This startup helps marketers automate conversations on Facebook Messenger - DC


Nov. 10, 2017 8:45 am

This startup helps marketers automate conversations on Facebook Messenger

@Mssg founder Michael Sabat is looking to spread the word about messaging marketing.

@Mssg is using Facebook Messenger.

(Photo by Flickr user Kārlis Dambrāns, used under a Creative Commons license)

Michael Sabat, founder and CEO of D.C. startup @Mssg has an important message about messaging campaigns.

“I think that messaging is going to be the dominant form of communication on the phone,” Sabat told DC. “Messaging apps have become their own channel of communication. We help organizations do their most engaging marketing with their biggest fans. We do it all on Facebook Messenger.”

Facebook recently made a push with Messenger by allowing businesses to turn their chat accounts into a marketing tool that interacts with customers on their personal websites. So, what does this mean for businesses, organizations and anyone who wants to get the word out?

Sabat, 39, founded @Mssg in January. He operates out of 1776, where he participated in its incubator program this spring. He’s the only full-time employee at the company, and hosts a weekly podcast on his industry.

The Democratic Coalition Against Trump is one of Sabat’s clients. Many of the messages that the group receives are supportive, some want to donate money and the rest are… well, impolite.

“My clients weren’t responding to all of the messages,” Sabat said. “They couldn’t deal with the emotional load of this noise.”

Michael Sabat (Courtesy photo)

Michael Sabat (Courtesy photo)

@Mssg’s automated responses made sifting through the weeds a little more bearable for the Coalition. Sabat found that the Coalition’s customers reached by Facebook Messenger were 2.5 times more likely to donate to the organization than a visitor who simply clicked onto the website. By applying Natural Language Processing technology to these messages, and making predictions on what messages the page’s administrator should respond, he brought the marketplace to a customer operating from a base of relative control – their phone.


“Instead of ignoring these people who wanted to help, they are automatically able to build a list of supporters from their social media, collect additional data and then the conversation would drive people to make donations, sign petitions or subscribe to news alerts,” Sabat said. “Facebook moves so fast with features and changes that it’s not easy to express to potential customers all the things that are possible.”

Sabat is sharing more strategies for messaging marketing with a playbook. It’s available through the company’s website.

James Cullum

Multimedia journalist James Cullum has reported for over a decade for newspapers, magazines and websites in the D.C. metro area. He excels at finding order in chaotic environments, from slave liberations in South Sudan to the halls of the Capitol and D.C.'s growing tech scene.


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