In this blog post, we’re going to cover how to get around the 24-hour Facebook Messenger policy, without getting your page banned. If you’ve got a Chatbot, you may be aware of these policies, but it’s worth recapping how they work and exactly what they mean to your business.
Once we’ve ticked that off, we’ll go through some different methods that you can use to be able to maintain that contact with your users and your subscribers and be certain you’re aiding those policies, without getting banned.
What is the 24-hour Facebook Messenger rule?
In March 2020, Facebook implemented new policies which meant that when users were messaging businesses in Facebook Messenger, it opened up what we refer to as a 24-hour window.
Essentially, this means that in 24-hours you can send users as many messages as you like, about whatever you like (within reason of course) and without annoying them. You can maintain those levels of communication through the Chatbot to be able to try and get them closer to that point of conversion and maintain that conversation with them.
However, after that 24-hour window is closed, there are only a certain handful of options available to be able to contact those people via those channels. If these policies are not abided by, your page may then be restricted for messaging people. Sometimes, it’s restricted for a temporary period. While other times your page can be banned completely for messaging users and no one will be able to receive replies to their messages.
It’s important we know how the 24-hour rule impacts your business, so we know what we need to do to get around the restrictions without getting banned.
Here are some of the methods that you can use to contact your users outside that 24-hour window. Keep in mind that when you’re using these methods, the method should align with the goal of why you have a Chatbot.
Creating an onmi-channel presence
The goal of all your marketing channels is to get as many different forms of contact, data, and information as possible so you can maintain those levels of communication regardless of which channel the customer wants to use.
This means when you capture email addresses, contact phone numbers, and other forms of contact information, you can use some of those other methods to contact them; with the goal being to bring them back to the Chatbot to reopen that 24-hour window. Every time a customer initiates a new conversation, it reopens the 24-hour period that you can contact them again.
Essentially, it’s not a one-and-done type rule, which means the other good thing about opening up the 24-hour window is the most unique part of a Chatbot. When you are having that conversation, if we were to compare it to creating a link to your website or a link to a landing page – once the user visited that landing page and they’ve consumed that information, they may or may have not taken the conversion action that you’d like.
Once they leave that window, browser, tab, whatever they’ve got open – your ability to be able to contact them through that method is gone. It’s lost. The difference with a Chatbot is when they are having a conversation with you, whether it be manually or automatically, you can continue that conversation as much as you like within the parameters of that 24-hour period.
It’s rather unique to be able to have that constant contact for 24-hours with somebody, as opposed to something like your website or landing page.
Methods to get around the 24-Hour rule without getting banned
Here are some of the methods available to you to capture that information and bring them back to the chatbot.
Subscription List (Recurring Notifications)
Recurring notifications were introduced in early 2022 to Facebook and later to Instagram.
Referred to the more easily memorable ‘Subscription List’ it allows businesses to send messages to contacts once every 24 hours.
Contacts must first subscribe to the list and they can unsubscribe at any point.
We have produced a full guide an explanation on Subscription Lists, read the blog post here.
Send a Sponsored Message
This method isn’t free, but it works really well. You can pay to send a sponsored message to people who are subscribers to your Facebook page.
Subscribers mean they have contacted you via your messenger inbox within the past year,
and through a tool like ManyChat, you can also segment who that sponsored message goes to. Therefore, if you do want to make sure that message is actually sent to them, you can pay for that ability. If the user then chooses to engage with that message, it opens that 24-hour window.
These are also some more technical ways you can contact people and Facebook calls them message tags. However, they are very limited and are only available to a certain number of publishers around a certain number of topics, and what you can and can’t say is also quite limited.
One of them, for instance, is what we call a ‘post purchase’ tag. Now that post-purchase tag can only be used to give customers updates on a purchase that they’ve made. For example, there could be a shipping update, a tracking number, or a delivery update. However, you can’t then follow up to say things like “would you like to give us a review about your purchase?” Because that wouldn’t be classified as going against the Facebook policies.
As we mentioned earlier, when you’re gathering all of those different pieces of data, they’re going to become one of your best assets to ensure that your Chatbot is going to be successful going forward. Therefore, capturing their email address and sending them emails after that, there are no policies regarding when and how you can contact those people that have given you their email. You can use any email marketing system to automatically sync the data that people give you within your chatbot, or you can even use the built-in email functionality within Manychat to do this.
Another option is SMS. While some people and businesses don’t agree with SMS (which is totally fine, we get that.) At the end of the day, it comes down to the content of the message that you’re sending, some SMS can come across as spam and are annoying.
But that’s because they’re not within the context of the customer.
For instance, if someone is on a waitlist for a booking and you can send an SMS to say, “bookings have become available. Click here to confirm your interest.” That is more of a valuable message compared to one that says “Something is 25% off.”
Depending on what you have to say and offer, SMS could be an effective way to bring the user back to the chatbot and continue that conversation.
Another paid method is Facebook ads. Depending on what your subscribers do or don’t do within a Chatbot, you can then sync that with a particular Facebook custom audience, and those custom audiences are specific users. The good thing about these custom audiences is that these behaviors are happening within Facebook’s property. This means there is no loss of the data due to recent iOS14 issues, and you’re able to track most of the users without missing out on any of those custom audiences.
Those types of advertisements are more likely to perform better because their audiences have had some sort of interaction with your business previously and if your ad is relevant to where they’re at in the decision-making process, it will likely stand out against the other advertisements and content they’re scrolling through.
Mobile Wallet Pass Technology
Now, the last one we are going to cover is probably the most exciting piece of technology that you can use as a business. The mobile wallet and mobile pass functionality are becoming more implemented on the market, on users’ phones – creating your very own mobile pass that users can install on their phones.
For our Australian audience, you would be familiar with having the Covid-19 vaccination installed in your phone wallet, and when you need to show that all you have to do is double click the button on the side of your phone. You may have your credit cards, event passes, flight passes all installed in your phone wallet, and you can create a pass that is stored in that same area. So anytime they go to use that feature on their phone, users will be reminded of your business.
These mobile wallet passes are really unique and they’re a great way to get around that 24-hour window. It is all run through Manychat but you need to be able to get users’ contact information, such as email and or phone numbers to be able to send them a unique link where they want to install it. Then, boom. It literally pops up and says – add to my mobile wallet, and that’s it, done.
It’s completely free for users, won’t drain their battery, and it’s all 100% safe and secure. Once they’ve got the pass installed on their mobile wallet, there are a few different features on the pass that you can have. Depending on your business, it could be used for loyalty programs for events, for memberships, or even just for generic information where it has information about your businesses and key links.
Once that pass is installed, you can get around that 24-hour window. You can send push notifications as much as you like (within reason) to the people that have the pass installed, which can also be customised depending on what they do or don’t do.
The other great thing about the mobile pass and its ability to send notifications is that you can also send location-based notifications. So if you’re a physical bricks & mortar business and a user is within a certain radius of your business, you can send a push notification saying “come and visit us for 30% off your drink.”
These are all set virtually on a map, accurate within about 100 yards, and can be updated at any point. Users don’t even need to be around your business at the time for this to be effective. For instance, here in Melbourne if the MCG is hosting an event and your bar is located within walking distance, you can move your markers to locations around the MCG. And then a user with your mobile wallet pass installed goes through one of those areas and it pops up and it says something like “Enjoying the game? Come and show your pass afterward to get two-for-one pints.”
They’re very flexible, very easy to manage and they’re incredibly powerful because not only are they using existing technology, they:
- Don’t need to download another app and are simple for the user to add
- You don’t need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to get a new app created and maintained
- Simple for the user to add on their phones
- It works on BOTH iOS and Android platforms
Generally, mobile passes stay installed on users’ phones and remain in their mobile wallets, it takes a few steps for the user to remove the mobile passes from their phones.
Mobile wallet passes are incredibly powerful and whether you’re a business that is looking to utilise some new technology, update and modernise some of the systems you have in place, or drive return business using a system you can rely on, the mobile wallet could be a solution for your business.
You can test these fully customisable systems yourself and install the chat response mobile pass below.
It will take you through to messenger, grab your details, and you can install the mobile pass there. We’ll show you how a notification works and give you some more information on these mobile passes and how you can implement it for your business as well.
Recapping methods to get around the 24-hour policy
We hope you have learned that there are a handful of methods to get around the 24-hour rule; including;
- Sponsored messages
- One time notifications
- Message tags
- Email Marketing
- Facebook ads
- Mobile Wallet