Generating traffic to Facebook Messenger

Although Messenger has impressive engagement rates, it is often unclear to merchants and marketers how to build their Facebook Messenger audience.

Here are ways to generate Facebook Messenger subscribers, from the more efficient to the least efficient

Facebook Messenger Ads

How does it work?

When placing advertising on Facebook, you can select the “Messages” objective, in order to drive traffic directly to Facebook Messenger.

The rest of the ad setup is the same as usual (you can define your target audience, ad creative, etc.). Your ad will feature a “Send message” action call.

When clicked, this button will automatically trigger a Messenger sequence (if you’re reading this article, it’s likely you went through a similar sequence from my Facebook ads!):

Why is it good?

Facebook ads are by far the simplest and most predictable way to get new subscribers into your Facebook Messenger funnel. By combining them with re-targeting, you can also get specific segments of your audience re-engaged via Messenger (for instance customers who put items in their cart but decided not to buy them)

Why is it bad?

Facebook ads, of course, cost money. They are also most efficient if you have a relevant audience to target, and might be less easy to leverage if you don’t have a solid re-targeting audience accessible via your Facebook Pixel.

Facebook Messenger Checkbox Plugin

How does it work?

The Facebook Messenger Checkbox is one my personal favorites, has it can be included in many of your key

The checkbox can be added at several points in your customers experience. For instance when customers add products to their cart:

You can do so automatically in WooCommerce and Shopify with plugins such as Recart.

The checkbox can also be displayed in a form to subscribe for a newsletter or claim a coupon:

Here’s a real-life example of this plugin:

Why is it good?

The checkbox enables to ask for permissions to message on Facebook when users are most engaged. Moreover, it’s a rather unobtrusive request, which doesn’t interrupt the user experience, and can be completed in a single click

Why is it bad?

Beginning October 6, 2017, Facebook no longer enables the checkbox to be checked by default. It means that users have to actively check the box, which considerably reduces conversion rates from this method.

If users tick the checkbox, you get permission to message them, but you do not automatically get their profile information. You will receive their profile information (name, picture, etc.) only after users actively interacted with your Messenger page (for instance by clicking a menu item or writing to your page)

Facebook Page “Message us” button

How does it work?

The “Message us” is the most simple, straighforward and cheap way to market your Messenger bot.

You simply have to go into the settings of your Facebook page, and in the “Messaging” section, toggle “Prompt visitors to send messages”

A new button will appear on your page, which will enable visitors to message your page:

You can try to add a more or less obvious calls to action (such as an arrow on your cover pic) to nudge users to press the Messenger button.

Why is it good?

It is simple, it’s fast, it’s free. There’s no reason not to do it

Why is it bad?

If you only rely on this technique, it will take you a long long time to get a significant number of Messenger subscribers.

Facebook Messenger “Send to Messenger” plugin

How does it work?

The “Send to Messenger” is similar to the “Checkbox” plugin. By clicking a button, users give permission to the page to send out messages. It is useful for instance in order to provide an alternative, one-click-signup method on a landing page.

You can test out the “Send to Messenger” plugin by clicking the button below:

Why is it good?

The “Send to Messenger” plugin is a good replacement to a traditional Newsletter signup. It also provides access to the user profile (unlike the “Checkbox” plugin). It is perfect for landing pages, or for overlay popups.

Why is it bad?

I personally prefer the “Checkbox” plugin to the “Send to Messenger” plugin as it doesn’t interrupt the user journey. The “Send to Messenger” plugin has also been criticized as having a lower conversion rate than a traditional email opt-in (as discussed by Neil Patel and Eric Siu in this podcast).

“” Messenger links

How does it works?

“” are simple links following this pattern:<PAGE_NAME>?ref=myparam

The <PAGE_NAME> parameter is the ID of your Facebook page, and the parameter can be used to customize links and create custom behaviors for specific users.

You can know your Facebook Page ID via this type of link:

Here’s an example link for Chatnoodle:

Why is it good?

These “” links are very simple ways to drive to Messenger from other channels such as SMS or email. They are perfect if you want to convert your existent users to Messenger.

Why is it bad?

There are a few downsides to the “” links:

  • After users click the links, they have to click on a “Get started” button to start the experience. This is not always intuitive and might mean a decrease in conversion rate. Arguably, linking to a landing page with a “Send to Messenger” button could achieve a higher conversion rate.
  • “” links require the user to click and be redirected, which takes users completely out of their current journey. It can be quite distracting. I would therefore recommend to only use these links inside SMS or emails which are specifically crafted for a conversion to Messenger

Messenger Codes

Messager codes are parametric codes that can be scanned from Facebook Messenger and enable to follow a bot. They are perfect for Offline to Online conversions.

Here’s Chatnoodle parametric code:

You can scan it by going into the “People” and “Scan Code” section of your Messenger account:

Why is it good?

Facebook Messenger Codes are perfectly for Offline to Online conversion. For instance, during events, you can ask participants to scan them in order to get a list of speakers or activities. And you can then follow-up with these users after the event!

Why is it bad?

In the West (unlike for instance, in China) users aren’t used to scanning parametric codes. Many of your users will therefore have to be explained how to use the feature, or they might otherwise not know how to use these codes.

Facebook Messenger Chat

How does it works?

Facebook Messenger Chat is still in beta, and the least I can say for now is that it looks AWESOME. Facebook is now testing the feature with a few large clients (you can see the feature live on websites such as or

The chat appears as a small bubble at the bottom-right of your screen:

As you click on it, it reveals an elegant chat window:

As you can see, this can also be a perfect time and way to offer your readers a discount and nudge them into a purchase!

The beauty of it is, unlike all of the other chat plugins, you can systematically keep track of your users after they leave your website. The conversation will remain visible in their Messenger folder.

Why is it good?

Facebook Messenger Chat is I think the most promising thing ever to happen on Messenger. I always was skeptical about live chats as, unlike emails, they don’t enable to create a long-term relationship with users, and often don’t enable to know users’ real names. But with Facebook Messenger Chat, you get the best of both worlds: instant direct communication, authentication of users with their real name, and a long-term marketing channel.

Why is it bad?

So far the only bad thing about Messenger Chat is that it isn’t available yet for all merchants!

Facebook Discover Tab

How does it works?

The Facebook Messenger Discover Tab is the place where people can search for Messenger bots.

In order to submit your Messenger bot for the Discover Tab, just follow this link.

Why is it good?

It’s fast to set-up, and it can’t hurt to rank on some search keywords

Why is it bad?

This feature is unlikely to bring much traffic, unless you have a bunch of search volume on your own name.