Messenger Chatbots: How to Get Started with Mary Kathryn Johnson – Episode 6

   

Messenger Bots Angela Henderson

In this episode, I am joined by Mary Kathryn Johnson, a messenger chatbot specialist from Messenger Funnels, as she educates us about the messenger bot. We will talk about Mary Kathryn’s thoughts about engaging and interacting using chatbots and how and why it’s here to stay.

She is also going to share details about what Messenger chatbots are, why your business needs it, how it helps your market strategies, its benefits, different types of chatbots for business and how to get started in creating your own Messenger chatbot today.

 

Important links mentioned in the Show:

Messenger Funnels

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

 

Prefer to read Messenger Chatbots: How to Get Started? Here’s the transcript:

ANGELA:

You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast with Angela Henderson, episode six.

Hey there. You’re listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast. My name is Angela Henderson, and on this show we talk about improving your business, life, or both by having amazing and rich conversations with brilliant guests who will inspire you and who will give you tips and tricks to help you grow both in life, and in business.

Hey there, amazing business owners. Angela here, and welcome to another episode of Business and Life Conversations with Angela Henderson. I hope your day is going brilliantly, and I hope that it gets a little bit better with this episode because today’s goal is to educate you about everything to do with Messenger bots.

What is it a bot? Why your business needs a bot, benefits of chatbots, different types of chatbots for business, and how to get you started creating your very own Messenger chatbot today. But, in order to educate us, I needed to bring in the US Messenger chatbot specialist, Mary Kathryn Johnson from Messenger Funnels. Welcome to the show, Mary Kathryn.

MARY KATHRYN:

Hello there, Angela. Thanks for having me.

ANGELA:

Thanks for being on board. What time is it where you’re at? Because you are in the US, and we’re in Australia.

MARY KATHRYN:

It’s 10:11 PM.

ANGELA:

Gosh dude. So, again, you’re either caffeinating or potentially on your wine maybe.

MARY KATHRYN:

I know.

ANGELA:

So, one of the two.

MARY KATHRYN:

I got my good tea here.

ANGELA:

There’s tea too?

MARY KATHRYN:

I’m trying to mellow out. Yeah, trying to just stay focused.

ANGELA:

All right, perfect. Perfect. Welcome to the show and thank you so much for, again, staying up past your bed time to be here tonight. I appreciate that.

MARY KATHRYN:

I’m so blessed. Thank you.

ANGELA:

No, no worries. Now, before we jump into the world of Messenger bots, I’d love to know more about your journey in business. Now, I’ve done some research, and obviously what I found out I was when you were pregnant with your second son, I believe, you broke both your legs, you wrote your first book and you created your first business. Now, this is a little bit juicy, so again, not that I encourage anyone to go break both legs ..

MARY KATHRYN:

No.

ANGELA:

.. but I’d love to know a little bit about how this business journey started for you.

MARY KATHRYN:

It started with a fall, and coming out my neighbour’s front door with my, then, three year old and my eight month pregnant baby hotel sticking in front of me, and couldn’t see where I was walking, and things.. kids were coming out the door all around me, and all this chaos, and I just proceeded to fall down the steps. Baby’s perfectly fine. Everything is wonderful there. Not a problem, I had plenty of padding, believe me, to cushion the fall. But when I finally rolled down the three steps of her front porch, I landed with two broken legs. I got to go through labour, delivery, caring for my newborn, and my toddler in my home, and my husband with a cast up to the knee on both legs.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness.

MARY KATHRYN:

I say caring for my husband, he did everything. Once that happened, he did the laundry, he did the cooking, he did the grocery shopping. He did everything. Cleaning everything.

ANGELA:

So how long were you in the casts for?

MARY KATHRYN:

The first cast I got off at seven weeks, and the second cast, I didn’t get off until 12 weeks.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness.

MARY KATHRYN:

So, I couldn’t, think about it, I couldn’t carry my newborn or my, at that time, three month old. I couldn’t carry him, because I had a cast. When I finally got one cast off, I still had the other cast on, and couldn’t put any weight on it. So, I had to, in order to carry him anywhere, I would have to put him in the car seat and dragged the car seat behind me as I hopped down the hall.

ANGELA:

Oh my goodness, Mary Kathryn.

MARY KATHRYN:

It’s really funny now, but it wasn’t then because I had a bedside commode even. And, of course, the irony of that situation where I had a changing station for my newborn, and a bedside commode for me, the irony was not lost on anybody. That thing followed me around just like the diapers follow my son around.

ANGELA:

You would have to. You would just have to adapt in those circumstances. So, I guess during this time, I’m assuming you’ll have to tell me that because you were probably laid flat on your back for a better term for so long, is this when you started thinking about your book and your business?

MARY KATHRYN:

You know what? Actually, I started thinking about it before that with my first born because it took us a long time to get pregnant. We tried, and then we got pregnant, then we had a miscarriage. Then we tried again for another year. We got pregnant, had another miscarriage. Finally, when I was pregnant with my first son and it stuck, I felt like this is the toughest class I’ve ever taken in college, high school, anywhere. It was like this is something people take for granted. Why is it so difficult for me?

So, it just came to me, and this was, I’m going to date myself, 1998. I went to my windows PC, ’98 PC, and I tapped out in excel, a spreadsheet that was a Fall semester report card. First class was pregnancy one-o-one, and I finally got an A+ in that. The second class was pregnancy prevention, and I finally failed that.

So, I printed out this report card, took it to a sport shop, took a blank white maternity shirt from Target and said, can you put this design on this shirt? And, they said yes. I wore it everywhere, and got stopped everywhere. That was the beginning of, oh my gosh, I could do this, I could create a business out of this, because everybody asked me, “Where’d you get that?” I started to tell them how they could make it. They’re like, “Well, I don’t want to make it. Where do I buy it?” Like, ding, ding, ding, right?

ANGELA:

Yep.

MARY KATHRYN:

But, by the time, I could do anything with it, I went into early labour and was in the hospital, and had to stop the labour, and then was on bedrest, and then life takes over when you have a baby, your first baby especially.

ANGELA:

Especially, yes.

MARY KATHRYN:

I didn’t even think about it again until I pulled out that maternity shirt again with my second son and wore that, got the exact same response. But, then I fell and broke both my legs. Of course, life takes over, but then by the time I got through that process, I was depressed because I’m a very type A personality, so when I can’t move, and I can’t do anything for myself, and I’m very independent, that was not a good thing.

We got past that, learned about myself. When he was 18 months old, I just said I can do this. And, I started coming up with all kinds of designs. I said if I can survive breaking both my legs while I was eight months pregnant and still have my sense of humour intact, I can do anything.

ANGELA:

100%.

MARY KATHRYN:

So, I started my first business called Mommy Loves, and I created … I was the first maternity store online.

ANGELA:

Wow. How fun is that?

MARY KATHRYN:

I did everything myself. I created the website. I created the shopping cart. I mean, everything. Of course, this was pre-social media, pre-Facebook, and I launched that ..

ANGELA:

How did you survive, Kathryn?

MARY KATHRYN:

I’m telling you.

ANGELA:

That was so cool.

MARY KATHRYN:

How could we?

ANGELA:

Yeah, exactly.

MARY KATHRYN:

It was crazy. But that was it. And, I just have not looked back.

ANGELA:

Wow. I mean, if that’s not exciting, seriously, and the fact that you had this idea, and it was still there with the second birth is really cool. Then you’re just, like you said, that your mindset shifted going, “Hold on a minute, if I could get through this.”

MARY KATHRYN:

It had to.

ANGELA:

Like, “Let’s rock and roll people. I’ve got this.”

MARY KATHRYN:

That’s exactly what was needed. So, basically, I went through early labour and was hospitalized. That wasn’t enough of a hint until I basically, I think, if I had had a third, I might have broken my neck. I don’t know, but at least I only broke my legs and that was basically the hint like, “Guess what dude, you can do this. Just buck up and do it.” And, I said, “Okay.”

ANGELA:

All right. So, that’s kind of your beginning journey of business. Now, we’ll enter into this, next part, again with the Messenger bots. So, back in March, February, March, which was a phenomenal month because I asked you, we attended Social Media Marketing World in San Diego.

Now, I have to say, my main goal for the conference was to learn about Messenger chatbots. I had it on my list of things to do. I had all the particular classes or courses. There were speakers that were going to be talking, I had them all mapped out. That was my core thing.

So, I was sitting in the front row of Andrew Warner’s talk, “How to set up your first marketing bot in less than 45 minutes” and I had my pen, I had my paper. During his talk he actually kept making reference to you. I remember looking back at you and I’m like, I just instantly, I put my pen down and I was like, “I don’t have time to learn this. Like this is like, I mean, anyone can learn it. Just like anything, anyone can do it.” But, I just was like, “Everything else that I’m balancing, podcast, this,” then I was like, “I don’t have time to learn another thing.”

So, I looked back, made eye contact. At that stage you were like probably, “Who is this crazy staring me down?” Then that was it. As soon as this talk finished, I remember going straight over to you. We connected, and I guess from there the rest is history. You’re currently creating my own personalised chatbot, which I’m excited to get up and running. But yeah, that’s how we met.

But, the beauty, again, we were talking prior to this recording about the beauty of connections and in-person meeting. I think I’m very fortunate that I just happen to be at wonderful conference, Social Media Marketing World, that you just happened to be there and, like you said, we would never have connected elsewise.

MARY KATHRYN:

I have to really hone in on that exact concept because that first business I told you about was I started that in 2003. My first conference that was actually a big conference for me to just go and absorb was Social Media Marketing World. So, I’ve been an online business for 15 years, but I haven’t been out from behind my computer, and it makes a huge difference. I’ve made all kinds of connections, and they are fruitful connections. They’re amazing connections with amazing people, but when you actually get to meet people face to face, it makes a huge difference.

That’s exactly what prompted me, and how I got to know Andrew Warner, and just that whole journey has been a series of choices. Just like when you put that pen down and went, “Why am I spending my time learning this when it’s not my core competency, when I could help more people continuing to do my zone of genius, and get someone else to do this for me. Instead of trying to bring myself up to speed on it, get someone who’s already up to speed, and I keep doing what I do best.”

That’s exactly what it takes. That’s what I did with Andrew Warner. I didn’t pay for courses, I didn’t do anything. When I saw this chatbot thing, and I was on his first ever webinar, it just was like, I have to do this. I have to learn how to do this. This is not just a landing page software or something. This is it, because I’m a marketing person, I have 15 years of marketing under my belt and this makes sense.

ANGELA:

Yeah. It totally does.

MARY KATHRYN:

And, I talked … it does. I talked to him on the phone. I’m sure he didn’t like it, but I gave him some advice, and told him, “You’re going after the wrong market, dude. You are going after technology people. You need marketers. Go get marketers, forget these technologists, go get ..” He was probably thinking I’m a nut, but it just, one thing led to another. I was one of his best students. He invited me to San Francisco, all expenses paid, which isn’t that difficult for me because I’m only about three hours away, but still he put me up in a hotel.

ANGELA:

Still sounds nice.

MARY KATHRYN:

He put me on a hotel, had me meet the ManyChat gangs. I got to hang out with Dan Gamito, and Mikael Young, and look at all the stuff they were doing, and talk to Andrew about bots. I mean, it was heaven. It was absolutely heaven. That just culminated, and kept going with relationships, and networking, and giving value to others, and just surrounding myself with people I respect.

ANGELA:

Yeah. And, I think there’s something to be said. I think Lumen Jello has probably been in eight of our only six podcasts that I’ve recorded so far because I love the guy, and for what he stands for. But, Lumen Jello from WDW in the US, I met him at Tropical Think Tank, with Chris Ducker. His whole philosophy is hugs and a handshake.

If you’re able to give your people hugs and a handshake, regardless of they’re going to be in collaborations, your clients, etcetera, your business will naturally grow because even if people don’t buy from you, they’re still loyalists, and they will talk about you, and tag you in groups, and do a variety of different things, and they will .. Some will turn into customers, and others won’t. But regardless of that, your opportunities will skyrocket, all because of a hug and a handshake. So, I live by this hug and a handshake type of philosophy.

MARY KATHRYN:

I have to agree with you, and I have to tell you that none of my business has come from me doing any kind of outbound sales. It’s all been for the past year and a half, people whom have been my clients, and who bring me more clients, and people I’ve met and talked to about this that come to me. It’s not that I’m calling people and going, “Don’t you need a chatbot? Come and buy it from me.” I haven’t had to do any of that yet, at all.

ANGELA:

Yep, absolutely.

MARY KATHRYN:

And, I hope I don’t have to.

ANGELA:

If you go back to marketing old school, like from the yellow pages, but even one step back from that, the word of mouth. I still feel hands down. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising, yet so many people don’t embrace it. I’m like, but when you do embrace it, good things happen.

MARY KATHRYN:

Definitely.

ANGELA:

Yeah. Now, I know we went off the tangent, and that’s the beauty, is like, again, you and I could talk for hours.

MARY KATHRYN:

I know.

ANGELA:

So, I’ll try and hone us in, because as two ladies who you’re sleep deprived, and I just love talking. We’ll hone it in. So, now listen, one of the things I have to be honest about is I went on a massive rant in my Facebook group, the Australian Business Collaborative, prior to heading to Social Media Marketing World about Messenger chat box. I thought that they sucked, and how they couldn’t possibly be good for your business because it was un-human like.

However, after listening to Andrew’s presentation and just being around the vibe of Social Media Marketing World, and with also America being so far more advanced than Australia in some of these elements, and working with you for the past couple of months on getting my bot ready, it is clear that Messenger cat bots are here to stay.

I remember coming back from Social Media Marketing World and talking about, with my groups and things like that about what were my main takeaways. One of my primary main takeaway, which was my sole reason for going was Messenger chatbots. Yeah, they are here to stay. What are your thoughts about that?

MARY KATHRYN:

They are here to stay, and they are morphing and changing before our eyes. We’re just talking about Messenger, so that’s just Facebook. Twitter is opening up chatbots, LinkedIn’s opening up chatbots, and probably WhatsApp will be coming very, very soon. It’s not going away.

AI is here, artificial intelligence is here. I agree with you in the sense that your concern is valid, that it is not personal, that it is bots, and it’s all these things. It’s the phone tree all over again where you get stuck going through press number nine, and press number three, press … and you get lost. But you know what? Bots are different in the sense that we can … it allows us to personalise our conversation like we’ve never been able to before, and provide the individual value that people need. Because, we can segment people, we can ask people questions, and then deliver exactly what they tell us they need, rather than a standard email sequence that all you get is tagged, and if you click a link, then you get sent to a different email. Then if you didn’t click the link, then you’d get sent this email. It’s still static. It’s not engaging. It’s not interactive at all, and bots are.

ANGELA:

So, bots, again, I guess I’ll strip it back one more thing because I think again, a lot of my listeners I’m going to assume, especially if they’re in Australia, are going to be probably sitting there going, “I’m going to need to know a little bit more about a Messenger bot, because you guys might be a little .. You’re freaking me out here.”

So, I guess before we move too far ahead, as I said, many of my listeners might not even know what a Messenger bot is. Can you just explain in very simple language, I guess first of all, what a Messenger chatbot is?

MARY KATHRYN:

Definitely. All right, so let me start with a question.

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

Most of your audience, I’m sure, is aware of an email marketing plan, right?

ANGELA:

Yeah. Absolutely.

MARY KATHRYN:

Okay. So, we all know about email marketing, right? You get someone to subscribe to your email list by usually giving them some kind of a lead magnet, or a bribe, right?

ANGELA:

Yep.

MARY KATHRYN:

Then they get on your email list, and you send them a series of emails directing them to your different products or services or getting them to know you a little bit better before you then try and sell them something. Okay?

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

That’s kind of a standard email funnel, right?

ANGELA:

Yeah. Absolutely.

MARY KATHRYN:

The chatbot, the Messenger chatbot is the Messenger text like equivalent of that.

ANGELA:

Okay.

MARY KATHRYN:

In simplest terms, it’s a communication tool, period. Just like email is a communication tool. So, if I said I build chatbots, that’d be like saying I build emails. That’s just the communication tool. I build marketing communication funnels in Messenger because the chatbot’s just the communication tool.

So, you do the same thing. You get a subscriber in Messenger. You nurture them, share information with them, ask them questions, get them to click buttons. That’s the difference between email and Messenger. They can click buttons, they can type replies, and you can provide value based on their interaction with your communication, your marketing communication in Messenger. Does that make sense?

ANGELA:

Absolutely. So, really it’s just … and would you say that because the majority of people are in the realm of email, and open rates are going down, but yet people carry their phone everywhere, are in Facebook, are in Messenger, probably so much more. I don’t have the data in front of me, than in a typical email, that Messenger bots open rates are potentially higher maybe, and, or just the nurturing of that relationship is higher?

MARY KATHRYN:

There’s no potential about it. It is fact. So, basically if you look at Messenger, there are, I mean, I don’t even remember the numbers, there’s more than a billion people on Messenger. There are hundreds of millions of messages if not billions of messages sent every month on Messenger.

In terms of the chatbots versus email, email open rates are typically 20% or lower. Not very many across all industries, nobody goes typically over 30% on average. The click through rates, typically no more than four and a half percent, okay? To get people to click through to your link. Messenger blows that away.

So, my clients continually and consistently get anywhere from 80 to 100% open rates because people are on their phones and they have the Messenger App, and they get that.. and they also still have the notifications on their Messenger open, whereas they don’t get notified of emails hardly ever anymore, but they get notified every time they get a message on Facebook. So, 80 to 100% open rates, and anywhere on the low side of 40 to 45%, and on the high side, 80% click through rate. So, all you have to do is take those..

ANGELA:

Yeah, which is, it’s phenomenal.

MARY KATHRYN:

So, all you have to do is take those numbers and then add your conversion percentage to it, and no matter what, you’re going to make more money because you get more people seeing your stuff.

ANGELA:

Yeah, and also is there like a junk filter in Messenger bot like there is things, or people say, “I didn’t get your email.” You’re like, “Man, I sent it to you on this day, at this time.” They’re like, “It was in my spam.” Is that similar or no?

MARY KATHRYN:

No, not at all. Because the difference with email, you can buy email lists, right? You know, your emails are sold all over the place. Facebook will not allow that. Okay?

ANGELA:

Okay.

MARY KATHRYN:

Facebook, you cannot. I cannot send you a message from a business, from my business. I cannot send you a message unless you opt in. So, you actually have to click the button and choose to receive my messages. You might not know that you clicked the button. If you go to my Facebook page, my business page, and you click, “Send me a message.”, and you click, “Get Started.” If you ever click, “Get Started”, you just have subscribed to something, okay?

ANGELA:

Okay. Gotcha.

MARY KATHRYN:

But, you have to do that I can’t just go out and message you without your permission.

ANGELA:

Yeah. It has to say you actually have to do the action.

MARY KATHRYN:

So, if you do that … Yup, if you do that, but then it’s also just as easy to unsubscribe, and then I can’t send you any more messages. The way you do that, just to tell everybody, if you’re being annoyed, and you don’t like the chatbot that you thought was going to be the coolest thing in the world, just type the word ‘stop’ and Facebook, they should. They are supposed to give you the immediate unsubscribe button. You click that unsubscribe. You cannot hear from them again unless you choose to go back and subscribe again.

ANGELA:

Well, that’s an awesome universal type because so many times it’s like you unsubscribe, you get back added.

MARY KATHRYN:

I know.

ANGELA:

And, you’re just like, “I’m pretty sure I unsubscribed to this list 50 times. How do they keep adding me?”

MARY KATHRYN:

They buy your list again.

ANGELA:

Yeah. Exactly right, and they just keep on going. So, that’s super, super exciting. So, now tell me what are the benefits of having a Messenger chatbot as part of your overall business strategy though?

MARY KATHRYN:

So, this is the most exciting part, and the way that I love working for people like yourself the most, okay? It’s wonderful. I can just go in my little corner and build the little chatbot, and build little Messenger marketing flow, and all that good stuff. But if I don’t know your overall market strategy, and your goals, I’m not going to be as effective. So, let me tell you what I mean by that.

So, let’s say you’re going to do a launch. Let’s say there’s someone on your in your audience that’s going to launch a webinar, or they’re going to launch an online course. They’ve got this great idea. People have told them, “Yes, you’re teaching me this so well.” They’ve got testimonies, all this stuff. So, they’re like, “All right, I’m going to do it. I’m going to launch my course.”

Well, they’re going to go out there to launch their course. They’re going to do the standard funnel, right? The standard marketing. They’re going to set up a registration page maybe to invite people to a webinar to tell them about their course. Then they’re going to send them to a landing page, or a sales page, then an order page, and they’re going to do that whole process, and that’s wonderful.

Now, they’re going to do Facebook ads, and maybe even Google ads, and send to their email list, and they have all this whole plan. Then there’s this little chatbot over here going, “Hello, hello. I can do a lot for you if you do that.”

Basically, that’s what we need to do, is tie into, there are several ways in that particular situation. We can just come into the back end of your email list already, so when you get to the “Thank you” page, after someone’s subscribed to your webinar, we can just have a little button on there that says, “Do you want notifications in Messenger when we go live?” They click that button, they get a notification, and we’ve just now increased attendance to your webinar by 30%. Okay?

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

There’s one way, but you might have a different way. You might have a huge Facebook business page. People are interacting with you like crazy. You’ve got 20,000 people on your business page, 10,000, 5,000. I don’t care. 500, but they’re interactive. They love what you have to say, and they respond, and comment with you.

Well, the better way to do that is to do what’s called a Facebook comment tool. So, you put a post on your page, or you go live on your business page and you say, “Hey, comment on this post and answer the question, what’s your biggest business mistake you’ve ever made?”

You get them to talk to you. You get them to go on the Facebook live, you get them to comment their answer to that, and you tell them, “When you comment, I’m going to share in Messenger my 15 biggest business mistakes, and the solutions to those so you don’t make them. So, comment on this post, and you’ll get that.” Well, once they comment, they become a subscriber in Messenger. We nurture them to go to your webinar. That’s how it can affect your business strategy. You have to know overall what is best for you.

Are you spending money on ads? Do you have more interaction on Facebook? Do you have a higher email list, and you just want to send a message and a link to their email list? There are so many options. If we know your market strategy and you have that decided, you can add Messenger as.. It’s like rocket fuel. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, when you add those numbers of open and click through rates because your audience is on Facebook, right? You know that, you add those numbers, and you can’t help but boost your launch, your webinar, your course, your mastermind, whatever it is you’re doing.

ANGELA:

Yeah. I mean, from what you said there, I mean there’s multiple different layers of the benefits that will come out. So, I guess for some people who are more concrete like me, where I’m like I need a visual. So, all of this jargon, it sounds great. It sounds awesome, but I can’t. It’s still in my brain because I’ve got ADHD that goes a million miles an hour.

I’m still trying … I would probably, I’m just processing. So, can you tell me what type of Messenger nugget, we know there’s different types, but can you give me a few examples of what type of Messenger chatbots are there, and the examples of what businesses could use for their own business?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes, definitely. If you could direct me. So, give me an idea of someone in your audience, what type of email funnel would they currently have that they are using to grow their business, or launch a product, or anything like that? So, give me an idea of what that might be.

ANGELA:

Let’s look at, let’s do like an e-commerce platform for example. So, let’s just say, we could do my first business, which is still going Finlee & Me, where we focus on creating childhood memories through play, love and travel. We have 1400 different baby products, or educational toys. What would my chatbot from an e-commerce perspective potentially do?

MARY KATHRYN:

That is one of the most exciting things that we can do. So, there’s another platform called Chatfuel, and ManyChat is very, very fast approaching the abilities, the capabilities for e-commerce that Chatfuel has. So, I’m just going to take what I’ve done for my e-commerce clients in Chatfuel.

So, we have an e-commerce business, and they’re selling a widget, whatever that might be. And, they want to chatbot. A couple of different things they can do. Number one, they might want to start with an FAQ customer chat on their website. What happens is there’s that little button, little bubble on the bottom right corner that says, “How can we help you?” You expect that that’s a live person. Most times it’s not. Most times it’s a bot. So, there’s a bot that you can do in Messenger, and it can say … you can talk about your shipping requirements, your order times, all those typical, what are your hours? Whatever that might be, those difficult FAQs that you get. There’s where most people start.

Then they actually hook the bot up to their e-commerce website, and they do, let’s say, lead magnets. You’re on your Facebook page and you’re selling your thing, and you’re talking to people about what you’re selling, and you do the comment tool again to get them into your bot to subscribe instead of email, right? You give them your lead magnet, you get them to subscribe. Then, okay, you ready for this, Angela? What happens is, you actually call your website into Messenger.

So, what happens is instead of clicking a link and saying, “Go to the website.” and then all of a sudden now your phone has to open a browser, and then it has to go to your site. No. We keep you in Messenger. We basically call your website into Messenger. So, the person never leaves Messenger. Facebook loves you because you’re not sending people outside of Facebook. They stay there, but your entire website is represented there.

So your shopping cart, your everything, all of your options are right there in Messenger so that when they choose and they buy, they close that window, they’re back in Messenger with your bot.

ANGELA:

So, ultimately, really for the price of setting up a chatbot per se, you have two different websites really. You’ve got your standard website. Now you’ve got your website through a chatbot.

MARY KATHRYN:

Correct.

ANGELA:

Would I be correct in saying that?

MARY KATHRYN:

You could be, but we’re not actually building that. You can, because that’s another option, but with 1300 products, you don’t, right?

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

There’s no way, but you can. Facebook does have the buy option now where you can actually purchase things in Messenger, but of course we’re not going to build a whole new website. Why would we do that?

ANGELA:

Gosh no.

MARY KATHRYN:

You’re going to have your shopping cart. You already have your accounts, everything done. So, all we do is call that website in, and just … It’s called the web view. So, it’s just a view of your website inside Messenger, and everything still happens. Now, what we also have as an option is we’re starting to do abandoned carts. So, you can now..

ANGELA:

Well, that’s going to throw another spanner of goodness in there.

MARY KATHRYN:

Hello. Oh my goodness.

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

So, they get their cart. They bring your website into Messenger. They choose their thing, but then they get disturbed by their kid or they have to go to … they have to go to a meeting in the car, or they just have to think about it, whatever, and they abandoned that cart. Well, then we send them 30 minutes later, “Hey, did you forget something? Here. Didn’t you want this?” Obviously, that increases..

ANGELA:

Conversion. Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

.. purchases, and usually about 10% of the people who are presented that purchase the thing that they put in a cart. So, that’s another thing, but it’s in Messenger. Again, it’s not in email where they’re not going to see it. It’s in Messenger where they’re notified. They’re like, “That’s right. I wanted to get that thing.”

ANGELA:

Also, you would have to also argue that obviously we know with the research that the more clicks, or the more buttons you make people click, or the more hurdles you make them, the higher the chances that they’re going to drop off. So, if they’ve just had to do one click, and they’re already in Messenger bot, and there they can purchase from you, naturally there would be a higher increase of conversion also.

MARY KATHRYN:

That’s right, because they don’t have to give.. there’s the barrier to entry is decreased. They don’t have to type in their name, type in their email, then go check their email, verify it’s them, click on the link, and then go do something.

ANGELA:

Yeah, it’s all that.

MARY KATHRYN:

None of that. They just click one button, get into your bot. Then they click “Get Started”, and there they are.

ANGELA:

All right. So, from an e-commerce point of view, it’s super exciting to be able to really buy at your fingertips, have abandoned shopping cart, so that’s e-commerce. Tell me, I think I read somewhere about Domino’s. You can order your pizza through a Messenger chatbot, is that right?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes, there are restaurant ordering processes, there are restaurants where you can actually go and use a scan code, and tell them that you want this item, and have it ready for you if you wanted to go and pick it up. There are coupon delivery options. There are making reservations through your bot. There are mental health facilities, and help in a bot. Flow the insurance gal for, what’s that insurance company again? The gal, what is the … Oh my goodness. Darn it. I can see her face, but I can’t remember..

ANGELA:

I’m thinking of our insurance which is like, “Lucky you’re with Amy.” but you’re in the US, so I’m like not the one with the duck.

MARY KATHRYN:

Yeah. There’s a certain … No, no. Not that. Not I’m not AFLAC.

ANGELA:

Yeah, AFLAC.

MARY KATHRYN:

I’m sure they’re having a bot.

ANGELA:

I remember ALFAC, when I was there, yes?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes. I know, but there’s another insurance company here that’s very popular, that’s represented by this girl, and she’s got a bot, and it’s you can use keywords. So, whenever someone types something, you can use artificial intelligence to learn and understand what it is you’re trying to say. Not just if you say this exact keyword, but if you say this phrase, or anything like it, the bot can learn what it is most of your customers type and present and say, “Did you mean you wanted to know what our shipping prices were?” Or, “I’m sorry, did I understand you to say that you want to know when our hours are?” I mean, you can make appointments, you can purchase. There’s no limit.

ANGELA:

The options are endless.

MARY KATHRYN:

There’s no limit.

ANGELA:

Well, that’s again, obviously I’m getting familiarised every day with you creating my own bot, but yeah, for those who aren’t, if these examples aren’t giving you guy’s heart palpitations of excitement, then I don’t know what is. So, now obviously I think we answered it a little bit, so it’s going to, I think have a significant positive impact on from an e-commerce perspective. But, I also would say that for those people who are nervous, etcetera, your business will probably still chug along just fine as it will help, but you’re going to get left behind. What are your thoughts about that one?

MARY KATHRYN:

I would absolutely agree with that. So, this is a rocket ship right now. Yes, we are still in the very early stages. Even here in the US. Okay Angela? When we went to Social Media Marketing World, Social Media Examiners, the company that puts that on. They put out a yearly report where they surveyed like 10,000 marketers. In that report, it was of course heavily talking about bots, and in that report, they, out of the 10,000 or so marketers that they surveyed, only 15% of them are using chatbots.

So, even though, yes, I’m in this world and I think everybody’s using them, but they’re not, and you’re in this world and you’re realising not a lot of people are using it, it’s still very early stages. So, I would say get in now because you’re in.. The place now is a lot of the kinks are worked out, and so now we’re coming to the part where it’s just exponential growth because now these companies like ManyChat and Chatfuel are starting to add things, and grow, and learn, and the technology is developing enough so that it’s much easier to do things. So, now is the time.

You’re early enough still that you’re a very early adopter, and you’re not getting left behind because now everybody’s doing it, and the numbers are going to start going down. Now is the time, do it.

ANGELA:

Now is the time. And, that’s why I jumped on that ship.

MARY KATHRYN:

It is.

ANGELA:

It’s, again, every time I read something, every time I touched base, it’s super amazing. So, if some of you guys are wondering, you’re like, “Well, what about this chatbot type of scenario?” You can have, correct me if I’m wrong Mary Kathryn, you can have this like a standardised chatbot, I guess if it’s applicable, but you can also have complex chatbots. Where there’s more human-like elements so you’re nurturing them a little bit more.

So, if you hear me why, you’re like, “Well, why aren’t your … why is it yours is up and running already.” it’s because I decided to go more of a nurture type of chatbot, and it’s a lot more humanistic because that’s what I’ve wanted. So, obviously it takes a little bit longer to build a personalised chatbot, just like a website would take longer to build. So, you can have stock standard chatbots, or you can have personalised, is that right Mary Kathryn?

MARY KATHRYN:

It is very much. Yeah, it definitely is because the more nurturing type of chatbot, the more customised, is going to have what we call conditional logic, right? So, we want them to go through this process, but there may be people, let’s say you offer a lead magnet one time, and then they see a different lead magnet somewhere else. Well, when they come into your chatbot, we don’t want to offer them that same lead magnet they’ve already seen. We want to understand whether they’ve seen it yet or not.

So, we have conditional logic built in so that we don’t just ask them, “Did you get this thing?” We should know that. Its artificial intelligence. We should know whether they got it. So, we build that into the process and make sure that we are segmenting people. That’s the beauty of it.

We didn’t even talk about tagging. You can tag every single button that they push and figure out where it is they are, and what it is they’re interested in. So, when you tag that, you can send specialised messages only to those people that have chosen and push that button. That’s nurturing.

ANGELA:

Again, this is where I think it’s important for businesses to realise that if you’re just starting out in startup, you can just have a very simple chatbot. It doesn’t have to be complex, just it’s where you’re at in business and your chatbot, I’m assuming we’ll just evolve just like your business will evolve over time. So, don’t be afraid that when we’re talking about these complex chatbots that you’re like, “Oh my gosh, I can’t do it. It’s too complex.” It’s because of where I’m at in business and where some of them, probably Mary Kathryn’s clients are. But again, there’s equally just as good as this simpler version. Again, and it’s tailored for audience.

MARY KATHRYN:

Completely. Yes, and it’s really just like email. So, you might be starting at MailChimp, or Constant Contact. That’s perfect. Get started, right? That’s the whole, what you were told. You don’t have to start with Infusionsoft, and all these big huge things that you do, all these bells and whistles if you don’t need the bells and whistles yet. But, you don’t want to not start because you think you need the bells and whistles. No.

ANGELA:

Exactly right.

MARY KATHRYN:

Yeah. Start. Just start with a simple lead magnet. Do a simple nurturing. Get to know your audience, ask questions. There’s a guy here named Ryan Laveck who has a product called The Ask Method, and it’s all about asking questions to segment your audience, and find out what it is they need. If you just do that, you are ahead of the game because you’re learning what your audience needs, and you can provide the solution.

ANGELA:

Yeah, work out their pain points. Come up with something that’s going to solve the problem. Absolutely.

MARY KATHRYN:

That’s it.

ANGELA:

Now, as I mentioned when I first started though, I am very again, Lou hugs to handshake. I’m a very people person. I’m very engaged, again, in my Australian Business Collaborative Facebook group. Tell me how you add a human element to Messenger chatbot so it’s not so automated.

MARY KATHRYN:

Well, first off, many, many of my clients basically have a personality for their bot. Okay, so we don’t want to try, and fool people. We don’t want to make them think that it’s really you and that if they are up late at night and they can’t sleep and they go check out your chatbot that is actually you typing that message. Okay? No. We’re not trying to fool them into that.

ANGELA:

Yeah, gosh no.

MARY KATHRYN:

Many of my clients actually give a personality to their bot, and they have picture with like a little robot or cute little digital type of thing.

ANGELA:

Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

They say, this is the Angela bot, right? I’m Angela bot and I’m here because Angela is off helping other business owners expand their business and have an amazing life. So, what can I help you with? And, here’s the buttons that you can push.

So, it’s fun, it also allows the user to feel a little more anonymous because they’re very surprised. I jump in my bot quite often and people are playing around and typing things. They’re typing hello or go away or some not so nice things to say, or you know what I mean? They’re just playing around and typing things, and they’re surprised when I jump in and say, “I’m sorry, did my bot offend you?” They’re like, “I’m sorry I didn’t mean to.” You know what I mean? But it’s really funny.

So, they feel like they can be a little bit anonymous and just kind of play around, and see how things are working without having to speak to someone because they may not be ready yet to make the difference.

So, number one, give your bot a personality and it should be very close to your personality. Okay? Because they, if they’re going to relate to you, they need to be able to relate to your bot, relate to you through your bot. So, that’s a good one.

Number two, take that personality and ask those kinds of engaging and personalised questions. So, don’t just be standard, right? Don’t just be, “So, we would like to invite you to our webinar next Tuesday.” Right? I mean, I don’t talk that way. I say, “So, I’d love to invite you to my webinar.” or, “If you unsubscribe, if you want to unsubscribe, just type STOP, and I’ll never mail you again, or I’ll never messaged you again, but I’ll be very sad.”

ANGELA:

Yeah, add some fun to it.

MARY KATHRYN:

Put your personality into it. Yeah, because they’re trying to engage with you. So, it needs to reflect you a certain amount. But definitely give it a personality and let them know that it is your bot.

ANGELA:

Alright. I think most people can handle, that it’s not human to human, but it’s human enough, especially if they take on your feedback about adding a personality, bringing some fun into it, you know that? And, again, I think it’s about testing also you know. Test, test, test. If you test it you find out what works best with, then stick with that. It’s never the end all, be all.

MARY KATHRYN:

Yeah. And, let me tell you one more thing. So, what we also put in some of those messages, we have a welcome message. So, if someone goes to your Facebook page and they click the “Send a message” or “Find out more”, and you have your bot attached, you can have a welcome sequence on there. One of the options when we have the welcome sequence is talk to a human.

So, you tell them, “Do you want to visit my website? Do you want to find out about my programs? Do you want to make an appointment with me?” One of the options should be, “Do you want to talk to a real person?”

Then if they say yes, and they click that button, then you can say, great, how would you like us to contact you? Via email or via phone, or.. and you can actually have an option to have the Facebook admins, the admins of your Facebook page notified immediately when they click that button.

So, then you could jump right into there and respond right when they message you. So, it’s instant. So, that’s one thing we do in the welcome message. Then also there’s a default message so that if they go outside the bot, and they start playing with it, like I was telling you, some people do, and instead of pressing a button, they type something back. Well, a default message can be there to say, “You know what?” And, here again is part of your bot’s personality, “You know what? I’m just an Angela bot and I’m still learning. So, I really respond much better if you click buttons than if you type messages. So, which of these are you looking for?” Then you give them some more buttons, and you train people to press the buttons unless they need to talk to you personally.

So, those are even more ways that you can personalise the experience for people, and let them know, yes, you can contact me, but this is also an automated way that you can get all the information you need.

ANGELA:

I like that you’ve added the human element. So, they know it’s a bot, but if they want a human, the choice is there. So, you’re not taking it away completely. You’re just adding it as another dimension or element.

MARY KATHRYN:

Yep. And, how many more programs do you sell to people that you’re offering when they ask questions, and you’re responsive to their questions, and they’re not waiting for you to send them back an email 24 hours later or 48 hours later, or whenever your team, or whoever is handling your emails gets back to it. You are right there real time. Unless of course it’s 2:00 AM, but you’re normally there real time, and you can jump in, and answer their questions. My clients are selling more because they’re responding personally in an automated bot.

ANGELA:

Yeah. So, for all those out there, they’re going, “I need this. I need to get a piece of this.” As you said, Mary Kathryn, the rocket ship is launching, you want to be on this ride. What’s the easiest way for people to get started on creating their own Messenger bot?

MARY KATHRYN:

Well, there’s a couple of different ways. Number one, if you want to do it yourself and you’re just so hot on this and you’re just, you were a person that learned how to use lead pages, or you learned how to use Infusionsoft and you did it for your business, and that’s the way … that’s your MO, it’s what you want to do, then you can go to www.manychat.com , and there’s a whole series of training videos for you to learn how to do that yourself. They’ll take you through the process.

ANGELA:

Isn’t it like a 10 hour course, I think, that they’re giving away for free?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes, it’s for free, and they just take you through all of the basics of building a bot and how you do it, and how you put copy in, and what he would do with buttons, and everything that you need to know to just get started. So, it’s amazing. Dan and Molly Pittman.

ANGELA:

Molly Pittman. Yeah.

MARY KATHRYN:

They just put this together. They did an amazing job. They’re great people. So, if you want to do it yourself, do that. If you want to have someone else do it for you, and you want to keep doing your core competency, then you can go to www.messengerfunnels.com , and see if I can help you. There are many other agencies that you can tap into to find the person that relates to you, understands what it is you want to do, and that you feel comfortable building your bot for you.

ANGELA:

Absolutely. I think, again, you have to connect with the people, but I also think, again, word of mouth. So, again, I would completely back you 100% because that’s, you’ve been amazing to work with so far, and it’s going to be amazing. Now let me ask you this before we go into one more segue, who are Messenger chatbots not for? Is there a group of people, or a cohort that you’ve found so far that Messenger bots might not be for them?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes. It’s my bias with Messenger. I’ll cop to it immediately, but if you are a business who really does not care about building a relationship with your customer and you just want to sell the widget, and go onto the next one, then Messenger probably won’t be the place for you because Messenger is completely relationship and engagement based.

So, let me give you an example. I tried to build a Messenger bot for an insurance company. It wasn’t even the insurance company, it was someone trying to sell leads to the insurance company. So, all they cared about is getting a lead, passing it through to the insurance company and they got paid per lead. It was a dismal failure. Mainly because I hate insurance, so I know we shouldn’t be picking that client. I probably shouldn’t have done that. I’m sure if someone else could do better, but still the concept for that bot is not what that’s about.

It’s not just a lead filtering thing. Facebook is not built for that. Facebook is built for engaging people and bringing people together. So, if your business is not that, then it probably won’t work for you. If your business is built on relationships with your customers, Messenger will work very well for you.

ANGELA:

Yeah. I think we’re moving to that regardless if it’s a chatbot or whether or not it is, is people want relationships, you know? So, social media has done a wonderful thing to bring people together, but it’s also disconnected people at times. So, I think people are in that phase where they’re the pendulum swinging back and they want it to be as relationship driven as possible, you know?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yep.

ANGELA:

No, no. Like I said, if you guys probably need to rewind and listen to this again, because it is a wonderful session with Mary Kathryn. Before though we close, one of the things is we talked about relationship building, and I’m a huge fan about this, is I like to end or start my sessions by asking a question that’s out of the ordinary so we can get to know you a little bit better. So, my question to you tonight, Mary Kathryn, is what’s your favorite ’80s song?

MARY KATHRYN:

You know what? I got to tell you anything by The Police and I’m good. Every Breath You Take, or no what was it? Oh my goodness. Yeah. Anything by the Police, I’m good.

ANGELA:

That’s The Police. Every Breath you Take.

MARY KATHRYN:

Yeah.

ANGELA:

Every time I hear that I’ll be thinking of you Mary Kathryn.

MARY KATHRYN:

There you go, that’s it.

ANGELA:

Now, if listeners would like to know about you, where can they find you? Where’s all your levels of goodness that they can hop on and learn more about you?

MARY KATHRYN:

Yes. I’d love to engage with anyone that is interested in this and has questions because as you can see, I just love talking about it. So, www.messengerfunnels.com is the website. You can find out a little bit there. It’s not a huge website is very good, I think three pages. That’s it. You can go to Facebook, Messenger Funnels on Facebook. You can go to www.marykathrynjohnson.com and the Kathryn is K-A-T-H-R-Y-N, and it’s just Johnson, J-O-H-N-S-O-N. I hope you know how to spell Mary. So, www.marykatherinejohnson.com.

If you want to just email me directly, I don’t mind giving you my email address mkj@messengerfunnels.com.  There’s plenty of places for you to reach out if you have a question. If I can’t, or someone on my team can’t answer it, we definitely should be able to tap our resources and find it out for you.

ANGELA:

All right, well Mary Kathryn, it has been a wonderful, almost an hour with you. I appreciate because it’s almost midnight your time now, so thanks so much for being on the show. For everyone else, depending on where you are in the world when you listen to this, I hope you have a brilliant day.

I look forward to sharing with you an amazing story with my next episode, speaker. Amazing, amazing, amazing, and you want to tune in for that episode. So, stay tuned. Have an awesome day. This is Ange from Angela Henderson Consulting.

Bye everyone.

Thanks for listening to the Business and Life Conversations podcast with Angela Henderson Messenger Chatbots: How to Get Started, www.angelahenderson.com.au.

Angel Henderson Consulting

​​Founder of the highly successful online store Finlee and Me, Angela taps into the decade's worth of knowledge of how to grow a thriving enterprise and pours it into her business consulting clients. As a business consultant, she partners with start up and small businesses to grow their brands through hands on support, ensuring foundations are laid in order to leverage growth. Her skills were honed at the helm of Finlee and Me, where she learned everything from branding, PR, sales funnels, email marketing, website, copy, SEO and more. She knows what it truly takes to have a strong brand, consistence sales, steady growth and over all dedication. Angela has been featured in the media including Talking Lifestyle with Ed Phillips and David Koch, Inside Small Business and on numerous Australia and International podcasts.

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