Are chatbots about to send email marketing to the Trash folder?
News News, 28/11/2017
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Email is among the highest performing marketing channels. It regularly outpaces other mediums, with research showing that email drives customer acquisitions at a rate 40 times higher than Facebook and Twitter — combined. The email also ranks near the tip-top for ROI in marketing. Coming from a background in email marketing, I’ve worked hand-in-hand with global brands that appreciate and understand its effectiveness.

There are numerous similarities between Facebook Messenger chatbots and email. They are both highly targeted, direct forms of promotion. Whereas traditional ad mediums like billboards and tv seek to reach the widest possible audience, email and Messenger send a specific message to pre-selected and segmented consumers. Also, both seek to not just bring awareness to a product or service, but also to link the consumer to where they can make a purchase or complete the sender’s desired outcome.

With these similarities, the question arises: do Facebook Messenger chatbots provide a superior alternative to email marketing?

In order to overtake email, Messenger bots must first identify either a deficiency in email marketing, a clear superiority in its own platform, or both. If a brand has seen consistently strong results from email marketing, why move away?

In this article, we’ll examine factors such as platform functionalities, user demographics, and the intimacy of the two mediums. Part 2 of the article will dive deep into other factors including existing marketing and technological infrastructure and deliverability.


Platform functionalities: What they can and can’t do

To compare Messenger bots and email, we’ll first examine the technological capabilities and features of each medium. Why? Because the advancements in chatbots are what makes this comparison possible. While bots and email seek to accomplish many of the same goals, they do so through different structures and features.