Don’t Make This Mistake with Facebook Sponsored Messages

facebook sponsored messages

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About Facebook Sponsored Messages Information

Facebook Messenger Marketing is arguably the fastest-growing and most effective marketing communication tool when it comes to both cost and engagement. If you’re reading this right now, chances are you already know all of that, so I’m not going to preach to the choir and tell you the benefits of this marketing medium.
Some folks, however, still look at and treat their subscriber list as they would an email marketing list. And this is why I see Facebook revoke a lot of companies’ messaging privileges. If you apply the traditional method of “Spray & Pray” email marketing to Facebook Messenger, you’re gonna get the cord pulled pretty fast. This type of marketing used to be effective back when you didn’t have the tools at your disposal to provide a dynamically personalized marketing journey to your customers.

Well, that’s just what Facebook Messenger offers you: A tool that gives your customers a dynamic & personalized journey. So, there is no excuse to spray & pray.

This leads me to the topic of Facebook Sponsored Messaging. It’s been around for a little while, but it’s even more important now that Facebook has announced some changes to subscription & broadcast messaging. If you’re familiar with ManyChat, then you know about the Broadcast functionality that allows you to send one-off messages and flows to your existing audience even outside of the 24 + 1 window.

Facebook is taking the broadcast functionality away from you when it comes to sending outside of that window pretty soon. What does this mean?

That means that you should treat your subscriber list as if you are simply leasing it from FB and not like you own these contacts as you would with emails. This has always been the case, but even more so now.

So there are 2 ways you can move forward knowing this:

  • Construct your flows so that they are extremely dynamic and give your audience the chance to go through most of your customer journey in under 24 hours. And then leave the +1 messages to one-off promotional blasts, or re-engagement flows to re-open the 24 hours window again.
  • Learn how to utilize Sponsored Facebook Messages - so that you can engage your whole list at any time outside of the 24+1 window. You just have to pay a small fee to do so.

Easy to make mistakes of Facebook Sponsored Messaging


As a ManyChat Messenger Marketing Expert, it’s my duty to try out all of the features & new strategies in-house before we implement them with our clients. This gives me the chance to learn by doing and optimizing.

We decided to use this feature for one of our products, The Real Estate Bot, to push out a sponsored message about a holiday sale.

Here’s what happened:

  • Had a report of harassment filed by one user on Facebook
  • 80% of people who actually interacted were trying to unsubscribe again
  • 2% increase in block rate
  • No additional sales because we turned it off shortly after receiving a lot of negative feedback.
See also
4 Simple Ways to Increase Email Deliverability

So why did this happen? 

I admit that I got pretty excited by this feature because it allows you to send a message to users when normally I’d have well run out on my 24-hour lease, and I got ahead of myself.

If you go through the quickest path to publish a Sponsored Message like I did, then you’re likely to have the same results.

Inside of ManyChat, you don’t have to worry about sending promotional or automated messages to users that have unsubscribed, because ManyChat takes care of that for you and automatically opts them out of everything.

With Sponsored Messages, the message setup is not done inside of ManyChat but inside of the Facebook Ad platform.

🚩This should have been red flag #1.

And as you continue on to the audience portion of the ad set-up by default Facebook selects your whole subscriber list - anyone that has ever interacted and been a subscriber at any point.

⁉️Even those that have unsubscribed.

Turns out that when a user unsubscribes inside of a ManyChat flow… they are not unsubscribed from this Facebook Custom Audience.

So what happened when I hit Publish the Ad?

You guessed it.

It was sent to everyone. 10% of those had already been unsubscribed… and the last message they had ever received from us up until that point was “You’ve successfully been unsubscribed from any further communication.”

Talk about a blow to our reputation when that Sponsored Message got sent to folks that have unsubscribed. Sure, at the top of the message it has in grey italics “Sponsored Message, Manage” - but still if I opted out of messages, I’d never want to hear from you again.

How to Exclude Unsubscribed ManyChat Users:

  1. Export a list from ManyChat of all Unsubscribed users.
  2. Upload this list as a new Custom Audience inside of your Ad Manager.
  3. Exclude this newly created audience when selecting the Audience on ad set-up. You’ll need to select “Show Advanced Options”

Once you’ve done this, you’ll have successfully excluded those that have unsubscribed from ManyChat.

The same sort of method applies if you were to push a Sponsored Message and wanted to exclude a list of purchasers so that they don’t get another message about the product they just bought… perhaps at a lower price.

Yup… I made that mistake too.

Alright, now that I’ve made that mistake for you, you don’t need to when you give Sponsored Messaging a try. Or perhaps you made the same mistake I did, and were never able to figure out what went wrong.

Have you made any other mistakes with Sponsored Messages? Let us know what happened below.

Before you jump into Sponsored Messages, it's important that you have a solid and complete bot strategy. Take advantage of a free 30-minute consult with our experts to see how you can optimize what you have already so that you're good to send your first Sponsored Message. schedule free consultation

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2 thoughts on “Don’t Make This Mistake with Facebook Sponsored Messages

    1. Hey Robbert! What kind of messages are you pushing – things like flash sales, specials, promotions?

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