What is subscription messaging?

There are three types of messages you can send to people who opt-in to your Facebook Messenger bot:

  1. Subscription messages – Your Messenger bot is permitted to send messages any time but these messages must not be promotional in nature. This type of message is intended for sending news and information (e.g. new blog posts) and reminders.
  2. Standard messages – Your Messenger bot may send one message within 24 hours of a person sending you a message or opting-in to receive messages via a web plug-in on your website (e.g. our Abandoned Cart Rescue plug-in). After the 24-hour time limit has expired you may send only one additional message unless the person messages you back in which case the counter resets. There are exceptions to this rule for notification type messages like order and shipping updates, event reminders, payment & account updates, etc. 
  3. Sponsored messages – A Facebook ad in the form of a standard message (but marked ‘Sponsored’) that can be sent to all, or a segment of, people who have open conversations with your bot. Facebook charges an advertising cost for sending these messages but they can be a very effective investment to re-engage inactive subscribers.

So, what’s changed?

Previously businesses could rely on the subscription messaging permissions already granted to apps like Maisie.

However, Facebook announced a new policy in February 2018 that businesses could no longer rely on the permissions granted to the apps they use for sending messages. Instead businesses would be required to apply directly to Facebook for approval to send subscription messages.

Facebook allowed a transition period until 31 December 2018 for businesses to apply for and receive approval. After this date, businesses without such approval are prevented from sending subscription messages.

How do I apply for approval?

As Messenger is tied to your Facebook Business Page you need to be a Page Admin for the Facebook Page you have connected to Maisie to apply for subscription messaging approval.

To apply simply follow these few steps:

Login to your Facebook account and click Settings in the top right corner.

Click Messenger platform in left menu.

You will now see your Messenger Platform settings screen.

Scroll down the page and click the Request link under Subscription messaging in the Advanced messaging features section.

A form will pop up for you to complete. First, select the News radio button.

Next, in the Provide additional details section, describe the type of information and updates that you would like to send to your subscribers. For example, you might type something like “We will send blog updates and how-to videos on a monthly basis”.

Next you need to provide 2-3 examples of the type of messages you will send. Remember these are messages – they are meant to be brief and informal. Here are some examples that you can tailor for your category & brand.

  • We have a new blog post you might like to check out.
  • Need to freshen up your look? Check out our tips for making your wardrobe work for you.
  • Watch our latest video on how to service your bike at home. It’s easier than you think!

Once you have completed these example messages check the box at the bottom to agree to Facebook’s policies and agree that you won’t send marketing or promotional messages via subscription messaging. Click the Save Draft button.

You will see your Messenger Platform settings screen again with Ready to submit displayed in the Subscription messaging section.

If you would like to review or edit your application form click the Edit link. When you are happy and ready to submit click the Submit for Review button.

You will receive confirmation on screen that your submission was received and you will also receive an email at the email address you use to login to Facebook.

Facebook will review your application and advise you via email as to whether or not they have approved your subscription messaging permissions. As this is a manual process it might take up to 5 business days to receive a response from Facebook.

You can also check back under Page Settings > Messenger Platform to see whether your application is under review, approved or rejected.