[SMK] Social Media Knowledge


Facebook Messenger’s Untapped Organic Message Blasts

Subscription Messages 80%+ Facebook Open Rates

Facebook Messenger offers perhaps the best untapped organic opportunity within social media; Messenger Subscriptions. However, outside of small-scale direct marketers, few use them.

For most businesses, Messenger is largely reactive; dealing with organic inbound enquiries and complaints. Otherwise, its targeting Messenger placements (often unintentionally) with ads.

The base premise behind Messenger Subscriptions is the ability to broadcast messages to a business’s followers via Messenger.

In essence, they function very similarly to email marketing. Although, perform more like email back in the 90s, when we didn’t hate them:

  • Average email open rate = 20.81%
  • Average Messenger Subscription open rate = 80%+
  • Average email click-through rate (CTR) = 2.43%
  • Average Messenger Subscription click-through rate (CTR) = 20%

These metrics are unsustainable since when eventually the marketing world wakes up to Messenger Subscription we will ruin them like we ruin everything.

Until that point, enjoy!

Now, before getting carried away, there are a couple of important catches. An old one and a new one, which came into effect from the start of 2019.

Catch One: They Are Opt-in Only

To send messages to someone on Messenger, the conversation must be initiated by the user.

On the one hand, this sounds undesirable for communicators since for many businesses Messenger is choc-full of whinge-bags whinging. Not necessarily an ideal audience to reconnect.

That said, smart marketers can easily work around this. Proactively encouraging the right users to interact on Messenger, before following them up later, and ongoing. Even segmenting audiences, subject to how they’ve interacted, offering tailored messages.

There are a range of tactics which can be deployed to this effect, for example:

  1. Organic tactics, like building Customer Chat into a website
  2. Paid tactics, like running Click-to-Messenger campaigns

Savvy operators are, in many ways, viewing driving these Messenger opt-ins as a new form of email list building.

Catch Two: You Cannot Sell

Messenger subscriptions are one of three broad message types.

For marketers wanting free Facebook exposure, this is the preferable category. This is the type that facilitates sending regular content to a person on Messenger ongoing. At no cost.

This would normally be implemented via a Facebook bot, like Manychat or similar.

Alas, Messenger subscriptions cannot be used for sales or commercial purposes. Use cases are more tied to content marketing and service delivery, see Messenger guidlines here.

It is possible to use Messenger for commercially motivated messaging, but that falls into either:

  • Standard Messaging – where a business follows up someone who has contacted within 24 – 48 hours, can be done manually or via a bot
  • Sponsored Messaging –paid campaigns, implemented via Message ad objective. Sponsored Messages appear like normal messages in the conversation but are marked 'Sponsored'.

Setting up Subscription Messages changed at the start of 2019, with marketers now needing approval, before being eligible. Previously, using an approved bot was sufficient.

Pages can apply to send subscription messages by following the steps below:

  1. Go to Page Settings
  2. Select Messenger Platform
  3. Under ‘Subscription Messaging’ in the ‘Advanced Messaging Settings’ section, select the ‘Request’ button
  4. Follow prompts
  5. Wait for approval (can take up to a week)



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