How to use it?
    People can point their camera at the code and scan it directly in the Messenger app on their smartphones: a conversation will start instantly, where your triggered message invites them to sign up with a code.
  • How to disseminate it?
    You could make your printed communication more interactive by integrating the code:
    In your company’s information material (business cards, brochures, catalogs, promotional material);
    2. In packaging and customer guides, offering a fast and immediate communication method;
    3. In event invitations, to activate support in real time near the event itself.

Summing up

Messaging apps are the next great frontier in digital marketing.

Now that the technology has arrived, it’s time to acquire sensitivity and familiarity with the tools, to get the most out of your communication strategies.

You can start now by requesting a free 30-day trial of the MailUp platform.

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Andrea Serventi

I was born in 1986 in Milan, where I graduated in Modern Literature and started writing for online newspapers, magazines and TV news programs. Having now converted to marketing and the digital world, I am a Content Editor at MailUp: I read, listen, collect ideas, and write about what email marketing is and how to use it strategically.

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