Rutger Thole, AKA The Botfater (<<< follow this dude’s Facebook page) did a webinar training with friend of theCLIKK, Molly Pittman from Team Traffic on how Facebook is changing the way businesses can communicate with users via Facebook Messenger. Or, perhaps more accurately, how businesses communicate with users via Messenger for free.

This is one ‘save the date’ you shouldn’t ignore

Your cousin’s wedding in Indiana? You don’t have to think about that now. But you definitely should mark your calendar for March 4, 2020. That’s the day Facebook plans to pop the bottles on its new Messenger policies.

Sorry, you don’t get a plus-one

Nope, still not talking about that Indiana wedding. A plus-one in this instance refers to Facebook’s current rule regarding when and how you can contact a user. Currently, a Business Page has 24 hours from the time a user initiates contact to send unlimited messaging—both promotional and non-promotional.

After that time has passed, a Business Page can send one (promotional) follow-up message. This message has been called ‘The +1’. When a subscriber interacts with this follow-up message the 24-hr window is reset. When a subscriber doesn’t interact with that +1 message, a Business Page is not allowed to send any other messages besides:

  • Sponsored messages, AKA “bought and paid.”
  • Subscription messages with one of the 4 message tags

The kicker here is that when a recipient interacts with a sponsored message or a message sent with one of the 4 tags, the 24-hr window is open again and free (promotional) messages can be sent again.

But with the upcoming overhaul, the +1 is going the way of the dodo bird. As of March 4th, you will still be able to send promotional (or non-promotional) messages to subscribers for 24 hours after first contact, but if that subscriber does not interact within 24 hours, the window closes. No more +1.

So, what do we do?

First, Thole outlines some methods for getting subscribers to reengage in a post +1 world in this training.

If you’re a hardcore Facebook Messenger marketer, take the time to watch the entire training. Thole outlines all the upcoming changes to Messenger and exactly how to stay compliant.

For the rest of us, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Use a best-in-class tool to manage your Messenger and SMS marketing. A good chatbot tool will make sure you don’t send messages to people outside of the 24-hour window. We use ManyChat.
  • If you have existing lists on Facebook Messenger, use your +1 (before it goes away on Mar. 4th) to ask for consent to contact the subscriber via SMS or email.
  • Update your Messenger bot flows (again, we use ManyChat to build bot flows) and sequences to get SMS and email consent from customers within 24 hours of first contact.

theCLIKK’s Take: This might seem complex and it kinda is. But that’s a good thing. Marketers that choose to learn the new rules of Facebook Messenger will face less competition to reach the 1.3 billion people that use Facebook Messenger.

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