USING FACEBOOK MESSENGER TO INCREASE DONATIONS
As the public spends more and more time on their mobile devices, Facebook Advertising (the clear leader in the space) becomes the obvious answer for campaigns looking to connect with potential supporters. Facebook makes it easy to target and reach the right people, but converting mobile Facebook users to actual supporters, whether by collecting user data or driving donations, has proven trickier.
Currently, when a mobile user clicks on an ad on their phone, they are taken to a web page optimized for their mobile device. This is where the story turns. Mobile landing pages don’t convert well (only 1/2-1/3 as well as the desktop version.) So while Facebook advertising does a good job of driving traffic into the top of the digital marketing funnel, if the first stop in that funnel is a mobile landingpage, fewer users are going to be converted into actual supporters. Everyone in the digital advertising space sees this problem and so far the approach has been to try and build better, more optimized mobile pages. But the results still aren’t there.
What if it’s the page itself that’s the problem?
In an A/B test detailed below, @Mssg increased the results from a Facebook Ad campaign by sending clickers into an automated conversation in Facebook Messenger rather than to a mobile landing page. This conversation collected the same data (i.e. name, e-mail address, donation amount, etc.) and drove the same action (donations) as the landing page would have using a webform. Sending the user into the conversation resulted in significantly more donors and more donations per dollar spent on ads, as well as a tremendously greater amount of data collected from supporters.
In this case study we look at how the Democratic Coalition Against Trump (“Democratic Coalition”) used @Mssg and Facebook Messenger (“Messenger”) to increase the number of donors and total donations per dollar spent on Facebook ads.
This campaign was conducted from mid-February to mid-March, 2017, and measured the results when the Facebook user (“the clicker”) was sent into a mobile Messenger conversation versus when they were sent directly to a donation landing page. Results were measured by comparing the number of donors, ROI on ad-spend, as well as the amount of profile data that was collected from the clickers.
The testing showed that Facebook Ads that send the clicker into Facebook Messenger to collect user data such as e-mail, address, and donation amount can increase campaign results significantly and offer campaigns a solution for how to raise money and increase conversions on mobile devices.
In this test, not only did the ads that sent the clicker to a Messenger conversation generate significantly more donations per dollar spent, but more information was gathered from the clicker as well, whether they ended up donating or not.
The purpose of the test was to compare the results when users who clicked on a Facebook ad were sent into a Messenger conversation (the TEST GROUP, which included only mobile users) versus when they were sent to a traditional landing page (the CONTROL GROUP, which included both desktop and mobile users.)
Each test began with a single Facebook Ad Campaign and one Ad Set. Within that Ad Set, three ads were created and shown to the same targets inside Facebook.
Two of the ads routed the user to Messenger. These ads informed the user that the action would happen within Messenger and listed the call to action on the Ad Button as “Send Message.” There were slight differences between all the ads to test for best practices but otherwise they were identical.
A third ad sent the clicker directly to a landing page. This ad did not mention Messenger and could use any other call to action on the Ad Button.
Once the clicker engaged in Messenger, an automated, 2-way conversation collected certain user data according to the following order:
- Asked for e-mail address, clicker provides it in response;
- Asked for address, clicker provides it in response;
- Asked for donation amount, clicker provides it in response;
- Clicker was sent to donation page, which is pre-populated with previously collected data.
Of course, once a TEST GROUP clicker gets to the donation page via Messenger, just as with the CONTROL GROUP, they don’t always complete a donation, but the mobile donation form can seem less daunting when most of the information is already filled in.
A key distinction between the two groups is that once the TEST GROUP is sent to the landing page from Messenger, whether or not they go through with the donation, we’ve already collected their name, e-mail address and preferred donation amount, which enables us to go back to them at a future date.
If a clicker from the CONTROL GROUP fails to complete their donation, we have no way of soliciting them afterward.
The results are extremely exciting for Messaging as a channel to drive donations.
In this pilot campaign, it cost just $4.84 for the Democratic Coalition to acquire a donor when the clicker was routed to a conversation on Messenger, while it cost at least $12.55 when the clicker was sent to a landing page.
On an ROI basis, that means that every dollar spent on Facebook ads to send a clicker into a Messenger conversation resulted in $3.10 in donations, while each dollar spent to send a clicker to a donation page resulted in just $1.99.
In addition, when the clicker was sent to Messenger, the campaign generated much more supporter data, regardless of whether a donation was completed or not.
For example, for every dollar spent on ads, the Democratic Coalition added nearly three new email addresses to their list after sending the clicker to a Messenger conversation. On the other hand, routing the clicker to the donation page did not generate any emails other than those of donors.
Comparing Messenger Conversations Vs. Landing Pages
In this pilot campaign, sending the user directly to a donation page worked well as compared to traditional benchmarks, which is to be expected given the current political climate and fundraising environment for progressive organizations. That said, the results confirmed the upside potential of using Facebook Messenger conversations to increase donations and supporter acquisition.
Organizations have been mobile optimizing pages for 5 years, and have tested billions of web pages on mobile yet mobile donation pages still pose a problem. After only a handful of tests, sending the clicker into Messenger on their mobile device produced results 250 – 500% better than sending the clicker directly to the donation page.
This is just the beginning of Messenger conversations as a medium for data and donation collection. With more testing and optimization of this process, we fully expect results to improve even further.