Facebook Messenger for Realtors to Build Your Contact List

by Paula

July 18, 2018

contact list

We know our contact list is extremely important because as it grows, so will your business. With a contact list, you are able to communicate your message, you are able to reach people who already know you which is less expensive than reaching someone new.

Especially these days, people are inundated with spam messages from companies they don’t know. We’ve all been, in a way, trained to ignore these messages with just a swipe.

But getting a message from a company we know is acceptable and often even desired. That’s why Facebook’s Messenger has great open rates.

The Importance of Privacy

With the proliferation of Messenger (Facebook’s messaging app), people started developing groups where participants could blast messages to just their personal group– message groups very common with families or close groups of friends.

People feel Facebook’s Messenger is a more private way to communicate.  Whereas posts on good ol’ Facebook will get seen by all your friends (the most common setting on people’s profile), Messenger posts only go to that specific “inner circle” group.

It’s Texting!

People check their Messenger app multiple times a day – why? Because that’s where text messages from your friends and family get sentdirectly and specifically TO YOU.

So, when someone sends you a text, your phone beeps, and you open the app.

This is where and how Messenger from Facebook became so powerful. Messenger puts in one place your “normal” text messages AND your “chat” messages from Facebook. All In One.

Since we don’t find TEXTS intrusive, after all, if someone is texting us, they must know us because they have our phone number…., we open the phone every time we get a “text”.

Ok, so here’s the value to advertisers….

Messenger Has Huge Open Rates – Up to 80%!

If you send a message through Messenger to someone that knows you, IT WILL GET OPENED. Open rates are typically in the 60% – 80% range for messages sent to Messenger from businesses. That’s huge! Compare that to email open rates which have been declining for years, but you’re lucky as a business if you get 20% open rates with emails. But along comes messenger and you’ve got open rates that are huge circa the year 2000 with email.

How to use Facebook Messenger to get Contacts

So knowing how to get people on your Messenger list is key.

The first step is to advertise. Yes, it all starts with plain advertising. The call to action is what differs. We want to create an ad and encourage people to “message us”.

How do we do that?

By providing something of value. AND THIS IS THE HARD PART. You have to put yourself in the shoes of your target market and ask yourself:

“WHY would this person want to message ME for?”

The answer is NOT simple. It’s NOT as easy as “Message me if you want to know more about my services!” NO ONE EVER answered to that…. Ok, maybe a couple of people but that’s not the way to do it.

You have to think hard to add real value –  Why? Why? Why? Why will they want to message me?

For example, if you’re a realtor, perhaps people maybe want to know the last 5 properties that sold in their neighborhood. Or if you’re a retail business, maybe people want to receive a coupon for a good discount to your store (which IS in their neighborhood). Think about it from your perspective as a potential customer, if a company showed you an ad, what would make you want to reach out TO THEM via a message?

Click to Message

Once you have something OF VALUE to give to the person you’re advertising to, then you create an ad with the CALL TO ACTION to CLICK TO MESSAGE.

So you start with a Facebook ad with the Campaign Objective of REACH or BRAND AWARENESS (learn more about FACEBOOK ads for real estate here: real estate Facebook ad ideasFacebook ads for real estate listings and using the real estate sales funnel). Then, send the traffic you get from that ad to Messenger. As people respond, you’ll be adding them to your contact list within Messenger. This is how an ad that is served in Messenger within your inbox looks like:

For the purpose of having people interact with you and have them start the interaction, we’ll start the process with a Reach or Brand Awareness ad.

The first step is to select the campaign goal of Reach.

Next, when setting up the Placement, Unselect Instagram.

Next, under Budget and Schedule, select your frequency cap. The default is 1 impression every 7 days. You can adjust to 1 impression a day, or 1 impression every 3 days, or whatever fits your strategy. This will depend on the duration of your campaign, the geographic segmentation, and your budget.

Next, continue building your ad. When you get to the Copy and Images section, draft your ad so that it tempts people in an enticing way to connect with you. In this case, we say “This home just sold in your neighborhood for a record price. It’s always good to know….Click to see price and address!”

Check the box to Add a website URL and ADD YOUR MESSENGER LINK. If you don’t know it, it’s simple. All messenger links are in this format:   https://m.me/yourfacebookpagename

Even if you have not set one up, your messenger link exists if you type that. You will type that in the Website URL field.

Now, publish your ad. When someone sees this ad, if they click on the button they will be directed to your Messenger Inbox as if they had typed your contact information to send you a text!

If you set up a chatbot, it can immediately and automatically respond with the right price and address of the property you’re advertising, and now, you’ve established this visitor as a contact on your Messenger list. In the future, advertising to this contact will be more genuine and thus more effective, because this contact has already communicated with you. And remember – open rates for Messenger are in the 50% – 80% range…some of the highest interaction rates of any channel.

The use of mobile phones is enabling people to connect. And in Advertising, the value of connecting on a one-on-one basis is huge.

What’s even better, is that simple strategies like these can be automated so you don’t have to respond to every single person manually, to give them the price and address of a recent sale! You can set up a chatbot to do so! Read more about chatbots here.

Messenger can be used in automated and customizable forms to let people connect with YOU.

Finally, I need to reiterate the importance of collecting first-party data. When you buy a list of people that live in the neighborhood you’re targeting, you’re using second party data. This information is not only more expensive, but you don’t own it. So every time you use it, you pay for it. That’s why businesses spend a lot of time and effort collecting primary source data (our own data). Messenger allows you to scale this effort – and most importantly….you’re already doing the heavy lifting with ads! So take it a step further and invite people to connect with you while at it!

Having people connect with you via Facebook Messenger not only moves people from awareness into a higher intent category but most importantly allows you to build your messenger contact list that has far higher open rates than email.


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About the author 

Meet Paula Danylchuk, a seasoned digital marketer with over two decades of expertise.

Paula has a BS in Finance from the Universidad Panamericana, and an MBA in Information Technology from SDSU. She has worked in senior management roles at Qualcomm and Kyocera Wireless.

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