Email or Chatbot – which is best in 2019?

So, you’ve decided you need to capture more leads. But how? To retain customers as your customers – not just passing them on to some other network in the hope of earning an ad-hoc commission – you need to somehow retain their details, so you can contact them when you want to.

This raises the question – which details to retain? Given that you want details such that you can reconnect to your customer to build your audience, I offer you two methods – collect their email address as a subscriber, or get them to subscribe to you on Facebook Messenger through the use of a chatbot such as Manychat.

There are pros and cons of both approaches, and within each approach, a myriad of specific techniques. I elaborate further on this in another article on what I believe is the best autoresponder for email marketing is, and also on some of the compliance concerns surrounding autoresponder email marketing. I also look at using simple Chatbot marketing techniques in this article.

So which one – email or chatbot?

But, getting back to the original question, let’s look generally at the two alternatives. Emails are collected most commonly on a webpage, facebook page or other as a subscriber. There are many great ways to incentivise the supply of an email address, such as offering a free ebook, access to a video series or pdf. Once you have collected the email, as long as you remain compliant, you can continue to market to the customer as long as they remain a subscriber. Be careful! Check out my brief article on email marketing compliance to help you keep on the good side of the platform that provides you the email list marketing.

Chatbots basically collect a facebook messenger id as a way to contact your customer. This can be done by adding a plugin to a website, through a facebook action such as commenting on a post, or having a stand alone landing page. The biggest positive of chatbots is the amazing open and clickthrough rates that they can generate. They have been reported by some users to be as high as 80-90% open rate, and 50% clickthrough rate. This compares to traditional email open rate of 10 – 20% and clickthroughs around 1 – 3%.

Stats don’t lie?

So, why on earth would you choose to collect emails over chatbots? Well, there are some benefits to email marketing that chatbots do not provide. One is that users are less likely to unsubscribe from email marketing than a chatbot (though it depends on several factors). There is a lot of skill involved in creating a successful chatbot sequence that won’t lead to a high unsubscribe rate, typically email marketing is more forgiving. Emails can also be useful, ironically, for tools such as creating Facebook marketing audiences (see here for my simple guide on creating a Facebook marketing audience using an email list).

Daily emails are generally less intrusive than a daily Facebook message. Facebook also has many compliance rules around when and how often you can message subscribers, which are generally less onerous for email platforms such as Aweber or GetResponse.

So there are pros and cons to both approaches. Both are quite cost effective compared to, say, pay-per-click (PPC) marketing. You definitely need to use one of these methods – have you considered using both? They both create traffic which is so important to your affiliate marketing business. It’s important at all times to remain compliant – or you’ll simply be kicked off the platform. Remember to always add value, don’t spam people.