Facebook Expands its Digital Marketing Features

Via Meg Coffey on Twitter (@TexanMeg)

The takeaways

  • Facebook is testing a variety of features, including email marketing tools for Business Pages.
  • The pages can use confirmed email addresses to build and target email lists while managing the campaigns from Facebook.
  • Other app tests indicate that Facebook is exploring other ways of managing and integrating its Messenger and Instagram Direct services.

What happened?

Facebook recently confirmed that it is testing new email marketing tools on its business pages app for small and medium-sized enterprises. The tools enable these businesses to manually upload contact lists, compose marketing emails directly through Facebook itself and access trackable and measurable analytics.

Social media marketer Meg Coffey spotted the tests at the beginning of the month. She took to Twitter to share her findings, noting at the time that the feature was seemingly limited to a single account. This was later explained by the requirement for business pages to confirm their business emails before being granted access. Aside from the direct emailing tool, Coffey also identified the ability to manually upload and manage contact lists, either individually or from spreadsheets. Facebook also requires confirmation from page managers that their contacts have consented to receive promotional messages.

What does this mean for digital marketing?

With the new tool, Facebook is introducing its own integrated CRM systems. It centralises  Facebook and Instagram promotional emails and ads, along with coming from your Facebook business hub. Currently, all emails will be sent from a custom Facebook address. Much like the recent Facebook Search tests, the email marketing tools appear geared to offer a wider range of services within Facebook itself.

As noted by Andrew Hutchinson of Social Media Today, the update may be of most benefit to businesses unfamiliar with email marketing. The tools are fairly simple to use and serve as an effective introduction to CRM and connecting with audiences. Hutchinson also observes that the data provided by the tool can be used to create custom email audiences and thus targeted Facebook ads based on people with similar interests.

Alongside this update, Facebook is also testing methods of accessing its Messenger app via Instagram Direct and toggling between personal and business inboxes in Messenger. 

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