Facebook Messenger Campaigns Not Delivering?

3 mins
Written By  Iain
Published On Monday 7th December

If you’ve been running adverts on Facebook optimised for messages, then you have likely seen that your adverts have been “paused” with an error message popping up this week:

“Optimisation unavailable: The Conversations optimisation is not currently available for messaging campaigns that target Europe. To continue with this optimisation, remove European locations or select a different optimisation. (#2446670)"

This message has, quite rightly, caused a lot of concern amongst advertisers and caused a lot of enquiries since the start of December.

At Chaos, we manage a large number of advertising campaigns that are targeting conversation initiation via optimisation for messages with Facebook, meaning we’ve had to find a work around to allow these ads to run and still encourage messages.

Facebook are telling us that this is a temporary change to the rules due to new privacy rules that have been implemented due to GDPR on ads delivering to and from Europe. If you have adverts running that are destined for a European audience you will need to make some changes to them.

So, what's changed?

There are a number of Facebooks automatic optimisation ‘considerations’ that advertisers who are in or who are targeting Europe cannot currently use. These are:

  1. Optimise for “Conversations” or “Leads” within the Messages, Traffic or Conversions objectives.
  2. The Lead Generation template in Facebook’s Ads Manager where users complete a form in-app.
  3. Custom audiences based on people who have sent a message to your business, and lookalike audiences.

The various message related metrics will also be unavailable, stats for Messaging Conversations Started, Messaging Connections and Cost per Messaging Connection will no longer be shown in reporting or insights.

So, what can advertisers in Europe actually do to get messages?

Thankfully, there is a way to still encourage messaging conversations to be started from your facebook advertising, it just needs to be instigated in a different way, and here’s how:

  • Create a new campaign
  • Select “Traffic” as the campaign objective.
  • In your Ad Set, select “Messenger” in the “Traffic” selection field and ensure you have “Link Clicks” selected in the “Optimisation and Delivery” field further down the page.

By doing this, and moving on to the ‘Ads’ tab you’ll find messenger options available to you. Select “Send Message” as your call to action and adjust the “Message Template” as normal.

Whilst this won’t necessarily have the same impact and drive the same level of conversation due to the difference in optimisation, it is the best alternative at the moment and the will still, at least, give you the ability to advertise and encourage messages.

Lead Generation Forms

If you previously used the Lead Generation Form as your destination you will need to look at a different method of collecting this data, there are a number of ways to do this, the best solution in our opinion is to create a custom landing page and form on your website.

If your sole purpose is to have customers complete a form with their details so you can catch their data and make contact later, or, you want to get as much information about their requirements before following up with a phone call or email then sending them to a dedicated landing page on your website could be a great solution.

Having a dedicated landing page for your leads gives you a lot of flexibility with regard to layout, design and call to actions. Set out correctly, an onsite lead form can be more powerful than the default in-app offering from Facebook.

If you’d like help with setting up a landing page form or setting up your Facebook advertising to target this method, get in contact.


Unfortunately we’re not able to now accurately measure the number of messages generated via advertising on Facebook as, by removing the messaging optimisation, they’ve also removed the following metrics:

  1. Messaging conversations started
  2. Messaging connections
  3. New messaging connections
  4. New blocked messaging connections
  5. Cost per messaging conversation started

What you can still see however is Link Clicks, CTR & CPC, whilst these aren’t perfect in terms of tracking how many of these clicks actually turned into active messages, they will give you an indication of how effective you are at getting customers to make that first click.

Hopefully this pause as Facebook have called it is only temporary and we can get back to our normal optimisation strategy for messenger adverts soon, but, in the mean time, these workarounds are going to be the best solution for making contact with customers.

Written By  Iain
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