Why email is dead, Facebook Messenger and Chat Bots, and how artists can use Facebook Messenger to build their audience and sell more art online.
Coming up on the Art Marketing Podcast, why email is dead, intro to Facebook Messenger and chatbots, and how artists can use Facebook Messenger to get more attention and sell more art online.
Hey, guys, Patrick. Thanks for being here today. Some quick housekeeping before we get started. I am struck with a profound sense of thanks and thankfulness, yes, both because, as I'm recording this, it's the Monday of the week of Thanksgiving, but also because I went ahead and checked the states before recording today's episode. The Art Marketing Podcast, in just 18 episodes, has already surpassed the 50,000-download mark. So I have to tell you, guys, thank you so much. For everybody that's listening and continues to listen, that was just an amazing, amazing stat in less than a year. For all of you that have been listening, for all of you that have left iTunes reviews, which really helps grow the listenership and helps us grow, thank you so much. We are just fired up. It really keeps everybody that works on this podcast completely motivated and coming to work every day just excited to do more. So huge thanks. Blown away by that number, and now it's time to reset the clock and get it 100,000.
To the task at hand, then. Today is a plant-our-flag-kind-of-a-day episode. What does that mean? It means there is a new technique/platform, if you will, out there in marketing land that I believe has the potential to make a significant impact in your art business, that those that dedicate the time, energy, and effort to mastering it, to gaining some degree of trade craft in it now are really going to prosper. I think it's going to be highly leveraged by most marketers in the next 12, 24 months, maybe even longer. I'm incredibly excited to get into this today.
If you're anything like me, you're the type of person that is, more or less, like a caged animal every single solitary day just looking for some new shiny object to go chasing after so that I can take my normal to-do list, the things I'm supposed to be doing, put it in the paper shredder and go chase after some shiny new object all the way down the rabbit hole and waste my entire day. That is absolutely the demon in my life. I am the cat chasing the laser pointer.
New techniques, tactics, more or less shiny objects, in the marketing world come around so quickly, it's crazy. You're bombarded with them in Facebook, and Twitter, and Instagram, and your email, and every other such place, promising an incredible percentage, double-digit growth of your business overnight, unsuspecting, unknown, FOMO-related traffic sources and all the rest. It gets to be ridiculous. I've actually been working and refining a system over the last couple of years, which I think I stole from somebody in a book, to be honest, but I can't remember exactly where, and I've sort of refined it. Any time a new shiny thing comes along, for me, whether it's in my email, or whether it's on Twitter, wherever it is, I promptly ignore it. I ignore it. I look at it, I remember the name, and I ignore it. Then I go on with my life.
A little while longer, if it pops up again, say in a Facebook update this time, I ignore it then too. I remember I've seen it twice, but I ignore it then too. I'll ignore it a third time, a fourth time, a fifth time, even a sixth time. After that, though, after I see it popping that many times, I go and see what all of the top marketers that I follow, the guys that are practitioners, the guys that are in the trenches every single solitary day doing the advanced stuff, I go and see how many of them are using it. Then, based on that, I'm like, okay, it's popped up 6 or 7 or 8, 10 times, whatever it is, and some top practitioners are using it. It's time for me to investigate. At that point, it's not just about investigating. It's about signing up, going to the very deep end of the pool and doing the swan dive, the Triple Lindy into the deep end and really experimenting, touching it, tasting it, putting it through its paces and getting good at it.
Why am I telling you all of this? I'm telling you that I've been through this extreme vetting, for a lack of a better word, this particular program, this particular platform, and I'm here to tell you this is not a fad. This is not a shiny object. It is absolutely amazing. It's insane. I can barely even wrap my head around all that you're able to do with it. Again, incredibly, incredibly excited. Let me set up some context like I always do and start with the email is dead portion.
Email is dead. No, no it's not. "Email is dead," is one of the most abused headlines in modern marketing history, in my opinion. "We need to sell some more newspapers. Type up a title that says Email is dead. Works every time." It's not dead nor will it be dead any time soon. That being said, I do believe its zenith was long, long ago, and it's getting harder and harder to get your list's attention in terms of open rate as well as clicks. I think that is just a fact. The marketers have been out there actively ruining email for a long time, and we've been successful. We've done a good job of it, right?
What is the smart artist to do? I believe the smart artist, as well as the marketer, is best served by a little diversification, by diversifying. It's just like you don't want your entire retirement account or stock account, 401K or the like, all in one stock, unless it's Facebook, in which case it would probably be a good idea, but you want it spread around a number of investments such that you're hedged against any one particular investment or, in your case, any one particular traffic source from being too reliant upon it.
The smart types, artists as well, work strategically at spreading their followers around in their different venues. They try to move their Instagram followers to Facebook, and their email followers to Instagram, and if they're on YouTube, some of their followers to YouTube. You'll see all of the smart marketers constantly trying to push their followers around from this following to that following to the other following. That should be a podcast episode in and of itself. I'm guilty of not doing it anywhere near enough.
That's what you want to do. You want to diversify. You don't want to be married to any one particular type of traffic or source of traffic, right? I brought up email both to frame it up in those terms, but also, yes, I'm going to be talking about Facebook Messenger today and, yes, about chatbots. But really, the one-sentence way to think about it, the way to put it in your terms because bots is like a big, new, scary buzzword thing, it's the new email. Facebook Messenger is the new email. Let me give the brief context on what Facebook Messenger is, where it all started.
If you have a Facebook page, it used to be that you could send people messages through Facebook, and it would come to your Faceboook page. Later on, it would come to the mobile app, and you'd be able to read those messages and respond, and that was all great. Then in 2,000 ... What was it? 14, I think, Faceboook bought a company called WhatsApp for, God, it was so much money, like $19 billion, I think. WhatsApp was like a text messaging communication app especially tooled for mobile. In 2015, after that acquisition and after starting to fold it into Faceboook, they created what's now called Facebook Messenger.
It's basically a stand-alone messaging app. Doesn't matter if you're on the desktop, or the mobile, or on your phone. That's the way to think about it. On the desktop, it feels kind of sort of built-in and kicked into the experience, but on the mobile phone, it is a completely separate application than Faceboook. I think many of us will remember, that were in the weeds back then, that you would have these messages that people would send you on Faceboook, and you'd want to check them on your phone, but Faceboook wouldn't let you check them on your phone anymore. That was their way to drive app downloads. You were forced to download this Facebook Messenger such that you could even just read your messages, right? Kind of a shifty way to do it, but it obviously worked out well for them.
I've mentioned before that, as a marketer, I'm constantly checking both the Google Play store and the app store to see what the top downloaded apps are, right? Well, I can tell you, for I can't even begin to remember how long now, Facebook Messenger is pretty much always in the top 10 free downloaded apps on either platform. Suffice to say, everyone and their brother has downloaded this app and continues to download this app, and it continues to be among the most popular. A tremendous, tremendous amount of people are using them. Read: your collectors, your potential buyers, the people that you want to reach have this. I think that's another fascinating piece of context.
Not only is it one of the most-downloaded apps in the entire world, but just about everyone has it on their phone and are carrying it around with them 24 hours a day. What's equally fascinating is the default behavior for Facebook Messenger, what I imagine most people do not turn off, is the fact that it sends a notification just like a text message. You got it. It literally bings just like a text message to that computer in your pocket 24/7, right? Email certainly cannot do that.
What we've seen, and I'll get into the trade craft here in a little bit, but what we've seen is anywhere from an 80 to a 90% open rate, almost instantaneously, by sending broadcasts, think email, through Facebook Messenger. 80 to 90% open rates, which is just absolutely crazy. Email, let's just say, on a good day, depending on who you are, maybe you have a 20% open rate. That's probably a high average for a lot of people. Contrast that with 80% and the numbers become really quite profound. It's not what size your list is, right? It's the open rate. If they're not opening it, you're not getting their eyeballs. You're not getting any attention. It doesn't matter if you've got a 10,000-person list.
The question becomes how do we start to build a list in Facebook Messenger that we can broadcast to? How do we get people onto the list? Let me explain how this whole process goes and to set the table, give you a bit of disclaimer, this whole thing is admittedly a bit complicated. Just the fact that it's brand-new makes it hard to wrap your head around. It has quite a few moving pieces, and it's likely best explained with video in addition to audio. This, however, is why you're esteemed host here gets paid the big bucks, I don't, I don't, to make the complex seem simple. So stick with me as I lay this all out.
I'm going to come at it from three different angles. I'm going to explain how it all works, give you some examples. I'm going to go through exactly how we're using it at Art Storefronts. Then for you visual types ... In fact, I recommend if you're even remotely interested in what you're hearing, you've got to do this. I've built a crazy, elaborate messenger bot sequence that you can find by going to the podcast page, and I'll put a link at the end. You opt in, and I'll put you through the paces and show you all the bells and whistles and step you through it step by step. I think you combine those three together, and you'll have a very good idea about what this technology can do and how amazing it is. I think, armed with all that, it'll be clear.
In order to use this, just to get started at the very top, you need a Facebook page, right? A brand page, not a personal page, a brand page. Actually, I'm not even sure about that one. I'm pretty sure it's a brand page. You then sign up for a chatbot app. I think there's two leading ones. I think the early winner is an app called ManyChat. I will put a link in the show notes. You stitch this third-party application called ManyChat to your Facebook page. Once you've done that and you've stitched it together, they give you sort of a number of different options to get people on your list. It's sort of insane how robust it is for as early on as this is.
What do I mean? What are the options? How do you get people on your list? There's simple and there's complicated. In terms of simple, and think just like email, it gives you opt in widgets you can use on your website. You can have something in your sidebar, for instance, or you can have a smart bar, which are those little bars or hello bar that people use at the top, or you can have a popup or a slide-in, a popup like everybody knows. They even allow you the giant full-screen popups. They even allow you to do a complete landing page on your site, so a whole separate page just getting people to opt in. In any of those cases, there's a big button, and whatever your languages is, "Hey, join my list for my live broadcasts," or, "Click this button." You can even use it with a lead magnet or a content update, a content bribe, whatever you want to call it, "Hey, click this button to opt in to get my free digital calendar." All of those fashions. They click it. They take any of those actions that are on your list. Those are what I would call the simple ways.
They even have a bit more complicated way, the top of which, which is amazing, is ads. You can actually run a Faceboook ad, a Faceboook ad unit that starts a conversation in Messenger. You probably haven't seen many of those yet. In fact, I haven't even seen one. I don't think anyone's even shown me one. It's a newish, often not-used ad unit in Faceboook that not a lot people are talking about but, boy, are they going to start. You can use those ads to get people onto your Messenger list. They even have some sort of offline scanning capability which, trust me, we're going to investigate in short order because it would probably be great to use at art fairs and such, any time that you're doing anything local, or if you have a show or whatever else. Hello, fishbowl technique 2.0.
Then one of my favorite ways to use it, one of the ways that we're using it is what I call the post comment trigger. I'm not even sure what they call it, but essentially, you author a post in Facebook post. I'm going to use an example of a video post because that's how we're doing it. You author a video post. In the video, you tell the viewers, "Leave a comment," and you pick a keyword for the comment, let's just say the word marlin. So, "Leave a comment, type the word marlin, and you'll get a resource," right? You encourage them to leave that comment. They leave that comment on a post, and they get placed on your list. That's crazy, right? They leave a comment on a post and they get placed on your broadcast list? Surely, you can't be serious. I am, and don't call me Shirley.
Let me give you an example, make it a little bit more real. You are a landscape painter painting Big Corona Beach in Newport. You're taking a break from the painting. You pull out your cellphone. You're going to selfie-style aim at you and your easel in the background and the beautiful beach below, and you're going to say, "Hey, guys. Here I am at Big Corona. Beautiful day in Newport, and I'm halfway through my painting here. Just wanted to show you the progress so you see what I'm doing, see what you think so far. If you're interested in seeing what it looks like when it's finished," obviously, the thing's halfway done, "If you're interested in seeing what it looks like in finish, leave a comment below. Type Big Corona, two words, Big Corona, and I'll send you a JPEG of the finished image."
Turn your phone off. You go back to painting your painting. Then take a photo of the painting. After that, you're armed with a video and a photo of the painting. You take the video, you make a post on Faceboook, just like you would, with that video, all shot on your cellphone, by the way, all on your cellphone. Then you stitch that post to ManyChat, and you say, "ManyChat, anybody that leaves the comment Big Corona is going to get the JPEG," the finished JPEG image that you took with your cellphone of the piece, or it cold even be a video if you were so inclined. You turn that on, and it's automated, and it just works.
What happens there is I'm browsing through my feed. I see you've got this video. It's playing already. I turn the audio on, and there you are, beautiful vista, beautiful beach, beautiful day. I want to be there. I'm like, "Oh, wow. I definitely want to see that finished piece," and so I type Big Corona. What happens is is, instantaneously, I'm on your list, your broadcast list in ManyChat, and I instantaneously, to my Messenger, get the finished image. There, just by that right there with your cellphone and taking two seconds to be conscious about your marketing, you've now created what's a really cool kind of just little experience, interactive experience, right? Some anticipation. When is it going to be done? What is it going to look like? And you've created some content there, and these people are now on your list.
Next, you're going to go do this again, except this time, you're going to go ahead and broadcast in ManyChat, "Hey, I'm painting again. Look forward to the post." Or maybe you're going to have a sale, and you're going to broadcast in ManyChat, "24-hour sale. Take 30% off store-wide just because you guys are awesome. Happy Thanksgiving," whatever the case may be. You're going to do that with 80% open rates, which I cannot stress enough. No one's had 80% open rates in email, French kisses aside, for a long, long time. It's amazing. You get to text message your audience with your message. Getting into and on a cellphone, again, with everyone 24 hours a day, with a text message style ding is, quite honestly, the Garden of Eden before the snake, before the snake, type of a situation for marketers. There is no better place to be, as a marketer, if you can get onto somebody's phone with a text-message-like beep. It's amazing. There is no better way to get somebody's attention.
Now I want to come at it from a different way. You ever hear that refrain a la Dances With Wolves, how the American Indian would kill a buffalo and literally use every single solitary part of the buffalo, nothing would go to waste? I love that story, and I love thinking about content marketing in that fashion. Creating content, what we're talking about today, i.e. hunting, finding, tracking, and killing the buffalo, is difficult. That takes a lot of thought, energy, hard work. Once you do that, you want to get as much out of it as possible, right? You want to use every piece. So take a gander, if you will, at all of this gloriousness. I'm about to go on a bit of a rant right now.
Let me talk about how we are currently using ManyChat plus Facebook Messenger at Art Storefronts. Okay. We start by scheduling a live broadcast in Faceboook. Yep, you can schedule them ahead of time. Why would you do that? Two reasons. One, it allows you to promote your upcoming live broadcast. You can email people about it. You can put social updates about it. You can call people about it. It doesn't matter. You give folks the opportunity to see it on your page organically. What Faceboook allows you to do is it puts this little bar in here that says, "Hey, they're about to go live in a couple of days. Get notified when the broadcast is about to start." People can sign up for those updates, and Faceboook does that all that for you automatically, right?
Number two, once that post is scheduled ahead of time, it allows you to go into ManyChat and stitch together whatever your little Messenger sequence is going to be, right? Our topic for the broadcast in question, let's just say, is going to be the Holiday Art Marketing Playbook. It actually was. This thing's already been done. In that particular presentation, it worked out there was a slide deck, there was various different images of emails, and there was a spreadsheet. I combined all of those assets together into a zip file. This is what I was going to use ManyChat to deliver, right?
The live broadcast went down. My keyword for this broadcast was marlin. I actually put a big image of a marlin in my presentation slides to make it super clear what people should type as a comment, because this behavior, leaving a comment with a specific keyword, is brand-new, right? You kind of have to let people know, "Hey, here's what I'm doing. Here's what I'm going to do." Why did I make so many different resources like the slide deck, the images, and the emails? Because different strokes for different folks. What that allowed me to do is it gave me the opportunity to reference multiple different assets that I can give you after the fact. They're all providing value, but it also ... Maybe you're into one thing. Maybe somebody else is into another thing. It allowed me to mention the keyword throughout the broadcast in different ways, right? That's kind of just some of the trade craft or whatever, right?
The broadcast ended. I decided to to Facebook Live because Facebook Live favors live broadcasts, by the way. It wants more eyeballs on them. Faceboook wants to be a TV network, so Faceboook works hard, for free, to get your live broadcast in front of your audience's eyes, right? That's free attention. The minute the broadcast is done, I go back in and I edit the description because the description was like, "We're gonna go live in 10 minutes talking about the Art Marketing Playbook." After the fact, that video lives on your Faceboook page. I go in and I edit the text to say ... take out all the live, right, because you don't want people thinking it's live when it's not live. I go in and I change the thumbnail on the video about so it's got a catchy thumbnail. I take the video. I send it out to get transcribed. The transcribe comes back. I put the captions in the video so that when you're watching the video on Faceboook it's got those captions underneath it, right?
Now we've got this video that you worked and did live and did all of that work, and you had some people on there live, and you had some people opting into your list. Now the video lives on your Faceboook page. It's been transcribed so it's got captions on it. It has an attractive thumbnail so it's going to increase the click-through rate. That thing lives there free, organically, right? But the magic is just starting, the American buffalo.
What do I do next? I go ahead and I create an ad with the video. It's not just an ad, too. It's not just a video ad. The ManyChat bot that you have stitched to this, the Facebook Messenger bot that you've stitched to this video now travels with it in perpetuity. The video ad then gets shown to whoever I put that ad towards, oftentimes my email list first, or maybe it's remarketing, or maybe even I'm putting out to cold traffic. Now that video ad is being shown to all these various different people, and the various different people that are watching it are all opting in as they're watching it. I have this thing going out, gathering me more subscribers. Yes, I'm paying for it as an ad, but it's an awesome broadcast. We worked very hard at it. That thing's running around the internet. Yeah, the ad is just taking my website visitors and driving them into my Faceboook broadcast list because I'm showing them to my email subscribers.
The next thing you know, this particular live broadcast is really helping me grow my Messenger list quite significantly. I feel pretty good about that. I do it again. I repeat the whole process. This time, though, ahead of going live, I broadcast to my entire new Messenger list, and I say, "Hey, we're gonna be going live on Faceboook in a few minutes. Come get your art marketing questions answered." I do that again and again and again and again. I'm in this for the long haul and realize nothing good comes easy.
It's six months later, and I check out the video tab on my Faceboook page, which by the way, Faceboook is attempting to make replicate YouTube experience. It's on that page. I have like 30 videos. Okay, this is, obviously, in the future, but I have 30 videos all with the chatbot stitched in, and they're all just working for me while I'm awake, while I'm asleep, constantly getting views, showing people what I'm about, delivering the lead magnet, creating the chatbot experience, and putting them all on the broadcast list, right? Does that not sound crazy? When you think about you can start making these videos, start making the posts with the keywords, and start putting people on your list, and put your head down and make six months of them and potentially have this list-generating entity just working overtime for you is just a crazy thing to wrap your head around.
There's so much good news about this whole experience, I can't even begin to tell you, so let's start with that. Let's talk about the good news in all of this. The elevator on this entire experience is on the ground floor. You're hearing about this so early on in the process that if you get in there and you start learning to be a practitioner, there is a first-mover advantage. I mean this is like, literally, the gold rush, and there is gold discovered in them thar hills, so get in there.
The other good news, or more good news, the Facebook Messenger inbox, for the time being, for the time being, is pretty much completely devoid of noise, spam marketers, right? There's just no crap in there. Now, who knows hoe long that's going to last, but for now, it's there. It's amazing. I think the opportunity, just based on the fact that you're hearing this now, puts you ahead of not just most artists, but just about everybody, period, except for advanced marketers. It really presents a tremendous, tremendous opportunity.
I would say the trade craft that is just now emerging, like what I just went through about how we're using it in Art Storefronts, all the nuance of all those particular steps with the live and the keyword, all of that is just emerging right now. There's not even, really, blog posts out there. There's some that talk about how to do this, what to do it. I mean it's so new, there's so many moving pieces that you have the opportunity to get in there and really create your own system for doing it. It's just amazing. Come on in. The water's just fine.
It's essentially, too ... the great way to think about this ... Yes, it's Faceboook. Yes, it's Facebook Messenger. Yes, it's a chat experience, which has been around forever, but it's essentially a whole new world and a whole new platform that lives inside the world everybody is in and on all day already. That, in itself, is a profound statement. It's like its own social network built inside the social network, this Messenger experience. This will become clear when you see it visually.
Not only can you do this, more good news, you can get this set up in literally a few minutes, and you can start learning the finer points of it in a few minutes, and it's free to get started. Trust me when I say this part of it too. I think an entire podcast, not just a show, and episode like this, but an entire podcast can and will be dedicated to marketing with Messenger and bots. That is how much nuance and opportunity there is to it, and we are literally just scratching the surface. Again, don't worry about that.
Boy, have I got a bonus for you at the tail end of this thing. I'm hoping I piqued your interest enough to come to the Art Marketing Podcast. This is going to be Episode 16 or 17 or whatever. Facebook Messenger is the New Email is the title of it. Come to that page. You click into that episode page, and I'm going to have a full-screen popup that you can opt in on. In that experience, I have literally ... I've designed it ... I'm actually still working on it now, but it'll be live by the time this episode goes. It's going to have every step. I'm going to show you some of the nuance that you're able to communicate within the Messenger experience itself, show you a couple of surprises, and literally put every single solitary feature on the table.
I think, once you go through that and you get to see all the ways that it's working ... I'll show you a bunch of the stuff that I've learned early on just experimenting and playing it. It will instantaneously be clear to you that like, "Whoa, the capabilities of this are beyond anything I could have possibly imagined." So definitely go to that page. Definitely check it out. To get there, it's artmarketingpodcast.com, and then you'll see that Facebook Messenger is the New Email. Prepare to blown away. I want you guys trying it. I want you getting into it right away. Thanks. Have a great day.
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We help artists & photographers open and run their own art gallery business online.