Increasing Site Traffic with Messaging Apps
When looking for ways to increase their site traffic, many businesses overlook the value of using instant messaging to connect with their audience. With more than 6 billion active monthly users, messaging apps have more mobile users than social media, and those users are more likely to open and read your messages thanks to featuring far fewer spam notifications than social media or email. This makes instant messaging a great platform for engaging existing customers and bringing new users to your site.
Messaging Apps for Businesses
Facebook Messenger has the advantage of connecting you to the world’s largest social media platform in addition to messaging app users. Facebook users say they are 65% more likely to shop with a business they can contact via instant messaging.
While it is not replacing text messaging any time soon, WhatsApp is still one of the most widely used messaging apps in the world. WhatsApp Business lets you create a dedicated profile for your business and manage customer contact lists, making it easier for small businesses to take advantage of instant messaging.
In addition to offering the usual messaging app features, Telegram places an emphasis on secure conversations. As consumers increasingly want to do business online through instant messaging, this can be an important factor for online stores.
Kik offers similar features to WhatsApp and lets businesses use promotional chat channels to contact users with deals based on the brands and products they show interest in.
SMS marketing software lets you send and receive text messages to groups of customers or individuals. According to TextMagic: “82% of text messages are read within 5 minutes, but consumers only open 1 in 4 emails they receive. Texting allows you to reach almost any customer or lead and ensure your message is opened and read within minutes. Text messaging also enables the use of feedback surveys and unlike some instant messaging apps, can reliably track click-throughs on the links you send out. This is extremely useful when it comes to judging your marketing performance.
Your website probably already has share buttons enabling users to share your video and blog content on social media.
This practice can be extended by also including share buttons for messaging apps, letting users share your content with their friends at the touch of a button. Customers are more likely to check out a link sent directly to them via a message than something posted to a friend’s page, so producing high-quality content and making it easy to share on messaging apps can boost your site traffic.
For example, when BuzzFeed added a WhatsApp share button to their articles, they almost immediately saw more users clicking the WhatsApp button than their Twitter share button, which was previously their highest-performing share button.
It should come as no surprise that people respond better to marketing that is tailored to their individual needs and interests. 80% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a business that provides personalized marketing.
Messaging apps let you send offers, promotions, and links to users on an individual basis, personalizing deals to appeal to each person. They also provide a means to get to know your audience better, enabling personal, direct conversations between you and your customers. This can be extremely useful for understanding their needs and the best products and offers to appeal to each person. Recipients are more likely to click through a link to your site when your message is specific to them.
By contacting site visitors individually with personalized messages, Expensify was able to get 26% of the users they messaged to sign up, which was four times the amount that signed up without a personalized message.
Messaging App Bots
Chatbots can be used on messaging apps in a variety of ways to increase your site traffic:
- Linking to relevant content
If a user contacts your chatbot for more information about your products or for advice relating to your area of expertise, your chatbot can send a link to your blog or video content as part of its answer. This not only provides a detailed answer to your user’s question but also increases that customer’s awareness of your blog or tutorial content. In the future, they might now head straight to your website to answer similar queries for themselves.
- Product recommendations
A messaging app chatbot can recommend and link to products on your site based on conversations with users. If your chatbot can accurately predict customer needs and interests through their conversation, the links it sends are much more likely to be clicked through, increasing traffic on your site.
- Blogs and newsletters
Messaging apps are a great way to let interested users know you have uploaded new content to your site.
Even users who are very excited about your business and products probably aren’t checking your site every day for updates and new content. Using messaging to let them know about new content they might want to read can increase site traffic by bringing leads and customers back to read the latest updates on your website. This tactic can also be personalized to each user, using tags and keywords to send the most appropriate content alerts to each user
Incentivize Site Traffic
Contests and giveaways run on messaging apps give your customers more reasons to return to your site. The most direct way to incentivize site traffic is to simply make interacting with your site part of the contest. For example:
- Message a link giving a discount code to the first hundred people to follow it. In addition to the giveaway winners, many more users who click the link might be attracted by a different product or sale on your site.
- Remind users they can get a reward or contest entry for signing up for your newsletter or creating an account on your site.
- Offer time-sensitive deals exclusive to messaging app users. These reward customers for contacting you via messaging with deals that are only available for a short time, encouraging customers to click the link as soon as they see your message. For example, to promote their brand through an upcoming party, Absolut Vodka created a contest on WhatsApp for users to convince them why they should get an invite to the event. By creating a fun and engaging promotion that customers can interact with, Absolut was able to gain more than 600 new contacts.
Get Feedback Via Messaging
Messaging apps are a great way to gather feedback about your website and services. This is because they are fast, direct and convenient, letting users respond instantly without taking much time out of their day.
Only 1 in 26 customers will complain about a poor experience, the rest will just leave and not come back to your site. Using messaging apps as an additional way to gather and respond to customer feedback can increase site traffic by giving you another chance to resolve an issue.
Not only does this give you’re the information you need to improve your site, showing that you care about your customer experience and are taking steps to improve it can help convince new users to return to your site again.
Create and Join Communities
In addition to contacting messaging app users directly, most platforms also allow you to create and join public groups. Creating a messaging app community for your business has several benefits:
- Building a community in a messaging group is ‘easier’ than on social media. Okay, it still takes work your active involvement to ensure an active group membership, but you don’t need to come up with statuses, videos and images constantly throughout the day to keep users engaged, which can be overwhelming for small businesses. Instead, you can interact with your clients in a much more natural, conversational manner.
- A messaging app group can put potential customers in contact with existing users, making it easy for them to ask for recommendations and advice from people using your products.
- Similarly to when messaging users directly, you can post links sending users to product recommendations and content on your website. Besides helping to answer an individual customer’s query, posting links here can generate additional traffic from other users who are following the conversation.
- Messaging groups provide an excellent opportunity to get to know your customers better. In addition to chatting with customers, you can also see how your customers discuss your products and their uses for your business. Getting to know your customers has clear benefits, as 75% of consumers say they are more likely to buy from a company that knows them well.
On top of creating your own messaging app group or channel, you can also join related groups to help increase brand awareness. Rules on using groups to promote your business differ from app to app and from group to group, so check the rules first to avoid getting a negative response.
ProdPad uses group messaging in Slack to foster better relationships with its clients by providing support, collecting feedback and discussing features and changes in open conversations with customers. This had a big impact on convincing customers to stay; 99% of their canceling customers are not members of the Slack community.
Messaging apps are effective at driving traffic to your site by engaging users with your offers, content and customer interactions. This can help you build more personal connections with users, increasing their trust in your recommendations, in addition to enabling automated promotions and conversations through the use of chatbots.