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Messenger Marketing For Shopify: A Comprehensive Guide


For years, Facebook’s advertising platform was great for strategically targeting customers. Businesses running Facebook ads could whittle down their audience with precision. This led to great ROI, on-point messaging, and plenty of ad spend.

But over time, ad rates have crept upward. Observing data from its users, AdEspresso noticed a CPC increase from $0.31 in 2018 to $0.45 the next year. And we’ve previously observed increases of 40-50%, year-over-year.

The good news? Facebook has a different medium for connecting you with customers: Facebook Messenger. Messenger sees higher opening rates than email: 80% to email’s 12%. And Facebook only charges merchants for when a sponsored message opens, not delivers. This creates opened-message costs between $0.01 and $0.015. Additionally, many options—including welcome messages—are completely free.

If you need a direct line to your customers, Messenger is the place to be. And our three-pillar approach is a great way to get started on the right foot:

How to Build an Audience with FB Messenger

The first step is building your audience. You’ll have two basic options here: on-site promotions and off-site promotions.

On-Site Promotions

On-site promotions engage with those customers who have already visited your web presence. One of the primary tools here is the “Welcome” popup.

Popups have been difficult for some in recent days. It doesn’t help that Apple’s Intelligent Tracking feature makes it more difficult for advertisers to use tracking cookies. Because Facebook needs these cookies to render the Messenger widget, it’s made things complicated. However, there is an option for a two-tap Welcome Popup that has been effective.

Take the example of Gray Label. One of the very first features they set up on their Recart account was a Welcome popup. Since Gray Label was new to FB Messenger, this was their proverbial foot-in-the-door. They customized a welcome message to their brand, including colors, logos, and highlighting a “mystery discount.”

The results from the Mystery Giveaways via randomizer feature: 

  • 2-3X conversions compared to standard welcome flow techniques
  • Average open rate 30-70% 
  • 40% engagement rate

Gray Label also set up a Klaviyo integration with Recart which allowed them to collect email subscribers in the welcome flow.

After subscribing via the Welcome popup, visitors would receive a randomly-generated coupon code. The uncertainty of this discount added to the motivation of opting in. The result: an effective way for Gray Label to onboard new subscribers at minimal cost, as well as:

  • $360K revenue generated
  • 24,000 emails collected
  • 27% visitor to email subscriber conversion rate
  • 95% open rate

Off-Site Promotions

If you want to engage a new audience, off-site promotions are key. Facebook and Instagram ads can bring on new FB Messenger subscribers before they ever visit your site. 

One example: Click-to-Messenger ads. This is a way to funnel ad engagement directly into a FB Messenger conversation with your company. And when you connect these ads to an automated Recart campaign, you’ll have even more control.

How does it work? Take the example of RyderWear. They ran a seven-day giveaway promotion that yielded almost 3,000 new FB Messenger subscribers. Of those subscribers, 96% also joined RyderWear’s email list.

The strategy was simple. RyderWear used Recart to set up Click-to-Messenger ads. These ads would send automated messages to anyone who entered their promotion. Recart automatically collected email addresses when users signed up. From there, Recart could send follow-up emails to each customers’ chosen email marketing app.

This approach resulted in:

  • 2,910 conversations turned into Messenger subscribers
  • 2,806 emails captured at a 96% conversion rate
  • CPA of $0.33 per Messenger + email subscribers

As a result, Ryderwear spent only $1,400 to create over $6,700 in revenue. 

Sponsored messaging is another option that has generated great results through FB Messenger. We’ve previously noted how this ad format is great for starting conversations with customers. It consistently gives businesses 10-50x Return on Ad Spend (ROAS). We’ve also noticed that sponsored messages can generate 9 times the revenue as marketing emails.

For example, Kizik employed sponsored messaging using a Postscript/Recart combination. They constructed a conversational workflow that encouraged engagement at every step:

  • First, they offered a 10% discount to opt-in to sponsored messaging.
  • An additional offer of 5% for customer phone numbers encouraged further engagement.
  • Whichever option the customer selected, Kizik included a fun Tom Hanks gif and invited users to click over to the store.

Kizik’s use of the Postscript/Recart combination converted 84% of users who submitted phone numbers, which drove a staggering $1M in revenue.

Welcome Flow:

$1M extra revenue generated

50,000 subscribers generated

84% visitor to SMS subscriber conversion rate

96% open rate

 It was a largely organic, fun interaction for customers. And from Kizik’s end, it was completely automated.

What Comes Next?

After getting customers to subscribe via FB Messenger, merchants are free to send messages directly to their customers’ inboxes. Unlike SMS, 90% of the messaging volume is free on messenger. And unlike email, these messages have 90% open rates. 

By encouraging customers to opt-in to a FB Messenger campaign, you now have a direct and affordable connection between you and your customers.

Automate Your Flows Across the Customer Journey

You might have noticed a common theme in the previous section. These systems are entirely scalable. Here’s how to automate them for similar scalability:

Automating your welcome messages

Your first step should be the same as your customers’ first step: your welcome messaging. Here, it’s important to provide value as soon as possible. As with email, FB Messenger won’t allow you to spam customers out of nowhere. You have to give them reasons to opt-in.

Recart’s welcome automation makes this easy to pull off. Customers don’t even have to type in anything. They can simply select an option to move forward with the interaction. Within two single taps on their phone, 15-20% of visitors can become Messenger and email/SMS subscribers.

This was the case for Blush and Bar, who generated $39,000 in revenue and over 11,000 new email subscribers. The automated Welcome Pop-Up was their chief method. They also made sure to optimize which pop-up customers saw. They could vary this based on which device customers were using to browse the site. This, too, was fully automated.

Abandoned cart automation

The fastest way to gain revenue is to stop “leaky” shopping carts. You can do this by setting up automated abandoned cart messaging on FB Messenger.

That’s exactly what BlendJet did. The portable blender company already had a large and loyal following. But they identified one area for improvement: customers were abandoning their carts. Working with Recart, they added an opt-in feature, followed by a dual-message strategy. The first message would come through an 50 minutes after an abandoned cart; the second came in 22 hours later.

This simple strategy saw an 89.9% opening rate on their abandoned cart messaging, helping to recover over 14,000 carts. That generated over $500,000 in revenue for the company.

Receipt automation

One of the least intrusive ways to engage with customers is to send them a receipt after they made a purchase. It’s also one of the best opportunities to start a conversation.

After all, customers want to see their receipts. They need to confirm the purchase they’ve just made. This represents a unique opportunity for automating your engagement. For example, something as simple as including a 10% discount code for the next purchase can increase customer order frequency.

Shipping notifications

Customers report—to the tune of 75%—that they want proactive communication on shipping updates. Like receipts, shipping notifications are a great opportunity to reach out to customers. After all, they want to hear from you.

Recart’s shipping notifications can include links for customers to “continue shopping.” This simple, fully-automated option re-engages customers without being pushy.

Post-Purchase flows

Loyal customers tend to spend 5x compared to what new customers spend. It makes sense. They’re familiar with you and they trust you. 

That’s why post-purchase flows via FB Messenger can be so powerful. You can run cross-sells, up-sells, or even send a quick note of thanks. Whatever you do, a good post-purchase experience helps reduce buyer’s remorse. It will reinforce the positive experience your customer had during ordering. That makes them more likely to return to you when they’re ready to buy another product.

Re-Engage with Occasional Promotions and Offers

Now that you have more people directly connected to your brand, it’s up to you to engage them. We recommend sending out the occasional promotion or offer. Think of it as “keeping in touch.” 

The advantage of FB Messenger is that it makes it easy to highlight discount offerings. Here’s one example that shows how easy it is to highlight a 10% sale. Note how prominent the discount is when compared to the SMS campaign.

This isn’t your only opportunity for re-engagement. You can also try:

  • Abandoned cart campaigns. Add a friendly abandoned cart reminder to your automation. You’d be surprised at how much you can recover in lost revenue.
  • Discount abandonment flows. Want to gently nudge someone who’s engaged your discount, but hasn’t used it? Automating this process makes it easier to capture new customers who have shown some interest, but haven’t made a purchase yet.
  • Messenger welcome campaigns. The simple act of welcoming someone to a campaign is also an opportunity to engage them. It represents a great opportunity to build trust as a brand, express your brand’s unique voice, or entice customers to take action with a discount.
  • Product review requests. Building a reputation online requires engaged customers who are happy to leave reviews. FB Messenger is a great way to encourage this with occasional reminders. This is especially powerful during the post-purchase flow.

Making FB Messenger work for your business

Facebook Messenger is a complete messaging channel. It’s a way for merchants to directly connect with customers. It doesn’t require additional work when you automate it through Recart.

When you set up all three pillars—building an audience, automating your workflows, and re-engaging customers—we’ve noticed that merchants see an average of 14% increase in total revenue.

Interested in learning more? Get a demo of Recart today to find out what it’s all about.

Special thanks to our friends at Recart for their insights on this topic.
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