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Broadcasting Content


Starting 04.03.2020 ManyChat users are seeing the new Broadcasting interface which introduces new features and takes into account the new Facebook Messenger Platform Policy updates regarding Subscription Messaging, Standard messaging, and Message tags. Read more about this on the official Messenger Policy page.

Some of the previously available features are now unavailable after 4.03.2020 when new Facebook Messaging policies came into effect. Right now, accounts are unable to send Follow-up Broadcasts. In addition, accounts that were not granted Subscription Permissions by Facebook before 4.03.2020 (see Facebook News Page Index, NPI) are unable to send Subscription Broadcasts to their audiences, while other options of Promotional (within 24h window) and Non-promotional (within and outside of 24h window) Broadcasts are still available. You now have 4 messaging tags: "Post-Purchase Update", "Account Update", "Confirmed Event Update" and "Other".

To send promotional messages beyond the 24-hour messaging window now you can use Paid Messages (helps your run special type of Facebook Ads called "Sponsored Messages", which is also available within ManyChat Ads section).

Please note: Facebook Message Tags, Paid Messages, and One-Time Notifications (OTN) are ManyChat Pro features.

So your Messenger bot is set up and you even got your first contacts. Let’s start doing Chat Marketing with a Broadcast.

1. What is a Broadcast

ManyChat Broadcast is one of the best marketing tools to grow your business using your connections with the existing customer base. Reactivate your existing contacts, reveal their needs and interests, make up-sales, and useful proposals based on their replies. This is the next amazing ManyChat feature that gives you a chance to start a dialogue with your contacts instantly, so you can

  • deliver content to a list of contacts and target them using contacts filters,
  • engage your contacts via any channel available and drive them to another channel if needed (consider returning inactive contact to Messenger via SMS),
  • get to know your contacts and segment it with tags depending on contact' replies (conversational actions).

2. How to Create a Broadcast

It’s easy. There are 2 ways of doing it: 

  1. Create Broadcast from existing flow by clicking the button in the upper right corner of the Broadcasts home page. This will open a Flow picker where you can easily select one of your existing flows. As soon the flow is selected you can proceed with sending it as is or edit it within the Broadcasts interface. Note that your edits will not affect the original flow since you will be editing its automatically generated copy. Those copies are stored within the Broadcasts section only.
  2. Create Broadcast from a variety of blank presets by clicking the button. A dialog window will be opened offering you to select the channel you want to start with (read some tips further in this article on how to decide on the channel). After selecting the channel you'll find yourself in the Flow Builder where you can compose a flow of messages and add a number of conversational actions (Buttons or Quick Replies) contacts can answer with. Don’t make your contacts get lost in replies, try to involve them in a conversation with one or several options. Create some Attached Messages for the reply options you offer, but don’t make the conversation too deep. You can also assign an Action to each reply — add or remove tags, subscribe contact to sequences, notify admins, etc.

3. How to Choose a Channel to Start With

The first thing you consider as a marketer when deciding on the channel is “How many people can be reached via channel X and how likely are they to react to my communication the way I want when reached via this channel?”

Among other things to think about are: 

  1. Connections you collected
    You can target anyone using contacts filters but if a contact does not have any connection with your business via channels such as SMS or Email they will NOT receive a message in those channels. A valid connection for SMS and Email implies that a contact has both 1) shared their phone and email address and 2) expressed their consent to receive communications from your business.
  2. Costs
    Sending a non-promotional message over the Facebook Messenger channel costs you nothing (for example, message tagged as “Account Update”). On the other hand, each SMS message costs you some cents and if you target lots of people charges that apply for the whole campaign may be considerable.
  3. Channel responsiveness
    Channel mix and its effectiveness vary greatly for different types of businesses. However, such channels as Messenger and SMS, in general, demonstrate considerably higher open and click-through rates than, for instance, Email. On the other hand, in some niches like E-commerce, Email communication is an indispensable part of the channel mix and proves its efficiency.
  4. Regulations and policies
    In most countries, communication channels are heavily regulated with laws and policies of all sorts. Violating those may cause serious fines. It is especially true in respect of SMS. It’s important to learn about all possible restrictions (such as quantities, content, and sending times) applied in the country of your target audience before sending SMS Broadcast.
  5. Content and Formatting options
    While SMS is limited to only 140 symbols per message, Email offers much more in terms of graphical content and amount of text. That being said, Messenger provides the greatest extent of interactivity which is important if your audience is likely to be engaged in conversational experiences.

Go to the dedicated articles to learn more about setting up and using SMS and Email.

4. What to Do Next?

Start building!

Very much like a Flow, Broadcast can consist of one message or several messages linked together. Those messages can be sent into any channel in any order provided that the channel is activated in your ManyChat account. 

Depending on the channel you've selected you will find different starting presets we made for you. Remember that this is just a template that you can customize in any way you need without worrying to break anything. 

With Messenger, SMS, or Email selected after clicking you will go to the Flow Builder where the single message of the respective channel will be set as the first message any contact from your target audience will receive (after the “Starting Step”). The good news is that if you want to change the channel, you don’t need to start over and select a different type of Broadcast. Just add another step (SMS, Email, or other) and drag the connector of the green “Starting Step” block over to it. Unattached steps you don’t need can then be deleted.

In addition, you can mix channels within one Flow by chaining, for example, Messenger to SMS and then to Email. 

With “Multiple channel” option you will be offered to start building your Broadcast using more than one channel based on the popular template that takes the following set of Conditions after the “Starting Step”:

Messages connected to a condition will be sent only to contacts who meet it. If a contact meets more than one condition, they will be sent the message connected to the highest condition on the list.

In this example, an email will be sent to contacts who are outside Messenger's 24-hour window and an SMS will be sent to those who cannot be reached by email.

What makes it so great is that you don’t spend money on reaching someone who can be reached for free. 

Follow the logic in this template to split the audience among channels based on your campaign goals. 

  • You can delete conditions and messages of the channels you don’t need. 
  • You can change the order of messages being sent to the target audience by changing the order of conditions in the Condition step.
  • You can add conditions and restrict any condition with additional filters.
  • You can chain first messages of any channel to the subsequent message of any other channel (for example link SMS to the Messenger).

Again, this is just a template that can be changed the way you need it. 

5. Settings

On the Settings tab, we always show you only those settings that are needed for the Broadcast Flow you designed at the previous step. So for example, when you delete all Messenger steps from you Broadcast, we hide Messenger-only settings (Content Type and Notification) since they become irrelevant.

Broadcast Settings are applied to all messages that are being sent out automatically until the first contact interruption. Essentially, Flow interruption happens when contacts’ action is needed, e.g. text input or button click.

5.1. Broadcast Content Types in accordance with Facebook Messaging Policies (Messenger only)

Please read this piece carefully as it directly relates to Facebook Messenger Platform Policies that regulate the ways different types of content should be delivered and the audience it can be delivered to.

Non-Promotional or Mixed Broadcast allows you to send non-promotional messages as long as they fit into categories predefined by Facebook and are marked with a tag. This broadcast can also contain promotional messages (those should remain UNTAGGED or tagged as 'Other') but keep in mind that those will not be sent to anyone who is outside the 24-hour messaging window. Mind that when doing your targeting. So in case of non-promotional messages, you can use, for instance, the "Post-Purchase Update" tag for notifications on services or products that your client has subscribed to or "Confirmed Event Update" for notifying about upcoming classes or events that a person has signed up for. The full list of tags can be found here. All the tagging should be now implemented on the message level (go to the Broadcast Tab and tag messages that need to be tagged):

Promotional Broadcast allows you to send commercial messages. Note that with this option your targeting will be limited to contacts that were active (interacted with your bot) within the last 24 hours. Use this option carefully, you don't want to annoy your contacts with mass promotions.  

This is what the Content Type setting looks like:

You can choose a Broadcast content type in the new interface of Broadcasts.

5.2. Targeting

You can target each of your Broadcasts by lots of conditions: gender, tags, name, activity, language, timezone, etc. Adding targeting conditions you can instantly see the number of contacts the message will be sent to.

5.3. Schedule Broadcast

Start sending your Broadcasts immediately or schedule it to be sent on a particular date and time.

5.4. Timezone Settings

These settings allow you to consider your contacts' timezone. You can pick one of three options:

  • Send all at the same time delivers your Broadcast immediately.
  • Time Travel option delivers a Broadcast at the scheduled time according to contacts' time zones.
  • Limit sending time delivers a message as soon as possible once a contact's daytime in their current time zone matches the desired delivery hours.

5.5. Notifications Settings (Messenger only)

Please note that Facebook API only allows us to control mobile Messenger notifications. The settings below do not apply to desktop notifications. 

Regular Push makes a sound and sends a notification to your mobile device. Use it for important messages.
Only 1 regular notification triggers only 1 regular notification (the first message in the broadcast) and the rest of it is sent in silent mode. Great for times when you have 2+ messages in your broadcast but don't want to send too many notifications.
Only 2 regular notifications trigger 2 notifications (for the first 2 messages in the broadcast) and the rest of it is sent in silent mode. Ideal for broadcasts of 3+ messages.
Silent Push sends a notification to your mobile device without a sound. Use it for regular messages that don't require immediate action.
Silent broadcast doesn't display any notifications. Use it for silently sending content updates.

5.6. Keep in mind

With Multichannel Broadcasts there might be cases when there is more than one initial message and those messages can be related to different channels. Consider the “Multiple channel” template described above.

With such flow design, there are 3 initial messages (sent via Messenger, Email, and SMS) and you can guess that settings made on the next step will be applied to all of them. To indicate that the Settings will be applied to more than one channel we add icons of those channels next to each setting that is applicable to it:

After you're done with Settings go ahead and publish your Broadcast by clicking the blue action button at the top right corner of your screen that might look likeif you're sending immediately, or likein the case of scheduled sending. If all necessary settings were made properly you will be redirected to a success screen and then back to Broadcast lists.

6. Broadcast Lists and Performance Stats

All your broadcasts are stored in Broadcasting > Broadcasts section, which contains Drafts, Scheduled Broadcasts, and History lists. Once you send a Broadcast to your contacts, you can find it in the History tab, watch it work, and measure the stats for each of your messages (sent, delivered, opened, clicked). 

This Broadcast was sent and delivered to 2 contacts, one of them opened the message and gave a reply.

Let's see what these stats mean:

Sent is the number of Broadcasts successfully sent.

Delivered is a number of Broadcasts seen by contacts. This means your contacts have opened Messenger but haven't opened your Broadcast.

Opened is a number of Broadcasts opened by contacts.

Clicked is a number of clicks registered in this Broadcast.

NOTE: In broadcasts history, CTR is recorded based on UNIQUE contacts' clicks and is only counted for Starting Step.
In case Starting Step doesn't contain any buttons or is an action/condition/etc. clicks won't be counted!

7. Is Broadcast a Free Feature?

Yes, Broadcasts are currently available as part of the Free plan.

Please note: Effective December 10, 2020, new Free accounts will be limited to 1,000 contacts, which include subscribed, unsubscribed, and deleted contacts. Once the 1,000 contact limit is reached, Free accounts will no longer be able to send messages to their contacts through configured automations, Live Chat, and Broadcasts. To continue using Broadcasts once this contact limit is reached on Free plan, the Free account will need to be upgraded to Pro.

Here are some useful tips for creating a Broadcast:

  1. Think well about the target audience and the purpose of your communication. What action do you expect in response from them? Design your Broadcast in a way that would lead to this desired action in a minimum amount of steps. Be relevant.   
  2. Personalize your Broadcast messages. Start typing '{' to open a list of variables you can use (First Name, Full Name, etc.).
  3. Reward engaged contacts with useful and interesting content or incentive.
  4. Always make it clear how one can unsubscribe from your Broadcast messages to avoid contacts blocking messages from Business Page entirely or reporting your Page to Facebook.
  5. If you want to send a Promotional Broadcast to people who are outside of the 24-hour messaging window you can always use SMS, Email, Paid Messages, or ManyChat Ads.
  6. Also, be advised that if the first step of a Broadcast is a Condition Block – the Broadcast's stats will be at zero.

Now go break a leg!