“People are sending messages to our Facebook Page every day. We just don’t have the time or the staff to respond manually. Half the people messaging in are looking to support the organization and the other half are haters, sending insults or worse. We should be responding to the supporters, but haven’t been able to yet. ”
This was my first conversation with Chuck Westover. He’s an integral part of a new and growing organization called the Democratic Coalition Against Trump (DCAT). The problem he was experiencing seemed like a situation perfect for @Mssg.
The idea is clear and simple. @Mssg could automatically respond to all of the people messaging in. We connect @Mssg to the Facebook Page, and turn this previously ignored channel into an opportunity for supporter acquisition, data collection and fundraising.
The campaign was able to launch autoresponders quickly; there is no coding involved. Once launched, everyone that messages into the DCAT Facebook Page receives a response letting them know that the organization is interested in hearing their thoughts and asking the supporter for a little data (starting with email address). These conversations are instant and completely automated.
The first response asked the user to reply with their email. As soon as the user replies they get a message from the page asking for their zip code to help target future actions. Finally after responding with their zip code the user gets a message with a link to the DCAT donation page.
Of course the tone of these messages is set by the organization. It’s not simply a request, the messages are supportive and engaging. The Democratic Coalition Against Trump has total control over their messages.
“We’re pleased, and a bit surprised at the data and actions people are willing to take when we make it possible. Our supporters really want to engage over Facebook Messenger. The idea was novel, but made a lot of sense. I’m really glad that we gave it a shot.”
For this campaign it’s hard to track conversion rates. Many of the people messaging in are opponents of the cause and would never convert to supporters in any scenario. From a qualitative analysis, it’s clear that a majority of the potential supporters that message in provide an email address when asked. The conversion hovers around 70%.
What’s Next? DCAT is already hard at work with @Mssg to build out the next level of engagement. There are two big changes being tried soon.
So far, all of the interactions have been instant-response conversations. When the user messages in, they get a response. If the user fails to respond, then the conversation just ends. The newest feature allows for retargeting and follow up. In the case where a user does not respond with their email address, @Mssg will automatically follow up a day later and ask again.
The second, and most exciting feature, drives donations and other interactions inside Messenger. As the user completes the conversation and provides their email & mailing address, they will now be asked for a donation amount. The user will be prompted with a Secure Donation button. When that is clicked, the DCAT donation page will open in Messenger, and the user’s data, including donation amount, will be autofilled. The goal is to make a donation as easy as possible for the supporter on their mobile device.
To talk with the Democratic Coalition’s autoresponder, click to their Messenger Page, and send in any message – http://m.me/TheDemocraticCoalition. Visit them on the web at https://www.democraticcoalition.org/