EP 33: The New Rules of Facebook Subscription Messages

Episode Summary:

In “The New Rules of Messenger,” the Messenger Mastermind team discusses what the July 31 deadline means for companies using Messenger who don’t have their Facebook Fan Pages approved. We discuss how the rules have changed, and how/if you can continue to use messenger without the approval.

Let us know what you think below 👇👇.


Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:15 Facebook is Changing the Rules on Who Can Send Messenger Broadcasts for Free
  2. 2:57 How important is it to get my Fan Page approved for subscriptions?
  3. 4:47 What can I do if I don’t get my Fan Page approved?
  4. 6:28 Why these tougher restrictions are actually good for both Marketers and customers
  5. 8:05 Focus on what matters: Always bringing customers value



Resources Mentioned:

  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat

Episode Transcript:


Jeremy: Welcome, welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. As always, I’m your host, Jeremy Horowitz, joined by my incredible co-hosts, Mark A. and Ben V. Today, we’ve got our propeller hats on. Things are going to get pretty nerdy with what we have to cover, but we feel like it’s pretty important considering that July 31st Facebook deadline just hit. Basically, back in April or May at F8, Facebook announced they were going to make some changes to how businesses can use Messenger to broadcast to their customers. So, Mark and Ben, why don’t you just quickly walk us through what did Facebook announce and what were those changes?


Mark: After July 31st, major changes are coming to the platform and that big change is that after that date, you can no longer send non-promotional broadcasts from the app level. What that means is previously, if you were using something like ManyChat to send broadcasts, you had permission to send a broadcast because of the fact that the permission was given at the ManyChat level. Now that has changed after July 31st. You now have to be approved at your fan page level rather than the ManyChat level in order to send a non-promotional broadcast. This is now in place because every ‘get rich quick’ schemer and spammer has done their best to muddy up the platform, so Facebook is doing what they have to do to clean it up. If you reference back to Episode 11, you will be able to listen to our episode about how to actually become approved for subscription broadcasting at the fan page level. This is going to be extremely important for you if you want to continue broadcasting over time.


Ben: Basically, if you’re a Messenger Mastermind die-hard, we’ve spent the last thirty-two episodes explaining the rules, explaining the proper way to use Messenger to market. If you’ve been following those rules, you’re pretty much in the clear after you get this approval from subscription broadcast. Those rules were on the honor system before so people could avoid those rules and go over the gate and use Messenger the way they wanted to. As of August 1st, they will no longer be able to and it will clear up the platform for marketers doing things the right way.


Jeremy: I think this is something we have definitely talked about for a while now. We kind of predicted that this would come. If I’m not already approved for a subscription, how important is that to do now?


Mark: It’s pretty important. The way that it works is that if you are not approved then there are sixteen tag options that you’re able to use in ManyChat to send a non-promotional broadcast. These sixteen tags are extremely specific and we’re not going to go into each of them. You can look them up and check out our Facebook group, Messenger Mastermind, and we’ll drop the info in there for you. Each of those tags fall into different categories. If you fall into that category, then you can use that and you’re fine. Realistically, those things are extremely specific so if you want to have your best chance at being able to send broadcasts without complications, then it really does all come down to having access to your broadcasting at the fan page level.


Ben: If we set those tags- we’ll put them in the Messenger Mastermind group, so everyone is on the same page- if you look at those tags, literally none of the sixteen pertain to marketers in any way. If you have an e-commerce business and you’re trying to sell something through the Messenger platform, none of those sixteen tags will work for you. They’re almost exclusively function based as far as PSA’s, emergency announcements, things like that. They will not pertain to marketing in any way. This subscription broadcast approval is everything for every marketer out there that’s listening.


Jeremy: It’s kind of like we just went from the wild, wild west to now. The extremely strict rules, a lot less creativity that can enter the market because of all the bad actors. If I’m a marketer, I still want to be super involved on Facebook and let’s say I don’t get approved for subscription, what can I do?


Mark: There are other options. The best one would be to send sponsored broadcasts. You can do this in two ways. You can do this through the Facebook Ads Manager platform which works. We wouldn’t necessarily recommend it: there are some restrictions there. The other option would be to do sponsored messages directly through ManyChat. That would be our recommendation. We have tested going through Facebook Ads Manager and they don’t really have their ducks in a row quite yet on that. We’ve run into some complications in that when you send a broadcast, the broadcast can be spread out over up to 24 hours, which isn’t ideal if you have a very time sensitive thing that you’re trying to sell. It also kind of dictates who your message is being sent to for you rather than you dictating it yourself. Using ManyChat’s sponsored message option is a little bit better. It allows you to control targeting a little bit more. That would be your best bet if you are not approved for subscription broadcasting.


Ben: We gave you some tips and tricks back in Episode 19 The Almost-Death of Messenger Broadcasting. We had some tips as far as paid broadcast goes and what you could do to become viable if this does affect your business and you can’t get approved. It is going to be tough sledding, we have to be honest with you, if you don’t get the approval.


Mark: I’m going to be honest; I actually feel excited about this. I’m glad that this platform is going to be cleaned up. I don’t know if anybody else experienced this on last Black Friday, but I received about eight different extremely promotional messages that should not have been promotional all sent to me. All that I saw there was a platform that was being ruined so I’m actually excited about this. I feel like this is going to work so much better for marketers that are doing things right and it actually increases the opportunity that we now have.


Jeremy: I think we talked about this a lot. This is just another extension of the 24 plus 1 rule. Facebook doesn’t want to become email. It can’t ruin the user experience the way that email was in that lawless state. I feel like we’re a bunch of kids who just got spanked by their parents. We, unfortunately, got to this situation where people just didn’t treat it well enough. There’s another level of complication but I also feel like it just requires a little bit more creativity to submit a bot like Messenger Motivation that is creative, and that Facebook sees that you’re putting thought into create value for the end user. You’ll most likely get approved and then you’ll hit subscription status and then at that point, you’ll be fine to continue to operate and really leverage the channel. It might have taken a little bit more work but now you’re doing something way more valuable for your customers and the net result will be that it drives more value for your business.


Mark: Right, if you’re using Messenger the way that a good marketer should, then you’re not just using it to sell. You’re also using it to bring value. That is where your opportunity to get approved for subscription broadcasting will live. If you try to approve- and again, we covered this in Episode 11- if you try to be approved by just showing that you’re going to only sell products, you’re not going to be approved and that’s by design.


Ben: We can continue this conversation into our Messenger Mastermind group as far as different ways that we’ve seen the approval process go and how your company can get approved. Go to Facebook and join the Messenger Mastermind group and join the conversation there. If you need something built custom for your business along the daily Messenger motivation or our inspiration bot that we’ve talked about in past episodes, reach out to us at hi@messengermastermind.co and that will give you a valuable tool that gives value to your customers that will help you get approved through subscription base.