Facebook Messenger: integration
The Messenger team's goal is to weave Messenger into HubSpot’s core functionalities:
Bots, Conversations, Contacts, Marketing tools, and Reports.
Facebook is investing significant time and money into building their business platform, with Messenger at the forefront. 8 billion messages are exchanged between businesses and people per month with about 300,000+ active bots.
Why Facebook Messenger
We’ve all heard it. Conversational marketing is the future; people want to chat with your business, where they want and when they want. Taking findings from successful experiments run by HubSpot’s marketing team, I was asked to build this functionality into our product for our users. By building Messenger functionality into tools that HubSpot users already love (Forms, Conversations Inbox, Blog, CTAs, etc), marketers will be able to create a personal experience for their end-users, humanizing business communication that today’s buyer prefers, at scale.
Introduce a Facebook Messenger integration
Help our users optimize their Facebook Pages for a positive Messenger experience
Create third party platform features including a persistent menu, greeting text, and a default bot (welcome messages and instant replies)
Automatically create a contact record in CRM from new Messenger conversations
I started this project by sending out a survey to a cross-section of users, getting a better idea of how our customers think of and use messaging and on-site chat tools. Unsurprisingly, Messenger is still largely an un-investigated channel for marketing, which told me we're going to have to double down on educational content. Interesting to note, when Messenger was being used, it was being used primarily for sales and support purposes rather than marketing, meaning there are some huge opportunities to tying Messenger into the Sales and Customer tools down the road.
Through tracking analytics, I was quickly able to see that there were a few areas of the tool that needed attention.
The first was the onboarding flow. By tracking users progress through the flow, we saw that there was significant time spent on the persistent menu creation screen, introducing an increased risk of abandonment. Considering there was not a pre-made template for this screen for users to edit (meaning they were creating the menu from scratch), users felt more pressure to make the copy perfect. I ended up removing this screen from onboarding since it was overly complicated and was not a necessary step for integration setup. The changes resulted in a decrease in average onboarding time and decreased onboarding abandonment.
Secondly, we noticed an odd number of daily disconnections and reconnections of the integration. After reaching out to these users to dig deeper into their behavior, I found some users were turning the connection off during business hours so their human agents could respond, rather than the bot. Currently, the integration is built with a 'bots first' approach, meaning if the connection is turned on, the bot will kick off a welcome message and instant reply no matter what. There is no way to turn off the bot without also turning off the contact syncing. Some users want the flexibility to turn this connection on and off (while still retaining the full integration with the contact sync) so that it can be 'human first' during business hours and 'bots first' after hours. I believe this could be because users, at this early stage, do not fully trust conversational bots and want more control.
At this point, we are going to keep the integration's 'bot first' approach until the tools has scaled to more users and we're able to receive more feedback.
User success story
One of our initial beta users, Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, saw incredible growth with this new tool. Since turning on the integration, the company has seen an 81% growth in their Messenger audience and a 12% increase in spending from contacts who had previously reached out through Messenger (when compared to those who did not connect through Messenger). You can read their case study here.
This initial tool was released to ~150 users, and we met our beta goals of 50% activation rate (meaning the users successfully connected a Messenger account and returned to the tool). Facebook paused all new bot integrations this spring due to security regulation concerns, slowing our release. However, this ban has been lifted and we have now un-gated to 800 users.
As the beta proceeds, I want to rework the copy of the integrations zero state (pre-integration and onboarding flow) to show more value proposition, as we're still seeing a large drop-off between user seeing this screen and starting onboarding. Secondly, we will be moving Messenger authentication from Settings into the onboarding flow to decrease disruption.