This blog post was contributed by Kelly Garrett, an ActiveCampaign Certified Consultant

Steve Jobs once stated, “innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” In the business marketing world, the best opportunities come to those who dare to be leaders, adapt quickly to change, and adopt the newest, most effective tactics to achieve their goals.

In other words, it’s time to stop pining over old school marketing strategies, and start embracing the massive opportunities available in new technology!

No matter what kind of new technology becomes popular, the core goal of marketing remains the same: building mutually-beneficial, trustworthy relationships between businesses and clients.

Marketing today is tougher than ever—competition is fierce, and ad-weary consumers are learning to ignore the constant influx of impersonal messages. Moreover, technology is changing at an unprecedented rate, causing business and consumer culture to adapt along with it.

But the ever-changing marketing landscape also provides a wealth of opportunities for the creative marketer: Early adopters that use technology well will lead the way in any industry.

Facebook Messenger Marketing fits the bill of a new technology that’s innovative, yet fosters a more personal relationship with leads and customers.

By combining automated messages with live interaction through a chatbot, you can initiate communication with clients through their personal Facebook Messenger accounts, answer questions, deliver personalized content, increase customer loyalty, and improve retention, which ultimately leads to more sales.

But it isn’t simply enough to know that Facebook messenger bots are the future of effective marketing. You need to know how to use them to your advantage. Here are three strategies to utilize Facebook messenger bots to help your business find and retain loyal customers and achieve massive success:

Strategy 1: Supplement your email marketing strategy with Messenger Bots

In the past, email marketing was lauded as the ideal marketing strategy because nearly everyone has an email, and emails are personal—at least more so than generic ads splashed across a billboard or stuffed in a physical mailbox.

As marketers continue to rely on email marketing to reach potential customers, those potential customers are growing immune to such strategies, resulting in less interaction and click through rates.

It’s easy to delete emails without reading them, ignore an overstuffed inbox, or set a spam filter to remove unwanted messages. But people always read their social media messages.

With Facebook messenger bots, clients are far more likely to respond to messages and start a conversation that will end up with them purchasing your product or service.

You shouldn’t stop doing email marketing, because email is still an effective strategy for reaching clients. But you need to supplement your email strategy with another channel. Give people more choices in how to receive your content, and send them to the right channel with the right kind of message.

If you’re using Facebook Messenger, for instance, don’t send your contacts long, complicated messages. That information is still best suited for email. Instead, send brief, straightforward communication and direct readers to where they can receive more information, through a mobile-optimized channel.

Strategy 2: Let go of lead generation and use bots to encourage customer retention

Marketers like to win new clients, and many marketing strategies focus entirely on customer acquisition. They forget that it’s easier to sell to an existing customer than it is to find a new one. Bots can help with customer retention by allowing clients to get what they want from you quickly and easily.

For example: live chatting in a membership area allows clients to get their questions answered instantaneously, notifications about new products can be sent out and read as soon as they are available, exclusive offers can be given to current customers to increase client loyalty, personalized greetings can be designed to wish current clients happy birthday or happy holidays, and referral campaigns can take off…all through Messenger bots.

Strategy 3: Throw away your cookie cutter templates and personalize your interactions with clients

Traditional marketing techniques do not apply to bots. Bots create a whole new way of interacting with your customers, so don’t try to use your existing sales funnel with a bot. It will irritate customers who can smell a sales pitch coming at them a mile away.

Instead, personalize your message for each client or client demographic, and they will beg you for more interaction.

Build your bot with your end goal in mind, then create a journey that will allow people to transform from what they are right now to what they want to be at the end of the journey. There is no precise formula for transformation. The journey must be as unique as your customer and your business. Give customers options but leave the choice for how they want to interact with you in their hands.

How Messenger bots help your business stand out

In today’s world of 24/7 information, it is harder than ever for businesses to stand out. Instead of trying to make your business look special, the goal today is to make your client feel special. In other words, marketing is most effective when it is personalized.

Messenger lets you connect to customers on a personal level, making customers want to interact and engage with your message. You can also gather feedback easily through Messenger, enabling you to better understand your customers and their needs.

Don’t be misled by the term “bots.” Messenger actually lets companies foster great relationships and real interactions with potential customers.

Automation is also available, which is helpful for upfront information gathering yet flexible enough to quickly be directed to a human user for deeper interactions and communication.

Freedom, meaningful relationships, and personalization are all experiences that human beings long for, in life, and in consumerism. With the proper utilization of Facebook Messenger Bots, you can give all of this and more to your current and potential clients, increasing customer loyalty, sales figures, and (ultimately) business success.