What if we told you about a marketing strategy that delivers open rates 242% higher than email—to a targeted, qualified audience? Facebook Messenger ads are the core of that marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll show you why it delivers almost 2.5x the open rates of email and the many reasons why you should choose Facebook Messenger ads over email campaigns to target prospects.
We’ll also show how to create Facebook Messenger ads, chatbots, and irresistible marketing campaigns that will build your business faster using the Meta suite of business products. Let’s dive in.
What Is Facebook Messenger Marketing?
Facebook Messenger is essentially an instant-message function within Facebook. It’s a powerful, popular tool because you can reach potential leads directly with content that is personalized, responsive, and non-intrusive. Even better, you can be sure your content is reaching a very specific and qualified audience.
Facebook Messenger is also the number one messaging app in the nation. 260 million messages zoom back and forth every day, and 20 million individual messages are exchanged between businesses and customers every month. Again, these aren’t Facebook numbers, this is just Facebook Messenger.
Why Use Facebook Messenger Ads?
While email and static ads can be effective, Facebook Messenger gives your target audience a chance to engage with you and your content on their terms. People like that—which is why Messenger has much higher engagement rates than email.
For real estate marketing specifically, Messenger offers a few crucial benefits that email and display ads don’t:
- You get access to a prospect or lead’s social media profile
- There are much higher engagement rates
- Users get/give instant responses (especially with chatbots)
- You reach a much larger audience
Facebook Messenger is part of Facebook’s suite of business solutions (now collectively called Meta). Meta for Business includes Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, Audience Network, Oculus, and Workplace.
Each solution offers marketing options that work independently or synergistically with other solutions, which means Facebook Messenger can be a part of your larger Facebook marketing strategy, and you have the potential to reach an enormous audience—way larger than you could with email.
How to Create Real Estate Facebook Ads That Actually Generate Leads
How to Create a Facebook Messenger Ad
The first step is to go to Ad Center (in the top-left drop-down menu), select your Campaign Objective (Messages, Traffic, Conversions, Brand Awareness, Reach, Traffic, App Installs, and/or Video Views), and hit Continue.
Then you’ll need to select your Target Audience (location, age, interests, etc.).
During the setup process, you’ll be able to make decisions based on your objectives. You’ll set a Budget (how much you want to spend) and a Schedule (how long the campaign will run). You’ll also be able to select whether you want Manual Placement of your ads or Automatic Placements (which is generally preferred).
Finally, hit Publish! Remember, you can always edit, tweak, pause, cancel, or lengthen your campaign depending on how it’s going!
5 Facebook Messenger Marketing Strategies for Agents
Now that we’ve established what Messenger marketing is and how to set up an ad, here is a quick rundown of five different Facebook Messenger strategies: Click-to-Messenger ads, homepage ads, sponsored message ads, stories ads, and chatbots.
1. Facebook Click-to-Messenger Ads
Click-to-Messenger ads are basically identical to regular Facebook ads. They show up in your audience’s news feed and you can target your audience the same way you would for a normal Facebook ad. Your audience can also like, comment on, or share your ad.
The main difference is the call to action (CTA). A CTA on a Click-to-Messenger ad encourages your prospects to start a conversation with you (or a chatbot) via Messenger.
Here’s an example of what a Click-to-Messenger ad would look like in your audience’s news feed:
The screenshot on the left is the ad as it appears when someone is scrolling through their news feed. Note that the CTA here is “Learn More,” but you could change that to “Send Message” or “Chat Now,” depending on your campaign.
On the right is how the ad appears when someone clicks on the CTA. As you can see, the ad opens in Facebook Messenger and encourages the prospect to chat with you (or the chatbot you’ve set up to qualify leads).
More on chatbots a little later.
2. Facebook Messenger Homepage Ads
Messenger also offers ads that show up on the homepage of the prospect’s Messenger account, which looks like this:
These ads work just like the Click-to-Messenger ads. When your prospect clicks the CTA, a chat window opens where they can interact with you (or your chatbot).
Here’s what this particular Messenger homepage ad looks like when a potential lead clicks on the CTA and opens a chat window in Messenger.
The user has the choice between three preselected responses (in this case, “Where are you located,” “What are your hours,” and “What are my delivery options”). The chatbot’s prescripted responses are customizable and can segment or qualify leads automatically. More about chatbots below.
3. Sponsored Message Ads
Sponsored Message ads take marketing a step further so that you can actually send your prospect a message directly to their Messenger inbox. Note that for privacy reasons, you can only send direct messages to leads who have engaged with your ads in the past.
4. Messenger Stories Ads
Messenger Stories Ads are separate from Facebook Stories and are a great option if you’re looking to add onto an existing campaign or to run a Messenger campaign in conjunction with an Instagram Stories campaign. Essentially, Messenger Stories Ads are full-screen vertical ads that create a captivating experience with stickers, emojis, and video content. They appear as one scrolls through regular Messenger stories. You can find the design and technical requirements for the videos here.
5. Engage Visitors to Your Website With Facebook Messenger Chatbots
Let’s really dive into chatbots. They sound technical and even impersonal—like something from the future—but truly, they couldn’t be more simple. Chatbots are essentially scripts that respond to potential leads who are interacting with your ad.
You can embed Messenger on your website so that a chat starts automatically. This feature gives visitors the personal attention of an interactive chat and it lets you collect leads and their contact information on Messenger.
While some bots can “read” your leads’ responses and answer accordingly, many just offer multiple choice suggestions as responses.
For example, a chatbot might ask if the lead is looking to buy or rent. Or, it might ask when the lead needs to move, and give a multiple choice range of “1-6 months,” “6-12 months,” or “Just Looking.” You can program the bot to respond differently depending on the answer your lead gives.
You could also create a pop-up that makes an offer for an e-book, for example. The prospect clicks on the pop-up and the e-book download link goes straight to their Messenger. Voila. They get a great resource and they become a great lead as you capture their Messenger information.
Here’s an example from Bot Academy:
Where & How to Create Chatbots
Chatbots for Facebook Messenger campaigns are easy to build, especially if you use one of these options. If you want more, we go into lots of detail in our Guide to the Best Real Estate Chatbots for 2022.
We recommend starting with Bot Academy. Here you’ll get a great beginner tutorial on building bots and writing scripts.
RealtyChatbot is designed with agents in mind, and its chatbots act almost like a personal assistant.
Botsify is a great chatbot platform that requires no coding and has an easy-to-use interface.
ManyChat is one of the biggest names in chatbot marketing and can even help you expand into Instagram and SMS marketing.
MobileMonkey is a really sophisticated chatbot builder. We engaged with their site’s chatbot, not because we needed to, but because it was so damn charming we couldn’t help ourselves.
Irresistible Facebook Messenger Ad Campaigns for Buyers & Sellers
Now that you see why you should be using Facebook Messenger ads to generate leads, here are some strategies to use:
Campaigns Ideas to Gain Buyer Leads
Create a free e-book on specific market data. Think outside the “new homebuyer’s guide” and get creative. What behind-the-scenes information do you have that will make your prospects click on that free e-book?
Another lead magnet that plays well in Facebook Messenger is an “Ask me anything” chat session. This is ideal for new buyers and could be used later in a chatbot session.
Campaign Ideas to Gain Seller Leads
Create a locally focused guide to home staging, renovation, or curb appeal, which are especially great for first-time sellers.
Or offer a free market analysis or in-person home valuation. Popular and easy to write, your ad will definitely stand out in all of the open house ads that pop up!
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Facebook Messenger Ads: Expert Advice
Facebook Messenger can result in real success. Our experts reveal how they used Messenger ads and the big results they saw by utilizing this strategy.
We use Facebook Messenger to find off-market deals as part of our marketing strategy. While most of our competitors target FSBO leads, we target estate sales. We have put several houses under contract by contacting estate administrators using Facebook Messenger. Facebook Messenger is an easy way to contact homeowners if you don’t have their phone number or email. We think it’s just the beginning of an untapped marketing channel that will continue to grow over the years.
By using the Facebook Messenger chatbot for my real estate website, I have been able to gain many new clients in the past couple of months.
I also use my Messenger bot to ask visitors if they would like to subscribe to content for future updates. If they say yes, I add them to my Messenger list, and share property listings, blog posts, and other offers with them regularly through Messenger.
31 Clever Real Estate Marketing Ideas for 2023
Over to You
Have experience or opinions about Facebook Messenger ads and marketing campaigns? Let us know in the comments.
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