Want to quickly grow your email list? Looking for a frictionless signup process you can use over and over?
In this article, you’ll learn how to set up an evergreen Facebook Messenger promotion to easily increase the size of your email list.
Why Facebook Messenger Giveaways Work for Email Signups
Giveaways have long been used to collect email addresses from prospects. If the traditional landing page giveaway model has worked so well in the past, why should you consider moving to a Messenger bot-based giveaway?
In a traditional landing page giveaway, you have to manually set up your giveaway, choose a winner, tell winners how to redeem their prize via email, and then reset and promote each new cycle of the contest you want to run.
Running your giveaway via a Facebook Messenger bot offers a more efficient alternative. You only have to set up the bot flow of your giveaway once. Then your Messenger bot automatically gathers email and Messenger subscribers, chooses a winner, tells the winner how to redeem their prize, and starts a new giveaway.
You simply sit back and watch your email list grow. The added bonus of using a bot to run a Messenger giveaway is that you can pause and unpause your giveaway whenever you want.
Facebook Messenger bot-based giveaways are more effective at collecting email subscribers than traditional landing page-based giveaways because Facebook pre-populates the email address associated with a user’s account.
This offers two advantages:
One, pre-populated and tappable emails help prevent you from collecting erroneous or junk email addresses. And two, giving your prospect the ability to tap a pre-populated address rather than having to type it out drastically increases your conversion rate.
Reduced Cost per Conversion
Having run hundreds of giveaways in the past, I’ve found the cost per email subscriber for a Messenger giveaway tends to be lower than a traditional giveaway that utilizes an email landing page.
Depending on the nature of the prizes and audience, I typically pay between $0.50 and $0.86 per Messenger-email combo. Your mileage will vary depending on your offer and audience targeting.
So how does it work?
#1: Ensure Your Giveaway Follows Facebook’s Contest Rules
Facebook has strict rules on how to run contests. You must obey these rules or you risk losing your Facebook business page.
Broadly, you must:
- State the official rules.
- Enumerate the offer terms and eligibility requirements.
- Acknowledge that the promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed, or associated with Facebook in any way.
You’re also expressly forbidden to incentivize your giveaways by enticing people to “share on your timeline to enter” or “tag your friends to enter.”
#2: Choose a Prize for Your Facebook Messenger Giveaway
The first step is to choose your prize. Ideally, you should choose a product or gift card from your own business or a website that you directly control.
Stay away from gift cards or luxury products from third parties because they’re too generic and won’t attract the right customers for your business.
In one of my contests, I’m giving away a personalized handkerchief. Most people don’t even use handkerchiefs anymore so I know that every entrant is a very targeted customer.
#3: Establish a Prize Redemption Process
Because this is an evergreen giveaway, prize redemption must be automated. As a result, you need to create a means for your contestants to redeem their prizes without your intervention.
For my store, I set up a special landing page for my giveaway prize that forces each winner to ‘check out’ using the exact email address they used to enter the contest. This way, I can verify whether a contestant actually won the prize.
Alternatively, you can use dynamically-generated coupon codes with your shopping cart. Go with whatever method is easier to implement for your shopping cart platform.
#4: Build Your Messenger Bot Flow
Because this type of giveaway is run entirely through Facebook Messenger, you need a software tool to help you set up your chatbot.
You can implement the setup process for this giveaway using any off-the-shelf Messenger bot tool. For this article, I used ManyChat to build my bot flow, which you can view here. If you’re a ManyChat user, you can clone my flow to use in your own account.
Here are the broad steps of the process:
Start by serving a Facebook Messenger ad that promotes your giveaway. When someone clicks on the ad, they’re taken to Messenger and served the initial opt-in message asking if they’re looking for the giveaway.
If they click on ‘Yes,’ use a condition check to filter each user by checking for a promotion-specific tag such as ‘Hankie Giveaway.’
If the user is already tagged, they’re automatically sent a message that says, “Sorry, You can only enter this giveaway once.”
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If the user isn’t already tagged, the tag is applied and they’re sent a message that prompts them to submit their email address. When they submit their email address, it’s automatically captured by your email service provider (more on this in the next section). The message continues, providing more information about when the prize will be awarded and offering a discounted product. See the Pro Tip in Section 6 for more about why you should consider making this offer.
After 23 hours, use a randomizer to automatically select a winner from the latest new entrants/subscribers. Note: Per Facebook’s terms, you only have 24 hours to message your Messenger subscribers as per Facebook’s terms of service so choosing winners at the 23-hour mark is important.
Each winner is automatically alerted and taken to your website where they can redeem their prize. Non-winners are contacted with a consolation prize in the form of a discount or offer of a free gift to thank them for their contest entry.
Either way, every entrant receives a message that incentivizes them to visit your online store.
#5: Connect Your Email Provider to Your Facebook Messenger Bot Flow
Once you’ve built your bot flow, you need to connect your bot platform to your email marketing provider so when someone enters their email address in your Messenger bot, it’s automatically captured by your email provider.
If your email service provider doesn’t have built-in integration, you can use third-party tools such as Zapier.
I used Integromat to create a webhook that connects to my email marketing provider. Integromat will provide you with a URL that you must copy to your bot as shown below.
#6: Create Your Facebook Messenger Ad
Any giveaway requires an initial audience and the most effective way to get in front of cold email subscribers is by running a Facebook ad. In the case of a Messenger giveaway, you must start with a Facebook Messenger ad.
When a visitor clicks on this ad, they’re taken to my Facebook Messenger bot and they’ll see the following message:
Once the visitor opts in by clicking on ‘Yes,’ they instantly become a Facebook Messenger subscriber and I can send them follow-up messages for up to 24 hours.
Pro Tip: As part of the giveaway flow, offer your new subscribers a heavily discounted version of the giveaway prize. You can use this to move clearance items or even newly launched products. The goal of this offer is to entice your customer to open their wallet and buy from you immediately so these sales pay for the cost of your Facebook ad campaign. This allows you to gather email subscribers (and Messenger subscribers) for free.
Creating a Facebook Messenger ad is similar to any other ad. The main differences are that you must choose Messages as your campaign objective and your Facebook Messenger ad creative will need to import your Messenger bot from your Facebook Messenger tool.
Some bot tools can create your Facebook ad directly from their interface for you. Alternatively, you’ll need to copy the JSON code for your bot and create your ad manually. Consult your provider to learn which option is available for your particular bot tool.
Once your ad and giveaway are up and running, pay close attention to your return on ad spend (ROAS). You should also split test different offers and choose the prizes that yield the highest conversion rate for the entrants to your contest.
Growing your leads and your email subscriber list can be a grind and it can take years to organically build a sizable list based on your existing traffic.
With a well-executed Facebook Messenger giveaway, you can exponentially increase the size of your subscriber list at minimal cost with little or no maintenance.
Overall, Facebook Messenger giveaways are incredibly effective because:
- You can offset the cost of running your Facebook Messenger ads with the revenue generated from special offers.
- You gather legitimate emails that are associated with a user’s Facebook account.
- Your giveaway can run on autopilot indefinitely.
What do you think? Will you try a Facebook Messenger giveaway for your business? Share your thoughts in the comments below.