In order to make this a safe and smooth process, there are some rules you should be aware of. These rules have been put in place by Facebook, to ensure that users aren’t getting spammed by business pages, and to make sure businesses are following the best case practices.
Keep in mind that this is our interpretation of Facebook’s rules. If you’re in doubt, consider your specific case carefully, and refer to Facebook’s official Platform Policy Overview.
In this guide we’ll cover:
- Types of messages
- Message tags
- Things to keep in mind
- Best practices for Ban prevention
Types of Messages
On Messenger, you can send four types of messages: Standard Messaging, Sponsored Messaging, Subscription Messaging, Other Messages.
Standard Messaging (24+1 policy)
Default message tag: Update
This policy means that once a user has initiated communication with your Chatbot, Facebook gives you 24 hours to send Re-Engage and Sequences for free. This includes promotional content, updates, and news, etc... It is your Chatbot against the clock! 😉
During the first 24 hours from the user interacting with your bot, you can send your messages freely - the content of these messages can be promotional. Your bot can also send one additional message after the 24-hour time limit has expired.
The 24-hour limit is refreshed each time a person responds to a business through one of the eligible actions listed in Messenger Conversation Entry Points.
Valid Entry points:
- The most common Conversation Entry Point here is the user sending a message to your bot (so Quick Reply will be counted too).
- The second action that triggers this event is if the user clicks on a button menu that sends them the next block. So clicking the button in the message or in the persistent menu will reset the 24-hour time limit.
- The 24 hour window can also be opened if the user starts the conversation through your Send to Messenger plugin, checkbox plugin, etc.
Invalid Entry points:
- User clicking in buttons leading to an external site won't reset it (they don’t count as an action here).
Note: There is no limit to the number of promotional messages you can send during these 24 hours, but we do advise you to be mindful when creating your Re-Engage messages and sequences since spamming your subscribers has dangers on its own.
In order to make sure you’re compliant with this policy, here are the attributes you can use within Chatfuel’s Re-Engage tab
- within 24h window - less than 24 hours passed since the user last messaged the bot. You can send them any type of content and any amount of messages while they’re in this window.
- within +1 message window - more than 24 hours passed since the user’s last interaction, but they can still receive one message from you
- within 24h+1 message window - combines users within 24h window and users within +1 message window.
According to Facebook policies users under the 24+ 1 window are the only users you can send a message to via ‘Update‘ tag.
If you’re scheduling a Re-engage message for some time in the future, the users will be filtered according to the last interaction they had with the bot at the time of the message being sent.
So for example - it’s Monday, August 19th. You’re scheduling a message for Friday, August 23rd, at noon and apply ‘within 24h window’ filter. The subscribers who will receive this message are the ones who are within the 24 hour window on August 23rd at noon.
Make sure to only message these users when Re-engaging with the “Update” tag.
For the additional message sent after the initial 24 hours (+1 message), it’s recommended to use the Generic Template - so that would be a Gallery card and a Quick Reply. You can check out all the available templates right here.
These are mostly used to Re-Engage old users.
Sponsored messages can currently only be created, paid for and sent through your Facebook Ads manager. For more details and instructions on how to send sponsored messages, click here.
Default message tag: Subscription
Subscription Messaging allows you to send your users messages outside of the 24 hour window.
After July 30th 2019, this tag will only be available to pages approved by Facebook.
And, as per Facebook’s last update, After January 15, 2020 Only Pages that are registered with the Facebook News Page Index (NPI) will be allowed to send non-promotional subscription messages. We highly encourage relevant pages to submit their application immediately to register with the News Page Index to allow sufficient time for review and approval before the new policies go into effect.
In order to be eligible to apply for this type of messaging, you need to fall into one of these three categories:
- Personal trackers
If your bot falls into one of those categories, you’ll need to apply with Facebook to get page level subscription. Here’s how the process works.
Please note that Chatfuel does not take part in the approval process, that is entirely handled by Facebook.
Subscription messaging applies to news, productivity (time management tips) personal tracker (work out reminders, goals follow up, etc) content only, and must not be used for promotional content, including but not limited to subscription offers, deals, coupons, discounts or content produced by or that promotes a third party (e.g., branded content, affiliate marketing).
For an overview and a comparison of these three types of messages, you can check out this section of Platform Policy Overview.
It is important to keep in mind that you can’t send promotional content and if do, you're in violation of this policy and as a consequence your page will lose messaging privileges.
Other Message Types
There are other types of messages you can send to your bot’s subscribers such as:
- Shipping notification
- Reservation confirmation
- Issue update/resolution
- Event reminder
Knowing how to tag your messages properly will allow you to connect with your Subscribers and keep your page compliant with Facebook’s terms of service.
The Update Tag:
The Update Tag is the Jack of all trades. Better yet, The King of the 24+1 window!
Choose this Tag when sending messages to new or recently active users.
Important Tip: Segmenting will help you ensure that you send Update Tagged messages only to those within the 24h window.
Segment Example: [ Attribute + within 24h window + is + Yes ]
Additional Tags with no time limit
This section will cover additional Message Tags with no time limit. They will provide you with the ability to send Free messages outside the 24h window as long as you follow their content limit (No promotional content, otherwise you're in violation of this policy and your page will lose messaging privileges)
Please review each carefully and choose the one that relates the most to your message content.
The list of available Facebook tags can be found right here.
Final things to keep in mind:
- Make sure to have a clear process for users opting in to receive your Re-Engage messages. Even though the double opt-in isn’t mandatory, it’s good case practice.
- Having a clear and easily available way for users to unsubscribe from your Re-Engage is extremely important. If the user doesn’t have an easy way to unsubscribe, they will block your bot on their side. When they do that - blocking is counted as negative feedback for your Facebook page, so that can lead to your page being blocked. Yikes!
- When the users are opting in to receive your Re-Engage messages, make sure to set clear expectations - how often will you be messaging them, and with what type of content?
- Don’t forget to only send one message when the users are in the +1 message window. That means the message can’t consist of multiple text + image + gallery cards. Best case practice here is to use a Generic Template, as explained above.
Best Practices for Ban Prevention
Set the right expectations:
- Let your users know they’re talking to a Chatbot.
- Let your users know that you’re planning on sending future messages and give them the option to say no.
Don’t Spam your users:
- Generate a message strategy beforehand.
- Every message you send must have a defined purpose.
Keep track of your Block percentage:
- Locate your page “Block Percentage” under the insights section of your Facebook page. If this number rises above three percent you should revisit your messaging strategy.
Always give your users the option to Unsubscribe
- This practice will help you curate your audience and It will keep frustrated users from blocking your page.
Segment your Audience.
- With the help of Chatfuel attributes, you can collect user data as they go through your Chatbot’s block flow. Collect and analyze this data to segment your users for Re-Engage messages and Sequences.
And last but not least Use the right Tags for your messages.
If you have any trouble with your Re-Engage messages, reach out to us on email@example.com and we’ll do our best to help out 😉