How to Set Up a Successful Facebook Sponsored Message Campaign

Angela Allan
9 min readNov 6, 2020
Photo by NeONBRAND on Unsplash

Facebook sponsored messages are a great way to reengage your chatbot subscribers after the 24-hour window has ended. 📲

(You can learn more about the 24-hour window and Facebook Messenger rules here.)

What are Facebook sponsored messages?

Facebook sponsored messages are messages you pay to send out to your chatbot subscribers.

Facebook can’t ensure 100% deliverability with sponsored messages (yet), but about half of your chatbot subscriber list will receive your sponsored message within the first 4 days of your campaign.

Everyone who is subscriber, as well as those who have unsubscribed from your chatbot, will receive your sponsored messages, so it is important to exclude these people from your sponsored message campaign.

How to set up a Sponsored Message campaign

Let’s go through how to craft and send a sponsored message to your audience in ManyChat minusing those who have unsubscribed.

I use ManyChat in this example, but you can use Chatfuel or your preferred chat marketing platform.

There are two ways to get this up and running:

  • Watch the video here, where I take you through it step by step
  • Or you can follow along in my instructions with screenshots below 👇

Ready? Let’s go!

First, start on your ManyChat page and hit your Audience tab and you’ll see all your subscribers there.

Next, hit export PSIDs, which is a Pro feature, make sure you have a Pro account. It’ll actually create a CSV file.

Now a CSV files a file that keeps all of your data of your customers together. So this is what you’d want to do, you’ll download it. And if you’re in Chrome, it downloads into the bar there.

Now you head over to your ads manager in Facebook. So it’s your Facebook Business Manager and hit Ads.

So from here, you’re going to click Create Audience, and this is going to be a custom audience. So just so I explain firstly, when you do that, people that have unsubscribed will not be included in that because they’ve already unsubscribed.

I’ve never had an issue where people who have unsubscribed appear in my audience. (I refresh it like every two weeks whenever I run an ad.)

So the way you’re going to do this is you’re going to click on Customer list because it is a customer list now. You don’t need a template or anything here. I just leave all of these and I go Next, and we don’t want to include customer value, I mean you can, but I don’t see a need for it.

And now you’re going to go and add a list in CSV or text. You go Upload File and then you’re going to find your file.

A little note on naming conventions: I always name mine by month. For example, ManyChat Subscribers October 2020, so I can always find them again, and when I upload a new audience file of subscribed/unsubscribed people, I know which is the current audience.

So we’ll go Next and you need to identify what this is. So you’re taking these CSVs from a Facebook page ID. So when it says mapped zero, you’ll go across to action needed and it will ask you for your Facebook page ID.

Now, in order to find your Facebook page ID, you head back over to ManyChat window ad it says FB19 whatever, you take that number, copy paste, and you put it into Facebook page ID.

Click on that back in your ads manager. So Add 1 Page, and then that should be fine. Hit Upload and Create. So don’t close the window, just wait, play some waiting music.

And you can go “Done”, or if it’s big enough, mine is not big because, obviously, it has nine people in it, you can create a lookalike audience from this, create an ad. So you go “Done” and in your audience, it’ll be in there. Now you head back over to ManyChat to create your ad.

Now, when I load in your ManyChat dashboard, you will have the ads. So you go to Ads. We’ll go Create New Ad. So you’ll go to the ad account that you want to select for this purpose. I have an ad account. I’m just going to select mine. We’re going to create new campaign. So you’re going to hit Create New Campaign.

And then it will be in messages. I will always do messages. You can name it, whatever. I’m just going to call this Test.

Set a campaign spend limit, this is your overall spending limit. I don’t do that because Facebook can only ensure about 40% or 50% deliverability of sponsored messages.

Yes, this is a known Facebook issue. I get my opens at 6 to 16 cents per open in my actual real agency list and it only delivers to about half of my list.

That is nothing that you can do about that, that is a Facebook issue.

Next, we’re going to create a new ad set. So it won’t be a clicks to messenger, this’ll be a sponsored message. Click to messenger is your other ad, your JSON ad usually. So we’ll call it whatever, I’m just going to call it Test for this purpose. And in lookalike audience, you’re going to find the audience you just created.

This is the one I just created in the ads manager is ManyChat Subscribers Test. So you don’t need to fill out anything. I never fill out anything else, so it’s just going to send to these people. I’m not going to fill out any of that, I never do. I just go “Next” and then it’ll appear. Edit placements, you can’t do it all devices. It’ll just appear in messenger as a sponsored message.

My daily budget. Now, I’m in Australian dollars so I always set my daily budget at 500 and my bid control at 1000. Now it’s not going to spend a $1000, the most I’ve ever spent on a sponsored message campaign is $8. I’ve never gone over $8. My list is under a 1000, but I’ve never gone over $8.

So just be aware this is just to ensure deliverability. You will always get this error message saying, “We were unable to get estimates for selected ad set placements.” I think it’s a Facebook issue, so don’t worry. If you set it to 500 and then 1000 it should deliver as much as it can.

Now, I don’t do run my ad set continuously because it usually only delivers in the first three to four days and then it is gone. So I select a start and end date, and I always make it a week (7 days).

🔥 Hot tip: If you have a sale coming up and you know it’s going to happen on the 31st of October, go a week before. So let’s have a look at what that would look like. So it’s the 31st, just pretend today’s the week of the 18th of October, we’re going to run the ad starting on like the 23rd so everyone will get it before the 31st so they can then hit your message and say, “Oh, I’m going to go into the sale.”

Just say it’s a one-day sale and get them to put in a one-time notification in that flow. When they click on that, they’ll get automatically notified that on the 31st of October that you’ve got the sale happening.

However, if you are running a sale that goes for about seven to 10 days, I would always suggest you can run it that week, but just be aware it’s going to take three to four days for people to deliver it, for Facebook, to deliver it to your list, and it’s only going to reach half of your list.

So you can do it two ways:

  1. Using a one-time notification with a smart delay for date in your flow or
  2. You just run it when the sale is live and make your sale go for a week.

But if you’re doing a sale that’s only a one-day, run it a week before, have the one-time notification in your flow so then people can come back into the bot and say, “Hey, you’re ready for that one-day sale.” That’s just the two ways you’re going to have to do it and that’s the work around.

Next, you’ll create your ad. So we’re going to name our ad first, always name it. So I’m going to call this Test ad, and this is going to be your text.

You are limited to 150 characters. I always try and do something fun where people interact with it. The things that I find work really well are quizzes or surprise messages. Like, “Would you like to win?” I did one recently, “Would you like to win a VIP pass to Conversations 2020 and join me?” That did really well.

You can’t put first name in, I’ve never been able to put first name in this first message, it’s never come through, people have had a lot of problems. So I just go, “Hey,” and I always do an emoji, this for a wave 👋, so people know we’re being super friendly. And you write in the rest of your copy.

(For more copywriting for sponsored message tips, head over to my blog post here on the ManyChat blog.)

Once you’ve set this all up, hit the Send to Facebook button and then you’ll come back into your ads section and it will be sitting there waiting in review. It takes between two to eight hours in review, depending on what the flow is, what the competition is like.

I’ve had reviews for 12 hours, messages stay in for 12 hours before being okayed. So just be aware that if something is taking 12 hours for your sponsored message to be approved, it’s not unusual, it’s just depends on how many people are running ads.

If you’re going to do this during the holiday season, please do it earlier rather than later so you’re not stuck in the 12-hour review process when you are missing those sales dollars.

So if you set this up early, you’ll be ready to go for that holiday season through Thanksgiving, to Christmas and New Year’s. So make sure you think about that now and this is just a tip on how to set up your Facebook ads.

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Angela Allan

Queen of Giving Good Copy 👑 | Award-Winning Digital Marketer | Journalist | Speaker | Instagram: @misssoot