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Email marketing and Facebook Messenger marketing are two powerful tools for attracting, communicating with, and ideally retaining customers. They share the same goal: effective communication with the target audience. Since each method demonstrates different results, they each have their pros and cons, so knowing the key differences between the two can help you determine which one suits you best.

Telling vs. talking

While you may think of these two concepts as interchangeable, in reality they differ significantly. A marketing email typically tells you to do something rather than open a dialogue. You do not give subscribers the chance to express their opinion or even ask questions. The purpose of these emails is to simply inform clients about certain events in the company, make personalized offers, compose trigger chains of letters, and gradually incline people to click on targeted actions for the site. While reaching your subscribers, meeting their needs, and beginning to turn them into loyal clients is fair and expected to some degree, email marketing can be very one-sided. That’s why we refer to this as “telling”.

Facebook Messenger marketing has a very different process entirely. The client now has the opportunity to engage in a conversation with you. They can instantly ask questions and receive answers directly, where it’s from a company employee or a chatbot. Many client decisions are impulsive and emotional(opens in a new tab), but there is often a need to ask questions; if a customer can get an answer quickly, that may influence them to make a decision more quickly. Instant messenger marketing enables quick and effective dialogue, meaning you’re more likely to have the opportunity to close the sale faster than via traditional one-way email marketing.

Targeted message vs. spam

You may be wondering how Messenger marketing has become more popular. The answer is simple: people read the direct messages they receive. Sure, they also “read” their emails, but the truth is they really don’t. They tend to stick to work-related emails and regular mail, leaving the other unknown, unnecessary junk to simply be deleted. With instant messengers, consumers have an instantaneous choice to make. If the targeted individual isn’t interested in interacting with the brand, they can simply close the chat. Those who opt to interact will wait for new messages. Once they have the chance to read, respond, and ask questions, they may end up going to the site, and hopefully making some sort of purchase.

Overall, email newsletters tend to risk being judged as spam, while communication in the Messenger is often targeted and lively, and more importantly, it takes place on a voluntary basis.

Personalization vs. template

Promotions and newsletters are as easily personalized in instant messengers. With the ability to personalize your content, you can then develop individual offers for specific clients, which a client is more likely to trust and therefore purchase. Maybe you work with a multilingual audience — translating the newsletters/promotions into various languages, using The Word Point(opens in a new tab) for example, will allow you to reach a wider audience and attract more potential clients.

The fact that instant messengers provide the opportunity for more personalized and individual interactions is no secret, and customers usually appreciate this. It’s comforting to know that when the company interacts with you via Messenger, they aren’t also contacting hundreds of potential customers with the same message at the same time. This develops the relationship between the brand and the subscriber much faster as trust is established early on and allows loyalty to form.

How you go from the meet cute to steady communication

The stages of interaction between the client and your company are another battle to tackle. A welcome chain of emails can be ideal for meeting a new subscriber. It’s the perfect avenue to unobtrusively tell them about the company and what it offers, and it does not obligate your subscribers to take any action. That being said, email marketing alone isn’t enough to develop a relationship with a client. A more personalized way of communicating is the faster, more effective way to achieve trust and loyalty. At this stage, it would make sense for you to switch to an instant messenger service, provided the client is interested in such an interaction.

In general, email is the best option if you have a long and deliberate message to share with your clients. Our recommendation is to focus more on instant messenger marketing overall, and leave email marketing for special occasions. For example, if you have a special Black Friday promotion to share, sending out an email newsletter is more efficient and appropriate, rather than spamming hundreds of people with instant messenger messages.

The Obvious Difference is the Results

Instant messenger services are without a doubt on the rise, so much so that they are beginning to threaten the place of email marketing in your marketing strategy. While scrolling through emails during long trips or work breaks is increasing the number of emails being read, the click-through rate in email is gradually decreasing(opens in a new tab). For marketers, this means that you are more likely to create a letter that reaches your target audience, but using only email newsletters will reduce the profitability of your business because emails are being ignored more and more. Expanding into instant messenger marketing gets you an instant response from the user, therefore allowing you access to necessary information to measure the success of a new product; because let’s face it — an email response may never come.

How to apply it: two rules to follow when choosing an approach

Clearly formulate your marketing goal. This will allow you to choose the most effective channel for influencing a particular customer. If you can define the goal that you want to achieve, you will be able to properly build up your communication with the client.

Pay attention to your target audience. Older clients are more used to email marketing from past experiences, while younger audiences tend to respond better to instant messengers since they are more current.

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