Sponsored messages are powerful tools for retargeting.

They allow you to re-engage bot subscribers that fall outside of the 24-hour standard messaging window.

When to use sponsored messages

  • Reengage bot users about new arrivals in store. E.g. you can create a custom audience only for users who finished your lead-gen flow.
  • Set up drip campaigns. E.g. to send messages with a promo code to every user one week after registration.

When properly targeted, sponsored messages should be relatively cheap to run. To test it, we ran our own sponsored messaging campaign.

We spent $9.19 to send 1,136 messages, which is less than one cent per message—on par with what the average SMS-marketing provider charges per text recipient. Of those, we were able to restart 282 conversations, which comes out to a cool $0.03 each. 😎

How to send sponsored messages

Keep in mind that sponsored messages can only be sent to users that have messaged your chatbot in the past. They appear with push notifications and are delivered right on your user’s Facebook inbox.

Sponsored messages must be created and managed from Facebook Ads Manager. If you want to target specific users based on their actions in the bot, you can sync your segments to Ads Manager with our new feature.

Follow these steps to create a sponsored message:

1. Go to Ads Manager and click on Create Ad

2. Under the Consideration column, choose the Messages objective

3. Choose a campaign name and click on Continue

4. Under Message Destination, choose Messenger

5. Use the drop-down menu under Messenger to select Sponsored Messages, then choose the correct Facebook page

6. Under Audience, select Create a New Audience or Use a Saved Audience

7. At the Placements level, your only option will be Messenger, so no action is needed here

8. Choose your budget

9. Select the format Text Only or Text & Image for your sponsored message in Message Setup

10. Type your message (300 character limit) and upload a photo if desired (Facebook recommends 1200 x 628 pixels)

11. You can add quick replies (up to 11) or buttons (up to three) to your message under Customer Actions

12. Finish your ad and click on Confirm

13. Click on Place Order to start tracking your sponsored message.

Aspects you need to pay attention to

1. Timeframe for delivery
According to Facebook, Sponsored Messages typically start to be delivered within 24 hours, you might even see a longer delay before you see many messages delivered. So a long time frame of one week or more is advisable.

2. The bid cap
It’s still a bid. This means you’re competing against other advertisers for the placement. Just like for other Facebook ads if another advertiser is willing to pay more and has an equal or higher ad quality score than you do, their ad will be displayed and not yours.

3. Custom audience size
Facebook suggests that your custom audience size shouldn't be less than 200 users. If you have a smaller audience you'll see the following message: “Warning! Amount of users selected is less than 200. To avoid the risk of the campaign not being delivered, Facebook recommends a custom audience of at least 200”.

Common causes why a user doesn't receive a sponsored message:

  • A user will ONLY be shown 1 sponsored message per day. If another advertiser's sponsored message is displayed then no other sponsored message will be shown (including yours) that same day.
  • If users haven’t interacted with you in Messenger (sent a message or pressed a button) in over a year they will automatically be excluded from your potential sponsored message audience. Also, if users have interacted in the past 24 hours they will be excluded.
  • It’s possible that the upload of the audience didn’t work correctly. But you can now use our Segment Sync feature to make sure this doesn't happen.
  • You also don’t want to spend money sending sponsored messages to users who still fall within the 24-hour window (because you can message them for free).

Reach estimates: If you're using custom audiences, it can’t be shown in real-time, which is why after about one hour of creating a campaign you'll receive an email with a reach estimate.


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