EP29 How To Survive In A World Without The Pre-Checkbox




Episode Summary:

Feeling the pain from losing the Facebook Messenger Pre-Checkbox? Do we have a solution for you. 🤠

On this episode of the Messenger Mastermind podcast we discuss our workaround to get customers to opt-in to your Facebook Messenger abandoned Cart follow up since Facebook has disabled the Pre-Check box. Learn our tactic to get customers to opt-in at a rate of 17.5%, and how we convert them we capture their Messenger info.

If you are responsible for your eCommerce company’s Acquisition conversion episodes you might want to give this one a listen. 

Let us know what you think below 👇👇.

Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:55: Getting around the Pre-Checkbox
  2. 4:10: How to drive a 17.5% Opt-in Rate
  3. 6:51: The Customer experience after they Opt-In
  4. 10:28: What to do once the customer purchases
  5. 15:11: How to add the ‘Free Gift’ Opt-In today

Resources Mentioned:

  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat

Episode Transcript:


Jeremy: Welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. I’ll be your host for today’s episode. My name is Jeremy Horowitz and I’m joined by my awesome co-hosts, Mark Arruda and Ben Vandal. How are you all doing today?


Mark: Hey, Jeremy. What’s up?


Ben: What’s going on, man? Weather’s heating up.


Jeremy: I know, hitting that summertime. I’m really excited about it. We’re here today to bring a little bit more of an on-site optimization that we found, but something that obviously still pairs really well with ManyChat and Messenger and kind of the overall marketing strategy that we’ve been working with and so I don’t really want to hold up anyone’s time anymore. Mark, do you want to explain to us how you worked around Facebook getting rid of the pre-check box?


Mark: Yeah, we can get right into this. As many people know that were previously using the pre-checkbox on their Add to Cart. This was a great tool for a lot of people that were using things like ShopMessage and Recart and a couple other apps out there that just simply put a Facebook Messenger checkbox above or below their Add to Cart button on the product page. When someone clicked Add to Cart that checkbox would trigger a follow-up message if the user abandoned the cart. That would follow-up message would simply just offer a discount or a reminder to bring that person back to make the purchase. It was extremely effective, but Facebook did away with the pre-checkbox. What that basically means is, anyone who’s trying to use a tool like this is not going to be successful any longer because of the fact that the user now has to go through the action of actually checking that box in clicking the Add to Cart button. It is near impossible to get a user to check that box because the user doesn’t understand what that box even is. 


Jeremy: You all went through this evolution, right? You used those apps early in the days and you all went from pre-checked to non-pre-checked, right?


Mark: Absolutely and if you reference back to some past episodes we did cover this where C.V.G. did have the pre-checkbox and we decided to remove it from our site because we were receiving bad feedback from our customers and our return customers are super important to us. We’re not in the business of trying to piss off our customers. Many other people did keep that pre-checkbox for as long as they possibly could until Facebook removed it, because of the fact that it was so very profitable. That being said, no one has the option to do it anymore. We’ve been tossing around this idea for a long time of how we can see somewhat similar results to the pre-checkbox with the Abandoned Cart and gaining subscribers at very high rates, even without the box being pre-checked. We think that we finally came up with something good. What this is, is we have- I’ll give credit to Steve Chou for this from My Wife Quit Her Job Podcast- he had created a checkbox on his Add to Cart page and that checkbox obviously was not pre-checked. There was text on it that said, “Check this box and we will give you a free gift” and all that free gift is, is a PDF. For C.V.G., that PDF is a series of workouts that we built out and we send to them through Facebook Messenger. Someone checks that box for their free gift, they click Add to Cart, our Facebook Messenger bot automatically messages them with a PDF that they can download. As a result of this, we have now gained a Messenger subscriber, a customer or potential customer has got a free gift of the PDF, and we have the ability to automatically follow back up with them if they abandon their cart. 


Ben: Customers are smart now. You have to gamify or incentivize them to do something like this. What we’re doing is we’re offering them value with the free gift, which is four free workouts. It is something that we actually – they’re valuable workouts for us. We use them in our actual lead book and other things like that. In Steve’s case, he gives away- I think it’s a design guide or something like that. I’ve seen in other places some helpful worksheets or something like that, that you can download. You are providing your customer with value and in addition to the mutual relationship that they’re becoming a Messenger subscriber.


Mark: And it’s not costing you anything. Something like a PDF is just going to take a little time, maybe hire someone to throw something together for you but it’s not actually costing you anything. You’re still giving something to the customer that they can appreciate.


Jeremy: It sounds like there’s immense value in the business for it because if I understood this right, you’re essentially applying the same kind of lead magnet offer incentive that you would to capture someone’s email or contact information higher up in the funnel and just pushing that strategy down to Abandoned Cart at that level. It’s just in that crucial moment where a customer couldn’t be more valuable to your business, where you haven’t spent more money on marketing to get someone to Abandon Cart that hasn’t given you a financial return yet. I think it’s interesting. Let’s say that I’m a user and I’m going to the site and I’m going to buy some tie-dye skull leggings. I know those are best-sellers for you guys. Walk me through what the user experience is. I hit the Product Details Page and then what should I do from there? What do I see in my Messenger and then eventually to purchase?


Ben: This will be a little unique depending on the site that it’s on or the product page that it’s on. Specifically, for C.V.G., what you do is you land on the product page and if you are interested in our item and considering adding it to cart, underneath the Add to Cart button there’s a box that is outlined. It looks like a regular Messenger checkbox. It has a message: “Check this box to receive a free gift when you add it to cart.” The user checks the box, they add to cart as they regularly would, and we send them a message in Messenger. That’s step one. Step two is we need to be engaging because the customer doesn’t become a subscriber until they engage with your bot. We’ve talked about that in almost every episode. Our first message to the customer is, “Hey! Thanks for your interest in our free gift. Did you want to claim your prize?” with a button. They click the button and then they have become a Messenger subscriber. The next message is your free gift. We happen to do an image with the free gift and we tell them a little bit about what the free gift is and then we offer a button for them to download it. It’s a PDF link. It’s very simple, very seamless. They can view it right through Messenger and then use it whenever they would like the gift.


Jeremy: Great. It sounds like I’m getting some value out as a user. Worst case scenario, I walk away with a free PDF of a nice workout. The best case scenario is I get that PDF plus a purchase and then you all can follow up, which I think is a nice touch especially if that’s a way to make sure that- It’s kind of like that nice, “Hey, do you need anything?” It doesn’t sound like it’s annoying or invasive at all but it’s always helpful to the end customer.


Mark: After someone has added to cart, whether or not they have abandoned, let’s say they have checked out completely or they just bounce from the site after adding to cart, either way we follow back up with them in Messenger. We currently have it set one hour after someone checks that box and adds to cart, we follow up. Unfortunately, with ManyChat we’re not able to actually tell if the customer made a purchase but that’s not really the biggest issue for us because we’ve built out a way that it doesn’t really make a difference. One hour after that Add to Cart, we follow up with them and we say, “Did you complete your purchase today? Yes. Not yet. Unsubscribe. If they click yes, then we tag that customer as someone that has made a purchase. Now what we’re doing with this is we’re creating a list of people that we can actually identify in ManyChat as being customers for us in the past. If that’s the case, they click yes, then we say, “Great” and we usually point them over to something like our Facebook group and say, “Maybe you’ll like this.” Just as equally as important, if they click no, that they haven’t made a purchase, then we send out a different message that lets them know that the product is limited or it may not last for too long, it’s moving quickly and we direct them back to the site to complete their purchase.


Jeremy: Love, love, love that. You guys briefly mentioned that- I just want to quickly dive into the other piece of this of how this scenario non-purchaser and purchaser. For purchaser, you also have naturally weaved in that cross-channel promotion. Is there anything you’re promoting other than your Facebook group once you know that they have successfully purchased?


Ben: For C.V.G. specifically, when they click ‘yes’ they have made a purchase, we tell them that we are more than a clothing company. We’re a community. We also promote our podcasts on there too. We tell them about our Facebook group, and we tell them about the C.V.G. podcast that our two great hosts do. We give them links to both so they can learn about the podcast, which is on our site, or they can learn about our Facebook group which is on Facebook.


Mark: This works out perfectly because once someone has made a purchase, even more specifically if this is their first purchase and maybe they don’t know a ton about our brand, this is great way to bring them further into our community and increase the chances they’ll be coming back again for future releases and hopefully, purchasing again. 


Jeremy: To me it sounds like there’s that great bridge between using the entire strategy to convert and kind of on the acquisition side of your marketing efforts, and then bridging that gap with that last couple of messages to really turn it into retention. The thought is that they join the Facebook group, or they start listening to the podcast which then has great weekly content and is very active. You haven’t just acquired the customer you’ve acquired what should be a long-term highly valuable customer that hopefully you retain instead of having to acquire again.


Ben: It adds even more value to them. If I’m a customer, I go to the site and I’m planning on buying a product anyway. I see the free checkbox, I click it, I get a free four workouts in this scenario, I buy the product like I was going to, and then I find out about a podcast and a group that’s also free, that I don’t pay for. I’m getting three different things for free from this company when I was just going to buy the first thing in the first place.


Mark: From our end, it’s equally as valuable because when they do this, we’re getting a Messenger subscriber that we can follow back up with. If they didn’t make a purchase, we have an opportunity to follow back up with them to remind them. If they did make a purchase, we’re able to identify in ManyChat if they have become a customer. All around, it’s a huge win for the customer and it’s a huge win for us. The process, although a little work for us set up, on the customer end is very simple, very seamless, and pretty frictionless. 


Jeremy: It sounds like it’s a great value. For all the merchants out there, that were using the pre-check box before, we were able to subscribe almost every single person to Messenger. Now that it’s gone away, it’s pretty much gone down to dismal or no levels. What opt-ins are you guys seeing? How well is this incentivizing your customers to now go back to actually check the box?


Mark: Let’s compare this to back when there were pre-check boxes. Obviously, that meant close to 100% of people were opting in which is obviously absolutely incredible and those were the times of the wild, wild west that we always refer to. Now that has changed, we have played a lot with this. If that box is not checked, which it no longer can be, you pretty much have a 0% opt-in. It’s virtually useless in every way. With this feature, with this custom-built feature that we’ve put in place, we’re seeing a 17.5% check on that checkbox. Where 17.5% compared to 100% might seem low, 17.5% compared to zero is actually fantastic. 


Jeremy: Also, what are email opt-in rates at this point for pop-ups and newsletters? Maybe 10-15%.


Mark: Yes, it stacks up well.


Jeremy: Awesome. Have you seen any hurt in conversion or any negative effect there?


Mark: That’s a super important question and when we speak about this with clients, that’s often the first thing that they ask, “Is this going to create some friction? Is it slapping them with upsell in their face that might deter them from actually completing a purchase?” We have tested this thoroughly and the answer is absolutely no. We have compared the data of our Add to Cart without the checkbox versus our Add to Cart with the checkbox and it’s almost identical. If anything, we have a very small increase on Add to Cart and we believe that’s because potentially, people want to see what the free gift is.


Jeremy: Right, who doesn’t love a free gift?


Mark: Sure.


Jeremy: This all sounds awesome. I’m a merchant. I’m excited. How do I set this up for my store today?


Mark: Getting this added to your site can be a simple process if you know what you’re doing. If you’re not familiar with building out bots, this could be a little bit complicated for you. You could reach out to us. We’re happy to help. We build this out for our clients. We can take care of everything as far as the bot, the follow-up, the free gift, things like that. One thing that you will need on your end is either a developer or some experience on your own to be able to add it to some of your code on your product page. It is extremely simple for a developer. It’s only going to take about five or ten minutes but if you don’t have experience in that, that could be a hang-up for you. As far as the bot end of it, if you do not feel comfortable building this out yourself, you can certainly reach out to us and we can help you with that.