This week on our Meet the Speakers series, our CEO and Co-Founder Mikael Yang, hosted a one-on-one Facebook Live interview with marketing guru and entrepreneur—and one of our keynote speakers, Neil Patel to discuss entrepreneurship, Messenger Marketing, and more.
“I’m a serial entrepreneur. Almost everything I do revolves around the marketing industry. I have an ad agency called Neil Patel Digital. I blog at neilpatel.com and I have a free market software called Ubersuggest that just helps you with your Google traffic.”
Neil’s a New York Times Bestselling author. The Wall Street Journal calls him a top influencer on the web, Forbes says he is one of the top 10 marketers, and Entrepreneur Magazine says he created one of the 100 most brilliant companies. He was recognized as a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 30 by President Obama and a top 100 entrepreneur under the age of 35 by the United Nations.
With much experience, industry insights, and hacks, Neil shared with Mike some valuable information that you can apply to your strategy. In case you missed this Meet the Speakers, watch it here, and get the advice you need to take your business to the next level.
Watch This Week’s Meet the Speakers Recap
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Mikael Yang: How do see the future of marketing evolving from the current state?
Neil Patel: When I first started, and this is a long time ago, you used to be able to build a business off of one channel. Now, let’s go back. So Dropbox built themselves with, share this on social media to get more space, right? And if you look at companies like Yelp, they dominated very early on through things like SEO. Now if you look at companies like Facebook, they grew from the referral program. ‘Your friend invited you to join Facebook. Check out x pictures, or updates,’ or whatever it may be.
Those are the channels that built some of those companies. They only needed one channel to do really well. Now the market is very saturated. It doesn’t matter what you do. How revolutionary your business is. One channel no longer builds a company anymore. You know have to do SEO, pay-per-click, email marketing. You have to leverage bots like you guys are doing at ManyChat. You guys got to do things like push notifications. You’ve got to do things like worry about where the future’s going. Such as leveraging skills. On Amazon, there’s Alexa, Google Home, all those types of things.
Another thing, what we’re seeing is the market went from one channel used to work really well and that’s how you can build a business, to now you have to leverage many channels to do well. And, we’re starting to see some of these channels combining. And you’ll see even more of that in the future.
For example, with Messenger, there’s Facebook, there’s Instagram, there’s WhatsApp. Eventually, I believe it will be all one solution, right? And then everyone will be using that one solution to communicate with their friends. Versus calling, text messaging, Skyping, etc… You’ll start seeing some of these channels becoming the dominant players and take over.
MY: You’ve mentioned Messenger, and you use Messenger marketing, right?
NP: I do
MY: So, can you tell us about the different use cases. How do you use/leverage Messenger marketing, and the typical strategies that you employ?
NP: Yeah, so I use Messenger marketing different than most people use Messenger marketing. Most people use Messenger marketing from driving paid traffic, having them subscribe to their Messenger bot, and then just pushing them and selling them from there. I try to take my website traffic, get them to subscribe to my Messenger bot.
From there, I start sending them messages to bring them back to my site and covert.
The reason I do that is you’ll find that whatever you’re selling, you’re lucky if one or two percent, five percent if you’re super lucky, of your visitors convert into a customer or a lead. So this allows me to get that 95% plus back. And then eventually convert them. And then the open rates are extremely high right now. And then once I’m tagging people and I identify them, I even know things like, hey this person subscribed to my Messenger bot, they visit my checkout page but they didn’t buy. Let me go send them a message and try to bring them back and complete the purchase.
MY: And do you use Messenger to collect emails and start building other types of connections?
NP: I do. So, we try to go after all the channels. So we use Messenger to collect emails, we also will try to get them to subscribe via push notification. We try to leverage as many channels as possible to get people back to our site.
MY: How do you not over message people if you’re having all these channels?
NP: It’s really easy to over message people and irritate them and get them really pissed off. Eventually, I’m looking for one company who can do all of these solutions and combine them together, because the moment they do that, then I’ll get fewer complaints. And not only that, I’ll create a better experience for my customers, my conversion should go up. It’s a win-win.
MY: Do you think that’s all the businesses should start using new channels, like Messenger Marketing? Or is it only specific types of businesses? How would you go about that? You have lots of customers and different industries.
NP: It works for almost any type of industry. I’ve seen some instances where it doesn’t work. Like someone telling me our customers are the government, and we want to sell them a package for 700 million a year. In those cases, it’s not going to work well. But in almost every other single case, it’s going to work.
MY: you’re also seeing the high open rates, high CTRs, but then, you don’t think that people should only be using Messenger, right? It’s not like hey, we should direct all our traffic to this new channel. Can you elaborate on that one?
NP: So, probably a lot of you guys use ManyChat. It’s a great product. But what you’ll find is, whether you’re using ManyChat, or you’re using SEO or you’re using MailChimp for your emails. It doesn’t matter. You don’t want to rely on one channel. It’s not that Mailchimp’s a bad company, or ManyChat’s a bad company, or Google SEO’s bad, or Google paid ads, or Facebook paid ads is bad. You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket, because algorithms change. And by diversifying, it ensures that your business is going to be here in the long run.
NP: The second reason is, even if Messenger bots are here to stay, and nothing’s going to change, and it works great, you have to remember no matter what you do, not everyone is going to answer you and click on those messages that you’re sending them. For that reason, you want multiple touchpoints. And if you leverage multiple channels, it makes it easier to get a hold of someone and convince them to convert.
MY: There you go. The truth. He’s spoken. On the ManyChat’s Live about how it’s important to use multiple channels and not just rely on just a single channel. So, can you give us a sneak peek of what you’re talking about at Conversations 2019?
NP: Let’s back up a little bit. To give the idea, most people use it as your services. They’re buying Facebook ads, and sending them through Messenger on Facebook.
I myself use it mainly for using Google traffic and sending them through a Facebook Messenger bot. That’s just an example of how not only should you leverage multiple channels, but you can also combine these channels to play off of each other, and get a much better ROI.
MY: So you’re sending actual pay-per-click to Messenger?
NP: It’s quick and organic.
MY: Got it. So, when you’re doing the pay-per-click, is it through a Messenger referral? Are you sending them directly to us, or do you send them first to a landing page, and then converting from that landing page to Messenger?
NP: Correct. Landing page, and from there, converting into Messenger. And, what we found out is, most people are logged into Facebook. So logged into Facebook, it works.
MY: So you’re speaking at Conversations this year, which we are super excited about! Without giving too much away, could you give us a sneak peek of what people are going to be discussing? A lot of people who are tuning in right now are either coming to the Conversations conference or are thinking about it. What are they going to hear from you in September?
NP: So I’m going to be talking about some new-age marketing techniques. Stuff that people could be leveraging. I’m also going to be talking about trends on where the market is going that most people don’t know about.
MY: And I’ve heard that … from our conversations I remember that you’ve mentioned that you have a whole team whose job it is, the single thing they do is just basically test all the channels that are out there and look at different conversion rates and different open rates and try and find that next thing, that edge that gives you the ability to talk to your customers more efficiently. Is that true?
NP: It is true. We’re really big believers on testing because, think of it this way, when email was brand new and you started leveraging it was super effective and people’s ROI was amazing. When Google AdWords was brand new your ROI was amazing. I wish I spent so much more money years ago on something like Facebook Ads when it first came out. Even what you guys are doing, it works amazingly well. Now fast forward three, four years from now, I’ll be upfront, it’s not going to work as well, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it, it’s still going to work. It’s like saying Google Ads don’t work anymore. Well if they don’t work, how did they generate 100 billion a year from Google Ads, right? Good markets get saturated, so you want to leverage them as fast as possible, as hard as possible.
The big mistake that most people are going to make that are listening is they’re leveraging these chatbots, they’re leveraging Facebook Messenger, they’re building their list but they’re not going as hard as they can. This is when you spend the most amount of money, you build up the biggest list because you know what? A year from now I bet you it’s going to be harder. So you go all in at the early days and it will pay off, you’ve just got to be patient. But you need to be much more aggressive during the early days when you know a channel’s working really well and you can crush with it, versus being slow and steady and seeing continual growth. No, go all in. If it’s converting for you, spend as much as you can because a year from now it will be more expensive.
MY: That’s what we’ve been also talking to market about is that the first year or the first two years of the channel opening up there’s always this stage where you have the innovators and the early adopters and as long as you don’t have a lot of competition, you’re always going to get better results because nobody’s using the channel. But as the channel gets more and more popular, then you’re going to get much more people going into it.
And one thing that we’ve noticed with Messenger is that it seems from when you go into our community and you’re like everybody’s using Messenger marketing. If you look at actually the numbers of SMBs in the world, it’s over 100 million employers and if you count the individual contractors and independent consultants, it’s close to half a billion businesses. And you know how many people are using … we have over a half a million connected pages, so that’s less than 1% of the total addressable market. And if you think about not only the breadth, the number of accounts, but also the depth, how they’re using Messenger, it’s like we’re only scratching the surface.
What are the different channels and strategies that you’re using right now that are working well for you that most people underestimate or are not using? Besides Messenger.
NP: Taboola, Outbrain … you can get a lot of ads from. Super cheap, super effective if you can write really amazing copy. Most people don’t use them but they work so well. Another channel that I’ve been using, push notifications, those browser notifications. People don’t use those that often and they don’t think they work but they work extremely well. It’s kind of like what you guys are doing on Messenger still works.
Another channel that I love leveraging is giving away free stuff. Any type of free product that you can end up giving, you know this really well, it ends up causing a lot of viral, organic growth and in software, it’s a bit easier but you can try to make almost anything premium or create your own version of it. Amazon’s done that with their version of Prime. You get shipping much faster, you pay a one-time fee and you can get it. I do believe they lose money on that in the short run, but in the long run, it makes up for itself. But yeah, you’ve got to figure out how to disrupt the market and you can do that in any different way, it doesn’t have to be free software. You don’t have to build something like ManyChat, you can go to CodeCanyon and buy something like a calculator script. If you’re in the mortgage industry, give it away for free and you only pay 15, 20 dollars and you’ll notice that over time you’ll get more traffic links and eyeballs and those kinds of things. They’re small, but they add up.
MY: Because that is a unique value that is not just, hey, buy my product but, hey, you can use, I’m bringing value, I’m having this not only … content is a great example because the content is also, you can think about content as a product, as an educational product and you’re giving it away for free. So the person starts to get to know your business but the things like calculators, as you said, I think is taking it to the next level where you’re actually giving out some features that not a lot of people can actually do so.
So Taboola, Outbrain … you’re writing content and use that to drive traffic to that content, right?
NP: No, I need to need the content to sell products and services. They work really well and very few people do it. Compared to what you see on Facebook and Google Ads.
MY: What advice do you have for agency partners on how to start and scale their business?
NP: If your an agency the best way to scale is you have to go … everyone’s like how can you … you can use tools and stuff like what you guys are offering to start offering more services and streamline stuff because tools do help make things more efficient. If you’re an agency that helps bring more traffic, using tools like yours helps quite a bit. But the hardest part about the agency is actually getting the customers. It’s the service thing, I really do believe it’s getting customers and you need a unique strategy to get them.
One thing that could work for everyone here is go to Crunchbase, find all the recently funded companies, email the CEOs and the board members, because it lists who’s the new board member and lead investor and email them how the company that they just invested in is screwing up and what they can do to change and fix it and make it better. And include the CEO, send the CEO an email as well and you’ll find that you’ll generate a lot of business from that strategy. Send out three emails, you should get one customer.
And this is all the way, so in that email being like, hey ManyChat, I just noticed you raised money from Bessemer, is that correct?
MY: Bessemer, that’s right.
NP: You raised money from Bessemer, congrats, I know you have to grow faster but I don’t think you’re going to hit your numbers because you’re not doing these three things right. And I’d actually even, I’d be like here are the 25 things you’re messing up on. And I’d just break them up, show screenshots. I would be so detailed that they wouldn’t be like, cool thank you, I’m just going to go do it on my own because the reality is when someone raises the money they need to move fast so they’re just going to probably hire you instead of doing it on their own. And then you email the board member as well and be like, hey Bessemer, I noticed you invested in ManyChat, it’s a good company but I don’t think they’re going to be as big as they possibly can because of these reasons. And you’re breaking down all the things that are wrong, report it to the CEO and there’s a good chance someone will hire you because you just got this note from your board member.
MY: Nice. Really specific advice. If I would get that message from you, we would have to hire you.
NP: There you go. You guys heard it. If you guys send him a message, or Bessemer, you might get a contract.
MY: I know you have a really unique approach to how you manage the company. Is it something that is important for the agency to figure out early on or later down the line?
NP: Each style can be unique. Different agencies and different companies have different ways. My big thing is I look for people who have done it before at least two times so if we want to hire them the third time there’s a good chance they already know how to do it, do it right so that we can provide the best service to our customers, take care of them and do what’s best for them. I’m a big believer you hire people who have done it more than once. If they’ve done it just once there’s a good chance it was a fluke. If they haven’t done it at all, you don’t even know if they can do it. If they did it twice successfully, there’s a really good chance that they continually do it over and over again.
MY: Question about Taboola and Outbrain. Which of your products and services are you advertising on those platforms and are you sending them to advertorials first?
NP: Yeah, we tend to send them to advertorials, we tend to use it for informational based products, it works extremely well. I’m assuming a lot of your audience sells informational based products as well. It’s one of the best channels for info products. Everyone thinks about Facebook Ads, but Taboola and Outbrain can do it really well for you as long as you send them to good advertorials.
MY: One of the things that I wanted to also ask you about is do you use, for example, Messenger and—you’ve also mentioned one thing that I think that most of the people, it might have gotten over your head—but you said that you used browser notifications like web push, right?
NP: I did.
I currently get more traffic from browser notifications than I do email. Sometimes it ranges, but almost most months I get more traffic from browser notifications. And the way I do this is when people release new channels, I test them, just like when you guys release new channels, I test them. And then to see if it works, I just go all in and I just keep pushing and pushing and pushing.
MY: Have you tried using Messenger to drive more browser Push Notification subscriptions?
NP: I have, but indirectly. I don’t just use Messenger being like maybe I can get more push. Subscribers use Messenger to drive them to content on my site, yeah. And of course, when they land on my site for the first time, it does ask them to subscribe through Messenger.
MY: How do you stay up to date with all of this, and how do you manage your time?
NP: I’ll continue to read blogs, I’ll continue to see what other people are doing. And I continually have that mindset of, you can always do better and you can always learn more. You can always test and try to figure new things out.
MY: How do you manage everything? Do you have a special routine in the morning? Do you use a time-management calendar? Some of the hacks that people can be more productive and get closer to your level?
NP: The way I manage everything is just through Google Calendar.
I keep it simple. I don’t have a lot of fancy tools or anything like that. Still have an old, ghetto iPhone, it works well for me. The point I’m trying to make is you don’t need a lot of. I use tools for marketing, I don’t use a lot of tools for my life. I try to keep life really simple and cut down on the tools and the apps, and all that kind of stuff. And marketing tools to make my life simpler.
But in my personal life I believe, yeah, these tools and apps could make your life simpler, but also causes you to do too many things, like login to Instagram 10 times a day, instead of spending your time with your family, or working, or whatever.
MY: By the way, how do you view Instagram in the whole grand scheme of things of marketing? Is it a big channel?
NP: Huge channels. My favorite social network right now. It doesn’t produce the biggest ROI for me, but it is my favorite social network because it’s personal. Facebook for me isn’t as personal as Instagram is, nor is LinkedIn, and I use it on a regular basis. I like seeing pictures of my friends and family. Funnily enough, I barely upload them to Facebook these days, mainly I’ll upload them to Instagram and just look into what everyone’s up to.
MY: How do you, do you see businesses, some of your clients leverage Instagram for driving actual conversions and sales?
NP: More for B2C, like E-commerce. Other than that, it’s very rare that we see it.
MY: E-Commerce is huge. Could you tell us some of the Instagram E-commerce strategies that you’re leveraging and using to drive that outcome for them?
NP: Yeah, so with E-commerce, it’s about being targeted and smarter with your messaging. Like for example, if someone visits your checkout page but they don’t complete the checkout, that’s when you want to push them with the Messenger notification to get them to come back. You can do the same thing with Push Notifications and get them to come back.
When someone’s about to leave and they’ve viewed a few products, they didn’t add anything to cart, you can potentially off from coupon codes when they’re leaving.
There are some [enterprise companies like Bounce Exchange for E-commerce. They’ll do stuff, like tie-in the cross-browser user experience, whether someone’s on their phone or a desktop computer, that helps with better targeting as well.
But the big thing that we see with E-commerce is, yeah, you can drive traffic through all these channels. You can leverage paid ads. All that stuff works really well. But what people don’t see is, if your landing page isn’t amazing, if you don’t have a really good image of the product, you don’t show the reviews, you don’t think the basic necessities, you’re not going to get as many sales. Everyone’s like, yeah, let me just show them a product and give them a good price and get them to buy. People want to see amazing images, videos showcasing the product, descriptions that are detailed. They want to use the reviews or see them, real ones. They want good, fast shipping. All those little things add up.
MY: I’m super excited about your talk at the Conversations 2019 Conference, and can’t wait to see you again in person.
NP: Same here. It’ll be fun!
About Our Facebook Live Meet the Speakers Series
Each week Molly Mahoney hosts a LIVE interview with one of our Conversations 2019 speakers to give you the opportunity to meet them and learn their secrets to successful Messenger Marketing. It’s a way to ask questions that you might not be able to ask at the conference and discover more about what will be discussed at Conversations 2019.
Here are the details.
When: Thursday, 9 am PDT.
- Go to our Facebook page: ManyChat
- Click on the Live announcement
- Watch, learn and ask questions.
View more Meet the Speaker episodes.
And, if you haven’t registered for Conversations 2019, do so before prices go up! Reserve your spot.
We’ll see you LIVE! #Conversations2019