Facebook messenger logo on keyboard

February 3, 2021

With users seeing an average of somewhere between 6,000-10,000 ads every single day, it’s no surprise that advertisers and businesses are trying to do everything in their power to stand out. 

Sometimes that means using new ad platforms as they emerge, or trying to find engaging creatives that stands out. In other cases, it’s about finding more meaningful ways to try to connect with users on platforms where they’re most active.

Facebook Messenger Ads give advertisers the chance to do this in multiple ways, offering new opportunities for brands to show up where users are already at and to encourage direct communication with the brand.

In this post, we’re going to show you how you can use Messenger Ads (both kinds — we’ll look at that more in a minute!) to stand out on the platform.

What Are Facebook Messenger Ads? 

When you hear people talk about Facebook Messenger Ads, they might actually be talking about one of two different things.

Both are valuable, and we’ll look at how to leverage both in this post. Let’s take a quick look at each.

Facebook Messenger Ad Placements 

The first type of Messenger Ads refers to ads that appear in the Messenger app itself. In this case, Messenger is the placement, just like you can also have ads appear in Stories, a user’s newsfeed, and the side column. 

Facebook Messenger Ad Placements 

The Facebook Messenger Ad Objective 

The second type of Facebook Messenger Ad isn’t a placement; it’s an objective. 

Instead of having your ad appear in Messenger, the focus of the ad is to get users to contact you through Messenger. The ads will appear in other placements, including the Newsfeed.

Creating a Facebook Messenger Ad Objective 

Businesses and advertisers who could benefit from users getting in touch before pushing them to make a sale could benefit greatly from this. This is particularly true for high-value businesses, educational organisations, and B2B businesses; these may all feel inaccessible to some curious potential customers who have plenty of questions.

Everything You Need to Know About The Facebook Messenger Ad Placements 

Let’s take a look at everything you need to know before you run Facebook Ads with the Messenger placement.

The Basics 

Facebook Messenger as a placement is currently available for all objectives aside from the “Boost Post” options. It's typically added as an enabled placement by default on all available objectives, at least with the current interface.

Several studies show that Messenger ad costs are comparable to what you’ll see elsewhere on Facebook placements overall. They may however, have a slightly higher click-through rate.

Why It Can Be So Beneficial

The biggest reason that Messenger Ads can be so beneficial as a placement is that your competition from competing advertisers is significantly lower here. People are also automatically more tuned in.

It’s a little like having the ability to send emails to your customers straight to their inbox. When on Messenger, users aren’t just scrolling mindlessly through their feed; they’re paying attention to what’s there, because most of what’s there is a private message meant for them. They’re likely opening every single message to at least see what it says. 

This is a huge competitive advantage. It can go a long way in helping you to stand out on the platform, even when users are accustomed to seeing so many ads every single day. 

Benefits of Facebook messenger ads

As an added bonus, customers who have any questions about the ad itself can just respond to the ad. It's entirely possible that this will generate conversations that may not have happened otherwise. This can be your chance to nurture someone to a potential conversion and earning an additional sale.

Keep in mind that there are currently 1.3 billion Messenger users worldwide, and around 900 million use the app at least once daily. There's some exceptional reach here.

How to Enable The Messenger Ad Placement 

As we mentioned above, if Messenger is available for your chosen objective, it will currently start out enabled by default.

How to Enable The Messenger Ad Placement 

You can enable or disable it just by checking the blue box. Your placements now appear at the bottom of the ad creation screen after the recent Facebook interface update. 

Facebook Messenger Ad Creation

When to Use It 

We recommend that all of our students test Messenger Ads on their campaigns to see how they perform for each individual client. They can be used at all stages of the digital sales funnel, though users may be most receptive to them if they’re already aware of who the brand itself is.

Since they come as a default placement, we recommend leaving it enabled unless you see high cost per click (CPC) rates with low conversion or acquisition rates. Remember that higher CPCs on their own shouldn’t rule out a campaign, as they may be attracting a higher-value audience who either orders more on average or who retains longer. Look at all factors before deciding to stop these placements.

Best Practices 

Wanting to rock your ads that are showing up in the Messenger placement? 

We recommend using the following best practices:

  • Choose stand-out visuals. You want the ad to immediately grab a user’s attention in general, but you really need to sell it if you’re going to show up in their inbox. Have a clear image showing exactly what you’re selling, and make sure you split test to see what performs best. Bright colours and plenty of whitespaces will typically be a good call here. 
  • Include offers. If you’re using the Messenger placement to entice warm audiences to convert, make a good case for them to do so! Share exclusive discounts (or supposedly-exclusive discounts), coupon codes, or big sale announcements. This can increase conversions significantly by increasing urgency while simultaneously offering an incentive. 
  • Anticipate Messenger responses. Your ad campaign will likely drive plenty of clicks to your site, and hopefully, any actions that you’ve optimised for. You should anticipate that you may see an influx of private messages, too, when running these campaigns. Have someone on your team watching your Page’s inbox closely so they can respond promptly.
  • Use interesting, engaging copy. People are checking Messenger to see their messages, and if you don’t have something interesting to offer, they’re likely not going to be interested. Use fun, interesting copy that immediately sucks them in. Featuring value propositions for your target audience is a good call, but you can also go big on fun creatives like the example here:
Using engaging copy for your Facebook Messenger ads

Everything You Need to Know About the Facebook Messenger Ad Objective 

Alright, we looked at the Messenger placement, so let’s take a look at the Messenger objective. Remember that this is a completely different aspect of Facebook Ads from what we just reviewed, so approach it as such.

The Basics 

This objective allows you to run campaigns with the primary focus of encouraging users to send you a message through Messenger. It’s all about starting conversations, at which point some native chat features can answer basic questions before a customer service representative or someone from the sales team jumps in. 

Send Message CTA on Facebook messenger ads

When you choose to receive Messenger messages as your objective, the ad will look the same as what you’re used to from other types of objectives. The only difference is that you don’t have a choice about the clickable CTA button. It will automatically be a “Send Message” CTA, which can’t be changed. 


These ads can be overwhelmingly effective, too, especially when best practices are followed. (We’ll look more at these later!). One case study from Facebook where a brand used this objective resulted in 477 redemptions of in-store offers and a 10x return on ad spend.

How to Use The Facebook Messenger Ad Objective 

In order to create ad campaigns that drive users to send you a message, you’ll want to choose the “Get More Messages” objective. 

How to choose Facebook Messenger ad goals

You’ll then go on to create your ad exactly as you normally would. You can choose who you want to target, and can target either cold audiences by demographics, interests, and behaviours, lookalike audiences, or warm audiences through retargeting.

Choose your placements, which can include Facebook or Instagram, and set your budget and schedule. Make sure that you test your creative so that it looks great for all placements, including both desktop and mobile.

When to Consider Using It 

It’s always important to choose the objective for the exact action that you want to drive. If you want to generate leads directly through ads, for example, it’s best to choose the lead gen option. This is because Facebook automatically optimises your campaigns so that users who are most likely to take the specific desired action will see your ad. It significantly increases performance.

While some sort of sale is obviously the ultimate goal in most marketing funnels, you only want to choose the “Send Messages” option when you believe that you have a campaign that would benefit users who got in touch with you.

A university, for example, might use a campaign like this to encourage users to ask questions to the admissions department about their applications. This can make the process more accessible and build rapport with potential students who may not have applied otherwise.

Businesses in high-value, high-stakes fields can benefit from a similar approach. A real estate agent might be able to use these ads to build relationships with customers who weren’t even sure if they could buy a home just by generating conversation.

How to Use The Facebook Messenger Ad Objective 

Best Practices 

Want to run ads that will get users in touch through Messenger? Take a look at the following best practice for best results:

There are examples of businesses getting users to send them a message off an ad in order to get a coupon code, which they can then redeem online or in-store. This can be incredibly effective.

  • Make a compelling case for why messaging you is so important. Sure, people can message you. What do they get out of it though? Simply using copy that says “Hey, we’re graphic designers, shoot us a message” won’t be effective. This may be more effective: “Custom graphic design work might be more affordable than you ever thought. Give your business a facelift. Shoot us a message for a personalised quote.” People understand why they’re messaging you and what they’re getting out of it. 
  • Consider including an immediate incentive. Can you give users 10% off their first order if they send you a message to learn more? Are you able to offer a free burger, or exclusive access to a special sale? Beddy’s used Messenger ads to increase messages before a big sale, and saw a 17.8x return on ad spend.  
Facebook messenger ads best practices
  • Consider sending follow-ups through Messenger placements. This is where the best of both worlds in this post collide. If users actually engage with you through Messenger following your first ad, consider using the Messenger replacement for retargeting campaigns. Beddy’s used this strategy to exceptional success on the campaign mentioned above, and saw an 85x return on ad spend.   

Final Thoughts 

Both types of Facebook Messenger Ads – the objective and the placement — are often forgotten, but both definitely have a place in an intentional Facebook Ad funnel. 

They give you new ways to interact with your audience, and both allow you to stand out amidst all the other noise on the platform overall. This can help you create a distinct competitive advantage, especially as you’re working to drive conversations and build relationships with your target audience. 

Looking to expand your social media marketing knowledge? We can teach you everything you need to know! Take our quiz to see which of our programs is the right fit for you. 

About the author 

Ana Gotter

Ana is a strategic content marketer specialising in business, finance, and marketing writing, though she's worked across a range of industries. She works from her home in Orlando with her three dogs.

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