A 5 step Messenger Marketing plan.

A 5 step Messenger Marketing plan.

More than a year ago, we released our Messenger Bot Giveaways, and The Milestone Referral for Messenger, templates.

We worked a lot to bring these templates in life and combine referral marketing with Messenger marketing; our users were excited about it.

As a platform, Messenger offers huge Open Rates & Click-through Rates, and using it, soon became essential for many businesses that looked for cost-effective ways to fill the top of their funnel.

But things started to change.

Facebook began to announcing new policies considering Messenger every now and then, in the name of- in their own words, of User Experience and compelling business outcomes.

The most significant changes in Messenger Policies to date took place on March 4, 2020. We wrote a guide about the changes in Messenger and how to deal with them.

Overall, three major changes took place on March 4, 2020:

  1. The “24+1” messaging window became a “24-hour” messaging window.
  2. Subscription Messaging is for News Pages only.
  3. The number of Message Tags downsized from 17 to 4.

For some people, using Messenger as a marketing channel after the recent update feels like kicking a dead horse. I kindly disagree.

You see, the opportunities that Messenger offers are still the same- high open & click-through rates. There have been some changes in the rules of the game, but Messenger marketing platforms adapted.

This article is proof that you can still use Messenger to drive new, hot leads in your funnel.

Here’s a 5 step plan Messenger Marketing plan, you can start using today.

Viral Loops guide to referral marketing

Solving the main problem with Messenger’s new policies.

Out of all the new Messenger policies, the one that’s the most troublesome is the “24-hour” messaging window.

Two years ago, there was no such thing as a “messaging window.” People would subscribe to your Facebook Page’s Messenger bot, and you could reach out to them daily, weekly, monthly, or every six months. You could send a broadcast literally at any given time.

 Of course, that came to a halt.  

 Now you have 24 hours to send a promotional message to your Messenger subscribers since their first interaction. In case you send a promotional message (within 24 hours), and the receiver engages with it, then you open the “24-hour” messaging window again.

 But despite Messenger’s high open rates, it’s natural that a significant portion of your subscribers won’t interact with your message. That means that these people can’t be reached again. Or can’t they?

The goal here is simple; you have to be able to re-open the “24-hour” messaging window whenever it’s needed. 


We’re using Manychat, as it has all the essential features we need to make this plan work, and also, we’ve built our Messenger Bot Giveaways, and The Milestone Referral for Messenger, templates based on the product.

To make this, you need to build a campaign with specific objectives. You have to think about what you have to offer to get people to subscribe and continue to engage.

The best way to do so is with a referral marketing campaign. You can dangle the carrot; people will subscribe and then refer more people to win the prize.

So, here’s the plan:

  1. Run a prelaunch campaign.
  2. Make a touchpoint with a sponsored message.
  3. Launch your referral marketing campaign.
  4. Send them a text to make them re-engage.
  5. Use email to bring them full circle.

Let’s see the plan in detail.

1.Set up a simple prelaunch campaign to get people’s attention.

The first step of the plan is mostly for those of you that don’t already have a Messenger audience, but who doesn’t need more leads?

Also, this could be a great chance to open the “24-hour” window for your existing Messenger subscriber list.

Although it’s different to run a prelaunch campaign via Messenger, then in the traditional form, we have two articles that will wrap your head around the concept:

  1. Prelaunch campaigns: How to do it right.
  2. A product prelaunch is much more than getting early adopters.

The best way to run a prelaunch campaign via Facebook Messenger is by utilizing Manychat’s “Facebook Comments” Growth tool.

Here’s how this growth tool works:

  1. Create a Facebook post announcing the prelaunch, and ask people to comment by answering a simple question.
  2. Link the Facebook post with the “Facebook Comments” growth tool.
  3. Whoever comments on the post, gets inside your Manychat sequence where they are asked to become Messenger subscribers.

In action, it looks like this:

insurance market messenger campaign

I made a video about how to set up the “Facebook Comments” growth tool that you might find useful:

You can connect the growth tool with a regular Facebook post, or you can connect it with a sponsored one. I think that you should do it for both.

 If you want to learn how to set up your Facebook & Instagram ads, the proper way, we have a guide for you.

2. Utilize sponsored messages.

Since you ran your prelaunch campaign, you probably have an initial set of subscribers for promoting your main campaign.

The chances are that most of these Messenger subscribers joined your prelaunch many days before the main campaign launches, and the “24-hour” messaging window is closed for them.

Is there a way for you to contact them?

The title of this section is the answer to that question. Sponsored messages work outside the messaging window, and it’s a very affordable option; around ten cents of a dollar for each opened message.

A sponsored message looks exactly like a normal message:

Messenger sponsored messages
Source: Manychat

You can use a sponsored message to inform your Messenger subscribers on the day that your main campaign launches.

Setting up a sponsored message is easy. Here’s how to create one:

3.Yes, referral campaigns all the way.

This step is the core of your campaign.

Although this is the 3rd step of your Messenger marketing plan, the referral campaign should be the first thing you should plan and build.

First, you have to decide what type of referral marketing campaign you want to build inside Messenger.

There are two options:

  1. A giveaway.
  2. A multiple reward, Milestone referral campaign.

For this article, we’re going with the second option as the multiple rewards offer an opportunity for more touchpoints with the participants.

Here’s how it looks on Messenger:

mastic spa's milestone referral via Messenger

To keep the “24-hour” messaging window open for as long as possible, we added in our template, three extra messages (“Ask for email,” “Consent message,” and “No Consent message”) to ask participants for their email address and get their consent to send them an email notification whenever reaching a milestone.

Ask for email Manychat flow

You can also add an input for the telephone number to use later on for sending SMS to your campaign’s participants (see the next step).

4. Text them like you’re friends.

As I wrote earlier, the main problem with Messenger’s policies is the messaging window. We need to find ways to re-open it.

48% of consumers prefer SMS for receiving brand updates. This is almost double from email or notifications.

Manychat offers the option to send SMS to your subscribers. You can use that functionality to bring them back inside your campaign’s flow, and thus open the “24-hour” messaging window again.

What’s even better is that you can include photos and gifs inside your SMS campaigns, which can boost the engagement even more.

Pro tip:

When you ask for people’s telephone number or email address, be honest about why you’re asking. Tell them that the reason you want them to give you their information is to notify them when they reach the goal of your campaign.

5. Be old-fashioned, send an email.

Email marketing is often overlooked, but it’s never going to make your life difficult (comparing to Facebook).

No matter what new marketing channel/trend emerges, email addresses remain an owned marketing asset. That’s why it’s so important to get people’s emails with every given opportunity.

By using Manychat’s input fields, you can get the email addresses of your campaign’s participants– if you ask nicely.

From there, you can use Manychat to send email updates (Manychat charges $0,003 per email send), or “send” the addresses to your preferred email marketing platform and send the email updates.

The goal here, once again, is to bring people back to your campaign’s Messenger flow and open the messaging window.

Pro tip:

When you ask for people’s email address, or telephone number, be honest about why you’re asking. Tell them that the reason you want them to give you their information is to notify them when they reach the goal of your campaign.

Before you go.

Facebook made Messenger marketing a tad more difficult, but the high engagement rates of the platform make it a marketing channel that’s still worthy of pursuing.

The only real obstacle is the “24-hour” messaging window, but you can overcome it by leveraging referral marketing, email marketing, and SMS, and you can do it all from one place.

To make Messenger work for your business, you have to build an “ecosystem” of messaging techniques that will bring people back again and again.

I want to know what you think. Is Messenger worth it, as a marketing channel?

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