Facebook opens up the Customer Chat beta, ManyChat enables broadcast messages, NewKajabi gets automated webinars.
Welcome to This Week in Online Business Tech!
This week's tech news:
Get Started with Customer Chat | Messenger Developer Blog
Earlier this month, we launched the Messenger customer chat plugin in closed beta as a simple way to allow people to chat with businesses on their websites and in Messenger. With this plugin, customers can transition back and forth seamlessly without losing the conversation’s history and context. We’ve received a lot of positive responses from our dev community, which is why we are excited to announce today that the customer chat plugin is available globally in open beta! Get Started with Customer Chat – Messenger Developer Blog
Facebook Customer Chat is about to have a huge impact in the online business world. Over the last year or so, adding live chat to websites has been a massive trend. The growth of solutions such as Intercom, Drift, and many others has been substantial.
But a couple of weeks ago Facebook announced a closed beta of something called Facebook Customer Chat, which is a solution for embedding Facebook Messenger chat on your own website. The details were murky at first, but this week Facebook opened up the beta to the public, and the implications are broad.
The major benefit of Customer Chat over all the other solutions is that all the other solutions either require the user to come back to your site to see your chat responses or they send them also via email.
With Customer Chat, the entire conversation and history persists in Messenger, which already has over 1.2 billion users. This is a huge benefit.
So how do you try this out? Facebook provides code examples in their post but the easiest way is to use ManyChat or ChatFuel (the two leading platforms for Messenger bots). Both have been updated to include this functionality. They basically embed the required code inside of their code.
So does this spell impending doom for Intercom, Drift, and all the others? I'm not so sure. I don't see Facebook (yet) wanting to get into all the complexity of CRMs, integrations, help desk systems, etc. Inside of ChatFuel's blog post on this topic there was a very interesting one liner which said:
Now this is where it really gets interesting. What I believe this shows is that Facebook wants to be sure that conversational chat stays on the Messenger platform, but realizes that for both live chat, bots, and AI, they will need to allow integration with other systems, hence the handover protocol.
If Intercom, Drift, and the others are smart, they will adopt this as soon as possible (I searched their sites and saw no mentions of this so far).
That is the ultimate platform I'm looking for: Drift (or Intercom) + Facebook Customer Chat.
Feature Rollup: Evergreen Events and Assessments | NewKajabi
Today we are introducing two new groundbreaking updates to Kajabi that are going to knock your holiday socks off! We are excited to announce Evergreen Events & Assessments. (Pause for effect…) These are both potential game-changers in your business… so we wanted to make sure we spent some time and really dove deep into each feature… Feature Rollup: Evergreen Events and Assessments
If you aren't familiar with NewKajabi, it's basically one of the “all in one” platforms that has emerged in recent years to enable online businesses. Kajabi focuses on information or course-based business models.
So instead of designing and managing a WordPress-based solution with lots of plugins, something like Kajabi bundles together web pages, landing pages, shopping cart, email marketing, etc.
It can be a great solution for folks that don't want to mess around with technology themselves, as long as you are ok with their limitations and effectively being locked into a specific platform.
With this week's update, Kajabi is adding the ability to have recurring events in their platform and the primary example is evergreen webinars, where you create a webinar then schedule it to be available and run every 15 minutes.
I'm sure you've seen these where you see an interesting webinar, click the sign up button, and it tells you it will start 9 minutes from now. That's basically assigning you to the next delivery of the automated webinar.
The other update this week is for assessments. At first this just sounds like quizzes for your courses which almost all course apps or plugins have, but in this case Kajabi is positioning them as a building block you can use anywhere.
Examples they mention include using the functionality to create generic forms for capturing lead information or details from coaching clients, etc.
WordPress 4.9.1 Security and Maintenance Release | WordPress
WordPress 4.9.1 is now available. This is a security and maintenance release for all versions since WordPress 3.7. We strongly encourage you to update your sites immediately. WordPress versions 4.9 and earlier are affected by four security issues which could potentially be exploited as part of a multi-vector attack. As part of the core team's […]… WordPress 4.9.1 Security and Maintenance Release
Another WordPress security update this week so if you haven't already, you should definitely test and upgrade to version 4.9.1. According to the documentation:
“WordPress versions 4.9 and earlier are affected by four security issues which could potentially be exploited as part of a multi-vector attack.”
Eleven other non-security related bugs are fixed in this release as well.
3 New Drift Marketing Automation Superpowers You Need To Know About | Drift
I hope everyone’s Thanksgiving was fantastic. If you saved a little room for a Drift product update, I promise it’s as sweet as grandma’s apple pie. Let’s talk about pairing the power of conversation with your marketing automation needs. Drift’s product team has been cranking out enhancements with segmentation and email to help marketers do […]… 3 New Drift Marketing Automation Superpowers You Need To Know About
Drift is a live chat and conversational marketing platform that we've talked about before. This week they are calling out some of their email integration options that open up a wide range of scenarios for integrating chat with email marketing and outreach.
The first example was where a bot was created asking people to sign up for a particular webinar. The interesting part there was that in the bot message they added to buttons with specific times the webinar would be available and asked the user to select one of them if interested.
When the user clicks, the back end workflow (what Drift calls a playbook) signs them up for the webinar but also sends them a customized confirmation email.
The next example was related which was a playbook to automatically send a reminder email to the user the day of the webinar.
At first these sound like things we've been able to do for a while with email marketing automation and that is true. The difference here is that these are all initially triggered by on-site live chat as the entry point, which almost none of the major email providers have even gotten into yet.
The third new item from Drift is exactly that: email nurture campaigns. You can configure these now in Drift just like you would in Active Campaign or Drip (affiliate).
As mentioned in a previous update, whoever ties together Facebook Customer Chat (Messenger), with on-site messenger marketing, AND robust email marketing automation is going to have a massive business opportunity. Drift is getting close. 2018 will be the year one of these platforms emerges to really bring the three elements together.
Introducing WP Courseware 4.1 with Classrooms and Much More! | WPCourseware
WP Courseware WordPress LMS Version 4.1 is Here with Student Classrooms and an Entirely New Look Today we're thrilled to announce our new Classroom feature for WP Courseware as well a completely redesigned user interface… Introducing WP Courseware 4.1 with Classrooms and Much More!
WPCourseware has been on of the leading learning management system (LMS) plugins for WordPress for a long time. When I was setting up my first online course a year or two ago, this was the solution I chose at the time.
Since then, the LMS space has really exploded with newer offering like LearnDash taking a leading position on the plugin side and new entrants like Teachable and Thinkific introducing hosted SaaS models where you build and sell your courses inside their platforms.
With this new version it looks like WPCourseware is trying to get back into the game, so score one for competition.
The headline features are the new classroom functionality and a new user interface.
With the new classroom feature: “Each course that you create in WP Courseware now includes its own Classroom page where you can view the students enrolled for your course, review a quick overview of student progress, manage students, reset student progress, email a student, or even email the entire class.”
I haven't had a chance to check out the new user interface but I'm sure that's a welcome improvement as the old one was getting long in the tooth.
This post also mentions more updates to come so it looks like they are putting some more emphasis into this product which is great news for the space.
How to Send Facebook Messenger Broadcasts Using ManyChat (Including Best Practices and Setup!) | ManyChat
Facebook chatbots are exploding, and for good reason. They enable you to create sophisticated interactive messages that engage your audience where they hang out. But because Messenger Marketing is so very new, many companies are a little uncertain about the best way to send out messages… Should they just duplicate what they’re doing on email? […] The post appeared first on Messenger Marketing…. How to Send Facebook Messenger Broadcasts Using ManyChat (Including Best Practices and Setup!)
Messenger marketing is still new for a lot of folks so this article from ManyChat outlines best practices for using Messenger Broadcasts. If you abuse the system, you may get your account locked from Facebook so it's best to follow these best practices.
There are different rules in the terms and conditions for whether and when you are allowed to send broadcast messages, which is one of the most powerful features of using ManyChat plus Messenger.
As an example, there are different rules for messages than contain promotions compared to those that don't.
This article breaks down the different categories and provide best practices on how to use them.
How to Confidently Record Video for Your Online Course | Teachable
If you plan to create an online course, you’ll have to answer this question at some point:
Do I need to put myself on video?
For many course creators, the idea of capturing yourself on video is daunting, if not debilitating. But it’s likely you’ll need a video in your online course business at some point… How to Confidently Record Video for Your Online Course
This is a quick read on how to record yourself on video for your online courses. For some people this is quite natural, for others they either completely fear being on camera or get intimidated by thinking that it requires lots of gear and technical expertise.
This article helps with all of those, but especially the fear side by showing how basic preparation can alleviate a lot of the concerns people have.
Tech tip of the week:
How to Quickly Learn Essential Keyboard Shortcuts in Any Program | Zapier
Keyboard shortcuts are simple commands that keep your fingers on your keyboard instead of jumping back and forth to your mouse. Learning those keyboard shortcuts can boost your productivity—potentially saving you 8 workdays' worth of time each year, according to e-learning expert Andrew Cohen… How to Quickly Learn Essential Keyboard Shortcuts in Any Program
This article calls out a couple of apps I've never heard of before that can potentially save you a huge amount of time, up to 8 work days according to date in the post.
The savings come by learning the keyboard shortcuts for the major applications that you use. The article talks about an app called KeyRocket which helps you learn all of the shortcuts in Windows and Office as you go. The app runs and anytime you do something in Windows of Office that has an available shortcut, the app shows you what that shortcut is.
The app called CheatSheet does the same thing but for Mac and Mac apps.
ShortcutFoo, the next app mentioned, does the same for other business apps like Trello, Sublime Text, and many others while gamifying the learning process.
The final one mentioned, Application Shortcut Mapper gives you a visual view of a keyboard and all the shortcuts for the apps your select, most importantly the whole Adobe Creative suite.
With those combinations, that's 90% of what I use every day so I'll be learning a lot of new keyboard shortcuts!
Don't wait, automate!
If you put a lot of time into posting updates on Facebook, one thing you might want to consider is keeping an archive of all of the updates you make to Facebook for searching or re-purposing later. Especially if you are creating a lot of messages in the mobile app, sharing links, etc.
With a simple IFTTT automation you can setup a recipe using the Facebook status update trigger and the append to Evernote note action which will then take anything you post to Facebook and add it to Evernote: