Is This the End of Email List Building?

For a long time, it’s been considered that your email list is the most valuable asset you can build in your business.

However, with people now receiving so many emails each day, it’s becoming more difficult to get your emails opened, let alone read.

With remarketing and other online tools for reaching your audience becoming more and more popular, are we seeing the beginning of the end of email list building?

For example, the new audience tracking features available inside Facebook Ads Manager give you multiple ways to track the people who visit your website, interact with your Facebook page posts and view your videos, so you can put ads or boosted posts in front of them whenever you have a message you want to share.

But,  as great as this is, (and it IS very exciting!) demand for space in the Facebook newsfeed is ever-increasing so even that is getting pretty cluttered these days.

There is one area of Facebook that is still relatively quiet, though…

…Facebook Messenger!

Messenger ads have only recently been made available to advertisers, and there are two types. One in particular is much more exclusive than the other:

Messenger DESTINATION ads: With Messenger destination ads, your advert appears in your chosen placement as usual (e.g. in the newsfeed or right-hand side), but when the ad is clicked, instead of redirecting to an external URL (e.g. your squeeze page), it opens a new Messenger conversation.

You might choose to use Messenger destination ads to follow up with people who were looking at your sales page yesterday but didn’t buy. You can show them an ad inviting them to send you a private message with questions.

But, because these ads are still appearing in the usual placements AND they require the end user to click on the ad AND for the user to send you a message, there are still a few obstacles that could leave your message unseen.

Luckily, there is a better option…

Messenger PLACEMENT ads: Unlike Messenger destination ads, placement ads appear as a new message inside Messenger. The user is notified that they have received a new message in Messenger, in the same way as they’d receive any other Messenger message.

You’ve got a good chance of your Messenger placement ads being read because the average user will receive far fewer private messages than emails, and they will be checking their Messenger inbox more regularly.

However… you cannot just head over to Facebook now and start sending Messenger placement ads to everyone!

To drop ads into a user’s Messenger inbox, they must have previously sent your Facebook page a private message. Facebook doesn’t allow pages to initiate private messages with individuals until the individual has sent the page a message first – the sending of the message ‘authorizes‘ a response from the page.

Very few people are going to send your page a private message just because you ask them to though.

After all, it requires effort on their part. You need to make it worth their while by offering an incentive.

Which is why I loved this strategy that I saw Frank Kern using that utilizes Messenger very effectively for list building.

First of all, he places this ad in your newsfeed.

Frank Kern Messenger Ads Strategy

When you click on the ad, you are taken to this Manychat page to authorise Frank to message you.

Frank Kern lead magnet Messenger Ads strategy

Manychat is a free Facebook Messenger bot creator. Messenger bots are automated messages for Messenger that can be sent when a user authorises you to send them messages in Messenger – subscribes to your bot.

When you click on the “Send to Messenger” button on the Manychat page, it authorises Frank to send you the eBook via Messenger.

Within seconds, you receive this message with the link to the eBook.

Frank Kern lead magnet Messenger Ads strategy

He’s also got some autoresponder messages set up to send behind the initial message, and by clicking on the answers to his questions, he’s segmenting you into other, relevant audiences too.

But you don’t need the follow-up messages to get the benefit of this strategy.

How to build your list using Messenger

1. Create a COMPELLING and EXCLUSIVE lead magnet that your audience will be so eager to get their hands on that they will happily grant you access to their Messenger inbox.

You can see Frank is offering a pre-launch book as his incentive. You don’t need a long book, but I do recommend you don’t offer a lead magnet that is also available on your website. Create a new lead magnet that is ONLY available via Messenger.

2. Set up your free account at and create your bot that will deliver your lead magnet.

3. Make sure you’ve set up your “People who sent a message to your page” page engagement audience (Facebook ads manager > audiences > create new custom audience > engagement in Facebook > page) to track who has messaged your page.

4. Then set up a Facebook ad campaign, targeted to your audience offering your new lead magnet and link the ad to your Manychat bot link.

In future, you will also be able to send Messenger broadcasts to all or segments of your Manychat subscribers list from within the software too. It’s pretty similar to the process of sending browser push notifications in PushCrew.

Both Messenger inboxes and the browser notification spaces are way less cluttered that email inboxes right now, so this could be a great opportunity for you to increase your visibility and be omnipresent to your audience.

What are your feelings about marketing via Messenger? Leave me a comment and let me know whether this strategy is a yay or nay for you?


Download my FREE eBook: Beginners’ Guide to Messenger Bots and Facebook Messenger Marketing and discover how you can build your list of Messenger subscribers – for FREE.