EP28: Getting Back To Basics… What Is The 24 Plus 1 Rule?



Episode Summary:

Have you been hearing the 24 Plus 1 Rule but don’t really understand what it means?


On this episode of the Messenger Mastermind podcast we discuss What the 24 Plus 1 rule is, why it’s important, and how to properly follow the rules. While there are serious penalties for getting caught if you break the rule, there are some incredible improvements you can make to your Marketing while following.


If you are responsible for your eCommerce company’s Facebook Messenger Marketing or Retention Marketing this is one you have to add to your listening list this week.


Let us know what you think below 👇👇.


Episode Highlights:

  1. 1:50: Breaking down the 24 Plus 1 Rule
  2. 5:05: What are the penalties for breaking the rule
  3. 6:15: The 3 Types of Messenger Messages and how to use them
  4. 9:30:  Why you need to open with content
  5. 11:30: Why Messenger won’t have the Spam problems Email does
  6. 12:30: What to do when a customer falls past the 24 Plus 1.
  7. 13:42: The similarities between the 24 Plus 1 Rule and the TCPA for SMS messages.


Resources Mentioned:


  1. Facebook Messenger Tool – Manychat
  2. Push Notifications Tool – Pushowl
  3. SMS Tool –  Postscript
  4. Email Platform- Klaviyo


Episode Transcript:


Jeremy: Welcome to another week’s episode of The Messenger Mastermind Podcast. Today you’re hearing your hosts, Jeremy Horowitz, Mark A., and Ben Vandal. We’re going to be covering the 24 plus 1 Rule and really bringing it back to the basics. From the different Facebook groups and conversations, we’ve been having with people recently, we’re really seeing that there’s a pretty foundational misunderstanding of what the 24 plus 1 Rule is and how to best leverage your resources around that. We wanted to take an episode and take a week out and really focus on that as it’s really the foundation to your entire marketing strategy in the channel. Also, if you’re going to break it, there’s some pretty nasty penalties that go along with it. C.V.G. team, great, great conversation this week. I’m really excited about it. Why don’t we get in and start breaking down what the 24 plus 1 Rule is for the people?

Mark: Sure, we’ve discussed this briefly many times throughout other episodes, but we really thought it was important that this needs to highlighted as its own topic just because it’s the golden rule of Messenger. What that is, 24 plus 1 stands for 24 hours plus one more message. What that means is, if someone engages with your bot, that starts your first 24 hours of the 24 plus 1. What that means is, within that 24-hour timeframe, you are allowed to message that person freely. It can promotional, it can be non-promotional. Beyond that point, after the 24 hours, you are allowed one additional promotional message. After that, if they no longer engage-if you send a message and they just ignore it-then you have used up your 24 plus 1 and you no longer have access to be sending them a promotional message. What we’re going to be discussing today is the importance of the 24 plus 1 and how to use certain methods to make sure that your audience is always engaging so that you always have the option to be sending messages when you need to.


Ben: A lot of people get confused on this because they don’t really understand when the 24-hour clock starts. In all the captures that we’ve talked about in past episodes on how to build your list and how to get a Messenger subscriber, right when that customer subscribes is when your 24-hour timeframe begins. Then you have that plus one message which we talk about on how to send an engaging broadcast that we’ve talked about previous episodes too. The second a customer or a follower becomes a subscriber, you have 24 hours to message them freely, like Mark talked about, and then you get that one follow up broadcast so it better be a good one.


Mark: A good example of using this set up would be let’s say you’re running a click to Messenger ad and someone clicks your ad, opens up your bot, you ask a question, they click a button, fantastic. Now, a good rule of thumb is to set up a follow up flow within that first 24 hours because you are free range within that first 24 hours. You have a follow up that automatically takes place. Now, beyond that, you are now working with your plus one so maybe this is a week later, a month later, probably not too much longer than that because then that person’s going to kind of forget about you, but that one message is now going to want to be something that is usually asking a question. Something very engaging. Something to make sure that the prospect is actually clicking the button with your bot because if you send that message and they do not click a button, that’s your plus one and you’re kind of shut out from there. We can go over the fact that there isn’t actually something= that Facebook will not actually restrict you from messaging beyond the 24 plus 1 Rule. They make the rule and the rule is there, but no one is actually enforcing it unless you reach the point where you get banned, which does happen. Yes, you can message beyond the 24 plus 1, but you don’t want to do that because if you abuse it, it will go away for you.


Jeremy: That seems like some pretty serious penalties. Just to add on to that as well, I think we should reverse unpack because there’s a lot of good nuggets in there. Being banned on Facebook also means they will potentially shut down your entire biz account which means no organic Facebook posts, no paid media through Facebook either so you are really playing with fire if you’re breaking the rules. I don’t know if everyone’s business is based off of Facebook ads, like a lot of the businesses I know, but losing access to Facebook paid media would be a pretty big deal for a lot of the companies that I know.


Mark: Exactly.


Ben: Yeah, it’s a death sentence.


Jeremy: We talked a lot about the categories and types of messages. Ben, why don’t you break down for us in a really simple manner what are these different types of messages and how do you use each one?


Ben: There are basically three buckets of messages that we’re dealing with. There’s a promotional message which is your sales pitch after a customer engages with your bot. You then have that 24-hour period to engage them with a promotional message plus that one additional message that you can use how you want. We wouldn’t use it for a promotional purpose. We would use it to re-engage the customer, resetting our clock, but it’s up to you. The second type is a subscription message. This is strictly content based. Never have promotional content. We’ve talked about in a previous podcast how you have to apply and be approved for subscription messaging. Go back and listen to that. It’s very important and that’s a good way to hit your customers with content continuously but never selling them but keeping them engaged. The third type is a sponsored message. This is basically a form of paid media on Facebook where you can send a promotional message, one message, to a customer that you pay per message to reach anybody who has interacted with your bot in the last year.


Mark: Just to touch upon that, I think it usually ends up being about $20 to $25 per 1000 people on a sponsored message.  


Ben: That’s kind of the stock range. Everybody’s a little different and it depends on what your targeting is as well. Anywhere from $20 to $30 per 1000 impressions on that but it is kind of- that seems expensive and it is but it’s worth it when you know about the open rates and other things like that.


Jeremy: When are you guys using each of those three different types of messages? 


Mark: They all fall into different places. Sponsored messages can certainly be used at any point because since you’re paying for them, Facebook doesn’t care how you use the platform because you’re giving them money to do it. As Ben said, for subscription broadcasts, that would be a good way for something like where we previously discussed Messenger motivation where we’re just sending daily motivational quotes. We’re not selling them on anything, we’re just giving them content. That’s how you would use that. Regarding promotional messages, even with us calling them promotional messages, we still like to look at it as you should be sending out something that’s engaging and not just the message of “Hey, we’re doing buy one, get one free today.” You still want to open up with something that’s going to make them actually click a button just so that you can reset that 24 plus 1 Rule. 


Jeremy: Engagement is always super valuable because if you can always get them to do something within the bot, there’s multiple levels of value to this, right? First, you’re constantly resetting the 24 plus 1 Rule which is constantly opening up the free messaging part of Facebook Messenger but also when you think about it from the customer perspective, the more they’re engaging with your bot, the more they’re engaging with your brand, the more that you’re at the top of their mind. Even if they’re not necessarily ready to buy today, being constantly top of mind and constantly engaging with your brand is super valuable because it will keep them warm as a customer. The third part, my favorite. For the listeners that have been with us since episode one are probably tired of hearing me talk about this but I do think it’s so, so important. You can tag every single one of those interactions. If you get creative and pointed in the questions that you ask, you can mine a ton of data on what your customers are interested in from a marketing and product perspective. Then you can use any type of marketing messages and especially if you have product launches or sales knowing the really intimate details of what your customers are interested across a wide variety of things will only make that messaging easier. 


Mark: Just to build on that a little bit further, to really play up the importance of opening with content or a question. Anything other than hitting them with a sale. We like to look at it like this: if you send out a message and it’s as simple as just a promotion, then chances are your unsubscribes are just going to go through the roof. You’ve put in a lot of work to build up your list. Start with something engaging so that when someone is asked a question, they actually engage. When someone is given an offer, your unsubscribes are going to go up. You don’t want to burn through your list that you just spent time and effort to build up. Just be smart about it.


Ben: If you walk into any establishment in the world, even the sleaziest used car salesman is going to open up with a question. He’s going to ask you, “How are you doing?” and if you’re looking for something. He’s not just going to come right out with the sales pitch and start to try to capture your attention. It’s a conversational platform. You want to be engaging with them and start a conversation. That’s really how it should go.


Mark: If you’re doing that, you’re probably going to stay well within the 24 plus 1 Rule and will have much less to worry about concerning that.


Jeremy: I think at the core of this, Facebook is trying to parent all of us. Facebook watched for fifteen years what happened to email when basically it was a lawless state where anyone could do whatever they wanted from a marketing and spam perspective. They were like, “We are not going to allow that on our platform.” It’s something that yes, it’s a bit of an inconvenience. There’s some nuance to it that you need to think through and work through but also, I think for everyone out there that wants to build a really valuable, long-term list and business it’s a natural down-side protection that you know that you don’t have to compete with the 90 million people who have ruined email because they’re going to send you fifteen emails a week and that you never want to view them. Whereas, really view these messages as precious and really think through what’s the highest impact that each of these can have for your commerce. That in and of itself, just that thought process, will create an immense amount of value for your business.


Mark: Absolutely. If you ever fall beyond that 24 plus 1, your subscriber is not useless at that point. You can always send out a paid broadcast. You can go to Facebook and you can spend the $20 to $30 to reach 1000 people and get them to re-engage. You still have a touchpoint with someone who’s probably interested the niche or realm your store is in. You’ve never actually lost if you fall beyond the 24 plus 1. You’re just going to have to treat it a little bit differently.


Jeremy: Which is also why keeping those follow ups and not wasting them are so important because they’re kind of like a cheap first stop loss before you have to go and pay. They’re still within the Facebook ecosystem so there are many other opportunities. You could run re-targeting ads to them that are click to Messenger ads. There are a lot of different opportunities that it’s not the same as if an email is dead and you sent them a win-back campaign that didn’t work, you just lost the contact. There are many other opportunities to re-engage and keep those customers engage in your Messenger marketing.


Mark: Absolutely.


Jeremy: In a similar manner, we want to quickly address SMS because SMS has a lot of similar rules that are obviously different and customized to the platform but again, just thinking of you not spamming your customers. There’s one little piece of legislation from the FCC that we want to bring up called TCPA. It’s basically The Consumers Protection Act against spamming for robocalls and text messages.  There are a couple ones we will split up. I know you all use PostScripts and really like their service and how they help you in this management. A couple things when you collect phone numbers, you have to get their expressed written consent which really just means that you have to clearly state however they’re opting in, whether that’s on the website or your email, that they’re sending you their phone number for a very specific reason. Think along the similar lines of GDPR. You’re also not allowed to send more than one message within a sixteen-hour time window so no four to five text messages within a day. What was the specific time of day that you can send them? 


Ben: It’s in the customer’s time zone, you can’t send a message before 8am or after 8pm.


Jeremy: Right, so during typical business hours. Don’t be texting people in the middle of their night. What else did I miss?


Ben: I think you are pretty set up there. The big one for us at C.V.G. being an east coast company is the time zone requirement. When we do releases earlier in the day, and we try to mass broadcast to our customers through SMS, it doesn’t line up sometimes with the time zone requirement and you might have inventory issues when the text message does go out. Be wary of that and don’t make that your main form of communication. If the time zone and inventory requirements are a restriction for you.


Mark: You’re pretty much going to be limited to the earliest that you can send out a SMS message is 9am west coast time. Just because it’s past 9am on the east coast doesn’t mean you can send out that message because the way that it usually falls  is that just because someone is original time zone for their phone might be on the east coast, they may not actually be on the east coast. Just to play it safe, 9am west coast time, that’s going to be your jump off point for when you’re going to send out a broadcast.


Ben: The other rule that we did omit here is you have to add the ‘reply stop’ option in each message. You have to offer them the opt out at any time in every message.


Jeremy: Right and that’s typical “Text STOP to no longer receive these messages.” Please don’t remove that from all messages. Please make that a standard. That is so basic that people think they can get around when they really can’t and the one difference between the 24 plus 1 Rule in this is because of the FCC regulation, people can actually file class action lawsuits against your business. It’s way more serious than just shutting your Facebook account.


Mark: Don’t play around with those rules especially with SMS. I’ll just go back to Jeremy’s point about the opt in. That’s super important. If you have a customer list with maybe they gave you their phone numbers during checkout, but you didn’t have that opt in message there, you cannot text message those people. If for the last three years you’ve been collecting phone number and there was no message, those phone numbers are no use to you, unfortunately. You have to have that message there.


Jeremy: At the end of the day, think about if you were the customer at the receiving end of all these messages. What’s really the best, most valuable experience for you and design the end-to-end experience around that whether it’s in Messenger or SMS, email. I know that’s kind of a little late to that party. Somebody is going to give you their contact information for some sort of value and think through each step of that value, that it’s not just “Oh, we need to hit them with these promotional messages to drive a sale.” Really think through, “Oh, me and this person are having a conversation and here’s how we can evolve that conversation over time to drive as much value as possible for everyone involved.” I think once you just adopt that mindset, a lot of these things just naturally fall into place.


Mark: We can quickly jump into push notifications also as that is an important part of our messaging platform. Ben, Jeremy, I think we know that we’re not really hit with so much limitation as far as push notifications go. There’s not so many rules or criteria or laws that are as strict, but we still want to follow the same kind of good practices. We don’t want to bombard people with push notifications. We don’t want to send them in the middle of the night, not that really, it’s going to pop up on their phone necessarily and give them an alert, but we still want to follow the same guidelines. Not many people opt out of push notifications but if they do, take them off the list. You don’t want to continue them with things.


Ben: I know this episode wasn’t the sexiest topic but the way we think about it is, these channels are very intimate channels for the customers. These are places where they’re talking to their friends, where they’re talking to their family members so treat them with respect and follow the guidelines and best practices so that way you don’t upset any customers because you’ll end up creating more problems than you will sales. 


Mark: This is list building here and as paid media becomes more expensive, your lists becomes more important. Follow the rules, treat them with respect. Your lists will bring you a lot of value over time.