As we all know Facebook is the largest social network in the US. So it’s only natural that marketers use it to spread the word about our business and generate leads. Facebook understands that marketers pay their salaries by using the amazing tools Facebook has given us. And they don’t want users to leave the platform. Because if they’re off the platform they can’t click ads, and Facebook won’t make money.
One of the ways Facebook entices it’s user to stay on the platform is to give us more fun stuff to use like Facebook Messenger Day (Facebook’s clone of Snapchat). To keep marketers happy and spending more money on the platform Facebook has added quite a few capabilities to Messenger. They’ve made it easy to conduct customer service activities. Customers and potential customers can ask questions, order services, get more information about products and services and make purchases on messenger.
Much has been made of the growing popularity of Facebook Messenger and the question of whether it could, one day, become bigger than email. Whether or not Facebook Messenger surges ahead of email remains to be seen.
Facebook Messenger vs. Email
1. The Basics
Email still rules when it comes to sheer numbers: there are over 2.7 billion email users worldwide compared to 900 million Facebook Messenger users. The number of email users is expected to grow to 2.9 billion by 2019. In other words, I don’t expect Facebook Messenger to surpass email’s user base anytime soon. Then again, you never know.
2. The Advantages
Let’s explore the advantages of Facebook Messenger and email:
- Most experts agree that Messenger is a more secure than email.
- Facebook Messenger has embedded apps – dozens of them, in fact. This gives it a clear edge over email
- Facebook Messenger has the function to send money within the platform (watch out PayPal) which email does not.
- You can send and receive audio messages with Messenger. For email marketers, there’s nothing to compare with it.
- Facebook Messenger’s group chats are far easier to manage than an email’s string of replies. And if you fall behind in an email conversation string, good luck catching up.
- Facebook Messenger allows for the kind of personal communication that used to be the hallmark of email. Most individuals who use Messenger communicate with personal friends. Email used to be like that because almost every email you received was from someone you knew. That was before spam. Now users typically have to sift through their email messages to find the relevant messages.
- Facebook Messenger lets you take full advantage of “chatbots” while automatically responding to people with pre-populated messages. You can create a customized experience for users. And it’s easy to set up.
- Facebook Messenger gives businesses the ability to have real-time conversations with clients and potential customers. It’s easier to get them to engage on Facebook.
True, Facebook Messenger has plenty of advantages. But don’t count email out. After all, email is still extremely relevant.
- We’ve already talked about the massive number of people around the globe who use email. While you can never say never, the fact is that email is too big to fail.
- Email is a lifeline for most businesses and, not to mention it’s cost-effective. It hasn’t become significant through pure luck.
- Customers prefer email. A recent study showed that customers prefer to communicate with companies via email rather than other channels.
- Email is a part of people’s lives. It’s not just for basic communication. You can share documents, photos, boarding passes, receipts, etc. Email has a far-reaching role in our day to day lives.
- It’s easy to switch email accounts. Surveys show that the average email user has 2 or 3 different email addresses.
- Email is a part of our online identity. It ranks only behind text messages and cell phone calls regarding sheer use.
- While Facebook Messenger gives you the capability of making voice and video calls – and is expected to seriously challenge Skype – email has already given content marketers the opportunity to embed video in email blasts.
- You own the email addresses you collect and can use them on any email service provider you choose. With Facebook Messenger, you’re at the mercy of the platform. If they go out of business or decide to shut off access to your account you’re completely out of luck and have lost an income source.
3. The bottom line
Facebook Messenger is riding a wave that shows no signs of receding. The variety of apps and functions that benefit individual users and businesses have proven its importance. Businesses would be wise to review how to get the most out of Messenger.
Still, email continues to grow and is an omnipresent part of most people’s lives. It’s convenient, familiar, and one of the most popular ways of communicating. The bottom line is that both Facebook Messenger and email aren’t about to disappear anytime soon.