Ah, Facebook click-to-Messenger ads!
You know about Facebook Messenger ads. You’ve heard me sing the praises of Facebook Messenger ads. You’re intrigued by the unicorn status of Facebook Messenger ads. You’ve probably heard of their outstanding performance. Maybe you’ve even run some Facebook click-to-Messenger ads.
Okay, that’s all great. But how do you get the best results from Facebook Messenger ads?
Facebook Messenger ads are one of the most engaging, cost-effective, and powerful Facebook ad formats available to marketers today. But in order to gain that engagement, keep those costs low, and harness that power, there are certain things you must know and do with your Facebook Messenger ads.
I have a singular goal in this article — to show you exactly how to achieve stratospheric, hyper-successful results from your Facebook Messenger ads.
Yes, even unicorn results.
My tips are few, but they are mighty.
Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #1 – Use Customers.ai
This seems like an obvious one, but I’ve been surprised by how many marketers are attempting to create Messenger ads without using a chatbot builder.
In order to create Facebook click-to-Messenger ads, you need to use a bot builder like Customers.ai. Drop everything and sign up now.
The main reason for using a chatbot builder will become apparent in Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #2 below. Essentially, it’s this — Facebook Messenger ads need to be connected to a chatbot in order for them to have any engaging power and enduring efficacy.
Creating a Facebook Messenger ad in Customers.ai is a two-stage process.
First, you’ll create the Messenger sequence using the Customers.ai Bot Builder. Creating the sequence involves building out a series of messages that your contacts will receive after clicking your Messenger ad.
The second phase of how to make Messenger ads in Customers.ai is the ad setup itself, discussed in detail below.
The important starting point for creating Facebook Messenger ads is this — use Customers.ai.
Once you sign up and get started, half the battle for successful Facebook Messenger ads is won.
Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #2 – Facebook Messenger ads must be connected to a chatbot for maximum success
The only way to gain high-octane power from your Facebook Messenger ads is to connect them directly to a chatbot.
If you walk through the typical process of creating a Messenger ad in Ads Manager, then anyone who responds to your ad will end up in the inbox.
(If your inbox is anything like Customers.ai’s inbox, then you get a lot of spam here.)
Without a chatbot integration, the Messenger ads end up dead on arrival. Sure, the contact may engage with the ad, but you risk losing post-click engagement, which is the most crucial aspect of Messenger ads.
So, how do you connect your Messenger Ad to a chatbot?
This is the process.
First, you’ll go to Facebook Ads Manager as usual, create a new campaign, and choose the “Messages” objective.
Set up your campaign and ad sets, and then go to Customers.ai
In Customers.ai, select Advertising.
Next, choose Messenger Ads.
In the process that follows for creating a new ad, you will create an opt-in message, usually consisting of a quick question. Add an image, then select the Messenger ad dialogue that you have created for the Messenger ad.
Next is the crucial part — syncing your opt-in dialogue to an Ads in a campaign.
You can choose one of two ways to sync the chatbot to your Messenger ad — automatically or manually.
The automatic method allows you to pick from a dropdown menu the ad campaign you created.
The manual method allows you to copy and paste the JSON code directly from Customers.ai into the relevant section in Ads Manager. (The manual method should be used only if you want to create multiple Messenger Ad setups and apply them within the same campaign.)
When you use the automatic method, you’ll select the ad campaign you just set up, check the box to confirm your selection, and finally, publish changes.
Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #3 – Facebook Messenger ads are ideal for targeting custom audiences
Facebook Messenger ads have the best success when they are used for targeting focused audiences.
This is true for any type of Facebook ad, of course, but with Messenger ads, it’s especially so because of the conversion action — sending a message — that you are attempting to elicit.
I recommend targeting users who have heard of your brand before. Perhaps they visited a signup page but didn’t sign up, or they have interacted with your page or website in the past.
These users are likely to at least be familiar with your brand. They’ve heard of it, maybe they’ve thought of it, and because of the familiarity heuristic, they have a greater likelihood of converting on your Messenger ad.
The familiarity heuristic takes places when people judge events as more favorable because they are more familiar in one’s memory.
People see thousands of ads on a daily basis — some new ads, some ads that they recognize on some level. When they see an ad that they’ve seen before, they are more inclined to recognize, to trust, and to click.
Thus, from a psychological perspective, targeting people who have in some way interacted with your brand in the past is the optimal way to gain more conversions from a Facebook Messenger ad.
To create custom audiences for ad targeting, select “create new” from the ad audience in Facebook Ads Manager.
Then, you should choose a “custom audience” since your goal here is to configure an audience that has some awareness of your business.
There are a variety of previous engagement actions that you can select. Depending on the nature of your business, not all of them will apply.
The best success I’ve seen from these custom audiences are those that have visited my website and my Facebook business page.
For example, I’ll often create a Facebook Messenger ad with a custom audience that consists of people who have visited my personal Facebook page, Larry Kim, in the past 90 days.
There’s a corollary benefit to this pre-engagement level of targeting. People are less likely to block your chatbot after they engage with it.
So, that’s the tip: focus on the highest-potential, most-likely-to-convert users. These users are familiar with your brand, they’ve seen your logo, they’ve visited your website, and their minds are primed to convert when they see your ad.
There is a negative side to this tip, of course. You’re not likely to gain as many conversions if you conduct generic targeting. As it stands today, different types of Facebook ads have different levels of effectiveness:
- Display ads – Good for establishing familiarity and brand recognition. Appropriate to reach people in lookalike audiences, parallel Facebook pages, etc.
- Messenger ads – Great for retargeting prospects who have interacted with your brand before. Best to use narrow custom audiences.
Spend time with this. Strategic targeting means successful Messenger ads.
Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #4 – Always include Messenger placement
It’s obvious that audience targeting is important when creating your Facebook Messenger ad.
But equally important? Placement.
When you optimize your Messenger ad, it’s essential to select the following five placements:
- All devices
- Facebook Feeds
- Messenger inbox
- Messenger stories
- All mobile devices
These placement selections will make sure that your ad gets in front of the users and devices that are most likely to engage with your Facebook Messenger ad.
Facebook Messenger Ad Tip #5 – Use conversation-starting techniques that will elicit a click from the user
Let’s pan out for a moment from the important details of placement and targeting, and talk about the whole goal of Facebook Messenger ads.
It’s all about engagement.
And, in the case of Messenger Ads, engagement means getting that first click.
What you’re doing with Facebook Messenger ads is starting a conversation. It’s not necessary to frontload everything that you want to tell them in the ad copy. You’ll have a chance to do that along the way as the sequence unfolds.
Think of the ad as an icebreaker. It’s not a tell-all. It’s a come-on.
Let me show you some examples of ads that we’ve run that have been effective at starting that conversation. You can even test these ads out by clicking the relevant links below.
Here’s a Messenger ad that we used to promote a Facebook Messenger Marketing Summit. Test it out so you can get a sense of its interactivity, message sequence, and engagement features.
This ad uses several engaging features — a video with our iconic monkey mascot, the Messenger logo, plus longform ad copy.
When someone clicks “Learn More” they will see this Messenger message.
Tapping or clicking the emoji brings them into the Messenger sequence, and, boom, they’re in the funnel.
Here’s another ad, this time in the mobile version. You can test this ad yourself.
Clicking “Send Message” brings up the first message in the Messenger sequence.
Let’s check out just one more Facebook Messenger ad. Here’s the link so you can test it yourself.
One differentiating feature of this ad is the carousel. We selected fun personal headshots. As long as the user is scrolling, they will see the “Send Message” CTA in the ad, inviting them to launch the Messenger ad sequence.
Here’s a summary of some of the techniques we’ve used successfully to get that first and all-important click:
- Use longform ad copy. When the ad has a “see more” option, it invites deeper engagement. Opening up this longform copy helps to drive the next level of engagement — starting a Messenger sequence.
- Use the “Learn more” conversation starter. “Learn more” is the same CTA used in many non-Messenger display ads, so the language is familiar and it doesn’t seem as intimidating.
- Add eye-catching videos. The videos autoplay in Facebook, so it is a highly captivating form of visual engagement.
- Create single-option opt-ins. Basic rule of thumb: The user shouldn’t have to think. Once they open the Messenger sequence, their next action should require nothing more than a 2-second glance and a single tap.
- Use carousel images with multiple opt-in points. Carousel images won’t work every time, but if you can slip it in, you’ll probably find great success. Like longform ad copy, they draw in the user with an engagement action, which increases the likelihood of the ultimate engagement of opening the Messenger sequence.
- Try emojis. In case you can’t tell, we’re huge fans of emojis. Emojis are a universal electronic language, and we use them for instant visual recognition, levity, and simple ease of use.
Feel free to test as many creative options as you can, keeping in mind your primary goal in Facebook Messenger ads — opening a conversation with the user.
5. Drive post-click engagement with strategic Messenger sequences
Let’s assume that you’ve now gained a click.
- You’re using Customers.ai.
- Your targeting is on point.
- Your placements are all set.
- You have tantalizing clickability in place.
You want to keep engaging your new contact.
I want to recommend two powerful ways of doing so — one that happens right away, and one that you can launch later on.
First, you should invite your new contact into a Messenger drip campaign. This campaign can and should be highly promotional.
Facebook allows you to send promotional messages in the first 24 hours after a contact has opted-in to your Messenger contact list, plus one more promotional message after the 24-hour period has ended.
This is your chance! It’s free marketing.
A drip campaign of 3-5 messages is usually sufficient to drive a contact through to the desired conversion.
In Customers.ai, part of the Messenger ad setup process is adding a drip campaign. Although optional, it’s highly recommended.
There will obviously be users who didn’t end up following through with your drip campaign or converting.
You can remarket to these users, and you can do so with absolute precision as long as you’ve set up custom attributes within your drip campaign.
These custom attributes — i.e., their answers to questions in your drip campaign — become the basis for segmenting a custom audience to which you can then remarket.
To create a custom audience in Customers.ai, go to Audience Insights → Audiences, and then click Create Audience.
Once you create a custom audience in Customers.ai, you can sync this new audience with your list of Facebook Custom Audiences. At that point, you can create a new ad targeting just those specific contacts.
Final Steps for Successful Facebook Messenger Ads
Facebook Messenger ads have much lower costs and much higher engagement than most Facebook display ads.
But — and I want to reiterate this one more time — it doesn’t happen automatically.
As with any advertising method and channel, you can throw away a lot of money if you aren’t using these ads strategically.
These five points are the absolute best tips that I can provide for launching a successful Facebook Messenger ad campaign. Follow them to success or neglect at your peril.
There are 3 final things you should do right now. They will take less than five minutes.
- Sign up for Customers.ai now. This step is critical since Customers.ai provides all the tools you need for unlocking all the features of Facebook Messenger ads.
- With a community of 20,000 Customers.ai users, there are a lot of people online and chatting about these topics. The conversation needs your voice. Join up.
- Stay in the loop. Customers.ai drops the hottest tips and deepest intel on Facebook Messenger marketing. Sign up and stay in the know.