When it comes to marketing, you only have one opportunity to make a good first impression with customers! You can take full advantage of Chatfuel’s welcome messages to make that initial interaction a positive one.

What is it?

The welcome message is a greeting sent to anyone who messages your business page. It’s like the homepage of a website — the very first thing a visitor will see. Let’s say my son’s birthday is coming up, so I contact LEGO on Facebook Messenger for a gift recommendation. Immediately, I receive an automated greeting message, prompting me to engage and further the conversation.

You might be asking yourself: Why would I use Chatfuel for my Messenger greeting when Facebook pages already have this feature available?

The answer is simple. Facebook’s built-in functionality (called instant replies) only allows plain-text responses; you cannot send media, buttons, or other content.

Chatfuel’s welcome message (left), Facebook’s instant replies (right)

How do I create it?

Once you’ve logged into Chatfuel with your Facebook account, you will see a “Welcome Message” block. Clicking it will show the contents of your welcome greeting.

Here you can edit the welcome greeting text and add images, buttons, or other media content. (Click the “+” button in the lower ribbon to see all available features!)

What should a greeting say?

A well-designed Messenger bot is conversational, so write like you would talk to a friend. An effective Facebook welcome message should do three things:

  1. Greet the user by name
  2. Offer a value proposition
  3. Convince them to take action

1. Greet the user

What really differentiates a Messenger welcome greeting from a website homepage comes down to one word: personalization. Chatfuel can automatically import each Facebook user’s publicly-available profile information, meaning your welcome greeting can address the person by name.

“A person's name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound in any language.” — Dale Carnegie

User attributes make all this possible! Type two open brackets“{{“ inside a text block to use them. The brown attributes in the dropdown that appears are system attributes, meaning they are provided by Facebook and can be used right away.

Here's an example:
• Hi, {{first name}} 👋
• Howdy, {{first name}} 🤠

Feeling ambitious? If so, you can also greet the user by salutation — Mr. or Mrs. — using the built-in {{gender}} attribute and Go To Blocks.

To do this, delete the text card and click the “+” button in the lower ribbon to add two Go To Blocks on your welcome message. We’ll use each of these to filter users by gender, then redirect them to the corresponding salutation.

If the user is male, let’s send him to a block that says: “Hello, Mr. {{last name}}!” If female, we’ll use the same template but say, “Hello, Mrs. {{last name}}!”

2. Offer a value proposition

One of the biggest mistakes people make in their greetings is not providing value. Users want to know: “What’s in it for me?” Promising a tangible, concrete incentive is a great motivator.

For example:
• I’ll help you find the perfect gift your girlfriend will love! 🎁
• Take this short quiz and I’ll slash $10 off your first delivery! 😋

3. Convince them to take action

Don’t just leave people hanging! After greeting users and offering them value in the Facebook welcome message, you need them to respond and actually continue the conversation.

The easiest way to encourage this interaction is using buttons, which are attached to the text card.

These are examples of actionable copy:
• Reserve Table 🍜
• Schedule Now 📆
• Register for Free 🎫

Other Best Practices

  • Keep it short and simple — People have a limited attention span, so write succinctly. So many things compete for our attention that you need to make an meaningful impact on users as soon as possible.
  • Use emojis — Emojis may not be appropriate for some audiences, such as the customers of high-end luxury brands. When used properly, emojis provide visual cues and break up blocks of text. Emojipedia is a free, valuable resource for copying and pasting emojis.
  • Pace the typing animations — Ideally, your whole welcome message (2-3 sentences) will fit in a single text block, each sentence being separated by a blank return space.
Separate each sentence with a blank return for visual clarity

If you choose to use multiple text blocks though, use a typing animation between each to pace the conversation. In other words, you don’t want to overwhelm a new user by sending tons of messages all at once. Each line of text translates to approximately 1 second of reading time.

Start creating your bot now! 🚀