The Beginner’s Guide To Building a Facebook Messenger Funnel

Almost weekly, Facebook rolls out new changes and features, forever keeping marketers and paid traffic managers on their toes. There is advertising options for every business, every objective, and every budget. So when Facebook began rolling out Facebook Messenger ads November of 2016, marketers everywhere were delighted and intrigued by this new feature.

Facebook Messenger can be used by all businesses and is responsive in every step of the buyer’s journey! Plus, everyone is on messaging apps these days.

Think of these inbound messages on Facebook as an opportunity to sell. Every day it is getting harder and harder to reach your targeted audience. Well, Facebook Messenger solves this headache by providing you with a private channel of communication with each subscriber! The best part is it’s instant, interactive, and no message is ever lost!

facebook messenger ad example

Many Chat checking in on me, making sure I’m having a good time using their tool.

Personal Interaction is King!

Building a Facebook Messenger Funnel helps you in every stage of the funnel: building your list, nurturing leads with automated messaging, and finally, monetizing your messaging list.

Nick Julia of Mind Heros‘ shared with us that if his experience building Facebook Messenger funnels has taught him anything it’s that Facebook Messenger won’t work if the communication is one-sided.

Julia went on to explain, “Messenger lets you talk to (potential) customers like friends – in a way that no other medium does. Your goal with a Facebook Messenger funnel is to start conversations and build relationships. If you make the mistake of treating a Messenger funnel like a typical marketing funnel where the communication is very one sided, it won’t work for you.”

There’s a few other huge benefits to building sales funnels on Facebook Messenger:
  • Reduced Facebook ad spend by maximizing sales from existing leads and customers.
  • Instant and personal one-on-one engagement with leads that will drive more conversions. Or you can automate replies to any prospect that sends you a message!
  • Much easier to push discounts, new products, and surveys to an audience inside of a platform they TRUST and USE.

Destination vs. Placement – Two Types of Facebook Messenger Ads

“We think you should message a business just the way you would message a friend,”
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg, at last year’s F8 Developer conference in San Francisco.

Well, clearly Zuckerberg had marketers in mind when his company released new advertising features last year. Those new features would allow companies to reach subscribers and cold leads, inside of their personal messages.

As of now, there are two ways to reach subscribers and cold leads using Facebook Messenger ads:

  • Facebook Messenger as a destination (coining the term, “destination ads”)
  • Facebook Messenger as a placement, using sponsored messages

facebook messenger ads infographic

Destination ads are for retargeting and cold traffic, and are only available for placement in mobile and desktop news feeds. You can target any audience with an objective to send them to an external link or another Facebook link. Since people are the ones starting the conversation here, they don’t find these ads as intrusive or spammy!

Run destination ads to cold traffic and use copy that prompts a conversation. These ads look and feel like any other Facebook ad, with options to add images, video, a carousel etc. Start a conversation here, get people to message you by asking what their pain points or dreams are, and start building your Facebook Messenger subscriber list.

Destination ads really shine when used in your retargeting strategy! When people don’t buy something its not because they don’t want it, it’s because they still have questions or doubts, or they just simply forgot it. Once their questions are answered, most are then ready to buy your product or service. Now, this can all be facilitated, easily, with Facebook Messenger.

Since someone has to click on your destination ad and open a message box and then write something;  the option to start the conversation are in the consumers’ hands.

Placement/sponsored message (or broadcasts) are almost like email, but you can only message someone who has messaged you first. Some important things to know when using placement ads or sponsored broadcasts in Messenger:

  • Companies are charged anytime the ad appears on the user’s screen in their inbox. Yes, subscribers don’t even have to open it, you’ll be charged either way.
  • You can only target people who have previously messaged your page
    • This rule imposed by Facebook will allow a placement ad strategy to thrive for a long time. Simply because many marketers won’t be able to spam users they have never interacted with!
  • Objectives are to send the subscriber to a destination, on or off Facebook, as well as increase website conversions.
  • These messages can contain just one link and one photo, so make it count!

Brands have to pay for every impression using placement ads, even if the message is never opened. The problem here is what if your Messenger list gets as big as your email list? And then you’re left paying for every ’email’ you send, whether it’s opened or not. This, to us, shows us Facebook is serious about businesses respecting this new, open access to personal chats with users.

There is one way around paying for every broadcast message sent through Facebook Messenger though. Your business can sign up for Many Chat (you don’t have to use the software’s main bot feature) and instead build a subscriber list on their platform. You’ll be able to broadcast to that list for only $10 a month! Many Chat is a tool that is approved by Facebook and the developers like to stay on  good terms with Facebook. Many Chat will also help you easily build a follow-up sequence, which we’ll go over later in this article.

Building Your Facebook Messenger Sales Funnel

Now, with Facebook Messenger’s new advertising, it’s possible to keep in personal contact with your potential buyers during every step of their journey. Which these days, is what more and more people prefer anyways.

Mark our words, Messenger is going to continue to become an essential, influential communication channel for businesses everywhere. As consumers’ preferences continue to shift more to conversational selling, now is the time to build your Facebook Messenger Sales Funnel.


many chat website popup

Create a pop-up on your site with your unique Messenger link!

Building Your List (TOFU – Top of the Funnel)

At the top of the funnel, is building your list. Through unique Facebook Messenger links, integrating your entire tech stack, and running a comment-to-message campaign are all easy ways to build your list.

Using only messenger, you can attract cold audiences, convert the warm audiences, close deals with leads, all while keeping everyone coming back for more. At the top of the funnel, and as you build your list of Messenger subscribers, you’ll need to focus on a few different features.

top of the funnel infographic

Unique Messenger Links

Share your unique Messenger Link everywhere! In emails, on web pages, in blogs, anywhere where you think your readers and potential leads would want or need to chat with your company.

If you have a Facebook business page (and this works with profiles as well), then you already have a custom link! The url is:

Integrating Other Apps

Facebook Messenger can be integrated with other apps your company or business is already using! Shopify has integration that shows where the package is, order details, and now, a new place for customer service.

Other apps to integrate with Facebook Messenger include, Zendesk, Twilio, and Salesforce. And that list is only growing as more and more businesses turn to Messenger.

facebook comment to messenger ads

Absolut making great use of the Comment-To-Messenger feature to build their subscriber list.


If you’re looking to build a list of Messenger subscribers on Facebook, consider using Facebook’s Comment-To-Messenger feature. With this ad, you’ll be allowed to automatically message any user that comments on that post.

Use this strategy to take advantage of communicating with your potential leads and customers. Along with being a great strategy to generate more leads and more sales, the Comment-To-Messenger feature is an easy way to increase your relevance score.

Nurturing and Optimizing Leads (MOFU – Middle of the Funnel)

When you get to the middle of the funnel it is all about nurturing your warm leads. Make them feel special for being a subscriber on Facebook. Creating Welcome Messages and adding buttons or passive CTAs can continue to drive the conversation between your company and your leads.

During this stage in the Facebook Messenger Funnel, it is far more important that you do more listening than talking. Potential future customers want to have conversations, not subscribe to more content that they don’t need. Just imagine, what would you like to say face-to-face to your leads and customers? Messenger is the perfect place for that kind of conversation.

middle of the funnel infographic

Welcome Messages

This is the very first impression that people have when they message your page, make it count! You can quickly set up welcome messages on the admin side of your Facebook page.

  • Add some buttons and a passive CTA to continue to drive the conversation.
  • Even consider some light-selling and sending them to some content or to check out your products.

Follow-Up Sequences

With Many Chat and other similar services, you can build your own follow-up sequences for your Messenger subscribers. To get started, you could take your email sequence, and format it to a Facebook Messenger sequence that is shorter and more conversational. Some other tips to making an effective follow-up sequence on Messenger:

  • First, just like with email and SMS marketing, make it clear and be upfront about how someone can unsubscribe from your messages.
  • Ask questions and aim for many tiny conversions- this is a great way to warm up leads
  • As you go on, you’ll naturally start building more sequences to better understand your warm leads

Segmentation and Tagging

There is a solid tagging system built right into Messenger that works in the same way as most CRM’s. Use those tags to create different labels for different steps in the buyer’s journey or for hot and warm leads.

  • Use these in your follow-up to gain more information and have a more direct and relevant conversation.
  • Integrate your customer service software, so your customer service team can jump on board.

Closing Sales (BOFU – Bottom of the Funnel)

When you get to the bottom of your Facebook Messenger funnel, message everyone with a choice of two different broadcasts to close deals: subscription or promotional. Right now consumption is high on Messenger, producing very high open rates for everyone. Even though this Facebook feature functions pretty similar to email, it shouldn’t be treated as such.

bottom of the funnel infographic

Broadcast Messages

Right now these broadcast messages have really high open rates. Everyone wants to send broadcasts! Yes, consumption is high right now, but again, we have to stress that you cannot treat Facebook Messenger as email, even though it functions in the same way. Marketers might look at Facebook Messenger as functioning like email, but the other end, the user and your potential customers do not.

facebook messaging best practices

Just like with email, subscribers can silence you with one click!

Generally, don’t send broadcast messages to your list more than once a week. And when you do send the message, be very specific. Remember, that you will be paying for every impression with these messages, regardless if they’re open or not.

There are two types of broadcasts messages you can send: Subscription and Promotional, plus one follow-up message.

  • Subscription broadcast – can be sent to anyone regardless of the time that has passed since they’ve messaged your page.
  • Promotional broadcast – contain ads and/or promotional material but can only be sent to those subscribers who have been active with you in the last 24 hours.
    • With promotional broadcasts, you are also allowed one follow-up message.

Regardless of which type of broadcast you use, this is the time to make your potential new customers feel valued and special for being a subscriber on Facebook Messenger. You could send them to a low-dollar tripwire or opt-in.

Generally, don’t overdo it in the broadcast message, keep the questions open-ended, and refrain from the super-long messages and questions. Go for shorter questions to engage people since it is a more conversational medium.

By now, sending broadcast messages should have you excited about building a Facebook Messenger funnel and a list of new leads. While the engagement rates are still incredibly high, remember to keep your subscribers and the medium in mind if you want to see success.

send message ad

Rick Mulready retargeting those who didn’t buy.


When leads reach the end of your funnel without buying, it’s not always because they don’t want your product or service. In fact, many don’t buy for reasons such as they still have questions and doubts, or they forgot! Retargeting with Facebook ads is nothing new, but the game has changed now that you can use Messenger.  You can have the entire conversation, addressing their concerns and answering their questions all through Facebook Messenger!

Retarget this group at the bottom of your funnel with powerful ads addressing their concerns. Destination ads can be used to help people overcome any barriers to purchasing your product.  Naturally, your retargeting group will be a much smaller group of individuals, but this is a great time to have fewer, more meaningful conversations.

facebook messenger sales funnel infographic

Wrapping Up the Facebook Messenger Sales Funnel Guide

“Messaging is one of the few things that people do more than social networking”
Facebook Founder Mark Zuckerberg in a public Q&A session, November 2016.

More and more businesses are making sales by building funnels entirely on Facebook Messenger! If you need proof, Digital Marketer’s Molly Pittman was able to find, compare, and sign a new apartment lease in Austin, Texas only using Facebook Messenger. Pretty wild, right?

If you want to be as a successful as Molly’s new leasing company, your company must be present on Facebook! Consumers now have the expectation that you are going to be there to answer their questions and solve their pain points.

Companies You Should Message on Facebook:

Before you get started with a Facebook Messenger strategy, visit some of the companies doing it right and see what their bots or sequences are saying. Some fun companies to message on Facebook include:

You might be thinking that this sounds like a Facebook Messenger ad strategy requires a lot of work, or a full customer service team to help. Surely, that’s how those companies above are so good at this, right? Well good news!

Setting up and making sales with a Facebook Messenger funnel doesn’t need to require a lot of resources:

  • Start small, and go down the funnel
  • Get help from a bot like Many Chat
  • Integrate your customer service software so your team can interact leads like normal
  • Use the tagging system inside of Facebook to create different labels in Messenger

Facebook Messenger is no longer just for talking with friends all over the world. It is now a powerful new tool that comes with huge potential. But remember, this platform is not just for customer service anymore and it is not just for chatting anymore either. Think of these inbound messages on Facebook Messenger as an opportunity to sell. Every day it is getting harder and harder to reach your targeted audience. Well, Facebook Messenger has solved this headache.

Are you using Facebook Messenger ads in your marketing and paid traffic strategy? Let us know in the comments!

And as always, feel free to ask us any questions or share this with a friend who might find it useful.

Caitlin is an Austin-based digital marketer and writer with a passion for content. She is the newest member of the Performance Marketer team and brings years of marketing experience, as well as the best recommendations for where to go for lunch.


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