How to Run Ads on Your Facebook Messenger Chatbot Without Driving Customers Away

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In 2016, Facebook allowed marketers to send messages about special deals and promotions to users. Once a user initiated a conversation, then your chatbot could be deployed in order to promote the special deal.

Alternatively, Messenger Home Ads were rolled out globally – allowing advertisers to target cold traffic with ads in Messenger (sponsored messages).

Unlike traditional News Feed ads which would disrupt users, many advertisers have found it more profitable to target people where they’re most engaged: talking with other users using Messenger.

If you haven’t tried this yet, you can do this in Ads Manager when creating a new ad. Simply scroll down to the ‘Placements’ tab and you’ll see the option for ‘Messenger’.

Here are some of the ways you can leverage chatbots to maximize your impact with Facebook Messenger ads.

Conversations Lead to Conversions

Beauty retailer Sephora was able to boost its booking rate by 11% after deploying a Messenger chatbot that allowed customers to make bookings without leaving Facebook.

Initially, Sephora ran a cold traffic campaign targeting women who were interested in makeup and cosmetics. But instead of sending traffic through to a designated landing page, as is customary in internet marketing, the advert lead directly to a conversation with the automated Sephora Assistant.

Mary Beth Laughton, SVP of Digital, Sephora, states: “At Sephora, our goal with digital tools and innovation is always to meet the client where she already spends her time, which is why the Messenger platform capabilities appealed to us.”

One of the fundamental tenets of conversion rate optimization is that you should make it as easy as humanly possible for a user to convert.

One way to do this is by reducing the amount of steps a user has to take in order to do so. You might reduce the amount of pages in your checkout process, for example, or enable users to checkout without registering.

In the case of Sephora, the brand takes things a step further by allowing users to convert without even visiting its website.

The Sephora Assistant bot was specifically developed to improve client experiences. After learning the user’s location, the bot enables them to book an appointment at a nearby store in as few as 3 steps.

Once the user selects their closest store, they’re then given a list of times and dates for placing an appointment. This is much less hassle than calling up for an appointment or going through several pages on the brand’s website to place a booking.


In my opinion, Facebook offers the most powerful retargeting system in the world.

For those of you who don’t know, retargeting is a form of marketing that enables you to reconnect with users who have visited your website but who haven’t given you their contact details or made a purchase. In most situations, these users would be lost, but with a careful retargeting campaign, you’re giving them another opportunity to convert.

One of the best things about Facebook retargeting is that you can target people based on the pages they’ve viewed.

Oftentimes, someone might be an ideal customer for your product, but they don’t convert due to a lack of comfort. Sure, you can include an FAQ section on your landing page and feature a bunch of testimonials – but this isn’t always enough.

People who have viewed your sales page have proven interest in your products or services. You can target anyone who has visited this URL in Facebook Ads Manager, then exclude those who’ve also visited the URL of your Thank You page (indicating that they haven’t already converted).

(For more information on setting this up, check out Facebook’s instructional guide to Custom Audiences).

When you have your audience of high intent visitors set up, hit them with a Click-to Messenger retargeting ad.

Here’s a retargeting ad by Digital Marketer for users who have visited the brand’s sale page, but who haven’t converted.

Those who click the ‘Send Message’ button can have their fears alleviated and receive more education about the product via a live conversation – either with a chatbot or a sales representative.

As with the Sephora example, if a user can convert without having to leave Facebook – this is infinitely preferable.

Screen for Quality Leads

As every marketer knows, not all leads are good leads. It varies from industry to industry, but you can always expect a sizeable chunk of useless leads – even if your copywriting is totally unambiguous and specific to a certain buyer persona.

Unlike human sales representatives, chatbots enable you to deliver personalized marketing at scale.

However, it’s always preferable to have a human at hand to close a deal or deliver personalized educational content – particularly if you’re selling high ticket items.

With Click-to Messenger ads, your chatbots and human representatives can work hand-in-hand to filter the good leads from the bad.

When someone clicks the CTA button on your ad, they can be greeted with a chatbot. By asking specific questions, the chatbot can determine whether or not the respondent is a good match for your products or services. If your chatbot determines that the lead is qualified, they can then be passed to a human representative to close the deal. This can be an amazing time-saver since your representatives don’t have to waste any of their precious resources on leads that would never be good customers in the first place.

These are just three examples of how you can run effective Facebook campaigns using Messenger chatbots. The use of chatbots is rising, with more than 200,000 bots now active on the platform, and as consumer adoption increases, so too will the opportunities. 

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