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Key Takeaways

[00:56] Larry’s Family Background

[03:55] Living in Cambridge

[05:37] Transition from Engineering into Marketing

[07:17] Selling WordStream for $150 million dollars

[09:27] Idea for MobileMonkey

[15:37] Being a CEO and Dreaming of a Unicorn Company

[21:40] Why Facebook Messenger Marketing Is Hot

[24:08] How MobileMonkey Works

[26:47] Best Facebook Marketing Strategies

[30:15] ROI of Messenger Marketing

[34:11] Essential Marketing Tools

[37:23] Larry’s Favorite Hobbies

[38:57] Hawaii as a Travel Destination

[41:30] If Larry Could Max Out a Credit Card

Did you know that Facebook Messenger is the most popular mobile messaging app in the United States? It’s bigger than Snapchat and WhatsApp by a huge margin. As of June 2019, it had 107.87 million unique users in the US.

social account user stats

Image via Statista

Move over traditional forms of marketing. Facebook Messenger marketing is the way forward. While people are using Messenger to connect with their friends and family, they are also increasingly using it as a platform to connect with brands.

According to Facebook, people exchange 20 billion messages with businesses on messenger each month. Which makes it one of the best platforms to reach out to your target audience.

While it has a lot of potential, not many businesses have leveraged it for growth. On my podcast, Larry Kim, founder and CEO of MobileMonkey, a platform for Facebook Messenger marketing, said that less than one percent of businesses are taking advantage of messaging for marketing.

That means you can still get the first-mover advantage. If you want to stay ahead of your competition, here are a few hacks that you can use for Facebook Messenger marketing:

1. Have Fun

A key difference between email marketing and Messenger marketing is how you convey your message. When you send an email, it’s a one-way conversation. You send the message and your audience reads it. That’s it.

On Facebook Messenger, your audience can actually respond to you. Based on that, you can select an appropriate response as well. It’s like chatting with a friend. It feels more personal and interactive.

And that’s the beauty of it.

You can have as much fun as you want. It isn’t meant to be too professional. So you can take a break from crafting formal messages. On Facebook Messenger, you can send images, videos or even GIFs. Make the conversation come alive!

As you can see in the screenshot below, MobileMonkey uses emojis and GIFs to liven up their chats. Even the tone and language of their messages are conversational and friendly.

MobileMonkey uses emojis

Image via Facebook Messenger

2. Leverage Chat Blasts

Sending out emails in bulk is a popular tactic to grow your brand awareness. But did you know that you can also use Facebook Messenger to broadcast a message through the chat feature? This technique is referred to as a “chat blast.”

By using chatbots, you can even automate the entire chat blast process. It’s especially helpful to spread the message when you have a new video or a blog post on your site.

But before you can use chat blasting, you need to make sure that you are in Facebook’s good books. You can do this by sending an application for subscription messaging.

Here are the steps you can follow for it:

  • Visit Your Facebook Business Page
  • Go to “Settings”
  • Click on “Messenger Platform”
  • Go to “Advanced Messaging Features”
  • Submit your request

Each submission is reviewed manually. So, the whole process can take a few days. It may even take about a week. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t send any content that’s overly promotional.

It’s as simple as that. Not only is it a great way of boosting your engagement rate but also to segment your audience within a chatbot sequence.

Leverage Chat Blasts

Image via Mobile Monkey

3. Set Up Drip Campaigns

Through Facebook Messenger, you can also set up drip campaigns. While they are normally associated with email marketing, Messenger is changing the rules of the game.

Using chatbots, you can follow up with your audience at regular intervals of time. It becomes easy to welcome new users, announce a product release, and to announce new events.

The best part is that you only need to set up a drip campaign once. It will only take around 15-20 minutes to build each content page. Once you schedule it, your work is done. Your users will get messages at the scheduled times.

4. Send Sponsored Messages

On Facebook Messenger, you can also send sponsored messages to your audience. They are just like the sponsored posts that users see in their News Feed. They will even get notified about it through a push notification.

For each sponsored message, you’ll only have to spend around two to three cents. So, it definitely won’t burn a hole in your pocket.

You can send sponsored messages to all of the contacts on your list with just a few clicks. Alternatively, you can also segment your lists based on specific criteria. After segmenting them, you can simply send them a promotional chat blast.

Here is how you can create sponsored messages:

  • Go to “Ads Manager” from your Facebook page.
  • In guided creation, click on “Create Ads.”
  • Go to the “Consideration” column and select the Messages objective option.
  • Create a unique campaign name.
  • Choose “Messenger” in Message destination.
  • From the drop-down menu in Messenger, select Sponsored Messages.
  • Next, choose the option for the correct page.
  • Under the option for Audience, you can either create a new audience or continue using a saved audience.
  • Go to Placements.
  • In Edit Placements, you should see Messenger as the automatically selected option.
  • Choose an appropriate budget.
  • For the format, in Message setup, select “Text only” or “Text and image.”
  • Type your text message and upload images.
  • Under “Customer Actions,” you can also add buttons or quick replies to your sponsored messages.
  • Once you’re finished selecting all the relevant options, click on “Confirm.”
  • To track your sponsored messages ad, click on “Place order.”

While most of the sponsored messages are delivered within 24 hours of starting a campaign, Facebook recommends that users run sponsored message campaigns for 5 days at least to maximize your delivery.

Send Sponsored Messages

Image via Oberlo

5. Leverage Click-to-Messenger Ads

Now you know some of the best ways of boosting your visibility and awareness using Facebook Messenger. But what can you do to boost your conversion rate? The answer to that is Click-to-Messenger Ads.

Just as the name suggests, it’s a Facebook ad that you need to click on Facebook Messenger. The conversion is done by sending a message. You don’t need to click on any offer. Instead, users just need to click on a given message.

As you can see in the screenshot below, MobileMonkey uses this strategy to boost their conversions. From joining their group to signing up for their webinar, they have options for it all in Messenger.

Leverage Click-to-Messenger Ads

Image via Facebook Messenger

6. Add a Comment Guard

If you want to build your list, you need to add a comment guard. For the uninitiated, a comment guard is a bot that is set up on all of your organic posts on Facebook.

Whenever someone comments on a post, they can receive a Facebook message with a comment guard on. Think of it as an auto-responder for your Facebook posts. It’s a simple tactic that can help you generate more leads.

Final Thoughts

Facebook Messenger is extremely popular as a messaging app. If you know the tricks of the trade, you can also use it to grow your business. While it holds a goldmine of opportunities, very few businesses are using it to their advantage.

Now is the right time to dive into Facebook Messenger marketing to get an early adopter advantage. I hope the strategies mentioned above help you set up a solid Facebook Messenger marketing strategy.

Do you have any questions regarding Facebook Messenger marketing? Please share them in the comments sections below.

Full TranscriptExpand to view full transcript

Shane: Welcome to the podcast. I am Shane Barker, your host of Shane Barker's Marketing Madness Podcast. Today we're going to discuss how you use Facebook Messenger for marketing. My guests Larry Kim is the CEO of Mobile Monkey a Facebook Messenger marketing platform. He also founded Word Stream, a SAS platform that offers a suite of cross platform advertising solutions. Listen to him as he shares some insights about messenger marketing and discusses his entrepreneurial journey.

So today, guys, we have Larry Kim here from mobile monkey also owns a number of other companies will probably jump into in regard to the podcast, but we're excited about having you today Larry.

Kim: Awesome. Thanks for having me. It's great to be here, Shane.

Shane: Absolutely, man. So we usually try to start the podcast off with just kind of asking Some basic questions like just like where you grew up and how big your family is. So like where did you grow up? Rumour has it you're Canadian.

Kim: Yes. I'm from Winnipeg, Canada. So it’s famous for being colder than Mars for half the year so

Shane: Man, so that's what you got to wear your park all the time was a little chilly.

Kim: Well, if you're born there, you're actually used to it. So you know, it's not too bad.

Shane: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. And so you, and then how big was your family?

Kim: I have two brothers. I'm in the middle.

Shane: You're in the middle. Gotcha. And then mom and dad. Are they still living in Canada?

Shane: In Vancouver, it was too cool. They weren't born there.

Shane: Gotcha. Gotcha. Gotcha. So they're like, well, this they know that. That's way too cold for you guys. You're like, this isn't too bad. Like this is what you're used to.

Kim: Pretty much. Yeah.

Shane: Awesome. Awesome. Well, cool and so tell us like so living in Canada, obviously. And I think you're obviously you're in the US now. Tell us some interesting facts about growing up and like something maybe somebody wouldn't know about, either growing up in Canada or growing up in your family. What was something unique?

Kim: Okay. So Winnipeg, it's very famous for I don't know, we have a hockey team called the Jets that never won the Stanley Cup ever. But we also have a lot of mosquitoes. So like really, really, really big mosquitoes that like, cause all sorts of problems

Shane: Look like birds?

Kim: Yeah, that's actually our provincial bird. That's the mosquito.

Shane: Now that's funny. Now I have a question. That's kind of crazy. So even when it's freezing cold, there's mosquitoes?

Kim: Oh, no, if there's like a warm summer is from like June, July, August, September. It's like four months of the year. It's actually pretty hot. And then [eight months 2:35]

Shane: Interesting. So it's either freezing cold, or you're fighting mosquitoes the size of birds, potentially,

Kim: I actually thought it was a great place to grow up. But yeah, these are some of the strange things that you were asking for. So…

Shane: But I think it's kind of awesome, though. I mean, the thing is, when we say like, some of the interesting things about when you live somewhere you don't really think about is us live there, right? It's like this is the everyday thing, but I think it's kind of cool, some interesting facts about that, like It would be a place that I would definitely visit. I've never been. I’ve been to Vancouver. I've been to a few other places in Canada. I actually really enjoying Canada.

I think it's an absolutely beautiful country. I haven't been out there that might be a little too cold for me even though I do have a beard, which makes me a little more prepared than some people. We go to like Tahoe, so I live in Sacramento, so we go to South Lake Tahoe and I've got some, got the park and all the other fun stuff but I don't, Winnipeg. That might be another level of coldness. I'm pretty sure that would probably, that would test me for sure.

Kim: Yeah, Tahoe is not cold. Come on.

Shane: That's what I'm saying. For you, that's like Mexico. Like why, what do you mean like. Well for me, it's like, I've got the boots on and all the other fun stuff for it. Like I said, I might not make it in Canada. If I was in Winnipeg, I probably would rather fight the mosquitoes during the summertime than the wintertime because I would be a fragile flower out there. I don't know if I'd make it but I'm sure you'd help me work it out if we had to.

Kim: It's not cold if you have the right equipment. So like if you're here prepared. You’ll be fine.

Shane: Yeah, it was like being a Boy Scout. I get that. That makes sense. So where do you live currently?

Kim: I'm in Harvard Square that's in Cambridge, Massachusetts. I'm living right next to the Harvard Law School. That area.

Shane: Very familiar with the area. I actually, it's I've been up there quite a few times, count the amount of colleges out there is absolutely incredible, like the, what is it like the college per square foot? It's like some crazy number in regard to that area.

Kim: Yeah, it's a good amount. That's something like 250,000 students are here. So it's a lot of students.

Shane: I was going to say, so what brought you to Cambridge?

Kim: So when I graduated, I just thought America, it was a little bit more entrepreneurial as well. I mean, that's not to say Canada is not entrepreneurial, but I just thought I might have a better chance at pursuing my entrepreneur dreams in America. And so I moved here and actually immigrated a few years ago like back in 2011.

Shane: Nice and then are you a Boston fan? Like with all the sports and everything... I know. Like if you don't like Boston, you either like Boston is like you're either with us or against us. Like it's…

Kim: Oh yeah, I actually came here in 2001. And part of that we hadn't won a national title in a sporting thing since the 70s, or something like this. And then we just started winning everything. So, I've never seen this city of lose. It's crazy. They just keep winning all those different sports titles.

Shane: Do you think they keep winning because you came there? Do you think you were a pivotal point for that?

Kim: I do think I'm lucky. So it's weird. But yeah, I believe in luck. So⸺

Shane: Yeah, I'm a huge fan of luck. I try to get as lucky as possible whenever I can. It's definitely a variable in my equation for successes. Luck is one of the big ones. So where did you go to college? Did you go to college in the US or was it in Canada?

Kim: In Canada? It's called the University of Waterloo. It's like an engineering school for nerds. It was a four-year electrical engineering program. It was challenging. But yeah

Shane: I can't even spell engineering and you went to the school there. So how is that so, electrical and that's interesting, especially with your background is Electrical Engineering and then how did you jump? I mean, we got Mobile Monkey and we've got Word Stream, got all these businesses. How did you? How was that transition? Like I mean, you would think like electrical engineer and what did your parents think you're like, oh, they're like he’s going to be an electrical engineer. This is awesome. You're like, I'm going to be an entrepreneur, they're like, well, this is awesome. Go Larry go like, what was the, what the family think?

Kim: First of all, your first question was just transitioning from engineering to marketing. That's not a big deal. Because if you think about it, like every software engineer builds software in some industry that's outside of the software industry, like, see my building like, I don't know, travel software or financial software. So I just happened to pick marketing software, but that's normal. You have to, software is very orthogonal, right? You apply it to different industries and this particular marketing.

In terms of the parents and stuff like that, I think they wanted me to work at Microsoft and like I had an offer from Microsoft, which was a big deal back then, actually still is. But I turned those down and did something more entrepreneurial, I think. But they were okay with it actually, my mom's a piano teacher and she understands the self-employment and entrepreneurship stuff.

Shane: Yeah, that's the point is like, Hey, this is my journey. This is what I want to do. Like I'll be successful, whatever I do. I just have to grind it out like everybody else and make it happen

Kim: Pretty much.

Shane: Awesome. Awesome. So tell us a little bit so you have word streaming and I know today, I really want to kind of focus on Facebook Messenger hacks right for 2020 is the goal of this. Tell us a little about Word Stream. You had Word Stream, obviously and I think you've sold that company since then. Correct?

Kim: Yeah, I started word stream, about 10 years ago, literally working out of a bakery, called Panera Bread. And, it was like, free Wi Fi and free soda refills and all that stuff. But once you grow the business from literally nothing to over 300 employees today. Managing over a billion dollars of ads for 10s of thousands of customers worldwide. It's the world's biggest Pay Per Click marketing software company and that was a very exciting journey for my first business and sold it last year to Gannett which is the parent company of USA Today. They have a digital marketing arm and they paid 150 million dollars for the company. And that was pretty exciting and trying to see if we could do this again with my new company Mobile Monkey.

Shane: Did you, when you sold the company. Did you go to your wife's parents and tell them see I told you this was the right decision. Was there any kind of conversation like that at Christmas or anything like that? Or did you just let the amount that you sold it for speak for itself?

Kim: Asians are very proud people. They haven't even mentioned it. So it'll probably never come up.

Shane: You don't have to, and you fly into Christmas in your helicopter. I think at that point, then there we go. So you know what I think Larry made a good decision by doing that and starting that up. But congratulations being facetious, but congratulations on your success. That's nothing to what you built there is absolutely phenomenal. So congratulations on it.

Kim: No, I should be thanking them because I probably had like this huge chip on my shoulder from them like mistreating me all these years that it really motivated me to not fail

Shane: There we go. Sometimes that’s what it takes, the parents and the and the other side of the parents had sometimes that's what it takes a little bit of push and knowing that you got to look in the eyes at Christmas and you're like you still taking care of my little girl? Yes, I'm still taking care of your little girl. She's doing good. I promise, we'll be fine. No. That's awesome. How did your transition start from like, obviously from Word Stream to Mobile Monkey? Was that kind of two projects that were going at the same time?

Kim: Oh, no, you can't do that. Because when you're working for a company, all the ideas and all the technology that you build belongs to the company, even if it's your company, so you have to kind of resigned from one and then start a new thing. And we were getting to my 10th year there and the company was being kind of packaged for a sale process. And I just figured.

I don't need to be around for the next 10 years, like the companies made it and my specialty is more in the early formation of early traction and all this stuff and then we brought in capable management team that can continue to grow the company for the foreseeable future but I basically left as a as an operator,  as an employee of the company about a year prior to the acquisition.

Shane: Gotcha. Awesome and so that was at that point when you started doing mobile monkey and you said I mean, how about this. When you sold the company did you take a little time off? Go on a little vacation? You go someplace you didn't, did you?

Kim: No, no, not even a day. I just jumped into the next thing. I didn't know whether or not the company would be sold like we had hoped that it would be sold.

Shane: Yeah

Kim: But like I was still like, you don't make a lot of money just as a software executive, like a founder. They don't like to, the investors don't like to pay out too much money because they want you to be like, really busting your ass to grow the business and everything. They don't want to kind of lose your appetite for work, so I just jumped into the next thing. And in hindsight, if I knew this thing was going to sell for that much like, probably yeah, I should have taken some time off, but I didn't. So whatever.

Shane: There we go, always going on to the next project, Larry Kim does not just like, Hey, I just made a few million or whatever it was, I'm still going on to the next thing. I mean that's your mentality. That's your work ethic, right for you. It's like, I mean, probably let's, you said maybe you would have known you would have taken a few weeks off, but I think that makes sense. You probably had a little [brainchild 11:30] thinking about Mobile Monkey and what it means or Facebook Messenger and how it was going to play into everything.

And I know that you've gotten some really good traction from that. Why don't you kind of talk to us a little bit about Mobile Monkey and how you came up with the idea and kind of what you were looking at? What made you start the company?

Kim: So it's just a personal challenge. Like I pay myself $1 a week for a salary and it's not, I'm not working for just to make money. I'm working to have an impact on businesses. I'm working to see if it's possible to build a substantially bigger company in [12:04] five or six or seven years instead of 10 years. It's kind of my new project. It's in the Facebook Messenger marketing space, although we do hope to expand to other messaging channels. And basically what attracted me to the space is if you think about marketing, a lot of the success is based on jumping on the next growth marketing channel, like Facebook ads were like, super cheap six years ago, and AdWords was super, super cheap 15 years ago, and so on.

So it's like, you just caught on to this stupid game was played, you have to go where the engagement is... yeah, exactly. And that's podcasts or infographics or Facebook groups or whatever. So I just thought this was a promising marketing channel with enormously high engagement rates. And I thought, this is crazy, like, “Why isn't anyone using this? Because I think it's very powerful. And, actually, I know why people aren't using it because it's complicated. You have to learn a bunch of stuff. And so, my hope is to just kind of simplify this stuff and then foster greater adoption for messaging marketing for marketers.

Shane: Yeah. So how did you guys come up with the title, with the company name, Mobile Monkey? Was there something? What was the premise behind that?

Kim: I didn't want to call it like chat monkey or something because like, I do think that we, I think messaging is a very important technology. But I think messaging is just a communication channel. I think that there's still a lot of work to be done in reimagining a lot of the marketing channels that we have, that were designed, sort of in a desktop era. I think they need to be kind of reimagined and implemented in a mobile first world. And so I didn't want to call it like chat monkey or something. Because I thought that we can build a platform here in time, that's broader than just messaging and chat.

It would be like, I don't know, MailChimp. Today, they've actually expanded to like CRM, and all these other landing page software. And then and all this other stuff that they kind of put the name mail in their name like MailChimp. So I was just trying to think a little bit broader than just the immediate solution that we're working on. Like right now.

Shane: Yeah, I think that's important because you don't, you come up with a great name, you're like, this is awesome until it gets to a certain point and then you branch out from that, right? You're like, “Oh, shoot, I got mail in the name and now I've got a, I'm doing a CRM and people are going to just think we're a mail platform.” It's like, how do you break out other than rebranding and trying to like a, which is a costly thing, and it's like, or do you start another company and then it's not. I don't know. It's always a difficult one. It's like I see that when people will put together some kind of a company and it's like, anyways. They’ll have like their city name in there. And it's like, yeah, but what are you? I’ll give you an example. So we do, I also flip properties.

I flip real estate, right. And here in Sacramento, and so we were going to, we didn't want to call it like Sacramento Flippers, right? Because what happens when we go to Los Angeles, right. What happens to when I want to go to New York, it's like, what do you? It has to be something general enough, but you don't think about that until your knee deep and then all of a sudden people are like, why would I invest in Sacramento Flippers when I'm in San Diego? And I'm like, well, we do San Diego as well. And you got to kind of explain that.

So I like the fact as Mobile Monkey makes sense, right? Mobile is always going to be around.

That's the hot thing. It's going to be more and more because people are using their phones more and more and who doesn't love a monkey? Right? I mean, at the end of the day, so it's like.

Kim: They're very popular in marketing. There's like, Survey Monkey, there's like MailChimp. They're everywhere.

Shane: Who doesn't like a good monkey? I mean, I kudos to the name. I like mobile. I've never owned a monkey like bubbles. Didn’t Michael Jackson own a monkey? I think he owned a monkey. Think his name was bubbles. Yeah, I mean, who knew. But awesome. And so what is your role at the company? Like what is usually your role in these companies? I mean, obviously, I know you're the owner, but like what would be, like you said on the daily basis, these are the things that I do for mobile monk.

Kim: Oh, so I'm the CEO of the company and my friend and colleague Brian Halligan describes, he's the CEO of HubSpot. He describes the role of a CEO as a bus driver. You have to get people on the bus like all the team and the passengers. You have to figure out where the bus is headed. So that's like the strategic vision and the roadmap. And you also need to make sure that the bus doesn't run out of gas. So that's like fundraising, making sure that the company is profitable. So I thought that was actually a pretty good description.

Mostly my efforts are these days focused on the product design and software development and the marketing of the product. There's other aspects like running the company, and the finances and customer support and customer success. So it's running a business. Yeah.

Shane: Yeah. I mean, it's no different than what you did at Word Stream. It's just now you've gotten I mean, that's what I think kind of touched on that was like, hey, you'd like to bring this to IPO or whatever it is, in five or six years, right? Because now you have that learning curve, that isn't going to be as crazy because you learned it over the last 10 years. And I think that's always, once again, you can apply that to the next business concept, and I think that's what you're doing right now.

Kim: Hopefully, mistakes are very costly, and hopefully, I'll have learned what not to do and just by staying on the correct track and knowing all the buttons press, hopefully that'll result in a stronger outcome. Like, I don't mean to beat myself up or anything but like, $150 million. I mean, it's a good outcome. I only raised $20 million, but like, it's not like a unicorn and I'm kind of obsessed with unicorns, which are like these billion-dollar outcomes. And, it would just be cool to be able to actually create a unicorn of my own. Rather than just, dreaming about it, like this kind of stuff.

Shane: So for you, is it less about the money and more about the unicorn? You want that unicorn status? You want like the unicorn tattoo?

Kim: Well, it's just goals. I mean, it's not the end of the world if it doesn't happen, but like, it would be meaningful if that was possible. It's kind of like, I don't know, why do you do what you do, Shane?

Shane: Yeah, I get it. I mean, what I love about it is that and I don't know if a lot of people know this, if they've ever seen your presentations. You like unicorns,

Kim: That's projection. So I’m like

Shane: I love it.

Kim: I'm really like...

Shane: A unicorn like I'm like this guy. He loves unicorns like I think and then now that we’re talking about unicorns, I just hide that in. I was like, wow, I mean be honest with the audience. Do you have a unicorn tattoo?

Kim: No

Shane: It’s okay if you do. No. Are you sure?

Kim: I have hundreds of like posters and toys and baby stuff and clothing but like people mail me this stuff from like all over the world, but I do not have a unicorn tattoo yet.

Shane: Okay, well, and you said yet so that means there's only time will tell. So that's good. I think you should come on. Let me know your wide, I don't know your wife. But if you come home with a unicorn tattoo anywhere on your body, let me know how your wife reacts to that because I know my wife would go. You did what? What? A unicorn? Like why a unicorn? I'm like, I don't know, because I talked to Larry and he likes unicorns and I want to have a billion-dollar company. So what do you do? I started putting those in my presentations and I go get the unicorn tattoo. That's the way to do it.

Kim: It's just like it's a visualization technique. So like, athletes. The whole kind of visualize, like, winning something or whatever. And, it's just I told you. I believe in luck.

Shane: You've tied that thing in there. Like, we know that you want that unicorn like there's nobody that I can think of that wants a unicorn more than you that has made it visually possible to see that you. Like I, and it's funny. I really didn't put two and two together when we were talking about this. And I thought, oh my god, wait a second. I remember seeing, like a webinar or something that you had done, and I was like, there was a unicorn and everything and I'm like, wait a second, there's got to be a tie in there. So that's awesome, man.

Well, hey, I mean, there's no better way. I mean, other than a tattoo because I need to see it every single day but I'm not. I'm not saying you have to do that. I'm just saying there's levels to it. And I think you're at that the highest level. So I look forward to an IPO with Mobile Monkey. And then how about this, when you guys go IPO, I'll come out and get a unicorn tattoo with you. I mean, how about that?

Kim: Yeah, definitely. I would most certainly get a tattoo if this thing IPO

Shane: Okay, but a unicorn.

Kim: Yeah

Shane: Okay, just making sure. You kind of skipped that. You said a tattoo.

Kim: I would make it like the unicorn emoji or something like

Shane: I mean, why not? I'm down. I'll do it. I mean, I'm not going to make anything from Mobile Monkey, but I would be willing to come and get a tattoo with you. And then that would be awesome. My wife would be super excited by the fact I have a tattoo of a unicorn because that would extremely confuse her.

Kim: The funny thing about the unicorns is they’ve really jumped the shark over the last few years. Like, they're like Starbucks has a unicorn coffee and there's like unicorn cereal and all this nonsense, but the thing I just want to say is that I was like, way ahead of the curve on this one. Like, I've been talking about unicorns for like, 12 years. Okay, so, like

Shane: You’re ahead of your time

Kim: I just don't want people to think I'm just jumping on the bandwagon, like at the last minute here.

Shane: You were an early adapter of the uniform. That's good to know. That's good. You should tell Starbucks like listen, if you guys want some unicorn ideas, I mean, I'm kind of the originator of the unicorn, bringing it public anyways, I mean, making it big.

Kim: I have no way of proving this, but I suspect I may have indirectly helped bring on the global unicorn craze in some way, because my audience are all marketers.

Shane: Well in the same way that you've made Boston extremely successful by blessing, their presence, right and now their teams are winning. So I think I'm seeing some parallels here. I mean, between the unicorns and making that for Starbucks and everybody else to realize that they were missing out on something. And now that Boston's winning, I bet you if there's anybody in New York that's listening to this right now that they would pay you to come stay in New York so that maybe they would start winning over Boston. And you probably can't tell them that you were from Boston because that could be a, that's a whole other ball of wax that you might have to deal with. But side note, you have a unicorn tattoo and you're from Boston.

You should be safe, I think. I don't know. We'll have to figure that out. I'm not sure the logistics but we've gone off path a little bit which is super common for my podcast, because that's why it's called chain burgers marketing madness podcast. Let's jump back on and about the Facebook Messenger. So where do you think and I'm going to say this question. I think I already know the answer. But in regard to like Facebook marketing, where do you feel most businesses are missing out? Like what do you think is that one thing. I think Know what your answer is going to be because it's pretty self-explanatory. What is it? We're in Facebook marketing? Why do you think people are missing out?

Kim: I mentioned earlier that less than 1% of Facebook pages are doing anything interesting with messaging. And I just think that's a real shame because it's like, you're reaching the same people on messenger that you are through your organic and paid efforts, okay? Like the alternatives are things like Facebook ads, or posting to your Facebook page, same thing. So you can reach those same people organically or using sponsored options, but significantly cheaper, either free or very low cost.

And it's never going to be any easier to do this. Like because, when you think of any marketing channel, like all of the first mover advantage, that's like Gary vein, or Chuck and these guys like he's always jumping on like, I don't know, like, medium or Snapchat or now he's like texting people, like, you know, like, it's like whoever can figure out these things first gets like a kind of an unfair advantage. Because you retain that momentum and know-how and following on those platforms. So if you are unhappy with your Facebook ad performance or your organic Facebook performance, like you should definitely look into the messenger stuff like being able to do chat blast to your audiences.

It's kind of like sending out emails but sending a push notification to their messenger screens. That's very powerful. And, companies like Mobile Monkey, it's like a really stupid easy way to do this without having to write software, and I think it's amazing. So, obviously, thank you for that opportunity to plug Mobile Monkey. I'll give you the 20 bucks afterwards.

Shane: That's awesome. Yeah, yeah, I mean, I'll take 20 bucks, I'm not, I mean. I'm actually going to put that in my uniform tattoo font, but that's where that money would go. I'm going to put that and then hopefully if you IPO in five years, with current inflation and everything. I should probably have $35, maybe. So then at that point we’ll be close to getting a tattoo. I don't know if that'll be the full tattoo, maybe it'll just be the horn. But we'll figure out the details later. I don't want to get off topic again. So, Mobile Monkey is mainly the platform, correct? And then if somebody wants to put a campaign together, that can be done through there as well? You have people that you hire? How does that work?

Kim: I think Mobile Monkey is a lot like an email marketing program like Constant Contact, or MailChimp, or you can put together a list of people, you can compose messages to send and then fire them off and then get people to respond to them. So it's a very simple product. Plans range from completely free to like the unicorn version. Like that's actually the plan called. It's called Mobile Monkey Unicorn. And it's just I know, mixed metaphors and everything, but like, that's what I wanted to call it. That's like 49 bucks a month. So like, they range from free to $49. And it's not super expensive. It's not nominal. You don't have to be like, Einstein to figure this stuff out. So just, it's not a managed service. It's a self-service tool. You don't use a managed service to use MailChimp.

Shane: Gotcha. Gotcha. So and it's funny. So we just started using messenger. I was, I did a speech this was last week. And we got a messenger put together. Do you know James and Craig over at Chat Cloud?

Kim: Oh, yeah, they're the best. They are one of the top, I think they are our top agency partner, and they’re great to work with.

Shane: Yeah, yeah, we got connected with them through another buddy of mine. The good old marketing world. And I was going to do this speech. And anyways, we're kind of working on some stuff. And so they just met, they put together a cool little thing where I was able to give out my actual presentation, while it was in the middle of presenting, well at the end, and then they bitly link, and they were the download and people really get the slides and get everybody's information. It was super awesome.

Like, usually when you have a presentation to kinda get information. Yeah, it's like, how do you get a few people at the end and hand you some business cards and hey, we want to talk to you or, hey, I want to start a software company or I want to be an influencer, whatever the speech was about. And this was awesome, because I physically got to see on my phone. It was like, ding ding, ding, ding, ding, ding, ding and you just see this. It's like wow, that's pretty awesome. And then I actually did tell everybody that I can't believe you guys did that because now I have all your banking information and I had a few people like pop their head up like how did you get our banking information?

I'm totally kidding you guys. Like, because they were putting in their information. It was a very, they were vulnerable, and I wanted to take advantage of that on stage and so I did, and it felt pretty good. I think they were a little freaked out and I just told them hey, don't worry, it's going to be safe. I really have no access to your account, yet. Yeah... Get a few more things.

Kim: Shane, you're supposed to, like, scare them after they fill up the form.

Shane: I know. That was a little early... 20 people that were like am not going to do this because this guy thinks that he's funny. So I'm not going to give him my email address. It'll be directly linked to my bank account somehow. But anyways, that's I didn't even hack that many of them. It's a long story, something I don't want to talk about in a podcast. It's been recorded. But talk to us a little bit about like the strategies, like Facebook strategies, like what are some businesses that are absolutely crushing it when it comes to like their Facebook marketing strategies? Like who do you look at and go okay, they get it?

Kim: Okay, this is going to be very obnoxious, but like the one that's the best is Mobile Monkey like If you subscribe to Mobile Monkey, okay, just like go to Mobile Monkey, and then a little chat window is going to pop up, and you can start chatting with it. Just try it out, like we've worked really hard on this. And the other thing that we do really well is like we send out like these chat blasts like periodic messages to the subscriber list.

And they do really well, like, 85% open rates, and like 30% click rates, like, we have a really engaged audience, and we have really kooky messages that we sent out. So just, if you're a marketer, and you're trying to kind of get some inspiration on what to be sending out, just go to Mobile Monkey, and then just subscribe to our lists and like to the chat list, and you'll get all sorts of kooky ideas on what to do. And don't worry, you can copy all those ideas because whatever. We're just getting inspiration from other places, too. So that's how that works.

Shane: That's awesome. Are there any other companies other than Mobile Monkey that you can say, hey, I think these guys are also doing a great job.

Kim: There's a lot of companies like rather than highlighting individuals companies, I would say like there's different industries that are really using it. So like e commerce, they use cases around like cart abandonment or up sells. For certain services, companies like real estate, or dentists. And some of the killer use cases include appointment scheduling, as well as appointment reminders.

So just for reminding about, like the dentist appointment that you signed up for, or having the ability to confirm or cancel those appointments. Like it's just a way of exposing functionality that was really clunky before using just email, because you'd have to still call someone and be on hold and connect with somebody. And it was just, those are some interesting use cases. And we work with literally thousands and thousands of customers in different industries do creative stuff like that.

Shane: Yeah, it's kind of cool when you come up with a new one, right? When it's kind of like, wow, that was something that works. Make sure you're always just kind of trying to test stuff and see what your open rate is and see who you can get to respond to something and when you do, it's always kind of nice to be able to apply that to other industries and especially because there's I mean, I know the chat bot thing. And like I said, it's we just started jumping on it recently, kind of feel.

It's funny who I did talk to who actually loves chatbots is Jeff Bullis. I talked to Jeff and he was like he started doing I want to say nine months ago or something he has, like 60,000. I don't know what the number is, but he has a good amount. And he was kind of one of the I say, early adapters in the sense that not that he was like the originator. But he was starting to use chat bots. And he's had some great successes with it.

So I thought that was kind of cool. And that's was one of the things that kind of catapulted me and there's always new shiny stuff to try and chatbots been one of those things that. I'm like, okay, I got it. I really have to jump into that and kind of see what's going on there. It's been awesome. I'm looking forward to kind of tightening up what we've put together and kind of making it so that's really bringing in some awesome leads, but it's been good so far.

Kim: It's got an exciting future ahead. There's going to be some merger of the messaging plumbing for Instagram and WhatsApp. So pretty much everyone has either an Instagram or WhatsApp or a messenger account. I think that was just one of the reasons why the adoption has been a bit slow because like it's not as ubiquitous as email, but [outs 30:00] it’ll get bigger and I think it'll be a big thing next year.

Shane: Yeah, yeah, I'm excited about that. Yeah, I know Facebook's like, kind of tighten some stuff up, make it all one platform which will be or at least make it accessible through all the different platforms.

Kim: Yeah.

Shane: So how would you like if I'm looking at this and I'm okay I'm a marketer and I'm a brand nice Okay, like how do I figure out like the ROI of your Facebook marketing campaigns? I mean, I know there's a lot of different ways to do it. But what would you say like if I'm looking at ROI and I'm a client it's like how would I look at this and say know that I was successful through either a chat bot or through the actual campaigns?

Kim: Facebook marketing is still direct response marketing it's not like buying billboards and stuff like this. So you should be looking at it from your cost per lead or cost per sales. And you should be able to attribute all that stuff because like clicks from your chat, you can tag them. Just like how you tag clicks from ads and it's not really fundamentally different from how you would track the ROI from your existing Facebook or market

Shane: AdSense or anything like that. Yeah. Thank you. It's directly tied in, how does that work with chatbots? Because you said it's usually obviously either inexpensive or free. And then I guess you just tie that back into. And then obviously, like you said, you can tag that in your actual, in the back end of Facebook. And because the ad platform, and you can see this is how many leads came in through the chat bot? Is that also done? Is it done through Mobile Monkey? Or is that something that's actually tied into Facebook?

Kim: No, it depends on how you're using the product. Like you can use Mobile Monkey for Facebook ads, in which case, all that data and performance would be sent back to Facebook ads, you see what I’m saying. But if you're just using Mobile Monkey, so it's just a purely organic thing, then you'd have to log into Mobile Monkey and see how the different campaigns were doing, but it's typically in marketing because there's more stuff to do than time to execute on every idea. Typically, you end up with sort of like a relativistic comparison. Like say you're like, well, it's not like hard to compute the absolute ROI.

And so it's often does. You kind of compare like, well, I spent this much money and time on this effort over here. But then I spent the same amount of time with this other effort here in messaging and it generated, like 10 times more value or something. So like, that's kind of a shortcut to prove the value to yourself as just to compare it to the work that you're doing in other channels and see how things work.

Shane: Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, you got to look at the foundation of stuff you've done in the past and compare it to the new stuff you're doing and see if it makes sense.

Kim: Exactly. And then typically, when you do that kind of comparative stuff, it's like, 20 to 100 times more engagement than like posting stuff to your Facebook wall. Like that drives me crazy. Like people spend all this time and energy like posting stuff to their wall, and it's just never going to really generate anything

Shane: Because edge rank, they're always the algorithms. I mean, that the thing is, it'll never be what it was originally, right? That's so they, unless you want to pay, right, you pay to play and then you can, then it'll open up for you. So as we talked about, like Facebook, and what do you think is going to be like, let's say we're talking about 2020 in regard to Facebook marketing, what do you think the major changes are going to be with Facebook?

Kim: Well, reengagement is likely to become a sponsored kind of program, like to do blasting. There is a kind of a paid ad format called sponsored messaging. Are you familiar with that?

Shane: Yeah

Kim: It's like in Facebook ads, I can spend money to, instead of showing ads in the news feed, I can spend money to blast messages to my subscribers. So, that's sort of their, in how they work Facebook, they always start out by offering something organically, and also paying through paid engagement. And I expect more of that to shift towards paid, which is one of the reasons why I'm saying like you should really be playing around with this stuff today, as opposed to like next year in 2020. So that's one of the big changes that I would expect beyond that. The other big changes just like being able to message users of other Facebook platforms like WhatsApp and Instagram. So that's pretty huge.

Shane: That's going to definitely open up some things right. That's going to talk about that's quite an audience there, once you tie those three together

Kim: Yeah, everyone Yeah. Anyone who would ever buy something from you yeah

Shane: Yeah, exactly. So what are your tools? Like what are the tools you can't live without like as a marketer and obviously not necessarily the software side but as a marketer. What are the like the three or four tools you're like, if I didn't have these, I would be homeless or some better I would like to be, I don't know. I'd be like a unicorn with no vision or something like that.

Kim: Well, I use Google Analytics and Facebook ads and Facebook analytics pretty much every day we use for content marketing. I use SEM rush and for managing my team and doing marketing stuff, zoom is something I use every day which we're using right now. Those are probably my top four

Shane: Yeah, I know we use, one of those, are all that we, I mean, obviously use zoom. We've I've liked that for training my team. Another one that I've used, I use it a lot for my team. Do you have a fully remote team.

Kim: No, no. They're all mostly in Boston. And we have a few key contributors in other cities but we're, I'd say the majority is it located here

Shane: And then how many people do you have at your company right now for Mobile Monkey?

KIM: Oh, we don't publish that number but it's a good amount.

Shane: Okay, good amount. I got it. How many unicorns would that be? No, just kidding. Just kidding. So yeah, okay, so that's cool. So you guys and you guys were there in Boston all remote. So my team is all remote. We use loon, which is, when recording quick little videos and kind of thrown around. I think I had like 900 loon videos like I was one of the original guys, but I just started I use it all the time. It's so much easier just to send a quick video than to try to respond back to stuff so I'd like, I pump those things out like no other

Kim: Yeah, our support or customer success organization needs that heavily.

Shane: Yeah, it's awesome. So what's ahead, man? I mean, obviously, I know you Mobile Monkey is what about a year, year and a half old?

Kim: Yep.

Shane: Okay

Kim: We’re the fastest growing Facebook Messenger marketing platform and I have ambitions to grow this thing. Hopefully, to be an enormous business. We'll see how that goes. And hopefully we’ll try to IPO in the next decade or something like that. I never know what's going to happen. But like, the thing that I learned is you have to really, you have to kind of project like some kind of spectacular outcome and really believe in it. Because when I started Word Stream, I never really realized that it would be as big as it turned out to be. So in hindsight, I'm like, kicking myself for not dreaming bigger

Shane: Dreaming bigger Right. I mean, I think it's your, well, and I think it is manifesting what you want, right? And seeing that, and I think that some people believe that some people don't.

I'm a big believer in that if like, hey, if I can see it, if I can really truly believe it, then I mean, then you're going to be 10 times more likely. I mean, I think it's the same thing medically cancer, all kinds of stuff. I don't think people realize like; do you think you can beat something you can. When you realize when you give up and you can't be there you think you can't beat it then you can't. So it's just one of those deals. I think if you want to IPO and you want to go unicorn status, then put a unicorn on every slide on your presentation for God's sake.

Kim: I think the mind game is two thirds of...

Shane: People underestimate the power of the mind and we use what is like 7% or something 8%. I think I use like four something, so I'm like way below average. But that's just me. It is what it is. Speaking of not using brain cells, so what do you do to recharge yourself? I mean, other than work, because obviously you've sold your company for 150 million and you took like seven minutes off, and then you came back on. Like, what do you do to recharge man? What do you do? Like do you have downtime. Or is it like Larry Kim? You always in six gear and what's the deal?

Kim: No. I spend money on like stupid mobile video games and stuff like that. And so that's probably my big-time waster. I would say. Yeah.

Shane: So are you a geek at heart? Do you feel like you're probably like,

Kim: Define geek? Is that like

Shane: I think geek’s a good thing. Like, I mean, growing up, I remember geek was like, not a bad thing. But if you're like, oh, you're a geek. I'm like, I'm not a geek. Now, I’m like kind of geek out on some stuff. Like I don't know, like, to me, it's like, I don't play a lot of video games. But I just think of like, the idea of a geek is like, I don't know. I feel like it's come full circle. I feel like it's like kind of cool to be a geek because you’re going to like to do some cool stuff and you kind of play video. I don't know. I don't know. Just kind of like have fun with it and have a good life, I guess.

Kim: Yeah, I think being an entrepreneur is today like the equivalent of being in the 90s saying that you were in a band. It's like I have a band, it's like I have a company. I've a start-up

Shane: You know what else was another big one is that I'm a real estate investor. That was a big one. I used to hear all the time, I'm a real estate investor. I'm like just because you bought a house doesn't make you a real estate investor let me go ahead and define this because not just because you bought one house doesn't mean you're investing. You invested. You're not an investor. So we get that obviously because I do the real estate thing as well. And so it's like when people say that I'm like, that's kind of cute but I appreciate it.

It gives you a purpose and you feel like you're a real estate investor because I bought a house 10 years ago. You just keep investing buddy. You're doing good. Head in the right direction for sure. So okay, so you like little video, you like games and stuff like that? You like a little bit of YouTube action. So what do you do? Like what do you travel? I know do you like? What's your favourite travel destination? You like to go any certain place?

Kim: Oh yeah, my family and I, we go to Maui, two or three times a year. I got married there so that's kind of where our adventure began. And we just went there a couple months ago. So that's great.

Shane: Maui to me is incredible in the sense that like everything, so I've been a lot of places worldwide. And the reason I'm telling you that is because I went to Maui and every single night is like a postcard like every single, like, everything you look at look. It could be a postcard like every sunset is amazing. Every sunrise is amazing. Every like everything at the places like it was like God spend a little extra time with his paintbrush on Maui. Like I just I was thorough. I couldn't like my iPhone. I think I like maxed out the space at my wife's like, what are you doing? Like taking a picture of everything because this is like, I don't know if I'm ever going to see this again. Like I'm a huge fan of Maui. Huge, huge fan.

Kim: Yeah, I hope to retire there. Like, I need to finish like two more businesses. But that's where I hope to end up

Shane: You want to do two more businesses. That's your goal?

Kim: Three total so this is my second one. And then, I'm still like young so I can do this stuff. But I don’t want work forever so it's like

Shane: Forever is a long time

Kim: So there's plans in the works to buy a place there but not yet.

Shane: I hear you. Cool so you go to Hawaii three times. So okay, so you ever been other place? So this is I'm going to ask you this is more like a personal thing. I've never been any place other than Maui like the Big Island. I haven't been to any other spot. Is there any other spots? Or are you guys all Maui or bust?

Kim: Oh no, I've been there, maybe 20, 25 times. Two different locations. And, Maui is the best. Like, objectively speaking, if you're looking to find some other place other than Maui, maybe I would suggest Kaua’i. So that's kind of really rustic and very, like what you're describing about like, the extra brushstrokes or whatever. That's kind of definitely the case for Hawaii.

Shane: That's what I've heard, in fact that my wife and I were just talking with us like a week ago. She's like, I think that's the next spot. So I just put that on my map and I'm going into Marriot and going to go and try to the Finagle for them for some kind of a deal to get me out there. So we'll work something like that or try to find some speaking event that somebody will pay for me to come on out or something out in the middle.

Kim: But there's one in the south, it's Pai Poo. And then there's one in the north. It's, Princeville. So those are the two places that people stay. And they're both very nice.

Shane: Those are the two spots. Okay, you might be getting a message from me, well, you're going to message me to get the unicorn tattoo or I'll message you about some Maui stuff or, or Hawaii or wherever, you know a good spot up there. So we'll, we'll keep in touch. So now this is where we get to the interesting part where if I was to give you a credit card that had $50,000 limit on it, where would you go max that out? Where would be the spot that you're like, remember, your wife doesn't know about this card? This is right, we got to see. Right? We don't want to give up 50% of it. So this is like kind of the man card thing like nobody else knows. So $50,000 where would you go below all of that?

Kim: I recently started just wasting money on stupid things. The places that I think really ramped up spending. Let's see here. I don't take Uber pool anymore. I used to do that to save a few bucks

Shane: So you don’t do the shared thing anymore.

Kim: Never even if it's like, like 50 bucks or whatever, I'm like no freaking way.

Shane: Yeah

Kim: I don't even have a car, so I rely entirely on Uber or Lyft. Of the other areas where I waste money, we got a lot of like helpers. Like, I have, two kids. So like, I don't know like cleaners and nannies and gardeners and just like staff, if you will, like the help you use do things. And then the other thing is like I spent a lot of money on video games and I can actually explain why, it's because all these video games are the same. You have to like to find all this gold and all this stuff to like, upgrade your characters and all this stuff. And the way I look at it is, I’m just saving time by throwing money at the problem. Like if I don't spend all this money on these, all this equipment. I'll just be wasting time and I'm playing this stupid game.

Shane: Yeah, that's how you justify. No, that makes sense to me. So I'll tell you, so I've had a lot of friends that live, like one of my buddies lives in Scottsdale, makes plenty of money to have as many cars as he wants. He does Lyft to Newbern. So that's his big thing. I think he just recently bought a Tesla because he wanted one. But the reason why I'm saying that is because, I am like you. I used to be, still am pretty frugal, like I would my brother lives in San Francisco.

And he's like, why did you do the shared one? I'm like, because I saved four bucks. And he's like, who cares? Like, why? What is four bucks to you? And I'm like, I don't know why. I just, because I wanted it. I knew that I could save it. Like, it wasn't the four bucks. I guess it kind of was the four bucks, right? But I'll go out to Vegas and spend $100 a hand because I want to do that. But it's a $4 is frugal but it's like, it's four bucks. Like I made, my wife's look at me like, what do you? It’s four bucks. Who cares? I’m like I don't know. I just.

Kim: You just have to have one or two really, really bad experiences with [livid 43:55]

Shane: Oh yeah

Kim: Where it's like you're going around the city... and you miss, whatever the thing you were hoping to get to and then you'll swear it off.

Shane: Yeah, it'd be worth the five bucks to save your life.

Kim: Yeah, pretty much.

Shane: That's good. You're worth it. I want you remember that Larry, you are worth it my friend. Alright, so here's, this is the hard part. But this is where the podcast ends, man and I know this has been very emotional ride for you because we've had nothing but a great time. If anybody wants to get in contact with Larry Kim, how do they go about doing that?

Kim: Messenger is great. You just look up Larry Kim, also on Twitter or LinkedIn or on email larrykim@mobilemonkey.com

Shane: Sounds like a plan Larry. It was fun. But like I said, it's only an hour and this is, sometimes you get so connected with people. We talked about unicorns and all this fun stuff. And then we just have to come sometimes it comes to an end and this is where we're at man.

Kim: Awesome. Well, thanks for having me. It's great to be here and congratulations on all your successful influencer marketing stuff.

Shane: I appreciate it, man. We'll be keeping in touch. Thanks for everything.

Kim: Awesome.

Shane: All right, buddy. Take care.