How To Master Facebook Messenger Ads

How To Master Facebook Messenger Ads

Interested in generating more leads from Facebook? 

Ever considered using Messenger ads? 

In this article, you’ll learn how to create Messenger based ad campaigns to successfully generate new leads for your business.  

What are Messenger ads? 

Before we take a look at Messenger ad campaigns, it is worth noting that this article isn’t about the Messenger ad placement option or how to build Messenger chatbot campaigns.

Instead, in this article, we’ll be focusing on how to use Facebook Messenger ads alongside any currently running ads in order to help generate more cost-effective leads. 

Since messenger ads aren’t actually a specific ad type, there isn’t an option for you to select “messenger ad” as a format. Instead, this type of ad is termed ad destination, meaning the endpoint that you want the people that engage with your ads to visit. Much like your website or your app. 

This ad type is highly effective in creating a one-click method to start a conversation with your potential customers or clients; this method is much faster than directing someone to the Chat feature or Contact details on your website.  

What objective should you use? 

There is sometimes a bit of confusion when creating Messenger ads as there are two different ways to create them. 

The first and original way to create Messenger ads is to use the traffic or conversion objective and at the ad set level set Messenger as the destination list. 

A separate messages objective in Messenger ads

In 2017, a new Messages campaign objective was released by Facebook with the aim of raising awareness with businesses using Facebook as a marketing platform that it is a viable option to engage with Facebook users via Messenger and start conversations to further their business goals. 

However, it’s worth taking note that Facebook didn’t replace the old method of creating Messenger campaigns, which actually gives you two ways to create these campaign types. The most appropriate way to create campaigns that send people to Messenger is with the newer Messenger objective.  

When to use Messenger campaigns 

Facebook advertising can be used across your sales funnel, to target all temperatures of an audience, Cold, Warm and Hot. 

Target each stage of your sales funnel with different audience temperatures.

Due to the higher level of commitment required to engage with this type of ad, cold audiences are least effective for Messenger campaigns when compared with cold audiences’ performance with other campaign objectives such as video views or traffic. 

Instead, this campaign type is effective when using it in the middle of funnel, when targeting your warm audiences via video custom audiences and page engagement custom audiences.  

Also, Messenger ads can be used at the bottom of the sales funnel, when targeting your hot audiences. Here is where Messenger campaigns really can perform and are most effective, since you’re targeting the most responsive audiences due to their previous engagement on your website.  

Use Messenger ads to target warm audiences and drive leads 

In this first example of a Messenger campaign, we are going to be targeting your warm audiences and position a lead offer. 

Just like creating any campaign on Facebook, your campaign objective is incredibly important and where it all starts. As mentioned earlier, although you can create Messenger campaigns using the conversion and traffic objective you actually want to use the Messages objective.  

Step #1 Set your campaign objective 

Navigate to your Ads Manager dashboard and with the Campaigns tab selected, click on Create.  

Ads Manager dashboard, with the Campaigns tab selected click on Create to start a new campaign.

Next, you should click on the quick creation workflow button, if it isn’t already enabled. In the quick creation workflow, name your campaign and choose Messages from the drop down list.  

Make sure split test and campaign budget optimisation are turned off here.  Now, you can move on to the ad set level and name your ad set and then your ad. Finally, click save to draft.  

From the drop list select the Messages objective

Step #2 Set your Ad Set details 

Once opening the campaign level of your new draft campaign, navigate to the ad set level. Now we are going to create our ad set by choosing our budget, audience, placements and optimisation settings. 

In the Messages section of the ad set level, make sure that Click to Message is selected as opposed to Sponsored messages. 

Next, we’ll be setting your daily budget. When remarketing to warm audiences, set a higher budget than you would in your hot audience campaign as the audience size will be larger.  

Pro tip: It’s important to note that the budget you set for your campaign will impact how many people in your audience you reach on a daily basis. The larger the audience the higher the daily budget you can set before you encounter ad fatigue issues.  

For example, if you have 120,000 people in your 25% video custom audience you’d set a higher daily budget of $40 per day compared with a page engagement custom audience of only 30,000 where you’d start off at $10 per day. 

Select daily budget, for larger audience sizes set a higher budget for Messenger ads.

Next, in your ad set, select your Audience in the audience section. Here we are targeting warm audiences such as video views and page engagement.    

From the custom audiences’ field in the audience section, choose your custom audience. As custom audiences narrow down your audience, based on their engagement with your page or videos, you don’t need to set demographic information or detailed targeting.  

In this example, we want to target people that have engaged with our Facebook page.  

 Select custom audience, either page engagement or video views.

Now you can move on to your placements section. Make sure to select edit placements as opposed to automated placements and from the drop down choose Facebook feeds, Instagram feeds and Messenger inbox placement. 

Finally, in the optimisation and delivery section leave the settings as default, optimising for message replies. 

Select placement options from  edit menu. Facebook feeds, Instagram feed and Messenger.

Step #3 Create your message ad 

Navigate to the ad level of your campaign and select your Facebook page and Instagram profile from the drop down list in the Identity section.  

With this type of campaign, the aim is to generate leads by starting conversations in Messenger with our potential customers.

Therefore, you’d present an offer ad such as a free consultation, strategy session or whatever your first contact point is with your potential leads, in order to pique their interest.  

In the create new ad section, choose your ad format from a single image, single video or carousel. I’d recommend a single image to keeps things simple to begin with or if you have a relevant video that can give your offer greater context, use that instead.  

Select  ad format from list. Message campaigns work with the single image, video and carousel ad format.

The specifics of your ad such as the image and the copy will depend on your offer and your type of business. Use the SBA Method to create your copy. This is one of the most effective ad copy practises and consists of a three-part copy method that is proven to convert warm audiences and consists of the Snap, Benefit and Action.  

The first section of your copy is the Snap. Here you want to present your offer. Next, you want to state some of the Benefits of the offer, making sure to not just list the features. Finally, you want to state a Call to Action, in this case, as it is a messages campaign, use a CTA such as click the button below to send us a message and find out more; this will increase conversions. CTA’s are important as what may to you be an obvious next step is not always as clear to the end user, so it’s always best practise to clearly state what you want the lead to do next. 

Use SBA copy method to create ad. Include a CTA specifically mentioning to click the send message button in Messenger ads.

Make sure your pixel is enabled in the tracking section, after which you can then move on to the Messenger setup. Here is where customisation of the ad via adjusting the starting messages that your target audience will see when they click to message and open up the Messenger tool. 

There are two options, the Standard template and the Custom template. I’d recommend using the Custom template as it gives you more options and is just as easy to set up as the standard template.  

Click on Custom template from the two options and then on the Get Started Button. The Messenger setup creation window will now appear.  

From the Messenger setup select Custom template

The Messenger setup will comprise of several components: your message format, your test greeting and your customer actions. Facebook has the ability to pre-populate your greeting and customer actions with FAQs and pre-select the text-only format.  

We’re now going to edit these to customise the message that our audience sees once they have clicked on the send message button on our ad. 

First up, we have the format choice. Text only is the simplest available choice, however at this stage of the sales funnel it is important to have the goal of maximising the continuity between the ad experience and the Messenger experience, so it’s best to choose Text and Image. 

It’s a good idea to use the same image and headline as you used in the ad to keep everything congruent and ensure the customer has that initial recognition of your brand. Simply select your image from the image library and set your headline and description. 

Select the Text and Image format from  format menu. Messenger ads

Next, we want to ensure your greeting matches your business’ tone of voice and brand identity.  If you are in a very professional industry that is more formal then how you greet someone on Messenger will be different from a start-up, which might use a more conversational tone.  

In this example, we’ve used the first name personalisation and then thanked the Facebook user for messaging us, following this with asking how we can help them today. You can personalise the greeting with the person’s first name, last name or full name.  

Change greeting to match  business tone of voice and brand identity.

The last component of the Messenger setup is the selection of customer action. You can choose from options such as ‘button’ or ‘quick replies’ when using the Text and Image format. To make it as easy as possible for your target audience to start the conversation I’d recommend using quick replies, which act as a prompt, and have been seen to improve conversions for us. 

You can add up to 11, which would be far too many, so keep it simple and limit the number of choices your audience has to make.  

Use quick replies to prompt target audience to start a conversation with you in Messenger.

In this example, we’ve created one reply about expressing interest in the offer positioned in the ad and the other about interest in the overall business.  

You’ll see a preview of what they look like in the Messenger preview window on the right hand side. You can also send a live preview to the Messenger app on your phone by clicking on Preview in Messenger. 

Preview message on the right hand side of the Messenger setup.

When you’ve finished the setup click on Finish. This will save your Messenger setup as a template. It’s important to note that you won’t be able to edit the flow unless you duplicate the template, so make sure that you are 100% happy with the setup before selecting finish. 

You’ve now created your first Messenger campaign. The final step is to click on create preview and then publish your new campaign. 

Use Messenger ads to help convert prospects that have visited your website 

Messenger campaigns can also be used by targeting them at people who have previously visited your website but are yet to take action and become a lead. Here, you’ll be targeting a hot audience via website custom audiences and using Messenger to help answer any questions your target audience might have before committing to the offer you previously presented on your website, which could be preventing them from converting into a paying customer.  

To create this campaign, follow the same three-step process outlined in detail above. To make life even easier, use the duplicate feature to duplicate your other messages campaign and then make the following changes, listed below.  

Use the duplicate feature to quickly create another version of the warm audiences’ messages campaign.

You should start with the same Messages campaign objective. At the ad set level select click to message, follow this with setting your budget and use the same placement and optimisations. However, change your audience targeting from the page engagement custom audience or video custom audience to a website custom audience. 

If you haven’t previously created website custom audiences click here to learn the different types you can create and how to set them up in your audiences dashboard.  

In the audiences section, select  website custom audience from  Custom Audiences field.

Once you have updated the audience, navigate to the ad level. Here you want to use the Messenger ad type in the RTM Method (Reminders, Testimonial, Messenger), as shown in the example below.  

Start your copy by calling out the previous visit to your website, then position the offer again as something that can solve any and all pain-points the lead has confirmed they have through their engagement with you. To finish, position the message CTA as a way for your target audience to ask and get help before they commit to the offer. This is going to help you build up confidence and trust with your prospects and is vital when the service offering is high end. 

Facebook messenger ad example

Finally, in the Messenger setup of your ad, use the default text-only format. Adjust your greeting accordingly and then change the three Frequently asked questions to fit the offer you’ve mentioned.  

Change the default FAQs to suit your business and offer presented in your ad.

Complete your campaign by reviewing and then publishing it. It will enter Facebook’s ad review process and when approved will start being shown to your audience of website traffic and driving conversations in Messenger. 


For businesses that use Facebook advertising to generate leads, Messenger ads can an often untapped area for marketers to explore. The Messenger campaign is great at helping you convert your targeted audiences from prospects to leads.  

You can use them at both the middle and bottom of your sales funnel, targeting warm audiences of page engagers or video viewers as well as hot audiences of website visitors.  

When used correctly, you can build confidence and establish a greater level of trust with your target audience through a sense of establishing a brand identity that resonates with your customer’s values. This will not only increase your number of leads but by having a conversation earlier in your sales funnel, you are able to pre-qualify your leads and improve your lead quality.   

What is your experience using Messenger ads?

Let me know in the comments below!

About Charlie Lawrance

Charlie is an advertising strategist, writer, speaker, and agency owner. He’s the Founder and CEO of Gecko Squared, a Facebook and Instagram advertising agency that specialises in working with high growth clients from around the world including eCommerce, software and professional service businesses. He’s been planning and buying digital media for over 9 years since he started his first business aged just 18. Stay in touch by liking his Facebook Page (Charlie Lawrance).

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