Reading Time: 14 minutes
Overview: In this episode of digital conversations with Billy Bateman our guest Natasha Takahashi, founder of School of Bots. She reveals the best practices to implementing Facebook messenger marketing for B2B. She shares the best ways to interact with customers and how to capture leads and generate a list of subscribers.
Guest: Natasha Takahashi– For the last 3+ years, I’ve spent nearly every waking moment creating and managing highly profitable chatbot campaigns, or teaching about them online and offline.
50% of my time is spent as the Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder of Ineffable Marketing, my marketing agency that has driven results for 100+ brands like MindValley (3.6M+ followers), Matthew Hussey (5.8M+ followers), and Social Media Examiner (600K+ followers).
The other 50% of my time is spent as CMO and Co-Founder of School of Bots, the trusted chatbot resource for marketers & entrepreneurs.
Billy: Alright everyone. Welcome to digital conversations, this week I’ve got Natasha Takahashi, the co-founder of school of Bots with us today. Natasha, thank you for joining us.
Natasha: Yeah thank you so much for having me, I’m excited for our conversation
Billy: Yeah, as am I, we’re going to going to talk about using messenger marketing for B2B businesses but before we get into it tell us just a little bit about yourself and about school bots.
Natasha: Yeah, so I started in the chat bot world in 2016 with my chat bot marketing agency, so my goal was to start my first business and do some sort of an agency because I figured it was the best business model to start with, you don’t need a storefront, you don’t really need a whole lot of capital and I know you understand that and probably some of your listeners who to run agencies as well and so it turned out to be a really good decision but I definitely pivoted from my original idea to just offer Facebook ads to then discovering Facebook Messenger chat box specifically when I was watching F. Bath, he spoke about the conference back in 2016 and from there, pretty much this whole crazy new world opened up to me, I decided with my co-founder Kyle to solely focus on chat bots which was a little bit of a bold move back then because no one knew what they were and so we kind of took a risk saying if this doesn’t work out you know we’ll be able to do other things but it was an exciting new space where I saw just so much potential.
And I continued to just see it as the same opportunity that existed when Instagram marketing first started, when email even first started, there was just so many different new things that would be birthed from marketing with chat Bots that I knew this was going to go on forever, it wasn’t just you know a fad or a trend.
So, that’s how I started in the space was with the chopped-up marketing agency with my co-founder and then about a year and a half two years in, we realized there wasn’t a whole lot of education on the marketing side available for chat bots, you go on Udemy or blogs or you know any sort of online information consumption website and there’s all sorts of videos talking about how to create a chat bot, whether it’s on Facebook Messenger or drift or slack or telegram but it was never really business value focused, they were always like here’s how to answer some simple questions with a chatbot or here’s what a chatbot is, but there was never really any deep understanding of how do we drive revenue and true value, how do we cut costs for businesses, the whole shebang with chatbot and I think there was just such a small understanding of that a in the space that when we started to realize what we could do with Bots with our clients and no one else was really sharing what they were doing we saw that as a big opportunity to jump in and just educate on exactly what we were doing, we don’t teach on anything else other than what we have discovered and learned along the way with our client results.
And so from there over the last three years, almost, I guess four years, it’s been a combination of us continuing to serve clients, so right now we primarily focus on information product companies that typically spend over $200,000 a month on Facebook advertising which I know we’re going to get into the Facebook ecosystem and how that differs from drift and some of the other chat bot ecosystems within overall the chat bot world but that’s one of the main things that we look at in order to know that the chat bot will be able to drive really incredible results for a business
And we have our education company school of Bot where we teach everything that we learn in our consulting and agency implementation deals.
Billy: Awesome! You guys are doing a lot, so I mean and I agree with you on the agency that’s how we started out and when we first got into it I remember going to a conference even just in 2019 and talking to other agencies and they’re like all you do is chatbots and they like how do you make any money?
Natasha: Right, so difficult for people who are not in the space to understand I think right now
Billy: I think so and then the funny part for me was this year that conference happened again last week and we had a bigger booth than them
Natasha: Love that, that’s fantastic
Billy: Okay, so before we get into it one more question if we’re going to look up Natasha on social Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, what is something about you, whether it’s something you two a cool hobby, that we wouldn’t know from looking you up on social?
Natasha: Yeah, I’m sure of two things, one that’s more relevant tomorrow since journey than the other but before I became a business owner I always thought my career would be in music because I sang in performer growing up and I need to get signed to record labels you know in high school and then just took a total turn when you know I’m minor your parents say you can’t make music a career, that was right when YouTube you know it was really becoming a Justin Bieber and all their stars were getting discovered and so I was like this is a real thing but I can’t do it so then I kind of diverted over to business and I’m actually really happy with the way that the journey went because I think now going into the creative industry with business Akram gives me a really big advantage marketing background to understand how I can grow quickly in the space whereas before I would you know try to do I get what other people are doing, without really an understanding business of music
The main thing probably no one would guess from my profiles since I never talked about it but something else that I’ll share real quickly is that when Kyle and I started our chatbots Chancy, we actually started out overseas, so we’re both California but we decided it would good idea and a little bit less on the living expenses and starting up our business to travel over to Asia and a few other spots over there very far away from home in order to start running our business and just get things off the ground while doing the whole digital Nomad thing.
So, we did about a year and a half we live in 24-apartments in seven countries which we didn’t share publicly until recently because I think we always thought people wouldn’t take us sleep they knew we were traveling and working at the same time and we found it wasn’t the best decision anyways when your scale of business truly but that’s something that we haven’t shared a lot of the journey on but I’ll mention it every so often you know to give people some perspective as to where we were at when we first started our business
Billy: Interesting, interesting, okay well I know we’ve only got so much time so let’s just hop into it so one of the questions we get, like we deal with businesses mainly on there you know working with them on their website with their inbound traffic and using Bots to engage and convert them into leads but most businesses have a Facebook page and you guys are the experts with messenger marketing. So, what are some tactics that a bb business can do to start using messenger marketing with their Facebook page?
Natasha: So, there’s a few things I want to dive into the first thing is just some real quick easy action steps a business take right after they listen to this episode even if they don’t have a full in place or even idea of where you guys want to take, the Facebook Messenger Channel specifically. So, two things you can do one there is a great platform any www.manychat.com and they are the largest Facebook Messenger chat building platform in the world, they have over a million businesses using their platform which is incredible and they’ve got amazing teams, so we really back them we use their software to power most of our Facebook Messenger chat BOTS or actually all of them at this point
And so that’s something you can easily hook up your page to it’s free to get started and then it’s just ten bucks a month starting out and that’s a platform you can connect to your Facebook page and start at least generating on lists of anyone who messages your Facebook page will now be captured as a subscriber on your Facebook Messenger list, the same way you’ve got mail lists, so even if you don’t message those people at all as soon as they’re on your list at least you’ve got them you’ve got their information first-name, last-name, time zone, a few other key some information and then once you do decide on your strategy or if you’re able to let’s say this week, come up with just a simple campaign you can put in place then you’re starting to generate that list of people and taking advantage of what’s already happening on Facebook, so that’s one thing you can do.
Second, would be to once you do have a simple campaign in place which you could take an existing lead magnet a blog article even your best performing email and put that into a conversation using many chat as well and then that can be the first thing someone experiences they talk to your Facebook page and one of the easiest ways to get people onto your chat list is from Facebook page post comments, so anytime you’ve got a new Facebook page post which hopefully everyone who’s listening does if you’re posting consistently or have an online brand then you can connect your chat bot to all of your page posts or only specific ones, you’ve just got to let people know be explicit that hey you’re going to get a message from us when you comment but then that way anytime someone comments you can say hey thanks for liking our post or whatever you want to say that’s contextual to what the post was about and then capture those people on to your lists and again start to generate that even if you’re not quite sure what the strategy’s going to look like.
So, those two action items. Bill, I don’t want to go too deep into that. Do you have other questions for me?
Billy: This is good, if you’ve got one more like share
Natasha: Okay, fantastic! So, there’s a concept I want to share called the MSO frame, this is something proprietary that we came up with which sounds simple initially and it gets more and more comfortable as you add on more layers and the premise of it is that within the Chatbot ecosystem what we have found to be the three primary or categories of use cases is marketing, sales and operations, so that’s the MSO framework and that’s what that stands for.
And so on each of these we found is really important to include use cases in all three of these categories when you first launch a chat pod this is really important to us because we focus implementing about holistically into a business thinking about how can we drive them on value for the business and in reading new revenue, capturing or recovering existing revenue from abandoned carts things like that and also cutting costs in the operational uses like customer support or repetitive tasks and so these three areas are key, think about when you’re crafting your chatbots strategy, it doesn’t need anything crazy initially especially if you know your team’s trying to figure this out on their own, you can just decide what are the three main things we can do in each of these categories right now and then as you guys just start to put this in a list you’ll start to realize what other thing can do with Bots.
So, hopefully those three action items are helpful for you guys as you’re getting started require a lot of work a lot thinking just do it and then you can figure out the strategy along.
Billy: Yeah, that’s good, bill getting the list in the people to opt-in, I think it’s the first step but I guess it’s where people get lost because without
Billy: You do have some rules on Facebook with how you can send messages to people and who you can message, you want to take a minute and just touch on that because I know getting people to opt-in is key for Facebook?
Natasha: Yeah, so in regards to how that works the opt-ins on Facebook are a little bit unique, so there’s actually two sections we can talk about, two categories, one would be getting people on your list which is fairly easy then two is around messaging people about specific things at certain times.
So, on March 4th when this comes out just for everyone I know that’s the timeline they’ve said for right now they actually pushed it back from January originally, so who knows that pushed back again I think they quite frankly trust that expectations to gable to follow the rules and the men they don’t enforce them as hard as people will but essentially what the situation will look like now is that when someone opts in to your list they’re over eight different ways someone can come in whether it’s a QR code they scan get taken in the messenger app the Facebook page post comments which I mentioned, someone can message your Facebook page they can also opt in through a link or a button, so there’s lots of different ways which are fairly easy to opt-in with but then after that as soon as a user leaves the conversation with your page, a 24-hour timer starts and that’s what Facebook refers to as the hour window and this is a window of time where you can message the user as many times as you want theoretically without being annoying or spamming them and having them block you and also it can be about anything, it can be about a sale that you want to drive them to a piece of content following up, literally anything.
Now after that hour window if the user has not re-engaged with you then you have a few other options, if they have reengage with you then the hour timer starts over so it’ll pretty much just be endless loop every time someone sends a message to your page or click a button which is something you can conversation there.
Now if they have not engaged then that’s where you have the options I was mentioning one you can pay to message them if you want to directly drive them to a sale which would be considered promotional by Facebook, you can do that a sponsored message and type of Facebook ad but it looks just like a message, it just says sponsored above it just how you see the word sponsored on Facebook Timeline ads and that is about three cents a user in the U.S., it differs per country but super cheap way to retarget people and get access to them directly in their DMs.
If want to send them to something like a sip if you have another use case which Facebook is defined for use cases right now and again I don’t want to go too deep on this right now because I know we don’t have a lot of time but this is something that’s easily findable if you just knew Facebook Messenger policies and it’ll define each of them for use, for example if someone has RSVP’d for an event via messenger then you can actually message them for free with any reminders leading up to the event and the key to understand there is that the first message is just what Facebook needs to know the purpose, so if you’ve got a message that says hey reminder that you’ve got an event coming up and five hours and then you know you have button options there the user interacts with those, now that 24-hour window of time which Facebook calls the standard messaging window as well opens up and now you drive people to a sale or you could drive them to pretty much anything that you want.
So, that’s really important understand because there’s this fear in the overall marketing community that Facebook Messenger is no longer a viable channel for driving revenue but that’s absolutely not true, it’s just understanding how to first interact with people before you then drive them into the sale, depending on you know where they’re at and their timing for talking to the Facebook Messenger bot, does all that make sense so far?
Billy: Yeah, this is this is great. So, like if I’m not selling anything like ECOM with Facebook but let’s say I have a little more of a complex sales process, where I’m trying to drive people to meet with the sales rep or get on or demo or something like that do you have any suggestions for strategies once you’ve gotten somebody to opt-in how to drive them to do something like that and make the jump from probably Facebook back to your website?
Natasha: Yeah absolutely, I would say the only reason someone would need to jump to your website there is maybe if you’re thinking of a scheduling calendar or something like that, is that what you’re thinking of?
Natasha: So, one of the ways that I would recommend implementing this that we’ve found to really optimize is oftentimes when you have an application form or even just a calendar booking form but there are several questions you’re asking like name, maybe where someone is at in their current situation whether it’s revenue or something that’s more qualitative for your product or service, people will fall off and oftentimes to be honest with all the clients that we have worked with to give you an average there’s typically a drop-off of thirty to fifty percent of people who start the form and don’t complete it and the only way to retarget these people is email if that’s an option which a lot of companies don’t implement unfortunately and then ads, as well as pretty much any other channels you might have to just remind people but it’s oftentimes not personalized for that user and messenger makes it really easy to follow-up with the user and track the users progress through something like a lead form or even booking a call.
And so, that’s something I would recommend that if anyone wants to do this split test your current process and then rebuild that current process you have all the application questions you have information you want from the user all inside of the bot and then for the final step depending on what scheduling software you use often times you can pre-fill information on that web page that has you know for example if you use acuities or Calendly or any of those sorts, you know you can pre-fill that information really easily and then send people to that live prefilled information that gave you an messenger and now as soon as they book that appointment which is pretty much as a two click process because they’ve got to choose their time and day and then they can confirm because all their information is already there then from there we can actually set up some sort of integration whether it through Zapier or Integra matte which are my favorite third-party tools, you could also do it as a custom integration but connecting that data somehow to many chat and your scheduling software, so that as soon as someone schedules they chat knows they can match the many chat user to the person who booked that appointment and now you can also send reminders leading up to the appointment as well as then sales sequences and things like that afterwards, depending on what the goal of the call is and how you typically close them whether it’s on the call or afterwards. Does that all make sense?
Billy: Yea, that’s great, that’s awesome. Well, we appreciate the knowledge Natasha. If somebody wants to get a hold of you and learn more about you or school bots, how do they as the best way for them to reach out?
Natasha: The best way to see everything that we do is to go to www.schoolofbots.co, that is our website and has all of our channels on it and it also shares how to get access to our free five video course which is where I teach how to actually start a Facebook Messenger chat bot strategy and building one for the first time, which we kind of touched on and so it’ll just go much deeper into that you’ll actually build your first bot or let’s optimize an existing bot that you built maybe not knowing what you are doing and way that’s helpful for you, and you can also reach out to me on socials I’m pretty active and respond to my messages everyday as well
Billy: Okay, well thank you so much Natasha, we’ll chat later
Natasha: Thank you so much Billy.