MarTech Interview with Mike Yan, CEO and Co-founder at ManyChat

It is possible for online marketers today to create deeper conversational experiences with potential customers that keep them engaged for longer; Mike Yan, CEO and Co-founder at ManyChat shares more:

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Welcome to this MarTech Series chat Mike, tell us more about the ManyChat platform and its key differentiators? What inspired the platform?

Great to be here! ManyChat is a Chat Marketing platform that helps almost 1 million businesses across 190 countries engage and support billions of their customers in real-time and at scale. The platform is available for Instagram Direct Message, Messenger by Facebook, SMS, email, and open beta for WhatsApp. Since inception in 2015 Manychat has grown 2X and now powers over 8.5 million active conversations per day on Facebook Messenger and 2 million conversations on Instagram DMs.

We realize that every entrepreneur has a unique story to tell the world but they don’t know how to tell it. This is when chat marketing and ManyChat was invented. ManyChat is centered around helping business owners build relationships with customers by instantly engaging with them. Essentially, not leaving them hanging because automated conversations that you build help customers get the answers they need, immediately. We take pride in helping small businesses reach their goals. In fact, ManyChat customers see CTR rates 130% higher than the industry average. We are here to make marketing, growing and reaching customers easier for small business owners.

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What are some of the top trends in conversational marketing that you feel will reset the martech and marketing industry in the near future?

The trends that will reset the industry will be the shift to utilizing social media to engage potential customers making consumer automation crucial for marketing success. During the pandemic, consumers have made the shift of using social media for everything such as buying, selling, and advice. Influencers have also become one of the most trusted to give consumers honest feedback and advice on brands and products. Influencers and small businesses that use social media are not always able to respond to every direct message that they receive. Not being able to respond leaves followers unhappy and is an opportunity missed.

A few thoughts on the impact of AI in conversational marketing and why it will become more beneficial to marketers? Can you share a few highlights of brands around the world using AI and conversational marketing to drive better online experiences for users?

People say content is king and put a high level of importance on the quality of your content. It’s certainly true that if you don’t have quality content, you’re not going to be able to succeed on Instagram, but if you’re just constantly posting how do you actually convert all of that attention and engagement into actual sales? Most businesses struggle to convert attention into actual sales and business results.

Right now the only options that you have to convert is either to lead people to a website or lead people to your DMs and spend either your valuable time responding to those DMs or hiring expensive virtual assistants to respond to those DMs. Websites are not great at converting and spending your time is a resource that you cannot get more of, and VAs are really expensive.

This is why utilizing conversational marketing tools powered by AI is the best solution for businesses. The average conversation length with a ManyChat-powered Instagram Automation is 10 minutes, which is far more engaging than an ad impression, an ad click or even a website visit. With an AI powered conversation tool handling DMs, business owners and marketers can focus their resources elsewhere, while still ensuring their customers are being taken care of.

In terms of brands or people utilizing conversational marketing well, Candance Junée is a great example. Candace is founder of Epic Fab Girl, a membership community for Christian women entrepreneurs, runs a podcast, Go Getter, manages a personal Instagram account with over 50,000 followers and has her own brand and coaching business, 6-Figure Maven. At the forefront of Candace’s business plan is answering followers’ questions and requests but with so many followers it was hard for her to keep up. In order to keep up with the demand, Candance utilized ManyChat and now has a 99% decrease in response time, 118% in leads compared to the email landing page opt in and saves 15 hours per month answering Instagram direct messages.

What are some of the top predictions you have in mind for the conversational marketing and martech segment as a whole?

With the rise of social commerce, the need for brands to capture information quickly and efficiently is rising, in addition to being able to solve customer issues rapidly in order to deliver the best experience. That being said, the conversational marketing and martech landscape are really coming into their own, and I anticipate the space to continue to grow leaps and bounds in 2022. In terms of what I expect to see shaking out, I’ve included a couple predictions of my own below.

  • Payment-enabled chatbots: Finding ways to eliminate friction points during the customer’s shopping experience is paramount for ecommerce brands. In 2022 we’ll see chatbots integrating with payment alternatives to simplify the path to purchase, so much so that customers can simply text and say “I want an Amazon Alexa in white,” and a chatbot can guide them through the steps to purchase.
  • Fluent, personalized support for other languages: An advantage of ecommerce is the reach you have to customers all over the world, but with that comes the need to personalize messages globally. While English might be your first language, 1 billion people speak fluent Mandarin, another 527 million speak Spanish, and 422 million speak Arabic. Personalizing messages to customers in their local dialect through AI will be a large part of where we see chatbot development head in 2022. 

A few thoughts on what it takes to build better online experiences in today’s marketplace?

In today’s marketplace leveraging Instagram is essential. In the near year, brands should be finding ways to make themselves available to customers right away in order to create a better online experience. 

Some last thoughts, takeaways, and martech tips and best practices before we wrap up!

Looking into the new year it’s important to keep in mind that creating meaningful engagement is incredibly important as social commerce gets more and more crowded. Followers want to feel seen by the influencers and brands that they follow, this means going beyond engaging through DMs, stories or posts by asking them to comment, like or share something. To really create relationships with customers you have to be able to connect with them when they’re ready to be engaged. This means responding to their inquiries quickly and with a personalized touch.

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ManyChat

There’s a revolution underway that’s reshaping how businesses around the world interact with their customers, and Mike Yang is leading the charge. As the co founder and CEO of ManyChat, he’s made it his goal to disrupt the $5BN+ email marketing industry by bringing the convenience of messenger apps to business-to customer communication.

The story of ManyChat traces its roots back to 2015. Messaging apps were taking off around the world, and Mike was hard at work trying to write a script that could automate marketing messages to Telegram’s 65M users. The idea had potential, but he’d hit a wall — what had appeared to be a simple concept on the surface required a maze of complex code to execute.

Mike knew that if you can’t get around a wall, you go over it. So he came up with an even bigger, bolder idea: a visual-based platform that would allow anyone to create dynamic and engaging chat automations, all without needing to be a coding wizard. A few months later, ManyChat was born.

Fast forward to today, and ManyChat has exploded into the #1 Chat Marketing platform in the world. The tools Mike first imagined back in 2015 are now employed by nearly two million businesses in 190 countries, driving sales, qualifying leads, and nurturing customer relationships.

Mike Yan is the CEO and Co-founder at ManyChat

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