The Sponsored Message Entry Point is a no-code solution. 🍰

Entry Points are a feature of the Flow Builder interface (the Flows tab in Chatfuel).

This particular Entry Point helps you set up a sponsored message to send to users through your chatbot.

What are the sponsored messages?

Sponsored messages are paid ads and can therefore be sent outside the 24-hour window. To users, they'll appear as a normal message in their Facebook Messenger inbox. Note that sponsored messages can only be sent to people who have previously interacted with your bot. Their purpose is to reengage inactive bot users or to make an important announcement to all (or a certain segment of) your bot users.

sponsored messages

Who can send sponsored messages?

If your chatbot or its Facebook page admin(s) are located in the European Economic Area (EEA), your bot won't be able to use the Sponsored Message Entry Point. If not, but you have users in the EEA, you won't be able to send sponsored messages to them. Learn more about Facebook's December 16, 2020 policy updates in response to new EU privacy laws.

Is it expensive to send a sponsored message?
When properly targeted, sponsored messages should be relatively cheap to run. To test it, we ran our own sponsored messaging campaign at Chatfuel. We spent $9.19 to send 1,136 messages, which is less than one cent per message—on par with what the average SMS-marketing provider charges per text recipient. Of those, we were able to restart 282 conversations, which comes out to just $.03 each. 😎

Why didn't a certain user(s) receive my sponsored message?

Here are a few possible causes:

  • A user will ONLY be shown one sponsored message per day. If another advertiser's sponsored message was displayed that day, then no other sponsored message will be shown (including yours) that same day.

  • If users haven’t interacted with you in Messenger (sent a message or pressed a button) in over a year, they will automatically be excluded from your potential sponsored message audience. Also, if a user HAS interacted with your bot within the past 24 hours they will be excluded. (You don’t want to spend money sending sponsored messages to users who still fall within the 24-hour window because you can already message them for free.)

  • It’s possible that the upload of the audience didn’t work correctly. But you can now use our Segment Sync feature to make sure this doesn't happen.

Note on reach estimates: If you're using custom audiences, it can’t be shown in real-time, which is why after about one hour of creating a campaign, you'll receive an email with a reach estimate.

Additional notes on sponsored messages

A few more things you should know:

  1. Timeframe for delivery. According to Facebook, Sponsored Messages typically start to be delivered within 24 hours, you might even see a longer delay before you see many messages delivered. So a long time frame of one week or more is advisable.

  2. The bid cap. It’s still a bid. This means you’re competing against other advertisers for the placement. Just like for other Facebook ads if another advertiser is willing to pay more and has an equal or higher ad quality score than you do, their ad will be displayed and not yours.

  3. Custom Audience size. Facebook suggests that your Custom Audience size should not be less than 200 users. If you have a smaller audience you'll see the following message: “Warning! Amount of users selected is less than 200. To avoid the risk of the campaign not being delivered, Facebook recommends a Custom Audience of at least 200.” Note that bots based in some European countries (or with European users) can no longer use custom audiences due to Facebook's policy updates in response to new European privacy laws.

Use cases for the Sponsored Message Entry Point 📚

Sponsored messages are ideal for re-engaging inactive chatbot users. You might send one to notify them of a product launch, a sale, an event they can buy tickets for, or to give them a coupon code to bring them back to your store to buy from you again. If a user interacts with the sponsored message, it'll reopen the 24-hour messaging window. From there, your bot can send them more messages to achieve a goal. (That's why you link a chatbot flow to your sponsored message when setting up this Entry Point.)

For example, let's say you create a sponsored message to inform your chatbot users about a new product you're launching. The message can ask the user if they want to learn more about the product. If they respond that they do, the bot can share a video about the product's best features, and then gather the user's email if they want to be put on the pre-order list.

How to set up a Sponsored Message Entry Point 🔧

1. Before you do any setup on Facebook, note that you'll need to set up your sponsored message through Facebook Ads Manager first. (Here's how to set up a sponsored message.)

2. Next, in the Flows tab, add the Sponsored Message Entry Point to your flow. The Entry Point menu will appear when you double-click or right-click in any blank area of the workspace. (Or, you can click the small icon with the screen and + symbol on the right side of the workspace.) Once it appears, you can choose the Sponsored Messages Entry Point from the list.

3. You'll now see a new card for the Entry Point you chose. Click Choose ads, and a pop-up window will appear.

4. In that window, you'll need to select the sponsored message you want to send. If you haven't yet linked your Facebook Ads Manager account, you'll be asked to do so here. You can view ads linked to different accounts by selecting another ad account from the drop-down. Use the checkboxes to select the ads you want. When you're finished, click Save.

5. Now, all that's left to do is create the flow that users will be sent through after engaging with your sponsored message. It all starts with the greeting or the next message the user will receive after interacting with the sponsored message. You can choose from four different message formats here:

  • Text and Buttons*

  • Text and Quick Replies

  • Text and Image

  • Text and Video

Choose one and add your content.

*If your chatbot, its Facebook page admin(s), or any of its users are located in the European Economic Area (EEA), you won't be able to use buttons here. If you want to offer your users response options, select the quick replies option instead.

6. Once you've added the content of your greeting, drag and drop from your button or quick replies on the Entry Point card to create the next card(s) in the flow. Continue building your chatbot flow from there as needed. When you’re done and ready to sync the updated flow with your ad, click the blue Publish changes on Facebook button.

If you prefer to follow along with a video tutorial, here's one for setting up a sponsored message with this Entry Point. 👇

For more information on targeting, delivery, etc. of your sponsored message, check out our sponsored message guide.

How many Sponsored Message Entry Points can I have? 🤔

You can set up a Sponsored Message Entry Point for every sponsored message you have if you like. You just can't link the same sponsored message to multiple different Sponsored Message Entry Points across the same or different flows. If you try to do this, an error message will appear when you go to select your message.

sponsored message selection
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