Facebook Messenger is a powerful tool for businesses to increase conversions. But for a long time, its uses were far more limited and engaging via its tools with new customers could be elusive.
Messaging customers out of the blue was pretty much an industry standard no-no. So messenger communications were far more of a bait and hook strategy; Businesses wait for customers to initiate a conversation and then begin communicating OR businesses run ads prompting messenger dialogues.
That is all starting to change. (Kind of) And Facebook has begun rolling out the beginning stages of a more complex messenger system where businesses can communicate with multiple customer groups much like they do with their email marketing service like MailChimp or Constant Contact.
Previously, third-party developers released several apps where pages could message their followers without any opt-ins. A more recent reconsideration by Facebook prompted them to now ask all pages to request permission before using a subscription messenger service or sending messages through a custom API.
What does this mean? Anyone sending out subscription messages must have their page and use evaluated by Facebook or risk potential page sanctions such as suspensions or shut-downs.
The approval process is quick and easy. However, in an effort to minimize spam through its messenger platform, the subscription service is limited. Any page can potentially be approved for this subscription service, but they must agree to use the service for limited purposes excluding direct promotions.
Facebook permits the following "Eligible Use Cases:"
- News: Integrations whose primary purpose is to inform people about recent or important events, or provide information in categories such as sports, finance, business, real estate, weather, traffic, politics, government, non-profit organizations, religion, celebrities, and entertainment.
- Productivity: Integrations whose primary purpose is to enable people to manage their personal productivity with tasks, such as managing calendar events, receiving reminders, and paying bills.
- Personal trackers: Integrations that enable people to receive and monitor information about themselves in categories such as fitness, health, wellness, and finance.
During the process, you will be asked to provide two samples of potential messages you might send using the Subscription Messenger Service.
Sample messages you might send that would be acceptable to Facebook would be:
Attention Members: Due to the Forecasted Hurricane, all locations will be closed early today at 5:00PM.
Hi Team Supporters! The Hockey League Championships are concluded and the Rangers have won First Place!
This does not mean that the service is inapplicable for businesses. Rather, it means that Facebook would prefer its users to demonstrate thoughtful and useful messaging.
Will Facebook clear the way for any and all messaging in the near future? This could be the first stages of a significant transformation of the Facebook Messenger system to enable a far more robust subscription system such as MailChimp.
How do you apply for your page to use the Subscription Feature?
- Go to Your Business Page
- Choose Settings
- Choose Messenger Platform
- Scroll Down to Advanced Messenger Features (this may not appear if your type of business is ineligible in the Beta Phase)
- Click Subscription Messaging
- Click Request
- Provide Two Sample Messages
- Submit for Approval
The process could take anywhere from hours to days. You will be asked to confirm that you will not use the system to deliver advertisements.
Looking to ramp up your Messenger Program? Message us today (we promise not to spam you)! We can upgrade your messenger system and begin a subscription service for your organization or brand.