EP 36: Why Click-to-Messenger Ads Beat Traditional Ads

Episode Summary:

In “Why Click To Messenger Ads Beat Traditional Ads,” the Messenger Mastermind Team breaks down a recent case study of Click-to-Messenger Ads vs. traditional Product Page Ads. We discuss why they are more cost effective, how you get more bang for your buck, and why you should be shifting your marketing strategy to highlight this helpful ad style.

Let us know what you think below 👇👇.


Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:27 What is a Tripwire Sale?
  2. 2:21 Click-to-Messenger Ads perform 12-15% better than Product Page Ads
  3. 4:43 How to gain HUNDREDS of subscribers from CTM Ads using Chat Bots
  4. 8:15 Weird, but true: why reducing friction for potential customers isn’t always better
  5. 14:50 What is Horizontal Scaling, and why is it a better way to scale?


Resources Mentioned:

  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat

Episode Transcript:

Jeremy: Welcome, welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. As always, I’m your host, Jeremy Horowitz, joined by my incredible co-hosts, Mark Arruda and Ben Vandal.


Today, we’re going to break down an interesting Facebook Ads test that we ran to see what was the more effective way to gain new subscribers, new customers, and new followers, when we don’t have a massive product launch or promotion going. So, Mark and Ben, do you all just want to jump right into it and kind of explain the test you all ran was?


Ben: During our down time between launches, we use the time to obviously focus on gaining new customers since our product launch strategy is surrounded so much by organic people in our ecosystem – we use the time to gain new customers. An effective way to do that we have found is a Tripwire Sale. It’s a form of a free plus shipping offer, where you run a product on your site that you have a pretty high margin on for a very good offer to new customers to get them in the door at a price point that you can find palatable.

Mark: And what we’re going to talk about here specifically is a test that we have recently run with our Facebook Ads for acquiring new customers, and we took two different paths that we tested on this. One was an ad that goes directly to Messenger – that’s called a Click-To-Messenger Ad through Facebook. And it’s just your standard in-feed Facebook Ad. We ran a decent amount of money to each of these, so it’s a pretty fair test overall. We were not surprised, but pretty happy with the test overall.


Ben: Yeah, we’ve spoke about this in the past of how we found Click-To-Messenger Ads to be much more effective, much more cost effective on the front end for acquiring customers through Facebook, and this was kind of us kind of retesting that theory – because you never know when things are going to change. So what we did was run the test that Mark was talking about, and we came back with these two CPAs (which are Cost Per Acquisition).


For a regular Facebook Ad, which linked directly to the product page, we give the discount code in the copy, and then they went to the product page and made a purchase as they normally would through Facebook. It cost us a little over $14. And then the Click-To-Messenger Ad, which we ran them to a bot, got them as a subscriber, gave them the discount code, and then linked them back to the site. It cost us about $12.50. So, a savings of about 12%-13% there on Click-To-Messenger Ads, and we gained that subscriber on the back end.


Mark: I do think it’s also worth noting that we did spend substantially more on the Click-To-Messenger Ad. So, for anyone that doesn’t a ton with Facebook Ads: the more money you spend on something, the more likely you are to burn it out and therefore raise the price. So, the fact that we spent more money on Click-To-Messenger and still had better results is pretty telling for us.


Jeremy: Yeah, that’s awesome. So, roughly how much more would you guys say that you spent on Click-To-Messenger Ads versus directing people right to the product details page?


Ben: Yeah, so total on this we spent about $8,000 on the test, and about 5 [thousand] of it was on Click-To Messenger. The other $3 [thousand] was on the Direct-To-Product Page.


Jeremy: Got it. So, about double. So, you spent almost twice as much on Click-To-Messenger, and it still performed about 12-15% better than sending people directly to the site.


Ben: Yup, exactly. So, we were able to gain 600 new subscribers, too, with that money. Best part about it is that we get a free follow-up. Because, we obviously—when you make the initial offer, you want to retarget somebody. So, just to put it into perspective, our retargeting on Facebook—we were getting customers in the door at about $7.50, and then we’re getting that for free on the Messenger side.


Mark: Right, so when Ben says that we’re following up for free on the Messenger side, what he means is we’re following up directly in the bot. So, we have the Facebook Messenger bot built out so that when somebody is engaged with that bot (anyone who’s clicked a button), we follow up with them after X amount of time after they’ve engaged with that bot. And so for this specific case, where the follow-up time was 20 minutes—we’re always testing with that time—but essentially what’s happening is someone clicks, they go to the site, they make a purchase, they don’t make a purchase—either way, we follow up 20 minutes later, and we ask them if they’ve made a purchase.


If they did make a purchase, then we just thank them, we tag them as a customer, and we direct them to one of our social channels. If they have not made a purchase, then we just gently nudge them to go back to the site to let them know that this is a fantastic offer for a limited amount of time. We’re doing that follow-up without any additional cost. So, if you think about that additional touch point without extra expense to it, that’s pretty massive.


Ben: Yeah, and just to break that down a little bit, out of 600 people (we sent the follow-up message to 600 people, obviously, asking them if they purchased or didn’t purchase), of people that answered “No, they didn’t” purchase, we had 30% of those click back to the site.


So, just to put that into metrics that you might see on a Facebook Ad, that’s a 30% Clickthrough Rate—that you’re not going to get on a Facebook Ad. It’s almost not possible.


Jeremy: Right, and I think—I think what would be helpful is to take a step back and walk through what the typical User Experiences are and to explain why these numbers are happening, and where these huge wins are coming from. Right, so if you’re typically running this exact same ad without Messenger on Facebook, which is what the first test was (driving people to the product details page)—which from here on out we’ll refer to as PDP, which is just the acronym for Product Details Page.


So, you prospect to cold traffic, they see an ad on Facebook, they click through to your site, they buy or they don’t buy, and then later in the day they see a retargeting ad from your company on Facebook. So, that’s what’s been working really well, but it’s starting to die out a little bit. Now, what you guys did sounds like you ran that same prospecting ad on Facebook, originally, but instead of directing them to the website, you direct them to your bot. And then from the bot, they had an interaction, they got the info as well as the discount code in the bot, then the bot drove them to the website.


So, it’s almost like you put a step in between in what has typically happened. In the bot, you added that extra layer for them to interact. Then, from there, they interact with the bot (which means you get to follow up with them), so if they didn’t purchase, then you wait the window (I’m assuming 20 minutes is something around your typical cadence for a purchase). Then, if they didn’t, you follow up. If they say yes, then they bought. If they didn’t, you can follow up. And because they interacted before, they’re more likely to interact again as opposed to a static Facebook post where you have to go and grab their attention again.


Then from there, they followed up and purchased. So, I guess my question is – is if doing all of that and seeing all of those great wins, were you also retargeting them on Facebook after they’ve followed up with the bot and say they didn’t purchase – so you can catch them again?


Ben: Of course. Yeah, they do see a different type of message now that they have made a purchase, and also some different offers that we make to past customers. But, I think the important thing, and one of the things that we tussled with going into this that you had mentioned earlier–putting the step in when they go to messenger–it’s kind of a philosophical debate that a lot of people have: to reduce friction so that the customer can make the purchase.


So, that’s the original test here that we ran. You see an ad on Facebook, you go direct to our PDP—do you make the purchase from there? Then, we add the step of interacting with the bot—and what we’ve actually seen instead of increasing friction, it almost makes them a little more committed. Now, they had to take a step to see that discount code, they went through the process for doing that—you don’t go through the process for nothing. And it almost makes you a little more invested to make that purchase.


Mark: It’s interesting right? Because everything that we constantly do is always removing friction, removing steps. We always want to make every process as simple and easy as possible on a customer. So, it’s kind of interesting that we have added a step here, but it works more in our favor. And that could be for a few different reasons.


That could be just because Facebook wants to reward buyers to use the Click-To-Messenger platform whereas maybe not as many people are using it, so we’re getting a better rate. Or, it could be as Ben mentioned, that a customer just feels a little more invested, or learns a little more about the product by taking the step of going through Messenger.


Jeremy: Yeah, and I think a really important element of why adding that step probably is also working is that this is cold traffic, so it’s not someone who is familiar with your brand. So, even at a deep discount—versus trying to force someone through the entire funnel as quickly as possible and maybe they’re not ready to make a purchasing decision—by giving someone an additional step, you give them that time and additional info that they can feel more comfortable and trust your company more to make that decision quicker (versus them just hitting the site, reading through everything).


Also, I think that it’s just more novel. Customers are just so trained to see an ad on Facebook, view a website, and then, “Eh, I don’t really wanna buy. I’m not all that compelled.” Whereas this is probably something new and novel to them, where it’s like, “This is interesting, this is a new experience.” And by the time they get to your site, they already have a frame of reference and they’re more ready to buy. (10:56 audio cuts off for a moment)


Mark: Yeah, I think that’s 100% right. I also think it kind of matters a little bit when someone has a discount code directly in the copy, I feel like people don’t feel like the offer is as special as it might be, because it’s just open freely to anyone who wants to just see it and go.

When you add a step of giving the discount code in Messenger, it does make it a little bit more gated. But, it makes it feel a little bit more special and unique to them. So, I think that that makes the offer feel more a little bit more like it’s a special thing for them.


Ben: And just to piggyback on that as a person who has written multiple ads and multiple creatives, you always think that the customer remembers that discount code. And even though you can apply an auto-applied link in an ad so that the discount automatically applies on your site, sometimes the customer doesn’t know that. And they’ll land on your Product Details Page—they don’t see the discounted price until they ad the discount at checkout. And, they don’t have anything to reference back, because it’s nearly impossible to see that code again.


With the Messenger, they can go back into their Messenger platform and actually have the code there, copy and paste it, and go right back into the buying process.


Mark: Great point.

Jeremy: Yeah, definitely a great point. Okay, so, we’ve walked through the experience, we’ve talked about Click-To-Messenger was not only cheaper, but saved money on the retargeting as well. Let’s just walk through some results.


So, I know that you guys were doing this for a list-building purpose (and I want to get to that, second). But, was this overall unprofitable for you all? Did this make you some money? Was this more of a self-liquidating thing that was all about the subscriber growth? Like, how did this perform?


Mark: When going into it, we went in saying that, regardless of how it was going to go, we were going to push it as far as we can, just to basically be at a breakeven point. I think when we add in the factor of the fact that purchasers are going to go through email upsells and repeat customers, it’s only a matter of time before this becomes much more profitable for us.


But just from the jump, the goal was just to break even, not to lose any money, acquire as many new customers as possible, grow the Messenger list, grow the email list, grow the customer list (because we know that customers come back and buy from us multiple times). So, the goal for this wasn’t necessarily to be profitable, it was more just to essentially scale the business.


Ben: Yeah, and one of the exciting things about this is that we’re keeping a close eye on the new customers that came into the door, and we have them specifically segmented so we can see after a couple releases (using the “Next Level Launch Strategy” that we talked about last episode) what those new customers did in line with: they came in the door at this offer—did they take our new launch item? Did they take some additional item? And we’re keeping a close eye on what the customer is doing from there so that way we can accentuate that and understand how to accelerate the buying cycle for them.


Jeremy: Awesome. So, what are next steps from here. You guys ran a test, it was successful, validated that Click-To-Messenger is cheaper than driving to PDP. What are the grand takeaways about what you are all doing next?


Ben: So, next with this particular strategy, we’re probably going to move all cold traffic into Click-To-Messenger Ads only. Obviously, just to maximize that front-end cost to get the customer in the door. Then, we will see from here on out, we will keep an eye on the list like I said, see what the buying patterns are for them going forward, and how we can give them the best experience going forward.


Mark: Yeah, and I think that we’ll play a little bit with what’s called Horizontal Scaling. And what that basically means is, rather than scaling in the sense of “throw more money at it,” we scale horizontally in the sense of reaching different audiences. So, we found audiences that have worked extremely well for this particular test, and what we’ll do is—now that we’ve identified that Click-To-Messenger certainly is better than the standard newsfeed—we will take those results and try to mimic it with different audiences to get further scale from that.