We’re big believers in Andrew Chen’s The Law of Shitty Clickthroughs. Chen’s idea is pretty self-explanatory. He believes that, over time, it’s inevitable that all digital marketing strategies will result in … well, “shitty” clickthrough rates (CTRs).

Surveying marketing trends from the past couple decades proves Chen’s thesis. Think of banner ads. When they debuted back in 1994 on HotWired, banner ads had a 78% CTR! Yet, not even 20 years later, banner ads on Facebook had a 0.05% CTR.

Yikes, right? These days, if you ask anyone if banner ads work, they’ll look at you like you’re nuts. The once solid strategy has become nearly obsolete.

Chen believes that no marketing channels escape the law of shitty clickthroughs. Of course, “shitty” is relative.

Click-Through Rates by Year (North America)

Hubspot calls email “a strong and consistent performer.” And there’s a reason that, in the Harvard Business Review, Barry Gill dubs email “the mule of the information age.” Open rates are holding steady as more than 30 billion emails are sent per day.

But those open rates, while not declining, aren’t all that wonderful. And isn’t wonderful what we’re after? Chen believes that the best way to avoid succumbing to those shitty clickthroughs is by discovering the next untapped marketing channel.

No, that doesn’t mean you have to abandon traditional forms of online advertising (long live banner ads and email!). But what you do have to do is be ready to use the next big marketing channel while it’s uncontested. Novel. While competition is minimal. When you can still get that first mover advantage. And today, the most promising marketing channels are the ones that help you optimize your mobile notifications. Our favorite? Messenger!

Facebook Messenger: Your New Secret Weapon

Every month, Facebook users send messages to businesses. They send a lot of messages — more than 2 billion messages, to be precise.

It’s not surprising. Facebook has found that, even in personal relationships, people across generations prefer to chat by messaging app rather than talk on the phone or send email. 76% of people believe “messaging makes life better.”

Life, of course, extends to consumers’ interactions with the businesses they frequent, the stores where they shop, and the brands they support. Yet Messenger lets integrate people’s consumer habits into their non-consumer lives. As one Facebook guide puts it, Messenger lets you “use artificial intelligence to identify what people are saying and create scalable, delightful experiences in an instant.”

People are receptive to this kind of communication — really receptive. We see three key reasons why.

1. Messenger is Novel

Facebook Messenger is still a fresh way of engaging with brands. A recent article by Christopher Elliott in the Chicago Tribune looked at how Messenger is becoming crucial to travel companies’ marketing strategies. That newness is appealing because it’s tailored to the individual: “‘It drives personal connections at scale,’” explains Elka Looks, a Facebook spokeswoman.”

NoisePop , for instance, used Messenger to offer their fans a pre-sale code to a Fleet Foxes show. “The fans had a positive reaction,” Marketing Director Lamar Harper reports,

“Everyone was kind of stoked that we were offering them a pre-sale code to a show that they were excited about.”

2. Messenger Means Instant Gratification

We live in a world where waiting is becoming a thing of the past. In Elliott’s article about travel companies, he cites a study by SAP Hybris revealing the extent of consumers’ high standards when communicating with a brand, “with 87 percent of them expecting a response within 24 hours, and 20 percent within just one hour.”

ToneDen client Ruth Eckerd Hall loves how quickly Messenger lets them respond to their customers.

“They’re able to reach out to us,” Digital Media Coordinator Erin Null reports,

…we’re able to provide answers outside of what’s listed on a website. It make them want to reach out more to get more information. If they get that customer service on Facebook Messenger, that may contribute to them coming to more shows.

3. Messenger Lets You Be Creative

Creative, or casual. With Messenger, you’re able to let your brand speak more conversationally. Emojis, GIFs — they’re all fair game when you’re using Messenger. And that sort of casualness lets your brand market in a way that feels less like marketing. “It can be an effective platform for selling products, too,” Elliott writes.

ToneDen client Ginny Van Doren, Marketing Manager of Wagner Noël Performing Arts Center sees Facebook Messenger as “the new email marketing.” She tells us, “Facebook Messenger [is] more likely [to get you] in front of the person who’s already shown they have an interest in your show.”

Facebook Messenger really puts you in front of the people who have self-identified as ‘I’m interested, I want to hear more.’

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