Group Connect is a tool inside the Mobile Studio capable of delivering personalized Facebook and LINE messages to your customers. In this article, I focus on LINE capabilities, integration, and activation. Let me first introduce to you this app.
Going back in time, LINE originated in Japan as a response to the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami disaster in March 2011. Japan’s telecommunications infrastructure was damaged nationwide, therefore the focus turned to Internet-based resources to communicate. Within eighteen months of its release, LINE reached 100 million users and by November 25, 2013, was used by 300 million users. By 2020, LINE has reached over 600 million registered users across continents.
Today, LINE is not just another messenger app that you can use to make free calls or send free messages. Unlike Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or other popular messenger apps, LINE is a real social network providing many products and services.
LINE diversified portfolio includes services in communication, entertainment, lifestyle, shopping, travel, fintech etc., among which the most popular apps are:
- LINE Instant messaging
- LINE Pay
- LINE Store
- LINE Music
- LINE Play
- LINE News
- LINE Healthcare
A. Make a registration on LINE Developer website
Once you log in to your LINE developers console, you create a Provider and a Messaging API channel.
After that, you will receive a unique Channel ID and Channel secret that you can use to complete the second step of LINE integration.
B. Integration with SFMC
In the main setup in SFMC, search for LINE to register the channel.
You can name your channel however you like.
Fill in the LINE Channel ID and LINE Channel Secret provided by LINE in the previous step.
The destination Webhook allows SFMC to reach LINE for delivering the messages you send, and Marketing Cloud Endpoint allows LINE to reach your marketing cloud instance with events coming from LINE such as Follows and Unfollows. These two fields are automatically populated based on the information you provide.
Once you have the webhook URL of your Marketing Cloud Endpoint populated, add it to LINE developers console where you can finish the configuration.
Contact Binding and Deduplication
To find all your LINE followers in SFMC, go to Contact Builder -> All Contacts -> GroupConnect.
You can import your existing LINE contacts to SFMC, however, if a new follower reaches your marketing cloud account through API, this contact is assigned with a LINEID, ChannelID, and a uniquely generated contact key.
Your customers (imported into Marketing Cloud from Service Cloud or any other external CRM) have a contact key different from the one that is automatically generated for new LINE followers and this should be addressed.
Assuming that the customer is the same person, it is possible to merge your existing customer in All Contacts with a new LINE follower from GroupConnect into one using a LINEID field. This field helps you to update the Contact key in the All Contacts database.
Before doing so, you need to have a binding process that will be able to identify those customers. If you have that information, create an import definition directly in Contact Builder to update contacts in GroupConnect. To automate the import, use automation studio.
If you think, that by merging two contacts into one the job is done, you will be disappointed. Yes, in the import definition you use the data action “update”, but those (now useless) uniquely generated contact keys are still existent in SFMC. To get rid of useless LINE contacts, you have to delete them. It is recommended to create a backup before the merge so you can easily find LINE followers eligible for the deletion process.
For one time sends, create a LINE Outbound Message directly in Mobile Studio -> GroupConnect, where you can define the content, select contacts, and review the message before sending it. Single sends can be performed only to GroupConnect Lists.
For recurrent sends and to use data extensions as a source, use journey builder. Find the “LINE Message” activity and drag and drop it on your canvas. Once dropped, click on the activity and select from the existing messages in Content Builder or create a new one directly in journey builder.
For advanced personalization, include AMPScript. Before the final campaign execution, do not forget to preview and test the message first.
There are different types of content that you can use with LINE messages:
- Videos (from a URL)
- Audio (from a URL)
- LINE stickers
There is a set of reports in Analytics Builder -> Reports -> GroupConnect:
- LINE Outbound Message Report to display a summary of Outbound Messages sent to LINE followers within a specified date range.
- Mobile Chat Messaging Journey Builder Activity Summary Report containing all journey builder activity related message sends.
- Mobile Chat Messaging Summary Report to view all chat messaging api send activities.
- LINE Triggered Sends Summary Report with a summary of Follow and Response Messages sent to users within a specified date range.
- _ MobileLINEAddressContactSubscriptionView to find active LINE followers and users who have blocked your brand (data view detail).
- _MobileLINEOrphanContactView containing unfollowed contacts (data view detail).
If your customers are located in East Asian countries such as Japan, Taiwan, Thailand, or Indonesia, you should consider adding LINE to your communication channels. The binding process of your existing customers with your LINE followers will help you to assess ROI and evaluate the potential of LINE for your business.