Broadcasting & Sequences are great features that allow you to message your bot’s subscribers. 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.
On Messenger, you can send four types of messages:
- Standard Messaging
- Sponsored Messaging
- Subscription Messaging
- Specific replies
Standard Messaging (24+1 policy)
Default message tag: Update
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.
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, but buttons leading to an external site won't reset it (they don’t count as an action here). The 24 hour window can also be opened if the user starts the conversation through your Send to Messenger plugin, checkbox plugin, etc.
In order to make sure you’re compliant with this policy, here are the attributes you can use within Chatfuel’s broadcasting 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 these are the only users you can send a message to via ‘Update‘ tag.
If you’re scheduling a broadcast 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 broadcasting 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. Chatfuel’s product development team is considering adding this feature to the existing broadcasting tab, so that you can do it all through one platform. If you’re already using this type of messages, or you want to be the first one to try - reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’d love to hear from you!
You can find more about how to create and send Sponsored Messages right here.
Default message tag: Subscription
Subscription Messaging allows you to send your users messages outside of the 24 hour window.
After July 30th, this tag will only be available to pages approved by Facebook.
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.
For an overview and a comparison of these three types of messages, you can check out this section of Platform Policy Overview.
Other Message Types
Within Chatfuel, message tags for specific types of messages are also available. You’ll be able to find those in the Broadcasting tab, by clicking to change the tag.
Here are a few examples of those:
- Shipping - provide a shipping status notification for a product that has already been purchased. For example, when the product is shipped, in-transit, delivered, or delayed.
- Reservation - confirm updates to an existing reservation. For example, when there is a change in itinerary, location, or a cancellation (such as when a hotel booking is canceled, a car rental pick-up time changes, or a room upgrade is confirmed).
- Issue - respond to a customer service issue surfaced in a Messenger conversation after a transaction has taken place. This tag is intended for use cases where the business requires more than 24 hours to resolve an issue and needs to give someone a status update and/or gather additional information
- Appointment - provide updates about an existing appointment. For example, when there is a change in time, a location update or a cancellation (such as when a spa treatment is canceled, a real estate agent needs to meet you at a new location or a dental office proposes a new appointment time)
- Event reminder - send the message recipient reminders of a scheduled event for which a person is going to attend. Examples: Upcoming classes or events that a person has signed up for. Confirmation of attendance to an accepted event or appointment.
The list of available Facebook tags can be found right here.
Final things to keep on your mind:
- Make sure to have a clear process for users opting in to receive your broadcast 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 broadcast 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 broadcasts, 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.
If you have any trouble with your broadcasts, reach out to us on email@example.com and we’ll do our best to help out :)